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   And in the Darkness, Bind Them  

Rob Hamilton - August 17 '02- 3:33 Eastern Standard Time

For the first time since I saw it in theaters a while back, I've watched Lord of the Rings this evening. I think it's the little things that make it such a great movie. I really felt something, merely by seeing the look on Gandalf's face as Frodo, in Rivendell, volunteered for the mission. Boromir's brave battle against the orcs while facing the hail of arrows from the Uruk-Hai is one of the more moving moments I remember seeing.

Anyway, though watching it put off my starting of the column for about three hours, I've no intention of letting this Inbox stay unattended! A good batch of letters has come in, I'm glad to see.

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Not Pictures of Chimerasame

Halfling Monk with a level of Bard

Hey there, Chime. Sorry, no odd singing from deformed munchkins or anything...

I'd just like to inform the user of PSMPlay from yesterday's column, and any other user of that software that there is a newer, more constantly updated program of the same type called PS Multi Convertor, that has a high compatability rate with odd formats used by Square (FF9, Crono Cross), and can do fundamentally the same thing as far as viewing and conversion of Playstation FMVs, images, and audio.

It's available for download at http://www.zophar.net/utilities/psxutil.html in both an older freeware version and a newer shareware version. Also, if PSMplay is really your thing, then it appears that a newer version is available on that same page as opposed to the link sent yesterday.

Last, I just want to say that, as far as I know, Squaresoft games store audio in a MIDI-like format, not a CD-track, which is why it can't be extracted, not because they are located in a different place. Certain songs, specifically those with vocals, such as Eyes on Me in FF8 (scan for it on Disk 3) CAN be extracted, because those are CD audio.

Chimerasame:
'Course, anything is extractable enough if you can plug a 'line out' from something into a 'line in' on something else that can record.

 
Sage Advice from Within

As RPGamers semi-official Obscure import Guru(If you've never heard of it, I've played it!^_~) I felt I should write in with some information on importing, especialy considering the letter posted in the last column. I know the person wasn't asking about importing, but I thought some basic knowledge would help everyone out, as well as make importing more enjoyable for everyone. When Importing, there are 6 basic rules you should follow-

1: Find a company you trust. There's nothing worst then plunking 60+ down on a game and finding out you'll never get it, or worst that it got lost in shipping or something cruddy like that. My personal recomendation is NCSX(www.ncsx.com). Their a tad overpriced, but they insure your item and WILL give you a full refund if something goes wrong.

2: Make sure you enjoy the series. Yeah, XXX Triple Action Nine X 32 might be the hotest new import around, but if you don't like the type of game, don't get it. This sounds like a No-Brainer, but many times people will plunk money down on a title they thought 'Looked Cool' but ended up hating it's guts.

3: When in doubt, go with something known. Not being able to read what's going on in a game can be daunting. When your just starting out, go with a game with lots of Documentation on it. That way, if you get stuck, you'll be able to get some help on it, rather then banging your head uselessly.

4: Get a Kana chart. Learn some of your basic commands. Load, Save, Yes, No. All of them are very easy to reconize after you've played a few games, and it'll be alot easier when you can reconize them on sight.

5: Stick with what you know. Unless your confident in your abilites as a gamer, stick with games you know about. A Fan of Gundam? Import a Gundam game. Like Dragon Ball Z? Go for one of the myriad Dragon Ball games. Knowing about the subject matter can make an import 10 times as fun.

6: Lastly, don't give up! Importing can seem daunting at first, but you'll find that even if you can't understand the language, you'll pick it up quickly. Some of the games you can import are a blast, so make sure you above all else HAVE FUN!

Well..I hope that helps some people out.

Dragoon T
Internal Contributer
TRC's Lackey

=====
'Humanity's souls are weighed down by gravity..To save itself, Mankind must migrate to space!'

Chimerasame:
That's much more detailed advice than I could offer on the issue. I must say, I'm curious about this XXX Triple Action Nine X 32. Is it as ecchi as the title makes it sound? :>

 
Hey, Monks have Perform as a class skill! Monk/Bard's not bad...

Hello Chim,

For the guy that was looking for FF3 and BOF2 for the SNES. Just know that they have also been rereleased in the US.

FF3 (Which is FF6) can be found in Final Fantasy Anthology for the PSX, but I recommend it on the PS2 so battles will load faster.

BOF2 can be found on the GameBoy Advance, and it seems pretty much the same as the SNES version. I haven't played it much, though.

Also, I was just wondering, does anyone know the order for the D&D games for PC. I know there are the old DOS ones, like Eye of the Beholder and such, and I found them all in the $9.99 games, its like 12 games on 2 CDs.

But I am looking for the Windows games.
I know these ones

Planescape: Torment
Baldur's Gate and the Expansion
Icewind Dale
Baldur's Gate 2 and the Expansion
Icewind Dale 2 (upcoming)
and Neverwinter Nights

Are there any more?

Thanks

DekarGuy

Chimerasame:
As far as new D&D games go, I know of no new ones other than the ones you mentioned. I'm not sure I could give a full listing of the old DOS ones, though I did once get an anthology of them too. Six games on four CDs. Funny, I thought CD size had remained about the same over time!

There are aspects of D&D that work really well on a PC, but for the most part, the entire system is designed around the limitations and capabilities of playing with humans, which are generally quite different from the limitations and capabilities of playing a game on a computer. That said, though, Torment and Baldur's Gate did a remarkable job (much, much better than the old DOS games) of making D&D's paper combat system flow well onscreen. 'Course, they were dealing in second edition. I have yet to install my new graphics card, which I got a few hours ago because my old one won't play NWN. I'm interested to see if it carries third edition as fluidly.

 
Heheh, Quickies, Profound.

C,

I must admit that it is refreshing to finally have some change in the whole "Q&A" scheme of things. Something as simple as renaming the section has been the most profound innovation since we were first introduced to the "quickie." I do not mean for that to sound sarcastic either; I'm completely serious.

With that said, I confess I really had nothing else of any importance to say, other than I hope G will continue this trend, rather than letting it merely be a weekend event. Perhaps by engaging the readership with topics and the lure of the spotlight will G be able to improve the absolutely dismal display of weekday "Q&A." At its current rate, it would probably be better to have a weekday column only every two days, or more.

If you only get three pieces of printable mail a day, out of the thousands of people who visit this site daily, perhaps that is telling you something, yes?

-Red Raven

Chimerasame:
I'm not sure what to make of the discrepancy between the number of readers and the number of letters received. I do know that setting unnecessary restrictions on the types of letters received--restrictions not based on quality or level of interest, but on the format of the content--will do nothing to remedy the situation.

I can't say whether Goog will continue the trend; he probably considers it another one of my crazy shenanigans, and you may see it dissappear when I do. If you want it to stay, though, I'm not the person to which your opinions should go.

Incidentally, if anybody out there doesn't like the change, I'd be glad to hear about that too.

 
Return of Ex-staff

Greetings,

I doubt anybody will remember me, but I was on staff at RPGamer about a year and a half ago. I was only a media person and due to time contraints I was forced to withdraw from the position after one update, although I regret that now. OK, enough introduction. Recently on a vacation in Martha's Vineyard, a friend and I went to a bridge above the water that is a very popular spot to jump off of. I've done it countless times; flips, dives, and regular flops. But for some reason, the water must have been extra low yesterday. I dove from the back railing, and upon hitting the water, I also smack my head on the bottom of the ocean. I felt the rocks under my head, and the force put on my neck from the rest of my body. At first I thought my neck was broken and I was about to die. But I made it to shore, and we drove home. After consulting my parents I decided against going to the local clinic. Now, a day later, I have many cuts on my head, a sore neck, and a mushy forhead(eww). I think I will be ok, but only time will tell. Sorry about the length, and I am not quite sure why I wrote to RPGamer about this, but I did.

My question is regarding these new announcements of portable RPGs that are flooding the market. While I enjoy the idea of being able to play games that I may have missed due to lack of funds, or no localization, I don't know about playing them on the GBA. I almost wish they would be released on the GCN, because I too am a 2D whore. What are your thoughts on portable gaming? RPGs in particular.

Sorry for the length, and my opening, this was a very spur of the moment letter. Keep up the good work.

-Seijou / Pete Brown

Chimerasame:
I do carry vague memories of your IRC presence somewhere within the recesses of my mind, but those recesses are dusty, and really need to be redecorated, reupholstered, and generally made over. Good to see you still around, though!

The advantage of RPGs being portable is that you can play them wherever you want! The GBA has a smaller screen than most televisions, but unlike most televisions, it fits in my pocket. I'm also not sure how being a 2D whore makes the GCN better than the GBA... are you sure you don't want to go to that clinic?

 
Hard Darkwing Duck Disk Dance Dance Drive. Dotto Hakku!

Hey Chime

The other Day it was said in Goog's column that there would be no reason to release the HDD for PS2 here. Why is that? I thought that FFXI required it. Am I confused?

Also, have you looked at .hack? The screen shots and description make me think of a Secret of Mana type battle system. Do you think it will also be 1-3 players?

Eggman

Chimerasame:
FFXI does need the HDD, if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps Goog was, in some roundabout way, trying to imply that FFXI shouldn't exist, because he thinks the FF series is stale! I seem to recall him making that comment back around FFIX or so, and I think it's an odd thing to say coming from someone with over 300 RPGamer columns under his belt, but I don't really know for sure.

I've heard good things about .hack, both the anime and the game. I couldn't say what the number of players will be. The concept of basing a non-massive-multiplayer RPG on an in-story MMORPG is quite intriguing, though.

 
RPG Cliches Never Die

Hi Chime,

Just have a couple comments or questions....whatever. 1) Why does the RPG industry always have some person or thing in their late teens or early 20s who finds out they have special powers or are on a mission and find out they have to save the world? When will this cliche end? (if ever) The only game that comes to my mind that isn't in this category would be Vagrant Story which was a very good game but didn't get as much recognition as it deserved.

2) Why don't characters in RPGs ever change clothes? Occasionally they show certain armor or weapon they have during battle but on the map screen, town, or dungeon they always have the same clothes on. Seems kind of odd.

Well that's it, good work disemboweling the one reader from yesterday's column!
~Silversol

Chimerasame:
RPG characters have lots of outfits! They just all happen to look exactly the same.

 
Bond, Random Encounter Skeleton Bond.

Hello all wise Chime.

Of course though that you aren't allowed to be wrong, and same goes for Google, or Chesh-sama. You are supposed to be all knowing super powerful RPGing gods among men. Wrecking havoc and amassing followers wherever your travels take you! ^_^

Of course, back here in reality, where I'm plagued by people that go "Final Fantasy, what's that?" We all make errors, and a minor error about game dates or grammer goes completely unnoticed next to all the others.

Anyway, along with this mass of rambling and ranting that I'm prone to do every now and then I do have some questions for your infinate wisdom to answer.

The problem with the over the shoulder veiws and such most RPGs seem to have is that the difficulty is often shafted. The game designers in my opinion, however humble it may be, is that with all the range of movement and attacks you can use the enemy doesn't have anywhere near same capabilities. In 3-d games such as The Bouncer and the N64 Zelda games I never saw a single opponent with any sleek moves like you have, with the exception of Dark Link, but all he does is copy you. Do you think that if they made enemies that were a fair match for you that perhaps the 3-d RPG battle system will catch on? Either that or it'd turn off the slow reflex RPGers.

Also why is harvest Moon covered in RPGamer.com? It's always puzzled me as it doesn't seem like an RPG at all.... Zelda I can understand because the rabid fanboys would tear you apart if you ever even thought of phasing it out, but Harvest Moon?

Chimerasame:
If a computer with a processor as powerful as the current ones are had access to as wide a variety of moves as the player does, I think we would find our rather limited abilities quickly owned by the AI. Of course, this doesn't apply in all cases: some of us are all-knowing superpowerful gods among men and whatnot. Since that's the exception rather than the rule, though, games aren't really designed for that level of immense power.

I used to be concerned with questions about whether something was an RPG, and whether it should be covered, but such concerns are rather minimal. The line between RPG and other genres is very blurry in recent years. Harvest Moon, RPG or not, is a decent game that's worth being reported about, and it's close enough to the genre that it makes sense to have it on the games page, in my opinion.



Quickies

As you are not putting emphasis on the quseuioner (me) asking questions to the questionee (you), I have desided to inform you that i have refraind from selling my soul for rock and roll. And that i like cookies.

The EVIL PANCAKE WIZARD
damexicocomix@hotmail.com

You didn't sell your soul for cookies, did you? You did! Well, I hope Milhouse has fun with it.

Raspberry Heaven - I'm coming back to yaoi!

So, who's your favorite Azumanga Daioh Character, then?

/Pfeizer "The yaoimeister"

You're making me choose? Well, Sakaki's cool, as is Chiyo, and Yomi. Oh, and you can't discount Kagura, either, she owns. Yukari and Nyamo, too! Really, though, my final answer has got to be either Tadakichi or Chiyo-chichi. Between the two, I'm unable to choose.

Hi Chim,

I have a problem. I have this friend, let's call him Internet Explorer, who has this special someone, let's call her Your Webcomic. The problem is that IE doesn't know where your webcomic is, and she never calls. Can you please hook them up for me?

My webcomic, as I like to call 'her,' hasn't been updated in quite a while. If your friend Internet Explorer likes her how she is, then the relationship can be fruitful, but if he's the type that thinks he can change a woman, his work will be very slow.

I want to congratulate (note the spelling!) on the letter you directed towards that real jerk in August 16th's column. Really wonderful work there. Hehe.

Just offering you that much, 'cuz people are probably liable to start tossing napalm flames at you sooner or later over it. :D

Kev-chan

I've actually gotten zero flaming as a result of that. Where are all these so-called 'flames' I hear about? C'mon, some of you must have thought my sarcasm was at least, like, poorly executed, or something!

Greetings (throws cold water to create Japanese schoolgirl Googleshng)
When are you going to update the not-Chim page since I'm not sure what you are not? Also are the sages going to appear any time soon? Since the transation time for Suikoden III is rather quick, do you worry that the translation will be botched? Also I need people to send in question for me, if you want me to explain international relations and diplomacy, I can do that amongst other things.
Imperial Mog

As per request, it's up in the right sidebar again.

Last time I wrote in all you and the and Brad did was talk about my name, and not answer my question. I thought it was funny and don't really care about my question anymore. If only you lived in California, you seem so cool! Anyway, have you ever played a really old biblical RPG? I think you're Noah in it, or maybe Moses. This time please answer my question, or at least tell me another AD&D story which I liked so much.
Thanks,
-AlbinoMonkeyKing

Living in California would be neat, but I've still got some stuff to finish in Austin first. I don't recall playing a biblical game (unless one counts Xenogears). What I'd like to see is a game based on Many Waters, which would seem like a biblical game to those unfamiliar with L'Engle, but would actually be far more interesting!

Chiming out:

Wow, I have printable letters that there simply isn't room for. I remember hearing about legendary times when Brad had seventy or so of those at a time. Your eager responses energize me! Keep at it. Don't be afraid to express your thoughts, because they have worth, and meaning, and my literal inbox thirsts constantly for more.

chime @rpgamer.com

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