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questionanswer&andrew


Tomorrow is Another Day

Andrew Long - April 24 '04- 14:01 Eastern Standard Time

SO ANYWAY, I HAVE FAILED TO RETURN TO MY REGULAR NOCTURNAL RHYTHM AS YET, updating not at the stroke of evil to bring you only the finest in the random array of letters I received in response to my highly randomized topic, but at the behest of the noisy chainsaw that woke me up this morning. On the upside, my mother has been subverted by the anti-aspartame propaganda released by the company that competes directly with the makers of aspartame, and now hounds me like a hound of some description about aspartame. Lest you think I'm some sort of diet Snapple sponge, I'm not particularly fond of the stuff, but it seems to me that corporate propaganda written by a doctor in a country where I'd never want to receive medical treatment is highly suspect, even if there is some probable truth to its claims (at least, if you leave diet pop in your friendly neighbourhood desert for a day or two, a procedure which I'm reasonably certain would turn the better majority of foodstuffs into some kind of inedible rotness).

At any rate, it's good, old-fashioned acesulfate potassium for me, and spiffy randomness for us! Spinning Fire Column Double Twist Flip Chop TIGER!




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PHI leads 1-0
Nik Antropov must still die
But so must I, it seems
For aspartame = formaldehyde
Tricky, that

A miserable little pile of secrets, you crazy almost-grenadier!


hey cast

Didnt like Lament of Innocence? Hmm, dont dismiss it just yet, play through it, it gets alot better. Well anyway, i guess i might as well ask a question. Now ive read the little news articles about Tales of Rebirth, and they said it was 2d. Now clearly it seems to be in 3d. Am i missing something, like a special graphic design or something. I dont expect you to know...but maybe you read a different article than i or something.

Heard of the Kingston Grenadiers Drum Corps? I almost joined them once...canada rules...

Barieuph "What is a Man?! ::shatters::"

ANDREW
Well, the articles do all say 2D, and while the four screens we have there could certainly be in 3D, so too could they be in 2D. Just cuz something's in isometric perspective doesn't mean it's plunked into a 3D engine - witness the impossible antics of Shadax, whose attempts to convince us that he was a 3-dimensional character were some of the most charming ever to grace the NES, a console singularly unsuited to such graphical display.


Aw, crap... I hate this getting called out stuff


Hi there.

You wrote : "FFX was sad because Hironobu Sakaguchi was self-admittedly pining for his recently deceased mother"

I'd just like to point out that Sakaguchi's mother has actually been "recently deceased" since the late 80s / early 90s.

Here is a quote from an interview on FF : TSW (2001) that proves it :

"Sakaguchi: Actually, the idea for the story has been growing for ten years or so. The initial inspiration was the passing of my mother around that time. Since then I have had this idea and been thinking about it a lot."

It's a very common mistake, though (fooled me too). Whenever people comment on a new FF being sad, Sakaguchi's mother's death get mentionned, and somehow people starts assuming it occured quite recently.

ANDREW
Yeah, actually it was that very quote that tricked me, or at least a bastardization of it. Either way, I guess he finds the notion of his mother being converted into a little cluster of wavy light to be a groovy concept indeed, since it's popped up three or four times. Perhaps the sadness of FFX does come from another source, though.

Actually, when you think about it, FF have been dealing with depressing death themes since FF4 at least (or maybe even sooner. I've not played FF2, but the plot seemed pretty dramatic). Major characters dying on you during the game as been quite a constant in most FF games (and even gaidens such as Seiken Densetsu or FFT) since then.

ANDREW
Death isn't always sadness, it's also a lame plot device, especially when it involves guns! I've heard it said that's why so many bad movies and novels end with shootings - because people just don't know what to do with all the troublesome characters they've unleashed.

I have got the impression FF games (and related Square games) tend to put a bigger emphasize on death themes (on an individual level = a single character's physical death, but also on a more "cosmic" level like in FFX or FFVII, where the concepts of death - and afterlife, souls, and such - are central to the plot... just like in FF:TSW) than other RPGs. But maybe I haven't played enough of other games... What do you think ? Are there many other RPGs dealing with death on a "spiritual" level like this ? ("spiritual" might sound far-fetched - it's only games, after all... but don't you think one can notice some sort of underlying philosophico-religious/mythological thing - a common background concept of some sort - in those stories ?)

Entr0pi3

ANDREW
Well, I think death has to be considered a theme in most RPGs simply because of the necessity of death and dying to most sorts of oppression. Let's face it - if you don't have an evil empire, corporation, or deity keeping the man down, you don't have much cause for a spiky-haired kid with a giant sword to step into the world and start kicking skulls in, so of necessity there's usually some level of carnage involved. As far as the spiritual level goes, I think death in its very nature is a spiritual concern, since the basic notion of a spirit as it is generally understood could not exist without the concept of death as a mechanism to free it. The separation of mind and body is almost always associated with physical death, and in rare instances where it is not, it generally involves a supernatural presence of some description.

Windy justification made short, anyway, basically I think this is inherent to most games. Granted, it's rather poorly articulated in some cases (the previous paragraph, for instance), but it's there.


Oh, boy! False analogy!


Hey

Ok you say people stopped mourning so fast after the defeat of sin, only a two year period. Hmm isn't it interesting how fast people seamed to stop caring about 9-11 ( Sorry if I sound like a bastard, but its true) Slowly the flags kept coming down one by one and people move on with their lives. Kinda of how the people in FFX are doing, they're moving on with their lives. Heck, I did and still do to. That's all :X

-matt

ANDREW
You don't sound like a bastard, you're just crediting 9-11 with a slightly different historical significance than it actually has. Lest you rush to club my face in, I don't mean that in an insulting way, I just mean that I've heard 9-11 compared with virtually every other tragedy in history, usually in greatly disproportional terms. In this case, my friend, you're comparing an event that happened a mere two years ago, and was, Oklahoma City notwithstanding, a one-time occurrence, with something which, in the context of FFX's story, occurs repeatedly over the course of centuries (and please, I'm only trying to show how this is a bad comparison, I'm not suggesting that the anguish of some fictional characters is somehow more real or important than the pain felt by the real people whose lives were impacted upon by the tragic events of 2001).

I agree that some sort of moving on would probably take place in the intervening space between the two games, but let's be honest - saying that Spira would immediately overcome the impact of Sin would be more akin (though probably no more analogous than your example, to be honest) to saying that the unceremonious plunking of Israel into a mass of Arab countries was a flawless solution to the aftermath of World War II (and the incidental millenium of mistreatment of the Jewish people), which is made delightfully apparant each time the news comes on at night. To be more clear, Sin's impact was pretty wide-reaching. For one, everyone lived in fear of imminent doom, and beyond that the core of religious devotion was basically fear, never a great thing when not mitigated by some concept of divine love or forgiveness. Secondly, society would have fallen apart - the church's role was to support the summoners and Yevon, whose role was basically to act as a guide in defeating Sin. If you eliminate the necessity for summoners, you eliminate not only them, but also the church, the guardians, and pretty much the entire core of Spira's society (notwithstanding that Tidus et al did a pretty effective job of eliminating the church in FFX). Couple that with a society that did not tend to gather in large places, and I think the scenario in FFX-2 is pretty unrealistic. Granted, the root causes for most of these behaviours is eliminated with Sin, but if there's one thing that people don't do all that well, at least not speedily, it's change. Generally, I'd think that this sort of upheaval would result in SOME sort of war, especially with all those convenient Al-Bhed kicking around just waiting to be different from everyone else.

Instead, though, FFX-2 is based around some dregsy bits and pieces of the last war, and I guess that's okay because in the end, it's only a game, and nobody really expects games be too worried about reality. I'm probably reading way too much into this and after all, Final Fantasy titles have never featured anything much more nuanced than good vs bad, in the end.

Besides, I still don't think people have moved on as much as you might like to think, and until you get all your civil liberties back, I wouldn't gauge the impact of 9-11 based upon the number of flags fluttering about in your neighbourhood.


Hmm.. I really must get less talkative


Castokiwi,

You know, with all this reminiscing about the good old days, I really should throw my two tiger spiders in, just for deliciousness' sake. Well, as you know, I've only been writing into and reading Q&A since your timely assimilation into the nucleus of letter answering. See, with Googlie's alias, I always thought "Ask Google" was about asking things to the actual site or an adventurous picnic through the masses of insanity. It was not until last summer that I actually found this to be incorrect and now I found my true calling. The rest, they say, is history. Although for RPGamer, I've been coming here since 2 years ago. Ironically, I only came here because of the fanart, back when Lorelai was still here, and I even indulged into the archives from time to time. And from my search through the internet for nekkid..I mean RPG sites, this is the only one where I felt like part of a family. Granted, we're a big dysfunctional family, but who's to say that will keep me from stalking? What I've wanted to know is, how's your relationship with Google? Aside from him nagging you to update earlier, (which you've been doing really good at I might add) do you mind spending some Q&A time with him? Is that all I was going to...oh, yes. When is your birthday so I can buy you a randomopium present? I'm not inclined to say if they are, in fact, blackmail photos, so we'll have to wait and see.

Creamisicle-related goodness,

O' Shrouded One

p.s. attatched is a creamsicle for your LJ, just in case you're in that kind of mood

ANDREW
Well, when you get right down to it, he covers more days than I do, so it's more me spending Q&A time with him. To answer your question, no, I don't mind spending that time with him - if it weren't for him, I'd have to update this thing seven days a week, and I imagine that would burn me out rather quickly, if previous hosts are any indication. As to my birthday, it's in my bio. If that's not a big enough hint, my birthday is also ASV's birthday, and Points of Views', as well as my friend's brother's. What a busy day x.x


So, tempting fate?


Mr. Dangerous,

I'd just like to tell you that I've been reading this site since back before the dawn of the Chinese-Mexican Rice War. If you prefer a more common frame of reference, since RPGamer was more typically referred to as UOSSHP. Also, I must ask the obligatory question: When is Shadow Hearts II coming out? And, purely out of randomly Hellspawned madness, which do you like better: Super Mario Sunshine or Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask?

~ Zack 'ASV' Lewis

ANDREW
Shadow Hearts II is coming out right around the same time my fist comes out of your face. As for your Hellspawned madness, Super Mario Sunshine, while not as wonderfully terrific as most Mario titles, is nonetheless light years ahead of Sonic Heroes, which puts it several galaxies in front of Majora's Mask.


You dare to impugn the quality of my news?


::Rises from the darkness to create anagrams::

Same Colt,

First off, I would like state my depression upon the latest news on Kingdom Hearts II. I mean, if the only news you have to report is that Auron is going to be in it, is it really worth reporting? Besides, the title of the article is "New Character Info", or something like that, so Auron would probably not fall under that category.

ANDREW
You'll note that story has the most reactions of any on index. News is what people are willing to read, so I guess that qualifies, at least as much as anything you see on Entertainment Tonight or Celebrity Justice does, at any rate.

But I digress, news is not your department...

I'd have to politely disagree with Eggman's statement yesterday about Q&A hosts insults as a deterrant. I too remember the days of Andrew (which, truth be told, is when I started writing). I also remember that there was a real steady stream of letters those first few weeks, which tapered off as he became less... angsty. It's the reason people like Simon Cowell and that host from Weakest Link were so popular, you know?

Granted, I'm not asking you (or Andrew Dangerous, for that matter) to start flinging insults like a chimp flinging its own feces, but just something to consider.

NeoCarbuncle
I must release the Shadow Hearts II release date now, before I am summoned away. It's release date is

ANDREW
Yeah, I'm fond of the occasional well-turned phrase myself, although I must admit I was rather taken aback by Duffman's first few columns. Still, once I realized it was just shti-- I mean, that he was clearly a champion of insulting power, I didn't mind so much, although then again, I also didn't end up on the receiving end at any point. Now get out of here, you mangy blue tomatohead! I never want to hear about Shadow Hearts II again!


My diagnosis: bad babysitting!


I was wondering what you thought of Drakengard, and if you knew how to get past chapter 2's wizards. Is it normal that when I defeat the first wizard, 200 more all replace it and kick Caim's butt? Also, when is Xenosaga episode 2 coming to the US? I really want to know!

ANDREW
Actually, it's only normal if you experience a runny yellow discharge, so you should probably get that looked at by someone who's more qualified than me. As to Xenosaga's prospective release date, the current word is "spring 2005", which could mean anything from next April to October 2006.

Revelations 3:16


I realized something last week. Square let the Chrono Break trademark drop because they just couldn't put together a good game whose primary function was to have people jump through large stained glass windows.

Bart

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, Professor Science. I don't know, though - somehow, jumping through stained glass windows seems like a much cooler way to time travel than anything Serge or Crono came up with.


YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
You wanna know how long I've been reading?

Since the Unofficial Squaresoft Homepage, that's when! I found this site trying to get info on SoM, FF2 and FF3. I can't believe that was over seven years ago. So I've been thru a ton of Q and A hosts (including Thor) already.

Bucket Mouse

Andrew:
So, you might say we've been a host of hosts. Outstanding!

QUICKIE II
Is the white mage in FF1 a guy or a girl?

Sincerely,
EagleHeart

Andrew:
The white mage in FF1 is your MOTHER! OH!

QUICKIE III
HI!

The Batman

Andrew:
You take that back!



DA LAST GRUMBLE

Well then... Seems FFX-2 is a topic that just won't die, much as I would dearly love it to. Since my threats to steer this ship into the sun were that to happen from yesterday were largely false, I guess you can continue pointing out my errors, but bear in mind, I still haven't played X-2 yet, so arguing with me is kind of like fighting with your younger sibling - satisfying to a degree, but only until your parents tell you to grow up. I guess they're not around right now, though, so carry on as you will. For those who'd like to talk about something I know something about, well, Blizzard has announced a contest which I think is terribly unfair because I have no chance of winning it. Yet, I will now proceed to spend the rest of my weekend playing Warcraft III. Does this mean I'm an addict? Do you have any stories of terrible game addiction that you'd like to share? Come on, everyone loves tales of shame and humiliation. Let's share like we're at an AA meeting! My name is Andrew and I'm a filthy drunk!

Okay, maybe I'd better just stick to games.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long still has a soft spot for rum, though! Arrrr!

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