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Disastrous, and Proud of it October 12, 2005

Matt Demers - 00:50 EST

I KNEW IT would happen, eventually. My sleepless nights finally caught up to me, as after eating a pretty-good dinner of homemade Tacos, I woke up 45 minutes later laying on the couch with some horrible Kiddie-Jeopardy on in front of me. It was with a little bit of glee and a little bit of sorrow that I watched goldilocks in the middle plummet to a very sad $-5,000. Mom an' Pop must've been proud.

I guess I'll stop being evil and start talking about how stupid I am instead. Sure, it's October, but I refuse to give in until I see a snowflake. Hence, I went out into the cold drizzle today coatless and sandaled, only to freeze my patooty off. Lesson learned? Well, we'll see tomorrow morning. Letters? Oh, right, letters. Read.

Ohh... REAL Interaction!

Well, I played Shadow Hearts: Covenant for another hour yesterday. I wasn't in an Inn, but I found a lady I could talk to who restored my HP/MP. So I guess there are some of those people around....but not too many. No, the save points aren't cheap. The main method of restoring HP/MP is through item usage. Why would they take out Inns? That's always been one of the best parts of finding a new town.


Another question answered, person from yesterday. Just look at the knowledge flow! It makes me all misty. Oh, and towns should certainly come equipped with inns, I agree 100%. What is an RPG town, anyway, if there isn't a place to rest within that has the uncanny ability of bringing back to life every dead person that rests in its beds? Honestly!

On to another question. Am I the only person who's a little tiffed about FFIV coming out on the GBA before FFVI? Honestly...that's messed up.


Ummmm... am I missing something here? (It's so fun to take things out of context, and I just couldn't resist.)

There's GOT to be more demand for FFVI (especially after the horrible experience of Final Fantasy Anthology....can anyone say load times?) If I was able to pick up a copy of FFVI at the same time as FFIV (or before)...I wouldn't touch FFIV with a ten-foot pole. Don't get me wrong, FFIV is a great game....but FFVI surpasses it in every way. I'm tempted to say that this is a desperate marketing plan by Sqeenix. Now...because FFVI won't come out until AFTER FFIV...I'm all but destined to spend 30 bucks on a portable version of FFIV. Do you think Sqeenix will release FFV before FFVI? *shudders*

an RPGfan


Yes, well, I do. Really, too, I think they should. I am 100% with you that Final Fantasy VI is superior to the other two, and yes, it was certainly more popular, as far as I know.

I think, though, that if you notice, they started releasing these remakes from the beginning with Dawn of Souls; now they're doing Final Fantasy III DS along with the trilogy for the GBA. I don't think it's a mistake to go in order... this is designed to appeal to a new generation of gamers who may not have seen these games before. It might be a little odd to many people out there if they go to grab the next in the series after FFIII and discover that it's "FFVI". First and foremost, little kids may think they learned their Roman Numerals wrong; but secondly, wasn't there enough confusion about sequel-names after Final Fantasy VII was released to cause some lessons to be learned? I, for one, thought that what we had called FFIII here in North America was split into two separate games in Japan, or something along those lines. I didn't know what to make of the seeming lack of IV, V, and VI, until I gained regular access to the Internet. Ahh, the information superhighway... you can learn just about anything on it, can't you?

Enough with my ravings; I suggest you just be happy you're getting a Final Fantasy VI port at all. If I had it my way, it would remain sealed in the past along with all of the other best games ever instead of being shoved into the recycling bin like so many crumpled pop cans.

A Lesson Learned

wellll the question is the same as the subject so is there gonna be a release date for it cos ive beeen lookin for it now for about 2 eyars and its taunting me when i see all those pictures on the websites and whatnot.thanx dude


You're most welcome, dude.

The game, which by the way is Wild ARMS: Alter Code F (Thomdrin, darlin', I'm the only one who sees your subject line), as taunting as it is, will taunt you for even longer, since as of this time there isn't any word on a European release. Of course, RPGamer stays on top of such things, so what I CAN do is guarantee you that if this puppy does receive an announcement regarding a European release, you'll be able to find out here first.

It would, of course, be big news, because as far as I can tell, none of the other installments of the series have made it to European soil thus far. Keep your fingers crossed, though, and maybe, just maybe, the angel of superstition will shower you with luck.

Free-Range RPGs (grain fed, too!)

Hiya, QnA guru, something's been troubling me, i played a lot of (in my own quantitive definition) RPG in SuperNES, PSX, and PS2 so i would like to share some of my trouble (yay! burden sharing)...

During my collections, the RPG that i considered to be very imppressive was Megaman Legend, I think that the title deserves 'RPG' attribute because of status building and the story. Do you consider Megaman Legend as a RPG or Action-Adventure?

And the second, I think that the title deserve an applaud because of the free-roaming concept (when i played Gran Theft Auto III, suddenly I realized that the atmosphere was the same... not the stealing car or shoot innocent pedestrian.. but the maneuver freedom).. I loved the game concept, but why I never seen this kind of game in PS2 format? instead we got Megaman Command Mission....

some rennaisance please.....

muchas gracias


Hmm, I was under the impression that Megaman Legends was just a pretty bad run-around-and-shoot-things-but-now-in-3D version of the ever-running Capcom series. I have no experience in the game at all, but I can tell you this:

Almost ALL games have some sort of status-building and some underlying story, however bad (or good) it may be. In, I'd say, the majority of games to be released in the last while, MOST of them consist of controlling a character, beating some bad guys, getting more powerful, and then beating more powerful guys, only to rinse and repeat. Megaman has been like this since the very first game back in the 1980s, but that doesn't make it an RPG. What does make an RPG, you ask?

Heh heh... good question. What does make an RPG an RPG anyway?
HP and whateverP? But What about Zelda?
Experience points? But then FFII gets left behind!
Non-real-time fighting? Please... maybe 10 years ago.
Walking around and talking to people? That's getting warmer...but there are still dungeon-crawlers of yesteryear that are certainly RPGs but don't include this element.

I think that's an issue that needs exploring. Not like Command Mission. I haven't picked it up in a long time; its only redeeming qualities appear to be the boss musics and the Xenosaga-esque turn-based system. It's just TOO boring though, and feels "Mega-thrown-together".

If you want to roam around freely, I strongly suggest-- dun dun dun-- Dragon Quest VIII when it comes out next month, if the demo is at all indicative of what the game will actually be. I haven't roamed so freely since I escaped from pappy's farm (he was going to send us mercilessly to the slaughterhouse). Trust me, this is why we're vegetable farmers now. Eat your peppers.

Changes of Heart?

Heya Slime of Wonderfulness,

Actually, Squeenix's remake mania has, surprisingly, struck me with a powerful wave of near complete indifference. I can only assume this is due to the number of times I replayed said games during the SNES era, as I am looking forward to release of Wild Arms: Alter Code F, which I only ever completed once. Ironically, I have been going back and playing Square games of the PSX era that I originally thought were steamy piles of poo, finding that I actually managed to be entertained by them later. While I still haven't completed it, I did get the urge to retry Legend of Mana after acquiring its wonderful soundtrack, and actually found myself pleasantly surprised to find it an entertaining, if not stellar, gameplay experience--this, despite the fact when I first played it, I didn't think it even reached the lofty heights of mediocrity.


Um, I can't think of any, except for... wait, yes. Okay, forget it, there are lots. This cascade of thoughts has inevitably led to the horrible announcement you've all heard before: IT'S STORY TIME! Gather 'round, or run and hide.

When I was thirteen years old or so- a good nine years ago, anyway- my brother and I finally got mom to buy us a subscription of Nintendo Power (one my brother still receives today). The one game that was always highly rated but for some reason I had no interest in was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which was on NP's top-however-many-most-popular chart for about a billion months running. Well, at last, my curious side got the better of me, and I decided to pick up my first ever Zelda game during a trip to Blockbuster. The stupid child I was, I didn't realize that I had to create a new file to play on; I wound up playing on another random person's quest. Unsurprisingly, I was completely stuck and quite puzzled, thinking that the "starting point" was what was actually halfway through the game, and that my two-thirds-full inventory of items was just what I was supposed to start out with. Predictably, I thought the game made absolutely zero sense and stopped playing after a very short while.

It was a couple of years later, though, that I played it at a friend's house, and the truth dawned upon me. Now, it's one of my favourites.

Lesson learned: Your Q&A Guy is a numbskull? Was a numbskull?

Oh well, Nwash, you still have some letter left, so I'll jump off the topic of my inadequacy promptly.

So, in that spirit of things, are there any games you've run into which you originally found to be steamy, noxious cesspools that only served to disgust you to only later find they were actually somewhat fragrant and pleasant to the old schnozz, providing unexpected and welcome entertainment? Or has the awfulness always remained the awfulness vividly recorded into your psyche by the assault the game unleashed upon your senses, not to mention the begrudgement of the hour or two wasted with said assault?

- Nwash (who decides to check and see if begrudgement is actually a word, or simply the creation of his overactive imagination).

an RPGfan


Aha, well, I guess my previous paragraph pretty much sums that up. I'm trying to think of others... I guess I could safely say that Final Fantasy IX and X are games that I finished with a sour taste in my mouth that I've since looked back upon fondly; Zelda II as well, actually. There's something about Zelda games, maybe, that makes me want to hate them initially before I embrace them with love. One thing is for sure: It's FAR more often that the opposite is true-- there are many games that I finished at one time in a bedazzled state of awe and wonderment, only to look back later with profound distaste. Key entries into this category include, but are not limited to, Seiken Densetsu 3 and Chrono Cross. More examples available upon request.

PS: If "begrudgement" isn't a word, it should be. Wordizing is a parallelless quasihobby of mine, if you've been able to pick that up at all over the past few weeks. Andrew would probably prefer "begrudgery", though, so you might want to take that into account, since he is clearly the vocabuking out of the three of us.

Maybe Next Harvest Moon...

So what's the deal with Harvest Moon: Poem of Happiness? Is there any chance of it coming over here? I just played A wonderful Life and it left me wondering what they did for the new reincarnation.


A little waltz around a few search engines reveals little; some sites list it as being "TBA 2005" for a North American release, and some don't. RPGamer doesn't. If it gets to be, say, next March or so, and we still haven't heard anything, I'd start to have some doubts... by then, it'll have been out in Japan for a full year. Hang in there, and enjoy a few more generations worth of Wonderful Life in the meantime, and we'll see if anything unfolds. Sorry I can't bring you better news!

Cidaga... whaddya think?

Hey Matt

Answer these questions three:

I'll start by asking you the same question that I've asked the last two Q and A hosts. Seeing as how you're big into the SNES era of Final Fantasy games, which obviously shows good taste, which of the following 'scenarios' appeals to you more:

Fire1, Fire2, Fire3
Fire, Fira, Firaga


Oh, poo. It's something that intrigued me more than anything in Final Fantasy VIII, but not once did it ever disturb me. There's something charming about the numbered spells, but I'm really not anti-suffix. You have to admit that it's pretty fun to sit and think up "what this spell's TWO-spell would be if it had a two-spell". They take it a bit to the extreme in some, though: the prefixes just don't work sometimes. "Hastega" should NOT be the name of a spell, for instance, for no real reason except that it just sounds really idiotic.

Also, which Final Fantasy game's Cid is, to you, the definitive Cid. Like, when someone says the name Cid, which games version immediately springs to mind? Personally, it's Final Fantasy VI for me. Probably because I spent so much time as a kid feeding him fish.

P.S. There was no third question.


"I'll close the hole with this bomb!"

Without a doubt, my Cid is the Baron engineer. There's no reason he couldn't have been in your party for longer... there's even SPACE for him at one time when he could join, theoretically, but doesn't. Oh well... maybe there will be some weird afterquest in the FFIV remake where you get to control him, along with Edward, Yang, Golbez, and FuSoYa in some random cave featuring monsters from Final Fantasy V. Sounds familiar, hmm??

There's just no better weapon sound than the "KBHKBH!" that you hear when Cid hammers away at his adversaries. I think his Earth Hammer casts Quake for free, too, making him nothing but awesome.

Two in One Day?

To Mr. Q&A,

Hello there!

Well, first off, please accept a belated congratulations on winning the contest. You had my vote then and have done nothing but turn in fun to read columns since.

I'm mostly writing in because recently you mentioned that you were (sorta) playing Megaman X Command Mission. It's being sold at my work for about 7 dollars. I really don't have any time for it, as I'm currently trying to juggle Arc the Lad 2, Kessen 3, Disgaea's lengthy extras and the new Evil Dead game (that + 2 new movies = great month for Bruce Campbell fans (= ). But for that price.... I played every Megaman/MMX game up until the PSX, but haven't played any since nor any of the other Megaman rpgs. It seemed your impression of it wasn't too good, but I was wondering if you'd expand on that a little bit.



Very strange that I'd so randomly get two questions about Megaman X: Command Mission today all of a sudden.

How should I put this...? It isn't really that it's a terrible game... it's just that it's not GOOD. It doesn't fail in any one category of RPGdom, but it really doesn't excel in anything. My biggest gripe about it is that it's really short, though one could get angry about it having a disjointed, awkward story (though if you're buying Megaman RPGs, chances are you're probably not on the hunt for a terribly immersive plot). On the other hand, it does the technical stuff at least "well enough", and sometimes better. The graphics are good, the sound is better (if you like Megaman's recent upbeat techno-y music), and the battle system is pretty strong. Just don't expect an incredible, groundbreaking experience, because you won't find it here.

As far as current topics go, I'll probably pick up FF4 since it's my favorite RPG of all time. I sometimes play my GBA on my lunch breaks, and unlike my home consoles I don't have much else going on for it. It'd be the perfect game for me to play 1/2 hour or so everyday. I will welcome any extra content as long as it doesn't tamper with the story too much. As for FF V and VI, I'll likely pass. It's not that I don't enjoy the games, it'd just be hard to justify spending new release money on 3 ports, especially when I'm already planning on picking up the new Fire Emblem game, and DQ8. I'm purchasing it no matter what, so I didn't order the demo. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that game (okay...maybe you do). I just hope I'm not setting my hopes too high, I'm even more excited for this than I was for Suikoden 3/Xenosaga 1/Phantom Brave. All of which are good games but couldn't live up to the impossible expectations I had for each of them.

I'm not witty enough for any 'sock' phrases.. 'hop' to the 'sock' contest? bah.... =)

Thanks for reading, sorry if it was a little long!



None of the three of the games you listed for me lived up to most people's expectations, I think. I'm worried that having been burned a couple of times in the past, maybe I'm getting my hopes up too high for Dragon Quest VIII... and then I look at the screens, and remember how good the demo was, and let myself get lost in my sky-high hopes once again.

I'm with you on the extra content. Unlike the Final Fantasy I and II GBA bonus dungeons, there's LOTS of room for your characters to continue growing in IV, V, and VI alike for quite awhile, so I wouldn't be shocked if they stuck some new monsters and a scary random dungeon in at the end of each game. As long as FFVI doesn't include something ultra-lame at the end of a bonus area such as "OOO... Gestahl's GHOST is the ultimate super-final villain!!" ...then I'll be happy. I think. Knock on wood, fast.


So, we have another example of Matt-Idiocy, on several levels today. The latest? Well, some of you keeners might have noticed that the sidebar's SOCK rankings were a little bit oddly-numbered yesterday. They were in the correct order; I just totally forgot to update the numbers. Silly me.

What else? So many people said that I only had 125 points available up to this point, so I went a-searchin'. What did I find?? October 3rd, there were 25 up for grabs (a 5-question and a 20-question); October 4th, there were also 25. On October 5th, there were 30, so that makes a total of 80; the next day there were 25, so we're up to 105... and then yesterday... 20. *ahem* So yeah, I'm a klutz, and certainly have shamed my math-major claim to whatever. Everyone who counted the 125 properly and called me on it gets 25 points for kicks, and everyone else is out of luck, because you proved yourselves to be my equals in a bad way. OK, OK... 2 points for guessing 130. But they're false points!!

The other one wasn't so bad if you went back and took a look. I indeed wrote a) "wALKING" to begin one of my pieces last week. I swear I wasn't trying to be one of those annoying 1337y people who think they're kewl by inserting uppercase in strange places.

At any rate, I solemnly swear to never break your confidence in my abilities again. Take my word for it (mwahaha).

Questions today... well, let's talk about the test I've been blabbing ceaselessly about so that we can never speak of it again.

Question #11: Matt marked his first tests ever last week, and there were 210 of them. What was the lowest mark of the bunch? (10 points)

a) 0/40
b) 2.5/40
c) 5/40
d) 10.5/40
e) 15/40

Question #12: Since Matt is such a nice guy, he writes comments on all of his students' papers. However, Matt goes a little insane when he sees 53 people in a row make the same ridiculous error, causing his comments to border on cruelty occasionally. Which of the following comments did Matt actually write on a student's paper? (20 points)

a) "Limit as x approaches what?? Try again."
b) "*sigh*"
c) "What in blazes is this nonsense?"
d) "Pythagoras would be appalled!"
e) "I hope you're not majoring in this..."

You'll get at least 2 points if you send me a reply! Tildes are just around the corner for many of you... and better yet, FIVE HUNDRED POINTS will give you a chance to guest-host the column with yours truly!! Ever want to get to know me more up-close and personally? Thought so. Ever want to take out your rage by sending nasty letters to writers-in?!? Thought so!!! (not too nasty, now)

***The first person to get a prize in the competition is the great Nwash, who has loyally sent me answers with striking accuracy and panache. One tilde-of-honour for you!!*** ~

So tell me. I ran into a great question, earlier on, and I'd like to know what y'all think. RPGs. What maketh a game an RPG? Why is Zelda an RPG? Why is Harvest Moon an RPG? What are the defining traits that determine which games get covered on this website?? It's not as easy of a question as you might think, at first glance. Tell me what you think! If you haven't written in before, but are thinking about it, do! I can only coax...

I guess all I can say then, is "I'll be back for one more tomorrow!" Farewell, all.
***Matt should get more than 4.5 hours of sleep per night.

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Hey! Stop making fun of me!! Just because I'm a supposed math-geek doesn't make me an addition-god, for heaven's sakes! No more poking.


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Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Makai Kingdom
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Cookie o' the Update:

Mattie's Cookies of Addition

-1 + 1/2 cups of flour

-1 + 2/3 cups of butter

-a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon

-2 drops of vanilla

-3 Calculators, with poked-out buttons (the squishy-button kind)

-abacus balls to taste

-a small piece of paper, and a pencil, I guess ADD the ingredients, one at a time, recording the total volume on the piece of paper as you go. After combining them well, add the buttons you poked out (they should have the consistency of really-old gummi bears) and mix them throughout. Coat the remnants of the calculators in the mixture, and bake until the plastic has melted in the middle (you can tell by poking with a toothpick). Decorate with abacus balls-- brightly coloured ones work best-- and serve to someone who can't do simple math as a punishment for their iniquities.

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