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InFrozenFires June 12, 2006

Josh - 9:18 EST

Happy Birthday!

I sent you a photocopier.

I feel used.

Hi Ouro,

There seems to be a slowdown in PS2 RPGs in the next little while (What? Dirge of Cerebus is an RPG?), so I`m facing a bit of a RPG drought until a whole slew of them come out in the fall (Rogue Galaxy, FF12, Vp:Sileria, Okami, and many more). I`m considering trying to go on ebay and finding older games. What do you think about the whole ebay/secondhand game market? Do you think this is a help to the RPG market (fan = yay! I can get an old rare game I haven`t played yet!) or a hindrance (company = what? someone spent $150 on a game and we don`t see a buck of it?)?

Personally, I don`t mind rereleases like the FF rereleases, because there are a lot of great games in the past people have not enjoyed yet, or wish to play again. However, another part of me would rather see new games and spend that extra money on ebay if it means a *NEW* RPG comes out that much sooner. What do you prefer?

Gouden Draak


I have no problems with the used videogaming business. Someone originally paid the full price for that game, so I don't see why it has to be paid again, regardless of who receives it. Sure, I'm mooching, but isn't that what capitalism is all about? ^^

I will buy new games if I have the cash and it warrants a purchase. I know a lot of effort goes into making each and every game, but not every game is so good that it has to be bought at the outset. I know it causes the companies to gain less money, but considering the actual amount of new games that are purchased, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

There's also the issue of out-of-print games. If the companies have stopped creating copies of a game, they have set a limit on how many they expect to be bought. So reselling a game much later to someone else causes no damage to the companies, since they've already perceived it as a lost endeavor.

And now my mind is numb. *pokes* Didn't feel a thing.

*Sniffle* While no roll for me on Sunday's column? *Sob* I see how it's gonna be...I'm just gonna have to flood your mailbox with all sorts of mindless crap! Prepare to have your mind numbified...

It's a good point that there are controversies to take into consideration when using historical settings (which the shooter games out there so delicately ignore). Personally, I don't think the controversy is what stops developers. Look at GTA. Loves the controversy! Free advertising on all the news networks! Even more small children rush out to buy the game! See? Everybody wins.

While there are certainly exceptions to the bland fantasy setting, I'm just saying I'd like to see more of them. They tend to be a nice breath of fresh air.

Question time: Who is the most sympathetic villain in an RPG? I always thought it was Jowy/Joei of Suikoden II fame. It seems many games attempt to make their villains' goals somewhat reasonable, but few succeed. What I've always liked about Jowy was that his goals were basically the same as the 108's. He just went about trying to achieve those goals in an entirely different way, a way that happened to conflict with the 108's methods.

The Dilzweld Commander (Dilber? His name escapes me, and I don't feel like looking it up :^D) from Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits also comes to mind. However, I didn't like that the game entirely hid his motives until right before your party decides to kill him anyway. I just really enjoy when villains' motives make some kind of sense. It's impossible to identify with evil incarnate with no goals other than death and no reason other than bloodlust. It may be totally awesome, but it's also totally unreasonable.

Vicissitude (Vid, V-dog, Vfsdfasdk, if it starts with a 'V' it's probably me :^D)


I fixed it, ok? :P

Controversy only really applies with videogaming if it can be projected across the entire nation. Like, you said, GTA - the games are ridiculed for teaching children to be violent. Personally, it takes quite a lot to offend me, and I honestly wish the world would just learn to not whine about every little thing. It's nothing but a wish, but it's a nice thought. I'll touch on the Civil War thing in the next letter.

You know, before I finished your sentence, I thought Jowy. He's your best friend, but he takes the misguided way to attacking the problems of the world. It's sad how it all plays out, but I really did feel sorry for him. Teepo from BoF3 was kinda like that, too...he didn't find out his problems until the end of the game, and BAM! Boss fight. And who can forget Magus? ^^

And hey, Kefka was the most awesome villain ever! He's absolutely insane, and he actually suceeds in devastating the world! How sweet is that?!?

Take that hill!


I'd like to say a couple of things on issues that have come up of late, first of which would be the impact of a Civil War RPG on neo-Confederates, etc.

JuMeSyn is unfortunately correct with the assumption that such a game would incite the distaste of one side or the other unless handled tastefully. As related by news stories regarding Confederate symbols on state flags, many Southerners still take great pride in the fact that the South was once its own nation. The issue becomes even worse when one realizes that this pride is reinforced by a "Lost Cause" mentality that has been around since the end of the war. Created by Confederate General Jubal Early, among many others, the Lost Cause continued to assert the moral superiority of the former Confederates long after the war. As detailed in many history books, among them David Blight's excellent 2001 work, Race And Reunion, the Lost Cause came to dominate America's historical interpretation of the Civil War decades after its conclusion. As a result, Confederates came off as morally correct and were applauded for their heroism and bravery, and many Southerners maintain this level of pride today.

Another issue upon which I would like to comment pertains to the use of historical backgrounds such as the Civil War in RPGs. Many readers have pointed out that such endeavors might not be all that feasible, due to possible PR ramifications, but I would cite Xenosaga (especially Episode I) as one that gets it right with its elements of Gnostic Christianity. While the game stops just short of engaging in wholescale theological debate, it does include many Gnostic elements in the parlance of the universe. I think such subtle inclusion merits more attention in the wake of the firestorm surrounding Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. The latter shows that Christians will react to badly-presented controversy, and the lack of vitriol around Xenosaga shows, at least in some respects, that the writers effectively placed Gnostic references in a way that encouraged research, not retaliation.



Yargh. I knew this was coming.

I realize the fact that many Southerners take the stance that their forebearers were more morally astute than their Union counterparts, and whether or not it is true (it's hard to tell, since practically everything on the subject is of Confederate bias...yes, I did research. I told you I hate doing that), the fact remains that they lost the war. I'm glad they have pride in the past, and I agree that there were many great heroes from the South (and General Lee was arguably the better Commander), but that's not the issue here. A game based on the Civil War could take both sides, yes, and everything would be well and good. Playing as one side would be just fine as well,'s the kicker: The Northerners thought that the Southerners were the enemy, and vice versa. In a game, you are usually trying to eliminate an this case - an army. The companies would possibly have to take into account the feelings of one group, but like I said before, I don't see this applying to the RPG genre, so we really don't have to worry too much about it.

Religious symbolism practically cakes the foundations of modern RPGs. You can't walk 10 feet in a game without having someone say or reference something that could be construed as something ripped from the Bible or some other theological text. Christians (yes, I am one) are sometimes the worst at reacting to mild references. They think God doesn't have a sense of humor.

If God didn't have a sense of humor, why'd he make us, then? Hehehe.

Note: The columnist does not wish to spawn a theological debate. Stop thinking about it. Stop typing. Go eat a sandwich and think about RPGs. Now.

Combat Log

Vicissitude moves 3 spaces to tile 6. (Note: Forgot last time. >_<)
Ourobolus casts ROULETTE!
Nothing happens to tile 8.
Ourobolus casts ROULETTE!
Nothing happens to tile 14.
Bainick casts BOLT 1 at Genjuu!
Genjuu falls back 1 space to tile 2.
Genjuu casts HASTE!
Genjuu moves 2 spaces to tile 5.
Vicissitude moves 3 spaces to tile 9.
Bainick moves 3 spaces to tile 7.
Arros Raikou moves 3 spaces to tile 10.
Ourobolus casts SLOW on Arros Raikou!
Arros Raikou falls 1 space to tile 9.
Chinroku moves 2 spaces to tile 3.
Xlash moves 2 spaces to tile 2.
Xlash casts HASTE!
Xlash moves 3 spaces to tile 5.
AcidKnight moves 2 spaces to tile 2.
AcidKnight casts HASTE!
AcidKnight moves 3 spaces to tile 5.

For lower resolutions, click here



Or, THONG for short. For now, the prizes will be limited to Guest-Hosting opportunities, since this is essentially an experiment. I'm positive that it will turn out well, though! Now, for the setup:

This is the game board. If you ever talk to CactuarJoe, make sure to thank him for the wonderful job he did! Thanks Joe!

If you want to join: Please send me your top 3 choices for characters for your game piece. A list of them that can be used can be found here. Please only choose from the "PARTY" or "NPC" links. Also make sure that the character has a left/right-facing sprite, and a front/back facing sprite. Thanks!

  • Everyone begins the game on START.
  • For every letter you write in, I will roll a 3-sided die (I'll use RPGamer's resident Random Number Generator, DiceyBot). That will determine how many spaces you move.
  • You may only get credit for one letter, per day - max 3 per weekend. Timestamps will be checked, and only letters sent during Friday - Monday before my column will be counted towards that weekend. Letters sent at other times during the week will not count until Saturday.
  • Letters must be addressed to me, at either or Letters will get credit even if they are unanswered, or even if Matt answers them.
  • If you land on a Spell Tile, you MUST use the spell listed on the Tile. Spells and their effects are listed after the rules.
  • The Trivia Tile MUST be landed on before you may enter the FINISH Tile. Answering the trivia question correctly will automatically grant you entry into the FINISH Tile, and you will receive the prize.
  • If you reach the Trivia Tile, another reader who is participating in the game will ask you a question. However, the person who lands on the Tile decides WHICH reader asks the question, as well as WHICH RPG from which the question will be asked (e.g. "Wonderslime wants Bainick to ask him a question about Chrono Trigger").
  • If the person who provides the question has not played the game, they may use anything necessary to come up with a question. Failure to provide a question over 2 days of my column will result in the same effect as if the receiver answered the question right, and he/she will progress to the FINISH Tile.
  • The Prize for this initial board will be 5 Guest Hosting positions. Once those are completed, a new board will be created, probably with more prizes.
  • The effects will go as such. Movement->Spells Cast->Effects. Everyone will move at the same time, all spells will be cast at the same time, and all effects will happen at the same time. Attack spells will be cast at the beginning of the day after they were landed on.

Spell effects are as follows:

  • Bolt 1: Player chooses another player to push back 1 tile.
  • Bolt 2: Player chooses another player to push back 2 tiles.
  • Stop: Player must send in a letter to lose the 'Stop' status, at which point he may send in a letter the next day to resume rolling.
  • Haste: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her advance 1-3 tiles.
  • Slow: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her retreat 1-3 tiles.
  • Merton: Player chooses another player to push back 4 tiles, at the cost of Player moving back 2 tiles.
  • Roulette: I roll a 20-sided die. Any players standing on that numbered tile are pushed back 2 tiles.

Note: Remember, you can join in THONG at any time! The board is designed to allow newcomers to use their spells and letters to rise up and knock others back! It's an equal opportunity game! :)

I apologize for the short column, but I got caught up in a group project today and it completely slipped my mind. I think THONG is up to date; I think I caught my errors.

Also, next weekend, I have to take a trip to Gettysburg for my internship, so I won't be able to post a column until Monday...So, only 1 THONG roll next weekend, so make it count! Send me letters! Have a good week with Matt!
***Josh gets to sleep in until 7AM tomorrow!

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About the Host

Quote Archives!

Josh's Top 3 Distractions:

1. Guild Wars: Factions

2. Sleeping

3. Plotting to take over this site

RPGs I'm currently playing:

1. Grandia III

2. Xenosaga II

3. Romancing SaGa

4. Radiata Stories

5. Wild Arms: ACF

THONG Players

1. Carabbit
Fairy Esper

2. Gouden Draak
Blue Dragon

3. Macstorm
General Leo

4. Genjuu

5. Carlisle

6. Bainick

7. Angel

8. Wonderslime

9. Powerlord

10. Vicissitude

11. Bucket

12. Donovan

13. Roku

14. JCIV

15. Arros Raikou

16. The Bluick

17. Chinroku

18. Xlash

19. Alan Tse

20. AcidKnight
Figaro Soldier

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