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RPGuru Recuperates

 

In the PSX

 

Xenogears

 

Let's hear it.

 

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Joshua Reid

Oh readers, how I have suffered. My bed transformed into a tomb, me lying like a corpse, sallow features twitching in agony, my forehead scorching hot. In that supine state I stayed all yesterday, worrying for my life, my family gathered around with tepidity marking their furrowed brows and frowns. It was a somber Tuesday.

But today! Lo today! Autumn's breath danced through my stale covers, chasing off the fetid air, lending strength to my weak limbs. I began to discard my sickly garments like the leaf sheds morning dew!

Chorus: Rise, sleeper! Rise to the world!

Amen brothers! Yes, I was casting aside the flu, reveling in the sunlight beaming down, gulping in the fresh air! I was ready!

Chorus: He was ready! Hallelujah! He was ready!

Ready to read the letters, as sweet to my intellectual palate as cordial cherries to my taste buds! Ready to write responses!

Chorus: Ready! He was Ready!

Amen! Let's hear some more brothers!

Chorus: Amen, here's some more! He's Ready!

Ready to compose, to inform, and most importantly . . .

Victor: To kill, kill, kill!

Joshua: Are we going to have to keep you on a leash?

Reading Mail

By the way, do you read ALL your mail, or just the ones that look like they'll be interesting? No need for a big reply, just say yes or no, heck, in the subject line even. I hate to see crazy rants go to waste.

P.S. About CT and XG sequels, I doubt those rumors. I've been told that Xenogears is a sequel to Chrono Trigger in spirit, which I agree with, and for a Xenogears 2... have you won it yet? The plot towards the end grabs the game by the throat and rips any possible sequel potential out with it's excellently animated claws.

-Googleshng

Joshua: Crazy rants never fall on blind eyes here. I read every message thoroughly, and even if you don't see your letter here, I guarantee it gave me a laugh or stimulated the cerebellum, or you are the object of many fanatical curses and death threats late in the night (Victor-induced-murder-syndrome).

The same composer and design team worked on both CT and XG, so any similarities can be attributed to that fact. Your approach to rumors is a smart one, Googleshng, because otherwise you could be bitterly disappointed if the rumor proves as substantial as gossamer.

Haven't won it yet, this flu has set me back a bit (I planned on "winning" it this break), so I'm still early on in the first disc. I must, while I'm at it, applaud your admirable use of personification.

Victor Speaks

I just wanted to say I think Victor's cool and you should let him answer some letters. Though, his little thing with death is a little strange. He's still cool though.

-Kira Valentine

Ah, this is actually more of a letter to Victor. I just have to like him. How can you not like a guy that is obsessed with death? But I sadly heard that Death didn't want him. Wah! ;_; Can I be a substitute for death, Victor-sama? I carry a scythe, have lived around four thousand years, and wear black. (but I don't wear black robes, just black leather body suits. Does that count?) Ah, I am permanently IC (in character for you newbies out there), so plan on me being....a bit unusual. Unusual in the fact that I am a Dhampire catgirl. (Dhampire is a half vampyre, FYI. My other half is succubus) Also, some questions (okay, comments):

1. Wild ARMs is the most awesome game around. I don't care if it was sold, go buy a new copy Joshua, you bum.

2. Where the heck is the link to your "Games" part of this page? I like to go to it to see the fanart that I missed, but I can't find the darn link!

3. Pleeeeeaaaase put my letter up! Please? C'mon, do it for Victor. I'm probably the only fan of his that has the guts to say something about how cool he is. ::gets down on her knees:: Puh-leeeaase?! ^_^; You probably won't...(reverse psychology, heh heh...uh, should I have typed that?)

Ja ne for now!

~Katana Habuki (aka)

Joshua:

The link should be on the sidebar. Just in case you can't find it: www.rpgamer.com/toc/game.html

Why do you like Victor so much?! What's wrong with meeeee? Wah!

Victor: Step aside, pansy boy. I wrote a poem for all my fans.

Play your games while you have the time

Because by the end of this little rhyme

You'll have aged a little more

And no matter how much riches you store

Death, Life's plans will foil

As they pile up the soil

The maggots that breed in the caverns that used

to breath, laugh, listen, see

Posses much more life than thee

Movie Madness

1)When is the Final Fantasy movie expected to be released in America ? Is anyone famous going to be in it ?

2)When is the Resident Evil movie expected to be released in America ? Is anyone famous going to be in it ?

3)When is the Tomb Raider movie expected to be released in America ? Is anyone famous going to be in it ?

4)Are there any other videogames that are going to be made into a movie that you know of ? When and who ?

-Delbert J. Malibu

Joshua:1. Should be here Summer of 2001. It's going to be CGI, like A Bug's Life and Antz, so the only famous people we can expect to be "in" it are voice actors. Can you imagine a movie full of FFVIII-FMV-style cinematography? Wow.

2. Dunno. As far as I know, it's still in pre-production. This game has been ping-ponging around Hollywood since the first one came out, so who knows when and if it's coming out (remember Doom? There was supposed to be a version of that hitting the theaters). The sad business the latest Mortal Kombat made ("destroy all expectations," was the motto, and sure enough, it destroyed all my expectations of a decent movie) might discourage big budget revamps of video games.

3. Double dunno. But I heard something about the movie being produced by Paramount, "To Be Determinied" release date, and Demi Moore being a possible actress.

4) Who knows what Hollywood's got up their sleeve, I mean if they'll make a Super Mario Brothers movie, they'll make just about anything. Any mega-hit here in the states has movie potential (RE, Doom, MK, Street Fighter). I know he's mostly a comic book character, but Spiderman may swing onto the big screen with James Cameron as director. Would that be groovy or what? :)

Yikes

Hahahahahahahahaha!!! The Great RPGuru knows not that it is not Crabbits that he must fear.... but the Militant Alliance of Annoying Little RPG Girls!!! (MAALRPGG) Oh yes..... Relm, Marlene, Margie, Midori, Primera, Younger Lucca, Young Nina, Dan (an honorable girl, since he is sooo ugly!),countless nameless ones, and...... ME!! Maria Belthasar!!! We will not stand by and watch cute little Crabbits be ostracized by meanies like YOU!!! Watch as we glitch up your games, fill them with ".....", add pointless dialogue, pad stupid little memory scenes, and worst of all.... Insult you with totally weak moves and "assistance", then have no way to be built up!!!!! WHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Steibzehn and I won't let you CAC meanies get away with this!!! Prepare for the onslaught!!!

P.S- If you don't print this letter, we'll tell the world about your Chu-Chu doll..... And we have the pics..... Boy, do we have pics!!!! (Not to mention that sketch that Relm did....)

Yours Truly,

-Maria Belthasar

Joshua: They found me, I don't know how but they found me.

Zelda Zealots

I have remained silent up until now about the generally negative feelings toward Zelda (and the N64) that many of my fellow RPGamers seem to be harboring. I know that the lack of any quality RPGs on the N64 make that system a poor choice for the RPG fanatic, but the N64 is not pure evil incarnated in the form of a game machine. Zelda 64 is the most incredible game ever made, and I can't believe that many of you are going to deprive yourselves of Shigeru Miyamoto's greatest work of art! I am as much of an RPG fanatic as the next RPGamer, and I have played nearly every RPG released since the original Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior for the NES. I love most of Square's latest Playstation efforts (except maybe Saga Frontier), but I don't hate the N64 and Zelda just because Squaresoft is in bed with Sony. Games should be judged by the qualities they possess regardless of the system they were developed for.

I genuinely felt sorrow after reading about the writer who was disenchanted with Zelda after playing it at Walmart for apparently only a small amount of time. I sincerely doubt that this person judged FF7 or Xenogears based on no more than an hour of play. If I had judged either of those games by my first impressions, especially Xenogears, I would have used the CDs as coasters. I also found the comment on not being able to restart Zelda from within the game to be so petty and shallow that it made me sick. That's what the reset button is for (although the reset button probably wasn't within reach in the store demo), and the N64 doesn't take long to reboot.

Anyway, it is my opinion that people who are in agreement with the above mentioned author simply don't want to like Zelda. They want it to be a bad game for whatever reasons. How else could one judge a game from apparently only a few minutes of gameplay? RPGamers are the last people I would expect to make rush judgements on a game, especially given that RPGs require a degree of patience and open-mindedness that other genres of games don't require in order to be enjoyed. I implore you not to ignore Zelda 64 just because you don't like the system it was developed for. Put aside your prejudices and preconceived notions, and give Zelda a chance. I'm supremely confident that you be utterly enthralled with Zelda if you just give it a fair chance. Don't let ignorance and system bias (we're all guilty, myself included) deprive you of the greatest video game experience ever conceived...

-Dman

Well, I just got a chance to look at your "Gooey Gaming Goodness" column (RPGamer's servers haven't been agreeing with me lately, but it appears the problem's been fixed), and I just had to comment on your Zelda thoughts.

First, let me say I got my copy today. I'm about 3-4 hours in, and I can say without a doubt that it is easily one of (if not the most) cinematic games I've ever played. The sweeping camera angles when you enter a location are incredible, and the real-time videos add to this effect. There's not that break in continuity you get with FMV. The only other game that could honestly compete is Metal Gear Solid (and even it had no FMV). As far as story goes, it's definitely there. So far it hasn't been anything incredible, but there has been a lot of it, and it has the potential to be very cool.

Moving on, I don't understand why you don't think the N64 is the best platform for Zelda. It's not like space is a real limitation in the greater scheme of things (lack of sound chip/small texture cache are both problems, but playing TooT neither is noticeable at all). You say that carts force less story - but a story is mainly text. Last I checked, you can cram a WHOLE lot of text onto a 32 megabyte cart (heck, even a 16 MB one will do quite nicely). If you build a good enough graphical engine, there's no reason why you'd _want_ FMV, so that's not a problem either.

At any rate, so what if Zelda doesn't have a great story? Last time I checked, the series didn't emphasize a strong storyline. Are you going to tell me that since Link to the Past had a fairly cliched predictable story that it was a crappy game? The original Zelda had virtually no story, and it was (and still is) great. No, I'm going to be playing Z64 for the awesome puzzles, level design and combat, not for the story (which is there if you feel compelled to nit pick). Anybody who does not play this game is severely depriving themselves.

Oh, by the way: once you learn how to use the Z trigger effectively (and get into some good combat), you will see how fundamentally different Zelda is from Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. Just 'cause it's in 3D doesn't mean it's a platformer...

-Stephen Keller

Joshua: Excellent letter, Stephen and Dman! You Dman! I must admit, as some readers have pointed out, that I have shown a little "system bias" myself. I apologize if the letters I have printed or my silly responses (I felt the need to pick on this game of the century) have seemed an ignorant attack against this highly anticipated game. My official position on the game is that I don't have an official position because I haven't played it seriously enough yet. The demo copy in Walmart gave me a feel for the flawless graphics and the silky smooth gameplay, but I'll forestall condemnation or exultation until I've played it through. There you go.

Just like Dman, I urge you to play the game all the way through before making hasty judgements. Many of you have had to wait for your copies because of mail order problems. I hope you have them now, and that you enjoy the game.

Black and White

What???!!! How dare those %^&^%##$^'s at Squaresoft U.S.A. give us a crappy black and white manual? Sure it had lots of art, but this is ridiculous, almost as bad as the abomination that was FF Tactics' s manual. Who does Square think they're selling to, a bunch of random Americans who don't care about Japan? NO!!! They're selling to hardcore Japanese RPG freaks who wait months for a freaking translation, only to get a kick in the face with crap like this!!! Remember when Square used to make those beautiful full color 50 page manuals, like FF VI, that had art and walkthroughs? Now look at what they've become!!!! I encourage all RPGamers to write a very strongly worded letter to Square to stop this!! Print this! For once I'm serious, Josh! This is important!!!!!!!!!

-Maou Jacky, Magus Janus

Joshua: SOBERING FACT #2456: I think he really thinks this is important.

On a serious note, maybe EA has influenced the current state of Square's manuals. All of the Madden's I have are in black & white while FFVII (pre EA partnership) was in color. I never really noticed the change from RGB to B & W but now that you mention it, I'm kind of irked too. I'm thinking about Chrono Trigger's gorgeous layout. Will we ever see that again? Ahh.

Instruments of Doom

I think the best instrument of destruction would be a piccolo. Small, concealable, and very sharp if you file it down. It's very handy also in those moments when you want to catch your enemy off guard, especially when Square propaganda ninjas try to force you to play Saga Frontier of hours on end. When they try, you can just pull out your handy piccolo, and all the Square ninjas would just say is, "What the heck is that thing?!". Then WHAM!!!

-Chris Dahl, one heck of a disgruntled RPGer

Note: A piccolo is a smaller version of a flute, and if done right, could make a high pitch squeaky noise that makes everyone have a feeling to outright search for blood. I speck from experience.

Joshua: Aha! So they used a piccolo to make Chu-Chu's noises! I was wondering.

Don't underestimate the beating power of the Tuba. In the meaty hands of a Neanderthal, you have a whirlwind of bludgeoning destruction. Or you can just play the thing, replicating such a gruesome display of flatulence to scatter a flock of sensitive gentlepeople, or puncture eardrums with one crushing bass note. Heck, the instrument itself carries malevolence--I've seen it devour many hapless middle school band students, their thin legs kicking futilely as they disappeared in the brass gullet.

T.V. Troubles

For the sake of poor Johnny Nouel, it should be known that his TV problems are not unique. I have two different TVs which are my primary gaming TVs-a 19-inch something-or-other in my room and a 26-inch RCA in the living room- and both of them suffer similar problems. The 19-inchGeneric TV cuts out the right side of the screen much like Johnny's, and the RCA cuts off a significant part of the bottom of the screen. I've tried everything in my power, and have found no way to correct these errors. Johnny, I feel your pain.

-Sydney

Joshua:D'oh.

FFT: The Novel?

Anyway, I was wondering why they don't make books of games like Xenogears, Final Fantasy Tactics, and the rest of The FF series, and all those other RPGs. I heard they were making a book for Zelda, but I really don't know why. I don't think Zelda ever had or will have a story as good as a true RPG and if it can get a book written about it, I'm sure many people would appreciate the great stories of the games I mentioned above and more. And if they can't do that, why not make animes of all RPGs. They anime in Xenogears was great, and If they made a Xenogears anime like the cinemas in the game, I sure as hell would buy it, as well as many other fans out there. Maybe we can start a petition or something...

-Gjdiaz

Joshua: I know Parasite Eve was based off of a book, but as for the others, I'm not sure where they stand. A book adaptation of those Squaresoft games would appear in Japan first. How many pages would a FFT book be anyway, with all that convoluted back plot and tangled political mayhem? Tolstoy watch out.

Anime would also be a great adaption. I've seen it done before, with stunning results, but usually only fighting games reach their cel cousins (Street Fighter, Toshinden). But hey, I own four episodes of Final Fantasy, and I love them! Go Pritz! Besides, Gjdiaz--as many readers have pointed out--there's already an anime version of Xenogears (well close enough) out there: Neon Genesis Envangelion. :)

If you want to read stories about RPGs, check out our fanfic section, or better yet, write one yourself! When you write about something you love (like the DW series) you become more attached and appreciative of it.

Scattered Thoughts:

Not much, except. . . Happy Turkey Day! :)

-Joshua Reid, off into the sunset.

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