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ASK MATT
Foretold February 17, 2006

Matt Demers - 00:31 EST

I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE THIS!

The situation I described yesterday actually made itself into reality; the freezing rain did indeed fall from the skies, coating everything in a wonderful glaze. As the world turned into a veritable giant Christmas ornament, I woke up late, caught the bus in a panic, fidgeted as the bus moved at a snail's pace through the city, and then dashed off upon reaching the campus stop. I reached MacKinnon Hall in about a minute's time, went to throw open the door, and nearly threw out my back in the process. Yes, that's right--the door was LOCKED. That's when I noticed the note taped to the door:

"Closed due to weather"


My presentation is now scheduled for the Thursday after next. Remind me never to make smart predictions in my introductory paragraphs again!!




L E T T E R S
Emulation Ideas


Hi there Slimeh, eh eh slimeh

I'm back from vacation and I've got some weird rants and questions for you so please post this... please

On the subject of emulation and what not, I'd say the ideal solution would be for a company to manufacture old games and consoles, then selling the new old games and systems to the North American public, then giving a percent of the profits back to the original creators and manufactuers, the public gets legal copies of games with the oh so shiny official seal and instruction booklet, the original company gets some profit off of their archiac stuff, and the company that makes new old stuff gets so money to use to officially translate and release those older unreleased games and the cycle continues, and the parent companies can still make dough by remaking/porting their old hits because not everyone wants a new SNES and a new copy of let's say... FF6 and would rather have it for the GBA in my ideal world I'd run such a company !.!

Matt

See... something like that would seem like a great idea at first, except that one would have to wonder how a company could be profitable. How would they estimate how many people would buy a "new" old console? I mean, people like you and I would leap at the opportunity, but would the "average" video-gamer? It's hard to say.

A bigger problem would occur, though, because many of the old games were produced and developed by companies that don't even exist anymore. Video game companies fade in and out of existence, and while I'm not sure of the legal procedures and whatnot, I'd bet it wouldn't be easy to get a long-defunct company to re-release a game they came up with decades in the past.

Also over the vacation I finally made progress in Shadow Hearts, I'm so happy, and I also got back to playing Kingdom Hearts and I also maxed out my DQ8 party <.< >.>

Matt

Maxed out? Like, Level 99? I thought my party was doing well... but wow. I haven't gone that far...yet. Mwahahahaha! Actually, I achieved something big in DQVIII during my "snow" (ice) day today, but I'll reveal that at the bottom. Oooh, excitement!

Which brings me to my question: Have you ever came back to a game that you used to love to peices 3 or 4 years later only to realise the game didn't age well at all?

Yeah I got that feeling from KH...

Matt

Really! That's a new one... I think that in most regards, that one has aged pretty well. For me, the most shocking example is Final Fantasy IX... I couldn't believe it when I went back to the game a few years after first beating it; the game looked absolutely terrible in comparison to how I remembered it. I'm not sure why, either, but it just looks incredibly pixelly. Other examples are the first Nintendo 64 games; I remember being perfectly amazed by Mario 64 and Mariokart 64 when I first played them, and I went back to play the latter a couple of months ago, and it just floored me... no music during 4P versus mode? HA! How cheap is that!? Unacceptably so, if I do say so myself.

And most importantly... I'm gonna miss Castomel... but but life still goes on and we'll always have the creamsicles and that one goofy FMA comment !.!*sniffs*

Arros Raikou


Matt

Yes, yes... won't we all? I'm sure that he'll be more than happy to dish out creamsicles galore when he returns to guest-host from time to time in the future. This place just won't be quite as sweet without them...

Thanks for the letter, Arros! Have a good weekend.



Best Before: Yesterday


Hey Matt,

First off I would have to say #119 d) the Backwards Heat Equation and #120 c) Eat a chicken leg.

Matt

Wrong, and, uh, right. I don't even know what the Backwards Heat Equation is, actually ... *ponders* ... nope. Should I? Maybe you should ask my PDEs professor.

I think the roles of Q and A should stay the way they are now, that is free flowing without solid boundaries to restrict thought. That's how I view it anyway.

Matt

Me too. I have just as much fun asking your opinions on topics as I have providing the answers myself. I think that as long as you feel like writing in, it doesn't really matter what you want to write about, so long as it has something to do with RPGs or video games. Ideally, anyway.

It seems every console comes with an unseen 'use by' expiration date somewhere on them and that date usually comes shortly after the release of the 'next gen' consoles. The cycle hasn't changed much over the years and if you picked any of the systems and their games(like me) you eventually get left with a stack of games that can no longer be played(in my case that be NES and SNES carts). Recently my playstation joined the console graveyard that is my closet(I don't throw junk away) and I am now left with a barely working PS2 and a PC.

Matt

Yes, exactly... it wouldn't even BE as bad if the consoles produced were half-decent pieces of machinery. Unfortunately, console companies somewhere along the line decided that it was a sound policy to produce shoddy pieces of junk that will almost surely malfunction within a gerbil's lifetime. I don't know of many other household items with such low reliability, that's for sure.

That would be enough reason for a Best Before date, but you're right that there's a better one. In today's world, consoles simply die as soon as their next-generation counterparts hit the stores. It wasn't really that way in the beginning; new NES games were coming out throughout the early 1990s for quite awhile. Now, though, that certainly isn't the case, as you all know well enough. Heck, Nintendo's already given up on its Gamecube, or so it seems, and the Revolution isn't even close to being out yet!

I had been introduced to emulation years before as a means of playing those RPGs that never got released here. I still went ahead and purchased the eventual ports/remakes of said games. Now that I have no working systems to play these cartridges should I feel guilty for playing the roms on an emulator?

Matt

Now, when I rant about emulation and the like, my intention is not to bestow guilt upon any parties. I don't think that you should feel guilty for having chosen one action over another; not at all. You're entitled to your beliefs and opinions, and so am I; I'm just trying to vocalize my point of view when I go on and on.

Sony got it right when they made the PS2 backward compatible. That was a step in the right direction. If the Revolution follows through with the promise of downloadable games then I will be a happy camper. In fact it will probably be the first 'next gen' console I'd ever think of buying for all its downloadable goodness.

Xlash the dwarf berserker


Matt

Yeah, that's for sure. What would be really cool would be if the Revolution came with slots for NES, SNES, and N64 cartridges. Sure, it's a pipe dream, but while we don't know anything about it, we can hope for anything we want, can't we?? Backwards compatability is vitally important to me, if for no other reason than the fact that I only have enough electrical outlets behind my TV for like, two systems. Having to switch everything around every time I want to play an older game is a really big pain!



Wow, someone who uses more randomly capitalized words than I do!


Hmmm I guess I'll try to be on topic for once...followed by some great questions OBVIOUSLY.

Regarding emulation...I have some SNES games, but I honestly own all of them sadly enough, so they pretty much go unplayed. However, I do have translated versions of Bahamut Lagoon and Tales of Phantasia...so sue me.

Matt

I would; heaven knows I could use the extra dollars. Given that you forgot to put your name, address, phone number, or whatever in the body of your e-mail, though, I don't have an option but to just let you go. If you help me out, I promise I'll sue you, one way or another. Deal?

Also, I do PLAN to emulate PSP games in the near future...mostly because I simply hate it and want it to fail! Bwahaha suck on that Sony. But I mean seriously...I dont want to pay 250+ dollars for a system that will be used for what? TWO games I want to play? Screw that...Generation of Chaos is MINE Nippon Ichi...and you must learn from your mistake of putting it on the PSP!

Matt

Well, I agree with your opinion that the PSP is a handheld to be spat upon, or at least sat upon. I sat upon my DS once by accident, because it was under a blanket on the sofa, which I was under because it was so damn cold, because my landlord thinks we should have to suffer in sub-Arctic conditions, because he's a crazy lunatic.

I honestly don't understand why some RPG companies have chosen/are choosing to publish games exclusively for the PSP. You can do more with the DS, and, like it or not, more RPGamers have DSes, it seems, than they do PSPs. I understand that it's good for different companies to be able to offer a variety of games, but it doesn't make sense to me to re-release, say, BoFIII exclusively for the PSP, especially when the first two in the series were just re-released a few years back for the GBA (or was it the GBC..? I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to look it up). Maybe there's some sort of weird issue with who has rights to the game, since BoFIII was originally released for the PSX. Ah well, I don't know. Emulation is bad.

Anyways, as for cheap exploitation that doesn't involve porn, I guess ANY game with item duplicating would work. Also, one of my favorites that isn't REALLY cheating would be in BoF: Dragon Quarter, where you save before that trio of boss fights right before the second half of the game. Then I just use Ryu's dragon form to beat the crap out of them all really fast and rake in the party experience...then do SOL to start over and do it all again...BUT OH WAIT I still have my party experience. Too bad the secret dungeon is still impossible.

Matt

That is such an exciting game... and sure, while your strategy is cheap, it comes with the price of oodles of time. Replaying the game through isn't as painful as it might seem at first, though, for anyone who hates the idea of BoF:DQ's atypical format. It's actually rather fun.

I do have a saved game right at the end, with some 60000 Party Experience saved up. It'd be an interesting exercise to play back through the game sometime soon to see if I could find anything new. Ah 'aven't seen no bonus dungeon, though, so I reck'n I must've missed somethin'.

As for games with bugs in them...I had SO2 pull a lot of freezing into a black screen after battles...which pissed me off a lot. Atelier Iris only froze up on me once, but that was it (although I loved that game, it also had lots of weird graphical glitches too). Other than that, I dont have too many problems with console games (although my PC is a whole different story).

Matt

HA! You and me both, buddy, on most everything you had to say there. Star Ocean: The Second Story froze up on me once after going very, very deep into a cave somewhere. I lost two whole hours of my Christmas vacation all those years ago to that ridiculous and unnecessary glitch, and I nearly gave up on the game altogether. Atelier Iris was just horribly presented, graphically; you can't try to put together a 3-D world without any sort of depth whatsoever. It's nearly impossible to judge distances and angles without including some guesswork, and the fact that the play control is so terrible can make it altogether frustrating.

Also, if you haven't heard me rant on PC games before, well, you don't want to. I end up sounding like a broken record after just a couple of sentences, I'm pretty sure. The latest strike against them occurred at Christmastime, where a game I bought my sister refused to work on her NEARLY BRAND NEW COMPUTER without going into some eight-colour "safe mode". Cute, huh?

You guys were talking about maniac mansion a couple days/weeks or whatever back...and yes I enjoyed that game quite a bit. SO, Matt, I was curious....have you played any of the Monkey Island series or Grim Fandango? I LOVE MONKEY ISLAND AND I DON'T CARE IF ITS NOT AN RPG STOP TRYING TO CENSOR ME!!! But yeah also are there any plans for another Monkey Island game, assuming you know anything about it?

Matt

No no, no one is trying to censor you... come now, come now; calm down.

*pours some hot cocoa*

Anyway, while I've never played Monkey Island myself, I've heard a lot about it and I've seen screenshots that indicate that it plays quite similarly to the beloved Maniac Mansion. According to Wikipedia, while there have been many rumours floating about regarding a fifth Monkey Island game, none are really in the works, and LucasArts doesn't really seem to be interested in another one either. Pity, eh?? I say we should go and beat them up.

Also I just completed Rhapsody tonight...wow. I've read MANY bad reviews about that game, but they should all go ignored! Sure, the battle system is brainless and some of the music is repetitive...but the story and characters are EXTREMELY charming and lets face it the music is extremely cute. It's one of the most enjoyable (and short) RPGs I've ever played...and it's a lot like playing a Disney movie!

Matt

!

That's... a first... time to recompose myself... yeah, wow, I've never heard anyone say anything positive about the game before, ever, so pardon me. I don't know that I could ever enjoy an RPG with a "brainless" battle system, but as we've established firmly over the last few months, I'm just a weirdo off in left field sometimes...

Just so it doesn't sound like I'm ADVERTISING, are there plans for the other Rhapsody game(s) to be released here? If you didn't know, both Rhapsody and Persona 2 (another great game) faced a strange but very nice bonus re-release of a thousand or so copies last year...so right now both games are relatively easy to score for a pretty good deal (30 bucks new is what I got both for). SO if nobody owns them...head on over to ebay and pick them up PRONTO!

Matt

Are you serious? Are you sure that you don't work for the company? This sounds a trifle suspicious to me...

Also, to my knowledge, there is no word of any second Rhapsody game coming to planet Earth anytime soon... sorry to let you down. Everyone else can cheer, though! Well, if you want to, anyway.

Oops I'm getting carried away again. Futurama is on so I'm basically not even really paying attention to what I'm doing...heh. I'm trying to think of another question so I'll have three to ask...which seems like a good number of questions. AHA! So...everytime I ask about games and stuff...(NOT TO BE CONDESCENDING), it always seems like you haven't played them! Other than Final Fantasy games, what are some RPGs that you HAVE played?

Thanks for your time. Sorry for being a windbag.


Matt

*gasp*

You DARE question my question-answering authority? I've played a good many, I'll have you know... just look at how many I referred to just in this single e-mail of yours! I'll beg that you take that one back this instant. THIS instant. NOW!

If I listed them all, you'd be bored to tears. Yes, I've played just about every Final Fantasy game. I've also played the Chronos, and the Dragon Quests, the Seiken Densetsus, the Star Oceans, the Mario RPGs, the Pokémons, the Breath of Fires, the Xenosagas, half of Nippon Ichi's offerings, both Golden Sun games, Earthbound...

...some Shining Force, Crystalis, E.V.O. : Search for Eden, some Ogre Battle, Secret of Evermore, every Lufia game, 7th Saga, Young Merlin *shudder*, Atelier Iris, Shadow Hearts, Megaman X: Command Mission; I'm working on my first Wild Arms game, and Radiata Stories is waiting in the kitty. I'm sure there are a few more that I haven't remembered to include, too. Listen, a man only has so much time in his life! I do the best with the knowledge I have, and if that isn't enough, well, go read someone else's Q&A site. I'm always trying to broaden my RPG horizons...

Anyway, don't be sorry for being windbaggish; it's the trend lately. Have you noticed how many crazy-long letters we've had in recent days? It must be the weather.



Short and sweet, for contrast


Dear Matt, (isthatyou?!)

I was reading one of your back-um-qna-entries tonight and I have to ask;

Why do I always get a HUUUUGE urge to write a QnA email to you whenever I have a Geometry test/quiz the next day? Not that I ever end up sending any of these spur-of-the-moment emails (because they come up lame and I always end up rewriting, and rewriting and killing time and procrastinating and ensuring I get low marks on the detestable subject...).... but still :O!

Matt

You know, that's a good question. Maybe you should get checked for ADHD by your family physician if you're having trouble concentrating. Geometry isn't a subject to play around with! Play with geometry, and you'll get... er... geometrized.

That is all, I think. Oh, and did you really mean you wanted Irvine and Zell to hook up on that Single for Week um, ...what do I call it? D;? Anyway, I'd always fancied Irvine and Squall...j/k

~Ai-chan

Matt

Yeah, that might be the second best pairing, though there are a lot of obstacles in the way, including that wretched blue-sweatered wretch. Now, to deal with that dog, Rinoa, and her dog, whateveritsnamewas. What was that SOCK question again?? Oh, right, it was Angelo. *readies a Flare spell*

At least they made ONE good looking guy "my type". See Xenosaga: Episode II for more details.

PS, :( You had me dling the midi for the Falcon again. Sounds so old-school now compared to the new FF stuff. But... so nice. :(


Matt

Yeah... I find that while the soundtracks for new FF games are absolutely outstanding, a certain "musicality" is fading from them. The tracks are tending towards being movie-scene-like or ambient background noise than music with an actual melody. Does anyone else agree with me, or am I going nuts? Prime example: Final Fantasy VIII's boss theme (AMAZINGLY AWESOME) versus IX's boss theme (very cool) versus Final Fantasy X's boss theme (even though it's good, there isn't really a "tune" there...)

Anyway, I agree... I love a lot of the music from FFVII. I never thought it would become nostalgic so quickly. Thanks for pulling the musical heartstrings, my friend.



Confessions of a Q&A host


Hello Mr. QnA person,

It has recently occured to me that I really don't have any indefinate hate to any RPG. Not that I haven't been exposed to enough of them if that's what you're thinking. I been a more of a renter than buyer since the days of the NES and I honestly don't particulary hate any RPG. Heck, I tend to LOVE the games that everyone so passionately hates.

Matt

Interesting. I don't blame you for renting... buying every single new release that's even half-attractive would certainly be an expensive affair. I've become addicted to it lately, and my bank account keeps yelling at me because of it! No, I'm not delusional.

Thougth I have two exceptions..... I got Dark Cloud for christmas one year by request and immediatly started it. I doubt I played more than an hour of that game. Nothing about that game could get me to continue it. The designs, the plot, the music, were more than bland. To stop it all off I couldn't go more than 15 mintues without either my weapon breaking, straving of thirst or hunger. The other exception is Kingdom Hearts. This one I have more of a love/hate relationship with. The game was so pretty and completely blew me away. (I'm a fan of the director's work) Yet, I have all the same issues as everyone else with the game that makes me want to hate it.

I suppose I'll ask my question.... Is there any games that you absolutely loved yet everyone seems to hate or reject?

Matt

The best examples I can give are Secret of Evermore, which I've voiced my opinion on a couple of times before, and Dragon Warrior II, which I absolutely love, despite the fact that a very large number of people think that the game was the low point of the series. DWII, for me, is one of my favourites, just because it's such a leap forward from its predecessor, and because it's so wonderfully challenging. It's the closest thing there is to playing a "multi-ally Dragon Warrior I", and besides, most of the monsters that reappear throughout the whole series started in DWII! I get really excited when I see returning monsters in that series...

While watchin Monty Phythion & The Holy Grail I was all OMG! when the bunny attacked. Then I was all like, "GO BUNNY GO!" when the cutie pie killed off the knights.

- Kareyu


Matt

Why, thanks for sharing. If that's part of your signature, it's pretty cute. If it's part of your letter, then it's really random. Either way, I'm glad you wrote in! Please do so again sometime.



Ahhh... finally, Fire Arrows!


Hello Matt,

I've been rather busy with school lately and haven't kept up on reading the column. However, the topic of emulation caught my eye, and since I have a bit of free time, I thought I would chime in. That was a very interesting debate in todays (yesterday's) column. My personal take on it is a difference between legality vs. morality. Although emulating games for which you do not own a cartridge may be illegal, depending on the circumstances, I don't necessarilly think it is immoral. When the emulation in question is of a game that was never released in the U.S. for a dead system such as the NES or SNES, then I don't see how anyone is really being hurt. The company that makes the game could not really have hoped to see any more profit from the game, since it is out of print. And, although obtaining a cartridge may be desireable, it is questionable as to whether the finite amount of cartridges originally released would be sufficient to meet the demand, to say nothing of their realistic availability (what is more, the publisher/developer will see no additional profit from these).

Matt

That's true, though you'd hope that extra demand would turn into extra copies. I'd hope, anyway. I guess it doesn't necessarily work that way, though; if I remember correctly, Chrono Trigger was massively popular despite the meagre number of actual cartridges sold (for no other reason than the fact there weren't any more TO sell)! I remember that disappointing Christmas... *sniffle*

For companies that have also gone completely out of business, I don't think it's necessarily an immoral thing either; however, rules are rules, and the law says "no touchy the cookie jar", whether we like it or not. Perhaps it's a shame... but on the other hand, maybe the uproar is causing companies like Nintendo to come up with new and creative solutions to the problem. The future looks exciting!

That said, I have engaged in emulation, although I have restricted it to games that I own and games that have not been released in this country or in English, i.e. Japanese-only released RPGs, and further, I have emulated nothing more recent than the Super Nintendo (I had also managed to obtain a Japanese cart for one of them). There have been a handful of games I have obtained ROMs for and played through in such a fashion and which I enjoyed immensely, getting an opportunity to experience a part of RPG history I had only previously seen still screenshots of and dreamt of playing. Romancing SaGa III showed me what the SaGa series is capable of at its best, Seiken Densetsu III gave me a chance to relive my experience of Secret of Mana in a rich new world, and Rudra no Hihou allowed me to use one of the most complicated magic systems I'd ever seen. None of these detracted from my purchase of other RPGs, and my playing them on an emulato did not deprive Square of a cartridge sale. Let me also say that if Square re-released Seiken Densetsu III and translated Secret of Mana 2 for the U.S., I'd be the first in line. In fact, I did just that with the U.S. release of Final Fantasy II, and plan to do it again when Final Fantasy III is released for the DS.

Matt

And you know, there would be a long line of people behind you, too. Video game companies HAVE come through in the past, you know, and given enough demand, you never know what game might see a new official translation and re-release someday. The problem with RPGs is that they're not really in as high demand as many other genres are; RPG companies aren't going to want to take big risks remaking old games just to sell 5,000 measly copies in North America. It's a tough call for them at this point in time.

Legally, it would be nice to see some middle-ground take effect someday on the issue, but it just seems so unlikely. Copyright laws are copyright laws, and that's the way things are, I guess, sighful or not.

There is a difference between what falls within the confines of the law and what is morally acceptable. Though I would shudder to compare Emulation to Civil Rights (there is a WORLD of difference between the two), it is the best example I can think of offhand to illustrate an overarching point: the mere fact that there were laws contrary to justice is evidence that the law cannot necessarilly be seen as the sole authority in sanctioning what is and what is not morally acceptable. Perhaps a more appropriate example would be Prohibition. When alcohol was outlawed, did that make drinking it morally wrong? Or conversely, when alcohol was once again legalized, did that make drinking it morally acceptable? Though there is a bit of a difference between intellectual property and an intoxicating substance, it is enough to make one think. Emulating out-of-print games for a dead system seems more analagous to posting the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe online. Intellectual Property does have an eventual copyright expiration. Perhaps a part of the middle ground suggested might be a modification for the length of domain over titles which are dead, at least when the companies that made them no longer exist (because re-releasing is always an option otherwise). However, if the company has no plans to rerelease and gain future profit from the game, then I do not find it immoral to play it through the most practical means available. These are more like unpopular/rare books that have gone out of print before the actual copyright has actually expired; the real McCoy is ideal, but that isn't always feasible.

Matt

Oh, absolutely not. It isn't illegal to point and laugh at an old lady when she falls down and breaks her shoulder, but that doesn't make it right. My grandma (the infamous Dragon Warrior-playing one) just had an accident last week and experienced exactly that. If I were there, I would have illegally beaten them to within an inch of their last breaths.

Provided certain criteria are met, I do not consider certain types of emulation to be morally wrong. although I am well aware that others may disagree with this, I have at least satisfied my conscience with this reasoning. (Although, nowadays it's almost a moot point, as I don't even have enough time to play current console games, let alone the classics from the days of yore). Thank you for bearing with my lengthy letter up to this point; I realize I got a bit wordy. However, that was merely a pretext for me to get to my real point...

Matt

Well, it's good to hear another opinion... it's funny how all of these emulation letters have been far longer than average. Anyway, I... oh, haha, okay, go ahead; I already read ahead. It's the topic we've all been waiting for! Drumroll, PLEASE!

*drumroll*

A (much abbreviated) treatise on Fire Arrows! Let's look at what they are first: arrows that generate fire with magical energy. They may also be arrows which are lit aflame and then shot with more conventional methods. With a more historical perspective, we can see that they represent the destructive nature of invention, of how fire is turned toward uses of war. Beyond this, we are able to also extract the meaning that the principle of a Fire Arrow allows for one arrow, a single object, to create an effect far greater than what the sum of its parts could do. An arrow could hit something at a distance, and a fire could be generated to burn something close at hand, but a Fire Arrow allows for something at a distance to be burned, and but a single arrow can kindle a flame that can spread and grow into a blazing inferno. In much the same way, a single person with a message can make a small ripple that will grow into a giant wave.

Matt

Or, a butterfly flapping its wings in New Zealand can cause a massive hurricane in the North Atlantic four years later, right?? I love it. In Dynamical Systems and systems of differential equations, we refer to that as chaos. <3

Within the game world, we can examine a more magical perspective. Link uses Fire Arrows to light torches in dark rooms, to bring light into darkness. Thus, with the power of magic (knowledge) and the strength of will (impetus towards action), the Flames of Truth can cut through the Darkness of Lies and/or Ignorance. Link also uses Fire Arrows to burn nasty enemies, especially the undead Redeads. Thus Fire Arrows also represent the Flames of Justice that cleanse and burn away evil, and also, perhaps, the Light of Life. However, with regard to this, a stronger embodiment might be found within the Light Arrows, in which the Light of Justice pierces the Wicked and banishes the Darkness, and brings annihilates the undead with a Holy Blast of Rightiousness. However, Light Arrows (as well as Ice Arrows) are a topic for another day, and are a subject with far too much depth to be justly covered as a mere footnote in a work on Fire Arrows. Finally, Fire Arrows cost magic points to use in addition to the cost of an arrow. This represents the very real toll that the usage of the concepts Fire Arrows embody take on the Mind/Spirit (Magic) and Body (Arrow), and that they must be used judiciously and wisely, and that no one person is strong enough to indefatigably take on hordes of evil (... at least not without having some pots around that have Magic Jars and Stacks of Arrows ;-).

Matt

By golly, Miss Molly; you should get into the RPG encyclopedia business, an admittedly young industry, but one that is chock-full of limited potential. Your entry on Fire Arrows could have cross-references to a dozen other subjects! You can't have a real encyclopedia without cross-references.

Whew! That's about it for me, I think. Sorry that was so terribly long! I'd better get back to school work now... or maybe take a nap. The weekend is now oh-so-close... and I'm quite eager to get in on some muc longed-for RPG action!
-Molly


Matt

Me TOO! Thank goodness Reading Week is nigh. I could use some good sleepy-time myself, really, now that you mention it. I'm feeling a trifle tired, though I promise it's not from your massively long letter (I think).

P.S.: It's a little late now, but the problem with Fayt in SO3 can be avoided by going into the menu and manually deactivating his attack spells. I did this when I wanted to control Maria and still have Fayt around, and it worked fine.


Matt

Oh, yeah, that's one idea, I suppose. What IS the point of spells in that game, anyway? They're so incredibly underpowered that the game gives Final Fantasy II a run for its money in that respect.

Take care, and thanks for writing in!





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

So yeah, I have to tell you all about my mega-excitement: Ourobolus and I are no longer tied! I beat the last challenges of Dragon Quest VIII save one, and my goal is to finish that one next week so that I can move on with my life at long last. Phew, the ordeals of being a DQ fan can be really draining!

Also, if you didn't pick it up before, I will not be with you for the entirety of next week, as I will be on my much-needed Reading Week vacation. I'd update at home, but with the dial-up connection, and five other people to share the Internet with, I know that it would just be a huge pain in the behind. I shall, however, return to you all a week from next Tuesday to resume my duties. I would expect that you all give Tiptail a very warm welcome this weekend, regardless!

Flashay!


Well, I'm not quite finished yet, so hang on before you hang up on me.

#119 was another cheap math question, and it was an easy one for me to think of, since it was exactly what my CANCELLED seminar was supposed to be about. The equation there was a form of e) the Von Foerster Equation, for 110 points.

#120 was a question offered by Macstorm, and asked about World of Warcraft. In order to obtain a free Prairie Chicken (no strings attached!), you don't have to c) Eat a chicken leg, which was good for 85 points (170 for Macstorm).

Question #121:
What colour is the complementary colour of Pierre the lawyer's hat? (115 points)

a) Blue
b) Purple
c) Yellow
d) Orange
e) Green

Question #122:
Ask MagRowan!-->Which Capcom Fighting character appears as a NPC in Breath of Fire? (75 points)

a) Cammy
b) Akuma
c) Lucia
d) Chun-Li
e) Maki

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

800 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
2,000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #2 (4 remaining!)
5,000 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #3 (5 remaining!)


That's all, everybody, that I have to give for the next little while! I hope you won't miss me too much. Make sure you send Tiptail a lot of mail over the weekend, with lots of fun questions for her to ponder. I hope everyone has a great weekend and a splendid next week... I'll be back before you know it, so don't panic.


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt has been to Alcatraz island before! Have you?


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Something smelled funny there, too...

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About the Host


Matt's Newest Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Megaman X Collection

3. Mario Kart DS

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Mother III

3. Disgaea II

SOCK standings:

1. Xlash
2,415 pts

2. Rexy
2,168 pts

3. Kanato
2,137 pts

4. Ourobolus
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2,010 pts

6. Bainick
1,863 pts

7. MagRowan
1,843 pts

8. Arros Raikou
1,588 pts

9. Belthasar2
1,415 pts

9. Dermot
1,415 pts

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