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Brian Rogovitz - December 12th '01- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Sometimes you have a really good idea for an intro, and then other times you just can't put anything at all.

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Muahaha...for once my stint will not be filled with Xenogears questions!

Hey LordBrian, some quick things about Xenogears:

1. Does it look like the team had to hurry up or got the funding pulled somewhere near the disc change?

LordBrian:
I guess either of those scenarios are possible. Another way of thinking of it is that if, instead of having everything narrated you actually got to play, the game would be about 250 hours long and exceedingly boring. It would just be dungeon after dungeon, with some bits of storyline thrown in every so often. The pattern is really unnecessary, so rather than waste everyone's time they just condensed it all into one long chair session. Which is the lesser of the two evils?

2. About the Soylent Green thing, it seems like whoever translated added in as many things as he could about pop culture (or maybe not so popular).  I cant remember any off the top of my head, but I know that there were a lot.

LordBrian:
That's the process lovingly called "localization," though it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the Soylent system was in the Japanese version as well. The "twist" would work much better over there, I'd expect. If you want pop culture references, though, look for games by Working Designs. You'll be hard pressed to find a storyline hidden among all the references.

3. Honestly, am I the only one who thought that the descriptions used in the game to explain things were hilariously outrageous.  Again, nothing specifically pops into my head, but I do remember laughing non stop near the end of the game.  Play it again to see what I mean. ;)

Thanks, Jacotus

LordBrian:
I keep trying to replay it, really! I just never seem to get around to it. And I have no idea what you're talking about, sorry.

 
Someone remembers me ^_^

Hey Brian.

Just a note before we start. I remember you hosting before. Not sure why no one else does, when you did it was for a bunch of spots more or less in a row. anyway...

Everyone keep on saying "I'm going to get FFX on the 18th" as if they will be able to. First off, you probably won't get it unless you preordered it. Don't try to find an extra copy or anything. Although the date is pushed up some places are reporting that it is still just a limited shipment, with the full shipment in Jan. Although if they are doing a full shipment, again, how many people will be able to get the game? Final Fantasy is a huge name. I'm surprised I haven't seen a commercial yet with Square's marketing lately. You have the older fans of RPGs who have been playing the games for years who might want it. Then you have people who just got into Final Fnatasy with 7 or 8 who will want it since by now they are into RPGs. Then you have people who will buy it because they've heard of Final Fantasy before and now want it. Then you have the people who just walk in and will see it and buy it right off because it says Final Fantasy (this actually does happen with other things). Then this whole thing is limited by how many people have a PlayStation 2. I really want one myself, but I don't own one yet, and probably won't for a little bit. People who want a PSX2 for Christmas might be in luck, but I almost rather have a GameCube. You can get the system and somewhere in the range of two games for the price of a PSX2, which should've had a price drop by now to compete.

Anyway, if you can actually answer the question of whether or not the early shipment will be a full shipment then do say something. I live in a fairly large city and I know for sure that after all the reserved games get taken up there will probably be only a few left over for anyone else to get.

And since you've played the demo, what was wrong with the voice acting? I've heard the clips on Square's site, and although they weren't bad, they weren't excellent or anything. I still think subtitles wouldn't have been that bad. What better way to add to the "Okinawa-type setting" reported a while back than the characters speaking in an Asian language?

Tristan Adnade

LordBrian:
The early shipment of Final Fantasy X will still be the limited release, so don't expect the full shipment until early next year. However, if I may wax cynical for a minute, I can prove that there will be more than enough copies to go around. First, as you pointed out, the number of copies bought is (more than likely) limited to people who have a PS2, or are buying a PS2 at the same time. This cuts out a large chunk of the world's population. Then, there are all the old-school gamers who think that Final Fantasy sucks now because it's all about the graphics. Then you have all the people who aren't going to buy the game because it has voice acting, and voice acting is the tool of the devil. Then there's everyone who doesn't want to be labeled a "Square whore," so will refrain from buying it. Then there's everyone who doesn't have enough money or interest to buy it. So by my estimates, about 6 people will be buying it when it comes out early.

I also don't think that the PS2 needs to drop its price to compete at all. Unlike last year, there is a lot of great stuff for the system that would warrant its purchase, with or without competitive pricing. After the holidays is another matter entirely, though, so that's probably when you should start looking for a price drop.

The "problem" with the voice acting is that it's not up to the level of, say, Metal Gear Solid. The real problem is that people are very resistant to the idea of voice acting in Final Fantasy. In reality, it's not the greatest voice acting in the world, but we'll live with it. I too would have preferred subtitles, but the problem with leaving the voices in Japanese is that then you'll have the group of people who look down upon foreign-made media. I'm sure you know people who will think that a movie is no good no matter what just because it's not in English. Square just had to pick a group of people to pacify, and chose to go with keeping the voices understandable to most people.

 
Creation theories

Possible Golden Sun Spoilers

Hi, Lord Brian-sama,

1) Someone wrote in last week about whether to buy Star Ocean 2 or Lunar: SSSC (FYI, I have *not* played Lunar: SSSC yet). I bought Star Ocean 2 at a Sam Goody store for $9.99 and I have to disagree with Googleshng about the game: I absolutely loved it. The gameplay was a refreshing change from FF, even though there are a few issues with the battle engine that need to be worked out for Star Ocean 3. The synth quality is the best on the PSX next to CC, bringing Motoi Sakuraba's great soundtrack (that I recently bought), which in some ways surpasses some of Nobuo Uematsu's recent work, to life. "Field of Expel" is the most powerful overworld theme I've ever heard, period. I would highly recommend Star Ocean 2 to everyone. I can't wait for Star Ocean 3!

2) Have you played Golden Sun yet? Best handheld RPG ever, IMO.

*Possible spoilers ahead!*

Look at this map of Golden Sun's world on Camelot's site (http://www.camelot.co.jp/taiyo/taiyo0107_b.html). Is it just me, or are those the Earth's continents on that map? Furthermore, some locations in the game seem to be closely related to what would be their Earth counterparts. The Suhalla Desert on the Gondowan continent in the game is right where the Sahara Desert is in Africa. And Xian and Fuchin Temple are where China would be in Asia. Might Camelot end the series in a way similar to how Illusion of Gaia ended, with its world transforming into our world?

*End Spoilers*

3) And last of all, the GameCube ROCKS!!! I've been playing Super Smash Bros. Melee nonstop since I got it last week. Sending Pikachu flying off the stage with Ness's bat is *so* satisfying .

Domo arigato!

~Matt, who really doesn't like that annoying little yellow rat, Pikachu

LordBrian:
I liked Star Ocean 2 too, so it's not surprising I like Tales of Destiny 2. The best part of SO2 is easily the music, and coicidentally enough, Sakuraba also does the music for Golden Sun (which also has an excellent overworld theme). I have played the game, and it's simply the best RPG I've ever seen on a handheld, and one of the best handheld games period. That Golden Sun map does have a striking Pangaea-like look to it. As a little-known side note, following the Suhalla/Sahara name similarities, another name for Pangaea is Gondwanaland. Weird.

Oh, and yes, the GameCube does indeed rock.

 
Fine, just add another quiz to my pile

Greetings LordBrian,

1. In FF7, it is not possible (within the story) to revive Aeris. True or false?

LordBrian:
True.

2. It is possible to get Aeris back using a gameshark but that doesn't count because it's just a hack and is NOT part of the story. True or False?

LordBrian:
True.

3. There are "soldier statues" or something like that in FF7. At least, that's what I was told (haven't played any sidequests in FF7). My friends keeps telling me that you can revive Aeris, without gameshark, in some sideqiest involving "toy soldiers". Do you know why she might think this, what she is mistaken for, and/or what the sidequest actually is?

LordBrian:
False. There are a number of soldier statues in the game to collect, but if they have a purpose besides selling them for a little bit of gil, I don't know what it is. It's certainly not to revive Aeris, though. The closest you can get is after getting the key to Midgar, go into the church where she grew flowers and you'll see her ghost.

4. A lot of the time when I talk with fellow gamers, particularly while at University, I find a lot of people who are full of it. Or, I talk to ppl who are "absolutely positive" about something in game that they probably only heard as a rumor and have never even actually seen. This sort of thing ever happen to you?

--Maikeru

LordBrian:
True. People come up with stupid things like this all the time, sometimes because they honestly believe it's true or because someone's screwing around with their head. Why, back when I was a kid (cue the groans), I remember playing TMNT2 on the NES with a friend and my brother. We reached the level where it's snowing and there are manholes all over the place, and me and my friend had convinced my brother that one of those manholes was a warpzone to Shredder. It wasn't very productive, but seeing him jump into every single hole in the level was hilarious.

...

...

By your silence I take it you had to be there. Well, so be it.

 
I wish I could make all my teachers melt

That hidden text was a line from the song Komm Susser Todd, or Come Sweet Death. It's from the End of Evangelion, which I enjoyed very much, both the movie and the song. I guess I should ask a question shouldn't I.

Don't you hate pants?

-NeoLeviathan X

LordBrian:
Congratulations to everyone who guessed the quote correctly. I'm actually surprised how many people got this one. However, nobody got the title or the other quote at the bottom. The second quote I can understand, but the title? It's a shame, really.

As for pants, I have no great love for them, but if you need to wear pants, then for crying out loud, put some pants on! You know who you are. I'm not the kind of person who would worship a King of no Pants, if you know what I mean.

 
SMEAT

Greetings (Mr. T pities) Lord Brian foo'
I wonder if you knew that in Xenogears the mystery food was possibly the secret ingredient in real-life for some mystery meat like SPAM. I'm also rather upset that I got a clone of myself now. What I wanted was instead to have fangirls after me, not neurotic clones.
Imperial Mog

LordBrian:
It wouldn't surprise me to find that Spam was filled with...er...soylent. That's why it's so yummy!



Quickies

I can't believe how many questions you get regarding FFX. FFX, or rather FF in general seem to be all that is covered in this column a majority of the time. So, I'm just writing to say how sorry I feel for you guys.
-J

You are, of course, assuming we hate talking about Final Fantasy. However, you know what happens when you assume, don't you?

i know there is no way to revive either in any version of the game, but if leo would have came back in ff6 it would have added so much more than aeris coming back to the plot of ff7. just think you wouldn't be nearly so sad about terra's future with love.

Ok, I'll accept that one. The game would seem less cynical on that point if Leo could come back. Continuing with a thought from a letter above, you can also get Leo in your party by using a Game Genie, but it's really not the same.

Tales of Eternia (the Japanese version) has exactly the same amount of voice acting on the world map as Tales of Destiny 2 (USA version). In other words, no character development, simply messages of "Go there next".

Only Tales of Phantasia features world map conversations that have full character interactions.

Indeed.

Hello Lord Brian,
Just a quick question about FF 8. Will I be able to upgrade my weapons once I enter the Time Compressed world? If not that means I'm gonna have to bust my butt to find a way to get those darned energy crystals. Thanks,
N52

Well, you can always use GF Tonberry's Call Shop ability in the compressed world. That is, if you have Tonberry.

Before I Go:

Well, that's it for me for now. I wish I could leave you all with some words of wisdom, but I'm afraid I used them all up. Since Goog's still somewhere out in the ether, everyone's favorite Turkey will be in tomorrow. Be as rough on him as possible, he's earned it.

 LordBrian "How horrible! My house is totally coated in monster spit." @rpgamer.com
 That's not spit, baby

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