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ASK MATT
Compliments to the Scheffer Stroke June 2, 2006

Matt Demers - 17:21 EST

I'M REALLY EXCITED TODAY for a reason: I'm taking a certain someone out for a birthday dinner tonight to The Keg, and it's been ages since I've had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into a nice, juicy steak; in fact, I think it has probably been since January. I've been craving it more and more with every passing day, and tonight, the craving becomes reality, finally. Wheee!

Also, I've been taking my first steps into the land of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. People, that series really is as hard as they say it is. I've set the difficulty level to "Easy" and I've still had to restart the game on three different occasions (and I'm less than three hours into it!) It's a nice change of pace, to tell you the truth. I'll make sure to pass on what the rest of the game has in store as I progress.

A few more questions will round out this week for me, so let's get started!




L E T T E R S
Once bitten, twice shy.


Hey Matt,

To begin I'll say that I know what you mean about a complete FFVI remake. If it were ever to be, I don't think I'd be able to function normally from the time of its announcement until I completed/saw everything in the game. I'd never get my hopes up, but it seems like I'm very frequently reading how it's someone's favorite game/RPG/FF (all three for me)...and I seem to see this more than I see that VII is a favorite, so....

Anyway, if it would happen, who do you think should be cast as the voice actors? Would you like to see some unknowns, or would you prefer celebrities? Anyone in particular? I think I'm leaning toward unknowns (I always like to see new people on the scene), or at least low-profile experienced voice actors. I hate celebs. They make toooo much money for the crappy job a lot of them do.

Matt

Definitely unknowns. No question. I don't want to have images of Hillary Duff or the latest young hot star racing through my mind whenever Terra opens her mouth. Whether they were to do a great job or a crappy job, it's not the money as much for me. The thought is honestly a little scary; I have almost an idea of what I think all of FFVI's characters should sound like, and while I'm sure that Square Enix would do their best, there's a huge risk of having my whole Final Fantasy VI world cataclysmically shaken up just because "so-and-so sounds like that?!?"

And now the big question...

I've been reading about how much you like DQVIII, so I started looking into it more and it seems like it could be pretty interesting. I decided to look for it today and found it new for $20 on Amazon.com. Wow! I was just about to push the "Add to cart" button when I came to my senses. I never finished Dragon Warrior VII. Why? Because after about saving 5 million different islands and fighting countless enemies in order to master job classes over the course of about 60 hours (with a lot left to do), it suddenly dawned on me that I was bored and had had enough. So I know you can't get inside my head in an effort to learn what it takes to make me bored, but does this game require the same kind of endurance? Going on all kinds of random sub-quests that don't seem to connect to anything and saving random people from various status ailments? I'm not saying the game was bad (well maybe it was), but really I didn't think it was for me.

Matt

I don't have to get inside your head to understand why you were bored, because the reason is clear: Dragon Warrior VII is a boring game, plain and simple. While I'd say it had a classic, old school feel, the storyline felt like it was going nowhere for most of the game. It's not even as if it dragged, either; it was just that it was broken up into so many disconnected pieces that it felt like it was going absolutely nowhere. I thought that it vastly improved towards the end of the game, personally, but the people that were able to enjoy the game most were definitely the Dragon Warrior enthusiasts. I liked it because of the classic-styled battle system, and the fact that I could jump and excitedly go "OMG! They brought back Enchanters from Dragon Warrior 2!!" Little things like that excite people like me, while most gamers couldn't care less.

Dragon Quest VIII takes everything that people griped about in VII, crumpled it up, and threw it in the trash, while keeping in place everything that was good about it. The storyline is focused and not a patchwork quilt, for one. The plot is a very polished, well-told tale that wraps the game in a nice, tight ribbon by the conclusion, and I'd even say that it's one of the game's stronger points; if it's not evident by the end of the game, it will be after you complete the awesome bonus material. Also, the grainy graphics have been washed away and replaced with a pretty spectacular world, so anyone in the RPG scene for pretty pictures only should even be somewhat impressed. The things that were strong about the series return in VIII, though: The orchestrated music is a real treat to listen to, and the battle system returns in a more streamlined, but still always strategic format. There's a reason that most people agree that Dragon Quest VIII was the RPG of 2005, so you should try to get past your (understandable) shakes that you acquired from playing number seven.

So I added it to my wishlist, which I ended up scrolling down--remembering that Skies of Arcadia Legends is on it and would cost me $25. I've head so many good things about this game and I've been interested in playing it for years. But then I've been thinking about Radiata Stories ($30). So my next question to you is: Have you played Skies of Arcadia? If so, what did you think? And, of course, this or DQVIII? Or Radiata Stories? I've read the reviews for all, but I'd like your opinion since I find myself agreeing with your likes and dislikes about a fair number of games.

Thanks!
Laurie


Matt

From everything I've heard, MOST people have really loved Skies of Arcadia and its Gamecube reincarnation. There have been a few in the past that have expressed a couple of gripes, but largely, the game is highly rated. I haven't had the chance to play it, myself, but I'd guess that it would be a pretty safe bet that you would have a good experience with the game. Having played Dragon Quest VIII myself, I can do nothing but very strongly recommend that you play it, and yes, more than Radiata Stories. Radiata Stories is a different game than almost anything else out there; it's a strange combination of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Star Ocean. It's fun, but it's not involving. For example, in the last twenty hours of gametime, the advancing storyline has very seldom actually involved me; the questing and exploring that you do is almost always focused on side missions.

P.S. I'll definitely play a game of blackjack for you in Vegas! But I've only been to a casino 2 times in the almost 4 years I've been legal, and I've never actually played a table (though I hear that you have a better chance than at the slots) and the only thing I won was my $20 back. I think the most I'll hope for is that I meet some rich Setzer-type who'll at least buy me some drinks so I don't have to slot machine hop to find the stupid waitresses who give you the watered-down free ones. Heh.


Matt

Casinos are scary places. I've only ever played slot machines, because they're the least-scary things on the floor. The problem is, that while they're the least scary, I'm pretty sure they come with the lowest probability of actually coming home a winner. If I ever had the courage to go up and play cards or something, I'm sure I'd be more likely to not have my money get sucked into the black hole of gambling. I could, of course, be wrong.

Have fun in Vegas, Laurie, and thanks for writing in!



A debate on villains. A debate on Kefka!


Oh I do hope this is where I send this, there are two e-mail links listed, and I fear I am far beyond the need of sleep to decipher which to use. I apologize if I send this to the wrong one....

Matt

Bah, it's not so hard. All first-time writers worry deeply, from the sounds of it, over where to send. Well, if you're one of those people, it's easy. Just send to slimey@rpgamer.com if you'd like to send a letter for me to answer, or to qna@rpgamer.com if you don't really care whether Josh or I answer. To send exclusively to our wonderful weekend host, write in to ourobolus@rpgamer.com. Hopefully, that straightens things out.

Dear Matt-the-wonderous-or-such,

Looking at the column yesterday, somebody asked about why we think Kefka's such an awesome villain. A topic, I too, have discussed with my videogame comrades, and I agree with your statements, however! From talking with my comrades, we discovered something that sets Kefka apart from the normal final fantasy villains:

He actually accomplishes what the others couldn't.

Matt

Mmmm. Interesting. Explain yourself.

In FF VI, he actually becomes god-like AND rips apart the world. And you, the heroes get to deal with a world run by a crazy-god-man. (Can we say Light of Judgement?).

Most of the others...yeah, they become god-like. But at the END of the game, and they are promptly defeated by the heroes. (This does NOT apply to all games, just the ones I've seen/played).

....of course it also probably helps that I really like the game in general.

Hoping that I didn't send this to the wrong addy,

Karmada


Matt

Whether you feel that your opinion might be biased or not, you do raise a really good point. You, as the player, get to watch the world all but crumble in the middle of the game, directly because of his actions. It's really exciting, and while he might be psychotic, it really resonated in me the first time I played that his actions really did have horrible consequences. He didn't just blow smoke and laugh maniacally; he destroyed the world after killing all sorts of people unjustly, and continued to affect people's lives in an even more significant way afterward. Even if there have been bad guys whose characters have been developed better, there aren't many that are quite as hateable as Kefka, and I think that that alone makes him a really strong villain.

Thanks very much for taking the time to write in, Karmada! I'm sure that next time, you won't be quite as apprehensive about writing into my big, scary Q&A column, since yes, evidently, you did get the e-mail address correct. ;)



Sighs over systems that could have been much more...


Hi Matt,

I bought a used Gamecube to play Tales of Symphonia and lucked into one of the best systems I've ever owned. I love the short load times, rapid action, and truly functional controller. My wife even loves it and has bought 4 retro titles that she plays regularly, but Nintendo apparently sees the Gamecube as more of millstone than a gold-nugget. Nintendo is right. The Gamecube for all its greatness was behind the curve from the start and never even got close to catching up. I'll be sad to see it go, but these things happen.

Matt

Indeed. Very many people complain quite a bit about the Gamecube's controller, but I think it's one of the most comfortable ones on the market. Finding all of the buttons isn't that big of a problem either, once you play any game for more than an hour. My only annoyance was that the placement of the Z button was more than a little bit awkward, especially compared to the amayyyyzing trigger button of the Nintendo 64.

But you're right, of course. The Gamecube's popularity just didn't catch on, because while Nintendo tried to shake its label of being the company for kids, which it acquired during the N64 era, it became evident that it was too late for it to really get back into the "mature" consoles. The poor system, despite its qualities, was left in no-man's land, and so I think that Nintendo doesn't really have a choice but to jump out, rethink things, and then try a whole different strategy. We'll see if that strategy pays off within just a few short months!

As for FF villians, Sephiroth was not any more developed than Kefka. You mean to tell me the man works as a highly respected professional soldier for years, spends one-night of heavy reading, and completely loses his FRIGGIN MIND! Where's the development there. I never really understood why he would choose to turn his back on the whole planet just because the circumstances of his birth were...a little odd. Kefka at least was forced into insanity from the beginning. There was never a time in his life when he wasn't insane, so he really didn't need much motivation to crazy evil things. I thought his entire character concept was exceptionally clever. Seymour did feel like a poor man's Kefka at times, but he was alot better than that tranny from FFIX who's name I can't even remember without a guidebook. That guy/girl/thing was the worst villian ever.

Matt

Hahahaha... Kuja, I take it? A lot of people seem to share your sentiment, but I, for one, really liked him. There are many things that I don't like about Final Fantasy IX, but the story was not one of those things, and, tongue-in-cheek, I always thought that Kuja's villainry was better than average. Like Kefka, he manages to actually destroy an entire world, except that his insanity was simply prompted by a shocking personal discovery and then outright, egotistical selfishness. I dunno, Cap! I just have to disagree with you there.

The final villain, though? That was undebatably more than a little bit strange; it would have been nice to get a little bit of a hint beforehand that some ultimate force was waiting, somewhere, for something big to happen, complete with randomly moaning people in the background.

I replayed FFVIII a bit and immediately remembered why I was so disappointed in it: The "Love" story. Rinoa kept trying to start something, and Squall kept shooting her down. It seemed obvious half-way through that Squall was too self-involved to be in a relationship, but the "Love" story kept trying to sputter along. It made Rinoa seem really pathetic and all those beautiful romantic cutscenes felt wasted.

Answers:
#210: A
#211; E

cap


Matt

My siblings and I used to have a ball making fun of Rinoa, to be honest with you. With so many other hot guys running around, you'd think that she'd just give up and start working on someone else, instead... I know I wouldn't have that much patience! Final Fantasy VIII, to me, wasn't about the love story; it was about the dramatic moments and exciting situations that happened throughout. A lot of things fell flat with that game, but it got a lot of things right, too!



Three-way punchfests rock!


Favorite game moments? There are too many to count, but since I'm playing DQVIII right now I thought I'd mention the bar fight scene. I just loved that whole scene. The hero's stunned expression, Angelo grabbing him and dragging him outside, King Trode cheering Yangus on...it was priceless! I haven't laughed that hard at a game since...oh, probably Sapphire weapon getting its head blown off in FFVII.

Carabbit


Matt

Wait, what? There was a Sapphire Weapon? I can't remember such a thing, but wow, maybe I need to play again soon. My memory these days fails me from time to time, after all.

And yes, that was a very funny scene in Dragon Quest VIII, and it was polished off by the noises that King Trode made while bouncing up and down in excitement; they were so delightfully bizarre.

That game was definitely chock-full of some great scenes, though, whether they were funny or dramatic. As many of you will agree, some moments in that game were actually jaw-dropping and really painful to watch, emotionally... there were some really, truly sad scenes. What else can we say about this game? It has more than made up for its mediocre older brother, that's for sure!



More favourite RPG moments.


First, the evil Rita REPETITIA shows her head briefly to discuss the fabled FFVII remake. Game Informer issue 157 (May '06) page 25 states that they've "...not only heard that those rumors [of a PS3 remake] are true, but that the remake will in fact use the battle system from Final Fantasy XII." Next to the snippet is a picture I don't recognize of a well-rendered Cloud brandishing his Buster sword near a train. Now, GI is a fairly popular and well-distributed magazine, so I would suppose that they are highly accurate, but that one little blurb is all I've ever heard about it in the two months since the issue's publication. Plus, their calender declared the release of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the GBA, despite the fact that the game was cancelled many months earlier. So make of it what you will.

Matt

That seems pretty far out, to be honest. How could they possibly know any gameplay details if Square Enix hasn't officially announced anything? Either someone is having fun starting rumours at the magazine, or I have three eyes, and I don't think it's the latter of the two.

Could the snippet have been taken from the E3 2005 PS3 tech demo? I didn't see it myself, so it's hard for me to say. All I CAN say is that it's truly remarkable; to my knowledge, this is the most hype that an (officially) unexisting game has ever received. Just wait until it actually is announced!

Second, my favorite RPG moment is sadly one that can never be recreated, no matter how many times I've played the game. I'm going to mark SPOILERS for FFIII here, so I don't ruin the moment for you or anyone else:



When you get the transforming airship and fly past the edge of the map... only to reveal that the world as you knew it is a tiny floating continent in the middle of the ocean of a ruined planet. The haunting music really accentuates that simultaneous feeling of discovery and helplessness. It's a one-time thing, though, so it's not something you can keep going back to like other RPG moments. A close second, though, is Chrono Chross's short jaunt to the past, which I probably needn't say more about.



(END SPOILERS)


Matt

I'll agree that those represent a couple of less-talked about great moments. Hopefully, though, a whole new crop of people will get to experience one of them soon. With the release of the DS remake of Final Fantasy III, the lives of many North American RPGamers will be, in a word, complete. (No, I don't mean that we're all going to die! I hope so, anyway... ^^;;;)

Finally, on the subject of delaying games, I say, "Delay away!" Think of a game you've anticipated in the past that was delayed. It eventually got released, right? That delay doesn't mean anything two or three years later. In fact, you may have forgotten about the delay altogether by now. Like stubbing your toe, eventually the pain subsides and it's like it never happened at all.

And most of all, don't forget that they're using this time to make the game better. If I may, let me take you back to 2001, when a delayed FFX was undelayed and released in time for Christmas (if memory serves me correctly). Then later they release the International versions with Dark Aeons and Ribbons. If we had just waited, us North Americans may have had some extra fun. But then again, this logic fails to explain Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix and FFX-2 : International + Last Mission.

--

Alexander M. DeMichiei


Matt

True, but you know just as well as anyone that the Japanese get far more in their RPG goodie-bag than anyone else in the world does. I've come to terms with it, but it's a difficult thing, especially when SOME of those untasted goodies include remakes of Dragon Quest IV and V. Oh, the pain...

And yes, your take on delays is probably what most of us end up doing, even if we do complain a lot. I can think of one delay, however, that -did- turn into a cancellation, which has scarred me forever and will continue to hurt for many years to come: Earthbound 64. I had been so patient for N64 RPGs, too, and its cancellation was just a horrible way for me to realize that yes, I should have had a Playstation instead. Oh well... we all make mistakes, I suppose!



Closeted Xenosaga-loving parents!?


Hey Matt, today a story.

I come home one day to see dad watching t.v. (no surprise there). I take a quick glance and see his watching an anime and leave to do something else, probably play a game or something. I return later to find that he is still watching the anime and to my surprise it is actually the bonus DVD that came with Xenosaga 2 as in the movies from the first one! This is a man who's only video game experience is solitare and Super Mario Brothers 2 (he's the one that discovered the warp tubes). So my dad can't stand video games but likes the storylines???

Bainick


Matt

Now that's surprising! Perhaps with such an interest, you could work on easing him into the series with a little bit of coaxing. The step between "movie" and "game" isn't, after all, very big when it comes to the Xeno-series. ;)

I know that I was always obsessed, as an adolescent, with trying to get my mom to play Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior games. I sat and played through the entirety of Final Fantasy VI with her, though I'd always be the one pushing for her to keep going. I don't know why I always got so much pleasure out of it, but my mom has turned into a fan of more strategy-style games on her own since. Civilization IV and similar things are her favourite flavours, that's for sure.

I do have one really old memory of making my mom play the original Dragon Warrior. At the age of ten or so, I stayed up and coached her until she was about in Level 5 or 6, and then went to bed, because it was getting late with school in the morning. I came back downstairs for a drink of water in about an hour's time, to find that while she was still playing, she was sick of it and had walked a very unsafe distance from Tantegel, and as I got all excited and upset at her deviation from my advice, she got into a fight with a Demon Knight and lost quite miserably. She never played it again!



Gaming buddies and inside jokes.


Hi Matt,

I'll have to tackle these SOCK questions more often!

The answer to #212 is b) blond. Guybrush Threepwood, fancy-pants pirate wannabe, armed with the deadly rootbeer and deadlier rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. Not my first Lucasarts game (that would be Maniac Mansion), but definitely my favorite.

The answer to #213 is a) Lyndis and Eliwood. I guess. The only Fire Emblem I've played is Path of Radiance.

Seeing your comment about holding off the big moments in a game for your brother or sister is the exact same thing I do with my own brother. He doesn't play video games (says he'd rather watch me play them), but he sat through most of Dragon Quest VIII, and that says a lot because I trekked through all side quests and the unlocked dungeons after you beat the game. We had a lot of fun trying to figure out the alchemy pot throughout the whole game even though we didn't truly buckle down and figure out the super-cool items until the last quarter of the game. I think it makes a game more memorable when there's someone experiencing it with out, even if he's rolling his eyes and not-so-subtly hinting for you to advance the plot. Plus, you create all sorts of in-jokes that no one else gets.

Megan


Matt

You bet! I swear that my brother, sister and I all speak in a language that would be entirely incomprehensible to the common, uh, layperson. I can think of so many weird things that we've taken from RPGs over the past years and now use every day. Here are some examples:

MOMO, in one cutscene near the beginning of XS: Episode II, nods her head very oddly while saying "Do you know him?" Whenever possible, we'll do impressions, which are especially funny when they actually fit into the conversation at hand.

We all know that the voice acting in Final Fantasy X doesn't quite match up with the facial movements, but for some reason, one stuck with us. I can't remember exactly where it's from in-game, because it's been so long, except that it's at the beginning of a very large, long hallway. At the end of a cutscene, everyone runs off, and Lulu says "I'll go too," followed by strangely funny superfluous lip-moveage. The three of us ALWAYS do impressions of her at random points, often leaving other people around us quite puzzled.

Once, while playing Dragon Warrior IV, I was in a strange mood, and when I stumbled upon something I was trying to find in a cave, I croaked "A treasure chest!" in a really weird, old-womanly voice. Somehow, it's been adapted into our everyday language since.

There are so many more, but the last thing I would want to do is bore you all. I'm sure that many things like these exist in RPGaming households across the globe.

And I'll agree... being able to share your gaming excitement with someone else who cares makes the experience more worthwhile, sometimes, though I'm sure it depends on your own personality, too.

Thanks very much, Megan, for taking the time to write in!



Theories on FFVII, and behind the scenes of the SOCK!


Hey Matt!

I think there's a very obvious reason that Squeenix hasn't announced an official remake of FFVII. First, to do so would be to draw attention, and potential buyers away from the spinoffs. There are some people who will buy them just because they need more FFVII, and they might not if they were willing to wait for a remake. Plus, look at all the buzz that they're getting without announcing anything. They're doing no advertising effort, but half the RPG community is buzzing about it.

Matt

It's true, just as I mentioned above. I don't know of any other game that has generated so much in the way of whispering without even being announced. It's really, quite incredibly, overshadowing the Final Fantasy game for the PS3 that actually has been announced, which is pretty hilarious to me. The fact is, too, the spinoffs really aren't creating as much chatter as I would have thought previously; the wave of excitement has almost passed even though only Advent Children has been released here. Quite odd. Am I wrong?

Myself, I think I've mentioned before that I would actually welcome a FFVII remake, although I don't know when I'd play it because I have no expectations of having a PS3 or XBox 360 (I don't see any likelihood of it being on Wii) in the near future. FFVII was an interesting game, but it drove me insane with a bad translation and some badly developed characters. Plus, I though the plot was great through Midgar, and was hit and miss after that. Of course, I don't have the built in bias with it being my first RPG, I was playing since SNES and Sega CD.

Matt

Indeed; it would be rather shocking if such a thing were to be announced on Nintendo's new system. Could you imagine, though, how much that would shake things up? I think that the main problem is that it would simply have to come with a special giant-ass Wii controller in the form of Cloud's sword, so the production costs would be just massive.

FFVII really was a mixed bag when it came to things like the translation, but the package was enough to make RPGs a household phenomenon. It must have done a lot of things really well, too! If a remake were to feature a complete retranslation, much in the same vein as FFIV's was last year, my hunger-meter for the game would definitely skyrocket!

I was curious about one other thing: How exactly do you keep track of all the items people have? I have a list with what I have, but I can't imagine what it's like to try and keep track of everyone's stuff, points, and calculate what they earn every day and then multipliers. It must be insane, good thing you're a math person.

Thanks!

BigWook


Matt

Oh, trust me; when it comes to SOCK items, I definitely don't go on memory alone. It comes in handy, but I have another special tool: The complete scorecard, which features all 100-or-so competitors, a complete list of who has had turns in the guest-cohost seat, as well as a full record of the items every person possesses. No one's going to pull a fast one on me, that's for sure! A slow one, perhaps...





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, this weekend is shaping up to be a very busy one! I have plans, tonight, to eat out and watch The Da Vinci Code at the theatre, and tomorrow night, I should be getting a ride to nearby Kitchener to have fun at the bar with a friend of mine I haven't seen in quite awhile! I'm spending Sunday night with another friend; add the normal dose of homework on top of the whole mess, and I'll be left with quite the sundae of activity. I'm looking forward to it!

Flashay!


***Answers to June 1st's Questions***

#212. b) Blond - 325 points (this was Belthasar2's question; the man in question that he was referring to is none other than Guybrush Threepwood, hailing from Monkey Island.)

#213. b) Matthew and Eliwood - 275 points/550 for Erika (thanks, Erika, for the submission!)


***Today's New Questions***

#214: Yesterday, I claimed to be as unlucky as a character from an RPG that features a different playable character with which of the following names? (325 points)

a) Nicholas
b) Noel
c) Rudolph
d) Claus
e) Yule


Reader-Submitted #215: Which game does Lord British NOT appear in? (275 points)

a) Akalabeth
b) Life Force
c) Rainbow Despair
d) Solar Assault
e) Warriors of Destiny

A lot of you are creeping up towards the Top 25 and aren't quite there yet, but don't despair... it's a very close race. Belthasar2 has made it back up to 26th place with 1,152 points, Donovan is currently in 28th with 1,100, Megan is in 30th with 890, and Angus Creighton is in 31st with 865. Keep working at it!


SOCK's Item List

*You may obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!*

2,000 points: Your choice of Fire Spell (3 left) or Wait Mode (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Blind Spell (1 left) or Sneak Glove (2 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Annoying Curse (1 left) or Firaga Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Mithril Sword (2 left) or Damage Deflector (3 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Ultra Sneak Glove (1 left) or Confuse Spell (2 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Auxiliary Point Generator (1 left) or Blind Spell (1 left)


Click Here For Item Descriptions and Contest Rules!

SOCK's Prize Shop

*You may SPEND points here in order to obtain any of the following prizes- new ones may appear at any time*

2,000 points: Matt's Mom's Cookie Compilation- 6 fantastic recipes right out of Matt's mom's amazing kitchen! Yours, upon request. (5 left)

4,000 points: Intro Paragraph Cameo- If you feel like having a piece of Q&A all to yourself for a day, but you're not up for answering a bunch of questions, this option might be just for you! Say the word, and the Intro Paragraph is yours to do whatever you want with for a day. (5 left)

10,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #3.5- Ah, why not? Cohost days are fun, so here are a couple of extra chances for you to snag, if you're so inclined. (1 left)

15,000 points: Nintendo Wii Canvas Carrying Bag- It's simple and white, with blue print, and two drawstrings; I picked this up while waiting in the nigh-infinitely long line to play Nintendo's new console at E3 2006. If you'd like it, I'll mail it to you free of charge! (1 left)

15,000 points: Pokémon 10th Anniversary game case- Not as special as it sounds, but useful for carrying up to 4 DS games or 2 DS games and 2 Game Boy Advance games. Translucent plastic with a silver Pikachu and print on the front. (1 left)

15,000 points: Bonus Cohost Opportunity- I like giving these out because I don't have to pay for shipping. (3 left)

20,000 points: Cohost Opportunity #4- It might sound like a lot, but it'll be here before you know it. Your next chance to reign over Q&A with yours truly. (5 left)

22,000 points: Slime Keychain Dangler- Fresh from the Square Enix booth at E3 2006, this cute little guy can be yours. (1 left)

22,000 points: Slime Snail Keychain Dangler- Anyone remember Slime Snails from Dragon Warrior III? I managed to snag one of these, too. Strut with Dragon Quest pride!! (1 left)

25,000 points: Full Host Opportunity #1- This is it. Write your own Q&A section, without having me interrupt, break in, or steal your sunshine. Be RPGamer's new idol for a day! (1 left)

30,000 points: Nintendo DS Lite Carrying Case- This won't quite fit old-model DS handhelds, but it's lightweight and flashy. White and black with an extra zippered pocket for carrying games, and a hook to attach to clothes, backpacks, or whatnot. I received this at Nintendo's Pre-E3 Media Briefing. (1 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PSX. If you're into the Megaman series as much as I am, and you don't own any of these, I don't need them any more, now that I have purchased the collection. You can take your pick, and I'll send it to you in the mail with a handwritten note of congratulations from myself. They aren't RPGs, for sure, but I'm working on it for the future. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (3 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PSX. Play the game that started off the entire series! Josh was generous enough to donate this exciting prize, so it would be cool to send this to a good and loving home. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left) *********************************************************


That wraps up my job for the week! I do hope you'll join me for the first full week of June Q&A... it's going to be a quiet month, comparatively speaking, to the few we've just been through. With lots to look forward to in the fall, though, that doesn't mean there won't be many things to ask questions and question answers about, of course.

To all of my loyal readers, thanks very much for taking the time to read every day. Please, enjoy the weekend with Ourobolus, and I'll be back on Tuesday to resume my duties!

slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt is only 2 hours away from steak!


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I've never ordered it done "Teriyaki-Style" in favour of getting the traditional version, but I think I'm going to take the plunge and give it a whirl tonight. It's gonna be yummy!

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