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   Yang's really smacking me around.  
Googleshng - September 26 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

As the title alludes, I was just playing Alpha Centauri with the difficulty cranked up quite a bit. Why hello Yang, what are you up to? World domination you say? And you already own half the world? And you have a bunch of heavily armed troops ready to march down my throat? AND they're elite, so my mindworms can't fight them off? No, I WON'T give you free technology. Over my dead body! OW! FIGURE OF SPEACH! FIGURE OF SPEACH!

Oh fine, I'll talk about RPGs. The other day, I was GMing a game of Shadowrun and- Oh FINE! On with the column!

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Lufia mechanics explained!

Konban wa Google.

I haven't played Lufia 3 much yet (it is the 3rd game in that series) but I share your sentiments about the dungeons. Lufia 2 had the best puzzle aspect of any RPG I've ever played. (Wild Arms is 2nd best)

Trouble is, I don't really understand all this Ancient Text, Scroll, Ip, and S.F. stuff. I'm at the beginning; what should I do with the S.F. and what should I do with the learning points? Do you understand this system, cause I don't get it.


OK, whenever you beat a fight, you get some learning points. These can be spent on 2 things. Learning new spells, at churches, or to help learn new skills. Learning spells is simple and obvious. Learning IP skills is a tad more complex. Every character has a spiritual force color, red blue green or yellow. They also have a spiritual force level, which you increase with the Wave option, by spending learning points. Now then, every skill has some spiritual force requirements. These requirements don't need to be met by any one given character (and almost never can be). Instead, for purposes of learning skills, every character has their own spiritual force, and that of everyone in the same row as they are, AND everyone in the same column. So, if a skill needs 6 red and 4 yellow, a character can learn it if: A- they have red SF at level 6 and are in the same row/column as someone with yellow 4, B- They have the yellow 4, and they're in the same row/column as someone with red 6, C- they're green, and are in the same row/column as someone with red 6 and yellow 4, or even D- they're blue, and in the same row as someone with red 4 and someone with yellow 1, AND the same column as someone with red 2, and someone with yellow 3. Or, naturally, many other permutations. So basically, if you want a character to learn a skill, just line'em up with people that have the required colors. The catch is, after you learn it, if you rearrange your party so the character no longer has the requirements met, it costs a little bit more to use the skill. In any case, when you first start, all you have to do is keep everyone in the front row, and spend IP to bring those values up, and everyone can learn everything available to them with no problem.

Life in Japan


I think this may well be my first time writing into rpgamer. I don't remember, I've been coming around on and off since the site was the unofficial square page or whatever it was called way back when. But anyway, to the point.

I just moved out here to Japan last month. I am about an hour north of tokyo by train. Well, would you say the tokyo game show would be worth the trip? I don't know much about these shows. Shall there be many vendors?

Secondly, now that I have access to game soundtracks, any you might recommend.

Finally, if I happen to buy a gamecube here, and after my couple years are up, and I bring it back, will I be able to play us games on it. I am thinking, just with N's previous record, you wouldn't be able to, but maybe you know otherwise. If not gamecube, how about psx2, are those lockouts possible to get around?


PS. I was listening to the FFX soundtrack the other day in the music store. It sounds pretty darn nice!

An hour north of Tokyo by train? I believe that would put you somewhere near my cousin in Iwate. Anyway, on to your questions. I'm 90% certain that TGS, like E3, is a press-only show, rendering the point moot. If I'm wrong though, it should definitely be worth your time. Soundtracks I can't help you with, since I'm too poor to afford any myself. As for your last question though, you seem to have things backwards. Sony is the company that has strict region coding. Case in point, nobody has yet to rig up a US PS2 to play Japanese games. Nintendo meanwhile has always been VERY liberal. Every incarnation of the Gameboy is able to play imports with absolutely no alterations, and any problems you run into with consoles are just the result of them opting for a different shape for the carts. At that, it's a simple and painless operation to get them import ready. So, odds are, you'll be fine no matter what country you buy your Cube in.

Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?


Last update a letter mentioned Perfect Blue. I'm probably gonna be harrassed by random people for this but: What is it? (I gathered that it is a movie) Anime? Live-Action? What?


PS: What does this mean and why was it hidden under your email address?

"Hmm... should I set up a paypal account to fund an anime convention?"

OK, Perfect Blue: Movie. Anime. Very realistic style and content. Murder/Suspense. Mega head trip. As for that question, well, it's pretty self explanatory. Should I set up a paypal account so that bored people with too much money can donate some to a startup fund for me to create an annual anime/RPG convention? The real answer though hinges on my ability to procure that giant slime balloon Enix had at E3...

In praise of DW7

Greetings, o slimey one!

I'm glad to see someone else is psyched about Dragon Warrior 7! I'm rather disheartened by the somewhat lukewarm reception I'm afraid it will get. It's not the most innovative game, to be sure, (innovative usually meaning "Take elements and concepts that have been done to death in other genres/media and put them in an RPG!"); but I have no doubt that it will be a high quality product through and through. I, for one pre-paid for my copy on August 3rd and have been patiently waiting for November to roll in. The Software Etc. cashier gave me a blank stare when I insisted on paying for it right there and then (since it wasn't "officially" up for pre-order at that time) but she let me plunk down my $42.69 and handed me my receipt and claim slip, which I have been jealously guarding ever since.

Perhaps the game's sales won't warrant that sort of precaution and drive. I doubt I'll have to fight my way through angry mobs of RPG fans to snag my copy, and you probably won't see it being auctioned on eBay for 4 times the MSRP within a day of its release. But the fact is, it DESERVES that sort of fandom. I SHOULD have to save my spot in line 2 hours before Software etc. opens just to have a chance at it; but life rarely works that way, and it seems that games with lighthearted, medievalesque settings are going to be few and far between. It sort of saddens me, really... fans gripe that swords and sorcery are getting old, but really, aside from the Lunar, Dragon Warrior, some of the FF's, and Forgotten Realms (Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, etc.), there are few series who actually use such settings for anything more than window dressing (Grandia 2 and Legend of Legaia come to mind.) Fellow readers, please try to remember that an uninspired sci-fi/techno fantasy setting is just as bad as an uninspired fantasy setting.

Uhh... oh yeah, my question... someone in an IRC channel made a crack about having to use the "stairs" command in DW7... is this true? I have seen nothing of the sort in the screenshots, or in previous entries to the series since... uh, Dragon Warrior 1. I wouldn't mind TOO much if this was a necessary part of the game, but its practical applications are beyond me.


Chopped your letter in half for the sake of brevity, no offense. Anyway, if you want to be trampled by a mob trying to pick up a new Dragon Warrior game, you'll just have to go to Japan and wait for 8, since it really isn't going to happen here. Personally, I never could understand the popularity of the series. The original, let's be honest, is terrible compared to any other 8-bit RPG. DW2 is just a generic RPG. 3 is the first one that's really noteworthy, and 4, sounds pretty neat, but I've never been able to track down a copy. Doing some research though, the reason becomes clear. Unlike most series, each consecutive DW is a vast improvement over the last, and this trend hasn't stopped. While we've gone nearly a decade without seeing a DW, they've been slowly getting spiffier and spiffier in Japan. So, DW7, by all accounts, is going to be REALLY FREAKIN' COOL, but in this country, the title just suggests dull old 8-bit RPGs that the vast majority of us have never even played. The portable remakes are doing pretty well though, so here's hoping the people see past the dated graphics and buy the game I've been hearing nothing but praise for for months. As for the stairs command, that's long long long dead. You really shouldn't put any stock in things you overhear in chats.

Got milk?


I've a rather pathetic problem on my hands. I'll try to get through this without laughing hysterically at myself...

Ok, so I kinda spilled milk all over my PSX. I know... You should never bring liquids anywhere near electronics, but my room is small, and I don't have many places to set things. In addition, I've set my glass down on that exact spot millions of times without incident. I don't get how a glass that's sitting on a perfectly flat, level surface can spontaneously tip over on its own... Alas, I've noticed over the years that fate has a subtle way of working against me... Ok, maybe not that subtle.

Anyway, about half a glass of milk splashed over my PSX, and a large amount found its way into the right-hand vent. My question is as such: Is there any hope for the unit, or is it toast? Thankfully, there was no CD in it at the time, and I'll be damned if I'm putting one in there until it's completely dried out (how long should that take, btw?). So... In the meantime I could use an expert diagnosis. As far as I know, the laser assembly is perfectly fine and managed to avoid getting wet, but I'm not sure if that matters in a case like this. Right now I have it propped up diagonally, in a vain attempt to drain the excess out.

The only real reason I'm holding out hope is because my old Intellivision survived not one, but two milkshake disasters, as well as being thrown down the stairs. Don't look at me like that, it wasn't my fault that time... ~_~ I take care of my crap, I'm just a bit unlucky at times... Anyway, I realize that they just don't make electronics the way they used to, so I'm not holding my breath.

The odd thing about this situation is it's my second glass-related mishap in as many days. I woke up yesterday, and in my usual zombie-esque daze I accidentally knocked a glass off my nearby nightstand, and it landed directly on my bare foot. Luckily, it didn't shatter, but there was a sizable crack running down the side. I suppose I should count my blessings about that one, since I'm kind of a bleeder and all... Either way, I'm staying out of my room for the time being. Bad karma going on in there...

Anyway, thanks for any advice you can give. If it turns out the poor thing isn't salvagable, I suppose I'll have to break down and buy a PS1. There goes the money I was saving for games... ~_~

-Salivator ("Huh? What's that black cloud floating above my head?")

PS: Feel free to patronize me about how much of a loser I am, etc. I can take it, and it might make for some good reading.

Hmm... the PSX is far from the most reliable console even without the intervention of bovine lactations. If by some chance it's under warranty, I'd cash in now. If, however, you're on your own, here's what I'd suggest. After unplugging obviously, crack the case open, and use a paper towel to make sure all the milk is gone. After that, you'll be left with some expensive electronics covered in a thin slimey layer of milk residue. While I haven't experimented with it, and it might work just fine from there on, that MIGHT short out some components. So, if you test it out and it's a no go, just very very carefully and gently scrape all the dried milk off the motherboard, and you should be just fine.


I AM arachnophobic... *shudder*

- Chris

You and an awful lot of other people. I don't mind them MUCH though, I mean, it's not like they bite... well, 95% don't...

Hey Goog,

So the new Lufia game isn't a boatload of fun and excitement? Damn. I'm almost finished with Tales of Destiny 2 and was looking to that next. How about Advance Wars, what can you tell us about that?


The new Lufia is a huge disappointment for me. As for Advance Wars, well, I'm buying it tomorrow, and playing it when I get around to it, so, uh, ask me later.

Wh, what are you talking about? Th, that's crazy! Stop talking crazy, and go back to sleep, so I can suck out your blood. I mean, brains.
I mean... um... just go to sleep.

-Ancient Evil Spider Demon... I mean... Bob.

But I'm not tired yet!


...loading, please wait...


Why do I have the feeling this will continue into tomorrow?

The Last Laugh:

OK, NOW I'm tired. As you read this, I'm most likely prowling around, spending my first pay check. With any luck, at least 2 items from my splurge will be relevant topics for discussion.

Googleshng "SPIDER! He is our hero! SPIDER! Get rid of..."
Oh yeah! That's something else I need to splurge on! New TMBG CD!

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