The Oracle
Tell me...
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - January '00- 09:00 PST

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy... it's Friday! Well, er, yeah it is. Damn. It was thursday just a couple minutes ago.. mumble.

That just sucks. I'm tired. Not like tired like I used to be tired. More like the "eh, boy, bed sounds kinda nice right now" tired. Which probably means I won't get up at 6:30am (wow, only 6 hours from now) .. to be at work by 7pm, but that's just how it is, I guess.

Vegas was cool. We had a good time, we even stopped by the Hoover Dam (yes, we were dam tourists, but we didn't go on any dam tours), and jumped briefly into Arizona, for the halibut. We saw some amazing things, such as stripper trading cards (seriously, there were guys just handing these things out on the streets.. main streets too.. just like "here's a card with a stripper on it and her phone number. Hell, they even tried to hand them to Heather occasionally. I guess they just figured she needed to get laid or something..), lots of lights (of course), tons of people, some neat stuff. Probably going back there for the Shaolin Monk show in February.. Spencer wants to see it too. Big party.

Let's see... what else. Oh yeah, we saw Gameworks (on a reader's specific suggestion) ... it was big. And cool. And DUDE. I saw this kid get to frickin' level 50 in Galaga on Monday.. if you read this column, BMF (i think those were the initials he put in), then dude, you're my hero. And I was the guy standing behind you right at the end. He got all the way that far on one play, kids. Amazing. Utterly amazing. Kicks Edge's butt, that's for damn sure. He only got to like 12 or 17 or something. Nowhere near 50. Not that I could get anywhere near 50...

I didn't do much gambling.. won like $30 really quick once I started, then dropped $20 in Caesar's Palace.. (which is amazingly well decorated, and is very cool to visit..) .. so all in all, not too bad. Also, for cool hotels to just look at, the Luxor ... (lux0r?) was very well done, and when/if we go back next month, we'll more than likely stay in one of those two places.

Yeah.. so, what else is going on.. not a lot. Lots of work this week, since I took off for Monday and Tuesday.. I could have taken paid vacation time, but I seem to be hoarding it up instead.. I wonder how much I have so far.. .. not a whole lot. Oh well.

Saw "Girl, Interrupted" tonight. It wasn't that bad at all. Just reaffirms what Joe over at work says though. That all women are crazy. Heh heh, I'm gonna get in trouble for that one.. but only with crazy women who are just acting out their denial about their insanity ;)

Anyhow, we've got some interesting stuff for today.. so here it goes.

Got Questions? Problems?

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Women may be crazy, but men are just stupid. Another bit of wisdom from Joe

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If you play on that server, drop us a line, say hi.
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This Space For Rent
Brad.. hookin' up the goodz.

I feel foolish for having to ask this...but Symphony of the Night was probably one of my three most favorite games for the PSX, and not having a PSX, but a Saturn, I was wondering if you could help hook me up with someone who DOES have the Saturn version of "Symphony of the Night" to buy or whatever. Everytime I ask a retailer about it, they all think I'm talking about Castlevania Dracula X, but that's something completely DIFFERENT!


*** Update ***

[Seems he didn't know what he was talking about and has remedied his problem.. please don't further email me or this guy regarding this subject.
Thanks - Brad]

You wanna lose the game, make a guy happy, and score yourself some cash? Do the dew.. er.. deed.

$dbh->do($thedew) or die "Failed to Do the Dew! << $! >>";
.. perl rules. (Yes, that is actually a line from a program I wrote at work)

Chrono Cross Impressions
Yo Brad (Steve), and the monkey you rode it on,

Ive got a couple of questions for the resident guru of RPG's (well on the weekends anyway :-P)

Ive been hearing so much about Chrono Cross it isnt even funny, now I myself have just beat Chrono Trigger on my ZSNES emulator (GASP! DONT TELL) and cant wait tfor Chrono Cross you come out. Whats your take on it? You think its gonna be the next big thing after FF8? It is coming out roughly a few months before the PS2 so you think Sony's trying to go out with a bang?? Also, im gonna import that new Virtual On game for DC but I cant find one of those special controllers.

The weak pathetic mortals will give praise to you the 2nd highest diety in the universe save for me.

-Magic Emperor Ghaleon

P.S. The baka girl in Ranma 1/2 is Shampoo.

All I've got to say about Chrono Cross is that I really like the look, and I'm really anticipating it. I dug CT tons, and well, if they did only half as good a job with CC, we'll all be in for a treat. Oh, and thanks for the Ranma info.

.. the cooch factor? :o
For whoever is hosting today: When you play RPGs do you spend an immense amount of time leveling up? I mean some people are obsessed with it. My girlfriend for example is over 130 hours into FF8 and is just now close to beating it. I make fun of her constantly for it, and then I get yelled at. Its a vicious cycle really. Also, is Phantasy Star I-IV really as super cool as everyone says? Is it worth tracking them down and buying them? (I'm already equipped with a genesis, luckily.)

And lastly, if s=distance, ds/dt=velocity, dv/dt=acceleration, and da/dt=jerk, then what does dj/dt=? my guess is . . . the chooch factor!

Captain Spank

Usually on my first time through, I don't spend a lot of time leveling up, but I spend some. Except on games that pretty much require a big levelin' up to be done. FF4j for example.. but I don't get obsessive about it. Tell your girlfriend that she's just paranoid, and that if you're even halfway decent at these games, you don't need to be at level 80 even to beat most of them. (Star Ocean 2 being highly excepted from this comment).. I mean, one of my friends beat FF6 at level 35. It was insane. As for the math, if da/dt = jerk, then dj/dt, being the change in jerk over the change in time, would be cynicism. It's a new physics discovery, cynicism being now related to the kintematics equations.

Why'm I being so nice today?
Hey Brad,

Responding to two letters in Goog's column. First the dude who likes it when music is remixed in sequels. I'd just like to say that when playing through Suikoden 2, I was dissapointed that a lot of the music was remixed from Suikoden and I also thought that it was redone for the worse. I did really like all of the new music in Suikoden 2 and plan to get the soundtrack someday.

Oh. And that "Jesus in videogames" thingy.....I think my friend has that game that was mentioned. Can't really remember what exactly you do, but I do remember that it was real lame. Oh yeah! It was also not liscensed by Nintendo or something and it is in some weird, black cartridge thing. Thought you might like to know.


PS Go here if you like music!! - SuperGreen (Shameless plug of my stuff)

I must agree with Suikoden2's music. I thought the first one had the ball on originality, and most of the remixes that I found in 2 weren't done that well. (Same way with VH2, horridly enough .. wah.).. but the original stuff in S2 was really good. I've gotta get back to Suikoden2 one of these days... someday. And as for the non-licensed cart... how evil. They're going to hell for that, you know.. right there with Tengen, who made the coolest Gauntlet game for the NES that there ever was.

Jesus, naked and petrified!
I just wanted to Correct Goog about that little Jesus is not in any games mistake it made. I just wanted to say that Jesus IS in a game, kinda, in Terranigma when you go to a town in the south where people say they are always having parties, (it turns out to be Rio De Janero(sp)) And in the north end there is that big statue of Jesus that Rio is famous for, amung other things...

hah, okay, now I'm the one going to hell for that one... bad slashdot humor. :)

Final Fantasy Tactics help? I suppose...
*** FFT Spoilers, Maybe ***

Hi, Brad! How was Vegas? Did you see Mandalay Bay? I love that hotel, I want to stay there next time I visit it.

I have a quick question. After long months of begging and pleading, my friends finally got me to play Final Fantasy Tactics (I used to only watch them play it). Well, I'm addicted to it, and it's so hard! I struggled for weeks on Dorter Trade, thinking I wouldn't have a difficult fight like that for a while, but it wasn't soon until it came to fighing Miluda (you know, after your return to Igros. Where you have to defeat Miluda and Miluda alone). Do you know of any strategies I can use? I was going to try to get a summoner, and I have a Level 2 wizard, but I don't know where to go from there. I've heard either a time mage or a priest. I'm also one of those people that don't believe in srategy guides :(. Could you possibly help me out?


Yeah, we saw the Mandalay Bay.. it's crazy.. it's like black at night, and white-gold in the day. Vegas looks totally different during the day.. much cooler at night though. My advice on the FFTactics would be to

  • Spend some time leveling up your characters a bit, and get a better feel for how the whole game system works.
  • Remember, hit things from behind when possible.. from the side next.
  • Lock spells onto people, not onto the ground they're on (special cases excepting, of course), and always check on the turn list to see who's going to get to move and think about where they might move... hitting guys with Fire4 is cool, but when you lock it onto a guy, and he moves right next to an entire huge group of your guys...ouch.
  • Use the above tactic on the enemy whenever possible. :D
  • Archers are really good early in the game, but start losing out to wizards as the levels go higher.
  • Better equipment is available every 5 battles or so. Make sure you're updated with the latest stuff. (Okay, maybe 5-10).
  • Just one person to win the battle, and you're kinda shakey about it all? Toast the boss first. The only thing you're getting from the other guys is possible treasure, which you'd have to wait around for, skills, same, and job/exp points, which you can earn in random battles where the enemies are less numerous.
Other than that, the Summoner is available once you've traveled up the Wizard->Time Mage path. Get a Time Mage to Job Lv2, and the Summoner Job will be available. But beware, they don't start out as powerful as you might think. Time Mages can make a hearty difference in your battles though. They're mean. And they can teleport, eventually... mmm.. teleportation.

The truth comes out..
Why is it so hard to believe actual girl RPGamers exist? Everyone's so excited to see Paws, but why? Not that Paws isn't wonderful in her own right, mind you. But we exist! Well, I exist.

Here's my question. I received five games for Christmas. Actually two are my brother's, but since I have both them and the Playstation in my custody, they're basically mine: FFA, Xenogears, FF8, Lunar the Silver Star and Star Ocean: The Second Story. I have limited time at the moment. Which do I play first? I've started FF8, but so far... unimpressed. I need a change so that FF8 can ripen on the vine so to speak. (That's how I managed to play FF7, since I truly did despise Cloud in the beginning) But I don't know what to do. I've heard Xenogears may comsume my every waking moment. Which will give me opportunity to eat, sleep and go to class, yet still be worthwhile?

Forever grateful,


It's not hard to believe that actual girl gamers exist. It's just hard for a lot of guys to imagine them as someone who's cool/good-looking/popular/whatnot .. because a lot of them don't feel that they are these things. I mean, hell, back in high school I wasn't exactly.. well liked or anything. But now everyone loves me. Or something. A lot of guys think that because they aren't dating prolifically, that girls that match their interests don't exist, when it's really that they haven't gone out and found these girls, well, to generalize again, because gamer guys tend to be a little less proficient at the dating scene. I don't disclude myself from this, either... well, nowadays, I'm a regular stud (haha, okay, maybe not, but hey, I've got the best girl out there).. but back in the day, I didn't really start dating until after I turned 16. It's all about a lot of different things, and well, to be honest, gamer guys get the wrong ideas about a lot of things, many times from the games/other hobbies that they partake in. How many game/animes have the hero and the heroine just .. destined for eachother? This just ain't life. You wanna hook up with her, destiny ain't gonna lend you a hand. Get off yer duff and go out and MAKE something happen. Right. End Dating Advice.

As for your game choices... that's quite a selection you guys pulled down for christmas.. I'm impressed. If you want a quickish game that won't absorb all your waking moments, stay away from getting hooked into FF8. Likewise, Xenogears needs some serious attention. The storyline is deep, and the game is long. FFA is good stuff, especially if you're going through 5 or 6 for the 2nd time, if not, 5's not too heavy, and isn't too long, so wouldn't make a bad choice.. 6 is a little involved the first time, and is highly addicting. :) Star Ocean 2 is doubly addicting, and is a long game as well, so .. you got it. My recommendation is to Lunar. It's not that long, really, the story is great, it's slightly addictive, but not so much so that you'll throw your life away, but it's a good solid game. I loved it. I only really went through it once, I had a great time, it was done, I put it away, end of file.

Post-Vegas Quickies

I'm going to come to Vegas, but i'll be 12 feet tall, and i'll hunt you down, and scream "Brad!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Then i'll junction your girlfriend onto my chest and you can mug her for some elixers. Then Vegas will be sent into a wierd time warp, and we can sing. Monkey. Steve. Had to add those in there.
SirMagus ^_^

..heh, too bad we're not there anymore.. so nyah! .. besides, I don't steal elixirs from my g/f.. that's just not healthy for a relationship...

Could you please tell me where to find that nifty little utility that lets you view cg scenes off of a playstation cd?

Anyone wanna send me an email with the link? Too lazy to go look it up right now.. and have work all day tomorrow.. don't anticipate much non-laziness tomorrow.

Fei Fong Wong is in Xenogers. The woman who sings Eyes on Me (not the one that's Julia) is named Faye Fong Wong.
==Ninja of Wind==

Then there's Jason.. puff long bong...

Brad, how could you? Why'd you have to do it, huh? Why? Oh, wait, they're my family... nevermind...

..because I was hungry...?

You killed my family?

..because I like baseball?

Did you kill my family, Brad?
Cheshire Catalyst

My big toe..?

Hey Brad,

Admit it! You're not "Steve"! You're "Billy"! You're all "Billy"!

"Gone fraggin'."

You're nuts man. Have some Steve&Steve's ice cream to calm you down...

(Read in freaky scream dude voice)What's your favorite.......breakfast cereal?
Ozzie the Red

I actually like Berry Kix and Trix. Odd thing, today we were talking at work.. and I brought up the fact that now I'm older, it's odd for me to think about 'Trix' in a nice, non-inuendoed sense. ... "Trix are for kids!" .. heh.

It took me 115 hours to pass Final Fantasy Eight. Am I insane or is that a really long time for a sixty hour game? Did you beat the Omega Weapon? By the way, what's your opinion of Wild Arms? I think it's the best damn RPG ever made. Anyway, that's all for now.

115 hours is a bit long for taking down FF8, but everyone's got their own pace.. some people say they get through a game like that, first time, in like 30 hours.. and all I've got to say is that you're rushing through something, and not enjoying it properly, yo. I take about 70 hours average first run through any FF game, though I can almost half the time on my next run through.

there is a place that is so freaking funny. It's Seanbaby's NES Page please post this so people can go here.

Thank you

~The unloved nun

Yeah, everyone should check out Seanbaby's page. It's great... It used to be so much bigger, you couldn't read all of it in one sitting.. I guess it's still pretty big.. but it just doesn't seem as immense.

Cap'n Donuts! ARRRGGG! They be delicious!
-Raistlin X

G'hah! Yes they are laddy!

Two little monkeys jumping on the bead.One fell down and broke his head.Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,"No more monkeys jumping on the bead".
-the Grinch

Bad Little Monkeys!

Words from the Wise One:

Er, well, I got too tired to finish this last night.. (I just can't stay up all night like I used to be able to do.. I'm wimpin' out, wah).. so I finished it this morning. But now I've gotta run off to work. Talk to y'all later tonight!

Brad "I am Klingon warblade of death! Boot to the head!" Lohr

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