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Michael Harnest - June 06, 2004 - 01:18 ESt

Baby, the regular dealer was out. I ran to emergency back up dealer. It was hot out, Baby, I sweat a bit, not stinky sweat, though. I have a new roommate, a female, and I thought some nice welcome-marijuana would be good. I raced down and sweated, but the emergency dealer is shady.

He was also not there, Baby, though I got word from the line-up of druggies that he'd soon return and I should go to the back of the line of druggies. Following the druggy code of ethics, I complied.

I waited, heard some uninformed chit-chat about a certain Michael Moore film that I'd kill babies to see (not you, Baby), then was rewarded, in time, with the return of the dealer who put the drugs into my hand, palm-to-palm. Shady.

Our apartment bong is made from a Jergens hand-soap bottle. I took a huge hawl, held it in against my body's convulsing will, and motioned for my rookie roomie to grab the bastard and similarly poison herself. She shakes her head and says, "No, I don't do that."

Wtf, I go through all this trouble . . .



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Google sees the title and says, "What the hell does this column have to do with me?"

You're on drugs, that's what!

Diary of a Madman

Greetings Andrew,

Blah Blah

Now onto questions:

1: I don't really have enough time nor can i keep enough interest to play any game over 80 hours. I did Xenogears and enjoyed it thoroughly, but i don't think i could stand doing it again. I enjoy games with a good plot and inventive battle systems. Boohiss systems with Fight/Magic/Item/Defend then action systems (FF systems). So what i'm finally getting to is what games on any platform would you recommend for a person who hasn't touched an RPG in a year due to college restraints for the summer months ?

This would be a great time to dig into Valkyrie Profile, for the PSone. A much overlooked gem. A sentence without a predicate.

2: I've been thinking for a while about getting an x-box do you think Sudeki is going to be decent enough for me to tie the knot and get it?

Jeebus, I'm guessing those "college restraints" are no longer so restraining (or are they simply restraining themselvesfortheloveofgodbadjoke?). Console-purchasing is tricky stuff, and most would say buying a system for a game is not a good idea. I say research, both: games that such a purchase will make available to you, and what your income's gonna be for the next while. If you can reconcile the purchase with yourself, happy increased-library-gaming.

3: Are you looking forward to Zelda Four Swords Adventure as much as i am?

Far more, my friend.

4: Do you think any of the Mother games will reach the U.S. soil?

I think they all will.

5: Are you looking forward to FF:AC or would you rather see a FF6 movie? Ever since FF: spirits within I've been dreaming about the possibilities of that movie....


I'm curious about FF7:AC. I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to it. As for an FF6 movie, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who could do it well. The game was made with a certain style in mind, it's story more than just superficially linked to this style, and any attempt to get a film version (of the same story, or any kind of sequel/prequel) would disrupt the delicate balance that made the game so joyous to so many.

The Nose


So it seems Cast has put you in the spotlight again. Well, where have we left off in our recent discussions? Ahhh, well since we can't do that on a family site... How's it going with you? See any good movies? For myself, lately everything released now seems to lack any substance. And with that, I lack motivation to see any movies. Of course this will change when summer officially comes for me with its' evar great looking free time. Well, it seems that in about 5 hours I'll be heading off to work and many consumers just waiting to get their hands on sugary overpriced theme park goodness. Before that happens, how about another movie-based question? FFVII:AC? Your thoughts, start now.

Babe 2 Pig in the City *shudders*,


SHROUDS. Recent movies worth a 90-minute+ look: Dogville, Super Size Me, Coffee and Cigarettes, and the new Potter. Van Helsing and Troy were record disappointing.

As I said earlier, I'm curious about FF7:AC more than I'm excited about it. With the graphical upgrade, I think much of the light tone will be lost if it's to be a consistent work itself. I fear one of two things:

1: We will get a film with an outlandish plot and the same fun silliness rampant in the original game, but subverted by the new, high-serious graphical alteration, which, in contrast, would make the light stuff look silly (the lego characters of the game, while certainly not realistic, help immensely in setting the proper tone and make a lot of the more far-fetched and playful scenarios and dialogue plausible);

2: Or the filmmakers will have taken note of this first concern and go too far the other way, completely eliminating many of the exuberent and joyful qualities of the game, making it too sullen.

The Babe movies are great, open your mind.

How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich

Hey Andrew,

Anyways, I have to say that ASV had the best letter to which would define new school titles and oldschool. Although, he did leave out that the latest generation of gaming(the PS2, XBOX, and Gamecube,) are focusing on graphics on more of the games, so because of that, on most games, the gameplay and the story don't seem to be the main focus of them anymore.

Then there is the PSX, and N64 era, and everyone was introduced to alot better graphics(in the PSXs case,) where this era was basically a combination of old school and new school(for the PSX, because N64 never onced used anything that wasn't 3D.) Take Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for example. Released on the Sega Saturn, yet rereleased on the PSX. Or take Wild ARMs, in which the battles were in 3D and it had opening anime sequences, but, the rest of the game was in 2D(even though it was a higher quality than what was seen on the older systems.)

Then old school, when people first really got into gaming(which is mainly NES, Sega, SNES, and GB.) The graphics to the games were simplistic, and the games were fun to play. Early on in RPG's you chose your own characters so their wasn't much character development, but later one when the Genesis and SNES came out, the stories were lengthened and characters had lives.

Anyways, other than that, I really have to say that O' Shrouded One has the worst explanation for old school titles and new school, even if my explanation wasn't really that great. First off he talks about nothing but Final Fantasy, like that is the only series he's even played, but that's not just it, its the fact that he goes and talks about how games like FF4 and FF5 don't have character developement? That is serious BS because take a look at Final Fantasy 7 or FF10, and look and see what kind of character developement there is their.

On Final Fantasy 7 the only characters really developed upon is Cloud, Tifa and Sephiroth, and little of everyone else. The thee characters have very little character developement to begin with, and when talking about either Cloud or Tifa, is the fact that, what one has, the other has the exact same, since everything you are told about them happens to both of them and you get their backgrounds a few billion times throughout the game over and over again repetitively. Sephiroth has a little more added, which is the fact that his mother was actually Vincents girlfriend who was raped by Hojo and had Sephiroth. Characters like Barret, Cid, Cait Sith, Vincent, Aeris and Yuffie had little to no character developement, where each of the character lives in the game could be told in a few short paragraphs. And for personalities not being flat? What is Cloud's basically "whatever" remarks or shrugging his shoulders the entire game? Where is the personality in that?

Moving on to FFX, where there was barely any character developement, and each of the characters lives could be summed up in a single sentence. Not only that, the entire story was collect some crap to defeat Sin. In which not only is there nothing about any of the characters, the story is one long drawn out quest going from point to point collecting summon monsters to defeat an enemy(yes, they retreat and defeat it a different way, but that is the general story.)

So the point is, that just because it's a newer game, doesn't mean that the characters have more background. It's just that games like FF7 and FF10 were filled with repeated crap throughout the entire storyline, that you end up hearing for about 10 to 50 times, where as in older games they usually get straight to the point.

(Also, seeing as how he was directing all his comments using the FF series, I did as well.)

Another point I have to make, is the fact that, alot of games say they are 100 hours, yet many are not(which was already clarified.) But seriously, the only game I've got over 55 hours has been Dragon Warrior 7. I usually make sure I get every secret to every game I play(and I don't use a strategy guide either.) Also if you're wondering, take a look at the back of the boxes on ATLUS titles. Each of the games tell the truth on how long you will be playing to complete everything in the game(like Tactics Ogre being over 100 hours, or TO: Knight of Lodis being over 40 hours, or Disgaea being over 40, and the fact that the times are only a few hours more to see everything in the game(not counting endings you have to beat the games mutliple times to see if say, something happened to Kachua on the Law or Chaos route.)

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Saying FF7 doesn't have character development doesn't mean FF4 and FF5 do; you offered no rebut to Shroudie on this point.

Sephiroth being Hojo's son isn't character development, unless you're referring to the development of his fetus.

E. M. Forster, who indeed spread the theory surrounding Round and Flat characters, defined Round ones as characters who could suprise you plausibly; as in, they do something or you find out something about them that may seem surprising, but you check through your mental map of that character and decide it does make sense for them to do so. The implication is that their capacity for such a behaviour has been there all along, you just haven't been seeing it.

In Tifa's case, we know early on that she cares for Cloud and holds their shared memories dear. Soon we discover that Tifa has been lying about Nibelheim, that Cloud's story doesn't check out. At this point we're somewhat shocked, wondering why she would do this; Tifa doesn't seem the deceitful sort. Eventually we're given the explanation that Tifa didn't speak up about the fallacies in Cloud's story because she recognized him as fragile and was concerned for his well-being. This makes dramatic sense, the degree of concern of Tifa's for Cloud simply misgauged, her questionable behaviour explained. Round character.

Similarly, we first see Barret as a swearing rebel terrorist, tough and untrusting of Cloud; hard-edged. Not an hour later and he's mush in front of Marlene. This can't be! He's mean! He's menacing! Ah, is he mean and menacing, or are they by-products of his passion? Now that we reread the situation, we see this passion extending into his role as father. We don't necessarily go through the thought process step-by-step like this, but that's why we don't object when we see unexpected behaviour (surprise), and that's how a writer can add depth to his characters plausibly.

(Of course, there are also degrees of roundedness - Tifa isn't Hamlet.)

hey andy... looks like i'm winning a $50 gift certificate, due to some best game ever contest on... a certain website. any recommendations?

in other news, a cow jumped over the moon. and the dish ran away with the spoon. pretty cool stuff, huh?

-- Hall of Fame Announcer Harry Carey

If you never got around to playing Valkyrie Profile, do it.


Gogolshng is back tomorrow, so you'd be best to email him, though I'd accept emails from you, too. Please, please, learn to love one another, and let us eradicate suffering.

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Michael Harnest is in his third year of study toward a Humanities degree at Duke University.



Fast Times at Ridgemount High. And I mean fast, and I mean high.

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