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Brian Rogovitz - March 15th, '02 - 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

Woo, I got lots of letters today! Unfortunately, many of them asked the same things or brought up the same points, so don't feel bad if yours didn't get printed. I just used the first that came on each, and didn't want to keep repeating myself. At any rate, read on.

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It takes six squares to make a cube

Hi Brian.

Now that Square and Nintendo are together again, does this mean GBA and/or GC ports of the "classics" (FF4-10, Chrono Trigger/Cross)?

LordBrian:
It is certainly possible. Square hasn't exactly shown itself to be afraid of porting its games to other systems in the past, and those old SNES games would actually play well on the GBA. If Square is in desperate (or even not so desperate) need of funds, and they can actually use the GBA and Cubey as a retrogame dumping ground, expect them to do so.

Also, what have you heard about FF11 being multiplatform? Does the previously mentioned announcement practically confirm FF11 on the Cube?

LordBrian:
As far as I know, the PS2 and PC ports of FF11 are the only ones confirmed at the moment. That said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see FF11 show up on the Cube. Square's gonna need as large an audience as possible to make that thing work, and they seem to be paving the way for a GC port.

On another topic, what do you think of MMORPGs? I played Ultima Online for a long while (bout a year) but it got boring. Hunt, shop, mine, repeat. I want something with side quests. Do you know if Everquest or this new Dark Camelot thing have in-game missions? I actually prefered playing UO in "single-player mode", but I enjoy the huge, persistent world populated with real people. Whew, lotta questions. Anyways, keep up the excellent work! I think RPGamer is a totally awesome site. ~todd

LordBrian:
My official position on MMORPGs is that I see them as glorified chat rooms. Chat rooms are fine as far as they go, but there's no need to pay for them. Besides, when I play games it's usually with the intent of getting away from annoying people, not surrounding myself with more of them. It is with this in mind that I stay very far away from anything massively multiplayer.

 
"Brian" is one of the hardest names to spell in the English language, I suppose

Hey Lord brain...

Two questions 1. How come most of the games (rpgs ofcourse) that are made outside of japan have such crappy character design, I mean i have a theory about the way of drawing, (posted further down) but why do all the characters drawn outside of japan look so boring

LordBrian:
It's because the whole rest of the world is just too lazy to think up good character designs. It probably has to do with the general sense of apathy that has descended upon us since we weren't all destroyed when the 21st century rolled around. Oh, and the rest of the world is also less creative than Japan.

2. How come almost every rpg made outside of japan are diablo clone, and for the most part have no story of great importance. My theory is that the writing language may play a part in the drawing culture since it's such an artistic and picture like language. This in my opinion may contribute to the look of the characters, in the way of faster drawn lines with les details which also makes the characters more cartoonish and more fun. Hail Lord brain our king and uh... well u got the point didn't u? Bye!

LordBrian:
When you get right down to it, the stories in Japanese RPGs don't really have much importance, either. But yes, I also prefer Japanese RPGs to American ones, which are mostly limited to the PC (hough there are some Diablo-clones coming out of Japan, too).

As for your theory, I'm not exactly sure I understand what you're talking about. It's true that there is more "drawing" involved when writing in kanji, but I don't think that translates over to the idea of video game artwork. Traditional Japanese art isn't really as anime-influenced as their games are, and Western game art isn't really any worse, just a different style. Their stories also differ from Western stories not because of the alphabet but because of cultural differences.

 
It would indeed be "pimp"

Brian,

Do you think that there is any chance for an Earthbound for GameCube? (prays to the gaming gods above) That would be so pimp. What ever happened to Earthbound 64? I havenít gotten a GameCube, but Earthbound would make me have to. Mr. Saturn Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Greg #55

LordBrian:
There's probably as much chance of seeing an EarthBound on the Cube as there was of seeing it on the N64. Granted, that chance fluctuated in value depending on when you were talking about it, but if Nintendo ever decides to realize that RPGs aren't entirely worthless, they'll make another Mother.

 
I'm personally waiting for the "Brainjack de Advance"

Hi LordBrian,

How are you? I figured it has been a long enough time since I wrote in to Q & A so I decided I should get some of these questions off of my mind.

1.) What do you think of Working Designs decision to bring over Growlanser II? I personally have never heard of the series, have you heard good things about it?

LordBrian:
I had a nice complete answer all written up when I saw this. Kinda makes this question irrelevant now.

2.) While I am happy that Square will soon be bringing us games for my underused Gameboy Advance, I still can't see the darn screen. What have you heard about this "tv de Advance" that lets you connect your Gameboy advance to the T.V.? Seems pretty pricey but could save me some serious eye strain...

LordBrian:
I was actually thinking about getting that a couple weeks ago, until I realized that it would require me to open up my cute li'l GBA. So, until a non-invasive product is available, I'll just continue to sit under the Blinding Light of Judgment I have set up when I want to play it.

3.) Finally, any thoughts on Jade Cocoon 2? I wasn't really fond of the first one, but I have had people tell me the second one is much better.

Thanks for filling in for Goog LB, I really need my daily dosage of Q & A...

Lee "Canadian Gamer" Babin
www.babinplanet.ca

LordBrian:
Thoughts? Aside from "there's a game I'm not playing," not really. I played the demo to the first, and never had any desire to play the rest.

 
Can you find the connection between #1 and #2?

1: How do yas I approach physical, offline people ("fleshies") and ask for physical, offline friendship when I'm paranoid of failure?

2: Black Mage or Wizard? Dragoon or Lancer? Lit or Bolt? Thundara or Lit/Bolt2? Flare or Nuke? Chocobo or Moogle? FFIV or FFIIUS?

-EE

LordBrian:
1. First, you have to find someone with enough of the same interests as you so you don't look like a complete idiot. Then, take a deep breath and ask them if they wanna get together to do something sometime (do it like a Band-aid, real fast before you can stop yourself). If they say "sure," you're all set. If they say "get away from me, you freak," reply with the always witty "fine, I'll just have to have your mom over my place later on AGAIN," then give them the finger, and run the hell away before they can start throwing punches. If that doesn't work, there's always escort services.

2. Black Mage
Dragoon
Bolt
Bolt2
Flare
Chocobo
FFIV

 
See? Works every time.

Heyya! Lord Brian! Lord! Sir! :) Are you feeling the love???

LordBrian:
Nope. Your mom isn't here yet.

What would you like to see ported to the AGB? Honestly, I'd like to see Secret of Mana. Might be kind of hard to use the link cable to play three player...but I think it'd still be cool.

LordBrian:
Secret of Mana would be cool on the GBA. 3-player mode wouldn't be all that hard, since the link cable can accomodate up to four players. What I'd really like to see, though, would be EarthBound. Or the SNES Zelda. Or Seiken Densetsu 3. Or...gaaaaah, too many games...

Have you played Ragnarok Online? So far, it's looking really nice...I've played it a little bit, and while a little chaotic, it's a lot of fun!

LordBrian:
Ragnarok Online does look nice, but...well, see my response to MMORPGs above.

What anime (if any!) would you like to see converted into a video game or translated to the U.S.? I heard there was a Dreamcast version of Oh! My Goddess...I'd like to see that.

Okay...I really need to sleep off this whiskey...any anime fans in the Seattle area, look for me and Kintaro Freon at Sakura Con. It's gonna be a 72-hour party! :)

Keep feeling the love!
-Dude Love Next

LordBrian:
If only they would stop turning anime into video games. I have yet to play a good one. Most of those anime games in Japan are just graphic "adventures" anyway, and not worth your time. Just stick to watching the stuff.

 
So we meet again, mortal enemy!

To my mortal enemy:

You know something that is weird, that I just noticed, in FFX all the main characters ( barring Rikku) are over 20. it's odd, since most FFs since 7 have had 19 or younger people. ( yes Barret and Vincent and some others were older, but in most cases the main character was 17 or something like that)
So here's my question(s):
Does it bother you about how young some of the people in RPGs are? I mean the main characters being like 15 is a little. odd for me. Most 15 year olds aren't interested in saving the world.
Is it poor writing when the main character's home/town is destoryed in most RPGs? In some cases they are destoryed right at the begining at the game, seems to me the designers just couldn't think of a reason to get them to leave, so they took the easiest way out.
What RPG cliche would be fun to have in real life? I think being able to walk into people's houses and take whatever you want would be interesting or being able to beat up little animals for money/XP would be fun.

I think this is long enough

TRC- You will rue the day you crossed me LB!

LordBrian:
I don't find the age thing odd in the least. When you were 15, weren't you ready and willing to save the world? If not, you must have been a lazy, stubborn, self-important snob, because it is your duty to humanity to save the world in its time of need! I mean, hell, read Ender's Game.

It depends on which game you're talking about. Legend of Dragoon, yes, because it was Legend of Dragoon. FF4, no, because...well, because it was FF4. (And I count Rydia as a main character.) It's only poor writing if the game itself is poor to begin with. Good games can overcome a stereotypical beginning and become something great.

And finally, I would like to be able to go to sleep and become fully refreshed within the span of a few seconds (and not still be hungry, too). Imagine how much more time you'd have to do stuff! So...tired...

(Oh, and the joke's on you, TRC -- you'll never know if these are real answers or fake! Eat that!)

 
Wha...? Another lb...?

I guess this is the part where I send in meaningful questions where you give me good answers, right? Hah...right, anyway.

LordBrian:
Hey now, I said nothing about good answers.

1) The SquareSoft-Nintendo deal. Hooray, what games would you love to see reborn on the GameCube remastered and everything? I'd say I'd like to see the Seiken Densetsu series back on GameCube.

LordBrian:
Ah, the other side of the deal. I would find it extremely satisfying to see Final Fantasy 7-9 show up on the Cube, especially with the long-rumored upgrades. Aside from them, I'd be happy with merely having new Square games show up on both Nintendo and Sony systems. Except a Final Fantasy Unlimited game. FFU can burn in hell.

2) Umm...So, why do exactly do we have to pay for playing characters online in FFXI? It's so unfair, especially for poor schmucks like myself! I'm pure rage right now, can't you just feel it through your computer screen?

LordBrian:
I can think of two possibilities why Square would choose to charge for extra characters: 1) Because they can, and 2) Because maybe they really ARE storing character data on their own servers, and this fee will go towards the extra space needed. Maybe. Probably choice #1.

3) ...Wooga wooga wooga!

That ends it for me venting out all the excess carbon dioxide out of my lungs...and I inhale.

-lb

LordBrian:
Uh...sounds like a good idea.

 
Another one?

Hiyas ^_~ T

Greetings and Salutations LordBrian, congrats on another day of solving those questions that weigh heavily on the minds of all RPGamers out there. For all of those out there who are looking for another funny letter (okay maybe the last one wastn't so funny...) tough! I've lost my funny mojo today. anyways time for the mandatory questions

1. If you could kill anyone real or fictional who would it be and why?

LordBrian:
It would be that dastardly TRC, for he is my mortal enemy.

2. If you could be any RPG Villain who and why would you be that person?

LordBrian:
Sephiroth, because he doesn't have very many speaking parts and I hate having speaking parts.

3. What are your thoughts on the Square-Nintendo news, and on the GC as a whole?

LordBrian:
I give it two thumbs up. Up where, I leave to your imagination.

4. Do you think I'm gonna actually pass all my tests next week? like calculus -_-; (sweat drop)

LordBrian:
I hope not.

5. will these letters help me become a regular here?

LordBrian:
Nope, for the simple reason that I'm not the regular host.

6. ok last one, can I geust host sometime?

LordBrian:
Not with me you can't.

7. PLEASE!!

LordBrian:
No.

8. Why not?

LordBrian:
I am an autonomous host unto myself.

9. ok so I lied, did you read my story? what did you think, be honest please. Geuss that's all for now. And this is to all you Q&A gurus out there, If you ever need a geust host, I'll be more than happy to do it =Ģ I enjoy Anime, nearly All RPGs, and long walks on the bea....oh wait wrong article... ok it's late I need to sleep I must be awake in 4 hours for my calc 1 class. Acend Peace-out!

LordBrian:
Sadly, I did not read it. Why, you ask? Because I had a column to write and...other things to do.

 
A triple header from Sullivan!

I don't know specifically to what the reader yesterday was referring when he or she claimed that Googleshng's sex -- though the reader claimed the issue was gender, I would maintain that gender, as a constructed reality is independent of physiologal differences between sexes --had been revealed. The reader could perhaps, though, be reffering to Paw's assertion a couple of weeks ago that she was the only female currently employed by RPGamer. But, with all the disinformation surrounding this subject, I would hardly consider the mystery solved.

But really, who cares? In an online environment, in which we all exist only as disembodied text, we are (simply) what we say (and we are who we say we are). Google could be a rat of NIMH for all we know and it wouldn't change the quality of her Q/A hosting nor the dynamic of his work in a virtual environment.


Oh, I just saw the placeholder column from the 13th that probably raised the gender issue (though I fail to see how you gave away some big secret). I imagine that was what the reader was referencing though. And your quote is from Emily DIckinson's "After Great Pain." At least, if memory serves, it is. I haven't studied that century in a while.
Sorry to send you so many emails today. Can you tell I'm avoiding doing something important (in this case, writing a paper)?

"No artist is ever morbid" is from Oscar Wilde. I believe it was from THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY.

Your invisible quote (the one concerning snowflakes) sounds rather familiar, but I can't quite place it. My best guess is that it comes from J.M. Coetzee, but I'm not sure that's right. But I hope it is. Coetzee is a great writer, even if he does reek of literature professordom at times (WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS is the most openly and self-conciously deconstructionist novel I've read).

Sullivan
www.soundclick.com/sullivan

LordBrian:
You are indeed correct on all of those quotes, sir. The Coetzee quote is from the book Foe, an excellent postmodern novel. It's nice to see I'm not the only English geek in the room.

Now, for all of you out there still questioning Goog's gender, knock it off. It's disturbing. But for those wondering, no, I didn't give anything away yesterday and neither did Paws when she hosted. It is a well-known fact that Goog is a gender-unknown slime, and nobody has ever felt like poking around to find any definite answers. And we'll leave it at that.

 
Ah, Imperial Mog. I was wondering where you got to

Greetings (access gods sing) LORD BRI-AN
I think we should remember that you should never let anyone use your memory cards regardless of who they are. If I had the problems Goog has right now I wouldn't be taking it as well since I'm a person you don't want to mess with since I get real angry real fast.
Imperial Mog

LordBrian:
Yes, lending out memory cards is a bad thing. Especially when you get them back and find them full of crusty...stuff...that you either can't describe or have a sickening suspicion of what it is and don't want to describe. And I'll bet you're just a big fuzzy mog. Ooh, what are you gonna do, dance on me? Not deliver my mail? I'm real scared now.



Quickies

How do you get the pepper? And where do u get it?

(Regarding DW3) After consulting my vast repository of RPG knowledge, I came up with the following answer: You have to go to a town where there is a pepper maker who needs his kidnapped daughter rescued. Hope that helps.

I beleive that quote is from Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess." Pretty morbid: "I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together." Basically the guy is saying 'I killed my last mistress because she was nice to everybody.'

Do I win?
-Ciphron Belovue

Yep. Pretty good. You don't get anything by my congratulations, though.

what has happened to wild arms 3? when is it going to be released in the us? is it?

It has either been recently released in Japan, or soon will be. And it'll come to North America, have no fear. It's just a matter of waiting.

Before I Go:

No, don't try to guess where the column title came from, because it really didn't come from anywhere. I just found it strangely ironic....Anyway, my time as substitute host is now up. Chesh will mark the return of your regularly scheduled hosts tomorrow, so send him the goods. After that, if you find yourself bored and wanna hang out with other bored people, stop by #RPGamer on EsperNet. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go here to find out. Until next time, my fair-weather serfs.

 LordBrian "Dominion of the blood and sepulchre." @rpgamer.com
 Are we bubbles blown by a baby?

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