Mail Andrew or Myself I Give me some personal lovin' I Old Stuff I Ancient Stuff
Monday Breath January 16, 2006

Matt Demers - 13:49 EST

WE HAVE ARRIVED at the coldest-on-average week of the year! From hereon in, it's going to gradually become nicer, and warmer, and less unpleasant, all the way until we're bathing in glorious July sunlight. I can't wait to be able to take a stroll down the street in the warm summer air without needing to bundle up at all... and just breathe in the smell of summer, with a warm breeze licking my face (not a dog). Alas, for winter's icy grip is still upon us, and misery is everywhere! Australian readers: Wanna trade places for a couple of months?

It's good to be back for another week! We have some good things setting up, including our newest co-host, MagRowan, who should be right here besides me tomorrow. It will prove to be quite exciting, so please, enjoy the show!

For today, we have a plain vanilla column, but hopefully that will do. No matter how much funky flavouring you want to throw into ice cream, vanilla is the kind you always go back to, because it's sooo good with pie.

You are in the master bedroom. There is a bed here.

Hi Matt

When you talk of nostalgia for games that ran on the NES or SNES all I can think of are the early text games like Zork. Console games came so much later on that I don’t even think of them when I remember fondly things past. Just finding that lantern is enough for me.


I never played Zork, but I played a text-based adventure game that my dad picked up once at the software conferences he used to attend. The people there used to distribute "games disks" at low prices or for free, and the disks were made up of random games that sufficiently geeky computer programmers came up with at one time, presumably.

I believe it was on the disk labeled "Games #5", and the game was entitled "Haunt". The object of the game was to find a way to break into Old Man Winsloe's house during a Christmas party to rescue some hero named The Pumpkin Man, who was turned into a toad and kept prisoner in the basement. It was really fun, and just thinking about it now kinda makes me wish that it was still around.

I made the mistake this past April of getting a psp. Since then it has mostly gathered dust since the only game I found interesting for it has been Lumines. I bought a DS this past Christmas and am having a blast with Mario Kart. I suspect that it will be later this year before there is any reason to play the psp again.

Given that experience I am not buying any next generation consoles until they have games that I want to play!

Have a great day!



Well, don't give up hope quite yet. A couple of games have been announced for it, at the very least, including the Valkyrie Profile remake; cross your fingers for an announcement of a North American release. That said, it's always been a policy of mine to not buy consoles until there are games I'd like to actually play on them; you'd probably do well in the future to learn your lesson. I'd be disappointed if I were a PSP owner, too.

Vandal Indeed!

I was reading your last QnA column and I saw a letter that mentioned how good of a game it was. I've heard my friend talking about it before and he acted like it was one of the greatest games of all time. So this intrigued me to go looking for info or possibly a rom of the old game since it would be impossible to find for the PS nowadays. While on my search I found this...

Take a Look!

I am so glad I bought a DS.


Reaallly? This is news to me, Mr. Kiento. If Gamespot is on the spot, so to speak, with this one, then the announcement must not have been made with much fervour. I can't find much information at all on this game, but if it's true, you'll hear more in coming months!

BTW, no luck in finding a rom. :(



Too bad for you; I certainly don't condone the illegalities of ROM distribution or acquisition. I'm sure that some copies of Vandal Hearts have got to be floating around on eBay, if you're one of those devoted eBay shoppers. By this point, there aren't very many options left, I'm afraid. Perhaps, though, if this story about Vandal Hearts is true, we'll all have something in store for the future, hmm?

RPGamer does not have cooties


simple question. you see, it came to my attention that a few weeks ago my computer had been infested by some unknown viruses. i have the necessary programs to get rid of them, but nevertheless, i am still concerned when i download now.

my question is simply this: is there any risk when i download any files from your site (video, music, etc.) concerning viruses or anything of the sort? i am merely concerned.

i congratulate you nevertheless. kudos on a great site.



Well, I'm glad you enjoy coming here so much! I've been coming to RPGamer for as long as I can remember, online, and working for the site has been great fun.

To address your situation, though, not at all! In all the years I've been coming to RPGamer, I've never been infected by any of the files that I've downloaded from the site, so I would suspect that you're getting your ills from someplace else. Like any good mother would do, though, I shall wag my finger at you, tell you to keep your virus definitions up-to-date on your computer-security-program-of-choice, and urge you to stay away from those sites that feature, well, you know.

TAing? Why of course: "Torturing Aardvarks"

hello!, can you tell me, what is that TA thing that you are doing? im in Mexico, and lots of abreviations(is that the word?) dont make that much sense to me. and i want to know more about the schools in other countries, in case i opt to take a master degree or something in other country


Ah yes. When I say "TAing", it stands for "doing my job as a Teacher's Assistant"; I work for the Math Department of the University of Guelph. It's a fine university indeed, as are many others in the vicinity. I'm positive that you can find out more pretty easily online if you really want to. Wait, isn't this an RPG column? I feel like I'm responding to personal mail here, between this letter and the last.

hey, about the bad guy switching sides, what about Kalas in Baten Kaitos? i thought that it was the best plot twist in the game, or Flambie(or whatever his/her name was) in Secret Of Mana, maybe it doesnt count because he turns from Airship to "bad guy" but, it was cool


"Bad guy" indeed. As far as I can remember, Flammie was never really a bad guy, and it's terribly sad that you have to fight him in the end. I agree, though, that having to fight him in the end was a really cool twist.

I'm less familiar with your Baten Kaitos example, because I haven't played the game, but I'm sure lots of people would agree with you, given that there is a fair amount of love for that game among Gamecube enthusiasts out there. Generally, and as I mentioned before, I really like it when characters switch sides, because plot twists are always welcome. I like my food SPIC-EH, and I like my games spiceh too. And spicy, too, for that matter. Thanks for writing in! I hope it's at least somewhat warmer there than it is here...

Fuzzy memories...

Heya Matt!

Okay, I said I wasn't going to write in about Nostalgia, but guess what... I changed my mind after reading Xlash's letter and your response.


...and I just had to respond, seeing as a) you noted yesterday that I haven't responded to every one of your letters, recently. I swear it's not deliberate!! ...and b) You're going to be helping me with the column tomorrow, and I don't think you'd like the job of answering your own questions. It could make for an odd column, at the very least. While I'm on it, though, everyone tune in tomorrow to see MagRowan MAKE A FO, er, do the best co-hosting job yet!

When I first thought of the 'games of yore' that started me, I thought of the SNES RPGs such as FF, CT, Super Mario:RPG, or even Link to the Past, but then I realized, that those were only the games I associate heavily with. In all reality, I started my venture into video game RPGs with the Atari 2600, the Intellivision, and the NES. Heck I even briefly played an old PC RPG before my foray into the SNES world.


Perhaps me too, as I was a gigantic fan of Sierra's King's Quest series, back when I was a wee little gaffer and the games ran on 5.25" floppy disks. It was the first series that ever truly inspired me! I would make up "King's Quest" games of my own for my sister to play, outside in the yard, and our parents would be the evil villains that would appear suddenly with scary background music. Of course, that's only if you call King's Quest an RPG, which is certainly up for debate.

If I were honest with myself, my first RPGs would be Adventure for the Atari and D&D for the Intellivision. (Adventure is more like Zelda, but since Zelda has some RPG elements, I shall consider Adventure to have some as well.) My fondest memories of these games include trying to carry two items at once in Adventure which resulted in my little square icon just pushing two objects across the screen accompanied by a lot of pickup/drop blip noises or encountering the Minotaur in D&D which turned out to be a big pastel blotch with horns.


Gah! You just struck a memory of my own. I may have actually played that very game, and perhaps as early as 1990. My friend Leia had a birthday party when I was in about Grade 2, and had a whole crowd of snot-nosed friends over to her house. I was one of them (I'm not sure if I was a snotty one) and I distinctly remember her showing us some really blobby-looking Atari game at the time that could possibly have been described by your words. Of course, this is more than fifteen years ago, and that was less than ten minutes of my life, so I really have no idea. Sorry for interrupting, I just got excited.

My crowning achievement in Adventure is being able to be swallowed by a dragon while holding the sword. Thus once the icon gets swallowed, the dragon dies (sword through the gut), but you are still stuck in the belly of the beast. Game isn't over, but you can't move. Better yet is when the bat (fiendish thing that moves any and everything that isn't nailed down around the map) picks up the dead dragon, with you and the sword and moves you to a new location. Ah for the days of simplistic game logic!


Mmm, mmm. I remember back in the day: When games froze up, I was deathly afraid that the console/PC/whatever was about to blow up. I'm sure I went crying to mommy on more than a couple occasions. Awwww... poor Matty.

As for the NES, I've still got my copies of FF, both Legend of Zelda titles, and lo and behold Bard's Tale! Bard's Tale was lots of fun, though I've never even come close to completing it. Most memorable quote from it? ' pounds the root beer.' Go player go! Chug that root beer!

I never got much of a chance to play it myself. I usually played map monkey for my sis when she played it or spectator when my bro played it. Sadly enough, the main reason I could never complete it is because the game only allowed so many characters to be saved to the tavern (darn you cartridges!). Thus, big bro's characters got priority (it was his NES after all) and then sis got next priority and then finally me (the youngest) got to make characters. I think maximum party size was 6, and I ended up with enough slots for three, maybe four, characters. *sigh* Ever have that happen to you? Probably not, you're the oldest, aren't you?


Well, you pre-date me considerably, from the sounds of it, because my siblings and I weren't doing much at all back then except for playing outside and getting that accursed thing called exercise. Actually, I'm not the oldest; I'm the middle child. My parents have been married for thirty-five years now, and they spawned five demons. I'm the third, with two older she-devils, a younger one, and an ex-banshee of a youngest brother.

So, yes, long trip down memory lane is completed. I'm sad though that I no longer have an Intellivision (lost it in the depths of time somewhere) and that my Atari is out of commission; I now have a hankering to go play these games again! How about yourself, are there any games that you played once upon a time, loved, and then have somehow lost the ability to play again? Perhaps to hardware failure or even hardware upgrade?

Nostalgia-ville is sure fun to visit!


Oh, for sure- exactly those games that I just spoke of. King's Quest I, II, III, and IV are four of my all-time favourite games, and I never did beat the original. Space Quest I and II were also really good, and funny-without-parallel, though I haven't played too too much beyond them in the series. Ohhh... if only old old old games worked on new machines, I'd be in happy-land. I think that those oldies are in my grandma's closet somewhere, though, because I believe my parents gave her our first computer after we finally upgraded.

Anyway, thanks for the letter! Everyone is EAGERLY awaiting your co-column tomorrow.


So, that's about all I have for today, since I want to save some for the rest of the week! Thus, I shall fast forward right to the sock stuff, if you all don't mind.


Most of you did very well this time around! #83 asked about which beverage must be poured upon Toma's grave, and all of you Chrono-lovers out there got it; the answer was c) Toma's Pop, for 35 points. For another 35 points, Ourobolus asked about an extra-random game involving locales like Macaroni Burg. The correct answer was d)Great Greed, which again, most of you got correct! Good work, all of ye... I certainly wouldn't have had a clue for the second one. Ourobolus continues to increase his lead on the scoreboard with that: I'd have picked someone else's question if I had received one! Ah well. The next set:

Question #85:
Follow Me!-->"Herpes Panther" is an anagram of the name of the leader of which Canadian political party? (50 points)

a) The Liberal Party
b) The Conservative Party of Canada
c) The New Democratic Party
d) The Bloc Québecois
e) The Green Party

Question #86:
Ask Bainick!--> On the C.D. "The Best Of R.E.M. (1988 - 2003)", what was the name of song 9? (30 points)

a) Imitation of Life
b) Losing My Religion
c) Bad Day
d) Everybody Hurts
e) The Great Beyond?

Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):

200 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
700 points: The Final Fantasy 1 "Official" Crazed-Chipmunk-Hold-your-Ears Zipfile Soundtrack (3 remaining!)
1000 points: The Mattie's Mom Cookie Recipe Compilation (5 remaining!)
2000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (5 remaining!)

Remember, if anything in the shop tickles your fancy, and you have the points, just drop me an e-mail, and I'll send it your way. The first five to 2000 will get to be the next set of 5 guest-hosts, and there's a long way to go. If you want to take a spot besides yours truly for a day, then please; do get involved, and send in your replies!

Next time, we'll have our good friend MagRowan helping out with the column, so send in your best questions, and we'll be giving you the best answers that we possibly can. If you want to write in about any specific subjects, anything will do that we've been talking about recently, but also: Are you looking forward to the new Children of Mana game for the DS? What are your hopes for it? Do you think that there's a possibility of a Secret of Mana remake...? And why? It's all speculation, of course, but it's fun to speculate, and you can do all of your speculating right here on Q&A!

Bye bye, until tomorrow.
***Matt hopes to have full faculty of his body for many years to come.

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About the Host

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Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

3. Mario Kart DS

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1. Final Fantasy III

2. Disgaea II

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