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RPG Backtrack Archive
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Episode Title Date Cast
122 "Follow the Captain Shepard" July 6, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, FowlSorcerous, SeverinMira
BioWare wanted to convey the ineffectual nature of the human race when compared to other species populating the galaxy. This naturally took the form of having a human lead others into combat, while undertaking decisions that might one day have galactic consequences. Perhaps the human race doesn't deserve all the scorn it receives if that's the case. (Mass Effect 1) Discuss
121 "The Rock Goes in an Arc" June 26, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut
Ah, Sony, holder of many now-dormant IPs. One of those was a pretty good tactical series that hasn't been seen for a number of years, but did a lot of interesting things along the way. Not all of those things were successful, but the effort makes for a substantive chat. (Arc the Lad) Discuss
120 "You Could Wake Up Dead Tomorrow" June 22, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Jmustang1968, Wheels
Blizzard once had an idea to send players through the realms of the afterlife, beating up the locals and grabbing whatever desirable things they happened to drop. The setting may change, but this mechanic has proved enduring through the years, making its origination even more fascinating to remember. (Diablo) Discuss
119 "We Can Be Heroes" June 7, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, SeverinMira
Falcom has a storied development history, and one of its larger series saw multiple versions before ending up on the PSP for a few installments. Many things can be said about these particular renditions, but the majority of them are not overflowing with praise. (Legend of Heroes: Gagharv Trilogy) Discuss
118 "Can't We Get Beyond Thunderdome?" May 27, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, FowlSorcerous, Risingsuntzu
The ruins of the central Atlantic region of the US are open to in-depth exploration, as Bethesda takes a crack at the post-apocalyptic future. Thinking too hard about one's surroundings may strain neurons to the breaking point. (Fallout 3) Discuss
117 "The Shadow Knows" May 13, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Paws
Hironobu Sakaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu, and Akira Toriyama got together again to inaugurate Mistwalker as a studio. The results were unfortunately not up to the standard set when they first collaborated, but nevertheless spawned a series. (Blue Dragon) Discuss
116 "The Secret Ingredient" April 27, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Gaijinmonogatari, Ocelot
Gust makes a long-running, plentiful series that doesn't adhere to many of the usual RPG stereotypes. Here's a trilogy of them on the PS3, sporting a love for pie and relatively few instances in which killing things is mandatory. (Atelier Rorona, Totori, Meruru) Discuss
115 "Dust in the Wind" April 12, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, FowlSorcerous
After the first Fallout, eight decades passed before a new hero had to undertake a quest. That quest involved meeting a number of strange new people in interesting places. Dealing with these people could take place in any number of ways, but the stark effectiveness of blowing them away was a tempting option. Discuss
114 "Ogres in My Pocket" April 3, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Jmustang1968, TwinBahamut
It's Yasumi Matsuno's vast Ogre world, but the game format for this bunch is rather different than March of the Black Queen. Just because things look more like conventional tactical models doesn't mean there are no gameplay depths to describe, though. (Tactics Ogre) Discuss
113 "Over Level 9000!" March 12, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, TwinBahamut
Nippon Ichi has made a number of other titles over the years, but a certain series took off in the public imagination and continues to produce fresh entries. Tactical action in the underworld with explosive Prinnies is the subject, and it's so expansive that this episode sets a new record for our length. (Disgaea) Discuss
112 "You're a Real Ogre" February 14, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Jmustang1968, Gaijinmonogatari, TwinBahamut
An early Yasumi Matsuno title on the SNES remains a complex and rewarding experience, while its direct sequel provides one of the few opportunities we get to discuss something on the N64. Enjoy this discussion of some tactical goodness that doesn't play by the usual rules. (Ogre Battle) Discuss
111 "After the Apocalypse" February 11, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Jmustang1968, FowlSorcerous
The world would have been a different place had World War III happened, and the early Fallout titles showed a number of ways that the radiation could have changed things. The level of realism is subject to debate, but the games themselves are pretty entertaining nevertheless. Discuss
110 "Marvel's Civil War" January 20, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, FowlSorcerous
No longer able to contain its use of Marvel characters to just the X-Men, Raven Software went all-out for a grand spectacle with the license. Then three years passed and Activision handed the reins of Marvel characters smashing the forces of supervillains to someone new, with less appealing results. (Marvel Ultimate Alliance) Discuss
109 "Lean and Green with an Edge That's Keen" January 12, 2014 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Wheels, Strawberry Eggs
No matter where or when the action takes place, Link rarely gets a chance to rest. If it's not sailing or steering a train on the DS, he's got a showcase Wii title in which to save the day. More reminiscing about a premiere Nintendo series awaits. (The Legend of Zelda, part 4) Discuss
108 "Coins, Robots, Knights and Phantoms" December 5, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Paws
The original PlayStation hosted a great variety of titles that don't come up in conversation much nowadays, and among them are some interesting tactical items. Working Designs and Atlus had hands in bringing all of these intriguing games across the Pacific, though their merits vary. (Vanguard Bandits, Kartia, Brigandine, Hoshigami) Discuss
107 "Tactical Stars of Destiny" November 30, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Ocelot
There was a long break after Suikoden III, and the results did not seem to warrant confidence in the series' future. The Island Nations and their struggle with the Kooluk Empire are the subject of this fairly restrained Suikoden episode. Discuss
106 "Ingmar Bergman's Persona" November 27, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Gaijinmonogatari, Nyx
The Persona series has been in the news a lot lately, but enthusiasm for the first entry seems relatively lacking. An analysis of both the original PlayStation and the PSP renditions seems warranted to determine why, and it can be found right here. Discuss
105 "All That Glitters Is Not Shining" November 23, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels
Was it really necessary to extend the Shining series into the action RPG realm? Regardless of how little clamor there was for such a thing, Sega kept at it for years. Analyzing the mostly-misbegotten results is on our agenda this time. (Shining Wisdom, Shining Soul, Shining Tears, Shining Force Neo, Shining Force EXA, Shining Wind) Discuss
104 "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch!" October 26, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels
When it comes to licensed games, the X-Men have been stuck in some real stinkers over the years. A few broke the curse of adapting a famous Marvel property though, and the thrill of smashing the scenery with mutant powers is enough to make them worth investigating. (X-Men Legends) Discuss
103 "Violent Vandalism" October 15, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Jmustang1968, Paws
Konami and tactical RPGs may not go together much, but one series managed it for a little while. It's bloody good fun to dissect in spurts, too. (Vandal Hearts) Discuss
102 "Leeartha... Leterra... Legaia!" October 10, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut
There once was a title on the PS1 that involved saving the world from nasty things lurking in the mist. Doing so was mostly accomplished through martial arts prowess, a mechanic that carried over to its sequel, and was then abandoned in the years afterward. (Legend of Legaia) Discuss
101 "Aesop's Something or Other" September 15, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, FowlSorcerous, Ocelot, Severinmira
Much was promised by Peter Molyneux when it came to a series that took huge quantities of money and time to create. His promises were definitely worth their weight in gold, as this discussion makes clear. (Fable) Discuss
100 "A Light to Brighten the Darkness" September 1, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Strawberry Eggs, Wheels
When tactical RPGs were almost unheard of on consoles, the Sega Genesis saw a couple that attracted fans with fond memories many years later. Other Sega consoles saw the series too, including its finest hour, though not without unnecessary difficulties courtesy of the company's localization choices. Celebrate Camelot's premiere series with us on this very special episode! (Shining Force) Discuss
99 "Flight of the Valkyria" August 17, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Severinmira, Wheels
Word of mouth built about a tactical title Sega released, enough to justify two sequels so far. The company's handling of the new franchise has spawned many strong feelings, and a lot of them come forth in this episode. (Valkyria Chronicles) Discuss
98 "Rolling a 7" August 11, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Quin, Wheels
Square could have let roll with sequels to a certain tremendously successful game promptly, but years passed before they came to fruition. The number of purchases the public made once more products became available demonstrates the financial wisdom of the move. (Final Fantasy VII Compendium) Discuss
97 "Another Day, Another Meseta" July 26, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Quin, Strawberry Eggs
Sega revived a venerable series with the Dreamcast, but was determined to promote multiplayer over the internet with this incarnation. From the era of dial-up to the present, it's turned into one of the company's biggest franchises. (Phantasy Star Online) Discuss
96 "La Makai Phantom World" July 1, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Wheels
A little girl with the ability to put spirits into objects, a foolish demon who almost burns his dimension out of existence, multiple consumers of the world, and a place with a certain je ne sais quoi. All came from NIS and involve various amounts of strategic thinking to succeed. (La Pucelle, Phantom Brave, Makai Kingdom, Soul Nomad and the World Eaters) Discuss
95 "Central Middle Earth" June 14, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, FowlSorcerous, Wheels
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. Mordor's grip has ensnared most attempts to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's world to life. (The Lord of the Rings) Discuss
94 "Ou Est le Sol Ciel?" June 1, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Wheels
This particular Gust series has many trademark RPG elements, including tongue-twister subtitles for the games. It also steadily progresses in misogynism, until the amount of odious material reaches near-cataclysmic levels. (Ar Tonelico) Discuss
93 "Devil Doll" May 28, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, FowlSorcerous, Gaijinmonogatari, Risingsuntzu
Being a detective in an alternate history version of Tokyo with demons crawling all over the place isn't that hard. It just demands a willingness to get lost in evocative 1920s-esque environments while smacking inhuman adversaries repeatedly in action combat. (Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner). Discuss
92 "Master of Swordplay" May 10, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Strawberry Eggs, Paws, Ocelot, Wheels
Link went through several phases during the GameCube era. First he demonstrated cel shading, then he tempted gamers to buy GBA link cables, and after that ushered in the Wii's launch. It's all up for reminiscence on this episode - along with something about a fellow named Tingle. (The Legend of Zelda, Part 3) Discuss
91 "Y'know, for Kids!" April 24, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, InstaTrent, Wheels
Cavia's occasional ventures into the RPG world have been filled with bloodshed and piling up huge numbers of corpses. The other tenets of these games vary quite a bit, so have a bloody good time with a slice of this episode. (Drakengard, NIER) Discuss
90 "Bauxite Republic" April 5, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, FowlSorcerous, Nyx, Severinmira
Instead of venturing further into a galaxy far, far away BioWare chose to enter a land inspired by, but hardly identical to, imperial China. The company's usual high writing standard made the transition with flying colors. (Jade Empire) Discuss
89 "A Quartet of Quintet" March 24, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Wheels
Reviving barren worlds was a theme Quintet visited more than once, right up to the end of the company in fact. Bring back the faded flora and fauna of whole planets on this ecologically-minded Backtrack! (Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma, The Granstream Saga) Discuss
88 "Go to Hfil" March 17, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, FowlSorcerous
Once upon a time, Akira Toriyama created a long-running series that has lasted in the public consciousness far longer than its contemporaries. Given that it involves people increasing in strength to a seemingly unreachable zenith, a few RPGs have surfaced over the years dealing with it. (Dragon Ball Z) Discuss
87 "Is This Your Card?" February 25, 2013 JCServant, InstaTrent, Paws, Strawberry Eggs, Wheels, Severinmira
The GameCube got the occasional exclusive, and Monolith Soft delivered a pair of them later in the system's life. Managing cards for combat and contending with winged citizenry, along with the occasional divine whale, await. (Baten Kaitos) Discuss
86 "Rasputin's iPhone" January 29, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, InstaTrent, Nyx
From a monastery in Wales to China, through many scenic spots in Europe and Japan, this tour finally hits the western hemisphere. Many emotions will be felt while navigating these locales, and a Ring of Judgment watches over all of them. (Shadow Hearts) Discuss
85 "Mr. Sinistral" January 20, 2013 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, InstaTrent
Once upon a time, a land with rearranging geography had the little problem that a quartet of titans wanted to rule. Saving the planet from that menace isn't always worthwhile, though. (Lufia) Discuss
84 "108 Stars in the Heavens" December 1, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Jmustang1968, Nyx, Ocelot, Wheels, Krissy
Enjoy a scenic tour of just some of the locations various Stars of Destiny call home. Start in the Scarlet Moon Empire, move to the Jowston City-State, and finish with a romp through the Grasslands. Excessive attention may be paid to ducks along the way. (Suikoden, Part 1) Discuss
83 "We Have the Technology" November 20, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Gaijinmonogatari, Jmustang1968
A certain Square title involving giant robot combat and questionable theological ideas is the showcase this time. If that's not enough, an offshoot Final Fantasy and one of the PSP's most appealing Rogue-likes are also analyzed. (Xenogears) Discuss
82 "The Devil Rides Out" November 6, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Risingsuntzu, Wheels
Unappealing wastelands populated by those with demonic avatars may not seem to connect with Hindu mythology. Lo and behold, the Megami Tensei universe makes it work anyway. (Digital Devil Saga) Discuss
81 "A Wizard Did It" October 26, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Evergrey
For once, the attempt on the Backtrack to remember an entire series came to naught when its earlier games were just too archaic. The ones we did talk about were plenty to sustain a magical show, at least. (Wizardry VII & VIII) Discuss
80 "Show Me Those Canines" October 10, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Ocelot
It's time to wolf down a howling good bowlful of puppy love. Scratch that itch to bark at the moon and bury a bone in this doggone call of the wild instead. (Okami) Discuss
79 "Dragonwyck" September 25, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Macstorm
From the minds of Yuji Horii, Koichi Sugiyama, and Akira Toriyama came a long-running series that sets the charts afire in Japan. It grows up a bit in the games we talk about this time. (Dragon Quest, part 2) Discuss
78 "Once Upon a Time in the West" September 6, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Wheels, fbm
It's round-up time, and a big herd of steers is loose on the prairie. Looks like a might few RPGs are among 'em, so sit carefully to avoid the cacti and we'll trade stories around the ol' campfire. (Wild Arms) Discuss
77 "Welcome to the Machine" August 24, 2012 JCServant, TwinBahamut, Omegabyte
Not many games that are offline feature going online as a key component of their setting. One episodic series with tie-ins from other media did it regularly, though, and hooked people pretty easily. (.hack) Discuss
76 "Under a Cloud" August 9, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Paws
Level-5 was a new company back when it made some games that featured town building in addition to dungeon exploration. How entrancing they are seems to vary from person to person, though. (Dark Cloud) Discuss
75 "A Link to the Future" July 18, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Strawberry Eggs, Wheels, Quin
He's a green-clad gadget man, a master of many dungeons with the tools to traverse them. He's an elf, a mute warrior, an unquestioning savior of the land, a lover of sticking it to the porcine, and Nintendo is glad to have him. (The Legend of Zelda - part 2) Discuss
74 "Night of the Demon" June 21, 2012 JCServant, Gaijinmonogatari, Strawberry Eggs
What would one's probable reaction to encountering a demon be? In a realistic scenario death would most likely occur, but in video games making friends with the occult is a frequent experience. (Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey) Discuss
73 "Romancing the SaGa" June 6, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Wheels, Gaijinmonogatari
Among the formidable tasks undertaken by the Backtrack crew, none may demand more willpower than explaining how to play the most maligned Akitoshi Kawazu product of all. Things pick up from there. (Unlimited Saga, Romancing SaGa) Discuss
72 "This Is the Climax" May 22, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Paws, Wheels
From the days of the Genesis right up to modern handhelds, Climax keeps making games. Looking at things from a different angle is strongly encouraged to make sense of them. (Landstalker, Lady Stalker, Dark Savior, Time Stalkers, Kingdom of Paradise, Steal Princess) Discuss
71 "The Force Is With Us" May 3, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Fowl Sorcerous, Wheels
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away LucasArts let a couple of RPGs be made. Many things die in the course of them, but sadly no Gungans were among those slain. (Knights of the Old Republic) Discuss
70 "Under the Cherry Tree Moon" April 23, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx
In a world where demonic forces seek to bring the great cities to their knees, something must be done. Turns out that young women piloting steam-powered robots are the ideal defense. (Sakura Wars) Discuss
69 "The Magical Kingdom" April 5, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Gaijinmonogatari, Nyx
Brownie Brown made a couple of tasty confections for Nintendo handhelds filled with gummy products. How much magic is there when students have to prove that their lessons took hold? (Magical Vacation & Magical Starsign) Discuss
68 "Luigi Mario" March 21, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Strawberry Eggs, Ocelot
This is the continuing story of two brothers from Brooklyn. Be it evil alien fungi, shattered heavenly bean confections, those who have fury, or clogged drains, they'll get the job done with no backtalk. Discuss
67 "I Know Kung Fu" March 12, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Fowl Sorcerous
Bringing the story of Ryo Hazuki into existence cost many millions and failed to enchant the enormous audience needed to recoup them. The question of whether this story will continue has yet to be answered. (Shenmue) Discuss
66 "I'm Going to Disneyland!" February 28, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Wheels, Fowl Sorcerous, Quin
Trust in me poor unfortunate souls, I'll make a man out of you. Be prepared Prince Ali, someday my prince will come. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo. (Kingdom Hearts) Discuss
65 "Risky Gambits" February 13, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Omegabyte, Ocelot
There once was a place called Ivalice, that was filled with meanies and malice. Years it took to create, filling Square Enix's plate, but the result is one giant dish. (Final Fantasy XII) Discuss
64 "Way of the Dragon" January 31, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Foxworth, Nekobasu, TwinBahamut
Within please find the story of what for a long time was Capcom's premiere RPG series. It involves a great many Ryus and Ninas, along with one gem that gets plentiful praise. (Breath of Fire) Discuss
63 "The Fault Lies Not in the Stars" January 15, 2012 JCServant, Nyx, Gaijinmonogatari, Omegabyte
Once upon a time, tri-Ace decided to borrow some elements from Star Trek in making an RPG. Thus was a series spawned that continues in intermittent spurts to this day, though not at a uniform level of quality. (Star Ocean) Discuss
62 "Bio Hazard Level 4" January 9, 2012 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, TwinBahamut, Firemyst
New York cops have it rough a lot of the time, but Aya Brea would gladly tackle some drug dealers instead of the evil mitochondria monsters that came one Christmas. Her life just got weirder from there. (Parasite Eve) Discuss
61 "Tactical Genius" December 23, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Fowl Sorcerous, Nyx, Wheels
A guy named Ramza walks into a bar just a few minutes before a guy named Wiegraf. Their differences are resolved quickly and painfully. Whether that sounds eerily familiar or bafflingly bizarre, give the story a listen. (Final Fantasy Tactics) Discuss
60 "Taste the Torment" December 12, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Fowl Sorcerous
What can change the nature of a man? Quite a few things, actually, but this game is definitely one of them. (Planescape: Torment) Discuss
59 "Deep Light Dungeons" November 29, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Paws
So the only way you know the Shining series is by its superb tactical installments? Well, there were a couple of games that did some first person dungeon crawling also. (Shining in the Darkness & Shining the Holy Ark) Discuss
58 "SaGa: The Final Frontier" November 20, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Gaijinmonogatari, TwinBahamut, Wheels
The time has come to once more boldly go where Akitoshi Kawazu has gone before. Remember the PlayStation days of his signature series, and rejoice. (SaGa Frontier) Discuss
57 "It's-A Me, Paper Mario!" November 6, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Strawberry Eggs, Ocelot, Paws
Intelligent Systems likes emphasizing how two dimensional Mario plots are with some RPGs that have poor depth perception. Only by listening can their shallowness be adequately blown up, so please do that. (Paper Mario) Discuss
56 "Mana From Heaven?" October 25, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Strawberry Eggs, Twin Bahamut
In one of the most changeable series around, there's plenty of leeway to have some discussion. The Mana games, particularly the earlier ones, have now served that purpose. (Final Fantasy Adventure, Legend of Mana, Sword of Mana, Children of Mana, Dawn of Mana, Heroes of Mana) Discuss
55 "The Dark Crystal Chronicles" October 9, 2011 JCServant, Macstorm, Wheels, Strawberry Eggs
When Final Fantasy returned to a Nintendo system after years of Sony exclusivity, it was news. Thus the Backtrack crew members bare their souls to talk about a series of precious crystal gems found in the caverns of the series. (Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles) Discuss
54 "Two-Dimensional Thinking" September 25, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Ocelot, Wheels
Eschewing the trend of three-dimensional gameplay, Vanillaware demonstrates how sticking to two dimensions can be stunning. Thus it is fitting that the studio's games warrant some time for analysis. (Odin Sphere, Grim Grimoire, Muramasa: The Demon Blade) Discuss
53 "Kicking Jack Russell" September 11, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Omegabyte, Nyx, Varie, Quin
Observe unique personalities wandering about to their own daily rhythms, interrupted only by constant kicking. This is a hallmark of a certain tri-Ace title that has supplied ample opportunity for remembrance. (Radiata Stories) Discuss
52 "The Land of Hyrule" August 26, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Wheels, Strawberry Eggs, Clix
It involves unusual names for otherwise-ordinary creatures, the collection of artifacts to enable travel elsewhere, and one of Nintendo's most well-regarded series. Join us in a trip back to the time when Hyrule was a new place to be. (The Legend of Zelda - part 1) Discuss
51 "Benjamin's B-Movie" August 14, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Wheels
Remember when Squaresoft was trying to get gamers outside Japan interested in RPGs? Two of those on the SNES spawned some memories, and they're ready for sharing. (Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Secret of Evermore) Discuss
50 "Dragonslayer" August 7, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, TwinBahamut, Rosestorm, Ocelot, Fowl Sorcerous
Today's episode contains two acts. In the first, memories are cast back to a series that almost singlehandedly started the console JRPG. In the second, one of BioWare's best-known games is given plentiful discourse. (Dragon Quest - part 1, Baldur's Gate 2) Discuss
49 "In Dreams" July 31, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Keldarus
Once upon a time, a man with the ability to jump on a lot of platforms and dreamwalk had an adventure. That well-regarded PlayStation game is the subject of today's spirited discussion, along with its in-name-only sequel. (Alundra) Discuss
48 "Opening a Can of Whupass" July 4, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, Wheels
Once upon a time, a company called Working Designs localized many games for Sega systems. The Saturn was granted a number of these, and two of them that otherwise have no connection get a thorough scrutiny. (Albert Odyssey & Magic Knight Rayearth) Discuss
47 "Dying Is Easy" June 26, 2011 JuMeSyn, Clix, Strawberry Eggs, Paws, TwinBahamut
In today's series, the consequences of failure are painful and unavoidable. Learn why we prefer to tempt death on a regular basis in one of tactical gaming's biggest names. (Fire Emblem) Discuss
46 "Dirt Rage" June 1, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Nyx, Rosestorm, Ada
We go back into wacky worlds of farmers who want to live peacefully and get married. Something is very different about these games, however, and it comes in the form of some monsters that need to be disciplined with corporal punishment. (Rune Factory) Discuss
45 "Ultimate Power" May 22, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Fowl Sorcerous, Ocelot, Neist
The world of Britannia holds many surprises, such as TIE fighters and some sympathetic gargoyles. Learn about the land of Lord British and the Avatar with a listen to this episode. (Ultima) Discuss
44 "Ragnarok" May 9, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Rosestorm
The realm of Asgard watches the mortal world, and its Battle Maidens descend to administer the gods' business. Learn why this is unquestionably a good thing for RPG lovers by listening. (Valkyrie Profile) Discuss
43 "Double D&D Dose" April 30, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, Fowl Sorcerous, Ocelot, Rosestorm
A couple of other titles sneak into the mix, but mostly we're talking about games with enormous Dungeons & Dragons inspiration. One of them is highly regarded, the other appealed to a very select audience, and their salient points provide ample fodder for talk. Discuss
42 "Vana'diel Awaits" April 14, 2011 JCServant, Noodle, Quin, Firemyst
Once upon a time, taking Final Fantasy into the online world caused shockwaves. Now that almost ten years have passed, how does Square Enix's still-going creation fare? (Final Fantasy XI) Discuss
41 "Xenophobic Cutscenes" April 6, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, TwinBahamut, Gaijinmonogatari
The Xenosaga series may be justly accused of many issues, but a lack of ambition is definitely not one of them. For good and for ill, we talk about everything we could remember from Monolith Soft's big production. (Xenosaga) Discuss
40 "Have Gun, Will Travel by Dragon" March 23, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, Wheels
In its last rush of games for the Saturn, Sega's localizers put forth a title that has seen its value rise to a stratospheric level. We discuss its many merits, in an effort to help explain why acquiring the game may well be worth the eBay price. (Panzer Dragoon Saga) Discuss
39 "Crystal Frontier Tierkreis Remnant" March 16, 2011 JCServant, Wheels
It's not so much when compared to March 2011, but March two years ago was stuffed with releases. Comprehensive coverage of these games would require many hours, but even a truncated discussion is quite informative. Discuss
38 "The SaGa Begins" March 7, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Gaijinmonogatari, Nekobasu, Wheels
What were RPGamers looking for Game Boy RPGs in the early 90's to do? The answer involves carnivorous monsters and the deaths of deities, as documented on this episode. (Final Fantasy Legend) Discuss
37 "I Caught 'Em All, and the Pain Won't Stop" February 25, 2011 JCServant, Fowl Sorcerous, Strawberry Eggs, Nyx, Ocelot, Quin, Rosestorm, Clix
Vicious beasts are kept confined inside tiny balls, released by their masters only to do battle. Strangely, the creatures seem perfectly okay with this, and the Backtrack panelists are here to explain why. (Pokemon) Discuss
36 "Witch Hunt" February 20, 2011 JCServant, Green Nu, Rosestorm, fbm
What ties the Witcher together with a surprisingly large number of games released in February 2009? Not much, except for the fact that they share the discussion time in this Backtrack installment. Discuss
35 "Bewitching Witches" February 12, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Fowl Sorcerous, Strawberry Eggs
Theoretically, games starring beguiling witches should be fascinating and fun to play. Our frequent divergence onto the subject of manatee mangling would appear to belie that theory, but listen and decide for yourself. (Luminous Arc) Discuss
34 "The Ballroom Blitz" January 26, 2011 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Wheels, Clix, Quin, Rosestorm
A strange land called Spira features outlandish Tetsuya Nomura outfits and a propensity for group hallucinations. Take a trip with us through this oddly captivating place and relive one of the PS2's biggest hits. (Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2) Discuss
33 "Peaceful, Productive Planting of Produce" January 14, 2011 JCServant, Paws, Nyx, Ocelot, TwinBahamut, Ada
Death, destruction, and world-threatening crises will not be found within. Relax and enjoy some idyllic farm life while looking for love, content in the knowledge that no one will get hurt. (Harvest Moon) Discuss
32 "A Whale of a Tale About the Tail's Tall Tales" January 5, 2011 JCServant, Omegabyte, Quin, Wheels
Do Tales games and excessively long podcasts go together? If you answered in the affirmative, definitely listen to this episode. (Tales of Legendia, Tales of Destiny 2, Tales of the Abyss, Tales of Radiant Mythology, Tales of Vesperia) Discuss
31 "Vyse the Legend" December 14, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Risingsuntzu, Quin, Sarahvait, Rosestorm
Today we're flying through the skies in ships powered by Moon Stones, fighting with and alongside the other denizens of the airways, and competing with the nefarious grip of an evil empire. Relive the Dreamcast's star RPG with us. (Skies of Arcadia) Discuss
30 "The Mighty Mighty Magics" December 5, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Evergrey
Hunting dragons while drunk is not a wise proposition, but a certain series allowed it once upon a time, with the risk of eradication as a penalty for foolish or unlucky behavior. That series had many moments good and bad, but more of the former, as we'll tell you. (Might & Magic) Discuss
29 "The Deity Is Unhappy" November 20, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Keldarus, Nekobasu
Playing God can be entertaining, and many years ago Enix created a game that allowed players to be the supreme being. How it feels to administer divine wrath upon the legions of Tanzra is what we're talking about today, so listen and reminisce. (ActRaiser) Discuss
28 "Gespenst Kick!" November 3, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Fowl Sorcerous, TwinBahamut, Quin, Nyx, GDawgTUK
Twin Bird Strike, Cross Smasher, Black Hole Cluster, Jet Magnum, Mega Graviton Wave, Code: Kirin, Phantom Phoenix, Claymore Avalanche, Cosmo Nova, Sonic Javelin, Blade Tonfa, Fang Slasher, Sonic Breaker, Giga Unghia, Boost Knuckle, Schulterplatte, Dominion Ball: do any of these things sound familiar? If not, a listen to our lengthy, in-depth discussion of their source is mandatory. (Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation) Discuss
27 "I Like Killing Things" October 24, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Nyx, Paws, Keldarus, Green Nu
It is a rare thing indeed, to find an RPG in which the combat is so addictive that it compels constant combat. Game Arts produced a series that did this very thing, and we have a lot to say about it. (Grandia) Discuss
26 "Symphonia's Phantastic Eternal Destiny" October 4, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Quin, Ocelot, Nyx, Omegabyte, Paws, Wheels, Fowl Sorcerous
Today, the Tales series gets a lot of time under the spotlight. In exchange for giving each game some quality time, we didn't even attempt to chronicle the entirety of the series, so rejoice in our deep dissections. (Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Eternia, Tales of Destiny, Tales of Symphonia) Discuss
25 "Blade Runner in the Mist" September 26, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Quin, Ocelot, Green Nu, Unpetitmax, Fowl Sorcerous
For some reason, the last PS1 Final Fantasy gets overlooked frequently. That was all the more reason for us to discuss the game at length, in the hope of increasing its profile. (Final Fantasy IX) Discuss
24 "I Don't Believe It!" September 9, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx, Quin, Clix
In the past, a Dream Team of Japan's developers created a certain RPG. In the present, we talk about how that game has endured over the years. Meanwhile, in an alternate future, a DeLorean is racing back to make sure this game gets made. (Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross) Discuss
23 "Get the Point Yet?" August 26, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Ocelot, Fowl Sorcerous, Nyx, Green Nu, Keldarus
Gordon Sumner has created a lot of good music, but he's not the Sting we're talking about today. A quick blurb cannot encapsulate everything the developer has done, so listening to the discussion is required. (Evolution, Yggdra Union, Riviera: The Promised Land, Dokapon Kingdom, Knights in the Nightmare, Hexyz Force, Treasure Hunter G, Solid Runner, Baroque) Discuss
22 "Ys Is Easy to Say" August 13, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, SeventhCircle, Wheels
We bumped into a breezy pun regarding the Ys series, but don't take that to mean we go the easy route. Rock out and crash into a discussion of Falcom's best-known series. Discuss
21 "Samurai Beat Dragons" July 30, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, Firemyst, Ocelot, Wheels
The time has come to narrow our audience as much as possible. To that end, we discuss one of the Saturn's greatest games, which of course has never seen an English release by any other means. (Dragon Force) Discuss
20 "Vampire Killer" July 16, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, SeventhCircle, Risingsuntzu, Nyx
A whip may be the preferred method of fighting Dracula's minions, but Glyphs and Souls will do it just fine also. Hear all about the best methods of slaying, and being slain by, undead on the DS. (Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia) Discuss
19 "8 Ball in the Moon's Pocket" July 3, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Macstorm, Nyx, Clix, Ocelot
Clearly, all of us Junctioned Silence for status protection, because there's a lot of talk about Drawing and extraterrestrial love scenes. Choose a side of the debate on one of Final Fantasy's most controversial iterations. (Final Fantasy VIII) Discuss
18 "Phantastical" June 20, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Nyx
Take a trip to the Algo system, and pack plenty of Meseta in case the Motavian tourist traps raise their prices. Alis, Rolf, Rhys, and Chaz all spend some time under our microscope today. (Phantasy Star) Discuss
17 "The Mean Streets of Seattle" June 3, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Neist
Decades of domination by Microsoft, Starbucks, and the revival of grunge have had their effect on Seattle. We take you to 2050 and explore what Shadowrunning is all about, so jack into the Matrix and have a listen. (Shadowrun) Discuss
16 "Brightly Shines the Sun" May 21, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Robomega, Firemyst, Clix
Do you like puzzling dungeons, Camelot's penchant for user-friendly menus, some of the GBA's best-ever graphics, possibly Motoi Sakuraba's finest hour for compositions, Djinni searches, and a story that really takes its time to get going but eventually becomes quite interesting? If any of these things sound interesting, listen to us talk some Golden Sun. Discuss
15 "Sorrowful Moon of Dissonance" May 9, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Green_Nu, Risingsuntzu
We braved the horrors of Dracula's castle in both the past and future. Hear the stories of our adventures, from which we were lucky to return after meeting Death repeatedly on the Game Boy Advance. (Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow) Discuss
14 "The Fantasy That Is Never Final" April 22, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Green_Nu, Nyx, Clix, SeventhCircle
What is fourteen squared, divided by forty-nine, plus three? It is a number that, in conjunction with this episode's title, reveals the subject of our discussion. (Final Fantasy VII) Discuss
13 "(Robo)Trekkin' on the SNES" April 1, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Green_Nu, Neist
Armed robots with a cheerful demeanor are the focus in this episode. Even by the offbeat standards of other Enix RPGs on the Super Nintendo, this one stands out. (Robotrek) Discuss
12 "Bound on Pickup" March 18, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Green_Nu, Nyx, Unpetitmax
What are we talking about this time? Well, it involves hippies, Prince Poo, eating hamburgers straight from a garbage can, absentee fathers, Smaaaaaaaash attacks, and the power of prayer in a pinch. Boing! (Earthbound) Discuss
11 "Metroidvania" March 3, 2010 JCServant, JuMeSyn, Green_Nu
A lot of heroes in Castlevania have taken on Dracula, but not all of them did so in an RPG way. Simon Belmont and Alucard paved a new road for the series, so who's better to help inaugurate the return of the RPG Backtrack? (Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) Discuss
10 "Madden to Oblivion" Sept 3, 2009 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle, Kiro
Bethesda has a long history before Fallout 3. Here we discuss the Elder Scrolls series from Arena to Oblivion with a side of football and nuclear waste. Discuss
9 "Take Heed" July 6, 2009 Macstorm, Neist, Nyx, JuMeSyn
On this episode of the RPG Backtrack, the panel takes heed as they travel to the Silver Star of Lunar and beyond. Join us as we fight through the darkness. Discuss
8 "You Spoony Son of a Submariner" May 12, 2009 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle, JuMeSyn
Which is better: Final Fantasy IV or Final Fantasy VI? The Backtrack crew tackles this debate and FF composer Nobuo Uematsu until we can't stand it any longer. Discuss
7 "Get a Job" March 31, 2009 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle, JuMeSyn
It's time to get a job. In this tough economic climate, the Backtrack panel has to go to the past to find one, but they find a lot when they do. Discuss
6 "Light Warriors" February 26, 2009 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle, JuMeSyn
Light Warriors get ready to hit yourselves. The Backtrack panel tackles the first two Final Fantasy games in this episode. Discuss
5 "Best of 2006" January 5, 2009 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle, omegabyte
As 2008 comes to an end, the Backtrack panel looks back in time. We decided to skip back two years to award the best of 2006. Discuss
4 "Julian, Medion, Synbios" December 4, 2008 Macstorm, Neist, JuMeSyn
We are missing one regular, but we have a special guest on this episode. Shining Force rocks. Discuss
3 "Out of Mana" October 24, 2008 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle
For the third RPG Backtrack, the cast discusses Secret of Mana. There is love and hate all throughout this one, folks. Discuss
2 "The Ogres" September 22, 2008 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle
On this episode the cast tackles Matsuno's two Ogres and beyond. Discuss
1 "Super Mario RPG" August 25, 2008 Macstorm, Neist, SeventhCircle
The RPG Backtrack starts our pilot episode with discussion of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Discuss

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