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   A Pirate's Life For Me   
Martin Drury - September 2nd, '01- 5:55am Eastern Standard Time

It seems some of you have some questions/comments about pirating software and this, coupled with an on going debate over pirated Dreamcast games on a Dreamcast mailing list I subscribe to has prompted me to title the column after a line from the Pirates of the Caribbean. Speaking of the Caribbean, I'm going to be there in 4 months. Whee.

Anyhow, I was sort of surprised that I didn't really receive any letters in defense of Suikoden 2. For what I did get, see below. I'm happy to say that I did finish it this morning, though. If anyone would like to make me an offer, feel free to do so, and I don't require as much as this guy.

Finally, Keno, Maru, Hao, Chiapet, Gramps, Druggy and Sue are all on vacation today, so you're just stuck with me, Plain Ol' Martin.

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Love is in the Air

i am a love story rpg fanatic. are there any you know of that were released in the u.s (other than rhapsody. i finished that already) also, were the rpgs "moon" and "sonata" released in the US? one last question, if you really want a research project. im curious to know if the vocal for Lena in Star Ocean: the second story and Maya for Persona 2 are the same person. thank you pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease reply!!!!!!

--LinkyG

Martin:
Moon and Sonata where never released in the US. As far as I know, no other "Love Story" RPGs have been released in the US, but I seem to recall hearing that one was on the way for PlayStation 2. Of course, now I can't track down where I saw that, so I'm probably just confuzled.

I've not played Persona 2, so I really can't answer that question. Sorry.

 
Pirates? I Hate 'Em

Hi...YOU!
I have a little question for you. You see, I'm really tired of seeing PIRATES! No, not the ones with the parrot and the patched-eye, but rather those assholes playing copied CDs on their PSX and DC. It hit me a week ago when an old, eh, "acquaintance" of mine told me he had well over 450 games! The problem is, there are way too many of these people and it shows no sign of stopping! I remember when the DC came out, Sega said their software was completly protected against piracy. Two weeks later, everyone was playing copied games. So FINALLY, my question is, will this wave of pirated software finally stop with the Gamecube and the PS2? I know the PS2's been out for a while, but I just got mine, so I consider it like a new console. Anyway, I'm done. Thanks.

~Xeros89

Martin:
I know a guy who can get you any movie, any playstation game, any dreamcast game, any album, and any PC software.... and unfortunately for him, so does the Federal Government. He got served with an injunction and a buncha other stuff around the middle of August. Something about violating the DMCA.

To some extend, there is some "good" piracy. I really don't have any negative view of people who copy/distribute games that have gone out of production and are now nearly impossible to acquire. And in the US, the whole piracy scene is often blown out of proportion. For instance, despite the higher than ever rate of piracy in the US last year, the Video Game Industry had its best year ever. However, since the economic downturn, piracy is probably up even higher this year, while sales are down... not a good thing for publishers. However, I personally don't participate in piracy, and I am somewhat against it. I buy my games the old fashion way, and just complain about not having enough money to get everything I want.

As for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. There are already mod chips available for the PS2 that defeat the DVD regional lockout, and that allow you to play CD-Rs of PlayStation games. It's just a matter of time before there are mod chips to allow you to play DVD-R/RAMs of PlayStation 2 games. All I want to be able to do is play imports. I'm not sure what Security Scheme the Xbox uses, but if it holds to Microsoft Form, it will be broken within 2 weeks of release. The GameCube, on the other hand, with its smaller discs comes close to eliminating pirating using the Game Cube itself. However, Pirating using the Panasonic DVD/Game Cube will probably be a reality within a year of launch. Of course, in this day and age, with DVD-R/RAM and large Hard drives coupled with lightning fast CPUs and Broadband, it's just a matter of time before "ROMs" return.

 
Pirates do what Nintendon't

Chuh chuh chuh cheeea pet!

Maybe it's just me, but has anyone else thought about the potentials of piracy using the Panasonic Gamecube? I mean, one of Nintendo's original intentions to circumvent piracy was to make the Gamecube physically inable to accomodate a disc larger than it's own proprietary MiniCD's - with the Panasonic Gamecube that will HAVE to be large enough to accomodate DVD's, the piracy potential is there.... Damn Nintendo for shooting themselves in the foot with that. Or maybe it won't be a big deal either, I really have no idea.

~Epochkun

Martin:
Well, just because the Drive has to accept DVD sized discs does not make it readily piratable. For instance, the system logic could say, "See if there is a disc outside the size of the Game Discs, if so, don't execute game." Now, if History has anything to say about this, it won't be implemented until after a Pirate somewhere takes advantage of the Panasonic drive's DVD size media.

 
Anti-Aliased: Just like Me.

Hello dear Googleshng,

There has been a question that has been "dancing in my head" as of lately. A person would think that with all of these re-releases of classic games that some of the companies would be wise enough to include some form of anti-aliasing to make the graphics look better. I've bought quite a few of Square's "remakes". However, I find myself more satisfied to play my rom version of it with the lastest version of zsnes and use anti-aliasing. It makes it so much prettier!! It makes old games, like "Secret of Mana" and "Earthbound", a completely new experience. I wish I could experience these things on my comfy couch rather than on a hard chair at my PC. D'oh! Oh, well! There is not much I am able to do on my own to bring these companies into the light. Do you have any suggestions, Googleshng? Also, another question- Did you also find almost all of the old Gameboy RPG's, such as "Final Fantasy Legend 2" (or "Saga 2") and "Final Fantasy Adventure" ("Seiken Densetsu"), to be more entertaining, in a form, than many of the other RPG's that exist. I know that I did. They're special! And.. I have a quote for you to figure out! "Did you ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?"

- Usagi_Chocomog/ PuReEvIL409

Martin:
A lot of the remakes are done by writing a specialized emulator with break points for the new FMV and wrapping that around a ROM of the older game. Still, one would think that some form of anti-aliasing might be able to be squeezed in there, if the new hardware supports it.

For the most part, I find all older RPGs more enjoyable then the newer ones. My wife, however, finds the older ones less enjoyable, because she doesn't like older graphics. It's all just a matter of personal taste, and nostaglia plays some influence as well.

I believe that quote is from Batman. At least it was on the Batman soundtrack spoken by the Joker.

 
Townspeople, or Kentuckians? Or, Imperial Mog, Part 1

Hey (monks sing) CH-CH-CH-CHIA I was wondering if I am correct on this part. Aren't people in real life often as dumb as townsfolk in RPG's? Actually, that's an insult to townsfolk since real people are much dumber than townsfolk. Just dealing with people at fast-food places rests my case. Also, what is the wierdest and/or most disturbing scene in an RPG?

Imperial Mog

Martin:
Hey Mog,
RPG townsfolk are the "smart" Kentuckians. The rest of the Kentuckians are the people who get in my way on my way to work. Actually, my townsfolk are not that bad, I just wish they had larger vocabularies.

Wierdest/Most Disturbing scene in an RPG....

Besides Cloud in the Honey Bee Inn? Let's see, the lady at the inn in Dragon Warrior asking you if you had a good time when you take the princess to the inn (and the corresponding GBC version, "You were up late last night.") is up there on my list. The child in the bedroom in Suikoden 2 asking if I was a "customer". The whole list of "prostitutes" in Suikoden 2. Hell, Suikoden 2 is disturbing from begining to ending. Shadow Madness. The children at the end of Grandia (PSX version). Grandia's voice actors. My friend Steve who thinks Final Fantasy 8 was the work of God. My cat that was named Tifa. Shall I go on? Or our you satisfied? I will not be able to sleep at all tonight, thank you very much.

 
Imperial Mog, Part 2

Hey (monks sing) MC-DOHL OF THE CHI-A-PETS
I was wondering if you did this. Have you ever named the hero from the first Suikoden "Bater"? It's funny since everyone would be referring to a Master Bater. What was with the translation of Suikoden II and why was it so horrible. It's FFT quality and that's saying much. Did Konami hire the FFT translators or something. Actually in some respects it's much worse. How do you got it where the wrong person is speaking a line? Also where they don't even translate a line so you get gibberish. Doesn't it upset you if they misspell and give multiple names to people and places. I wonder where does these translators now? Do you think they were drunk while doing this or something? Also, does your wife play RPG's?

Imperial Mog

Martin:
Oh My God in Heaven! The Suikoden 2 Translators are proofing Mogs letters. Quick, while they are still there let's go to his house and put them out of my misery.

Okay, first Mog, sometimes you scare me. Second, if Goog was here he'd be beating you with something, as he says Final Fantasy Tactics translation isn't really that bad. It is awkward in places though, but compared to Suikoden 2, it's perfect.

Let us examine the ways:
1,421 mis-uses of a '. That's right, there are at least 1,421 places where either a ' is needed and is missing, or is not needed and is present
Untranslated text: There are a couple aforementioned Kentuckians townsfolk who have untranslated dialog, and there are at least 2 enemies who's names were not translated.
Apple is in love with Jowy: She calls the hero Jowy, and at one point she even says, "Hero, Jowy, let's invade Muse." And Jowy's defending Muse!
The wrong people moving for the dialog/wrong name for the speaker: In nearly every event scene, this happens at least once, my favorite during the refugee escape sequence: "Quick, we have to save the Refugees" - Refugees.
The bottom line is, however, Suikoden 2 is an enjoyable game. Somehow, Konami managed to butcher a game and still make it fun. For that, I take my hat off to them. However, Konami should be ashamed of the non-existant QA in Suikoden 2.

On another point, if Square had made this game, their offices would have been burnt to the ground. Which just goes to show, we, the RPGamers, expect too much out of Square, and not enough out of other companies.

My wife does not play RPGs. She enjoys watching "modern cinematic" RPGs, but only if I'm advancing the story and not level building. She dislikes most older RPGs, except for Lunar and Final Fantasy V. Which she affectionately refers to as "Super Deformed Unisex Men: Volume 5" and "Super Deformed Unisex Men: Volume Silver Star Story Complete". She used to hate Final Fantasy V, until she discovered that A: I die a lot (her favorite RPG character of all time is Diego "Watch Me Die" from Vandal Hearts) and B: She can call them Unisex Men. Apparently, she has a thing for the word "Unisex"... I wonder if I should be worried.

 
J-Poppin'

Whoever happens to be hosting, hi =)

My question is, who are your favorite J-Pop artists? I've gotten into it, mostly thanks to an alarmingly deep addiction to anime, but I don't know where to look for more. Thanks!

~Mesaana, firm believer that any song with a name like "Cruel Angel's Thesis" is legally required to be freaking awesome.

Martin:
I would like to say that I know some J-Pop artists other than the ones involved with Square, but unfortunately, I can not. Most J-Pop I listen to is from Anime Soundtracks, and I have never really taken the time to find out the artists' names.

As for where to buy J-Pop, check out our good friends over at TokyoPop.

And thanks for pre-formatting!.

 
I'll Dub your Subtitles!

Hey RPGuru! (does anybody remember when it was called that?)

Anyway, I'd just like to say that I am sick and tired of the subbed/dubbed debate! Now, to me it isn't a big deal. I like it either way. I watch subbed and dubbed anime. In RPGs, however, it wasn't an issue until recently. My main problem is those jaded fans who can't accept that DUBBED CAN BE BETTER THAN SUBBED! That's right, it is possible! I hate it when people act as though dubbing something is like ruining it, or if you watch dubbed you're not a true fan. That's a bunch of bull. There's nothing wrong with wanting to watch or play something in your own language. Yeah, Japanese is a cool language, I'm studying it right now, but that doesn't mean all Japanese voice actors are the best. I know plenty of english VAs that, in my opinion, are better than the Japanese VAs. And that's what it is, and opinion. You may not personally like a VA, but that doesn't mean they're bad. And if you, for instance, play FFX in japanese first, of course you're not going to like the english VAs! You're used to their japanese voices, and the english ones don't seem to fit.

I'm just sick and tired of people bitching for one side or the other so much, and I was wondering what your opinions are on this?

X-WEAPON

Martin:
Wow. Long letter just to say you like Dubs. Well, here's what I have to say to that: 99.9% of Dubs Suck! Have you seen the English Dub of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon? Sucked. Any French Film brought to the US? Sucked. Toonami? Sucked. (Actually, I've not watched Toonami in about 3 years... I need cable) Now, I'm not saying that it's impossible to make a good dub, I'm just saying that it's incredibly difficult, and requires more time and money than most firms are willing to take. So, Subtitles are a good way to go, it leaves the animation intact, costs less money, and if you don't know Japanese, you'll never know that the translation was butchered. Hey, speaking of butchered translations, the English Dubs and English Subs for CTHD are different in most scenes.

Of course, if we're refering to non-lipsynced animation, then I have no problem with redubbing, since the soundtrack didn't match up with the animation to begin with.

 
One Last Thing

Dear McDohl of the Chia-thingies,

You really think that alot of the newer arranged songs are bad? Then can you recommend some that aren't? I hope the Valkyrie Profile Arrange isn't in that same category of crap or I'll do very bad, horrid things to this... piece of paper... *threats need work, I know*

On another note, I have 3 questions for you... 1) what are the solid US release dates (if any) for Tales of Destiny 2 and Hoshigami?

2) has Ring of Nibelungen for the DC been cancelled? I saw it in RPGamer's game section and was surprised to know that another RPG might still be coming out, but with the amount of people bailing off the sinking ship (especially those Soul Reaver-at-100%-but-still-cancel-anyway people *sigh*) I don't think it's likely.

3) after seeing the screens of the new art style of the GC Zelda, one of the first thoughts to pop into my head was something involving Link grinding off a wall with his magnetically driven in-line skates powered by the newly developed netrium-batteries. now I'm not disputing the fact that the game will be fun, but I'm sure NOBODY expected the graphical style to take such a step... er... sideways (down is too harsh). anyways, my question is are there anymore RPGs using cel-shading aside from Legend o'Zelda and Wild Arms 3rd?

I also checked out that FFVII personality thing... turns out I'm a lot like Cait Sith... um, I think being more like Aeris would be better but that's all from me. I think I'll go watch FF: TSW one more time, just for the heck of it, laters!

- jawa "NorthWest!"

Martin:
Hmm, new Arranged stuff that doesn't suck... Okay, so maybe sucked was not the right word to use. Anyhow, I'm told the Arranged Valkyrie Profile Album is good. I've not heard it myself.

According to my last conversation with Namco, Tales of Destiny 2 is slated for a 9/11 release. Hoshigami, on the other hand, is slated for November. Provided that Atlus PR doesn't kill the programmers first.

I don't think Ring of Nibelungen was ever officially announced for US release... I'll have to double check, but I'm pretty sure it's not coming over.

Well, the in game stuff doesn't look too bad, but when I first saw some of the stills, I screamed, "Hello Kitty" and went into hiding for a while. I'm just now recovering.




The Last Gasp:

I NEED A NEW GAME!!!!! PS2 or PSX - Christian

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and assume you need a PSX game or a PS2 game. Have you tried Saiyuki? and Tales of Destiny 2 is coming in just 9 more days.

Another column down. For those of you wondering, it took me a total of 14 tries to kill that fly last night. For those of you not wondering, I killed 9 spiders today, finished Suikoden 2, and played 6.5 hours of Final Fantasy V. Tomorrow Aegis will be back, to bless you with his presence. Feel free to ask him about just about anything, I guess.

chiapet "@#%^&(" @rpgamer.com
Look, I was only partially translated too!

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