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Googleshng - April 11 '00- 1:30 Eastern Daylight Time

Well, since Brad was roughly 24 hours late with his column, and was kind enough to warn me SOMEWHAT early on, I got to take a day off. it's a good thing too because there were a bunch of things I'd been putting off until the weekend that I didn't get around to because my cousin brought over Pokémon Stadium. It's an interesting collection of things, not quite good enough that I'd want to buy it, but one of it's features is quite evil. You can play normal Pokémon at double or triple speed. This improves the game so much I can hardly believe it. It even makes the music sound good! So now I want to play Pokémon again, but I can't stand normal speed any more. Oh well, my cousin still has my gameboy anyway.

In other news, this week's guest host will be John Hynd, RPGamer's new European correspondant. Unlike Sachi who I forced to get up at the hideous hour of 9 AM, John, being in Scotland can just pop in at 4 AM his time. He's pretty nocturnal you see. Anyway, let's get things rolling.

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FM3 Length
Hey Googs, I seem to remember you saying on a couple occasions how you were surprised at the length of Front Mission 3. I took your word for it, since I had heard that the game could end up taking over 150 hours, it even says so on the back of the case. Well, I just finished FM3 about 20 minutes ago and it took me a whopping 52 hours. It's not like I rushed through it or anything, and I actually spent some considerable time on the network and in the training simulator. When you said how long the game was, were you talking about both Alisa's and Emma's scenarios? When you save your file after the credits and start a new game does it just keep adding up the hours? And by the way, FM3 is a great game, to anyone who hasn't picked it up yet. It's finally a game that can quench that post-Final Fantasy Tactics thirst that everyone has been complaining about. I look forward to your insight on the game... - Jet

Unlike some boxes, FM3's claim of being 150 hours isn't all that far off. If you look at RPGamer's review of it, it lists the time as something like 45-150 hours. The reason for that is that one scenerio, takes about 50 hours if you go through at a decent speed, you really should play both if you want to consider yourself as having beaten it, so that's 100 right there. The last 50 hours from that estimate is time spent either just playing slowly in general, or exploring the network/customizing like crazy/character building in the simulator. Actually, if you add in playing through again for weird little side choices like the Jose/Li thing and whatnot you could probably even push that number up to 250, but that's just sick.

I take a day off and still don't get enough real questions.
Well, it's time for more answers! And it's about time, too! Today, we go to the depths of the deepest pit, and to the heights of the vast blue (Red?) sky - Aren't WE adventurous, ne? Oh, also, I seem to have forgotten my sig last time (Silly me), but it's right there this time! So, let's get crackin', shall we?

Q: What's up with those so-called 'Bottomless pits' in Zelda, Mario, and all those other games? Just what the heck is down there that can kill me so effectively?
A: Very good question. We all know that a fall from any height can't really kill a videogame character. Their legs are made from a substance similar to Jell-O, that absorbs the impact of any fall. Seriously, now, if someone could jump as high as Mario in REAL life, he'd break his legs when he landed on the ground again.
The problem is, we can't really know what's at the bottom of those things, since whatever it is promptly kills you, and plops you down at the beginning of the level again (Sans one life), with no memory of the event, so no one that's done it can recall what happened.
Well, due to the latest in image enhancement technology, we now have the ability to peer into the depths of these pits to see exactly what the heck's down there, and what we find is astonishing: At the bottom of every 'Bottomless pit' is a warp in reality that automatically turns ANY videogame character into an ensign in an episode of Star Trek. As you all know, there's absolutely no way to survive this situation, and after they're promptly zapped, blasted, exploded, or away-missioned to death, they warp back to their own dimension.
As with the memory loss, this has yet to be proven, but I believe it has something to do with William Shatner's hair...

Q: Why is it, when flying the airship/Ragnarok in certain places in Final Fantasy 7/8, the sky changes color?
A: Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT caused by some magical force emitted by Sephiroth/Esthar. If that were so, it would cause the sky around that location to change, but leave the rest the same (This happens in one of the Ghostbuster movies, I believe). Instead, this phenomenon is a result of... well... for lack of a better term, Chocobo farts.
You see, Chocobos are partially psychic, and can sense the emotions of the people they care about. When a situation arises that puts one of them or their friends in danger, they release brightly-colored gaseous substances to ward off attackers. In both the aforementioned situations (Sephiroth/Esthar), the characters in question were placing themselves in considerable danger, and because they didn't know any better, the Chocobos of the world... well... reacted.

Q: Just what the heck is up with Cloud's hair?
A: It's not just Cloud, silly! For Crono, Randi, and many other RPG characters, the 'Hero do' is the hairstyle of choice, and for a very good reason. This style is very aerodynamic, and when you're flying into the atmosphere in some earth-shattering limit break, the last thing you want to be worrying about is burning up on re-entry.

Q: That's another thing... my big brother's been kicking the crap out of me since the last Q&A (Still no white numbers, though), but I still can't do a damn limit break!
A: It's very likely that you're one of the unfortunate few that can't. Look at Ramus in Lunar, for example. In that game, everyone and their mother had some kind of magic (Be it singing, attack techniques, etc.), but poor ole Ramus was just incapable of it. But then, we're talking about a guy that used a garbage can lid as a shield...
Just keep working on it: Get your butt kicked at least twice a day and don't drink too much 'cider'. And if all else fails, get a 'Hero do'.

-CaspianX (Now with sig!)

That's all pretty amusing. Actually, this reminds me of a weird little trick in Mega Man 3 that let's you jump infinately high, and jump in and out of holes. Anyway, at the bottom of SOME holes you take damage, as if some sort of strange monster is biting you. so maybe they aren't REALLY bottomless, maybe there's REALLY a whole bunch of rapid ocelots at the bottom that rend you to shreds!

Ok, so this isn't very RPG related... BUT, anyone who even claims to like RPGs must go to and download the trailer for the upcoming "gonna kick Star Wars and FF: The Movie's ass" LIVE ACTION LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIE!!!!! *deep breath* Ok, I'm all better. Seriously, I think this trilogy is gonna rip FF: The Movie a new one (not that I actually want that to happen, I'm a very loyal to Square and would buy anything by Square [I bought SaGa Frontier, didn't I?], and plan to get any system they are on, but still, c'mon, this is Lord of The Rings!!! and it's Live Action!!! And it's gonna kick some major ass!!!) Anyways, just thought ya'd like to know. -XD

Well, a few people have sent this in, so I figured I should post at least one. I seem to recall hearing that it has Keanu Reeves as Aragorn and Patrick Stuart as Gandalf (don't correct me if I'm wrong) but, well... movies based on books always suck. It's a sad fact of life. We can hope though.

Now this is REALLY funny.

Heh, I thought you'd like that. RPGamer becoming like NERV? I guess you can expect Mike to start wearing glasses and acting like Gendo any day now. He'll make Brad pilot a big mecha. As for Googleshng?... You'd have to be...PenPen!

By the way, I have a Xenogears question! Here's what happens! I fight Ramsus after he tells me about how he was rejected when Fei's mama put him up for Krelian's experiment. Ramsus always uses that gall-durn Wave #3 demiser that reduces my HP to 1! I can still beat him (by using the healer) but it drains my fuel so much that Miang kicks my butt in the next fight! Also, Ramsus will generally use that thing twice in the battle! Is there any way to block those Wave attacks? Thanks.

Cheshire Catalyst

Woohoo! Where's my jetpack? Anyway, it's been a while since I've done that fight, so I took a bit of a survey to refresh my memory. First of all, it is my personal recommendation to almost always use 30% healing, 50% just takes too much, and 10% doesn't give you enough. Anyway, for the first fight, just rush through. Boost on, bring Fei to level infinity and keep him there, and just go as fast as you can. Hopefully he'll only have a chance to bring you down to 1 HP once. That should leave you enough fuel to beat Miang if you're stingy. Turn off boosters, go for level infinity, go spell happy if you have Elly and Miang isn't magic resistant, and if worse comes to worse, the higher your attack level, the better charge works.

Front Mission 3 Secret Stuff
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me you know how to get the secret wanzer in Front Mission 3. I need to know how so I can get my hands on that awesome beam cannon. I really didn't care that much about it, until I got to this one mission. Everything is going good, I think I even took out one of their guys in the first round. Then it is their turn, their first guys are just the usual, so I'm thinkin," its gonna be another piece of cake mission". All of the sudden their last guy moves and attacks my main dude. I look at the weapon and I think its just a rifle, but then I see this N where the weapon type should be. I say," what the hell is that, right as the guy takes of 800hp with his one kickbutt shot. I'm not even gonna relate the rest of that battle, lets just say it was really sad. I felt like a Leo mobile suit takin on a fricken Gundam. Ever since then (3 days ago) I have just been simulating battles and lookin for the secret wanzer. you gotta help me out here.


Assuming you're on Emma's plot line like 90% of everyone playing it, you're either at the very end of the game, or fairly early in the game at a fight you shouldn't be stuck in. In both cases I just ran up with the main character and Ryogo and just kept pounding away with machine guns and a shotgun until the thing died. Anti-F armor is unbelievably helpful if you're actually at the end. Now then, on to the question you actually asked. This might contain a minor spoiler. After you get back to Japan and talk to your dad, go to the ARMOREDKIN site, read BBS 3, take the phone number from that and put it into the Inferno Dialer at AUSPEND. That's all you have to do. Don't go into this thinking you're going to get some kind of totally degenerate wanzer though, personally I got it and didn't like any of it better than what I was already using (well, the legs I used). Sure it has a lot of HP, and the gun is pretty decent, but everything weighs a TON and the gun, well, not only is nobody going to start with any skill with it (not that that matters) but it costs 15 AP to fire. Since you get 12 back every round, chances are that means whoever's using it is only going to be able to fire it every other round (which quite frankly means you'd net more damage with missles).

Hey Googa Fronteir,

To be short and sweet, SaGa Frontier II has me confused becuase the instruction manual sucks and The battle system is flying over my head a bit, I understand SaGa one's battle system but 2 is driving me a bit nutty, can you offer a brief synopsis?


No kidding. There's a text file in the SF2 section containing instructions for it in fact, although I haven't bothered reading it myself yet. Anyway, here's the basics. Every move either takes WP or MP, both of which regenerate a little every round. Whenever you use a piece of equipment, it's durability drops (at 0 they break). Whenever you want, you can fully restore your HP with one LP. Whenever you take a ton of damage, or get attacked when you're dead, you lose one LP, if you run out of LP, game over. The experience system is similar to those in Grandia and Secret of Mana as far as getting better with attacks and spells. At the end of fights there's chances of your HP WP and MP going up which I THINK are related to how much of them you lose that fight (so yes, if you get beaten to a bloody pulp enough, your max HP increases). You learn new spells and special moves either totally at random, or by doing combos in duels. Combo attacks in regular fights happen from certain moves going in certain orders like in PS4. The player notes section is really just that. Notes. If you do a cool combo and you want to remember what it is, keep it above the bar so you can check what it is later. I believe that's everything. It really is a great system, I just wish they bothered to explain it in the instructions, or better yet an in-game tutorial like in every other Square game.


i was all lookin forward to reading yourreview of front mission 3! who is this jake alley guy?

i was all set to buy it. now i am just confused and disheveled.

-the stool god

Well, someone noticed that we don't have reviews of enough games, so there's kind of a new policy around here that if you've won a game, and there isn't a review, you review it. Jake Alley won FM3, and did a pretty darn good job of reviewing it. If you still need pushing, fine. Go buy it it's a really cool game and I loved playing it! 8)

I say (!!) "A"....A....."L".....L....."B".....B......"U".......U
(finish it)


Oooo, I know this!! It's from the original Zelda, telling you that you need to feed bombs to Dodongo, the boss in the third dungeon, to beat him. Can I have a tilde? Please?

As usual, I only give the tilde to the person who was MOST right. ~ A lot of people were close though, so here's one for them all to split. ~

Just when I decide to fire up the ol' emula--...I mean, Genesis, you guys yank off the Shining in the Darkness info!! WHAT GIVES?!?!
Gettin' my Trials of the Ancients on...

We didn't take down Shining in the Darkness coverage, we just never had any in the first place. Why not you ask? Well, because it was out before RPGamer started covering non-Square games honestly, there's plenty of games like that. As soon as our drillers hit that free time deposit though, we'll go back and find them all. 8)

No hidden text makes Satan sad!

Uh, no comment.

A pet slime? What a degrading job. I suppose you get payed with helpless people to eat? Or do you get cream-filled twinkies? No matter what, it's still a degrading job. Later , Yo.

Kaiser G-Homie Dawg (( ::giggle:: ))

Actually, my official occupation is "Talking about games for a living" which isn't degrading at all. As I said earlier, I'm not paid in screaming victims but rather good feelings. Neither can be used to buy RE4 though, why does EB have to be so darn picky?

Call 1-800-578-7453. Just trust me on this one ;-P

I know better than to call numbers posted in my column, so I haven't tried this.

The Last Laugh:

In case you forgot, the CC picture was way up there in the letter from him. A couple people sent me 3 quickies each (one used different names). I didn't print any of these. The answers to them are all in walkthroughs on the site anyway.

When I started this column, someone I was talking to suddenly noticed with great surprise how long I've been doing this. It'll be 6 months even by the end of the week. I remember when Brad's 6 month mark column came along and everyone did weird stuff to celebrate. Actually that was so recently that I seriously suspect he's been messing with the flow of time or something. Anyway, I sincerely doubt that sort of thing will happen in my case because, now that I check, I realize that actually my 6 month mark was last monday. You all forgot. Wait, that makes the Brad time dialation thing that much more likely, I'm pretty darn sure he was doing weekday Q&A for more than a couple weeks before I started... oh well. Who cares?

Oh, and since FM3 isn't out in Scotland yet, you might want to get the FM3 questions out of your system today, youwon't have another chance for 4 days if you don't.

Finally, Silkenray fused all my sigs into a single transparent animated gif.

Googleshng "Mike"
What's really funny is that the 6 month came in because da boss couldn't remember if this was my first month on staff or not. The flow of time is DEFINATELY screwy around here.

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