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   Uncle Ernie Loves Me!  

Andrew - August 18'03- 22:07 Eastern Standard Time

The premier of Ontario, Ernie Eves, looks exactly like Erik Per Sullivan, the annoying little scamp off Fox's Malcolm in the Middle. The first publication to point out this striking resemblance was Eye, a magazine most noted for its voluminous section featuring ads such as "Katia 40: Sri Lankan, $15, anything goes" and various rants that nobody pays much attention to. It does, however, have a little feature kinda like Thor's videogame lookalikes, cleverly titled "Eyedentical Twins", which is where this resemblance was first pointed out.

Anyhow, Uncle Ernie is very proud of me, because during the past weekend when the power was out all over the place, I didn't once consider looting the local video store (I was much more interested in concocting black market schemes involving contraband), which is apparently a very Toronto thing to do because of this childish conceit the local newspapers have that our city is "Toronto the Good". This notion basically suggests that Toronto is better than New York through the power of friendship and boredom, which are apparently paramount virtues and are to be protected at all costs, like quadrupling the police presence every time somebody's flowers get stepped on.

In reality, of course, Toronto is neither New York, nor better than it. Still, the folks hereabouts have a throbbing sense of wang envy, and it takes times of "emergency" to realize the true depths of our local insecurity. I love my hometown and all, but sometimes I just want to crack open my skull and have Anthony Hopkins feed me the sweet sweet brains within so that I don't have to endure another story about pedestrians directing traffic and all the good souls that didn't act like total jerks at four way stops. I mean, Toronto's great and it's clean and it's friendly allegedly, but it doesn't warrant a freaking national holiday just because CNN erroneously and hysterically reported, as is its wont, that there were giant fires and looting, thus resulting in some people, somewhere, hearing about us.

The former, incidentally, was one of the biggest outright lies being spread by the media: that people have any idea what to do at a four-way stop. The power went out while I was at work, right after I bribed a co-worker to take my shift for $20 so that I could go camping on Friday, which of course turned out to be a waste of money since I wouldn't have had to go to work anyway. After sitting in a cavelike furniture store listening to "the power's out" turn into "the power's out all the way to Niagara Falls!" to "The power's out all over NORTH AMERICA!" to "Aliens have landed! I wonder if I can sell them extended warranty", I decided it was time to leave, and hitched a ride with a conveniently located friend. This was when I discovered the true depths of dishonesty reporters are willing to sink to in an effort to make their stories fit their crackpot editor's notions about what things should be like.

The trip between his house and my place of employment went through six four-way stops, equipped with neither good Samaritan Toronto the Goodnik good pedestrians of good or traffic lights like usual. A sordid catalogue of those stops reveals twelve violations of right-of-way, eight excruciating attempts at Canadian politeness which is effectively sitting there squared off against another driver waving each other through a given intersection until someone snaps and brains themselves on the steering wheel to end the argument, three jerks cutting us off, and escalating radio reports solemnly informing us that the local battery stocks were perilously low and that although we should not riot, we should nonetheless rush to stores and buy batteries at any cost, up to and including the utter destruction of the stores involved.

This, needless to say, sounds nothing like the glowing reports of butterfly happiness serenity that the newspapers were oozing the next day. But I digress. Nobody cares about Toronto, after all, and there are fully 41 states and 9 provinces, to say nothing of the rest of the world, that weren't affected by this power outage of doom. On top of that, there's also a bunch of letters here that I can answer, and now that I've recovered from both power outage and camping trip, I should probably get around to them. If you're good like us Torontonians and stick around to the end, I'll even show you pictures of squirrels stealing my granola bars.

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I'll axe you...

Hey Andrew,

I can't believe you think FF7 is alot better than Wild Arms. I wouldn't expect someone saying that who has actually played the Wild Arms series and that on FF7.

Every character on FF7 is exactly the same aside from having limit breaks. During battles, you were keep repeating the same attacks and abilities, and the fact that you'll have only a small handful of spells that do anything until you get to 3rd disc. The game is so easy, while fighting random battles you will do nothing but attack, boss battles, you'll deplete your mp and once you have no more mp you'll restore it or attack, and secret bosses(if you call that secret at all), you just do the same strategy over again(like if you ever find out Hades stops Ruby Weapon, you'll use Hades and Knights of the Round with W-Summon until the battle is over).

Also, I'll admit I used to like FF7, only because I loved every one of them until I got FF7 and then played it and loved it only because it was an FF, and then FF8 and FF10, and also the fact that I was getting older, seemed to change me from being biased(because man those two games suck, except FF8 has a decent story. So I decided to try and play FF7 again one day last year, I played 3 hours and got to Junon, until I turned it off and erased my character, because the game is seriously the most boring psx RPG I've ever played.

Oh yeah, except for Hoshigami, Hoshigami is the most boring psx RPG I've ever played.

Of course, this isn't my question, I just decided to write how you said FF7 had way better gameplay than all 3 Wild Arms games combined.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Okay, well I can see you've obviously never played Rhapsody, Beyond the Beyond, Vagrant Story, Dragon Warrior VII, or a whole pile of other deeply unstimulating titles if you think Final Fantasy VII is the most boring thing Sony has to offer, but brushing that distinction aside for the time being, you also don't make sense, since "Why Final Fantasy VII Is Boring And I Hate It And I Should Know I've Played FFVIII and FFX and Hoshigami Too, Honest" or whatever you'd like to call your argument doesn't hold much water when you consider that your example about Ruby Weapon is just that - an example of Materia combination, which to me offers a great deal more potential for variety than the brainless puzzles or stodgy battle system of the first couple Wild ARMs titles (haven't played III, so admittedly its inclusion in my blanket statement is a tad premature) did.

Which brings up another point - you're just concentrating on the battles in Final Fantasy VII, which, as I recall, offered a lot more potential for variety. The Gold Saucer is probably one of the best ideas to hit RPGs in the past ten years, and it's just the collection of the various minigames found throughout Final Fantasy VII. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the much more restrained Final Fantasy VI more than Final Fantasy VII but to try and suggest that three rather generic RPGs outclass that game, even combined, just doesn't add up to me.

Still, you're entitled to your opinion. Just don't try to inflict it on me, because you'll never convince me that middle of the road junk fired out by Sony is better than a game that changed the way RPGs are made, especially when you promised me a question and didn't deliver. I wants my questions, dammit! Actually, I don't really crave questions but now I'm pissy because you said I could have one and I don't have one and I want one. Which was meant to be an allegory of your comments above somehow, but I don't have the energy to make up a reason why, since I didn't get any sleep this weekend thanks to a faulty zipper on my tent door which allowed every mosquito in Warsaw the opportunity to sample my sugary blood. On the upside, I now have sufficient West Nile virus for everyone. Dig in, kids - if Blade and Blade 2 have taught me anything, it's that you're all evil vampires that need killing by Wesley Snipes, so I thought I'd save him some time and let West Nile do the work for him.

Oh wait.. he did send in a question. Egg on my face ^^;;

Hey Andrew,

First RPG I've ever played, was Final Fantasy for the NES(even though Dragon Warrior came out first, I didn't ever played it because of course I was only like 5/6 years old), and that was the first RPG my parents got for the NES(which was for my brother because they didnt ever buy me sh**, and it's wierd how I have every FF thats been released in the US, all original and remade/rereleased copies). But the original FF was my favorite video game for a long time, and I got to keep it because my brother wasn't really interested in video gamess so i just basically kept it.

Then for the second topic, I've thought of quite a few games that are actually pretty good, and are rated badly by alot of people(D&D: Heroes of the Lance-NES, Secret of Evermore- SNES, Vandal Hearts 2- PSX, Revelations: Persona- PSX), but I decided to pick Secret of Evermore.

Secret of Evermore is just like Secret of Mana except without all the glitches in the gameplay(like, once attacking an enemy on SoM, the enemy games temporary invincibility while it is stunned, and usually damages your characters in the process of getting up, or as a boss, they gain temporary invincibility but still finish casting magic spells that were casting). Secret of Evermore was created in Square USA and most people who know that tend to go harsher towards the game since it was made to be like SoM and the fact that it was made in the US. Another reason people really dont like it much, is that instead of using mp to cast spells, you have to find(or buy) ingredients to cast a variety of spells(which takes alot of time to level them up and/or alot of money).

Also SoE only gets 3 charge attacks for each weapon(except for the bazooka) while in SoM there are 9. But that doesn't take away from the gameplay, and infact its better. On SoM you walk around taking damage to charge up to the highest level you can, because if you don't the attacks are worthless. And the attacks are stronger when you charge up on SoE, and because of the fewer charges, most people think that its kindof generic, but they're just the same as on SoM just not as time comsuming.

The story on SoE is about one world which is connected but it's about three completely different places that the main character was dragged to when going to an abandoned factory. And alot of people that have played the game get bored of it because the beggining of the story sounds kindof lame(that's what people get for playing games as ROM's anyways).

Anyways, Secret of Evermore might seem boring to some people, especially people who don't actually take the time to play it and talk bad about it, it's one of the best SNES games that have ever been released. Of course, it's no where near as good as Tactics Ogre, or FF6(both for the SNES/or the PSX if you want to say), but still it's a good game.

And also, everyone send billions of emails to Andrew tomorrow so we can send to Enix to translate Dragon Warrior 5 and 6 for release to the US on either GBA or PSX(just kidding).

Hey, your next topic could be for people to name their top 5 favorite games/RPG's, and why they enjoy them so much(unless someone decides to say FF10).

-andrew- -kupomogli-

I'm torn. Not only do you have the best name in the world, but you and rudy have both sent in letters to each of my three updates thus far. On the other hand, you seem to love every game that I detest, and back it up by claiming people who disagree with you haven't played through the games you love in the face of everyone else's hatred.

I hate Secret of Evermore for precisely three (well, it's closer to fifty or so, but let's say three for simplicity's sake and also I failed math) reasons:
1)Secret of Evermore was made in the US.
2)Secret of Evermore requires that you find ingredients instead of using MP
3)I think that all weapons should have nine charges because 9 is the holiest number in the religion I made up last Tuesday. All hail the 9-headed Scorpion God Nonestus who shall rain horrible fire upon the earth unless nine virgins are sacrificed to his might on the ninth day of the ninth month of every ninth year!

Wait, those are all really stupid reasons to hate a game. No, the reasons I hate Secret of Evermore are as follows:

  • The battle system really is lamer than Secret of Mana - while it takes out the magic spamming made possible by the Sprite, it also retains the ass-awful AI that plagued that game and then makes the magic system a tedious chore with a bunch of spells that it's next to impossible to find all the elements for, or enough to make casting them frequently enough to be useful unviable, to say the least.
  • The level design is terrible. Dungeons are poorly thought out, there's rooms that don't go anywhere in areas where it makes no sense for them to have this feature, there's a stupid maze halfway through the game, collision detection is teh suck, meaning I spent hours trying to step on the proper tile on that stupid chessboard before I finally stepped on a spot I could swear I'd been over like eight times and stumbled upon the dungeon below, which was a pile of boring staircases just to spite me, and there's only four distinct areas, none of which are terribly large.
  • The music is crap.
  • The graphics really should look better for a game from 1995, which is not to say that they're bad, only that a lot of areas are bland.
  • Three charges or not, the attacks don't seem to be as powerful as they should be to me. This may in fact be because of Nonestus, but having co-ordinated my local sacrifice team, I think it's safe to say that my conscience is at ease in that regard so I'll just blame it on the folks at Square USA.
  • The main character is a dumbass. I don't care about him, I don't care about his stupid fake B movies, and I certainly have no interest in the well-being of his chameleon dog.
  • The game ends abruptly, almost like they were planning on adding another area and then got cut off in mid-development. The last boss is also ridiculously easy for anyone who took the time to figure out the game's battle system, which I did. It's not 2-hits-Yu Yevon-my-ass easy, but then, Spira could use a new God / Godlike figure anyway, so I think I'll just introduce Nonestus there next opportunity I get.

In conclusion, it really isn't a crime to enjoy Final Fantasy X, regardless of what the rest of the world tells me. Sure, it was linear, but don't be fooled - multiple endings just means doing the same thing six different times with slightly different characters, so I don't feel too bad for the six playthroughs of Star Ocean 2 I could have inflicted upon myself instead of playing through FFX completely.

Incidentally, I surprisingly do agree with you on one count: Square Enix should do their damnedest to bring over Dragon Quest V and VI. If sludge like FFII can make it over here then there's no excuse to leave what is allegedly one of the best games in the DQ series a strictly Japanese affair. In fact, providing Mothra doesn't foil my plans, I think I'll just send the Great and All-Knowing Nonestus to Tokyo and demolish Tokyo Tower as a demonstration of what will happen if we don't get those Dragon Quests. That should eliminate the need for those millions of letters you're soliciting.

I give up

Why are people dancing around the whole "Who is Googleshng really?" thing? Here's a few examples of things that are a giveaway as to who he really is:
1. Googleshng's rants page. Look at the copyright at the bottom.
2. Googleshng is the head of interaction. Look at the address to send the Music Curator Application to.

I can only conclude that Alethea or Ben Matlock is who Googleshng really is.

P.S. I'm one of RPGamer's former Music Curators. Do you think I should apply again, even if it were as a joke?



To be honest, I only started the whole thing because I'm a slave to running jokes, and one that's been around as long as that deserves to be milked for just a few more days worth of goodness. He really doesn't seem to be interested in keeping it a secret anymore, though, so I guess I'll stop covering it up, especially since Cortney went and didn't keep up my tricks. Way to go, Cortney. You've ruined Christmas, and because I didn't censor this letter, it makes no sense. Well that one's actually my fault and I did it on purpose, but at least I didn't wreck a holiday, except for that time when I got sick at Easter and puked on the couch where my dad had hidden all the eggs and got my sisters all mad at me.

As for your P.S, I don't have to sift through the apps, so do whatever you please. Just don't blame me if you suddenly find Matlock chasing you with a court summons and some incriminating questions to ask you. Just what were you doing on the night of the 26th, hmm?

More on topic, yay

My first?

Ultima 1 on a Commodore 64 in late winter 1988.

I originally got my C64 because a friend of mine had one, and it was really cool, much more badass than my silly little Atari 2600 ever was.

So as a smart consumer, even at the young and stupid age of 13, I began to research what kinds of cool games and stuff was available for the machine I would soon own.

My school library had many issues of Commodore Magazine and Run, which were 2 of the 3 big C64 magazines in the USA at the time. Inside there were these strange looking games called RPGs advertised and reviewed. While they looked super simplistic graphicswise, something about them seemed really cool, and reminded me of super high tech versions of all those Endless Quest and Choose Your Own Adventure books I spent so much time reading.

After I finally got my C64 for Christmas, it was time to buy my first RPG once I had some money. But which one? Ultima and The Bard's Tale were mentioned as the biggest and best. In a catalog that came with my computer, Ultima was shown having a whopping 5 different installments. Well, better to start with the big dog then right? I gladly plopped down my 40 bucks (for a 13 year old in 88 this is a lot of money. For a 29 year old in 2003 its STILL a lot of money. I just make it faster.) and went home to play it. Now, the packaging of Ultima games back then was top notch. Gorgeous hard cardboard boxes packed with goodies. A beautiful rulebook that told you the basics of the world without ever going into gamespeak packed with Denis Loubet's excellent artwork, the gamedisk, the gameplay/commands card (other than simple movement and attack, the keyboard did everything. No menus!), a nifty little coin bag with "coins of the realm", and 4 cardboard maps showing the continents I would be exploring.

Then I got home, eagerly inserted the disk, and started playing. Bashing monsters? Getting more powerful? Buying all sorts of cool vehicles to explore the world in? Buying weapons and armor? Going into deep and dangerous dungeons to hunt down nasty monsters? Being able to steal from and kill anyone including the king? My mind was blown away.

And it, along with Marvel Comics and Star Wars has helped make me the incurable dork I am today.

Ah, the good old days when companies actually threw in extras to go along with their games that had some valid use. No, I'm not talking about Working Designs-style worthless junk, I'm talking about visual aids like a map or a bestiary or a card with a few of the game's more useful spells. Obviously, this void has been filled by FAQs and official strategy guides, but somehow it was much nicer when there wasn't shameless capitalization behind the inclusion of these extras. I still have my Dragon Warrior spell card in my room, which was packaged along with my first RPG, discounting The Legend of Zelda for the time being.

I guess what I'm getting at is, I hear what you're saying, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, kind of like the euphoria induced by the sacred venom of Wise Nonestus the Terrible which I hear you can get a really great deal on from that guy in behind the 7-11 down in the club district.

It's on! Which is to say, Systematic Bombardment Phase One

I'm going to do it! I'm going to CRUSH Q&A by overwhelming them with various questions from lesser known RPGs. *flexes*

I'll do it! I'll rob the Kwik-E-Mart!

1) KoTOR, we all know how big and popular and sexy it is. My question, naturally, is not about Knights of the Old Republic but about Icewind Dale 2 for the computer. There are various suggestions for combinations of parties. My question is, in a party consisting of two drow fighters should I focus drow fighter one's skill points into something like persuasion or would it be more useful to round out his abilities. I'm thinking in terms of long term goals and stat growth over a period of the entire game.

Depends upon what you want to do. Being an ass, I'll leave it at that.

2) In the original Persona, I've been trying to decide which party member to take. Ellen seems to outperform the other three but Chris is pretty cool. Is it worth it to play a bunch of the game with four characters just to recruit someone that may or may not be as good as Ellen? And what is the exact location of the monster known as 'Alice' ?

Getting Chris seems to be a ridiculously arcane process, and Ellen pretty much kicks his ass in every respect other than his ability to get the game's best summon, to say nothing of how much easier it is to get her. Still, if you're a sucker for summon spells (and Persona has been described as a cross between FFVIII, EB, and RE3, so maybe you are) then maybe you should go for Chris. As for Alice, it's close... (Consult Rambo III for the conclusion to that particular quote).

3) I'm trying to build an effective party in Romancing SaGa 3 that has a good mix of some of the different abilities. I'm currently playing Katrina's scenario, any suggestions?

Stop playing that game... Nobody in their right mind would subject themselves to RS titles.

4) In Hybrid Heaven (yes I know... not considered an RPG by some) is it a good idea to save the various attack items for some of the more difficult bosses or should I use them pretty liberally on the random encounters.

Count me in, it means I don't have to pretend to know anything about it. Do whatever you like as long as you end up losing terribly.

5) In Sailor Moon: Another Story, should I focus on building up only a few of the senshi or should I spread the love and try to use all of them throughout the game for a fairly balanced team?

I think what you should do is never devote another second of your life to anything involving Sailor Moon, up to and including dressing up as her at anime conventions. Not only will we be spared frightening photos in wide circulation on this here interweb, maybe you'll find something better to do than pestering me.

6) Who would you say are the most effective party members to bring with out in Thousand Arms?

They're all great people, and isn't that what this event is all about? I mean, come on. Who wouldn't want to rub elbows with that one guy, or the other one?

7) In the Legend of Zelda 2: Link's Adventure, should I level up quite a bit before the third dungeon or would I be alright in clearing it on my own with the abilities I already possess from successfully clearing the first two dungeons with no extra time spent gaining experience.

- Galvatron

P. S. If my evil plan doesn't fail, then you shall never be able to defeat round two! *laughs evilly*

Level up all you like. In fact, you can get full 8's across the board if you want, you still won't be able to beat level 3 under the scenario you've described. I think we both know why, but maybe you're secretly a fairy yourself and don't want me to clue in that if I say "Fairy" three times you'll have to appear beside me and do my bidding for all eternity. On that note, fairy fairy fairy.

...Oh, well. It was worth a try. I guess you don't really have to say "Fairy" three times to get Fairy magic, although clearing out that lava-filled cave with the medicine you have to return to the old lady in the desert town of Mido sure helps. Also, be sure to swing by the southern part of the graveyard - there's an extra life hidden in the desert nearby. Also, you should really know better than to quiz me on my favorite NES title, and next time get the subtitle right: it's "The Adventure of Link" :P

As for round 2, do as you will - just don't expect me to give you any useful advice, since I really don't have the time to play titles put out by Atlus, on account of I tend to hate them with a passion, I refuse to touch anime-based games with a ten-foot pole, and I haven't had time to get around to the lesser lights of the PSX yet since I still have an impressive backlog. I could dig through FAQs like I did for Persona, but I suspect you already know the answers to your questions, so hopefully my indifference to your campaign will persuade you to take up more useful pursuits, like dressing up as Sailor Moon. Yes, it's a wonderful day in the world of contradictory advice.

Seriously, though, bring on round two. I'll probably be more inclined to play along tomorrow, but I'm still recovering from the devastating mosquito attack I endured this weekend, so I'm not up to humouring someone who apparently hates me right now :)

Hey, the jerk store called...

I think you know the one, Andrew. :P Here goes.

Wa ha ha rebuttal time. Okay, so this guy yesterday decided to rant about FFX - fair enough. Anyway, he decided to refer to it as repetitive, linear and cliched... Okay, so now that we've pinned it down as following the exact same recipe that console RPGs have followed since the day of their birth, we can move on, right? Right. He then went on to say that there are "a few secrets in the game that are impossible to figure out unless you are using a strategy guide". Well, I don't know about *you* bucko, but I'm a big fan of the Dragon Warrior series. You know, that sometimes overlooked series of games where you tend to look at everything and talk to everyone, yeah, you know the one I'm talking about. (A console RPG that promotes exploration? Well maybe that would be better suited for you) Okay, so I think I've made my point; I didn't need a strategy guide for FFX, even with all the "stupid as hell" secrets.

From now on my comments will be directed *at* this wonderful soul.

You don't use strategy guides. Well wow, neither do I. You *had* to force yourself to beat the pathetic game? Well why don't you whine about it some more? I mean, it would've been just as easy to stick it back in it's case and take it back to EB for some horrid trade in value, right?

Wouldn't ever find out about getting that time on the Chocobo Race? Okay, let's see... Okay, look, I have no desire to be arguing out each and every little side quest you've mentioned in its entirety. These are *side quests*. These are *secrets*. If they were easy to find or figure out, what would be the point? Every single console RPG in history that has added secrets has not made them as tremendously simple as you obviously want them to be. Geez, I'm tempted to think you'd rather be playing "Math Blaster: The RPG" instead of something that could actually confound you. Hahaha, 1+1 damage is 2 damage. Right, I'm a crack victim... Anyway, if it's too hard for you to locate hidden items then maybe you should rethink you're opinion of "linear" and "cliche". Perhaps you want every game ever made to be as linear as Lunar: Silver Star Story. (Perhaps you're living in a little box with "dumbass" written in bold letters across it?) Would that make you happy? You could find everything without exercising your brain!

You really seem to be Square's bitch, you know. At least, it seems as if you -were- their bitch. I mean, I bet you -loved- Final Fantasy 6, Secret of Mana, FFTactics etc etc... Like, honestly, I bet if I was to tell you that I think FF6 sucks


Interesting fact: because I am obsessive compulsive or possibly batshit insane or both, I put a (/p) tag at the end of that snip for the sake of symmetry, which is the only such tag not dictated by this overbearing template. Isn't that great?

Anyway, I think Alethea put it best when she said that Square(and you too Enix, <3) has every right to deviate from the standards of a few fans. This does not exclude you. You, the one who puts your opinion forward as fact at every step; you, the one who actually seems to have a more pessimist view on things than myself. There are times when you rant, and times where you keep your mouth shut to avoid being shot down like a passenger airline; can you guess which this is?

Seems you were even too scared to leave a name/handle. Figures.

Til next time.


*eyes unglaze* cloink! I didn't read much of your little rant there, because I really don't want to encourage this sort of thing and besides you sound like quite the condescending ass. Anyhow, as soon as you said FFVI sucks, you lost the right to rant and rave, because nobody harshes my favorite game and lives to tell the tale, at least not in my Q&A. I also like FFX, but until you flash them there cards (you know, the ones you mention in the blather I wouldn't post because I am now filled with spiteful rage) of toweringly superior opinion, I'm afraid you don't get to say anything else.

Still, I'm not a total whore to censorship, so feel free to send in your diatribe. I'll wager your reasons are very well-thought out and concise and in-depth and all that other junk you claimed they were, but take heart! I'm all that stuff and I'm funnier than you so I'll enjoy wiping your face in my charming force of personality and correctitude. Because let's not forget the overriding principle here: I'm right, and you're a dumbass. Next!

Titles: better than not having them since 1994

Hey Castomel! Just so you know at least you replaced goog and not someone new. Glad to have you on board. Just a few questions:

I know my brain is a little bit broken on account of the encephalitis from the West Nile setting in, but I can't figure out what this means. Nevertheless, everything else makes sense, so let's press on.

What's the deal with Chaos Legion? It seemed really interesting, but since its release I haven't heard anything about it. Do you know anything about it (maybe a review coming up?).

All I know about this game can be gleaned from our various news postings on it: you summon armies called Legions to fight for you and probably save something, possibly the world or a treed kitten. As for the review, I talked to ASV and he said "you can quote me on this: Zero's a blond-haired piece of crap". Then I asked him about the review and apparently, Paul "Amish" Koehler is taking care of it, leading me to believe his departure from PsoV is some sort of carefully orchestrated sham designed to take over the state of New Jersey through the power of learning.

Also since when was shining soul geared for a US release?

Well, I'd like to claim we were on top of that situation and reported on it as soon as it happened, but apparently we weren't, so unless Atlus sort of snuck it in with its release date finagling of this week past, "a while ago" is about as precise an answer as I can give you. And now, since I've lost face, I must either commit suicide or say a prayer of forgetfulness to Nonestus the All-Obfuscating. Which I will do.

Well I've sorta run outa things to say...maybe one last thing. How's the hunt for a new music curator going? Good luck with that! Barieuph

You might ask Jake... He's taking care of it, and if the detective work of various people can be trusted, he's also pretty experienced at this whole Q&A business.

Let's aim for something grammatically sound in the title this time.. ah, screw it, this'll do


I'm not sure on this, since it's been a while since I've played my first RPG, but I think it was Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar on the NES. Unless of course you count Faxanadu or the first Zelda game, which many people would, so I'm basically just lying about my first RPG.

In any event, Ultima IV was the first game that got me addicted to RPGs. Maybe it was the eight different classes, or maybe it was the Moongates, but I just couldn't get enough of that game. That isn't to say that I was any good at it. I could barely secure a pirate ship, let alone venture into the various dungeons to assemble the key of truth or whatever. It was also one of the only RPGs I know of where you were actually punished for randomly looting people's houses. And who can beat the blind spell components merchant whose only purpose was to test your Honesty? Keeping high marks in all eight virtues was tough man. Especially Spirituality... how the heck to you insert that into an early generation RPG? And who can forget the Shepherd, proving once in for all that Humility truly is a useless virtue? Having her in your party is like beating Final Fantasy with a party of White Mages. But I'd better stop reminiscing now, since many people probably never played this game. Anyway, Ultima IV got me hooked, and that's what's important.

Incidentally, if hearing about Ultima has sparked anybody's interest, I invite you to check out some Ultima skins that I found a while back. For added fun, turn on the setting that makes the skin change for every song. You never know what virtue you're gonna get.

- Mecherath (since everybody loves a good alias)

Damn... all this talk of sexy old Ultima titles is making me want to go back and play them. The only Ultima I've ever played is Ultima VIII, which was fun, but apparently a radical departure from the rest of the series and not nearly as deep. It was also buggy garbage, so I was unable to finish the game by virtue of being unable to place pyromantic objects in my pentagram properly. I wouldn't feel too bad about being no good at your first RPG, seeing as how most people play their first RPG when it still seems highly amusing to insert the word "poo" into any sentence or song.

Hee hee hee.. poo.

(Sort of) Quickies

Yesterday someone sent in a quickie that said "If I begin a systematic bombardment of questions from various lesser known RPGs will I be able to immobilize Q&A as we know it?" and I was just curious if they didn't realize that i've already been doing that for years with games that arn't even featured on RPGamer like Popolo Crois and Puppet Master Marl's Kingdom 2. And maybe it's because no one likes me but I'm not sure i've been able to immobilze anything but my already dead dog. So I vote no but if anyone wants to test me I dare them. :P


Err, thanks all the same, but I'd rather not talk about Rhapsody 2. Ever. Again. Popolocrois 3, on the other hand, I once did a handful of news stories for, so by all means, go on at length.

Im pretty much wondering around, and i have had a simple question in mind for a while and was wondering if you can anwser it for me. *ahem* If there is any information about continuing on the Chrono series, can you tell me about it? Im not sure if your the right person to ask, but can you please do me this favor? Im really huge fan and i really wishd to know. If you can tell me anything at all, please e-mail me at Please do me this favor!

Nothing as such unless you like to take April Fool's Day posts at face value, in which case I have this new religion that needs funding so I can spread the 9 Clear Truths of Nonestus to all of humanity.

Dear Castomel,

I was simply wondering if like me you were stuck in a black out for over twelve long boring hours just like I was...

Twelve long boring and deadly hours, that is. Not to make light of a terrible situation, but there was a disabled 22-year old man in Toronto who had lost both of his legs and arms to an electricity mishap while working for Ontario Hydro a few years back that died this weekend because his air conditioning failed and he couldn't withstand the heat thanks to the skin grafts he required after getting zapped. If I were him I'd be back in revenant form right about now trying to destroy electricity in all its myriad forms. Of course, that's a pretty abstract concept for a revenant, but then we live in some pretty trying times if George W. can be believed, which he usually can because he never says anything. Case in point: his quote on this matter: "People's lives may not return to normal for some time." Well hot damn! Is that the honest-to-goodness truth? An event of undisclosed duration may affect normalcy for said duration? PURE GENIUS!

Trivia Question the First: What three characters in Final Fantasy III(US) have names that exceed the six-character limit imposed on your party members?


All right, here it is: the first trivia question. For bonus points, let's guess at the index title too, since ASV has been kind enough to take enough time out of his Zero-harshing schedule to change it weekly.

The Final Grumble:


So yeah. This weekend was a bit of a departure, but it looks like things are settling back to normal, at least assuming this column doesn't suddenly get wiped out by rolling blackouts.

Whee.. I tempted fate and lived. At any rate, here's the pictures I promised from before. The chipmunks are eating potatoes, and the squirrels, as you can see, have a fondness for anything that's edible. The little bastards had quite the setup going - they drained a box of 25 granola bars in about 20 minutes, which was so funny to watch it more than made up for not getting to eat them. The granola bars, that is.

Bad shot of chipmunk eating potato Bad shot of another chipmunk eating potato
Mmm... butter tarts Full frontal squirrel I bet he likes the insect parts

Anyhow, for tomorrow, not only do we have our existing topics on the table, we also have the new trivia fun tossed out in the quickies there, to say nothing of Galvatron's penchant for sending in obscure questions. Finally, just to break the camel's back, I'll throw one more question on the fire, only a little bit stolen from the Roundtable of one week ago: what do you guys think of the Phantom? The campaign of uninformation being waged by Infinium Labs hit a new plateau of lameness today with a video promising to deliver actual specs on the system, but actually just showing a ten-second interface demo and random technobabble from some poor soul they conned into sounding flattering about their little cgi device which apparently exists, despite a lack of any reasonable evidence to suggest this conclusion. You can download the video (I wouldn't, it's utterly worthless and large to boot) at Infinium Labs, home to the shiniest damn site art anywhere. Until tomorrow (assuming you don't get blinded by all that gleaming ergonomic glory), then...

Andrew "All Hail the Almighty Nonestus!" Long

Or just give L. Ron Hubbard a few hundred grand to achieve a similar effect

Old Issues
  • Power outages
  • Thieving Squirrels of Doom
  • Googleshng's identity
   Got a question? Send it to Andrew   
New Issues
  • The Phantom!..Oh wait
  • Adverb Noun of Adjective
  • Mistress Nightshadow's identity

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