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Well Excuuuuuse Me, Princess!

Andrew Long - July 18, 2004 18:18 EDT

WHENEVER I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING USEFUL TO SAY, I remember the lesson my grandpa taught me back when I was just a strapping young lad: never look at another man's cards while playing poker, or he'll shoot you in the face. Now that I think back, I think my grandfather may have been exaggerating, or at least preying on my absurd gullibility, but it's a valuable lesson to learn, I think. Inspecting the deck can get you in all sorts of trouble, and nobody wants trouble, least of all you, so why not just hand over the diamonds and we'll all walk away happy?

Actually, there's a very good reason not to hand over the diamonds, and that's the fact that they're a girl's best friend. If you are a girl, therefore, it hardly makes sense to give your diamonds to a gun-toting maniac, and if you aren't a girl, but know one, then handing them over will probably piss off somebody you know, and we all know what that can lead to.

Actually, I have no idea what I'm talking about - I just figured somehow working poker and diamonds into the same rambling diatribe would get you subliminally thinking of Diamond Jim, whoever that is, and so without further ado, let us proceed to Cactus Jack's and open our sack of mail, which groans forth with lettery goodness.



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A pressing concern for us all

Which do you prefer: the old Super Mario Bros. cartoons, the old Zelda cartoons, or those weird Captain N cartoons?

Sorry, just had to ask because of the topic yesterday. :)

Well, that would have to be the Zelda cartoons, though I was always a little upset that things didn't quite work like they did in the game. Captain N was too weird, and the Mario cartoons were too overshadowed by the hideously fat dudes they got to play Mario and Luigi on the Super Show (where on earth did they get the idea that Mario has a permullet?) to be properly enjoyable. Also, as you may have noticed, I'm a sucker for one-liners, and "well excuuuuuse me, Princess!" is the perfect retort to virtually anything a little sister or annoying classmate can offer.

Well, I guess I DID say anything goes

Okay this is driving me NUTS!!!! My friend claims that the first James Bond gun was the Wolfram P2K And I say no it's not the Wolfram it's the PP7 but he thinks I'm lying so can ya help me? If ya know then tell me what the first James Bond guns was Please!!!!!!!

Signed: The Dragoon Mage

I'll have you know verifying this answer took me upwards of half an hour, so you'd better make your friend mow your lawn for like a year or something, unless he wants to mow my lawn, in which case some sort of deportation plan can be arrived at. Getting to the point: the first Bond gun was neither the Wolfram P2K or the PP7; it was the Walther PPK, at least in the first Bond movie, Dr. No. Try as I might, looking up trivia on the novels proved to be too difficult, since searches for Casino Royale trivia just turned up tales of Peter Sellers and Orson Welles having a good old fashioned feud.

Kronors to donuts? Sounds delicious!

Ol' dirty Castard

You know living in Europe really sucks from a gaming perspective; games you get from Japan rarely come here (Suiko 4, FFT...) and if they do it's usually about two years after their japanese release. This is nothing but pure evil, however there's still those oh so spiffy mod chips. I recently got one and I'm now on a quest to get the games I've missed out on. So far I've got Final Fantasy Tactics and Chrono Cross but which are your (and obviously your reader's) favorite PS and early PS2 games? Which ones are the essential games?

If you could somehow unget CC that'd be cool, but since that seems unlikely, aim to pick up Valkyrie Profile (fiendishly rare in any neck of the woods) FFVII (if by some fluke THAT didn't make it to Europe) BoF V, FFX, Suikoden II, Disgaea, and Xenogears. Other people will also yell at you to get Xenosaga, FFs VIII and IX, Shadow Hearts, SH2, Suikoden I and III, and probably a Tales or two. If you can find BFM, it's a pretty good buy too.

Oh, are a really spankin' thing happened to me the other day: I was at my local gaming shop checking out some relatively new games to get but they were all a bit expensive for student to get. Breath of Fire:Dragon Quarter and Chaos Legion both looked rather juicy but they were 579 kronor (exact equivalent of 78,3014 USD and 102,535 CAD to save you the trouble) each. That's just not the kind of money I'm willing to spend on a game so I checked the used box to find some older fun games and lo and behold there I find both BoF and CL for 200 kronor (you guessed it 27,0471 USD and 35,4184 CAD) each! Ain't life grand? That means I could buy 'em both used for less than one new. It's grrrreat!

Oh, perhaps a question would be appropriate; which country do I come from?

Carl Greder

Well, my friend, Denmark was my first guess, but then I discovered their Kroners come with an e, and after a quick check with I have determined your country of origin is Sweden. Thanks awfully for loaning us Mats Sundin ^_^

This and that


First of all I'd like to say this is my first (and definitely not the last) letter to Q & A. I was wondering what your impressions were of the new Musashi game coming from Sqeenix, I think the older look is a nice change of pace from the last game. Also, I'm having trouble getting the multiplayer function to work in ToS, the manual doesn't really explain what you need to do in order to allow more players on the battlefield. I mean, why pay an absurd amount of money for multiplay with FF:CC when you can do the same with this game for base price? Anyway, thanks for your time and let's all get ready to head back to the salt mines on Monday.

~Yousef Hamdallah

I'm reserving judgment on the new BFM title until more concrete details emerge, because I've made the mistake of falling in love with a game based on a blurry screenshot before, and wouldn't you know it - CC made me want to smother kittens with the decapitated remains of fuzzy bunnies. As far as ToS's less-than-well-executed multiplayer setup, what you need to do is set the characters you want to use to semi-auto or manual. Then you need to plug your controllers into whichever port that character is connected to (Lloyd in slot one = controller one and so forth). Beyond that, it's pretty simple; player one gets to execute the U-Attacks and everyone else gets to control their one character, and get revenge on player one if he mucks up the U-Attack by spiting him in the menu.

I'll agree that spending that ridiculous sum on FF:CC is unwise, but games like Four Swords make me realize the kind of potential GBAs as controllers have, so I'm not totally against it at this point. I'm going to wait and see, just like with Musashi...It rhymes, so it's gotta be the right thing to do!



Just wanted to point out a few things-- I'd heard mention of The Future Sound of London, and noticed that nobody mentioned that they contributed a couple tunes to Omega Boost's soundtrack. Good stuff-- I'm thinking about heading out today and picking that up.

Secondly, I'd like to be serious for a moment and address the fanfiction issue that Joel mentioned in his latest update. Every word Joel mentioned was true-- he and I have no relation beyond a common task to which we are set, and he elected to place my final story by itself in the update. I had no foreknowledge that he was going to post the story alone. As I'm sure you guys are aware, it's actually a recent development that we're able to get consistent updates out the door. However, there is a precedent for an author being singled out-- you need only look at the June 24th update for another example, where we featured Catherine Rain's excellent trilogy in exclusivity.

In recent weeks we have actually seen a great deal more stories submitted, and we are very pleased to have this chance to read and release them. However, there will be times when some or all of us have not yet completed reading those stories. At times like these, the editor must make a choice whether to post a sparse update or to wait until the next week. Regardless of the choice made, someone is going to be made upset. Joel made his choice, and to be frank I was not sure how it was going to play out, as I'd not received a single comment on the story. Not one. Nor had the message board reactions yielded any opinions-- or anything, for that matter.

Feedback and comments are the lifeblood of the fanfiction community. If there was anything I'd like to stress in this letter, it's the lack of comments that get sent to the authors. I actually send the occasional email, and when I get a reply (us writer-types like to reply) it is almost always prefaced with "I don't get much email about my story!". I would ask that, in the future, if you have a problem with a story, please post your issues in the message boards, or send emails to the authors as well as the editors. We will do our best to respond.

Anyway, on to nicer subject matter. I've been sucked deeply into City of Heroes recently, and it's an excellent change of pace from the standard sword-and-sorcery fare our kind typically indulge in. It may seem a little expensive, but trust me-- it's worth every penny. Actually, it's so good that I think I'll just step back into the phone booth here, and...

DA DA DA DAAAAAAAA! ASPLODAMAN IS HERE! Come quickly, Castomelian, we must rid the city of evildoers! UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, B AND AAAAAAAAAA!! *whoosh*

John Zeitler, who swears he hasn't had any caffeine yet this morning, honest

Thanks for sharing, John. Personally, my preferred super move of doom is back-back-b-down-up-a, but I always was better at Mortal Kombat than Street Fighter, so don't mind me.

Boingy, boingy!

::Emerges wearing a multi-elemental coat::


The sun would stop if a fire-element absorbed an ice strike? Hmm, closest I can think of a similar instance was some FFX Collesium plant-monster that was FIREPROOF. Heh, should have doublecast Ultima instead...

I keep thinking about what Herr Pseudodocter said yesterday... the core elements that make up an RPG (EXP, HP, magic points, etc.) are considered "cliche"? Is this why we yearn for "new battle systems" that look like frankensteinish cut-ups of other systems? Has the world gone mad?

Nah. It has to do with the fact that the RPG genre, more than any other genre, is restrained by its definition. You could take any dozen "action' or "adventure" games, and they'd have different systems... some scroll vertially, some don't let you go up or down, some are shoot-em-up, some use stealth and strategy... you get the picture. Meanwhile, in a "traditional" RPG, you're always being drawn into random battles, staring at a blinking cursor asking what command to take. Action games may have extra lives, energy bars, or maybe they're "one hit, you're dead"... RPGs, it's always HP, or some equivalent thereof.

One theory as to why other subgenre of RPGs are being more actively persued is due to the flexibility. No longer does it have to be a stationary menu. Action RPGs mean that reflexes matter, not just because you set your ATB meter to "active". Adding RPGs to non-RPG games like Metal Gear Solid and the Zelda series (except 2, which is already an action-RPG) can enhance the game by allowing you to "soup up" characters.

Of course, you might cry "foul, munchkining" to the whole affair, but, frankly, you can't blame game companies for trying new things. You yourself, Castronomo, prize FF6 above all else, you must admit that you can nerf your parties to ludicrous levels rather easy (you cited the x-attack/gengi glove thing earlier this weekend yourself). So, is maxing out the party "unethical" in trying to beat a game? Ridiculous.

So, in short, this year's Scotchtoberfest was enjoyed by all... or was it?

No, no it wasn't. Or was it?

Of course it wasn't... Scotchtoberfest is a sting operation, you fool! Now that you've blown my cover, nothing will do but to agree with what you've said about the merging of RPGs and Action RPGs; Castlevania is just more fun when you can see numbers coming from the monsters, for example, and bashing junk in ToS is a heck of a lot more fun than just sitting there hammering A to fight for a minute (it amounts to the same thing, but it's the feel that matters, in my books.)

Do you people never read our news?

one simple question. In final fantasy advent children I know there is going to be a dvd of what happens years later. But are they acualy going to make the remake of final fantasy 7 game. for some places I heard yes others I hear no. What is it already. And if they are remaking 7 are they going to add anythhing to it like graphics or somehting like that?

thx for your help.

The only game related to VII currently in the works is a Gaiden-style affair for cellphones in Japan. The PS2 remakes of FFs VII through IX are currently sitting on a shelf in the giant money pits underneath Square Enix headquarters, waiting for either a lean quarter or Mothra to liberate them from the dingy depths below. Since Mothra is currently out of commission thanks to Barbara Streisand, it seems we'll have to wait until S-E starts losing money.

Unfit for Print

"The Beloved town dog has disappeared." That's from Brave Fencer Musashi. Surprised no one's gotten that.

Someone got it on Thursday, and another on Friday. Surprised you don't pay better attention for someone with such impressive recognition skills.

I like to pretend Threads of Fate was good
.....ooh and Legend of Dragoon too!

*hides before the lynch mob can find him*

Oh, Sammy... Will you ever win?


And so we come to the end of another weekend and we're STILL no closer to finding that blasted Jade Monkey. On the upside, we have located a Jade Slime, who will be available for your questioning convenience tomorrow. Meanwhile, mull this one over for next weekend: what other GameCube titles do you think would benefit from GBA connectivity? Do you think Sony would be wise to investimagate this area of development in order to keep up with the big N, or do you just hope it'll go away forever? A creamsicle will banish what ails you!
Andrew Long sold furniture to the inspiration for Kent Brockman this weekend.



I had to bumple up his credit limit, too <.<

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