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Allan Milligan

Well, it's past midnight, and I just got back from my date with the special lady I mentioned last time. It was a lovely, lovely evening, and I'm outright elated (which is a damn good word), but in light of everything, I hope you all understand why this is going to be a slightly shortened column tonight.

Also, many thanks to Aaron Littleton for sending the URL I begged for, and to others for forwarding me addresses for other sites where you can learn Japanese via the internet. Cool beans, all URLs are reproduced below, with full credit given. So let's get going!

Q: Many Hellos, O mighty RPGuru!!

1) Long live Bruce Campbell! You've got to respect someone with an iron and, two-barrelled shotgun and a chainsaw who's most famous quote is "Give me some sugar, baby."

2) I know that the Final Fantasy Legend series was really SaGa, and that Adventure was really Seiken Densetsu. Does this mean that they simply changed the title when it was released in the US to get more attention? Also, was there anything cut or censored from the English releases?

3) How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

4) What ever happened to Phantasy Star III? It's missing from your Game List?

5) Why is Dragon Warrior also called Dragon Quest?

6) Is the meaning of life 27 or cheese pizza?

-Arpad Korossy

Allan: 1) No arguments here.

2) The games in question were indeed renamed to take advantage of the Final Fantasy franchise during the US release. As to cuts, I'm not aware of any major ones, unless making the dialogue nearly incomprehensible counts. ;)

3) Woodchucks have better things to do than chucking wood. Like running for political office, and playtesting Acclaim license games.

4) I don't think we've gotten to PS3 yet. It's on the To Do list, though.

5) Dragon Quest is a series of Japanese RPGs. Dragon Warrior is the name of that series, having been translated over for American audiences. Apparently, the word "Quest" wasn't considered exciting and attention-grabbing enough for North American gamers, so they changed it to the more visceral Warrior.

6) Neither or both. Life has whatever meaning you choose to assign it. So the question you need to ask yourself is this: what 27 and cheese pizza mean to you?

Q: Hi there! I would just like to say that Paladin's quest was one of my favorite games for the SNES. My brother bought it and played it for a while and hated it. So I "borrowed" it from him and played it and fell in love with it's simplicity and pure fun! I mean, how many other games can you play where you can use your head or boots to attack with? by equipping a character with a pair of knife boots, it doesn't increase your attack power, but allows you to do more damage if you choose to kick. Sure, the graphics weren't that great, and there was next to no character development, but it was one of the few games that had a large cast of characters that could join you whenever you wanted. The only problem was that you couldn't change their equipment or magic.

Magic... this game had one of the most simple and easy to use, yet innovative magic systems I've seen in a while. By going to a certain place and buying a type of spirit, you could learn a new spell for every other spirit you had that it combined with. and by using a certain type of spirit more often, it would get more and more powerful until you had a main character that knew all the spells and totally blew anything away! And it was one of the few games of it's time to have a hero who could equip all the powerful armor and swords an still kick ass with magic. It was solid fun and the addition of a girl side-kick didn't detract any. Also the idea to make spells detract from your hitpoints made it easier to keep track and also added some challenge. Should you cast that spell and risk the monster's super death attack? I remember playing that game for hours on end just because it was fun and challenging. (the bosses and caves were never easy) and the menu system was easy to understand, control was great. It was a very solid game and I came near to completing it, but the boss was too tough. Then my brother sold it... I guess it was HIS game after all... (sigh) If I ever see that game again, I'm going to buy it. The music lagged here and there, but it was interesting for the most part.

The best way to sum it up is fun, fun, fun. It never got boring for me. But I guess everyone has their own tastes. It's a shame that game didn't do better over here. btw, if you ever play it, make sure you have Mouth the swordsman and Hawkeye the wizard by the end of the game. I think it may be impossible not to, because I remember finding the two of them in the last dungeon (which is one of the longest final dungeons without a save point that I've ever been through in my life. and the enemies aren't exactly peanuts either. before you get to the end, you're already worrying about running out of your stock of 99 max heal potions, if that gives you any idea.) It's just so FUN thinking about it. I wish we could have seen the sequel. But I'm tiredso I'd better end this here before I bore you to tears. Good night!

Allan: I'm going to have to find and play Paladin's Quest again, because I've got a feeling this letter will meet with some... spirited rebuttal...

Q: What's this game "Inindo" I keep hearing about? I thought I was the resident Florida expert on Enix RPGs (I long considered myself to be among a priviledged few for having discovered Paladin's Quest), but somehow that one skipped my notice. Is it a medieval-themed RPG? What U.S. releases does it most resemble (i.e. "Final Fantasy 3," "Paladin's Quest," "Soul Blade," etc.? -- is it a "classic" RPG or an action/RPG hybrid along the lines of "Zelda: A Link to the Past"? I noticed at least one on-line game store had it used for sale, so I was eager to discover what I could)?

- William S. Burns


Allan: (This is part of a longer set of questions, most of which have been covered elsewhere.) Inindo is a Koei-developed RPG set in, you guessed it, feudal Japan. It's sort of like a hybrid of Final Fantasy (in terms of battle style and general gameplay), and most of Koei's strategy games, for depth of detail included. It's a tough, looooong game, that I honestly never had the patience to finish. I'd rent it first, if at all possible. Strange game.

Q: In response to "Mr.Moogle's" defense of Illusion of Gaia: Yes I to have played Illusion of Gaia, and I must say that it was a waste of my time on a perfectly good weathered weekend. I will grant you that the plot was somewhat unique, with the morphing ability of the main character, the odd abilites of jumping 300 meters in a single bound with only a 2 meter back up, but the dialogue!? It was horrible. Giving the supporting characters common AMERICAN! names like Seth and Luke, then giving the radical Japanese anime look for the hair contradicted the nature of their settings. I could bash it left and right, from the main theme was so redundant that when I heard the Ending music, I thought to myself "ohan! not another battle!?" How can a game make such a large scale revert from fighting a A Big Bad Evil Comet, to prevent it to destroy their primative life style, destroying it, and then suddenly back in the good old 20th century like nothing happened. At least in The Secret of Mana it closed with the original opening line "Time flows like a river, and History repeats," but the message for IoG was: "And so with the near distruction of our planet, Will, Luke, Seth, and can now return from the life they have never met." I mean come on! How much do they expect us to swallow?

--Brian Fredericks

Allan: Illusion of Gaia: masterpiece or tripe? Discuss.

Q: Man, the REAL intro music sucks! If they plan on bringing it over to the US, why not put a US spin on the song. I thought this game was about hip young girls, not upper-class choir girls. The "joke" version sounded much better, than the straight robot girl song. The later one has no emotion or beat. It is like an answering machine. "A Bold.... Daring...... BEEEEEP!" How do you feel RPGuru?

Allan: Quite frankly, I hate the song no matter how it's done. The tune, the instrumentation - gack. The vocals could be a duet with Johnny Cash on mescaline and Bob Dylan on morphine, for all I care. Still, how 'bout the rest of you guys? (Notice how, when I'm tired and late, I ask other people for input all the time. Spot that trend for six hundred dollars, Alex.)

Q: Oh, gee...after that entire touching paragraph, how could I refuse? Once again, the address for the Manga School of Japanese is: http://msjapan.home.ml.org

Hope you find it useful!

-Aaron Littleton

webmaster of Fan Fic World

http://fanfics.home.ml.org

Allan: Whew! Thanks, Aaron. You're a prince. Anyhow, for more Japanese-learning options, you can also check out:

http://www.japanese-online.com (pointer from Daniel Hill)

www.charm.net/~tomokoy/japaneselesson.html

www.missouri.edu/~c563382/index.html (both from Jason Daniels)

Quick 'n Dirty Tidbits: Rob Allen asks why he's seen Nobuo Uematsu's name associated with CT's score (I, too, seem to remember that Uematsu helped out Mitsuda with the CT music, but since I can't find any corroboration, I'd say we're both out of our minds, Rob :\ ), Narcis the Anarchist points out that my clam thing from yesterday was a simile, not a metaphor, and a few people asked who did the music for Xenogears (Mitsuda), and FF Tactics (Masharu Iwata and Hitshi Sakimoto).

I'm very tired now, so that's all for tonight. Tomorrow's RPGuru column will be more lively and peppy, promise. But hopefully there was something here tonight of note... I hope...

- Allan Milligan, snoozing

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