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No Magical Cats, Understood?

Andrew Long - October 23 '03- 22:51 Eastern Daylight-Savings Time

THE WORST DREAMS OF ALL are the ones you have 20 minutes before waking up. This is because they're highly disconnected and tend to involve you waking up slightly five or six times and seeing the things around you in your room and then incorporating these into your dreams in an entirely ridiculous fashion. Such it was this morning, as I dreamed that my cat, which had been busying itself clawing my leg in an effort to get comfortable, was a wizard, in cahoots with my other cat. Since I had such magical pets, I therefore decided to hold a contest whereby the winner would be turned into a magical cat by my own arcane feline misanthropes.

This being my dream and my brain spiting me for staying up far too late the night before, the winner of the contest turned out to be the annoying kid down the street from my house, more annoying still because his name is Andrew so whenever his parents are yelling things like "Andrew, don't kick those garbage bags onto the street!" or "Andrew, stop riding that bike through traffic!" or "ANDREW! GET OVER HERE!" or "Andrew! You do NOT do that to dogs!" I naturally turn around wondering why the hell random people are accusing me of such nefarious behaviour. Yes, even after this happening a dozen times, I still turn around. You would too. At any rate, this little freak shows up on a ladder outside my bedroom window wearing a big blue wizard cap and pointing a wand at me.

Now, I was having none of that, so in giant purple chalk I wrote the following on my wall: "NO MAGICAL CATS, UNDERSTOOD?"

Then, mercifully, I woke up to find Alloy glaring at me since I'm once again an hour late.

Alloy -

Well, I have to thank…whoever it was who brought it up earlier…but I've started up Threads of Fate again. Playing a new game+ on this is kinda cool…but it's even easier than normal. I mean Threads of Fate was never very hard to begin with. Whatever. Uh…I was sure I had something to say here. Uh…Midterms are over. Uh…school still bites and…oh, no one has deigned to send in Megaman X3 to me…so I'm gonna turn over the reigns to rudyxx as soon as I get Guilty Gear in my grubby little paws. In other words, this is my last guest hosting spot so if you liked me, get your fill, if you hated me…screw you! On to the letters! Wait! I know what I was gonna say. I don't plan on going trick or treating this year! I'm just gonna dress up for school, a Halloween party and D&D! While my warlock costume works well for trick or treating…Faust doesn't exactly…do it for me in that respect. I think it 's the entire being forced to move around in a hunched over position while being on constant full plie, first position that bugs me. *knows that no one else has a clue what he's talking about but doesn't care* Now, on to the letters!



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About the Editor

I'll do my best to make up for
the lack of insanity
in last week's sidebar
after all
if I do,
then I'll be made an official
sidebar guy!
be able to do sidebars
in all the websites in the world
and then my picture will be on the cover
of the rolling stone...
rolling stone,
gonna get
my picture on the cover...
gonna buy five copies for my mother!...

Your mother..
Comedy gold, my friend
...That is all.

A sticky CTRL key, dinner and email blip later...

Since you asked about FFXI, I supposed I could give you an answer. Whether it will be intelligent, thats another issue.

I've been into FF since FF2 came out in the US. So of course, I've kept up on the games, played all of them, (cept tactics and 5) and seen the evolution of the FF series. I've gotta say that I've been disappointed by a few of them, but I still buy and try them anyway. As for FFXI... well... I guess the only thing I can say is this.

It showed up, I'll buy it, and see what happens.

(Even though I have heard a bit of good info on it from some friends.)

See ya!

The Captain (To RULE THEM ALL!!! AHAHHAHAHHAHAHHA.. *cough*..) K bye.

DJ Carter
Future Enterprises
Underground Productions

"Actions are immoral. Opinions are not. And I won't apologize for mine. Discussion is good, and for those of us fortunate enough to be the subject of magazine articles, it may be our responsibility from time to time to try and raise the level of debate."

Yeah, I was kind of in your boat until E3, when I heard many bad things. Then some people at the site were selected for beta, and I heard some very good things. Seeing as how I may as well venture into the murky waters of MMORPGs at some point, I think I'll give XI a try, although I guess making that admission at the very first letter kind of kills the suspense some. Nonetheless, suspense is for suckers, because knowing is half the battle and all that jazz.

Personally, I have no desire to play Final Fantasy Online (I refuse to call it FF11. FF11 will be the next straight console game in the series that they call FF12) I don't deal well with Online games because of the fact that I'm constantly broke and have no idea how to save up money to not be broke for any length of time. Sad to say but quite true. Plus, I just don't like the MMORPG thing. I like being the only one in true control of my little world. Other people running around just ruins everything. Admittedly, this is a rather odd sentiment from someone who is hopelessly hooked on .dot//hack but...

Never explain yourself, or you'll be doing it everytime you say something. NEXT!

The finer points of nursery rhymes

Yes, I plan to try FF11 for the first 30 days to see if it's worth it's weight in GP, or if it's complete utter trash. This will be my first real attempt at and MMORPG since the idea has made me sick to my stomach in the past, and as such I'm not expecting much. On the other hand, I would like to see this Brave New World Square-Enix is offering in hopes that the experience changes my mind.

Since I would feel like a criminal for not asking a question along with my rant, I shall ask this... If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why the hell does he do it... and would it make any difference in people's opinions if it were someone like Tidus, Cloud, or Chrono instead?


Hmmm...interesting question Good. Very interesting. I think that if Crono cracked corn, people would care because it would ahve something to do wiht the time/space continuum and that would probably ruin everyone's day. You know how things get when someone cracks some corn and then a dimensional or time/space rift opens up and swallows you whole and then you're stuck in portugal three minutes from last tuesday and you have no money and don't speak portugese and you're only hope of getting home is to find the embassy but they never bothered to put "Where is the american embassy" in any of those foreign language classes becasue they never think about these contingencies, now do they? Of course not, because it's never gonna happen.

Of course, if you weren't a big dumb idiot, you would just go into the internet cafe that any respectable portuguese village would be packing and look it up online. After discovering that there is apparently no Portuguese word for "embassy" (thanks a lot, you would then flip over to Spanish, or Portuguese for Kids, and discover the next best thing: embajada. This would then enable you to bother the local residents, until one of them guts you with a meat cleaver, by screaming "Onde está o embajada?" at the top of your lungs in the town square while swimming through the fountain, hopefully scaring away local pigeons for artistic merit. When I did it, I got a 6.2 on style and only slightly maimed, so you're up against a tough standard, admittedly. I have faith in you, though, so get cracking, or at least make Crono.

An letter from Shroudie McGee


That site with the giraffenstein and everything is just totally WRONG!! Geez, they're lucky they don't have a link to email them with...damn fools. If they did, you can all see me in a very special addition of "Saturday's Sinners!"

*insert the sound of busy scissors*

...another reason to be Atheist: people don't bother ya, unless the children find a pastor!!!! Oooo, I'm back to my cynical self. Ok, hmmm.... Oh yeah, I'm sleeping with my girlfriends', cousin's, nephew's, wife's, mother's, best friend's next door neighbor. Aint I a good Samaritan? Ok, back to carving a pentagram on the back of President Scumbag-Bush's now decaying skull!!!

Suteki da ne?

O' Shrouded One

Now, now, let's not be too harsh on that pastor. He has a lot on his mind, what with that death duel he's engaged in with the rival Baptist church across town. I'm guessing he believes pretty strongly in what he's saying, so he probably would just have dismissed anything from you as the wiles of grumpy atheists and then gone to ask a grown up to hit you with a broom before launching a wave of anti-Satan stink beetles against the scoundrels at that other church.

Okay...uh...I have no idea what either of you are talking about. What's this giraffenstien you speak of? What's the point of saying how great it is to be an atheist? Why did O'Shrouded One put the sound of scissors into his e-mail? *opens letter and looks at card inside* Things I will never know because I don't care enough to find out. So very true.

Dallas: pwned by Leafs

Sup Andrew,

I see you finished Breath of Fire V. So which RPG are you planning to play next? Or are you still addicted to BOF5 and replaying it with better D-ratios to unlock all the other areas? I suggest you should give Breath of Fire IV a shot. It's a very solid game and, like BOF5, it's not connected storylinewise to the first three games, which formed a trilogy of sorts. In my opinion BOF4/5 are to the Breath of Fire series as FF6/7 were to the Final Fantasy series. I'm not saying they are as good as FF6/7 mind you, just an analogy. Hell, I'll lend you my copy if you're actually interested; I just finished replaying it anyway.

Also, I have a dirty little secret. I've always sort of disliked the Leafs. For one, many years ago an ex-girlfriend of mine was bouncing back between another guy and me and he was a Leafs fan. Further, I live in New York and the Leafs get a lot of bad press here ever since that Leafs/Isles series. Yet I've been softening my stance on them of late. First, Joe Nieuwendyk is one of my all-time favorite players, along with Neil Broten and Modano. Second, what do I care about the Islanders, although by all rights I should. I was born on the day they won the first of their four straight cups. (5/24/1980)And you're a Leafs fan and you seem a good enough guy. But, don't think I appreciated that 3-1 loss the other night. At least Modano schooled Eddie with that one goal. Alright, I've taken enough of you and the reader's time, peace.

As always thank you for your time and courtesy.
-Lucky Melchior
Your friendly neighborhood Dallas Stars fan, who is still addicted to BOF5.

Well, I have a giant pile of unplayed games to sift through still, so unfortunately BoF V will be lying cold and forgotten for a while. I do plan to replay it eventually though, despite the fact that my new D-Ratio was insultingly high. 2048? Trash, I say. TRASH. Like the talk I will subject you to about the Stars and the Coyotes, to say nothing of the whiny Islanders who always seem to beat the Leafs on Long Island (and embarrassingly!) Well, you were reasonable, so I guess I can be too... After all, before yesterday, things were looking grim around here.

As for my current slate of games: FFTA in the GBA, Disgaea in the PS2, F-Zero and Ura Zelda in the GC, and JSRF in the Xbox, along with the ubiquitous WC3.

Well, I don't own and have never played any of the BOF games...oh, wait, I did play BOF 1 when it first came out. Regardless, the next game I'm playing is gonna either be Disgaea or .dot//hack//outbreak. I get paid on the 31st so I'm gonna get Disgaea then and play it as soon as I get home, but I might have already started .dot//hack by then. Well, then I'll jsut have to stop .dot//hack and go to Disgaea because I haven't played a decent tactical/strategy game since playing Saiyuki, which kicked major @$$. Plus, there's a reference to tentacle porn. I like that in a game...wait, did I just write that?...

Well that would explain this message from Ultros saying you "ordered" him for the evening. EWWW!

Lufia gets some hate

I'd like to point that Lufia : The Ruins of Lore is one of the most horribly made RPGs in existence. Ever since Natsume gave it over to Taito or whoever, it's just plain sucked.

Anyway, on FFXI. I preordered the game a day or two ago on the confirmation by best Buy of the new graphics card, making this game cost somewhere around 300 bucks and 13+ a month. Yet I still proceed to play...why? I suppose because Everquest, a horribly boring game with no depth or complexity whatsoever, managed to keep my attention of well over a year. Because MMORPGs are such a unique experience that a good one stays with you for a long, long time...and if the theme is Final Fantasy, all the better. As for purists saying it ruins the series, who the hell cares? We're going back to old-school for 12, so stop whining. The online-only track is a great experiment that will almost certainly end up for the better for Square-Enix in the long run. And the job system. Who doesn't love the job system?

- Feep "Hey! That Taru-taru's on drugs!"

It already has ended up better for S-E, since they went past their break-even subscription level in Japan quite some time ago. Obviously, it'll take awhile to reach that level hereabouts, but I don't doubt that it'll happen here in short order too. As for Lufia's status as the most horrible game ever in your estimation: that should give you some idea of the esteem in which I hold Golden Sun.

Uh...I've never played a Lufia game (I'm working on my PS2 games...those BOF and Lufia SNES games I got a while ago are gonna have to wait) so I have no idea about how bad this new one is in comparison. I also already gave my opinion on FFOnline in that first letter, so there's really nothing for me to say here. So, I won't say anything. You won't get a peep out of me. No, not one word.

Beth is back, and she's angry!

Hello Andrew,

A day behind again...anyway, on the Star Ocean thing. I started a game playing the girl (can't even remember her name anymore), who promptly proceeds to get captured so Our Hero can rescue her. Ugh. Well, I mean, okay, not every gal, or even every character, can be a behemoth-stomping brute, nor would I want them to be, because part of the reason I enjoy RPGs is figuring out how to make very different characters work together in combat. And it's not like I've never finished a game where a girl gets captured and has to be rescued. Maybe it was having to be in the rescue-ee's position that did it.

This is all a long way of saying I didn't get bored or aggravated with SO2's game system because I stopped playing about fifteen minutes in. I've still got it lying around here, but even with my "least shall be first" philosophy I'm not rushing to play it. </strident feminist mode>

On to the question. You said in your column today (now yesterday) that FFTA's menu system has an Enix taint to it. I'm still not too hip on the publisher/developer thing, but in the case where the developing and publishing is all done by the same company, does the publisher, or do the directors of the company, have the equivalent of a film producer's say in how the game is presented? By which I mean to say, for FFTA, did the once-bosses of Enix, now Square Enix, say to FFTA's development team, "The menus in our games must be this way--this is the way that we like to do things"? "This way" just happening to be awkward and counter-intuitive.

I confess there's a smart-alecky side to this question ^_^ but there's a serious side too. The answer might help me understand the publisher v. developer thing a little better. It'd be helpful to know who could rightly be praised for things I like in a game, or blamed for things I dislike.


Well, as I understand it, Square Enix employs a number of development teams, which are comprised of various staff members that work together on numerous projects. Presumably, since this was the setup used by both Square and Enix previously, various teams were merged, a couple were left intact, and some employees got tossed out the door. Thus it is that you see "by Development team 4" in the opening credits. Now, I'm no rocket genius, but it seems to me that "4" is fairly far on down the line, meaning that although it was a Square property originally, some Enix involvement probably occurred. That's what I mean by Enix taint.

Of course, I'm not entirely certain if I know what I'm talking about, and I'm too lazy to even flip open my GBA to make sure of that Team 4 business, so you probably shouldn't take what I say at face value.

First and foremost, once you get past the Alan-tax section, Rena doesn't get kidnapped I recall...uh...yeah. And as for the other question, I've never played FFTA and never will until they bring it to a non-portable system. I play enough games at home as it is. Being away from my TV is the only time I have to get school work done and get some good reading in. Yes, that's right, reading! Shrink and die when you see words printed on PAPER! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Dude man, show some respect! We all read books sometimes... Why, I read one just last...


A recently fired newsie dares approach

What is the purpose of "The Mark of Tuinte"?

And...I'm signing onto the FFXI bandwagon as soon as humanly possible, sadly there's still probably no way I could keep up with those crazys and their 2 gallon cups of coffee that sit and play all night to gain a few levels and who always look like zombies in the daylight. I know one of them, he scares me deeply.

That quote HAS to be from Disgaea, more specifically I'd say it was that Mid-Boss guy that said it.

I gotta go collect leaves now, bye.

-Mysterious(or Orie if you prefer)

A-HA! Well Mid-boss was my first guess, it is not, in fact, the origin of that quote, so no tilde for you. In fact, no job for you. You're fired!

Crazys? Have you learned nothing from your time here? That does it! You're fired!

And the Mark of tuinte will be eliminated as of tonight's column as part of some sort of plea bargain allowing me to fire you. On that note, YOU'RE FIRED!

I love abusing my power ^_^

Uh...let me guess, you must be fired. to be you. I have no idea about the quote, so I ain't even gonna guess.

WHAT? You don't have anything to say to my cohost? You're fired!

Disgaea vs FFXI

I'm halfway into Disgaea. Well, I'm on chapter 8, and there are 14 in all, so I assume that's halfway. And my characters' levels range from 26 to 33, plus my level 14 healer because you don't get XP for healing or non-lethal hits which is THE GAY. But something's been bothering me. You can supposedly get up to something like level 9999 in this game. Halfway through the game, I'm level 33. And I've actually spent 2-3 hours arbitrarily levelling up. So... unless something changes, I don't think I'll need to be higher than level 60 or so to beat the game. Similar to most FF games. But if you only need to be level 60 to win, why would they let you level up to 9999? Sure, sometimes sidequests are harder than the final boss. But not 167 times harder...! And how long would it take? I get a level up with each character about every 2-3 battles. I'll let you do the math there. I'm wondering how this works out.

About FF11. They say what keeps you playing an online RPG is the community in it. I play a MUD called the UnOfficial SquareSoft MUD for exactly that reason, and basically everyone on my MUD plans on getting FF11. So I'll be getting FF11. Frankly, someone who doesn't have any friends who are also getting the game... probably shouldn't get it. Sure, there are people who, when they are bored, like to turn on an RPG and just fight battles and go through dungeons. But FF11 doesn't make a very good "when I'm bored and have a little while to play it" game because of the monthly fee.

Well, Disgaea has a New Game+ feature, and I'm assuming the difficulty ramps up on subsequent playthroughs, although I could be mistaken. As for FFXI, having friends definitely will help, and I know a number of people who are going to be there, so I should be able to enjoy myself. Speaking of online games and people finding me, a random person named doubledeuce tracked me down on Warcraft while I was AFK. Lest you think I'm some sort of jerk who ignores people, I was, indeed, afk at the time. That is all.

Well, as I've said numerous times, I don't have Disgaea yet but Andrew's guess is as good as anyone's. But, that is kind of funny about healing not gaining you exp. That's gonna make keeping a healer alive more interesting. And I agree with you on the friends make MMORPG's worth it, which is another reason I'll never do that. I hate chatting with people while I'm trying to kill something. It's always, "Hey, can we talk about our feelings" And I'm like "I'm fight a dragon, now's not the best time" And they go "But Dragons have feelings too" And I go "Give me one good reason I should not kill this dragon and then kill you!" And they say "Think about its mommy." And I say, "No one thought about Godzilla's mommy!" *sniff* Poor Godzilla!"

Yes, that was quite the highwater point in the history of motion pictures.

A Beta-tester responds

Becuase I'm sure you have missed the following questions about FFXI, i'm going to recap:

Do you know when FFXI is coming out?
I heard a rumour FFXI is going to be online only, is this true?
Do you know when FFXI is coming out?
Is it true they aren't even bringing FFXI to NA?
Do you know when FFXI is coming out?
When am I getting my Beta Kit?
Do you know when FFXI is coming out?

So, now that we have successfully summed up the last three years of FFXI talk....Yes, I plan on playing the game. Mainly, becuase i've been following the game for so long, and after participating in the beta, I'm painfully addicted to it. More specifically, though, the game is just so damn fun. The comradery to develop between the other players is just amazing. There really is nothing like it. Not to mention the game looks great, even if it is old. S-E is also doing their part to keep the game fresh with events, there's a ton of support and, well, it's just a lot of fun. It isn't the mind numbing drudgery of so many other online games, whether you consider the over-arching story line or just the quests the townspeople give you. Really, there's not much that i can say is wrong with this game, and the only good reasons not to play it is you either dont' have enough time (which all of us at RPGamer must obviously have) or you don't have the money. Other than that, I don't see why you shouldn't play it. It's well worth the money and time to me...but what do i know?


Milhouse: We gotta spread this stuff around. Let's put it on the Internet!
Bart: No! We have to reach people whose opinions actually matter!

Thanks for sharing, s.f. It's beta testers like you that have convinced me to buy the game.


I...uh...yeah, what he said...

Liar... you said you weren't ever getting the game! Well, see if I ever believe a word you say again.

Cellphones: what are they good for?

So, tomorrow (the 25th) is my birthday, but my parents disapprove of my gaming habit. Maybe it's because I couldn't stop playing Shenmue 2, Pirates of the caribbean, every zelda game, Jedi knight 2, jedi knight 3, etc., etc... Oh, well. I got a new phone yesterday, YAY! It has Q*Bert on it, YAY!

Anyways, here's the question... We've been seeing all these games coming n our cell phones and whatnot, but so far they're all just remakes of old action games or board games. Do you think there's any hope of seeing a half decent cell phone RPG sometime? (I'm not talking about the N-Gage here, as it's obviously doomed to fail.)

Chris, "If they are our brothers, then why can't we eat them?" The guy in the big red jumpsuit.

Yes, but only if you live in Japan, where the cellphone companies don't consider NIbbles to be the pinnacle of entertainment. I mean, it's pretty entertaining and all, but only when you're stuck in a warehouse basement during a power outage after being kidnapped by your little sister who knows you're too damned simple to consider phoning for help.

You were kidnapped by your little sister too? What are the odds! Wait! I know who you are now! You were the little guy who was trying to gnaw off my leg for food! i can't beleive that you'd do such a thing! I'm gonna have to take you on! The scars in my leg won't heal until I pay you back!

Hey man, don't look at me that way! I swear, if you even TOUCH me with that, there will be SO much pain in your future! I know kung fu! Aw nuts... I needed that to live!


Hiya Andrew!

On why I choose to log into Final Fantasy XI.... Having had my first experience with Everquest (gack) about 2 1/2 years ago, I left kicking and screaming after 2 long months, not thinking I'd ever go on a MMORPG again. That is, untill DAOC, which hooked me on the style of playing. I have been playing Final Fantasy games all the way back since the beginning, (even remember traveling to the store to pick up I for my NES) and though I was somewhat sceptical about XI when I first saw it, I became more and more interested as time went on. I started learning more about it, then saw gameplay movies, and screenshots..... but in the end, what made my final decision stand about getting the game was this.

You play a MMORPG, and get to save that gameworld.

Yes, the first one of it's kind, you travel with your party member and slay ancient evil, much in the way of a console FF, but only with other people as the other party members, and in the process save the world from darkness. (The storyline is what hooked me :) I know that the 'evil' comes back, but you get to see it first hand, experience with your own eyes...

Well, maybe it was the race of catgirls that lured me in too. O_o


Catgirls are definitely a feature worth having, but I agree that maintaining the party-based nature of Final Fantasy battles is definitely a good feature. Not only does it maintain the integrity of the style of the series, it also makes it so that people have to co-operate, rather than vying with each other in the fine arts of home invasion and farming for hours.

Hey! Home invasion is a perfectly honerable profession that I have been trying to work on for the past 5 years! The secret is to not get caught, otherwise you have the whole problem with the authorities and everything turns into a big mess. Although, even I will admit to the allure of catgirls...

Is it true that RPGamer
is short for Rocket Propelled Grenade Aimer? Cause I've been visiting this site for 4 years, and that's what I'd always thought, but some dude at my school is now trying to convince me it stands for something else. LockeZ
What?! Where did you hear that nonsense! This is a gaming site. (note to self-fire the people who are supposed to keep the real info secret) just a normal gaming site! Really! Would I lie?

What are you talking about? Of course it is. Also, I am mission commander Multino, Rogue Former RPG Aimer, First Class, and you will hereby surrender to my crack team of scorpions in exchange for some of this delicious cider. And then they will eat you.


And so you are rid of me forever…until I guest host again…uh…yeah… Anyway, I've had a lot of fun doing this. Especially when Cast leaves me alone to eat dinner and I get to talk with rudyxx for about a half hour. Hey, if I'm gonna leave, I gotta burn all my bridges behind me. After all, you can't be an 'epitome of evil' in training if you're not willing to step on people's toes with steel toed boots. What? You don't believe in my training all those religious zealots you have to watch out for. They'll implant gods of evil into you and then do everything in their power to make you hate them so the god will hate the world and then purify it…Whoa…flashback dude. Well, I've rambled on quite enough. I thank you for letting me be here even though you had nothing to do with it *mutter evil people mutter* and wish you adieu! >8^()

And so we have come to the end of another week, which I guess means something to my calendar although I have to confess: it never talks to me, so I can't really be sure if that's a frown or just a dinette set I should really buy. While I'm deciding, why don't we start working on Super Halloween Topic #5 (since I'm guessing my zombophile counterpart will have a thing or four to say about Halloween): the ever-exciting What Are You Going To Be For Halloween? Throughout the years, my choices have run the gamut, from Spider to Vampire to Russian Partisan to that shambling monstrosity I mentioned yesterday. Oh, I was also a pirate. ARRR!
Andrew Longhas a friend who, last Halloween, styled himself a "boobie inspector". The funny part is, he actually found a client.

Alloy wishes that he could see Andrew's face when his house is invaded with the army ants that he mailed to him.


If I see a single army ant, you'll be seeing scorpions you bastard!

The Mark of tuinte
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