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   It Appears to be... Debris!  

Rob Hamilton - August 4 '02- 12:26 Eastern Standard Time

There, this title should be sufficiently obscure. Maybe. It's a quote from tv--and it struck me as particularly funny when I saw it, mostly because of the horribly ominous music playing when it was said, accompanied by the shock of the speaker. Oh, no! Not ... debris!

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One Reason PC Games are Made

I've been wondering... how would one go about learning to program and develop games for any given console? I'd really like to learn to program for the PS2, but I'm not sure where to look for information. Do you know of any websites that would have information, or should I just try my luck e-mailing Sony?

-- Amidamaru

I've heard a bit about the subject, but I'm not well-versed in it. What I recall is that there is a US$25,000 package of tools that a company can purchase to develop games for the PS2. I'm not sure what all is included with that. The XBox one was purported to be US$10,000, and I haven't heard anything about the others.

And the Only Cola was Royal Crown!

Does it seem to anybody that Sega is going pro Nintendo, anti Sony. I mean they canceled Skies or Arcadia, they are not bringing Crazy Taxi 3 to PS2 and they haven't brought nothing but crap sports games in the last 5 years.

That's just an opinion of mine, what do you think?


My old high school had a deal with Dr. Pepper: for a certain rate of profit on vending machines, they couldn't sell any Coke or Pepsi anywhere in the building. (An exception was made for the teacher's lounge, because as we all know, teachers deserve more comfort than students who don't get paid to do any of the work... tangent.) I imagine there's a similar thing between Sega and Nintendo. I doubt Sega has anything at all against Sony, but it wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo would coax Sega to be exclusive.

Do you suppose GFs are liable to erase memory cards?

Heya Chime,

Do you have a PS2? I'm going to get one soon but I'm just wondering about the memory cards. I'm probably going to get a Sony 8MB memory card because I don't trust 3rd party accessories. But, how much is 8MB relative to the save space required for games on PS2? I remember with PSX, I survived on one memory card for a while but I eventually bought another one. Since some games took 2 spaces and others took 1, I usually had about 10 games saved on a PSX memory card. Is the PS2 memory card about the same in that respect? I know it has a much larger capacity, but do the games require much more save space as well?

Oh, and get Brad back here. He was "the man" back in "the day".


I don't have one yet; my roommate last academic year had one, so I didn't bother to get one myself. I might try to pick one up soon, especially with Suiko 3 coming out and whatnot. I'd recommend a first-party memory card. As I recall, there are several dozen save slots for FFX on a single 8 meg memory card. The problem with third party is that--some of them, at least--require complicated compression processes when you start and end any game.

I will, I will, give it time! Next weekend, on Friday.

Swords 101

So I actually know the story behind these two names. Unfortunately, due to most of our stuff being boxed up after a move, I can't get you the proper references and bibliography. My friend took an "Art of the Japanese Sword" class and Masamune and Murasame were explained in it.

Masamune and Murasame were both swordmakers who made really excellent Japanese swords. The difference between the two went like this: One of them was slightly insane and his swords were extremely destructive. I believe that was Murasame, only because in every game I've played that has these swords, Masamune is the better one, and Masamune is present in a least one game that doesn't have Murasame (Final Fantsay 1).

There's a little story in the textbook I learned this from that demonstrated the difference between a sword by Masamune and a sword by Murasame. If I get the two names mixed up, I'm sure someone will write in to correct me, but for now I'm going to assume that Murasame was the extremely destructive sword made by a slightly psychotic swordsmith. If you put a sword by Murasame stuck in the river, blade towards the flow of water, every leaf that came towards the sword would be obliterated. However, a sword by Masamune, when put to the same test, did not destroy the leaves. Instead, it diverted the flow of water so that no leaf would touch the sword's blade. Thus, Masamune was the better sword maker because his swords could avoid conflict. Or something like that. I'd have to find the book to make sure.

Anyway, it's part of Japanese legend, dating back a long, long time. I'd have to look that up, too. If you want the actual references, I'll try to find them. This is just paraphrasing, so please don't tell my teachers I plagurize. =)


"My fist is the divine breath! Blossom, o fallen seed, and draw upon thy hidden power. Grant unto thee the power of the glorious 'Mother of Destruction!'"
- Grahf

The first of a handful of explanations recieved. Read on:

The swords from the Final Fantasy games known as Masamune & Muramasa are named for Japanese swordsmiths.

Masamune was the greatest swordsman of all time supposedly. He became the imperial swordsmith after winning a competiton to see who made the sharpest blades-- his sword went so deep into the wooden block (after it had passed through a large prisoner: an execution) that it got stuck in the wood.

Muramasa, on the other hand, was also a very skilled swordsmith, but supposedly, he was not a very good/honorable man & his swords were sort of cursed-- an emperor accidently cut himself w/one & was not surprised to find that it bore the mark of Muramasa.

Thought that might help out the guy wanting to know more about the swords.

yours truly,


Seems to be some discrepancy in the exact name of the non-Masamune one, but that's understandable.

It's an unpleasant state of affairs when a quotation from the Hitchhiker's Guide radio show (spoken by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Brontitol, inside what would turn out to be the "cup" part of the statue of Arthur Dent Throwing The Nutri-Matic Cup--effectively, a giant floating marble cave thirteen miles aboveground) would be considered "obscure." *grin*

As to Murasame and Masamune, I was looking for facts to support my statement that they were sword smiths when I came upon this: It describes the Masamune, Murasame, and Muramasa legends rather well.
Will "scifantasy" Frank
"All that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been; it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books." --Thomas Carlyle

Ah, perhaps that clears up the name stuff! As far as the Hitchhiker's reference, I knew it wouldn't be horribly obscure, but it was something in the radio show that didn't find its way into the novel series, which makes it slightly more obscure than any old mention of the number forty-two.

Regarding the letter about swords yesterday, Masamune is the name of a Japanese swordsmith. I guess those video game companies wanted to add some real history to their products. I believe I wrote in a little essay on the different types of swords a while ago. I think it was around this same month 2 years ago. Yes, that's it. I think I sent it to YOU, in fact! And you printed it. You titled it, "I like swords..." Anyway, I just thought I'd clear that up for the readers, and for more info about swords and Japanese culture and history, visit your local library for cool books with gorey pictures.


What can I say, people have short memories! (Hey, I could make another GF reference--nah.) I do recall this subject coming up before. This time two years ago, I wasn't even on staff yet, let alone doing columns--first one ever was the end of September. That's pretty close, though, yeah.

And for a break from the Swords class, Biology 101

Hi Chimerasame!

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:

Chyme \Chyme\, n. [L. chymus chyle, Gr. ? juice, like ?, fr. ?
to pour: cf. F. chyme. See {Chyle}.] (Physiol.)
The pulpy mass of semi-digested food in the small intestines just after its passage from the stomach. It is separated in the intestines into chyle and excrement. See {Chyle}.

Of course, it is true that there is a rhyme between chime and chyme, but since this is a textual column, it seems worth noting that they are spelled differently.

By the way, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment for the Playstation is a great game. There are a couple of reviews on GameFAQs that are disparaging, but this is probably one of the greatest RPGs I've played these past two years.



I've heard lots of good things about Persona 2, actually. I think it suffered from the pitfalls of its predecessor, but in spite of that, it's likely going to be the next game I buy for Playstation--or perhaps SO2.

Aaaand Monsters 101

First off, if I remember my Bill Nye the Science Guy correctly, chime (pronounced as if it were spelled with a 'k' instead of a 'ch') is what's left of the food in your stomach after the water and other stuff that can be absorbed by your stomach has been, plus stomach acid and bile. So it's basically mushy goo and acid that's about to be sent through the intestines so more nutrients can be absorbed, which makes it just a few short steps away from poo. Lovely. So, have you tried Morrowind? Is it worth buying? I have horrible luck with getting computer games to work, so I'm wary about it. Also, isn't Hecatonchere one of Bowman's weapons from Star Ocean 2? I'd never heard that word before and I hadn't heard it again until today's column. What does it mean, if anything?

Hey, some Biology crept into the Monsters lesson. The Hecatoncheires are creatures with one hundred arms and fifty heads. They were Uranus's first children with Gaea, in Greek creation mythology, but they were so hideous (or threatening) to the sky god that he forced them back into their mother's womb. Man, and people think they know what brutality is. Here's an explanation. In addition, they've recently been added to the Dungeons and Dragons game as an immensely powerful monster--almost three times as powerful as the Tarrasque, which used to have the throne as the biggest baddie. Bringing us to the second letter about 'em:

Isn't it amazing how the epic level handbook has the Hecato (the hundred some odd armed, big demonic owie) make our good Tarrasque look like a pile of poo? Well, I suppose it is a level 78 encounter level. Ouch, that's bigger than my 50th encounter level Trollasque I made for our wheel of time campaign. Wow, was I off on designing the high level campaign. Oh well, all I want now is my 6 armed ogre with perfect multi-weapon fighting,

57 Challenge Rating, and I think they were written way too high. Titans are also the children of Uranus and Gaea, and even Elder Titans have nowhere near the power that Hecatoncheires were given. Not to mention Cyclopes, which aren't even in the ballpark. I think they wanted to make a monster for the Epic Levels Handbook with immense power that dwarfed everything except the oldest of Prismatic Dragons, and it was just a matter of choosing what that monster should be. In my opinion, they would have been better off making a Paragon Tarrasque, or something.

Alright, so it wasn't that obscure!

You call THAT an obscure reference? Just make sure you don't slip out of the teacup.

Anyway, I just saw Resident Evil, and I have to say that I didn't hate it one bit. Which is weird, because it was a movie, and it was based on a video game, and those two things have never worked together. So, now that my faith is a -little- bit restored, do any games come to mind that you'd like to see become a movie?

Oh, there're plenty of games from which interesting movies could be made. I mean, take Xenogears. It's pretty much more movie than game already! It's also quite long, but then, a number of multiple-installment movies are being produced as of late. Man, I can't wait for the Two Towers.

One got trapped in Lat-Nam

Greetings (sages sing) CHIMERASAME
Now where are those group of sages now since they could help you? What's scary is that I remember Brad Lohr on the Q&A column. Is some sanity going to occur on the news updates and Q&A once the summer ends? How do people explode in Front Mission 3 just like the wanzers? I got news for you readers that my website has some big update so there's new stuff.
Imperial Mog

I doubt we'll be seeing a mob or legion of sages in precisely the same fashion as this time last year. They're around, but fitting so many people into a column is even harder than into a telephone booth!

Chiming out:

Quite a few good letters today! As I mentioned in response to one of 'em, Brad Lohr will be guest-hosting next Friday (the 9th), which means that he'll be answering with me all the letters that we get on Thursday (the 8th). The column that will be up Thursday will be Goog's, so I won't be back to remind you--I think Goog might do some reminding, though. Actually, any letter I get from now to Thursday evening will go into the pool for Friday's column, so if you want to mail something for Brad while it's fresh on your mind, no problem. Until then, be nice to the slime!

Why not put the hidden text up here?

chime@rpgamer "Why not put the quote over here?" .com

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