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The Script Did Call For Rain

Andrew Long - August 29, 2004 00:26 EDT

AND RAIN IT DID, BUT NOT as planned; you see, it was supposed to rain in the early afternoon and break the godforsaken humidity, but instead, it fizzled into drizzle some time before dusk, which is amazing enough in itself when you consider that both of those words actually do contain the infix "izzle" without any mangling on my part, but even more so when you consider that I had to help my sister move today, which is actually pretty unamazing, but I couldn't very well leave a dangling participle there, now could I? Also, thanks to the woefully inadequate Canadian education system, I don't even know what a dangling participle is, so for all I know, that sentence was a sparkly little diamond in the rough!

As ever, however, I suspect my linguistic musings are of sublime disinterest to the better part of you, and so I will press on to more important things, like complaining about how frigging hot it was today when I had to lug my sister's six zillion crates of junk into the saunafied elevator, which alleged to have a fan, but was in fact just a little metal box that stored heat. The floor my sister was on, as an added bonus, was carpeted with a shag that I can only assume has seen the horrors of decades pass above its soiled surface, given the unpleasant odour that emanated from within. The stink fluctuated from time to time, shifting from urine stench to soured milk to a particularly piquant blend of rotting corpse and dog intestine by the time we were ready to leave. Fortunately, my sister's room, by some miracle, did not stink, though this was probably because the previous occupant had a fetish for hiding stink-absorbing Q-Tips all over the place, which was more than disgusting enough to make up for the lack of reek.

So anyway, after unloading four coats, twelve pairs of shoes, enough clothing to outfit a small army of drag queens, an Xbox, a computer, eight boxes of kleenex, sixteen cups of noodles, forty juice boxes, a crate of paper, and all the unmentionables fit to mention, we discovered that the room did, in fact, have air conditioning. And then I had fury.

Fortunately, however, the day was not a total loss; I managed to embarrass my sister horribly by playing some FFX tracks on her computer, and now, I get to launch our next fantastic contest: Name Locke Z's Turtle. I will explain the details below, so let's get cracking! And yes, those egg council bastards have gotten to me, so be afraid. BE VERY AFRAID!

That's right, I'm one last life-sucking metroid. You wanna make something of it?


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Name LockeZ's Turtle!

I had one pet turtle already. My parents came home from carting my brother off to college and awakened me at 4pm with an announcement that they had a present for me. As I stumbled downstairs, I coyly suggested, "What, did you find another turtle on the side of the road?" Because I was concentrating on this quip, I nearly stepped ont the turtle.

So I need a name for my new turtle, preferably from an RPG. The old one is named Shiver, because that's what I always named the turtle in Shining Force 2 ("He's shivering. What will you name him?"). But I just can't think of any other RPG turtles with good names. My list so far is as follows: Guido/Gill, Koopa, and Turtle Rock. Turtle Rock does not seem like a very good name for a turtle to me. Any more suggestions? I'd prefer it be passable as a real name, as he is likely to live another 50 years.

All right, guys, you heard the man - we need a good name for his turtle. As such, for Friday, I want naming suggestions, and a justification for those names. I'll pick the best five that Sunday and then bamboozle Zach into putting the names into next week's poll. I will then attempt to force the name with the most votes upon Locke's turtle, though of course he will possess veto powers. So let's name this turtle and maybe puzzle people who don't read this column in the process!

Oh, and I think I'll cobble together another fabulous prize for whoever comes up with the winning name, and I promise - no signed photos of Frank Stallone this time! Speaking of which, I should really get around to mailing the first fabulous prize, which continues to sit on my desk, all enveloped and ready to mail. Sorry Josh ^^;;

Inner turmoil

Dear Q&A answer...people

Well this may be little too late I'd just like to say I really enjoy basically all voice acting be it annoying or straining on the ears. This is due to the fact that I think it just adds a little something to the game that simple text could never recreate, a little easier to relate to and enjoy I suppose.

Moving on. First I would just like to say that I've been looking forward to both Star Ocean and Phantom Brave for a fair amount of time due to the fact that I really enjoyed both the previous star oceans and Disgaea and La Pucelle. While I know both these games deviate from the gameplay in many ways from the other two games they still look amazing, but in different ways. While undoubtedly Star Ocean has the superior graphics, and the battles look fun, It's Phantom Brave's battles that really pull me in. I've always had an obsession with strategy games and with the abolishment of the tiles this game just excites me to an excessive level.

Also, while I try not to read much about the story-lines of games before I purchase them, from what I've read Phantom Brave's story seems very interesting, and while I know better than to trust reviews it's all I have to go on at this point and a fair amount of them say that Star Ocean's story falls a bit flat sometimes. Which is disappointing, but I'll have to see for myself.

Sorry I turned this into a bit of a rant as is the trend, but I would like to ask a few questions. RPGamer says Growlanser 2 is a direct sequel to 1, and with my plans to purchase the upcoming Growlanser Generations I'm worried if I'll be lost story-wise?

Unfortunately, there isn't an english translation of Growlanser I floating around in any conveniently accessible locations, but somebody who liked to use stars for emphasis raved about it here, suggesting that you're missing a *lot* of *good* stuff. That said, Working Designs, however much I may dislike their obsessive need to insert crappy contemporary jokes in all their games, does provide very good translations, and as they have been working on this particular job for quite some time, I'm pretty sure they'll do it in such a way as to either conveniently ignore the first game, or else summarize it either in the intro or the instruction manual.

Also any plans or release dates for the ps2 port of ToS in NA?

Still waiting on that one. Get a GameCube, ya hippy!

Last two things are, any idea what's what about StellaDeus that cool looking rpg we saw in Japandemonium and, why the hell is it so hard to find a copy of Valkyrie Profile, one of the best RPGs ever.

P.S. Guilty Gear XX rules and sorry for the length.
- jenn

Umm.. what about it? There hasn't been a North American release date announced for it, if that's what you mean, and Valkyrie Profile is evil, because it delights in hiding out in my favorite game store away from my prying eyes, and then magically surfacing when Scar comes to town with the amazing price tag of thirty bucks (CDN)! Oh, how I want that game...

Zelda IV? You crazy fool!

Hail Il Palazzo!

I read something you wrote about FF8 last weekend, and to my surprise you didn't seem to hate it. Is it really true? Then, can we be friends? You and me against everyone else. If it's true, that is. Why do you think people hate FF8 so much? There seems to be a lot of girls loving the game though. Please tell me I'm not the only guy out there. I'm already exciled from society for actually thinking that Zelda IV is the best Zelda game. I can't take more now.

/Pfeizer ;_;

It really is true, Pfeizer. While at fits and starts I find things about FFVIII I don't like, overall I found the game to be pretty entertaining, if a tad overlong. Now, as to your other question: I think people hate FFVIII so much because it wasn't FFVII. FFVII was pretty much the most work Square has ever put into a video game, and it was also the first RPG for a large number of people. To have it followed up by something that was so different, and in some ways, less complex, was a disappointment, and I imagine that's why most people have it in for Squall and friends.

As for why girls like it so much, my guess would be because of the emphasis the game placed on the characters and the story. Most girls that I know who like games tend to prefer RPGs with better stories and more fully developed characters, and compared with FFVII, which had a decent story but tended to be rather oblique, FFVIII was all about the characters and made certain not to go off on any planet-destroying tangents. Well... At least, not any that made any sense. Also, FFVIII had strong female characters, whereas Tifa and Aeris were kind of pushovers pretty much designed for fanboys to ogle.

And incidentally, you may not be the only guy to like FFVIII, but I'm reasonably certain you are the only guy whose email is under the name "Nathalie".

The award-winning series continues

Day 49

I am getting tired. My endless task of studying the Male Teen species wares at me. I miss my family back home but I know I must keep going for the sake of science.

Today, I was once again contacted by the male teen species. The ‘Sam’ had rented Tales of Symphonia on my behalf. I quickly made my way to the ‘Keven’s Game Ritual Room and thanked the ‘Sam’. I did not have to be cautious any longer with them. Their tribe had officially accepted me.

The ‘Keven’s younger tribe mate in training, Timmy, was there as well, much to the dismay of the ‘Sam’. He did play the game with us at the beginning, but it was decided that he had much training to do before he could enter into our level of gaming. The Timmy’s pleas to continue playing went unheard. And most of his questions were met with, “Because you’re too small” and “Magic”. It was 1:33 P.M. at the time.

After getting set up, I was automatically chosen to be ‘Colette’ who was the female lead in the game. Anger crept up inside me, but I let it slide. When finally a better character came along, ‘Kratos’ the strong brooding type, I was dismissed to having that character. But I fought for him. I was not about to let the fact that I was a girl get in the way of me having a good character. The male teen species may be very pig-headed at times but it is possible to teach them how to treat other species well. In the end, I won ‘Kratos’. Many notes were taken on the reactions of the species when threatened.

About an hour into the game, we began to count the Cliches. Our final count for Day 49 was 83. I’m sure we miscounted somewhere.

About an hour and a half into the game, we’d pretty much thought we had the plot figured out. Our theory’s at the time were as follows. 1) Kratos was Lloyd’s father. 2) Lloyd’s mother was a Desian. 3) Colette was going to die but Lloyd would most likely find a way to save her as well as the world. 4) Lloyd would overcome feelings of self-doubt and we’d all learn the meaning of friendship and trust.

Although no one was overly fond of the storyline, everyone was in favor of the battle system. We loved to build up techniques and use them effectively. Battles were fun and fast. Bosses took teamwork. And when we won, a great feeling of gratification came over us all. ‘Twas fun to just mash the ‘A’ button excessively!

A humorous fact did arise. At the end of a battle, most of the time a character would cook something and allies would be healed a little. But when the ‘Sam’s character “…failed to make a sandwich”, he became the object of ridicule. The ‘Keven’ was livid, “How do you fail to make a sandwich? Bread and anything can become a sandwich! Not a very good sandwich at times, but it would still be a sandwich!” The sandwich talk made the ‘Keven’ hungry and he promptly went to ‘food storage’. He came back a few minutes later and announced loudly, “I failed!”

The day finally ended at, get this, 1:33 A.M. The first 12 hours had been played, strait. We would have played through the night had my superiors not called me back to the lab. There seemed to be a problem with the taping equipment and had lost video contact with me at approximately 11:22.36 P.M. The Male Teen Species called it a night as well.

I will have to see if the Male Teen Species continues to the like the game throughout the week.

-The Lizard
*Names have been changed due to privacy and preservation of the Species*

Fascinating, just fascinating! Why, I haven't seen such a sterling example of binge gaming in these parts since 1995, and never with so many participants! Truly, your work is a marvellous advance for science, and we can only hope you don't get sucked into farming your specimens out for some sort of diamond mining scam.

To anyone wondering what happened to my burning love for FFXI

Hello there Antholomew,

I can finally come out of hiding after the "incident." The FBI has gone off my trail and is now tracking some guy in Germany (a cousin of his lives nearby) who supposedly stole a lawn gnome from the White House. I say BAH to priorities in the government.

So, the mystery behind your name is revealed! Well, ashamed or no, at least your name is taken from a reasonably well-known series of fantasy novels. Mine is from...a virtually UNknown fantasy novel that was never published. But the name's still good. By the way, oh vague one, you didn't really specify much about the name. >_> Are more secrets hidden inside?

Speaking of Dragonlance novels and Andrew. This adds another dimension to the already creepy vibe that has grown upon me since I first came to know of Andrew Long and Cortney Stone. First off, I have friends with the same names, minus the spelling on Cortney (has a 'u'). Also the personalities are eerily alike in both cases. It's like....your doppelgangers live around me. Nevermind said Andrew of proximity has an obsession with Dragonlance novels and Mountain Dew. (Albeit that is kind of generic amongst the 'peoples') It's just WEIRD like that. Now all we need is a sniper-wannabe with a large gun collection who thinks he was in Vietnam and a large-nosed Catholic-Jew obsessed with Risk and who are both named Kyle to show up and we have serious issues.

Um I guess that's all I have to say. The only question I have, really, is as to your status with the game known as FFXI. Have a good weekend, I'm going camping now.

-Owozifa (or Orie House in laymens terms)

My status with FFXI is as follows: I hate FFXI with all my soul and have eradicated all traces of its existence from my hard drive. Please, never speak of it again.

Kanarchy and Time Kompression


So it seems the usual bickering of rants has surfaced again from the briny deep. As I sit here sewing fabulous curtains into fashionable clothing for you to wear, I've been thinking. Why do rpgs establish a conflict with a corrupt government only to shift focus onto a higher power? Sure, FFVIII would've been more interesting if you actually tried to take down the Galbadian government instead of just the sorceress. Then again I also bought SLC Punk! for $20 at Sam Goody and have been thinking about Anarchist ways since the movie does express that particular view throughout. Okay, so the movie is one of my favorites. Ever see it? If not I do sugest it highly. Oh yes, I was combining this into a topic... In your sexy opinion, why don't developers think of a rpg about overthrowing a government without the whole nonsense of "future witches" or whatnot? Sure saving the world is nice, but what about just a country? I want controversial action, dammit! I suppose this should also tie into the actual topic now. I'd like to see the pop songs from FFX-2, KH, etc. be turned into punk/ska mixes. Hey, I actually heard a good cover of one of Celine's horrible sounds of screaming on the raido once. Or was it Faith Hill? Either way it was originally by one of those terrible sirens that lead us to impale our heads on the sharp, pointy rocks with their voices. Disgaea took a step in the right direction with "The Invasion from Within" by Tsunami Bomb and even FFX's "Otherworld". Come on, we don't need any more terrible generic ballads heard at the begining of every anime. Where's the good rock stuff? Oh yeah, Rob might be trying to steal me away so you'd better keep an eye on him. :O

"I guess in the end I'm just a trendy ass poser",

O' Shrouded One

Developers throw in the future witches because it's expected of them, and with a few exceptions like FFT, games do politics badly, simply because most people working on game development spent their time in college studying computer science as opposed to history and politics. And I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that there is a good remix of a Celine Dion song, because if you really think that, then you are truly in league with the forces of evil.

Not Particularly Fit for Print

I'm surpassed FFVI's Figaro theme wasn't mentioned. That's a great piece of music.

- Dace.

Surpassed or not, we weren't mentioning pieces just for the sake of hearing their names. Sure, Figaro is a decent tune, but do you really think it would make anything but a good video game song?

What game am star I excited about?
That's a ocean dumb star question. You ocean obviously star don't know ocean me as well as you should.

- Scar

Phantom my mistake, Scar Brave. It Brave won't happen Phantom again.

Cast Cast Cast Cast Cast...sigh...
You forgot Fable.

I didn't so much forget Fable as conveniently neglect it... So in a way, you might say I'm the hero in all this!

Et alors, où on le trouve ce fer à repasser? :)

Je ne sais pas...Il a été perdu il y a un long temps, et cassé en outre.

I don't know how many people remeber Thor,
and his lovable Video Game Soundalikes, which mirrored his Lookalikes quite well, but I was thinking about how his site had several comments about Call of Ktulu sounding like the Overworld Theme from FF VI or somesuch, and I was thinking...if you want to hear Metallica do Final Fantasy, you can check out that one...or listen to "For Whom the Bell Tolls" on the S&M album. If that intro doesn't sound like "For Those Who Fight Still More/Still More Fighting", then I don't know WHAT in the School of the Nine Heavens Martial Arts does.


Thanks for sharing, Noi.


So get your FFIV carts out and go track down Namingway, cuz we've got a turtle to dub, name, christen, entitle, and of course, feed many delicious creamsicles to! Full contest rules will appear by Monday morning.
Andrew Long hopes this heatwave ends soon.



On top of old smoooookey...What, it's just what was running through my mind for whatever reason

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