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ASK ANDREW
Your Mother Makes A Very Loud Point April 8th, 2005

Andrew Long - 2:28 EST

THIS INTRODUCTION has been rated "S", for short. That is all.



Ramblebox
If you'd like a longer intro, you can thank my sister, who absolutely COULDN'T ride home with my cousin...grr.

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Ewwwww


Hey Andrew,

As it happens I've actually eaten bowel buddies. *pase for looks of shock and disgust* They sell them at the local healthfood store, despite the horrid name they're actually quite good, and usefull. More so than a laxative, they're pretty much just a solid block of fibre wich is really good for all sorts of the parts of your digestive tract, keeping things cleaned out and moving well. Becuase a lot of the food our culture tends to eat is very low in fibre. So yeah, not like ex-lax in cookie form. I'm sure you really wanted to hear all that. The Brand Power ads are just bizzare though.

Now, religion in games. A few people I saw mentioned Lunar 2, wich was the fist RPG I played with strong religious themes. (incidently I was delighted to hear you also say the Sega CD versions were much better) I still think it was all handled very well, with the higher levels of the church being corrupt, but the faith itself being real in many people.

But the game that I think of most in the context is Breath of Fire IV. Though it was more political, I thought that ou actually play, at times the god who is being betrayed by it's people and the way it reacts was really interesting. And those parts were the strongest of the game.

Jumping topics quickly, my best friend almost fits perfectly the sarcastically refered to gay male gamer who likes seeing anime style guys with tight shirts kill giant godlike robots. But as far as I know, couldn't care less about seeing a homosexual relationship blossom in some RPG, for exactly the reasons you (or was it goog?) mentioned. Pretty much any other romantic relationship is handled awkwardly at best, so why bother?

Wich all convenietly brings me to my question. Since all these things, religion, love, bowels, are the basis such fundamental questions with us all, why do almost all RPGs (and games in general) fail to deal with them ina meaningfull manner. The way I see them, certain types of games are another method of storytelling in many ways. RPGs certainly are. Exept intsead of reading or hearing about some trial or adventure, you participate in it to a degree. To that end I think potentially games have an even greater capacity for interesting storytelling than some other mediums. So why, if we can have books, and movies and plays etc that tell complex and compelling stories about human nature, are games not seemingly capable of the same thing? Sure some games have stood out, to a degree, certainly the first time I saw Aeris die it caught me off guard, and I found Cloud's reaction very compelling. But it doesn't hold up to great film or litterature. Is it just that the game makers don't think the audience is ready? Or are the game makers themselves not matured enough yet to tell truly great stories, your Don Quixotes, Clockwork Oranges, East of Edens, Lolitas and whatnot? Or are games themselves not suited, by their very nature, to the task?

Alternate question, do you rather RPG houses have washromms or not? Is it creepier to have a world devoid of toilets, or one in wich you have to concider your spikey haired adventurer's bowel problembs?

Pontiff of Zargos


ANDREW


Toilets give things a stain of legitimacy, I suppose, but realistically, indoor plumbing is not the sort of luxury you expect to find in a medieval village, so it doesn't distress me too greatly when I can't make my little spiky-haired avatar take a whiz. I think you've hit it on the head when you say "games haven't matured enough yet" because that pretty much sums it up. At this point, developers are more concerned with graphics and gameplay to sketch in particularly compelling stories, and hey - I have no complaints about a development team that spends time on gameplay. It's just too bad that we haven't yet seen a game that effectively merges a good story with good gameplay. They've come close with stuff like FFVII, but invariably, something comes along and balls everything up.


Chronologically impaired?


Myriad of Questions:

Is it just me or are Game magazines in general reporting RPG news 3 months behind you guys? What's the deal with that? Who the heck are your informants?
ANDREW

That largely has to do with publishing cycles; we're here online every day, being whipped forth by our lobster overlords into finding only the freshest news, whereas the print media, in addition to publishing stuff monthly, generally publishes a magazine for a given month the month prior to that month - ie, the May issue appears in April.

And what's your take on the FFVII Compilation, AC, BC, CC, DC, and I hear EC is in the works too. (For those who don't know....AC/Advent Children, BC/Before Crisis, CC/Crisis Core (aka FFVII Remake I assume), DC/Durge of Cerberus, and EC/Eternal Curse). Obviously they're milking the FFVII franchise, but what good will come of it do you think?

Blade


ANDREW

Honestly? Very, very little. I am cautiously optimistic that FF7: AC will be slightly better than FF:tSW if for no other reason than the fact that Sakaguchi won't get within a hundred miles of the script, but beyond that? Jack shizzle, my friend.



Your daily Steve the Monkey fix


Well here we go again...

I'm typing this with my one uninjured arm and hand. I took you up on your suggestion and took a crash course in 3 different forms of martial arts and two different wrestling styles. Well basically I was waiting behind the couch ready to pounce on the unsuspecting monkey when he arrived. Unfortunately, while I did get the drop on him...he was too fast...

The fight was over in under a minute. Although my attempt ended in failure, I did gather some very valuable intelligence on Steve's battle strength. As my current medical state is less then optimal, I am thinking about using other methods to catch Steve. Would you happen to know a place where I can purchase a taser gun?

----

Best Regards
Christopher Beaupre


ANDREW

Erp. The police up here are actually kind of taking some heat for tasers on account of junkies keep dying unaccountably from their use, so I doubt you'll be able to find one anywhere legitimate. Since a taser isn't an option, I recommend you lace the bananas you leave for Steve with some form of tranquilizer. Smart though he may be, no monkey can resist a delicious banana, so you should be able to bag him once he passes out.



Randomblings


Well hello Mr. Andrew,

I have been reading the Q&A for awhile now and something caught my attention yesterday. "Well, goodbye... make sure nobody eats your soul... except me, that is. " It sounded familiar to me, but I didn't remember what it was from until yesterday's Q&A when you commented on it. Anyways I think it is from Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2), said by Death Jester, if that indeed is his name. I haven't touched that game since I was 14 and I have sinced moved on into the wonderful world of adulthood.

Also, on a side note, I must mention that not only the rest of the world views Americas current state of affairs like a poorly written Spanish soap opera, but Canada does as well. Thank you, and goodbye.

P.S. Where are the nuggets?

- Binser


ANDREW

Thanks for sharing Binser, but regrettably, you have chosen the wrong game, though the character is indeed the one I'm looking for. Besides, the tilde's already gone. As to your side note, Canada does indeed, but that's just a trifle hypocritical when you think about it, since Canadian media generally mirrors that of the US to some degree, and certainly moreso than the European media. On the upside, at least the CBC TRIES to be the BBC.

P.S. What the fun are you talking about?



42


Zup Mountain Drew,

Second time writer, first time reader

I was the one who wrote the email about Square being evil and hoping they suffer in the lawsuit and what not. I had left the email unsigned and that wacky monkey put Imperial Mog on it for some reason. I merely shrugged it off and was going on with my life, but that Moogle seems rather adamant about "getting to the bottom of this."

So thats may story. No vast conspiracy. No cloning. No Easter Bunny. Just a simple Primate Mistake.

Oh yeah. Are you going to go see Hitch Hiker's Guide? The BBC miniseries was awful and I figure they could do a better job than Hollywood, but we'll see. I probably will and will probably hate it.

Tad "Democratic Mog" Ghostal


BEN MATLOCK
Ah. Well, that pretty much clears everything up... Oh, except one little detail. Yeah, I talked to Ms. Avery, and she told me that you left that party for about 20 minutes between 8:30 and 9. From where her house is, that would give you just enough time to drive over to Mog's house, stab him, throw the knife in the river, where we found it, and then get back to the party. That's what really happened, isn't it, Mr. Ghostal?

Hmm? Oh, I can prove it. You see, we found tire marks down by the waterfront, and when we compared them to the treads on your car, we found that they were a perfect match. Your fingerprints were also all over the kitchen where they found Mog's body.

Well, maybe you were there for a drink the night before the mruder, but we found your fingerprints all over the block of wood where the knives were kept, and we got a partial print off the knife right beside the one that you used to kill him. So why'd you do it, Mr. Ghostal? Why?



What a marvellously alert dead man he makes!


Greetings Andrew

Now on your pondering of 2 addresses. It's that I have two different e-mail addresses. I got an AOL account at home. *familys* And the other is the university account when I'm away at school, which is what I'm using now. Also people should try to see my webpage from time to time as well. Espcially since I am getting a FFVI parody up since I have been inspired from other recap sites so I want to try my hand. That and why not go after the sacred cow of old-schoolers. Why don't I have fangirls instead of impersonators, they would be much more important to me.

Imperial Mog


ANDREW

Well then, I guess that wraps everything up in a neat little PACKAGE!



Andrew's random and deep-seated resentment towards WD bubbles to the surface again, as it periodically must


Greetings,

This is the first time I've sent in one of these... I missed the deadline for posting on the religious question, but hoped to make a few points anyway.

First about Chrono Trigger, I once stumbled upon a website that made numerous parallels between CT and the Bible. I can't seem to track it down at the moment. While I don't usually go in for such things, the site did draw some interesting parallels. Of course there are some obvious ones like Chrono as a Christ figure and the presence of a Day of Reckoning. Anyway, I see several possibilities in this argument:
1) the creators of the game DID in fact intend to draw biblical parallels; 2) these themes are not merely biblical but rather reflect greater mythical archetypes; or 3) the creator of the website I was reading was imposing his own worldview onto the Chrono universe. The truth is probably a combination of these.

The other comment I had--and this leads into a question, I promise--relates to the Lunar games. In the original Sega CD Lunar: The Silver Star, religion played an almost entirely benevolent role. The shrines of Althena and its priestesses were noble, upright figures oppressed by the Magic Emperor. But in the PSX remake, Game Arts for some reason decided to insert some of the themes that people have observed in FFX and FFT and Xenosaga. Most of Althena's priestesses are still good, but through the characters of Royce and Phacia we see a corrupting force permeating the religious institution. I just thought it was interesting that the developers chose to modify the original storyline in this way. So, finally a question: What exactly is the status of the Lunar series? I've heard tidbits about a new Lunar game, but don't recall any of the details. Like another reader who posted recently, I didn't enjoy the PSX ports of Lunar quite as much as the Sega CD game, but the series still holds a special place in my heart and I'd welcome a new installment.

~EternalCow~


ANDREW

Frankly, my friend, I couldn't give a damn, but since it's my job to answer, I will confirm that there have been a few scattered rumblings about the next Lunar title, but at this point there isn't really anything concrete out there. As to the meddling with Lunar's plot: Game Arts has shown no hesitation to take good elements from the Sega CD Lunar titles and completely eliminate them, so why should the story be any different? When you add the magical talents of Working Designs to the mix, it's a wonder the game didn't devolve into something resembling a cross between King of Queens and Hamlet.



Unfit for Print


Why do people keep saying that the church in Breath of Fire 2 is supposed to be Christian? I thought it was supposed to be a medieval Catholic church (the corrupt leaders always asking for money). What do you think it's supposed to be?

ANDREW

Well, as it so happens, the Catholic church is devoted to the worship of the trinity of God, made up of God the father, the Holy Spirit, and this dude called Jesus Christ (please note the last name, it'll save us time later.) As the definition for any church that subscribes to some version of this divinity is termed "Christian", ie, of Christ, it follows that you are an idiot. That is all.





q u i c k i e s

Hey there Castomel, I'm gonna make a guess at where the "Goodbye hope no one eats your soul" thing is from

I guess it is either from Seiken Densetsu 3 or the abomination known as Sword of Mana since they both feature a soul munching Death Jester

So uh yeah no questions or comments

Arros Raikou

Is probably wrong but is tired of seeing the thingy

ANDREW:You, sir, are correct! The quote indeed originated from the Death Jester, or whatever you want to call him, in this case from Sword of Mana. This tilde has matured in value since it's been sitting around so long, so I present: your ampersand! &

Greetings Andrew

I was intrigued by your topic that you threw out. As someone who is a rather devout Catholic, I am a bit sensitive about how religion is portrayed in media. Actually, I think games are more balanced than other media in it's treatment for religion. What is noticed that I see how even if the religion in the game is found to be a fraud, there are exampled of people who did use their faith as a means of personal fulfillment and helping personal betterment in their lives. Interesting is how many in the clergy in the games don't know of the real sinister aspects as well. I don't think it makes their faith bad or wrong now. Their acts were genuine and used for the greater good.

Imperial Mog

ANDREW:That's a good point, really; whenever a game involves a bad guy taking over a church, what tends to happen is that anyone under his spell is all "whoa.. wtf? OH NOES I WAS TEH EVIL!" after the fact, which raises the likely possibility that deep down, the writers of these stories give some respect, at least, to those in the religious profession.

“It's like taking the Red Sox and removing Pedro, Manny Ramirez, and Johnny Damon. Sure, it'll still be a respectable team, but it's just not going to do as well.”

Pedro was traded to the Mets during the off season.

Okay, all you Excel Saga fans, all together now:
”VERY NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Bucket

ANDREW:Aha! It is you that is wrong, I am afraid... Pedro was signed by the Mets as a free agent, so at most, Boston got a draft pick out of it (I'm unsure of even this; I just know that often in baseball if a team places a qualifying offer for a player who then opts to become a free agent, it receives compensatory draft picks from the team that ends up signing the player.) Either way, I will go out on a limb and suggest that Boston will have a tough time repeating, so my point stands. Nyah!


C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

And so, we come to the end of another "weekend", such as it is. I shall see you next on Thursday, and until such a time, may all your mishaps be creamsicle-related.

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long won't ask for more when he knows what's in store...


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