Amuse Me; Amaze Me; Adulate Me
Hello RPGuys and RPGirls!
I have lots of plans for this site, readers. In the next
few weeks, you will see contests (with actual prizes),
surveys, resources, and more! And, as always, I will shower
your greedy eyes with daily doses of pithy peer letters and
my crafty, entrancing replies, no? :) This is the happening
place to be!
For tomorrow, I would like you to complete this sentence:
"My favorite RPG Character is _____, because ____." These
answers can be serious or facetious as long as they do not
exceed ONE SENTENCE. Astound me with your exhorbitant wit. I
will post my favorites in a big section in Wednesday's
Out of 86 letters, only four were actual questions. The
rest were comments on a plethora of subjects--from RPGirls
to video game endings. It's wonderful to see some opinions
out there! Keep them rolling in!
Let's Hear It From the
I know I play RPGs for the plot and characters. I think
it's been proven that women are more language-oriented than
men, and what is an RPG except a big story/play? (although
I'm not sure you can generalize any group, women or men,
like that). I *really* hope that US game companies will
realize that we exist! I remember hearing somewhere that
FFVIII's Squall was being created "with a female audience in
mind." Although it sounds silly, it's a good sign I
Women DO seem to like RPGs better. I generally like most
video games, but I've always had a special place in my heart
for RPG and adventure games. The same goes for most of my
game-playing cohorts. I can't speak for anyone else, but I
prefer the depth and storyline of an RPG. If I'm gonna plunk
down 40 or 50 smackers, I wanna get a couple dozen hours of
entertainment, at least. Don't get me wrong, I like Resident
Evil 2 just as much as the next guy. But nothing is like
watching a whole world grow around you, you know? Of course,
I'm sure superior taste has something to do with it,
You were way off when you said that RPGs were most
popular with females. Actually, they are LEAST popular. My
yearbook staff did a poll of all 1000+ people in my school
(I'm on the staff and counted the ballots) to see which type
of video game people liked the most. Only one female voted
for RPGs (which was, BTW, me) compared to around 15% of
You see, girls don't like repetition. RPGs are VERY
repetitive--at least the battles are. They think that video
games are boring, and if they do like any, they like Mario
64 and Banjo-Kazooie.
I like RPGs, but I don't wear dresses, I'm a libertarian,
I like math better than English, and I program webpages and
play lots of sports (definitely not your idea of a typical
girl ne?). Therefore, it's my theory that RPGs are,
surprisingly, a strictly masculine thing... based on
I just wanted to let you know that I would marry the man
that wore a Final Fantasy T-shirt and gave me an old
Nintendo game as a birthday present (yes, I am female). I
think that is the ideal guy. Seriously. All my friends that
are girls think I'm weird for my obsession with video games
. . . and the guys treat me like "one of the guys"
sometimes. I frequently wear an Iria: Zeiram the Animation
T-shirt, as well as a Tenchi Muyo one. I just thought I'd
let you know that you need to stop thinking that girls don't
like those shirts, because one day, some girl like me could
come along and fall in love with ya. Ok, maybe not fall in
love with you, but she could start a conversation which
might start a friendship which might very well lead to . . .
I think you get my point. Anyway, pleeeease put this in
RPGuru to let all the guys know what goes on when they are
whining about girls not playing games and admiring their
-Loyal RPGamer Reader RydiaX
Hi, RPGuru! I'm one of your female readers out
there. I love RPGs due to the excellent
storylines. If a story is good, and the gameplay also
works for me, I'll like the game immensely. Of course, a
cool hero is also a key factor! ;) The only real
turnoff for me, and maybe other females as well, is the
Breast Factor that you mentioned yesterday. If it's
constantly shoved in your face, it's rather annoying.
Joshua: Squall is pretty cute. I think it's the
Emilia, you go to a blighted school. Get out, now, before
it's too late.
I've Got Elly
If you guys would appreciate Anime more you'd probably
notice that Elly looks better than most of the other um,
Anime-drawn girls out there! She looks better than Sailor
um... (bad example) Ok, Tifa! I gotta admit, Tifa and Aeris
look great (you know what I mean) maybe even Ms.Croft, but
please, give Van Houten her credit!
Joshua: "Ms." Croft?! Get this man some help.
In your column you asked, "and if there [are] a
lot of you out there, why haven't I received more marriage
proposals?" You completely ignored the fact that you had
already established a perfectly good reason. And I quote:
"Because women are intrinsically wiser and have better taste
than men do."
Joshua: I haven't been trashed that hard-core
since . . . well . . . since ever, I think.
Actually, Japanese isn't that hard to learn, all you need
is about 15 minutes a day (Ok, so I cheat and do about 2
hours one day a week), to get fairly good at it. It's a
fairly (I think) simple language, with hardly any
exceptions, like in English. If you were interested in at
least trying it, I'd suggest getting a book called 'Ultimate
Japanese: Basic-Intermediate.' There are a bunch of things
in there that bug me, but it's the best out of about 15
Japanese books I found. Just thought you and the kiddies out
there might like to know, if you're at all interested in
I saw a letter saying that someone was willing to learn
Japanese in a mere six months. While hopeful, this person
was being very unrealistic.
I'm a Japanese student about 2 months into my class, and
we've learned some pretty useful stuff. We've learned one of
the alphabets (there's 3, for those who don't know), about
10 or so verbs, sentence structure, and a few particles.
Sound pretty sweet? I thought so too, but if you look at any
Japanese Squaresoft games with the knowledge I have, you
basically can pick out a word or two if you're lucky. I'm
sure that in 4 months I'll be able to understand a game
written by extremely Japanese-literate people.
However, if anyone out there wishes to learn Japanese,
I'd suggest contacting a local community college (or even a
university) and seeing what they have there if your local
school doesn't have it. And remember, it takes patience,
because there's a LOT of stuff to learn.
Joshua: Well here are two entirely opposing
viewpoints on the same language. The speed and ease with
which one learns a language depends on the person's
individual talents and dedication (of course), but I've
heard that reading Japanese is pretty difficult for a
Western audience. Different rules over there.
Heh heh. Foreign tongues are cool.
FFIV's ending seems to be the extreme example in the
"closure vs. vague artsyness" debate. It is used by some as
a weapon against the other extreme, FFVII's ending, and by
others as a symbol of just going too far. I'd like to submit
another theory; that both FFIV's and FFVII's endings, even
though they have utterly different goals to them, are the
There's no reason in people arguing that more closure is
needed all the time just because they didn't like the
vagueness of FFVII that others adored, or in arguing that
FFIV is cheesy compared to FFVII just because it wasn't
completely ambiguous, and they don't want to look
"unsophisticated." All that matters is that the ending suits
the particular game it goes with. FFIV was a game of
stylized heroic drama, and there's nothing wrong with it at
all, because it did a great job of sticking to just that
goal. For a game like FFIV, an ending with tons of closure
and perfectly wrapped up loose ends was exactly what was
called for, exactly what the story was created for. FFVII
had a completely different type of story. It was full of
subtlety and things open to interpretation the whole way
through, culminating in the antithesis to FFIV's ending, and
rightly so. If FFVII had wrapped everything up nicely, it
would have clashed horribly with the more realistic feel to
the story. If FFIV had had more complexity, it would have
ruined the wonder and the whole feel of that game. (On a
side note though, to some people these "less developed"
characters in older games like FFIV are just as
"interpretive" as some things in FFVII)
So the problem isn't that all endings should be more
vague or have more closure, it's that the choice be
well-made for the particular game, and that there should
always be different types of games so we really can all be
happy. This theory also goes for the debates on linearity
vs. non-linearity, polygons vs. sprites, etc. etc.
. . . and on that note, stop knocking SaGa Frontier. I
liked it. ;)
-Mijae, of the rare breed of "RPG Women".
Joshua: This letter almost mirrors my feelings
exactly. I particularly like how she emphasized variety. I
keep fearing that RPGs will become like the fighting genre,
or the movie market, or a Dean Koontz novel, where every
game mimics the same formulaic blockbuster feel. So far,
however, RPGs have remained dynamic and rich.
Yes, sex and breasts do sell, but that's not why square
sells RPG's. You of all people should know that, being a
gamer. To put such a biased view on, does not reflect the
ideas of the majority, and looks dishonorable on RPGamer and
you. Personally, I like this site, because its tops, and it
just sucks that you'd say something as cheap as that.
I'm a guy and yeah, I do trip out over the pretty hotties
in games, but sexy scenes don't make RPGs. It may sell
Baywatch, Playboy, or Adult Video games, but not true RPG's
like the ones that Square come out with. Parasite Eve had a
hot looking chick, but I bought it for its unique
active-time RPG battle system, and for the fact it has a
decent story, a new way of RPG'in. Look at FFVI, you
couldn't see anything sexually orienting in that game,
except maybe the pictures of the ladies in the stats screen.
Yet FFVI totally rocks. Save the sexual BS for shallow stuff
like Baywatch or Playboy, but don't attach that as the main
selling point of RPGs, which would be character, plot,
story, and ideas.
Joshua: I hope you realize that the whole BF thing
was mostly a pitiable attempt at a joke. I say "mostly,"
because sex has a tremendous influence on video game
marketing and sales. Can you name ONE major female character
in recent heavily publicized Square games (FFVII, PE) who
weren't perfection incarnate? Also, I never said breasts was
"why" Square sells RPGs, but part of "how" they sell them.
Not the main "how," now, but a bit of "how." Confused yet?
:) FFVI did not have Breast Factor, which is true, but
Breast Factor is really a recent phenomena in video games
now that graphics can create more realistic--er--bosoms and
such. Take a look in the latest EGMs and Gameplayers. Look
what's driving a lot of their ads. Is Eidos emphasizing Tomb
Raider's graphics or Lara Croft in a bikini? Basically, I'm
saying BF (advertisers think) influences us to buy certain
games. T.V. ad mentality seeps into the video game
market--God help us all.
Deliverance and Howell make a great point--RPGs aren't as
concerned with BF as other genres. Yet. Parasite Eve wasn't
called by game mags a "Sexy New Thriller" for nothing. You
can bet that the new Square/E.A. partnership will emphasize
more of this particular sales technique.
This probably sounds like a silly question and I hope
someone, even if it's not you, answers it: There is supposed
to be a game manual inside the game CD box, right? I just
bought Xenogears and it just had the two CDs inside.
Joshua: You bet your Gears there's supposed to be
a manual inside! The Crabbits strike again! First it's
matching socks, then your car keys, now video game manuals!
Is anything safe from these lapdogs of Satan?!
Does anyone read the manual? I sure don't, at least not
the first time I play the game. When BFM is in my hot little
hands, I'm not going to waste my time sifting through no
Scattered Thoughts: Yesterday, due to total
exhaustion, I posted a letter by Matt Haynok that created
some confusion about the 7th Saga and Seiken Densetsu
series. There was a 7th Saga in the U.S. but there was also
a Japanese 7th Saga 2 called "Mystic Ark."
Here is what happened to the three Seiken Densetsus--No.
1 is "Final Fantasy Adventure," for Gameboy, No. 2 is
"Secret of Mana" for the SNES, and No. 3 never made it here,
and was a Japanese Super Famicon (16-bit) game. I thank all
of you RPGwatchdogs who ferret out these discrepancies and
supply me with information. But, remember, I put errors on
this page on purpose to test your knowledge.
Toni, from Boulder, you have a couple secret admirers
Let's hear some discussion about some of those lonesome
RPGs by the wayside too! King's Field anyone? What about
What's my opinion about the Dreamcast? If history repeats
itself, outlook is not so good in the States. But if
Dreamcast can get quality third-party support like
Squaresoft, we may see a new market for Sega's latest system
here. Have you seen the shots for Godzilla? Neat stuff.
Eight days and counting until the FFVIII demo, I mean
Brave Fencer, is here! Yipiekiya!
Everyone better have voted for Soul Hackers to port over!
Soul Hackers is the sequel to Demon Summoner (ring any
bells? I didn't think so), but the developers are wary of
bringing it overseas because of--you guessed
it--"questionable content." Grrrr . . . I've got there
questionable content right here!
Alex Holland, the enviable British informant, tells us
that Terranigma, a.k.a. Soul Blazer 3, is available in the
U.K! And if you had to import PE, Alex, you'll probably have
to do the same for Xenogears. Could one of you Europeans
tell me what languages European imports usually adopt?
Find six Pokemons at www.animenation.com and win!
Oh, 42 was my football number in high school. Worship
- Joshua Reid
"And we run and we run to catch up with the sun but it's