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Googleshng - September 20 '03- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

I figured the whole "rise from grave" bit was getting old. So anyway, yeah. Here I am. Writing a Q&A column. This schedule here will take some getting used to though. I just finished hosting a roundtable for example, which ran longer than I expected, so I'm starting this here column at wow, 4 AM. I have to proof and post this tomorrow, then get a rant in at some point this weekend, while writing three more columns. Of course, then I have 3 days without anything to do. I'll have to shuffle things around I think.

Anyway though, on with the column!

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Google,

I must first say, welcome back, along with the other umpteen readers today.

That was pretty much it, except for one other non-question related thing. You may or may not recall that on your last day, along with the umpteen goodbyes, I asked if there was a special ending to FF6 if you finished it with only 3 characters. I then, driven by the urge to have mad bragging rights, finished it with only 3 characters. You don't get a shorter ending, just a really revised one. The ending itself is exactly as long as if you had finished it with all 14 characters, it is just modified to make up for any characters you don't need.

For example, since I didn't have Locke, Setzer helps Celes when she almost falls down a hole, and Edgar makes a comment about Sabin never being around when you need him when the roof colapses. Beyond that, it mostly just shows a shot of each characters hometown, including Gogo and Umaru, who you never recruited in the first place.

Just thought you might be interested, without having to do it yourself. Welcome back.

Captain Modifier.

Googleshng:
Well yes, there's a few things you see with only three people that you don't see if you have everyone, but it isn't that those bits show up ONLY when you have three people. Pick up everyone you did plus Terra and you get everything there plus Terra's bit. There's actually a freakishly large number of possible permutations to the whole thing.

Duff Man has left the country.

Of course there won't be any sappy farewell column for Japanese Andrew; that's because he isn't leaving. If he doesn't get his Q&A job back when he returns to the New World, we may have to use some good old-fashioned persuasion.

-Mike Lemmer
"Fanatics don't get mad; they get home addresses."

Googleshng:
Yes, that and the fact that he's theoretically going to be running some sort of once a week deal answering questions about Japan. Last I checked at any rate.

Musical Queries

Welcome back, Google!

Question for ya:
Is RPGamer still going to have a music section in the future? If so, have they selected someone? If not, is the position still open? I might be able to do it!

Googleshng:
Yes. The only reason there isn't a fresh music update up right now is that a weird sort of snag came up in the process of setting up the new guy. That should be fixed shortly however.

On a completely unrelated note, was I the only person dissappointed by Rhapsody? I saw screenshots, I heard described as "a musical RPG", and it looked clean and pretty. Then when I finally play it, I find out it has nothing to do with music at all. Rather than being "a musical RPG", it turned out to be "a musical.........RPG". I suppose that's kind of charming in its own way, but....it plays out like a Disney flick! I was really hoping the "musical" aspect would be something more related to the performance of music. In hindsight, I'm not sure how they would have done that in a way marketable to the non-musician, but they, the professionals, get paid to figure that stuff out anyway!

Googleshng:
It's a musical. It's an RPG. It's also very very girly I'm told. Anyway, music could be worked into an RPG's gameplay easily enough I think. Look at the most recent Zelda games where you have to play various tunes to do stuff. Heck, look at the "good" ending of Chrono Cross.

For what it's worth though, I think musicals are seriously underrated. Having the cast break out into song every few minutes is just so darn surreal. Opera games could be neat too.

Game Design

Good to have you back,

I've played the first few minutes of FFTA and, to tell you the truth, I'm afraid to continue. It doesn't seem to be that good and if I keep going I'll get stuck trying to finish a boring game (like you mentioned in the Roundtable, the same fight, over and over again). What do you recommend?

Googleshng:
FFTA has the same general appeal as the original FFT. The fights aren't particualarly hard, and there isn't really any variety to them, but the longer you play, the more options you get to customize your party into a bunch of degenerate superpowered freaks. I for instance currently have a red mage/assassin who can put the whole field to sleep as soon as the fight starts, and then wander around turning them all to stone before they wake up. Fun stuff that.

Another RPG Maker is headed for the states. I never tried any of them, what's the appeal of these games? Who has the time or the patience to put together an RPG on a console system? Is the interface any good?

Googleshng:
I have, quite frankly, heard scant few good things about the RPG Maker series. Given the limitations, and the hassle of writing dialog without a keyboard (granted, not necessarily a concern with the PS2), you're really a whole lot better off with one of the many more versatile, and in most cases free, RPG creation utilities available for computers. That or starting from scratch in a real programming language.

Alex

A rather long letter from Silkenray.

Before I go forth, let me just say "Welcome back, you scurvy bilge-rat! We missed your wit and fruminous commentry on the mimsy topics of the day."

Or at least I would have missed you if I hadn't been in fairly constant contact through other means, but I did miss your Q&A goodness. I'm glad you're back so I can start reading my favorite (or more precisely third favorite at this time) website on a regular basis! During your absence I popped in about once every week or two to check to see if there was a fanart update. Can't blame me for that. The section's in my blood after my two years in the post.

So anyway, with the usual "Welcome back, Goog!" schpiel out of the way, I can continue on to my commentry. I can't really ask questions, as video games have lost my interest due to having a 20 credit courseload this semester, and being a newlywed, and involved in two (soon to be three, four, five or maybe six) choruses and taking voice lessons, I have neither been able to spare the time nor the money to invest in that particular hobby. However, there is one game I have played recently that I WOULD buy if I had the money. Or a Playstation 2.

Pengel.

I know that most people think it's a stupid idea, or silly, or frivolous, or perhaps not a true RPG. However, it is a hell of a lot of fun - like Pokemon, except you make the monsters! How cool is it to be able to draw your own monsters? Interestingly enough, my most successful ones were my poorest drawn - the best one was Vora, whom I accidentally made with four arms instead of two arms two legs. I finally added legs to the only spare bit of flesh - the top of her head. Because her legs were so out of the way, they were useless stumps good only for increasing her agility. However, despite this she kicked ass.... well, PUNCHED ass. It's also a great game to play with other people even though I don't think there's a multiplayer mode. Coming up with new monsters is a ton of fun, especially when you have friends as bizzare as mine!

Anyway, once again, glad you're back. Sorry I didn't have any questions, but best of luck anyway! The site just wasn't the same without you.

~Susan "Silkenray" Richardson - neé Emplit

Googleshng:
You know, this is actually the most I've heard about Magic Pengel... ever. Usually when I hear about it, it's always something like "They changed the name of that stupid thing again?" or "What ugly ugly graphics."

The concept actually is fairly intriguing, but at the moment I have a rather full plate, and a rather empty wallet.




The Last Laugh:

Ahhhhhh...... I really really really missed doing this. I have a rather large stack of people saying "Wow, you're back? I've been boycotting the site since you left so I heard second-hand." I'm not printing those however because, well, the posting of this column answers them, and it's now 6 AM.

The fact I have so many though suggests to me that I should suggest to all of you out there to spread the word that I'm back to all those various people.

Googleshng "Whee, back." @rpgamer.com

Various happy statements.

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