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   and CN one last time.  
Googleshng - January 12 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

All good things must come to an end. Thus goes the old saying. Today is the last day CN here will be guest hosting. Meanwhile, I just found a cool little PS1 reference in PSO. By the way, today's letter flow is bafflingly low, but what I got was mostly good stuff. Anyway, here's CN.

CN: My last day. I knew it had to end sometime. I'd like to thank all the people who supported me, and all the well thought out questions we got. Time to dive in...

Wee-kends?
Ask Chris
Rhymes with uh... nothing all that funny.
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Game making
Google and CN:

1) Do either of you know of a site that might have examples of uncompiled game code, preferably in C++? I'm taking programming classes, and so far, the only thing I could possibly code would be a text RPG-_- I'm just curious as to see how they bring graphics into it.

2) Heard of the game Popful Mail? What in the heck is that ABOUT? The name kind of throws one off....

3) Anyone know when the US might be seeing a substantial influx of PSX 2s?

Thanks!

Kwannon

CN:
Great questions Kwannon! 1. Try www.rpgmaker.net, they have a huge amount of resources on amateur game designing, (Something I do myself, on OHR. www.hamsterrepublic.com), though you'll have to look around to find what your looking for. I'm sure the site will help some.
2. Ah, Popful Mail. I almost bought a Sega CD for this gem. One of Working Designs earlier translations, its a 2D platformer/RPG. The art was a very anime style, and I still have the ad and review for it. You took the role of bounty hunter "Popful Mail" (No, I'm NOT making this up.) a chick with a thing for tight leather and cool swords. The game looked super sweet, if I only had the money for it back then..."sigh" I've looked for the emulator version forever, but I just can't seem to find it. In fact...if someone sent me a working Sega CD and Popful Mail, I'd let them take my guest hosting spot.
3. Hmm... you could have one RIGHT NOW. Simply sell your soul at your nearest game store. -_-; I'm guessing late march, if were lucky. To be honest, I'd go buy a cheaper Dreamcast, which has GOOD games all ready on it.

Googleshng:
Hmm. There ARE a number of games out there with their source code posted on their creator's web sites, but finding them is more or less a matter of luch. CN's link looks like a good bet though. WD translates some very bizzare stuff. Stuff I want. As for the PSX2s, well, don't hold your breath. Don't worry either, there aren't any game worth sweating over out at this point.

 
Old school
Dear Q&A type person,

I dont have anything new to play, and it is quite disturbing. I finally have a job and all the local stores are still barren from holiday shoppers. Oh well, that's not really important so now for my Q for which I would like A:

Censorship in video games(or any other industry) is absurd. Why should developers have to be afraid of negative opinions when trying to create an interesting story? This question is written after I discovered that Dragon Quest VII, an award winning game in Japan, may be censored in localization due to "Religious Overtones," which is very stupid.
Also, I have to get this out. Old school RPGs are better than today's fare. I'm sorry if this is offensive, but its true. Nowadays people are too concerned with graphics and effects and nonsense that they have forgotten the basic reason for RPGs; to tell a story.

I hope I havent bored you with my ranting. I'm done now.
-Watashi

CN:
You just love to start trouble, don't you Watashi? = ) While your reasons for liking old school RPGs are a little sparse, I have to say that though I am a old-schooler, I liked FF9 and Lunar 2 equally. Its really more of a preference thing, and saying that your right and the new schoolers are wrong, IS wrong. There are plenty of fancy new RPGs that are just as good as any of the classics.
I've never been concerned with censored games, because in the end, whats it matter? So what if a few lines of religious doggerel? Better then a lousy translation. If it makes you that angry, write an editorial. That'll perk you right up.

Googleshng:
Considering a game was released that BASICALLY implied something along the lines of Jesus being the devil (Hint: It's probably the most popular PSX game there is) and had no controversy surrounding it, I doubt you'll ever see a game deprived of a US release over religious controversy. The only thing games are ever REALLY withheld for is being "too Japanese". That really sucks actually, since I love games that are "too Japanese". For the record by the way, Sega doesn't seem to have any problem with releasing such games in the US lately. Yay. Still, when you think about it really objectively, censorship of any kind is hilariously stupid. Take language for example. Think really hard about the fact that there are certain arbitrary words that it's "bad" to say. Not even because of the meaning of the words, or even then intent! It's perfectly acceptable to say DROP DEAD! to someone, and it's perfectly fine to say, for example fecal matter. Heck, I could even say "Tough fecal matter pal!" and nobody would mind, but if I substitute in a shorter word with the exact same meaning, that sentence suddenly becomes taboo. Wow, that was a tangent.

Now, in response to your little new school vs. old school comment, uh, we seem to have very different definitions here. When I hear "old school", I immediately think 8-bit. 8-bit RPGs were by no stretch of the imagination designed to tell stories. They were designed to let players buy little torchs and go on nice challenging little romps around the world, exploring caves, looking for treasure, and watching their character improve. Actually, my definition of a "new school" RPG would be a plot driven game, with the ultimate example being, say, Xenogears. Not that I don't like both mind you. Now, as for YOUR definition of new school, well, of you don't like RPGs that focus on graphics more than plot or gameplay, just play some games that aren't by Squaresoft. They're really the only ones who do that.

 
L2 and anime
Hello once again,

First, have you had a look on Lunar 2 yet, and if, any impressions? And second, what did you think about the Evangelion ending? And third, I need some advice with getting new animes, what I've to choose from: Record of Lodoss War, Slayers, Arnitage, El Hazard, Silent Mūbius and Bubblegum Crash. I've already seen the other "good" ones frequently talked about in this place. And all thoose are originals in japanese with subtitles.
/Daniel

CN:
For last Fridays column, Google informed me of the large amount of Lunar 2 questions, and the fact he hadn't even bought it yet. So I took upon myself, to beat Lunar 2 in 4 days...
It was hard.
I still feel the blisters...
But I did it! 4 days, 51 hours, I had it beat. Its a fantastic game, shining with Working Designs charm. A bit of the glamour has seemed to rub off, but I blame that on how theres no shock value as to how cool the game looks, like in Lunar 1. The characters are fun, the cut scenes are great, and its ending is over 10 HOURS long. Go get it now, if you don't like it, you can always sell it on ebay for a quick 100. (No fooling. Check out the prices on Lunar 1. Yeesh.)
Google will have to field that anime one. I love the stuff, I really do. But my money is always sucked up before I can get a new $30 tape.

Googleshng:
Definately get Slayers. However, bear in mind that when I say to get Slayers, you must get it subtitled. I am not a high and mighty champion of subtitles or anything, but even people who can't get the knack of watching subs and end up having to watch everything twice, once to see it, once to actually read the dialog, agree with me here. Slayers has the worst dub job ever. They changed the voice of the main character from Megumi Hayashibara (the most famous voice actress there is, has an inhumanly high pitched cool voice) and a lighthearted personality, to a voice that sounds like a cranky whiney 50-year old. Furthermore, watch the actual TV series itself, not the OAVs and movies (Which are which? The OAVs and movies are the ones with the girl in the black bikini all over the covers). While the OAVs are still pretty amusing, it's a very different style of amusement, specifically just an endless stream of gags revolving around one character's chest size and costume. Still. Slayers TV series subbed is GREAT. As for the rest, I liked the last tape of Eva, it becomes Ranma for a while, and as for Lunar 2, I still haven't had time to open it even. 8(

 
Online fun
Goog, and hey CN,

You can't use ANY ISP with your DC. Most free-isps don't work (then again, some DO), and AOL doesn't work, but I hear that a program called Raspy (I think that's how it's spelled), which was made for connecting with PDAs, can also be used to get DNS numbers and other info to connect with it using ISPs like CompuServe (which is very stupid actually, since AOL owns CS) to work.

Nameles

CN:
Well, I'm afraid Google will have to take this one. My Dreamcast ain't hooked up to the Internet. Take it away, O'knowledgeable slime!

Googleshng:
I did a tiny bit of research, and here's the story. Any ISP which is ACTUALLY an ISP, the DC will work just fine. However, any ISP which forces you to run a weird bloated special program (AOL for example) isn't going to work. At that, a good chunk of those that have big bloated programs don't force you to use them (earthlink for example), so they work just fine. Plus I'm reasonably certain you won't have any problem with any broadband provider.

 
L3?
How are ya, slimester? I was reading through the instruction booklet to Lunar 2 EBC and I noticed that they said that they "hope to see us before we're to old to hold a controller with Lunar 3". Is that Lunar magic school? I thought that that was just a spin off like suikogaiden. Was I mistaken? Anyways, thanks for doin this column and everything. How about some Ring of Red stuff for Playstation 2 in theęgames section? That game looks pretty sweet.ę

Later,
LightBane

CN:
From what I've been hearing, Lunar 3 is going to be totally new, though it would be cool if they did Magic School too. I wasn't a fan of the original Lunar games, having no Sega CD, but I love them now, and would snap up anything Working Designs has to offer in the series. Haven't seen Ring Of Red myself. Google?

Googleshng:
Yup, Lunar 3 is going to be a totally new game, therefore featuring better graphics. Game Arts should be getting to work on it now, but who knows what system it'll be for. Hopefully WD will do the translation too, but in any case, we won't be seeing it for quite a while.

 
Chrono Cross stuff?
Yo google and CN, what's shaking?

Just some quick questions that bug me from chrono cross:
1) Who's Leah's dad? And where's her village for that matter? She mentions both, but no one, and literally no one, ever says anything about having a little girl in Gaia's Navel. Is her dad out there somewhere, or is this just a case of bad character development?
2) I can't get Razzly's level 7 tech. Walkthroughs>all say to talk to Rosetta after Serge is reborn. I did that in both worlds, and still nothing. 3) I thought Balthasar died. What's up?
4) What is the purpose of the ghostly Marle, Lucca, and Crono? I know they say some key parts for the story, but what are they exactly? Ghosts of the departed heros? Balthasar's dolls? Midgets in costumes?
Anyway, I hope you can answer these (especially the Razzly one). ~Super Dynamo

CN:
CN never shakes. CN faces fear with a laugh in his mouth and twinkle in his eye!
And a really, really powerful gun.
1. I'm going for bad character devoplment, since I haven't heard anything about her parent either.
2. Razzly's final tech is hard to get. You see, when your heading down the Water Dragon's cave, if you take to long, you find her sister, dead. If your quick, shes alive, and you get a nice cloak. If she dies, you head back later, (I forget which world) and talk to the tree in the middle of the grotto, where Razzly learns her final tech.
3.Alternate time-line. Its explained, but in a very loopy way. Just know that now that Lavos is "gone" old Bely didn't die in the same way. (he was hit by a chevy truck, in 1972.)
4. Their main purpose is to SMURF and moan about how they screwed up. It makes sense, in a messed up "ignore the plot holes" kinda way. Just go with the flow maaaaaan.

Googleshng:
Everyone I know seems to agree that Leah is the daughter of Ayla from Chrono Trigger and Merle, the cat girl from Escaflowne (same character designer as CC). Before you go objecting to that being impossible since they're both girls, keep in mind that you always get an X chromosome from your mom and from your dad you either get a Y, making you a boy, or the X he got from his mom, making you a girl. So in theory, you COULD take 2 egg cells, stick'em in a pitri dish, poke at'em for a while, and end up with the daughter of 2 girls. And that's were Leah comes from.

 
3 common games for questions
Okay, Okay, this is he first time (I hope) this will be posted... here goes...

1. How did you like FF9's ending? I loved it! It was so happy, it almost brought a tear to my eye! No, seriously!

2. CHRONO CROSS MADE THIRD IN THE MOST LET DOWN GAME?! HOW"D THAT HAPPEN?!?!?!?!?!?!

3. How's Valkyrie Profile? I want to get it, but...

Ah well, I guess that's it for now. Later!

-Zidane "I can't sit around knowing a girl's in trouble. Goes against my nature." Tribal

CN:
1. I was up on my feet, screaming at the Tv like a total dork. I love that ending. God bless Square. At least till the next big let down.
2. It wasn't all that great...really, the second time around I was flinching at some of the stupid plot-holes. I enjoyed it, but it never took me as memorable as Chrono Trigger.
3. No idea. Rpgs with time-limits scare me.

Googleshng:
I honestly don't see why everyone raves so much about FF9's ending. In fact, it was EXACTLY like I thought it would be... except my version had more footage of Cid and Quina. I already covered the Chrono Cross question in the column once or twice already. A few staffers were somewhat let down by it due to stuff like the very flimsy connections to CT, so they voted that way. As for VP, I really like it. Neat plot, great character designs, DIFFERENT gameplay... by the way CN, the game DOESN'T have a time limit. Basically, you have a certain number of points to distribute between going on little mini-adventures and quick little character building trips, and at that, there's enough points to do everything there is to do in the game and still have some left over to spend on free healing or extra character building. I think our review goes into more detail.

 
Crumb from last week
Googler and CN,

As far as Lunar 2 spoilers go, I've only just begun the 2nd CD but some stuff has been annoying me:

1) There's no title screen animation stuff. Why not? Every other game in existence has an opening title screen...

2) Why have the bromides been toned down? Did someone complain? They're not as fun to collect anymore...

3) What's with all the multi-part bosses? It's annoying.

4) Does the rest of the game get any LESS predictable? *points to opening sentence, cautiously*

I don't know, so far it's an okay game and the Working Designs "westernization" cracks me up...but...it just seems like this game is of less quality than Lunar 1. Especially in the FMV department. I'll probably keep playing, but I've also got an untouched copy of Grandia here and people telling me it's the best game out there. So...

5) What do you think?

-Red Raven, thinking WD needs to hire better voice actors

CN:
1. No idea. I didn't like this either, but I did enjoy the game. If it bugs you that much, send a letter to Working Designs, I'm sure they'll listen.
2. Okay, THEY HAVE NOT BEEN TONED DOWN. There as risque as ever. The only thing is that you can only find a few during the "actual" game. After you win, theres a kick-ass epilogue, with tons of new dungeons to explore, and you can collect the rest of the bromides, and they do get pretty saucy. Of course, Working Designs did this so all you perverts would have to WORK to get the bromides.
3. There really aren't that many. I thought they were rather cool. 4.No. The epilogue pulls a awesome 360 on you, and I loved it. This ending really gets to you, and I enjoyed it.
5. I have to agree. Lunar 1 seemed so much more...polished. Lunar 2 has a more rushed feeling. Lots of stuff is reused, and I can't believe how some stuff is just...well, boring. The FMVs for me, were very ugly, with all sorts of distortion. I don't know why, maybe its just my 10 year old Tv. However, the epilogue redeems the game a ton, with a bunch of very cool things to do.
I still think that Lunar 2 is great, just not as great as Lunar 1.

Googleshng:
This letter here was supposed to have been printed last week, but got caught in a temporal anomoly.

 
Last minute addition
Hey I recently "bought" (hey don't stop reading just yet, I know it's a copy but I'm gonna buy the game when it comes out!) phantasy star oFFline and I have a few questions...

1 - What class did you choose?
2- Why?
3- When am I supposed to go somewhere else(else means, outside of that stupid forest)
4- Is there another place to buy things outside of pioneer 2? some guy/girl/slime in the shop tells me there are other tekkers but I didn't find them
5- What level are you?
6- Why should I buy a heat/ice sabre for 2500$ when it only boosts my atp for 2
7- hi!

Oura "the frenchie" nos

Googleshng:
Well, CN's asleep seeing as it's 5:30 AM, but he doesn't have PSO yet, so I can probably field this solo. I'm a level 16 or so Newman Ranger. Nice balance of abilities for playing solo, plus, well, cat girls are cool, but clown outfits aren't. To my understanding, there's just the one town in the game, but I haven't gotten very far. Weapons like ice sabers are nice for little things like, oh, freezing monsters so they can't fight back, but I personally don't find it worth it most of the time. Just give me a big huge sword that does a ton of damage to large groups. Oh, and after the forest is a nice spiffy cave, followed by, uh, other stuff. I've been living in the guild.

 
Quickies

you listen to jpop? who are some of your fav artists? mine are shinahara tomoe,megumi harashibara, EMU, and well the list goes on and on.

CN: I don't listen to J-Pop...though I wish I could. Anyone want to tell me where I can get some, and what artists are good?
Google: (This was also meant for last week) You just named my two favorites... never heard of EMU though.

Question about Lunar 2. I'm at the end and every walkthrough I find says to have Lemina use "Pressure Cooker", but she doesn't have that spell. She's currently at level 53. Did I miss something?

Jamie

CN: Same here. I STILL don't have it. I beat the final dude with minimum effort, and if you keep casting White Dragon Protect, you'll be fine anyway. Good luck, and don't try to kill the arms, they have a huge amount of Hp.

Google,

Do I get any credit for realizing that 29 is today's date in mmmm/dd/yy form in binary (000011101)? :-)

TheMadJuggler

CN: I'll tell you what you get sonny boy, you get a PADDLE WHOOPING!
Google: No, ge gets a nice little tilde I already mailed him. Nobody else picked up on that except a couple of RPGamer staffers.

Hey Google,
I was wondering if it was possible to get killed by other players in Phantasy Star Online. I hate PKs.
-LightElf

I'm almost positive players can't kill eachother, however when you die you drop your money and equipped weapon, so make sure you have trustworthy friends.

The Last Laugh:


CN:Ah well...I was hoping for a flood of letters, but no such luck. I hope I can be back sometime, and Google has also agreed that if anyone sends me a working Sega Cd and a copy of Popful Mail, it'll let them take the Q&A spot. Heres your chance folks! I can be reached at ChocoboNight@aol.com (NO, thats not what CN stands for. Just an old addy I keep tucked away.) for letters on Lunar 2, or just some old fashioned questions on game-makers. This has been better then I could have hoped for, and I hope I'll be back real soon! Good bye all!
CN

Google: Well, here ends CN's reign of guesthosting. Next week shall belong to this guy here unless someone tells me really soon that they have one of those games to send to CN. Said "guy here" will be e-mailed, by me, when I wake up.


Googleshng "PSO weekend!" @rpgamer.com
Yes, I'm aware of the irony in denouncing censorship then censoring CN.

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