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Two Months Off

Andrew Long - July 9, 2004 00:24 EDT

WELL THEN. Nothing like two weeks off to refresh you, except during those two weeks I mostly just worked and had stomach cramps, which is an exciting combination, to be sure, but not terribly invigorating all in all. Nevertheless, for those of you wondering where I wandered off to last weekend, I do have an accounting of my journey on display at my LJ, which I encourage you to visit regularly, even though I only update it once or twice a month. I have no real reason for this encouragement; it's just that my job centres around encouraging people to click links, and so I'd be a pretty shabby link-click-inducing robot if I couldn't drum up some business for LJ every so often, now wouldn't I?

Anyhow, it seems two weeks without my presence has resulted in some sort of horrible disarray, for the few letters I have are but tatters and tattered. I should hope that tomorrow will be better, for I grow terribly cranky when faced with empty inboxes, and since I'm always just a step away from cranky as it is, the very thought of having so very few letters tomorrow makes me want to repeat even more words for no apparent reason, since very is pretty much just a superlative you can tack on to any other word, up to and including coffee.

So for now, enjoy these assorted ramblings, and remember: the new compliment of the century is very coffee, baby. Very coffee! Hmm, that'll never catch on...but it's far too late to backspace at this point, so I'll just sit here looking sexy and hope that I can divert attention from my pathetic failure to coin a phrase.




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How do you get to the first boss

ANDREW
You know, I could answer this, but really, the only thing to say is "play through level 1." If you can't make it through any game's first level, then one of two things is the case: either the game sucks ass, or you do. Let's hope it's the game.

O.o


Day 39

While watching a history lesson on ESRB, hoping to gain more knowledge on the male Teen Species, A native male approched me. He was known as 'Keven'. I prepared myself for the confrontation. 'Keven' made contact the way most teen males make contact. He started with "What's up?" This was his way of saying hello. I made a metal note to write that down in my Male Teen Translation Book. An accepted response in his language was usually, "Nothin' What's up with you?" I knew this from my surveillance of the previous 39 days. Slowly I rose, so as not to alarm him, and spoke, "Nothin' What's up with you?" Although, nothing was far from what I was doing, I still gave the accepted response. "Um," He began. 'Um' meant he was gathering his thoughts, he obviously wanted to ask me something of importance to his tribe. "Do you wanna come over to my house and play Final Fantasy Crystal Cronicals with me, Sam, and John?" I was a little stunned by his offer. The 'Keven' was asking me to temporarily join his tribe. This was a rare opportunity to get insight on the Male Teen species. Without hesitation I said, "I'll give it a shot." I had never played FF:CC before, and knew I was making a slight gamble. I went to my survival pouch slowly but quickly so as not to raise suspicion and pulled out the sacred Gameboy advance. It was very important to them, this sacred item. I had grown to charish it as well.

"Don't forget your link cable." The 'Keven' reminded me. Panic swept through my mind. I had not anticipated to make contact with the 'Keven' and his tribe so soon. I had put it off to pay back the 27 inch tv for surveillance. I played it cool though, I couldn't lose my composure; the 'Keven' could as easily dismiss me.

"I don't have one." I said coolly.

"You don't? I thought you did?" The 'Keven' responded with alarm. Looking at him strait in the face, I said, "Well, I don't. Is that going to be a problem?" The 'Keven' relaxed and said, "I don't think so. John has an extra one. Come with me to my house." Success! He was inviting me into his territory! I slipped the GBA into my pocket and followed him. In the opening area of his territory, known as the 'living room', two other male teen species awaited. The 'Keven' was obviously their leader.

"Yo, John, you got an extra link cable don't you?" The 'Keven' asked. The 'John' looked up. I studied his movement carfully. He said with alarm, "No."

The 'Keven' was extremily worried, "You don't? Well Liz doesn't have a link cable."

The 'Sam' poped in, "Well, we can just buy one." And with that it was decided, The 'Sam', 'Keven', and 'John' went down to Eb and bought a link cable. A half-hour later, they were back. 'John' began cutting the top of the package off and said, "You didn't want the top did you?"

I thought that may be he was talking to one of his tribe mates but in fact he was talking to me! "You're giving this to me?" I asked with anticipation. "Yeah." He turned to 'Keven', "Keven, you own me four bucks!" The 'Keven' and 'John' began playfully arguing amongst themselves, while I was in shock. A gift? This gesture must mean that I have been accepted into their tribe!

Up to the most important and sacred rooms in the territory: The leaders room. There I found other sacred items of varying value. 'Keven' quickly called out, "I'm not the bucket boy! John! You're the bucket boy!" 'John' protested, "Dude, no way I was it last time!"

I knew this was the perfect time to really get close to the species and offered to be the 'bucket girl'. They still argued who would tug the bucket around but at least they knew my offer was there. I plugged my link cable in on cue with the others and began to play. In the end, we switched off the bucket. But it was a big annoyance. Turning the volume down was one of the key element to gaining more trust to the tribe. I provided British/scottish/western/austrailian voices to the boring storyline. When the game finally got going, I noticed the graphics. They were exquisit. The battle was fun too. The music was cool except the beginning song. The male teen species were appauled at the music. But the big problem with the game was the bucket. Although, I applaud Squeenix for trying new things, the bucket can make even the strongest of tribes fall. Nothing cheat codes wouldn't fix, as I found that out later when the Male teens began to get fustrated. A 'rental' is something of a time limit. More info is needed.

As I ended the day with the species, I found that I had gained there trust enough for them to invite me the next day. I thanked 'Sam' once again for the link cable offering of peace. He nodded and once again reminded 'Keven' that he owed him four dollars. As for the game, FF:CC is a fun game (if you have the equipment) that can bring two of the most opposite species together.

For my next task, Male Teen eating habits. Why does the 'Keven' eat spaghetti with his fingers and then wipe the sause on his pants? More information is needed.

-The Lizard
*Names have been changed due to privacy.*

ANDREW
You know, did it ever occur to you that a scant four years ago, I too was a teenager, and also male? Well okay, I'm still male now, but the point is this isn't some teenybopper magazine, dammit! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to crawl back into my cave and play games for ten hours straight.


Note: I have never worn a uniform of any sort, except possibly baseball


Castofurlough,

Well, another interesting weekend came to a close and you're back in action again. Well, how was your adventure? Share with us, oh my dearest. Well, Toronto will be buzzing this weekend, huh? Have any plans to see the Royal Canadian Mounties? Stealing horses and a potentially sexy uniform? Oooo, pictures must be provided! Keeping with the delicious theme, I picked up Xenogears and FFChronicles. Why must load screens be so damn long? WHHHY?? Well, more for my list, so I may have a chance to catch up to our dearest Roku. Nevertheless, I may still nevar catch up, but I can dream, can't I? So the DQVIII team has been announced, and Dungeon Seige II delayed? Oh my, topics to pick from, but we can't forget about them shexy Mounties' uniforms!!

Then again, I only dream creamsicley of you!!

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
I gotta tell you... Those mountie uniforms don't grow on trees, and while I do purport to give out mountie hats from time to time, I actually don't have a clue where to even begin looking. And I hate to break it to you, but nobody cares about Dungeon Siege II. Now DQVIII, on the other hand, we can chat about... But that's for tomorrow, when we can actually have some semblance of directed discussion! For now, I must continue in my quest to cut this column off like the festering thumb it so clearly is.


Potpourri, or gangrene? You decide!


Having been to E3, and knowing that anyone else jumping on the GameCube RPG bandwagon will be discussing Tales of Symphonia, I'll elucidate the entire lot of you on Namco's next upcoming 'Cube RPG, Baten Kaitos. The game features some really awesome graphics, a nifty action / card-system battle engine that involves heavy on-the-spot strategy, and a wonderful soundtrack composed by veteran, Motoi Sakuraba. From what little I got to actually play of the title, it's fast-paced and has a luxuriously detailed mythos behind the central story.

Pretty much all I know about the story itself is that Kalas and Xelha, the two main characters, live on a world of floating islands where the once vast oceans have vanished. Whatever mystery shrouds the darkened past, plays some integral role in the story of the game as Xelha slowly becomes an angel - even though she must sacrifice her life in the process - to help vanquish the evil that is corrupting the world.

I know the game is slated for a Q3-2004 release in North America, but if you're at all interested in finding out more about the game as its release draws closer, by all means visit the homepage Namco has set up for it.

Anyhow... Under the premise that you're supposed to ask questions in a letter to Q&A, I pose this query to you, oh Cast-of-Mels:

If you were to take Final Fantasy VI and - heaven forbid - remake it in 3D with full voice acting... Which console would you want to see it on?

ANDREW
Back in the day, when I was freshly fuming with outrage at Square's defection from Nintendo, I would have spitefully answered whatever Nintendo console happened to be all the rage at the time, because I was just that wholly under the control of the Big N's propaganda. However, having aged like a fine wine dipped in a vat of turpentine, I now realize that the GameCube is the only possible choice simply because it wouldn't seem natural on the Xbox and of the PS2 and GC, I think you could probably do better work with the GC in the end. Bear in mind, however, that Nintendo still lays claim to a significant portion of my soul, and of course this entire answer is null and void because voice acting is the last thing I'd want associated with FFVI.



DA LAST GRUMBLE

It's good to be back, though I do wish I'd had more to work with. To that end, our topic for tomorrow will be Dragon Warrior VIII. Specifically, I'm interested in what you guys think of how it's looking overall. Are you outraged by the appearance of some FFish trappings in the battle system? Think those screenshots are hiding a fairly ordinary engine, or believe the eyewitness accounts about it actually looking fantastic? Wishing for a slime to draw near? Too bad, he's not back till Monday. Ohohoho!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long attacks! Thou hast taken 54 points of damage.

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