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Can't Sleep... Clown'll Eat Me

Andrew Long - May 2, '04 - 00:14 EDT

SERIOUSLY, NOW THAT I SEE THIS CLOWN IN PERSON, he's one scary dude. Still, of more note than my newly fostered fear of clowns is the fact that we do in fact have a clown here along for the ride, and since I'm not feeling particularly introductory today, I think we'll let him do the honours.

Honk Honk the Abusive Clown

OK, SO THE OTHER DAY I WAS sitting here wondering what I should talk about in my intro, but I couldn't think of anything. This is pretty sad, since my job as a clown revolves around making other people laugh, which turns my job into either telling jokes, or doing things that other people think are funny.

This is always a problem, as being who I am, I can't do things the way most people would assume I would. I'm always misunderstood. For example, just yesterday, this little child was with his mother. Actually, was it a he? I couldn't tell. Damn kids all look the same.

Anyway, the woman had just finished her grocery shopping where I was outside showing off these really great balloon shapes I can do. (Have you ever seen a beaver balloon? Some people have now.)

So the woman is unloading her groceries into her oh-so-expensive 4x4, and the kid walks over to me, carrying, of all things, two green peppers. So, being a clown, I stuffed them under his shirt. Needless to say, the mother wasn't all that pleased, and I'm looking for a new place to perform. Anyway, I guess I should actually do something worthwhile, so let's get at it.

Andrew

HEY! You said you were an abusive clown, not a child abusing clown! I demand a refund!




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Series tied at 2
I have been grossly misinformed
As to the nature of this clown
WHAT ABOUT THE DEAL
THIS WASN'T PART OF THE DEEEEAL

www.cirquedusoleil.com
They'll be sorry they fired me!

Yeah.. cuz if there's one thing
A circus needs... it's a clown
that touches children
HELP

What level is Shoe?
Still 25

Same character designer... Similar characters.. Surprising? I think not


I don't know if this is an irritating thing in RPG's or just a thing that goes with games in general or just a Final Fantasy thing. Take your pick. But I've been noticing alot of Stereo types lately. I've been looking at the info on FF12 and it seems like the characters are ALL THE SAME as previous installments in the FF series. From what I hear about Pannero, I think of Rikku (FFX). Fran reminds me of Lulu (FFX), Squall (FFVIII) with less clothes, and Paine (FFX-2). Vaan is reminicent of Zidane (FFIX). Balfrea is a better version of Irvine (FFVIII). Ashe looks a great deal like Yuna (FFX) and is like Garnet/Dagger (FFIX) with the princess thing going on. Of course this is all speculation. Who knows what the characters will really be like. I just think it's irritating to have such similar characters.

ANDREW
Well, the thing about that is, all the characters you've mentioned are designed by Nomura, except for the FFXII bunch, but I imagine he's lurking around the edges somewhere. Anyway, Nomura's idea of creativity is basically limited to turning Barbie into "Malibu Beach House Barbie", usually through the magic of a new hat.

Still, I don't really see too much resemblance between Yuna and Garnet, beyond the fact that both are fairly prominent figures in their worlds. Besides, Square concentrated on Garnet's heavily rendered butt, whereas Yuna had other assets to be concentrated upon. I think that so far, the character design in FFXII is looking pretty good - the Vagrant Story team, if nothing else, does offer a different, kind of refreshing sort of look and feel to their games, so I'm willing to wait and see.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
What are you talking about? I don't remember any Final Fantasy with a stereo in it. Oh. I know what you mean now.

Like whatshisname said, yeah, since lately it's all been Nomura, and since he's a no-talent hack when it comes to originality, I'm not surprised you see it. I know I do.

You know what we need more of? Characters with way too much makeup. I mean, look at a few we've had. Harle. Now THAT woman had class. She was great, wasn't she? That accent of hers....mmmm. You can't forget Kefka either. Now THAT one is the best. I highly regard that design. What Square Enix really needs, though, is to go to some 1st grade class and get the students to draw the characters for a game or two. I mean, if you have 28 students, you'll have enough character designs to last Final Fantasy at LEAST 4 more games.


More Disgaea Names


I had a hard time coming up with names in Disgaea. So it tended to be whatever came into mind first. Or, whoever I was looking at, or talking on the phone with. So, the names will be omitted, to protect the... uhhh... innocent.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
You had a hard time? Seriously, how difficult is it to come up with names? I mean, for Pennywise's sake, you could use a damn baby name book if you were that hardpressed.

ANDREW
Now that's more like it! Yes, fight! Rip him up real good!

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Hey, I'm already dealing with one hack, I don't need to have to deal with you too.

ANDREW
Hack? I'll show you hack.. in the face! I KNEW this was a mistake...

My first mage was named after a friend of mine from years ago who still calls and bothers me every so often. Why? Because the mages in Disgaea are short and stumpy, just like her.

My second mage was a fire mage, and was looking all cute at the time, so she got named for a pet name my girlfriend's uncle gave her when she was 5, and doesn't ever remember I know, so every time she comes over and sees the name, she freaks out all over again, and starts thinking I'm stalking her. Don't ask me what the deal is with her memory, haven't figured it out yet.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
You know, if I had a friend who named his game characters Honk Honk, I'd be freaking out too.

My scout's named for my roommate, because he likes to do scoutish sort of things. He thought it was an honor. Until I stopped giving the character armor, and started making it fight all by itself. After about the fifth time I called him at work and said 'Hey... I killed you', it got real old real fast.

My other roommate's nickname is 'Manly'. A female warrior got named for him. 'Nuff Said.

My Ronin got named 'Jetta', because she had black hair, and I was in a bind for names. My girlfriend kept seeing the name and convincing herself that I was cheating on her with some tart named Jetta.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
The way you're naming your characters, I wouldn't be surprised if there's someone named Stubby in your party.

My main character's name is Laharl. I named him after my brother, because my brother has horns and weird spiky blue hair and... I mean... uhhh...

So that first mage I made named after my friend, that I thought I'd never use, hence being named after someone I was irritated with? Yah, she's now my really powerful galaxy mage that I use all the time, and I feel really dorky selecting her from the character list all the time.

This has been brought to you by the 'I-just-woke-up-fifteen-minutes-ago' rambling bug.

ANDREW
I think it's an insanity bug too, if your description of your brother is any indication... In any case, thanks for sharing. Incidentally, the newest addition to my team? A Cpt. Prinny by the name of Cpt. Obvious!

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Next time I play Disgaea, I guess I'll have to get a Prinny and name it Andrew Long.

ANDREW
HEY! What's that supposed to mean? You're supposed to be abusing the readers, not me!


Here's one for the clown


Hey Andrew and Honk Honk Honk Honk, You should know the answer to this. Will the clown bite me and throw me in the basement? If so, Why? Oh, Shane McCloud Kingdom Hearts has levels. The Batman

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Honk Honk Honk Honk? The hell? The least you could do is not stutter my name, dammit. Just for that, yeah I think I will bite you. You just answered your own question. Oh, and all your movies suck. Except the first one.

Prinnies in chorus are very unnerving ((o.o))


I hate unnecessary slowness in games. For some reason RPGs are the worst about this by a million times. Star Ocean 2 pissed me off, especially near the beginning, cause every single time someone said something it would take five extra seconds to put an ellipsis or a sweatdrop over someone's head. That's way too long and way too often. Also, why the hell do games have text that types out gradually? Why can't the whole textbox just appear instantly? L.i.t.t.l.e M.o.n.e.y These are my complaints. Consider them well, for they may cross your path again some day.

Parentally,
LockeZ

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Slow? I think I know the real problem here. You see, developers put artificial pauses into games so the player will get up, and not just sit there for the duration of the game, eating pizza and drinking pop. You're supposed to get up, go to the bathroom, make a sandwich, get the mail, walk the dog, have a shower, get a good night's rest, make dinner, make love to as many partners as possible and then come back to the next screen. In the case of Vagrant Story, you can read a book while you save! However, obviously in your case, you just sit there. For SHAME. Finally, just because you had to make a snotty comment specifically about Star Ocean 2, your feet stink. Put on some damn socks. Andrew is sick enough as it is.

ANDREW
Man, clown, you sure are a jerk sometimes... I mean, Star Ocean 2 was pretty bad, whatever you say... especially the sweat drop thing. Still, I guess I did ask for you to be 25% more abusive, so I guess I can't complain.


And so, Disgaea naming became the most popular topic evar


I'm enthused by the Leaf's win tonight, or last night if you want to be technical about it, so I decided I might as well write up a letter about some of my silly named Disgaea characters. How those two are related, I'll leave up to you, but anywho, onto the naming.

*No real spoilers except about the mysterious, or not so mysterious, yet still over powered Majin class*

First I had a series of characters I named purely so I could tell what they were in obtaining a Majin. So there was MWarrior and MBrawler. I thought them rather stupid, so I tried to be a bit more creative with my ninja, leading me to Shadow, who is the coolest RPG ninja ever. I still felt this was an endeavor in futility, but I wanted to try for something really spiffy sounding for my rogue and came up with Bandit. Much to my embarrasment later, I found out that was a higher version of the rogue, so that name no longer seemed interesting. This leads up to the silly name I was left with for my Scout.

The story behind this name goes back many years to when I was about 5 years old. I remember my friend telling me that he dug a whole so deep in the sandbox at school that he went right through the clay and made it into Hell where he met the devil and got a nasty scrape on the knee. This friends name was David, so I decided to combine David, devil, and clay into one of the most creative and amazing names that had ever been named. The result? Delay. I was so excited I created the character and achieved level 150 before I realized it was not only a commonly used word, but also one that was a rather lame name for a scout.

I got that character to level 200 to get my Majin and kept him around to remind myself that creativity at 6am just before the evil ball of light comes out and makes me sleep is not as genius as it seems to be at the time.

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, Mike, and thanks for making me laugh. Incidentally, if Mr. Sun is causing you to be woeful and turn to dust, you should do what I did and purchase some industrial-strength blinds for your window. Even at the sun's highest point, my room looks like 6 PM with those suckers closed! As for the Leafs, I'm mildly worried about today because they should have all the momentum, which usually means they lose by some horrible margin. On the other hand, they also haven't won in Philadelphia in forever, so maybe that will cancel out the other thing.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
OK people. Obviously you people were mistaken. I'M the clown, not you. Where did you grow up? The circus? "He dug a whole"? What is WRONG with you people? How am I supposed to come up with snappy retorts when you can't even write english? I mean, COME ON. Combining words is a great idea. I think I'll try it right now! I'll start with "Ashley", "Shirley", and "Atticus"! Hmm...Ashity...Shiricash...hmm...I know! Asshat!


Disgaea becomes +1


Hey Andrew...and Honk Honk The Abusive Clown,

I know it's a little late to bring up, but it's my birthday...2 weeks ago today. But it was the big 2-5, and I really feel old now. And let me just tell you that you would not BELIEVE that amount of spam you start getting when you sign up for a membership to a porno website. But I digress, and it's time to catch up.

ANDREW
Happy birthday, you dirty old man.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Oh man, I feel your pain. I know exactly what you're going through.

I think an RPG, to console games, simply means a game with the character development system you would find in a Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy game. It can have either a turn based, real time, or even action-based combat style, but I consider the character development and constant equipment/magic upgrading is what defines an RPG. Story is irrelevant, because every game has a deep story these days, it's not special to RPGs anymore.

I consider River City Ransom an RPG, but barely. It's really borderline. At its heart it's an action game, but the character development as it is is more like an RPG. The major quandary we run into with that game is that it came out before RPGs really hit in North America, so everybody who started playing it when it came out is going to think of it as an action game, not an RPG as it may have been considered had it come out in, say, 1998. Whatever, I just look at it as an easy way to get in another review. :)

ANDREW
Well what do you know... someone else who thinks that way about borderline games! I've frequently used that excuse to myself when justifying buying games. It probably isn't good for my finances, but hey, a man's gotta keep himself entertained somehow, and since I don't want to fall into that porno spam morass, I guess that's as good a way as any.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Dude, you have no idea. There's no escape from it! It's always after you! You can't stop it!

ANDREW
You could just avoid pay-for-porn sites...Why are we talking about this? This is all your fault, Stu!

I don't own Disgaea, but I do like renaming characters in other games. One of my favorites to do is name one character "Hardcore" and another one "Porno" so that whenever I get into a battle, the screen looks something like:

Hardcore 544 HP 25 MP
Porno xxx HP....

You get the idea. But the problem really boils down to the fact that ten years ago, nobody had any doubt what defined an RPG. Now, with the breaking down of the walls separating different genres, it's really less a "what genre is this game?" than "what combination of genres does this game consist of?"

And if it makes you feel any better, I think my female cousins are busted.

Robust Stu
Gold Reviewer/Swell Guy

ANDREW
Yes, Stu, that does make me feel better, although I'm mildly unsettled that you didn't issue a blanket cousin statement there. Nevertheless, I suppose I'm not the arbiter of cousin love, so who cares what I think! I think you're right about genre combination - basically, developers seem to have agreed that our attention spans will no longer support single-genre titles, and in order to keep us interested between hits of Ritalin, they try to jam as much crap into a game as possible, just so that nobody gets bored and wanders off. Speaking of which, I left Disgaea on like three hours ago... oops!

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
I think we need to just toss out all the genre names, and commit to a single method to classify games. The method consists of a name that signifies the game's overall quality.. For example, from top to bottom, we could have "Square Enix Quality"... "BioWare Quality", "Konami Quality", "Eidos Quality", "Acclaim Quality". Well, I guess that's not completely accurate. There's no way Square Enix should be at the top of the list. OK, so the idea needs tweaking, but I've almost got it!

Thanks for the letter Stu, you sound like a great guy. We should get together sometime. I'm having a kegger next weekend, and I need at least someone to drink with. Drinking alone is sad, you know?


Shroudie strikes


Castoantics and Honk Honk the Abusive Clown,

Why do I feel all giddy when I say that name? RPG's most hated-elements-type-things... Overly excessive random encounters every 2 steps. (ie. Northern Crater in FFVII and Deep Sea Research Lab in FFVIII) Random battles aren't bad, per say, but sometimes enough is enough and one must get a no-encounters accessory. Granted, some games misplace these important items in the "why didn't we put these in?" folder and think nothing of it. Anything else? Linearity. RPGs are famous for it, but that's not my complaint. It's when it's too linear and involves no choices to be made it all. As a continous topic from yesterday that I didn't add in due to an impending doom that I already faced. RPGs have growth elements of the character(s) you play as. Unlike gaining heart pieces, you gain statistical growth in different fields of strength. To Honky Honky, why so abusive? Some tragic childhood memory shrouded in pain? How much for your services? Do you do birthday parties? Stalking parties? Tupperware parties? Also, what's your view on the Japandemonium guy?? I think he's swell.

Confetti and creamsicles,

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, Shroudie. I have to agree with your complaint, especially when the game combines the horribly excessive encounters with a jarring sound a la Beyond the Beyond, which made a noise that sounded like a dump truck crashing into a megaphone storage facility.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
High encounter rates in the Northern Cave? What? OK, is my game defective? I never get a lot of battles in that dungeon. Maybe you've been just, you know, smoking it up a bit. It'd explain your name, I guess.

Why am I abusive? Well, it's a long story, and I'm sure you don't want to hear it. Oh, you do? Well OK then. When I was younger, after I dropped out of high school, I went to a clown college in New York. They tought everything we needed to know, from makeup to joking to balloons. You know, the whole schtick. After graduating, I spent 4 years working at a local amusement park. I then moved to Canada for a few years, hopping from mall to mall as an entertainer. One year, a Toronto mall was short on drunk Santas, so they grabbed me from my usual spot by the dumpster and threw the Santa costume on me.

Have you ever spent 8 hours a day, for 18 days straight asking little girls and boys what they want for Christmas? Do you have ANY idea what that is like? It all came to a head one day when a rather plump red-headed girl was THROWN into my lap, permanently rendering me impotent. Screaming in pain, reflex dictated that I grab the cause of the pain, and remove it from the damaged area. I did so. However, the long string of profanity uttered from my lips was only superceded by the yells coming from my left.

When I turned, I realized I had thrown the little girl onto a food court table, which was currently occupied by a number of large police officers having their usual lunch of Maple Dip donuts. The little girl had proceeded to stuff her mouth full of the tasty treats. When I was released from jail 4 days later, I found I had no job, no money. I only had the clown costume that belonged to me. Now tell me when I'm an abusive clown.


Ramblin' rudy


Why is it that when choosing games for use on RPGamer, you all choose games like Zelda II (NES) over Rambo (NES)? I assure you that Rambo is no less an RPG than Zelda II is. Only reason I can think of you all doing this is because Zelda II is a much bigger and recognized game. That is no better than Sony choosing Beyond the Beyond over Popolo Crois simply because it had better graphics for the time. And just look how well that did. Beyond the Beyond was so succesfull they made 0 sequals and Popolo Crois had 4.

Lets take a moment to compair the 2 games Rambo and Zelda II:

Now looking at these two pictures you may notice that at least in Rambo they plainly point out that you are gaining EXP so that the player has reason to fight monsters where as in Zelda you don't have a freaking clue why monsters spew numbers instead of blood when they die. And when I get enough EXP points I know that I've now gained a certain level experiance in order to handle better weapons and whatnot. However when I gain more NEXT points I'm not really sure what's going on. This menu comes up and they trick me into thinking I have some kind of choice here.

So after I select I don't know what I gain more of nothing and all my NEXT goes away and Link starts crying. Also the story to Zelda II is very lacking as well. I belive Link's girlfriend is sleeping so he has to go shove jewels into rocks or something I'm not really sure they didn't tell me what I was doing in the game. Were as in Rambo I at least know why it is that I am going around killing bats and spiders for EXP because the game explains everything through fun story sequences that allow the player to really get involved in not only the battling aspect of the game but the story as well. One other thing you might notice about the pictures is that in Rambo you get a ton of different weapons. In most RPG's I've played they generally give you a bunch of different types of weapons throughout the course of the game. Now some times they are pretty much the exact same weapon as before but with a slighly different name. In Zelda on the other hand I am given a sword. Yep...wooopidy do I get 1 sword the entire game. However some times when I get enough NEXT there is a 2 or 3 next to the sword icon so maybe I am using 2 or 3 swords and they just couldn't show it due to the graphic capibilities of the NES. So in any case I ask you again. How is Zelda II any more of an RPG over Rambo? And on that note why do you not cover Popolo Crois 1?

~rudyxx

ANDREW
Zelda II is an RPG over Rambo because I say it is, and because Rambo is a direct rip-off with Zelda with some admittedly decent-sounding interface tweaks to make it seem like a better game. PopoloCrois 1 you can add coverage for anytime you like, my whiny friend, but if I even catch WIND of Rambo sneaking onto server, I will gut you. With a rusty coat hanger.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Didn't I run you over in my car this afternoon?


Neo....Neos?


::Emerges with banana cream pies laced with spite::

Greetings, robotic hate-filled thing! Oh, and you too, Honk-honk!

First off, the best definition of an RPG I've come up with is the following:

AN RPG IS a game in which a character (or party of characters) is/are controlled by the player, and each character has their own numerical statistics, which CAN be increased by winning random encounters.

Easy enough to remember, right? Oh, and Zelda II (NES) is the ONLY true Zelda RPG.

Now, as for funny Disgaia names, you're out of luck. I'm pathetically lazy in terms of naming conventions: my elemental mages have the names Fire, Wind, Ice, Star, etc, and the skulls are all called Red, Green, Blue, etc. The good thing about this is whenever my colorblind friends come over, they're not completely lost, dood! DOOOOOOOD!

Sorry, I lost control. ::turns to the clown:: See what this android has to put up with every day?

One last thing: Have you seen that new FFA+ flash that's shown up at newgrounds? Great stuff, just one complaint: they used just about EVERY SONG from FFV, EXCEPT Home Sweet Home and Battle with Gilgamesh! The two best songs, ignored! Where's the rage?

NeoCarbuncle
Yahoo! I was thinking of eating ramen!

ANDREW
Thanks for sharing, Neo. I have to confess, I don't often frequent the newgrounds, so I haven't yet seen that FFA+ Flash. As such, my rage is currently a tight little ball, directed at the Illuminati and all their evil Volkswagen products.

HONK HONK THE ABUSIVE CLOWN
Oh, sorry. Did you say something? I was just busy reading my email.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

And so, the long-awaited guest spot draws to a close, and you should all now see why I fear Honk Honk the Abusive Clown. For next week, I think we should partake in the orgy of preanticipatory excitement that is the weekend before E3 and discuss the many wonders awaiting us in the week to come. What are you looking forward to? The unveiling of FFXII? The debut of the NDS and PSP? The "explosive announcement" Sega's got up its sleeve that will almost certainly disappoint us? Something I haven't mentioned here? The Phantom holding yet another press conference to detail its nebulous everything? I know I can't wait, and if it wasn't for this lousy health of mine, I'd even get to see it all in person! As it stands, I'm a bitter, bitter husk, but I can still take your questions with relative glee. I also just discovered that the mailto on my name below has been broken since I started using this template, so it's fixed now for your convenience - try it and see! Awaiting that day fondly, then, may all your troubles be creamsicle-related, and have a great week! Well, I think Google may still be sick, so try and cheer him up with an inbox filled with love. And letters!

HONK HONK
Well, wasn't that just dandy. I haven't had this much fun since I put all that laxative in the fruit punch at that seniors convention. I think I'll head off now; it's almost summer, so the touring circuses should be hitting the road soon, and what's a circus without some humor, right? Exactly. If you see me at any of your local fairs (you can tell it's me, by my large red nose that isn't fake, and my frizzled hair that just screams "MAKEOVER!"), make sure you stop by and say hello. I might have a surprise for you. Be good children, because I'll be watching, and I have high friends in low places.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long has an explosive announcement to make... Projectile vomit cleanup in aisle 8!

Honk Honk is happy there aren't any Bozo's Big Top reruns on his TV anymore.

GOOGLE WILL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


Hmm... I wonder if that busted link was the real source of my woes...

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