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Alex Kimbel

Well, it's me, Alex Kimbel. If you didn't know, I'll be hosting the RPGuru column until Josh returns from the hell that is finals. I'll do the best I can to answer your letters with my most witty, yet informal remarks. You get the picture. Anyways, I won't blab on so let's just get started with the letters.

Children and the color pink are wrong?

Hey Alex.

Why do RPGs insist on putting at least one annoying little child in your party roster? Do they actually think we're going to want to bring some annoying little fluf like Maria Beltshazar in our party of mighty warriors? Or worse yet, Chu-Chu? It's stupid too because these little kids often do almost as much damage as our mighty warriors!

Second, why is it that female characters are required to have pink be predominate, or at least present, in their color scheme? There are exceptions, as there are in everything, but many many RPG heroins are pinkish. Let's take a look. Rosa. She wasn't overwhelmingly pink, but it was definitely there. Lenna. Pink hair, red clothes. Terra. Pink bikini. Aeris. Pink dress. And now in Xenogears, of course Elly's gear would have to be pink and white, as would Dominia's, and oh...how I groaned when I saw the little pink hearts that fly out when Elly hits something in her gear. Come on. So what's the deal here? Is it just idiotic stereotyping, or is there some dark ulterior motive?

Shinyhat

Alex: Well, this all basically goes back to the unwritten laws of RPGs. Obviously, all RPGs wouldn't have these "annoying" features if it weren't some law or ordinance created by various RPG producing companies. I really don't know the true answer to why these things are included in every RPG, but I'm guessing it's for balance. RPGs need that annoying little child, productive or not. Having a game where all of the characters are strong adults just wouldn't seem completely right. You need that little annoying brat to be thrown in there to add a little bit of variety to the cast. Sure, they may be obnoxious and stupid, but they give us a laugh here and there.

As for the pink sterotype, I guess it's just another thing RPG creators haven't gotten over. For so long it has been that the woman is the fragile soul, filled with pink hearts and love. I guess today things have changed, though, and RPGs haven't folllowed that change. But, look at characters like Ayla and Faris, they aren't covered in pink and hearts definetly don't appear everywhere when they attack.


Thoughts

Hi Alex,

Just three questions I've been wondering about, I was going to ask Josh, but he seems to be engrossed in his exciting exams...

(1) Is Brave Fencer as bad as it looks, and is the demo as good as it sounds?

(2) What do you think of paper and pencil RPGS (AD&D), and OnLine Multiplayer RPGS (Everquest, and Final Fantasy Online is comming, I read about it...)

(3) Umm...third question...I forgot, just recognize the two then!

Ciao,
Chadd

Alex: 1) In my opinion, Brave Fencer is a great game. It provides a fun (yet childish and silly) gaming experience and adds some innovation to the action-RPG genre. If you want, you can read my Brave Fencer review here. As for the demo, I liked it as well. The battles were fun and actually provided me with a challenge. Although, I thought the dialogue just plain sucked. I really hope that's only a quick demo translation because I don't know how much fun it will be if the whole game has dialogue that terrible.

2) I never got into paper and pencil RPGs, honestly, so I really don't have an opinion on them. Although, it's always fun to try new things I guess. Online/Multiplayer RPGs sound like a good idea in theory, but I'm not sure how well it can be executed. I have heard horror stories about Ultima Online. Again, as long as a company can take the multiplayer RPG idea and execute it correctly and flawlessly, multiplayer RPGs might just become the thing of the future.


I like games

Well, Josh won't print my stuff, so I'm hoping you might.. ^_^;;

Anyway.. I have a list of RPG questions I'd like you to answer..

1. How important do you think music is in a RPG? (i.e - Do you look forward to the music when you hear of a new Square Soft game?)

2. Do you think that Xenogears is one of the coolest RPGs ever? (Like I do?)

3. What do YOU think of Zelda 64?

4. Do you think that Final Fantasy VII was a letdown (compared to previous FFs)?

5. Last one.. do you think Parasite Eve sucks like just about everyone else does?

Thanks for printing me stuff! You rock!

^_^,
Ranma

Alex:1) Well, I think music is very important when it comes to games, but especially RPGs. Music needs to set a mood for a game. Without a mood, there really isn't much feeling pertaining to what's going on. Music, depending on the situation can make you happy, sad, or angry. Yes, music is important.

2) Of course I do.

3) I love Zelda 64. I've been playing it a lot recently, and I can't get enough.

4) Honestly, I liked Final Fantasy VII. True, it wasn't as good as some previous Final Fantasies, but it was a good game itself, in my opinion. Also, I think it was focused more as an interactive movie than a "true" RPG. Still, I liked it.

5) Parasite Eve, while short and not too deep, was entertaining. Sure, every OTHER word BEING in CAPS bothered me, but the gameplay and plot drew me in.

Yeah, I know. I do rock, thanks.

Seiken Densetsu mania

1)I'm trying to find a good RPG so, excluding the FF series, Secret of Mana, the Breath of Fire series what, in your opinion, are the best RPG's for the snes. ?

2)Do you know if there are any plans to bring Seiken Densetsu 3 to the US?

3)Do you know if Square is going to make another Seiken Densetsu game?

Alex: 1) Chrono Trigger. By far one of the best RPGs on the SNES. I found Earthbound fun, too.

2) Currently, there are none.

3) Again, no plans are known about another possible Seiken Densetsu game. Don't count the idea out, though.

Monks just don't make sense!

Alex, pseudo-RPGuru,

I sent this one to Our Friend Josh, but I suppose he won't be able to answer for a while. Since you're his substitute, I figured I'd ask you as well.

In Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy Tactics (and even perhaps 2 and 3, since I haven't played them), there is a job class called "Monk." Monks, as you probably know, are masters of a karate-ish style of fighting, using their fists as powerful weapons.

Now, as far as my knowledge goes, monks are holy men wearing robes who write books and pull weeds in a monastery all day, not bare-handed fighting wonders with fists of fury. Where did the idea of calling them "Monks" begin? I assume there's a legitimate reason, seeing as how our friends at SquareSoft put lots of little references into their games, but I have no clue what it is. Maybe you can help.

-Randar Giramoni

Alex: Obviously, Square ran out of hip names that made sense. So, they reached into their bag of hip names that don't make sense and pulled out "Monk." Eventually, they assigned "Monk" to the class you speak of. That explains it.


Well, that's all for now I guess. Sorry the column had to be so short. I'll be back tommorrow with (yes) more exciting answers to your wonderful questions.

~ I fear that I am ordinary, just like everyone ~

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