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Refreshment Break July 25, 2006

Matt Demers - 23:58 EST

THIS CONFERENCE IS almost worse than I expected. While today wasn't quite as bad as yesterday was, sitting for nine hours listening to people tell you about things you're (usually) not interested in is enough to make one go mad with boredom. I kept shifting my gaze outdoors today, thinking how nice it would be to not be trapped inside, and wishing I had the freedom to just, I dunno, leave.

I guess it isn't all bad, though. There are the occasional refreshment breaks, and they've had good chewy cookies each day so far...

My biggest announcement today can be found in the SOCK question, as you might suspect. I can't wait!

Tuesday Sean update!

Hey Matt – it’s me again. I decided to make this QnA thing a weekly affair.


Excellent to hear! What do you have to report this week, then?

Sean News:

I started playing Final Fantasy XI again. A gift from my little brother. I guess he just wants to play again... I also finally finished off Metroid Prime Hunters and Makai Kingdom (not as bad as you made it sound!). Phantasy Star 2 still eludes me. For some reason this treasure chest guy one shots my party. Level up time for me I guess.


Ah, yes. To be fair, the only gripe I had with Makai Kingdom is that it seemed lazily put-together in comparison to its big brother, Disgaea. There weren't as many cut-scenes, it wasn't as funny, the battle system wasn't nearly as good, and the game was really short. All in all, though, it was still okay, and I have to admit that it became a temporary obsession of mine about a year ago.

I'm finding Metroid Prime Hunters to be less engaging, mostly because it's a bit too formulaic for a Metroid game. I'm used to exploring places and looking around for things hidden cleverly. Instead, I find myself doing a lot of chugging through from level to level, finding a couple of set items in each one, and then beating a boss before rinsing and repeating. It isn't bad, but it's not the best game I've ever played.

Which brings me to a question: do you ever multi-task when playing games? I find it very common that when playing a game something else is being done at the same time. I usually have the tv on when playing any sort of PC game and usually pop a DVD in if playing a console game. I bring this up since tonight I will be playing Phantasy Star 2 while also playing Final Fantasy XI.


RPGs are one of the very few things that I don't find myself multitasking with these days. If I'm on the computer, I'm talking to friends, working on the site, working on my thesis stuff, and doing coursework all at once, with "breaks" every ten minutes to check the news, weather, and what-have-you.

When I do get quality time to sit down with a game, I really like to have the ability to concentrate on it, because if I don't pay enough attention, I'll lose track of or forget a lot of the little things and plot details that make RPGs a joy to play. And playing TWO games at once? I don't think I could ever have the attenion-routing skills that you have, Sean!!

Heh, someone mentioned the *old* Dungeon Siege 2 – it came out in like November. Its expansion was just announced! I am waiting for a bundle to be released that contains both… for a reasonable price... The same would go for Age of Empires 3, but I have no clue when it will come out… This is another bonus that PC games have compared to console ones...


Mmm. Bundles and expansions, the happy side of the patches and bugfixes coin! I guess that bundled software helps PC games with their shelf-lives too. It seems to be substantially more difficult to find obscure console RPG titles even a few months after their release, sometimes, in comparison. OK, fine, one point for the PC side. *bling*

Anyways, I am still toying with the idea of what I should become in Final Fantasy XI. Maybe the QnA readers can help me decide? Let me run through the jobs that I am interested in taking… I haven’t really played any of them, so any feedback would be nice!

1 - Red Mage – mp refresher

2 – Black Mage – nuker

3 – Ninja – blink tank

4 – Paladin – brawn tank

5 – Blue Mage – new and seems cool

I do plan on becoming a Summoner, but not as a primary job. Without Fenrir and Diabolos to start... I am not really interested.


Bah, Summoners are over-popular anyway. I'm hoping that we're getting away from this summon-this, summon-that, summon-everything phase that RPGs have gone through over the last ten years or so. Get a new idea!

I think Red Mages are just super-cool, personally, though Blue Mages are almost as neat. Mixed-and-matched magic, combined with a decent physical component and a splash of just all-around coolness? Yes please!

Anyways, I find myself going to EB a lot more often these days, but never walk out with anything. This is some drought we are in! Nothing of real interest! I guess it is a great time for us backlogged players! My backlog is at 32 games (down from 37). How’s yours doing?

Talk to you later, Mattyboy!



Yes, it is a bit of a dry spell in video game land, though the PSP has had a bit of sunshine lately, especially with the release of the kooky Locoroco and, of course, Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. The fall will be the end of the world, though, I swear. My poor bank account...

My backlog is not shrinking, Sean, and it's helped by the fact that I discovered Fire Emblem, and because I've had such a busy summer with my grad school studies. Right now, I'm working primarily on Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, as you well know, but soon after that Radiata Stories will be completed, I swear. I wanted to jump back into the original Shadow Hearts before the end of the summer, but it looks less and less like that will be a reality. I just need a good, month-long break!

Matt gained a level! Matt learned about RPGS.

Hey Matt

First off, I just wanted to say that it is indeed unfortunate that you didn't manage to get a few more support conversations during Sacred Stones as they really do add a lot to the game (and they're easy to collect if you just have your characters hang around in Valni Tower, without triggering the monsters at the other end of the room, and park them until they finally talk to each other). Some of the better conversations add backstory to characters, offer background information about the plot, or create a bond between characters that affects the game's ending-- well the blurb you get about the characters in question anyway. With the support conversations I got when I finally had the chance to finish the game last weekend I was amused to find about half my cast got married. The impact of support conversations is something I miss in Path of Radiance; I found its ending rather bland because of that. You can get support conversations but they don't change anything nor can you re-watch them after you finish the game the way you can in the two GBA games.


I know! I'm a bit disappointed myself, because the few I did get were really neat to see, and it's fun to think that there are so many of these little pieces of storyline stuck almost secretly in the game here, there, and everywhere. I wish I had more time to play with the game, honestly, but I just have no choice but to make sacrifices like this these days, however tragic they may be. See, I'm taking a week and going home to relax in August (or so I'm planning) but I'd rather spend a lot of that time playing through the rest of Lunar and Radiata Stories than power through searching for extra stuff in a game I've already played.

Does this mean I'm turning the tables in a quantity versus quality way? Am I giving up great, deep potential experiences with any particular games in exchange for blazing through as many as I can? I don't know. I don't think so. I really was able to appreciate the game, and I spent a good forty hours on it; I'd say that it's been one of my best experiences of this year, too, so far. I hope that my philosophy never comes to that, though this fall will truly be a test.

Here's something I was wondering, though. In your year or so as Q&A host, what are some of the most interesting discoveries you've made on the RPG front, since surely you've learned some stuff you didn't know before? I was curious about this because it occurred to me when Castlevania came up recently in the column that, as far as I can remember, I've never played a Castlevania game. Ever. In seventeen years of gaming. In fact, until recently, I had no idea that the series even had RPG elements. The series simply wasn't on my radar. Of course now I'm taking steps to remedy the situation (because, you know, my backlog's not huge enough as it is), though it might be a little while still as I've dedicated the weekend to finally putting a dent in Suikoden V, which, by the looks of it will be a time-consuming (though hopefully enjoyable) endeavour.



Erika! What a fantastic question.

You honestly have no idea at all how quickly you learn an incredible amount of information when you have a job like mine. I can't believe how much I've picked up since last October, and I'm sure that despite that, I have a whole lot more to learn.

I guess that chiefly, I am so much more acutely aware of RPG news, including release dates across all platforms. Back before I got involved with RPGamer, I found myself just skimming over things trying to find bits of information about the couple of games that I knew I was interested in. Now, however, I really amaze my friends when I'm able to rattle off up-to-date information on command about many different upcoming titles. I think it's mostly because I need to know; I simply don't have time to go surfing every single time someone asks me a question about Suikoden or Kingdom Hearts, just because I haven't played either series much!

Another interesting thing is that I used to know next to nothing about video game companies, and specifically, who produces and develops which games. Sure, I always knew Nintendo and Square Enix, and I knew what games belonged to them, but beyond that, my knowledge was extremely limited! Over the months, though, I've become quite familiar with them all, and E3 really helped to cement a lot of that in my mind.

It's truly amazing, upon thinking about it, how my understanding of the RPG world has changed since last summer. I'm sure too, though, that I have a long way to go! Thanks, Erika, for the really excellent question!

The trials and tribulations of the unfortunate PAL.

hey there matt,

ctrl + c, ctrl + v (stuff about reading never written stuff)

i'm from australia
which makes me part of european pal (which doesn't make any sense)
i saw bainick co-host a few times and i thought "hey!!! an aussie! awesome! someone i can whinge with"
so i'm gonna whinge ^_^


Uh oh... there are TWO of them now! Can I handle this?

i know us ntsc people whinge about game xxx not arrving in the US
"what happened to all the previous aterlier iris?"

hell...i didn't even know atelier was a series until googled it


Yup, and when we finally did get it, it was pretty mediocre, too. I heard its sequel represented a nice little improvement, though.

but anyways
what really peeves me in the way that only staples in carpet can,


Watch where you're aiming that stapler, then. Or just be prepared, equipped with a vacuum, Luigi-style, if you happen to drop one and it slides, nestling itself into hiding to leap out and bloody one's foot without warning! Or, just use tape.

is that SOOOOOOOO many games don't come out in Australia that have come out in the US
things like...xenogears, valkyrie profile, chrono cross, SMT something or other (although we got lucifer's call/nocturne)

now xenogears, vp and chrono cross aren't that rare are they?


No. There are lots of Xenogears and Chrono Cross copies floating around the internet in used form, in NTSC format, so I wouldn't really call them rare.

It is true that you guys miss out on a lot of games. I don't have the solution for you! Hope resides in the fact that it's looking more and more like next-generation consoles will not be region-specific, so at least you can smile at that!

alright anyways...the real question i wanted to ask was

how difficult is it to convert a game from US ntsc to european PAL?
i'm not talking about translation, i mean with all the different frame rates and refresh thingies.

sometimes the conversion from US ntsc to PAL is well worth it i.e kingdom hearts (where we got extra features which was awesome)

but the wait really peeved me (damn staples in the carpet)
hell...kh2 out in august! or september...or...quarter 3?


Well, "Q3" is pretty vague, but since it means "September at the latest", I'm sure it'll be out soon.

I really don't think that it's that difficult, really, to convert a game from one format to another. If any code within a game would have to be changed, I can't imagine that it would be anything too significant.

I think that the reason that many games are not converted, though, is not due to the ease of conversion, but is instead out of worry for lack of sales. Why go to the effort to produce an extra copies of a game in a specialized format if only a few thousand people are going to invest in the game in the end? The idea has to be a profitable one for it to be a feasible one! Of course, that doesn't explain idiotic decisions like the whole Xenosaga Episode I and Episode II. I can't tell you for sure, though, and I'm sorry abou that. I only hypothesize, like you.

the other thing that bugs me is how we get screwed out of features i.e widescreen or progressive scan
i bought magna carta
i like magna carta
apparently magna carta has a 480p feature if you hold down x + triangle during bootup well...i've tried it so many times my x-button doesn't quite work as well meaning i get misses on combos in the game now

apparently a lot of other games lost their widescreen / progressive scan capabillities i also heard that nippon ichi games like disgaea, atelier iris had features removed so it'd fit onto a cd

have you ever had something like that happen to you that really bugged you like a lil sister that wanted to play tea party?


Not really, no, I have to admit. (Though, many things outside the video gaming world irritate me that way, let me tell you!!) I'm sure that if I had a newer TV to play on, I'd be more concerned with issues like that, but as it stands, I play my games on a big-screen tube that is anything but new. I really don't even care what "progressive scan" means, though I always presumed that it is just another something that makes things prettier and more "wowy".

and the final question thingy
when new features are added from the jap version to like the us/euro version who does the adding?

for example square (back then) of kingdom hearts
who added the extra stuff to the european pal version?

was it the square euro branch or the jap branch?

if it's the original creators....then why can't they keep everything? and not take out stuff re previous question


I think that that really depends on the company in question! Of course, not every company has international subsidiaries, so some companies will surely add on all the bells and whistles at their point of origin. In Kingdom Hearts' case, it is my belief that the minor changes that happened between versions were all implemented in the same building somewhere in Japan, but I could definitely be wrong.

oh...did i mention xenosaga?
it's a trilogy right?
i think they forgot to bring one over...the first one

they cut out a game in the trilogy!!!!
how can you watch all the back to the futures without watching the first?
how can you watch start wars without watching the...yeah ok...but they still came back to MAKE THEM!!!!

(the plots might have sucked and looked like holey cheese but the lightsabre battles were cool)
what hurts more is that apparently xenosaga 2 starts about 30 seconds after the end of xenosaga 1

so yes
i've finished whinging
hope you guys have a nice day
whilst i try to avoid being spoiled on kh2
for another month or so



Thanks, Vash! I guess I beat you to the punch about Xenosaga, and I think that it's quite a shame. Being ignored for one game but being thrown its direct sequel seems like a big disappointment, and I can understand why PAL gamers would be upset! You can take solace in the fact that there is apparently a bunch of extras packaged with the PAL version of Episode II, including movies from the first game and more.

And to come full circle, this whole discussion might be a distant memory soon, if the next generation welcomes the era of region-free coding. Keep your fingers crossed!

In defense of Final Fantasy Legend III

Konbanwa, Matto-san

Ima ame ga furu koto ga yameru node, ii kanji ga arimasu! (Now that it's stopped raining, I am feeling good!)


Man, I really wish I could find some sort of online English-to-Japanese dictionary that spit out words Roman-alphabetically instead of using kana. I don't know how to insert such niceties into my responses!

Huzzah huzzah for the Japanese rainy season, which ended this week with a really massive finale, 60 hours of torrential rain in a 72 hour period. I now hate precipitation...


Me too, man. I'm so certain that the DAY this stupid conference is over with, the sun will go away and a thundercloud will appear over my head. It's been so nice lately, now that I've been cooped up inside all day long!

So, being nitpicky here, but you thought FFL3's storyline to be "fairly engaging", eh? Personally, that game was biggest letdown in the Saga series for me. The first two, they ran more like old-style D&D campaigns, with most of your story coming through NPCs, and that worked. I've even seen people philosophize on the ending of FFL, when your player characters take on the god who's essentially the DM for the entire game. FFL2 had an improved battle system, more monsters, a better-balanced monster change system, and ROBOTS! And a nice, simple story which did not detract from the main point of the game, which was gameplay.


Aha! This is where your greater experience shines through, you see? The ONLY Final Fantasy Legend game that I ever got all the way through was FFLIII, and that's probably why I came to the conclusion that I did. I gave the other two very brief tries a long time ago, but I blindly passed them up as being "too primitive" due to a few different factors, including the simple stories I alluded to; thus, I really can't make any truly fair judgment over the first two, especially in comparison to III! At the naive age of however-old-I-was, I could only compare between FFLIII and other FF games.

Really, FFLIII was one of the first portable RPGs I ever played, and for that reason, I have a few good memories of it. However, the battle system and storyline were both inferior to most other games, in my opinion. By "fairly engaging", I simply meant that I was able to stay reasonably interested in the game, despite its faults.

FFL3, on the other hand, scrapped all which had gone before in favor of a bastardized knock-off of the Final Fantasy games and removed all points of individuality between characters. While it retained a monster change system, they linked it to the EXP level so that you HAD to change every time you leveled up, but only had a choice of 8 monsters total by the end of the game. And the story? I've downloaded RPG Maker-produced fanboy-drivel with better writing and execution. You could chuck an old, gray, clunker Game Boy through some of those plotholes. The previous two games had simpler stories, yes, but at least those stories were put together better... FFL3 had all the linearity of a FF title, and none of the plot to back it up.

I think, in the end though, it also comes down to a sense of accomplishment. In FFL 1 & 2, you had to plan ahead, conserve items, make serious choices as to how to customize your characters, and there was a wide variety of party types to choose from. At the end of FFL3, you could transform your base characters into one of 8 monster types for their level group, said monsters being mostly sub-par compared to the mains, and the best-damage solution for the last level involved swords, and only swords. Thus, my final FFL3 party was homogenous, while my FFL2 final party was interesting.


Oh, this is all slowly coming back to me. Do you know that it's probably been... eight or nine years (at the VERY least) since I've played that game? The monster-transformation system is fairly familiar, though, and I do remember being trapped in some sort of limitation-in-variety once I got to Level 30 or so. That is, if I remember correctly! I suppose that it would definitely be a letdown if one was used to a more freeform, flexible system in previous games.

In fact, I can remember exactly when I got fed up with FFL3. I was cruising along in the airship, preparing for the final level, and trying to get the one particular battle which netted the most EXP (2 Joker robots), over and over and over and over.... wash, rinse, repeat.


Hmmm. I just remember how cool it seemed to slowly build up your airship, piece by piece, allowing you to do more and more with it. I remember really enjoying a certain exploration factor, and finding my way to secret "unnecessary" caves to look around for treasure. Were they underwater? Oddly enough, I can remember a lot of the music from the game.

So, for the guy who asked about them (whose name does not seem to appear in the column), I would recommend FFL2 as good road-trip fare, FFL if you like that, and to avoid FFL3.

Gaijin Monogatari


Thanks, Gaijin, for your input and experienced words! And please, if anyone else has more to say about SaGa's early days, do so and write in to talk about it! You probably know a lot more than I do.

Here's the culprit!

Hey Matt!

The saddest game by far that I have ever played was Alundra. There was something about the fact that as the game progresses, no matter what you do, people keep dying. As I played through the game, I really felt like I had failed them. Plus, I remember it as one of Working Design's best translations, with occasional humor, but avoiding the rampant laughs that the Lunar games had (and would have been completely out of place here). It was an outstanding game, just with a lot of sad moments. It did have one of the most unexpected implied one night stands I have ever seen at the end, though.

Other games have had very sad individual moments, but none of them have been "sad" as a whole. Obviously, FFVII (Aeris) and FFX (the ending) are going to get a lot of responses, but it doesn't make the games as a whole sad. The first two Shadow Hearts games had their sad moments, but I won't go into too much detail on those since you keep saying you want to play through them.

Meanwhile, Saga Frontier was a completely different kind of sad. Horrifyingly, pathetically, abysmally sad.


Ahh, that's very thoughtful of you! Who knows, though, when that will happen? *sniffle*

I did find that Final Fantasy X was "sadder" on the whole than most RPGs are, probably due to the nature of the storyline; trudging off to a martyrous death is usually not a very happy thing. Sure, there were lots of lighthearted moments too, but largely, I found the atmosphere to be uncharacteristically sombre for a Final Fantasy game, especially in comparison to the happy FFIX that preceded it.

Alundra and SaGa Frontier are (yet again) two more games I haven't played. I seem to get a lot of letters regarding these games all at once, coinciding so that fate gets to point and laugh at my embarrassment. I guess that not having a Playstation is only a semi-valid excuse at this point, too...

Sad games can really help to envelop the player and get them feeling genuinely concerned about the plot and characters. If a game is powerful enough to invoke serious emotions like that, then great job, I say!

On another subject, I agree with you: Laurie has created a horribly evil question. I've got a agree with you: I'd have to give up my past games for the future games. In fact, I think that's pretty much a choice I have already made. I couldn't tell you the last time I went back and played one of my old games, particularly my really old games (circa NES, SNES, or Genesis/Sega CD). In fact, I don't even have my old Nintendo, and the other two reside in storage under my bed. I remember the games well, and I love them, but I never quite make it back to them. I'm not certain if that's a good or a bad thing, but I think I just love new experiences too much.


Me neither! I don't even know where my NES is right now, though I suspect it's in my bedroom closet collecting dust back at home. My SNES isn't hooked up either, despite its years of faithful service. More and more, I find myself paying attention to the games I still need to play, and while I'll go and replay a classic bit by bit in the background, I just don't have time to do much besides fondly recall them now and then.

There are just too many possibilities for the future to consider giving them all up. I've experienced the past, and while there are so many great RPG memories there, how could I just cut myself off from creating any more?

On the controller issue, did you have the chance to try out the Wii controller that looks like the old SNES controller? Having pulled out my Super Nintendo for a couple of the recent Sock questions, I was struck by how flimsly the controllers felt in my hands. Admittedly, I was younger and smaller (smaller being a relative term at my size) back then, but they just don't feel that solid to me. The GameCube controller is all well and good, but the Dual Shock controller fits my hand like a glove. I was terribly disappointed to see the boomerang looking disaster, but pleased to see them roll out a new, Dual Shocky version.


The SNES controller really does feel incredibly tiny to me whenever I go back and feel it. I know, too, that they were flimsier than more recent controllers, because I had to replace them on more than one occasion due to buttons whose springs would gradually wear out (seemingly) over time. Similar to the problem I had with the NES controller, I found that gradually, well-used buttons would just not bounce back as much until one day, they would be almost "sunken" into the controller, making them frustrating to use.

The Dual Shock controller is okay and nothing more to me. I find that the two hand-grip-prongs that come out the bottom are sometimes intrusive in certain games. For instance, I always change my controller scheme while playing Mega Man X games; while it was easy to Dash with A, shoot with Y, and jump with B all at once on the SNES controller, it is nearly impossible to do the same with Circle, Square, and X on the Dual Shock. There are a few other games where I find the Dual Shock sub-optimal as well, but all in all, it's a pretty solid controller.

Well, glad I decided on tonight to throw out the longest letter I've ever sent in. Either JuMeSyn is contagious, or I felt like contributing further to the letter backlog you've had lately.

266) C. Edward Chris von Muir (which I had no clue of until tonight...)
267) B. Burke and Wills




Ah, it wasn't so long. I'm just glad you thought to write in, BigWook! Just wait until you see the latest that JuMeSyn has to tomorrow or Thursday.



Gragh, I'm tired! Fatigued! In need of sleep! Any way you want to cut it, I'll be much more human once this horrible week is finished with. In the meantime...


***Answers to July 21st's Questions***

#266. c) Edward Chris von Muir - 335 points/670 for Donovan (I knew this somehow, beforehand, though I'm not really sure how. If you don't believe this, check it out at Wikipedia and other places on the web. Thanks, Donovan, for the submission!)

#267. a) Christopher Columbus - 450 points (Excellent question, Bainick! This wasn't actually a history question; it referred to Terranigma, an RPG that didn't make it to North America but DID get released in PAL territories once upon a time! Thanks, Bainick, for the great co-hosting job!)

***Today's New Questions***

DMJewelle casts Blind! The questions were obscured!

Reader-Submitted #268: Whi*# -.rking y(ur waT TEh @orld -. Ebe-mor# wiTH -our .rusTU dOg coM)nIpn qt Y.-. ...e, ^ou MEER up with a cHtfcTwr f4.m an0.heR game seLL*n. armpr. From whhhh G... -* $#*! -.e.ial Gue*t sTAR/ (375 points)

a) Wecret o. -aNa
b) FiN** FAnytsu *V
c) FhrIno ^
d) Breat. or FIRE
e) F-nt.-! V*

#269: Whta LEtter did - .$rtain CR#epy Stepple DwYll!r swip# form TEH inpU% mEnu, JaK--. it ijp055ible tO Gu-.s his name corRwctlu tHE f*r.. t-me? (450 points)

a) i
b) ,
c) A
d) P
e) f

BigWook has used an Apocalypse Spell. I couldn't notify everyone, especially those who haven't been actively participating; those people have been included in the following list.

FinalDelerium: You've lost 1000 points at the hands of a Thundara spell and wasted a Point Tripler.
Colabottle: You've lost your Esuna spell because of someone else's Sneak Glove, and Drained 589 points from Alexander.
Kyre7lar: You wasted a Quick spell, and had your Blind Spell stolen from you.

And now, the big announcement. Final Fantasy XII is now on the SOCK shop's item list!! If you can accumulate the points, the game is as good as yours; I'll have it and mail it to you on launch day if at all possible. I'm so excited, I could just burst! If you want to get into the game, it's really simple! Just start sending in your answers to questions, and you'll quickly rack up points that you can spend! Gain enough, and Final Fantasy XII may be yours. It's easier to ascend through the ranks than you might, think, too. Check out the complete rules for more!

I've also heard tell that Ouro has some big news as well. You'll have to stay tuned for this weekend to see exactly what he's up to, but I'll give you a hint: It has to do with spectacular new prizes as well!

STRAGGLERS: (people who I love, but who still need to check their e-mail or somehow get in touch with me because they have unclaimed items- if you fall off the list after a week, 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!

Click Here for a Complete List of SOCK Items and Rules!

SOCK's Item List

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

2,000 points: Your choice of Mythril Sword (2 left) or Aux. Point Generator (1 left)
3,500 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (1 left) or Mythril Armor (1 left)
5,000 points: Your choice of Ultra Sneak Glove (1 left) or Haste Spell (1 left)
7,000 points: Your choice of Blizzaga Spell (2 left) or Damage Deflector (3 left)
10,000 points: Your choice of Merton Spell (2 left) or Confuga Spell (2 left)
14,000 points: Your choice of Point Tripler (2 left) or Killer Sword (2 left)
19,000 points: Your choice of Economizer (2 left) or Staff of Aid (1 left)
25,000 points: Your choice of Demiga Spell (2 left) or Nightmare Staff (2 left)

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. (3 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! [Pictured] (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. [Pictured] [Inside, Pictured] (1 left)

15,000 points: Bonus Cohost Opportunity- I like giving these out because I don't have to pay for shipping. (1 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. Not really a keychain as much as it is something to put ON a keychain, but better used as a figurine, I think. [Slime Snail, Pictured] (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. [Front, Pictured] [Back, Pictured] (2 left)

30,000 points: Your choice of Megaman X4, X5, or X6 for the PS1 (NTSC). The instructions are in each, but the jewel cases are cracked from use. (3 left)

50,000 points: Vandal Hearts (PAL) for the PS1. One of the earliest tactical RPGs of the Playstation era. Latch onto this if you're a PAL gamer and you have enough points! Thanks to Sean for the donation. (1 left)

50,000 points: Final Fantasy VII (PAL) for the PS1. If you're a PAL gamer who still hasn't experienced the greatness of this game, this is your perfect chance! This is another donation by Sean! (1 left)

50,000 points: Suikoden for the PS1. Play the game that started off the entire series! Thanks so much to Ouro and Sean for donating these - it would be cool to send them to a good and loving home. (1 left in NTSC-format, 1 left in PAL-format!)

100,000 points: Arc the Lad Collection (NTSC), for the PS1. 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. (1 left)

100,000 points: Final Fantasy XII (NTSC), for the PS2. It'll be tough, but this game can be yours if you can scrounge up the points. Only one is available, so do your very best! (1 left)

Wow, I'm totally zonked! I know that there's a lot of e-mail left in the inbox, but I have to get to bed, or I'm going to be a dead man in the morning.

Until then, what are your thoughts on Square Enix and their recent announcements concerning Mognet and Final Fantasy III? What about the assertion that they are not working on a Final Fantasy XI sequel? Let me know what is burning, burning, burning, in your fiery little minds!!
***Matt can't believe how much work an Apocalypse spell takes...

Send a Question

Ouch. Like, wow. HOURS of work, that's how much! You little whippersnapper, you, BigWook! I had fun with it though...


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1. Lunar: SSSC

2. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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What do I want to play?

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Xenosaga: Episode III

3. Disgaea II

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