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ASK MATT
Letters of Reference September 6, 2006

Matthew Demers - 21:51 EST

THERE'S BEEN LOTS OF NEWS from Sony over the last little while. Have any of you heard any of it? I'm afraid it doesn't bode terribly well for many people who might have been looking forward to it this fall. Apparently, I read this morning that Sony has delayed the launch of the PlayStation 3 until March of 2007 for European and Australian markets. Additionally, it appears as though the HD cables that will be required for the High-Definition output that Sony has been boasting about for the past while will not be included; you'll have to buy 'em separately, on top of what I consider to be an already excessive price. Tasty.

I'm sure that many of you already heard about these things, but I'll let those of you that haven't chew on it a bit while I start on the day's letters. Good good? Let's go.




LETTERS
Guess what game this guy is playing, zam?


Hey Matt,

I'm a first time questioner, long time reader (I've always wanted to type that... not sure why). Anyway, sorry to hear about the bug bites - be glad they aren't on the back of your leg. Imagine having to walk around all day with the back of your leg itching like nuts, makes walking almost impossible (and, yes, I am speaking from experience).

Matt

Oh... yeah... having walked bare-legged up and down rows of tomatoes, and peppers back at the farm, I had plenty of those too. Highly not fun.

And yes, that opening statement has become fairly popular around here, hasn't it? I swear, it won't be long before people won't be able to say that anymore. Once EVERYONE has written in (insert a boom of thunder) we'll have to adopt a new classic first line, won't we?

Anyway, whaddya got for me?

On to the reason I'm writing in - you posed the question, 'what was the first RPG you ever played?' and even though I'm supposed to be asking a question, not answering one, I felt compelled to do so anyway. I highly doubt there is anyone out there who has even heard of this game before, but the first RPG I ever played was on the Commodore 64 computer and it was called 'Tangled Tales'. Put simply, it was a strange game where they took every well-known fairy tale and a few pop references, mixed them all together, made a somewhat coherent storyline out of them and then turned it into a comedy. In fact, you start off as a powerful wizard's apprentince who has had all of his power stripped from him because you decided to scare the other apprentice by conjuring a squirrel (which the apprentice has a phobia about) only to accidentally conjure a 25 foot tall squirrel who goes on a rampage and destroys half the countryside. Oops.

Matt

Sweet. I need to get me one of those! It might even shorten my twenty-five minute walks to campus, if only I could find a good sturdy megasquirrel saddle.

I honestly can't remember the battle system all that much anymore, just bits and parts of the hilarious storyline (Goldilocks ends up talking like a valley girl, complaining about wanting to go to the mall, while the three bears have actually escaped from a traveling circus). I do remember that it was the first time I heard of many RPG terms, such as creating a party. Since I was rather young at the time I played the game, and the instruction booklet showed a picture of all the adventureres sitting at a table drinking ale, I honestly thought that at some point of the game you went to a pub for a party (I blame the instruction booklet entirely for that misconception).

Matt

Oh, I totally know what you mean! I remember playing some old King's Quest games when I was really young, and in the instruction manuals, they'd give an example of a homemade map, marking off different features and items that I naturally thought I'd come across along the course of my adventure. It was just a hypothetical map, but I remember being genuinely worried that I was missing some big part of the game. Silly, stupid young me.

I can say with certainty that you're one of a VERY few people to get their RPG start with a Commodore 64 game. That isn't very common at all, but it still brought you all the way to this very website today!

Currently, I am also playing Disgaea 2 right now. I love this freakin' game! I'm currently searching the Item Worlds for the Chicken Pirates (partly curiosity, partly because I love seeing the screen flash red with the words "The chicken pirates are attacking!" - it cracks me up every time). I so can't wait for the anime. There's a question - does anyone know the exact release date or of anywhere you can pre-order your copy of the Disgaea DVD?

Matt

I've heard bits and pieces of information here and there, and I did a ten-minute search just for you, but I haven't been able to locate too much. I've heard that while it doesn't quite stick exactly to the original game, it's still fairly entertaining and contains a lot of great characters, like Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth, and Midboss. Yay!

I'll try to remember to report anything I hear, here, in the future, if hear anything I do.

Oddly enough, I also bought Xenosaga III on the same day, but as I have yet to finish the second one, I have to hold off on playing the third. For those who can't believe I haven't finished the second one - you have no idea how many RPGs I have and how little time I have to play them... plus, I play WOW as well, so that pretty much explains everything. For those who are all upset about Xenosaga stopping at III, I think there is one small thing everyone has overlooked. Yes, it is possible they may not continue the series - however - you aren't missing anything either. Let me explain: way, way back when they originally announced Xenosaga I and mentioned the six planned titles, they also announced that the first game would take place thousands of years before Xenogears. They also said that Xenogears was part of the original six-part storyline that the creator (his name escapes me for the moment) had come up with. But, Xenogears wasn't the first of the six - it was the 5th. Supposedly, Square opted to only make the 5th game of the six because it had the most action in it. For all I know, that is just rumor. Due to the time difference, it became apparent that the six games would have to be split at some point. Originally, everyone assumed the first game would be a set-up story that would then flashforward to the future for the second game so that they could set up the events that led to the 5th game (xenogears). But, now it is apparent that they had always had the story split into two trilogies - the first three take place in the past, the second three in the future during the time of the xenogears game. What does this lengthy explanation mean? Simply put - the game more than likely wasn't changed to pack the story of IV, V and VI into it, they simply opted to stop after the first trilogy and not do the second one. But, don't forget that money talks, so if they have really good sales on III, they may just make the second trilogy - there is always hope.

Matt

Oh... there's no need to defend yourself about your backlog. Join the club. I have a thousand games that I'd love to go back and play. Heck, I'm still technically working on Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, if you can believe that!

And indeed, your words ring true. The people at Monolith Soft made a rather vague announcement not long ago about the future of Xenosaga, and indeed, I think that nothing is set in stone at this point. I suspect that since Xenosaga III has been received so well, relative to the previous entries, that we haven't seen the end of Xenogames at all. Sure, there's a little speculation there, but I'm all about stirring things up a bit every now and then!

Well, that's all from me. Thanks for letting me rant on - I'll try to think up a good question for you next time. I must now return to Disgaea 2 before I go to work, zam.

Scott J. Karr


Matt

Not to worry, zam! Q&A isn't just about questions, zam. Feel free to write, rant, muse, ramble (within reason), blab, or anything, zam. I'm only glad that you're interested enough to take the time to write in, zam.

Thanks very much, Scott!



When it's just not your thing...


Ok Matt, play salesman for a minute.

I love tactical RPGs, but for some reason I couldn't get into the first Disgaea. I don't know if it was the gameplay or pacing or what. I know that reviews have said that it is more of the same, but there would have to be some reasons for someone that loves tactical RPGs, but couldn't get into the original to get this game. Can you share those reasons with me?

- Macstorm


Matt

Hey, Mac!

Disgaea is endearing to me, but it definitely isn't a game that might be enjoyable to absolutely everyone. Despite the details and interesting ideas, the game is far from perfect. Let's see why...

a) The AI really isn't very good. It would be awesomely cool if the computer was smart enough to use lift and throw commands to its advantage, or better yet, manipulate geopanels to gain the upper hand in combat. Unfortunately, computer-controlled characters are really dumb, always using the "always attack the lowest-level person within range; if no one is in range, don't move at all" tactic, which can get old quickly.

b) The game has an odd balance, in that you can be powerful enough to take on any opponent, yet still be easily defeatable in one or two well-placed hits, even with spells like "Shield" or "Magic Wall" on. Thus, defensive tactics, which are integral in games like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics are often completely pointless in this game, and the best strategy to take, most of the time, is a purely offensive one, which ends up feeling bland after awhile. Levelling-up is often a big necessity in order to gain the upper hand, and not everyone is into that.

Despite those things, I've really loved Disgaea for its silly yet strangely emotional plotline, its off-the-wall characters, its ability to poke fun at the RPG genre, and most of all, its incredibly in-depth character building aspect. With dozens of classes and the ability to reincarnate to slowly become more and more powerful, it was really easy to get lost in the original game.

I can definitely understand the reasons, though, why someone might not be a big fan. I'd say that if you didn't like Disgaea at first, don't buy the second one unless you go back, try Disgaea again, and find something to enjoy about it. Its sequel IS just a wonderful extension of the same game, largely.

Thanks for writing in! Hopefully that helps you out a bit!



Still more on Disgaea 2!


Hey Matt!

I just got Disgaea 2 last week and boy is it better than expected. From what I read in some of the reviews online at 1up.com had me worried, but it turns out that they were dead wrong!

Matt

Well, I'll bet that they weren't really that wrong. I haven't read the review, but I find that most of the time, when a game hasn't made big, huge, strides forward and radically changed somehow, it will tend to suffer in reviews at popular websites. Additionally, since Disgaea games aren't exactly RPGs that rely on graphics for entertainment, they're bound to lose the upper-hand at many of those websites by default as well. It's sad, but true. What ratings do you think Dragon Quest VIII would have received if it had had sprite based graphics and a tiled overworld?

Personally, I don't think that a game has to change much in order to be fantastic. While Disgaea 2 isn't perfect, I'm really enjoying it, and that's what counts most for me!

What do you think about the new setup of the Item World? I like the fact that they now add some neat hidden rooms, like an all important Hospital or Item Merchants that sell rare weapons and armor, but the only thing I don't like is the way the stage props are set up. I loved in the original's Item World that you would see larger than life background pieces of what item you were in, but this game they did away with that. Instead they use monoliths that have the item type plastered on them. Ah well, at least the random stage set ups aren't as screwy as the original's. I also thought the idea of having Pirates attack you when you least expect it was a cool little addition as well. And I for one want to see how this story turns out, mostly to see if some of my observations are right.

Matt

Oh my. I never even realized that the Item World had those displays before! I knew that there were often big objects strewn about here and there, but I never made that connection. How interesting!

I'm really happy with the changes they made to the Item World. Having to flee whenever the pirates come onto the scene is scary and fun, and the fact that you can hospitalize your wounded every ten floors is a very welcome sigh of relief. It's still a bit scary to have to go for possibly many hours without saving, but the hospitals are a nice cushion.

I wasn't so thrilled with the story at first, but I'm slowly growing fonder of it, and I'm hoping it will end as a worthy successor to the original!

Oh, and here are your sock Answers!

#302: D. A kid from a fishing village who fell in love with a mermaid. This refers to Fuyuki in Valkyrie Profile in Yumei's recrutement scene. And I for one want to smack him upside the head for his thick headded wish!

#303: C. Mana +50%. I played enough time in Disgaea's Item World as well as the story to know this one by heart!

Well, catch you later!

Witecat


Matt

Thanks, Witecat! Nice job on the SOCK questions, too. Keep it up, and you might just score yourself something nice one day soon!



I love it when my namesakes write in. It's like I'm talking to myself, though it's not really like that at all.


Matt,

I've never written in before today, but the question of "Which game got you started in the world of RPGs?" forced me to write in about my favorite game: Wild Arms. There are definately mixed reactions about the game, not the least of which being "Wild Arms? What kind of game is that?" However, personally, I loved Wild Arms for the PS1. Yes, I will agree that in battle graphics were horrendous compared to that of Final Fantasy VII or any other other games from back then, but that isn't what kept me going. The story, the music, and the characters were some of the best I've seen.

While many would see the story as being nothing special, back then it was very solid. There was a good amount of humor involved as well. The music was great, Michiko Naruke is an excellent composer and the music always felt right. And really, can anyone hate a cool little windmouse like Hanpan? (Who could totally kick Pooka's butt from WA2).

Matt

Wild Arms is one of those games that is loved by some, hated by others, and unknown by many more. I personally had my first crack at the series when I played through Alter Code F earlier in the year. It just wasn't my thing, due to several factors that I don't believe were present in the original (the ORIGINAL original). It would be neat to go back and experience what the "real" first one was like someday, but it seems unlikely at this point. Obviously, it must have some redeeming qualities if it possesses such a devoted fanbase! Graphics aren't everything, and to me, the fact that FFVII looked better at the time shouldn't even be a point worth bringing up. Oh well.

Anyway, I digress. There you have it, my intro into the realm of RPGs. Yes, I've planned many an RPG since then, Final Fantasy VII, VIII, & X (IX was just bad), Star Ocean III, Chrono Trigger, Golden Sun, and the list keeps growing.

As a side note, I will say that the series has gone downhill with each number that has been made. 2 was decent, 3 alright, 4 just grated on my nerves. Here's to hoping that Vth Vanguard and Wild Arms XF for the PSP take Wild Arms back to its roots (as well as finding their way to this side of the Pacific).

Matt

That's interesting. I've spoken to several people who thought that WA4's interesting hexabattlesystem supreme was a unique and refreshing twist, so it's good to have your input. We haven't heard much about Vth Vanguard yet, but rest assured that when we do, you'll hear about it!

Because, I don't want to write a letter without a question for the Q&A, I'll throw this out there for you. Do you enjoy the trend that many RPGs are going for their battles, or would you prefer a return to turn-based action of the past? For me, I would love to get my hands on a newer RPG that focused just as much on the actual story as they do on 'innovating' the battle system.

From someone with as cool a name as you,
Matt


Matt

Well Matt, that's a bit of a loaded question! I think that I like the fact that we have the variety that we have right now. Even though my roots are with Dragon Quest in turn-based land, I'm just not always in the mood for it. I like to play newer games with innovative ideas as much as the next gamer, so the fact that I can bounce back and forth between new-age and tried-and-true makes me a happy man. Now, if only I had more time to devote to both, I'd be even happier!

Story-wise, I think that RPGs have gone nowhere but forward. Look to the past, and you'll see that plot standards for RPGs have increased dramatically over the last fifteen years. Today's games with "poor stories" have way, way more complex plots than anyone would have imagined back on the NES!

Anyway, Mattykins (sorry, I had to), I'm glad you decided to write in. I hope you decide to do so again, sometime in the not-so-distant future!



A question about my questions...?


Hey there, Matt!

How do you come up with all your trivia questions for the SOCK?
-CW


Matt

My secret question database, locked away inside my cerebral cortex, of course! It's like MOMO's Y-data, except I call it the, uh, M-data.

Honestly? I get half the questions from you guys. The other half consists totally of things that I come up with while cooking or jogging or answering your questions. Occasionally while I'm gaming, I'll come across something truly SOCK-worthy, like Lunar's outtakes and Radiata's Mr. Peanut. I wish I had M-data though...it'd be so much cooler that way.



Xenosaga, Half-Life, and Final Fantasy XII


Say, Matt, my understanding of the Xenosaga series was such that these Shion-based games were actually all segments of the first one, maybe two actual PARTS of the series (of which Xenogears was episode 5, I mean.) I was under the impression that we were only getting a little taste of Perfect Works (which is the whole Xenogears/saga tale in its entirety, for you uninitiated/non-nerds) with Xenosaga.

It sort of follows with the fact that Xenogears itself took about 50 to 60 hours to finish, whereas the Xenosaga games clock in around the 20-hour area each. At least the first two did; I got the third for my birthday (along with a HEAP of other games, including Elder Scrolls IV, Shadow of the Colossus, and Half-Life 2 Ep. 1. More on that in a bit) but probably won't crack it for some time.

I mean, if I'm wrong, then never mind. But I do remember hearing something to that effect, that the Shion story was being drawn out over several games, which left a whole chunk of stories between Xenosaga (part 1, maybe 2 as well?) and Xenogears (part 5.)

Matt

No, you raise a really good point! While both of the Xenosaga boxes of Episodes I and II blab on about how the games have 80 hours of gameplay each, I really must have been asleep for most of that time, since I seem to recall spending around 35 hours on each of them, and I usually take longer-than-average to beat my games. I guess the in-game clock must have fallen asleep, too. *cough*

To be honest with you, I can't really say what the truth is about the layout of the entire saga. I think everybody has their own theory, so maybe we should find the original author and get HIM/HER to write into Q&A so we can finally find out the truth! Now wouldn't that be something special?

That helps to avoid the "Xenogears Disc 2" phenomenon that most people hated but I enjoyed, in which everything started happening really fast and the narrative broke down to a weird sort of flashback thing, with one character literally shown sitting in a chair surrounded by blackness, recollecting the story. But it also helps to line the pockets of Namco a bit, at $39.99 a pop. Greedy bastards.

Matt

$39.99!? Episode II was released in Canada at $69.99! The agony! The price has come down since, but man, I blew a nice hunk of change for that game, I'll tell you that much.

I hear you, though. Smaller games makes development much more manageable, obviously, but simultaneously causes RPGamers financial agony of .hack proportions. There's a game I never got into...

I can't really tell if I hope there's more or less of the story to be told. If there's less, then I feel like I'm missing out on less stuff when those games don't get made (I don't think they will, personally; I didn't think either of the first two Xenosagas had anything even close to a good game sandwiching the remarkable story). If there's more, then that's great, because there's more.

What I CAN say is I've heard about this catch-up thing that Xenosaga III has to do, where they basically tell you the plot of a whole other game that didn't get made, set before THIS one. And that annoys me. I'm willing to watch the 30-minute cutscenes that fill any given Xenosaga title, because i'm PLAYING that game. I'm making those events happen. I don't want to be filled in on a bunch of crap that I missed and had no part in acting out. I feel like I've been cheated. That's why I start every series I get into from the beginning.

Matt

I've heard the same, and it makes you wonder if those missing events were originally planned to be Xenosaga: Episode III, or better yet, the end of Xenosaga: Episode II, which seemed to end somewhat abruptly, as far as I can remember. Given the fact that reportedly, there seemed to be many difficulties in constructing Episode II in the first place, we're pretty lucky we got a game at all.

Almost everyone I've heard from has been so utterly impressed with the plotline in Episode III, though, so I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed in the end. Hopefully that helps to make up for some of the pain!

I mean, even now, I started playing the original Half-Life again recently; partially because i planned on getting HL2 Episode 1, partially because I'd just finished Doom 3 and wanted to remember what a GOOD shooter plays like. (Seriously, the fact that Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 were released anything less than four years apart is ridiculous. I mean, Doom 3 was OK and all, and I liked the creepy sci-fi horror vibe it had going, but it's hard to make a convincing argument for graphical superiority when you spend your entire game in the dark. And it's hard to make a convincing argument for any sort of superiority when your FLASHLIGHT MUST BE USED INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY WEAPONS. Sorry, griping about games from three years ago. That aren't even RPGs.)

Oh yeah. You know what I love? Half-Life.

Matt

That's OK, Adam. You've been reading long enough to know that I'm prone to tangential talk too. You're forgiven.

I'm not even playing any RPGs at the moment; I needed a break after wasting 40 hours on Alter Code: F. You were 100% right about that game, Matt. I just didn't want to believe. I COULDN'T believe. Well, now I know. In any case, I'm finally playing God of War on the PS2, which I didn't pick up until it dropped in price, and I'm plowing through the whole Half-Life series, expansions included, on the PC. It's a good time.

Matt

Oh, I'm sorry that you had to find out the hard way! The game wasn't a complete write-off, but I found it to be really disappointing. The interesting dungeon design and puzzle boxes just weren't enough to overcome the terrible dialogue, unbalanced battle system, and glitchy gameplay. But, as I say, there wouldn't be any above average games without below average games, and playing disappointing titles really helps one to appreciate the RPGs that are truly outstanding. If I were Calvin's dad, I'd just say "They build character!"

I'm glad you're enjoying the shooting and blasting and such, though. Everyone needs a break from time to time, and Half-Life seems to be a rather critically-acclaimed, well-made game.

I'm trying to decide what RPG to pick up next, though. I've got so damn many of them kicking around. It may be Wild Arms 4. It may be Atelier Iris. I think I'll find the shortest one of the bunch and go with that one. Until then, I'm sticking with fairly quick (by comparison) games that I own and have yet to play, like Killer7, Eternal Darkness, Metal Gear Solid 3, and...I don't know, whatever else I have. I think the rest of my very long list is all RPGs.

Matt

There are many out there, and there are many more to come. If you're going for short, I don't really know what to tell you. The shortest game I've played in recent history was Riviera: The Promised Land, which took me just over twenty hours to get through. Final Fantasy V and III are likely to be finishable in forty hours or less, though there's bound to be a bunch of bonus material that wasn't ever present before, potentially extending your allotment.

Also, I got to play fifteen minutes of FFXII at GameStop or something the other day. I don't really know how I feel about it, but I definitely enjoyed the combat on the map rather than on a whole new screen. One thing that did bug me, that may have just been a feature of the demo: I couldn't find a status screen. No way to open up a menu. I hope that's not actually the way the game is; even action titles have menus.

-TV's Adam


Matt

Ah, let me rest your mind a bit. If it was the same demo that came with Dragon Quest VIII, the menu screen was locked. From the demo I played at E3, there was definitely a menu that you could go into to fiddle with gambits, status screens, and more. I'm not completely sold on the battle system myself, but we're at the climax here. Final Fantasy XII, one of the most anticipated RPGs of the decade, is only a little more than six weeks away. There will be much to talk about soon!

Thanks for writing in. I'm always glad to hear from you!



A question about my questions...?


For the 40k prized you have a "Blizzaja" listed. Is this a typo or the fabled Ice 4?

--

Alexander M. DeMichiei


Matt

You betcha. I don't really know for a fact that it would be called "Blizzaja", but I followed the lead from Final Fantasy IV Advance, since Cure4 is renamed "Curaja", if I remember correctly. I believe that Fire 4, Ice 4, and Bolt 4 were all spells you could learn in Final Fantasy Tactics, though, so while they might be fabled, they're definitely not unprecedented!

The cool thing about Firaja and Blizzaja is that they provide a guaranteed way of burning or freezing their targets, if they're aimed at just one contestant. Thundaja throws out an enormous number of randomly aimed bolts of lightning, and Waterja gives you a huge amount of damage to play with. It'll be fun for the whole family! <3





THE NEXUS

I got a surprising number of e-mails from concerned readers about my arm. Yes, I'm pretty sure that it was a spider that somehow found itself in my bed a few nights ago; there are exactly five bite marks within a two-square-inch surface area on my left forearm. They weren't as itchy last night until I tried to go to bed, when they started to scream in agonizingly fiery histaminey fury.

I had had enough. I found a new solution to my problem! I went to the bathroom, and ran hot (not scalding, but hot) water over the bites for about five minutes. It created some bizarre feelings in my arm for a time, but when I went back to bed, it wasn't feeling itchy anymore, and I dozed off to sleep shortly thereafter. Moral of the story? If you've been bitten bad, blast bites with some running hot water. I guess that was a pretty obvious moral; I'm sorry I couldn't come up with anything more profound.


Caption


For complete contest rules, click here!


Answers to September 5th's Questions

#302. d) a kid in a fishing village who fell in love with a mermaid - 530 points/1,060 for Leaper
A very nice and difficult (but gettable!) question submitted by Leaper. Why? The characters referenced are from Pokémon and Valkyrie Profile, which shared many voice actors; the character described second is voiced in the exact same voice/tone as the corresponding Pokemon character! So fitting, since we talked so much about voice acting in yesterday's column. About half of you got this one right, which isn't too bad. Thanks for the submission!

#303. c) Mana + 50% - 525 points
Was this one really worth 525 points? I should have made it 450. This one was very easy to research, but I felt like putting it up anyway, because easy questions are nice every now and then, and besides, I'm a bit Disgaea-obsessed at the moment. Congrats to everyone who got it right!



Today's New Questions

#304:
Which of the following options, when added to the end of the following quote, will produce a line that you cannot reproduce in the original Dragon Warrior?

"From where thou art now, my castle lies..."
(600 points)

a) 36 to the north, and.. 32 to the west.
b) 38 to the north, and.. 34 to the west.
c) 44 to the north, and.. 35 to the west.
d) 39 to the north, and.. 26 to the west.
e) 43 to the north, and.. 24 to the west.


#305:
In Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, what power of 1/4 does your D-Ratio start out as? (525 points)

a) 1/32
b) 13/2
c) 32/13
d) 13/3
e) 1/33


And we now have WAILMER dominating the top of the SOCK Scoreboard! I promise you they aren't all Pokémon, either. Oh, by the way, the details on Cacnea can now be found in the rule guide, in case any of you are interested.

Also, the 2,000 level is being phased out, so after being the first benchmark for so long, it will sadly be replaced by the 3,500 level as #1. Try not to shed too many tears, everybody. *sniffle*



SOCK's Item List

Obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!

2,000 points: Fire Spell (2 left) or Sneak Glove(2 left)
3,500 points: A.P.G. (2 left), Mythril Armor (2 left), or Point Tripler (2 left)
5,000 points: Item Hog (2 left), Point Doubler (2 left), or Firaga Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Watera Spell(1 left), Hastera Spell (1 left), or Blind Spell (1 left)
10,000 points: Merton Spell (1 left), Hyper Beam (1 left), or Light Converter (2 left)
14,000 points: Red Gem (1 left), White Gem (2 left), or Killer Sword (1 left)
19,000 points: Esuna Spell (2 left), Rename Card (2 left), or Drainra Spell (2 left)
25,000 points: Summon Encyclopedia (1 left), Apocalypse Spell(1 left), or Nightmare Staff (1 left)
32,000 points: Point Quadrupler (2 left), Mythril Sword (2 left), or Hastega Spell (2 left)
40,000 points: Flare Spell (2 left), Sean's Dictionary of Doom (2 left), or Blizzaja Spell (2 left)
50,000 points: Regega Spell (2 left), Rebirth Stone (2 left), or Hyper Sneak Glove (1 left)

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!)

  • BLG


SOCK's Prize Shop

Obtain enough points, and you may buy items, merchandise, or guest-hosting positions.

Click here for the current list of potential prizes!


IN CLOSING

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Xlash won't be joining us for a few weeks yet. Do you know what that means, though? It means you get more of ME! Ahahaha! I know that a lot of your mail is waiting urgently to get answered, and trust me; I'm on it! I'm always accepting new letters, though, so if you have something to say about the world of RPGs and/or video gaming, do it! Do it here, at RPGamer's Q&A.


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt thinks that the "Head-On" commercial is absolutely ridiculous, and tragically low-budget.


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Matt's Top 5 Most Wanted Games:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Xenosaga: Episode III

3. Final Fantasy XII

4. Final Fantasy V

5. Children of Mana

Top 5 Games Matt's Playing Right Now:

1. Disgaea II

2. Fire Emblem GBA

3. Grandia III

SOCK's Top 35:

--Wailmer--
HP: 3,750
----------
1. Erika
40,651 pts

2. Aurelius
36,040 pts

3. JokingChimer
31,150 pts

4. Kanato
29,715 pts

5. DMJewelle
28,666 pts

6. Alan Tse
25,320 pts

7. Leaper
21,683 pts

8. LufiaLvr
20,804 pts

9. Purelunatic
19,438 pts

10. BigWook
18,584 pts

11. Alexander
18,525 pts

12. CW
18,401 pts

13. Belthasar2
17,393 pts

14. Cap
17,326 pts

15. Tabor
16,142 pts

16. Arros Raikou
15,820 pts

17. Draconn
15,590 pts

18. Boojum
13,998 pts

19. JuMeSyn
12,779 pts

20. TV's Adam
12,376 pts

21. Dermot
12,196 pts

22. Ourobolus
11,884 pts

23. Macstorm
11,460 pts

24. BLG
11,363 pts

25. DDX
11,203 pts

26. Bainick
10,400 pts

27. MrMSty
10,145 pts

28. Hunter B
9,779 pts

29. MagRowan
9,518 pts

30. Megan
9,358 pts

31. Colabottle
9,175 pts

31. Xlash
9,147 pts

33. Gaijin
8,653 pts

34. Erunion
8,415 pts

35. Vigilante
7,380 pts

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