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Chris Martin- January 6th '01- 12:00 Eastern Standard Time

Did you miss me? Of course you did. Look at you, all cold and dirty. Why, I bet Chimerasame didn't even give you a bath, did he? Go wash up, and THEN you can read the column. Go on. Shoo!

Let me see those fingernails. Ok, you all clean now? Good. I didn't slave all day over a hot keyboard just so you and your loser otaku friends can come in and dirty it all up.

Yes! I have returned from vacation. I know. I know. You're probably thinking, "What the hell kind of story is he gonna tell now? I bet while he was on the plane back, he was swept away to Aracnium again."
Well, you'd be wrong, smarty-pants. Nothing of the sort happened. I got on the plane, read the safety manual, reclined in my chair, fell asleep, and...

Then the plane was attacked by Nazi, Communist, Shadow, Microsoft, NAMBLA Ninjas! Such evil! I didn't know what to do. They shouted, "We're hijacking this plane, and taking it to Tijuana!"
"Sir," the pilot said, "this plane IS going to Tijuana." Crap. I got on the wrong plane. I got off just as Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson were just getting on (presumably, to kick ass)

All that said and done, I'm finally back home at campus and ready to answer your letters.

Got a question?
Ask Cheshire Catalyst
I shall publicly ridicule you. Haha!
Recent Q&A's


01-05-01
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Old crap
The Archives
Como se díce?
Listen
In the PC:
Baldur's Gate 2
The fortress spellhold.
The Longest Journey
Best Adventure Game I've ever played.
In the PlayStation:
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
Lemina is cute.
Final Fantasy IX
I need to beat this and be done with it.
Assorted Nonsense

I just watched "Perfect Blue"

I think I'll hide under my bed now.

Q&A host stalked by mysterious Mr. Me-mania.
A devious question

I don't know what an RPG and it's geting me mad!!!!
- Zane Lavallee

Cheshire Catalyst:
While this short, grammatically deviant question, (Technically, it's not even a question.) seems simple on the outside, it's pretty damn complex when you think about it.
What is a role-playing game? To define it using it's very name, it's any game that allows you to play a role. But what does that mean? Does that make Tomb Raider an RPG because you pretend to be Lara Croft? Don't be silly. Ideally, this means that when the game is played, the player is able to interact with the main character, and his environment to produce an enjoyable story.
Sad to say, the more popular definition of what is an RPG is this. "Are the characters abilities measured in numerical values?" It seems that if a character doesn't have an "HP:##" after his or her name, we don't consider it an rpg. Don't do this, kids. You'll miss out on some great stuff like Deus Ex.
Nowadays, with Lunar 2 and FFIX (both excellent and enjoyable games), the RPG recipe is to write a story, and have the player play through it while forcing him to answer inconsequential questions "Will you help Lucia?" and random battles.
But don't mind my ranting. It's late and I'm still a little sick. ;)

 
An informant enters the room.

CC,

I did a little detective work concerning that SNES RPG CN wants called The Journey Home.

The Journey Home
1993 US Renovation Action RPG
8MBit

Now I'm not sure if this Renovation is the same as Renovation Products, of Genesis/Sega CD fame. (For the record, Renovation Products developed/published the following games, according to IGN:

Genesis: Arrow Flash, El Viento, Gaiares, Granada, Sol-Deace, Syd of Valis, Valis, Valis III, and Whip Rush

Sega CD: Cobra Command, Revenge of the Ninja, Sol-Feace, and Time Gal

Renovation Products is/was located in Los Gatos, Ca, phone number is/was (408) 395-8375, in case any of the readers are desperate enough for a Q&A guest host spot.

Ciao,
-Chia

Cheshire Catalyst:
There's your information, soldiers. I need to start trading games for Guest spots. Or sex. But sex is hard to send through the postal service. UPS works, I hear. And no, you can't send me cybersex. I tried cybersex once, and I'm still cleaning out that ruined USB port.

 
Choose your own adventure.
Legend of Dragoon Spoilers. Sorta.
Well, now that I finally have my copy of RPG Maker, I will finally be able to complete my masterpiece? Can you leave now, you ask?

HEY! That's not what you're supposed to say! You're supposed to ask me what it is!

What is it, you ask? Glad you, uh, asked. It will be the world renowned, bestselling, Cookie Cutter RPG!

Filled with such lovable characters as Spikey-haired Hero, Demure-black-haired Love Interest, Justice-loving Knight, Big-slow-but-strong Brute, Spunky-young-comic-relief Girl, and many more of your favorite cliches!

Control Spikey-haired Hero as he and his friends battle the Really Evil Empire! Battle the Evil Emperor and his lackeys. But wait, there's more! Evil Emperor is being manipulated by Mysterious Hooded Man, who plans to gather the Eight Generic Holy Relics to revive Ancient World Destroying Demon! Watch spellbound as Mysterious Hooded Man eventually succeeds in his quest, only to have Spikey-haired Hero and his friends learn the true meaning of life, friendship, and everything, and rise up to defeat Ancient World Destroying Demon.

I bet you're thrilled, right, and can't wait until I finish it! Well, fear not, for soon you too can own this game for the low, low price of $50. Don't you feel lucky?
CC:Then, a few minutes later, I get:

I realized something. My characters read like a cast list of Legend of Dragoon.
Seriously. Watch this:
Filled with such lovable characters as Spikey-haired Hero (Dart), Demure-black-haired Love Interest (Shana), Justice-loving Knight (Levitz), Big-slow-but-strong Brute (Kongol), Spunky-young-comic-relief Girl (Meru), and many more of your favorite cliches!
Control Spikey-haired Hero (Dart) as he and his friends battle the Really Evil Empire (the one Albert was fighting, I forget the name)! Battle the Evil Emperor (again, I forget the name, but he's the one Albert was fighting) and his lackeys. But wait, there's more! Evil Emperor is being manipulated by Mysterious Hooded Man (Lloyd), who plans to gather the Eight Generic Holy Relics (which are the only parts that aren't in LoD, unless you count the seven Dragoon Spirits) to revive Ancient World Destroying Demon (whose name I can't remember either, but it was the final boss)! Watch spellbound as Mysterious Hooded Man (Lloyd) eventually succeeds in his quest, only to have Spikey-haired Hero (Dart) and his friends learn the true meaning of life, friendship, and everything, and rise up to defeat Ancient World Destroying Demon.

... ... ...

Good lord, that's frightening. I would have gotten sued for plagarism. Thank god I caught myself in time!

SLADE
http://www.geocities.com/the_hfil
Desperatly plugging his homepage.

Cheshire Catalyst:
Yes kids, Slade serves up an order of painful truth. Legend of Dragoon was one, giant clíche fabricated by Sony focus groups and marketing execs. "Final Fantasy 7 made money? Why not copy it and hand it in again?" Sorry, Sony. My parents are both teachers. I could spot sophomoric attempts of plagarism like that since I was in the womb. "Growing internal organs? Oh. That was SO first trimester."
By the way, the Evil Emperor was named "Emperor Dole". Jesus. "Emperor Dole." Legend of Dragoon 2. Battle the wicked forces of Emperors McCain and Dukakis.

 
Blarg Blarg Blarg. Down the Street.

Asked Goog a few of these, would like to know your take on them.

1) Will you be playing FFXI? If so, what class?

2) If you could live in any rpg world, which world would it be?

3) I'll assume for the sake of your soul that you've played Fallout 2. Your opinion of it?

4) What do you think of the upcoming RPG (that you guys aren't covering!!), Fallout Tactics? (Demo has been released, in case you didn't know)

And finally, 5) Fantasy or Sci-fi?

-Squall the Surly SeeD

Cheshire Catalyst:

1.) Maybe. If I play it, I'll play it when I should be in Math class. That's what you asked, right?
2.) Hmm. Definetly not Xenogears. I'd love to visit Midgar for a bit, but wouldn't want to live there. Either FF7's or Forgotten Realms (the world of Baldur's Gate)
3.) I'll have to ask the audience on this one. 78% chose "A", It's cool. So yeah, I'm going with "cool."
4.) Oohh. This does look sweet. "Influenced by X-com and Final Fantasy Tactics" Sweeter words have never been before spoken.
5.) Why must I choose?! Arrrrgh. Sci-fi vs. Fantasy. Star Trek vs Star Wars (Yes, Star Wars is fantasy because of the "force".), Martian Chronicles vs The Hobbit, Cowboy Bebop vs Escaflowne. I can't choose! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (deep breath) I spend more time with Sci-fi than Fantasy, but just a little more.

 
Tales from the Dork side.

Hey (monks sing) CHRIS MAR-TIN
Can you congratulate me on starting school? What stinks is getting all my stuff into boxes and take an 18-hour trip from my house in St. Louis to FGCU in Ft. Myers, Florida. Do I get a cookie for being refrenced? Also since you make good pictures can you make that Sailor Monica and Gourry W. Bush pics? Since odd and crude humor is your thing it'd be so fun and evil to do. I'll have to update you on my new adventure. Worst part of packing is putting my cast of characters in a box. I hope Chu-Chu doesn't choke on styrofoam penuts.
-Imperial Mog

Cheshire Catalyst:
Ok, first off. Good job going to school. Cheshire Catalyst says, "Stay Cool, Be in School, Don't be a fool, 'cause that's the rule." The more educated you are, the fewer times you need to be reminded of the difference between "underwear" and "hat"

That pic sounds a little to evil even for me to do. Monica Lewinsky wouldn't make the Sailor Soldier cut anyway. Sailor Uranus would kick her ass on the first day.

And what the %^*@ gave you the idea that I use crude humor? vagina boobie booger poop

 
Defender of future games VS Googleshng.

Gogg said that he's not looking forward to FFX because of how all (or at least most) of the FF games reuse the same spells, items, characters, monster and plot ideas over and over again, that is a valid argument...BUT, FFX isn't out yet, and for all we know, it could be much different than the previous FF's. Having said that, the same applies to FFXI, it's not out yet either, so lay off, it could be good. One more thing. For the record, there are at least two FF development teams, Sakaguchi, Amano and Uematsu just go back and forth between them.

-Kaiser

Cheshire Catalyst:
FFX might not use the same mechanics as the previous 9 Final Fantasies. The sun might also turn blue tomorrow. The fact that it IS a Final Fantasy game means that we can expect certain things from it. It might be drastically different, but we jaded gamers think otherwise. Then again, I don't really know having sold my Crystal Ball for potato chips.

 
More Final Fantasy Debate.

I've noticed a few people shouting, expecially Goog, about FF just being the same thing over and over again. Then they close with "I didn't like FF8, and FF10 looks to be just as bad."

An interesting thing I read on FF Online a while back: there is more than one FF team. This makes sense... while they were making FF7, the others were making FF8. FF7 was released, so the FF7 team starts working on 9. FF8 is released just a year later, although it's been in development for longer. Then the FF8 team starts working on 10. 11 is probably being worked on by an entirely different team.

Some points to add to it: A while back Goog mentioned not getting EXP after bosses to be uniform in odd-number FF's except 7 and 8. Well, that makes sense if they do every other one. I'm not sure where along the line they started alternating, but it's interesting that everybody liked FF7 and FF9 (by the same team) and most people don't like 8 and aren't looking forward to 10. It allows Square to pump them out fast, but in for a penny, in for a pound I guess...

Where do you think FF12 will go? Or will there even be one? Didn't I hear about Square buying domains for FF12-15? They've done 2-d, 3-d, and MMO... the only place left to go is Virtual Reality...

-Scav
This letter probably shoulda been sent to Googleshng, but it's a weekend...

Cheshire Catalyst:
God alone knows how many of these games Square will make. As long as the franchise makes money, you can expect square to keep pumping out FF's.
Virtual Final Fantasy? Hmmm. Squeeze Tifa's boobs in realtime. Sounds like a hoot.

 
Quickies
MY favorite quote is also from Magus (he's such a bad-ass....). "Hear that, Ozzie? It's the sound of the reaper." Or something like that.... -Lardlad

If Square made a game called "Magus spanks Squall around like a red-headed stepchild" and was only 5 minutes long... I'd still buy it.
neither CN nor Google picked up on my sarcasm yesterday!!! I even mentioned Frequently Asked Questions!!!

Skywardshadow

They're fools! All of them. But one day, I shall have my vengance.... THEN who'll be laughing?! Ahhahahahaha.

Wait a second! There's no such thing as a talking dog!

Homer

Talking Dog: "Boy, those powerpuff girls sure are in a jam."

Hey, gramblebang forgot to put my name on my artificial sweetner quickie yesterday ... I think I just lost 10 seconds of my 15 minutes of fame. You would never do that to me would you Chesh? I always did think cats made better pets than slimes.

-d00bi0us

Far be it from me to deprive anyone of insignificant recognition. d00bi0us, ladies and gentlemen.

The Last Laugh:


My first day back, and the column was sub par. So sorry. :( Decent length, but not up to my immaculate standards of excellence. (ie: "Short one boob joke and two penis jokes.")
Tomorrow will be better, I promise. Mistress Nightshadow tells me that there may be some kind of contest in the works where you, (yes, even you!) can be a guest host for a day. Ooh, the suspense!
I'll leave you with this anime side note. I hear tell that in March, Toonami will air the original Gundam series (circa 1979) and is also considering picking up the rights for Magic Knight Rayearth, Rouroni Kenshin, and Cowboy Bebop. I don't know if I should be excited or scared.


Chesh"Africa, Mexico, Sicily, Tijuana. India, Osaka, Indonesia!"@rpgamer.com
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king! Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets are for the youth!

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