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||Final Fantasy Tactics|
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Well, I received an interesting piece of mail last night. It went something
like this: "Dear RPGuru, the column is too long now, I liked it better
when it was short and funny." I also received ICQ messages to this
effect. And so I asked myself whether the column was indeed getting too
long and serious.
Some of the letters I've posted of late have been, in terms of length
and content, closer to Editorials than "burning questions." This
is both good and bad. On one hand, longer letters often indicate greater
breadth of thought, which is a Good Thing. On the other hand, it tends to
get tedious to read if you're just reading this for the short 'n sweet answers.
This situation has been worsened by the lack of updates the Editorial section
has received of late - the response to editorials here is vastly quicker,
being a daily column.
So what to do? Well, after this little rant's done, I'm going to tighten
up my commentary belt a little. Likewise, I ask those who have longer letters
and essays to send 'em to Editorials, because, well, that's what it's there
for. :) And, as always, your suggestions and comments are quite welcome.
Q: Why does everyone think the "spoony bard" line in
FF4 is so funny. According to a dictionary (will it be against copyright
laws if I say the dictionary) it says "spoony or spooney adj. 1. unduly
sentimental 2. being sentmentally in love"
So it makes perfect sense. Maybe I am just missing something...
Allan: Well, for one thing, "spoony" strikes me as a
pretty silly word to start with. For another, it's a pinnacle of bad translation
in that it is indeed technically correct, but dramatically, it's laughably
inappropriate. Even if you accept that Tellah would use the word "spoony"
in the first place (it's not exactly a common term), it's a stunningly weak
word for the circumstance. Put yourself in your shoes: you've been searching
all over for the rotten bard that stole away your daughter. Now, you find
this worthless trash standing like a fool beside the bloody, arrow-stuck
corpse of your beloved daughter, you fly into a rage at him, trying to beat
him to death, making him pay for killing poor, innocent, sweet Anna...
... and you call him SPOONY? Give me a break.
Q: Hey there... RPGuru... boy... I'm out of the loop for a month
(new, and very stubborn modem)... and everything around here changes...
whoa.. wierd! Where did AK and BG go? I mean... this is like an episode
of the Twilight zone! Anyways... I know this sounds like pure tedium, but
would you mind summarizing the past month for me so's I don't have to go
through 30 days worth of archives?
Allan: AndrewK resigned from the letters job a while ago to pursue
a career on Broadway. Brian Glick does the News and Upcoming coverage stuff, among other things. After both of their tenures and
a few fill-ins, Mike Tidwell did a two-week stint as letters guy before
I was slapped into the position, now a day short of two weeks ago, under
the title RPGuru. Everything should be updated daily here from now on, but
little or no archive reading should be needed. Just leap in and read.
Q: I am writing to you to tell you of the true video vixen.
The most perfect woman in the entire rpg world. Aya Brea. Even Lara Croft
can't hold a torch to this blonde bombshell. That golden blonde hair and
those deep blue eyes give her an alluring radiance. Aside from being beautiful,
she also has a golden soul. She is a true heroine, an excellent driver,
a sharp shooter, an excellent stunt woman and most of all is good with children.
I bet Daniel Bo Dollis is the happiest man on Earth to be her partner.
I wish every woman had even some of her qualities. In my eyes, Aya Brea
is the perfect woman.
Allan: All right, let's get something cleared up right now: Aya
Brea is not real. Say it with me, children. Aya Brea is not real. She is
a passel of pixels who, though admittedly shapely, has about as much chance
of giving you a hard shag as bloody Pikachu. The perfect woman should, by
definition, be a *woman*, not the polygonal wet dream of a bunch of Japanese
game designers given artificial life for 15-odd hours plus EX mode.
Now Tifa, on the other hand...
Q: Allan, I like you. You're sensitive to the readers' needs.
Good boy. Good, good boy. Would you like a treat? Anyway, the questions
1. I looked at the katakana, and her name is pronounced Earisu. So why
do people insist on calling Aeris 'Aerith'? Not only is it a one-off from
the original Japanese, but it sounds really crappy. So why?
2. People made a big deal about the religion in Final Fantasy Tactics,
but nobody seemed to notice: Ramza is running around throughout Chapter
4 with no pants on!! What kind of message is this sending our children?
3. They say that The Legend of Zelda is an RPG. I just wanted to say
that if this is the case, then Megaman Legends is also an RPG. It has all
the story elements, the upgrading, the money to buy items (zenny, just like
in Breath of Fire III), all that. That being the case, will RPGamer discuss
Megaman Legends? And if not, will RPGamer get rid of its Zelda section?
Equal rights, man. Equal rights are important.
This is the way!
- Adam Cederblom\\//
Allan: Yes, I'd like a treat. Sadly, I don't think you can offer
me the kind of treat I'm in the mood for right now, but that's another issue
1. I don't know how it got started as Aerith. I just think it's catchier
to say. Aeris sounds like sort of small, jiggly body part that most people
don't know they have. "Yeah, the little dangly thing in the back of
your throat? It's an aeris. Really. Most people have 'em removed when they
snort cocaine the first time, and mess up their sinuses..."
2. With Michael Jordan not playing basketball anymore, Hanes needed a
new spokesperson, and Ramza was only too happy to oblige. Look for the ultimate
armour in FF8 to be the Hanes Briefs, too.
3. We're hypocrites. MML won't be covered, Zelda will. C'est la vie.
Q: Hi Allan,
I'm here to explain the differences between the NTSC and PAL standards
and - more importantly - what they have to do with video gaming and especially
First off, I must confess that I don't know the exact resolutions of
them, neither. But it's enough to know that PAL offers a higher resolution
(about 700+ lines) but a lower horizontal refresh rate (50Hz) than NTSC
(about 600 lines or so and 60Hz refresh rate). But I think you guys already
knew that these two standards (and therefor the two versions of the good
ol' SNES) aren't compatible.
What does that mean for us gamers? In order to play games in the other
format, you actually only need a adaptor which converts NTSC to PAL or v.v.
- wouldn't there be these clever marketing guys at Nintendo. In order to
control (or better: seperate) the world market (Asian/US <-> Europe)
and the release dates, they have implemented country chips in both the console
itself and the games (similar to the DVDs), to aggravate the game exchange
between these markets. As the demand to play import games and particularly
RPGs (due to translation difficulties and much less RPG gamers) here in
Europe is certainly bigger than in the US, there's a bunch of accessories
manufacturers who are also clever enough to build adaptors which bypass
the interrogation. Nintendo recognizes this problem and keeps developing
even better chips for the modules, while the accessories manufacturers aren't
sleeping neither and always have new adaptors to counter with.
Here in Germany, a popular solution for hardcore gamers is to install
a chip into the console (similar to the PSX Modchips, as there're no module
slots in the PSX) which enables you to switch between the norms. Notice
that the console itself is being switched, that means your TV must support
both standards to play both versions of game. Otherwise you may want to
get one of these adaptors. As I live in Germany, I don't know the market
in the US; here you can get those adaptors for about $20 (50,-DM) and the
installation of the modchip costs about ß50 (100,-DM).
I think that's enough for now. Anyone interested in this issue is welcome
to contact me, as the above explanation may be a little bit too brief to
Allan: I pledged an end to long letters, but this needed to be
cleared up. Thanks.
Q: Do you know what we need in today's RPG's? Pushing! I hate
when those annoying townspeople are blocking a thin way and you can't do
a thing. Not many games I have played have this feature. Only, Final Fantasy
5 and Secret of Mana come to mind. I don't know why they don't have this
in more games. It looks pretty easy to accomplish.
Allan: Pushing would be good, yeah, but we need to start using
a great feature from the Ultima series: namely, the capability to attack
and savagely thrash the hell out of innocent townspeople. I loved plating
Ultima: Exodus for NES, simply to find isolated villagers at the edge of
towns, and then using my strongest attacks to rip them to shreds, and then
escaping into the wilderness before the city guard came and pounded the
hell out of me.
Tangent: what RPG character would you most like to be able to beat the
hell out of, within the game itself? (Mine is the idiot in FF6's Zozo who
just keeps on saying "Welcome to Zozo. It rains here all the time."
That guy no doubt hails from a long, slender family tree...)
Q: I wanted to ask some questions... (ooh, numbering, I'm so trendy)
R. Where are the RPGuru archives? I missed a day (I think) and I'm
damned if I can find the archives...
3. In FFT, is there any way for Ramza to become a Holy Knight (like
Agrias) or Dark Knight (like Gafgarion), etc? Also, is it possible for Mustadio
to *suck* any more?! Finally, what's up with people and Riovanes Castle?
That place was a piece of cake! Ramza (Lancer), two guys (Ninjas), and Agrias
(Holy Knight) roughed up all of them, including Elmdor (from whom I got
a crazy spell, Ultima). What's the deeeeeeeeeel????
&. I can tell you where's the beef, but only if you promise not
to reveal it to anyone else. Just call 1-Y00-462-3675. I've also got info
on the chicken and the lox spread, but that's for another time...
BTW. the cheetah is the fastest land animal.
The Great Slurp
Allan: (I snipped this one slightly for space reasons - the rest
was very silly anyway) Answers. R: They're in the Interaction section. Follow
the link called "Archives." Hence the name.
3: Ramza cannot be a Holy or Dark Knight. Mustadio does indeed suck mightily.
And I'll talk about Riovanes Castle once I actually do the battles there.
Which will be tomorrow. At long last.
&: There is a small part of me, deep within my spleen, that pulses
softly and warmly when the air gets too thin. This part of me is the only
piece of my being that cares where the beef is.
And cheetahs are nothing compared to a land speed of a thirteen year
old teeny bopper with a Hanson brother in sight. You could stretch dental
floss at their neck level as they pass, and they'd probably go a good fifty
feet before they realized they'd been decapitated. Like a chicken.
Quick 'n Dirty Tidbits: None for today. Sorry.
I also received a few letters about the Uematsu/Zimmer thing, but it's
rapidly become clear that discussion to that end wouldn't go anywhere. I
maintain that the "villain" theme in The Rock is eerily close
to the opening music to the FF8 Demo, but that's not really debate-worthy.
A lighter column tonight, a bit less philosophical, and a bit shorter.
Is this approach better? Worse? Does anyone care except for me and that
one other guy? Let's find out.
- Allan Milligan, shining in the darkness with a Zippo