Ask Mistress Nightshadow  

   A surprise gift?  
Mistress Nightshadow, Mistress of Illusion - December 28 '00- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

You know, there was only one thing Google DIDN'T tell you about today... the fact that I wasn't told about it until I turned up. I just report in for my usual duties as I always do, and suddenly the slime just says "Happy birthday. Have some fun today, here's Q&A." packs up and runs. It certainly gave me one heck of a shock. Yeah, just haul an editorialist to do a Q&A person's job...

In any case, I want you to play a big stunt on the neutered slime. It might sound stupid, but knowing him, I think if he would have a MASSIVE heart attack if we gave him too much of what he wanted... well, it'd do something nasty anyway. Just as a little bit of revenge, could I ask you to absolutely FLOOD him with real mail? You might think it's a con to boost his mail returns, but think about it.

He's been dying for lots of real good mail with lots of questions for ages. Then think about how he'd feel when he got like 5 of them. He'd be celebrating to kingdom come. Then comes 10... he'd still be happy. Then imagine if he looked in his e-mail box and saw that there were like 100 letters... all with 5 or 6 GOOD questions to answer? I think he'd:

a) Suffer a heart attack from all the mail he has to answer in absolute fear.
b) Need a good lie down at seeing that many real letters and suffer the equivilant of ferret-shock.
c) Come up with some interesting yet shocking way to get back at me.

Oh yeah... I forgot about CN. Oh well, I'm sure he knows how to do some CPR by tomorrow. I think the slime would need it.

Well, that's my request. Now let's see how well I can actually do his job.

You're going to hit him with letters galore right?
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Maybe CN can revive him.
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In the PC:
Final Fantasy IX
Don't ask how it got in there...
Ooh, a comic with ME in it... wait a second...

Mistress Nightshadow,

Oooooo, I have a nice alternate-ego all ready to go, unfortunatly my pens are all broken, when I find out which one of my college room mates did it...well, I think we all now how BAD college pranks get. So anyways, Am I the only one surprised at the MASSIVE size of the Lunar 2 box? It's just...SO BIG. Next up, do you think that if Square does release Chrono Trigger they'll actually fix the bugs in the port...they better, I don't have enough pitch-forks and torches to raid the Square offices.


Mistress Nightshadow:

Well, I can't get one yet [and I'll bet you just about anything that it'll never be able to swim to Australia or if it did, suddenly lose a lot of weight and take like a year to get here.] but I swear from what I've seen, it's big enough to use as a weapon. DON'T try that at home though kids. If for no other reason, because Lunar 2 is a pretty good game. ^^;

As for Chrono Trigger, I sincerely hope they devote more time into it than they did for FFA. [It felt a bit rushed for a port... can't put my finger on it.] I think Square could do itself a lot of good by fixing up the bugs and adding extras, but can screw up big time as well. I hope at least they give us the extra endings. :)

Did you say an alter-ego? Hmm... Say, give me the address of the guy who pranked you and I'll ask some of my friends to ambush him with spears, boomerangs and a lot of killer Koalas to prank him. How does that sound?

[And NO, I'm not one of those Australian sorts, and I don't run around with spears and boomerangs. That's why I carry around a flare gun and a flamethro... I think I scared off any prospective boyfriends with THAT one. ^^;]

101 in how to take care of your pets
Questions? OK!

Is there ANY way to get my worthless pet in LoM to pick up more experience!? It seems that the only way for him to get it is if the enemy drops a LOT, like the chobin hoods, but sometimes even then he'll only pick up maybe one crystal, like he's deliberately avoiding the scary experience. @$%& original experience system...

As for the question about the Lunar boss yesterday in yesterday's column, first you must teach Hiro the super cheese spell which can be acquired by defeating 2000 nuclear hamsters. It also helps if your guys aren't casting Demon Wraith on themselves. If all else fails, take an hour break, and when you come back, if the boss is no longer there, you were hallucinating. Go play outside for a while.

Oh yeah, and happy birthday. I guess. Have you even played LoM?

Sabin "I want to guest host so much I include answers in my letters!" XIII The best part is, they still get printed!

Mistress Nightshadow:

Well, I could have NOT printed this and make a mockery of you, but then again who'd know? Anyway, to the answers...

Well, you could always feed your pet if you want it to gain levels. Or you could stand on the other side of the crystals. Or you could try whipping the thing to death to force... er, that's not an option, is it?

And ironicaly, no I haven't played it yet. But I still know a lot of stuff about it. Being an editor at the editor's section lets you do the next best thing (Editor's note: What the?!) compared to playing a game.... learn every single aspect of a game even though you might never see it.

FFIX among other things

Just a few questions...
1) Is it me, or was FFIX just mediocre? I think it relied to much on in jokes. It became overly complex toward the end. The villian was dumb as toast.

2) Why are some of the editorials just five minute opinions? C'mon, some are just really crappy.

3) A new year, a new decade, a new century, and a new millenium. Any new years resolutions?

4) How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

5) How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

6) Should a would chuck chuck wood if a wood chuck could and would chuck wood?

7) Why isn't Deus Ex covered at RPGamer... It is more of an rpg than some of the titles already covered here...

. .. ... .. . !

Mistress Nightshadow:

1. I don't know. From all the stuff I read [I'm not THAT far into FFIX] most people thought the ending sequence [The last Villian and all] didn't really make sense.

2. *sigh* Why is it that when people think eds they think essays the length of most legal documents? We do want some light banter sometimes too... Anyway, if you think you can prove the quality and the interest has dropped through the floor, can you write about it to me in writing? Perferably in an Editorial. ^.^

3. New resolutions... Hmmm... nope, none really. I think I'd really suck if I fixed my flaws and become unhuman because I have no flaws. ^^;

4-6. If a wood chuck could chuck wood, I don't want to be around when it does. Particularly if it's a big one that can chuck logs and I'm the only target in the area.

7. Deus Ex is a first person shooter with a lot of RPG elements right? As for why it isn't covered? Well... I don't call those shots.

Dear Goog... My name isn't Google, is it?

Dear Google,

What does shield materia do in FF7? And is there any secret weapons?

Oh, and I dont think you can answer this one (because the anceint cave differs), but can you find Dragon Blades in the anceint cave in Lufia 2.


Mistress Nightshadow:

Well, I'm not Google but I can answer the questions. :)

The FF7 shield materia is basically a protection overkill when cast. It's got a very short duration though, so it's not that useful. As for secret weapons... I once won Aerith's no slot weapon [An umbrella or something like that] at the rollercoaster ride in the Gold Saucer. [I was bored, and I decided to see how good I really was at it.] I know there's others you can do as well.

As for the Ancient Cave in Lufia 2, I've gotten just one Dragon Blade. Only problem was, a dragon ambushed me in level 87 a step later and killed me. I don't know if you can walk out with one. ;.;

For those with Lunar 2 woes...

Greetings Mistress Nightshadow. I can not believe that Lunar 2: Complete is 60$. I was hoping it was only 50$. Then I would only have to borrow 10$ instead of 20$.Well I can still probably mooch it off of someone. So what are your favorite video games of all time? It don't matter if they are RPG or not.Yes I do love RPG's, but One of my favorite games is A non-RPG.


Mistress Nightshadow:

My advice: Lunar 2 has so many spiffy collectables, get it.... Well, depends on how you value them really. I'm trying to get my hands on a copy, so I can be proud of being the only person down under with all the collectables. :) And Lunar 2 is pretty much fun too from what I've seen.

My favourite games of all time? Look for that answer later. Several people asked me this.

Just because Australia's closer...

Happy Birthday, Nightshadow-Sama!! ^-^ How old are you, anyway? If you don't mind my asking, that is.. ^-^;;;...

Ok, ok, that isn't my real question. I guess this doesn't really apply much to me personally, but I was curious. Is it easier to import Japanese games into Australia than into America? I guess I've never tried importing.. hahaha, I guess you've never tried importing to America either. ^-^ Anyway, have you ever imported a Japanese game?

Me and my curiosity and silly letters. Hahaha ^-^; Bye,

Lady Esuna

Mistress Nightshadow:

Importing... It's pretty damned tough, unless you know people who have links to the Hong Kong bootleg groups.... It's dreadfully expensive to do it legally [The Australian Dollar just SUCKS right now.]

I haven't imported a Japanese game directly, but I HAVE picked one up at a import shop. for like $150. And I still have doubts on the legality of it. [I bought it as a present.]

Oh yeah, for those who are curious, I'm 18. Just so you know. :P

What the?
FFIX spoilers of sorts.

Happy birthday, first and foremost...
(Now that the butt-kissing's out of the way...)

Why the heck, in FF9... do you never see Freya's face? She's my ... er... second fave character, behind Vivi only and only because Vivi is such an interesting... uh, thing. I mean, you see Freya's nose in the FMV at the end of the first disc, right? Where everyone that you've gathered is in Burmecia... It pops out from under her hat... but then... what the heck is the picture I keep seeing where you can't even see her nose, even though you can clearly see the side of her head? Is she wearing a scarf and holding her nose down? And what's that pinpoint of blue light? Why the red robes? Why, whywhy? Another Why the heck... Is Amarant called Salamander on all the pics in RPGamer's archives? I've seen no good reason to call him (I assume Amarant's a guy, I mean... he's got a moustache...) a fire lizard... and why does he get the throw change thing that Setzer had? I've seen no really good use for him, either... there to be buff..? And... and... claws? Sabin! But no... Amarant sucks... His *cough* friend, what's 'er face? Looks like the male character in Threads of Fate, 'least, her frickin' huge axe does...

Last one: Is Quina really a male? I saw it in the instruction booklet, and the first thing I thought was: Here's our gender ambiguous knockback from every other RPG, only this is the one no one wanted! *spits on Quina's grave* Ptoo! Leftovers suck. And what made Quina think it smelled food in Quan's Dwelling? I mean, sure... Quan's reason made sense... but that begs another question... How did both Vivi and Quina see Quan, assumably doing the same for both of them... And who hides shoes in a clock? I walked up to the thing, expecting Edgar to say: "This clock is stopped, enter time?" and get the freaking Chainsaw! And it would have been better had he...

Mistress Nightshadow:

For the first, maybe because Freya didn't want to shock you guys that much the first time you see her.... well, really, I wouldn't know how to answer Freya's... unsual rendition. A blooper at Square's Animation section maybe, or maybe a CG artist got bored.

The second one's far easier to answer. Salamander was Adamant's Japanese name. Salamander was too long for a name in FFIX, so the translators had to switch it. We got many pictures from FFIX Japanese [The game didn't gain screens in transition] so we used the translation. [Of course we then gathered some US shots, but we didn't want to confuse you lot too much by giving two names for the same guy.]

Quina's... well, just Quina. Since Square didn't add any unarguable proof either way, [Like Vivi's.... tinkering] you're stuck with... a mystery. And Quina has eat and cook. What a weird little thing.

Well, clocks can hide all sorts of stuff. Who'd think a grandfather clock would have a cure all? Why not keep the ability to keep you alive longer by allowing you to live to fight another day in one?

To choose, to choose...

Hello, and Happy Birthday oh Mistress Nightshadow!

As a present, I have a question for you. I have a stack (like most people) of unfinished RPGs sitting next to my TV. Now I've FINALLY finished the abysmal Breath of Fire 3, and am looking for something, you know, GOOD to try to restore my faith in RPGs. Do you suggest I play Lunar 2, Vagrant Story, Wild Arms, Suikoden, Suikoden 2, Legend of Legaia, Legend of Mana, or Star Ocean 2 (none of which I've gotten to yet)?

Thanks, and always remember this: a birthday is like a peanut butter an jelly sandwich. You have two pieces of bread. You spread peanut butter on one, and jelly on the other. Then you go to put the two slices together. But then you remember that jelly gives you gas, so you just have some lasagna instead.

Robust Stu,

Mistress Nightshadow:

Hmm.... Tough choice there. Well, Lunar 2 is as 'old school' [and practically the most ridicolously hard barring Star Ocean 2 at Universe difficulty with no limiters and Vagrant story if you're not good on button timing] as the dirt we stand on, VS I hear is very good, and involves a lot of button mashing, Legend of Mana is I hear kinda fun, Suikoden 1 and 2 are appealing to only some groups... the others I've heard little about.

My personal opinion? Go for Lunar 2 if you're itching for the good old days, if not try Vagrant Story for more interaction [and a dark perfectly translated storyline], or you could try Legend of Mana for a good little bit of fun.

For the person who has everything...


Well, I don't have any *real* RPG questions at the moment, as I have 3 RPG's sitting in front of me and I can't decide which one to start neXt, (FFIX, Lunar 2, SoA) and usually when I sit there and try to pick, I end up giving up and playing Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore or SSX. =)

Anyway, I would like to know if you could tell us lowly RPGamer's more about your flukes that have occured throughout your life such as being the deciding factor in a chess tournament or you aceing tests without even trying, etc. I'm sure you have plenty of interesting stories to tell and we'd all like to hear them of course. =)

Well, that's it. Keep up the good work in editiorials.

~Raistlin X

Mistress Nightshadow:

Ahh.... my life is a long story, and certainly too long for this column. That Chess story I have was got to do with things in an official tournament that aren't SUPPOSED to take place [Call it wheeling and draling or whatever], but do, and exams... well, I'm just lucky.

As for RPGs? Just pick up one of them now and just... Oh... FFIX, SoA AND Lunar 2. Well, I only got FF9 so I have an easy way out, don't I. ^^;
Well, Google was obviously fasinated with SoA and kinda disappointed with FFIX... you could take Google's advice. :) If it doesn't work for you, you can always chase after Googleshng with an axe or something. :P

*Disclamer* I don't condone anyone chasing Googleshng with any weapon. So DON'T expect me to pay bail for you when you get arrested for stalking.

More Quina...

Happy Birthday Nightshadow! Anyway, on to the questions (and since I forget whether or not you have played FF9, I'll just ask it^_^). What do you think of Quina (the big fat thing with the tounge)? Everyone I know seems to hate him/her, but I actually like using her in my party.

Also, which other games do you recommend besides FF9 and Lunar 2? I have Christmas Cash to spend...
Moux Cow Petau

Mistress Nightshadow:

Hmm... Well Quina is kinda fun I guess... I don't mind her, but from what I gather most people don't like... er it, because Quina only fits into the storyline with a hammer applied to the plot scripts. I don't know if it's true or not yet, but that's a general consensus?

As for Christmas recommendations? VP maybe? Or how about Vagrant Story? Unless you've got so much money you can get A Dreamcast and SoA, I can't think of much more.

A lot of miscanellous questions...

Okay, first let me start by wishing you a happy birthday (All together now!): "Happy Birthday!". Now, let's go to the questions:

Let's start with the age-old question:
1) Which do you think was better: Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII?

Next, one from my opinion:
2) Do you agree with me in saying that Final Fantasy VIII's two biggest flaws were not getting Gil after battles and there being no Treasure Chests?

Now, some from you opinions:
3) Which game would you give the title: "Best RPG For the SNES"?
4) Which game would you give the title: "Best RPG Ever Made"?

Here's a non-RPG Game-related question:
5) Do you agree that Super Smash Bros was an awesome game?

...And to finish, here's a completely random question:
6) Do you get extra presents on your birthday, or do you get them all on XMas?

Anyways, have a great day, and a happy New Year, or somethin like that.

Master Margie
"Requesting Permission to bite with extreme force..."

Mistress Nightshadow:

1) My answer, they're both different. FF7 and FF8 took completely different approaches... and they came up with different strengths and weaknesses. FF8's battle and ability system... had holes for abuse and unbalancing. Then again, so did FF7 in a different way. Storylines are presented differently... Just to say, I think they're about equal.

2) Again, it might be a flaw, but it certainly makes more sense in a realistic point of view. I mean, you don't see your average bear walk around with a gold credit card or a wad of cash. Treasure chests are same thing. I certainly wouldn't want to stash a chest with lots of pretty stuff right in the middle of a hallway where a wandering hero can just take it off me. [Well, at least without a lock on them.] :P

3+4) I said it once and I'll say it again. I'm just damned too indecisive to make a choice... that and the fact I don't really catergorise my RPGs in order of favourites. I tend to have 3 piles, ones I liked, ones that are all right, and those I really don't want to see again.

5) Super Smash brothers is a good party game. Kinda sucks on single player if you ask me, but get four friends and a big screen TV...

6) Look at the Quickies.

Suikoden 3?

Whats with the suikogaiden games not being released to the states? what gives we all missed out on the remake of chrono trigger and now this? this has got to be stopped. Anyways my real question is do you know of any screen shots for suikoden 3?
chris kozlowski

Mistress Nightshadow:

Um, if you look in the games section at RPGamer, under Suikoden 3 [Under upcoming, Playstation 2] You'll see a little news article listed there. That should answer your question.

Unfortunately, we don't have any screenshots as of yet... I think New Media will find some when they come around.


Tomorrow (well, today now) is Mistress Nightshadow's birthday? It's also my birthday! And my sister's... grumble... oh well, happy birthday Mistress Nightshadow!

Mana Goddess

Well, since it's your birthday as well, here's a tilde...

Damn, NOW I know what that sack Google was carrying away when he bolted after springing the surprise. Well, would a 'happy birthday to you too' cheer you up?

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear MN,
Happy birthday to you!

::confetti falls::

I wonder what the afterparty cleanup's going to look like if this keeps up... But it's nice to know that people'd throw parties for me. :)

Happy Birthday! So did you get anything good for your birthday? Or did you get screwed because it's so close after Christmas?

- Surge

My parents and family are so nice that they save me the anguish of any of that happening... They just don't buy me anything at all for either. *sniff*

Hey Mistress Nightshadow!

First and foremost, Happy Tanjyobi!

Oh, and I guess I should add a question to this shouldn't I? This is something that should probably have been obvious to me if I had looked at the manual, or gone through the initial training stuff at the beginning of the game, but in CC, Is there any way to use an Elemental twice in the same battle?

Thanks. :) You can always get the Chrono cross item to do it, and for Leena and I think another character, they have techs which refresh their own elements so they can use it again. Oh and Sprigg can too, cause you can dopplegang into something else and get all your techs back! :)

Hey (monks sing) MIS-TRESS NIGHT-SHA-DOW

I was wondering as reading your bio, yes I've been to Australia 6 years ago and the worst thing is the flight there. It also must stink since you're in the most remote place in the RPG world since almost none are released there. Also what's worse is that importing is harder since of the NTSC/PAL conversion. I also know that you said your a Sailormoon fan and I've come up with a spoof that I made up and I'm hiring the outgoing President in what I call Sailor Monica. It's creepy that I made all of his girlfriends knowing his taste in those outfits but thats thousands that I'll have to pay for. Also with Tuxedo Clinton who flings cigars. I just had to say hi because I'm such a nice guy.

Imperial Mog

I got only one comment.
... That Sailormoon spoof was disturbing.

The Last Laugh:

Well, I bet Google's laughing right now at my weird suggestion. If he's suffered health problems because of it, I think I've got him back. If not, we'll I can always count on you to whack him one for me. Just don't be too hard on him, we can't replace him you know.

Well... I did get a little present from one of my friends, I kinda like the little pic they made for me, it's at the bottom.

Well, that'd be all from me for now, if you'd like to follow me, I'll be doing an editorial update due today as well. :) At least THAT won't be a surprise, will it?

And I should say thanks to all those people who gave me well wishes for my birthday... It lightened up my day a lot.

Just a thought.

Mistress "Google's getting it!"
Grant me the power to bring me the world REVOLUTION!

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