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Think, Matt, Think September 22, 2006

Matt Demers - 21:52 EST

WOW. After getting all crazy about Wii in recent days, I've taken a look around for the last little while at some of the other games that are in development right now. I have to say that Blue Dragon looks like it could be a really genuinely fantastic game for the Xbox 360. I'm almost tearful that I don't even know anybody with the console that I could use to play the game, either. Final Fantasy XIII looks ridiculously amazing as well. Though I'm sure that the screenshots and trailers we've seen so far are far more shined-up than the game will be in the end (I don't see how the actual battle system could be managed with a camera like that), I still can't wait to hear more, even if it will be released for a console I don't plan on buying anytime soon. AHHH!

Do you know what would make life easier for me? If I were to win some random sum of cash, or if I were to have some unknown great-uncle croak and leave his 9-figure fortune to me specifically. I'd probably be able to give cash prizes in the SOCK, too!! I'm afraid that that in no way will be happening anytime soon.

Speaking of SOCK, I know a few of you are burning with a certain issue with a question yesterday, but just be patient; I'll address it when we get there.

Funny; I'm just playing "Quest for Time Off" at the moment.

Youíll have to forgive me. Today I just felt like waxing poetic about one of my first RPG loves, and a game that, for some reason, has had a lasting impact on me. My family jumped on the PC band-wagon fairly late, but it did give me the opportunity to go back and play several PC games in the mid-90s. I was absolutely enamored with some of the Sierra On-Line particular, the Quest For Glory series. I feel like I can talk about this because, while it was primarily an adventure game, I suppose, many RPG elements were tied into it.


Oh, I think that many places classify it as an RPG anyway, so have no fear. And hey, we talk about Mario, Megaman, Silent Hill, Metroid, and more around here, so honestly, there's really no reason to worry about it!

Like you, I loved Sierra, but I was a bigger fan of King's Quest and Space Quest. One of my very first adventure-style games was King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne. What memories that brings back!

If you started each adventure with a new character in each game, your hero could basically not survive very long without a healthy supply of vitality and mana potions. At any rate, quite often, like in Dragon Warrior series or the first Final Fantasy, there was a very real sense of danger for the first hour or so of the game, until you acquired a substantial amount of stamina or money to buy potions or stay at the Inn (sleeping outside without a fire was very dangerous). Basically, the first few hours of the game were spent building your stats by tentatively fighting a few monsters or by finding ways to build your class skills in and around towns. Sometimes this could be tedious, but sometimes you could find ways to increase your stats in humorous (and anachronistic) ways. For instance, in one game, you could increase your stamina by going to the Heroís Guild and running on a treadmill, complete with cheesy 90ís exercise music. In one game, when staying at the inn, you could choose to make up your bed, which increased your honor stat), or you could choose to jump on it, which actually increased stamina (and looked fun!). While it gave me a belly laugh, it almost always improved a stat (up to a point). Typically, after your stats were built up to a certain point, the hero was able to progress through the game more quickly.


I guess that treadmill thing would definitely NOT be like the first Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games. In the future, though? Maybe you'll be able to pump up this female hero of FFXIII at the gym during off-time to, uh, make her gun more powerful.

I also enjoyed this series because each new game took the hero to different fictional countries, resembling Germany, Persia, Egypt and Kenya, Romania and Greece. I suppose that I treasure it so because it was so different from the RPG fare in the console world. The humor was very American, though, with heavy allusions to pop culture and an over-reliant use of puns. My family grew to regret it, because this game single-handedly developed my appreciation for the pun. There was much eye-rolling at my house.


Eye-rolling? I hope that you were able to catch them before they rolled right out the door! (Wow, that was pretty awful, too.)

I think that a lot of Sierra games were filled with puns. If you've ever played Space Quest, it is not often that you will find yourself taking the game very seriously at all; you're too busy laughing at the text. It's so obvious that the people that came up with these games for Sierra back then had both a really awesome sense of humour as well as a love for what they did.

My favorite of the series, Quest For Glory II, began the trend of allowing the fighter class to become a Paladin. The benefits were that the Paladin had a neat flame on their sword, increased power, and healing abilities that were exclusive to itís class. There were two catches, though. The first was, unlike the other classes in the game, the Paladin class had to be EARNED. Secondly, you couldnít actually use the class until you imported your character into the later games of the series. I think that you would have enjoyed it, Matt, because the only way to achieve the class was to altruistically perform good deeds through the game world. . The player couldnít accomplish it through just completing the normal quests, but you would have to go out of your way to find ways to increase the coveted honor stat. This meant giving money or food to the poor, giving gifts, returning rewards, being nice to everyone, paying compliments, etc. To a goody two-shoes like me, that was fun.

If the player did something that was dishonorable, such as steal, you would lose that stat and would not achieve Paladin status by the end of the game. The game was quite unforgiving when it came to increasing the honor stat.


Me too. Sounds interesting. It's not a unique idea, though it's still pretty cool. I think similar things have been done in games like Fable since. Being able to carve your character's own place in and impact on the world has the potential to make you feel as if you're more a part of that world, rather than just riding a storyline through it.

Interestingly, another reason QFG II was my favorite was oddly because of the limitation of the technology of that time. The interface was an odd combination of using the mouse and typing in command at the text parser. This was interesting to me because most of the conversations, as I recall, were used with the text parser. So I really had to think about what to say. I would ask NPCs about the weather or the news or a specific event in the game world, or I could choose to compliment or flirt, if necessary.

Anyway, Iíve been excited because a fan group, AGD Interactive, is making an updated version of QFG II, with the blessing of the original creators. Itís definitely aged, but it will always have a place in my heart.



Now that is fantastic to hear! It's so refreshing for a change to see that the original creators are actually lending some appreciation to their most hardcore fans rather than slapping them with copyright violation lawsuits in order to make a quick buck. That's the way it should be!!

Perhaps, then, I'll check it out sometime! Quest for Glory is a series that I always looked at with my mom in Sierra's magazine, and I always wanted to try it out, but it never ended up happening, for one reason or another. Now, when I look back, I wish that I had played it back in my youth.

Ah well. Thanks, Sundoulos!!

Aussie Excitement: Suikoden is HERE!

Yay I have the Internet again (though only at 32kb.s but anyway yay)


As I always say, 32 kb/second is better than 31 kb/second. What can I do for you today, Bainick?

So in my prolonged letter absense I passed Paper Mario: TYD:


So the boss was a slight surprise (I didn't think Peach was going to be possessed) for me. Problem for me was I was too powerful. I only had one green mushroom, one jammin jelly and 1 life mushroom. I constantly a Used power hammer (2 badges plus 2 strength badges equals 11 damage) and Goombellas fourth move that allows you to attack again. Plus with a badge that allows some attacks to miss me and a badge that increases the star power (I only used Earthquake and Sweetfeast) I easily defeated the Demon Queen. The ending though was actually decent for an RPG ending (There havn't been many good ones in my career). It covered everybody in the game and whats even better you can contiue on and finish all of those side quests you hadn't completed before the final dungeon!



I actually found the final boss of the game to be decently challenging, much unlike the final boss of the original Paper Mario. The whole game, in fact, can be quite surprisingly difficult, depending on how often you choose to fight your foes. Though the reviews are mixed, I had a whole lot of fun playing the game, and I'm so happy that you enjoyed it as well!!

It's time for you to go hunt for the bonus boss, now...

So now i'm onto Wild Arms 3, though i'll probably abandon that ohhh next week when a fith addition to a series I love is FINALLY released in Australia! Yes i'm talking about Suikoden5, which happens to be released at the same time as FOUR other games I want (Being Kingdom Hearts 2, Sammurai Warriors 2, and Wild Arms 4). My bank balence will defintly be lighter by the next weekend.

Bainick has just got back from BlackOuting (FireFighter term)


It's about time, isn't it? Finally you'll hear what all of the fuss is about! Most people feel that Suikoden V represents a big step up from Suikoden IV, so I really hope that you have a great game in store.

Enjoy your Wild Arms in the meantime, and thanks for writing in!

The Reunion, Part II

How shocked I was to find a letter from a high school chum! I can vouch for Nick; he is the epitome of what RPGamer stands for and will be an excellent addition to Team Q&A!


What does RPGamer stand for again?

It's fun to see that you met an old friend through this insignificant little daily column. It's too bad we don't have a set and a couple of couches so that some cheesy theme music could play while you and Nick greet each other after many a year with a hearty handshake or the man-version of a hug.

I'm glad to have him along, too. The more readers, and the more letters, the better!

Cait Sith, Zyxenfryx, and other peculiar names.

I've seen the name "Cait Sith" used in 2 games in the past day that weren't FF7. One breed of Cat Warrior in Disgaea, and one of the panther monsters in the GBA remake of FF4. Does that name have some special meaning that it's been used so many times in translations? It was kind of a silly name the first time, but 3 times can't just be coincidence.


In fact, there is indeed reasoning behind this name!

Interestingly, Cait Sith is a catlike mythological being that is said to roam the Scottish Highlands. It's the legendary ancestor of a modern-day type of Scottish panther, called a kellas, that was only first discovered in the 1980s. Apparently, too, it's supposed to be pronounced "Caught Shee", in case you were wondering, though I don't know if I'll change my tune anytime soon.

Also, I've seen Zyxenfryx 2 times in the past 24 hours. One was a Sinner, one was a Cockatrice. Don't see him for almost 3 weeks, then see him twice in one day. Odd.

#320: c) A hero named "Ike"
#321: a) Mathematics



Thanks, MrMSty!

I've only seen Zyxenfryx the one time, but it's interesting; in Disgaea 2, I've found that the same names tend to come up in waves rather than truly randomly. I noticed that on my last trip to the item world, a single name (that I can't remember now) came up at least three times, which is fairly frequently, considering how many possibilities there are. I don't know how they pick 'em, but at least I know that my own contribution is in there somewhere. <3

Oh... I really, really, really love short letters <3<3<3

Hey there, Matt

What are you going to do when you've finished with Fire Emblem? Are there other tactical, chapter based games you can play before you sleep? -CW


NO!!! I'm doomed.

Actually, as of late, I've been playing a different game before bed. It's a game called "DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS PROBLEM SET #1, Due September 29". I tried to get past the first two sections last night, but so many of my brain cells ran out of HP, I had to shut it off. Trust me, I'll start again soon. x_x

In reality, there are a lot of games on the way, though they might not come in such nice-serving-size little chapters. I'd like to see what this Contact game is all about, or Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, but barring those two, Final Fantasy III is just a month and a half away. I've heard that there's an interesting extra quest to play through on Fire Emblem, anyway, so I shouldn't be finished with it for quite awhile!

Am I the only one who has an hour-before-bed policy on handhelds? I honestly can't imagine that there are many others out there who have to do their gaming on a strict schedule, but, well, whatever. Thanks for writing in!


Hey Matt,

I finally got to see some game play footage of Blue Dragon today. I have to say that game looks impressive. I might have finally found a reason to buy a 360. Seeing a CTB gauge is definitely exciting, as I really like the speed and dynamics it brings to a battle. Which brings me to the Dragon Quest connection. Seeing Toriyama's characters and the traditional Dragon Quest status boxes in battle made me instantly think of DQ. I wonder what our esteemed Q&A host thinks of this, seeing his love for the series.


P.S. Yay for Trusty Bell getting localized!!!


Coincidentally, I had just looked at the newest screens from the game only a little bit before I read your letter. As I mentioned in the Introductory paragraph, I really wish that I had the means to play it, both timewise and budgetwise. You're absolutely right: My mind immediately wandered to comparisons with my favourite series.

I've criticized Mistwalker before for being "all talk" without really producing anything, so it's really good to see that they really have been hard at work over the past months! At this stage of the game, Blue Dragon looks pretty polished, and it will be really exciting to hear more about this game. Time to cheer, Xbox 360 owners!!

Someone, grab the cumin! Stat!

The curry powder as a primary ingredient recipes in Harvest Moon DS are Curry Bread, Dry Curry, Curry Rice, Curry Noodles, Red Curry, Orange Curry, Yellow Curry, Green Curry, Blue Curry, Indigo Curry, Purple Curry, Black Curry, White Curry, and Curry Bun. There are three recipes Ė Rainbow Curry, Ultimate Curry, and Supreme Curry Ė that are made by combining already prepared curries.

Damn it, NOW IíM HUNGRY!!!!



There you go, everyone. Right from the source!

I could go for some curry right now, but I believe that hamburgers are in the works for tonight's dinner instead. I'm hungry too.


With the cooler weather, I've been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving turkey over the past week or so. Yes, Canadian Thanksgiving is only three weeks away! I miss home~


For complete contest rules, click here!

Answers to September 21st's Questions

#322. a) Master Skull (?) - 600 points
Yes, there was a little bit of a goof from the person who submitted this. Nobody's perfect, including myself; I just don't have the time to double-check every submitted question that comes in, and of course, readers are going to make mistakes from time to time. As many of you noticed, while Master Skull comes from Link's Awakening, it's actually another enemy in the same game, the Genie of Gopongo Swamp, that says this line.

As a consequence, I'm going to give 600 points to anyone who raised an eyebrow at the options to this question as well as anyone who selected a), and the person who submitted it will only score normal points instead of double points for submitting it. If you honestly noticed this error, but didn't mention it in your e-mail to me and instead selected another option, you can let me know and I'll give you the points anyway. This is a based-on-trust policy, so you'll only feel bad about yourself if you wrongly take advantage of my white-mageyness!

#323. a) Final Fantasy III - 640 points
Owen and Sasoon, those are the two to look out for! A very interesting question from Erika, this one was, and most of you did really well with it. Congrats!

Today's New Questions

Vigilante casts Blind! The questions were obscured!

Reader-Submitted #324:
wIty aLl og teh ChanG.s a.d ..ncERN Ov-- -oice AxtiNg uN CeN95aga; ePiDoqe III, w..C. .. .-. .--lowing ChA4qvters" F8rst lIN# *s NOt AcbpmPaN8Ed by a voiceo... (.. .., .t IS TEXT 9nly0? (540 points)

a) CHaow
b) kR.
c) N0n0
d) Shi..
e) xiggY

a CrAZ#d --gn MUsT h4ve s5raye. wciih R0utE? (700 points)

a) ...tE 1Oi
b) R-UT. .
c) rOuTe 7u
d) $o..e $0
e) r(UT# 88

Just to avoid any potential disputes, everyone who got Erika's question correct yesterday will be entered into the draw for the Mime Materia. Getting the other question right is not a necessity this time!

Ah, nothing like a refreshing Blind Spell to end the week, is there? Mmm, mmm. Have fun with it!

SOCK's Item List

Obtain these items upon reaching the listed point benchmarks!

3,500 points: Regera Spell (2 left), Mythril Armor (2 left), or A.P.G. (2 left)
5,000 points: Any Gem (2 left), Mythril Shield (2 left), or Firaga Spell (2 left)
7,000 points: Slowga Spell (2 left), Venom Spell (1 left), or Reflect Spell (2 left)
10,000 points: Vanish Spell (2 left), Paint Can (2 left), or Scan Spell (3 left)
14,000 points: Any Gem (1 left), Force Field (2 left), or Point Doubler (1 left)
19,000 points: Esuna Spell (1 left), Magic Pearl(1 left), or Thundaga Spell (2 left)
25,000 points: Call Bead (3 left), Demi Spell(2 left), or Killer Sword (1 left)
32,000 points: Mythril Shield (1 left), Mythril Sword (1 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)
61,000 points: Dark Converter (2 left), Drainga Spell (2 left), or Apocalypse Spell (1 left)

(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!

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Click here for the current list of potential prizes!


That wraps up an admittedly very long week for me. I hope you had a lot of fun; I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to blabber on about my favourite games and whine about my real-life duties as well, as always. Please, enjoy your weekend with Ouro, and come on back for some more when I return next Tuesday!
***Matt had burger-nuggets for dinner tonight, after all.

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Three to a bun! This is what happens when unseasoned cooks are at the grill. Oh well, they were tasty nonetheless!!

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Matt's Top 5 Most Wanted Games:

1. Final Fantasy III

2. Final Fantasy XII

3. Xenosaga: Episode III

4. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

5. Final Fantasy V

Top 3 Games Matt's Playing Right Now:

1. Disgaea II

2. Fire Emblem GBA

3. Grandia III

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