It's a me, Mustadio!
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Allan Milligan

Another lateish update tonight - I'm doing Riovanes Castle in FFT, and Velius is, to borrow a phrase, making me a grave man. Terribly annoying, but I think I've almost got the rat bastard now. I hope.

Anyhow, one night later, I'm no closer to a resolution of the long and serious vs. short and light-hearted issue than I was a day ago. On one hand, a lot of people wrote in to tell me that they liked the longer stuff better. On the other, a similar number wrote in to tell me how bored they got reading the longer stuff. So, I guess it's incumbent to somehow find the middle ground between the two... which is harder than it sounds. But what the hell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Keep your comments coming in, though - food for thought, if nothing else, and gives me a gauge of what you guys want to see here.

Q: In response to PenPen's message about RPGMaker 3 (and yes, it IS the third one), manually choosing letters isn't nearly as annoying as it would least not for me. And also, it doesn't really matter whether or not other people like the game, or being able to send it to other people (not that this would be bad...), but I find that it's just as fun to make the game, and be able to play through your own accomplishments.

--Kusader, who seems to be the only person around here who knows anything about the RPGMaker series.

Allan: Personally, if I bought RPGMaker, I'd create a game in which 90% of the cast was consistently sarcastic and dismissive of people. You'd make snide remarks about the villain's master plan, snark and bitch and generally be amusingly obnoxious. Think Dennis Miller, not Pauley Shore. But that's me. Thanks for the comments, Kusader. You are hereby dubbed That RPGMaker-Knowing Dude. Wear the title with pride.

Q: Dear "RPGuru"....

You know what game really blew monkey ass? That stupid little game by Square: "chrono trigger". GAWD!!! Whew! That sucked!! What's with the battle system? Combo attack?? MY ASS!! And character? HElllO!@!! they all looked looked like Dragonball Characters!!!!! PFT!!!! I've seen better things come out of my ass! Give me Final Fantasy Mystic quest anyday! I beat it in 120HOURS!!! BEAT THAT!!!

-The RPGmaster!

Allan: Leaving aside the strange anal fixation RPGmaster! has (can't forget the !), I post this letter to make a point. Namely, this is a perfect example of what I never want to see in my mailbox, and thankfully seldom do. Reading drivel like this makes my eyes bleed, and sends me scrambling to find a contraceptive bomb to detonate in the upper atmosphere. So remember: 95% of you are writing letters that bespeak a higher rung on the old evolutionary ladder than RPGMaster! can even see from his. Keep it up, everyone.

Q: Heya, Seb! MM here, with a few questions and a, comment.

First of all, Mustadio does not suck. He can permanently kill undeads in one hit, and disable enemies. I'll admit, there are many characters more powerful than him, and his usefulness wears off after a while, but he does not totally suck. How could he suck more? He could be Malak. *shudder* BTW, Mustadio as a Lancer delivered the killing blow to Elmdor at Riovanes Castle in my game. It's all a matter of speed and luck. And personal preferences, I suppose. Okay, rant and rambling out of the way now, here's the questions.

1. I read somewhere that the odd-numbered FF's tend to focus more on systems and battles (jobs, materia, etc.) while the even-numbered ones tend to focus more on plot and characters. Do you think Square does this on purpose, or is it just coincidence?

2. If there were to be a Chrono Trigger 2, which do you think it would be: a game featuring the same characters, same world, and different eras to travel to; or a game featuring the same concept of time traveling, but different characters and a different world? My guess would be different characters and world, given Square's non-related sequel tradition, and the fact it would be easier to make up a new world than try to fit stuff in to the old one. It certainly would be nice to have a few more adventures with Crono and the gang (not to mention everyone's favorite legendary sword ^^) though.

Anyway, good to talk to you, and I hope you're feeling better. I have a cold myself, and I fully sympathize. At least it happened after your big date.

MasaMune/Ciara, staunch Mustadio supporter (hey, we engineers have to stick together, ne?)

Allan: Hey, MM! Okay, I'll admit that Mustadio isn't *totally* useless, primarily on the basis of Seal Evil. But really, by the time I got him, his JP levels were so low across the board that he was simply outclassed by the rest of my war party. He also can't use Accumulate, which is a crucial ability for JP building. But yes, especially with Concentrate, he can be useful. Moreso than Malak and Rafa, which seemingly no one in creation actually likes. Seriously. I've got at least fifteen letters here saying how much they suck.

1. Square does this on purpose.

2. I'm guessing Chrono Trigger 2 would probably be a mostly all-new cast, with possible cameos and/or supporting roles by alumnus from the first game. Time travel games, by their nature, are perfect for reusing old characters, but I suppose only time will tell. Pun honestly not intended.

Q: Greetings, salutations, aloha, and good morning. I was reading the RPGuru column and I thought I'd drop by and clarify one or two things:

The name "Aeris" is no less "correct" a translation of the directly romanized "Ea-ri-su" than "Aerith." The reason the name "Aerith" is so commonly used, however, stems from the fact that the instruction book for the Japanese version of the game had the names of the characters translated already: That's where one gets "Cloud" instead of "Claude," "Sephiroth" instead of "Sephiros," and, in theory, "Aerith" instead of "Aeris."

In the FF7 PSX demo, however, the decision was made, presumably unaware of the Japanese standard, to convert the name to "Aeris." According to some individuals, Square and SCEA then considered changing the name back to "Aerith," but, for continuity's sake, decided to stick with the name "Aeris" as included in the demo. For those who had played the imported version of the game, however, "Aerith" became the accepted standard.

Otherwise, good work. Keep it up.

- Sean Daugherty

Allan: A few other people wrote in about this. Okay, a lot of people did. This was a classic example of "I posted this at 10:30, remembered where the name came from fifteen minutes later, but forgot to change it." This actually happens more often than you'd think. This is what happens when I do a daily column: my brain plays practical jokes on me. <sigh> Anyhow, thanks to everyone who wrote in. I don't *try* to make myself look like an idiot, if it's any consolation. ;)

The RPG characters we'd all like to thrash...

That kid at the Auction House in FF6 who makes his dad buy him all the cool stuff. I want the 1/1600 of an airship! And what about the Imp bot? Man, if Square has no real merchandising division in the U.S., why do they taunt us with these incredible products?

-Pheris aka Faris aka Valinoru aka ffpwsa

I truly would like to rip S/Ziegfried's (FF6) lungs out and use them for bagpipes. He attacks weakly, he serves no true purpose in the game except to annoy you and make you think he's significant, and - worst of all - he steals from treasure chests before you can get to them. Arr!

- Aloysius Germataschaftlen

Thrashing townspeople? I nearly forgot about that in Ultima! If I could thrash anyone, then I would do my thrashing in Final Fantasy IV. When Cecil returns to Mysidia after the Leviathan attacks, I would start killing wizards left and right. Finish the job right, that's what I say. Then I would go on a killing spree and start executing all those annoying dancing people.

- DJMagicEric

I also enjoyed the "attack" feature in Ultima: Quest of the Avatar, though I never could beat Lord British... Anyway, the RPG character I would most like to beat up would be Edward from FF4 (America's FF2). Even though this was the first game in the US where you could attack your own party members, I wanted Edward to *stay* dead. He whines and b!tches through his (thankfully) short tenure as a party member, but even though the Prince of Spooniness gets injured while *still on* a sinking ship, he doesn't die! No, instead he ends up at Toroia through most of the game, bedridden - and he probably doesn't have the guts to look up any of the women's skirts. In short, until I met a few flamers and lamers on the Net, Edward was the most annoying "person" in my book.

Runers-up? Aeris, the princess from Illusion of Gaia, Luke from Shining Force: Sword of Hajya, and Suikoden's Gremio (a damn good clone of Edward).

-Alan / I.N.T.O. (I'm Not The Otaking)

Actually, in Final Fantasy Adventure (Seiken Densetsu 1) it was possible to destroy the townspeople by hitting them a lot. No guards came after you, and they were gone. This was a godsend because in that game, if you touched a random villager they would talk to you. You can see how that would be annoying when you were trying to get into a shop and a particular verbose character was standing in your way. My only complaint was that killing the townspeople didn't give you any gold or experience.

--Nich Maragos

What RPG character do I want to beat the snot out of? Either Algus for leaving me when I needed him (I probably wouldn't be stuck in Riovanes Castle right now)or....


- Bryan "DarkMoogle" Carr

Allan: It boggles my mind that we did a "most annoying RPG character" collection, and Lemina (from Lunar: Eternal Blue) wasn't mentioned even once. If the Zozo guy isn't available, she'd make an excellent substitute punching bag, I tell you that much. Anyhow, this is easily the silliest pack of letters I received in response to a challenge, and man, it was fun reading them all. Feel free to send more of your most hated characters. It's probably therapeutic. At the very least, it's hilarious, and laughter's good for the spleen.

Q: I don't see anything wrong with long letters as opposed to "short-and-sweet" letters. In fact, it would be great if they co-existed, meaning spliting the RPGuru section up, one as a Q&A page, and one as a true letters page. There's noting wrong with the long letters you currently received, and none of them were conceived as "boring" in my eyes. I see no purpose in having what I call "PSM Humor" (which basically means childish humor) added to your otherwise excellent column.

-Clyde Hudman

Allan: As I stated earlier, there's really no consensus on the best way to run this column, tone and length-wise, but this one has an interesting idea: Q&A *and* a Letters section. The primary problem with that, as I see it, is that my head would probably explode if I tried to do both. :) Others suggested a General RPG forum, not for gameplay questions, but for meta-conversation about what we like and don't like in our RPGs. Any other suggestions? In case you hadn't noticed, pleasing all of you is a priority for me, probably moreso than proper research ;), and your input is appreciated. Hint. Hint.

Q: Not anything intelligent, but still worth asking: Why does someone (either thou or thy readers) have to make the comment that they're digressing at least once in each RPGuru... can't you take some kind of tablets for digression?

ps. If you're looking for digression tablets, talk to your pharmacist.


Allan: I'm extremely offended by this letter, and I'll tell you why. So many people walk around the streets of our beautiful cities these days, secure in the knowledge that they can digress whenever they please, without fear of the consequences. But beneath the calm facade of normalacy, a dark truth lurks: digression is an addiction. Like cocaine, speed, alcohol or multiplayer Bomberman, overuse of digression can cause permanent brain and vocal damage, and potentially ruin family life. You could lose your job, your money, your self-esteem and yes, even Poochie. This is serious business.

Remember that the first step in dealing with an addiction as fierce as digression is admitting that you have a problem. Only through treatment will you survive. Think about it.

For more information, follow this link. Good luck.

Quick 'n Dirty Tidbits: Aaron Littleton asks if we'll put up a chat room for pen and paper RPGs (they've got plenty of coverage on other sites already, so no), Cammi wonders what the hell MUGU MUGU means (from Lagomorphican, it roughly translates to "Ha ha, you stupid loser, you screwed up using the Slot attack again."), SammyBladr asks what my first RPG experience was (generally, I played good old red box D&D when I was six or so, but my first console RPG was Dragon Warrior, which I got for Christmas the year it came out), TorgVegaQ asks how much info RPGamer gets is first-hand, i.e. from the companies themselves (very little, in my experience, but I'm still the rookie), Locke asks if the "other incident" referred to in Parasite Even refers to the events of the book (from what I'm told, that's the implication, though I don't believe it's ever explicitly stated), Evangalion X asks if anyone at RPGamer are anime fans (hell yeah), and Sue asks if there will be an FF Tactics 2 (nothing announced, but I certainly hope so, preferably with a 2-player option, a la Kartia...).

Still a bit light-hearted and fluffy today, but the only "serious" communal topic of the day was the Aerith/Aeris thing, which didn't require too many responses to be put up. It's good to have a lighter tone at least *some* of the time, I think. But we'll see how you respond, I guess. Have a good one.

- Allan Milligan, off to have a beer with RPGMaster!

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