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Joshua Reid

Readers, my days here may be numbered. It seems my crabbitless columns were not enough for many: I still have a healthy contingent of people whom do not enjoy my writing. This is unfortunate, but acceptable. I must admit, Iāve been trying very hard to be funny, and as a result, I think my column has suffered. I should have just been myself from the outset. Ah well, a lesson learned.

Here is the lowdown--Iām considering resigning from this position. Iām not here for the money, or the posterity, or the experience really, I can accrue all of these more efficiently in other venues. Iām here because I wanted to contribute to the quality of a site I respected. Iām here because I desired to provide entertaining information to a mass of people whom shared the same interests as myself.

It seems my goals have not succeeded. Iām driving readers away instead of drawing them here. The last thing I want to be is a taint on RPGamer.

So Iām calling on your help readers. Maybe Iām only disliked by a few. That fact would be fine, there has not been a writer under the sun who did not have their critics. But if there is (and I believe this to be true) a healthy portion of my audience who desire a new Guru, then by all means I must depart, I must not waste another precious sand in the hourglass writing to a disappearing reader base. I need you to give me an indication where you stand. I want you to be honest, bluntly so. Iām not afraid of harsh letters--compared to my fianceeās death six months back, your critiques will be mere gnat bites. This is your opportunity to improve these pages, or to prevent me from departing. I canāt guarantee the next Guru will be better, but thatās a chance you must be willing to take.

Send your opinions to me, or, if you wish, to this siteās administrator. Please keep them brief. Thank you.

In other news, this is my 30th RPGuru column! Wow.

For the duration of my stay, as lengthy or as brief as turns out to be, Iām going to try to let the real me surface. Before Iāve paraded on these pages like a drunk attempting to garner laughs through gratuitous silliness and facades. Maybe a more subdued approach will improve this column. On to the letters (98 this time, not bad).

Tis the Season

I don't know if anybody else feels this way but as a veteran rpgamer, I feel a bit overwhelmed this holiday season by the flood of good quality RPGs. For years I've had the chance to collect RPGs as soon as they come out sometimes waiting months between releases. We had time to play games over and over while waiting for the next square game. Lately however it seems as if for every RPG I buy: two pop up in the store. I got to catch them all! (wait... was that pokemon?) I might have to leave some good quality games behind if this continues, its like to much of a good thing.

-Justin Page

Joshua:Iām accustomed to seeing Christmas deck the shelves with new releases, but Iāve never seen so many quality RPGs and RPG hybrids appear in such a short span of time. Itās enough to make one consider a second job, no? Buy as many as you can, or get your parents to buy them for you. The better RPGs do on the market, the more great games weāll see imported to U.S. shores and developed here. Money talks, and greenbacks remain the easiest way to show your support for an industry at least until they create a Neilson rating for video games.

Red Herring Resurgence: FFVII Spoilers

I know this has been argued back and forth for years now, but please tell me once and for all; Can Aeris be resurrected in any way in the PC version? My sister heard a rumor about this, but the way to do it was exactly the (proven wrong) way that some people wrote about for the PSX version. Why would Eidos screw up the entire storyline just to get a new feature in the PC version? Please help me, and spare me 40 hours of going through the game on a slow PC...

-Siegfried

Joshua: Why is this nasty rumor circulating AGAIN! Itās bad enough reliving, ćhow do you get the Gold Chocobo?ä questions, but I thought this monstrous red herring had been buried in shame long ago. Look, everyone, Elvis is dead, so is Aeris, and sheās meant to stay that way. Her death gives the entire story meaning and cements Cloudās convictions: Resurrecting her for the sake of a cool limit break would cheapen her sacrifice and its ramifications. No, Eidos has not done anything of the sort. They translated the game too quickly to include such a feature anyway.

An RPG Love Story

Hey RPGuru!

Those letters about RPG love stories and FFVI's opera (Which, by the way, I thought was pretty darn awesome as well. I bought the soundtrack because of it) brings to mind something I did for my (now ex) girlfriend a few years ago. Before I went off for college, I wrote the last 4 verses of the Aria in calligraphy, decorated it in medieval style, and framed it. When she saw it, she absolutely melted. Just goes to show you, RPG's aren't always bad for relationships. Of course, we broke up about 4 months later.. Hmm, maybe that's not such a good example.

-Stephen Pustinger

Joshua:Sorry to hear about the break-up Stephen, but at least you know that RPGs werenāt the cause of it (at least I hope they werenāt). Maybe you can get your Aria piece back and give it to the next victim, or would that be kind of tacky? RPGs can be a great source for romantic expression, just donāt take love lessons from Cloud, or Stahn for that matter.

Banon's Blunder

Yo. I have a little problem in FF VI that I can't really figure out. I don't know if this question has been asked or answered yet, so Iām asking it now :) Here's the question - You know after encountering Sabin for the first time and defeated Vargas, you go to the rebel base and meet Banon. On the night before Banon makes his speech, search the long table (Iām sure a lot of people have done this, even just by chance or told by someone) you'll find a piece of paper and you get to pick it up :) After you pick it up you get the chance to throw it away as trash OR you leave it there and when Banon makes the speech, he'll interrupt it and ask who left the note here. Quoting - Banon: ćWho did this? Who left this piece of paper there? And then he throws it in the bin himself... This "incident" doesn't seem to affect the game in any way. Is this a missing scene or a side-story. If so, who left the note? OR is this just a mistake made by Square that they didn't fix OR they forgot about this little side plot? Please help me out :)

DusT

Joshua: Perhaps this is the result of paring down the original Japanese screenplay weāve been discussing the past couple columns. What about the rest of you? There were many instances (Shadowās dreams, Gauās dress-up, many side quests) that I felt were undeveloped, and now I know why, and knowing is half the battle.

MP3 Bandwagon Dismantled

I would like to begin with a quote from you:

"Joshua: The Prelude (which must be heard in CD surround sound--MP3 is nice, but
the real thing is nicer) is ineffably beautiful."

Thank god there's one of you internet-rpgamers out there that actually realize that MP3 can NEVER reach ultimate CD-quality. I've researched this for a while now, since I spite MP3s and all their existence, much like you and your crabbits. People don't realize that:

1) MP3s attribute to the ultra-one-sided-accelerated-technological advancement I like to call it the UOSATA theory. Intel, which only supports three of it's products at a time, has deemed even the most high-powered machine as "obsolete". The Pentium II 250 MHz processor, which would suit me fine any day, is obsolete, and none of the computer companies sell them with their new machines. The truth of the matter is, we don't need these high powered machines to run our software. The Software industry can't catch up with the Hardware industry, in fact, it doesn't need to. If it wasn't for WinAmp, my 486-100 would still be on the benchmark scale.

2) MP3s are not CD-Quality. If analyzed on a spectroscope, one can clearly see that a significant amount of "Pink Noise" exists. This noise can be best described as the "hiss" of a tape recording. Sure, with the right sound card and amplifier set, you can eliminate the pink noise, but since the noise exists in correlation with the music, you are also distorting a portion of the music as well.

I am a collector of Final Fantasy Sound tracks. I have found that, yes, most MP3s exist for the songs and, yes, people say that you can save a lot of money by getting the MP3s. But I offer this factoid: Did you know that almost half the price of a CD is in the packaging? DigiCube, the primary CD producer of FF CDs, puts a lot of effort into their Disc Boxes, if you have the Parasite Eve or Final Fantasy Tactics OSTs (Original Sound Tracks), you know that a very nice CD-jacket comes with both, the Tactics taking a rustic cardboard cover (with a poster of all the jobs inside, I might add) and Parasite Eve with a techno-era looking clear plasti-cover with FMV cells printed on the side. Clearly, the price of the CD's are not just music.

My point, you ask? Well, what I am trying to say is that MP3s are in NO WAY substitutes for CD tracks. MP3s cannot even reach the quality. Overall, I think that MP3s are a waste of time and space, and that the hype for them needs to die down. But it won't, because of one horrible factor: ignorance.
It appears that ignorance is seeping it's way into the computer industry, the question is, what are we going to do about it?

~Roger Wilco, Intergalactic Janitor

Joshua:I wanted to include this for your benefit. Cyber audio and visual are nice, but can never match the real thing. MP3s, like Roger stated, clutter up the hard drive, and Iād much rather fill mine up with useful files like Maison Ikokku jpegs and quicktime movies :)

Also, while Iām at it, A.J. wants a link to a good, free MP3 player. Click here, to go to Tucows, my favorite shareware/freeware site.

RIPOMM

ć3 . . . 2 . . . 1. . . Reset! Just Kidding! (Dec. 4 Rpgamer quote)ä was from Chrono Trigger, and Scotty was the first one to catch it and send it in! Congratulations Scotty!

Well, enjoy your Saturday!

-Joshua, off to the races.

"Life is a paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it. If we would, we should have heaven on earth the next day." -The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. This is my credo. If you canāt tell, Iām an optimist.

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