Ask miyu & Stom
miyu - December 10 '99- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

Zap! To answer everyone's questions all at once, no we *STILL* don't know when either Googleshng or Thor are going to be back. We're telling the truth! They're not dead, we don't have them tied up in the corner for no apparent reason, their ETR (Estimated Time of Return) is soon. So, since that was the subject of all the mail we got, that's the end of the column.

...ok just kidding! Anyway, now that we've got that tidbit cleared out of the way of the juggernaut that Stom and I are, let's charge through these questions! ;P

Stom: I'm here too, but I'm just here to put the Grrr in GrrlGamer!
(BTW, those are his answers to the right. Mine haven't changed from yesterday.)

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In the PSX:
Vandal Hearts II
Darn it, I need more free time
In the DC:
Soul Calibur
Oh, where is Evolution? ;_;
In the PC:
Okay, truce.
Dear Mr. Pimp and Mr. Stom and the four humors of the Apocalypse, I've been getting all my EGMs and other things in like GamePro..but I haven't heard squat about either Square or Contrail (Stom I like Square but they're getting boring) Last thing I heard was the making of Wild Arms: 2nd Ignition from EGM. I know the land-mine of Saga Frontier 2 is hiding somewhere around here..... *snoops around his friend's house*..but what else is there? I've heard nothing but a redone Chrono Trigger in Japan, and a possible Chrono Cross. And so far the only RPG I'm asking for Christmas or my birthday (On February 9th) is Lunar2:Eternal Blue....that isn't getting delayed is it? So I was curious...what does Squaresoft have up their sleeves? Is Contrail gonna surprise us before the end of the fiscal year? I really want to know..

The somewhat happier,
  Mr. Mysterio

Well, I don't usually keep up with Contrail's doings, but I believe the only thing they've announced is Wild Arms 2. It'll be coming out sometime next year in Japan, and probably later in the year here. Square will probably be bringing eight or more games to America in 2000, including Legend of Mana, SaGa Frontier 2 (which I think is going to rock, btw :P), Vagrant's Story, Front Mission 3, Dew Prism, and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeons 2. Chrono Cross has been released in Japan already, so we're almost certain to see a US release next year, and Final Fantasy 9 is a probably a good guess also Don't worry about a thing, there will be plenty of RPGs for all of next year! (unless of course you were hoping for more silly Contrail games!)

If you're wondering why Contrail has been so quiet and Square has been louder than ever, it's probably because Square has about half a dozen development teams working in studios that make Contrail's studio look like the garage band of video games. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's the truth, simply for this comparison. The only way they Contrail can attention in a market dominated by guys like Square, Enix, Atlus, and Konami is by announcing a game, delaying a game, releasing a game, or shooting somebody. Also, don't forget that next year the Playstation 2 is coming out in Japan very soon, and a lot of developers have already shifted towards the newer console systems. Don't worry, Wild ARMs 2 is coming. They've already said that. Just have patience.. and play other RPGs in the meantime.

Oho, a real answer!
Dear Mr. Miyu and Apocalypses Yes, the poll does want to know if you'd buy a game with Japanese voices and English subtitles. Yes, I'm the guy who submitted the poll. No, I wasn't thinking about the possibility that people might not know what I'm talking about.

I've been wanting japanese-language-with-english-subtitled RPG's for awhile now, and I just wanted to find out whether I was in the minority. Fortunately, I'm we might actually see some at one point or another.

Well, there's your definitive answer, straight from the source. I tend to not think about possibilites like that too. I just assume that everyone's as smart as me, but sadly enough, that just isn't the case. ;P

I voted that I'd rather buy a subtitled version, but that I wouldn't pay more for it. Unless there was a lot of voice acting...if there was a lot of voice acting, I probably would pay $5-10 more for it. ^_^

Yay! I was right! Actually, I don't think I've voted, mainly because I haven't seen any RPGs where there is enough speech for this to affect my decision to buy an RPG. I really don't care either way. Then again, I'm not as big into anime as some. *cough miyu cough*

What to buy, what to buy...
Miyu and Stom:

Hello. Long time listener, first time caller. Man! I've always wanted to say that!

I just wanted to ask you two a quick question, from one RPG fan to another. Tomorrow, I get paid and I really need help on deciding which RPG to get. My choices are Grandia, Vandal Hearts II, and Thousand Arms. I already have all the Final Fantasies, both Suikodens, Vandal Hearts, Xenogears, Wild ARMs, Legend of Legaia, Kartia, Granstream Saga, Parasite Eve, and Lunar. Basically, all the popular ones. But anyway, if one or both of ya' can recommend one to me, I'd sure appreciate it. Of course, I intend to get all three eventually, but for this time, I'll get the one you two recommend.

Now, if you both recommend a different game, I'll go for the one you two DIDN'T recommend, so be careful! :)

Oh, wait. I didn't ask a question, did I? OOPS! I just did. Bye!

Joshua McMillin,
aka Banshee

I answered a question like this last time I hosted Q&A, and now that I've played VH2, my answer is still the same. If you liked Lunar, get Grandia by all means. The battle system is great, the story is cute, and the music is quite good. Overall it's a lot more fun than Vandal Hearts 2.

I heartily must disagree on the fun point. I'm not saying Vandal Hearts 2 is more fun that Grandia, but the comparison isn't fair. I LOVE a great Tactics-style RPG much more than I do typical RPGs. Don't get me wrong, Grandia is far above a typical RPG, but it all comes down to your tastes. If you have Lunar, and you have Final Fantasy Tactics, ask yourself which one you liked more. If it's Lunar, but Grandia. If it's FF Tactics, buy Vandal Hearts 2. Just to kill the flames, yes I love Grandia too.

I was reading Stom's letters yesterday and felt the need to correct someone...
Sephiroth is not Sefirot (from what I know, and my dad's a pastor, so there :P) Instead, he is the another fallen angel. If you look at the latin 'tree of life' and in many other religious anime-type things, you can often see the name Sephiroth hiding in the background. I know it was in Ghost in the Shell and believe it was in Neon Genesis. Sephiroth, by the way, is 'one winged angel' in latin... I think... I learned latin from singing, so if I'm wrong don't sue me!
Also, in FF4/2E there was the tower of Bab'il (coincidence?) and what about Kain? Cain (alternative spelling) was the guy who killed his brother, Abel, in Genesis. Kain betrays your party and puts the smack down on Cecil a few times in the game.
Religious references from all sorts are in video games if you look hard enough :)
-Elendale (Is taken from Tolkein mythology)
To Whom it May Concern

I would just like to point out for the record that the line from Xenogears opening isn't from Isaiah, but actually from the New Testament, in the book of Revelation. Revelation 22:13 to be exact. It is true that those other places may be from Hebrew things, but this is Christian to the heart. I hope this will set things straight.

Solid Jake

Well, here's a couple more viewpoints on the religious references in recent games. I know almost nothing about religion, so I miss almost all of these references, and I can't help people sort out their origins, but since some helpful people wrote in, the least I can do is post these!

Unlike my friend who is well-versed in anime, I am somewhat well-versed when it comes to the Bible, and yes, there are definitely references in games to the Bible. I just tought I'd clarify in case you really weren't sure at this point. Unfortunately, I usually get myself so into games when I play them that, unless the references are blatantly obvious, I don't really tend to notice. I've got an idea, though. If you cool people who spot these things want, you could get together and form some kind of fan site and go through all the RPGs, find the references, post them at the site, so we can go view them and go "oh..k."

Yes, how exactly do you pronounce the word "chocobo" ? I say it like Choc (like chocolate) o- bo. My friend says it like coke-o-bo. Which one is correct? And also, when does Final Fantasy 8 start to get good. I'm halfway through disc 2 and I'd rather watch grass grow.

Agh! Not this again! Well, I've always thought that the only way to pronounce it is CHO-ko-bo, as it would be in Japanese, and I still think I'm right, but someone did point out that the word chorus is pronounced with a k sound, so I guess I can see where they're coming from. Ah well, at least I can take refuge in the fact that I'm still right that Meteo is pronounced MEE-tee-oh.

As for FF8, I started really liking it around the start of the third disc. Everyone's tastes, differ, though!

Strangely enough, both miyu and myself are in the middle of learning Japanese, and I assure you that he is correct that the pronunciation is choh-koh-boh, and the o's are all long o's. As for the Meteo comment, I believe that the Japanese would actually pronounce that mae-tae-oh, not mee-tee-oh, unless the Japanese spelling is actually 'mitio.' Oh, and thanks for the info on FF8, miyu. My copy actually has grass growing around it, as I'm still on disc one.

Can anyone get in Gear?

After finishing Xenogears, one thing was still bothering me...what th' hell do all the 'Gear names mean? I mean, almost all of the 'Gears and a lot of the main bosses have very foreign names (Alkanshel, Domina's Haishao, and Ramsus' Amphysvena come to mind...). there anyone out there who has a list of these (there has to be *someone* out there..)? Or perhaps you know some offhand? Any input would be appreciated.

--The Grand Finale

While I have no idea, I'm also sure there's someone out there who can help! Well, anyone up for it?

Umm.. like.. there's Weltall.. and.. I think that's about as far as I got in Xenogears..


Noooooo! You're not supposed to dislike Akira Toriyama! BOOOOO! He designed the great characters of Chrono Trigger! ...Wait, he did design them, didn't he? Sure looks like it to me, I know i read somewhere that he did. Anyway, back to the subject...BOOO!!!! Toriyama hater! BOO!

miyu: Good thing I'm only doing this temporarily...otherwise I'd probably get one of these every day :P

Stom: Ok, who hid the complimentary coffee?

all the other gurus are anti-semites or something, i have a question, and none of them will answer it.
Why are there no Jewish people in rpgs?
The Rabbi

miyu: The same reason there aren't any African tribal warriors.

Stom: Actually, Illusion of Gaia has African tribal warriors. I think they're African, anyways. I'm sure if I'm wrong, someone will let me know. They always do.

Ich bin hbscher Soldatseemannmond und im Namen des Mondes bestrafe ich Sie!

miyu: Eigakan no mae de oshiemashou ka?

Stom: I-ay eak-spay apanese-jay ome-say ut-bay ot-nay erman-gay. orry-say.

I bought a "Subtitled RPG". It was called Panzer Dragoon Saga and it was awesome.

miyu: *That* is a great example of a subtitled RPG! And it's great too!

Stom: Note to self- look into this "Sega" company and see what the fuss is about..

Er, last time I checked, wasn't a google a number that has 100,000 zeros after it? Maybe I'm mistaken, though, unless you're using this google in a totally different sense.

miyu: I believe you're thinking of a googol. The spelling makes all the difference!

Stom: And if I remember correctly, a googol is a million zeros, not just ten thousand. I could be wrong.

Closing Commentary on Topics Relevant to Today's Column:

Well that was yet again time-consuming because of a long-running game of Magic. -Sigh-
I'm very disappointed that only *one* person caught the reference in the closing commentary on my last column. I guess not as many anime fans as I thought read the column! I didn't have to give away too many Prozac Cookies out of the stack that each Q&A person gets, so at least I got one benefit! Mata ne!

Stom: We get Prozac Cookies too? They must have hid them with the coffee. I know. Thor must have taken them! Oh wait, Thor isn't around right now. I know! Goog the gender-less took them! Wait, no. It's not around either. Note to self- send a formal complaint to the Powers that Be that someone is hoarding the cookies and coffee. Oh, that's right, you're still reading. Go away, you're scaring the chickens!

Curtis "I hate Dragonball" Harmon
Ka-bam, take 3! I win!

Doug "I like Dragonball" "Stom" "I like Transformers more" Hill
What if it was an African swallow that took the cookies and coffee..

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