The Oracle
A big day!
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - January '00- 01:00 PST

So, I get to the RPGamer 'office', and they're just all crazy excited in there. Stom's preening, JD's making fun of people (okay, so it's not TOO abnormal).. Mr. Tidwell is just idling, nobody has heard from him since Pokemon Silver and Gold came out, other than a few obscene grunts when they walked in between him and the TV.. yes.. all is normal. But it's not.

Last night, Square announced FF9, 10, and 11. Yikes. I mean, it used to be a good 2-3 years between the games, we just got one, and they're saying that the one AFTER the next one will be out next year. So that means that we'll see the next one late this year or early next. Or .. something. Who knows. All I know is that I -don't- want a million questions asking what the release date on FF11 is yet.. well, I don't EVER want them. :) News is over there, kids! I'm not a reporter.. my idea of a great scoop involves strawberry ice cream... but anyhow..

Yes, it is once again morning. I don't know why I keep doing this, other than the fact that I'm just dead tired in the evenings. I used to work graveyard shifts at various places, and could stay up till any time in the evening.. and now? Nothin'. By midnight, I'm shutting down. Maybe that's a healthy thing, I dunno. But since I usually did my columns at like 1-2am, shutting down at midnight has wrought me useless in getting the columns up for those early Saturday/Sunday readers. I'll keep trying. I promise I'll keep trying. No gaurantees on success though.

Anyhow, moving onward into the wild world of questions...

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Asheron's Call
Goin' PK, and huntin' Stom's punk hide down..
In Brad's Head
mumble.. 2 more days, 16 more hours at work.. then back to Monday..
Only 16 more weeks of this left!
.. then 2 more years of school, then.. 40 more years of work.. rest for 10, then die. Yeah.. now that's sleep. Okay, now I'm getting morbid.
Square's naming scheme unvieled!
To Brad, or whomever has hacked into his E-mail account:

Hacked into my email account.. I'm so sure! (..I'm like, from a really good part of Encino!)

This, at first glance, may appear just like every other list/question. It is. So, in a futile attempt to distinguish mine from the countless thousands of lists, some containing the exact same content as mine (or lack thereof), I shall not use numbers, but letters, starting with 'z'.

Yeah, yeah, everyone just wants to be different.

Z) Why is it that, with all the great RPG's I could be playing, I log the most hours on the PC Chocobo World demo? Is it really that good? Should I be going outside more? Is it time to kick my sister off the Playstation?

You're really the post-mortem reincarnation of Chocobo Billy, after he died during that whole 'Meteor' incident. If you start feeling untoward 'urges', kill yourself.

Y) I empathize with the Physics. Our class started ElectroMagnetics (also known as Evil Laser Voodoo Physics) a couple weeks ago. On the bright side, I've learned new and exciting ways to screw up TV's and monitors. Try putting a magnet up to a TV, putting a computer screen up to it, and degaussing the computer screen. Great fun!

I liked watching Heather with her hands on the Vandegraff generator.. she's got about 3.5 feet of hair, and it was starting to get out there straight out. Damn funny.. damn funny.

X) Anyone who wants to learn about the history of RPG's should check out's History of RPG's

Isn't that the article Vestal wrote? I think so... it's horrible when I'm too lazy to check, and that just spills over into my apathy about the subject. :o

W) After listening to the Xenogears chatter over the past few days I am absolutely convinced that RPG designers put references like this in there for one reason: Too confuse as many people as possible.

I agree. But then, geeks get off on confusing other people. It's just part of the culture.

SQUARE EMPLOYEE #1: Hmmmm, what was the name of the planet the Captain Pickard visited on the 186th episode of Star Trek? SQUARE EMPLOYEE #2: I think it was Urato 5 SE #1: ...translated into ancient Cyrillic... SE#2: That would be Hyeydhcnehcuencuenndu Tyehdne SE#1: encode it into a class three encryption with data loss, and display it a BMP... SE#2:It looks like static, sir SE#1:Ah, but import it into Microsoft Word SE#2:It says General Protection Fault in AEFABE SE#1: Then our main character shall be named General Aefabe Teyehdne! Mwahahahahahahahahaha! Let's see what they can do with this one! SE#2: Brilliant! Now I know why your employee #1, sir.

... hahahahaa.. you think that's not the truth. One of the reg codes for one of the products we make where I work has had something a lot like that done to it.

U) Or should it be V. DAMNIT! I hate the alphabet!

Back to Sesame Street until you can say it backwards right, heathen!

- TetrisGod " if we switch the letters AGAIN, and translate it back into roman letters, we get Fei Fong Wong! Haha! Perfect!"

When cartoons get it on, it's only PG-13...
*** This comment rated 'M' for 'Mature Content' ***

I've been playing Grandia for a while now, mabye 12 hours. And the thing that strikes me is the fact that it got an "E" rating from the ESRB. How did a game with some of the things Grandia has get an "everybody" rating. I'm sure that if i was like 8 or something my mom would be masd if she walked in during one of the moments in the game. So, the question is: How did heck did it get that rating! Not that I really care, it's one of those things that's been bugging me for an answer. And don't tell me you don't know, I'll see to it that you'll be tired and hungry forever


I don't know.. I haven't seen anything that was way out there.. but then, I'm used to this kind of stuff, so it just kinda blows by me. I agree that the rating system is off. Vandal Hearts gets an 'M' rating (as does this comment) because of the word 'shit' and some over-zealousness on the part of the death animations. Then over on the other side, Lunar gets a 'Teen' rating, with the bromides, and some very not-subtle innuendo. I don't get it either. At least movies seem to be somewhat standard.. but I guess those standards are slipping more and more.. used to be things that would definitely get an 'R' rating are now PG-13, or whatnot. Not that I really care, I think the whole rating thing is pretty much a joke anyway, but then, I don't have kids. :)

Cooking with Brak!
*** Star Ocean 2 Skill Spoilers, if you want to figure it out on your own, don't read ***

darB olleH,

I've got a few queries about Item making in SO2. First off my Claude has a Lv 10 Cooking but all he ever makes is crap. Why is that? Second, What skills are necessarily to make myself some good weapons, armor & accessories?

~The Incomparable Gai Daigoji~

Cooking requires more than just level 10 cooking. I know you're thinking, "Then why did I just blow all those skill points on it?!" I'll tell you why. Because lv10 Kitchen Knife will make Claude hit a lot harder, numbskull! Anyhow. Back to cooking. Depending on where you are in the game, you might be able to pick up an 'all-puprose knife'. This will help out your cooking. But the major thing you need to do is give Claude the talent for 'Sense of Taste'. If he doesn't have that, he'll almost always cook gnasty stuff. The way to give him 'Sense of Taste' is, well, to have him cook a lot. The information I have here says that he's not really likely to learn it.. but it's not impossible, either. The best way to get people to learn new talents is to have them use the skill you want the talent for while Orchestra is playing. Now most people don't exactly have Orchestra early on, but once you do, you can go around unlocking character's talents all over the place. Not only does it give them new abilities, but it gives them 100 new skill points, each time they learn a new talent. That's a good way to get people a good head start early on.

Part 2, weapon and armor making. Okay, first off, armor. Blacksmithing. It's the only way to get some of the absolute best armor in the game, save for going down into the cave of trials, and if you don't have some nice armor by the time you're in there, you'll get eaten up bad. Blacksmithing is a super specialty made from Customize (the weapon making ability, more on that in a bit) and Alchemy. If you don't have someone good at Alchemy in your party, and you don't have Orchestra, then go get those first. Lv10 Alchemist, WITH the talents required, (Blessing of Mana, only available to magic using members.. I always use Celine), and a Lezard's flask is definitely a must. Then make sure you've got Orchestra, it'll make you much more successful. Then start making really high level stones from Alchemy.. then start using Blacksmith on them with Orchestra on (well, use Orchestra while making the minerals, too).. This should bring you some really nice Armor. At the worst, it'll make it so you never need money again. Also, if you find a Magic Rasp, (which I'll let you find, unless you REALLY can't.. but it's not available until Disc 2), you'll make better armor from the same materials.

Customize: How to make cool weapons from not-so-cool weapons. This skill is absolutely necessary for getting most of the best weapons in the game, and each person needs to have it for themselves for it to be effective. (i.e., only claude can customize his swords into things that work with him) .. You must have a talent in Originality, (if you don't, get it by buying a bunch of weak weapons and mixing them with dumb gems), and I'd really suggest Orchestra again to raise the success rate of Customize. There are FAQs that list what you mix with what gems to get you specific things, which I won't list here... anyhow, there's the lowdown.

Hey little boy.. I've got a whole rack of Chrono Trigger carts in this alley back here...
Mighty Oracle of Role-playing wisdom, First off, I have noticed lately a growing number of people are having difficulties finding Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, and other hard to find RPGs. The truth of the matter is, many of these games are out of print and no more copies will be made. I personally do see these mentioned games more frequently than one might think. You have a good chance of finding them at places such as Sears, where the adverage gamer does not shop for games. This probably due to the fact that Sears overprices, and never heard of the concept know as "markdown". So, check places that don't sell many of thier games. You may just find a copy or two still exists out there. You may have to pay full price, but hey, it's what you are after, right? I myself ran into such luck once myself. 1996, I dedided I wanted Chrono Trigger more than any other game. Guess what? I got the same response from every retailer, "Sorry, that game came out in 1995 and is out of print." Man did I ever hate myself. Then came that fantastic day in December 1997. For some uncomprehensible reason I decided to go with my mother to the Grocery store. (I think I was acually after a current issue of a comic book, but that's beside the point.) I took off down the isles of Big Bear, bored out of my mind when I happend upon thier electronics section. (One of those Big Bears that used to be connected to Harts department store.) I casually glanced in the case of video games, never expecting much more than the usual left over trash you'd find in such stores. There behind that plane of glass....could it be? YES, it was possibly the last copy of Chrono Trigger in the entire city! Brand new and yes, still the full $59.99 that is was released at two years prior. I went home that day and played Chrono Trigger until 3a.m. It was then I knew it was worth every last penny. My point being that with a little hope, and some luck (and money) you can find what you desire. I had all but given up ever having that game. Don't give up you all in search of Final Fantasy Tactics, etc. Just keep at it.

Yeah, I actually bought quite a few SNES RPGs after they were out of print. I have a local hookup, though. That, and I got a couple of them used.

Oh, right I almost forgot about my questions, in no particular order:

The glory of storytelling overwhelms, I suppose. :)

1: Have you heard anything about this rumor going around that claims a new Final Fantasy Collection for Playstation 2 that supposedly includes Final Fantasy I-VIII on three DVD's?

No official word on that, but I'll tell you what I think of it in two words. Bull smack! I doubt there'll be something like this in the near future, if ever. It's just the type of thing that we all hope for, but it's all just wishful thinking.

2: These Chrono Cross rumors of Crono acually being in the game, is that in Playable character form or Non-playable?

Don't know. I'm actually personally staying away from Chrono Cross info to enjoy the game myself.

3: If Chrono Cross is indeed about crossing Time, AND alternate universes, couldn't this inlude one where Frog killed Magus (Thus the Playable Human form Glenn) and a world where he did not(Implying that Magus were still alive in said universe.) In this way, they could have both Glenn an Magus in the game, but from seperate universes. Is there anything pointing to a possibility of this?

See above response..

4: Has RPG Maker been confirmed for US Release on Playstation? I have always wanted that game for sometime now. The concept of making my own game and sending it to other via dexdrive sounds very cool.

Stom, newsboy from down under. (Down under the covers.. the lightning scares him...) reports that Agetec(ASCII) has the rights to publish RPG Maker 3 in the US, and that we could see it as early as this spring, but no formal announcement has been made. Keep hopin'.

Good luck juggling school, work, and free time. I know your situation all too well. Having close to six unfiished RPGs on my shelf for future play. Lack of free time to acursed school. Thanks again for your time and as always, keep it cool.

Six unfinished? SIX? Let me go count..yeah. SixTEEN unfinished. wah.

-CyberMan X

Them buff RPGirlies
I know a few people are going to send an answer to this, and that's cool if I don't get printed, but I have to clear my conscience. I got stuck in the Field of Power in SO2, also. The way out is pretty simple, there's a ledge near the entrance to the field that isn't blocked by any of the cave-in's. It's not too hard to miss, you just gotta know what you're looking for. Anyway, you step on the ledge, and it'll switch to where you can see the view, and ask you if you want to "yell" or some other option. It's not important what the other option is, you want to yell, and an avalanche will start, and you want it to hit your party. You'll be carried back to the beginning of the field. :)

Not to bring up the RPGirl thing again, but I happen to be one, so some of us do exist. :) No complaining! I like anime too, and I happen to be single. You guys are just to shy to find us, I guess.

"Strength is the only thing that matters in this world. Everything else is just a delusion for the weak!"

That quote, on your tag, just .. I don't know.. that's funny. And anyhow, now that I'm going to get 35 emails today saying, "I want her email address!", I'll say it now, I'm not going to give it out. RPGamer staff gets first pickin's on it.. er.. just kidding. Come to think of it, a lot of the staff is not single. Well, I think Kiah is.. okay. So you all have to wait until Kiah makes a fool of himself takes a shot at this first.. okay, well, I've stretched this joke too far.

RPGamer Downtime

I can't get to anymore. I get a message saying that this page was a configuration error or some such garbage. Do you happen to know what is going on? A response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-Alex, A Loyal Reader

We had some downtime as we moved to a different machine. Everything is back in working order now. We're constantly trying to improve our bandwidth situation, as we send out data measured in the thousands of megabytes per day.

Morning-after Quickies

except....THEY SPELLED SIEBZEHN WRONG!!!!!! That annoys me to no ends. It should be IE, not EI. damnation.

Off course they did. :)

Dear Oracle Brad, I was watching the movie of you next to your sig , and I have a couple questions. How long did you sit there making that movie? Do you normally blink so much , or is it just while you are on camera? Is it hard to train yourself to blink so regularly? What type of camera did you tape yourself with? It would be very helpful if you answer me , I really want to know.

I have a ViCam camera at work, and of course, I work with the legendary product, Webcam32. I'll let you in on a secret, though. If you leave it open for 281 days, there's a SECRET ENDING.

I KNOW you already know this, but in my quest to sound pedantic, I have sent this letter in. Sally forth was a line often used in Don Quixote. It was used to mean, lets go!

Du'hs acknowledged and promptly ignored.

To be perfectly fair and honest with you, my loyal readers.. I didn't know this. I've never read Don Quixote. But I do know how to pronounce that. :)

Words from the Wise One:

For some reason that seemed a lot longer than it ended up being. Oh well, that's the breaks sometimes. I've gotta get out of here and get to work, but you all chill out and enjoy your weekend. I'll see you again later tonight/tomorrow morning. Later!

Brad "Boot to the bed! Ouch.. my foot..." Lohr

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