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Chris Martin - April 14th '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

What do the people at Maruchan mean by "Oriental Flavored Ramen?" What exactly is "Oriental" flavor? Rug flavor? Great Wall flavor? Buddha flavor? I imagine that it must have been a daunting task for the people at Maruchan to create a single flavor that would capture the diverse and bountiful culture of the Orient. That is, unless they didn't just dump soy sause onto some ground dog meat.

Sorry. I'm just upset because my Mitsuwa trip was cancelled due to lack of available transportation. (ie: No &%#@ing car.) I'll have to buy sushi and funny, backwards comics some other time. Meanwhile, I'll answer your questions about RPGs and how to survive falling out of a plane.

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You can't read this, can you?

Another victim has fallen to the nerd side of the force.

After years of console (and occaisional PC) gaming, I've finally been sucked into the world of pen(cil) and paper RPGs. I'm glad I waited, as the D&D crowd at both my high school and undergraduate college brand of nerd that makes other nerds cringe.

But now that I've been introduced to it (and with a great group of people) I'm very in to it. I'd like to go the special extra mile and procure that most sacred piece of geeky material culture: the cheap lead miniature that vaguely resembles your character

So, apart from the local nerd store, where I kinda struck out (apparently male characters that are neither overtly mages, nor carrying big swaords are in low demand), where can one find a good assembly of these figurines for sale? My first web searches have yielded a lot of dead links, lists of personal collections, and a couple of sites that were interested in selling the figures, but provided no pictures of the miniatures for sale.


Cheshire Catalyst:
There are two large groups of nerds reading your letter right now. One group of nerds knows someone/some people who are so nerdy that even THEY feel compelled to shove them into a locker. The other group has never met anyone like this. (Chances are, if you're one of these people, then you ARE one of the aformentioned "Pariah Nerds."
Lots of us know people like that. People who are just to moody, chatty, goofy, stupid, annoying, or dense to play D&D with. What can I say? Some people are just born with critically low charisma scores.

Wizards of the Coast, the evil ones responsible for "Magic: The Addiction" and, after purchasing TSR way back when, Dungeons and Dragons, have an online store! Click Here. On the left sidebar you'll see a link for miniatures. They should have something that'll suit your tastes.

Now! Go buy that figurine, hitch up your polyester pants, re-trape your classes, pop in "Love Hina", crank up that TMBG and nerd on.


...just stay away from my house. I can't have the harem disturbed, you know.

That was beautiful, you guys!

Hey Chesh. Got two Questions and a comment:

1) First question: Did you play Lunar? If so, did you find any use at all for Nash other than using items (since he has such high agility, he always went first) or taking hits? I didn't, and as I was going through the new screenshots for Lunar Legend, this screenshot strengthens my theory even more (Nash is the dead one).

2) Also, one of the screenshots for Lunar Legend was called Pirate Battle. I didn't recognize it from anything, other than the Saline Slimer fight on the ship. But that battle didn't even involve the pirates fighting at all, nevermind fighting against you. Could you clear this up for me, or are you as clueless as I am?

3) My comment is about Grandia. Since a lot of people are arguing over how Google beat the game without taking a hit, I'd say that he's stretching the truth. It would probably be possible, but I think that he might've taken a point of damage here or there along the way. Now, I'm not trying to question the all-mighty Slime's ability to completely beat the living hell out of a game with such little difficulty, but I don't think that he took a total of 0 damage. Sure, the final battle was easier than the first boss, and that battle would occur with your characters at level 35 or lower if you fought every single battle just once along the way, but I still couldn't beat it unscathed. Mind you, if you were to let any of your characters die in battle, I'd smack you up and call you a *EXPLITIVE*...

...Whew, sorry bout that. I sometimes go off on these tangents, like that time back in '96 when someone brought up how simple it was to beat Final Fantasy with 4 White Mages, and then...'cuz...but then...and so it seemed that...

Master Margie "HEY! Princess! The power of Darkness isn't coming this way to tell us about the neighborhood bake sale. We need to leave!" -Ryudo to Elena, Grandia II

Cheshire Catalyst:
1. I most certainly did play Lunar. Nash's magic does come in handy every once in a while, but he's best used as a "Chemist" or, in a less PC description, "Herb Mule."

2. Lunar Legend may have added some more changes, atop the changes already made in Lunar:TSSC. What a happy surprise! (Maybe...)

3. Grandia II was ridiculously easy. Grandia I, less so. I Also seem to recall Google saying that one MIGHT be able to get through the game without taking damage in a matter of humorous overstatement.

Don't make fun of Citan's braid. You'll regret it.

A few questions for you. 1. I remember reading something about Xenosaga a long while ago that confused me, but for some reason I never really asked anyone their opinion about it. The girl in Ep. 1's name is Shion Uzuki, if I'm not mistaken, but I remember reading that she has no relation to Citan Uzuki from 'Gears. WTF? I'm not understanding that at all. Did I read that correctly, or do you have some strange theory that could help me understand this crap?

2. Another thing about Xenosaga -- around the same time I read the stuff in my first question, I read something about how, when they come to Episode 5 (which we all know is Xenogears), they're going to remake it to where it's very different from the original. I understand that (the name of the creator slips my mind for some reason... *duck from all the tomatoes being thrown at me*) wasn't happy with Xenogears, but if it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT! I'm sure if I were more of an optimistic person, I would say something along the lines of "Maybe they'll make it even better," but unfortunately, I'm not optimistic. Honestly though, what could they change (story-wise) to make that game any better than it was?

3. Do you think Xenosaga will become a big franchise like Final Fantasy? I doubt they're going to make Episode 7-20,000 or anything, but do you think they'll spawn side stories from it?

4. Edible underwear's an old issue? Hmm....

Thanks, -Rye-

Cheshire Catalyst:
1. The new Xeno series is what people call a "ret-con." That's when you go back, and change a story for the purpose of writing a new one. For example, the original Wonder Woman would lose her powers if she was ever placed in restraints. Later, in the 80's I believe, the writers decided that this was a stupid weakness and re-told her origin...adding and removing elements so they could tell a new story. The Uzuki family tree sounds a lots like that.
2. The new team doesn't want to be hampered by the old Xenogears, so they're gonna start over from scratch. Xenogears had the elements of a good story, but the entire game was poorly executed. Plot points are brought up, and dropped off never to be explored again. (Ex: Rico's history.) Gameplay wise, Xeno could do without the jumping puzzles and the Chair-Spotlight scenes.
3. Maybe. If Xenosaga is enough of a departure from the RPGenre and abandons enough of the of the established Gameplay and story norms that Final Fantasy waves like a banner of pride, then they might just have a chance.
4. It gets stale real quick.


Greetings (Goog's minions sing) CHESH

Do you have your own set of minions since Goog has some? I wish I had some minions, especilly female ones. Now do these minions have that nude transformation thing going on?

Imperial Mog

In this economy, the only "Minions" I have on hand are the illegal immagrants who I have wax my floor and massage my bunions.


I do just fine without the haircut.

- Scull Lead -

That was another Battle Pope quote, for those of you that missed it. Ok, ok, I get the idea. I'll go back to RPG Quotes and obscure anime quotes again, if it makes all yunz happy.

Since you're tired of getting threats against Google directed to your inbox I thought I'd direct a promise of defending Google to your inbox...

You dare to attack Google?! Feel the wrath of my plasma rifle Ragnar!


I shall remain happily neutral in the ongoing war to kill/defend Googleshng. I will sit here behind my diplomatic immunity and sell arms to both sides.

Dear Catalyst,

Do you know if Monolith have any plans to release Xenosaga and/or its sequels in Europe? I for one have little hope that they will depart from Squaresoft's proud tradition of forcing us all to pay extortionate import prices and then fool around with mod-chips just to play their games.


None yet. It's a shame about the whole "We won't export to Europe, and no you may not have a standardized multi-region system" thing that most companies have though. Especially when it comes to RPGs. Maybe I can call amnesty international to get much needed RPGs air dropped onto Europe and the UK.

Ah, Mitsuwa, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

1. Pocky!
2. Japanese bookstore with section of import CDs!
3. Umm...a DDR machine I've never played (I have two much closer and they're cheaper too)

If only it wasn't an hour drive to get there. Oh well, I'll stop by on my way to and/or from Acen.

Speaking of which, will you be joining the festivities this year?


No biscuit sticks, import CDs or Dancing for me. It is to weep.
I may or may not go to ACen this year. It all depends on how much work/cash I have that week.

Hi Chesh,

Please let me have my 15 seconds of fame and put me on the quickies. Please!!!

Thanks, eao2707

I have the power to make so many, so happy. Why do I insist on using it for evil?

Hey Chesh,
Sorry to tell ya this, but you gave Ryan Gattroni some wrong information. FFXI is scheduled to be released on the PC, and you will be able to play with PS2 players. Also you will need the hdd, not just the PS2 network adapter. In fact, the network adapter might not even be needed if you are using broadband. The japanese hdd had ethernet support built in, and the U.S. version might too.

- Balbanes Beoulve

Why do the fates mock me so? Am I really that fun to watch make an idjit of myself?
Mr. Beoulve, despite being a member of the noble elite that uses the lower class for its own ends, receives a ~ for saving the hosts ass and halting the flow of misinformation.

Hey chesh, I have two questions, 1. is it just me or do the lunar legend screen shots look allot better than the original game.
2. Do you think that namco will hire decent voice actors for xenosaga. I sure hope they do cause we don't need no stinking voices for a game that will rock.


1. The screenshots do look nice.
2. Voice Acting has been improving greatly in the world of video games/anime.

The Last Laugh:

Googleshng will take your orders of love for tomorrow. I'll see you next week.

Chris "A ship's crew is composed of individual members!" Martin

And just what member are you thinking about, Captain?

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