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Allan Milligan

Quick notes before I fall asleep:

1) Matthew Schuele did indeed write a fanfic about a potential connection between FF4 and FF6, via Odin. It's found here. Told you someone could get a good fanfic out of that idea. :)

2) Tonight went pretty well. Saw Kathleen Battle in concert, and was awed by the glory of her voice. Incredible. Simply stunning.

3) I beat FF Tactics today, 'round about 3 o'clock. Strangest thing, though. For reasons I can't even begin to fathom, I doled out 896 points of damage to the last boss with Beowulf's Drain magic sword attack. What's with that? For reference, Drain was normally doing a little less than 100 points a shot. Buh-zarre. Why's Drain so effective against the last boss?

Q:RPGuru-

I was wondering, what RPG's will the Dreamcast come out with? Ive heard stories about an RPG that is two years long. I cant really believe that. So whats the story?

-Sephiroth Kyou

Allan: The only confirmed launch title RPG for Dreamcast is NEC's Seventh Cross. Other RPGs in development include Sega's Sonic and Knuckles RPG, Sega's Virtua Fighter RPG, NEC's Sengoku Turb, NEC's Mercurius Pretty, Hudson's Elemental Gimmick Gear, and Climax's Climax Lander, which is apparently a Zelda 64-style direct sequel to Landstalker. I may yet buy a Dreamcast, it seems. Anyhow, I place as much faith in hype about a two year long RPG as I do in the "hours of gameplay" stats for Square games: namely, zip. It's almost certainly hype.

Q: I am writing in regards to the blasphemy you have preached in your latest column. For those who do not recognize me, I am the great Squirrel Lord of Starcraft and Operation CWAL fame! I denounce you as a collaborator of the vile Rabbit King and his overbreeding minions! You shall pay for threatening nature's furry friends with honey that doth mat their fur and someone's body parts all because of your name! My (real) name is misspelled constantly! I never wanted to harm a squirrel, only the violent, malicious rabbits! Kindly redirect your anger or I shall be forced to unleash my sonic barriers of Hanson, the Spice Girls, and Zamphir!

PUNISH ALL THOSE WHO DO NOT SUBMIT TO MY WHIMS!!!

Squirrel Lord

a.k.a. Gunslinger (GDI)


Allan: Once upon a time, my life made sense. Not anymore.

Q: Morning to Mr. Milligan,

Hey, my man! I sent letters to all of the rest of the temporary and non-temporary columnists here, and I have to say that you're just plain better. I'm not sucking up, per se, but I really appreciate your facetiousness. I'm quite the facetious guy myself, so I can understand and acknowledge yours. Anyway, on to the questions (trendy numbers!):

1.) How do you pronounce Ramza's last name? Beoulve. Beoulve! I would assume, in my own humble opinion, that Beoulve is pronounced "Bay-oolve," but then again, I don't know for sure. Got any input?

2.) I hear that the Japanese market is collapsing, which seriously sucks. Will this phenominon have any long-reaching effects on the production of FF8 or Xenogears, or more broadly, SquareSoft in general?

3.) How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if the woodchuck was on Prozac?

4.) Why has the Editorials page not been updated in almost a month? The same complaint goes to the Fanfic section. We want updates!

C.) Not really questions, but a few comments that I've been meaning to say. First off, Canadians rock, and secondly, 7th SaGa truly does suck. And what about the character I'd like to slaughter the most? It would probably be the collective cast of Mystidian wizards from FFIV, with Crono coming in as a close second.

Well, that's about it for now. Whew. Make sure that you post my letter, or else I'll have to sic the man dressed entirely in flannel and with a massive mole on his left cheek on you. Have a nice day!

-"Randar Giramoni"

Allan: Having received a letter from an angry man in flannel with a mole on his left cheek today, I feel compelled to answer here.

1) I pronounce it "bay-oolve" as well, usually followed by "god, FFTactics had stupid names." I'd like to find the guy who named Funeral and pull a squirrel and honey on 'em...

2) It shouldn't have an effect on current projects. If the trend continues, expect Square (and other companies) to produce more "safe" games - sequels, mostly. Games that can be good or bad, but can probably sell on name recognition. You wouldn't be able to tell if Capcom did this (*ba-dum-bum-ching*), and Square seems to be milking its franchises more than it has previously: witness Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and Chocobo Racing.

3) Woodchucks don't chuck wood. Moot question.

4) Because they're busy? Because everything they're sent sucks? Because of the Y2K problem? I'll get an Official Statement for tomorrow.

Q: Hey Allan,

Well, I was just wondering what more can we expect from Lunar SSS that wasn't in the original sega cd incarnation, and if so, will the voice talent be the same? I think everyone can get behind voting the guy who did the voice for Quark, the most grizzled human being ever to walk the earth.

Allan: Most of the voice cast will remain the same, except for Alex, whose original voice actor's voice cracked since making the first game. In terms of differences, SSS will be longer, include some improvements made in Lunar:EB (like the movement in combat stuff), more animation, more voices, better graphics, and more music. In short, it'll rock in every way. Especially Nash. And Quark.

The SaGa Frontier letters. If you prefer short Q&A stuff, skip on down. Otherwise, pull on your lead-lined suit and dive in...

Good day Allan (spelled it right!.... I think....),

You know what, I agree with that guy! Saga Frontier is damn good! I bought Saga Frontier last May or whenever it came out, and I played it with a few characters. My files got erased thanks to a piece-o-crap memory card (one of those multi-page ones) and I was like: "forget this game". I didn't really like it then anyway.

Two weeks or so ago, I took out good old Saga Frontier, and I decided to give it a try. By then I had heard about basically every secret there was to know, and with my new knowledge, the game was insanely fun! Whoeevr puts down the graphics can put down FF7's graphics as well cause they are basically the same, minus the battle scenes of course, which aren't THAT bad. At least the spells/special abilities are pretty. The music I never payed much attention to (rather listen to a cd of some sort), and there is plot! It's not like it's straight-from-a novel-quality stuff, but it's there. The exploration, which is next to absent in most RPGs is certainly there. I can swear I've heard people complain about a lack of exploration in recent RPGs. Well, if you put in the explortation, you have to sacrifice story to a point, and Saga Frontier is what you get! People can be such hypocrits...

I personally know more people that liek Saga Frontier than hate it... Actually, I know no one who hates it, except for this one idiot who beat it with all the characters, then decided he doesn't like it. Apparently, he has problems, and, therefore, he doesn't count.

Farewell from Florida! -Naveed

 

Dear esteemed RPGuru,

SaGa Frontier was beyond an excellent game. I think that Square really outdid themselves with it. Sure, it wasn't a Final Fantasy game, but I for one wasn't expecting a Final Fantasy. I think (of what I've played so far, I'm still working on it) that the character development is done very well, and I personally like the multiple character choices because of the fact that each character has a different plot. I'm still playing so I've yet to determine if everything comes together with all the characters into one final confrontation at the end, but as it is, it's almost like playing 7 separate games that loosely fall together. I enjoy the non-linearity. It makes the game much more of a challenge (first game that I've ever been slaughtered in the first 5 minutes of playing by a side boss with ungodly abilities. Imagine running into Ruby Weapon in the first Mako reactor in FF7, that's what I'm talking about). I think that the game has a balanced system of magic, weapons, and armour, even though at times it is hard to raise sufficient funds to buy a lot of it. I don't see why so many people dislike SF. It was a good game. It wasn't meant to be a Final Fantasy, yet people almost seemed to expect it to be. If you want a game that is linear and has a small cast of characters, then yeah, SF isn't for you. But all the rpgers that I've talked to like non-linearity and a huge cast, and that's what SF has (what other game can you have 15 people in your party?). Anyway, I think I've gone beyond the point of meaningful defense and into the realm of babbling now.

-Vlail

The lack of emphasis on the characters and on interesting plots is what irritated me about the game. I actually kinda liked the graphics, except for that ugly font used to display damage... uck. It is true that you can join up with characters from other stories, but its like they just join up because of magnetic attraction (or whatever force it is that attracts customers in stores to "Caution: Wet Floor" signs, especially when you're trying to clean the mess up). Half the time, they give no reason as to why they are joining up.

I expected more plot out of the game, but it turned out to be more like an adventure game with a RPG-style battle system. I regret having purchased the game... should've rented it first.

Shawn Bruckner

 

Okay, so I turn on my computer, log on the net, and check out RPGamer to see what's new. Imagine my surprise when I see "Square announces SaGa Frontier 2". What a load of crap. I mean, what are they thinking? Of all the games they could have made into a sequal, what do they pick? Take a look at their homepage and you'll see that one of the ten most frequently asked questions is whether or not they'll make Chrono Trigger 2, which would be a lot better. SaGa was a good game, but it bored me out of my mind, and I didn't even get through the first quest I started, I couldn't take it anymore. Plus, SaGa just came out last year, while we've been waiting for CT 2 since it was released 3 years ago. I haven't heard anyone say, "Oh man, I can't wait for SaGa Frontier 2, that's gonna be awesome!", but I've heard many give their thoughts on a second Chrono Trigger. So why isn't Square listening? As far as I know, about two people really give a rat'a ass about SaGa anyway, so why not give us what we really want? It doesn't even have to be Chrono Trigger, a PSX Mana would be one of the best things that could ever happen. I'd rather see "Secret of Evermore 2" than SaGa Frontier 2, what do you think?

-General Leo


So you want to do the Saga Frontier thing? OK. Let's see, I wanted this game bad, but I was short on cash. For once I didn't ask for an allowance advance. And I got the game as a gift for Easter this year. Happy Ending? Nope. I haven't even gotten the ending, as it is the only game in the hitory of my life that I have willingly stopped playing. I even beat Wall Street Kid on the NES. If that's not hardcore enough, I don't know what is. And I still can't bring myself to play Saga. I LOVED the Gameboy versions (FFL series), but I think the rendered backgrounds and 2-d sptires are what made the game suck. If it was totally 2-d old school, then rock on. Or if it were all 3-d ala FF7, then righty-o to you. But even though I DID find the story interesting, The rendered graphics turned me off. Maybe because I could never be sure of where I could go. The game needed a guide like FF7 did when you hit select.

Later, King Adrock

Well I've been playing the little dog (or monster the one with the green hair) and I'm stuck in the Mooseriburg (or whatever) and I guess what I'm really asking is that I want a spoiler so I can finally complete at least one chapter in this less than appetizing RPG from Square, which is why I'm probably not going to buy Parasite Eve. As far as Saga is concerned, the battles are very interesting, but I think the difficulty level jumps a little bit too much. It takes quite a bit of leveling up (to the point your kicking butt in one place and barely surviving the next.) in order to get through the simple levels. Also, a big pain in my booty was that there's no world map, Man that was such a drag. On the world map, it's just you and the elements. If you're getting tired of the plot of the game, you can just go out there and rough it, and then come back ready for the plot you've been putting off. I missed this alot, in FFT as well, but that's at least got random areas. (different concept too, but...) Saga would have probably turned out to be alot better if the stories had more complex and involving, don't get me wrong, I really dig the idea that you have to get all the rings to save the world (monster story), or you have to obtain all the secret magics in the world (guy w/blue hair story). But I'd really rather devote alot of my time to one set of characters to "Save the World" or "Destroy the Ultimate Evil". All of this topped with an extreme difficulty level, just makes the game more work than anything else. I would say the last and maybe most distracting thing about the game is 2D on Pre-Rendered. It just doesn't work, even in Beyond the Beyond there were problems, but when the characters are superdeformed they just plain look like Boogers on a pretty backdrop. Saga's sprites were even worse because, they tried so hard to make so many different types, that they got limited to 4 basic sprite shots (some characters have more) and they were pretty much limited on colors as well. If you have poor sight like me the Characters really look like little boogers through the entire game. I really hope square doesn't make a bomb like this again.

Piano Man - Should I buy Parasite Eve??


Allan: My thoughts on SaGa Frontier will be the opening rant for tomorrow's column. I'd rant about it now, but in my lightly dazed state, it'd probably just make things worse.

Quick 'n Dirty Tidbits: Sir Boris asks if Earthbound 64 will retain its nonlinear elements despite not being on 64DD anymore (probably - the switch to cart will probably affect game length/breadth, and customization will probably suffer, but nonlinear is plot-related, and will thus probably remain intact), Jon asks for dating advice (no), Artwiz asks if anyone else liked the FFLegend games for Gameboy (yup, though the limited number of punches in FFL1 was really, really lame), people wonder where today's quote was from (Pokémon), Gilgamesh points out that "guru" is the Sumerian word for "strong man" (the Sumerians invented the term in my honour, during a time-travel jaunt I took a few years back...), and Jeff suggests making a Shaft RPG. Which would rock.

Zzzzzzz.

- Allan Milligan, too tired to think

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