In the Machine




Blah Blah


Blah Blah Blah to
Joshua Reid

I'm having a blah day. My brain is viscous sludge. I'm uninspired. Everything's dull. Blah.

Dating Games

Mentioning nonviolent RPGs, in Japan dating simulations are very popular. Games such as the Tokimeki series by Konami are very big sellers. Now I've personally never played one, so I have no idea whether or not it is fun or not. And since I can't read Japanese, its unlikely I'll ever play one.


Joshua: Dating simulations huh? Those zany Japanese think of everything. I can see some use in a virtual date. The dating assistance we have in the States is about as useful as a solar powered flashlight. I read "Mars and Venus on a Date" before I took Shirley Zuckhouser out, and by the end of the affair, it was more like Juno and Jupiter in a Feud.

More Nonviolence

Firstly, as far as I know, there are indeed some nonviolent video games extant; they just haven't been released in the US. I would venture a guess that, once again, we are deprived of them because of the assumptions made about the American RPGing audience, i.e. that we don't appreciate anything that requires intelligence, patience, tolerance, and maturity to enjoy, etc. (Of course, with all of the debates, for example, that FFT sparked re: offense being taken at the religious content of the game, which IMO was ridiculous because, folks, it's a GAME, who can blame those who make such assumptions?)

(Taking a deep breath)

Secondly, I, for one, would love to see Maison Ikkoku, or games like it. I'm not saying that violence in some or even most games is a bad thing (how else would we level up and gain skills?), but variety isn't a bad thing either. Personally, I also enjoy both violent and nonviolent movies, too.

Thirdly, and in case it wasn't blatantly obvious, I'm an English major, too! And we do, indeed, rock. Oh, and I'm also an RPGirl, so there are some of us out there... You're just not looking hard enough! :)



Joshua: Firstly, we can't blame game designers for thinking that way. After all, Melrose Place is still on the air, Puff Daddy sells CDs, and romance novels dominate over 50% of the book market.

Secondly, because Maison Ikkoku was mentioned, I would like to share what I believe to be one of the most painful insults I've ever heard, spoken from the mouth of my Anime angel, Kyoko. She's talking with Yagami, a high school student. The younger girl is admiring Kyoko's physical endowments.

Yagami: Hey, was your bust that big when you were my age?

Kyoko: No, not at all. I was about your size.

Boom! Ouch! Go Kyoko! Er . . . okay, on to the next.

Thirdly, an RPGirl AND an English major? Ah! Perfection can thrive on this blighted ball of celestial cancer!

Legacy of Kain

I saw you recommend Legacy of Kain 2 days ago to someone. I have been thinking about buying it lately and was wondering how well you liked it and what you liked about it. I saw it for $20 in the local software etc.



Joshua: Actually, I was writing about Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain (I think I just called it Legacy of Kain) released a couple years back. Legacy of Kain Two, or Soul Reaver, isn't supposed to be here until February. Soul Reaver looks to be a graphical treat with a wicked storyline: You follow the exploits of a banished vampire with wings, Raziel, in a world were humans are like pigs in the slaughterhouse. There's a playable demo packaged with The Unholy War, a strategy/action title that's received some good reviews.

Well, about the game you really mean, Blood Omen . . . $20 is a steal for this game. It's grimly dark, but it's fun. Lots of FMV, lots of killing, lots of blood, lots of shapeshifting, lots of great voice acting, lots of plot. I liked this game a lot, if you can't tell. I particularly enjoyed the protagonist (a tormented vampire due to an impetuous pact), the story (your search for humanity and revenge), the action (nonstop sword fighting), the twisted treatment (you're a vampire for goodness' sakes! Suck innocent's blood, travel in gothic crypts and haunt towns under night's shadows), and the sound (screams, Kain's eerie voice, British accents, and that heart thumping when it's feasting time). This game, especially one of the endings, fits perfectly in our recent "I wanna be evil" discussion. A gory, disturbing experience satisfying our subterranean cravings. Catered to mature audiences.

RPGamers: A Special Breed

Honored Guru,

I have noticed the primary distinction between "normal" gamers, and RPGamers. Which is, the ability to sit in front of a T.V. set for hours on end, playing one game. Most gamers seem to get bored after a measly couple of hours and go do something else, while us, the elite RPGamers, sit completely enthralled for lengths of twelve hours occasionally. I started playing Zelda64 the other day around 7 p.m. while my cousin was here, he remarked an how the hell I could play a game for so long, and left around 10 p.m.. My wife got home from work around 11 p.m., stayed up till around 2 a.m., and went to bed. I quit playing Zelda at 9 a.m., woke her up for work, and went to bed. It is uncanny. And I was even worse with Xenogears. Is it just because we play games that are good enough to play for so long, have abnormally long attention spans, are genetically addicted to games, or a combination? Just an observation.


Joshua: In your case, I think it's the fact that you don't seem to have any other obligations, not to mention a job. ;) J/k. I would say it depends on the person, and usually is a combination of all three. Most action games, if played in one sitting, usually only take 3-6 hours at most anyway (some quicksilver titles, like Resident Evil, encourage short gaming). RPGers have been conditioned to long games, unable to quit, rabid for the next plot development, the next level, and it's only natural that these games end up eating our life.

Maybe the next poll should be "How many hours, on average, per week do you play RPGs?"

What Makes A GREAT Game

1) In your opinion, what is your definition of a GREAT RPG?

One that dangles well-designed gameplay, graphics, story, music, sound effects, character development, and relationships, like a juicy T-bone Steak, before my metaphoric maw until I'm drooling, I'm salivating in anticipation, wanting to feast on this game and digest its contents.

One that makes me cry, shout, laugh, gasp.

One that makes me miss dinner, sleep, and class and I don't CARE because I'm having the time of my life.

2) Do you agree with me that FFVII and FFVIII are AWESOME games, but suck as Final Fantasies (due to the overboard-technology)?

No. Final Fantasy has always had some measure of technology, and if Square decides to explore that side of the coin, it's their prerogative. Let them toss this technomedium around a little bit, and maybe later they'll return to a more fantasy approach. In the meantime, we can still have fun regardless. If they're AWESOME games, what's the problem?

3) In FFVII and FFVIII, we see people with guns and huge @!$ ships with guns. Why do people like Cloud use Swords, or Squall with GunBlades? Hello!? Drop the danged sword and use one of those huge guns!

But where's the challenge? And what do you see doing more damage, the guns or the swords?

4) What's more important to you, graphics or plot?

For me, plot. But both are very important elements. I think for a game to be GREAT it must pay equal attention to every pillar.

5) Where can I find good scripts for FFIVj, FFV, and FFVI?

Why, on this very site. Check out the games section.

6) Hey RPGals.. I'm here! Heh heh... oh yeah... you guys live in Canada or something. =(>

Too bad, eh?

Anyways, Joshua, I hope ya post this... it'd sure make my taco! Or burrito! Or... burrito!

Thanks to you, I'm going to Taco Bell tonight. Viva Gorditas!

- Chief Wiggum

No Way, No How

Hey Josh, I have a question I was hoping you or one of my fellow RPGuru's out there could help me answer. A couple days ago, my friend and I get into an argument. My friend claims that when FFVI was brought over from the Super Famicom, when they finished the translation, half of the story is gone! Now I have the SNES version, and I cannot believe such a thing happened. When questioned, he said that Japanese text takes up less space and that's the cause of the problem. Well, I said there was no way, and we left it at that. Could you help out out?

P.S, I'm from Boston, MA

~Ian Williams

Joshua: I think your friend is grossly exaggerating. Sure some things were cut, changed, but half the story? Gracious! My bet is that your friend is a dope smoker. Readers, especially Japanese FFVI players, can this be true? Tell me it ain't so.

Prayers Answered

I just received my copy of Final Fantasy Pray (a vocal soundtrack for the Final Fantasy series), and I wanted to know what you think of it, if you've ever heard it.


Joshua: The Prelude (which must be heard in CD surround sound--MP3 is nice, but the real thing is nicer) is ineffably beautiful. I was moved to tears the first time I heard it. "Tina" is a joyride too, and the remaining tracks rate pretty good to a couple I'd call mediocre. But the experience of listening to someone sing along with our favorite tunes is just otherworldly (although I preferred the French and Japanese songs to the English ones. I always associated FF with a foreign language). I recommend it wholeheartedly. Read a review of it here, where you can also sample a few tunes.


Hello RPGuru. I have a few questions.

1. First of all, what happened to CRONO? Did you just skip over him? A spelling mistake? I mean, sure it's hard to get a conversation out of a guy who doesn't exactly have much to say but then maybe he could have someone who could come along with him to portray his thoughts! Howabout Marle? Yeah, that's it! She would know the most about him naturally! Of course, maybe Lucca would too.

I still have plans for Crono. Mwahahahaha! *maniacal laugh* Stay tuned. Maybe a non-blah day is coming up soon. :)

2. Who is this "Umaro" guy anyway? My friend said he's from an FF game. I've played all of the ones released in the US except FFIII(I'm so ashamed;the "greatest" RPG of all time and I haven't touched it) so I'm assuming it's from there. Will you spoil his character in your interview?

You're assumption is accurate. And he's not a guy, he's a sasquatch, a bigfoot, a fuzzball, whatever. It's hard to spoil the character of a creature whose only memorable traits is "GWWWAAAAR" and throwing your other characters in battle.

3. Xenogears Spoiler Did you know that you actually spoiled a lot of things in your column for me? When you first introduced Victor, you referred to him as your "ID." I had heard from my friend of "System ID" from Xenogears so I figured out that if Victor is a deranged weirdo, so is this "ID" guy. I turned out to be right! Dahhhh! Also, there was something on some guy named "Shadow" from FFIII, who my "friend"(he's not my friend anymore! Why can't he keep these game secrets to himself? <grumble>) had told me about. Then the question asked about his relationship to some other FFIII character was and then I too knew about the relationship before I even played the game! It's been spoiled too much! Quick! Someone send me an English version of FFIII(all I can find here in Thailand is the Japanese FFVI)! Anyone willing to donate(yeah, right. The "greatest" RPG of all time. <sigh>)?

I didn't mean to reveal anything, any resemblance of Victor to anything in Xenogears is strictly coincidental. And why are you so hung up on FFIIIa (FFVIj) being the "greatest" RPG of all time? May would disagree, myself included. Play it yourself before you determine it's rank.

Thailand huh? How are you getting all these games? You seem to have a better distribution than the U.K.!

4. As for the Masamune and Muramasa, I knew the legend but I missed your December 1st column! I think that I told you about the time zone thing. When do you usually update? I usually check this page around 8-9:00 in the morning. The time difference is roughly 12 hours(you live in the US right?) So do you update around 8-9:00 PM? Probably earlier since I missed the column. This is getting annoying. Also, for the quote thing. I knew the quote too! I sent it in! Now I won't be able to participate because of the time differences. I'm an entire 12 hours ahead of you! Dahhhh!

Yes I am in the U.S. 12 hours ahead of me huh? What's the weather gonna be like for tomorrow. Better yet, who won the Avalanche game?

My update times are sporadic to say the least, but lately they've been at night. 8 - 12 p.m.

Here's a link to my December 1 column. Enjoy.

5. Don't you hate it when you know the quote but don't remember where it came from? Ya know what's even worse? When you don't know the quote at all! Aren't there times when you wish that you've played every RPG there is so that you could talk to anyone about any RPG? The few RPGamers at my school like Zelda, the N64, and cartridges. What do I do? I like FF, the Playstation, and CD's. What really annoyed me was when one of my friends who had beaten FFVII didn't recognize the quote "Let's mosey"! I wanted to wring his neck but suppressed the action and just told him. How can you not recognize such a memorable line like that? It's like not remembering "shiny golden wire of hope" or "Lali-Ho!"

Giott would be proud.

6. Speaking of FFVII. I have two friends who have JUST discovered FFVII. They are playing it for the PC. I really get sick of them talking about it but I guess I have to accept the fact that I beat the game for the first time when it was released in Japanese. Anyway, one of them told me that they had got Limit Level 3 for Cloud. "Good job." I said. Then he told me then he had gotten Level 3 limits for every other member too. I asked him what level he was at. He told me that all his guys were at level 47. I then asked him what disk he was on and how long he had been playing. He told me, "Disk one and 30 hours." I was shocked. I told him>that he could get level 4 for his guys if he could get the stuff for it. He then told me that he had Aerith's level 4 limit already but that he couldn't use it. He said that he had both limit breaks for level 1 but only one limit break for level 2 and both limits for level 3. I don't ever recall the limit breaks jumping around like that. I don't think that it's possible.

It is possible, I had it happen with my Red XIII. In order to get your second limit break for each level, you have to use the first one a certain amount of times (8,6,4). So, in your friend's case, he has to use his level two break six times in battle to get the break he is missing. All characters, except Vincent and Cait Sith, have seven breaks total. The level four can't be learned until you have the first six. I'm sure most of you know this, so I'm wasting your time. That's the plan. :)

A few days later, he told me that he had played an extra 10 hours. He was at LEVEL 77. I'm sorry, but there is NO WAY you can level up that many levels in only 10 hours(unless your gamesharking you way through). ESPECIALLY when you are on DISC ONE! Well, for the Playstation version at least. Can I ask, oh mighty RPGuru, how is this possible? I've played 70 hours and I only have level 4 limit breaks for my three main guys and they are level 99. All the other people are either level 2 or 1 limit breaks and are only level 80. I remember only having level 2 limits at the most on disc one! What is going on with the PC version? Is it screwed up?

No. Your friends are screwed up. I couldn't bear to spend that much time level building. And that's how he did it. Ten straight hours of fighting. Sure, it will do wonders for your level, but the rest of the game will be a breeze, and that's no fun is it? I don't try God Mode until my second way through--I couldn't stand putting the plot off like that.

- Delita Hyral

P.S. Who is "Pink Floyd"?

I must quote: "By the way, the band's just fantastic, that is really what I think . . . oh by the way, which one's Pink?"

My poor poor friend. Pink Floyd is the greatest rock band ever. Please go listen to one of their CDs so I don't fret over what you are missing.


Scattered Thoughts:


Joshua Reid, ready to begin a new, hopefully non-blah day.

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy