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It's A Molehill... Filled With Ready-to-Sting Moles!

Andrew Long - December 12, 2004 - 01:27 EST

IT IS WITH HEAVY HEART that I inform you that I have purchased World of Warcraft. This likely symbolizes my utter disappearance, as well as subsequent academic failure, for I find it unlikely that I will be able to escape its clutches for much longer. I've bought myself a temporary reprieve by the simple expedient of not having a computer here with which I can run the game, but candour compels me to admit that I will probably just go to Toronto and retrieve one that will within the next day or so, so that will be a short-lived window at best.

At any rate, don't be sad; I knew the risks involved when I went into EB, and I remain firmly convinced that I will somehow be able to lead a normal existence in spite of all logical evidence to the contrary. In that spirit, then, let's proceed to this column.


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Mommy, Where Do Chocobos Come From?

Stupid benefit of hindsight

This is amazing. Just days after sending in a question about the "fabled" Xenosaga bonus disc that supposedly comes with preorders of Episode 2....I got this promotional e-mail from Namco. It included the following segment:

Xenosaga® EPISODE II Jeseits von Gut und Böse
To save the future, you must uncover the past. The most ambitious RPG series ever created returns. The epic quest to save humanity from extinction continues in Xenosaga® EPISODE II Jenseits von Gut und Böse. Stunning special effects, customizable characters, non-stop action, and a mystery that’s as magical as it is immersive, combine to create a true masterpiece – a cinematic gaming experience that’s out of this world and ahead of its time. Pre-order Xenosaga® EPISODE II in January to receive a Limited Edition Xenosaga® Movie DVD - collecting over 4 hours of breathtaking movies from EPISODE I. Visit the official website for more information, and sign-up to receive exclusive updates and promos!

So, it is coming. And I guess that the information given implies that we won't know what stores are supporting the promotion until January. Ahhh...such great news.

Okay, so there hasn't been a question yet. Here it is: What's not to like about the Xenosaga series? I only ask because a slightly negative comment was made about it in Saturday's qna update. The Xenosaga series has great characters, a great plot, a great soundtrack, a good battle system, and least has great graphics. Where can you go wrong?

An RPGfan

Indeed you are correct, sir; that information was part of Namco's monthly newsletter, which RPGamer only got its hands on today. Apologies for sowing confusion around this issue, and I guess all you insaniacs who like Xenosaga will get to watch it in video form a second time after all.

Boingy, Boingy!

After I bought and beat FF1&2 Dawn of Souls, I decided to play through all the American Final Fantasy games. So now I'm on FF4 and I have two questions:

1. Is there any point to Yang's Power attack? As far as I can tell, it does twice the damage, but takes 2 rounds to build up. So it seems like 2 regular attacks would do the same amount of damage in that time period. Kain's Jump is kind of the same thing, except Kain gets to leave the screen for a round which saves him from getting damage.

The only time I could see that being useful is if a monster has a high defense, in which case a double-strength attack might do more damage. Since this is rarely an issue in FFIV, however, pointless is pretty much it.
2. Am I the only one who has this problem? I can't bring myself to use the "rare" or "expensive" healing items in FF games. Things like X-Potions, Elixirs, even Ethers just sit in my inventory collecting dust because I'm always afraid I'll need them later. This time playing through the FF games, I'm trying to use magic constantly with my magic users instead of just letting them attack for 13hp or miss every turn. This is forcing me to use Ethers a lot--but it hasn't really gotten any easier. Everytime I use a powerful spell, I wince as I see my MP dwindle and I know I'll have to use another Ether soon.

Alas, I do the same thing, though like you, I have recently adopted a more liberal approach to using ultimate items since they do tend to end up dozens strong by the end of the game, which is really rather unnecessary on the whole. That's another reason why CT is so awesome, actually; having megaelixirs on sale makes them seem ten times as expendable.

More musings

In response to the post on Xenosaga DS:

Okay...please don't get my hopes up like that. Could we really see Xenogears (one of the greatest RPGs of all time) in portable version someday?

I assume it goes without saying that the SP couldn't possibly handle that game....but the DS could? That's amazing. Xenogears was a HUGE game.

However, the fact that the game is so far being called "Xenosaga DS" leads me to think that it isn't possibly a remake of Xenogears...mainly because Xenogears is not in the Xenosaga timeline. Xenogears was scrapped (timeline-wise) when Xenosaga: Episode 1 came out. The creators wanted to start from scratch. Could you either confirm or dis-confirm this?

An RPGfan

I can't confirm much of anything because I pay as little attention as possible to the Xenosaga series, but what I can tell you is that from what I understood originally of Namco's intentions, Xenogears was going to be remade as Xenosaga V, though how much of the original would actually survive wasn't really clear. It seems unlikely that will actually happen, however, because Xenogears is not the property of Namco, which would make a remake a rather thorny issue.


After thorough investigation, it would appear(to the one who responded to my earlier letter), I have unusual taste in games. For example, I do not hate Beyond the Beyond. Infact, I rather enjoyed my tread through the world of the disturbingly cliche(which is okay). But that brings up another issue -- Motoi Sakuraba. Yes, I enjoyed the Star Ocean 3:Till the End of Time OST here and there, but I had thought that he was losing his touch. Tales of Symphonia, Golden Sun 1 and 2, Star Ocean:Till the End of Time had music I didn't particularly care for -- not bad, though, but not great, either. I picked up Baten Kaitos:Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean recently, and whether anyone agrees or not, it has redeemed him to be pretty good once more. At the very least, it seems to be better than his other recent offerings. Just me, maybe.

I would kill for them to release game music boxes. Like... since I adore Rena's theme, make a music box modeled after the Sorcery Globe that plays it.^_^ Man. That would be great.

Final note - I didn't think I would, but while playing Baldur's Gate 2, I like Anomen. No, really. He becomes sweet once you get beyond his 'I have to prove I'm not some worthless loser to the Order, my father and myself' thing.

Yes... I am random. :3

Thanks for sharing, Aion. You know, I haven't actually heard of music boxes of the sort you're talking about, so why not get a patent, secure funding, and ride it to glory? Sure, it's probably a hundred times more difficult than it sounds, but if you have the will to succeed and a little girl willing to pay $46000 dollars for that music box, it'll make all the difference!

You think I'm brutal now? You should have seen what I was going to lead the column off with


Jeez you're brutal. I mean, sure, some of these guys are bonafied (spelling?) idiots, but in a bad mood or something?

Bonified, and yes on both counts.

I haven't written in awhile, haven't had much to talk about. I'm pretty much just playing WoW and Metroid Prime 2, aside from studying my butt of for finals.

While studying your butt sounds like a fascinating time, I can't imagine why you would pry yourself away from WoW and MP2 to do so. SCHOOL IS NOTHING. WoW IS EVERYTHING! Well, except for Metroid Prime 2, which is also everything, which is kind of illogical but then, I never promised to make sense.

Finally finals are over (slept till 4 30 pm today, woohoo) and I can get back to WoW and Echoes.

Sadly, starting to play WoW meant I stopped playing SH:C which i need to rectify. I purposelly got Koudelka off EBAY and SH with the prepaid deal and played both of those. Perhaps I was just all Shadow Hearted out so to speak?

Maybe... Personally, I stopped playing it because I was getting tired of France, but I figure I'll have some good gaming time in the next couple weeks to get through some levels.

I agree with you on the whole Graphics aren't bad thing. I fall into it sometime. The nostalgia is nice and sometimes I start to hate the new graphics. I loved FFIV, one of my favorite RPGs of all time, same with FFVI. Those two were definitely the best in the seires in my humble opinion.

No idea what kind of question to ask. Um, I guess I asked one above, but I should ask one related to gaming. Why the heck haven't you played Suikoden 1? It's just as magical as Suikoden 2 if you ask me. I even liked it better (course i played it first).

The Man, the Myth, the Legend,

I'm halfway through Suikoden I, actually, I just kind of like II better and I is going at a slightly slower pace than I'd like. Also, my inability to determine Gremio's gender has me irritated to the extreme; I can't tell if I should be looking for fingerprint-infested porn mags in search of indictment or admiring her dedication to the hero.

Tips McScoop has the story!

You know the Advent Children web site has a new trailer out, right? Its pretty hot, probbably hotter if you know Japanese though...


Why, I do declare! I had no idea!


Hey Andrew,

Working Designs, doesn't do translations only, they choose a game to bring over to the US and they localize it completely. Not just the translation, but they make the graphics smoother and make them run better, smaller file sizes but the same quality. If they did every single game Game Arts decided to release to the US, then Grandia 2 would have been one of the games translated by Working Designs.

The only thing is, is that Game Arts has actually a few good games(and that certainly does not include the Lunar series, where what I mean is the Lunar series is from Game Arts, but the series just sucks.) It's not like Vanguard Bandits, Arc the Lad or Growlanser was created and by Game Arts and told Working Designs to work on it(or many of the other games working designs released.)

-andrew- -kupomogli-

I know that... I just use the words interchangeably, which is probably a bad idea, but something I can't quite get out of the habit of doing. At any rate, I'm not sure why you think I said WD translates... I'm sorry, localizes every Game Arts title (hey, you did it too!) but rest assured, I am under no such delusion. I only wish WD would bring over better games. Granted, they're pretty much limited to companies unwilling or unable to do their own localizations, but there has to be something better than Eternal Blue that we've never seen.

Yes, Hiroki Kikuta did indeed do the music for Koudelka.
-Knowledgeable Gentleman

Thanks for sharing, Knowledgeable Gentleman, although I didn't realize that was a point of contention.

I demand to know why i don't know everything

Because then what fun would life be?


So yeah. I have discontinued the kupomogli livejournal, and for the time being, I guess topics as well; it does, however, seem that you all love talking about Xenosaga, so I'd like to hear about why you like it so very much, cuz none of the arguments I've heard are very convincing. Until next week, then, may all your troubles be creamsicle related, and remember to keep the slime suffused with letters, for he needs them to live!
Andrew Long was here.



and even more excitingly, I was also there!

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