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  Ask Chimerasame  

   One night stand: Q&AK returns  

Chim, Dec. 31 '00- 7:30 AM EST, A small update: It has been decided that tomorrow's guest will be Ivy McKnight. She is the person who drew the beautiful sig pic with the Chimera and the sword, and she also made up the name RPGamer! Ok, well, maybe RPGamer didn't actually get the name from her, but she did make it up independantly (at the very least)! She says she also made some crappy fanart, but I don't think they were crappy. If it weren't so darn late, I'd go in and give her credit for the old ones she did which she isn't credited with right now... a couple Amano-ish FF6 things, I believe.
Chimerasame - December 31 '00- 5:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

To some, such as all those people who didn't follow the hype at the beginning of this year, this is the last day of the second millennium. 'Course, the whole year counting system is supposedly based on the birthyear of Jesus of Nazareth, and different historians disagree on when exactly that is. Some say it was 2004 solar years ago, some say it was 2010 solar years ago, others come up with still other explanations. So in essence the year means nothing. On that note, I say we should decide the number of the new year randomly by picking a number out of a hat containing various numbers between 2,001 and 1,000,000.

On another note, a possibly-familiar host is returning to guest for the day. You may remember AK from a long time ago, or you might also know him from the The GIA, a "rival" of ours. Though he doesn't do columns there anymore, which once again proves my long-founded theory, that Germans love David Hasslehoff. Anyway, here he is, founder of RPGamer Q&A:

AK: Hello out there in readerland! Welcome to the world as I know it, or Q&AK. Oh wait... this isn't called that anymore. Well, it was when I started it as an original RPGamer staff member back when it opened... a long time ago. For those who don't know me, I was also a staff member on the Unofficial Squaresoft Home Page / SquareNet (which eventually morphed into this site), and a co-founder of the GIA. In between, I've done a lot of freelancing for various places such as IGN, videogames.com, Official Dreamcast Magazine, and Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Anfrew: OK, OK, OK! Enough already! Cut the ego boosting crap! What do you think this is, your personal space to make yourself feel like someone big, powerful, important, wealthy, and followed by girls at every step?

AK: Well. I guess now I should introduce the guest host's guest host, Anfrew. He's my alter ego.

Anfrew: Alter ego in that I have to keep you in check, you big-headed goon!

AK: Yes, yes, quite. Anyway, the New Year is just about upon us, and so I thought I'd dedicate this column to the New Years resolutions I plan on making and breaking within one week.

Anfrew: Not if I can help it.

AK: Cut the negativity! Let's all leave in harmony with the world outside us (and within us -- this means you, Anfrew). This year, let's focus on living and loving. And let's do some Q&A!

In case there's no apocalypse
Ask Chimerasame
Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku!
Recent Q&A's

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On Chim's floor:
Twitch
Not an RPG, but this ridiculous game is addictive
In AK's PSX:
When I thought of this 'in the PSX or whatever' thing a long time ago, it was supposed to be something to jumpstart conversation, not be a laundry list of what letter person has what games!
It's always hard to admit this, but *sniff* I was wrong.

For the record, it is *not* necessary to have an original Suikoden game save to get all 108 characters in Suikoden 2. However, having an original game save means that it is possible to meet the Hero and Gremio (if you saved him) from the first Suikoden, and even use said Hero in your party. But he doesn't count as one of the 108, so it's not necessary. Suikoden 2 is an excellent game even without that nifty extra. The original Suikoden was near the top of my favorite RPG list for quite a long time, but Suikoden 2 just blew it out of the water entirely in terms of plot.

And now that I've written a Suikoden letter, I must wail the obligatory lamentations that SuikoGaiden isn't being released in the U.S.:
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the love of all that is holy, bring it here!!! Konami, you bastards!!!!" *sniff* It's time for my blanky now....

-Mike, the 109th Star of Destiny

AK: Mike, my friend, can I be the 110th star? Please? We could be neighbors. It'd be cool. As for Suikoden, I'm going to have to hang my head in shame and admit I haven't played Suikoden 2 yet. I did play the original, and found it to be an entertaining, if imperfect, game. Suikoden 2 is one of the dozens of games I'd love to play but don't have the time or money for. The way I understand it, though, this is the way a sequel should be made. Originality but throwbacks to the first game to just tickle the nostalgic recesses of our minds.

Anfrew: He has no money for it because he wastes most of it on frivolous guitar gear that he doesn't really need.

AK: Don't forget the parking tickets and late cell phone bills.

Anfrew: Point taken.


Chimerasame:
You have been playing too many RPGs when:
· You see the words "guitar gear" and think of Nikki from Chrono Cross suddenly being thrown into the world of Xenogears with his guitar as a mech.

I agree, they should release SuikoGaiden on North American shores. Until then, I recommend that you learn Japanese. I'm serious! It sounds hard, but even I, who found other foreign languages boring, have fun learning Japanese. Not that I can really understand much of anything yet...

 
"Friday's column(?)"? Do you doubt its existance? :)

Greets Chimerasame,

Following question 16 which I wrote in a hurry for Friday's column(?), I found this resume of an article which I found interesting:

(GIA article snipped to save space)

See now, they mention that FF X will be entirely 3-D. That's exactly what the N64 games did and most of them bombed (remember Quest?). Things just keep getting worst and worst. Good thing there's a lot of old games being re-released. Personnaly, I think this will be the first console Final Fantasy I won't buy (and I bought Mystic Quest). Once a game is in 3-D, it looks more like an adventure game then an RPG.

As for BoF4, I leveled up a while and went back to fight that Rider. After around an hour, I simply quit. Interesting thing though, when 4 or 5 of my characters died, he revived them, so I think you're not supposed to kill, just put up with him till he acknowledges your strenght then gives you free sutff and leaves. On the other hand, maybe your supposed to find the attack that removes his healing power like the boss called Dragone (?) in the final castle and kill him

Since this is Q&A, a question now :

-There's an Alundra 2 now?

Mat

AK: Now, now, Mat, I do believe you're jumping the gun a tad. One of the many things I preach is not to judge a game too early on. This has been something that has happened more often than not with Final Fantasy XI; people are declaring left and right the game is worthless simply because it will be online based. Now, I understand that a lot of people simply are not fans of the online genre as it exists. I understand. I'm not a big Asheron's Call or Everquest fan myself. But to claim that FF11 will be lame because the current crop of online RPGs don't tickle your fancy is a jumping ahead of yourself; we know nothing of the details of the implementation, plot, or anything else which is good to know about.

Anfrew: He asked Final Fantasy X.

AK: Yes, yes, right. I was getting to that.

Anfrew: We don't have all night.

AK: Anyway, the same logic applies to Final Fantasy X. It's too early to jump ahead and declare it a graphical failure; we've seen essentially nothing from the game. I disagree that 3-D equals adventure. Have you played Skies of Arcadia? It's 3-D, very well done, and very much an RPG.

Anfrew: OK, now talk about BoF4.

AK: I don't want to.

Anfrew: OK, let's let Chimera have that one. Save some for the big guy.

AK: Good plan. Alundra 2, though, certainly exists. I heard a rumor that it blew. So I haven't played it. I haven't heard many good things about this one.

Anfrew: That was mean.

AK: It had to be done. I apologize to the men and women that worked hard to make Alundra 2.


Chimerasame:
Well, I can hope they won't fire me for plugging the GIA a couple times. It'd be pretty silly to do that, but stranger things have happened, like an auction of nothing at all. I don't see what the rivalry's all about, both sites are pretty cool. I look forward to meeting people from both at E3. As far as the BoF4 thing Anfrew wants me to comment on, uh... BoF2 was cool! I do intend to finish the PSX BoFs, really. I just have to buy them and then finish all the other games that are lined up. FF9, XG (yeah, yeah, I haven't completed it yet, though I know most of the endgame anyway), the two Baldur's Gates, and a few others.

 
Four heads? I only have three! Oh, uh, nevermind..

All hail the four-headed...um...thing (and the guest-host too)

Well this is a question you don't see quite as often. What's your fave RPG music? Personal faves include Magus's theme (CT), Fithos Lusec and Eyes on Me (FFVIII), Time's Scar (CC opening theme), and the FF theme (whose name I forget), and, of course, anything about Lunar 1 or 2 (just got the second and it doesn't disappoint).

Also, how can you go about procuring game track CDs (OST) without a credit card and no game stores in the area? I desperately want to get a few, but the way that everyone else uses (online) is unopen to me. Oh well, I'll always have to abilty to download, right?

The Wandering God
"I think I'm gonna hurl" -Ruby

AK: OK, Wandering God, let's set some ground rules. From here on in, I am AK, or Andrew, or The Man, but not just "the-guest host." I'm a professional here, OK? I demand a certain amount of respect.

Anfrew: Wow. His ego grew even bigger since the intro.

AK: Err. That probably was uncalled for. Just call me "Guest-Host-Boy."

Anfrew: Good plan, Guest-Host-Boy.

AK: Now, let's focus. Luckily, I happen to be a man with a lot of opinions on the videogame music issue. I think that as far as an original soundtrack, the best listen if Final Fantasy VI. From top to bottom, it rules, nicely swinging between heroic overtures and demure melodic murmurings. Specific songs off of it I love are Terra's Theme, Locke's Theme, and the Aria de Mezzo Carratarre.

Other specific songs I adore are the Prologue from Final Fantasy IV (the main theme), Ahead on Our Way and the Dragon Spreads Its Wings from Final Fantasy V, and, underdog songs, the Doom Castle Theme and Battle Theme from Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. The game may be average, but it's long been my opinion it's far underrated. The game is solid and the music rocks my boat. It has some rare electric-guitar driven songs. Great stuff.

Now, if you want to explore the import CD scene, you can get some beautiful, orchestrated stuff. I strongly recommend Final Fantasy Pray, Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite, and Final Fantasy Dear Friends.

Anfrew: But where can he find those CDs?

AK: Why, or best friend www.ebay.com! There are online stores, but with no credit card, Ebay could be your best friend. See what you find.


Chimerasame:
Ooh, music question. Well, there are a lot of things I like. FF4's World Theme is cool, as is Golbez'z theme from that game. Moving forward, I also like a lot of FF6's music, though perhaps not quite as much as AK. Favorites include Terra's theme, Celes' theme (and the opera version, Aria de Mezzo Caraterre, naturally), Atma's theme, Dancing Mad, and the ending theme (character medley). From CT, I like Frog's theme, Magus's theme, and the music from the trial.

Moving on to later games, some nice tracks from FF7 are One-Winged Angel, naturally, the FFVII World Theme, Aeris's Theme, and the Cosmo Canyon music. In FF8, there's The Landing, Movin', The Legendary Beast, and I must admit I liked Eyes on Me. It was better in the ending theme, though. I also liked the general feel of the music in Suikoden 1, and Chrono Cross, but there aren't any specific pieces I can name. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I have an inexplicable tendency to listen to "Have You Ever Seen Me" from Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow over and over and over. I also recommend Ebay, but always check to see what kinds of payment the seller will accept. In my auction of nothing, I accept checks and PayPal, for example.

 
Saga Frontier Response

Hey,
Saga Frontier 2 had some very fine points, but was flawed in one particular area which ultimately ruined what could have been a near perfect rpg. The graphics were beautiful, and the music was powerful. The gameplay had lots of variety, which is what kept me interested enough to play it to its end. The story set up a very cool, elegiac tone which would have made more sense had the characters reacted at all to anything provided in the story. The characters showed a mere fraction of the emotion that the Lunar 2 mini-standees possess. Very disappointing. However, I would recommend trying the game for its finer points, especially now that it is selling for less than or equal to $20 at many online retailers.

Quick question: Are the downloads for Skies of Arcadia worth trying? I beat the game yesterday and my last save is at the end of the final dungeon, so it might be a pain to leave just for a new weapon or whatever it is.

-Dan

P.S. AK's Christmas essay was great.

AK: Hot-diggity! Someone read my Christmas essay!
I wrote that despite being retired from the GIA, it was spur of the moment.
Fun stuff.

Anfrew: Andrew. You're doing it again. Ego, remember?

AK: Sigh. Sorry. Saga Frontier 2, in my opinion, blew Saga Frontier out of the water -- but still had flaws. Part of the problem, as you put very well, was the characterization. The plot jumping around years at a time didn't help the situation. It was a novel concept, though, a sort of historical RPG (even though the Nombunga series from.. Koei, I think, did it too, didn't they? I think I might have botched the name of that series). The Saga Frontier series (or Romancing Saga series, if you prefer to call it by that name) has had flaws; a lot of original ideas but none that have really put all the peices together, as I understand (I haven't played all of the games in the series). If Square can meld the best peices of the Saga games, they could turn out a big hit, if you ask me.

Anfrew: Let's throw Chimera a bone and let him handle the SoA downloads.


Chimerasame:
I do not yet own a Dreamcast. I plan to, eventually, but right now I'm still working on lots of PSX games. As such, I'm afraid I don't have much advice about SoA. I do however know that Google loves the game, and I suggest you mail him in a couple days when she gets back from a short New Year's vacation.

 
Daily dose of multipartage

Yo,

I have a few questions for you:

1) In Xenogears, after I get the Yggdrasil, what am I supposed to do with it?
2) Where is Mog Central in Final Fantasy 9? Aaannddd... where is Curaga?
3) Why did it skip from FF3 to FF7? My friend says it's because of the way the Japanese count, he's usually pretty smart with that.
4) In Megaman 3, how do I beat the Topman? He's REALLY fast!

It's nice to see a weekend host that actually answers video-game related questions, keep up the good work!

-- Haruka

AK:
1) Chew on it. I don't know, I played the game too long ago to remember. Try a walkthrough or something. Doesn't this site have tons of them?
Come on, bro! Let's get some things done on our own!
2) It's up my... OK, fine, it's not. Again, I will lecture you on helping yourself! Find answers in FAQs (frequently asked questions) or walkthroughs. But here's a hint: you need a special chocobo to get there.
3) Your friend is very right. In Japan, the numbers 4-6 actually come
AFTER the number 7. OK, that was silly, and I apologize. Here's the rundown:
FF1 (NES) Japan = FF1 United States
FF2 (NES) Japan = unreleased in the US
FF3 (NES) Japan = unreleased in the US
FF4 (SNES) Japan = FF2 United States
FF5 (SNES) Japan = unreleased until Final Fantasy Collection
FF6 (SNES) Japan = FF3 United States
FF7 (PSX) Japan = FF7 United States
FF8 (PSX) Japan = FF8 United States
FF9 (PSX) Japan = FF9 United States
4) You, my son, must be faster! Actually, I don't know.

Anfrew: You told him to check FAQs because you couldn't remember the answers to the questions and didn't want to admit you're not all-knowing.

AK: You know me too well.

Anfrew: I, on the other hand, AM all knowing. The irony of it is that the reader, the kind Haruka, complimented RPGamer for having hosts that answer gaming questions, and here you go and don't answer gaming questions. You're so mean.

AK: I'm sorry. I feel bad. I hope Chimera can bail me out here.


Chimerasame:
Bail you out? It looks like you gave about as much information as I possibly could, really. As far as the Yggdrasil... the very first time you have control of it, I think you're supposed to go to Nisan. I also think you have to submerge into the sand and travel under a river to get there, much like Figaro castle. As for Topman... well, we don't cover MegaMan games and I haven't played MegaMan 3, but here was my strategy for a couple hard bosses in MegaMan X: Beat as many other bosses as you can. Make sure the meters for those bosses' abilities are as full as possible when you get to the boss in question, then go inside and let loose said special abilities as fast as possible.

 
Break out the mod ch-- I mean, do legal stuff

Hey there Mr. Q&A host,
I've been looking around for this bit of info, but haven't found anything yet. Do you know if the PS2 has the Regional Coding thing on it, or is it one of those...err..uncoded ones?
An answer would be much appreciated.

Son of Sabin

AK: Tragically, the PS2 does do region restricting. No watching other region DVDs on your PS2. Sorry.

Anfrew: You're not really sorry.

AK: Yes I am! I really understand his plight.


Chimerasame:
There isn't much more I can say to answer this question. I recommend getting a GameCube. So it won't be out for several months, so what, just get a time machine! I don't think Nintendo really cares for Square much, though, which will be a problem. I don't really want to get every fourth-generation system out there... I suppose I can always wait for PC ports of Final Fantasies. Maybe with luck Nintendo will decide it's ok to have a GC FFX after all... I just hope Square's not bitter about Nintendo previously not liking them at that time :)
Disclaimer: this is NOT to be construed as any sort of evidence that there will be ports of FFX other than PS2. I am merely assuming that there will eventually be a PC port.

 
Nothing can be yours

Wow, I've always wanted some nothingness to call my own, but do you accept Monopoly money? Anyways, any idea if Hoshigami has been released in Japan yet? Any idea if were getting it here in North America? I went to www.hoshigami.net but I can't make out a damn thing, do you know anyone that speaks Japanese?

someguy

AK: I bought nothing once, it came in a small can. I felt a bit ripped off. It didn't do much. I was disappointed. It's then that I started spending all my money on guitar equipment.

Anfrew: You were better off spending it on the nothing.

AK: You haven't lived until you've changed patches with a Rocktron All-Access.

Anfrew: So, do you know any Japanese speakers?

AK: A few, but they hate being asked questions. They're very grumpy people.

Anfrew: Yeah, same here. Do you think Chimera has friends?

AK: Probably. But Japanese speaking ones? I don't know...

Anfrew: Point.


Chimerasame:
I can read katakana and hiragana, and even a smattering of kanji, but I can't make out much on that. I wonder just who the grumpy person or people AK knows is/are. Maybe one is also named Andrew? I wouldn't want to be presumptuous, now, would I? :)

Anyway, there is a Japanese-speaking guy who sometimes hangs around and pretends to do work for RPGamer, I'll ask him the next time I see him.

 
Quickies

::attempts to Eat you::

I can no eat until weaker!

AK: OK, I'm not sure if this was supposed to be witty or stupid or what, so I'm just confused now.

Anfrew: Nothing new there.

Chimerasame: Tell me if you're ever successful, I want to know what ability you learn from me.

Quickies are small messages that get small replies, you don't stuff one huge letter into a quickie box.

Sabin "Hey, Google didn't print my sig a few days ago!" XIII

AK: Sabin, my friend, when you run the show, you can be as much of a communist or punk or fruit loop as you want.

Anfrew: That's why you agreed to be a letters columnist for so long.

AK: You speak truth, my imaginary friend.

Chimerasame: And that's why I'm filling in as one now! As far as quickie length, it's not the size that counts, it's the speed. Quickie, not Shortie! And you should be able to determine the general meaning of yesterday's spam quickie in about two seconds. I usually have to determine that something in my inbox is spam in about one second, or it'd take me half an hour to go through and delete it all!

I've heard that, in MGS, the boss Psycho Mantis will scan the active memory card for other Konami games. If their is a Suikoden file he will say something like "Ah, I see you are a fan of Suikoden." Thus, that pronouciation would be definately correct as it is from Konami. Do you have any idea if what I heard is true?

Question - Who do you think is cooler: Flik or Viktor (in Suikoden I and II)? Why?

-Rahlious-

AK: I don't know about the MGS thing, haven't played much of it. Chimera, it's all you big guy! Also, I like Flik better. He has FAR cooler hair.

Anfrew: You worry too much about hair.

AK: It's important. Girls notice it.

Anfrew: Your sideburns are terrible.

AK: Shut up. I like them.

Chimerasame: Yeah, Flik's hair is cooler, but Viktor's cooler overall. His personal enemy is Neclord, and I'm a sucker for punnish names! The MGS thing sounds reasonably possible, but I don't know either.

Why are you doing Q&A naked?

Chimerasame: How did you know?!?!

AK: I'm actually not naked. I'm clad quite handsomely in my designer clothes.

Anfrew: Jeans and a t-shirt.

AK: They have a great design.

what are the little "BON BON"'s on top of moogle's heads. what purpose do they have? why do they say kupo! and kupopo! so much?

Chimerasame: I'm answering this partially because you're apparently willing to pay $50+ for nothing. The red spheres give the moogles the ability to telepathically contact the Illithids, who are secretly controlling them from wildspace. Kupo and Kupoppo are cruse translations of various different Moogular words, for instance, "you," "floor," "observant," "ludicrous," "antidisestablishmentarianism," and "grok," among others. Good luck winning nothing!

AK: I'm gonna have to disagree on this one. I went to the local library (Official Motto: We Buy Beer with Overdue Book Fines) and researched this, and the antennae are actually a vestigial ornament from their time in the age of dinosaurs. It helped them detect changes in air pressure that were caused as a result of an extremely large moogle eating dinosaur getting near them. This also helps them avoid NFL linemen.
"Kupo" means "we love!" and kupopo means "AK!"

Anfrew: Kupopo actually means "you."

AK: Oh. I thought they were talking to me personally.

The Last Laugh:

AK: Well, I guess that does it for my return stint to RPGamer. I'd like to thank Chimerasame for being kind enough to let me guest host for a day. I had a wonderful time. I hope to be asked back one day.

Anfrew: So you can boost your ego more.

AK: Ahem. Well, it was fun having an alter ego, but he's getting on my nerves, and the gimmick is REALLY old at this point. Anyway, what's up with RPGamer going by nicknames all the time? It confuses me. We didn't do that back in my day. You young whippersnappers, you don't have the respect for the guys from the old days!

Chimerasame: I could go by Rob Hamilton, but it's too easy to pronounce. Plus, I like being able to run a search on "Chimerasame" and have every result relate to me somehow. At least this nick is unique; I also periodically use "Odo" on IRC. (And Utena, ChimerAway, Ayla, Maxim, Alfador, among others.) And Chesh uses 'Chris Martin' at the top!

AK: Fair enough. Well, take care everyone! I hope yall have a wonderful time in 2001!

the hair isn't blonde anymore..     <---AK



Chimerasame: Well, I'd kinda like to have a guest host tomorrow, but the person I had in mind, Garnet Til Alexandros, will be away at a New Year's party. Myself, I'll be here doing the column as I have very little of a real life. We'll party on IRC! ... riiiight. Well, maybe I'll pull up some random guy off the street to guest host. Hope he doesn't stink too much.

lalala, sigunachuuru pikuchuru wa mada arimasen

the person who drew it thinks it's too bad to let me see!
I don't know if I should be flattered that I'm that important, 
or if I should just ask someone else to draw it ^^
(or I could keep using alt tags until she admits she's
as good of an artist as I know she really is)


Chimerasame "Writes words between small pairs of raised marks" @rpgamer.com
The text is back in the normal place!! Marvel at my excited excitedness.

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