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Capdabblers and Smendlers
February 15, 2007

Andrew Long - 22:09 EST


I am the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

The hills are aliiive... oh lord no

Hey guys,

Final Fantasy 12 is being released in the UK next week, Woooooooooooooo. I feel like twirling around like Maria (Form the sound of Music) on some remote green hills, except imitating some sort of Midi playing software instead of my voice. I can't believe it's been so long since I played a Final Fantasy.

Please never call that image to my mind again. Beyond the fact that my 4-foot-1 music teacher insisted we do that as our school play in the fifth grade and scarred me for life by making me the prince on the bridge of a castle moat (important stage direction: I heard!), the mental image of an Indian dude in Julie Andrews's place is too much to bear. Please note that if you are not a guy, Google Image Search is to blame for my malapproprism; a search of your name turned up pictures with a ratio of nine guys to every girl.

Another bit of news, my local DVD/Video rental place was closing down. Yep said to see them go, not while taking advantage of there "I'm not taking these DVD's home with me, so I am selling them cheap". I picked up about 12 DVD's very very cheaply. Amongst other DVD's I did see FF7:AC on the self, already having the special edition set I didn't need it but assumed it would stay long.

However, on the last day of closing I went in just to see if there was anything I had missed, only to see...... Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children still there on the shelf. (Sigh). All DVD's were going for 6 for £20, that's £3.33 a piece (that's really cheap for those non-Brits), and still no-one bought it. All I can say is I liked the movie, a lot, and cannot wait for a remake of the game and to play all its spin offs when they get here, but there you go.

I remain in the dark about FFVII: AC; that ship has sailed and I am not particularly sad to say that I was not aboard.

Also I was just playing Dragon Quest VIII, and kept thinking since the day I bought the game there was something familiar about the characters. I mean yes I know the people whom made this game made Dark Chronicle, but there was something else. I mean is it just me or are not only the graphics, but the characters very much similar to the series and movies Dragon Ball Z. I mean I never played the DBZ games, but have seen a lot of the series, and they are very much similar, or do I need glasses?

Till next time.

Singh (Uk)


You need not check your eyes; Akira Toriyama, late of such RPGs as Chrono Trigger and the execrable Legacy of Goku et al, is the character designer for Dragon Quest VIII, as well as various other Dragon Quests. You should also take solace in the fact that you haven't played any DBZ RPGs; while I understand that Legacy of Goku II is somewhat better than the first one, the original forms a cone of suck so powerful that the black hole at the centre of the galaxy is probably jealous.

Musical mutterings

Hi Matt.

I think playing the game has enormous implications on how much you like its music. In the first place, I don't have much incentive to listen to music from games I didn't play. But I think a good part of listening to RPG music, for me, is the nostalgia factor. Some of the music has merit on its own, true, but it's only enhanced by the memories you have from the game. That may have sounded a bit pathetic - fond memories from a video game, but it's not much different than memories from a book or a good film, although I feel I get less attached to movies than video games. I guess it's because you spend more time with the characters in RPGs.

I agree on that "score"(ha ha, little music joke there!); although there are certain composers whose music I like regardless, with someone like Sakimoto I have to play the game to feel any attachment to the soundtrack. In the case of FFXII, for instance, I was pretty unimpressed by what I'd heard before playing the game, but once I got my hands on it I began to appreciate it much more.

Strange story - there's that song by Sting "Desert Rose" ("I dream of rain" and there's that guy singing in Arabic or something). Several years ago I was playing FFT in our living room and my brother warned me that a couple of friends of his will be coming and he'll play some music, loudly. I say sure and keep playing. So right when I'm trying to get Cloud's Materia Blade, my brother turns on the music and this song kicks in. Now whenever I hear it, I think of FFT. Has that happened to you? Do you ever actually mute the game and listen to different music in the meantime? I never did that, I think.

Actually I kind of get that in reverse, also in the case of FFT; when I hear its music I immediately think of listening to late-night radio and playing the game during raging snowstorms. Todd Wright and T-RPGs are an excellent mix.

I've been thinking which RPG character I'd like to be and I'm having a slightly difficult time deciding. I mean, most of these guys have pretty tough lives - many dead friends/family members, a lonely life, battling against impossible odds and risking everything you've got... Doesn't sound like too much fun. On the other hand, choosing a world to live is a bit simpler. I think that Xenosaga's world is interesting to live in (if you ignore the Gnosis popping up from time to time). FFX's seems really fun. Maybe Dark Cloud's world (the second one, haven't played the first) or Radiata Stories'. I could really enjoy living in Radiata. Haven't gotten it yet but I'm sure Rogue Galaxy has good placed to be in. And, of course, I'd give anything to live in Shevat! What about you? Where would you like to live?

Zohar Gilboa


...FFX's world is really fun? Did you not notice how most of the villages in that game got decimated by Sin? Thanks, but I'd rather go somewhere a little less prone to aquatic hell-creatures, let's say... Disgaea! Well, I guess there are still hell-creatures, but hey, the dialogue's way better!

I think that means "To Whom It May Concern"


Valkyrie Profile 2:Silmeria doesn't get enough love around here.... Personally I asked Alicia to be my Valentine but Silmeria told me off.



Thanks for sharing, Tom. I might have asked the Alicia who works at RPGamer, but she probably would have laughed at me :(

Noveletters: no column is complete without them!


And now you see Nintendo’s grand plan. Under-stock additional Wii remotes, then release them packaged with a shoddy tech demo, call it Wii Play, and charge people a higher price. And it’s working. No store in my area has the Remote/Wii Play package in stock. So there’s where Nintendo’s accessory production has been going. Also, here’s something that will make you happy:

Since it’s apparently link day (no Zelda pun intended), I saw a link to this over at the mecca of gamers, Penny Arcade:

(penny arcade)

I think that’s pretty high on the list of “Most ridiculous things ever said.” What’s Sony thinking? Unless they stop collectively making fools of themselves, they’re going to lose all of their third- party support, because no company wants to be associated with such outright arrogance. I’ll be perfectly okay with playing FFXIII on the 360, if it comes to that.


Sony is thinking the same thing George Bush thinks whenever he unleashes his army of spin doctors to beat a talking point into the ground: if you say something enough times, people will begin to think it's true. In Sony's case, the thing they're saying is "everybody wants the PS3!", a statement which has thus far not proven to be very accurate. It's not really arrogance, it's simple marketing. Console purchases tend to be based upon market position; why would I buy console Y if console X has a much larger audience, and therefore many more games on it? Herego, all Tretton is doing, besides sounding like a pugnacious jackass, is attempting to give this impression to people. Also, in regards to your first point, while I have not really looked for Wiis or Wii accessories myself, I would caution against viewing your local situation as somehow occurring nationally.

Speaking of the 360, have you seen/read anything about Crackdown? You probably don’t follow 360 news closely, but this is a pretty prominent game, and not just because it has the Halo 3 multiplayer beta invite packaged with it. What’s interesting to me is the fact that it has elements of RPGs in it: collect orbs to “level up” and jump higher, use different kinds of guns and vehicles to make them stronger, etc. Hopefully this will keep my 360 humming until Blue Dragon arrives.

I saw a post about the FFXII:RW DS Lite bundle pack (link: ffxii/ ), and wondered if you’d heard anything about an American release? While I’m not a fan of the Lites (they make my hands cramp up), this looks so cool that I may just break down and get one. If they’re released here, that is. Japan gets all the cool stuff.

I spent a good fifteen minutes swearing at S-E the other day because I was lacking a certain gambit that I desperately needed (Foe: HP<3,000). So I have a question for you, because I’ve been unable to determine the answer on my own. What determines when gambits become available to buy? Is it progression in the story, or progression in levels? If it’s progression in levels, is it the party average, or the highest leveled individual in the party? Of course, if S-E had just given us all the $%&@ing gambits to begin with, we wouldn’t be discussing this…but oh well.

Thanks for listening!



Two out of two experts agree, by which I mean Ouro and Scarmiglion: plot points govern the buyability of gambits. So you'd best be advancing that story, my friend.


So as you may have gathered, I am not Matt. This is because Matt has discovered that with just two weeks or so to go until his self-imposed deadline to hand in his Master's thesis, he is suddenly very short on both time and thesis completed (well, he said he was up to page 24 of an expected 80, whatever that means.) The upshot of this all is, I will be covering for him until his return. In any case, I leave you in the capable hands of Ouro, who promises to update tomorrow while on a "business" trip. I have my doubts about the nature of this excursion, but I shall not accuse him of mixing business with pleasure; at least, not until the incriminating photos start appearing. So, farewell and I shall see you Tuesday!

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