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Googleshng - January 11 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Ah-HA! I think I figured out why the letter load has been skimpy all week! You haven't had anyone else hosting a column since Christmas. Truth be told, at this point, even I need a break from me. While you WILL get that tomorrow, for now you only have to put up with half of me, because it's guest host day!

Jaraph: Hey, it's great to be hear. I would first like to say hello to all my loyal fans from *cough* mmmmphrerffer *cough*. What? You heard me, my loyal fans from *cough* mmmmphrerffer *cough*. All right, all right, I have an immense deficit of fans, loyal or otherwise. I'm actually just a guy who's a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in computer engineering. I've written a few reviews which you can check out here on RPGamer or at Not much of a site, but I just started it, and I suck at graphical work. Anyway, on with the show.

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Greetings (Gourry sings) Guggenheim and Giraffe
I wonder what you two think are the hardest games?
Imperial Mog
P.S. (the pic) I want is a picture of Vrumugen dressed like Kenny from South Park. It would be appropriate since he dies many times.

I must begin by saying I'm ecstatic that I get to reply to an Imperial Mog letter. I don't know whether it's the "I wonder" way you phrase your questions, the strange querries you make, or the bizarre level of openness you often display about your personal life, but I've always been fascinated by you. As for the hardest game, I'd say Drakhen on the SNES is the hardest RPG I've ever played, with SaGa Frontier at a close second. In terms of just plain difficulty, I'd have to go with Ikari Warriors or Battle Toads. NES games are just ridiculous...Oh, and about the name: a lot of people pronounce it like you did, though I say "jare'-uf."

Hardest RPG I've ever played: SaGa Frontier 2. The last boss requires an extremely large amount of PURE LUCK. Beyond that, Fantasy Zone. No contest.

An erronious correction.


I wanted to say you've been in error about the character building in Hoshigami, at least off somewhat. Enemies are at the same level as your highest level non-major character. So Fazz, Leimre (I know I spelt that wrong, but it's been a month since I've played it, almost to the day), etc. can be level 99, and all of your other chars can be 1, and all enemies will be 1 too. However, if you, like in my case, built everyone up to 6 and Fazz to 10 before the third battle, all enemies will be 6 as well.


The fact that I'm one of those college students who finds he has MUCH less free time than people claim he should have, coupled with the less-than-stellar things I've been hearing about the game has left the big H on my list of "haven't played" and me in the dark about the validity of your claims. Of course, g seems to know all the Hoshigami info that's fit to know, so I'll go with whatever she says. Oh, and while I have your attention, I'd just like to say, "Breaker 9, Breaker 9, aroooooooo."

Nope. The third fight just happens to have a level cap of 6 on it. I once had Lamprey a level higher than everyone else, and everything I was fighting matched him. And I double checked that with the horse's own mouth, so I'd hope I'm right. Speaking of which, said mouth pointed out that the game wasn't even out a month ago. Mysteries abound!

More Hoshigami questions

Hello Dr. Goog-

Hoshigami seems really interesting to me, but I find it hard to find specific information about it. Since I have heard that it is the brainchild of a similair team to Final Fantasy Tactics, then it has to be good, but there are a few things I'd like to specifically know.

1) Does the music hold a candle to Final Fantasy Tactics?

As I mentioned earlier, I haven't had a chance to check out Hoshigami, but I did go dig up some info for ya. First off, the team that made Hoshigami is completely different from the team that made FFT. It does look an awful lot like FFT, but then again, they both look an awful lot like Tactics Ogre. (Speaking of which, if someone wants to send me TO *AND* FM3, you'd definitely get my guest host spot...not sure if two games is against the rules, though...) As for the music, my friend tells me that, though it's decent, the tracks are too short, causing too much looping during long battles.

You know that FFT and TO are by the same people, right? Or, more specifically, half the team is the same. It's all rather confusing to be quite honest. Anyway though, Jaraph's friend is pretty much dead-on about the music. It IS all catchy, but when you have a 4 or so minute track looping for an hour long fight, you are going to get sick of it. Especially when the track itself is honestly a tad repetetive even within one loop.

2) Are the characters assigned jobs, or can you change their jobs at will like fft?

My sources also report that a "deity" system, in which characters worship one of six elemental deities who offer abilities, stat bonuses, and the like, has replaced the job/class system.

Also true. There are, for all intents and purposes, 6 jobs, which take a while to master, and yield some pretty darn spiffy skills as you move along. You can switch which one somebody has pretty much whenever you want. Of course, the APPEARENCE of characters never changes, so while you can make your big growling berserker into a mage, he just plain won't look right.

3) I have heard that the difficulty level is very keen. Would you still recommend owning it even though one may never conquer it?

Thanks, now it's time for me to try to wake up Merripen with a... disturbing fanart of Aeris.


And yep, everyone seems to agree that Hoshigami is HARD. It sounds like there are ways to get through it, though. It apparently just takes some thought. As for whether to buy it...I'm gonna. It sounds cool enough.

Thought nothing. It takes good old fashioned character building, and plenty of it, very early on. Anyway, it's not that it starts easy then steadily increases in difficulty. The hardest fight in the game is the 4th one.

Come with me little plastic Myau!

Is there ANY way to load my previous save file from Shenmue onto the European Shenmue II? If not, what am I missing out on? Also, have you tried MGS2? You don't know what you're missing out on if you haven't...Ciao!
~Xeros89 -That son of a shoopuf!

Hmmm, haven't heard about whether you can load your old saved game in the Euro version or not. Ain't got a Dreamcast, ya know...I did just pick up MGS2, though. That game seems almost too good. As soon as I find either a really scary guy or a really good looking girl to drive my roommate away from my PS2, I plan to delve deeply into it.

There is TECHNICALLY a way to use your Shenmue save in Shenmue 2. You just have to upload it onto a computer, and edit the raw data! For most people though, you'll have to leave your toys and chocolate bars behind. On the bright side, you get to start with DECENT experience levels on your throw moves. Oh and Jaraph, that describes me! Where do you live?

Here's a toughie.

goog and guest:

What's your favorite SNES game of all time? I've narrowed my favorite down to Lufia 2, FF6, FF4, and Super Metroid. On one hand, FF4 has the nostalgia, and on the other, FF6 has awesome characters and nostalgia. On the other hand, Lufia 2 has great puzzles and nostalgia. On yet another hand, I haven't beaten Super Metriod(just got it like a month ago), but It's giving me nostalgia of SOTN.
So, we have:
FF4: nostalgia
FF6: nostalgia, characters
Lufia 2: nostalgia, puzzles
Super Metroid: Nostalgia

Hm....this was pointless.

"Yes, I do have four hands"

Yep, I love every one of those games...FFVI is my favorite SNES title, though. Favorite game of all time, in fact. Of course, Lufia II has the whole Ancient Dungeon thing: extremely awesome. One thing I don't understand is how exactly Super Metroid can have the nostalgia factor for a game released a generation after it. (I assume SOTN stands for Symphony of the Night.) I guess if you play games for the first time when they're two generations old, it makes sense...sort of. Incidentally, I love the fact that you're still playing the SNES; I'm still having serious trouble deciding whether the SNES or the GBA is the best system ever.

I'd have to say either FF6 or Chrono Trigger.

I stand corrected.

Hey, I read your column from two days ago and thought I'd correct the internet play fees for DC thing. Since November, there's been a $10 monthly fee to play all Dreamcast games online except for PSO v1 & v2. V2 already has the $15/3months fee, so the only DC game with free online play is PSO v1.
I think I heard the reason why you don't have to pay for PSO is because it's on a different group of servers from the rest of the SegaNet titles. Nuts.
Oh well, PSO is the best! -SuperGreen

Once again, no Dreamcast (I actually thought of asking for one for my guest host spot...I guess I can wait for the GC version of SoA to come out, though); plus, I have a strong aversion to almost all online games, so I don't pay much attention to all that jazz. For the sake of saying something, however, I'll offer this bit of information: my friend has a pig that actually ate the insides out of a dead pig and now lives inside the carcass. Pretty? No. Cool? Not at all.

So... even if I hooked my DC up to a phoneline and got a dialup ISP, fate would STILL conspire against my playing Chuchu Rocket with my cousin in Japan? DARN. Oh, and Jaraph... that annecdote is pretty darn sick. I'd be disturbed by the concept of a canibalistic pig, but keep in mind that pigs ARE made of bacon ham and sausage.

A Parting Multiparter

Hey Goog. How's things? Anywoo, I have a couple questions for you.

1)Since you mentioned going 5 hours without saving yesterday, don't you hate it when you're playing a game and you can't save until like an hour after you start?

Hey, what's with everyone forgetting me? Thanks for remembering me and making me feel oh-so-warm-and-special, Imperial Mogulator.

I'm a forgiving soul, however, so here are some numbered answers for your numbered questions.

1) Yep, I know exactly what you're talking about. Nothing can compare to the frustration I felt about not being able to save mid-battle on Ogre Battle, though. Every game should have that "temp save anywhere" feature the GB Dragon Warrior games employ. NOTE: I know, I know, other games had that feature first. The DW games just spring most easily to mind.

Save nothing. How about play? Start a game of VP and time how long it is before you see the map screen.

2)Barry Williams, Greg Brady, or Johnny Bravo?

2) Depends: You talkin' singing? Barry Manilow. You talkin' humor? Johnny Bravo. You talkin' making my heart pound and my body tingle? .......Argh, I just can't say it.

Other possible bases... basises? Hey, what IS the plural of basis anyway? Anyway, we could also judge their absobancy or electrical conductivity!

3)Why is gold and experience SO DAMN SCARCE in Dragon Warrior?!?!?!?!

3) If you mean the DW series in general, that's just one of the hallmarks. I happen to like it, myself. If you're referring to just the first title in the series, then think about the game. The whole thing would be about 10 minutes long if it wasn't for the mind-numbing amount of level-building required.

10 minutes? Nah. It'd be a LITTLE longer what with wandering around with a torch that gives a ONE SPACE radius of light and all.

4)Which did you think was worse:Final Fantasy Mystic Quest or Secret of Evermore?

4) Secret of Evermore was much worse. Honestly, I actually like Mystic Quest; I've played through it completely 6 times. Even more honestly, I liked SoE, too. You want a game to hate? Try Lord of the Rings or Drakhen.

Amen to that!

5)Why is it that whenever you pick your nose, it's always full again in a few minutes?

Thanks and remember:don't whiz on the electric fence.

Robust Stu

5) You're probably forgetting to cast Mute on the Booger Mages. Seriously though, if it's really bothering you, just hire someone to pick it around the clock for you.

And hey, thanks for the good letter. I'm glad to see Goog was able to dredge up a few more than have been posted lately.

There's also this magical invention called Kleenex. It also goes by the names toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. Look into it.

The Last Laugh:

Jaraph: Well, it's been good, all. Again, I'm glad you all stepped up a bit more with the questions today. As Goog mentioned yesterday, the games I want really aren't very rare, so this will likely be my only time here, unless g lets me wait a few days to see how good an offer comes in. Remember, I'm looking for Tactics Ogre, FF3j, Front Mission 3, or any combination thereof. I'd also like to give a great big howdy to my better half, Laurel. And for anyone wondering, girls are definitely better than games.

Google: A couple send offers came in already actually, but 2 weeks DOES seem to be the standard. Anyway, it is now the weekend. Thus, the two staffers I rescued from ninjas WILL be here. So send CC some questions and Merri some purdy pictures. On a less ninja related note, CC is back to school and a working computer, and Merri is a college graduate. It's a good thing he likes to draw and play guitar or else people would start telling him to get out into the "real world" or something.

Googleshng "I hate living in your shadow! It's dark there!"
We don't need no steenkin' badgers!

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