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Googleshng - October 27 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

Sorry this is going up so late. I woke up this morning (fine, afternoon) and started a crockpot full of adobo chicken because my family was coming for dinner. It came out great, but either I succumbed to the hazards of handling raw poultry, or picked up a stomach bug that's been going around, and my digestive system was less than pleased.

On the upside, the chicken came out great. Anyway, on with the letters.

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Sup Goog,

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean, about being a guy and playing as a girl. My younger brother got me hooked on Ragnarok Online (before you say anything, I know, I know. I had NOTHING better to do), and I decided to play as a chick. No more than 5 seconds of playing occurred before the same sort of situation you experienced happened to me.

Likewise, I try to explain to them that they are all a bunch of prepubescent monkeys that need to get a grip on reality. I think I've hit on why they act this way. They assume that they are meeting an actual girl that plays MMORPGs, and that is as close to a real one as they are going to get, and my being there actually disheartens them to the point that they go mindlessly level for another hour and a half.

Speaking of MMORPGs, why are they so popular? I can see that they are addictive, but once you step back and take a look at it, its just a bunch of levelling with no real goal in mind. It's like playing FFVI and getting rid of Kefka. After playing a console RPG, I at the very least get a sense of satisfaction upon beating the game. When I play an MMORPG, I'm doomed to repeat the same tedium over and over again, hoping that I'll become an uber-l33t (I also in no way condone l33t, it's smurfing retarded) player, and all the 12-year-olds in the country will flock to my heel.

And this may sound odd, but I think a Pokemon MMORPG would actually be a lot of fun to play. Getting a thousand people running around the world capturing Pokemon and battling each other would occupy my time until I've CAUGHT EM AL...err..caught enough to satisfy myself.


That there is exactly why I stay clear of the genre as a general rule myself. As for Pokémon Online, well, that's a no brainer to make. On the other hand, competing with other players in such an environment would get nasty quick. I mean, as is there's people out there who can mop the floor with all comers, and as it stands, and that's without constant practice against fresh opponents. I doubt I could keep up personally.

This is going to get me smacked...

I understand the idea behind the 'But I'm not a girl' argument. My only counter point is: How many people do you know that go on video games as a dark elf necromancer who has the ability to defecate Necronomicons because they think that it'll allow them to explore some deeper part of their sexuality? Or will let them play out some twisted fantasy of theirs? Or will let them display the questionable morals of a promiscuous necrophiliac? I'm sure somewhere out there at least one person does. But as far as the general population, when a guy plays a female character (in anything, not just MMORPGs), the connotation is the same as wearing a mesh shirt. You may very well have the most innocent of reasonings. But 95% of the people you come across are going to make certain connotations that you likely don't want them to make (or do want them to make for a reason).

Secondly, in regards to Final Fantasy cessation by Square, there's been an interesting quote in one of my International Management textbooks. They claim, in regard to Coca-Cola, "Even if all of Coca-Cola's physical assets burned to the ground, they would have little to no trouble borrowing the money to build it back again just on the strength of their name recognition alone". Squeenix doesn't have anywhere near the investment in physical capital that Coca-Cola does, but I think it'd be pretty fair to say the same thing in regards to them on the strength of the Final Fantasy branding.

-- "Viva La Pelicula Del Fantasia Ultima"
That's the Espiritus Interior for you non-German speakers.

I realize you were posing that as a rhetorical question expecting me to answer none, but honestly, I know a rather unsettling number of people who, in any game they can, play necromancers who are entirely too friendly with their undead. Heck, I'm one of them... albiet in much less depraved a fashion as you're suggesting here. In fact, if you poke around my page enough, you'll find the start of a comic based on such a character.

Conversely, I'm pretty sure every guy I know has, at some point or other, played a female character in an RPG (and every girl a male one), for the simple reason that it worked better with their character concept. For example, some recent characters I myself have made for various games include:

  • An aging partially possessed paranormal investigator: Male, as he was a composite of various characters from a book, a game, and real life.
  • An upbeat necromancer who thinks zombies are cute and cuddly: Cute teenage girl, as it's much funnier that way.
  • A big fat green humanoid frog wearing a dingy tanktop that played the jazz flute: Male, because less people flee in terror that way.
  • A big dumb strong orc: Female, because I can count the number of female orcs I've ever seen in any context one one finger.

    If you can conceive of any sick twisted fantasies I could act out using any of these characters, I don't think you're one to judge anyone else's dirty thoughts.

    Oh, and as a personal sidenote, I don't consider anyone's fantasies they want to act out via RPG characters as any more wrong than anyone else's, although were I to play some online RPG where a male and female human were exchanging lovey-dovey emotes, I'd roll my eyes, but if it was a beholder and a gelatinous cube, I'd be amused. *Blinky wiggles his eyestalks happily.* *Cubey slides forward lovingly.*

More fun with gender identity!

Hiya, Google/Andrew/Whoever ends up answering this!

First, in rseponse to Google's comment about cross-gender role-playing in MMORPGs: my roommate has the exact same problem you described, and as he was the first person I'd come across in my circle of friends who had a problem with it, I was kinda confused. When my roommate asked, rather puzzled, why I played a Mithra, I simiply shrugged and replied, "Because I'm a Thief." It made sense to me, anyway. What do you think about MMORPGs like FFXI, where there are certain races (Mithra, Galka) which only incorporate one playable gender? I don't mind it one bit--I think it's nice, actually (big hulking Galka women would be kinda scary)--but I wonder if it's a deterrent for those who have this kind of "cross-gender RP phobia"?

My second question is one that I know's been asked a lot before, and forgive me if you've answered it already since the release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. I'm a huge fan of the MegaTen series, and I was wondering if you think Atlus will possibly consider re-releasing older games in the series over stateside in a Square-Enixy kinda way? In particular, I'm wondering specifically about Persona 2: Tsumi (AKA Innocent Sin). Since we got Eternal Punishment, which was actually part 2 of the Persona 2 series, but we didn't get Innocent Sin due to the "questionable content", do you think any amount of success with Nocturne could prompt them to release Innocent Sin over here, or come out with a PS2 collection disc that just has the Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment on it, or anything?


See previous example about the female orc. It always bugs me when a game has that sort of a restriction on it. Is the other gender of that species non-sentient? Non-humanoid? Way too deadly/wimpy to be a valid option? A lack of social equality?

Meanwhile, on the MegTen front, it's possible, but I'm not sure if it's likely. On the one hand, it isn't exactly the most popular series. On the other hand, Atlus is, in recent years, losing all their popular stuff to other publishers. So you never know.


Actually your list of Megami Tensei games is missing:

Megami Tensei 1
Megami Tensei 2
Persona 2: Innocent Sin

I don't know the names but there are also:

"The Second Last Bible"
"The Megami Tensei Gameboy Trading Card Game"

Finally I don't know if you want to include any of the append discs to Soul Hackers. There was a Compendium of Devil's Volume 1 and 2, and also some kind of bonus dungeon disc that now sells for a rediculous amount of money.

There's also a Megami Tensei Pinball game...

And the new Digital Devil Saga.

Not quite complete...


I was pretty darn sure we had most of those. Thanks for the tip in any case.

...and then you put Magus on the other arm...

greetings googleshng,

long time off-and-on reader, first time (or second, i think i mailed thor once) writer. just wanted to show off my new chrono trigger related tattoo. it's not the best quality picture, but it gets the point across. feel free to use this on rpgamer as you see fit. lemme know if you post this.


p.s. notice my swank fatal fury hat in the background!

Now see, that's just plain nifty. Shame about those webcams though and their lousy auto-white-balancing isn't it?


In a fight, who would win? The Ninja Turtles, or an entire settlement of Amish? Use whichever source you like for defining the Turtles, movies, either TV show, or even the manga if you're a weirdo, but I think we should leave Splinter out of the fight since he would negate most of the Amish's advantages.

With almonds,


What advantages? Barn raising? Refusing to fight? I don't think we're talking about the same Amish.

The Last Laugh:

I had something really important to say here, but then someone said something to me that made my brain melt. It's a good thing my stomach was already empty at the time.

Oh, now I remember. A challenge. Next time you get a chance, create and play one of the following characters in an RPG:

  1. A female dwarf mage.
  2. A highly intelligent troll.
  3. An aquatic race in a non-aquatic setting.
  4. A character who wears an ultra skimpy black leather and/or chainmail bikini, with a charisma of 1.
  5. Anything non-humanoid. And I mean no arms, not just legs.
  6. Any character with realistic reactions and morals, particularly with regards to the sight, act, and aftermath of killing.

Oh, and I'm not giving out tildes for this week's title bar quote, on the grounds that everyone knows it's from FF7... a scene kinda related to the topic of the day oddly enough.

Googleshng "VERY NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

So does Ring Soul remind you of the Great Will, or is it just me?

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