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Chris Martin - April 28 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

So another weekend is upon us. You've all managed to survive a hellish week of work/school/porno-movie directing and you've come to me to get your RPG questions answered. If I'm not informative and funny, then your entire weekend is fragged. You'd probably spend the weekend randomly mashing buttons on your controller like a rabid monkey because I didn't tell you how many elemental crystals were in the Dungeon of "Hydroxy".

Or not. Don't mind me; I work better under pressure. We've got an excellent column for you today, people. There's gonna be some Xenogears character madness, a little Chronoverse continuuity speculation, and I'll even find a way to use the word "Persnickety." likes to take measures to accomidate our readers with special needs. (82%, last survey) If you're like me, a lifetime of playing Super Mario Bros., Frogger, Tetris, Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Doom, and Street Fighter has left you with the attention span of a wiener dog on espresso. Hell, you've already forgotten how this paragraph started. This being true, let me remind you of our super mega hot "Draw Chris" competition. Sketch, doodle, draw, or compose a picture of yours truly. Email it to me. I'll go over all of the entires with the assistance of whomever is bored enough to help me. The winner gets to guest host for a night.

That's enough intro. Column, now!

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Draw Chris!
Blarg! A creature!
How do you pronounce...?

Potpurri letter!

I called you Chem-a-kitty, but everyone else immediately began calling you that right afterward. So, I created a completely different nick for you.

"Oh supreme lord of all space-western anime and pc games"
Yeah, I didn't like it either.

Anyways, a couple questions along with some nonsensical jabbering thrown in for good measure.

1. What do you get for finding all the birds in Septerra Core, and is it worth it?
2. Will FFX have a more strategy-oriented battle system. Considering who is working on it, I would be led to think so.
3. Mitsuda is working on Shadow Hearts? I might just have to get that soundtrack. Not necessarily the game though. Do you know of anything else that Mitsuda has worked on besides Xenogears and Chrono Cross?
4. For anyone who is curious, Glenn from Chrono Cross was named after a certain hero from about 400 years earlier. It says so in the game. Can't remember where in it though...
5. Here's my take on the violent video games situation: Irresponsible parents will always look for a scapegoat to blame for the problems resulting from their lack of parenting. It is only human nature to try to move the blame from oneself to a more convincing target after all.
6. Everyone go try my Xenogears character selector here So far it has been disturbingly accurate in picking the character any one person is most like. Any other games that you think need selectors?

Just so you know, I was trying to make a pic of you. The only problem was I couldn't get Dilandua's armor to look right. That and it was impossible to convey the look of pure terror that should be on your face.

I will rule the world with an iron fist! YOU! Obey the fist!
Well...not really.
The Crusader

Cheshire Catalyst:
Isn't that how it always is? You come up with something clever, and everyone else takes your idea. To this day, everyone refuses to beleive that I invented the prepositional phrase. Laugh all you want, peons. The day of reckoning is coming!

1. For those not in the know, one of the sidequests of "Septerra Core" is feeding birds. Grab some bird seed from the old lady in the small farming town on the 3rd shell, and feed a bird whenever you see it sitting somewhere. The bird will glow and fly away. Feed all ten birds and the small tower on world shell #3 labeled "???" will open up for you. Inside are the best weapons in the game and zero enemies.
2. It might, and it might not. I'd like to see a deviation from the standard "stand in two lines and wait until your turn" battle mode we've had for eons.
3. HERE is a discography straight from Mitsuda's homepage. The guy is nice enough to have an English portion of his entire site. Very cool.
4. I'm smarter now!
5. More on this later in the column...
6. O! The fun that is the anime character selector. How did I measure up? Let's see...

Xenogears- Citan
Evangelion- Kaoru (Don't you DARE laugh. Google got the same thing, by the way. Hey, at least wuss-boy Shinji was way low on my list)
Ranma- Nabiki (Kasumi and Kodachi came in 2nd and 3rd. Wierd, although I always thought Kodachi was pretty hot)
Tenchi- Ryo-Ohki (Wierd, but for some reason Mihoshi came in 3rd. O_o)
Trigun- Vash the Stampede (Hell, yes! Kuroneko was #2)
Sailor moon- Artemis (The luckiest cat on earth)
Slayers- Lina Inverse (I too have small breasts)
Final Fantasy VI- Strago (?)
Final Fantasy VII- Aeris (I better stop praying on isolated islands, I see.)
That's it for now. I'll stop before this gets REALLY embarrasing. The selectors are fun though. Play with them, and tell me about any goofy answers you get.

Even staff members have questions sometimes.

Say, I need to ask you a few questions...

1. I have a slight delemina. I'm going to see a friend in about a week, and my problem is that I don't think I can take everything along with me. I currently have Suikoden 1, VP, C: SotN, FFT, XG, CC, FFIX, FM3, BoF3, Grandia and SO2, but I can only take 10 CDs worth with me. (and the only ones I managed to finish up are FM3 and Grandia.) Any guidance here?

2. I'm also curious... Do TVs there have any sort of PAL conversion? (I know here newer TVs can convert NTSC to PAL, but being prepectually broke and having nowhere in the room to put it is depressing.) Or are they too lazy to implement it, since NTSC is the centre of the Gaming world, dispite its age? (Well, I know Japan and America both use it, but PAL is a lot more recent.)

(And if that's not the case, strike off FM3 and SO2 off my to-pack list, unless there's some easy way to get around the problem of playing PAL games on a NTSC TV)

3. A slightly off topic question: Should I focus on my 2000 word essay on Political Thought, or should I play more?

4. Why is America so weird? I mean, the court case concerning the Columbine shooting is... well, odd. Anyone like to explain why people like to sue so much like that?

Just a thought.
Mistress Nightshadow

Cheshire Catalyst:
1. Leave home the stuff yu've beaten. Also, if you're gonna be hanging out with your friend, leave the really time consuming games at home too. (Xenogears, Suikoden)
2. I even asked my super tech-savvy roommate about this, and even he wasn't sure. They MIGHT work, but I doubt it. I (We) don't think the converter would be part of the TV, though.
3. Work before play, MN. If I have to do this column and homework before video game fun time, you do too.
4. Here in the United States, we've done away with the archaic concept of blaming somebody. We like to blame abstracts for our troubles. Video games, music, movies, "The Media". Most recently, MTV's program "Jackass" has come under fire for making kids do stupid things. (setting themselves on fire, running each other over with cars, etc.) Some people think it's tragic. Personally, I think it's just a mild form of eugenics. The stupid kids are finally killing themselves. Give 'em a Darwin Award and move on.

Oh baby, I love the way your pixels render. Yeah, your polygons are makin' me HOT!

"It's one thing to blow off having a social life so you can sit around and play games, but when the games you play simulate having a social life, you really might as well just cut out the middle man. You know?" So says Goog. I dunno about you, Mr. Chesh, but I've had enough of the posts in which someone says, "You nerds should get away from the screen and go talk to a real live girl!" Two words: bull nacky.

Guess what? I've had a girlfriend. It's nothing special. Here's the deal with games that simulate a social life:

1) You can do whatever you want (within reason).
2) You can turn it off whenever you want
3) You can save and reload errors you did.
4) It's much easier to understand.
5) It only costs 40-60 bucks as a one-time fee. Not a sinkhole for money, like a real relationship.
6) The women in the games are usually supposed to be really attractive to a guy (unlike a lot of times in real life).

Thus, you can see why games that simulate having a social life are far, far, far superior then the real thing. Also, meeting girls is a hard, time-consuming, strenuous task, and I whole-heartedly do not recommend it. Unless you "need to feel loved," in which case feel free to. Plus, there are plenty of guys who have to "scrape the bottom of the barrel" for various reasons, and let me tell you, that is not fun at all.

Sorry to subjugate you to this little rant of mine, but I've seen an infinite amount of "Relationships are good! Get one!" and none opposing that viewpoint. Well I oppose it, dammit!

-Squall the Surly SeeD

Cheshire Catalyst:
Your six points certainly are... interesting.

Okay, number one simply isn't true. Three choices on a menu do not real life equate.
Two through five could apply to any type of game and related activity. Buy a copy of Unreal Tournament or a paintball gun with ammunition. Number two puzzles me. "Turn off" a girlfriend? Sure, I understand full well the discomfort of a clingy significant other. But still, that's just reality. (this applies to #3 and #4 as well) A boyfriend/girlfriend is an entirely different person - just like you. With faults, habits, and predispositions just like the rest of us. It's a little unfair to expect a person to tailor themselves to your needs while you do nothing in return. (Which is what the "Turn off" sentiment implies). And no offense, buddy, but point six is making you come across as pretty damn shallow. Without resorting to the "You're probably no Bishounen Billy" arguement, there's a difference between real and make-believe. Sure, it's fun and perfectly acceptable to fantasize, but there ARE rewards to having a real, loving relationship that far exceed a high-score or a secret ending. We're human beings - social animals - and we need contact with other people (not computer programs)to remain healthy. (I can't remember if I learned that specifically from Evangelion or Mister Rogers first)

I'm not Dr. Drew, but the sentiment in your letter seems to suggest that you've just come out of a bad relationship. Yeah, that can suck and it can leave you jaded. And true, you shouldn't ever be pressured into having a relationship. But remember, video games can not compare to real life.

Continuuity in Chrono-land?

CC spoilers.

yo chesh,
ok, i know i am incredibly slow, but i just finished, the much neglected, chrono cross for the first time. now i know that i should be shunned forever, by a RPGuru such as you, bit could you please apply some video game windex and try to clear up the story for me just a bit. this is what i got out of it, and please excuse me if i begin to ramble. ok, here goes my interpretation...... serge was born on the earth 14 years ago, and because of a freak storm, ended up on chronopolis, with his dad and miguel. miguel was kept in chronopolis, and wazuki, serge's father was allowed to leave, but he was now known as lynx. now serge was somehow involved with the frozen flame at chronopolis and therefore became its "arbitor", meaning that the frozen flame wouldnt react with anyone other than serge himself. the reaction of the frozen flame would cause some type of reaction with either the dragon gods or lavos, i'm still not all that sure on that part. so lynx wanted to take on the guise of serge so that he would be the one to interact with the gods or lavos. now what were lynx's intentions behind that? and other than that, what were lynx's intentions behind burning down the orphanage? and speaking of the orphanage, why is it that kid, who as far as i know is just a clone of schala, was referred to several times as lucca's "sis"? and in lucca's letter to kid, why is it that she said that serge was magus, or better yet, janus?? please bring some type of closure to this for me because i am rolling around in a ball of confusion. if you dont want to print this in the column then please at least email me back because i am lost.......
::tips hat:: much obliged sir,
the wondering lancer "kid?! serge!? schala!? magus!? make sense of it all!!"

Cheshire Catalyst:
The Frozen Flame was a fragment of Lavos itself. It's not that the frozen flame wouldn't react with anyone besides Serge, rather Fate's security system had been set with Serge's DNA as its key 14 years ago when Miguel, Wazuki, and Serge first came to Chronopolis. Remember, Lynx is Fate. Lynx's mission was to reacquire the Frozen Flame (which had been hidden under Sky Dragon Island). There's still some conjecture as to Magus/Janus's role in Chrono Cross. Some think he's Serge, some think he's Guile. It depends on how persnickety you are with the details. (In "Radical Dreamers", Guile WAS Magus) Finally, "Sis" was just a pet name between Kid and Lucca. However, if you watch the updated anime ending of Chrono Trigger PSX, you see Lucca discovering a baby with blond hair and that same, mysterious pendant. Who could THAT be? ;)


Who ya gonna call?!


The 80's nostalgia police.

How do you get the secret wanzer in FM3?
"If I die, I can be replaced"

While you're in Japan during the coup, surf on over to the Austrailian hacker page. Go to the garbage pit and use the "inferno dialer". The number is 555XKR224. You'll talk to a mysterious man who'll send you a new wanzer AND a sweet particle beam weapon. Really powerful, long range, very accurate, costs 15 AP per use, though.

psst. i am really a man.

So many dates end this way...

Ryoko or Ayeka?


The Last Laugh:

Fridays are slow days. Come back tomorrow for even more letters!

chesh "Nyaa~"
Sumimasen! Watashi Wa Berunardelli hogenkio kaino!

Old Issues
  • Chrono Cross. You liked? hated?
  • Favorite Composer?
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Future Issues
  • Neverwinter Nights draws near. Command? Drool.
  • Dragon Warrior 7!
  • Wild Arms 3!

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