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Learn Something Every Day August 6, 2006

Josh - 8:33 EST

Wow, I guess plenty of people have played Rudra no Hihou. My inbox got quite a few letters from you fellas.

In other news, I'll finally be getting back to my apartment at the end of this coming week. Yay! So, if any of you feel like I haven't been putting forth as much effort, then you'll see me back in full form once I finally get out of here. Hopefully in a few weeks, the new THONG board will be revealed, and we can get started! Yay! You know you like it... :P

Also, there is now a video on the internet of me and my suitemate losing it completely and dancing...uh-oh...




L E T T E R S
Ok, this was only a slight reference.


Just to answer JuMeSyn's question on the rom version of Rudra no Hihou. It was translated into French, then translated into English. I have played the english translation, but that was in my own Dark Ages! And yes the LOTR's RPG was very bad on the SNES. If you passed 99 in a stat in reverted to say 1 instead of 101. All that strength for naught!

Soulblazer and Illusion of Gaia/Time are fine games but the third in the trilogy is still the best. Terranigma of course!

And yes the MMORPG series is screaming for a Star Trek, Star Wars and a Disc World universe.

And lastly i'm still waiting for my Psychonauts cartoon/anime series!

Bainick wants to be this Suikoden character
Hero 2

Josh

Well, I have yet to see the ROM version, but they are handy for playing versions of games that you otherwise couldn't play. I have general issues regarding the legality of ROMs when you can purchase them (and are able to enjoy it, i.e. READ it), but otherwise, I don't really have many issues.

Well, Star Wars Galaxies already exists, though from what I hear, it's nothing great. However, I would love to see a Discworld universe, though I have absolutely no idea how that would be implemented. Only Terry Pratchett has any idea...

And dammit, you'll get your chance to pick your Suikoden character!! Down, boy, down! ^^



Is that you, JuMeSyn?


Hi there Ouro,

Josh

Oh. My. God.

I mean...uh...hey!

In regards to the anime that should be RPGs, I thought I'd chime in, and say what I think could be good RPGs

Rave Master/Groove Adventure Rave should be an RPG I mean come on it has a dude with a sword on a quest to find four magical stones to save the world from an evil army, that screams RPG, but no we got two fighting games out of the deal... ugh

Based on an old topic on Tech TV's forum back when they showed anime and were showing Read or Die the TV, someone mentioned it could make a neat original action-RPG, with the ability to craft weapons and summons out of paper, so it also gets a mention

Chrno Crusade(or however the bloody hell it's spelled) seems like it could make a nice RPG, someone even compared it's story to La Pucelle's once, though it would more than like have a sad ending from what I've seen

Josh

It's topics like this that make me realize that I'm really behind on my anime. I mean, seriously, other than what they show on Adult Swim, the last series I've seen was Tenchi Universe. I think I'm just really picky.

As for some anime that have become RPGs of some sort and my thoughts on them fufufu

Sailor Moon: Another Story was a pretty good RPG if you are a fan of Sailor Moon, and from what I've seen was the only decent Sailor Moon game, the rest were weird puzzle games, standard beat em ups and fighting games that featured only the sailor scouts and no bad guys what so ever... just so you know I pwn hardcore as Chibi moon

Tenchi Muyo was made into a strategy-RPG, while the combat was overly easy it did offer an original story, two new characters, and with the exception of Kiyone allowed you to control the main cast, those funky log dudes, and some robot thing

Josh

Oh really? Hm...I may have to check that out, if only for the sake of checking it out.

Yu Yu Hakusho: Tournament Tactics was an odd choice for a strategy-RPG... pretty much the main force, plus the masked fighter, that healing girl, the wind dude, the drunk dude, the yo-yo kid and the ice dude were under your control as you fought through the Dark Tournament strategy style o.o

All those funky DBZ card battle system rpgs, dear lord those things were ugly as sin, and do to the weird funky card battle system difficult to play, only one of them sported an original story, the rest were RPG-ized versions of the standard DBZ BS

Josh

Card...battle...

*rips off his shirt*

OURO DESTROY CARD BATTLE GAME! YARRRRRGGGHH!!

Inuyasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask this game was incredibly easy and while not much to look at, everyone is SD... and it is a PS2 game... and ontop of that the battle effects feel like they were ripped from the old Batman TV show, it does sport an original story, control over the main cast, two original new characters as well as Sesshomaru, multiple endings(sort of...) it was quite nice to play if you are an Inuyasha fan, but otherwise the lag in the battle system and the dated graphics would kill the average gamer, though i heard in Japan there are more Inuyasha RPGs

Josh

Yeah, there are thousands of anime-based RPGs over there. I couldn't even begin to count them. Just wandering around Korea, I was awash in a sea of anime games.

Oh, and Inuyasha grew old. Fast. It really had entirely too many pointless episodes.

Mobile Suit Gundam: True Oddessy/MS Saga: A new dawn, I can't really say much about it because my copy sits in my Drawer of Backlog but it is both an anime and an rpg

.Hack I personally loved .Hack//SIGN the first anime series, but the games sort of liked them but lost interest after I found out there was a new Manga and Anime series coming out, what's the point of saving The WORLD if it just gets ----ed back up again and so far Volume 4 sits in the Drawer of Backlog, also .hack//Legend of the Twilight sucks...

Full Metal Alchemist that game was awful repetitive and boring, running arround fighting endless waves of thugs and chimeras was just ugh... there was also no NPCs to interact with at all so that killed alot of the fun of an rpg, to me exploration and seeing what townsfolk have to say is part of being a RPG hero

And on the reverse side there are some RPGs that have became anime and they were horrible, I point to Wild ARMS TV dear god that thing had little to nothing to do with the game series at all, and the art was ugly... and if it counts .Hack//Legend of the Twilight that anime is a disgrace to everything with it's kiddy story and poor art I spit on it

Josh

That FF anime was crap too. What was it, FF Unlimited or something?

Here's hoping the Disgaea anime is awesome

Josh

Agreed.

Also Rudra no Hihou or whatever it was called has been mentioned in Q and A before, and was even a SOCK question asking what the title would translate to in English which was Treasure of the Rudra

Man this is getting long o.o

Josh

No, of course not! ^^;

um uh now to hopefully increase this letter's likelihood of getting posted I pose a question to the Ouro that I also posed to Matt before he ran away to Montreal,

What are your thoughts on instruction manuals being in black and white?

Me personally it irks the living crap out of me, I paid 30-50 dollars for this bloody thing where is the color in the manual!!! A reprint/greatest hits copy I can understand but a new fresh just released game with a black and white manual what the hell good sirs

Josh

Well, I like color, so I'd prefer color. So, B&W would be rather annoying, but it doesn't really bother me, per se. They certainly look prettier, though.

And a bonus question:

What do you keep your games in/on?

Just curious because I have 5000 dollars or so worth of games sitting in a cardboard box, and 60 games in a drawer under my tv so I was just wondering were other people keep their things ^^;;

Arros Raikou
*Really really really really hopes this letter gets posted, also on an anime nerd scale I'm a 3 i watch what I can but own very little, and I don't study up on the artists and voice actors, own series and brickabrack from them etc those are clearly 4s and 5s*

Josh

I have this thing called a 'shelf.' It's useful for storing things such as books, video games, and movies. It's quite a rarity in many parts, so it's understandable if you may have not heard of one. Hehehehe. :P



And...I'm spent.


Hullo Supreme Overlord Josh,

I just got Summon Night for the gba, and I must say, it's one of the most fun games I've played in a long time. The story is kinda shallow, but I don't really mind. Have you heard of this game? Played it? If not, I highly recommend you getting it. Well this letter kinda sucks, but I really wanted to get the word out about this amazing game.

Hoag

P.S
For JuMeSyn
http://www.fantasyanime.com/valhalla/rudra.htm

Josh

I've heard of Summon Night, but I have yet to play it (I don't have my GBA up here with me...-.-). It certainly does look interesting, because as much as I whine about dungeon crawlers, there are some that do it well. The premise of the story is actually pretty interesting, and while it isn't very deep, looks like it could serve me well. I may go give it a look, but it'll have to wait till I get home.



Ain Hair Ee Arr.


Josh,

Honestly, I'm not too big on the online RPG thing. I played FF11, and I didn't care for it. I have Guild Wars, but really don't play it too much either. I guess I'm too much into Japanese style stuff. Both the games seem...I dunno...drab, I guess. I like a game with bright colors and stuff, and memorable characters. So I guess my point is, if they make online console RPGs, I hope they make something like Dragonquest, or someth...HEY! What if there were a Valkyrie Profile online RPG?! You could make an Einjahriar and try to fashion it to be worthy of a seat amoung the Aesir!

You know what? I really need a better pastime. When you get a tattoo of a Suikoden rune, and you get excited about imagined games starrng dead people...it's time to find a new hobby. But you know what else? I don't want a new hobby, so...YAY VALKYRIE PROFILE!!

Later Josh!
~Donovan

Josh

Wow. That actually does sound like a pretty neat idea. I love the whole Norse mythos, and Valkyrie Profile is an awesome game (and God willing, Silmeria could be awesome as well)...I'd like the idea of a VP MMO. You could party up, do your damage on Earth in a PvE setting, and then go up to the heavens for PvP!

Also, I have to ask...what rune did you get? The Gate Rune? Anything neat-o?

As for the rest of you, To my side, my Noble Einherjar!!



Straight from the source.


A brief word

Josh

Liar. :P

regarding the Rudra no Hihou mention in the Aug 5 2006's column.

First, a little information about the game for the uninformed. Rudra no Hihou (commonly translated as "Rudra's Secret Treasure" or "Treasure of the Rudras") is a late-era Squaresoft SNES game. It is graphically similar to Final Fantasy VI, although there's an incredibly large amount of rather pretty animation during the combat sequences. The story focuses on the repetition of a four-thousand-year cycle, at the end of which the world's dominant race is wiped out and is replaced by a newer, stronger race. Four such races have thus thrived and been brought to near-extinction; at the start of the game, sixteen days remain before the end of the fifth cycle and humanity's eventual destruction. The story centers around three separate individuals and their respective companions, in similar fashion to Suikoden 3, as they race to save the world from the various threats facing it. Their plots intersect on occasion, in one or two cases influencing the final outcome of a scenario but generally only so each party is aware of the others. In the end, all three party leaders come together under the common banner of a fourth individual who appears multiple times during each story.

The writer (who signs as JuMeSyn) writes, "Rudra no Hihou. Here's a goofy one that I haven't played, but have never seen mentioned on Q&A. The sad part is that there's no way to translate it, since its magic system is based on the player inputting characters to form spells. The problem here is that there is no way to render a system built around the thousands of characters in Japanese into English." The magic system indeed is the star of the show, as it allows the player to form words up to six characters long and then dynamically generates an effect based on the word. It's rather good at what it does - if you give it a word whose inherent meaning is of heat or fire, it'll generate a fire effect spell. Certain phrases can be used as prefixes or suffixes to the words to alter their effects, either by increasing the strength of the spell, causing it to target all enemies, decreasing the MP cost (and power of the spell), and so on. As such, if you take the spell "Wave" and attach the word "Mega" to its front, it will become "Megawave" (as shown on Square LA's website years ago) with an increased MP cost and damage strength. On the surface it sounds really interesting and makes a lot of people ask, "How ever did they manage that?" However, as the SNES is strictly mechanical at heart, there is a rather simple (and unfortunately unimpressive) explanation.

Simply put, there is a dictionary of about 2,000 words buried in the game's code, along with data relevant to the word's effect, its strength, its MP cost and what it does when paired with other words. It is stored in alphabetical order (sorted by last character for technical reasons); when the game generates its effect, it does a binary search based on the word you enter against the list to find the longest possible match. Once it does that, it makes a note of the word's data, then starts on the next "segment" of the word, until it's run out of letters to compare against. Thus, the impossible fan translation JuMeSyn writes about is very much a possibility so long as the database is properly translated and the system is expanded to allow for longer English words (as Japanese characters are syllabic in nature, not monophonic like English characters are.) This fan translation is in fact a reality - my particular technical explanation of how the system behaves comes from the intimate knowledge gleaned from my own experience editing the game for the complete English experience as the forerunner of the Aeon Genesis fan translation outfit. However, due to the dubious legal status of such projects and RPGamer's own stance as a professional news outlet, I will not include any links to any material of possibly objectional nature in this letter, and leave your readers the job of scouring Google.

You will pardon me if this letter ended up unintentionally wordy, however I hope the information contained herein proves a rare, interesting and enlightening look at the heart of a seeminly-mystifying gameplay mechanic.

--Gideon Zhi
Aeon Genesis - Owner, Operator, and Lead Procrastinator

Josh

Well, that's certainly quite an interesting way to go about it, and thank you for providing us with your insight. I realize that there are many fan translations out there for many ROMs (yes, I'm guilty of playing FFV many years ago...ugh), and yes, we try to keep our status here professional in many respects.

However, that Rudra magic system does seem quite interesting. Considering there are seemingly thousands of combinations in that, I don't see why that wouldn't be really cool. My only question involves how do you gain the spells? What I mean is, can you make a really powerful spell from the get-go, such as (I don't know much Japanese, but say,) Mega-Mega-Mega-Mega-Mega-Wave? Sure, there would be an appropriate MP cost, but does it work out to where your character doesn't obtain that much MP until much later? Just curious.

Should this game ever make its way over here, I may have to go pick it up, because it has really piqued my interest of late.

Thanks for writing in, Gideon!



Spammity Spam!


Come into a substantial concession on your medicnie

Name classes, Supreme quality.
titanic disversification, including demanding to find drugs
0 prescription indispensable.
Secret with No waiting quarters or appointmnets imperative
shop in bigger quantities and Save! supposing further

and narrow ledges formed by listen natureverbal Caspak. It seemed odd to
realize that

Josh

WOO! This is what I've always wanted!

Now you see here. Please give me my name classes of supreme quality. I don't want to have to resort to hypothetical glamorous trite buildings. I warn you, I have an army of Peopl! monnkeys with high needs satisfactorily.

It did seem odd to realize that, didn't it? I can't believe it! He just ran right by here, without even saying "Shpedoinkle!" I'll never forgive him.





T H O N G
Combat Log

BLG moves 3 spaces to tile 14.


For lower resolutions, click here

Presenting...

THE HOPEFULLY OUTSTANDING NEW GAME!

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 4-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 qna@rpgamer.com or ourobolus@rpgamer.com. Letters will get credit even if they are unanswered, or even if Matt answers them.
  • If you land on a Spell Tile, you MAY use the spell listed on the Tile (excluding Haste, Slow, Roulette, and Stop). You do not have to, 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.
  • If you are on the Trivia Tile, you are invulnerable until the first question has been completed.
  • 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. Spells are cast only if the character is on the space at the -end- of the day.

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: The next time Player sends in a letter, it will take 2 days for the roll to take place.
  • 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. Can only be used twice.
  • Roulette: I roll a 20-sided die. Any players standing on that numbered tile are pushed back 2 tiles.
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

That was certainly an informative experience for me...any other thoughts on this, guys?

The next two days are going to be really busy for me, so all I can say is, 'Wish me luck!'

See you all tomorrow!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh is really really tired...of fast food.


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Gonna be a loooooong day tomorrow.

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