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Googleshng - July 25 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

A lot of people tonight seem to have Lovecraft on the brain, myself included. So, before sitting down to whip this sucker out, I read half a dozen of his stories. Well fine, technically, I sat down, looked at today's letter supply, read the stories, and then started in on the column all without getting up, but then the expression doesn't work!

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Gibbering fun!

Hey Goog! (praps you remember be from the roundtable? hehe, your knee-jerk instinct to correct people is almost as funny as my trying to sound "smart" and failing.)

Anyways, I've been wanting to familiarize myself with the world of H.P. Lovecraft for some time... all I've read is GURPS CthuluPunk. But after playing Alone in the Dark, Eternal Darkness, and watching "In the Mouth of Madness," I am quite interested. But I'll confess to being an idiot... I don't know what Lovecraft wrote. Did he make just the Call of Cthulu game? Or did he write novels? What should I invest money in if I want to drive myself mad with Lovecraftian lore?


Yeah, I have a truly uncontrollable urge to correct people. You know when that REALLY got me in trouble? Highschool. Some teachers enjoy learning new things, but others really flip out on you if you, say, point out that it's Asimov, not Asminov.

Anyway though. On to H.P. Lovecraft. He lived from 1890 to 1937, dying something like 40 years before RPGs came to be, and thus did not help create the Call of Cthulu RPG except by writing the stories it's based on.

He also wasn't exactly a novelist. He wrote a whole bunch of stories, but kept mainly to the nice short variety I've always had a soft spot for. Most of his really famous ones can be found in one convenient bundle, except The Mountains of Madness.

Now then, as for the rationalization of how this got printed, while most people have never even heard of him, pretty much every work of horror from the last 30 years, along with everything to ever feature a big blobby tentacle covered monster or evil book, is inspired by him whether they know it or not. Some of the more noteable such works include of course the Call of Cthulu RPG, and the console RPGs Koudelka and Shadow Hearts.

A Big Multiparter

Greetings, master of all things googley.

Just a few questions for you perusal...

#1 I have recently heard rumors of a new Shining Force title. Are there substance to these rumors, or is it merely chaff?

I haven't heard anything about that, and I'm pretty darn sure the team behind the series is too busy with Golden Sun 2 to handle that on the side, but then, you know how it goes when I try to poke holes in rumors, so swing by later today and look for stories on the main page. 8)

#2 I am looking for an RPG with *very* anime style graphics and characters, but also one that involves very non-linear design (ala Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate). Any ideas on where I might look?

That's actually an extremely hard combination to find, since console games come from Japan and stay pretty linear, and non-linear PC games tend to come from the U.S. or europe and feature decidedly non-anime graphics. The closest I can come up with would be Valkyrie Profile, which honestly doesn't quite meet either criteria, or possibly the upcoming Zelda game, if you count it as an RPG.

#3 Could you also recomend a good Anime-based RPG (translated or not), Paper or Plastic (aside from BESM, which I already own).

Now HERE I can help you. Aside from BESM, I can name you a paper RPG book from every major engine with an anime kick to it. For your standard d20 games, Palladium has a Robotech RPG. For d10 fans, Chesh constantly recommends Exhalted. Oh, and of course for those who like d6s, there naturally exists GURPS Anime.

Consoles meanwhile in Japan are up to their ankles in anime-licensed RPGs, surprisingly many of which are good, although none of said good games have managed to skip the pond to my knowledge. If you're going to import though, I'd recommend the Super Robot Wars series, since that way you get like 50 shows for the price of one game.

#4 Cathayan or Cainite?

Oh, and let's not forget...
Ia! Ia Cthulu! Ftagn!

I'm too tired to give a properly witty response. Sorry.

Hey, all you see in movies is New York and L.A....

Why is it that there is so few cities in rpg worlds? in most rpgs there aren't even 10 cities in the whole world! I know most games have a "great war" in their history, and that may have caused a drawback in development, but how could a planet of humans survive with so few settlements? And usually the "big cities" are all only a few more screens larger that the supposedly normal ones. With all the towns so few and so spread out, it sounds like another boring Kevin Kostner post-apocalyptic-period-piece movie.


That's one of those instances where realism takes a back seat to practicality. I think Xenogears is really the perfect exploration of the issue. On the one hand, it addresses the issue by heavily implying there's many more towns which are just invisible so you don't get distracted by them, and that with the really huge towns, you only explore the tiny portion that concerns you.

More importantly, Xenogears shows us why. A few towns in Xenogears are unquestionably Too Darn Big. I mean, when you like to go everywhere and talk to everyone, a town with a population of, say, 50 people can really suck your soul out, and that's still just a tiny fraction of a realistic number.

Oh yeah, there's also the fact that game designers are lazy by nature.

"What's in the box?!?" - UHF

Dear Google,

I just found out that I am receiving a grant to help pay for tuition. Do you think it is unethical to use money saved for tuition on video games? What if I am studying to create video games.

Grants exist to be squandered, so go nuts!

And now, a repetition of a question I put to Chesh because you were not available: Do you ever plan to buy an Xbox? I think I will probably shell out the dough in order to play the exclusive RPGs "Project Ego" and "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic". (Not to mention the first person shooters "Halo" and "Brute Force"). Right now I'm in "wait and see" mode, but the games look great from the development shots and news releases.

IĘdon't care for Microsoft very much, as they are not consumer friendly, but the system seems to play cross-platform games with quicker load times and better graphics. Plus I'm wondering if having an American console will help out future American game developers. Do you have any information on this, or an educated opinion?



No, I don't have any intention of getting an Xbox. Aside from some of the more frivolous reasons I have, like the controller being a giant unusable monstrosity, and it being against my religeon, there's the lack of even a single game that so much as catches my eye. Oh, and believe me, I've been looking too. I won't deny I'm biased on the matter, but I've had my eyes peeled for appealing games so I can debate over how they aren't worth buying a console over. In any case, I've never heard anyone name a game they were interested for on the sucker except what you listed just now, but with the possible exception of Brute Force, which I'd never even heard of until you mentioned it, not a one of those is an Xbox exclusive, so you can't really count'em.

Anyway though, onto the more serious question of whether supporting the American console would help American developers. Nope. Not one bit. For starters, getting a game onto a system is not a hard thing at all. The hard part comes from getting the game made in the first place. Oh, and even if that were the case, Americans don't make console games. They make PC games. It's just one of those weird truths of the universe.

Fun with words

You guys said in your recent roundtable discussion, you said that other genres are adding more and more RPG elements to them, whereas RPGs arenŐt changing very much at all. Or, to re-word it, other genres are moving closer and closer to being RPGs, whereas RPGs are not moving anywhere at all. Thinking of it that way, I came to the realization that this means that RPGs are the center of the gaming universe! Wheeeeheeeheeeheeee!

Just a random thought there.


That's one way of interpretting it yeah, and true at that. Another way though is that as a genre, RPGs are a stagnant pool of homogenous auto-canabilizing formless creatures that will eventually consume themselves leaving only putrid bloating corpses in their wake.


Remind me never to read that much Lovecraft before a column again.


I might be the only one left, but I eagerly await the conclusion to Slime World...

I probably should not get my hopes up...

You REALLY shouldn't. I shoved those suckers aside to concentrate on creative outlets that don't remind me what a terrible artist I am for a bit, so you have a long wait ahead of you. I appreciate the sentiment though.

quiero que me manden aeste correo memanda fotos sissisi

I'm not really up on my spanish, so I'm left in the dark over why this person wants me to send him pictures of Sailor Moon... and I think that's probably for the best.

If camel backwards is lemac and Megaman backwards is namagem (sounds like a nasty Cthulhu-esque thing -> nha'ma'ghem?) what's Googleshng backwards? =P

*figures you were intentionally asking for that*


Googleshng backwards is Gnhselgoog, which sounds like some sort of nice flakey pastry, but honestly yesterday I just couldn't think of a decent title.

The Last Laugh:

You know, double checking when Lovecraft died there reminded me that he lived his entire life about an hour from where I've lived MY entire life. I should really poke around his grave some time. Actually heck, there's a little artsy theater around there too... HMM......

Googleshng "I'm a follower of Cthulu; and I lead a mad horde; searching everywhere; for my evil overlord!"

It's kinda funny really how many songs there are about a name nobody can pronounce...

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