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Andrew Long - June 12, 2004 19:12 EDT

I HAVE TO ADMIT, the title was just a ruse - I don't actually have barrel after barrel of poisonous scorpions to give out, so if you were looking to eliminate your political enemies or that annoying kid who always throws up in your rosebushes just before the judges from Gardens Monthly come over to do a feature showcase spectacular on your house, I'm afraid you'll have to stick with good old blunt force trauma. On the other hand, I have many imaginary scorpions that I can furnish you with, so if you'd like to imagine pouring a dozen or so of the little critters on that pukesack, well, it would certainly be a good deal more interesting than most Archie Comics resolutions.

I stopped reading Archie Comics about ten years ago, incidentally. It wasn't that I was too old for them or anything, though I suppose that was part of it - it was just their unwholesome tendency to repeat forty year-old stories in every issue. And L'il Jinx? What the hell was up with that? Would it really have killed them to reprint one more ancient story instead of wasting space on that unfunny, poorly drawn piece of crap? I mean, I'm no comic superhero, but when I see that, it fills me with rage, which is bad for my X-ray vision and micro-laser brain cannon which is the only thing standing between us and world domination by nuclear beavers. The anger, by the way, naturally starts a shame spiral, and at the end of it all, I just end up eating a giant bag of nachos, which go straight to my five thighs.

In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrasts, and while I fervently promised myself yesterday for some reason that I'd stop wishing death upon people, operating upon the theory that if I kept it up eventually someone would die and I'd end up feeling bad about it, I have to backslide just this once and wish death upon the creators and perpetrators of that wretched, wretched comic. For shame!



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Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

What level is Shoe? 38
Ma said hi to Pa
Pa said hi to Ma
Ma said hi to Laura
Laura said hi to Ma
Pa said hi to Laura
Laura said hi to Pa
So ends the greatest American tale
Ever told
Now, to get it off my damned bookshelf
Cursed sisters

You'll use my moon calendar and you'll LIKE it!

Somehow I don't think that was the real you I defeated on the moonbase. Either that, or Advent Children really does have a release date of Octember 41st.

Anyway, does Four Swords have a decent single player game, or is it one of those strictly "multiplayer only" purchases?

R. Bemrose

Four Swords, or "Two, Three or Four Swords, Depending On How Many Friends You Have Playing", as some crazy hobo I met in the street yelled at me the other day as I was fishing around in the sewer grate for spare gum, can be played reasonably well with one player; however, it's not nearly as much fun as it is with multiple players, for the simple fact that the levels are designed such that they are fairly easy when played alone because you don't have several agendas muddying the water. The best example I can offer is a locked door; in the one player game, you just grab the key and bring it to the door, whereas in the multiplayer mode, whoever gets the key gets 100 Force Gems, resulting in assorted violence. It's still fun, mind you; the graphical style and mechanics are pretty tight and there's enough nostalgia to power you through at least one playthrough, but you're missing out if you don't play it with friends.

The Anti-Nintendoene Manifesto

I think that we should, as gamers, organize a task force for the sole purpose of assassinating Nintendo's innovation team. Not exactly sure what to call it. But whoever came with the following things, should slowly and painfully be beaten to death with a stick.

1) The Gamecube disks are so easy to scratch, so hard to copy, and so unreliable they are like a kick in the groin for your gamecube. A small scratch or smudge that would normally not affect a compact disk destroys a game cube mini disk. And once you have this scratch, you can't even make a working back up copy. They say the games of the system are aimed at children, who would easily destroy the disks in a matter of days. Believe me I know, my little brother has broken many a disks. Those Greedy Nintendo *censored*!

2) Good 'ol Wavebird (Cordless Controller). You know what I miss so much now that I have my Wavebird? I miss the rumble feature! Especially in games you need it, like Mario Party. What I really want is a lithium battery. Sure I own rechargable ones, but wouldn't you trade getting a rumble feature for having to plug in your wavebird every once and awhile?

3) Why, why, why have my favorite plummers (Mario and Luigi) given up their plumming business for jobs as janitors? Nintendo brought out the bong for this one. Vancuum's and hoses, that'll beat the crap out of Ps2's Grand Theft Auto any day *rolls eyes*! What happened to fireballs, jumping on stuff, and fly with the help of a leaf?

Well, bear in mind, flying with the help of a cape, growing to impossible sizes due to mushroom consumption, and tanooki suits aren't exactly hallmarks of the plumbing profession themselves.

4) Orcania of Time was great for one reason and it took Nintendo two games to figure out what that reason is. "The Adult Link". In Majaro's Mask, we learned it wasn't collecting and transforming. In Wind Waker, (actually a good game) we learned it wasn't a childish looking Link. Finally, with the new game coming out (with Adult Link), by george I think they got it!

Errr... No. Majora's Mask sucked because Majora's Mask was OoT with the fun sucked out, and WW was average because WW was exactly the same game as OoT, except with lots and lots of water. OoT has attained its status because it was the first and best of the newer Zeldas due to its design, not because of its character art.

5) Paper Mario. Goodness, this was one of the worst concepts ever! But it looks like has embarked on a new journey to the land of origami crappiness. Oh yes, I'm talking about Paper Mario TWO! Those of you that still have hope for Nintendo, all three of you, get out your inhalers, you're gonna need it. Nintendo's doing it again.

You... don't think Paper Mario 2 looks like sweetness and candy? Did you play Mario & Luigi? Cuz if you didn't, do. It might change your perspective on PM2.

6) No online play! What the heck were they thinking?! Is there some diabolical plan to alienate all the fans? The broadband adapter looked really cool! And then, Phantasy Star sucked and they never made another online game. Ya'll just dropped the ball on this one.

Well, yes. You have to understand, though: Yamauchi is one of the most powerful bitter old corpses in the world, so even from beyond the corporate grave he continues to spite all Nintendo gamers with his spidery-fingered brand of stubborn refusal to admit defeat. And given the state of any number of online games, I can't say as I blame him.

7) Games directed at younger audiences. Us fans that have been with you since NES are not younger audiences. If you were born on the day that the NES came out, you are done with college and we're assuming that you started playing as soon as you got home from the hospital. I am so freakin' tired of good third party games being held back or not made at all for the game cube. What is wrong with you people!?

8) GBA and gamecube connectivity, NO, bad, bad! BAD DEVELOPER! *sprays Nintendo with bottle of water* Nothing decent, relevant, or fun has ever come from this, besides four swords. The whole concept requires lot and lots of money and friends. All of my friends had sense enough to buy a PS2, thus, avoiding this scandal. Unfortunately, I was not so lucky.

In conclusion, I'd to say that the only good things Nintendo used to produce were games. I honestly think they should go Sega on us and leave the hardware to people who know better. -The Lizard and her cousin Jo Jo

I think you're crazy! But then again, I'm a sworn slave to the evil wiles of Nintendo, so even if they smeared some CheezWhiz on a 486 motherboard and attached it to electrodes whose only purpose was to blast me with pain, I would still buy it, and I'd enjoy that CheezWhiz!

Ooh.. Fulfilling my actual job description!

I remember seeing a link on this web site somewhere that explained how to get to an IRC chat channel for this site... Uh do you know where it is cause I can't seem to find it... If anything what is the channel? I've never used it before so I'm a bit clueless as to how to reach it...

Wolf X

Well, my lupine friend, the answer is simple. Just get yourself mIRC or any of the other fine IRC clients out there and then make a new connection to on the Espernet server. Then, once you're connected, simply join #rpgamer. Why, I might even be there! Seriously, you should watch out... I get peckish on Tuesdays and tend to go on stabbing frenzies.

Or, if my instructions are too vague, go here.

Omega Flaaaaaare!

So, Andrew, More Chrono Trigger questions (after all, "I'm a man of my word, music man!"). First of all, how's about favorite character. Not limited to just the playable characters, either, anyone at all in the game. Of course, you will probably just pick Magus anyway, everyone picks Magus, because he is objectively cool. Hey, here's a possible topic question for your column: video-game-getting stories, complete with anticipation. 'cuz we've all had that RPG that we were just dying to have, that we imagined what it was going to be like and how fantastic it was going to be. I remember the night that my brother and I got Chrono Trigger. We'd played maybe thirty minutes or an hour, had just started checking out all the cool stuff at the fair, and then I had this junior-high lock-in at the YMCA to go to. All night while I was participating in pillow fights and foosball games and eating junk food, my mind was half on Chrono Trigger... oh, fun times. Yeah, how's that for a topic? Get those readers writing in like crazy. Although I wouldn't be surprised if it's been asked before and I'm just not remembering.

-Jackson Ferrell

Well, you've once again ended your guessing game before it began, cuz Magus was definitely the best damned character in the game. As to your topic selection, I will certainly keep it under consideration (read: of course I'm going to use it! I'm too lazy to be creative)

I am the walrus

Hi Andrew.

Okay, I am currently working my way through Beyond Good and Evil on the GC and I have to say, this is one fantastic game. If anyone has not tried it, do so NOW. I realize it is not an RPG, but it did spark some thought in me about RPG's (Although it is kind of Zelda-esque so some might try to slip it into the RPG category). I have played for 20 some hours and I am nearing the end. This includes doing most of the side quests etc. as well. As I near the end, something has occured to me. RPG's in general are too long, and here is why.

By the time I finish BG&E I will probably have played about 30 hours. This will have been enough time to develop an attachment to my characters, do some exploration of the game world, and waste some time. I will reach the end of the game and I will be left wanting more. I will be disappointed that it is over, but very satisfied with the game experience.

By the time I finish most RPG's I will have played about 60 hours. This will have been enough time to develop an attachement to my character, lose most of my interest in a few of the characters, waste way too much time doing fetch quests and racing chocobo's and have lost all interest in playing the game. I will have put the game aside for several months at which point I will have decided that I really need to finish the game, so I will pick it up and run straight to the end just so I can say that I finished it. Finally, I will beat the end boss, sigh in relief, put the game down, and count the days till the next one comes out, hoping that it will hold my interest better than the last.

The problem is that most RPG's have crap added into them to artificially lengthen the game experience. I realize that it is nice to have the optional side areas, but they should be small, interspersed through the game, and should not take up more than a few hours of extra play time. I also realize that some people may disagree with me, but hey, if you want to know what I mean, just play BG&E. The great thing about this game is that it does not hang around long enough for you to grow tired of the game. It gets really good, brings you (hopefully) to a good conclusion, and that's it. I think if all RPG's were about 30-40 hours, and were not filled with hopelessly annoying side quests and mini-games, people would have a lot less to complain about. It would also mean I might actually finish a game once in awhile.

So to give people a topic for discussion, I am curious how everyone else feels. Are RPG's too long, not long enough, just about right? What is your take on this? And by the way, have you played BG&E? If not, I would highly recommend it as being the best $30 (Canadian Funds) game on the market. I really hope they make a sequel.


I haven't played it, but with such a ringing endorsement, I might just pick it up now. I gotta agree with you - most RPGs are too freaking long, which is why I currently have about 15 or so that I still haven't finished. Even some that are technically short still end up taking forever - witness Disgaea - because of the need to level up characters ridiculously. That was one of the reasons why BoF V so delightfully tugged at my heartstrings last fall; I'm not still playing it to this day and yet as you say, I still wish it had been slightly longer and am suitably attached to the characters to still remember much of the story. On the flipside, I'm about halfway through Disgaea, and while I do enjoy it prodigiously, it's just taking so much forever that I'll probably finish another three or four Zeldas in the intervening period between now and when I finally finish it.

And thanks, incidentally, for muddying up the waters of tomorrow!

Four Swords Fun


Like you, much of my time has been taken up due to Four Swords. First, I would like to say that I'm a big fan of the graphics chosen for the game. They fit the style and the mood of the game well. Though the Gorons look very weird in my opinion, like potatoes with arms... Also, i like how one player can die but not have a game over. I just love throwing my teammates into holes to kill them and take their force gems.

As for my questions: Is there any reward besides bragging rights to the victor of a certain area? I was sort of hoping for something, because i liked how the victory system working in FF:CC.=

Also, have you been able to unlock any areas in Shadow Battle yet?


I think bragging rights is it, to be honest, but that shouldn't stop you from brutally empitulating every mirror image of yourself that you come across. Speaking of mirror images, I think that stupid pink Link should have been yellow, dammit. Oh, and no, I haven't unlocked any of the Shadow Battle areas yet, due to a lack of shadow battling on my part.

Leftie loosie

Hey Cast,

I was thinking the other day about how none of the touch screen/stylus stuff on the DS appealed to me, and I realized why: I'm left-handed. It's practically a given that developers will assume that people will take their hand off the buttons to use the stylus, which puts people like me at a great disadvantage since we'd have to take our hand off the control stick isntead. Imagine a deathmatch game, a la Metroid Prime DS. I'd have to stop moving every time I wanted to shoot!

And don't tell me to suck it up and just use my right hand for the stylus. You try holding a pencil or something in your off hand and getting anything near the degree of control you'd get from your dominant one.


All right, I will! Behold, in all its majesty, my left-handed prowess! And just in case that leaves anything to doubt, I am in fact right-handed.

Define "Good"

Are there any "Good" games that have a fun trade system other than Digimon world and Suikoden III? Kit cloud

Given the wildly ungood nature of at least half of your list there, I really don't know how to respond. I also really don't know what you mean by a trade system, so I'm afraid you'll have to waste your Ask the Audience lifeline. Okay folks, Kit needs your help!

And the results are in. Apparently, 54% of my readers feel that Cloud should have gone out with Tifa, while an astonishing 14% hit "E", which is pretty impressive when you consider the keypad only goes up to D. Them's the breaks, Kit! Well, unless you write a new letter better explaining what you mean.

Shakespeare would be proud

Man, yesterday I totally poured a whole bag of nacho cheese on the counter. Not a fun thing, I tell you. Especially when it's stupid hot. I'll have to get some for you today if they put me in there again. Let's hope not, cuz tacos are the worst thing to work with.

Of course it wasn't as hot as you,


To anyone who's missed our recent correspondence, Shroudie now works at Six Flags Darien Lake, where he plots the brutal murder of that dancing old man from the commercial (at least, he'd better plot it if he doesn't want to share my bushes with an antipersonnel mine.) And Shroudie, as for your metaphoric acumen, I must say, you've melted my heart like the very cheese you're comparing me to! You'd best not be spilling me all over any counters, though.

Six, eh?

Let's see, that's letter number 6... pretty soon that will be as many letters as there is Police Academy movies... wait, that's bad.

A little about Four Sword. I am not getting the game due to a lack of video game playing friend. Out of everyone I know, I am the last to still play game. They have gone to other "more important" things, like getting a job or going to clubs and f*** everything that moves and has a skirt... Let's not talk about that transvestite my friend ran into the other day -_-

Why not? It sounds like hilarious comeuppance!

So anyway, I am not getting that game, even though I really want to play it. I have managed to get a 2 player game of Crystal Chronicles with my girlfriend and we are almost at the end... yup, almost there... for the past 2 months now. It brouht us closer, as I would constantly slap her ass in game.

Unfortunately, she is not willing to venture with me in Hyrule. So, unless you invite me and I take the 4 hours car ride to Ontario, I won't play it either... But you know, I can bring creamsicle flavored nachos if you want ^_^

Once again, somebody has combined creamsicles with something that just shouldn't be. I hate you all!

Here to unbalance things out, a question.

Beign the Final Fantasy X buff you are, you can answer that question for me. As I finished the game, I was far from having all those Albhed (or whatever, the machine people) translation book. If I recall, I was able to save my game at the end and use that game to continue my great quest to understand the Albhed and beign ble to understand the early cut scene where they don't realise I don't speak there language. How do I start a new game with that? There is no "New Game +" thingy or anything of the sort. Do I just start a regular game like any and the system will look through my memory card for the saved file and voila? I guess that's a yes or no answer... sorry, I'm doing my best here but the pressure is too hard on my fragile mind.

<_< >_> Soul

I think there may be the option to play through again if you have save information on your memory card, but if not, it's not too hard to just find the alphabet correspondence online. Even if you don't get them all, by halfway through the game you should be able to understand most of the words anyway.

More is.. better!

Dude, you just reminded that I'll be able to connect my Nintendo DS to the Gamecube!!! Two extra screens will KICK ASS!!!! I loved Crystal Chronicles, Four Swords will be even better, once I buy it tomorrow, but I can't even fathom what will happen with games that have THREE screens! I'm not being sarcastic, I'm so hyped about this! I'm a total geek, you see. I once was watching TV while my other TV was hosting a PS2 game, and playing the Gamecube on my computer, through a too epensive TV tuner card. So having, like, 20 screens to look at is practically an orgy to me, where I'm the only guy, and there are equal numbers of blondes, brunettes, and redheads. One for items, one for stats, the TV to hold the action, a map, radar, journal of side quests, oh man, I'm gonna have convulsions! And you KNOW that Nintendo would so it, as they're connection whores, and getting worse every day. Well, man, that's all for now. Take care. Oh, and when I said that I was gopnna go ahve fun with "the virgin" in that other email, I was referring to La Pucelle. Though the way Prier dresses, I'd seriously doubt it.

Laid up from fist fight with a stationwagon, letting my legs drain of fluid,

Kenny the C.

Thanks for sharing Kenny, though from the sounds of your raving, I wish you'd share whatever painkillers they're giving you too...

Hey Andrew
I know a way for you to not be bored.Send me 50 bucks. Then you wont be bored because your be imagining me playing a new funtastic game.

The Batman

I have a better way for me not to be bored... I'll mace you good!

Hey Andrew
Since you're being 80% honest I have to ask you something. Do you know where the bungalow grows?

The Batman

The suburbs... of HELL!


So there you have it - two whole choices for tomorrow! You can voice your opinion on the lengthiness of RPGs, or you can share favorite game-getting memories. Myself, it was one of two ways back in the day. I'd either spend months' worth of hoarded cash and ride home reading the instruction manual, or search for the one present I could open on Christmas Eve and make sure it was a video game. Of course, that backfired with Secret of Evermore, since my grandpa tricked me by filling an SNES-sized box with straw, but hey - I still have that box, and over the years it's given me far more entertainment than SoE ever did! Now, mocking SoE, on the other hand...
Andrew Long ain't in Podunk anymore!



Mostly because only losers hang out in Podunk

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