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ASK MAGROWAN & MATT
Dissension Among the Ranks September 15, 2006

MagRowan - 19:26 EST

YEAY FOR WII! Yeay for Final Fantasy Fall! Yeay for more games than you could possibly purchase and/or play! It's that time of year again! Get out your wallets, start moonlighting for extra cash, beg and plead your parents for your next year's allowance in advance!

Seriously, I am ready to jump on the band wagon of fall gaming, as I am sure many of you are as well. I would have to say, the thing I am most excited for is the Wii, and its virtual console. Legacy Nintendo games all for the price of a used cart. Not bad, not bad at all, Nintendo. ^_^

Enough drooling and dreaming though, it's time again for me to assist in the reading of your question and answer mail!




LETTERS
One-screen wonders or two-hour conclusiathons?


Subject: Just finished Xenosaga...

And I must say, I at least felt satisfied by the ending. Perhaps because of its length.


MagRowan

Well, I'm glad that you are a satisfied customer. That makes me feel that my chances of being another satisfied customer are greatly increased! Yeay!

Which brought to mind the question, what do you appreciate in an ending? For one thing, depending on the nature of the game, it need not wrap up every single plot thread (although I must be certain a sequel is coming). I do appreciate taking the time to "close the book" at least somewhat on all PCs equally. Length certainly comes into it, because if it goes to a certain time frame, I at least FEEL like it's trying to cover its bases.

What about you/the readers?

MagRowan

Hmmm... For endings, like you, I do appreciate some sort of wrap up, but there is such a thing as going too far. I can't think of an RPG instance right now, but a certain movie Episode III with the series initials of SW certainly is an ending that 'closed the book' a little too much.

I want to know the ending, but jeeze leave something up to the imagination.

So far, out of all the endings for RPGs I've played, I'd say Final Fantasy VI is my favorite because it has a little something for each character, but it doesn't over indulge in trying to fulfill all the storyline.

The worst example of an ending for me would be Breath of Fire. That was the quickest ending I have ever seen. If I remember correctly, it lasted all of two minutes, maybe even less, and ended with an obscure flash of the goddess character you defeat at the end.

SOCK:

Wow, is it me, or is the blindness particularly brutal today?

MagRowan

I think the blindness has been particularly brutal all week. Must be the encroaching winter bringing the onset of blindness in us all. ;)

Matt

Ah... these things come in waves. It had been weeks since the last Blind Spell before this week, and I bet we won't see another one for quite awhile. Of course, now that I've said that, someone will almost certainly try to prove me wrong. Meanies.



Calling occupants of interplanetary craft~


I picked up a DS Lite yesterday. The shiny new black ones were just too good to pass up. I decided to see what games were coming out for it this Fall, and I saw a game that I had heard about on RPGamer a while back, and then promptly forgotten: Contact. After doing some research, I'm quite intrigued...

1) Distributed by Atlus, always promising

2) The box art is hilarious, and supposedly, the storyline is equally humorous.

3) The graphic style seems old-school, and a few of the screenshots I saw seem very similar to Earthbound.

Atlus + Funny + Earthbound-type-looking Graphics = Congratulation! A winner is you!

Matt

Congrats on your new toy!! I'm 100% certain that you will not be disappointed by it. The black ones do look slick and wonderful, and part of me wishes that I had waited. Then, though, I realize exactly how sexy the white ones look too, and once my Wii is in my living room, just imagine how nice they'll look side by side (or side by each, as my dad would say)? I'm giddy about it, and I normally don't really care about how nice a console actually looks from the outside. I could say the same about people: It's what's inside that counts... <3

Contact does look uniquely wonderful, and it would be a lot of fun to have a copy myself. The struggle begins, though: Do I want Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime more? What about Mega Man ZX, Children of Mana, the new Star Fox game, or Yoshi's Island 2? Well, actually, I'm getting the last one regardless, because I loved the original Yoshi's Island, but there's still a bit of a quandary there, because my pockets just aren't infinitely deep, despite the math-major bag of tricks I've come to possess.

With all the big name RPGs coming out this season (How many Final Fantasy games are coming out before Christmas? Seven?), I could easily see this getting left by the wayside, which would be a shame. It seems to have lots of promise. I know I'm keeping a close eye on it.

#314: b) TH--- (Thief)
#315: e) sJimi.G ..rce 2 (Shining Force 2)

-MrMSTy


Matt

I'm afraid that you're probably right, which is just one reason why I cherry-picked your letter out of many. Contact isn't getting as much attention as it might have had if it were released at a different time; say, earlier in the summer. It looks like the team behind it had a lot of fun creating it, because it looks like an inspiring and refreshing change for the everyday. DS owners, look out for this one. It's due to hit shelves in a matter of weeks!

Thanks, MrMSty! And the answer to your question is four. I think. Dirge of Cerberus, III, V, and XII. I could easily be forgetting something else, though.



You should just stare 'em right back in the eye and tell 'em what you're there for!


Well, to start off with, I'm uncertain about my feelings about the Wii. I mean, there are certainly GB and GBA games (especially RPGs) that I'd love to get my hands on (it being the only other Final Fantasy platform helps with this), but I'm just not sure how much I want to support multiple platforms, even if one is handheld. How do multi-platform owners DO it? They must be either underage or with a good job, because I can't imagine keeping up right now. If the temptation for the Wii grows as strong as it does for the GB(A) through its games, then my resistance will definitely break down.

MagRowan

I'm a multiple platform owner myself, but I'll let you in on a little secret of mine. One, I'm generally one year behind on console purchases, so I probably won't see the new Nintendo console in my house until fall after next, and two, I tend to buy RPGs as Greatest Hits, used copies, or again way after the release date (in other words, cheap).

That is the only way I can afford multiple consoles like the PS2 and the Cube and my DS.

And since I can't help but notice that we have a female cohost, I'd like to be mildly sexist and ask her something directly: as a female gamer, do you encounter any boggled eyes or resistance when you're out and about amongst other video gamers? Perhaps it's less of an issue nowadays, if my last electronic gaming con is any indication, but one can't deny that video gaming is stereotyped as a young boy's activity. Does being a fan of RPGs in particular (as opposed to, say, FPS's) affect the reaction any?


MagRowan

Ah, the female-gamer-in-a-male-gaming-world question rears its head again. The industry is slowly evening out in regards to gender, overall, but sometimes I still find myself getting strange looks or being disregarded because I'm female.

In game stores, I get one of two responses: I get stared at like I have two heads and a cautious 'Can I help you?' from the cashier making it sound like they think I'm lost, or I get chatted up like nothing else. Usually, only in smaller shops, do I get the odd looks. Chain stores, the guys seem to like gamer girls.

As for being a huge RPG fan, strangely enough, I occasionally find it a hindrance to shopping for games. Once a person finds out I like RPGs, it's like, "That's okay, of course she likes RPGs, she's a girl." Then, if I pick up something like a fighting game, or a gory zombie game, I get the impression the cashier thinks I'm getting it for my non-existent 'boyfriend'.

Still, all in all, things have been easing up and evening out as far as male vs female goes in gaming, or so I have seen.

I hope I didn't talk your ears off, or more like exhaust your eyes with my little tirade. Thanks for asking, though! ^_^



They won't just let me be right... ;_;


I have to disagree with you: Star Ocean is not an action RPG, for two reasons. Action RPGs don't have separate "battle modes", but have you continuously fighting stuff. Also, action RPGs always have a *direct analogue* from you hitting the button to your character attacking. Star Ocean, unless you set it up a certain way, requires you to select your target first. I still haven't played the FF12 demo (it's burning a hole in my DQ8 case, but I refuse to look at it until the real game comes out) but this doesn't sound like an action RPG. Games that are action RPGs include the Mana/Seiken Densetsu games, Illusion of Gaia, and Kingdom Hearts.

Matt

You have a point, but I have to say that Star Ocean has just got to be an action RPG. It's so... action-packed. Battles are always frantic, due to the fact that combos and different moves are available to chain together and create mayhem. I know why you might say it's not an action RPG, but other sites (IGN, for example, among many other websites... not that I run to IGN for help, often. Actually, IGN lists Final Fantasy XII as a turn-based RPG. F#$@!)

*whimpers*

Well, a big part of my next argument was actually going to BE that sometimes in Star Ocean, Radiata Stories, and other Action RPGs, you DO have to lock on to enemies to run over and give them a knock on the head (or a swipe with a sword, or so on and so forth). The AI-thing still bugs me too, though. At the very least, you've got to admit that there are several very noticeable action-RPG elements present in FFXII, aren't there?

As for the gentleman complaining about KH2's leveling blitz, you might be surprised to discover that they actually embedded a "quick leveling trick" in the game. It involves Pride Rock, the Magnega spell, and a busload of flying Heartless. It's obviously intentional, because those Heartless are one of the few that always drop MP orbs, ensuring you don't have to keep using Ethers or return to a save point, and the monsters instantly respawn as soon as you re-enter the screen, unlike almost everywhere else in the game. You can span the last 25 levels within an hour or so.

--Cidolfas


Matt

Thanks for the tip, as well as your letter, Cidolfas! I'm sure your advice will be much appreciated. I can definitely understand the arguments behind why Final Fantasy XII not be a complete jump into the action-RPG world, but the feelings I got from playing the demo dictated quite clearly to me that the game was not just an everyday turn-based RPG either. Let's see what Kupomogli has to say on the matter:

Hey Matt,

Oliver is actually right. Final Fantasy 12 is nothing near being an action RPG.

The moving around is implemented as nothing more than a gimmick and doesn't involve any sortof strategy in the least due to that fact. If you load the game up to fight a battle, you'll see that regardless of whether the enemy attack hits you or not, you'll take damage, yet even if it does go right through you, a miss can still pop up. It doesn't matter if you're two feet away or twenty, the enemies attack can still hit the character when it's their turn to attack(not the other way around of course, the character has to be up on the enemy to physically attack, but the attack can still clearly miss the enemy and still take damage.)

Matt

Hmmm. I have to admit to you that from what I've played, I don't think that's completely true. I think you're right that you have to be close to monsters in order to attack them, but I'm fairly certain that if you can distance an ally from the heat of a battle, monsters won't be able to use regular attacks on them at all. The reason I say this is because there were a couple of instances when I'd be wondering where my allies were; I'd turn the camera around, and I'd see them a fair distance away fighting something off on their own. Clearly, distance has something to do with at least the likelihood of being targeted by foes, and the fact that you can alter that at any time is, I think, an element found in Action RPGs.

And yes, the game is nothing more than the ATB. If it was an action RPG, you'd be able to attack anytime you want. Yes Star Ocean makes you wait to cast a spell, but you can repeatedly attack physically or use special attacks within the second, same with any Secret of Mana game(except magic can be continuously used as long as it's not currently damaging a specific enemy.) If Final Fantasy 12 wasn't turn based due to the ATB system, then you'd be able to attack whenever you wanted, but you can't, you're forced to wait until the bar fills to attack, cast a spell, use an item, anything.

So in all, Squaresoft added the gimmick in of moving your characters around in battle to make it feel as if you're doing something, but in all respect, it's nothing more than what I've said twice and about to a third, a gimmick, and does nothing to advance the battle system in any way. Well, aside from running far enough away from the enemy to escape from battle at least.

Matt

You've brought up some different very good points, though Secret of Mana does prevent you from making any effective attacks unless you wait a couple of seconds- you'll never beat a boss unless you let your little percentage-gauge fill up. Of course, there IS no gauge like that in Final Fantasy XII at all, and you just can't go instead. So, yes, I'd agree that Secret of Mana is MORE of an Action-RPG than FFXII will be, certainly. The whole idea of throwing a bunch of games into this bucket and a whole bunch of others into another is a bit wrong, though. There are certainly games out there that don't fit into any label exactly perfectly, so I think that "RPG" would work better than anything in this case. JUST RPG. *gasp*

You've used some interesting wording there. I'm not sure if you're looking forward to the game or not, and you're usually a very opinionated writer! Are you feeling optimistic?

Anyways, FF12 is not an action RPG. To make it clear, Zelda definitely isn't, but Kingdom Hearts and the later CV titles either(getting levels up and acquiring new weapons doesn't make a game an RPG rather than give them elements.

Matt

About the Zelda thing, since I know there's always a merry debate about it. Around here, RPG enthusiasts are generally Zelda fans as well. Nintendo tends to call them Adventure/RPGs or something like that, doubtlessly because RPGs have been so few in number on their last couple of consoles. I tend to agree with you; they are more like "Adventure games with RPG elements," if I had to make a strict classification, though again, I don't see much point in going insane over labels that really have no impact on any aspects of the game itself.

That's what I want to talk about though. I think games like Secret of Evermore, Secret of Mana, Legend of Mana, Star Ocean(series,) or Tales of Destiny(series) are the only ones that can truly be called Action RPGs and that the term is thrown around far too loosely just so people can label their favorite games as RPGs. For example, Zelda has just as much that could label it as an RPG as the Mega Man series. Find extra health, change weapons, go through different areas. Sure Mega Man allows you to choose your stage and it's a platformer while Zelda isn't, but every other aspect is the same.

Matt

It's true, but it's something I wouldn't get too upset about it. Why get yourself tied up in a metaphorical knot about what kind of game something is, and just play it instead?

To me, it's pretty simple. To be an RPG, a game has to contain some visible math (and this isn't just crazy math-major-Matt talking). It could, simply enough, take the form of numbers on a stats screen, and it usually necessitates the presence of a numerical form of "life". A second must is some form of powering up the characters THEMSELVES; if characters only gain power through equipping new items, the game is likely not an RPG unless the circumstances are exceptional.

Action RPGs, to me, are simply RPGs with a couple of extra conditions attached. Firstly, free movement, as I described yesterday, and secondly, the ability to only control one ally at a time while any others are being controlled by AI. I think that those two conditions, in addition to the "RPG" definitions above, defines this "sub-genre" fairly well. In this way, though, Final Fantasy XII almost makes it, even if there are reasons why it shouldn't be included, as you guys have mentioned.

Tactical RPGs are a whole other animal, and I'm sure there are many other sub-genres that I could try writing an encyclopedia on. I'd definitely have to pass it by all of you first, though; I like that you're all ready to keep me well in check, but I only hope that you see where I'm coming from!

What are your opinions on action RPG if you really think about it? Do you think fans start throwing the term around too much? Games like Evergrace/Forever Kingdom, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Seiken Densetsu 3, Sword of Mana, Brave Fencer Musashi, Threads of Fate, and Kingdom Hearts could be examples. What are your opinions on whether these are RPGs or not. Just to have two games that no one labels as being RPGs, why not compare them to games like Lament of Innocence and Devil May Cry 3.

-andrew- -kupomogli-


Matt

Oops. I guess I described most of that in my last paragraph, so there you have it. Based on my shiny new definition, I'd say that FF:CC is indeed an Action RPG, Seiken Densetsu and Sword of Mana are definitely, and Kingdom Hearts certainly is too. I haven't played the others, but I'm sure your admirable RPG knowledge wouldn't betray us now!

Hopefully, the lesson that everybody takes home from this is that RPGs are really just a very broad range of games, and it's difficult to try and fit every single game out there into clear-cut little boxes. And Final Fantasy XII is a turn-based RPG with Action RPG elements...fair compromise?



I can't believe we're talking about Christmas and Thanksgiving already...


Well hello there, MagRowan!


MagRowan

Hi there, yourself, BigWook! ^_^

Wow, how many hostings is this for you? You're going to have an extensive list of published work before long! Congratulations!


MagRowan

I believe this will be my fourth co-hosting as of this column. I can't believe it myself! Thank you, too. I keep trying to sneak these in when I'm able. Still, I would've thought for sure Matt would've banned me by now for profuse co-hostism.

Matt

Never! I've enjoyed having you at my side, and besides, you always do a really great job when you step up. You've earned the right, many times over. :)

So, with a different view in the column, I'll go with the standard question: What game are you looking forward to most this holiday season, and why? Are you thinking big name product (Final Fantasy XII, Twilight Princess)? Are you thinking of something a bit more obscure (ummm, something more obscure)? I'm digging out from the rest of my backlog, and hoping I can survive the FFXII hype until Christmas.

MagRowan

Let's see... For RPGs, I am most looking forward to Xenosaga III. Yeah, I know, already out, but it'll be a bit before I get my hands on it. First I must finish Ep II. Still, I've really loved what I have seen of the series so far, and I've been hearing nothing but good things about the latest entry.

Non-rpg game, I'm looking forward to the next release of Karaoke Revolution in December. Total sucker for the series.

As for consoles, Wii all the way. (Odd bit of phrase wasn't that?) Price, virtual console, Nintendo franchises (see intro for more rant). Gamer Heaven.

That said, what non-gaming event are you most looking forward to this holiday season? I'm a traditionalist. My parents live about an hour away, and I'm looking forward to a pair of lazy days (Thanksgiving and Christmas) with big meals, a lot of sitting around, and a couple movies. It's incredibly relaxing.

MagRowan

Ooh! Most looking forward to Halloween, just cause we go all out for it: new costume to be made, lawn to be decorated, candy to be consumed. My family really gets into it, and so do I.

Anyway, hope you're having fun with the letters!

310) C. Lightning
311) C. Something to be cooked and eaten (although secret dodo summons would have been really cool)

Thanks!
BigWook


MagRowan

I always have fun with your guys' letters! Why do you think I keep coming back? Thanks again, BigWook!



To Wii, or not to Wii?


Matt!

So this guy writes in to say Final Fantasy XII isn't an action RPG (It's not.), but says the Zelda series is? Come on, man. It's an adventure series. And you know I'm gonna' bug you about it, like, at least once a week until everyone understands that, right? Right? Eh? Right? Right!

Matt

I think that it's becoming clear as to exactly how much mail I got on this subject; I'm really sorry that I don't have the ability to print it all! It's interesting, though, how stirring the pot in just the right way can generate so much excited debate.

Anyway! I can't wait to play with my Wii. I wouldn't say I'm a Nintendo fanboy - actually, I don't care for the majority of their software - but I agree with their stance on most of the "issues," as it were. There really hasn't been any evolution of gameplay since the days of the 16-Bit games, and I really appreciate a company trying to do something new, and not just rely on shiny pictures and high-definition televisions.

Matt

I know. I don't really care about 1080i or whatever the heck these new high-def formats are, and I don't think that the average consumer is going to rush out and spend three thousand dollars on a TV just to be able to stimulate the graphics-whore sections of their brains a bunch. Graphics are fine and dandy, and sure, they look nice. These are games, though. I want people to invest processing power into creating huge games with enormous potential for gameplay! An extra million polygons per second? I'll pass.

However, the silver lining is attached to a dark cloud, as Super Paper Mario and Twilight Princess (The Gamecube version.) have been pushed back.

Matt

Indeed, I had heard rumours about the first one awhile back. At least they haven't been completely cancelled, which would be a much blacker storm cloud.

Which leads me to my question. Would it be better to get Zelda for the Wii or the Gamecube? I ask because I seem to recall you had a chance to play it at E3.

It seems to me that because it was initially designed for the Gamecube, its controls would be tighter and more responsive. But the motion-controls of the Wii version seem to be, I don't know, tacked-on, for lack of a better word, to make it a launch title.

Does that make any sense? Did you get to play the Wii version at E3, or am I barking up the wrong tree? Any information would be appreciated.

Matt

Nope, you're barking up a perfectly fine tree, if I'm the tree you're talking about.

The thing is, I think they've concentrated much more heavily on developing the Wii version over the past year or so. At E3, the Wii version was the only playable version, and the Gamecube one was nowhere to be seen. I personally suspect that it was out of worry that people would try both and like the Gamecube version better. This isn't a knock against the Wii's controls; it's a simple fact that with such a brand new way of controlling a game, people will be designing games that are more intuitive five years down the road. In any case, it was a neat experience to play Zelda with the new controller (and it was my first time even touching the controller too). The controls took a bit of getting used to, but they were by no means "bad." Furthermore, they've apparently changed a fair amount since the E3 demo. I'm really optimistic about it!

All of that aside, I'm sure that if you wouldn't mind waiting for a couple of extra weeks, the Gamecube version will be fine too. With a tried-and-true format, and a controller that you're familiar with, you know that things will be good in Gamecube-land. I'm sure that the two will provide interestingly different experiences... perhaps some bosses or other enemies will be made harder or easier depending on the controller. It might be a lot easier to aim your bow quickly by doing it physically rather than using, say, the C-stick. On the other hand, pressing buttons instead of flicking your wrist in order to execute sword slashes might make things simpler, too. I can't wait to see!

Ah, Hell, might as well try some SOCK.

314. B, Thief. I think it's asking about color changes from promotions from Final Fantasy?

315. E, Shining Force II? A shot in the dark

Thanks for the time,
Josh (No, not that Josh)


Matt

Ah, there's room enough for the both of you. Thanks for taking the time yourself; I appreciate the letter!



This is not a Christmas Movie. At least, I don't think it will be.


The announcement of the SE game "It's a Wonderful World" for the DS made me remember how I'm very fond of games that have a contemporary setting.

http://www.jeux-france.com/images1_4_17412.html

The screenshot that have battle screens made me curious, it looks like fun, and I love Nomura's designs. Can't wait to get more details about this one.

MagRowan

Wow, that looks nice! Looks a little punkish meets Chrono Trigger to me as well. Certainly should be interesting to see how the DS draw controls would be integrated into the game given the screenshots in the background.

But on with the subject. Aside from having some kind of power and meeting demons, aliens or fantasy creatures, characters in those games get involved with people, situations and places in a world that's the same or at least much like ours. They use cell phones, they use jeans, they buy itens at pharmacies and convenience stores. Nothing against medieval or futuristic scenarios, in fact it's the opposite, I love them too. But when I think of RPGs like Earthbound and the Persona series (very excited about P3 here) I notice they touch me in a particular way that other games can't. I guess I feel more "connected". Sometimes I want a whole new world to explore.

But sometimes I want that familiar feeling of "hey, that could be me there".

MagRowan

I admit I have never turned away an RPG just because it takes place in present day or the future. Sometimes a little SciFi thrown in to spice up a genre of mostly Fantasy helps keep things interesting.

As for feeling more a part of the story because of the more modern setting, sometimes it is easier to identify with people who have the same abilities as you or concepts that fall in the current realm of probability. Heck, even seeing familiar things like skyscrapers and vending machines in a game make it easier for you place yourself in the game, since you don't have to imagine the setting, you've been there; you've lived it.

And a Final Fantasy XII spin-off for the DS... Quite interesting indeed, but who saw that coming huh? SE really loves the DS. And that makes me even happier to have one since It's becoming more and more of a playground for RPG gamers! :)

MagRowan

I have to say I'm happy and sad for the announcement of a spin-off for XII. Happy because another DS RPG is on the way; sad because S-E is on a spin-off tangent again. Still any love that S-E wants to show the DS is fine by me. I've got my trusty DS holstered and ready to go!

-Franklin


MagRowan

Thanks for the letter Franklin! And get your DS warmed up, a lot of RPGs are coming our way!





THE NEXUS

It's my turn!

I've decided that I'm going to be "pro-active," whatever that means, and stay on campus for most of my Mondays, in order to a) have a large block of time to devote to writing my thesis/doing assignment work, b) hold office hours for my students in Advanced Calculus, and c) write my thesis. I might also be doing some extra tutoring this semester in order to offset the awful that will be my bank account once the holiday season is finished with.


And that, as they say, is that.

Caption


For complete contest rules, click here!


Answers to September 14th's Questions

#314. b) Thief (TH---) - 550 points
Ah, this was easy for most of you, even despite the blindness. Nice job. For the rest of you, the question said "Which of the following classes of the original Final Fantasy was the only to undergo a change of colour after proving your courage?" The other options were a) Fighter, c) Black Belt, d) White Mage, and e) Red Mage

#315. d) Final Fantasy V (DINA1 fsnt7sy V) - 550 points/1,100 for Macstorm
Yes! Apparently a person in Dirge of Cerberus happens to have a pet named Boco. What a little treat! The question read "An Airship worker in a certain recent mournful game has a pet named after a creature from which past game?" The other options were a) Grandia II, b) Dragon Quest VIII, c) Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and e) Shining Force 2. Quite a few of you actually got this one right, but thankfully, we won't have to wade through yet another Blind Spell today. Phew.



Today's New Questions

#316:
Consider the following sequence: 600, 300, 700, 450, ...

What are the next two numbers in this sequence?
(650 points)

a) 800, 400
b) 600, 350
c) 500, 550
d) 350, 800
e) 3500, 900


MagRowan's #317:
Pandora Spocks' bedroom lamp in "Pandora in the Big City #1" resembles which of these Studio Ghibli characters? (550 points)

a) The Baron
b) Totoro
c) Susuwatari
d) CatBus
e) Kodama


Yay! Normal questions! And not only that, but since it's a co-hosting day, everyone who gets both of these correct will be entered into a draw for a shiny new Item Hog! What an opportunity! So put on your thinking caps and do your best!



SOCK's Item List

Obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!

2,000 points: Fire Spell (2 left) or Sneak Glove(1 left)
3,500 points: Regera Spell (2 left), Mythril Armor (2 left), or Gold Gem (2 left)
5,000 points: Dark Gem (2 left), Point Doubler (2 left), or Firaga Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Slowga Spell (2 left), Venom Spell (1 left), or Ultra Sneak Glove (1 left)
10,000 points: Vanish Spell (2 left), Drainra Spell (1 left), or Scan Spell (3 left)
14,000 points: Red Gem (1 left), White Gem (2 left), or Gold Armor (2 left)
19,000 points: Esuna Spell (1 left), Rename Card (1 left), or Thundaga Spell (2 left)
25,000 points: Waterga Spell (2 left), Dark Sword(1 left), or Killer Sword (1 left)
32,000 points: Mythril Shield (1 left), Mythril Sword (2 left), or Hastega Spell (2 left)
40,000 points: Flare Spell (1 left), Sean's Dictionary of Doom (1 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!)

  • Vigilante


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

It's been a very long but extremely eventful (and exciting!) week in the realm of video games. If you're anticipating the future even half as much as I am, I'm sure you'll be back to chatter more about it, or read others do so in the days to come. I'll be glad to take any mail you want to send me, and as always, I must apologize to all of you who have sent in great letters that I couldn't get around to responding to. Maybe next week!

In any case, have a wonderful weekend with Ouro, and I'll be back again soon!


slimey@rpgamer.com
***Matt can't believe that there are two more months of excitement yet to build...


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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 3 Games Matt's Playing Right Now:

1. Disgaea II

2. Fire Emblem GBA

3. Grandia III

SOCK's Top 35:

--Procne--
HP: 10,500
----------
1. Aurelius
41,109 pts

2. JokingChimer
35,723 pts

3. Kanato
30,620 pts

4. DMJewelle
29,204 pts

5. Alan Tse
27,610 pts

6. Draconn
24,930 pts

7. BigWook
24,217 pts

8. Purelunatic
22,709 pts

9. LufiaLvr
22,369 pts

10. JuMeSyn
21,799 pts

11. Belthasar2
20,983 pts

12. Boojum
20,437 pts

13. Erika
20,106 pts

14. Arros Raikou
19,374 pts

15. Cap
18,051 pts

16. Bainick
14,267 pts

17. MagRowan
14,210 pts

18. Arpijy
13,875 pts

19. Thinkfreemind
13,636 pts

20. TV's Adam
13,476 pts

21. BLG
13,103 pts

22. MrMSty
12,972 pts

23. Hunter B
12,079 pts

24. Dermot
11,821 pts

25. Ourobolus
11,269 pts

26. DDX
11,203 pts

27. Erunion
10,980 pts

28. Vigilante
10,435 pts

29. Prismatic
9,465 pts

30. Gaijin
9,378 pts

31. Kharamain
9,110 pts

32. Xlash
9,094 pts

33. Bucket
8,761 pts

34. Colabottle
8,045 pts

35. Tabor
7,990 pts

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