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Century Spinach

Andrew Long - April 11 '04- 1:39 Eastern Standard Time

SO ANYWAY, I WAS GOING TO GO ALL OUT AND TURN THIS INTO A HELLISH SPECTACULAR along the lines of the last segment in The Meaning of Life, but I decided that my main goal probably shouldn't be to drive people away, and so I will instead simply opt for a slightly less hellish spectacular, by the simple expedient of dehellishizing and unspectacularating things. To that end, I'll need four volunteers to haul this giant set off to the dump, and I need an elite kidnapping squad, no questions asked. I could also use some rest, but I never was one to get to bed when I need to, so I guess it's not too surprising that I remain awake to do this.

As I probably should have expected, the egg market has crashed now that people have come to the realization that the fruits of their egg trading labour aren't really all that worthwhile. Prices have crashed, my will to barter has evaporated, and now I live only for the pure exultation derived from the fantastic victory furnished by the Maple Leafs tonight. As I am firmly of the belief that nothing can possibly go wrong on a night when the Leafs win a playoff game, I will therefore proceed forth to columnize for the hundredth time, and silently wish another hundred upon myself.

Did I mention the Leafs won? Yeah, it's a game column. I know. I never was good at staying on task.



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The kupomogli LJ

Series tied, 1-1
I'm feeling this lull
rather keenly, in fact
The new games
Are far and are few
But while this year's been dull
Up to now, anyhow
The blame
Is entirely
not going to rhyme
And besides
Whose fault is it anyways?

A sampling of topics

I'm almost saddened that Tales of Symphonia is going to be on the PS2 as well since that game gave me another reason as to why my buying the Gamecube isn't a waste. I haven't touched the Gamecube since I played Wind Waker since there's nothing that appeals to me. I'm probably just gonna end up buying ToS for the PS2.

Misguided Nintendo loyalty all the way for me! Yes, their unfair business practices and sexy propaganda have turned me into the soulless videogame zombie I am today, but somehow, for some reason, I still like Nintendo better than Sony. Perhaps it's because Nintendo has never put out a Twisted Metal title...

As for Paper Mario 2, I'm another person who didn't get to enjoy what the first one had to offer since I don't have an N64. So any similarities between the two will go unnoticed and I'll definitely enjoy it. I don't even know what made the first Paper Mario so unique other than you had a bunch of characters with special abilities you need to use when traveling (am I even right about that?). Care to fill me in on what little you know of the first game? If not, I guess I'll just do it myself by flipping to an FAQ.

I know nothing...It's too bad, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe there weren't enough games to make the N64 worth owning...

On a side note, RE4 looks dead sexy. Not an RPG I know... but I COULD be an idiot and try to squeeze it into the category by saying you have an inventory with things like healing items, a meter that shows how much health you have, and uhh... ok, on second thought, maybe I'm not that dumb.

P.S. I had a dream that I was gonna eat the Easter Bunny but then it ate me instead.... I wish I actually had that dream

Thanks for sharing, nameless terror of the rabbit world. May your egg hunts be vigilant and fruitful.

Enthusiasm springs eternal

Dear Andrew,

This kind of a spur of the moment e-mail, shot off due to pure boredom.

Well, I guess it's better than hatemail...

I too sympathize with those looking for RPGs now a days that aren't MMORPGs. I haven't the time or the money to do that. (Well if I stopped doing homework...) I've mostly stuck with console gaming because of the story the games tell. I don't like repetitive actions so I don't know why I stick with certain games.

How about you? What keeps you going back to certain games, like FFXI, even if they are boring and repetitive?

Probably the fact that I can talk to other people while I play. I mean, I like my console RPGs and all, but since I haven't really seen much that piques my interest on the console front of late, and since I've lost interest in KotOR for no apparent reason, FFXI is pretty much the only thing worth touching right now. I suppose I could pretend that Sword of Mana was a fun spectacular, but then I would also have to pretend I bought it, and that would just be silly.

Also have you ever heard of Loonly Labs? Their card games are what is drawing most of my attention, so addicting and so fun. They make Fluxx and Chrononauts, two great games built around random, zany, fun. Check them out at

-Chris 'cjb909' Burnham

Well, I'm not normally a big fan of the ol' shameless pluggingses, but since you've gone to all the trouble of emailing me from pure boredom, I guess I'll let this one slide.

A fellow Eggtrepreneur... yuk yuk yuk KILL ME

Hey Cast,

I too have participated in the unholiness that is "The Egg Racket." If you think selling the eggs is crazy, you should pick up one of the prizes you get for actually turning in the eggs. The Colored Drops and Lucky Eggs are selling for like 10,000gil a pop.

I thought Lucky Eggs were unsaleable by virtue of their rarexity - I sure got ridiculed fast when I tried to sell one! I know what you mean about the drops, though, having sold two of the relatively worthless Black Drops for 10k and 7500.

In other, slightly related questioning whats your opinion on FFXII? Despite Vaan's appearance what I've seen of the game so far reminds me of FFVI and seems to be presenting a good balance of the old school FF while mixing in some of the upbeat elements of the newer FF's.

And finally, what FFXI server do you play on?

-- Kalledon --

Yeah, 12's looking a lot like the Final Fantasies I love and love more, X and VI. The FMV is also unbelievable, so it shouldn't fail to blind us with its dazzling sexiness, which is something to look forward to, I guess. I can't really say much about the game itself yet, since there really haven't been any gameplay details to speak of, but hopefully they'll build on the mechanics that were developed in FFX, rather than reverting to ATB type. I found it very refreshing that characters could be as rigidly class-based or as openly swinging as they wanted. People still complained about stuff like the difficulty and the voice acting (heck, I complained about the voice acting too) but I like to think that they were just whining because they didn't know how else to receive a Final Fantasy game - VIII and IX got us so accustomed!

As to my FFXI server, I'm on the only server any self-respecting RPGamer would dare to frequent, Midgardsormr.


I'll vouch for that! And you know why? Because I respect me!

And you think I talk nonsense?

Yo! Here, for your enjoyment, I present the lyrics to "Gibberish" by Relient K. Because there's no gibberish like musical gibberish.

arg wu sentafinticate nar dunderford
bida menti kosticated interserd
thorphilliate stinded yilla billa zay
wentora yate paravillintiniay

dorga orpha dorga billa
dorga orpha stifaleare
dorga orpha dorga billa
tonalation fonamere

stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking now
if i had one wish
well i don't know what i'd wish for
but if i had a million zillion wishes
I'd use one to let you know that gibberish is
not a nice way to talk to all your
mork sawx ippen reeby yufftabar
higgerd quillip ernigrade du wellinshar
lirp crawn xyfa gourk jawinstabray
venaldo urp paravillintiniay
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking
stop talking gibberish
or just stop talking now
if i had one wish
well i don't know what i'd wish for
but if i had a million zillion wishes
I'd use one to let you know that gibberish is
not a nice way to talk to all your friends

-Jackson Ferrell

Thanks for sharing, Jackson. I have to confess, I sort of lied when I said I was toning down the spectacular. Through no fault of my own, we've now had a touching musical number, and very shortly, artwork by Shroudie will be on display. Cheese sandwiches with horseradish and cheap beer will be available in the next room for viewing, since nobody eats cheese sandwiches with horseradish.


Tsk... Why must I be prone to cameo appearances?

Why must I forever be answering questions about a game I've never even played?

Hey Cast,

Congratulations on your colum-body-count.
What I want to know is, in FFX-2, I'm in the wierd-extra-dungeon-thing-wich-name-I-forgot in Bevelle where I'm trying to complete all the hotspots for the Mascotte dresssphere. But to complete that hotspot, do I need to go down to lvl 100 or does the mission end earlier, right now I'm at lvl 49 or so? I'm trying to rush it a bit so I can start the New Game + since I'm also have to finish Arc the Lad 4, Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2) and Manhunt, while next month Disgaea is coming out here wich I'm pretty sure wil take up most of my free time.


It is my sad duty to report that Disgaea will in fact take up most of your spare time, so I think your best course of action would be to ditch this quest and jump into Dark Chronicle while the going's good. Besides, that saves me the trouble of having to look up the answer to your rather confusingly worded question, cuz if there's one thing you should know by now, it's that I'm horribly lazy. Nevertheless, since you were kind enough to congratulate me, and with deflating terminology no less, I shall bestow an answer upon you: according to Split Infinity's FFX-2 guide, the Via Infinito area does not have to be 100% complete in order to get the Mascot dressphere, so get your crazy ass out of that dungeon and into a chair in front of a PS2 with Dark Chronicle or Arc 4 in it. Or finish FFX-2, I guess...

You're damned right he'd better finish that game! I didn't labour through the gin forests of South America to free the Square Enix executive team just so he could piss his time away with Atlus crap! Now, you march right over there, you finish that dungeon, and grab me a beer! I need something cold to lower the swelling in my brain... Damned jungle rot!

How excitingly unpredictable!

Shroudie's missive


Congrats on your 100th Column!! Has it been that long already? Wow...time flies when we're having fun, huh? I can remember the first time I've read your column, such fond memories. And to think, we've been inseparable ever since. Happy Easter, by the way. Nothing like a good old overly-commercialized holiday to get ten tons of sugar injected into your blood system. Ah, what the hell, make it 100 tons, since I'm feeling festive. Now, my syrupy-coated chocolate bunny, how are you going to celebrate such an amazing accomplishment as today is? Kidnap a neighboring tui? Throw eggs at people walking by? Bake a delicous appricot and pecan cake from scratch? Or perhaps sleep the day away while staying away from your Satanic cat?? You know...we don't even have an aniversary date. Our first meeting was sometime back in August, I think. The way I see it, our song can be "100 Words"!! Ahh, FFX-2 humor..Gyakahahahahaha! Well, we'll figure it out some other time. For now, let us focus on today and her events. I think we should team up again in the future for some crazzy scheme that may or may not involve being CIA agents. Cause nothing says fun times like being wait, that's secretive. Shuffling along, I hope that you have many more days of Q&A ahead of you, for without you, I'd be a lonely man.

100 weeks of Castomel in a year,

O' Shrouded One

Hmm... I forget if I'm supposed to put Shroudie's picture on display, so I'll err in favour of exhibitionism and throw it up here. Hmmm... That reminds me, I really need to get to my other place so I can unfurl my Leafs jersey as is proper...

Boingy, boingy!

Letters of soothing?! Questions that don't make you pop an artery?! What kind of foolishness is this, Mr. Dangerous? What kind of international man of mystery and spicy cheese flavoring are you, exactly?

How did you find out about that spicy cheese flavouring, you bastard?! You must be working for THEM! Which makes sense, since you claim to be the Good Twin and all.

I've got questions, and lots of them! Like... How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Seriously, though... Something kinda cool occured to me earlier. We know from firsthand experience that no single movie has ever translated into a worthwhile game of any kind. Anime / Manga converted into games tends to suck mightily, as well. Books, on the otherhand, are largely an untried resource and a lot of them are ripe for conversion to a game. Now, before anyone gets the idea that I'm referring to 'Lord of the Rings', it's been tried. It failed miserably in a little attempt I like to call the 'SNES Game of Doom'. 'Dune' and most Science Fiction of that general nature seems - at least from my point of view (bad puns!) - to lend itself more naturally to RTS or Action / Adventure... No, no, no. What I'm specifically referring to now is Stephen King's 'Dark Tower'.

I'm not going to give any sort of strict example about what kind of game it would take to pull it off in a way that didn't suck entirely, but given the scope and breadth of the creature that the story is, something along the lines of Morrowind but with an extremely centralized story (and with a party system added to better effect) might be able to do it justice. I know I'm kinda out there at the moment, but I wondered what you thought of the whole Book ==> Game thing.

~ Zack 'ASV' Lewis; The Good Twin

Well, my light-souled brethren, there are certainly books and series of books that would lend themselves to gamification, but for whatever reason (probably the cost of licensing) virtually no developers choose to go this route, opting instead to squeeze something out of their own less-than-feverish imaginations. I don't mean to impugn the honour of various videogame designers or anything, but I kind of wish they'd smarten up and use people who know how to write stories to make their games. It's getting just a trifle tiresome when we have to deal with little segments along the lines of this, or experience a hackneyed love triangle just one more time. Part of the reason a lot of plots end up sounding like mumbo jumbo is because they are poorly thought out, unfortunately, and I think it's one of the biggest elements hampering the development of RPGs today. Still, there's a general dearth of writing talent across all entertainment media, so I suppose games can't be faulted for joining the crowd. Except they can, because I love them and don't want them to suck.

And what would my hundredth column be without my stolen feature, Unfit for Print? More readable, probably...

Hi to woman!!! This is Zax, from back home Are you're gongagas large and round enough ? ifnot, then try the "Gaia Theory Brast Enchantsmenters".! We are real certified doctors who will give your globes a life of their own! You will be looking likw a real tifa in NO TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go to and order your today?

To unsubscribe from this emailing, please forward it to ten friends

Oh Ben, you'll bury us all! What does this make, 100 different aliases?

A last-minute entry

Hey Castohoney (what, don't you speak Latin?),

As to the whole Uncle Owen thing, I thought he was the son of Shmi's husband, and only Anakin's half-brother by marriage. Then again, the original novelization of Episode 6 has Obi-wan's spirit/ghost thing call him " 'my brother Owen,' " so heaven knows. An inconsistency in the new Star Wars trilogy?! How unexpected!

Hmm, to try and validate this with an actual question...what did you think of KotOR (assuming you played it)? Who was your favorite character? What would you like to see in KotOR 2 (presuming Lucas Arts likes money, and will make another one)?

Here's to another 100 columns!

P.S. In case this gets printed—Hiya Shroudie!

Well, I'm just going by the fact that they'd be stepbrothers, not half-brothers under your scheme, but you're probably right to pass it off as the fat-addled fancy of the new Star Wars writing team. As to what I'd like to see in KotOR 2? Shorter load times, slightly smaller level design, and more of that hilarious robot everyone loves for some reason.

P.S - What do I look like, MSN? Get a room!


Hehe, it's Spoonysal from FFXI. I can not believe that a nerd like you writes for RPGamer, the most unerdly place of all. >_>;

Sure thing, giant beer... I've been writing here for three years now, so it's not really all that outlandish ^^

whats ur favorite rpg of all time? thats all.

FFVI. That is all.

Ome on your 100th column.
I wish you many more future columns and success in Egg haggling in Final Fantasy 11. In a side note, I wish for a Castlevania tactics game (like Final Fantasy tactics) with cute litte chibi representations of Alucard and company on the battlefield.

Thanks for sharing, Chris. I think you'd probably get more people clamouring for a fighter than a TRPG, but you never know what Konami will pull out of its sleeves - it is the company that pioneered up up down down left right left right B A B A select start when no one else would give us whiny 8-year olds 30 lives, after all.

GameSpot was having a sale, so I picked this little guy up ...

So I'm chomping at the bits to play FF6 again, and I'm trying to decide my party early on (Locke has a permenant place in it, don't worry). Did they fix Relm's sketch glitch in the PSX version? If they did, she's in. If they didn't ... well ... they should have. So did they?


The glitch is history, although why this is such a stumbling block in using Relm is beyond me. The only place it ever caused me any trouble was on the Veldt, and I went out of my way to allow it to.

AUGH! You just add to the evil shout spam!

Relax, my egging days are done. In fine hypocritical form, I shall now join you in your general outrage at the plague infesting WIndurst's airwaves. For shame, eggsellers!

Will be the mother of my children?
I know you lack the genitals of a female, but I'd still love to father your child. Thanks. Sincerly ~ Spoonysal ^^;

Is it something I do? Say? I mean, it can't be the way I look...


Well that was a lovely turnout, and I'm so happy I'll even cancel all the retribution I had planned. Actually, I didn't think that far ahead, so really this so-called planning will consist of me going to let my cat in, which was the idea all along. For next week, keep the Castomentum rolling, I like answering this many questions. Yeah, it takes longer, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy, sort of like when you accidentally stab yourself - hmm. Yeah, that'd do it, all right. While my mishaps can no longer be entirely Creamsicle-related, I hope all yours will be, and you'll even get to start the week with a non-cranky Goog now that I'm throwing this up on time! Oh, what a spreader of happiness.

Incidentally, for next week, E3 is approaching like that freight train in that game that I think I said I liked better than any other game for whatever reason (hint: I was drunk), so let's talk about what you'd like to see, and what announcements you're hoping for. Anyhow, it's been grand, but I really need to stop this bleeding now, so if you'll excuse me...
Andrew Long was not harmed in the making of this column.



aolhax0r84 was put under tight restraints, however

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