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I suppose it would be only fair for me to express my decision bluntly, since you've had to wait so long for an answer: Thanks to your responses, I've had no choice but to retain my tenure as RPGuru as long as sanity holds out.
Why? Well, you had a lot to do with it. I stopped checking my mail at 3 p.m. EST Sunday (I'm afraid to see how many lurk in ambush right now), and I daresay I found a record mail count: 325 to be exact. From my informal poll, I discovered--much to my pleasant surprise--that 303 readers wholeheartedly supported me, and only 17 believed I should take my writing elsewhere. I'm not a math man, but I believe that's a 94% approval rating--not bad, huh? I think FDR would be proud. I read every one of them, and besides eventual eyesore, your letters made me heart sore as well. I implored you to be brief, but you would not have it--some of those e-mails were so kind, so complimentary, so encouraging that I was almost moved to tears. I'm not worthy of such praise, but I appreciate it nonetheless. And yet the nicest information I gleaned from this little test is that my critics are very few, and not nearly as abundant as they might seem. You had your chance to speak, and my supporters drowned your voices out. Nevertheless, for those of you who expressed your discontent, I thank you for your honesty, and I am truly sorry this column doesn't stimulate like you think it should. My only advice is to bear with me and see how I evolve. Maybe, like moss, I'll grow on you.
Another important reason I want to continue writing here is because I like doing it. RPGamer's staff are fun and understanding of all my failings (as you are readers), and darnit! It's fun writing this column. Sometimes the daily obligation seems a millstone weighing me down with responsibility, but that's just because I have so much else to do, and I so dreadfully want to impress you. I wish I didn't have to go to school or work for my living, because then I could devote all my energies to this column. You deserve the best, and I'll try my utmost to perform to my potential.
There is so much I wish to write, but I'll end with this: You readers are absolutely freaking wonderful. Thank you for everything (especially your condolences for my recent loss). I'm your Guru for better and for worse, so prepare yourself for a roller coaster of ups, downs, and in-betweens.
It's December, and we Virginians are enjoying 70-Degree weather! And my Broncos pulled out another thrilling victory. Wow, life is good. :)
A Friend Till The End
AHHHHHHHHH HAAAA. No. No. NO. NOOOOOOOO. NONO. narfel-schmarpkinds. Naaarrrrfeeelllll-sssshhhhhhhhhhmarpkiiiiinnnnnsssss. MMMMM. Let's se . . . Josh's column: tastes good, looks good, smells bad. 2 to 1!!!!!! you have to stay. What does tidle-wink mean? Favorite saying: You suck!!!! ShUt Up!!! Sit down!!! Keep writing boy!! Sohcahtoa is with you stil!!! 98 letters isn't because people don't like your column. Mr. Clouded likes your column. That Freshman guy likes your column. Need I say more? If I send you 10 of these, will you stay? Take Guru lessons; you con doo eeettt!!! Nothing in the PSX . . . tis a sad day. Did you finish Xenogears? What?? Ok . . . My mommy says you have to stay. Mommy says the next Guru is the devil. How did you get the idea that nobody liked your column? "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I'll go eat worms." Worms no tasteeee good. The world is so cold. The world is dark. Knives are quiet.worms are not edible. I like Cake and The Presidents of the United States of America. They're spoony AND smokey. Crabbit crabbit cra cra crabbit. Crabbit crabbet craaaiiiiaaabbbit. That was to the tune of a Cake song. I wrote it just for you. I seriously think I should write music . . . sometimes. I'm crying, but my soul is laughing . . . stupid soul. I like my soul. The next Guru likes it too. Don't let it happen.
Josh's positive letter count: +1
Joshua: Now during my sojourn here at RPGamer, I've encountered a lot of personalities. As we reflect upon my RPGuru career--past, present and future--I'd like to spotlight this fellow. Clouded has infallibly filled my mailbox with similar letters responding to every column I've written (and haven't written!). His stream of consciousness reads like a mix between Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce, and Jim Carrey. But regardless of how alarmingly strange the writing gets, he's never failed to bring a smile--sometimes disturbed--to my face. Thank you Clouded, and thank you readers for the information, encouragement, criticism, questions, and most importantly . . . the fun.
1) I am going to get the Final Fantasy VII OST (original sound track), but I am wondering if I should get the Final Fantasy VII Reunion CD too. I heard there was a secret track (go back one track on track #1), but I don't know if it is on the OST too. Do you know if it is? Also, are the Reunion songs a remix, or just a collection of the best songs? And, should I get the Reunion CD just for ONE special track?
The main draw for FFVII Reunion is the three orchestrated tracks ("F.F.VII Main Theme", "One-Winged Angel", and "Aeris' Theme"), while the other 16 songs are straight from the OSV. Yes, there is a hidden track on Reunion, but not on OSV, and it's not all that "special," (highlight missing text for what it is) it's just an instrumental version of "One Winged Angel without the vocals. So, Matt, I'd call Reunion a "collection of best songs with some orchestrated spice." I love orchestrated versions of my favorite tunes--I own "Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd," and it's a treat.
2) What is your favorite RPG soundtrack? I can't decide because I have only played like 11 RPGs, and most of those had sucky soundtracks.
Well, well, Matt, that's a tough one. Er . . . uh . . . um . . . howz about FFVI and Chrono Trigger? Am I right? Oh, and Secret of Mana, Dragon's Quest V and FFIV too. But Xenogears was nice also, and FFT had some great tunes. Let's not forget the Action RPGs either, like CSOTN. And know that I think about it, Tales of Destiny actually got my foot thumping on a few catchy themes. Argh. I can't decide :).
FF Movie and More
1) ON this page, it says that the FF movie is being developed at a second a day. At that rate, it would take 15 years to make a 90 second film, not including editing. As it's supposed to be coming out for 2001, I think they're going to have to speed up. So is that report screwed up? Or has Square gotten the production rate up? I'm thinking the movie will have to be pretty long (2 hours at least), if they want any chance of being able to get a decent story.
I'm sure the "second a day" statement is meant as a kind of figure of speech to prove that consistent work is being done on the movie already. If that is an accurate figure, then--like you pointed out--Square's team really need to get their posteriors in gear . . . maybe they'll pick up the pace as the year progresses.
As for the movie's length, that's where the benefit of Pixar's association comes in. Criticism about simplistic stories aside, Pixar has brought us two movies that run longer (Toy Story, Bug's Life) than most conventional animation features, which is really surprising considering the amount of time and money that kind of CGI requires. You know, funny that you should mention this FF movie. I had just finished A Bug's Life last night, and as I reflected on the awe-inspiring visuals, I thought, "wow, if the FF movie looks anything like THIS, I'm going to be in heaven." Watch out Titanic, I'm going to bring $1,000 of FF business to the box office in my own right.
2) Do you think that Square will make any games like Parasite Eve (i.e. lots of FMV and a similar battle engine)?
You mean "Cinematic RPGs?" I don't think Square made up the new sub-genre designation for one game. Parasite Eve proved lucrative enough that I'm sure Square will create similar titles. While a PE-style battle engine would seem likely, have you noticed how Square experiments with drastically different engines from game to game? The FF engine is the only one that's seemed to stay intact. Square will probably keep dabbling in different engine styles until one works well, and I'm sure PEs mixture of real time/menu-base combat will appear again in revamped form.
3) I downloaded the FF4 and FF5 FMV--I can't recommend them enough. Do you know if Square released FF6 for PSX? I'd like to see FMV of the floating continent and the world being 'unzipped.'
Last I heard, they haven't re-released FFVI yet for the Playstation. I think FMV of the ghost train, the ending, and the opera scene would be just too cool for words.
Help! I'm Stuck!
I've been playing Xenogears for some time now and I'm near the end. I took the liberty to explore the world in the Yggdrassil before going to Deus and I landed on the Duneman Isle. Well, much to my enormous disappointment I can't get back in the Yggdrassil. It seems I landed right in the Duneman isle area and now whenever I try to get in I enter Duneman Isle. I've checked a few walkthroughs on your page to see if perhaps I missed something that I need to get before I can use the Yggdrassil but I haven't found anything. I'm thinking I've been the victim of a horrible bug, anyhelp will be much appreciated. Guess I'll have to load my last save which is two hours back . . .
Joshua: All this silliness could have been prevented if Square would revert back to their old method of leaving towns. In the old days, when you left a town, you appeared on the overworld on top of the town. That way, you could have backtracked into the Yggdrassil. Now that you keep appearing outside the town when you leave, I can see a predicament like Jason's rising. Anyone know a way to save this guy some time? At least you are only two hours behind, if you have to fall back to an old save.
Webrunner encourages us to peruse a Star Wars parody that he co-wrote: http://sheepie.simplenet.com/dsos/legintro.html .
If I seem unusually brief and/or distracted over the next couple weeks, it's only because the school year draws to a climactic finale, and that means a tsunami of projects, papers, and exams. Yech! For those of you sharing this stressful time, I suggest adopting my remedy for tension relief: Climb onto the tallest building in the immediate area and scream, "I'm a meatball" over and over again. It really helps.
Don't worry that this column will get too serious: I'm an eccentric fellow in real life, and the colorful nature this column has taken shall never succumb to mediocrity.
- Joshua Reid, back to the reigns.