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      Pharaoh in Disguise

Andrew Long- September 10 '03- 1:42 Eastern Standard Time

Well, for once I'm at an absolute loss for introductory material. Sure, I could go on at length about underhanded election policies hereabouts or those fantastic lawsuits the RIAA is slapping on the elderly and the underage or heck, I could even mention I was watching a Senate subcommittee hearing on the BBC and there were even politicians who looked convincingly nasty, but none of these really spawns much desire in me to go on at length, although I'm fairly sure each is a subject near and dear to my heart.

Also, there is the much more pressing concern of "nobody cares" about those things, and since I don't have FFTA until tomorrow I can't even go on about that, so I guess you're screwed for introductions here. Still, other hosts don't tend to make their prefatory statements too much beyond "You are seeing me talk", so I'll just press on with a guilt-free heart, confident that something below will inspire me to rant and rave. And I'm not just saying that because I wrote this last :D

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Have a stupid question?
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What's Andrew reading this week?
Huck Finn and an assload of History readings
What's Andrew playing this week?
Wind Waker defeated! Now to move on to SO2...

 
The gripe I knew I'd receive

Well, I've been waiting for a long time to do this, and now I finally have a reason to write in to you. Mind you, this is going against better reasoning that I should be going to bed now, but I'll ignore that for the moment (until it's time to get up for school tomorrow morning). Now, since Chrono Trigger happens to be my all time favourite RPG and game, it stands without reasoning that I'm not going to let anyone make any mistakes when they're talking about it, especially when it appears in your column. I happened to notice that a certain Mr. or Ms. "Feep" wrote a Quickie to you and told you that they'd like to be the Guru at the End of Time, otherwise known as Gaspar. Not Balthasar. He was transported to 2300 AD, where he created the Epoch. (Though, just for the record, I'd like to say that Balthasar has a much cooler theme song.)

Andrew:
Thanks for sharing, Simon.

Also, (another nit-picky thing here, though this is on a slightly more serious note) I noticed that this same column in which the aforementioned Quickie appeared was entitled "Emoticon Eskimo." I'd just like to inform you, in case you didn't already know, that the term Eskimo is derogatory and dated at that. Inuit is now the accepted and used term (though, it's always been used within the Inuit community, just not by the stupid white people community). When make mistakes like that, it irks me all that much more because I was born and raised for the first 10 years of my life in the Northwest Territories, so I was exposed to much of the Inuit community, and I see how poorly Inuit have been treated since white people invaded their land and changed their ways.

Andrew:
Indeed, I was fairly certain someone would email in to rail at me for my horrible insensitivity in the use of such a term. I think, however, that that's being slightly oversensitive; I have no history of being derogatory towards the Inuit (which is indeed the term I use when not slapping together random titles,) will state clearly here that I fully respect their way of life and heartily wish the mistakes of the past could somehow be erased, and in no way intended to piss anyone off. Given these particular qualifiers, I hope you'll agree that I did not intend to use the word in a pejorative sense, but rather in an alliterative one. At any rate, I'm fairly certain, or at least would hope, that a gibberish title with no clear or stated offensive intent or any relevance whatsoever to the content of my column that utilizes a term that is not necessarily universally recognized as racist slander is unlikely to make anyone freak out and start plotting my grisly death.

And if you're still frothing with indignation, I direct your attention to the following Usage Note obtained from dictionary.com, generally a very reliable source:

Usage Note: Eskimo has come under strong attack in recent years for its supposed offensiveness, and many Americans today either avoid this term or feel uneasy using it. It is widely known that Inuit, a term of ethnic pride, offers an acceptable alternative, but it is less well understood that Inuit cannot substitute for Eskimo in all cases, being restricted in usage to the Inuit-speaking peoples of Arctic Canada and parts of Greenland. In Alaska and Arctic Siberia, where Inuit is not spoken, the comparable terms are Inupiaq and Yupik, neither of which has gained as wide a currency in English as Inuit. While use of these terms is often preferable when speaking of the appropriate linguistic group, none of them can be used of the Eskimoan peoples as a whole; the only inclusive term remains Eskimo. ·The claim that Eskimo is offensive is based primarily on a popular but disputed etymology tracing its origin to an Abenaki word meaning “eaters of raw meat.” Though modern linguists speculate that the term actually derives from a Montagnais word referring to the manner of lacing a snowshoe, the matter remains undecided, and meanwhile many English speakers have learned to perceive Eskimo as a derogatory term invented by unfriendly outsiders in scornful reference to their neighbors' unsophisticated eating habits.

Not to suggest that this absolves me of any of your supposed responsibility, but it rather looks as though your theory washes only with that of the maddeningly political correct Canadian education system and political establishment, not with accepted linguistic theory, which I would tend to suggest makes more sense - after all, "Eskimo" is so much gibberish in English and French, the two primary languages of exploitastic explorers in this neck of the woods. Given a choice, I'd stick with the linguists - they have less of an agenda.

Also, since I'm here, I might as well ask a question: Now, is it just me, or do you not think it would be cool to re-release Secret of Mana for PS1/PS2 with CG's, done in the style of the clay figures in the SoM instruction manual. Or, to doubly release that with Seiken Densetsu 3? How mad would that be? And, now that you've kept me up past my bedtime, I must sleep, and shame on you for making me stay up so late. I hope you have bad dreams.

~Simon

Andrew:
It would probably be ultimately cool (at least the SoM part) but since it's already been reissued for the WSC the chances of such a remake are pretty slim. Also, Seiken Densetsu 3 is not, contrary to popular opinion, all that and a bag of chips, as far as I'm concerned, so I would have no concern with such a remake never seeing the light of day.

 
I really shouldn't ask for flames...

Heya, Andrew.

Let's see, what don't I like about my consoles... well, for one, I didn't bring them with me to college, so I can't play them... but aside from that, let's look at my two consoles.

PS2: My biggest complaint about the PS2 is that aside from upcoming RPGs like Xenosaga 2, Star Ocean 3 and Drakengard, as well as existing RPGs I don't yet have like .Hack and Disgaea, there's nothing else for me to drool over. The only other game that I really think looks great is MGS3. Aside from that, I love my PS2 very much.

Gamecube: Well, that's easy. There's no RPGs for a console that should be perfect for RPGs. I mean, seriously, the controller is PERFECT for our beloved Genre. The game that I play mostly for the GCN is Wind WAker, with a little bit of SSBM on the side. TAles of Symphonia and Baten Katios look to be good allieviators of the RPG drought for the GCN, but aside from that, all I really want is the Metal Gear Solid remake. MGS Storyline + MGS2 GAmeplay = One goddamn awesome game.

And that's my 2 cents. COllect enough of them and buy a coke.

~Himizujin Eternia

Andrew:
I totally agree with you on the PS2. In three years, there've been about five titles that make me regret not having one, and about three of those are still upcoming. As for the GameCube, while it may be perfect for RPGs, it's also pretty good for non-RPGs as well, which is why I bought it. While PS2 numbers will attest North American gamers love their RPGs and Madden 2004 Girls Gone Wild Editions, that isn't the case in Japan, where PS2 sales still outnumber GameCube sales rather healthily, but nonetheless weigh in at barely more than half as many units sold in North America.

Incidentally, what's the deal with Metal Gear Solid? I never could stand those games, and while interactive movies might float some peoples' boats, I'd rather have good gameplay, which I do not qualify MGS as having. Still, I'm among a rather tiny minority in that particular assessment, so everyone, feel free to flame me defending MGS to the death.

 
Mmm... Letters from the future

Hey Andrew,

I got FFTactics Advance yesterday and asked if I could be Q&A host and you didn't post either, don't be trying to ignore the question man, I'd be a perfect guest host man(kidding about dont try and ignore the question). Anyways, by the way, FFTactics Advance has one of the worst music in any game period, I'd rather have some NES music than that crap, I enjoy FFTactics Advance except for the fact that after playing for awhile, how it's slow paced when you choose your commands and how slow the computer is, and when you have a NPC on your party, you better hope they dont get Don't Act on them, because they'll go in the middle of all the enemies like they want to attack, and turn towards one like they would, but seeing that they have don't act, they can't do anything, which is stupid. The game is ok in the sense that you want to keep completing missions and getting stronger weapons(where I have the Ragnarok already and I've only played 3 hours, so of course, It's probably not even close to the strongest weapon in the game) and getting different job classes and master everything you can for the classes that you have already(and I don't know what the class is, you can see it by pressing select, it's for a moogle, and you can only see the first 3 letters of a class, like Sol, is a Soldier, so whats Mog, and also what do I put at the end of a sentence that has parenthesis and question inside the parenthesis, when the outside isn't a question, and this entire sentence has horrible grammar, but alot of commas?).

And also, see if you can guess this quote, a hint is that it's from a really old PSX game. "Call your dogs, they can feast upon your corpses."(which is an easy quote to answer if you've even played the beggining of the game, being one of the coolest opening movies to any game).

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Andrew:
It sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't remember, so I'm going to pass on the quote. As for your concern above, I kind of have to receive a letter before I can post it, and as the letter in question came in at 5:30 PM, I'm reliably certain that I have no means of genuinely inserting it in yesterdays column without revisionism of the worst sort. Apparently, my many history profs are claiming that's all the rage, but I prefer to leave things in their original state, at least unless I said something unusually stupid.

 
The aforementioned "omission" strikes back, just for fun.. boy, this looks familiar

Hey Andrew,

I got Final Fantasy Tactics Advance today, and heres what I have to say. SQUARESOFT FINALLY MADE A NEW GAME THAT DOESN'T SUCK, WOOHOO!!!! The game is actually pretty good, and if anyone has played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on the Gameboy Player(thankfully I beat it on Gameboy Advance), you will have known how much it hurts your eyes by playing the game on the television, and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance won't hurt your eyes, but even so the colors are kindof bright so they look stupid if playing on the television, so they have 3 different color modes, which is making the colors brighter or not, so thats pretty cool. The gameplay is just like the original FFTactics, combined with the gameplay of Vandal Hearts 2 where you learn your abilities from weapons. So in all it's actually pretty good.

Also, you think I can be a guest Q&A host, I asked awhile ago to Andrew but he said no, and hey, I'm the only one who asked directly if I could be one so that should count for something, atleast im not like some people sending in applications to take the Q&A spot, just be a guest host for one day or something.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Andrew:
Hmm... perhaps. First, however, you must perform some sort of deadly challenge. I think I'll open the floor as to what that challenge should be. In fact, it's our topic for Monday!

 
Quitter...

Hey, so I picked up Final Fantasy Tactics Advance the other day. Maybe I need more time with it, or maybe I'm so used to Disgaea, but the controls annoy me. When you want to move, let's say up, if you push the up button you'd go right depending how you're faced and so forth. That got damn annoying. But like I said, maybe I just need more time with it. And your hit percentage is so piss low that it's annoying too. Enemies are dodging left and right, even if you attack from the back it's only like 80% likely to hit. Magic misses too darn often as well. I hope it improves later on in the game. As of now I'm disappointed and will go back to playing Disgaea.

-Paul

Andrew:
Yes, heaven forbid any element of challenge be introduced into a Final Fantasy title... You know, it's people like you that makes absolutely certain that it will never, ever, be difficult to complete an RPG again. Yeah, high evade is maddening, but other good games have it too, like the entire Tactics Ogre series, for instance. Incidentally, ever think they might compensate for that piddly hit rate with, oh, I don't know... Lower HP or some other statistic that makes it pretty much meaningless in the end?

 
Wednesday randomness, finally

Foul roommates. I get rid of mine at the end of this month ^_^. But then I hafta go out into the world and get a real job...which I'm hoping does not end up being at a help desk someplace. Ick. Though the golden-shiny admin jobs all want multiple years of experience...which kinda borderlines paradoxical.

How much more school have you got to look forward too? (provided things like FFTA don't end it faster than was intended). And what kind of carreer are you moving toward? Good luck, whatever the case.

-Rich

Andrew:
Well in theory it would just be this year, but back in the sunny days of first year, I actually thought that philosophy and anthropology were somehow useful towards an english/history double major, which of course they are in a general sense, but not in the credits-you-need-to-graduate sense. As a result, I'm knackered into spending another semester at least here, and what with my abject fear of the real world, I'll be doing my level best to make that a full year, since extra credits never hurt anyone, particularly someone with a GPA as monumentally miserable as mine is.

All that deprecation aside, I hope to be a writer. Perhaps I'll even mug Dear Abby and appear nationwide! Thanks for the wellwishing, anyway.

 
A picaresque young lad gives me an excuse to (only slightly) misuse a big word I found in my required reading today! Yoy

I would send you my japanesse version of FFT-A, but I love it too much. Already beat the crap out of it. Now I get to do it all over again, but in ENGLISH! I just hope they didn't crap up the localization. Sigh, silly marketing.

Here is the largest word of advise for anyone playing FFT-A:

You can only steal items by aquiring the 'Sword Breaker'. Well, that is the translation from Japanesse to English, not sure what it is actually called in the localized version. This Sword Breaker is the only item that will teach you the thief ability 'Steal'. And this can only be aquired by completing random battles with thiefs in your party.

You see, when ever you win a battle, you receive a random item based on who could use it. So no thief equals no Sword Breaker ever, which means no stealing the good items later in the game. Just wanted to pass this along so you don't have to go through the game without stealing the Masamune. o.O;;

Hope this saves some time.

-Chris

Andrew:
Well, as I am indeed a big fan of stealing crap from random enemies, your post is very helpful to me. This is not, however, to suggest that the Masamune is my only larcenous goal; I just like stealing crap for the heck of it, since you never can have enough pairs of Dragoon Boots, or worthless Goggles.

 
The answers and I didn't even have to look for them! Now that's Q&A I can deal with :D

Okay, don't go thinking this is like, the finalized version of everything or whatnot, but I've got an idea of the pricing for FF XI (I'm in the Beta for it *bleahs*)

  • $12.95/month to subscribe to the PlayOnline services and get into FFXI
  • $1.00/month/each additional character past the first one you wish to play.
  • $1.00/month to access the other game Tetra Master.

Those prices are what I've heard for the PC Version of the game...I'd think they'd be about the same for PS2.

Except for the whole "You need a PS HD" too. And I'm figuring that should be about 100-200 bucks. And you'll want to actually chat in the game, right? So find a PS2/USB keyboard/controller hybrid for what..20-25 bucks...

Oh, and don't forget about your connection to the internet too, and that charge per month!

Blah...kinda scary, isn't it?

Andrew:
Exactly why I'm gonna opt for the PC version, if at all. And boy, how totally unsurprising is it that they'd opt to round that character fee up to a dollar, eh?

 
psst.. http://www.rpgamer.com/games/zelda/zeldagc/reviews/zeldawwstrev2.html

Your Celtic Wednesday topicless-topic has drawn me out yet again. This week I'm mainly curious what you think of Wind Waker now that you've beaten it... And, I'm not asking for a review here (though I'll be getting one later) so much as what you thought the best and worst parts of the game were. In retrospect I can personally say that sailing/the Triforce search was easily, by-far-and-away, and without a doubt the most horrible aspect of it. On the otherhand, the graphics are the games' high point, imo. I'm actually wondering how awesome the original Zelda would be if it was remade in that graphical style... Alas, it won't happen.

~ Zachary 'ASV' Lewis

Andrew:
The high point would have to be how much fun wandering through Windfall Island was the first few times, which is not to say the middle parts of the game sucked, but rather that I'm an easy target for nostalgic remixes. You've already mentioned the low point: the Triforce should either have had dungeons for each piece, maybe even retro ones themed after the original NES titles, or been omitted outright from the equation. Still, I guess it does lend an air of validity to the story, so what can you do?

 
Randomness II: First Blood

Dear Sir,

1. What do I hate about my PS2? Why..... nothing of course! Unlike most people who like to whine about it, my PS2 is yet to curse me with Disc Read Errors from double layered games like Xenosaga. Plus, I've yet to have any problems regarding playing DVD videos on it. Okay.... maybe what I can whine about it is how expensive the other components can be. I'd still have to pitch in to buy a multitap, hard drive, ethernet adapter and a bucketful of memory cards. This would force me to cough up a few more hundred dollers, which translates into some thousands of pesos where I live. This is much unlike the other consoles who at least have one of these parts already installed, like the 4 player for the GameCube or the XBOX's hard drive. Still, I can't call that designer idiocy, it's marketing strategy!

Andrew:
Or the darkest evil. Oops... I'd best be sensitive here with my selection of terminology, as I wouldn't want to have to field a dissertation tomorrow on how Anglo-Saxon patriarchical structures have been excessively influencing the inherently racist and hegemonic nature of linguistic structure in modern English. Better stick with "most rotten evil" instead, although I suppose all those Rottentots of Ringoliankitar will be on my case for that one and besides it sounds stupid as hell.

2. On Star Wars vs. Star Trek, I would say Star Wars, but only because Jedi's are uber cool. I could really imagine going into really expensive places and using mind tricks on people to get in for free, like NBA games and strip clubs. Plus, having the force would be really helpful when your neighbors get some new stuff. You could simply use the mindtrick on them and force pull all their stuff into your house. Heck, who hasn't had the fantasy of wielding a lightsaber and slicing fools everywhere to smokey bits? I'd like one, plus having the ornate and artistic skill to wield it would be really helpful in deflecting the laser rifle shots all of us have to endure everyday in this world of ours.

Now I ask you: What would YOU do with your holodeck?

Andrew:
Pretty much anything that involves your mind and it being in the gutter.

3. If you think getting mugged in Canada is hard, then I dare you to come to my country. There's one short steet here that's kind of famous for it. I'll say that if you can walk through it with most of your clothes still on, your watches and other accessories still on you, your limbs not having various thrust wounds and your bodily orifices still in their regular size, then you're one luckt son-of-a-gun. But seeing as how most people in that part of the city hate Americans/Canadians (They all look alike to them), I'm not counting on it.

--MeoTwister5
Gabe "Getting mugged everyday" Ang

Andrew:
I prefer to stay put right here. I think Sloan said it best when they sold out and wrote that song that goes something like "I'll be living the rest of my life in Canada." Barring meteor strikes or forced military service following a dramatic decline in international relations, I rather think I'll be avoiding your neck of the woods for the foreseeable future since as you say, us North Americans aren't universally loved.

 
You know, I don't claim to speak for everyone except when I do, in which case it's blatant exaggeration

No one goes to see musicals anymore? You've broken yet another midwestern rpgaymer's heart. It's bad enough children's movies no longer have any singing in them, but now even my rpg loving geeks have forsaken my favorite form of theatre. And despite my fear and loathing of most strategy games, Arc the Lad is compelling me to try FFTA. Dark times indeed.

Andrew:
I think the elimination of songs in kid's movies is great, because it means no more Elton John remixes or duelling warbler male-female counterpoint exercises in musical punishment. On top of that, they're the worst form of brainwashing - teach a kid a song and you can sell them at least a video, soundtrack, lunch box, and collectible card game. Still, as the title says, this is just my opinion, so take heart- I'm fairly sure that at least rudy will be willing to sit with you and tell tales of the death of movie conventions. And while you're at it, maybe you can discuss how best to make me quote Richard II more recognizably.

Quickies

Andrew L.;

Okay, so skaters have a role model: Tony Hawk. Hockey players have a role model: what's 'is name from Canada (sorry, brain-fart)

Who is the role model for RPGamers?!

-Wesley

Your mother! Ohhhhhhh...

Seriously, never give me that opening. I'm just that childish.




The Final Grumble:

One quickie looks so ugly... Oh, well. It does mean more quality letters, so I think I can view it with a certain fortitude. For Monday, as has been mentioned, our topic will be: what arcane task must Andrew "kupomogli" perform in order to net himself a guest hosting spot? Be creative - anything from horrible stunts to embarrassing admissions to pure unfettered bribery are acceptable suggestions, so set your thinking caps to "Jerk".

As for me, I must pass out now Until next week, be well and all that jazz.

Andrew "Wednesday" Long

Yes, like the Addams Family

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