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Alan Knight - June 11th '02- 5am British Summer Time

So, uh, yes. After my slightly premature debut yesterday, here I am again to answer your questions for real this time. In case you don't know me, I'm TSG, RPGamer's resident Englishman With Cool Accent and Perenially Late Fanfic Guy. So today I'd like to present the pleasingly suave tones of our new, Anglo-centric column. Wotcher, guv! Care for a cuppa? Bit nippy out there today, eh, what what?

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Obligatory halfway-serious question!

Hello my British friend!

I'll ask you a fanfic-related question. Don't you think it would be cool if there were embedded MIDIS in fanfic texts, that changed music based on what was going on at the part you were reading? As in: Battles, towns, emotional moments, etc. Ok, ok, that wouldn't be so much "cool" as "lame, unnecessary, and distracting." Forget it. I said DROP it already!

I'm sure FF7 is the all-time most common source for fanfic material, but in your opinion are there any certain games that seem to consistently produce the BEST stories? You know, quality over quantity. (I'm leaving you an excellent opening to relentlessly plug your fanfic section's archives. Or have I already done that?)

- CF
"I'll take over your army and rule the world."

Well, for every game there'll be both good and bad fanfiction. While I jump for joy every time a, say, Star Ocean 2 fic hits my inbox, there's always a chance it'll be a stinker. By the same token, for all of my ranting about Final Fantasy 7 fanfics, recently I've squealed and giggled in an entirely un-becoming manner at a number of really good fanfics that suddenly decided to crop up. There's never a game with uniformly good fanfiction. Obscure games just produce less of it because less people play those games.

That said, there are a number of specific regular authors where, before even looking at the fic they've written, I can be 90% sure it'll be an accepted fic, not because I'm biased towards them, but because they're simply fantastic writers. In addition we've had such a rush of great fanfiction recently, it's been really uplifting and there's too many promising faces to count. Off the top of my head, some authors to read up on and watch out for include Mintbaby, Luna Manar, Al Kristopher, Uncle Pervy, Kupo_22, Saka Ogawa, Shira Anne, and Th' Lady Shadow. Actually digging through the archives would triple the number of authors, I'm sure. It's a good time to be a fanfic maintainer.

And TSG doesn't like embedded midis. Embedded midis play suddenly and all loud and simultaneously stop DDR music from playing and blast his ears out from sudden volume. TSG smash embedded midis.

I Sense Stereotyping!

Would you like some tea with your sugar?
When precisely is tea-time, in Central Standard time?
Want a scone?
*ducks before he gets attacked*
Anyway, how many RPGs have been made that take place in England? I'm curious...
Favorite system? Followed by Favorite game? Doesn't have to be on that system.
Favorite Stooge?
A man builds a house with four Southern exposures. As he's standing in front of a window one morning, a bear walks by. What color is the bear?
Beware the penguins...

- Heavens no. These 'Pixy Stix' things of yours are great.
- That depends entirely where you live in England. It's either 1pm to 3pm or 4pm to 6pm.
- Only if liberally coated in entirely unhealthy condiments.
- Off the top of my head again... Koudelka and Shadow Hearts. If you count Wales as England, I mean. Most people just don't like to count Wales period.
- Right now? The GBA, because I can take it into lectures, and Morrowind, because it rules.
- I'll know once I actually ever manage to watch the show. Poor deprived English TV.
- White, because he's built the house on the North Pole.
- Oh, he'll be okay. The penguins are at the South Pole.

Final Fantasy Buying Tactics

Hey TSG.

Finally got a PS2, so I might be able to catch up with RPG's again! What are like four or five good titles to pick up? (Already have ff9 and FF Chronicles)

Also I heard varied opinions on FF tactics. What's your take on it?

You know if RPGamer has ever thought about hosting limited Music Videos?

What is a Steel Gunner anyway?!


The Captain

Hrm, well. I personally recommend - Final Fantasy 10, since every man and his dog will have played it by the end of the year,
- Shadow Hearts, because I must say I enjoy the battle system,
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, because it's a gripping game and I'm nowhere near finishing at 100 hours,
- Tales of Destiny 2, because the battle system is plain fun,
- Wild Arms 2, for the two moments in-game that smileys pop up in the dialogue.

I quite like Final Fantasy Tactics, but it can to new TRPG players be a little daunting, and the difficulty level just drops off completely after a certain plot point, leaving the endgame rather weak story and gameplay wise.

Music videos have been submitted in the past, but never posted for a number of reasons, not least the copyright of the music.

Steel Gunner is actually the name of a very old, /very/ obscure arcade game I found once years ago. The name stuck, I have no idea why.

Shenmore 3

Hey TSG,
I just sat down with my GF for a week playing Shenmue 1 and 2... (she rules!) and we finished both games. They are quite possibly the greatest games I have ever played. Intense graphics, awesome storyline, perfect battle system, and so on. But there's one problem. This whole 'cliffhanger' idea stinks! I mean, it's all well and good to have a huge plot spanning 9 games, but can't we at least get a little TINY bit of closure? What the heck is up with those mirrors? Which of the fine ladies ends up gettin' with Ryo? And what IS the deal with this whole big dipper thing? I'm going crazy here! So, after my little rant, here's the obvious question:

Just how long do I have to wait to continue this plot? I need Shenmue 3, and I need it NOW!

Chris, the guy formerly in the big red jumpsuit

P.S. Why is Lucky Hit so much fun?

I kinda felt that about Shenmue 2 myself - the extremely short, incomplete-feeling 4th disk seemed like more of a hook to buy the next game more than anything else. Shenmue 2 did have far more satisfying plot than Shenmue 1, though, it must be said.

Unfortunately, there's been precious little word about /anything/ concerning Shenmue 3, let alone release dates. Guess we both have to keep waiting a little longer.

Personally, I think it's the clunky noises when you drop the ball. Clink-clunk-clunk-clunk-click-TAP-TAP-TAP. "Yay!"

Under the Radar

Hey TSG,
I've been waiting for that Robot Warlords game on the PS2 for quite a while now. Has it been out in America? I tried ebay, but all those sellers come from the UK, which would mean that it's been out in Europe already. Since when does Europe get the games before we do ('cept Terranigma and Shenmue II)?
And also, did you go to E3? Is it just me or was the last E3 one of the suckiest ever for RPGs? I get most of my E3 info from Gamespot, so I'm wondering whether they were just skimpy on the RPG info or whether this E3 really wasn't meant to show the new RPGs. I mean, I haven't heard anything new about Suikoden 3, Star Ocean 3, FFXII, Xenosaga, Growlanser 3 etc. What gives? Anyways, thanks for clearing things up for me.


Now, you caught me wondering on that, too. I like a good TRPG, and I keep tabs on when they're coming out so's I can pick them up. I check the release dates, and Robot Warlords has been out for about a year in England! I'll have to go pick that up tomorrow. As for America, there's been little or no news, so I can only really assume that the game did a Shenmue 2(tm) and hopped over the Atlantic straight to us. Those English people might be your best bet, but be sure you can run UK discs and view PAL signals.

I didn't get to go to E3, no - one of the more unfortunate things about being in a different country. From what people told me, though, I got the same impression as you. Seemed to be a bit of a disappointing year, but we've loads of great RPGs coming out soon anyways (I personally can't wait for .hack) so I guess it's okay.

Why I Should Keep My Staff Locked In A Basement

It's go-time, bossman.

1. How do I get Zhuge Liang in Destiny of an Emperor?
2. How do I defeat Thor's final Form in Lagoon?
3. Who the hell hit Nina with the Ugly Bus coming and going in BoFV?
4. Favorite RPG Villain?
5. Favorite RPG Villain voice?
6. Favorite Voice in an RPG?
7. Where do I find the Tacomin in Secret of the Stars?
8. What do I do with the slab?
9. Where can I find Kabal, Khale, and the other thing?
10. Is it just me, or did Ashley turn into Vinsfeld at the end of WA2?
11. Where is the wonder sword in Willow?
12. I can't find Leviathan in WA.
13. Wasn't Lord Blazer's battle theme great?
14. Where is the Pineapple?
15. How do I make a Gold Bar?
16. KAAAA!
17. Where the hell is Dragon Ash's dragon in Arc the Lad 2?
18. Isn't Neifirst a hottie?
19. I miss Mistress Nightshadow. (Ramirez's Theme began to play as I wrote that)
20. Really, didn't Ashely look like a Blue-haired Vinsfeld?
21. How do I beat Melfice the first time?
22. Roan was a player. He got his face shoved and held in the chest of every female character except Selene. And I'm convinced she would have too if she had enough screentime.
23. Xenogears spoiler warning:

Remember when Miang and Emeralda got in that catfight? Man, that cutscene haunted my dreams for weeks. Especially since my mom walked in right in the middle of it when Elly tried to jump in.

24. Where is does Stom hide the second time in Swan?
25. What is the best formation to use against Mergarl's Armies in Magic of Scherezade?
26. How do I get Sadira to join me?
27. I really miss Mistress Nightshadow...(Now listening to Burg from Lunar SSSC)
28. Wasn't Ghaleon's Tear a great item?
29. Where are the Flippers LV2?
30. What is your favorite Vinsfeld quote?
31. I can't recall how to get to Port Royale in Pirates! ? I'm at Santo Bello right now.
32. Where is the Glove? I've searched ever bit of the Marsh Palace I can get to.
34. Where is the Flying Machine?
35. How do I get the Cursed Necklace?
36. How do i defeat Karul?
37. What is your name?

Uncle Pervy

Eek. Well, let's give this a go... if I get any of these wrong, mail me rather than Richmond. Poor boy doesn't need all this on his shoulders.

1. Don't wake him up.
2. Sit where he stops moving, and don't forget the Curing Ring.
3. Yorda got all jealous.
4. Zora, from Grandia 2. Gotta love religious zealots that go all the way.
5. I'd say Ramirez, but he doesn't really have any voice but grunts. So Zora again.
6. Auron. That gravelly voice is perfect.
7. Defeating 'Clarken' the Kraken.
8. You use it to rock out. Or play marbles. Or just give it a stony look.
9. Gordo's Bistro, Spice Island, and Nasrad for the Genturn.
10. Ashley did not. He used a Potion of Bishy instead.
11. Tir Asleen.
12. Spend lots of money rebuilding Aldehyde, get a new ship from Drake, sail around the inner sea. Easy!
13. Unfortunately the presence of the Housemate Monster stopped me from enjoying most console game music around that time. He has since been... 'disciplined'.
14. On the tree! Where else?!
15. Take a 7-pack of Gold Bars, and remove one. They're yummy.
17. I'd like to know that too.
18. I don't go for the ears, personally.
19. Hey, you're the one who never goes on IRC when I pester him.
20. A Bishy Potion, I tell you. Insta-hero clothes change and long hair with just one swig!
21. By using Mareg's super secret 'Pontificate' attack.
22. I noticed that, actually. There's something awfully grave-robbing about that. At least with Tio it's sorta canon.
23. I... don't remember that. I think my brain must blanked the memories.
24. Between the Inn and the Item Shop, I think.
25. I have it on good authority: the Dragon formation.
26. Quoth IRC: <Sadira> A ncie bag of shinies and I could be persuaded quite nicely, bud. ^_-
27. Tch, the things you miss on IRC.
28. Especially with the Gale Ring.
29. In the water thing, with the... uh... flippery things. Yah.
30. I can't remember any specific ones through the quagmire of translation, I'm afraid.
31. Don't look at me, you're the rum-drinker.
32. Very west of the map, behind two locked doors.
33. Hoooooooooooommmmeeeestaaaaaarrrrr..!
34. I'd hazard a guess at 'In the sky'.
35. Swear at it lots.
36. Hit him with a big-big-big stick, or a pointy object.
37. See top of column.


Dear Senor British Dude,

Tell me the truth about Dodongo! I know you know! Now tell me now!

Dodongo... /likes/ smoke. He's on 40 a day.

Are you down with the Pee Pants?

Only when suddenly and violently scared by something.

The Last Laugh:

Well, that was indeed fun. Certainly nice to get out the fanfic section from time to time and stretch one's http legs. Anyways, it's been great to stick this column up, and I'll leave you in the eminently capable hands of Richmond for tomorrow. Take care all, and keep writing that fanfiction. The Cthulhu on my monitor thanks you for it.

The Steel "Why does Totoro have an Elder God sitting on him?" "Uh... new life experience?" Gunner

o/~ Drifting away, I'm flying, I'm gonna head for paradise... nothing to say, I'm climbing, I wanna stay right here tonight... o/~

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