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   This Marble is as Slippery as This Marble  

Rob Hamilton - August 3 '02- 2:15 Eastern Standard Time

Obscure references, always entertaining. 'Course, that title isn't too obscure in a crowd of geeks, but it's up there.

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As Google was saying yesterday about blazing through Skies of Arcadia, I figured I might add another strategy for clearing away monsters: namely, Aika's S-Moves Lambda Burst and Omega Psyclone. Once you have enough spirit to cast these, do so every battle and she'll wipe out lots of enemies. Buying her a Dhabu Hide in Nasrad's bazaar will give her mad Quick, having her move first and making battles fly by even faster.

-Red Baron, the pizza man.

 
Minimoni, ne

Heya, Chime-sama!

I'd like to comment about that guy yesterday who was talking about mini-games. Have you ever played Checkerboard Chase, one of the mini-games that was included in Kirby 64? Well, if that one game was sold separately, and I didn't already have it in the form of Kirby 64 (yet still knew how great it was), I'd probably buy it. Seriously, if HAL takes Checkerboard Chase, ports it to GBA, adds some custom levels and special gameplay modes and a multi-boot function, I'd be quite happy.

And to make this RPG related, do you have a GBA? If so, what is your favorite RPG for it? What RPG (already released) would you recommend for the GBA, besides Golden Sun, the BoF games, and the MMBN games (all of which I either own or can not possibly hope to find in stores)? And finally, am I the only person who was hyped up about Zero Tours and became upset upon realizing it isn't coming to America?

BL Alien
F0R GR34T JUST1C3!!!

Chimerasame:
True, there are certainly a few minigames that could stand as games on their own. I forgot to mention yesterday in the column that, for a while (and perhaps again), there have been online communities dedicated to simulating Triple Triad. As far as I know, though, nobody pays for them.

I have a GBA I don't play very often. Apart from what you've mentioned, my first idea is Fire Emblem, mainly on account of Roy and Marth demonstrating coolness in SSBM.

 
Nostalgic Charm

I have a kinda of odd question that I hope you cane answer. My first RPG was final fantasy 4, I played it way back when for snes and immediatley bought it when it came out on PSX, I think that is one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Do you think that people have a tendency to like their first RPG more than others because it was their first?
-Albinomonkeyking

Chimerasame:
FF4 was my first true RPG (I'd played SNES Zelda, and Wanderers from Ys III prior), and remains my favorite. It's not the RPG-I-consider-best, and I think it has a number of flaws, some in gameplay, some in plot. However, it's definitely the game I've gotten the most enjoyment out of, and I'm biased towards it for that. I think a lot of people share similar experiences. Not everyone, though--some people started on DW1, and there's only so far that nostalgia can go.

 
Yep, four questions!

As the subject line says, I have four questions. Please answer them with care, oh Great Chimera of many FF games.

First, since you speak Japanese. can you tell me what the words "Masamune" and "Murasame" mean? I have been curious for a while now as to what they actually mean.

Second, you many doorbell jokes and/or references did you get since becoming the Q & A Columnist? I am interested since your nickname is Chime a.k.a. the sound a doorbell makes.

Third, I am currently playing Arc the Lad 2 of the Arc the Lad Collection. After I am done with that, what games would be good to buy for PS2 and Game Boy Advance, not limiting to Rpgs?

Fourth, before I purchase a GameCube or XBox, will there be any, and I mean ANY, good RPGs for either system?

Thank you for your time and effort in answering these questions.

Neo-Omega K1

Chimerasame:
Addressing these issues in order:
Masamune doesn't mean anything I know of other than simply being the name of a sword. Think Japan's Excalibur. Murasame (part of the source for my nick!) is reputed to literally mean "rain that falls in town units," or "small rain." I think it may be symbolic of the blood that a sword might draw--that is, enough blood to remind someone of rain. The two swords go together in Japanese mythology, with Murasame representing Yang and Masamune representing Yin.

Second: Very few. I did get some weird references to some kind of bodily fluid that's called "chime," but I'd never heard of it before or since.

Third: My bet is on Suikoden III once it's out. Hard to say about other stuff, it really depends on what you've played, where your interests are, etc.

Fourth: Well, even the N64 had Paper Mario and OB64 going for it. I think the GameCube will do at least a -little- better in terms of RPG saturation. I don't know what to expect from the XBox, but I would guess that it will have about as many as the GameCube. It's probable both will eventually get a handful of decent RPGs (and GameCube has ex-sega titles going for it), but if you've waited this long to buy one, and RPGs are your main focus, there's no reason not to wait longer.

 
TV Tuners I

Hey Chime, I thought we could all use some clarification.

TV Tuners are absolutely available for laptops. They do not come as a card however. Rather they come as an adaptor which plugs into your USB port on your laptop (assuming you have one). Go to:

http://www.hauppauge.com/html/products.htm#usb

They should be available at a variety of computer stores.

Hope that helps.

Eggman.

Chimerasame:
And if a laptop-specific solution isn't what you want, the next letter...

 
TV Tuners II

Greetings Chim,
To help out those who want to play their PSX (or PS2, Gamecube, SNES, etc.) through your computer, I'd suggest getting an *takes breath* ATI All in Wonder Radeon 8500 DV video card. I've got one, and it's pretty neat. It's got inputs and outputs out the wazoo. Lets see... S-Video, Analog, and a Coaxial cable input . And it's a nice graphics card to boot. The only downside is that it's rather expensive ($265+). Oh, and if you've got a laptop, you're still up a creek. So, if you really really want to be able to play your RPGs on your computer (or if you've just got some money to blow) I'd get one. Or you could go to Best Buy/CompUSA/wherever and look for a TV-in card, which should be a lot less expensive. And now for something RPG-related... Chim, what's your view on the recent abundance of MMORPGs? I personally don't find these 'Level-Quests' entertaining, and i think that this could hurt the RPG market (like "The Spirits Within" hurt square). I'd like to hear your opinion. Oh, and welcome back.
The Cryptic Monkey

Chimerasame:
I believe my roommate from a couple years ago used a card quite similar to the make you described. It seemed to work well.

MMORPGs? Well, they're fun for a lot of people, and as the bandwidth owned by the average person goes up, the number of things companies can do with MMORPGs will also go up. Some people prefer the detailed plot (and/or the lack of required personal interaction) of a single game. Others prefer to make their own plot by interacting with others. There are people in both camps who like and dislike "Level-quests." MMORPGs definitely have a large niche. The well-made ones will work fine (just like well-made movies work fine), and some will fail.

 
Dude! I went to Japan with this guy!

ROB!!!!!!!!!!
The infamous Chimerasame strikes again! Hehe, what's up, man. It's me, Anthony. I was lookin' up gaming news at good ole rpgamer.com and saw your name. It's cool that you're workin for them for the time being. So how's life after Japan?? I've pretty much done nothing since returning......god, America is so boring now.....hehe. I have been playing Warcraft 3, though. Although I suck at it. Anyways, i gotta quick question for you:

Are MMORPG's going to take over the world or is just a phase that game companies want to get out of their systems? Do you really think that they are here to stay or are we going back to traditional story based RPG's once developers realize that a game doesn't need online capabilities to be fun? It just seems like the "cool" thing to do ever since EverQuest became a hit. That frightens me because Final Fantasy has already gone down that road (er, somewhat...if what they say about FFXII is true), and I've heard rumors about Dragon Quest VIII being online. IMHO, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest just weren't created to be online games!! It just seems to me that traditional story based rpg's and online rpg's serve different purposes and can, thus, be classified as different genres. You might as just well make the next Final Fantasy a dance simulation game. I know that there are still great off-line rpg's being released, like Suikoden 3, but the way things are going that series will, too, be turned into an online game. Sorry if this was more of a rant than a question. ^_~

Kazukisama

P.S.- It was hilarious listening to Uesugi-san read your farewell speech at the Sayonara party!! Talk to you later, dude.

Chimerasame:
Life's not bad. I've been plugging away making back some money I spent in Japan, and waiting for school to start, mostly, so nothing exceptionally interesting. I thought about getting WC3, but decided on Neverwinter Nights 'cause more of my friends were playing it. However, NWN doesn't seem to want to run on my computer. It'll show the intro, and then I'll get a black screen, music, a mouse cursor, and nothing else. Odd!

Hmm. I commented a bit on the MMORPG deal in the above question. I agree that FF and DW weren't designed to be MMO, but then, FF wasn't really designed to be tactical either, and FFT was great. One difference is that FFT wasn't in the main sequence of numbered games, whereas FFXI is--and I'd bet it's for publicity reasons. Online FF has the potential to do great, too, and I hope it will. But as popular as they may become, MMORPGs won't push regular RPGs out of the market entirely.

Haha, I heard about that! Wish I coulda been there, mumble mumble accursed flight times, travel agency, united airlines, bureacracy, mumble.

 
Unanswered

After a painstaking 4+ hours downloading the demo for Phantasy Star Online on my oh so lovely 56k. Everytime I start the program to launch the Install Wizard, I get the error saying the program is not responding. So my question is, am I alone or are there many other people who experience the same problem? I really don't want to have to redownload the program..

Thanks,

Hates56k

Chimerasame:
Troubleshooting is wack. I'm afraid I don't know enough to help, but perhaps someone will have had this experience.


Chiming out:

Well, I had a guest host in mind for tomorrow, but as late as I got back to start the column, he's not around to ask and make sure he's available. Next weekend should be good, though. Who remembers Brad Lohr? I know some of you must go back that far!

But, as I said, not yet. Tomorrow should just be little ol' me again. Haha, signing me on as Q&A, what kind of crazy site is this?

chime "More cheese than Kraft Dinner" @rpgamer.com

Who all missed the text yesterday? C'mon, I got some of you pretty good :)

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