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Today's been a strange day. I mean, in and of itself, October 6th doesn't
exactly seem like an exceptionally interesting day. There's no stigma attached
to it, like a Friday the 13th or an April the 1st. And yet today, two things
became clear: everyone I know has their birthday either today or in March,
and secondly, everyone's in a really bad mood today.
The former inspires me to wish a happy birthday to Lannie, who should
be reading this, and my own mother, who thankfully will not.
The latter made reading today's stock of mail rather annoying. Angry
letters about SaGa Frontier, Pokémon, how the RPG industry is going
to Hell in a handbasket, the FF Tactics ending, spoilers in this column,
and one angry rant about, of all things, Dragon Warrior's overworld music.
So, the faint of heart ought to take a Valium, as we're delving into hot
More FF Tactics ending arguments
Q: Simple as the subject. He didn't have to kill Ovelia, and Ovelia
alludes to Ramza's death being his fault too. And he wasn't that powerful.
Ramza could take him in a heartbeat - bet you couldn't beat Riovanes castle
using Delita. Let's be realistic here, people, Delita loses his sister and
cracks up; Ramza loses his whole family and manages to stay sane. Let's
not blame grief here, let's attack the issue. Down with Delita! ....sorry,
I got a little carried away. After all, FF Tactics is just a video game,
right? deep breath......count to ten.........ok, better now. I get a little
upset over this subject. Don't get me started on Algus either.
Konnichi Wa, Allan-san.
First of all I'd like to see what you think of my interpretation of the
Delita affair. I personally felt compassionate for him and his situation
throughout the entire game. I empathized towards his feelings after his
sister was killed... I mean who can blame him for being a little over ambitious
and disregardful of others. He was emotionally tramatized. And he was socially
oppressed for his common status. Anyway, I felt that Ovelia, being driven
to the point of breakdown, was suffering from emotional paranoia. She was
obsessed with the idea that Delita was going to try to kill her, even though
in reality he truly did love her. As he came bearing flowers for her birthday,
she just could not accept the sincerity of his feelings, and ran at him
intendingly. She grabbed his dagger, out of his belt holster, and stabbed
herself. He then grabs hold of the dagger and pulls it out of her, hence
when they come apart from "the opaque lunge" he is holding the
dagger. This is not so unrealistic when you take into account how surprised
he was when she died, and how sad he was while walking away. Delita I feel
was the tragic hero of FFT, and very misunderstood. So, what do you think
of that? =)
Allan: I received a whole slew of letters explaining Delita's
actions, some saying that he was a murderous bastard, some that he was a
tragic hero, some that he was simply acting on instinct, and one letter-writer
who suggested that Ovelia was a leper. What that has to do with anything,
I have no idea.
In the end, as they probably intended to do, Square pulled off a pretty
ambiguous ending for Delita. We could argue this for days, I imagine, but
I'd suggest that anyone who really has a strong opinion about what happened,
and what it means, to write it up and send it to Editorials, since it's
threatening to take over this column. Thanks for all the input, though.
And the RPGuru spoileth...
Q: I love the new (and consistently appearing!) RPGuru, but the
spoilers are starting to worry me a bit. After alluding to having FFT spoiled,
the column proceeds to do so for everyone else... I'm glad my best friend
pestered me into finishing the game awhile back, before I could have that
awesome moment of shock and disbelief spoiled. Please use some sort of
note about spoilers so that I won't have to avoid RPGuru completely until
done with each new release, especially with Zelda and Xenogears (which conflict
with a lady visit over the holiday).
We appreciate your great work with the column, especially myself as a
former game site writer and someone who thinks Delita killed out of instinct
and Kefka is miles beyond Sephiroth. So please try to help us avoid story-ruining
spoilers and enjoy the column to the fullest in the future.
Sincerely, Ed McGlothlin
Allan: I got a few letters about this, and thought about it, and
came to the following resolution: all RPGs receive a six-month grace period
in which any significant information about it will be marked by spoiler
warnings, in big red text at the start and finish. If you don't want to
read spoilers, and the red text says there's going to be some, move on down
to where the next band of red appears. After six months, anyone who's still
uptight about spoilers for a game is kinda screwed, frankly, and my use
of formal spoiler space will end. FF Tactics, now seven months old in the
US, is fair game, ending and all. This may seem a bit annoying, but I need
*some* sort of policy, or else I'll be putting spoiler warnings for everything
from FF8 to Brainlord, you know?
However, just to make things easier to read through, I'll be writing
topic headings for letters, so if you're not interested or don't want to
something spoiled for you, you can skip over it. Sound reasonable to everyone?
Sephiroth and Kefka vs. Ghaleon?
Q: I'd like to respond to your issue between who was a better
villain, Kefka or Sephiroth. I admit I liked FF6 a whole lot better than
FF7 but the fact is that Kefka made me laugh and didn't scare me one bit.
He was more comical than evil. True he was amoral and killed for no real
reason but to gain power, but the fact is Kefka did nothing to me but make
Sephiroth on the other hand scared me a bit, no where near to the
point that Resident Evil 2 scared me but he scared me none the less. What
I really like about Sephiroth was that he had the awesomest(if that's a
word) music I've ever heard on an RPG. Whenever I heard that music start
playing it gave me chills. When I heard the final boss music of his I was
totally in awe, especially when I heard it singing the name Sephiroth.
It inspired me to find the soundtrack and purchase it.
Thanks for listening.
Allan: It should be reiterated here that I did not, and never
have, stated that Sephiroth is a bad villain. I actually think he's very
cool and appropriately intimidating. However, I still think Kefka was a
good villain himself, and was also a more difficult one to pull off well:
as the above letter proves, it didn't work for everyone, but it was a very
different take on a villain, and very entertaining, so I give him his props.
So, I say again: both Kefka and Sephiroth were great villains. Just in different
Of course, nobody's even brought up good old Ghaleon, who's arguably
cooler than both of them...
Excusing Kefka's behaviour
Q: There's one thing that people don't really know about Kefka-
it's not *his* fault that he's all messed up (sorta). A lot of people haven't
found this out, but it sorta clears things up. If you go to the Cafe in
Vector, I think when it's burning, talk to one of the guys there. Kefka
was the first guy to get infused with Magitek, but the procedure wasn't
right and Kefka got messed up. Then he started his killing rampage.
Allan: This is true. Kefka does have some motivation/explanation
for his actions, though it's sort of beside the point in a way: he's clearly
not a sympathetic character. But they did flesh out his background a bit,
explaining (partially) his insanity, which was a nice touch. Thanks, Beast.
"Oh my stars and garters!"
Are RPGs too depressing?
Q: Dr. Milligan,
Since the ending to FFT has been splashed all over the RPGuru, I figured
this would be an apt time to weigh in. I'm wondering what you and other
readers think about these extremely depressing story lines. It's bad enough
that I had to wade through a convoluted and dreary story to play an otherwise
rich and deep game, but then I'm rewarded with the disappearance and apparent
death (that's how I interpreted the ending, regardless of the funeral drive-by)
of the main character. Further, I sit through the credits and guess what
Delita stabs Ovelia and vice versa.
I invested countless hours in the game, and although I enjoyed the ride,
I was left extremely disappointed. The story left the game player with no
hope or happiness. I'm all for realism in games, but enough is enough.
In fact, one of the things that's missing from recent Square games is
a feeling of joy. Everything is soooo heavy. Hey, lighten up! These story
writers should realize that a brooding teenage or post-teen character with
a chip on his shoulder is just not that interesting to someone who has already
gone through that period and looks forward to enjoying life.
So what games did I enjoy? I loved Vandal Hearts and Suikoden, for example.
Even a game like Abe's Oddysee (not an RPG, I know, but a great game) was
imbued with a sense of wonder and awe, despite it's dark back story. And
I'm enjoying Tales of Destiny so far.
All right, Guru (and others) what say you?
Allan: I think there's room for happy and sad RPGs. One of FF
Tactics' main themes was the ambiguity of morality, so the ending was, to
me, a very appropriate epilogue to the whole affair. On the other hand,
there's always room for a little light, and annoyingly, most of Square's
more recent, up-beat games have, and will not see the light of day in the
US (Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, for example). I don't think Parasite Eve
could have been done any way but darkly, but another successful game, Pokémon,
is anything but dark and dreary. I think there's light and dark games out
there, and neither is intrinsically better than the other.
Square games on Dreamcast?
Q: hello o rpguru,
I'm a devoted square fan, and am thinking a bit about the future. right
now the Dreamcast seems to be the uncrowned king of the coming years of
console gaming. now, according to Square's homepage, they will not develop
games for the DC but i was wondering when their contract with Sony will
run out. Now that even Namco (the creators of Tekken) have signed on as
developers for the DC and Sega (their arch-rivals) and that the new Biohazard
(read: Resident Evil) game will be on the DC, which was supposed to be on
the PSX at first. This makes one doubt the words of almost every gaming
company that says it won't develop games for the DC. so, basically what
i'm concerned about is, will FF9 be on the DC and not the PSX 2? perchance
you could give me some info on this,
Allan: Dreamcast, to my mind, is still a far cry from being an
uncrowned king of anything. Sure, the hardware's impressive, and the games
look great, but hey, so did the Turbografx-16 at the time, and look what
happened to it. Still, DC seems to be building up a good developer base,
unlike most failed systems of the past, so it probably has a chance of making
it big. Anyway, as for Square, they seem pretty happy with Sony at the moment.
Sony's treating them like kings, and if there's a PSX2 developer's kit to
be found, I bet they gave it to Square right quick. For now, at least, I
wouldn't lay odds on Square switching horses in mid-stream.
Action RPGs, Old School RPGs, and
Q: Hello O' great Guru
How can anyone say that Kefka or Sephiroth are the best Square villians.
Think back to 1992 (U.S.) to a little game called Final Fantasy II (or IV).
Zeromus! Totally the best SquareSoft villian there was. The hatred of
Zemus, the evil moon thingy, purified and galvanized into the unspeakable
evil of Zeromus (and he had cooler music, too)
Q1) Do you think we are ever going to see any more of those old style
overhead and parallax view RPG's with the 2D graphics now that the NextGen
systems are out? Sure, FFVII was cool, the graphics brought some depth
into the game but I can't help but wonder if it detracted from other parts...
Q2) Why do I seem to like action RPG's like Zelda and Soulblazer over
Q3) Do you have a preference between the Working Designs, Enix, or SquareSoft
RPGs? If Square, old style (NES/SNES) or the newer stuff (PSX/PC)?
Q4) Why not have a "Stupidest letters I've ever recieved"
day on your 1 month anniversary of doing RPGuru at RPGamer?
Oh, and I think the best non-square RPG villain and the best evil guy
overall was either Zophar from Lunar: Eternal Blue or Deathevn in Breath
of Fire 2
- See you in the next dimension, TR
Allan: Zeromus? The no-personality, no-development deus ex machina
with admittedly nice music, pulled out at the end of the game for the Big
Final Boss Battle? Zeromus wasn't even a character, much less a villain.
Villains need motivations, and histories of doing something evil, or something.
All Zeromus does is say "the hatred" a lot. Bleah. He's like a
lazy version of Zophar. Dull dull dull, and the worst part of FFIV.
1) Tales of Destiny is a distinctly old-school RPG. So's Lunar: Complete.
We'll probably see more and more 3D-styled games as technology improves,
of course, but I doubt the old style will completely disappear.
2) I have no idea.
3) Proportionately, I probably prefer Square's RPGs, though I'm as longtime
a Working Designs fan as you can find.
4) I've been considering it... people ought to see the "nipple Pokémon"
letter, I think... hm...
Lunar: Complete's intro responses
Q: The American intro for Lunar: Silver Star Story is pretty bad.
I mean real bad. The words are just lame. I am totally disappointed in
Working Designs. They should have left it in Japanese so we couldn't understand
it. Also, I am not trying to put down the singer, but the way it was sang
was wierd. The words were all harsh and dug deeper into my cranium with
every phrase. Working Designs is good at animating, not song writing.
Allan: Er... Working Designs doesn't animate. In any case, I actually
quite liked the English version of the intro to Lunar: SSS. I even liked
it better than the Japanese version. The lyrics didn't make much sense,
but I liked the singer's voice, and the animation was superb of course.
I should add, though, that no one should let a dislike of the intro music
discourage them from playing the game when it comes out.
Q: I've got to make this quick, there are rabid monkeys clawing
at my door trying to get in so I can proofread their script for Hamlet!
1) Do you ever go in IRC? If so, what is thy nick?
2) There's a girl named Chandra whom I want to date. If I give you $50,
will you claim you never heard me say that?
3) Which is a better typo: "bepeokep=people" or "alcutlya=actually"?
4) Does anyone else think Ramza's last name should be pronounced "bay-ooh-loove"?
5) Can anyone direct me to a site with a translation of Pure Again (BOF3's
ending theme)'s lyrics?
6) Do you personally want to know a lot of FF8 information before it
7) Am I asking too many questions?
Oh my god! The rabid monkeys have broken through the door! They're
coming towards me! Someone help me, tell Chandra I love hhsduzcjn
P.S. We are the monkeys. We would like to apologize if this is in your
inbox twice, for there was a screwup mailing the first time. A.E.Isthill
was tasty and found some typos.
Allan: Get your hands off him, you damn dirty monkeys!
(The preceding bad joke is brought to you by the Friends of the NRA.)
Quick 'n Dirty Tidbits: Michael Young wonders if anyone noticed
that FFT's plot was similar to Janny Wurts' series "Wars of Light and
Shadow" (I'd never heard of 'em, so not me personally), Clyde Hudman
asks me to plug his U.S.
Unofficial Final Fantasy VIII Home Page (hey, what about the Canadian
version? :), Stone Cold Hanpan says I bashed Mighty Mouse (untrue, I just
acknowledged that it had a cartoony art style, which it did; Mighty Mouse
rocks, dammit), Matt asks if I can explain the ending of Parasite Eve (haven't
seen it, so not - ask again in a week or so), and Squall asks when we'll
be posting information about Super Mario RPG 2 (pretty soon, I think).
This took longer than expected. Ah well. No biggie. Seeya tomorrow, then,
where I'm sure people will bitch at me for insulting Zeromus...
- Allan Milligan, sighing