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The Oracle
 
Sneakin' and Stealin'
 
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - January '00- 01:00 PST

So, I get into the staff channel today, and the first thing I see is, "KILL THE INFIDEL!" (that isn't even a lie, thanks for the support, Goog :P) .. so I suppose everyone is wondering where I've been, or what the hell happened. I didn't die, I didn't get sick.. I didn't go off to Tokyo in my same clothes again (heh, heh, heh).. I've been experiencing... 'technical difficulties'. Anyhow, without going into details, because, honestly, they're lame, I'm back, I'm sorry, and I'm hungry.

Er.. uh. Here we go.. anyhow, where we left off... crazy Saturday-Sunday column for you guys.. hey, bigger is better, right?


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The Old stuff
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Brad Now Playing:
Asheron's Call
Yeah, WHEN/IF I can get dialed in :(
 
And we start with a doozy...
Oh might Oracle of lore: Anime is an artform. RPG is an artform. Now please tell me why both contain transexual themes? It wouldn't be so bad if they were very rare, but they actually are quite common...
  • Escaflowne: That guy/girl villian (can't remember it's name)
  • Final Fantasy 5: Faris...ugh.
  • Final Fantasy MQ: Phoebe...I still think she's a guy...
  • Any Final Fantasy: The Priest/White Wizard...(well...Tactics kinda defined it.)
  • Final Fantasy 7: Cloud in a dress...nuff' said.
  • The Slayers: Gourry in a dress...and he looked like Usagi-chan...eek.
Why must this distrubing trend continue. We must rise up against our anime overlords and demand change. Well...actually...this ambiguity of sex does usually lead to some funny scenese though. What do you have to say oh might Oracle?

The MILF-miester

Brad:
I don't really have a solid reason for this, other than the fact that perhaps Japanese culture is a lot more tolerant, (hell, I'd hope they were) than Americans. As Americans, we're almost raised straight into a high level of intolerance for anything we see that's outside of the 'norm'. When the first homosexual hero of an RPG tries to cross shores, it's going to get shot down, hard. Why? Because of people in America. We all look back on how stupid racism against blacks in the South was 40 years ago, but we do the same thing to gay people today. On the internet, the multisyntactic usage of 'gay' is never meant as a positive term, and is one of the most common insults that you see. I just hope in 40 years we look back on this and America as a whole realizes how stupid this all is.. (My English teacher actually went off on a very similar topic, basically about rampant discrimination in America, and halfway through his little rant, he said something about "some REDNECKS who killed a homosexual man" .. talk about losing credibility.. ) Anyway, sorry about the sermon. Learn tolerance. Find the humor in it. Or perhaps the subject matter is a bit too old for you and you should stay away from such things until you're old enough to handle it. And I'm not saying there's a specific age. I know 25 year olds who wouldn't be able to deal with it, and I know 15 year olds who could. I mean, we at RPGamer have to deal with Googleshng all the time, and he/she's a rampant transvestite, in between the gender-bending operations.. always dressin' like somethin', never know what's really under them clothes.. never.. really want to know. :o

 
FFT, What's your best Ramza?
What, in your opinion, is the best class for Ramza in FFT? I am having trouble deciding what class I should have him. I currently have him as a Lancer w/ Guts. Also when is Ogre battle 64 or Ogre Battle 3 going to be released?

Lord Junk

Brad:
I'm pretty sure I beat the game with him as a Knight with Geomancer 2ndary abilities.. but it's not like Ramza was the one who was dealing out the damage... and I really haven't gone through the game again, after figuring out what works best, so that was basically my 'first shot' at anything spectacular. I'll say that having a Knight with Ninja's two-swords ability can get mighty destructive, though. Lancer can also equip some cool stuff and gives a large range of movement... of course, you've GOT to put Teleport as their base movement :) *zchwooop!* *zchwoop!* Hello! I am behind you! *whack*.. .. the best part of that game is when you have a guy near-death in front of you (kneeling), you move up.. select the attack to finish him off, and the last thing before the attack action hits, is this little window that says, "Execute?"...

 
SaGa Frontier 2
SF2 is due out soon... is anyone besides myself planning on at least renting it? I know most people didn't like the first, but I have heard zero about this second one... What's your take on it, braddio?

-matt

braddio:
Well, I'm personally definitely going to get SF2, it looks good, and well, I actually liked the first one. I still haven't completed all 7 quests, but I'm about halfway through the 4th, if I recall correctly.. maybe this summer, when I have too much time on my hands, is when I'll actually get down to beating up SaGa Frontier 1.. maybe.. heh.

 
FF6 FMVs from Anthology..
Okieeee.... Just a thought/question, but I'm about 8 or 9 hours into Final Fantasy Anthology's version of FF6, and the only FMV I've seen so far is the one when you turn on your PSX. What's up with that? Did I press the wrong button? Am I missing something here?

- Sage, a curious and somewhat irritated Fuzzy Peach

Brad:
As I recall, there actually is only two FMVs during gameplay (the opening, and closing scenes), but once you beat the game, you can view the Opera FMVish commercial thingy. This was actually a fair disappointment to a lot of people, but I guess, that's just how it is. :/

 
Turn based Strategy games on the 'net, part 2
There are, as a matter of fact, quite a few games out there that are multiplayer net based strategy games...I can't find anything of an RPG, but a couple fun ones are Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and Alien Crossfire, and one of my personal favourites and one of the most addictive games ever, Master of Orion 2. They are both sci-fi games, though, but there's not much wrong with that, is there? Anyways, I just thought I'd run that by anyone who cares.

-aderax

Brad:
Must say that I love MOO (Master of Orion) .. it's a great game.. I always lose, of course, but then, I haven't played THAT much.. Yeah.. that's it. I'm always the punkish little Psions.. I love to research everything.. spend too much money on research, and then, sure, I can build the most ultimate kickass ship in the game.. but I've only got 4 of them, and the other guy's got like 1400 of his little mosquito ships, and I DIE :(

 
Haha.. Altus and Queen
With Ogre Battle, March of the Black Queen, and Let us Cling Together all being songs by Queen, one has to wonder if the third installment, for the N64, keeps the thread alive. Person of Lordly Caliber. Queen has no song of that name, or even lyrics that include that phrase. Hmm. Guess the thread is dead. Or, is it? Person of Lordly Caliber could just be a roundabout way of saying Queen. Looks like the boys at Atlus have a favorite band.

-Swiggus

Brad:
Never noticed this before.. that's just funny. I wonder if Queen knows... and coming from someone inside a software development company (and knowing the guy who actually does code-diving).. there are tons of these types of 'inside jokes' in every single little piece of software that you purchase.. it's just part of the industry.

 
Woo.. now here's one I haven't answered...
Hmm, here's a question that's never been asked to the Oracle, What's the WORST RPG you've ever played?

~SmartLaine "Evil Gumby has killed Mr. Bill! OH NOOOOOOO!"

Brad:
Okay, the Mr. Bill reference nearly knocked me out of the chair.. .. ahh, the good ol' days. Anyhow, the worst RPG I've ever played.. hrm.. hrm... possibly 7th Saga? Just .. odd, and not all that much fun. It seems like it might be, to begin with, but there are places in that game you can get stuck, as in, "I just saved, and I can't go on, period.." .. and you have to reset.. it just wasn't THAT much fun. It was alright, though.

 
More Suikoden 2 stuff...
*** Suikoden 2 Spoilers ***

Hey Brad,

I figured since Google never answers my letters, I would try my luck with you. It's just 1 Question!

How do you save nanami from dying!?

Brad:
You've got to have all 108 stars before going to the place where she dies, (that treaty place.. ) once she's hit by an arrow, they'll take her away, and instead of coming out and saying "She's dead", they'll say, "She's all right!" .. yay! I swear I used her quite a bit and was in bad shape when she went out.. my main healer..

 
Asheron's Call, and Brad's evil effects on the yoots of America
A couple of weeks ago, I went out and bought Asheron's Call solely on the fact that it's been in your "Now Playing:" section for as long as I can remember. I'd never even played a PC RPG before much less an online RPG.

I have to say that now I'm totally addicted. Why did you do this to me? I haven't played a console RPG since I started playing this. It interferes with my job, my school work, my familial relations, my bathroom habits--everything. It's just such a cool game, though.

Also, I'm an archer--you said that archers are cheaters. Why is that? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. I love being an archer! I'm just wondering why you think we're cheaters.

-Freedan
of Harvestgain

Brad:
Dude, you're on Harvestgain. Gimmie a msg, either Ryteria, Space Riki (my mule, inside joke), or Palom (along with Heather as Porom) .. we're on later nights and sometimes weekends. I agree, this is a totally addicting game, though I haven't really missed work because of it, nor school.. bathroom habits are defi-- er.. that's icky. Heh. I said that Archers are cheaters because on lots of Asheron's Call message boards, people sit and whine about how all mages and archers are cheaters.. because obviously they can take on these huge enemies that are 5 levels above them without much problem.. eh, it's a long standing debate. I'm of course kidding.. because Heather has an archer she messes around with, and I could kick the crap outta her. Errr.. ;D .. Archers probably DO make the best PKs, though. Mages are a good runner up, and warriors pretty much get torn up in 1-on-1 PK battles. Anyhow...

 
A great oration on smacking around things in FFT, most notably, Weigraf.
Hey, Oracle.

I saw your advice to the guy having trouble with the Weigraf battle in Riovannes. Well, I just passed that battle yesterday on a copy I'm borrowing off a friend and I know of two ways to beat him without using the Yell/Acumulate trick.

#1) You forgo having a life and spend enough time playing in order to make Ramza a ninja for this battle. Then you give him the following equipment. Two of the best ninja swords you can buy for that battle (available at Dorter Trade City for 10,000 Gil each), a Twist Headband, a Power Sleeve, and a Bracer. This left Ramza with a whopping 16 physical power and two swords that have an attack power of 12. Give him attack UP (Geomancer skill) and if you're compatable (heck, even if your aren't) it's a one hit kill providing both swords hit.

#2) You put Ramza in a class where he can equip robes. Since Lightning Strike is a holy elemental attack, the Chamelion Robe will absorb the damage that Lightning Strike does to you so Weigraf won't use it. This can also be helped if you make Ramza one of the magic using classes for this battle because his high faith makes him a natural magic user.

Oh yeah, while I'm here. I'd just like to note that it seems that being a Taurus with Ramza makes him compatable with both of the characters he gets into one on one fights with.

Hope this answers the question.

P "No-name brand" C

Brad:
Tell ya what, there's some great information, kids. The Taurus thing makes it so you hit him harder, but doesn't that also let him hit YOU harder as well?

 
Another cool letter, with good ideas in it..
'Ello, Brad!

I think I know why they always screw up the names when they translate FF's... I heard somewhere that Terra was supposed to be Tina, etc. etc. Well, think about it. What the hell kind of name is Tina for an epic RPG to have? Think if Cloud was named "Charlie." Doesn't have quite the inpact, eh?

In FF6, they actually use their creative energies to come up with goon ENGLISH names for the characters. For example, Terra vs. Celes. The word "terrestrial" pertains to the earth or the ground, while "celestial" has to do with the sky, stars, and other heavenly bodies. Also, you'll notice Terra's magic is opposite of Celes's... Celes learns Ice magic naturally (without Espers), while Terra learns Fire magic.

To take it even farther, "Edgar" means "wealthy pikeman" and is generally a name having to do with royalty in its meaning. Edgar is royalty, and he can equip pikes, AND he's wealthy. (I could list more examples, but....) I think the names picked out for the FF characters are not mistranslated per se, but are chosen carefully by Square's translators to exhibit the inner qualities of the characters themselves.

I just wanted to say that. 'Bye now!!

~Cid "Your Bestest Friend" Reincarnate

Brad:
I liked this.. it's just well thought out, and deserved to be printed. 'nuff said.

 
 
Quickies

To answer the quickie posted on the 11th, the UK release date for suikoden 2 is late summer 2000, the last date announced was 30th July. But before that, Vandal Hearts 2, Grandia and Saga Frontier 2 hit the shelves so I wouldn't be too worried for the lack of games. I personally live in the UK but play all my RPGs in american imports. But I guess that would be quite expensive for people who actually BUY games.
[BMP]

I am gettink the distinkt feelink dat you are not of proper game buyink strategy! Vigor, attack!

Someone told me you had your Oracle License revoked. How true is this?
--NightTransfer "I'm Blue"

This is a total lie. I'm suing this person as we speak, for tryin' to talk smack about me, yo

Another cool way to beat Weigraf is to put the knight abilities "break sword" and "break armor" on Ramza and then doing just that. then I think Weigraf actually starts to run from you.

That is so mean. :)

You neglected to mention February 11th was the 42nd day of the year yesterday. Bad Brad! Bad Brad! Time to go back in the oven!
~The "Excuse me! I'm a waffle! Hello?!" Sack~

NOooOOoo not the oven again! :( :( :( :( :( :(

To clarify Freed's last name dilema, #1 and #3 are wrong. Yamato is a Megaman villain, and Yoshino is Freed's loyal laundry-doin' wife. Yamamoto is the answer I got directly from the ending of Suikoden II, not to mention from Richmond's mad clue finding skills. So nyah nyah.
-Brickroad

You better not be lying to me.. I don't have time to go check out Suikoden2 for myself..

Please don't club the baby seal :(

~Lady Ava Melidere Areia (owner of more than 60 stuffed animal seals! :P)

...That's right, I'll club a seal to make a better deal! .. er.. do you have a beanie baby seal? I have 3 beanie baby monkeys and a beanie baby penguin! :) All with NO TAGS.. I freed my beanie babies!

Hey, Brad!

Heard you lived in Santa Monica or Santa Barbara, or something like that in California. Is that true?

-Tactichick

I live north of Santa Barbara, by about an hour and a half, near Pismo Beach, California... which is isolated enough that I don't have to worry about groupies flocking to my house or something. :o

When will the Playstation 2 be on sale in North America and do you have any idea on the price at first?

Zed

I'm gonna go with a release sometime around September 2000, and release price to start at $300, though possibly $250.

teh y stands for ur mom

vnadole

... I tell you... those illiterate Canadians! I'LL GET YOU YET, VANDOLE.. ALL YOUR BASE WILL BE MINE

hullo Brad!

since YOU think chess is an online turnbased game like FFT, pleez tell me...when was the last tme you saw a Pawn summon Leviathan? or a Queen riding a chocobo? or a Bishop using Cure3? or even a King chage job-classes into a Samurai?

Just the other day in fact, why, did you miss that one? :P I said it was a turn based strategy game, which you can play over the net.. I doubt he was looking for an online version of FFT specifically. Learn to read. You're probably one of Vandole's friends!

Stop Plate Tectonics!!!
Sub-crust Convection is evil!
-Alex

I'll get right on that, sir!

Bark bark!

-Baby seal

Club Club!

- Brad Lohr

Words from the Wise One:


There's your weekend, kids.. hope everything goes alright, and we'll see you next weekend.. rar.. hopefully not MIA again.


Brad "Mugu mugu?" Lohr

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