Unburden your soul to
Hi. Welcome to December.
Don't Add Insult to
My friend, there are several RPGs out there that have
flaws. Those which are listed in the "worst RPG poll"
currently being taken are the main ones. And I would
definitely like to say that while games such as the 7th Saga
and Saga Frontier definitely have their bad parts, they have
many unique and fun elements. This is the key, people: FUN.
We play these games for ENTERTAINMENT. Those among us who
continually blast RPGs (FFVII debate case in point) just
because the plot doesn't suit them or the graphics aren't up
to their par or would have preferred the story written a
certain way, need to step back a second and realize that
they are playing GAMES. No game is perfect; if that was
possible, what would be the point of making more? This is
why Square and other companies continually release more and
different games; because there are different ways to make a
game and people have different tastes. Myself, I'm probably
not going to pick up Brave Fencer because I'd prefer to
leave action games to the professionals like Konami; I'd be
happy to save the world from Sephiroth over and over again,
because while perhaps the game could have been done better,
every aspect of the game was, in my opinion, good. And
that's why I play it; because I find the game to be fun. If
you don't like a game, don't spend your money on it, so I
don't have to hear you complain about it. Negative reviews
are fine, I appreciate those. But continuous blasting of a
multiyear effort goes far beyond the call of duty, my
Joshua: In the middle of all this game bashing,
critiquing, and nitpicking, it's encouraging to see that
someone knows the true point of video games--to have fun.
All of Saga's flaws don't amount to tiddlywinks as long as
you enjoy playing it. Sometimes zealous critics (like
myself) lose sight of this important fact.
Movies, Tactics, and
Hello! Just a couple of questions/comments here...
1) So I hear that the Final Fantasy Movie is being
produced with Pixar's assistance with Square. You know, this
concerns me about the overall quality. If Pixar plays a
heavy hand in this role, I'm a bit worried we'll get a mass
media sellout product with no critical value at all in its
storyline (because while "A Bug's Life" displayed mastery
over CG, it had one of the most cliched plots ever). I mean,
the Final Fantasy video games have produced (especially the
most recent ones) stories based on themes, ambiguity, and
questioning values- a lot of deep thought. Whereas the only
resemblance the movie may have to the rich content of the
video game is the name and some magic spells. It would be
like turning "Akira" into "Armageddon" content-wise. Sheesh,
even the early CG shots reflect nothing that is
Japanese/anime. What do you think? Am I overly
2)People trash Square for their awful translations, but I
played FFTactics for the first time and it was perfectly
clear, and it definitely enhanced the story. Like that part
when Algus says Miluda and the Death Corps are undeserving
animals- what a rat! Wasn't FFT's translation superb?
3) Are we RPG players geeks/losers/social rejects?
Joshua: 1) I doubt that Square will let a company
like Pixar take over their creative decisions. Pixar has
proven its CGI prowess with Toy Story and A Bug's Life, so I
assume Square wants to use them for a strictly animation
resource. I have no desire to see a watered down version
myself, but I don't think you need to worry too much.
2) I was particularly struck with FFtactics adept use
A. Clever names like "Draclau." It's amazing what a
couple rearranged letters can do.
B. Appropriate adjectives like "a gang of _tortured_
thieves is trying to sneak into this town."
C. Prosaic, pithy, postulates like "never believe in
D. Frightening threats like "surrender or die in
But overall, I agree with you--the massive script was
surprisingly well translated and maturely written: It
tackled class, religion, characterization, and more.
3) I can't believe you just said that. RPGamers never
were and never will be the bottom of the social barrel,
that's reserved for the Hanson fan club.
In case you don't believe me, here's the Top Ten Reasons
Why RPGamers Are Better Than Normal People
10. Normal people steal, kill, and drop bombs on one
another, we do it in video games instead.
9. If our teachers ever quizzes us on FF geography, or
Suikoden politics, we have a definitive edge.
8. We can withstand prolonged torture. Anyone who has
played through FF Mystic Quest can testify to this.
7. We find real-life solutions in our games. For
instance, if your mother is bothering you, make sure she
falls into a time warp. Problem solved.
6. RPGaming, and video gaming in general, increases
5. We've saved the world at least 12 times, so we know
how it's done.
4. Ever get in a fight? Just dazzle and devastate with
all the blitzes, sword techs, and moogle dances you've
learned during your gaming career.
3. We have mastered soul-shattering insults like, "you
2. Our bodies are accustomed to sleep, food, and
1. Because we are, darnit.
Love At First
Hi, I am sooo happy you signed my guestbook. But there is
another thing . . . About the love of my life, he came into
school today wearing a ZELDA T-shirt. I was incredibly
amazed, cause he's not a loser, but a very popular guy. But
anyway, I struck up a conversation with him about the game
and we had this incredibly long chat and I got his phone
number! I'm totally happy now . . .
So anyway, please put this on the page to show that Zelda
T-shirts *are* good to wear in public :)
Joshua: Hear that everyone! Don your Zelda Ts with
pride! Show off those strong thumbs and index fingers!
Let's all sign her guestbook huh? See how many entries we
can clog her page with!
I think you should have some sort of contest for guessing
the source of the RPGamer quotes that you have in the page
title. It's driving me crazy seeing this oh-so-familiar
quotes looming up there, and not being able to figure or
find out where they came from. Put it in your RPGuru column
Joshua: Dude, I have no idea where most of those
quotes come from. I gave up long ago. But if any of you know
the answers, I'll post your name at the bottom for
Greetings Rpguru. I got a couple of questions for
1: Have you played Kartia? I've played A LOT of RPGs and
so far, the character development and storyline has never
been so great. And you get to play two very different and
wonderful storyline in the same world. Come on, tell people
about it, I'd like to see a sequel, but so far no one speaks
about all the non-square RPGs.
2: Other RPGamer staff members often referred to the
To-Do list. What is this list? Couldn't you share it with
us? What's next on RPGamer? Oh, and will there ever be a new
link section on RPGamer?
Joshua: 1. I haven't played it yet, because I
can't afford it just yet, but so many of you have expressed
your adulation of this title that I'm going to have to give
it a look-see.
2. Okay, just to show my benevolence to all my readers,
I'll post the RPGamer to do list, right here!
RPGamer To-Do List
1. Find some free time.
2. Give that great new RPGuru a raise.
Well, that's it. Actually, there is a lot of stuff
planned for this site, but I have to keep it under wraps for
now. :) I'll snoop out the status on the new link section
Everyday I check into the RPGuru section to read up on
your great column. Yet everyday I am smacked with the same
old thing: "In the PSX- Xenogears" How many hours have you
logged on that game? I mean, you ARE the mighty RPGuru, are
you not? Shouldn't you shave ten to fifteen hours off the
estimated completion time and then brag to us how you beat
so-and-so a game in less than four days after it was
released? Ah well, no one is perfect. Maybe you should take
a day or two off and beat that game? By the way, what do you
think is the toughest Squaresoft boss? I've played tons of
Square games and the only person I've ever had trouble with
was Einhander's last boss, Hyperion, on hard mode.
Joshua: But I don't want to beat Xenogears! I'm
having too much fun watching Chu-Chu die, over and over and
over again! Besides, I still have to win that Spit game!
With school, work, this column, my therapist sessions,
food, and sleep hemming in on my time, I can only play in 15
minute snippets. Maybe once Exams blow over I'll be able to
do some serious gaming. I never thought I'd be playing less
RPGs once I took this position, but that has been the case.
Toughest Square boss huh? It would have to be BossX from
SaGa frontier, because you have to play through Red's
scenario to get to it, and that's just plain difficult to
Einhander was just too rough for me (my luck with
shooters is like my luck with women--zilch. But, just like
the much fairer gender, I love them anyway. Darius Gaiden
rules.) but I did find Emerald and Ruby weapon difficult at
first, even though they weren't really bosses. I sweated
over Zeromus too, until I discovered the crystal trick (duh
Josh). Oh, PE's EX mode boss is no joke, from what I'm told.
WrexSoul wasn't my favorite until I tried X-zone in
desperation. How about you readers? Toughest boss? Why?
To Fence Or Not To
I have recently been contemplating whether or not to buy
Square's fairly new release, Brave Fencer Musashi. I have
faith in Square and I have loved everything they have put
out up to this point, but between the demo on the Parasite
Eve disk, and some reviews that I've read, I'm not sure
about it. Could you tell me, your personal opinion on the
game, maybe compare it to some of Square's other work, and
also tell me, if it's not a "great" game is it still good
enough to buy it just for the Final Fantasy VIII playable
Joshua: Here are my comments
1. BFM can't really be compared to other Square games,
because it's their first attempt at this style. It's more
Zeldaesque than anything else (saving the princess, getting
powerups, real-time action, night/day). The content is light
and much more toned down than other Square titles.
2. If you don't mind rampant silliness and a plot as deep
as a kiddie pool then BFM shouldn't bother you.
3. If you like funky hairdos, then you'll like
4. If you don't like California valley girls, you won't
like the princess.
5. If you want a good laugh and some great action, you've
come to the right place.
6. Rent it first.
Always rent a game you're not too sure about. Even if I
like it (I do), you might not for whatever reason. Don't buy
it just for the demo (even though the demo's a must play)
because no one hour demo is worth 50 hard earned
I've got a question for you: Why is it that all RPGs have
to do with "The epic battle of Good Vs. Evil", with the
"Good" side being controlled by the player, and winning
98.9% of the time? I hate to compare everything to Final
Fantasy, but in Final Fantasy VI, the Returners broke into
the Magitek Factory and proceeded to destroy it. Now, since
they were controlled by the player, it seems to me that what
they were doing was OK, 'cause they "beat up the bad guys".
But what if the Empire was right? What if the Espers were an
evil race who tricked the Returners into destroying their
enemy, the Empire? How were they supposed to know? This
little example brings me to my point: Why isn't there an RPG
out there where you can play the bad guy!? That would make a
great concept, depending on how you deliver it. The player
takes the role of the "infinite evil" (like Exdeath in FFV,
Zemus in FFIV, or Jenova in FFVII), and manipulate those
puny mortals into bringing about the apocalypse, creating a
monument to nonexistence (paradoxical as it may sound), or
whatever machinations you can and will dream up. I would
like Victor's input on this one. It's time for a change.
Joshua: While most RPGs have had the typical Good
v. Evil plot, some have taken much liberties with the
characters. Ever since Ultima you've been able to commit
pretty vile acts (kill townspeople). Daggerfall lets you
gain membership into evil guilds, Legacy of Kain focuses
around a vampire for goodness sakes (the ending especially
explores the good and evil context), Tecmo's Deception (no
really RPG, but kinda close) features setting deadly traps
and creating beasts, Dungeon Keeper (strategy, but still
cool) follows the conquests of evil, Seiken Densetsu 3 had
an alignment system, If I'm not mistaken, as well as many
I like your take on FFVI, you can use your perspective on
many games. Suikoden, for example. You rebel against your
father and the king and set up your own army to oppose them.
Is that good? And what about the Rebellion in Star Wars?
Thanks to their provocation, many planets vaporized and
people died, whereas if they had not meddled, the Empire
could have continued its philanthropic efforts to employ
people in Kessel mines, bring technology to backward alien
races, propagate order to the galaxy, clean up the universe
for saver hyperdrive travel (Yavin in the way? Break out the
Death Star), and provide Dark Side tutelage for anyone
seeking a quick way to improve their self-esteem (make fun
of me will ya? *choke attack*)
Well, you asked for Victor's input, so I guess I better
ask: Hey Victor, what do you think of a Villian-centric
Victor: Hell yeah! Bananas on rye!
Well, that just about sums it up.
Oh, Great and mighty RPGuru.....
I have some questions for you, that I, as a Master of
video games, cannot answer, though my queries are mostly
1. Have you ever noticed that Squaresoft cannot keep the
Masamune straight. In the Final Fantasies, it is a curved,
Samurai sword, the Blade of Black. In Secret of Mana, and
Crono Trigger, it is a Holy broadsword! The Masamune is a
blade of pure evil(Sephiroth's), but its the only thing that
can kill Magus(Frog's)! What's your opinion?
2. Is it required that all Squaresoft main characters
have outrageously freakish hair?? Crono, Cloud,etc.?
3. How come in FFII(4J), black Chocobo's can fly, but in
FFVII they can only cross mountains?
4. Didn't you think it was a tad unnecessary for Smithy
to look like Santa Claus?
5. Are Victor and Vincent related, or Seph for that
6. Are you really Canadian?
7. Why do all Canadian's say EH! ?
8. On a final note, I would like to challenge you to a
quiz contest. "Stump the Guru" or "Guru Vs. Master" Are you
up to the challenge? Make sure you post this so everyone can
egg you on to accept my challenge! One rule . . . no PC RPGS
or anything below FFIV! Be thou willing to accept mine
challenge? [letter edited for C content].
-Brett, The Ultima Weapon X
Joshua: 1. I think it is the name, not the sword,
that Square desires to remain faithful to. I think the
CORRECT version of the Masamune is a blade of pure evil,
because that's what a little elf told me, and besides, the
Hakkenden (Japanese Anime) portrays the weapon as such, and
it's supposed to be based off a Japanese legend.
2. Yes. The girls (Tifa, Aeris, Marle) love it, and I
think it scares the monsters. I'm waiting for the day they
use it for a weapon, Rose style. I keep waiting for one of
them to appear on a  gel commercial.
3. All that inbreeding has sterilized the gene pool. They
devolved. It happens. Drive through West Virginia to see
what I mean.*
4. Uh . . . yeah, gratuitous even.
5. Let's ask Victor. Hey Victor, who's your daddy?
Victor: Doris Day.
6. What gave you that impression, eh? Actually, I'm 100%
American, I'm so ashamed. I wish I were Canadian. Good
hockey blood up there.
7. Eh? I never noticed, eh? Why do valley girls say,
like, "like?", and yo, rappers "yo"? Why is my neighbor's
dog running over Mrs. Eldlemier with the lawnmower? Why do
birds sing? Why do fools fall in love? Nobody knows. It just
8. Will I accept your challenge? Er. . . gosh . . . I'm
*RPGamer would like to inform its readers
that any disparaging remarks about West Virginia or
residents thereof made by our Guru are from his own demented
psyche--we do not assume any responsibility or liability for
"Random Insanity Picked Out Of My Mailbox" or RIPOMM.
Pronounced rip 'em. Or R.I.P. 'em:
Nobuofan, all I have to say is that Buffy's well . . .
whoa . . . buxomly. :)
Eric Reuter, who caught the flu from my column, I hope
you feel better soon. :)
David Fizban Lechich and other Everquesters should check
out the Everquest
page. And yes, I have read some Dragonlance novels. Sturm
was my favorite.
Stephen Keller adds to my rant on Character Development
by saying that leveling up is an important facet of that
process. I agree.
Hey Chandra! A.E. Isthill has expressed his interest in
James the Wise has this to say: "In January of 1999
Natsume will be releasing a color version of Harvest Moon GB
for the color Gameboy. In this version there will be a new
addition that allows the game to continue playing when you
turn of the Gameboy. Apparently you must befriend the farm
sprites so that they will take care of your farm when you're
gone. Are they NUTS! I don't want the game playing itself
for me! I would like to start a petition to send to Natsume
telling them not to include this in the game. Please e-mail
me at email@example.com
if you want to be on it. Send me your real name and e-mail
address. I will accept names until December 18. United we
stand, divided we fall! Also on a lighter note, Natsume will
be releasing a much better sequel to legend of the river
king. It is called legend of the sea king and fixes a lot of
the problems which were apparent in the old one. For
instance you have a boat in this one and trading and selling
fish is more of the goal than collecting them.
-James the Wise
A salubrious salutations to my fellow English major, Alan
Brooks! Keep the faith!
-Joshua, calling it a late night.
"Wah, I struggle," -Joshua Reid, after finishing his
column so late in the night.