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Circle of Sages
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Wow, is the weekend over already? It seems like just yesterday we were begging for letters.. erm, it *was* yesterday. Anyway, you can ask us questions any time you like, they just won't be answered until the weekend.

42 and.. Xenogears?

1) I remember you posted somethin about RPG Coding programs before, except I didn't bookmark them. Any chance of getting the addys again? (BTW, is there any of this kind of thing on a ::cringe:: mac? I am one of the minority whose parents decided to stick with good ol apple.. oh well

2) The RPG gaming scene really sucks in Australia, we're forced to import. If I had a choice of Brave Fencer or Xenogears, what do you recommend?

Lorelai, your art kicks! :>

An Aussie RPGer

Amber:Well..... my answer to everything is Xenogears. Heh. But I'm sure Brave Fencer is a great game -- I just haven't had a chance to play it yet. I don't know about the others. How about it, staff?

Lorelai: WOW! Awesome! My art kicks! =) Thanks, Aussie RPGer! You are so cool ^_^ As for games, I agree with Amber; Xenogears. Just a warning though - it takes a while to get hooked. But i think it will be worth it, judging from Amber's advocation of the game. =)

Ryan: Three votes for Xenogears. Brave Fencer was good, but too short and simple for most people. Xenogears, on the other hand, is a long and intricate RPG, with the best story I've ever seen. Go with the gears.

Should we switch?

A: How often do you all find yourselves wanting to do, if not doing each other's jobs?

B: If you could have any other job on RPGamer besides your own, who's and why?

Lorelai: Well, I can't do perl, Java, Javascript, or CGI... so basically all I know is HTML. Therefore, it is impossible for me to DO a webmaster's job here at RPGamer. I suck at writing, so I can't do Amber's either. My penchant is for art, and so RPGamer allowed me this little niche to rest and be comfortable in, doing only a job that I love. =)

Mike: A&B) I've done almsot every job on this site, and they all have good parts and bad parts. The job I always liked the most is news. Reading about the latest and greatest RPGs was always exiciting. Without the need to update news, I rarely keep up with the latest information. However, because of time constraints, I am very happy doing music, seeing how it was my first "position" for RPGamer, it seems fitting I ended up back over here.

C: A question for PSX owners (I don't know if you all have one or not so...) how do you avoid the seemingly random erasures of Save Games and the side effects that come with them, or maybe how do you deal with it? I was happily paying Xenogears andhad put about 15 hours into it. When I got up the next mroning, all three saved games no longer existed. I lost my BoF3 saved games in much the same way, but the were replaced by the FFT saved games somehow...

Mike: I have never lost a saved game. I buy only the official Sony memory cards though, and that seems to help a lot. I always make a backup of each game that is "important" on a backup card though, just in case. Never had to use it, yet. Martin: The manual (on most memory cards, and the psx too, I think) say "Do NOT turn the power on or off with the memory card in the socket". From what I hear, its less of a problem now than it used to be (Mike, for instance, leaves his memory cards in all the time and I don't think has had any problems), it's still better to be safe than sorry The only time I've left my memory card in the socket when I turned the power off, I lost everything on the card (okay, so at the time, I only had one game that used it, but still!).

The memory cards can also be adversely affected by overuse. Although Sony has never stated the maximum number of times you can save over a memory card block, and it probably varies from manufacture to manufacture, various sources have told me its not a lot (200-300).

RPGamer Monthly?

Hey, have you ever thought of making a merchandise line? For example, I'm sure many of your readers would buy an RPGamer T-Shirt or hat... Well, if not that, at least a monthly magazine. Then you could at least get some profit. (I know that's not the important part, but It'd still be nice to see a monthly, or even bi-monthly magazine.)

Mr. Saturn

Martin: We have, in the past, considered several different ideas for merchandise, ranging from CD collections of the music/images to various clothing items, however, I don't think we've thought of a Magazine before. I actually kinda like that idea, but such a project would probably require a lot more startup cash than we could come up with.

Ryan: Yeah, I pushed the T-shirts/hats idea before RPGamer even existed (well, the few days before it did.) The music/image collections wouldn't really work from the copyright standpoint. I doubt companies would enjoy us selling CDs full of their stuff. The magazine idea is one we would like to do, unfortunately, a single issue of a magazine costs more to make than we have ever made (even before costs,) so unless someone mails us a very large check, it probably won't happen.

> I made a little song! (The Air of Barney's I-Love-you song) > Xeno Rules > FF kicks > RPGs are really fun > With battles, magic, gold and experience > won't you say you love em too? Martin: Anything written to the tune of I Hate you, you hate me, let's hang....Hey, what's this? My little cousins are saying that if I say anything bad about Barney they're going to tie me to a chair and make me watch every Barney episode, so ... Hey, cool song dude!

I also Thought of something Else, A thing you should add on your page! A story that we can continue. Example: You start writing a story (RPG-related, of couse), then each week or month you would continue the story by taking the best continuity sent in the time allowed. I think i'd be great! It'd give a change to visitors to really participe to the site!

Rudy (remember me from Joshua's time?)

Martin: Hmm, that is a good idea. I like it! Maybe I can get other staff members to like it to. If not, I'll send the army of barney watchers after them. Yeah, that's the ticket.

P.S. Why are there so many Girls who write to Thor? Martin: What female wouldn't want a guy named Thor....Except for Jill of course.

Chrono Trigger Qs

Hey, Guys, uh... and girl!

Actually, there're three girls. : )

Thanks for actually posting my letter on Saturday. Thor won't even post my letters when I have a question about a video game. That bastard... Whoops! Did I say that out loud...?

Martin: Well, now you're in for it. Thor just asked me to send the Barney Army to your house.

Anyway, I want to know some stuff about Chrono Trigger:

1) Why exactly, does Queen Zeal "team up" with Lavos? Is she that evil?

Rosie: She teams up with Lavos because in return, she becomes immortal and powerful.

2) Will there be a Chrono Trigger 2? I heard something about it on Gamespot Console News a few weeks ago, but that's all.

Rosie: Not sure yet, but I hope so.

Ryan: Well, CT2 is basically all but confirmed to be under development. The rumors have been flying, especially from reputable sources. Hopefully, Square will announce something soon.

Martin: The Magic 8-ball at Wal-Mart told me yes.

3) Why the hell does Chrono not talk!? And don't say insect politics!!!!

Rosie: 'Cause his cat got his tounge.

Lots of Stuff

I've seen some of the CG (from the demo in Brave Fencer) and it occurred to me that there would be longer, better quality cut scenes within FF8. Which, most likely, means larger movies. So the grand question I have is how many CDs will make up FF8. Personally, I'm thinking 5, or has Square decided on some new video compression algorithm that will allow them to put the entire game on 1 disc (laugh). Great site, cool staff, etc. Talk to ya later.
Andrew

Alex: Yes, Square really is going all out on CG in Final Fantasy VIII. If I recall, the game is supposed to be 4 CDs.

N64 Madness.. kind of

Hey, Sages and peoples. I'd like to say hi and note that I know more about Thor from one of his articles than I know about any of you guys, for all of your time spent doing stuff on the site. I guess you should have more audience interaction!

Mike: We had that feeling from many readers that they wanted to know more about us. It was the driving force behind this type of forum. While we can't express ourselves as well as Thor does, because this is a shared column, we do hope that over time, you will know each of us better then before. We also plan to add staff bios in the very near future, letting all the readers know even more about us. It's so nice to be so wanted! (and I don't mean with a bounty ;)

I would also like to complain than I don't own a Playstation and so don't know what the heck you guys talk about with Xenogars and Parasite Eve and stuff, so my interest in your site is wearing thin. Fear not, however, because I still read your place for the wit. Wit does that, ya know. Anyway, keep up the...err...work, and try to convince me that lots of good RPGs are coming out for N64 so I can be happy.

-Mag

Martin:Fortunately, 1999 looks to have many more RPGs for the N64. Of course, some games are only getting called RPGs by the extreme stretching of that term, but there still should be enough to at least keep you from starving to death this year.

Ryan: As an N64 fan myself, I'd like to see some more RPGs too. I'm pretty much sold on Ogre Battle 3 (I'm also a pretty big Ogre Battle fan) but it looks magnificent. Nintendo Power did an article on it in the December issue, saying it would be like a cross between Tactics Ogre (which they incorrectly said never came to the US, it came out last year for PlayStation, which, of course, NP would never admit) and Ogre Battle. It looks to be very interesting. Of course, the old subscriber-paid-advertisement also called StarCraft an RPG, so we'll have to see.

Open the history books

1. When exactly was RPGamer created??

Ryan: RPGamer opened for business on March 11, 1998.

2. How did it start? (why?)

Martin: Some things happened, that resulted in Square.net having to be "removed". Mike stepped in and offered to host the files and archives of Square.net. Around the same time, it was decided to expand into non-Squaresoft RPGs.

3. Do you know if Square has any plans to release games for the Dreamcast?? I hope not...

Martin: Reliable sources say they have DC development systems (latest version, 5, I think)

Ryan: Yes, but dev kits do not a developer make. They would be crazy not to at least look at the Dreamcast, but Square has announced that it will be developing for the PSX2, or PlayBase, as it is rumored to be named. This basically rules them out for any other consoles.

4. Do you take sugestions (sp?) for the poll of the week? If you do here's one: Do you find yourself out of cash all the time due to all these RPGs coming out now? My answer: YES :)

*laugh* Sure, if you have an idea for a poll of the week, go on and send it to webmaster@rpgamer.com. My answer is the same as yours, so don't feel alone. :)

5. Do you answer email even if it doesn't go up?

Ryan: We try to. Don't feel bad if we don't though. There's simply too much.

Phinal Phantasy

#1. Does Sega have any plans whatsoever to make a Phantasy Star V for the Dreamcast, or re-release the old ones, or anything at all? If so, I might actually seriously consider buying a Dreamcast.

Martin: I think everyone pretty much agrees that we've seen the last of new Phantasy Star games, though a compilation would be cool.

#2. Do you think that it is physically possible to fit a true rpg onto a N64 cart? True in this sense would be a Final Fantasy-style rpg, not a strategy or action/adventure rpg (like Quest 64, Zelda, and Ogre Battle 3). I mean, they somehow fit Zelda onto one cart, and that is a huge game, but...

Martin: A lot of people think a game like FFVII couldn't be put on a cart. The PSX and N64 handle graphics differently (for instance, the PSX uses stored images, the N64 renders them on the fly) the same can be said for music. You would probably have to change the way the movies are done, which might very well destroy FFVII, but I think Nintendo could succeed in making a descent RPG for the N64, if they really wanted to.

Other Stuff:

Many people mailed in asking about our favorite game/RPG hero/food/etc, but all that will be explained once we finally get some bios up. Really. A great many more people asked for those as well. Lots of people dig the name "Circle of Sages" too. Mike Barta is "a Nintendo-brainwashee turned Playstation-addict." So are going to have to start PAA (Playstation-Addicts Anonymous?) KingWumpus is offering a cool million for the Writgrombler, dead or alive. Maybe if we kill it we can start RPGamer monthly?

Till next weekend,
-The Sages

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