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Hunter Wilcox & George Velez - September 16 '01- Early Morning, Wesside Standard Time

Sup yo.

Before we begin, it should be said that our comments are purely our own, and do not reflect the views of anyone other than ourselves. Please, have a heart, and a sense of humor.

Now, onto the fun stuff.

We have been rather pleased to see that the deluge (read: slow trickle) of letters into our hastily erected mailbox have been of astonishingly passable quality, including one excellent letter that outshines many editorials. With that in mind, we've filtered out the absolute cream of the crop and printed only the pinnacle of literary inquisitions (read: everything we got).

Though Chim was unaware, it should be known that we object strongly to the term 'disgruntled' and its kin, including 'disillusioned', 'malcontent', 'disenchanted', etc etc. We prefer to think of ourselves as 'experienced consultants in the area of professional discharge'.

We're honored to join the ranks of those with the 'bigass sigs'. Let us march bodly forth into another episode of textual interrogation. Let us march together, brothers and sisters!

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The Imperial March

Hey (monks sing) PER-EG-RINE AND CHE-SED
I wonder since I got my prerequesites.
1. What is your quest?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. What is the air-speed velocity of an unlaiden swallow?
Also what is the wierdest RPG cliche out there?

Imperial Mog

peregrine:
1. I seek the Holy Grail.
2. Black.
3. African or European?

And, in all seriousness, the obsession with the cute comedic foil character. Why is it so necessary for every protagionist group to have some cutesy sidekick? Does every squad in the US military have an assigned "dork"? I fail to see their necessity.

chesed:
1. Belldandy.
2. Deep metallic green.
3. Bleep if I know. Pere's the falcon.

Well, I dunno if anyone else experiences this, but every RPG that I play has an evil Muffin Maker named Brad Lohr. In Final Fantasy VII he was known as Sephiroth, but if you look closely at the credits, you'll see that it lists "Sephiroth" as "Muffin Man." Just a little trivia there for you.*

And for crying out loud, muzzle the monks already.

 
Hook us up!

i once saw something about a final fantasy tactics two in a magazine at a super market several years ago. was it canceled, only in japan, or am i on crack?

peregrine:
I vote for crack. Perhaps it was rumor, perhaps it's planned. Either way it's still too far off to worry about, if it exists at all.

chesed:
I'm all for the crack too. There has been no official word from Square about release of a sequel. If anybody does have information to a sequel, please send it to:

Squaresoft
c/o Hironobu Sakaguchi
42 Yeahright Ln.
Goodluck, CA 13337

 
We Won't Hurt You

Wuzup pere and chesed?

I couldn't really think of anything game related to ask and I'm sure all kinds of people asked the natural "Whatcha been up to?" questions, so I thought I'd annoy good ole pere with something he probably hasn't heard in a long time:

When are the new stats gonna be up?

Now that you're preparing to track me down and kill me I'll take my leave and go hide. :) Take care and have fun.

Barry

peregrine:
You're my biggest fan! It's true, don't deny it. I'm too lazy to even produce stats for the chans I'm still in, though.

chesed:
I'm glad you asked!

...

...well, I guess not much of anything.

Seriously though, if I'm not hanging out with my good buddy Myst and Googleshng, you can usually find me kickin' it with Andrew Vestal and Thor. Usually we just sit and stare at the TV while Mr. Lohr makes us muffins. That's pretty much our day in a nutshell. I work during the weekends under Yasunori Mitsuda. We freelance. Our newest project is Xenosaga. I like to fart.

 
Attack of the Legimate Question!

Hi,
I have a quick question for you. I got my PS2 not too long ago and now I'm gonna sell my PSX. I'm just wondering, will I be able to play each and every one of my PSX RPGs on my PS2 without any problems? I know there were some games which didn't work on the PS2, but which one were they? I'm particularly concerned with FFA and FFC. Thank you.
~Xeros89

chesed:
Here's a quick list of games that are known to not work (note these are Japanese PS1 games that do not work with Japanese PS2 consoles):

Artdink Best Choice Susume Pirate Bokujou Monogatari: Harvest Moon Dead' Called Pavilions Densha Daisuki Dokapon! Dokapon! PlayStation the Best Dragon Beat East Asia Plan Shooting Battle 1 Fishing Road Formula One 99 Gallop Blood Master Gallop Racer Gradius Deluxe Pack Hello Kitty's Cube De Cube Idol Promotion Suzuki Yumie Konya Mo Senryou 2000 Monster Farm Monster Farm PlayStation The Best Music School Kana Deru 2 Namco Museum Encore Namco Museum Encore (Limited Edition) Namco Museum Encore PlayStation The Best Not Treasure Hunter Oumiya Treasure Tension Susume Pirate Vap Best Thanks 1800 Oumiya Treasure Tension Virtual Pachislo EX Virtual Pro Wrestling V Virtual Pro Wrestling VI Wing Commander III.

Whether it's the same for US games or not, I can't tell you. Apparently Sony removed the link that was once prominent on their site, as it was a big issue at the time. If anybody has a more up-to-date list, please e-mail Mr. Catalyst, and hopefully he will post them up in a later column. =) And maybe they won't be from a foreign country.

That was way too serious. Hmmm...

I farted.

peregrine:
I am not the be all and end all authority on those two games in particular, largely because I don't own them (I own the carts instead :). However, I have yet to run into any trouble with the PS2 in regards to playing PSX games. Any problems I have had have been solved by tweaking the options (turning off fast-load and such).

 
Wouldn't GameFAQs be easier? Spoilers ahoy!

Hello.

I'm having problems with Lavos...I'm in my first game, and I've got Magus (LV. 41), Marle (LV. 42), and Robo (LV. 40). What level should I level up to? Any strategies you recommend?

Also...um...what IS the boss in the Sunken Desert suseptable to?

Have a good day.

The Anonymous Loser

peregrine:
It's been a while... I recall being roughly that level, only I used Crono, Marle and Magus. I'm assuming you're able to get to the third form. Once there it's just a process of destroying the left bit (very low hp), then using area attacks on the center and right bit. Right bit being the ultimate goal. Once the center is dead, hammer the right bit as its defense falls. It'll resurrect the other two pieces eventually, at which point you wash rinse and repeat. Use elixirs and such liberally, this is the last fight after all.

Secondly: Water/ice. Use it well.

chesed:
Um. I guess I don't need to say much here. Other than Marle's a hottie.

 
Return to the Old School

Hello,

I'm looking for a game that would be in the classic style of Wizardry for the PS or PS2. I want to able to create my own characters and have a party of these characters, you know.

any thoughts,

Tom Wiberg

peregrine:
Unfortunately, no. However, hope is not lost, keep in mind where Wizadry originated: the PC. Therefore I lovingly direct you towards Bioware and Black Isle. Either the Baldur's Gate series played 'multiplayer' or Icewind Dale are fine options that fit your needs. Excepting that whole first-person thing.

chesed:
Well Tom, I thank you for your question and your kind words of encouragement regarding this matter, but I have no idea what to say because despite the fact that I can usually come up with some made up fun stuff that might sound like it's answering the question but really just states my opinion on it... I can't.

Guess who that is an impersonation of. =P

 
(O\>|<>+-=*^_^*=-+<>|

HELLOOOOOOOOOOO CHESED AND PERE BABE!!!!!! ^O^ ^_^ ^O^

How's everything? XD XD XD How did you manage to host the letters here? O_o;;;; Well, since your pals in ye olde secret location thought it was a good idea, I am going to annoy you until you're drooling out of the corners of your mouths :D~~~~~~~~~~~~

So :D Ches! XB How you doing since I last invaded yer house? @_@ Good I hope :} and Perrrre +_+ What can I say... >_> <_< We were dating! You just don't do that! *____* (whaps you on the head) 8)

Well, running out of smileys. =_= I hope this was annoying enough. #_# love you guys ~_^ TA! n_n

m(______________)m . o O (from, Lorelai)

peregrine:
... I've never handled excessive emotes well. Blame chim for the column. But, I still love you Lore! Sorry about New Years Eve and all... can you ever forgive that bit of shameful drunken revelry? Oh, and were it not against policy, I'd activly plug your current endeavor. *cough*

chesed:
Ahem, cue the Shaft theme please!

Wussup, baby. Is it hot in here or is it just you? I mean, you with all those curves, and me with no brakes. Lately I've been doin' the school thing, but I need a little help. Why don't you come over to my house and do some math, subtract the clothes, add the bed, divide the legs, and we'll multiply, y'know what I'm sayin'?

=) Everything's fine. Just doin' the work and school thing. I hope you didn't become an alcoholic because of me. =P Anytime you're in the neighborhood, be sure to give me a call, ne? We'll do... something.

See ya in 5 minutes!

 
More Inane Banter

Pere! Chesed! You damn kids were supposed to be mowing the lawn and washing the windows today! What the hell do you think you're doing?! I don't pay good money for you two to sit in my front yard and drink all my beer!

Well, actually, I DO pay good money for that, come to think of it. What's more, I probably OWE you two money in some way because of this.

Anyway, I'd like to know who is the big kahuna in charge of Suikoden's character designs. So then I can, you know, officially begin worship. Don't you think those duck knights OWN?

Saki

chesed:Pere stole the lawnmower. =(

Anyway, from what I understand, the main character designer is Junko Kouno. You may begin worship. Your best source for all the character designs and whatnot is probably Suikosource, although you more than likely have been there 32094823904 times. Which, by amazing coincidence, is how many times you've turned your lover down. chesed is sad.

peregrine:
Saki wins! Perfect! Flawless Victory! You had to go and ask something I have no idea about. Nor did I have the time to go beat Suikoden 1 and 2 to go check. :\ I blame chesed.

 
Tifa wants the seat down, Cloud. Duh.
Some RPGs like Final Fantasy VII and VIII have restaurants and bars, yet there is never a bathroom in site, or at the very least a sign pointing you towards a bathroom. What's with the lack of bathrooms in RPGs?

- Squall Leonhart

chesed: Well, I do remember in Final Fantasy VII of the one bathroom in Midgar's Wall Market where you try to open up the bathroom door but somebody's in it. Other than that, how many video game character's actually take dumps? It would be a pain for the programmers, and characterization would plummet. Just think, Sephiroth would cast his favorite summon we all know and have come to love, and Cloud says "Screw this, I gotta go now." Poor guy is already messed up as it is.

peregrine:
ZZz.

 
The Most Astonishingtly Coherent and Well-thought-out Letter Ever.

Hey Gents,

I know that there are often questions in this Q&A (well, more comments than questions, really) discussing the repeated use of character traits throughout the hero parties of RPGs, especially RPGs belonging to a series. Now, in most cases it's difficult to blame the game authors for letting such character strings run through their works, due to the lacking assortment of world-saving heroes we have in reality, giving the authors not much to go on by way of example. Not to mention the fact that as gamers, we can easily spot the general platform of a character, making comparisons ever the more viewable.

It's not the formulaic characters that gripe me. It's the formulaic RPG plots. It seems to me that it has gotten to the point where events that were once considered "plot twists" are now expected grudgingly, and the once noted cliches are now, if they ever occur anymore, the new "plot twists." I'd hate to think that this is merely a system of snake eating its own tail, but it's very easy to come to such a conclusion. Given there are games that reek of utter originality, but for the most part I feel as if I'm playing the same regurgitated drivel again and again. Simple touches of originality aren't enough anymore. Too many over-used themes. Too many over-used goals. It's becoming near tiresome. I don't expect the world from RPG plots (there are plenty other aspects of games in the genre) but what I think I should be expecting, I'm not finding.

My Question:

Do you attribute this overuse of similar plot event to the growing craze for graphics over story line, or do you rather attribute it to the simple lack of original plot line due to so many games having been put out within this genre? Do you attribute it to something completely different? Disagree? I'm curious as to your responses.

- Lyniad

peregrine:
I've long since stopped holding overall 'plot' as a cornerstone value to judge an RPG on. Or books. Or movies. Too many works have been produced, making it extremely easy to draw parallels between seemingly unrelated stories. I've found that thinking about it too much leads to easily over-categorizing it and thereby dulling the experience, due to one never being 'suprised' by the originality of a given piece of work.

However, due to lessening my value on overall story (and thereby caring less about cliche's) I put much more value in character development, interaction, and growth. I love seeing 'real' relationships play out. The way characters interact will forever, in my mind, be more dynamic than any storyline can ever be.

Put simply: Yes, I do agree. It doesn't bother me, though, as my focus for 'judgement' stands in other areas. Gameplay and characters.

chesed:
I'm all for story. I love a good story. Hook me up with Xenogears anyday.

Hmmm... let me put it this way. There's games with original storylines (very few). There's games with incredible graphics. There's games that have the most lovable and hated characters that will ever grace a console. There's no reason why they can't be combined. It's just a matter of finding a company that can pull it off. I don't think there's a lack of creativity or originality. Nor do I think we've been flooded with "so many games," mostly because I think there's no such thing. =)

So to answer your question, I think... zzzzzzzz.

 
...

pere...ches...why must women be so evil?

Oh, and have you heard from Phacia lately? She left some stuff over at my house...

-Xeria

chesed:
Women are beautiful creatures that should be treated with kindness and respect. Unless you're animated. Yay hentai.

Phacia's around. Last I saw her was playing with a plushie Pikachu she was about to give to Firemyst. Dunno how that went...

peregrine:
... ahahaha. I hear she's doing well. Really. Still traveling abroad.



Quickies
I've been wanting to do this for months.

The Last Laugh:

mmm... Ifurita...Onto a more serious subject. What we consider to be some final pieces of wisdom, for both future and current readers and hosts of this once-glorious column.

We'd like to suggest you propose more thought-provoking and controversial questions to your future letters hosts. Do not be afraid to stray from the topic of RPGs, and instead use the column as a community sounding board. While RPGs bring us together, they do not need to be the only thread that binds us! Talk about gaming, talk about life, ask for stupid advice. Truly, the most challenging questions presented to individuals like ourselves, Chim, Google, Aegis, and others, are not those about video games: They're the ones about social lives.

Now, we know what you're thinking. Those dissidents amongst you that will shout, 'Nay! What place do letters that have nothing to do with RPGs have on an RPG site?' To those of you I say: relax. Care about your fellow man. Learn some of their life to better respect their views and opinions. It will help future discussion and debate for when those treasured on-topic discussion threads do occur.

mmm... Belldandy...The column should help build a sense of community, through friendship, banter, and casual debate. The only area more intimate than the letters column are the forums, which sorely lack any amount of official representation. It falls upon the shoulders of a scant few, whom we're proud to have been able to be a part of, to toil over this column as they offer advice and answers to those in dire need.

Or, we could be entirely off-base, and it would simply be best to ignore us. Which is entirely plausible.

With that said, we bid you a peaceable day, wherever you may be reading from. It has been an honor.

And a quick shout out to Jenny Choung. =) *coughhintcough...cough...HACK...WHEEZE*

Yay! My very own bigass sig!
Belldandy rules j00

Hunter Wilcox & George Velez -- Slipping away quietly

We love you all! Thanks for letting us visit! =D Oh yeah, I farted.

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