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Thrice-Worn Jeans November 3, 2005

Matt Demers - 04:09 EST

LIVE, FROM Guelph, it's Wednesday night... as I write up the last column of yet another week, as well as the last one of my first full MONTH! A month? Why, that's one-twelfth of a full year! One one-hundred-and-twentieth of ten years! One two-hundred-and-fortieth of twenty? Out of my 268 months of life on this planet (that doesn't sound like much, by the way), I've been at RPGamer for a full 0.37% of it! Hardcore. Hard...core.

Evidently, I have little to talk about here, or else I wouldn't be analyzing fractions which such fervour. Really, though, what to talk about, besides the fact that my professor seems to actually have LOST our first assignment? Yes, truly. I don't know how you can lose a stack of fifteen papers, each with a name and student number and ASSIGNMENT #1 written in caps, but apparently it is possible.

*flushes fifteen hours of my time and effort down the metaphorical toilet*.

Anyway, to get back at him, I'm strongly considering losing Assignment #3, which is due on Monday... then we should be able to call it even, I think. Before that though, we must do this thing we do every day, and we can't do it unless we bring the introduction to a screeching halt right HERE.

Whining, Griping, and Pining

Wespect! Wespect the lwetteh dhudh! Anyway. Star Ocean 3 was not a horrible game, but I just got tired of it, really. Despite claims from review sites that the fighting system was the best ever, I just stopped having fun with it, probably due to the horrible, horrible AI. Controlling two at a time with rapid switching between them worked, but there was still the fact that too much time seemed to be spent bringing allies either back into the fight after they'd run off to the far edge of the arena and just decided to wait it out, or out of the fight as they insisted on going in close to the enemy and using valuable MP (even moreso because you DIE IF YOU LOSE ALL MP!) on spells that would either be unnecessarily strong, or completely useless. Repeatedly.


Yeah, you know, I really don't know how anyone could say that the battle system was so amazingly awesome because you're right; one of the MOST frustrating things about that game is the AI, or rather, your allies' lack of it. I can't BELIEVE how frustrated I would get sometimes! What is the damn point of having revival magic if whenever another character dies, the magic user continues to gaze off into 4-D space without blinking an eye? It wasn't just bad, it was REMARKABLY bad, and perhaps inexcusably bad, since you'd think that they'd do a little bit of beta-testing to find these horrible things before actually infecting the public with the game.

Another thing about the battle system that bothered me highly was the fact that the battle tactics were really, really vague and had rather unpredictable effects. For most of the characters, you could choose between "Attack with all your might!", or "Focus your attack!", or "Attack in a well-balanced manner!", and two other similar-sounding ones... apparently without a single defensive or healing option at all. Regardless, I'd put Fayt onto the "Attack with all your might" mode, and instead of using his apocalyptically powerful attacks, he'd stand off to the side and use incredibly puny lightning spells that would inflict probably less than 1% in damage of what he would be doing if he were under my control. ARGH! I could go on and on... AND ON AND ON... but man, that game bothered me in far too many ways.

Also annoying was the fact that an insane amount of time was spent going back and forth between the same five or so cities on the same boring planet, and the time actually spent in the cities was often spent wandering around aimlessly hoping to trigger the next plot point.

I'm told I was actually quite close to the end when I finally decided I'd had enough of it. Maybe I'll try completing it at some point. Much like Final Fantasy X-2, which I gave up on because it felt like a collection of mostly boring sidequests to FFX, despite the fun battle system.


Ugh, and mission-based, no less. How lazy can you get, programmers? This first letter is making me so bitter! Star Ocean COULD have been good. Final Fantasy X-2 didn't have much chance to begin with, but the battle system, in fairness, was indeed fast-paced and really fun.

As for endings... Yeah, the general consensus is that FF8's ending is a good one. FF9, too, had a good story from beginning to end, and was wrapped up as expected, but still nicely. Shadow Hearts 2 has, despite my not having played the first game, a -really- good ending. A surprising one, too. You won't believe that it's the "good" ending.

What, you want a question, too? Aw, fine. If you could have any game that hasn't been released in the US translated and released, which would it be? Also, would it be a simple rerelease, or a remake, or...?

- Person -


If I had to choose any untranslated game, I would pick Final Fantasy III, which is exactly why I'm so very happy that this is actually setting up to be a reality. If I had to choose a second-place, I'd pick Dragon Quest V, because many people feel that it was a high point of the series (a series I'm already ga-ga over), and I would LOVE to play through an officially localized version. You get to control an evil-fighting family that you raise yourself!! It's so... cool. In today's world, thirteen years after its original Japanese release, a full remake would be in order, and that's why I was so bummed out that the Japanese remake of a couple years back never made it across the Pacific. I can always hope for the future...

Suspicious of the new Mana

To the person who wanted to know the 'Friend' Link was searching for at the start of Majora's Mask... well sorry to sound like one of those annoying, know it all Puffin Faces but its Navi! It's also very obvious... infact isn't it written in the game manual??? Oh well, short answer NAVI!!! And yes, the story knocks that little quest to the side but that is Life! Sometimes we set out to bake muffins but fate steps in and we're going to the shops on an epic quest for the weekly shop.


What on earth? Every time I'VE gone out to bake muffins, I've either a) been successful and had warm yummy treats; b) burnt myself and ran cursing to the bathroom; or c) burnt the muffins and tossed the pan in the sink for someone else to wash.

Thanks for Navi-gating to an answer! I'm sure previousCaller-A is most appreciative.

Question... Do you think those meanies at Squenix will make Europe wait till NEXT Xmas before shipping DQ8??? I have only had the pleasure of playing numero 7 (Which I LOVE) and cannot wait for the 8th installment. Literally!!! AGHH!!! So, yeah, do you think they would!?


Yes, they will. If you're hoping for me to tell you you'll have it in your stocking this year, I'm sorry to inform you that I'm just glad we're getting it here for the holidays. Maybe Square Enix will throw you guys a bone and release it for the summer.

Also, are you not suprised that people seem to be very unwary in praising the arrival of Children of Mana, even though Sword of Mana looked equeally as spiff and then turned out to be...well... poop? I would have thought would would be slightly more cautious... That said, I enjoyed Sword of Mana to a certain extent... even Legend of Mana for freaky freaks sake! Don't think they can fail in my eyes but really, how is everyone else so confident!? Espeically since it isn't Square making it (or something like that..)



Poop, you'd say? Really? It wasn't glorious and amazing, but it wasn't poop-worthy, in my worthless opinion. Yeah, it wasn't Secret of Mana, but it's presumably a big improvement over the original Final Fantasy Adventure.

I don't really have an opinion yet, and honestly, I don't think anyone else does either. Right now, the buzz, I think, is more over the excitement of having another Mana game, and sure, I'll say that I'm one of the excited ones. The judgment, though, will come when the first real information and details are placed on the table; I doubt we'll have to wait too long for those, either.

How many ya figger're in Chrono Trigger?

As for endings.. Xenosaga 2 had to be one of the most miserably dissapointing endings ever, ever, ever. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATED that ending. God, just miserable. And it is to recent to say anymore.

On that note, probally the best ending I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with, or set of endings, would be Chrono Trigger. I mean, how many endings did it have? Having seen all of them, every last one, I can attest to the special New Game+ endings as being very interesting/neat. And the idea of having character control in the regular ending was a novel concept at the time.

As for my question, um, well, I think I will stick with Chrono Trigger. How many endings where there in total?



Twice too many, my friend!! Twice too many! The number of hates is improbably low; I just counted them last week, and there aren't any new ones that have sprouted since then either, as far as I know. Of course, you're fully free to use as many hates as you want, so go ahead.

Chrono Trigger endings, as everyone knows, are things that I've seen but not experienced myself. A quick web search reveals less than I expected... a few sites say that there are eleven endings, while some more say twelve, and others claim fifteen! I guess you'd better find a friend that was on the development team to find out the truth!


Heeeeyyyy Matty. (I can't remember what British Comedy Series that was from cause I was just a wee lad).

I have never actually passed Star Ocean 3 or Star Ocean 2 or Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 7, 9, 10 (I have passed 4, 5, 6, 8, and shudder 10-2, or Paper Mario (i've passed the 64 one) or Tales of Phantasia or Tales of Symphonia or Cark Cloud or Dark Chronicles or Legaia 1 and Dual Saga, or Chrystal Chronicals or Z Orcarina of time/ windwaker or LOTR The third age or Baulders Gate 1, 2, DA1, DA2, or Grandia or MegaMan Legends.


Heh heh...

Well, that makes me feel better. You done yet?

Do you want to guess where I stopped playing each and every one of these great and poor games.


Hmmm... I'll guess "right before the final boss battle."

If you said right before the final boss battle you would be correct.



What do I win?! A stately clock? Fashionable luggage? A delightful trip to Cozumel?!? Twenty-five THOOUUUUSAND dollars? A chance to co-host your column sometime soon??

I could probably match every RPG game i've beaten against every RPG i've Abandoned. The sad thing is I only have to turn my head to see all of these games mocking me from there shelves. One of the main reasons for this is the story is usually spoilt for me by my younger sibling, who tends to surge ahead in the game whilst i'm exploring the world. Readers don't have your consoles in your room if you share it with a brother like this. Games will be spoilt for you. What was the question again?


Yeah, tell me about it! Sharing a room blows, though we didn't usually have a console up there to keep ourselves company. Actually, in truth, I was usually the game-spoiler for my brother, and often took over the games he owned to finish them myself first, back when we were little kiddies.

Anyway, what WAS the question? Wait, aren't you supposed to be the question-asker here?? Ugh, one of these days I really AM going to re-label this the "A&Q" section, ah swears!

Well Suikoden 3 ending (from a non playing perspective) was very disapointing as they have just about destroyed any chance (And by the feel of the game they didn't leave much) of them continuing the series. So sad.


Silly... we've been griping back and forth about Suikoden IV all week, and Suikoden V is coming out soon, so you should sit up and take notice! By the way, there's this game called Final Fantasy VIII that came out a bit ago. They got rid of MP, and armour of any sort, if you can believe that... ugh, I'm really having doubts about it, but I just can't strike it off my list until I give it a try, and neither should any of you.

I might as well give you some questions, sigh!

What are your favourite 5 non RPG game's? Mine being anything with Mario or Diidy and Kart in it, Super Mario Bros 3 the first game i ever played without the super, Settlers 2 getting up at 4 in the morning before school to play, Super International Cricket still the best cricket game, and finally Super Smash Brothers the only fighting game i've ever been good at, go Kirby versus Giga Bowser.

Lastly I Hate this question because I can't find my FF6 game and I don't know any 8-bit comic so
34: C
35: B
Thanks for listening (i mean reading) A Blackadder (Show not the snake) lover Bainick


Ohh Bainick, thank YOU for writing in, as usual.

If I had to take five non-RPGs to a desert island forevermore, I'd take Donkey Kong Country 2, Tetris Attack, some incarnation of Warioware, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and maybe a Mariokart game. Take note: It's alllll Nintendo, and I don't even own a Gamecube. Ooo- good point.

*note to self: buy Gamecube before getting lost on a desert island... and pick up a generator/TV as well*

Oh yeah... time for the FFX rant!!

Hey Matt,
Fairly new to the Q&A quizzes you have been having and never felt like jumping in until today when you start the Follow me! question. First off I would have to say #34 a) 17 and #35 d) Red Mage

As to which games I thought had the most dissapointing ending...first I would have to say that I really enjoyed FFX up until the end battle(s). Trying to be vague without spoilers make it hard to say exactly but there is a hard boss battle and then a different main boss which really should have been an animated sequence (and would have been much better way to end imo). I mean if you can survive the previous fight then was there even a chance to die in that last "battle"? And this was all before getting celestial weapons or really utilizing the sphere grid properly cause my first time through a game I expect to have a hard time and look forward to the challenge and felt cheated this time. And it was that let down that almost prevented me from replaying the game for all the missed junk and after seeing what was needed for some side quests I didn't even bother. The ending animations helped make up for that less than stellar battle but as a longtime FF fan it left me feeling...blah.


Ohhhhhh thank you!

My 8/10 instant FFX rating that I came up with a few days back was made an "8" instead of "8.5" just because of the utter disappointment of the final battle(s). Under absolutely NO circumstances should an attack acquired automatically through storyline events have the capability of doing more than 50% of a final boss' total HP worth of damage in a single blow. NO cirumstances whatsoever. Bahamut in Overdrive though? Oh yeah, baby, pile on that fifth digit, and why don't we make that digit a SIX while we're at it? Ugh...anyway, the only real final battle ended up being a laughable joke because of such attacks. Realize too, that the boss I speak of has less than twice as much health as some of the normal monsters in the last area. Why?? Why so underpowered, given the cheapness of Bahamut and Al Bhed Potions?? But wait; there's more!

Add to that the fact that the only really cunning "real" villain in the game has the most bland Final Fantasy battle in history, just before the boss I spoke of above. What kind of cunning villain uses the most lame-o chains of down-to-earth spells (and nothing more than that) blindly, over and over again? He was smarter than that... please.

And then the final insult: The edutainment fight that followed them all. O sigh. How I agree. And how I am preparing to defend myself from all of the hardcore FFX-lovers out there. ALL OF YOU THAT AGREE WITH ME... PLEASE SEND ME LETTERS OF SUPPORT (I'll need them like never before!)

Final Fantasy X was an amazing game, like every other Final Fantasy. Yes, though, the final challenges were incredibly, incredibly disappointing indeed. :(

Sorry if I rambled on there, I was never really good with those things called words. As for favorite game ending...well I'll save that for another time. Yeah, thats the ticket.


Oh, that's quite all right. You ramble less than many, and better than most. And now that you've written in, you just won't be able to stop! Thanks for the letter!

A load of bull (I kill myself)

Hi, Matt,

On the subject of game endings, the worst for me was Atelier Iris because right after I beat the final boss, the game froze. So I made up an ending that I was quite satisfied with!


Good for you! Exercising your imagination is one of several ways to avoid early senility, though I've heard crossword puzzles do the trick too.

You're not the only one who has had problem with Atelier Iris crashing. There are a few voice bugs, of course, but I had the game crash completely on one occasion where I left one screen in a town to travel to another, as people often do while playing RPGs, and somehow got lost in the transition. Faced with a black screen for several moments, I gave up, used some mild profanity, and hit reset. Be forewarned, all ye.

I took today off to tend to my stupid cold. I'm feeling better. Played some DDS2 today, & it got me thinking. Why do so few games have a load option in their menu? I was trying to beat some dastardly foes (won't mention anymore so as not to spoil anything for anybody), & I kept having to get up & reset (not something you want to keep doing when you don't feel well). I don't think it'd be that hard to program a load feature, is it? Anyway, I did eventually beat the tar out of those dastardly foes!

Have a good evening. Back to stupid work tomorrow (UGH!).



There really aren't too many, are there? Star Ocean immediately comes to mind, just because on more than one occasion, my cursor somehow slipped while trying to save, and nearly ended up restarting instead... which would truly have been a grievous error. Oh yeah, and back to the above, that's another reason that Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is bad, by the way: The game froze for me on several occasions, and once some save data got corrupted (that's the scariest message to see).

Weird names? WhyNot?

Hi again!

Just curious; what do you name your no-names? Some of the ones I've used in the past are Zeeko, Kwandi, and Roger. See what I mean?

Thanks a lot


Oh, I see, and quite well.

I've gone through several phases of my life. In my early days of RPGaming, I used to always name the main character after myself. My first Cecil was named Matt; my first Dragon Warrior heroes were named Matt.

Then, I got a bit more creative. As my weirdness blossomed and developed over the years, I began exercising my right to name characters ANYTHING in games, and that I did. I went through a period (that ended more recently than I'd like to admit) of bestowing upon all characters names relating to a single theme. It started with people I knew and changed intothings as random and bizarre as condiments or interrogative pronouns. I kid you not: In one of my Final Fantasy IV quests, Palom and Porom were named "Why" and "WhyNot", with Cecil being "What", Edward "Whom", and Edge "How". Geek? This surpasses geekdom, I'm afraid; regardless, it caused for some sidesplittingly funny in-game dialogue.

Recently, I haven't been embarrassing my characters to quite that extent, as I've been more apt to leaving them with their default names.

Interesting question... and fun to answer to boot!


KABOOM! The world has just exploded! Or no, that's just the concluding fireworks; my apologies. Anyway, the baton is about to be passed to Cast, so blast him fast at last with letters; he'll be aghast.

Before you do, for a few, please view the two answers to the clues I threw to you last time around.

#34 was the first of many questions. Final Fantasy VI is an easy-ish place to start, since (I hope) many of you have played it before. In the future though, I'll be shovelling my way through some more obscure older games, so don't think you've got it easy forever! Besides, a lot of you got this wrong anyway. I would have guessed more too, but Kefka says "hate" only a) 17 times consecutively at the most. It's still a very funny thing to read, especially for the first time, though it's in a dramatic way for storyline purposes, of course. That was worth fifteen, huh? Man, I'm generous.

Almost everyone got #35, and if you've never been to Nuklear Power, I suggest you give it a visit sometime soon, because those comics are a riot. The answer was d) Red Mage, and 10 points have been showered upon those who were correct.

If you didn't get either, no fear: I've upped the consolation points to 4, as of this day! Inflation, inflation...
*conspires to raise the E3 trip price to 1,000,000,000,000,000 points*

Oh, and congratulations to the SIXTH person to cross the tilde threshold. ~Sean~ already has two more than everyone else, but today he will receive yet another. Voila:


Question #36: (10 points) Follow me!--> In Final Fantasy VI, it is possible to travel to the final area without which character?

a) Setzer
b) Celes
c) Edgar
d) Sabin
e) You need all of the above

Question #37: (15 points) What is the difference between a green bell pepper and a red bell pepper?

a) Greens are sweet, while reds are hot.
b) Greens are hot, while reds are sweet.
c) They're two totally different varieties.
d) Greens are simply unripened, while reds are fully ripe.
e) There is no difference; some bell peppers just ripen into different colours.

Things to work for (the SOCK item shop!):

100 points: Tilde (infinite number remaining!)
500 points: Guest-co-host Opportunity #1 (5 remaining!)
700 points: The Final Fantasy 1 "Official" Crazed-Chipmunk-Hold-your-Ears Soundtrack (5 remaining!)
1000 points: The Mattie's Mom Cookie Recipe Compilation (5 remaining!)
100000000 points: All-expenses-paid trip to E3 (can this be yours??)

The baton gets passed here to Andrew! Send him your letters, and I'll see you all next week! Behave yourselves.
***Matt likes making faces

Send a Question

Oh, homework assignments... zero questions down and four to go. I could use a twice-baked potato right about now...


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About the Host

Matt's Next Unhealthy Addiction

Another Unhealthy Addiction

Matt's Top 3 Current Games:

1. Makai Kingdom

2. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana

3. Warioware: Twisted!

Matt's Top 3 RPG Desires:

1. Dragon Quest VIII

2. Final Fantasy III

3. Mario & Luigi: PiT

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Cookie o' the Week:

Mattie's All Saints Day Cookies

These treats commemorate the oft-overlooked observance that follows Halloween. Indeed, All Saints Day certainly goes ignored, probably due to the fact that nothing sweet and sugary is traditionally consumed on that day, except for things acquired on Halloween.

-1 large zucchini

-1 cup of holy water

-2 freshly laid golden eggs

-1 cup of fairy dust (I'm pretty sure this stuff is actually dandruff...)

-a sprig of ambrosia

-an olive twig

-1 tsp vanilla extract

Peel the zucchini and chop into smaller pieces. Put into a blender with the eggs, water, vanilla, and olive twig, and mix until very uniform throughout (it might take a minute or more). Add the fairy dust, and then pulse the blender at high power for a few seconds at a time until a muddy dough is formed. Roll this amalgam into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet; press a piece of ambrosia into each ball. Bake on Cloud 9 until they look heavenly, and then enjoy in your own favourite Utopia.

SOCK standings:

1. Jbumi
290 pts

2. DDX
247 pts

3. Ourobolus
225 pts

4. Binser
135 pts

5. Arros Raikou
122 pts

6. ~Sean~
107 pts

7. Flamethrower
95 pts

8. Angel0886
87 pts

8. Jeremy
87 pts

10. Yugiohfan1986
61 pts

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