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ASK ANDREW
Unprofitable Business Is Not A Practice Of The Dragons of Cardia
May 26, 2007

Andrew Long - 21:54 EDT

I FIND THAT LINE ENDLESSLY funny; first, nowhere in FF1 does Cardia at any point enter into the equation, and secondly, what Cardia apparently consists of is a series of caves strewn across an archipelago in the middle of nowhere, not exactly the best place from which to conduct business that is profitable. This grand merchant race also has only one expatriate that I can think of; there's a dragon south of an inn in one of the later towns, and he doesn't really look like he's doing business, even the unprofitable kind.

Anyhow. Letters.




LETTERS
Reality bites


Castomellow (That's if you were a marshmellow),

I realized that I haven't sent you a letter in a cold age, and for that I apologize, and shall rectify this immediately!

I have an interesting take/situation involving the ever-present backlog (gasp!) I have, like most gamers, an RPG backlog, however, mine may be different from most, in that it involves no new game whatsoever. I have what you might call, a nostalgia backlog.

For various reasons, I have been short on fundage with which to purchase new games, heck, I bought Pokemon Pearl after trading in some games, so technically I didn't spend a dime. Anywho, I have had to resort to playing my oldie goldies (FF's VII-X, Chrono Trigger/Cross).

Starting with FFVIII (My personal favorite), I ran through it while I was sick, I am about to re-re-reembark on FFIX yet again. The thing is, I don't mind being stuck with what I have at all. I can play ( And have played) these games many a time, and am perfectly content to continue playing them to hold myself over until I am fiscally sound yet again.

MY question to you, mighty Drew (Heh, rhyme), has a situation like the 'Nostalgia Backlog' ever happened to you? Have you ever gotten the itch bad enough to not onl replay one old game you have a craving for, but to play many?

Many thanks and You're Welcomes,
Frammy

|= |=

Andrew

Generally speaking there are a few games I'll replay every year once or more; Zelda II, for instance, and FF1 I play at least once a year, and I usually manage to get at least started on a game of FFIV and VI as well. I don't really do it in binges though; I tend to mix in newer games as I go, because I find playing the same thing over and over again, at least exclusively, to be a pretty dreary propsect.



So many ellipses @.@


ok... i have dawn of mana.... and i want to hunt down the person who's idea it was to make you restart at level 1 all the time... seriously... its not hard i'll admit that least not on easy... but it sucks that here i was level 3 able to grab monsters and use them like the BANKAI!!! for those who know the referance.. good for you... for those that didn't google these words "rat flail" and "vgcats" but anyway next stage... no longer able to use enemies as a weapon. no longer able to toss largish monsters half across the map... it sucks... and the magic system reminds me too much of FF8 which i hated the magic system of... but anyway on to other games

odin sphere.. awesome... .hack/gu.. first one was goodish... but the second one is just more of the same... your even tossed back into the whole tourniment thing again very early on...

but anyway otaku nick signing off

Andrew

Umm... I'm not quite sure what it is you want me to say to this, Nick. You're all over the map here, and I'm not even sure what you mean by "restart at level 1". Also, what game are you comparing this to? Having not played a SD since Sword of Mana, these features you mention are entirely alien to me, and I can't help but wonder why exactly you miss them so, as neither sounds like a particularly compelling gameplay element. So help me out! Send another letter with something I can work with. And preferably fewer ellipses, they're not meant to be used in this fashion.



Change change change and all that jazz


Hi QnA regular responder or guest columnist,

Addressing Matt's topic number 2, as of May 24, anyway: what would I change in any RPG? Hmm... I would take Shadow Hearts: Covenant, and make it never end! Okay, maybe not. As much as I loved that game, making it too long would be grating. In my playthroughs of Final Fantasies 8 and 9, I was so burned out by the third disc that I blew through everything else just to get to the end already. It's my own fault, I know, because I get absorbed into mini-games (Triple Triad, obviously, and the world-wide Chocobo Hot and Cold treasure chest hunts) and squander so much time that I hit a point of "shouldn't I be done yet?" and I just get to the end as quickly as possible.

So my question: which game(s), if any, do you consider to be too long, and why?

'Til the next time I randomly write in, then!

Joshua

Andrew

Heh. FFs VIII and IX are indeed guilty of this egregious crime; in both games the third disc seemed entirely extraneous, and I really do think that with slightly more efficient storytelling the games would have been better off without them. I am also experiencing a certain degree of "omg end" with FFXII; not because the actual plot is too long, but because I've wasted too much time on hunts and now I just want to see the ending, but I'm still kind of wanting to do the hunts. There is also Legend of Dragoon, a miserable 45-hour slog over 4 discs if ever there was one, and Star Ocean 2 could easily have ended after the first disc.



Reality bites


Hello.

I like to start off by saying that Etrian Odyssey is a great game. If you are like me, your favorite thing to do in a RPG is go exploring. Seeing as how exploration is the very point of EO, it is no surprise that I'd love this game instantly. However, I am not writing to simply share my praise for this game. Nope! Instead I'd like to ask about one part of the game has me wondering what other people do. The part of the game I am referring to is naming your generic characters.

The very first thing you have to do in EO is create at least five characters from scratch. You have to come up with names for the characters, pick a job class and then pick a portrait. While five is just the bare minimum you'll need to fill in your adventuring party, there are seven job classes available from the start of the game. Personally, I created 14 characters (two of each job class) because I thought it might be a good idea should I decide I want to swap out characters. This means I had to come up with 14 unique names for my characters, which leads me to my question...

How do you go about coming up with names for generic characters in RPGs?
Andrew

Names have never been much of a problem for me. I have three types, though, that I use. First are the "random household items" names; my favorite pokemon is currently my Starly Hotsauce, and in Disgaea I had characters named Shoe, Glade, Spatula, and Stover. Second are names from non-item words; Semblance the healer in Disgaea 2, Officer Scraps the dragon, Gato Morodoro the cat in Phantom Brave, Cleveland the Bidoof, and Cat the Dog in Harvest Moon are examples of these. And finally, I like making up names on the spot, a process which I can best describe as bashing out the letters until they sound pleasing; this has led to names such as Ellurisan, Nojimaru, Loesh, and Raparcimon, all late of Disgaea 2.

As for myself, since I knew (from reading about the game before release) that this was something I was going to have to do, and due to the fact that I didn't want to stare at a screen for an hour trying to think up a good name, I decided to come up with names I liked before I even turned the DS on. While having a good list of names made it easier to get through that part of the game, I still had to create a list of names to use. Then it hit me. I have huge stacks of manga that are full of cool names to use. After thumbing through a bunch of books from different series, I had come up with all the names that I needed in less than five minutes. And while I suppose it might seem a little strange to play with characters named Ichigo, Sanji or Asuka, it did save me a whole lot of time.
Andrew

You know what else would save you a lot of time? Not obsessing over minutiae like this ^^

As for something that was brought up yesterday by JuMeSyn, I find it very important to keep all of my games nice and protected. It may seem a little obsessive, but I have put all my games in order by system and then alphabetically. This helps to keep my game collection organized and protected. I also bought a really nice rack a few months ago to store all my games. Take a look.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a213/thinkfreemind/DSC00843.jpg

-thinkfreemind, is mapping the woods one step at a time.

Andrew

Oh my, I hate your shelving unit. It's the exact same kind as the ones we have at work, and things are forever falling through the slats there. But I digress... I've never really felt compelled to do the ol' "here's my collection" bit. Partially this is because my NES games are mostly destroyed, and my SNES titles scattered, but beyond that, while I do have an unfortunate collecto-habit, I find organizing things makes them harder to find for some reason. Plus I actually play my games on a regular basis, so they'd just get all messed up anyway.

But I don't suppose any of this is relevant, cuz the main reason I don't is because I'm a messy, messy soul.





IN CLOSING

Well, there were five letters, but one was eaten in transit. For tomorrow, let's revisit the topic of names. Tell me how you arrive at the stuff you call your characters, and give me a few of your favorites. Yeah, it's a repeat topic, but we haven't done this since the days of the original Disgaea, so what the heck!



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castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew is the heck, that's what.


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