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   And my fifth guest host!  


Chimerasame - February 08 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Have you ever seen me, singin' in the sunshine, one lovely afternoon?~~~
If you have, you should get your eyes (or ears) checked, 'cause I don't remember ever singing outside during the daytime in the last couple years. I am, however, attempting to memorize Weird Al's "Your Horoscope for Today." And by trying to memorize it, I mean watching a Love Hina music video with its music several times and laughing my jaw off without actually absorbing that manyof the words. Apparently someone more talented than me is getting a promotion, and my appendix will burst next week! But I'll cure that with laughter, the very best medicine (which incidentally I can get from said video itself!) Ahh, nice how things wrap up.

Speaking of wrapping up, here is-- that's not a good segue, the two are unrelated.
Here is JWH, whose initials look like some sort of conglomeration of mine's and my father's. (RWH and JRH, respectively.) Yet another random pointless ovservation brought to you by me. I should let him get in a few words edgewise.

JWH:
Well, it's been three weeks since I was first announced, so after all this build-up, what do you get? Well, me. Who am I? I'm JWH, a student at Michigan State University. I'm also the schmuck who gave up Panzer Dragoon Saga for a chance at bigger and brighter things, those being Snatcher (Sega CD) or Persona 2: Innocent Sin (PSX import). Of course, if someone were to send me a Playstation 2 I would be persuaded to give up my guest-hosting slot. No takers? Damn...

Now on to the important stuff, i.e. what I play. I'm currently addicted to PSO (I'm a level 33 Humar named Patryn, say hello if you see me!), and am attempting to finish up Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. It's a good thing Google isn't around or else someone would have to give him CPR when I say that I feel that it's the best game of 2000, barely edging out Skies of Arcadia, which I am also in the middle of. Damn that flood of games at the end of the year!

Kuroneko-sama, or
Ask Cheshire Catalyst
~nyaaaaaa
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Alice runs in Windows 2000. I know this, because I am. EA just says this because they don't want to serve tech support for it, and I guess I don't blame them. But, in the future, for all your NT/2K needs, try going to NT Compatible.

I think it was at SegaDojo...I read an article which said that a Square insider had said that Ninnytendo wants them to commit to at least 2 GC games before even considering a licensing agreement. I think that's rather a non-issue, of course, but I think the _real_ issue at root here is Nintendo's old tradition of exclusivity contracts. Have you noticed how few titles came out on the NES and any other non-Nintendo system? Apparently in the older days, Nintendo was really big on only authorizing licensees to make titles exclusive to the system. This let up later on in the life of the SNES, of course, but the principle may remain. And since Square has already got a couple of PS2 titles in the queue (The Bouncer should be out soon), Nintendo may be wanting Square to drop it and all pending projects first. This is all just speculation and theory, but it's darn good speculation and theory...

Oh...and there are four lights, damn you. I thought you were Chimerasame, not Cardassia-same...

Cutriss
AKA "He who bought Secret of Evermore and Chrono Trigger at the same time, finished SoE first, and did not regret it."

JWH replies:
Uh...I didn't see a question in that. Oh well. As for Square and Nintendo, it's just those wacky Japanese people. Seriously, I think I'm the only person alive who is rooting for Square to not develop for the Gamecube, as that would force me to actually buy one, something I pledged not to do after the disaster (at least for RPGamers) that was the N64. I own, what?, 3 games for it? 1 which sucks (Turok 2), which is okay (Goldeneye), one of which is pretty good, but I just couldn't get into (Zelda). Good god. Writing that out made me realize my Sega CD was a better purchase!

Chimerasame:
Cardassia-same? That's a new idea... I did use the nicks "Garak" and "Legate_Garak" on IRC quite a while back. And occasionally still use "Odo," though that has nothing to do with being Cardassian. I also don't really understand how Square can commit games to a system they don't yet have a licensing agreement for. Maybe Nintendo will start considering more multi-platform releases, maybe not. Perhaps the monetary value of chamomile will fluctuate greatly in large East Asian nations. But what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Oh, and there are root-two-over-two plus negative-root-two-over-two-i lights.

 
Secrets and Lies

Hi.

I was just wondering, how do you go about creating a coloumn where someone guesthosts along with you? Do you forward the e-mail to him and enter their replies in the coloumn?

Zohar Gilboa

JWH replies:
Who are you to know the mysteries of RPGamer? Isn't it enough that you get a column? How dare you bite the hand that feeds you!

Okay...enough of my pale attempts at humor. Generally the host just forwards us the letters allowing the mighty guesthost to then proceed to humilite the writer as much as possible. Sadly I'm not that good at humilation, which forces me to resort to childish name calling. You're a poopy-head, Zohar!

Chimerasame:
Temporary assimilation by modified Borg nanoprobes. Hey, does anybody have any 29th-century nanoprobes they want to send me? I could use one of those mobile transporter thingies that that One guy had. Seeing as all the RPGirls are in the midwest and all, and here I am stuck in the middle of Texas...

 
More thoughts on FFVIII

Hi!,

I have a question wich have been in my mind for some time now. Why does many games, especially the FF serie, get almost over-rated when they are out, and a few months later, it becomes a boring game.

I will takes FF8 as an example. Here is the last paragraph of the RPGamer's official review for this game:

«As was expected, Final Fantasy VIII will set (or should I say, has set) a new standard in gaming excellence. Not just in graphics, but in other areas as well (look for systems similar to the "Draw" and "Junction" systems to show up in other games soon.) This one is definately deserving of the Final Fantasy name, though really, did you expect anything less? »

The game got a 9.5 !! Now each time (well, almost) I read something about it in this column, it is described as a crappy game, with bad graphics, bad plot, bad music, etc.

What I mean is, that's still the same game! Is there something as an expiration date, or something?

I loved FF8, and hated the draw/junction system. But my opinion hasn't changed since the first minute I played it.

Do you have, as a RPGuru, an explanation for this phenomenon, or must I classify it in the X-files?

Thanks!

JWH replies:
It's just that everyone likes something when it's bright and shiny and new. When you were a little kid, didn't you want to rush out and get the newest Transformer as it was introduced onto the show? Same thing. When the game is new, all you can see is the good points. However, as people begin to play the game more and more, they begin to notice the flaws, until it reaches the point that scores of web pages are devoted simply to bashing the game as the worst game that was ever made and a travesty to mankind that should be rounded up and destroyed.

Chimerasame:
That about sums it up, I think. Also, people (in America, anyway) are more critical of Final Fantasies than just about anything else.. they just have higher expectations from them. I've never really understood it. A lot of fans asked for it to return more toward the older style... (I don't know about everybody, but I didn't mean SD characters when I asked for that), and now they complain that the game's not original enough. I try not to complain about it much at all. My advice to the people out there who like bashing Final Fantasies: play some other stuff. Don't play Final Fantasies anymore if that's how you feel. Personally I'm tired of hearing the same complaints over and over about games, even if I do agree with them (and I don't happen to agree with the complaint that FF9 wasn't original enough... it might not have been but that didn't matter to me). Well, that was an odd tangent, how'd we get from FF8 to FF9?

 
Persona, persona, persona, persona...

C and JWH,

Persona. That's a series I have yet to tap into. So what is it like? And what's Persona 2 going to be like, with the first half of it gone and all? Is the story really supposed to be that big, to split it into 2 games?

That's about it.

-Red Raven, reviewer extraordinaire

JWH replies:
Persona. Ah, the black sheep of the RPG world. Persona is unlike any other RPG you've played, and Persona 1 is really different from Persona 2.

The largest difference between Persona and the average RPG is the fact that in Persona you don't just smash all the enemies in your path willy-nilly. In order to get ANYWHERE you need to converse with them. It's a little harder than it sounds. It's very easy to piss off a demon allowing it to get a free round of attacks. You could also scare the demon away. What you're trying to do, though, is make them interested enough to give you spell cards. By taking the spell cards to the Velvet Room, you can gain new personas. Personas act a little like Guardian Forces. You equip them, and they boost the character stats. However, each persona has a different set of spells, and you can only cast the spells of your equipped persona.

Persona also differs in that it is set in modern day Japan. The only major difference between its world and the real world lies in the existance of demons. As an extension of this, you'll be visiting raves, corporations, TV studios, schools, etc. You'll also be fighting with modern weaponry, like guns.

Persona 2 is a complex game. Together the two parts really form one story (which is why I'm trying to get Innocent Sin), but individually they have enough to stand on their own. Think of them like the Star Wars trilogy. Each film stands on its own, but together they form a grand epic.

Chimerasame:
Conversing with enemies is a good idea. In theory. In theory, comminusm works. In theory. (Yay, another Homer Simpson quote! (And I don't care for communism either, so don't get any ideas :P (though I have always wondered... people say not to judge others as a group, to judge individuals' character. does that apply to communists? Makes you think... (this is a lot of parenthetical notation, ne?))))
Where was I? Oh, Persona. The thing was, you had to converse with a LOT of enemies, the same way, over and over, and the music wasn't that interesting, and the dungeons were very mazelike, and the monster AI for conversations wasn't too wonderful. If you like the game, though, more power to you!

 
Pie Iesu Domine, Donaeis' Requiem... *thwap*

Hey (monks sing) CHIM-ERA-SA-ME AND J-W-H???

Some person asked me a good question about where my monks come from. I could just yell it's a secret but it's real easy and in spirit of full disclosure. My real name is Greg Etter, therefore I should get full access to Gregorian Monks who bear my name. Also in battle they increase my stats by 10-25%. So if you hear any other sets of them I subcontracted them to those people.

Also why did I get a smack from Mistress Nightshadow, they said I should know but I don't. On December 1 I got a blue thwap and I never flirted with the people so it's so odd. But one more and a hat trick occurs. Kris is right and I can summon a killer rabbit with nasty big pointy teeth. I have to know who is JWH.

Imperial Mog

JWH replies:
What? You do know you have a little tendency to ramble on, right?

Anways, like I said, I'm just an average RPG playing college student. However I'm not average in that I was willing to give up my copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga. Oh well. It's not like I owned a Saturn. If you really wanna get to know me, I hang out at (Shameless plug!) the RPG Maker Pavilion at www.rpgpavilion.net. You'll find me on the message boards under the name Patryn23...

Chimerasame:
It seems you were thwapped on December 1 as a result of a bad pun. I'm probably going to get thwapped a lot of times if that's a going pattern, because I tend to make bad puns almost constantly. For example, what do you call 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 piccolos? (Answer at bottom)

 
Long multipart ahoy!

Hey, Chime and JWH. Thought I'd drop in a couple of both RPG and non-RPG-related questions (if you don't mind):

The RPG-related ones:

1- In FFT (yes, an oldie, but still, a fun game for me), what could be your best tactic on building up your recruits, mostly with JP, as EXP comes no matter which job you have? Aside from the job propositions (which seemingly don't give that much JP =P) I heard of quite a good one that is an idea of Ryan Amos, which involves the Chakra ability. I've merged that with the Frog ability (of the Wizard), so that whatever monsters are left in the battlefield can only hurt me with 10 or so HP per turn, but even with the Gained JP Up ability, it becomes too routinary, and unless the job is at least at around lv 6 or 7, JPs don't come for more than 50 or 60 JP per turn, which is relatively too little when you want (or have to) get 9000+ JPs for mastering certain jobs... Any other suggestions? (my purpose is to master all the jobs of at least the five non-NPC units that I normally use -including Ramza).

2- Recently, I borrowed FF6 (from FFA) from a friend of mine. I saw the introductory FMV, and it's quite breathtaking if you ask me... However, do you think this adds or takes from the original "feeling" of the game, provided that you played the game when it came out in the SNES as FF III? (please notice that this is a completely subjective question, as I don't want to spark a debate out of this...)

3- This may be a sort of weird question to ask, but can Donkey Kong 64 be considered an RPG, an adventure game with RPG elements, or just a plain Adventure game? I ask this because there are certain elements worthy of an RPG that are included in such a game, such as purchasing items and abilities, beating bosses (even if they're distributed in sequenced stages), and collecting a great deal of items along the game (aside from the fact that we quite admit plotline isn't the strongest point of the game), so, anyway, what's your perspective on this? (again, a completely subjective question)

And now, the non-RPG-related:

1- I saw Samba de Amigo recently in a local Arcade place. It's quite fun if you ask me. Actually, there are a few games from the music/rhythm genre there (among them, Dance Dance Revolution and Stepping 3 Superior). Do you think this genre would eventually take over the video game market? They're quite addictive and -do- have such a possibility, don't they? What's your opinion on this?

2- Still with the music/rhythm games, I heard that Stepping Selection (like its name implies, a selection of songs that have been released in Jaleco's Stepping Arcade series) was released on the PS2, but only for the Japanese market... Is there a remote possibility on the foreseeable future that this game could be released on the Western video game market? It would be rather a great investment for someone that spends a lot of cash in the Arcades playing these games...

Thank you for your time, and for considering these questions... Till next time...

Francis Alma

"The Earth is but One Country, and Mankind its Citizens"
- Bahá'u'lláh

JWH replies:
1.)(SPOILER...sorta...)
I have a nice trick to get JP and EXP which I used to get Cloud up to level 42 in one battle. You need one mage with white magic and walk/gain MP, your character you want to gain JP, a character with strong defense, and someone with the ability to stop or paralyze an enemy. Start a random battle and kill all but one or two enemies. Paralyze or stop them (Mustadio works great here). Now proceed to have the character you want to gain JP attack the character with the strong defense, who should be defending. If you have Gain JP Up on the one you're training, he should be getting around 15-20 JP a hit. When your character being attacked gets low on HP, have the mage heal him. When he's not healing, have him walk around to gain his MP back. This takes some time, but if you're willing to stick with it, you'll have them with tons of JP in no time.

2.)FF6 is FF6. FF3 was my first SNES game way back 7(?) years ago and I played the hell out of it. Frankly I feel that the FMV only adds to the game. It's not the problem. The real issue I have with FFA is the emulation. I just can't take the slowdown. Do Sabin's fire dance to get a painful example of it. It seems like the game is drugged, to the point that I'd rather play my FF3 cart than suffer through it.

3.)I'm more of an old-school RPGamer, so I feel that DK64 is a adventure game. It should be noted that I haven't played it, so I'm not certain, but all I've heard about it says it's a Banjo-Kazooie clone, which most definitely is not a RPG.

Non-rpg 1.)I have no rhythm whatsoever. At all. In fact, I think there's a law against me being allowed on a dance floor. Honestly. Thus, I've never played any rhythm game at all, so I can't comment on this at all.

Non-rpg 2.)Again, I'm not qualified, but then again I'm not qualified to guest host either. So I'd have to say that the odds are not that good. From what I've heard, the rhythm genre doesn't come overseas that much, so this will probably stay on that side of the Pacific.

Chimerasame:
1.) Well, you can do different things... personally if I wanted to gain JP fast without having to think, I'd kill all the enemies but one and turn it into a frog or something, then sit around and use Yell and Accumulate on myself for a long time. If I happened to have a mediator, I'd try to raise my brave and faith as well.

2.) I thought it added a bit to the feel, though I never actually played the PSX version much. It's too slow. FF6 is a great game either way, but like JWH I'd rather play the fast version. :)

3.) Though we cover them, I personally don't even consider Zelda games RPGs. They're adventures. I haven't played DK64, but I'm guessing it'd probably be an adventure by my rather loose definition as well. To me, RPGs, except for old ones, involve a lot more choice. In Zelda, there were three suits of armor, four swords, and three shields, and each in each category was clearly and distinctly better than the last. Furthermore, once you got the opportunity to get one, nothing stopped you from getting it. Whereas, say, in FFIV (FFII in America), which has probably less choice than many RPGs (though it's still my favorite), you've got to decide whether or not to spend money on a new weapon when you find it on sale. In the Dwarf Castle, you may not be able to buy everything for everyone, and even if you can, you've got to decide whether the DwarfAxe is more worthwhile than your other weapon. Late in the game, you have to weigh the Avenger Sword against other weapons for Kain (Avenger casting auto-Berserk is beneficial in that you have a LOT of attack power, but you also sacrifice using a shield or being able to use non-fight commands.) Or, theoretically, you could even put Avenger on Cecil, but I prefer Defense or Excalibur until I get Crystal/Ragnarok. Heh. I could go on about FFIV's details for hours, but there are more questions to answer.

1b.) Rhythm games sound kinda fun, but I haven't tried it. Plus, I don't listen to a lot of normal music, it's pretty much all VG soundtracks, classical, and sometimes Weird Al. Oh, and Supreme Beings of Leisure, a friend introduced me t-- hey! Actually, you may know that friend, she's Ivy McKnight and guest hosted a while back.

2b.) I think they should translate it, sure! But whether they will is a different story. They should translate SuikoGaiden, but don't get your hopes up.

 
Quickies

Ever tried cosplay or anime cons? What's your take on them?

-Rinoa the Resistance Fighter

JWH: No, I haven't. However, other people are free to go and make idiots of themselves. Kidding! Honestly, if I had a group of friends that lived by me and were willing to do it I might be persuaded to do it. As it is, most of my RPGaming friends are away at college.

Chimerasame: Actually, I've been thinking of going to Acen as Touga from Utena, this May. However, his uniform would be a lot of work or money or both. So I thought I might get a red wig... and a big white sheet... and go as the worst pun ever to grace the con.

TOUGA! TOUGA TOUGA!

Cloud is a psychologist's goldmine. What other video game characters are like that?

LuckyDan

JWH: Pretty much all game characters have issues. What's up with Shadow? Why is Squall so moody? What's the problem with Ulala? Frankly the men in white coats could just sweep across the plains of RPGs and lock them all away. Of course with the amount there is, they would have to build several new institutions....

Chimerasame: Xenogears. 'nuff said. ;)

Hey, the almighty alien Paladin sees someone in need!
(Types question 8 on page 90 in calculator)
Ok, the answer to your problem is ERROR: SYNTAX. Just thought you'd like to know.

BL Alien

JWH: Great. I'll remember that as I take my Japanese oral test.

Chimerasame: Hey, I had a Japanese oral test on Wednesday! I think my presence tends to throw off the sensei. Once, last year, McCready-sensei accidentally called me sensei during the test. And Wednesday, the test was stalled a full minute as they laughed at my example Kanji for the "asking questions about Kanji" part: Ushi, for cow. Nihongo is a fun class!

Dracon kicks ass!! But no, he can't upgrade those singing monks into Enchanters because THERE IS NO CASTLE-TOWN IN THAT CAMPAIGN!!! WHY, 3DO, WHY??

Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard. I hope he fries in hell.(HAH! The least used Monty Python joke EVER!)

Son of _Dad_

JWH: I have a dog. I like my dog. I let my dog sleep on my bed at night.
That reply makes as much sense as this quickie.

Chimerasame: My dog is at home. And you don't need a castle-town to get monks, once I got a swarm of them from Diplomacy. Very expensive, but very powerful, too!

Monks don't sing, they Chakra....

JWH: Hey...aren't monks supposed to take a vow of silence? Damn it, Imperial Mog! We told you to stop corrupting the men of the cloth!

Chimerasame: Well, as long as they don't make a habit of it.

The Last Laugh:


JWH: That was fun. Remember, if you don't want to be subjected to my subpar insults, send me a copy of Snatcher or Persona 2: Innocent Sin! Otherwise I'll be back next week to wreak my havoc upon this column again. Until then, if you want to talk to me head on over to (SHAMELESS PLUG!) www.rpgpavilion.net and look for Patryn23 on the message boards. As a final note, I'd like to thank Kireblade for creating, and Angelsboi and g0rdy for maintaining such a wonderful site on the net.

Chimerasame: I'm not very good at conclusions. Mostly all I can come up with is to just be wacky, and that can get old after a while. Dimple monkey twice the pudding, octopi for tangoman. Scooter my daisyheads!
Melaloy-re takhtad asountimon de Mondoshawan Metalkcta ligurat! Isperobera khrasma, perod'jun dat dero fergi hamas'met tatroskit zhit handlha...Tsouk tsouk... Topometimbackta selovoy! Itoumalena palela fer kiko hammas statoncro bom sonoy dot pan-adindoskal.. nealla dindo... djalla boom... bada boom
I wish I could speak the Divine Language. Of course, no one could understand me, but that's half the fun! Lastly, if you ever see me singin' in the sunshine, one lovely afternoon... get me a vibraphone, I'll want accompaniment!

Oh, and, the answer to the pun somewhere in the middle of the column is "A Gigolo." Tee hee hee! You're either baffled or groaning like mad, aren't you! ;)

watashi no kawaii sigunachuuru pikuchuru


Chimerasame "The Ultimate Fangirl Fanboy" @rpgamer.com
www.thespark.com insists I'm female. Some men would find their pride damaged. I say, bring on the lesbians! (Too bad it doesn't work that way, ne)

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