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Back with a (musical) vengeance
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  Brian works almost as hard as ex-PSM Online junkie Jay Boor

   I think we scared about half of our readers into fits and convulsions with Andrew Kaufmann's announcement of his departure from the site. "What's going to happen to the Q&AK?!" many pleaded, frantic at the thought of waking up every morning without being able to read the latest witty exchanges between Andy and his fans.

   Well, there's nothing to worry about! We're back, and stronger than ever, with a totally redesigned website designed for maximum pleasure and satisfaction. We certainly wouldn't let our most popular section fade into oblivion, as well. I'm Brian Glick, and I'll be hosting the first session in our newly designed home.

   I'd love to host this section forever and ever, but I've been slacking in upcoming game coverage lately (I think I picked up some laziness somewhere along the way...). Just as good, however, is Mike, who's going to be hosting this column for a temporary little while. We'll see how things work out...so please don't tear him to shreds, guys. I know how most of you can be! Anyway, on with the show.

Q: Hey BG, I've got a question for you.
   Is it me, or does SaGa Frontier get a lot less respect than it deserves? I bought it right when it came out, and admittedly I was somewhat distressed at how confusing the game can be. But after a little while it grows on you- after about a month of it just sitting on my shelf, I picked it up and played it again, and I found it much better. Really, it's just like the FF-Legend Series, in more ways than three.
   One more question, I've heard Good, Bad, and somewhat odd things about Final Fantasy VI (3US) being released for the PC. I certainly hope this is true, but the more I hear, the less sure I become. I remember reading *something* about it on RPGamer before- so can you set the record straight? Should I buy an SNES again, or wait for it on the PC and save myself the trouble?
   Oh, and one more thing, Steve's game is very simple. The rule is to confuse everyone and make them talk all about his game rules even though there are no rules at all. Ja-Va is two syllables, being as it is uncapitalised, so we can see that Steve's game was meant to confuse the whole world and cause destruction unparalleled- except by perhaps Kefka.
   ~Shawners

BG: SaGa certainly is a lot like the FF-Legend Series for Game Boy, because they are the same series. All three of the Legend games are part of the SaGa series, despite "Final Fantasy" being in the name.
   I think one of the reasons why SaGa didn't gain a great deal of widespread respect and appreciation is due to the style of the game. There's no unifying plot, and the game is about as non-linear as they come. There really aren't that many games like it, and most RPG fans found it too radical a departure to get deeply into it. Personally, I wasn't too hooked on the game, but it certainly never struck me as a bad game...just not my type.
   As for Final Fantasy VI for the PC, that's not going to happen. While Square originally had plans, those have long been scrapped. Furthermore, the release of Final Fantasy V for the PC format is also seemingly up in the air -- fret not, I'll be speaking with Eidos later this week to get the final word.
   Darn that Steve! Maybe there's a rule to his puzzle that we haven't figured out yet...he could still be fooling us all.

Q: Big Lick!
   I gotta tell ya, man, I'm upset, like really upset. Nintendo's changed their story for the second time now, and now not every one may get a gold Zelda 64 even if they reserve it after the 24th! I thought Nintendo was getting their act together but I guess not. Oooh it burns me up inside!
   -Mackenzie

BG: I definitely agree, there's a lot of gamers that feel the same way as you. Sometimes you have to look at it from the retailer's perspective, though. They could have 200 pre-orders for Zelda, while another store has 50. Nintendo's distributor channels have no idea how many copies to send to each store, so the individual retailers need to specify how many gold carts to receive -- and they could mess that up. Of course, it's another issue entirely if Nintendo should be giving all fans golden cartridges, or not...

Q: Just read on http://www.squaresoft.com/new.html that if you reserve PE early from Electronics Boutique or Babbage's you get a cool PE poster for free while supplies last. Thought you might wanna know.

BG: Yeah, I found that out too, recently. Electronics Boutique and Babbage's seem to be running a special promotion in conjunction with Square to give out the poster. I used my incredibly skills of personality and conversation to win a poster from the local Electronics Boutique, and it plays nicely off the "cinematic RPG" theme of Parasite Eve, with a style you'd expect to find on a movie poster at the box office (with credits at the bottom, to boot). We can't wait to get our hands on a copy of the game and see it for ourselves -- reviews from Japan have been varied.

Q: Have you ever played a Dungeons & Dragons game? There were players who played with dice, a pen, and paper, and there was a master player who told everyone what went and what didn't. That is the original RPG. Sure, I'm a huge fan of modern console Role-Playing Games (a-la Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy), but people need to understand what the original RPG was. Don't you agree?

BG: I played it once or twice at a friend's house as a kid, and I was never terribly impressed. The term "Role-Playing Game" can be applied to a wide variety of things in the real world -- from Dungeons and Dragons, to video games, to warm-up exercises in drama class. It's all a matter of interpretation, and the first activity to use the term doesn't necessarily have a claim on being "original."

Q:    Hey BG:
   I have to agree with you that if you want to attack someone with a musical instrument the only way to go is to use a baritone. For the fact that you have the choice to either play it loud enough to make someone's ears bleed, or you can simply do it the easy way and just beath the darn person to death with it. And yet another advantage- half the world dosen't know what the heck a baritone is so when you are questioned by the police about the recent death of someone in your high school marching band, they will have to let you go because you are obviously a very disturbed person who spends his free time beating people to death with an imaginary musical instrument.
   P.S. Don't ask me how I know this, but trust me. It works. *wink* *wink*

BG: You've obviously put a lot of thought into this, and probably a lot of experience. I'm...not quite sure what to think. From your email address, you seem like you're down in the US, though...while I'm safely up in Canada. Phew!

Q: Hey Brian,
   I got two FFT-related questions for ya.
   1.) I've heard plenty about the overhyped FF8, but only one blurb on some website about Square announcing FFT2 (I forget where). Have you guys heard anything about this? FFT, I think, was the greatest game in existence, and if FFT2, was coming, I'd wet my pants!! You must tell me all there is to know about it.
   2.) I was fooling around with FFT with my gameshark (2.2) and some of the codes (basically all the good ones) that I got off of cmgsccc.com. It locked up at "checking memory card". (Yes, I've tried turning off the effects). My friend has had them work perfectly, and he has GS version 2.1. Would Interact be able to exchange my GS for an older one? Cause I blew $50 for it just to use it on FFT, and IT'S WORTHLESS!
   P.S. You better print this letter. Or else, I must smite thee with my Iron Sword of Retribution (said in Sean Connery's voice).

BG: I wouldn't want to anger Sean Connery, especially when he's armed with a sword...
   1.) I'm glad you won't be spilling your bladder around THIS column. Unfortunately, we haven't heard any word (official, or even reliable) on a Final Fantasy Tactics II, although I don't think Square's ruling that one out...
   2.) I doubt Interact would do that, since the GameShark isn't advertised to work perfectly with every single game, as far as I know. You can always try, though...just don't raise too big a stink at their customer relations department.
   Oh, and I always thought Roger Moore was much better than Connery.

Q: There are over a hundred people in games such as FFT and Suikoden I & II, all of them with names, yet none of their names are the same. That just defies the law of averages.
   What do you suppose people in RPG worlds do for entertainment? Do they walk around all day and hope someone talks to them?
   Not many people would actually use instruments as weapons, but is has been done in RPGs. Edward is an obvious one. Will from Illusion of Gaia also used a flute. (He swung it instead of playing it)
   By the way, the Electric Guitar is the most dangerous instrument in existence. Even more frightening if paired with a bad player and amplifier. Rock concerts come to mind, but the players are equiped with ear plugs and you're often too far away to be harmed. This is why you can never get seats anywhere close to the first few rows, which are occupied by dummies. You can't spend more money on concerts if you're dead, you know.
   Singing can be just as bad.

BG: I personally think Final Fantasy Tactics' translators had a great time compiling the huge database of names to use. "Oh, Rupert! That's perfect! Add that one, along with Helga!" Anyway, yes, you're quite right. Notice how most characters just seem to wander aimlessly? They're really terribly lonely, and are just hoping someone might talk to them someday. Maybe that's also why you never seem to be able to get a word in edgewise.
   I think I hit a sore nerve with a lot of people when we started the whole discussion of destructive potential in musical instruments...

Q: Brian,
   Wow, it's 3:20 and I'm up! Isn't that something! I haven't pulled an all-nighter since the RPGFFSMB LOVEFEST. Anyway, here's my Q&Whatever-it's-called question:
   Lots of times in Q&AK, you and Andrew have alluded to the fact that you're both pretty popular with the ladies. Now I don't know if this is true or not with the general population (I think you're both studs, but I'm also in love with Edgar, so what does THAT tell you?), but I still feel this is unfair to the other RPGamer guys. They've never even had a chance to prove their hunkiness to us RPGaming girls! So how about you line up all the RPGamer guys in a row, take a picture, and let the female fans pick who's their favourite? It would be nice to see this issue settled once and for all, so some of you can deflate your egos a bit. I'm rootin' for ya, Brian!
   B, Supreme Goddess of Fire That We All Love and Worship

BG: B, have you ever considered that maybe people love and worship you because of that little "fire" mention? I certainly wouldn't want to be burned to a crisp by getting on your bad side...
   There's some problems with that, unfortunately. At press time, most of RPGamer's guys were still standing in front of the mirrors fixing their hair, and generally admiring their reflection. I tried to gather everyone in for a picture, but was only met with angry mutterings, which slowly turned back to happy sighs as their focus returned to the mirrors. Oh well, another time!

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