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Spine Tingly-Dingly!

Andrew Long - October 31th, 2004 - 018:48 EDT

AND SO IT HAS COME TO THIS, another halloween, another cloudy, generally miserable day immediately on the heels of the warmest day in October. I can't help but feel sorry for all the little kids who will now doubtless be forced to trundle around wearing winter coats beneath their costumes, as is the style hereabouts when the weather turns nasty.

Well, except where my mom is concerned. Because both my parents grew up in the icy reaches of northern Ontario, the little dips into near-freezing weather that sometimes occur in October weren't generally seen as a problem back when I was growing up, which meant that on one cold October night when I was five, I froze my ass off because my mother decided that pirates wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts. Possibly a good idea if you're trick-or-treating in Florida, but definitely not for a day when snow seems incipient.

Anyhow, this charming childhood trauma has been brought to you by the letters E, X, and the number 2. If I were a little more industrious, I'd even ascribe some sort of importance to those characters, but really, you can't expect metaphor and hidden meaning on a shoestring budget, now can you?


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Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

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I still hate Jimmy Fallon

This is aimed at Andrew's Red Sox freak out:

Well, first off, Jimmy Fallon was out in midfield smooching Drew Barrymore because of a movie. See here: So yes, there was most likely a large amount of money involved. It's also a Farrelly brothers movie, which explains why it's focusing on the Red Sox. So, I'm assuming the movie is going to have a happy ending, since what you saw there will most likely be used for the finale. Also, there were kids playing catch and someone making a snow angel (field angel?) out there as well.

As for the gender thing, you guys are paranoid. No one thinks twice when girls play as guy characters. Probably because we've basically had no choice in the matter for years. Oh well.

You've just given me more to be irritated by. There should be nobody on the field after a game but the players, a few selected media, and maybe the players' kids. If the Farrelly Brothers are so special, they could easily have thrown this scene together using movie magic trickery of some description, but noooo, they just had to do it live. I can't imagine how good the movie's going to be anyway, since the ending is totally changing in view of the recent postseason extravaganza put on by the Sox.

Can we pleeeeease stick a fork in this topic?

"Actually, the whole being unnerved by a character's posterior never occurred to me for some reason"

I think this whole phenomenon of conversations has stemmed from one egocentric, insecure "straight-but-on-the-road-to-dragqueendom" fanboy who made up a great joke about why he chose a girl (and now s-he thinks he's a genius). That joke has evolved into this whole ridiculous questioning about "hey, are you really a chick?" I even catch myself asking that question a little too early in getting to know an online adventuring friend. My character is generally flirtacious but chivalrous at the same time, so before I step across someone's insecurity line I like to check and see if my character's personality is too heavy or not (Red Mage? yeah, you're right).

I wonder why MMORPG fanboys are so insecure about gender reality? Its not like even if you were really hit on online by the gender you do not prefer to copulate with that anything would become of it unless you wanted it to.

Ugh, dangling participle. Sorry about that.

-Mician, San d'Orian of Bahamut

In general, I didn't meet too many people who were particularly in character in FFXI, and when I did, I operated upon my time-tested basis of assuming that everyone was a guy until proven otherwise. You can save a lot of time that way, and although MMORPGs certainly seem to attract a higher percentage of female gamers than conventional RPGs tend to, it's still a pretty useful way to look at things.

A few interesting points


Never posted here before, but I like your site, and I heard someone wanted to talk about Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Anywho (donít worry, this IS a question), Iím about three quarters of the way through said game and I must admit that Iím completely blown away by it. And donít get me wrong, I speak from experience, Iím a veteran of the final fantasy series, and a proponent of all things turn-based since a time when people thought mode 7 graphics were pretty nifty. Anyway, as I was saying SH:C seems to be a winner in almost all respects (Iím not gonna go into it now), the question is: is it classic material? Will we, when weíre all mashing away at our PS3s and PS4s, say of games ďit was good, but it was no Shadow Hearts: Covenant!Ē Maybe Iím asking the wrong person, or at least at the wrong time. But it seems to me that SH:C has that certain esoteric quality that will make people talk about it in the not-so-distant future with the same sense of reverence that they do games like chronotrigger today.

Thus far? I wouldn't quite rate it "classic", but it has very good production values, and it's a hell of a lot of fun to play. Time will tell, I guess.

Something else, too. Apparently both Sacnoth/Nautilus and Monolithsoft were formed by ex-square employees. And now thereís this Mist Walker as well. I, personally, feel that since the merger with Enix, the final fantasy franchise is being watered down by these countless spin-offs and follow-ons, Iíll reserve my judgement of the franchiseís future until FF12 though. Do you think that Square-Enix is slowly relinquishing its dominance of the turn-based rpg market, shedding its employees likeÖlike squarespawn; companies like Nautilus and Monolithsoft which will eventually muscle in on its former territory?

I know, these are lofty matters, not to be discussed idly, but would you deign to indulge this lonely RPGamer form the great southern land?

I think that's a definite possibility, given that FFXII isn't exactly a turn-based RPG as such. No, the combat in XII follows the wonderful system developed for FFXI, which isn't the most basic and boring thing possible at all! Yes, combine this with the apparently incipient departure of Uematsu and you've got a company that has been shedding its talent for some time now. I'm actually kind of glad of this, though, because I was worried when Square and Enix merged that the combination would result in a stultifying of creativity overall in the RPG market. Rather than this being the case, however, it seems that instead, S-E itself has become rigidly uncreative and everyone else has stepped up to provide the high-quality games. Obviously, this can turn around at any point, but S-E has some work to do if it wants to maintain its position atop the RPG world, because a few more crappy FF's will sink it like a rat-free schooner headed for an iceberg filled with dynamite.

Sure thing, giant beer

Hello Andrew,

I read yesterday about Jeremy asking you why Auron said 'Just as I thought' when Rikku is afraid of the lightning plains. I have one - possible- explanation for this: when a little spell is cast in battle, or when Rikku cast a lightning spell, she usually has some special text which show she's not found of lightning and thunder.


Thanks for sharing, Faizon. I don't think this line of reasoning would give Sherlock Holmes anything to fear from Auron, but you never know - he might be able to pull one over Angela Lansbury or Matlock!

Ohhhh no. Nobody fools the Silver Fox. I have a different theory, Faizon - or should I call you Steven Bright!! Yes, Mr. Bright, I know all about your secret identity, and the little scheme you've concocted to funnel your illegal gambling money to offshore bank accounts! Your secretary, though, she found out what you were doing, didn't she, Mr. Bright. She found out, and once she knew, you knew, you KNEW there was no way she would keep quiet unless YOU kept her quiet. So you picked up the bronze paperweight, like this, from her desk, and when her back was turned - whack! Down she went. Ah, I know you'll say I don't have proof, but I obtained, with a warrant, I might add, this bloodstained shirt from a hidden compartment inside your desk, along with the missing paperweight. The blood matches the victim's... Just how did that blood get on your shirt? No answer? I didn't think so.

Pity, isn't it, Mr. Bright? If you'd just thought to do your laundry you would've gotten off scot-free and been able to start a new life in the Canary Islands. But now? Well, your honor, I think that's for you to decide.

I stand corrected <.<

These aren't my pants!


Andrew... I can't figure out why you hate Final Fantasy X so much! The music was superb, especially the english horn solo at the end when Yuna's summons are dissipating. Having the ability to tag-team party members in and out of battle was by far IMHO the best battle invention SE has come up with in a long time. AND, let's not forget the overtly emotional story (sorry if that's not your thing, but I love it). Yeah, I wasn't a fan of Tidus's prepubescent voice, but man... when Yuna fell through his already fading body at the end, you'd have to be a complete vegetable to not at least get chills.

So yeah, how about just a little run down from your perspective on why it wasn't one of the best Final Fantasies ever.

So let me guess. You're new to the place and you took one look at my complaint about Tidus having the worst voice actor known to humanity and drew the conclusion that I hate FFX. Not only is that like the old "Some people from Boston like to justify Jimmy Fallon's antics, I'm from Boston, therefore I must like to justify Jimmy Fallon's antics!" it's not true. If you read my review of the game, I gave it a perfect score, with my one small reservation being that both Tidus and Yuna's VA was atrocious. I too quite enjoyed the CTB, loved the sphere grid, enjoyed the story, and thought a fair amount of the music was pretty kickass too. If that translates to hate in your books, I'd hate to see how you treat your friends...

And you wouldn't have to be a vegetable. You'd have to be an idiot, because that was pure treacle, along the lines of Squall magically reappearing at the end of FFVIII.

Unfit for Print

Hi there, long time listener, first time caller.

I wonder if anyone else picked up on this, but did anyone else kind of pick up a gay vibe from Auron? Yeah, he can kick ass like the crazy mo-fo we know he is, but his soft spoken voice, the fact he was the naggy bitch during Braska's pilgrimage, and certain points during the sphere-watching where he seemed to get flustered when discussing the fairer sex gave me the impression that he was gay.

Of course, not that there's anything wrong with it.


By gum, you must be right! After all, every homosexual in existence is a soft-spoken, naggy bitch that gets flustered when talking about women!

Damn right!


Man... why does the crazy news always get confirmed on the weekend, just in time for me to not get to discuss it? I can still whine about it, sure enough, but by the time next weekend rolls around it'll be discussed into the dirt. Nevertheless, what do you think the departure of Nobuo Uematsu from Square Enix will mean for the company? Are you a fan of his music, or after falling in love with videogame music did you decide to study music, become a purist, and declare all his songs the purest evil? Where do you think he'll go from here? Do you think we'll see a North American tour? Cuz that'd be pretty keen. Also keen: having no troubles that involve anything other than creamsicles! Do it, for great justice!
Andrew Long takes off every zig!



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