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Cheshire Catalyst - December 2nd '00- 12:00 Eastern Standard Time

The weekend rears its ugly head once again. And, according to prophecy, I have returned to dispense my invaluable knowledge upon ye. Bow! Bow I say.

Final Fantasy IX continues to keep me happy. Kuja is kinda cool, despite being a little pretty. He's not Quatre Winner pretty, though. He's wayyy beyond that, kiddies. He far surpasses the pretty-levels of Quatre, Kaoru, and Chaotzu. He's what scientists call "uberpretty". He makes Richard Simmons look like John-freaking-Wayne.

Baldur's Gate 2 is also much much fun. My main character, Chirstopher the Paladin, routinely kicks the snot out of everything around him. Sadly, he's not very pretty. Blast you, Kuja! One day, I shall be the most pretty of all!

...

...

This is the flu setting in people. Learn to live with it.

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Unclean! Unclean!

I would kill for some Robitussin.
First, some Baldur's Gate II fun.
Minor BG2 spoilers nigh

Hello Mr. Catalyst,

I'm in a bit of a bind in BG2 and I don't know what to do next.

I'm in Amn and I have already paid the thieves guild (I figured it was the best way to go) to help me save Imoen, but before I can do anything Jaheira gets cursed and the fighter cleric's (I forget his name) sister gets murdered. On top of all that there is a weird monster that attacks my party that I can't damage without casting spells (which I can't legally do in the city because of the wizards Conclave).

To sum it all up, my questions are:
1. What do I do first?
2. If I solve one person's problem before the other will I lose someone in the party?
3. How do I kill the monster without breaking any of the Conclave's rules?

Cheshire Catalyst:
The Cowled Wizards are a royal pain in the booty. The first time you cast a spell they give you a warning. The second time, several cowled wizards will attack you. The solution? Priest magic doesn't seem to bother them. Try using some cleric/druid magic. Also, grab a magical weapon.
I've yet to encounter the fighter/cleric, but you might want to take care of that problem with Jahiera quickly. Every night she spends with the curse on her, she looses points in Strength, Consititution, and other areas I can't remember. If any of those stats reaches 0, she's dead forever. To remove it, you have to track down Baron Ployer. Find him, and battle him and his allies. Where is the baron? I'll give you a hint. Remember how he complained about how he now "lives in squalor"? That should tell you where to look in the city.

 
Anime and RPG's all in one letter? What will they think of next?

Hey Cat,

Normally I have no reason to write in because I'm no fool and I just check the facts convienently put in their respective spots under information, under the game names, under games near the top of the column. BUT yesterday you mentioned the Evangelion Movie, End of Evangelion I believe. Now I've heard there were two movies, first being Death and Rebirth and the other being End, but I don't know where to get them, due to the fact I don't speak or read Japanese. I wish I did, I really do, but I just don't. Could you tell me a site where I could find a copy of it or at least a chain of stores where I could find it in English. And as for my favorite RPG moment, it would have to be...probably Chrono Trigger when I finally achieved the greatest of the director's ending. Well, that would be for humor, but for real emotion, it would have to be when (FF3 Spoiler here for all 2 of those people who haven'! t even gotten this far) General Leo died. He was so cool, and he could have made my party ten times stronger. Terra could have found true love in him, and isn't that what every green haired half human half esper crazy berserker wants? Well, that letter was long enough, I'm out.
-Kerast, destroyer of all that is good, eater of all that is YUM!

Cheshire Catalyst:
Excellent moment choices. The character of General Leo remains as one of everyone's favorite "supporting characters". His existance brought a greater depth to FF6. He was the embodiment of Edgar's phrase "The Empire is evil, but not all of its citizens are." That, and the Chrono Trigger Development room was awesome too.
Concerning EoE, I don't know of any sites that allow you to download that entire movie. Maybe someone on eBay is selling a copy. Manga entertainment(NOT ADV) is planning on releasing the films, subbed and dubbed, within a year. They may even release Evangelion Death and Rebirth into theatres next year too.

 
Surprise! A question about FFIX.

Hey there Chesh!

Just a couple of Final Fantasy IX questions for you; hope you're not already sick of them. =]

First up, how is the party system handled? Do all the characters move around on screen at the same time (as in VIII) or do they suddenly pop out of the lead character's arse, as with the others?

Second, without any spoilers, do characters join your party every once in a while, or do you have them all within the first disc? Also, do the characters join your party on par with the rest of the characters, level wise? I hated having a level 30 Squall, and a level 12 Irvine; taking all that time to level them up so one character doesn't get pulverized in a boss fight, because the boss is on level with the level 30 character.

Third, how are the FMV sequences spaced up? In FF VIII, half of the first CD was nothing but FMV, and then the rest of the game left you wanting more; is this better in IX?

Thanks Chesh,
AciDRaiN

Cheshire Catalyst:
1.)You only see the lead character, on the main screen. Thanks for the image of Quina in Zidane's arse, by the way. =P
2.)You'll meet many of the main characters very close to the beginning of this game, but not all of them. There are still a few characters after Disc One. Leveling, so far, doesn't seem to be a problem with me. The game keeps everyone nice and balanced.
3.)There's a hefty helping of FMV during disc one, but all of the FMV seems to be both seamlessly integrated, and properly spaced throughout the game.

 
Stinky Kitty

Heh... Cats smell bad...

Anyway, if I didn't just TOTALLY offend you, I have a few Questions...

1. I was wondering, do any of you folks at RPGamer play paper RPGs? Y'know, like D&D and Shadowrun?

2. Do you think the D&D and Final Fantasy movies are gonna be any good?

3. Am I the only one who thought Chrono Cross was INCREDIBLY annoying and tedious? I never felt like I was getting anywhere, and every time I turned around there was absolutely NO HELP as to what to do next! "Go to the island and speak to the blue dragon." Ok, i'm there. the blue dragon's cave is sealed, though. But hey, this fairy might help... NOPE! Stupid just states the obvious and leaves me scratching my head...

I mean THAT pile is supposed to be the sequel to Chronotrigger, my favorite game ever? Gimme a break!

-Hentai Billy

Cheshire Catalyst:
Such anger in a young one! Much fear I sense in you...

Personally, I enjoy a session of AD&D every now and then. Shadowrun is fun, and the DC Universe RPG was a ball too. But the pen and paper RPG I enjoyed the most HAS to be the Star Wars one. I have fond memories of playing that game with friends on a dark school bus travelling home from Baltimore after a band trip. [Yes, Cheshire Catalyst was in his high school band. He played Tenor Saxophone, and his band director was a fat, cranky dictator.]

They do look good. Oscar Material? FF would certainly deserve one for effects. And while I doubt they'll draw the huge crowds, I'll be there. ;)

I thought Chrono Cross was somewhat enjoyable. It was a beautiful looking game, and Yasunori Mitsuda's music(also known for Chrono Trigger and Xenogears) was, once again, breathtaking. The plot did seem a little forced though.

To Alexandria....And Beyond!
Grandia and FF9 Spoilers Nigh

Hi Chesh:P

My favourite moments are from Final Fantasy series:P But there's one, from Grandia, that's veeeeery cool. Two, to be exact. The first one is when Justin departs from his home to go to the New Continent. I really cried, I can even explain. The moment when he is going to enter on the ship, and reads his mother's letter, then he starts the journey...it's such a beautiful moment. The other one is the ending when Sue, now a real lady, is going to see Feena and Justin,after 10 years. Then chibi Feenas and Justins start to play with Puffy, and she discovers the kids are their friends kids. The only thing depressing is that we can't see Justin and Feena as adults... Grandia is such a cool game. I never expected it to be as good as it is. Now is one of my favourites.

PS: FF9 is pretty cool! I just got into the second cd. I bought it yesterday and I just can't stop playing! Freya is my favourite. I love characters with that.. I don't know, pride of being a knight, always wishing to protect. The scene when she finds Burmecia destroyed was touching. I hate Stainer. He has the "pride", but is is such a stupid guy:P And she looks like Buzz Lightyear.

PS2: Sorry, my english is not very good. I'm not a native speaker:P

-Agrias Oaks

Cheshire Catalyst:
First off, your English is good, Agrias. You do a better job than many native speakers who enjoy talking about THi3r MADD SKILZ @ GAMEZ!

But I digress...

Grandia was a seriously enjoyable game. Justin and crew possessed this almost infectious joy about them. The "letter" was also a wonderful scene too.
And finally, Stiener may be a pain, but he gets better. ;)

Moments Three
Phantasy Star 4, LUNAR: TSSSC, and Ocarina Spoilers here! Seriously.

Hello Mr. Catalyst.

RPGs are always chok(chalk?)-full of memorable moments, at least the good ones are. Here's some that stand out in my mind:

Phantasy Star IV (1 out of 1 hermaphroditic slimes prefer it!)
When Ayla dies was one of the saddest moments in an RPG for me. She was strong and independant, but had just begun to crack and show her softer, more caring side. Then she sacrifices herself to save her young partner. Cut off right when something good was about to happen to her echaracter, such a waste. And of course, she doesn't die right off, she lays in a hospital bed and fades away. Sad sad sad.

Lunar: SSC
Right, now nobody with half a heart can say they weren't affected when Alex in walking up the stairs towards Althena/Luna, gets blasted back, and gets up through the power of love and keeps walking, to get blasted again. But he gets up again and keeps walking! Because his love is that strong! Cliche? Maybe. Powerful? Most certainly.

Legend of Zelda: OoT
Now, this one wasn't memorable in a heart-strings tugging sort of way, but more in a "holy mother-loving poo-on-a-stick!!" sort of way. When the cloud of evil energy burst up out of the well in Kakariko Village and sets fire to everything and picks Link up and tosses him around like a rag doll and all that jazz. Woooooo. I think I actually dropped the controller when I was watching that one.

-Akumu (no, not from streetfighter! mu! MUUUUU!) geez, you relly sort of need a two part name for this to work, don't you?

Cheshire Catalyst:
Three awesome moments, Akumu. Three great games too. You realize, of course, that Alex climbing those stairs wasn't just because he loved her. She had finally shed her long, farmer's dress and was trying something a little racier. 8) Way to go, Alex. Way to go.

The Big Big Transformation!
Xenogears Spoiler warning for Ted from Iowa - the guy who hasn't beaten this yet.

CC... you asked for people's favorite RPG moments, so I figured I'd share. I know that a lot of people are going to send in the standard fare of major events: Aeris's death, things like that. But, I thought I'd take the road less traveled by, and perhaps this will make all the difference. Or something. Because it is obscure, I'll tell you about ONE of my favorite moments, just to be different. It's in Xenogears, when you are defending the four generators in Shevat from the Solaris attack. After your party defeats the gears, Chu Chu (the little pink thing) gets into the action, grows to immense size, and single-handedly defeats an invading gear. I don't know what it is about that scene, but the combination of the music, the setting, Chu Chu's trash talking, and the enemy's response made me think, "WOW! This rocks!" Call me crazy, but it's a favorite moment. Granted, I never used Chu Chu again throughout the entire game because she really sucks, but I just loved that scene.

Keep up the columnizing...

~Seth~

Cheshire Catalyst:
Thanks, Seth. You just reminded me of one of my favorite moments from Xenogears. The music and dialouge also helped to make this a great scene. I liked this scene for the same reason everyone likes the scene in Independece Day where the guy who used to be drunk all of the time flies his F-14 into the Alien Reactor. The person you would pick last for your kickball team just dished out a well-deserved booty-whompin' on the enemy. Thanks again for reminding me of this. If I was a woman, I'd send naked pictures of myself to you.

 
 
Quickies and Favorite Moments

Dear Hairball Maker,
I can't pick one (1) fave RPG moment, but one of my faves is the escape from Midgar in FF7. It's a transition between evil and good, truth and fantasy, originality and tradition. People seem to grasp onto evil more easily because there's so much out there. Also, the biker game was damn cool!

-EE

Leaving Midgar was a great scene. Suddenly, your world gets a whole lot bigger. ;)
Also, to everyone else, be on the look out for spoilers. I'll mark each quickie/moment with what game it is(just like I did here), but only you can avert thine eyes from the dreaded spoiler. ;)

Who did the picture for your signature?

Sincerely,
Insanerest of AOL

The intelligent, beautiful, wonderful, versatile, Silkenray did my picture. All she needed was inspiration. I told her I liked Hojo.

Concerning Escaflowne...
For the person who wrote in saying it was gone, here in canada we can see it on ytv.... so ha ha ha.

-Dhack

America, it looks like we suck again. First it was the Dred Scott descision, then the talking "Billy Bass", and now this. Way to go FOX, I'm moving.

One of the best moments in the ff series is the entire finale sequence (excluding the last boss) of ff9.

Quickie, yes, but the ending really is awesome.
--Rambar

This is good news. I've recieved a few emails saying that FF9's ending was beautiful. Thankfully, none of them described it in detail. ;)
Wild Arms

Absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite moment in any RPG (aside from FF6 Opera), happens to be in Wild Arms (original), you're fighting a "big boss" you get cought, chained to the "boss" by the arm, about to be sucked into a "hole", only who knows where it goes....You start to wonder how Rudy could possibly come out over the overwhelming odds of being sucked into "the hole", then suddenly *SLICE* and Rudy selflessly cuts off his own arm. That whole scene, and the short scene afterwards, sticks out very vividly in my head...I absolutely LOVED that game...Has there ever been a more selfless act of a hero in a game before? (although Palom&Porom comes close...)
-Baz

It's just a flesh wound!

Hey Chesh, wasabi?

I just saw the grinch this weekend, and saw the Final Fantasy Spirits Within trailer, and it looks mad, but I was wondering, is there going to be a Cid in the movie?

Thanks man,
Ian "The Ninth Element" Bathelt

I have no knowledge concerning a "Cid", however now we know where to find the trailer! An allegory of Dr. Seuss's disdain of Madison Avenue taking over Chirstmas, AND an awesome trailer. Sounds fun.

Wild Arms and FF8

Hey CC,

Okay, so I'll cheat a little and mention TWO of my favorite RPG moments...

In Final Fantasy VIII when you visit the just bombed Trabia Garden, I thought it was rather touching listening to Selphie in the cemetary telling her passed on friends about the Garden Festival.

And in Wild Arms specifically when Cecelia's talking to the Golem. That was a touching moment.

Okay, I consider all of Xenogears one big 'moment' too. :)

-Radrisol-

Great picks, Radrisol. That FF8 moment brought an extra definition to Selphie's character. I liked her after that. ;)
Chrono Cross

Hey Ches,

I think my favorite RPG moment has to be in Chrono Cross in Lucca's house. If you played Chrono Trigger then you know when you entered that house you felt horrible! It was so sad to see the pictures of them burn and everything then to top it off the kidnaped Lucca and kid was all alone it was so sad. (tear)

yours truly,
crying george

Sad, sad, moment indeed. That house in flames was damn effective piece of imagry to Chrono Trigger Veterans.

Chrono Trigger

One of my personal favorite moments in an RPG comes from the great Chrono Trigger. The scene where Crono is fighting Lavos in the Ocean Palace and Crono will never give up. His persistence gets him killed (at least for a little while). Crono knows that he is not strong enough to continue fighting, but he also knows that he cannot stop, for the sake of everything he loves. This moment is a great example of the type of character Crono is and the type of game Chrono Trigger is.

sephiruss

A LOT of you wrote in with Chrono Trigger moments. In addtion to this, people enjoyed watching the battle against Magus, Magus "revealing" himself as the oracle, Marle with her arms around Crono as he's brought back to life, Lavos's appearance, and Crono and Marle floating off into the moonlit sky holding onto those balloons just to name a few. And people wonder why everyone loved that game so much. ;)

The Last Laugh:


It's over already? And so, Moment-fest 2000 comes to a close. Mad apologies go out to the many moments I didn't print. Here are some of them though...
Yeah, more spoilers.
-Celes singing in the opera, Locke's past, Terra watching over the orphans in the ruined world, Kefka destroying the world, and Gau meeting his father. Cecil becoming a paladin was popular, as was everyone "praying to the moon" for his safety, Red XIII meeting his petrified father, and Squall and Seifer's fight at the beginning of FF8.
Lunar is well loved. Ghaleon revealing himself to be the Magic Emperor is classic, as was the "boat scene."
Other Xenogears moments that were missed include Citan interviewing ID in Shevat, ID pounding the crap out of Ramsus in his "Wyvern.", Ramsus killing Emperor Cain, Ramsus pulling the plug on the Gazel Ministry, Fei and Elly's "shower scene" as well as their tryst in Fei's room on the Yggdrassil, and a frightened Hammer killing Elly's mother.
Suikoden II was also hailed for many of the scenes involving Jowy, Nanami, and the Hero.

I'm sure I missed some really good ones here. The point of this little experiment is, that unlike other video games like "Sonic the Hedgehog", "Twisted Metal", or "Mortal Kombat", Role-Playing Games offer more than just flashy pixels on a screen to distract us from our dreary lives. RPG's give us beautiful, wonderful stories. We meet new friends, make new enemies, and generally involve ourselves in a whole new world of intrigue, romance, and excitement. Like a good book, only interactive and animated. ;) In short, keep on playing people, and I'll see you next week with more RPGoodness.


Chesh"I now know what love is."@rpgamer.com
Bah! You sound like a self-help pamphlet!

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