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Cheshire Catalyst - November 18th '00- 12:00 Eastern Standard Time

Welcome to RPGamer's Q and A section for Saturday, November the eighteenth. My name is Cheshire Catalyst, and I will be your brand spanking new answer man personality. We'll laugh together, we'll cry together, and maybe, just maybe, we'll learn just how deep the love can go between a boy and his giant robot.


or maybe I'll just answer your questions. We'll just have to jump off of the cliff and build a parachute on the way down. We've got some really cool Baldur's Gate questions, some hatred of Canadian Government, and just generally a big ball of fun in store.

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A Septerra Core Question!

Hail and well met CC,

I have a question about the slightly unpopular RPG Septerra Core. I'll get right to the chase here. On the 7th contenant you have to open up a red flower in the mold forest. How in the world do I do that? Araym say that if the plant opens up it'll make the entire forest light up.

Thanks --Dedendre Ormouve--

Cheshire Catalyst:
Septerra Core is one of those great under appreciated games. Anyway...

When you exit the west end of the caverns on Shell 7, you first need to go to the mining ruins. Once there, pick up a lantern and some explosives from the chests. Once that is done, head off for the nearby Dark Lake. Once you arrive there, use the explosives in the water. This will cause dozens of dead Helgak bodies to surface. Use these bodies to bridge the small islands within the lake. At the end of the lake, you'll discover a Helgak bone. Take the Helgak bone to the guy in South Farm, on world shell 3, and have him carve the bone into a "helgak flute". While you're in South Farm, pick up three sets of earplugs too. Return to the mold forest. Remember how one person tells you that the red plant will only open for Helgak calls, and how another says that helgak flutes sound a lot like Helgak mating calls? Put two and two together. Using the helgak flute on the red plant will cause it to open up. Then, use the lantern on the open red plant to fill it up with luminous mold. Return to the caverns. Remember that one room that you couldn't enter because Maya would complain, "That noise is awful!"? Well, thanks to those earplugs you picked up(and equipped) in Southfarm, you can go on in. You'll fight a really powerful fire boss, but this guy, like many Septerra Core boss monsters, has a secret weakness. After killing it, return to the Bone Circle Village and use the lantern on the totem pole. You'll gain some new magic, and a new ally.

Baldur's Gate Part I


I bought Baldur's Gate a few weeks ago. I'm up to Chapter 2...and I could talk about how it's disappointing, but I'll let you answer my questions first so that I can be sure. It's my first PC RPG, so I don't quite know what I should be doing. Do PC RPGs (and of course BG specifically) require you to level up a lot as console RPGs used to? My biggest problem with the game is getting used to battles. It's far too hard to manage for somebody weaned on pushing "A" over and over again. I don't even know how to use spells properly. And how do you level up anyway, when you keep dying all the time, and enemies are so hard to find, and the experience needed is preposterously high?


Cheshire Catalyst:
Experience, battling, and leveling up are certainly different when one compares the Dungeons and Dragons series to the Final Fantasy series. The Maximum level you can obtain in any given Final Fantasy is Level 99 (100 for FF8), Baldur's Gate has an experience cap of 87,000 points which only allows you to have characters at level seven or eight max. Problem? Not really. In Baldur's Gate, and all AD+D games, going up a level means more than when you do so in Final Fantasy. In FF, there's really no difference between Level 54 and 55. In Baldur's Gate, venturing into the mines before level 2 could be suicide whereas a party full of Level 3 characters is ideal for the Kobold Mines.

Baldur's Gate battles also require a great deal more strategy on the part of the player(which is why I like them). Make friends with your spacebar. Use it to pause often during battle in order to change orders based on how the situation changes. Save before going somewhere where you know there are enemies. If a character dies, and you don't want to reload, simply pick up all of his or her equipment and head for a temple so character can be raised. It's expensive, but it's your only option until one of your priests gains a "raise dead" spell.

The best way to obtain experience in this game is by completing sidequests. Not only will your reputation improve if you do a good deed, but you'll obtain a healthy chunk of EXP as well. The spell system takes a minute to learn, and then you have it. A wizard can memorize X number of spell in a day. Before resting, assign spells to empty slots. After resting, you can use the spells your wizard has memorized. How to get new spells? Spells are added in the form of scrolls which can be bought or discovered. Right-click on a scroll and "write magic". Based on how intelligent your mage is, he'll have a better chance of recording the spell for future use. Read the manual if you're still confused.

Getting to know me!

Dear Chris Martin,

So, you're the new Q& A "Thing", eh? Well, then, a few q's in need of some a's:

1.) What is your name?
2.) What is your quest?
3.) What is your favorite color?

... smurf it, wrong question... ::fumbles around with hands in pockets in a frantic search for actual questions:: Aha! Ahem...

1.) Do you own an N64? Hint: Gin didn't, and look at him now...
2.) Are you male, female, hermaphroditic, androgynous, a slime, Ranma, or... something more sinister?
3.) Are you REALLY Thor in disguise?
4.) I have a theory. Anyone who does cool pictures for the Q& A column eventually becomes host. Googleshng, and now you. According to this, either your next replacement or Goog's will be Radrisol. Also, as soon as that person becomes host, the pictures stop (or, in your case, even before that). Conspiracy... or something more sinister?
5.) I know that you'll be asked this by someone, and I don't even really care that much, but... what anime do you dig?
6.) Finally, a question Goog seems to get all the time (despite his apparent lack of gender)... will you marry me?

Sincerely, Insanerest of AOL

Cheshire Catalyst:
1.) Yes, I do. It's not at campus with me, but I do have one. Zelda:OoT, GoldenEye and StarFox 64, consumed a helthy portion of my youth.
2.) I was tempted to pull a google, but I can't hide my joy when I talk about boobs. I'm a guy. Evil scientist cat to be precise.
3.) Former Q& A guy? No. Norse god? No. Comic Book Character? No again. :(
4.) It's definetly something more sinister. Mike fed Gin to his dragon, V'lanna, for being "insolent".
5.) Cowboy bebop, Trigun, Gundam W, Serial Experiments: Lain, Grave of the Fireflies, Record of Lodoss War, Ranma 1/2, and (by federal Otaku law) Evangelion.
6.) Yes, but only if you're pretty, and you allow me to do experiments on you. After the honeymoon, I don't wanna hear you cry about the leash being too tight or the electrodes burning too much of your skin.

I can feel the love tonight.
Firstly, I'd like to welcome you to your new job at RPGamer. I loved your pictures way back when you were doing them, and I look forward to your columns. ^^; I have some questions for you on your first day.

1) If I only had enough money to buy two out of the following games, in your opinion, what should those two games be?

Skies of Arcadia
Final Fantasy IX
Breath of Fire IV
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

Augh, it's such a tough choice... why must three of the greatest RPG series, as well as an excellent DC RPG, all come out on the same month? Bah!

2) I may sound ignorant, but where exactly does "Cheshire Catalyst" come from? I always think she's a Tales of Destiny character, but I may be wrong. Tales of Destiny is one of my favorite RPGs. ^_^;

3) Lastly, what's your favorite anime series?

And, lastly, I'd like to give out a slight tip concerning the last boss of Chrono Cross. You do not have to wait for the "boss" to cast a Yellow Element to start a chain. Here's what you can do:

First, try not to bring any Black innates into the fight. You'll need all three characters, and, if one of them dies, you might destroy the chain. Anyhoo, first allocate EVERY single element color (Yellow, Red, Green, Blue, Black, and White) into a Level ONE slot. Do this for all three party members. Equip Serge with, obviously, Chrono Cross.

Then, when you fight the boss, attack normally until everyone is up to Level 8. Then, defend until everyone's stamina is 7.0. Keep defending until the "boss" attacks. Do not heal/attack back/etc., because it'll disrupt the chain, plus, there's no way your character can die now.

Have Serge/Player 1 cast Uplift, then have Player 2 cast Fireball. Have Player 3 cast Bushwhacker (that is the Level 1 element, right? Haven't played in a while). Have Player 1 again cast Aquaball, or whatever is the weakest Blue element. then have Player 2 cast Gravityblow, and have Player 3 cast Photonray (or whatever). Make sure they're ONLY casting elements in their Level one slots! If done correctly, no one should've defended to raise their stamina (it'll go up eventually once the other two characters are attacking), and the boss shouldn't have attacked. The boss will most likely attack after the white element you cast, but don't worry about that. After casting the white element, it puts an "element lock" on the boss, meaning it can't cast any spells to disturb the current element chain. Just build Serge up to Level 8, and, viola! Instant ending... hope that helped. ^_^;;

Anyhoo, good luck Cheshire!


Cheshire Catalyst:
Of those four games, I would definetly choose Final Fantasy IX(need you ask why?) and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue. The original Lunar was and is one of my favorite role-playing games of all time. Working designs does good stuff. Regarding the pseudonym I use in the wired, I kinda thought up CHeshire Catalyst in chemistry class last year. At least I got something out of that class.
Great tip on Chrono Cross! Regarding my favorite anime, I like Sailor Moon. I wish I was Tuxedo Mask! Look out evil! The rose-throwing guy in a tuxedo is here! The one with the underage girlfriend! Cower in my wake!

A fan in distress!

Hey Chesh,

How come everyone in Canada seems to have gotten a French instructions manual for Final Fantasy 9?!?! I have emailed Square but haven't got any response back yet. What can we gamers up here do to get an English manual? Thanks.
-Peter Tran

Cheshire Catalyst:
This looks like a job too big even for me! I must turn on the... Mary-Alice Davies signal! (click!)

na na na na na na na na Mary-Alice Davies!!!

Hey Cheshire!
I think those poor guys in Quebec may have an alternative to cussing. Square DOES sell replacement instruction books for a couple of three bucks(so they COULD get one in English, moni mi). Just go to their site, , click on Support, then click General Info. There's an anchor link that leads straight to the contact information to get a replacement instruction book.
Fair warning, I don't think they've updated the list of games lately, but since FF9 is such a new game I think Square will still do it if you ask with many apoliges.
read this,1117,001111,00.shtml
--this explains the french instruction was a goof!

- Mary-Alice Davies.

Cheshire Catalyst:
And so, the day is saved! Thanks to Mary-Alice Davies! Many people wrote in today to complain or comment on the canadian FF9 situation. All copies of FF9 sold in canada were shipped with French instruction manuals instead of English ones. :( Canada, you suck. Rumors also abound of a recall, so that disgruntled fanboys can get their English instructions. But you hard-core gamerz don't need instruction books anyway, right?

Baldur's Gate Part II

Hello CC!

First, like, ah, welcome to RPGamer's Q& A column. And stuff. I noticed you said you have a good knowledge of PC RPGs such as Baldur's Gate, so here's a question or three for you!
First, how can you damage Flesh Golems? Do you need a magical weapon of some kind? And if so, where can I find one (other than magic arrows)? I have a Long Sword +2, but I don't think it's considered magical ...
Next, can clerics or druids learn new spells besides the ones they come with as a default? I know magic users (mages, whatever) can write magic scrolls into their spell book, but clerics..?
Last, a couple of my neutral characters (namely Jaheira and Branwen) like to complain a lot; Jaheira goes on about how she doesn't like the way the group's turning out and how better leadership might help, and Branwen doesn't think our actions are those of warrior born. Is this because my reputation is at 20 and they're true neutral? I thought I read once that Good characters like high reputations, Evil characters like bad reps, and Neutrals like it right in the middle. And will this have any negative effects on my party, other than their constant complaining? I mean, they're not going to up and leave on me some time unless I drop my reputation a bit, are they?
OK, so that's more like ... eight questions, if you count all the question marks. So I lied before. Anyway, any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!

Amber "Tiamat Dorgany" Snow

Cheshire Catalyst:
Thanks! Great to be here. ;)

In response to your first question, a "magical weapon" is any non-standard weapon. A weapon with a "+#" after it is considered magical. Your +2 sword should be able to damage the flesh golem.
When it comes to clerics and druids, they can only use the spells they naturally recieve. In Dungeons and Dragons, the spells a priest or druid can use are based on what god you worship and , consequently, from which spheres of spells you can cast from. Spheres of magic are the equivalent to schools of magic for wizards. Druids would use spells from the animal, plant, healing, and weather spheres naturally.;) A priest that worshipped a God of justice, might gain spells from the Combat, healing, divination, and protection spheres. A God of love might grant spells from the charm, plant, sun, and summoning spheres. Or, if the priest is raised Catholic, like me, he'll gain useful spells like "Inflict Guilt" and "Summon Wafer".
Even though your neutral characters will moan about your high repuation, they won't leave the party. It's only when you behave in the opposite manner of a characters alignment that they might leave. For example, if you started murdering townsfolk left and right, and your reputation dropped to 3, characters like Imoen or Minsc might leave you. Again, with a 20 reputation, characters like Xar and Montaron won't join you.


Just thought I'd offer some insight into the Alex punching puppet a Ghaleon puppet recipient was wondering about. It will come with Lunar: TSSC for PC, Lunar 3 is a far while off. ;) Oh, and I also am one of those unlucky canadians who have ONLY a French manual for FF9, I'm on the west coast, about as far from Quebec as you can get... rrrr, I'll just harass EB a bit in the morning... :)


Fishboy, one of the many victims in the French coup de e'tat of the RPG world. He bares good news on the puppet front though.

Goog! It's my birthday! I've been waiting all year for this! Can I have a birthday quickie?

- jbc81

Happy Belated Birthday from RPGamer dot com!

Can I have your Vash toy?! I'll be your best friend?! PLEASE? Have you seen Tape 4? Isn't it SO COOL? Tape 5 is coming out on the 23rd. Joy and rapture! *babbles*

Sage, Supreme Mistress of Irrelevant Anime References

Vash stays with me. McFarlane toys makes him in addition to Ryoko, Akira, and Tetsuo toys. The 4th DVD, Gung-Ho Guns, was just shipped to me. Happy is I.

if materia was made out of bubble gum, would you eat 'em? you know i
would! i'd pop 'em in my mouth like a cheap, chicago whore! cubs win!

-- hall of fame announcer, harry carey.

Would Materia come with humorous comics a la Bazooka Joe?

I inquire these FF7 questions of three:
Question of one: Is there a way to revive Aeris (without the use of a GameShark)?
Question of two: Is there a way to get Tifa's Limit Break? I got every single thing except that.
Question of three: WHY DID AERIS HAVE TO DIE? WHYYYY???
- Maverick, God of Light

The fact that people still ask question one is insane. No. Aeris has to die. She must die for the same reason Ophelia and Juliet had to die. Because she's an annoying pain in the smurf, that's why.
Tifa's Level 4 Limit Break is found in Nibelheim. Play the right song on her piano, I can't remember it right now, and Tifa gains "Final Heaven." It's a nice attack, though not as nice as Dolphin Blow. I won't tell you what the Dolphin Blow attack looked like before the censors got to it, but let's just say that the battle ends with Ken Starr indicting Cloud Strife.

The Last Laugh:

It's been a great first day. French conspiracy, PC RPGs, and doritos made this a wonderful first column for me. Paws will be doing tomorrow's column! Send her lots of letters. We cats gotta stick together. In one last note, after reviewing how cool mounties, the CN tower, and funky bread is, I have to move Canada out of the "sucks" column.

Once again, Canada. Does it suck? Too close to call.

Chesh"Fresh Fish!"
If I go crazy, then would you still call me Sailor Moon?

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