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Googleshng - October 10 '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Strange strange day or two. I wake up expecting to greet the end of the Q&A weekend, and low and behold, it hasn't started yet. It did a couple hours later, but not soon enough for the bulk of you to read the column and send me some letters. So instead, I spent the day playing games with plans to do the column first thing in the morning. Won Oracle of Seasons, started Ages, and I'm finding it hard to believe they were designed by the same people. Also played a decent chunk of Saiyuki.

THEN a series of very strange events took place, which left me unable to do anything column wise until tonight, which I won't get into. Around this time, Monday's column had been up for about 24 hours even, so everyone had had a chance to read it, and those so inclined sent questions in. So, right that second, I could have written a column, but it would have gone up an hour ago, and nobody would have a chance to read it before this one here went up, and then this one here would only contain a handful of letters too. So basically, the Q&A column for October 9th has been eaten by an unusually hungry fate, but my personal muse is already hard at work trying to come up with a way to make up for it. Wow, it just did. That was quick.

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Hair coloration

Hey (Cloud speaks) Googleshng......(does his usual wierd mode)
I'm shocked that you didn't notice my 20th birthday last Saturday. Well, you won't believe that my parents forgot it was my birthday and I got nothing. Should I try to milk it of all it's worth by giving them grief over it. And they wonder why I got problems. Also on the getting power from Rezo joke, I wouldn't complain about the fangirl thing or would dealing with an army of fangirls be something I'd regret since they might be scary. But being made of stone does have advantages and it's a lot better than say dealing with Grahf. Also, have you noticed that it seems most if not all red-headed females in RPG's tend to be foul-tempered, or at least one female character if there are no redheads. Why is that?
Imperial Mog

Ah yes. The age old issue of hair colors and personalities. While it doesn't always hold true, in most anime/RPGs where people have various hair colors, there tends to be an unspoken color coding rule. Usually,
Black = Sane main character surrounded by eccentrics.
Red = Main character if male, Violent/outspoken/flamboyant/whatnot if female.
Blue and female = Nerd or quiet martyr.
Purple and female = nerd.
Yellow = Simple minded hungry guy or secondary love interest if male, selfish if female.
White/silver = Evil Psycho (unless paired with dark sun tan)
There's a few more I could list, like little pink haired girl = pure concentrated annoyance, but there are the most prominent ones that come to mind. Once you get too used to them and come across something that doesn't follow them though, you become prone to shout things like "Her hair should be BLACK!" at inopportune moments. There's always exceptions to any common convention though. I could probably name several games that contain mecha but aren't named after them for example.

Oh, and Happy Birthday. You realize that yours is just two days before that of Mikel Tidwell AKA "Da Boss" yes?

Many Dragon Warrior Questions

(Poor Ed McMahon impersonation) Heeey-oooh Eddie (my pronunciation of Googleshng)!

In order to gear up for the great release of Dragon Warrior VII, I decided to play them all, straight, with no other gaming breaks. And, because I'm such a 'hardcore gamer' (full-time nerd), I'm playing them all in Nintendo emulator. No wussy Game Boy version here. I'm about two weeks into it, I've beaten 1 and 2, and I think I'm slowly going insane. Here are a few observances I've made.

1.) The battle system in DW2. Did Earthbound rip that or what?

Uh, you mean the system of combat used pretty much every single 8 and 16 bit RPG in existence? It was already public domain by that point, although I can't off the top of my head name an RPG prior to DW2 that allowed you any say in which monster each character attacks.

2.) Do most people develop nervous twitches and salivating problems after listening to the world theme from Dragon Warrior for six hours straight?

Most people don't do that.

3.) I would've finished DW2 six hours faster had I had some kind of map.

DW2 came with a map. This was really the only way to get that particular crest on that particular ONE SPACE island in the middle of the ocean. Someone threw this map away on me. Wah.

4.) Just how evil are the programmers for asking me to find a one-tile square in a sea of nothingness?

See above.

5.) Have you EVER seen a hot-pink floor in a castle?

Yes actually, in various forms of media.

6.) No? Then why did they make the floors pink?

This question disqualified as I said yes.

7.) I've found that Root Beer is the perfect beverage for long gaming sessions. No caffeine, so you don't develop a dependency, and c'mon, it's got beer in the name and I can drink it legally. Huh, awesome.

Bah, back in MY day, we'd play games for six hours at a stretch without even so much as BLINKING, let alone DRINKING. But then of course that was back when most games could be classified as "twitch", a name derived from the fact that you can't get anywhere without developing a new set of reflexes for each game, and pause was the most difficult button to press, being between "Start" and "Reset" with the Atari 5200, and being ON THE CONSOLE ITSELF with the SMS. Oh, and those start and reset buttons respectively started a new one player game and reset the game most of the time. Come to think of it, maybe I SHOULDN'T call the X-Box's the "worst controller ever designed". If it doesn't spontaneously break down within a month, the 5200 gets the nod. Ahem... enough of that little tangent.

8.) Does Akira Toryama design all the monsters in all of the DW's?

The official word is yes, but since most of the monsters in the series are either palette swapped versions of other monsters, or other monsters with things like crowns added to them, and I doubt they waste the time of a very prominent artist having him do things like THAT personally.

9.) Do you realize that I mean Dragon Warrior when I type DW or are you thinking Doped Weasels? 'Cause I meant Dragon Warrior that entire time.

No really? I thought we were talking about Dungeon Wars this whole time.

10.) Ortega? ORTEGA?!? Where the hell is my EDRICK?!?

I assume you're currently playing DW3 and have never finished it.

That's it for Doped Weasels. Hey, how come Imperial Mog gets posted so much? I'm twice as cute as he/she is/are. "The bells are pealing and they're revealing the simple key to happiness." -SirLarr

Why does Mog get so many letters printed? Why it's simple. He has probability on his side. If you sent me a letter every single day, you'd probably get a decent number printed too, especially if you actually ask a decent question in them.

Another multiparter

Hey Google,

Do you know how hard AP European History is? ...Neither do I, because I'm not doing any work. Anyway. Onto my pre-written list of Q's.

1) Shenmue 2. Gimme anything about it, except the style of Yu Suzuki's hair.

Uh, it should be 5 times as long as the original, more action packed, and seems to contain Asuka for reasons I cannot fathom.

2) PSO v2.0, or a good computer game?

Since I'm sure my definition of a "good computer game" differs from yours, I'm going to pass on that.

3) Tifa, or Aeris?

Hmm... Aeris probably. You didn't give the criteria I'm judging on, but the odds of that answer being right are pretty good overall. Usefulness: Aeris (NICE limits). As a character, Aeris (Tortures Cloud), who I'd rather be: Aeris (Close call though. Tragic death vs. years of chronic back pain and ending up with Cloud). Oh, and for the record, I don't hate Cloud, just wouldn't want to ever be anywhere near him.

4) I've just realized some of my questions make no sense. Nonetheless, got any good games in mind for the year to come?

Yes, but I am not going to list them as dates are subject to change and I'm sure I'd leave a dozen out.

Now I've got to get to work on that essay of mine. Do you know anything about King Philip II of Spain?


Yup! He was King of Spain!

Bizarre questions

I read in one of your recent colloums that getting Ranma 1/2 movies were cheap. At my local suncoast they charge $30 for a 3 episode dvd. If thats cheap I don't want to know what expensive is. Am I getting ripped off? Oh and what rpg are you looking forward to more World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy 11?

Sage 'Click... Click... Freeze... Aw Man' of The Stars

No, you DIDN'T read in one of my columns that the Ranma movies were cheap, you read that the Ranma MANGA were cheap. Manga is the Japanese word for comic book, or if you're offended by the term, "graphic novel". Most anime series and movies start out as a manga series, which is much more enjoyable 99% of the time, both because of the standard issue of the studio making arbitrary and insane changes to the original work at times, and because of some very nasty formatting issues. Movies will compress 1600 pages of what is sometimes nearly all text into a 90 minute movie, removing the context for everything, many key characters, and a lot of amusing side issues not related to the main plot. A TV series has the opposite problem. For some sick reason, convention dictates that one chapter of manga = one episode of TV series, 2 if you're lucky. If something is dialog heavy, or follows a fight-of-the-week type format, this isn't a problem. With a series like Ranma, or Dragon Ball Z however, it's a MAJOR problem, since the creators of those two tend to favor images over text, and long drawn out conflicts over simple wrap-ups. So, with a roughly 1 page=1 minute conversion rate, the large two page detailed splash images turn into needlessly drawn out delays in the action. In any case, if you get your Ranma fix in print form, it's just 39 volumes of 12 chapters each for $10 each or less. Animated, let's see... $25-$30 times... some very large number.

Now then, as for your second question, well, asking me which of two MMORPGs I'm most looking forward to is like asking if I'm more enthused by the premise of sticking my head in a deep frier or sticking my hands into a tub full of razor blades. I wouldn't even consider either one. While I have nothing against fans of the genre, I personally dislike Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs on a fundamental level. If I were forced to choose though, I'd have to go with WoW, as the premise is less stupid. WarCraft is a continuing series where thousands of equally important characters are at war with each other, with a bare minimum of pyrotechnic flare and saving of worlds. The FF series meanwhile is a bunch of games whose only real connections, aside from a shared pool of spell/monster/item names (a small group of characters having to save the world, grandiose 2 minute summon animations, long beautifully rendered cut scenes, and stories that revolve around the main character's personal problems) actively don't work in a massively multiplayer environment.

Warning Will Robinson!

Hey, I just finished Vandal Hearts and I was wondering if you knew anything about the sequel. Have you ever played it before? If yes, what is it like? I am just seeing if I should check this game out since I enjoyed the first one. Thanks.


One phrase pretty much sums up Vandal Hearts 2. STAY AWAY. There is no connection between the plots. The OUTSTANDING level design is no where to be found. The visual style is just plain hideous. The only thing that makes the game stand out at all is that fact that you and the computer each move a character SIMULTANIOUSLY (until one side has moved all of theirs, then they just sit there while the other finishes up). While this seems to be fresh and add depth at first, the AI is EXTREMELY predictable, and in practice the concept is just nasty. Let's say for example, you have a character and a monster on adjacent spaces facing each other. Naturally, you would want to walk around behind the monster and attack it. The monster however wants to do the same to you, so if you try this, both will move around each other and attack the empty spaces where they were. So instead, you move your character back two spaces and attack the air behind where he was, because by the time he attacks, that air will contain a monster, with it's back turned, attacking the space you just left. This gets old FAST.

Meanwhile, Saiyuki DOES have the same sort of interesting design as VH did. There's parts where you can walk across a log then push it into a ravine so you can't be followed, special attacks which can knock down trees and reveal new items, and only half the fights I've been in so far had the objective "Kill everything/the boss"

Land of the Noseless

How goes over at RPGamer? I just have one question, well one topic, to ask. What is the chance of a Tactics-type game being made by Square for the PS2? Or a Vagrant Story-ish one? Along that line, is it basically agreed that Tactics and Vagrant Story take place in the same world, with VS being several hundred years later? Only in-game thing I can find is the "Agrias Balm" item in the Temple of Kiltia after killing the Minotaur King; its item description says it was used by the legendary hero Agrias in the (I think they called it the) Lion Heart War. Which would obviously, if not simply an easter egg, mean that it was the same world, I guess. Other than that, the two had alot of similarites, same character designer, same themes, religious prosecution, mutability of truth and reality, perception of truth, both are told in recollection, both are an attempt to uncover the truth of an event that has been covered up, more religious stuff, etc. In short, they're two of my favorite games, Tactics is first hands-down, VS is prolly tied for second with FF6, 7, and Chrono Trigger, if you cared), but I'd love to see something from the mind behind the Zodiac Brave Story in PS2 glory...or hell, in PS glory...or whatever, but meaty gameplay is damn good.

...Yeah thats real long-sorry (about the grammar too)

There's also the whole "Durai" thing, and the official statement that they're in the same world made way back when. Awful lot of nasty demons in that world, no? In any case, the likelyhood of Square doing anything non-FF for a while aren't very good.


Should I get Saiyuki now or wait for Hoshigami? I can't decide

That is an EXTREMELY tough call. Based on what I've played of each, Saiyuki is far superior, but the version of Hoshigami I played at E3 was still in development, and lacking many features, so that's not a fair basis. Of course, since Hoshigami keeps getting pushed back farther and farther and farther, and is currently slated for December, I'm pretty sure you'd be safe buying Saiyuki now and dropping hints you want Hoshigami for Christmas.

Does Thor still have a website or what? Does anyone ever see him at all?

Thor's current website is:
What he actually updates is:
and, I talked to him for a couple hours as recently as Thursday night. Didn't I mention that in Friday's column?

I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gumbigobilla Blue Stradivari Telentrent Pierre Adrt Charton-Haymoss Ivanovicci Baldeus George Doitzel Kaizer III.
Don't hesitate to call

~The Untalented Bard

What a difficult quote to make! From Trigun if anyone's curious. That deserves an at. @

The Last Laugh:

and to make up for yesterday's lack of column, today's is extra long!

I'm kidding of course, although this is on the heavy side. Anyway, between now and some arbitrary point near Halloween, I am going to be keeping track of points for all of you. Getting a quickie printed is worth 1 point. A full sized letter 3. A successful quote guess 1, on top of any being printed bonuses. A Scary Pic or other such frivolity, if I deem it worthy of posting somewhere, 5-10 depending on how much I dig it. These points are subject to deduction based on anything from arbitrary decision to me forgetting something. Similarly, I might give them out for other things too as I see fit. Now, what is the value of these random points you ask? Well, every Halloween, I have this little ritual where I make a scary pic for a specific person or two. Unfortunately, this year none of my friends really want me to make them scream, so whoever has the most points gets horrible things done to THEIR favorite anime character. As many high rankers as I can manage in one image really. Sound fun?

Googleshng "What you do not smell is called iocane powder."
Oh, and there actually was a 3rd word starting with Ora- on my mind when naming this column for the record.

Old Issues
  • Oracle of Seasons
  • Oracle of Ages
  • Orange- Saiyuki's CD.
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New Issues
  • HoshigamI
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  • Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland

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