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Back off into the sunset
  In the PSX
  Sadly, nothing -- no PSX in my dorm room
  Write to the RPGuru!
  Send those burning questions 'n comments to Allan again

Hello out there on RPGamer Flight 1011, this is your temporary captain Andrew Kaufmann speaking. We will soon be making a smooth touchdown, and when that happens your captain for the next flight will be Allan once again. It's been fun returning to the skies for a while, and I wish all of yall the best until we meet again. And now, back to the R.E.M. playing over the loudspeakers.

Vaguities

I have some questions for you,would you be kind enough to answer it ?? (man, i really want to know the answer,even my English is really bad)okay..here we go !

1.what is the best music from rpg ?? (i think one winged angel is the best, what do you think ??)

2.i read in some game magazine that Cid from final fantasy 7 is a playable character from "another" final fantasy games, is that true ??if yes, then from what(final fantasy) rpg he comes ??

3.In final fantasy 7, there is a scene where Cloud begin like "a paralyzed man" and he always talk about something strange,(if you forget it,then i tell you a hint, at that scane Cid become the leader because Cloud is not there..now you remember ??)okay, now i think i know what is he talking about,at final fantasy tactics there is a scene where Ramza summoned Cloud, right? Now I'm sure that what is he try to talking at final fantasy 7 is what happen for him at final fantasy world,for clue, there is one name he say, and when i check final fantasy tactics, the name is exactly right with a enemy name (to bad i forget the name), say, what do you think ??

4.what is the best rpg game from Snes,Sega Genesis,and playstation ?? also what is the newest rpg from that consoles ??

5.Is my English really BAAADDD ???(i should learn more ^_^)

AK: 1) My favorite has, and probably always will be, "Prologue" from Final Fantasy IV (2 US). It's also known as "The Main Final Fantasy Theme," "the Bridge Theme," among others. You probably know the one I'm talking about. It's in every FF, but I think the version in FFIV was the most dramatic and had the most emotional effect on the player.

2. There has been a Cid in every FF since FF2j, but no Cid has ever come back for a second game. In other words, there's always someone named Cid, but it's never the same person.

3. I'm afraid I'm going to have to admit right off the bat that my memory truly sucks. I don't remember either scene, but then again, I'd forget my birthday if it wasn't printed on my driver's liscence. Maybe Allan will remember?

4. Hello! That's a broad question. Favorites really depend on personal tastes... and since you emailed me, I guess I'll give my personal favorites for those systems. SNES: FF4 (2 US), Genesis: None (I've never played an RPG on the Genesis), and PSX: Final Fantasy Tactics.

5. Don't sweat it dude, I understood everything you said, and that's what language is all about. You don't have to talk in iambic pentameter or anything.

Coverage and Chocobos

Andrew, you just brightened my day. I've been hoping to see Q&AK again for a while =). Too bad it's only temporary. I guess this is one of those things that I gotta "enjoy while it lasts". Anyways, in non-conformist tradition, here are my questions:

q) Do you support the act of chocobo consuming?

~) Why did I just let my little brother play my PSX? He won't give it back now! Can you give me any advice so that I may reclaim it?

$) Would you get another Mana Tree if you planted a Mana Seed?

666) Where's my plastic bunny?

+) Umm... can you ramble on about R.E.M. for me? Puh-leeeease? I've missed your R.E.M. ramblings... =)

Okay, well, good luck on your column while you're around!

AK: Now , now, no big deal to have me back, man. Allan's been doing an absolute crackerjack job, and he's been more consistent. Be careful what you hope for! ;)

q) Only if they're properly cooked.

~) Doh, that wasn't very smart. But there's no sense in rehashing mistakes, only in looking for solutions! An expensive solution is to buy him a Nintendo 64 with Mario. Kids love Mario. A cheaper one is to buy him a little Tamagotchi keychain for him to play with. Those were all the rage a few months ago...

$) Of course not, don't be silly. Besides, it's not like Mana Seeds grow on trees or anything, they're quite rare. Or something like that.

666) The Easter Bunny kidnapped him so he could have help painting all those stupid eggs.

+) Oh boy! REM rambling! I'd love to! No one guessed my random REM trivia question yesterday... the answer is "Have You Ever Seen the Rain." It's a good song, I recommend a listen if you ever find a copy. Also, everyone mark October 27th on your calendars! Why, you ask? Because REM's next album comes out then! The title is "Up" and early reviews are coming in, and it's looking good. I've already planned out my 27th so I can get to a CD store right as they open, give the album a listen, and still have enough time to get to class without being more than 30 minutes late. Of course, I'll probably end up skipping class to bask in the sheer aural ecstacy, but at least I'm not planning on it.

Final Boss Rumination

Hey, good to see you again. The name "RPGuru" may be more aesthetically pleasing, but it'll never have the down-to-earth strangeness of "Q&AK".

Anyways, regarding the discussion of final enemies, I've noticed that these enemies have generally become more and more humanoid in nature. Even Lavos' final form is like that. Since the final boss appears before the last ten minutes in today's RPGs, the final form looks kind of like the person the player has been fighting for the whole game.

At the same time, bosses tend to look majestic and god-like, leading to Angel Overkill. But what if they started making bosses look completely human? If done well, something along the lines of the human Sephiroth fought in FFVII's ending could be a good final enemy.

-Toma Levine

AK: Down to earth strangeness? Bummer... I always thought the name was pretty clever. Now my ego is bruised. Haha! Just kidding. Can't hurt my ego-made-of-steel.

I really like the idea of a final enemy being a normal (or normal looking) human. Graphic majesty isn't necessarily made by sheer size, realistic detail can be just as effective, and provide a much more realistic climax.

Symbolic Bridges?

I would just like to point out that bridges are evil. In that one town south of Vector in FF3 there was that bridge where Celes totally dissed Locke before they sailed to Thamasa. That goes to show how bridges are symbolic of female's evil wrath.

Badrang, expecting evil threats by female RPGers

AK: Bad old buddy, have you recently been given the proverbial shaft by the apple of your eye? I sense a little bit of bitterness. Remember, women rule, even if they shaft you, because I betcha you'll be crawling back to them in a hurry. Sure, right now you may be upset, but it'll pass. It always does. And oh yeah, about the bridge you mention... I don't remember it. But we've already talked about my memory today... haven't we?

Peanuts

AndrewV had Charlie Brown blankets? (Page three, very bottom, you can see Woodstock.)

-Morbid Walke

AK: Ahem. The skit was done at my house... and yes, I do have a Charlie Brown blanket. I've had it since I was a little kid, man! That's one warm, soft, comfortable blanket. Don't even think about dissing Charlie Brown, either, or I'll have to get medieval.

The Tables Have Turned

Ok, so Allan is gone partying, kinda like you used to do, and You're up to bat again. Makes me happy i have someone different to spread the great words of my insanity... and its even better that its an "old friend"! :D Anyways... on with the questions.

1) People have mentioned many a bridge, mostly the Big Bridge in FF5 and some bridge in FF6 (I gather the one in the Esper cave), yet I have not heard a single word for two of the most famous bridges in Square RPG-dom! Of course, I am talking about the Zenan Bridge in Chrono Trigger and that one bridge you see in the intro to FF4.(when they play the really neeto leeto opening music ;) My question is: Whaz up wit that? (Please excuse my bad ebonics, foo)

2) Would you people be totally upset if I just up and gave Big Lick a ride home? (His home, not mine :P)

3) I have seen many a cool RPGamer dood on IRC, including Mike (*censored to protect his privacy, in case he doesn't want everyone msging him), Big Lick (as *censored*), and even Andy V (as *censored*)... but why are the two masters of the mail, the two greatest answer guys alive, Allan and Kaufmann, nowhere to be found?

4) What happened to the Snickers I put in the fridge?

AK: 1) Mmm hmm, those are good bridges, to be sure. What was the original point of this bridges thread? I'm losing track, and I'm getting confused. Wah.

2) Nah, he could use a lift. But be warned: he likes to stick his head out the window and bark at oncoming traffic.

3) It's never been a big secret all of us hang out online (including Allan and I) sometimes. Glick and Mike hang out on DALnet pretty regularly I think, as I used to, but I quit going there several months back. If you're really eager to catch me on IRC, I hang out at on a network called EsperNet(for more info see EsperNet's webpage). It's a small place, but it's cool. Word of warning though: like everyone else, we're all moody, busy, and sometimes grumpy, so don't get too upset if you don't get a reply or you get a terse/rude one. Speaking for myself only, but probably for the other guys too to a certain extent, I like to IRC to relax and chill out, and I avoid RPG/RPGamer related convos. Not only that, we sometimes leave an idle client online, so we appear there when we're really off partying and stuff. All that being said, the best way to reach any of us is through email.

4) Oops, I ate it. Sorry.

The PocketStation and FF8

How is Square/EA going to port FF8 to the PC? I mean, how are they going to port the PocketStation chocobo breeding thingy? Are they going to leave us poor Playstation-deprived people out again? What are we going to do? *sob*

--Philip Tseng

AK: Square has two options, the way I see it. One is to just drop it, as you suggested... but another option is to port the breeding thingie to Palm Pilots/Windows CE, those little organizer thingies. They're definetely powerful enough for the task.

Pokémon Code Clarification

I'll make this real short and sweet, AK...

1. Malak and Rafa are really good, unless they're the object of the battle (ie. save/protect one or the other); they make the **best** cannon fodder! I mean seriously: find an area you can defend with one or two people. Make Rafa and Malak Knights with crazy armour (so their HPs go through the roof). Then stick 'em out to protect the rest of the party (who should be ultra-fast Lancers who leap all over the place while Heaven and Hell protect y'all from damage. Don't want to lose them permanently? Have one of the lancers throw Phoenix Downs at them occasionally.

2. Is there a way to hook up my PSX to my computer / monitor (without a TV-tuner card)?

3. I've been told that Xenogears is like FFVII on crack. Having not seen any version of Xenogears, can you lend any credence to this claim? (OK, for those lacking in the vocabulary department, "can you lend any credence [...]" means "can you support this [...]")

5. Dammit! Question 4's slacking off again! Where'd that shaven monkey run off to? Oh well, final question: which name for the main character of FFVII sounds the more silly-sounding, Cloud or Claude? Whenever I say "Cloud", I think of flower-children running around on a grassy knoll: Cloud, Roy G. Biv, Blueberry Sunrise (I know someone named this), etc.)

6. Now, onto the generic, stupid, irritating questions that the various RPGurus post and answer umpteen times for some amazingly strange reason... When is FFV for the PC coming out? N64 sux, PSX rulz!! *whine mode* When is RPGamer going to cover Final Fantasy 6.4?*end whine mode*

7. BTW, where did the parlance "PSX" come from. "P" means "Play" and "S" means "Station," but what does "X" stand for?

8. Despite the millions who prefer "Big Lick" and Allan "don't-mispel-my-name-dammit!" Milligan to you AK, I think that you were (and still are, seemingly) the best Q&AK host ever. Having to wait a month between posts kept the tension high and the anticpation in full gear. You were intelligent and razzed the stupid letters, and *most importantly,* dammit you were funny. You posted funny letters, you were witty, original, and smart about your responses. I prefered the shorter (8 or 9 letter) Q&AKs because you spent more time making sure they were entertaining. I'd tell you you should start a Q&AK page, but that's really ridiculous. One other thing I really appreciated: you actually responded directly back to *e-mails.* I remember feeling let down when my letter wasn't posted, but then I checked my e-mail and, lo and behold, you had answered my question! Quite the human touch. Anyway, I'd just like to say thanks and goodbye, as you drift back to the world of college and out of the realm of RPGamer. Even if everyone else is thankful you've been replaced, at least you'll know you'll be missed by at least me. I hope you freelance often.

OK, so these questions weren't short or sweet. In fact, this is longer than The Ring Cycle by Wagner (~14 hours) and damnit if I can't get this bitter taste outta my mouth...

The Great *and* Amazing Slurp

AK: 1) Hehe... that sounds like it'd work, although I found it more effective to just tell them to hit the road and develop a couple of useful characters ;)

2) Not that I'm aware of, I'm afraid...

3) FFVII... on crack. Hmm. An interesting analogy. I've heard a lot of things about Xenogears, but that's a new one. To be honest, though, I haven't seen it in action either, all my opinions on it are sheer hearsay. I'd take a look at all of RPGamer's media on it and make a decision on it yourself.

5) Damn that 4! He always gives me trouble, too. I'd have to say I prefer the name Claude. At least real people have it for a name... like Jean Claude Van Damme. I think he's real, anyway.

6) FFV's release isn't looking good, waaaaah. I really wanted that one to come out, too... and we'll review FF6.4 and if it has enough RPG elements, we'll cover it when a staff member has time etc etc blah blah blah.

7) There's a long story behind this, but the short version goes as so: Sony made a PlayStation. It sucked. They went back to the drawing board and made a new and improved Playstation, the Playstation X. When it was released it lost the X, but designers still referred to it as the PSX. And it stuck.

8) Man, I really appreciate everything you said here. There's no competition between any of us who have hosted this column to see whose is the most popular, the most interesting, etc. etc. etc., but we all like an ego boost every now and then ;). My replying directly to emails is something I always tried to do, with varying success; time was always going by too fast, so I'd answer as much email as I could as hurriedly as possible. (If you think my style of writing here is casual, you ain't seen nuttin' yet unless you've gotten an email from me.) Again, I give you my sincerest thanks for all of the nice things you said about me (and here's the $20 I promised). I also give you my sincerest thanks on the wellwishing, as I do everyone that has wished me luck. And about that bitter taste... try eating a lemon. It'll be sour then, not bitter!

Quick 'n Dirty Tidbits: Matt wants to know where Andrew Vestal is these days (at last check he was training hard for the Iditarod), Xhead tells us that Lucca is in the Xenogears demo, at the counseling center next to the save point (I haven't researched this, but I'll take your word for it), an alert reader points out that Enix is also working on Star Ocean: the Second Story (cool), Jim adds to that list with some non-RPGs: Eurasia Express Murder Incident, Mystic Ark Illusion Drama, ECO, Pop 'n Dance, and Great Hits (interesting... let's hope Enix is still alive and kicking and will re-emerge as a force in the industry), and Persmerga points out that Meowth is in the Red version of Pokémon (I have no idea what you're talking about, but I bet it makes sense to everyone else).

And so ends my brief tenure as RPGuru. Maybe I'll do it again sometime, maybe I won't. But to all of you that sent me kind words, and even to those that pointed out how much I suck, I thank you for reading my words and giving me a place to air some of my bizarre opinions. I'm not as informed a gamer as I used to be, and I hope it didn't hinder my performance here, but if it did, I humbly apologize. Good luck to you all in all of your endeavors, and rock on!

- Andrew Kaufmann

"I would give my life to find it, I would give it all, catch me if I fall."

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