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Mind the Gap

Andrew Long - July 22, 2004 23:28 EDT

NINTENDO, AS I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE OPINED IN AGES PAST, is the purest evil. Now, lest you think I'm some sort of raving schizophrenic, which we could very well be if we weren't bound by silence to respect the pact with the darker one who even now is hushing this fascinating sidelight, let me explain: while I love all or most Nintendo games unconditionally, the company's tactics can be downright Squareish sometimes. Take, for instance, a predicament I suffered this afternoon while sweating my way through LoZ on the collector's thingy (the sweat was of course unrelated to the game; it's crazy humid here right now).

Now, being an intrepid adventurer, while eating my highly nutritious breakfast from KFC, I somehow managed to play through labyrinths five through eight, and was just angling into nine when one of those dratted blue wizzrobes got me. There's nothing quite so annoying, incidentally, as a blue wizzrobe when it gets into frenzy mode and rushes at you firing spells all the way. It's why I've been afraid of rhinos ever since my parents were eaten in broad daylight, which of course launched me on a fantastic journey in a giant peach with a bunch of oversized insects... but that story will have to wait for another time, because clearly that's no reason for anything. What IS important to remember, however, is that I hate blue wizzrobes, because in my haste to not die, I somehow forgot to drink my red medicine, which I think is probably a conspiracy created by stonecutters and the colour blue because we all know what colour a red potion turns after you DRINK IT!

Moving right along, I died. I did the old dunuhnuhnuh dunuhnuhnuh dunuhnuhnuh dun.. wenk! and decided that, since it was hot and I was feeling miserable, I'd stop playing Zelda for a while. As such, I clicked on save, and got up. Everything was going according to plan; the save flashed on the NES prompt screen, I figured all was well, and I hit the power button - just in time to see the GC save screen come on. EVIL!

So as surely as that was everyone's fault but mine, Nintendo is evil and should not be trusted. Also, there is a column forthcoming, and I somehow even have a fair number of letters, despite having no mailto to call my own since Sunday! You must really love me! Huzzah! That's way too many exclamation points for one paragraph! Oh no! I can't stop them! THEY'VE GONE TOO FAR!!!!!!!1

Ahh. I knew there had to be some way to get out of that vicious cycle. Thank you, idiots of the internet!

Aw, nuts.



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The mysterious JoJo appears at last!


I have some questions and I expect quick, short, annoyed, answers.

1. In concern to FF:CC, I may not be the biggest RPG player but that was a short FF game.And there was like no story. Whad up whit dat.

A few years back, Square, noticing that the crap they were putting out with names like "Vagrant Story" and "Chrono Cross" and "Omega Hentai Tentacle Schoolgirl Experience Adventure 48" wasn't selling as well as the crap they were putting out with names like "Final Fantasy Anthology" and "Final Fantasy IX", devised a solution whereby every steamer that emitted forth from its stinking loins would be dubbed Final Fantasy something or other. As so many other corporate schemes are, this one was also pure evil, but for some reason it still managed to fool a fair number of people into picking up FF:CC, yours truly included.
2. I saw a cartoon at, well that basically existed for the soul purpose or a sign that said "Nintendo and square together again, SUCK IT." any comment on that?

Yeah... With other PAs existing for much more ridiculous sole purposes, I don't know exactly how this particular comic stuck in your craw. Besides, as long as it's funny, who cares?
3.not sure if harvest moon is really an RPG. But in HM:AWL where do all the friggen stray dogs come from, and why did they screw up the crop system?

Well, Jo-Jo-Joey, when a momma dog and a poppa dog love each other very much, they sometimes screw like rabbits and produce younglings, and since Bob Barker's pleas for us to spay and newter those sex-crazed bitches and hounds generally fall on deaf ears, there aren't nearly enough homes for them all, least of all in such a small farm village as the one in AWL. As a result, they roam the streets in packs, foraging for food and leftover babies to devour and continuing the chain of hot dog-on-dog action. And get this - for those of you who just can't get enough doggie-style overpopulation, a similar effect can be noted in the Castle Town in Zelda:OoT!
4. Name one good, useful thing that has come from GNC-GBA compatibility.

Four Swords.
5. Probably the wrong place for this but,why don't yall have a chat room?

Actually, we do have a chat room; just log onto (Espernet) with any IRC client and then join #rpgamer. It's allowed Shroudie to stalk me with 89% better efficiency!

6. Do you ever think worrying about graphics and less about gameplay by game companies will cataclysmically escalate thus killing the game industry.

There can only be one,

This just in: game sales in Japan have plummeted by 30% over the past few years, and all signs point to a continuation of this trend if the current tendency towards worrying about graphics and less about gameplay doesn't drastically change. Actually, though, us North Americans are apparently easily amused by flashy lights, because the industry couldn't be healthier on this side of the pond. Well, except for the RPG part of it... We're kinda hurting.

Another multipart extravaganza

Hey Goog,

Actually, the official word from Google, as of 10:00 tonight, is that he is "broken", so you'll have to settle for me.

You know I am tired of living in RPG No-Mans Land that is the PAL regions.

You know if it wasn't for the fact that I have a sweet job and am just about done with my Masters in business I would move to the U.S. - Actually maybe not - but somewhere else anyway - tomorow. Apparently all that our region is good for is vapid, brainless poorly made sporting games.

Anyway my question(s) for you are as folows;

1.) Any hint out there that Konami will be releasing Suikoden 4 in PAL format?

We're still waiting on Konami to announce a North American localization, so I'd imagine you're going to have to wait, unless they pull one of those sneaky Europe-first releases that companies do occasionally when they take leave of their better judgment.

2.)Any hints out there of a new Elder Scrolls game in production?

Not unless you're crazy enough to get an N-Gage, in which case there is some sort of sidestory deal in the works. At present, Bethesda's efforts are focused upon feasting on the grisly remains of Interplay, which is to say Fallout 3.

3.) Should I buy Fable or Sudeki? (or both?)

In the spirit of gross consumerism, I say go for both! I can't afford to buy any games right now, so I have to live vicariously, dammit!

4.) Is FF12 going to be another dissapointment?

I don't know... Were you disappointed with FFX? I liked it a lot, myself, so the only disappointment Square has caused me of late is FFTA.

5.) What can we look forward to with regards to the PS3? When?

O.K. So I know that I have most likely gon way over my question quota but please spare a few seconds for a poor unlucky PAL gamer.
- Jem

Ah, well, Google might have a quota, but I answer whatever comes my way, so I'll answer your fifth and final question with a big, resounding and nebulous 2006. It seems the current console generation hasn't been quite as profitable as the previous one, and the console giants seem content to keep pounding out crap for the PS2 and Xbox. Nintendo, on the other hand, desperately needs to get its act in gear, and so the next Nintendo system should hit stores late next year, if the current company line can be trusted (and since I'm still harbouring that grudge against the Big N, I will say that no, no you should not trust them, the devilish bastards with their flimsy dates and ample save screens!)

Poor, sick Shroudie


Well, another week comes to a close and I have devastating news. No, those blackmail pictures aren't missing. No, wait, wrong pictures. Saturday and Sunday were "official Mr. Six look-alike" day at the park. Yes, that's his freakin name. The more to haunt me in my sleep, I say. Curse that stupid man and his stupid advertising antics. Didn't get a picture, sowwy. Anyways, as we plan on murdering that part of the world later on... I would share more adventures, but I feel terribly ill these past few days. Nose running, body aching, sore throat, beating head, and dehydration. All symptoms of Castomel Withdrawal. I blame it on the economy, work, and my sudden addiction to KH. I'm actually almost done with it. After beating the Hades Cup and Platinum Match, defeating Phantom, and synth. Ultima Weapon, I'll be all set to beat the game. Then I may actually get around to writing a review! Now for this column's topic. Ummm...I really have nothing to actually speak of, having never owned or played a gcn. Not familiar enough with the titles either. Oh well. I don't think Sony should follow the same pathway. The PSP is supposed to have as good of graphics as the PS2, correct? Why try to look at two screens with high quality? You stay on one and you'll miss the beauty of another. The GBA has SNES-type graphics, making it ideal for quick looksees and button pressing. Then again, I could be quite bitter for not owning a new system in 2 years. Oh well, things will progress swimmingly tomorrow. Or so we all think!

A creamsicle for your thoughts,

O' Shrouded One

If you're still angling for my pool, I hate to break it to you, but that pool does not exist. On the matter of Sony, where exactly did you hear that a two-screen PSP was under consideration? I haven't encountered that anywhere, so if you could fire a link this way, I would be most obliged. Not obliged enough to puschase a pool, but perhaps enough so to buy a fine barne that is no poole.


The much anticipated Day 46!

Day 46

I have made a grave error. An error that almost made the male teen species shun me.

It started with the tribe's weekly tournament. The game? Super Smash Brother Melee. This game has you fight colorful Nintendo characters to the death. Ordinarily The 'Keven', 'Sam', and 'John' have a basic five life free for all. What made this seemingly normal game into tournament was the changed amount of lives, 99 to be exact. In other words, we had to kill each other 99 times each while maintaining our lives.

I was ready for the challenge. I was somewhat of a professional when I played Adult Link and competition was always welcome to the tribe. The 'Keven' chose Ganondorf (an evil villian of The Legend of Zelda series), the 'Sam' chose Kirby (bubblegum with eyes), and the 'John' chose Samus (an alien killing gal dressed in technological armor).

For 3 and a half grueling hours, we battled. I had it out for the 'Keven'. He always wins these sort of things but I was not going to let that happen. To my glee, he was the first one to die. To my dismay, I was the next one to go. Concentrating on one character while the others conserve lives was not a good strategy.

While the 'Sam' and the 'John' battled it out as the last remaining two, something came over me. I had lost. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later but I just couldn't admit defeat. May be the spirit of the competing Male Teen Species was rubbing off on me a little too much? I wasn't sure but there was one thing I knew for sure: I was not going to lose to the 'Sam' and the 'John'. But how to stop the battle? To make matters worse, I was running out of time, both the 'Sam' and the 'John' were down to their final lives.

I scanned the room for options. Turning off the 'television' (a glowing box on which these games are played) would only slow them down, not stop the game. Besides the 'television' controlling devise was MIA (missing in action). Then the thought occured to me, why turn the 'television' off when you could shut down the whole game? All I needed to do was hit the reset button on the Gamecube (a purple box upon which these games are run). But they would notice me and stop me before I could do anything. Then, as if on cue, the 'Keven's younger tribe mate, Timmy, walked in. The perfect scheme came to me, I'd have Timmy hit the reset button. It was perfect!

The three male teens bantered for Timmy to leave but Timmy would not and made threats from a higher power command. Finally, Timmy settled down and the battle resumed. I motioned for Timmy to come to me. He did. There I whispered something close to murder for the tribe: I told him to hit the reset button. It took a bit of convincing but eventually Timmy reluctantly agreed.

The small five-year old slowly walked and squatted next to the Gamecube. I thought my cover was blown when he looked back at me for assurance but no one seemed to notice him. I nodded my head as to say, "Do it." And he did. Timmy hit the reset button. All heads turned to Timmy and shouts came from every direction. Without hesitation Timmy quickly pointed at me and blurted that I had told him to do it. All heads turned to me. I realized what I had just done: treason! What could I do? I couldn't lie, the 'Keven' was already holding Timmy upside down. I didn't have time to escape. My mind drew a blank.

These circumstances were unbelievable! I had waited so long to study the Male Teen Species, to inform the world of them and their rituals and I might have just thrown all that work out! I laughed. I had just reset a tournament game that was down to the wire and I was laughing. Just what exactly was wrong with me? Even now, I don't know. The 'John' and the 'Sam' would only yell at me 'cause I was a girl (still am) but the 'Keven' and I were used to rough housing. He quickly went for a tackle. In self-defense, I grabbed a loose couch pillow to defend myself, then made a break for the door.

"See you tomorrow!" Were my last words but whether that was accurate or not, I'm not sure. But if there is anything I know about the Male Teen Species, it's that they are capricious. This will soon pass and I'll be back for the next tournament, I hope. This mission will be a failure if not.

-The Lizard
*Names were changed due to privacy*

Wow... you fight dirty! I've never thought of using a five-year old as a weapon in SSB:M, but now that I've heard of its fantastic success, I've decided to kill one five year old each week to ensure it never happens to me!

I'll be your winter coat, the button zipped straight to the throat...


I just saw you mention Postal Service and a couple of more bands in your Q&A and I just had to say… Very good. Very good indeed. Postal Service along with bands like Lalipuna, Interpol and Her Space Holiday took a giant leap from most indiepop bands (I know the term can be debated for aeons but I consider these bands indiepop) and just made damn good music. I just had to say that.

On an RPG note, is it worth getting PSOIII if you’re planning to play offline? I mean, a couple of reviews around the net say that the game actually shines in offline mode and I didn’t have plans to go online for a while, mainly due to the costs…

/Cherry Graves

I've never been a huge fan of PSO, so having no experience with PSO III I don't really know whether to recommend it or not. A good rule of thumb is to read some other reviews written by the people who hyped PSO III; if you generally agree with them, pick the game up, and if they blithely state that Xenosaga is the best game ever created, hunt them down, stab them with a board with a nail in it, and spend your money elsewhere. No muss, no fuss!

Unfit for Print

Okay i'm a huge Oni fan and I was wondering if Bungie is going to make a sequel or re-make it or something I need to know. It's important that they make another Oni because as some of you know that Oni is one of the most awsome game's in History.

Signed:The Dragoon Mage

Thank you for bringing us this important announcement, you big dumb idiot. This site covers RPGs, not ancient faux-anime shooters that haven't even eked out an official press release since May 2001. I'm pretty sure that's a safe indication that nothing's in the works.

Is it possible to turn carth to the dark side

No! Now stop trying to evil him up already!


So anyway, I forget what I said the topic was today, but since nobody had a chance to email me on it, let's use it again tomorrow - and in case you've forgotten, the official topic is GC or GBA titles that you think would benefit from connectivity. Since I don't want to be an utter copout, I'll also throw in this new topic for you: hilarious or annoying RPG moments with younger siblings, in honour of day 46! Come on, you know your kid brother used to make those punching noises little kids make when they fight as he played through Zelda!

Okay, so I don't have a kid brother. Sue me.
Andrew Long does, however, have a sister who plays partway through RPGs and then gives up.



My memory card is clogged with the wake of her destruction ;_;

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