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So this is what it's like being Thor
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Hallo ladies and gents! Today's Ask Thor has been magically transformed into Ask Lore. (whee! It rhymes!) Oh, FINE, so it's actually a Circle of Sages, but who can call us a circle when there's only me and Drew here? Oh, and by the way...you'll have to suffer our rants not only this weekend, but the entire week! Because we're Thor's temporary replacements!!! BWA HA HA HA HA! (hack) (cough) (choke) Mmmm.... Prozac cookies.....

Okay, so I admit I'm no Thor, even if my name's first syllable rhymes with his. But I could at least help host this column to the best of my ability and offer you the Prozac cookies which seem to have been running wild in Thor's column this past week. Well, actually Thor ate them all but the latter still holds. Erm. Yeah. Doh, I seem to be joke-deficient. Oh well, on with the preguntas.

A delayed KA-BLAAAM!

Hey there, oh all-knowing great and powerful sages. I'm about halfway through the second disc of Xenogears, and there's one thing bugging me (no, not the translation) --why hasn't the collar on Rico's neck exploded yet?

Lorelai: My guess is that Rico's collar is different from the D-block ones that Fei and company have to wear. After all, he won the championship and his freedom eons ago; maybe they disconnected the bomb but allowed him to wear the collar still, or just neglected to keep the bomb up-to-date and it just...erm...decayed...or, perhaps NONE of the collars explode, and it's just something those bad prison guards tell you so you don't try to escape. Hey, it's a game, anything can be possible.

Righteous Cecil and some Sleazy Babe

There is in fact a brothel and a "dirty old man" in FF4. Go to Toroia, the City of Earth that's ruled by the eight Clerics. In the city itself, not the castle, just look around. I believe its in the lower right section of the town. There are bushes, and in them an old man watching women swimming. Then go into the Inn, and go up a few floors. Remember the scene where you watch "the show" after buying the pass? Where a bunch of scantily clad pixel-I mean women, take Cecil onto the stage? That's the brothel.

-just some guy

Lorelai: If any of you have ever bought that 10 thousand dollar pass or whatever (or if you bought it then reset the game like me) you know that Cecil can enter this brothel-like area. I didn't really notice the man watching the women bath; there are worse things in Final Fantasy IV (but they all got censored in the US version) such as Cecil reading a dirty magazine and blushing, and several Cecil-Rosa bad-bad implications. We received a lot of letters concerning Toroia's brothel (the other ton named the quote - Final Fantasy IV's mini-epic poem) and I'm sorry that I could only pick one to post, they were all amusing.

Bart: Dumb J-ERK! It's the OTHER EYE!

I was looking at the Thor/Bart anime Thor hack when I noticed something. The eyepatch was on the wrong eye. It looked like it was just cut and pasted Square artwork though. After doing some research, I found out that half of the Square art has the eyepatch on one eye and half of the art has it on the other. The fans can't decide either. In the game itself, the eyepatch is on the left (his left) eye during normal play, anime sequences and even on his gear. I couldn't find any CG shots of him, but I am guessing it is the same. The art, including in the manual, seems to lean towards the right eye. What's up? Did Square change this at the last minute, or was it just a mistake.

G-Man

Lorelai: Ooh, another Xenogears question, I like =) Ok, I believe that whatever Squaresoft intended, there's nothing they could do to solidify their choice. In the game, Bart only has one character portrait, and depending on when/where/how he speaks, the character portrait appears on either the right or left side of his words. Square didn't (want to) make two images of him, so they simply flipped (mirrored) his picture whenever they needed; thus resulting in a Bart and a Sigurd whose eyepatch changed sides randomly when they talked. My personal opinion goes with the left eye, however ^_^

Born from a Dragon...yeah, and I was born from a Tree

Dear Sages er Drew er....Lorelai

I'm no expert but isn't the quote from final fantasy II (V)? In regards to the legend about one being born from a dragon who will perform all these great deeds to save the world etc..... The one being born from a dragon would be referring to Cecil.

Blade

Lorelai (who else?): Yes, the quote is from Final Fantasy II (but that's IV in Japan, not V). The poem follows:

One to be born from a Dragon
Hoisting the Light and the Dark
Arises high up in the Sky to the Still Land.
Veiling the Moon with the Light of Eternity
It brings another promise to Mother Earth
With a bounty and mercy.

How do I know the words of the poem without even owning Final Fantasy II? Check out one of my early fan artworks that I never submitted. ^_^ I loved the friggin game so much I memorized the thing, and stuck it on my fanart.

Random Munchies

Whoo, lots of random little things.. Mostly commentary on Thor's last column. ^_^

Just for reference, Ehrgeiz is pronounced "Air-gaits", and it's German for "Ambition". This has probably been said before, but I figured I'd say it again anyways. :-p

As for Lufia 2's Ancient Cave, I have a friend in real life who's gotten all of them, and guess what happens: not very much. They're all displayed in a pretty order down in the place they're usually displayed, along with a statue of the giant slime.

And as for that old SNES RPG with a character named Thor.. That would be Lagoon. A rather nice little adventure/RPG gem that I thoroughly enjoyed, even if I could never beat it.

-- Speed

Lorelai (again): ...And that's all I have to say about that. Thanks, Speed! =)

Legal Jargon in BIG print

Recently, there has been a few letters regarding importing soundtracks of video games. SonMay (AKA SM) has also come up a few times. I did some research recently, e-mailing various companies and talking with some friends who work in law. Well, as most people can guess, what SM does IS illegal... technically.

SM is a Taiwan based company (I'm pretty sure of this. Anyone know otherwise?)

Lorelai (like,duh): Yes, they are Taiwan based. I'm sure.

and what they do is buy one of the original CDs from the original producer then use industrial burners and copy it. Most of the time you do get a good copy. However, most of the art work and such is either photo-copied or simply made from scratch. I actually own their FF7 soundtrack. (Funny thing is, the original version is actually cheaper than the SM version in a local anime store... go figure.)

Now, the reason you usually get them so cheap (I pay $30~$40 for my Evangelion CDs. SM sells them for about $15) is that SM DOES NOT pay royalties to the producer. They are ripping the producers off. You may ask why no one does anything about this. The answer is both simple and complex. It has a lot to do with international law. In the US, it's pretty hard to do anything like this (if you tried, you probably would get busted, but there's always a chance, so try if you want. It's not my future). However, many countries don't have laws like we do. I'm not ripping on any particular country, just pointing out a fact. Now, since we don't have any trade restrictions with most Asian countries (I'm pretty sure we'll trade with most of 'em... just not the one's at war...), SM if free to ship their CDs.

The Original producers are hurt by this (duh) but they don't press charges... Why? I'm not sure. Might have something to do with the complexity of the law. If you want the original CDs, you have some very good choices from who to buy. www.soundtrackcentral.com has been very reliable for me. My personal favorite is www.the-place.com. Not only do they have a lot of game CDs, they have a HUGE collection of legal, non-copied anime videos and CDs. All of it at great prices.

Jadaris Ro'Kedri

PS. We'll miss you sexy pants.

Lorelai (nyah!): Wow, this letter was lengthy, but I posted it because it's a serious take on something...well, serious. Taiwan, I might say openly, does do a lot of this piracy stuff. I can't say much, because I own a load of SM soundtracks (on a visit to Canada, a guy who took a liking to me gave me 11 - ELEVEN - CD's) but I do know that illegal stuff is bad-bad. No questions about it. But then, so are MP3s, technically. Heck, I wonder why Thor doesn't sue me for hacking his anime picture...

News: RPGamer's Lorelai melts due to fan's sincere words

Hello. I don't know where to begin, but.... Heck, I'll just say it. The website rocks. I just wanted you(seemed right at the time to e-mail you, maybe it's your artistic spirit?) and your friends to know that. I'm not gonna say "keep up the good work" or any other tripe like that, I just wanted to give you a solid, pure, heartfelt congratulations...

-James Thorne, a faceless friend and follower

Lorelai (sigh): Awwwww....thank you James. It's people like you who make our job wonderful here at RPGamer, really. As for my artistic spirit, 99% is inspired because of feedback, and I'll have to admit that someone as sincere as you is quite rare. It's hard to expose yourself to thousands of people you don't know (think about that for a sec, flamers) and I just want to return a pure, solid, heartfelt thank you for understanding beyond words what it means to me to work here. (Hehe, you didn't expect me to post this did you? sorry for the unnannouncement.)

blah, blah BLAH blah blah!

In the 2-26 edition of "Ask Thor" somebody had sent in a question asking if Yoshitaka Amano was the character designer for FFVII. I was rather miffed but not at all suprised that "Thor" totally failed to answer his/her question and instead went on a hilarious anti-piracey kick ("hilarious" as in "really, really dumb"). Had Amano done the character designs as well as creature and environment, FFVII would have actually had A) continuity (at least as far as the environment goes), B) characters not designed for sex appeal (Tifa? What good was she other than her Mai imitations?), and C) dare I say it, Fantasy. I am not the man's greatest fan, but he does have a skill for creating fantasy.

Don't get me wrong. Nomura is a talented character designer (you hear that? DESIGNER)...but for gods sake don't let him do Final Fantasy. The guy is totally stuck on western/mid-western designs and 1950's sci-fi architecture which is all fine and dandy but, again, not for Final Fantasy. Gunblade? C-L-I-C-H-E-D.

Oh yes, while I'm ranting, as much as I do loathe stomaching through the majority of the sages ego and letters that have nothing to do with RPGs each edition, please try to do something about this...like find some people who actually KNOW something about RPGs, have a real sense of humor, and, oh, I don't know, writing talent, maybe?

From an irate, old-school gamer.

Lorelai (sigh): Now, wasn't that a sudden change from James Thorne's sincere letter? I realize that every columnist must get letters like these, but they are most disappointing when they come from people who are *supposedly* rational and mature.

Oh, and about finding people with more writing talent...Granted we're not the most talented writers in the world (I'd be writing my own books instead of working here) but at least we don't strut around SAYING we're the greatest writers in the world. But you, irate gamer, go picking on very talented people like Nomura, who has more fans than you will ever get with that negative attitude...and what's more, you don't even sign your rant with your name. All staff members use our names here at RPGamer because we believe in what we post.

Just for the record, Final Fantasy VII's ratings and sales were chart-toppers, which means not everyone thinks Tifa was only good for eye appeal. Additionally, please remember that we RPGamer columnists, who try to please thousands of people at once, also have to "stomach" disgruntled rants like yours. You have a choice whether or not to read the column...though in my personal opinion, RPGamer is not a place where we flaunt our egos. (Nor is my reply a personal insult to you; I reply to each letter in the tone of voice which it was sent.)

Repeat after me: FYE-nol FAN-tah-SEE!

hey Drew or Lorelai,

My room mate and I are having a petty little argument about the pronunciation of some character names from ff6. The first one is Celes. Is it pronounced "ceelees" with the elongated iiiii sound for the "e" or like Celeste without the te? And Sabin, is it Saabin (like SAAB the car company) or Sabin with a short a sound (rhymes with Turin the city in Italy). I know its kind of a waste of time, but your opinions, or the reader's opinions, would really quench my thirst to be right.

Thanks a bunch,

Al

Lorelai (one more): Since no one published an official guide to speaking Final Fantasy, best I can offer are my experiences from talking to other FF fans. I personally say Celes like Celeste, minus the T-sound, but my friend Alex (not Kimbel) says "SELL-ess." "Ceelees" is a new one though ^_^. As for Sabin, I say "SAH-bin" but my friends also have heard it said your way, with a consonant A. Aw hell, just call him Mash. *hee*


All righty, that's all for me. Drew will be hosting tomorrow's Circle of Sages (we should change that title now that we only have one or two sages conferring at once, eh?) and probably most of Thor's regular weekday column, since I'm being slaughtered by the Midterms. The Slayer of Lorelai...Hiss.

- The Sages

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