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Thor Antrim

This is the end? That's right, this is the last RPGuru column ever. Before you start freaking, the column will still continue, under the names "Ask Thor" on the weekdays, and as "Circle of Sages" on the weekend. You can expect the same witty answers and stupid jokes as before (though not as witty as me..) Thor starts tomorrow, and I want you all to deluge him with letters. Yes, make his mailbox explode and leave him deformed. Anyway, time for the last RPGuru column... Make sure to read the "Other Stuff" section at the bottom for a surprise.

You were wrong!

Yggdrasill or Ygdrasil, literally means "The Horse of Yggr [Odin]". In Norse mythology, the it is the "Tree of the Universe" which sprang from the body of Ymir. It is an ash tree and has three roots. One extends to Niflheim (look like a familiar name?) with the well Hvergelmir where lies the dragon Nithhogg gnawing away its substance. The second extends to Jotunnheimm (another familiar name) and the well of Mimir, which is the source of all wisdom. The third extends to Asgard. By it lies the well Urtharbrunn whose waters the Norns use to preserve Yggdrasill from decay. The squirrel Ratatosk runs up and down the trunk carrying strife. Four harts feed on Yggdrasill's foliage. An eagle and a hawk are sitting in its branches.

There you go, let your gamers know. :-)


Ryan: Yeesh, I stand corrected. Apparently Yggdrasil comes from Square's second favorite name plucking ground, Norse mythology. To make it up to you, I'll tell you some other things Square has put in their games from Norse myths (this time I know I'm right!) Ragnarok (or Ragnarrök) refers to a sort of Armageddon, where Yggdrasil, the tree of life, is destroyed. Midgar (Midgard) refers to the dwelling of man, or Earth. Nibelhiem (Niflhiem) is the land of cold and ice. Odin is the Zeus of sorts (all powerful ruler of heaven and earth,) and his spear, Gungir, was created from the ashes of Yggdrasil. Also, almost all of the Gear names from Xenogears are straight out of Norse mythology. Wow, we're actually LEARNING here..

More advice

What's up? I was just wondering what rpgs you recommend for Super NES, aside from stuff by Square and Enix? I also wanted to let you know that Yggdrasil means tree of life. If you dont post this, could you at least reply?


Ryan: Super NES RPGs, not from Square or Enix? Lufia and the Fortress of Doom is pretty good, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is excellent. Other good ones include Ogre Battle, Terranigma (Enix, though it's pretty unheard of,) Ys III.. the list goes on and on. :)

More Tactics

Dear Ryan (or do you prefer Mr. Amos? or maybe Amos the Great?)

No more RPGuru? Man, I thought that was such and awsome name for a column. I think all of us RPGuru fans will miss Josh. He was a great guy!

Anyway, I just wanted to ask you something. I am in love with Finla Fantasy Tactics. After receiving it last Wednesday, I am about 45 hours into it today (about to go to the Deep Dungeon, have Cloud allready) That may not seem like alot to some people, but I have a full schedule so that basically means I've been playing it every free moment I have. I was wondering if there were any other games that are Final Fantasy Tactics-esque? I would love another game with that type of job-system thingee.

Well, must go and try to get those Knight Swords from the Deep Dungeon!

Kevin Warner

Ryan: Your Highness works fine for me.. Anyway, yes, there is another game that is almost identical to Final Fantasy Tactics. It is, oddly enough, called Tactics Ogre, and they are so similar because they were made by the same people. Final Fantasy Tactics' plot is much more involved, and don't look for a job system in Tactics Ogre. Still, Tactics Ogre has its advantages, say, 10 member teams and a 2 player mode. There's nothing like stomping on your friends in a 10 on 10 battle, that's for sure. And yeah, the Chaos Blades rock. :)

Death! Destruction! Dizzy?

Okay, here goes....

I got this sucker for Christmas, and I must say that I am very pleased indeed! Although, I am wondering about something. About 4 hours into the game, right after you escape from the Aveh transport, climb in the Weltall and zoom away, Citan says something like "Well, Dr. Uzuki, you've tickled your ultricles and sacked your saccules enough for one lifetime! Wow, dizzy!" Any idea what the hell this means!? Speaking for myself, I know a lot of big words and have been able to follow the story pretty well so far but I have no clue WHAT that means.

Second, has anyone ever noticed this seemingly ongoing theme in Squaresoft games that they have to be bleak? It seems like every Squaresoft game that I've played after FF5 (witht the exception of Tobal No 1 and Brave Fencer Musashi) has a really bleak outlook on the future. FF6 is obvious; madman destroys the world. Chrono Trigger; insane creature causes apocalypse. Rudora; the food chain is about to get rearranged and humans will be stuck on the bottom. Bushido Blade; cursed sword causes infighting in a school of ninja assassins. Bushido Blade 2 is just a tragedy, period. Final Fantasy 7; money-hungry power company sucks life out of planet for profit. Final Fantasy Tactics; Delita's sister gets killed in the first chapter and the global religion proves to be a falacy. SaGa Frontier; another power-hungry company plots to destroy the world (Emilia's quest, Lute's quest) or a gigantic robot could destroy everything (T260G.) Einhander; you're a suicide pilot and you end up rebelling against the home country/planet. Parasite Eve; microorganisms living within each of us plot to take over our bodies. Xenogears; well, it looks pretty bleak so far, but I haven't beaten it yet though.

Ryan: Well.. You'll see what it means later in the game. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you out there. As for the second part, yes, I have noticed it. It could be the fact that the year 2000 is coming up (OH MY GOD, THE WORLD WILL BE DESTROYED!) In case everyone remembers, the Day of Lavos is later this month. The 23rd (at 1:09 PM) if memory serves me right. But more than likely, Square found something that worked well and decided to stick with it. I mean, someone threatening to destroy the world works better for me to want to stop, than say, someone stealing all the braziers on Earth or something (which isn't a bad idea.. Hmmm...)

N64 Woes

I got An N64 and Zelda 64 for Christmas. Maybe it's not the game of the century, but for an N64 action/RPG, it's pretty darned good. I know I'm not the only one who got an N64 solely for Zelda. Not the game of the century, but probably the best thing Nintendo has. Also: Can you recommend any other RPGs for N64? Do you know of any with turn-based combat? Are you aware of any that are coming out?

Ryan: Unfortunately, I only know of one (maybe two) RPGs in the works for N64. Ogre Battle 3 looks spectacular, a mix of Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre. It's definately worth a look when it comes out this spring (so says Nintendo Propaganda.) Earthbound 64 (Mother 64) looks to be good (if you like the Earthbound/Mother series, which I personally don't) but no release period has been set. Other than that, the RPGs on N64 are hard to come by, Nintendo has been trying to get RPG developers to sign, but alas, most are on Playstation, due to the large size of RPGs and the relatively small size of cartridges compared to CDs. For example, Zelda 64, the largest N64 game to date, was 32 megabytes (256 megabits) and CDs are approximately 660 megabytes. There's no official word, but personally, I look for Nintendo's next system to be DVD.

Political Power, Eh?

I read on your column that someone said Seiken Densetsu means Legend of the Holy Sword, actually I've asked sevral people and they all say "densetsu" means legend, (I already knew that though) and seiken roughly means "political power."


Ryan: So, Seiken Densetsu 4 will feature Ken Starr as the hero, weilding his political might against the evil Bill Clinton. Somehow, I don't think it will catch on. Seriously, the word possibly could have come to mean "Political Power" after having watched political power cut so many heads, just like a good sword.

Other Stuff:

Another 15 zillion people mailed in saying I was wrong about Yggdrasil. Thanks, I tried to reply all I could, but if I didn't, here's your reply. :) As this is the end of RPGuru, I felt I should do something special. And I shall, as I expose the link between Citan and Ozzy Osbourne. The truth is out there.

- Ryan Amos, the final RPGuru

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