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Joseph Witham - June 6 '02- 5:15 Eastern Standard Time

Welcome to the latest cat-friendly column from yours truly, Joseph Witham, another one of the many cataholics that aggregate RPGamer's staff. It's an honor to be here, finally, as the host of the Holy Grail in video game journalism, the RPGamer Q&A Column.

Hosting the column today should help quench my thirst for Bethesda Softworks' RPG masterpiece, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, for the Xbox as it continues to suffer delayed ship-dates. But I guess I can reassure myself and other Elder Scrolls fans that the delays are likely a good thing, if anything.

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Shhhh!!! The kittens are napping!

Is rpgamer overrun by cats (Chesh and Catman)?

From yesterday. "Should I beat the games I never quite got around to finishing ... FF7"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I vote that a rule be created so that in order to visit rpgamer you must have completed FF7 as a pre-requisite. I mean come on, it's FF7.

Eggman

CatMan:
Chesh and I aren't the only cat-fans running the site; in fact, almost every member of the staff loves cats to some degree, there are just a few, more-vocal cats scampering about the site (Paws and Chesh, for example).

It's true, an undeniable fact, that Final Fantasy VII is one of the most influential RPGs ever released in the history of console games. It's also true that nowadays you can't walk down the street and not meet an RPGamer who hasn't completed or played FF7; like you say, "it's FF7." However, I think cursing the select few who haven't played the game is the wrong approach. Instead, we should welcome them as the few, the proud, the elite RPGamers who have yet to conform to the rest of the RPG world :)

 
108 Stars of Destiny

Hey, I don't think I've heard about you yet, but that's probably my fault. Are you new to RPGamer? Or am I just not paying attention? Or both. Anyway, mostly I just wanted to ask if there were any people out there who owned the original Suikoden and wanted to sell it. I have a feeling it's as difficult to find as Xenogears was before rumors of Xenosaga came out. Anyway, thanks.

Oriana

CatMan:
I've been around for a while now, a little over seven months. I'm one of RPGamer's news reporters; I'm responsible to bring you the latest industry news, as well as write previews for upcoming games and the occasional editorial.

Suikoden isn't too rare, it did come out before the FF7-craze, before RPGS were as popular as they are now, but it's still pretty common. I'd suggest looking into online retailers' used video game stock, such as gamestop.com or ebworld.com. You'll likely find what you're looking for if you keep looking; I know I've always been successful in my pursuits for rare RPGs when I kept searching.

 
The Other White Meat

Dear Cat Person,

How does it feel to have to share the litterbox with paws? You know how greedy she can be sometimes.. And since I can't remember, how long have you been working for RPGamer? How's the first time of Q&A going?

Are you afraid of the curse? ( for those who don't know, everytime google takes a break someone quits RPGamer)

When can I expect to see another guide from you... or an update on the FFX one? I don't want to have to get paws to use her whip.. but I will if I have to. >:D

What do you define as a good rpg? What rpg has gotten the most playthrough from you?

TRC- The Something Something

CatMan:
Sharing RPGamer's official litterbox can sometimes be a real pain! Paws never trims her claws, so you really have to watch what direction you're pointing in the box, or she can really get feisty. I've been here since November 2001, and it feels great to be doing the column for my very first time.

The curse won't catch me, but I hope it doesn't hit one of our beloved cat-lovers, if indeed it strikes.

Well, I canceled the FFX guide a while ago; it's the only FAQ that I was never able to finish. Right now I'm working on a WonderSwan Color Guide for Final Fantasy IV, complete with translations of every item, monster and spell from Japanese to English.

A good RPG needs to be complex, in my mind. The player should be able to have as many options as possible available to him or her. The game I've played through most is definitely Final Fantasy IV, probably around six times. I have completed a FAQ for that game.

 
Falcom and Atlus

Well, Catman, here's your chance to prove to me and all the rest of the world what you can do with a REAL RPG question. My sister, of all people (she adamantly hates RPGs because they have "too much story and not enough killing"), brought home two books by Poul Anderson entitled "The King of Ys". The copyright dates are circa late 1986 to 1988. I was curious, really, as to whether or not these are in any way related to the Falcom games pertaining to the land of Ys. I'd read the books and find out for myself, really, only I've never played any of the Ys games.

As for the so-called Tactics Ogre shortage, I (as an employee of a to-remain anonymous chain of video game stores) would like to clear this up once and for all. We went through the same damned thing when Atlus brought out Super Dodge Ball, and also when Nintendo brought out Advance Wars. Both games are very much in stock in our store, as well as TO (well, my store at least). To those still waiting-- patience. The game is far from out of print. Oh, and pre-order the games you want next time. I learned that the hard way (to be honest, I didn't reserve TO and had to call my parents, 100 miles away, to find the game for me). By the way, whoever wrote any e-mail address harvesting software, ever, can and will die a slow horrible death at my bloodied paws. Thank you.

CX

CatMan:
I think I can safely say that there isn't any relation between "The King of Ys" and Falcom's Ys series. The book is a story about a Roman conflict involving the King of the Ys province.

Atlus-produced games are often a little harder to find than other titles. It's important to get the company's titles when they're hot on the market. Don't wait a year, because you're going to have a very hard time finding a game like Rhapsody or Ogre Battle 64 in any store today, whereas other companies' games are readily available years after they're released.

 
Dual-Jewell

Hey, I wanted to say first of all that I really like this site. I found it randomly a few weeks ago, and it's been an entertaining read ever since. Anywho, on to my question.

I just picked up a used copy of Wild Arms, which I've been meaning to check out forever. I got home, opened up the case, and became confused. At first glance, I thought I'd been ripped off, and Gamestop had only sold me half of the game. Then, I realized my error in the fact that this (as far as I can tell) is, in fact, a one disc game in a two disc case. Can you offer me any insight as to why it was packaged this way?? Thanks.

Fish

CatMan:
Yeah, this confused me when I first brought home Wild ARMs so many years ago. Back then it was stylish to package RPGs in double-cd casing, even though it was a single-disc game. Suikoden was like this too.

 
Currency Exchange

S'up, person-I-don't-know-at-all (Catman, I assume)?

I normally don't like to get involved in debates, but I have to comment on the Canadian vs American money for games situation. I have the unique advantage of having lived in both countries, and purchasing games in both countries. The real problem with Canadian prices is that the retailers need more profit to buy more games, since the CDN dollar isn't worth as much as the US dollar. Thus, prices are higher. Compare Dragon Warrior 7 when it came out. $89 CDN vs $49 US. That's almost twice the price. Add that to the fact that minimum wage (which, if I may assume, is what many teen gamers make) is no different in Canada and you have vastly more expensive games. $6 an hour to buy a $49 game seems far more feasible than $6 an hour to buy an $89 game. THAT'S why Canadian gamers are complaining. And yes, new games are that expensive.

Dave

CatMan:
Man, Dave, I'm really sorry to hear this, I had no idea that video game software in Canada was priced so high. I guess you really have to budget up there, and think ahead of what you want, and what you think you could do without, or just import from American retailers. It reminds me of the cartridge-based days when new SNES games would cost $79.99-89.99 due to Nintendo's sky-high fabrication fees.

 
.hack isn't the only MMORPG that needs to be saved...

Catman,

I have been reading a lot of letters about the release of the PS2 game .hack recently, and in one of the letters, (the one that apparently has nothing to do with "Macho Man" Randy Savage), the writer mentioned the accompanying anime. My question is this: is this anime by chance the same one floating around right now the Direct Connect anime hubs right now with a title translated as "Hack Sign" ? The similarity of the characters in the anime and the artwork for the game is striking and the plot about fixing problems in an online environment simply called "The World" is also straight out of the anime. I actually hope the game isn't based on this series, because after watching the first five or so episodes, I'm really having a hard time remaining interested. The music, while cool at times, also seems really cheesy, like it should belong on a cd of New Age Enlightenment type music along with Enya and others (not slamming Enya, who happens to have some awesome songs). And the characters seem to grunt and sigh a lot in comparison to actually speaking. The plot, while it seems could get better, is developing at roughly the pace of the bamboo plant.... which sits there doing NOTHING for years on end, and then grows somewhere in the neighborhood of 90ft over the space of a few days. Also, can you tell me (or remind me if you've told a million pple this already) what's so innovative and interesting about the gameplay? Overall... it just doesnt look that great, but maybe it's because I could never get much into MMORPG's, MUD's, or other similar games.

- Curious (but not thoughtful enough to come up with a real nickname)

CatMan:
It sounds to me like this Anime is definitely related to the game, from what I know about it. I guess we have no choice but to wait and see. The game's scheduled for release this month in Japan, so we'll probably learn more in the near future. I do think it's rather innovative, though, who would have thought of a game where you're assigned to save a massively multiplayer online RPG, that's just crazy!



Quickies

I just want to applaud the guest hosts thus far for their stamina. The guest columns have been about twice as long as the average column put up by a regular.
Sullivan

We don't get to do this very often, so we're more than happy to post as much material as possible. Thanks for noticing!

nahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnahnah leader! ...Okay, I'm done.
-Castomel

...I've never heard that one before :)

To beat the Dark Elf you must first find Edward. He will give you a harp. The harp will play when you start the fight, making the Elf easier to beat. If you don't have the harp don't even bother fighting him. You can't win. Hope this helps.
N52

Thanks, N52, that should clear up that issue once and for all.

Time to dry off.

That was fun. Thanks for all your awesome letters. RPGamer's mail server is still a little unstable, so if I didn't post your letter, it's probably because it hasn't even reached me yet, sorry. Chesh is back for the next few days, so send all your questions his way.

CatMan "In the Name of Althena" @rpgamer.com

The Lunar series rules.

Old Issues
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  • .hack Anime
  • Canadian Money
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