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Brandon Daiker - June 4 '02- 2.30AM Central Daylight Time

So, it seems that someone somewhere made a serious clerical error and somehow my newbie self has been appointed the title of Letters Column Host For A Day. Nevermind the begging and pleading that I participated in to acquire this spot; that was all tertiary to the executive blunder in general. In my quest to entertain the People Like Me, I promise to Use Excessive Capitalization and Remain Generally Entertaining. If at anytime I fail to be Generally Entertaining, I've failed as your Host For A Day, and you can dispatch whatever sort of rabid mammal you'd like to terminate me. Except Hamtaro. On with the show.

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So Cool They're Hot

Hi Epochkun.

1. Uh...who are you?
2. What do you do for RPGamer?
3. What is your favorite RPG for the SNES, PSX, a portable system, and one other system?
4. What games are you playing or have recently played?
5. What game are you most looking forward to?
6. What consoles do you have?
7. Are you into anime, tabletop RPGs, fantasy or sci-fi novels? If yes to any, what is your favorite anime/tabletop RPG/author?
That's more than enough questions. I'll stop now.


I figure a letter like this is a perfect opportunity to let you guys know a little bit about myself, as though you're all deathly curious.

1. I'm Brandon! No really. I guess if you're looking for some sort of biographical information on myself, you'll get it. I'm one of those damn hooligan 18-year-olds who's always messing around with your damn mailbox down the street. That's me. I'm also that slightly introverted geeky sort of boy who has an unhealthy fixation on most types of technology, and enjoys literature and good music and all that other jazz. But not jazz music. Specifically. I mean. *cough*

2. I'm a newsie, technically, although I've written one (1) review for the site since I was hired. I write the news stories that have the little "by Brandon Daiker" things below them, the ones that you see on the main page. I'm also in charge of the resident ferret, because he can get out of control. Warning, humor level decreasing.

3. Favorite RPG for the SNES is either Secret of Mana, EarthBound, or Link to the Past, my favorite portable one is probably Pokémon Blue, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, or Link's Awakening, and my favorite "other" is probably Final Fantasy X for the PlayStation 2. As far as the regular PSX RPG goes, that's quite a bit harder a choice, but I'm probably gonna say... Final Fantasy VII, just for the awe-inspiringness that it gave me. And since I'm indecisive, Xenogears, because even though disc 2 is widely regarded as an interactive book sans the interaction one normally has with a book, I still enjoyed the story.

4. I just bought a PlayStation 2 like... last Saturday, so I'm currently playing Final Fantasy X and ICO, nearly interchangably. Both are great games and I really suggest anyone with a PS2 picks them up. For those times when I don't feel like role-playing or adventuring, I get my mad monkey groove on with Super Monkey Ball on my GameCube. Word.

5. This is also a tossup. Metroid Prime and Legend of Zelda Cube are my two most hotly anticipated not-yet-released titles, of course, but if you're talking about Game I'm Most Looking Forward To But Don't Have The Cash To Acquire, the choice is probably Grand Theft Auto III. Hey, any game where I'm allowed to run over pedestrians and blow up vehicles scores extra points in my book. And double extra points if that's actually the GOAL.

6. My consoles - NES, Super NES, GameCube, GB Pocket, GB Advance, Virtual Boy, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, PlayStation, PlayStation 2. And how does he play all of them? He doesn't. On the other hand, he's doing his parents a great injustice by leaving them all plugged in all the time. My room's a fire hazard, and my over thirty electrical devices can be disabled by removing two plugs from one outlet. Hey, nobody ever said gamers were wise folk. Well someone probably has. But it's not always true.

7. I know nothing point five about tabletop RPG's, so I'll just omit that, but in the anime and sci-fi/fantasy novel fields, I'm slightly more knowledgable. I'm rather a fan of the first Tenchi Muyo movie, and I recently rather enjoyed Metropolis. I also picked up Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust a few months back, and enjoyed that pretty well. As far as anime series go, I really don't have the time/bandwidth to be much of an avid fan, and living smack dab in the middle of the midwest is rather limiting on the exposure I can get to it. Given the means, I'd like to see Evangelion, and I've also seen the first few episodes of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Consensus is that I'd be insane NOT to feast my eyes on more Chu-Chu laden mind crack. Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. My most recently read is The Dream Master, by Roger Zelazny, and all signs point to that being my Favorite Book Ever, even if some people say it lacks whateverthehell since it was just a short story stretched into a novel. I've also got it on beautiful authority that the Dragonriders series is quite worth checking out, although I've yet to do so. How's that for a composite answer?
That's a rhetorical question, you.

So Hot They're Cool

Dear Mr. Epo,
Hello! I'm a rare breed;...a game-loving girl. I'm hot. I'm young. I'm in college already. I also love other gamer-nerds. But only male ones.
The point of my writing this letter, dear Epo, is to tell you all about how I'm single and in need of a nerd of my own. I was hoping you could put out the word for me? My favorite games include EarthBound, and Zelda: Link's Awakening.
Anyway, my question is: Are nerdy RPG-obsessed boys looking for girls like me? I'm lonely and my goods are going to waste. Thank you and goodnight.
--Diana K.
Seattle, Washington.

Although the odds that you're actually a 45-year-old man with an affection for whiskey and a certain fixation on chatroom trolling in your stained white beater are high, something deep inside my subconscious tells me that you're genuinely telling the truth. Call it naivete, except properly accented, call it lack of tact, or call it that deep concern for you that makes me want to help you find your Ness in shining armor, but I'll issue the call. Interested guys out there wanna get in touch? Shoot me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do for your love starved hearts. Hey, can't go wrong with EarthBound, anyway. Epo's Maximum E-Mail just increased by 13! Sweet!

The password... is flaming.


No reason to beat around the bush so just gonna jump right into this thing.....I have an addiction.......for what you ask? Drugs. Now you're probably wondering how this relates to the RPG world..well it's quite simple. As I said before I am addicted to drugs....lsd, pcp, name it. But I also have another addiction....RPG's..whoa big surprise. Well, as you might expect, these two addictions often clash when money comes into play. The most recent clash being DRUGS VS. PS2. I was just wondering if you could give me your two cents on this issue and tell me if a PS2 is worth dropping the drug habit. I've been reading up on the PS2. There's a couple games that I'm interested in - Final Fantasy 10, GTA 3, and ICO - but I still haven't been able to choose between the two so please help me decide.


P.S. I in no way condone the use of drugs. As you know, they are illegal and very expensive. Not to mention the long term effects they cause to your body. It's too late for me, but if I can reach just one, I guess I really won't care but hey, as the illustrious linebacker Lawrence Taylor said, "And that brings me to my next point....don't smoke crack." Oh Lawrence you crazy fool.......THANKS.

First off, let me echo Mister Panda's P.S. and state that drugs are bad, mmkay? But to your question. Were I in your position, I'd evaluate the three main points of comparison between drugs and PS2 so you can most accurately determine your selection. Since I feel like elaborating, let me elaborate.

Factor the First: Women.
Drugs. Since most rap videos portray many rap superstars previously featured in RapJam: Volume 1 driving around in shiny cars with many women, scantily clad, I must assume that the women like the money that the rappers in question have. Money only comes to rappers in two ways, and one of them is from the rabid consumers. The other must be drugs, as my flawed stereotype-using logic mandates. So here's the deal. Sell the drugs to get the cash, use the cash to get the chicks, use the chicks to drive around so you be riding in big pimp style.
PS2. Aside from a rare breed like Diana up there, your PS2 using will probably prevent girls, unless you slip into a bizzare fantasy world where Rikku and Lulu perform sordid favors using the DualShock 2.
Winner = Drugs.

Factor the Second: Crazy Mad Mental Stimulation.
Drugs. So they make you all trippy and crap. Not that I'd know because I'm a wholesome boy unlike you, you tainted and misguided soul you. Oh, and you'll probably go to jail.
PS2. A vast array of games created for your gaming pleasure. Generic action shooters like one of a zillion Army Men games for those days when you don't need a lot of stimulation, and insane hallucinogenic dance/rhythm games like Rez and Frequency when you're feeling particularly saucy are all readily available. Keep in mind that the inordinate amounts of fun they create are not illegal.
Circle gets the square.
Winner = PS2.

Factor the Third: I'm Lazy.
So you'll have to just figure out another point to compare. I vote PS2. PS2 para presidente, PS2.
Overall champeen = PS2. Wholesome family fun.

I'm so confused...

Heyo Flying-time-craft-thingy-from-CT (aka Epochkun!)

I'd like to know if there is anything short of the RPGMaker series and actually using a simple programming language (like C or TP) that will allow you to make an RPG? I just want to know if there are applications out there with less complicated templates than RPGMaker but with far less work than the down-to-basics of program code.
I hear RPGMaker 2 will be easier to work with but that gets released next year which is kind of a long while away (*sigh* Xenosaga). In the meantime I'm left with either it's horribly messy predecessor or using C++ to make a game (or MUD, which I would like to do). While I have a little skill in programming I don't quite think I'm ready to devote time to a couple thousand lines of code which would only serve to lessen my interest in making the game in the first place (Turbo Pascal was my bane for several long weeks).
I've seen people make their games using websites offered by MS Communities and what not, but that seems too limiting to me. I guess I am asking for something that probably doesn't exist (yet) but since a good set of you RPGamers are actually working on your own rpgs I just wanted to find out what most of you use.
Well anyway, thanks for your time :)

To be blunt, upon reading this letter I had no idea what on Earth I'd reply to it. After all, it presents too valid a question for me to simply ignore, and it's all spelled correctly and stuff. Bearing my knowledge or lack thereof in mind, the solution was clear:
Fall back on the staffers.
Resident media dude guifa sez:
"Unfortunately RPGMaker is about the only thing you'll find to help you make RPGs. Outside of that, many IDE offer frameworks that could lessen some of the amount of coding you will need to. Examples include CodeWarrior and ProjectBuilder."
Rico sez:
"Verge might work."
I have no idea what was just said. I wish you luck in your endeavor, however. Hur hur, I rhymed.

Tactical Ogre Espionage

Is there a general shortage of Tactics Ogre everywhere? Like the Canadian fan who wrote in last week, I've yet to find it, after two weeks of looking. The big discount stores (Target, Best Buy, etc.) haven't heard of it and the game stores aren't stocked. At, the availability checker thing says that not only are there no copies within 200 miles of me, there are no shipments forthcoming. Was this a limited release?


I haven't seen it anywhere, either. Based upon the general seeming unavailability of the game, I'll venture to say it was a limited release, although you may get into trouble quoting me on that. If all else fails, there's always the mongrels at eBay...

"Macho Man" Randy Savage Has Nothing To Do With The Letter

I think it all started a week ago when I was busy working. Shrink wrapping.
Yup, shrink wrapping. For any of you that know about shrink wrapping, it's lotsa fun. You get to use a high-heat gun and watch plastic shrivel up and seal stuff. Stuff, what a great word. Anyway... Back to my story. So I was working, and this chicken comes in. Not your typical chicken, with feathers and such. One of those funny headless ones with the bumpy neck flap skin thing that you buy in the supermarket. So it walks in, and out of the blue starts break dancing. Let me tell ya, that dude could do one heck of a Worm. Then it started telling this story about the time it went to Malibu. I'm being quite attentive, and next thing I know, it starts moon walking! Then the chicken starts talking about Malibu again. Next thing I know, for no reason at all, it rips off its leg and smacks me in the head! That's the last thing I remember, until I came to. When I regained consciousness, I was surrounded by gnomes. Evil things, gnomes. Pointy red hats. Except the old ones. Theirs are purple with lime polka-dots. They start singing, and at first I can't recognize the tune, and then I realize that they're singing Enrigues Inglesias. I cover my ears as they screech out 'Hero', but they force me to listen. "NOOO!" I scream. Then I realize that they may outnumber me, but I outsize them. They're only 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches tall. I stomp them, and they give feeble little gnomish cries, and I can hear them yelling profanities at me. "#%@!" the last one growls at me. CRUNCH. And then I leave the forest that I don't recall going into in the first place and find myself back in my house. I close the lamp, climb the door, fall into stairs, and turn out the bed.

This has nothing to do with RPG's, and little to do with anything else. However, it tickled my elusive fancy, and so I felt that I should pass it on to my dear readers for a potential fancy-tickling. If you end up with a facial reaction anywhere near the oft-used emoticon looking something like this:
then Niboyh has woven a web of bafflery and intrigue. If not, then... I don't know. Rather anticlimactic reply is all, then.

Boy, boy, be my boy (I wanna feel your body)

Hi, hope you're having fun with the whole Q and A bit.

I have a quick question for you. My boyfriend just bought a Gamecube and lately I haven't been paying as much attention to all the good stuff that has come out. Can you or anyone recommend anything good to try out, not just RPG, but games in general? I'm trying to get him more into the RPG mode, but it takes time. :)

Thanks and have a great day,

You'll find that I'm a big advocate of Super Monkey Ball, a great game that will hone your proverbial reflexes and can be found in many bargain bins by now to boot. If you're looking for Nintendo-endorsed random beat-'em-up fun, Super Smash Bros: Melee is the ticket, and if you're some type of not-quite-Star-Wars-nerd-but-sort-of like me, then Star Wars: Rogue Leader's a great choice. You might also like 007: Agent Under Fire, if you're looking for a fluffy multiplayer first person shooter. The Cube's a bit lacking on the RPG front currently, but look for Skies of Arcadia and Legend of Zelda in the future. Or, if you need an RPG fix right now, Lost Kingdoms seems to offer a nice bit of gameplay, if you can ignore the N64-style graphics.

Add ic to Dan and you'll have icDan which makes no sense

Dear Epochkun,
I don't play rpg's too often. I have a problem. I don't have enough money to buy a new gameboy advance, or a pokemon silver game. I don't know what to do. I lost all my money on hookers and gambling this week. What should I do? Should i give up the hookers or gambling, or should I just give up the dream of owning a gameboy advance?

It's pathetic how addicted to things you people are. Hookers, gambling, drugs? What's next, Everquest?
Go, on that's your cue to groan audibly, people.
But to answer your question in a more serious manner, you should first buy a Gameboy Advance, and play it a lot. Next, you must lose more money than you can afford to your best friends, and then call 1-800-BETS-OFF. The hookers will be unavailable after the money's gone, and after you're out of gambling rehab, you'll still have a GBA and your friends will be wealthy. No hookers cause you can't afford them, no gambling cause your friends are rich, and no worries about GBA deprivation, cause you have one.
The answer is clear.

Clee shay I say clee shay but ham feeds me today

Here's a simple question that will allow myself and all your other loyal fans sleep easier at night: in all your glorious wisdom, who do you feel is the greatest video game character of all time? Well, that's too vague and broad. We'll tighten up the parameters just a bit: the greatest protagonist and the greatest antagonist. There has to be justification, however, you can't just name a name. You have to at least come up with a reason why you think [random video game hero] was so cool. With the villan you have to consider the motive, the appearance, the the overall bad-assedness. Same goes for the hero, but I'm guessing you knew that. Thanks for taking the time to answer this letter and subdue my curiousity. Keep up the good writing dude.

Backwater wonderboy, RPGamer regular

Now this is a great question which I probably will answer too generically or too non-satisfactorily... we'll do the antagonist first. I'd have to say...
*contemplates motives*
*contemplates badassness*
*contemplates appearance*
I'm gonna have to say Final Fantasy VI's Kefka, in a bout of non-originality. Sephiroth is a close second cause he's more badass, but Kefka wins out in the end in my mind simply because he makes you hate him... he's annoying and insane and quite the nuisance, but the fact that he's a nuisance with power gives him a bad-asspect, if you know what I mean. He looks like a clown, of course, but it's toeing the confused genius garb line enough that he could qualify in the appearance category. And the laugh. Classic.
As for the protagonist...
Hmm, I've never thought about it this much before. I think I'm gonna risk it and say Final Fantasy X's Yuna. I see both of my choices are from Final Fantasy games, and that's not really intentional. Yuna's just been a character that's easy to relate to, and has enough care/mystery about her that she remains intriguing and compassionate I guess. I don't want to say too much or give away the story, really, and so that's my concise choice.
Of course, nobody can compare to Illusion of Gaia's lovable little pig, Hamlet, who sacrificed himself for a whole village.
Now THAT'S compassion.

Almost Letters

I just wanted to let you know that you're really HOT!!!

Bubba thinks so, too.

I was wondering what the best tactical rpg you would recommend. Aside from Arc The Lad Collection and Final Fantasy Tactics. If you know of any it would be helpful.

Kartia seems like a good bet. You could try Hoshigami, too, if you enjoy questioning your existence.

how do u kill the boss on the fire escape

First, mix three parts water with one part chicken grease, and let it sit in the sun overnight. You will need to secure an area where the sun shines during the night. Insert coin. Next, consume the mixture and fall prey to diseases you may contract. Finally, mention the name of the game you're asking about in the body of the letter. You'll find this makes for easy answering. Oh, and questions like this can be answered by using one of the many walkthroughs we have on-site, anyway.

Does Sephiroth like to murder heroes?
Yo yo....I slice and dice leaving all oposers scared and unready to roll dice. My infrared beam is so procise even though Ive only shot twice twice. I make the targets fall like Mike Tyse. My internet skills kill all software bugs including lice. Where the hell is the answer for my question on murder......answer and post becuase its always possible on this superb web server. I want an answer unlike any I heard of. Thanx.
Big V

Yo yo yo I got the funky flow, MIX the flour into the bowl. Homeslice Epo not sure whatchoo sayin, it's hard to give an answer selection when you ain't ask me an actual question. Freestyle homie, other silly fit, occupy this right side space with a bunch of useless text.

Closing it up in a trite few sentences:

Well, that was a blast. Sometimes people say that guest hosting the letters column is more work than it seems. They are pretty much right. Right now, I feel the sudden urge to throw in zillions of odd quotes and odd props and plokles and such, and I feel like I'd better sing now while I can, but I'm still sitting here, and inspiration's run dry, so I better fight the urge and go to sleep. Resistance is futile, it seems.
Thanks for writing, and thanks for reading. You can send all your letters for tomorrow to Rico. I'm sure he'll be informative and all that other good stuff.

Epochkun "But I'm not full yet!"

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Ok, so if I mix this all up here, and place this down here, am I suddenly imaginative, bizzare, and/or witty? Or all three? Or the opposite?

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