The Oracle
Du hast mich gefragt, und ich hab nichts gesagt!
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - October '99- 00:00 PDT

Woo.. Rammstein lyrics in the title, Rammstein lyrics in the title. I know there are tons of Rammstein fans out there. Heck, I like 'em too. Good stuff, that. Of course, I speak a bit'o German, so I understand the songs. To a degree. The above title has nothing to do with hate, actually. Just a 'best fit' phonetically. The real thing it says is, "You have me asked, and I have nothing said", or converted grammatically: "You asked me, I said nothing." It's mostly a song about how the male vocal is saying he'll hardly be with whomever he is talking about until 'death do us part' or other such sillyness., heh. Anyways, that's your german lesson for the day. Smile, and be big happy germanic language speaking peoples!
Heh, English is a germanic language. You're all so much more german than you think. I'm german by blood a bit, as well.
Anyway, we have a fun-filled column for you today. I've played quite a bit of Suikoden 2, (I might have it beaten by this weekend!) .. so I can now answer all your neat Suikoden 2 questions. Well... not ALL of them. Yet. But after I beat it, I'll go through a good walkthrough and bone up on how to get every single character, and then I'll know everything. Not that I don't.. but.. ehh.. yeah. Okay.

Read an article today in Rolling Stone about the "Life of a Teenage Girl". Now the first thing that ran through my mind was, "oh no.. oh dear".. because if you've ever seen a Rolling Stone magazine, (okay, mostly the covers, though the insides aren't exactly different)... well, it's pretty much about low percentages of clothing on women. So I'm thinking, "Oh dear. They're going to find the sluttiest, horniest little 16 year olds out there.." ..well, actually, they didn't. It was a rather interesting article, and it actually did a good job. Not one comment that I caught in the article about the writer saying how he was trying to look down the girl's shirts, or how he'd like to nail any of them. Wait. I just thought of something. Maybe the author was a female. Hold on. Lemmie check.

Okay. Never mind. It was a female author.


Men are such scum.

And we enjoy it, too.

Here's Johnny!

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Brad Now Playing:
Suikoden 2
Wheee.. I'm almost done with it. It's been a long and hard Suikoden2 weekend.
In Brad's Head
I've got Physics. IN MY PANTS.
I've got Rhythm. IN MY SOUL.
I've got salad dressing. ON MY SHIRT. wah.
Suikoden 2 stuff
*** Suikoden 2 Spoilers ***

Someone actually sent me an email about this a week or two ago, and I didn't answer it then because well, I didn't have the information, and I wasn't about to go look it up. Anyway, the question was:

Where/when do I get Templton? (I'm pretty sure that's the right place for the missing 'e', poor guy.. )

...and the answer is, after you've got your castle, you're allowed to go east through Raddat and into the area where Toto village and the Mercenary Fort are. Templton is first found at the fort, where Highland soldiers will not let him in. You see him, you talk to him, and then he takes off. He ends up in Toto village, where you find him looking at more smoking ruins, (heh, I think he's got a thing for burnt down places.. he was found near the burning remains of the elf tree-place thing in the first Suikoden game). After talking to him at this point, he should join your side.

Covering up, (or not) for the Weekend gal..
*** FF8 Spoilers ***

Hi there Brad,

Just coming to Veronica's aid. Before the fans start plotting Veronica's death over the Winhill statue-has-no-vase debate, I'd like to mention that you need Irvine in your party for the vase piece to pop out.

Oh yeah... Malboros. You can find them on the Island Closest to Heaven island, one of the easternmost islands on the topleft corner of the map. They're kinda rare there though. The best place to find them is in a forest area where it's impossible to land the Ragnarok (the HUGE cliff-enclosed forest north of Esthar). To get there, you have to go to the Chocobo forest close to Trabia Garden (northeast of it, I think), get a Chocobo, and go east. If you look carefully at the ocean, you'll notice that some parts are a lighter shade of blue. These are shallow waters, and chocobos can walk over them. Anyway, walk over the light-blue sea area around the cliffs until you can enter the forest from a beach (it's a long walk; if I remember the entrance is on the EAST side of the nortern Eshtar continent.. whew). Once in the forest, you can ditch the chocobo to start fighting.

Oh, if you want to go back, there's a chocobo forest called a Chocobo Shrine north of the forest.

Cerebus, I believe is only available during the Galbadia Garden battle, since you can't find the garden anywhere afterwards. Sorry 'bout that.


Actually, the island closest to heaven is a better place to find Malboros (in my personal experience) which is just west of the Esthar continent alongside the big bad forest (that is mentioned above). Just start landing on islands and then looking at your location bar in the menu. One of those islands (it's small, but not totally tiny), is the Island Clostest to Heaven.. and you will find Chimeras, Malboros, and other nasties there. As for Cerebus, I've heard you can draw him from the bosses in Ultimecia's castle on Disc 4, but I haven't confirmed that at this time.

MmmMmmm..nephews are tasty!
*** FF8 Spoilers ***

Omniscient Oracle,

I have a nephew. He is 10 years old. He has been playing FF 8, and told me his thoughts on the game. He told me that he finished the first CD of the game faster than he finished the first CD of FF 7. This leads me to one of four conclusions:

1) All this talk about the game being long and hard is a bunch 'a hooey.
2) My nephew is an abnormally fast RPG player
3) My nephew missed 90% of the subquests in the game thus far
4) My nephew took an abnormally long amount of time to finish the first CD of FF 7.

You know much of this game. Please, tell me, is it really that much easier? Or is my nephew that much better than everybody else?

Ever seeking the truth, ~Antestarr

I'm going with the abhorrent mutation option. .. oh, that wasn't an option. Oh well. I'd say the first disc of FF7 is longer than the first disc of FF8 because, well, honestly, there's less actual game on the 1st disc of FF8. You haven't done as much stuff. Remember that FF8 is 4 CDs, (of which the 4th is abnormally short), and that FF7 is 3 CDs, (of which, the 3rd is abnormally short), yet they each took me a good, relaxed 70 hours of play apiece to beat the first time. (I do not race through games quickly the first time. There's a reason why marination is a slow cooking process, and why it tastes so damn good. </analogy>. So, basically, you missed the most obvious answer to your question:

The first disc of FF8 is shorter than the first disc of FF7.

Who is General Failure, and what's he doing reading my C Drive?
Hello Mighty Oracle,

Hello Mighty Reader!

I have a few general Squaresoft questions for you.

.. uh.. the answer is 7.

1. Do you think square will stick with Playstation 2 or return to nintendo with their "dolphin"?

Oh! Here's the questoins. I was starting to wonder.. er... get distracted.. BUTTERFLY! .. sorry.. I'm pretty sure they'll be sticking with Sony for this one, though they might go dual-platform, who knows. There hasn't been any announcement of that sort, however.

2. Where do you want to square to go? PS2 or "Dolphin"?

I'm not buying the Dolphin. I was sorely disappointed in the N64. I'm not buying a Dreamcast, either, but that's not because I don't like the Dreamcast, but rather because I'm only going to buy one nextgen system, and currently, I think the PS2 is going to be the one that fits me best.

3. Man, have you played WWF Attitude? It rules. (sorry, just had to say that.)

.. I'm sure it does. :) I don't have enough time to even play the games I buy, let alone games I wouldn't buy ;)

4. Lastly, am i the only one who thinks the Seiken Densetsu composer guy (i cant remember his name) is better than Uematso??? C'mon, listen to the soundtracks of Secret of Mana, SD3, and try not to be impressed. Really.

You may be the only one. I'm not entirely impressed with FF8's soundtrack, (It could have been better. A lot better. :/), but most people are avid fans. I do happen to very much like the music from the Seiken Densetsu series. Especially the boss theme in SD3.

-A Blue Guitar

He's number one of something, alright...
soma happens to be the name of a wonderful pumpkins tune. hmmmm.....I wonder how many RPGamers are pumpkin fans?


More coverin' Veronica's butt. :) She knows her literature. But for obscure references to weird bands/movies... you all know who to go to. YOU LOVE ME. er.. <jedimindtrick> YOU LOVE ME </jedimindtrick> .. right. Anyways, I know for a fact that Alex Kimbel is an avid Pumpkins fan, I'm not 'avid'... but I definitely like some of their stuff. Especially "Tonight, Tonight".. the percussion in that is just awesome.

You want a job, eh?
According to the Rpgamer FAQ, a job application is supposed to be put up whenever there is a job opening at Rpgamer, but I've never once seen an application after visiting this website for a few years. Why the hell isn't it posted? How the hell can I get a job?


First, you must cut down the greatest tree in this forest... WITH A HERRING! .. yeah, okay. I get this question an ungodly number of times per week. Here's the straight dope on it. You have to know people. It's very rare that someone is just picked out of the random chaos that is the Internet to be an RPGamer staffer. I'm not saying it's impossible, but most of us, when we are hired, know personally one or more of the staffers, either through irc channels we both frequented, well, okay, that's one of the main ways. If there comes a time when we have an open application period for entry-level RPGamer positions, (most of which would be news and/or new media positions), I'll be sure to mention it at some point in time during this column. It's not always posted in big huge "GIVE US APPLICATIONS" letters on the front page, you see. Because well, Mike Tidwell has this nasty habit of deleting large amounts of email on any given day that he hits "Get New Messages" and the number it tells him he has left to get is over 1000.. and, well, we don't like to do that to him. Anyways, just to narrow it down for all you hopefuls *coughwannabescough* er.. ahem.. here are some of the basic skills you'd have to have, just in case an opening occured, which is --> NOT <-- currently the case. (I don't want a million applications hitting my mailbox either. Not yet at least.. ;)

  • Must possess HTML skills up to a point where you can hand code nested tables and have them do what you want to do.
    We don't use a lot of really complicated things, but we use gobs and gobs of tables, sometimes nested, and other things. If you don't understand what this looks like in an actual text mode, you'll break our poor little hearts.
  • Must be personable.
    That's right. If you can't get along with the team, it doesn't matter how good you are. It's all over. This is actually one of the biggest issues we impress upon our recruits, mainly becuase it's the only one you honestly haven't a clue about through an application/interview.
  • Must have access to IRC
    We conduct a lot of business, (including new staff interviews and meetings) on IRC. Also, it's a good way for the staffers to keep the team spirit going. We all have a blast, and that's the medium we choose. It's mandatory. Well, not the fun part. The IRC part. If you don't want to have fun, refer to the previous subject. ;)
  • You must be at least 14 years of age
    And 16, in some areas. Possibly 18, depending. It's legal, and well, I'm sorry if you're the hippest 13 year old cat out there, them's the breaks. Tell your parents to vote loudly. ;)

Well, lordy be! The king o' dragons, talkin' to me!
Since I know you've got some knowledge about soundtracks, I was just wondering if you, or anyone else out there for that matter, have an opinion on FF Symphonic Suite. It's retailing on Game Cave for about $30, and the description sounds really good.

I really do like FF:Symphonic Suite. I'd say go for it, if you've got $30 lying around, and you really dig earlier FF music. (Matouya's theme! WOOOO!).. there's some cool stuff in there. Volcano, etc. Go get it. ..and just because of this question, I am now listening to it. :)

Cactaur guy!
*** FF8 Spoilers ***

Brad, Hey I have a question for you, hopefully you'll be able to help me out with this one. I just returned to earth after retrieving the Ragnarok from space, and Rinoa has been taken into custody. With that in mind, this question actually isn't about progressing the story in any way, I just wanted to give you an idea of where I am level-wise and story-wise and disc-wise and stuff. My question is, how do you defeat Jumbo Cactuar on the Cactuar Island??? I fought him once, and releazing his HP were grotesquely high, I stocked up on about 50 Ultimas (it was easy, don't make fun of me). After taking nearly 100,000 HP out of him, he "hesitated," then ran away!! Agh! After all that fighting! So what do I do? Oh, and how do you kill little cactuars? They're irritating...but I hear they give you lots of AP... ::Evil gleam in eye:: Well thanks -Ben

Err.. well, I actually used Meltdown on him, and .. well, then proceeded to just smack him around with normal shots. Make sure to have a lot of Full-Life, because every 3 or so shots you land on him, you end up getting 10,000 needles. Which, well, kills you. Don't bother with the triple or double, and also, water magic, as I recall, does some nasty to him. But the Meltdown really helped me out on him.. as it takes his armor waaaay down. The only thing I used ultima on in the entire game was some adamantoises that were just pissing me off. :) I didn't use much magic. I junct'd magic. :)

Oldie But Goodie
Suikoden. Questions. Answer.

1. How do I beat general Teo with Pahn, in suikoden 1? I've found it impossible, and what do I get if I win?

2. How do I revive Gremio?

3. What do you think of Suikoden 2?

Answer. Good. Thanx o' oracle of gaming.


Ahh.. the answers to your question are all very highly related, actually. To nail Teo with Pahn, well, it takes an uncanny amount of skill, and a little luck. As I recall, he has a pattern at the very beginning of what the match. Figure it out, and match. Also, I leveled Pahn up to about level .. (thinks).. 36 sounds about right. I walked around in that flower guy (one of the big generals) house for a while to get Pahn some serious levels.. and also, have him equipped with the best armor you can, also, sharpen his claws as much as possible. If you beat Teo, Pahn obviously does not die, and he continues to be in your service. As for Gremio, well, here's where it all ties in. If you have all 107 stars besides Germio before the last battle, Leknaat will come and blather something about the power of all 108 stars being in one place, blah blah blah blah "Hey Gremio!" .. he's revived, and you get the 'special ending'. Which, well, I won't spoil it. I'm loving Suikoden 2, btw.

Uh, stuff'n'stuff. In the head.
Hey Brad.

Over the weekend Veronica answered a question about what Miyamoto and what he's done/does when he doesn't do Zelda. Her answer seemed a tad incomplete. Miyamoto wasn't hired in Nintendo's infancy for one, he was hired and got the ideas for Donkey Kong and then that was turned into an arcade game. I'm not sure if Nintendo started making arcade games before he came along. But Nintendo, like Sega, made thigns way before video games. Nintendo has been around since the beginning of the century and possibly earlier and started making playing cards. Also, Miyamoto created the Star Fox games, the Zelda games, Mario games, and who knows what else. I'm sure Japan is filled to the rim with games he has helped made.

Tristan Adnade

That's right, send me cool info, and I post it, with my not so witty comments!

Stickies.. ew.

I have a bud at school that has a striking resemblance to you. I saved one of your pics on a diskette and showed it to him at school, and now he is scared and thinks he has a genetic clone. What should I do?
- Jesse

Kill him. There can be only one.

So if Tidwell is Shao Kahn, and Veronica is Sheeva, than who are you?

I'm triangle man.

I live in nipomo, like 15 minutes from you, so print this in your quickies dammit.

Heh, okay!

Wizards and Warriors is the best game of all time. Anyone else agree with me?

Nope. Next!

Let me thwap blue Veronica, please? *thwap* make that blue if you want to have one more fan.

Heh heh heh.. take that, you hoochie fiend!

Okay, what's with JD, and why does he update once a financial quarter?

I'm afraid JD has succombed to 'having a life'. It's the girlfriend. First you get one of those things.. then you start working.. start going to school.. pretty soon you have no time for video games and you're like, social or something! Ick. I hope it's not contagious.

Even worse than diet soda is...caffeine free diet soda!!! Argh! Even the mention of such filth makes me cringe!

ERGGHGGGH.. Must.. cleanse.. body.. with.. ORANGE SODA.. .. yess.. stable.. finally.. thank you.. whew. Diet Decaf soda is evil. I mean soda that normally doesn't have caffiene is actually something I tend towards.. (orange soda, root beer, etc)... but when it's supposed to have it.. leave it in! When it's NOT supposed to have it, (i.e. Barqs Rootbeer).. for god's sake, LEAVE IT OUT. </barqhatred>

I feel funky.........monkey.......funky........


Words from the Wise One:

Wow. A non-tired, non-sleep dep'd update... does it feel weird for you too? It certainly does me. Anyway, lots of exciting stuff going on this week. Aimo, the Anime Brad winner, will be with us on Thursday.. I'm thinking about also dragging Lore out of fanart and having her answer a question or two, and making it a big fanart orgy in the Q&A column day.
Okay, I just like saying orgy. 'Come on Lore, you know you want to, er--- incoming thwap, SHIELDS!
Right. So get those fanartish questions out of your head, and into my mailbox

Brad "I hate it when I have a cool quote in my head.. but by the time I get down to where to put it in.. I've forgotten it. That sucks. :(" Lohr

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