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   The Beginning of the End  
Googleshng - February 28 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Well, 5 minutes into the last day of them month, and I'm on disc 3 of Lunar 2. Hence today's title. I'm really enjoying this game. You just have to love when the plot and the game mechanics actually tie into eachother. Skies of Arcadia does that too. I mean, sure, plenty of games pull the evil corrupt church angle on you, but in Lunar 2, that evil church forces you to PAY to be healed! THEY MUST BE STOPPED! Presumably I'll win it today and at least get started on the epilogue.

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Bloody Vengence
Hey Goog,
How much does this suck? I'm stuck at boarding school while my (older) brother is at home in control of all the various consoles. One day a get an e-mail from him saying he's sold ALL our SNES stuff including MY copy of FF3! (I'd say 6 except you really can't call it that when it's the American version) I've sent him two threatening letters so far, one of which said that if he didn't buy it back I was gonna kick his @$$. Do you really think it was worth it? Is nostalgia over video games really that important!?

--MagicAlex

Googleshng:
I'd say you're perfectly justified. The same thing happened to me with Phantasy Star. Took me 5 long years to find another copy. First thing I did was play it through in one sitting. Second thing I did was catch up on all the sleep that little exercise cost me.

 
MMMMMMMMM..... Xenolazny.
Living in the UK, I only just got round to importing Xenogears fairly recently ('bout two-three months back). About the same time, I happened to be reading Roger Zelazny's 'Lord Of Light', and since then its been bugging me.

See, no-one I know imports RPGs, and no-one I know can cope with science fiction any more intellectual than Star Wars. So I've had no-one to talk with about the maddening similarities in the plots between the two.

Because when you think about it, the two are fairly similar in their central devices, albeit 'Lord of Light' depending more on Eastern religion and Xenogears on Christianity. (SPOILERS here, not so much for those who haven't played Xenogears(both of ya) but for those who might someday read Zelazny) They both have immortal individuals re-enacting religious scenes upon different planets, and they both have the idea of a search for what is really true.

Of course, in Xenogears this comes to a neat resolution, whilst in the novel everything comes down to a holy war. But its nice to see things like this in videogames. Square's SNES works were kewl, butthey never got as deep as this. You never saw Robo obeying the three laws of robotics (oops, four).

Of course, you might disagree with everything I've said and hate Xenogears, but hell, at least someone actually reads Zelazny.

Thom W (Who knows that Star Wars isn't really science fiction, but what the hell)

...Of course, knowing my luck, Goog's gonna say heshe's only keen on the Amber novels and knows nothing about Zelazny's other stuff, but hey.

Googleshng:
Hmm... I never really thought about that. I assume 99.9% of the people reading this are now scratching their heads in confusion, but yes, there are some thematic similarities between Xenogears and Lord of Light, or any of Zelazny's other recreate-a-mythology-in-the-distant-future-using-excessively-high-technology books. Wow, come to think of it, Lord of Light even has a scene with the main character sitting in a fancy chair skimming over spiffy events. For the record by the way, I've read every book Zelazny's ever written, I just recommend the Amber series to people because, while it isn't nessessarily his best work, the writing style is less... experimental than in some of his other stuff (Creatures of Light and Darkness). Oh, and as for Star Wars, you're right. While it has most of the physical trappings of Sci-Fi, thematically it's clearly a fantasy piece. That is of course if you draw a line between sci-fi and fantasy, which is a pretty odd thing for someone who reads Zelazny stuff to do.

 
Console style computer games
Goog,

I'm not sure if this question has been asked before, but I was interested in your opinion on the matter. There aren't that many PSX RPG's left that really interest me a whole lot, and there seem to be a lot of high quality RPG's on the PC. My question is, which would you recommend? The only one I've played so far has been Baldur's Gate 2. It's been a very enjoyable game so far, (I've reached chapter 3) but it has been a little tough to get the hang of. But are there any good RPG's out there that are more console-style? The only one I've heard of is Septerra Core, and that's a tough one to find. And if there aren't many console-style games, which RPG's would you suggest anyway? Thanks...

~CB007

Googleshng:
Hmm... Septerra Core is the only REALLY console-like PC RPG I've ever heard of. As for other recommendations, well, I hear good things about the various recent AD&D based games, particularly Planescape: Tourment. Most people are also pretty fond of the Fallout games, although all of those are a bit on the non-linear side. You might also like Diablo 2 if you're into dungeon crawls, and, while it's not technically an RPG, Dungeon Keeper REALLY deserves honorable mention.

 
DCQs
Hey-ya's,
The other day i went out and got myself a dreamcast, and Skies of Arcadia (much upon your praise of it), unfortunately i didn't have enough to buy it with a save card, so i've only been able to play the first few minutes of Skies (I love it). So, now i just have a few questions, and you're the best person i could ask i think, so here goes:

1. Do i need a keyboard in order to do most of the online jazz? (PSO mainly)
2. It's my understanding that there's a 200 block VMU, 400 block save card, and 800 block save card. Is it worth it to buy the VMU with less blocks on it?
3. Besides Shenmue and PSO, any games i should buy?
4. for the playstation, i have a 1500 block memory card, but i'm kind of worried to use it. I hear they crash occasionally, and lose all the data.
5. Finally, this is just morbid curiousity, but what happens if you unplug a controller or save card during the saving process?

Thanks a million,
Angelo.

Googleshng:
OK. You don't NEED the DC keyboard for any game I've ever seen. PSO in particular offers 4 alternative means of communication, including an on-screen keyboard. Still, when you have to say something like "Hey, who grabbed that +4 saber I just dropped?" you REALLY find yourself wishing for a keyboard. Aside from the obvious issues with 3rd party memory cards (although I've never heard of DC cards deleting themselves as PSX cards often do), you REALLY should get at least one actual VMU, since every DC game expects you to have one and often makes use of them. Skies of Arcadia in particular really requires you to have one for little things like making Fina's attacks do worthwhile damage. Now, as for other games, GET SKIES OF ARC- oh wait, you did. 8) Seriously, you should definately pick up Grandia 2 if you liked the first. Even if you didn't, you might like it. Depends if your problem with it was the difficulty (G2's still easy), or the word Adventure (G2's MUCH less smarmy). Oh, finally, multi-page Sony cards lose saves so often they aren't even worth touching, and, well, I've never been stupid enough to pull stuff out mid save.

 
A much clearer response
Um, I just sent you a letter a few minutes ago entitled "Bleah..." Feel free to delete it. OK, I've got one question and one answer. I'll give the answer first.

Yesterday some dude asked if he could control the little ship in Pinta Quest, VMU game from SoA.
Your answer named the various games in Pinta Quest, which didn't answer anything.
Anyway, here's the scoop on Pinta Quest: You choose a location on a map. Depending on where you choose, you can get more EXP from the minigames. After that, you leave the menu and wait. Which answers the original question: no, you can't just zoom to the minigame immediately. Watch TV or something while you play Pinta Quest.
Continuing the explanation of Pinta Quest, after a while one of five things happens:

FOUND!) You get a treasure. This doesn't happen very often. The treasure is either A, B, or C type, A being the best and C the worst.
SHIP FOUND! [type a]) A ship comes by and trades treasures with you. The treasure on the left is what the ship wants, and the treasure on the right is what you get for it.
SHIP FOUND! [type b]) A ship comes by and battles. There's a little aiming scope thing that moves around the screen. When it gets near the ship, press A to fire. There's no way to control the scope.
HEADWINDS) Tap the A button. If you tap it at the right speed, you get more EXP.
STRONG WINDS) You pilot your ship left and right, avoiding rocks. If you get hit by rocks, you get less EXP at the end. If you get hit by a big rock, you lose half of the maximum amount of EXP you can get, and if you get hit by a small rock you lose a quarter.
Example:
Max. EXP: 60 pts.
Get hit by a big rock: lose 30 pts.
Get hit by a small rock: lose 15 pts.

To open up new areas on the map, you explore new areas in SoA and bring the Pinta Quest ship back in.

Hope that helps anybody with questions about Pinta Quest. Now for my question...
You don't have a VMU? Is that possible? I thought you couldn't save your game without one.

Sabin "I... Am the master of Pinta" XIII

Googleshng:
Thank you for the explaination, and thank you even more for including your own <br> tags!

 
Well, I asked for it...
Have any obscure but fun games slipped under my radar?

Googleshng:
Let me just take a look at my rack of recent aquisitions... ah yes. Vanguard Bandits slipped under most people's radar it seems. It's really one of the best Tactical RPGs ever made, has 3 paths and 5 endings. Plus the main character is a bloodthirsty Oompa Loompa! On top of that, there's a top notch Working Designs translation, and a demo of Lunar 2 with the Japanese battle voices in it still if you want to compare. Then of course there's Koudelka. I'm not sure if I'd call it a sleeper hit per se, but if you're looking for something really DIFFERENT, it's a darn good choice. Tactical combat+horror+the 1800s+puzzles. Doesn't get much more original than that. As an added bonus, here's a couple games nobody seems to have gotten for darn good reasons: Vandal Hearts 2, and Parasite Eve 2.

 
Quickies

What are your thoughts on the "All Your Base" craze that has been taking the internet by storm as of late?

Aye, the daily quote is by White Knight Leo from Lunar 2.

Zach "Discipline feels good!"

I obscured the offending quote for the benefit of those who like me have seen it a few too many times. Some things keep getting funnier every time you hear them, like the line "It's good to be the king" from roughly every Mel Brooks movie. Other things are funny the first time you hear them, but ONLY the first time. The introduction to Zero Wing falls into the latter of these two categories. Therefore, on behalf of everything good and decent, could everyone please stop quoting/sending it to everyone else? Or at least me and CC? Oh, and here's your tilde, despite the fact that you said daily rather than weekly. ~

I've heard Fox picked up Slayers... Dear God...

Yeah, while nothing needs to be editted out, Slayers has the worst dub of anything... and the Dragon Slave chant wouldn't survive.

Hello.....
Why is it that there havent been any rpgs recently by the way? Girls are some of the dreaded other interests in case you didnt know..... And also, why are girls so expensive, and time consuming?

Girls... expensive! Don't you realize slavery is illegal?!?

Goog,

Can I get a happy birthday?

Nameles

No! You shall have a birthday shrouded with misery and despair! Er, I mean, sure! Happy birthday!

The Last Laugh:


That was an enjoyable column. Up an hour under par too. Thus leaving me with extra time in which to... hmm... update my bio!


Googleshng "Bio2" @rpgamer.com
If a tree falls on a mime, does it make a sound?

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