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Under the Wire June 16, 2006

Arros Raikou - 16:47 EST

I FINALLY DID IT, I've become a guest co-host.

Sorry but all the FFX talk made me think back to that quote from Yuna, So I used it for my own fiendish reasons fufufu.

Anyway here's a bit of info about me, I was one of many who applied for the Q&A host position after dear old Google left us suddenly. Obviously I didn't make it, not even to the RPGamer Idol contest, but I doubt I could have done as good a job as Matt does every weekday nor could I have constructed the SOCK, and I'm really glad he gives out co-hosting positions, ever since I started reading Googleshng and Castomel's columns back around the time Phantom Brave was released I've always had a weird desire to host the column at least once. So this is one lifelong pipe dream off my list, now if I could crush someone with my mind and marry a supermodel the list would be cleared.

I own somewhere around 150-200 games from old NES, SNES, Sega Genesis games to PS1, PS2, N64, GC games to original GB, GBC, GBA DS and PSP games. I've got quite a library to be proud or ashamed of depending on who I'm talking to, I've been gaming since I was 5, but my RPGaming didn't really start till I was 13 when I borrowed FF7 from two of my friends.

I'm currently playing through Tales of Phantasia on the GBA and Tales of Destiny 1 for the PS1 though I'm playing those on my DS and PS2 respectively. ^^;;

I'm a fan of some games that are frowned upon by others, such as Rhapsody, Wild ARMS 2, Legend of the Dragoon, LoZ: Majora's Mask, Star Ocean 2 etc. there's something about a game other people can't stand that makes me want to play it really really badly. ^^;; I try to find the silver lining in every horrible game I play because I know how hard it is to put together a game or write a story. Sometimes what is in your head and what comes out are two different animals. I also like to research the older games in a series I like, I think that sets me apart from the Johnny. Come lately I can't play that it just looks so old of the RPGaming world, I like seeing how my favorite series evolved.

In my spare time I game, no brainer there, try to build my muscles up, watch anime, and try to draw my own manga/comic ^^;; and I have a job clogging people's arteries ^^

That's probably more about the Arros than you'll ever need to know about anything ever!! Anyway on with the answering of your deepest questions!!

Anyone want to hear about Final Fantasy X-2's plot in thirty seconds? This is the place to look!

Howdy Matt, I hope you're not bothered by a drop, ounce, or just a little paragraph of serious tone for a second. In response to the letter that Zohar Gilboa sent I just need to say one quick thing. It doesn't matter what the law says about how old you need to be the buy violent games. They could make it to where you have to be 29 to buy M-rated games. That just means that there are going to be a lot of 29 year olds selling M-rated games to teenagers. It's the same way kids get drugs; they can't buy it legally but there will always be someone selling it illegally. In any case I hope no one starts banning mildly violent games left and right, that would be most unfortunatez.


Wait a second you mean there's a way to buy drugs legally at a certain age...? Anyway that odd comparison aside I feel the blame for kids playing violent games falls on the kids and their parents/guardians/role models/etc, because a kid after a certain age should be able to tell right from wrong, and reality from fantasy and if they can't do that then their caretakers obviously didn't do a bang-up job raising them. In no way shape or form should the government do anything to the game industry just because some parents don't have the time, energy, or skills to raise their children, and even with the fines in place I don't think it will make a difference at all.

You know I hate to see my favorite games get bashed so I'm going to do a little sticking up for FFX. Every game has its flaws which is unavoidable and because FFX is an FF game means it has some high standards to meet and when people see a flaw they think "That's not FF materialz." You know the saying "you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please everybody all of the time." But really would you rather be locked in solitary confinement with FFX for a month or some other mediocre rpg that these companies are pumping out. FFX even had its own sequel. I know some of you might think that FFX-2 was just a cheap way to make a little extra doe off FFX's name but that just shows what a great name it had to make a little extra doe off of.

I happen to love FFX despite it's flaws and questionable cash grab of a sequel. Also unlike our good friend Matt after seeing the uber ease Yuna brought to the game, I swore off using Summons which was more so due to the Pokemon-rip off-ness of them than the cheap easiness (Yuna: Ifrit-chu I choose you!! Ifrit: Ifrit If If Ifrit-CHU!!!) and instead built Yuna as a black mage because I grew tired of Lulu's fanservice of doom. o.o (How do they stay in there, that's magic in it's self right there!)

As for FFX-2, it was a good game in parts. I enjoyed the battle system as well as the job classes, and some parts of the story were interesting though for the most part the story was thus


OMFG that dude looks like the Star Player of the Zanarkand Abes©, Let's go hunt spheres and hope we find another like that, Aye aye cap'n Yunie, Oh no we are causing problems after stealing this sphere let's give it back to one of two evil morally bankrupt groups, okay okay, Oh poopie, that skank stole half of our sphere, let's get it back, oh no there's an Evil Weapon from Ancient Times© and it looks like the Star Player of the Zanarkand Abes© is somehow connected to it, oh no fiends are pouring out of the chambers of the Fayth and the Aeons are evil now boo hoo I don't wanna fight them but I'm Yuna so I have to, I'm sorry Ifrit-chu but you went rabid so I had to put you down, a conflict is brewing and only the power of love and J-pop can stop it, let's go to the farplane and take on the Evil Weapon from Ancient Times© yay we beat it with the power of our friendship and love love love, now all is right with the world and Yunie can finally have he Star Player of the Zanarkand Abes© back with all his dopey voice acting Yay!!


So yeah the Arros wasn't too happy with FFX-2's story over all.. ^^;;

At the beginning of the year in '05 I actually made a New Year's resolution which was to finish any game I started no matter how boring. That resolution was the only reason I finished Baten Kaitos (Yuk). So far the only game I haven't finished is Legend of Dragoon. I started that game a little while before you guys brought it up in the Q&A. You established that it was a bad game but I tried to drag through it any way but I found I could not endure.

I've kept track of all the games I've played through this year and hear they are.

FF7-first time I played it and of course it was great

DQ8- pretty entertaining for the most part

G3- I wrote about this a long while back. Battle system good. Everything else rated EC.

LoD- unoriginal, boring, meh

KH2- What happened hear was the makers took out most of the good qualities of the first game and replaced them with other new good qualities in the second. If the two games had simply been combined (and made harder) then there would have been enough good qualities for most gamers to bear through any bad aspects of the games (aka those Disney shenanigans).


What was so bad about Baten Kaitos outside of the cookie cutter story, horrid voice acting, trippy music, even trippier graphics... Hey, at least the battle system was cool, it made things far easier or harder depending on how you stack the deck and your luck. Nothing blows quite as bad as being in a tough fight and getting nothing but finishers when you needed health items, or finding out your favorite healing item had rotted away or become a weapon. The battles are what kept me excited through the game and I can't even count the times I lost to Malpercio and that one evil general dude.

As for FF7, glad you enjoyed it, much like most new school RPGamers that was the game I cut my teeth on, I originally borrowed it from my friends and even pretended I was sick so I could keep playing it. ^^;; I got to where Aeris leaves before I had to return it, years later I found a greatest hits copy and coerced my mom into buying it for me ^^

DQ8 is a terrific game with a nice traditional feel to it that I can't help but enjoy, I could go on about the incredible feats I acomplished in the game but I'll save those for another time

As for LoD the only thing I really liked about it was the ability to transform into something, and well Rose, but mostly transforming into Dragoons, that always adds extra cool-stuff points to even the worst game in my opinion, my love of transformation probably comes from my love of Sailor Moon, magical girls, demons, vampires and shapeshifting creatures in general, that strange love of transformation is probably why I love DDS and SH so much ^^'' Ah Yuri you're so cool.

As for the other games on your list they are patiently waiting on my backlog while I trudge through the Tales games I have.

I'll try to think of something to write in about for tomorrow, later.



I'm certain Matt looks forward to your letters and continued participation in the SOCK as well as the column in general.

The PS3, the Wii, Gameplay, and Plot!

PS3 vs Wii:

The library of games I have are all PSX/PS2 and PC. I have not played a Nintendo only title since the days of SNES. I have committed myself to getting a DS sometime after FFIII comes out, but in the meantime I have a GBA. Hardly any of the games for the N64/Gamecube, XBOX/XBOX360 ever caught me eye and drove me to purchase their systems. If the Virtual Console isn't all smoke and mirrors, its reason enough for me to make that purchase. The only unknown, for me anyway, is if the PS3 will be worth the huge price tag, even after a drop. My current PS2 is near the end of its life and would welcome a replacement. I guess the question remains is what I purchase besides the DS and the Wii. Will it be a slim model PS2 or do I save up for the PS3?


Only you know that answer! I just bought my slim PS2 a few weeks ago, and so far, it has served me very well. It has played every DVD that I've tried, and it hasn't skipped, stopped, froze, hiccupped, coughed, or barfed in any detectable way. Only, uh, FATE knows whether it will hold up.

The Virtual Console is one of the most incredible push factors for me. To have so many old games at my fingertips after all of these years... it's just an old-school gamer's dream come true. If we're lucky enough to have the entire libraries offered, I will be going absolutely crazy. NES Dragon Warrior? Yes, please. SNES Lufia games? Oh G-hod, yes please. Earthbound?!? Oh, I think so!

I quiver with anticipation... I only hope that this feature doesn't disappoint in the end.

Gameplay vs Plot:

Enjoyable gameplay is vital to the success of any RPG I play. A majority of the clocked time on any RPG will be spent exploring and/or battling. If either of these are tedious or cumbersome then the game will fail to keep me interested long enough to show me the really cool plot developments. The Xenosaga games suffer from too much plot and not the greatest gameplay. Almost every battle was a chore to endure and hardly any were quick battles either. On the other side of the scale is something like FFX which while it was really lacking in plot it was a very easy gameplay. For one, like you have said before, Yuna's summons had no cost and grew stronger as she did. without a level system they really didnt balance out the sphere grid enough cause by the time Auron joined up Tidus and Wakka were one hit killing the 'armored' monsters we supposedly needed his sword to kill. Really great games, like FFVI, are enjoyable because they balance both gameplay and plot well.

When I find myself playing a fun game that may be lacking in plot I make up my own stories. My Wizardry party members have more personality than any game will allow.


That's a good point. I'm not-so-secretly very glad to have a little bit of support on my Final Fantasy X opinions. As you might imagine, it's a bit scary to criticize popular games, because fans start running after me with beating-sticks. Certainly, it is undeniable, I think, that Final Fantasy X is a game with a huge number of excellent qualities, and it's definitely one of the PS2's greatest RPGs no matter what the game's shortcomings might be.

I've never made up my own plot, but I'm interested, now that you've brought it up: I'll bet, on a related note, that you're really into role-playing in a "Saving Throw" context. Creative RPGaming minds tend to enjoy the freedom of Dungeons & Dragons-style experiences. I know that I do, though I wish I had more opportunity to.


GTA has been my guilty pleasure but after saving countless worlds over the years I feel the need to vent on digital citizens and their vehicles.

Xlash the dwarf berserker


Heh heh. Thanks, Xlash, for your take on the current subjects! No matter what guilty pleasures GTA may have given you, you'll still be my favourite dwarf berserker for some time to come. <3

Write back soon!

Guess what I'm eating? I'm eating a BaNaNa!

Hey Matt,

Since everyone else was talking about games they love that most people hate, I thought I'd let more people know about one of my favorite series that is almost universally disliked. SaGa!


And people look at me oddly for proudly owning Rhapsody, you sir are a hero to all of us with guilty pleasures.

No really, I actually love the SaGa games. My favorite is SaGa Frontier. It's a game boasting fairly unique gameplay, a rather sharp difficulty curve, and 7 main characters to go through the main game with! Due to the unpopularity of the series, a lot of newer RPG players don't even know about them. I highly recommend that anyone who likes difficult, yet fun (in my opinion and not very many others' admittedly) games gives it a try. I know most people who have tried it, SaGa Frontier 2, or Unlimited SaGa (most of the most recent entries in the series) were thoroughly unsatisfied, but that shouldn't dissuade anyone from trying.


Time for an Arros Raikou lifetime story moment. I once borrowed SaGa Frontier from the same friends I borrowed FF7 from, basically these two brothers were my number one RPG supplier back in the day before I got my own library going, anyway, so I borrowed SaGa Frontier from them. Unforntunately they had lent it to another friend of theirs, and he had lost the manual so I had no bloody clue what to do in the game, so I enter all that stupid useless info your name, birth date, blood type, and start a game as Riki(sp?), struggle to find out which button does what and I made it to the end boss of his/her/it's quest only to get creamed over and over again. Finally I gave up, deleted my game save from the memory card and returned their game to them. They tell me I should have played as Aselus(sp?) or Blue because their quests were easier and Riki's quest was the hardest in the game, so a few months later I get a computer and internet access and try the game again as Aselus with a Walkthrough and I never made it out of the vampire castle thing she starts in. So yeah, my thoughts on the series just based on that are not good by any means...

Then through somewhat questionable means I dabbled in FFL1-3 and yet again sucked hardcore at them, for those who do not know, the Final Fantasy Legends games are the first games in the SaGa series.

Also I love MMO's and have played many of them, even though I'm not currently subscribing to any at the moment. I understand that most people are turned off by the monthly fees, but if you put it in perspective, it is a lot more reasonable. When I have an active account, I generally spend 2 or so (more when I get the chance, but 2 hours minimum) hours playing it nearly every day. So at maybe 6 days a week, that adds up to more than 48 hours of playing it in a month. For only $15 (nearly 150 hours for $45, an amount of playing time and enjoyment I would be thrilled to get out of a new $50 console game), I get more bang for the buck by playing an MMO by skipping out on buying maybe one DVD or CD in a month, or skipping going to the movies just one time during that month. Between the addicting gameplay and the friends you can make because of the social aspect of MMO's, it is more than worth it. Just remember that is important to have a group to have a good chance of actually enjoying these games, whether it's with real life friends that you brought into the game with you (or siblings are GREAT people to play with, some of my greatest gaming memories come from playing MMO's with my brother) or a group that you met in the game; trying to find a group of like-minded friends make MMO's a whole lot more enjoyable than just playing with random pick up groups whenever you get a chance. I know that because of how much time I spent indoor playing games instead of chancing the cursed dayball, I didn't make too many friends outside of my gaming buddies. MMO's introduced me to a group of really great friends that I've been in contact with for YEARS after we quit playing the same games. A $15 or so monthly fee really isn't very much compared to all of the fun that MMO's can bring.


There's another long Arros Raikou lifetime story moment I could go into about my days of MUDDing, getting player-killed constantly for being teh n00b, and the threat of more experiences like that happening being just as frightnening as the monthly fee, or the time an online buddy convinced me to buy Everquest so I could battle alongside him but my mom refused to pay 15-30 bucks a month for me to play a game she'd already bought me. ^^;; So, those two memories combine into why I don't show interest in MMOs.

But I'm glad you enjoy them, and avoid that dayball like the plague

Oops, this was just supposed to be a short letter to help raise awareness about some great games that most gamers dislike and don't give a chance to, and I turned it into a rather long, drawn out explanation, so I'll go away now.



Lengthy letters are all the more fun to reply to and help make the column a better read.

Another one for the story-is-more-important column!

Hey Matt!

You know, if I write in enough letters, you'll never be able to keep up. Heh.


Oh, come now. What do you take me for? I can withstand any number of letters without faltering, I swear! I'm the IRON MAN of advice columns. Wait, is this even an advice column? I guess I'd need an iconic picture of my ugly mug at the top for this to be a "true" advice column. First step, RPGamer, second step, the world! Move over, Ann Landers! Wait, she died, didn't she? Or did she? Man, I'm an insensitive jackass and I'm digging myself a hole fast. Quick, keep talking!

I'd like to address the issue that Oliver mentioned in his letter, about the storyline being the most important part in an RPG. As I've mentioned before in the column, I'm firmly in the storyline over gameplay camp. I will gladly suffer through a bad system if I'm enjoying a good plotline (see Vagrant Story), but it is very rare that I'm willing to put up with a bad story (or characters) over good gameplay (one notable exception being Baten Kaitos). To me, an RPG is an interactive book, I'm in it to immerse myself in the experience. I can tune out bad gameplay if I can immerse myself in a good story.


Fair enough! You know what's interesting? I couldn't think of a single example of a game with BAD gameplay but excellent plot when I was writing yesterday's column, so I decided not to include one. It seems that somehow, the games that are the least fun (in my definition of "fun") end up having fairly unmemorable storylines. Most recently for me, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and Wild Arms: ACF both fit that bill. There are, however, a ton of games with weak stories but great gameplay, as far as I'm concerned. Any Mario RPG, any early Dragon Warrior game... they all fit under this definition, and Mario and DW are two of my very favourite franchises. I think that's probably why I claim to place plot in the "not quite as important" column.

But, as I said yesterday, it's largely a matter of personal preference, and I totally respect your choice reasons for RPGaming. The third category, the graphics whore, is one that hasn't really been brought up in all of this; I don't hold quite as much respect for THAT type, as you well know.

In response to your answer to another portion of the same letter, I think there was an editorial on RPGamer addressing how many games nowadays introduce all their characters at the beginning of the day. I think this is so there is more time to develop the characters. However, when you think about it, it does seem a little odd. Why wouldn't someone in the next to last town of the game be just as willing to join in the great fight to save the world? It seems more appropriate if that were to happen. However, everyone's typical example, Edge in FFIV, just doesn't do it for me. Edge was useful, but he never really seemed to belong. He just sort of seemed sprung in there.

228) A. 2/5313 (I got 1/5313, then I remembered the diagonals, silly me)
229) D. Ruby-throated hummingbird (I need to come up with more vague questions like this, no one but you responds to my more direct ones. )
Warp Zone) E. The rightmost one




It's true. Edge didn't really do it for me either, though I remember having a mini-crush on him as an early adolescent, embarrassingly enough, for some reason probably attributable to a hormonal imbalance.

Of course, realistically, there is no reason for people at the end of an adventure to not want to join the cause. "Gameistically", there are lots of reasons. As you mention, it gives less time for any real character development to occur, or for any player-character bonds to form. Also, there is less time from a game-mechanics standpoint to have the new character meld into place in a fighting party. You know that "new character weirdness" that is present until he/she has been around for a few level-ups? Maybe it's just me, but that weirdness can't be present during a final boss battle; that battle should find you at the tip of the peak of comfortability with your characters in combat. It's the ultimate test of your skills in the game, in a way, and you should be fully-warmed up by then, not still getting used to some new guy's quirks and oddnesses.

Thanks yourself, Mr. Wook!

Some thoughtfulness regarding the twelfth Final Fantasy.

As far as the sequel to Skies of Arcadia goes. Isn't the person who wrote Skies of Arcadia and Final Fantasy XII the same person? One could speculate that SE snatched him away from Overworks and had him write FF XII instead of a sequel to SoA.


Interestingly enough, there are more than a few people out there that have drawn some significant parallels between the two games in many different ways. Perhaps that person isn't just there, but he's been a very important influence on the direction that the game has taken. Having not played Skies of Arcadia myself, it's hard for me to say.

Even more intriguing to me is the fact that many others have drawn many connections between FFXII and Vagrant Story, too, and some are even calling the game "Vagrant Story's Sequel". What do you think of that? This hasn't really happened to a Final Fantasy game in the past; not that I can remember, anyway.

One more reason to despise Gamespot

Hey Matt (or Arros Raikou, as the case may be)


Yes I am most definitely the Arros.

I don't know about you, but the topic which I'm about to broach is one I know well nigh nothing about, namely "coolness". Yes as a self-professed geek the quality of coolness is one which I've never been very concerned with. Is this or that thing I'm interested in cool? Who cares? However, recently I was reading an article somewhere or other online and it asked people to list five games they owned that made them cool. This left me wondering a few things. Is gaming cool, and if so since when and to who exactly? And RPG gaming, is that cool-- because I've always gotten the vibe that it's really not.


It really depends on the group of people you ask. To some people RPGs don't get any better though to other groups RPGaming is the devil, or at the very least not mad phat 1337 kewl like Halo, such-and-such sports game and GTA. I personally find RPGs to be some of the coolest thgings in the world.

I can tell you that in the social circles I've travelled in video gaming has not been considered cool or even particularly respectable. I went to a girls' high school and I distinctly recall a professor making an offhand comment one day which made it clear that she thought video games were only for children and that at our age we probably wouldn't still be interested in them. That was in the 90s but it's a misconception that's still quite prevalent today. More recently, in grad school-- and we're talking English lit here-- I remember one day a classmate admitted that she'd had to uninstall The Sims from her PC because she couldn't stop playing it. She seemed embarrassed so, in an attempt to make her feel better, I mentioned that I'd just put down nearly five hundred dollars to get a PS2-- at which point it seemed clear that I should now be the one feeling embarrased. Now really I'm not embarrassed by being a gamer, but I am careful who I mention it to since a lot of non-gamer

I simply don't get it. So yeah, around here gaming=not cool. And as for RPGs, I always thought it was the geeky genre among gamers? After all aren't racing and FPS the cool games du jour?


Like I said in my introduction my video game collection is either something to be proud or ashamed of depending on who I'm talking to ^^''

Back in my days of school, gaming was cool arround the groups of guys I hung out with, and even with the groups of guys I avoided, though if I remember correctly girls never really were that into gaming except for one girl whose brother was a HUGE comic book collector. As you know one geeky hobby easily bleeds into another, and hearing him gush on and on and on about Final Fantasy 7 and how he was trying to get a fanstory published about it really made me want to play the game.

So RPGaming was the in thing with my group of friends and back then even the MGS, Syphon Filter and sports gamers had at least heard of FF7 and Zelda: OoT.

Though at my place of work I've only ran into about 3-4 gamers, the first, Benjamin loved Castlevania and we had a hearty discussion about it, and God of War and our hatred of the I'm so cool bad ass kind of character. The second was a FF and Secret of Mana fan named Miles, he's the only I-met-you-at-work gamer I still get to talk to ^^;;, we discussed moments from those series. The third was a dude I called Ninja, even though he was a gamer his favorite game was Ninja Gaiden for the X-Box which was the only console he owned... so yeah that didn't go too well. The last is a girl named Amber who claims to be a gamer but she attacks me for complicated reasons so I've never had a "Hey what kind of games do you like to play?" discussion with her so she doesn't count ^^;;

Another gaming-being-brought-up-at-work moment, one of my friends was trying to see if I had any old PS1 games I'd be willing to sell her so she could give them to her daughter, I said all I had was my RPG collection which prompted a "what the ---- are those look" from her and another woman I work with. Trying to explain what RPGs are was rather difficult so my "You run around, talk to people, stab stuff with a sword, burn stuff with magic, and save the world" had to do. Needless to say that prompted "a that guy is really weird" look from everyone...

Anyway enough of my strange banter, depending on who you talk to RPGaming is cool, hated or unknown ^^;;


P.S. I didn't want to mention the article specifically in the body of my letter since it was only a jumping off point and since I kind of think it was silly I don't want to look like I'm bashing them, but here it is you haven't come across it:

I was horrified by the girl who mentioned five rare RPGs-- DW III, IV,Earthbound, and Suikoden I and II-- but says she has *no interest* in playing them and she just owns them because they're valuable and she can tell people she has a game worth a hundred dollars. I thought that was quite ridiculous. I would never consider a game cool because it was expensive or a gamer cool because he/she owned it-- especially if he/she hadn't played it. On the other hand, I'd have a lot of respect for someone who had played through all of these games because it would demonstrate considerable breadth and variety of gaming experience-- which is a whole different matter.


Oh, MAN! Bash away, Arros. PLEASE. This is... almost an insult to RPGamers. My favourites! Dragon Warrior AND Earthbound are involved in this one! Ack, ack, ack!


I think any real RPGamer should be horrified by someone who buys games and never plays them. Me personally, I own the Suikoden series and I'm ashamed I haven't gotten a chance to play any of them yet !.! And in my opinion I have to play a game to determine it's "coolness". Furthermore I'd love the chance to play the Dragon Warrior games because I loved playing DQ8, as for Earthbound sadly to say it hasn't clicked with me yet.

But thinking a game is cool just because you paid an arm and a leg for it and won't play it is just really really ----ed up, that's all I can really say. That's like buying a pair of shoes because of their price tag and mounting them on your wall instead of wearing them. -.-;;

Anyway thank you taking the time to write such an original and interesting letter.


And thank you, Arros, for putting an interesting twist on today's column! You'll be part of RPGamer forevermore, and I'm glad you decided to take the time and effort to help me out today.

And now, it's time for another piece of poetry! Behold:

Sunday is a special day, the eighteenth day of June.
It's Father's Day for heaven's sakes, so get him something soon.
And if this Sunday YOU'RE the dad and get to celebrate,
Then relax, have fun, eat lots, drink beer and certainly sleep late.

*takes a bow*


***Answers to June 15th's Questions***

#228. a) 2/5313 - 325 points/650 for JokingChimer (Thanks for the excellent submission! To get a x400 multiplier, you need to get a line in the first four balls drawn, so the centre square must be used; for any of those lines, there is a (4/24 x 3/23 x 2/22 x 1/21) probability of getting the desired squares, but that number must be multiplied by FOUR because there are four different lines that pass through the centre square. Awesome, awesome, awesome question. You make a math major proud!)

#229. d) Ruby-Throated Hummingbird - 360 points (Nwash posed this question a few months ago in Q&A, and I launched into some bizarrely random list of animals, somehow.)

Bonus: e) the rightmost one - 1 Star (Yes, the top prize is 1,000 tokens on every slot machine, but the rightmost one can potentially score 5,000 tokens in a single spin, since there are 3 sevens in a row on each reel!)

***Today's New Questions***

Reader-Submitted #230: In the instruction manual for the original Wizardry game you are shown a sample screen of what character creation looks like. What is the name shown in the sample? (350 points)

a) Thomas the fair
b) Trebor
c) Snatch
d) Werdna
e) Derf

Arros' #231: My nickname Arros was inspired by a character from another work by the artist who did character designs from which of these games? (350 points)

a) Final Fantasy IV
b) Dragon Quest VIII
c) Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
d) Tales of Legendia
e) Wild ARMS 3

Side contest scores: (look for the hidden link in every column to compete for Ouro's 2,094 points! The contest goes on until a single person emerges in first place, so keep trying!)

7 Stars-- Aurelius, Dermot

6 Stars-- Macstorm, Erika, JokingChimer, BigWook

5 Stars-- DMJewelle, LufiaLvr, Gilgamesh

4 Stars-- MagRowan

3 Stars-- Xlash

2 Stars-- Cap, Knighttrain, Leaper

1 Star-- Bainick, Gaijin, Belthasar2, Arros Raikou, BenOblong

I thought initially that it was over today, as Dermot got another right answer whereas Macstorm faltered, but then I realized that I had overlooked a correct answer from Aurelius, who is now a frontrunning contender!

These questions have been a lot of effort over the last few weeks. Even if you don't end up on top, there might be a consolation prize in the works for the stars you do obtain. Keep trying, though, and you might get the jackpot!

STRAGGLERS: (people who need to check their e-mail or somehow get in touch with me because they have unclaimed items- if you fall off the list, it's TOO LATE FOR YOU! Check your spam/trash folders for my messages if you're not getting them, and I'll check mine, too!)
  • none to speak of!

SOCK's Item List

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

2,000 points: Your choice of Blind Spell(1 left) or Quick Spell(2 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Blizzard Spell (2 left) or Confuse Spell (2 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Esuna Spell (2 left) or Fira Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Mithril Armor (1 left) or Damage Deflector (2 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Dark Converter (1 left) or Light Converter (1 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Hyper Beam (2 left) or Annoying Curse (2 left)
19,000 points: Your choice of Rename Card (2 left) or Vanish Spell (2 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)

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)

100,000 points: Arc the Lad Collection, for the PSX. Donated by ~Sean~~, so thank him! This collection contains four RPGs from an often-overlooked series. If you can get to 100,000 first, you can call this your own. (Sorry, NTSC-format only) (1 left) *********************************************************

My sincerest apologies to everyone who has submitted letters that I haven't had the chance to include yet; I might just get around to them next week, so don't despair. I really appreciate the amount of time and effort that you've spent reading and writing in, because all of you are making Q&A a great success.

For tomorrow, send Ourobolus your very best, because he's in charge for the weekend! I'm about to flee home to Chatham-Kent for some quality time with the family over Father's Day weekend. I hope to see you all when I return next Tuesday!
***Matt can't wait to unleash The New Super Mario Brothers on his family!

Send a Question

I've been waiting for them to play forever! It will all happen TONIGHT!


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About the Host

Quote Archives

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. The New Super Mario Brothers

2. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

3. Radiata Stories

Matt's Top 3 Gaming Desires:

1. Disgaea II

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Xenosaga: Episode III

SOCK's Top 25:

1. Bainick
15,991 pts

2. BigWook
15,580 pts

3. Alexander
15,346 pts

4. Macstorm
14,985 pts

5. Alan Tse
14,323 pts

6. Xlash
13,657 pts

7. Colabottle
11,196 pts

8. Aurelius
10,608 pts

9. Flamethrower
9,161 pts

10. FinalDelerium
9,147 pts

11. Cap
8,209 pts

12. Kanato
8,182 pts

13. Erika
8,160 pts

14. TV's Adam
6,635 pts

15. Knighttrain
6,604 pts

16. DMJewelle
6,510 pts

17. MagRowan
5,752 pts

18. JokingChimer
5,355 pts

19. LufiaLvr
4,340 pts

20. Leaper
3,930 pts

21. Purelunatic
3,375 pts

22. Gaijin
3,258 pts

23. Belthasar2
3,023 pts

24. Donovan
2,900 pts

25. Gilgamesh
2,893 pts

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