The Oracle
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - February '00- 19:00 PST

Yikes. It's been a scary set of weeks. But I'm here, and there's stuff, questions, answers, all the fun, just a bit later than normal. Tomorrow's column will come sometime in the earlier parts of the day, hopefully, so get your questions in ASAP, if you know what I mean.

Anyhow, lots of stuff has been going on, if you know what I mean. With the move, and trying to get our DSL line installed (oh you're so jealous!) .. the video card fiasco... (oddly enough, it started working with Asheron's Call last night, though it isn't very stable.. wah) .. now the new 'linux fiasco' .. which is the fact that XWindows isn't liking my new card either, and I haven't had the time to go find the Xserver that'll work with that card. Anyhow, lots of things.. not to mention the normal stuff, girlfriend/work/school.. all of which aren't getting the time they really should, which sucks.. but oh well, it's mostly school's fault. Yeah.

Anyhow, enough whining from me! Today we have some fun stuff.. tomorrow I may actually be able to get to the email I'd downloaded from last week, but then again, maybe I won't. We'll see what happens. Anyways... Heeeeeeere's Braddy!

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Asheron's Call, Final Fantasy Tactics
Dude, Weigraf just kicked my ass. :(
Brad's take on Suikoden and Suikoden 2
Greets Brad,

Go0g's set you up for this, so here it is.

How does Suikoden 2 compare to the 1st? I myself am only a few hours into it but of what I've played I do like. Haven't seen too much from it so here's my list: How are the graphix? Music? Character development? Plot?

=Lo "it ran away and im not gonna bother looking for it" ki=

Well, Suikoden 1 and 2 really aren't THAT much different. I'll focus on what you listed, however. Graphics are nearly identical. I'd say that some of the combo graphics on the 2nd game are a bit better, and some of the spell graphics are nicer, but overall, it looks exactly the same. Music .. well, some of the 2nd game's music lived up to the series, but I was honestly a bit dissappointed in S2's music. S1 has some of the greatest music found in ANY game, and well, S2 doesn't. It's not BAD, however. Just if you were looking for a return of S1's music... it leaves you a bit high and dry. Character Development was handled pretty well in both games, and I really didn't notice a distinct difference, though 2 may have gone into the lives of people like Viktor and Flik a bit more, and filled them out a bit better. The plot of both games are .. well, about on the same level. That's about all I'm going to say about it, because, well, you haven't played one of them, or possibly both. ;)

Isn't this the longest one you've ever seen?
Dear Brad,
I just voted on the RPGamer poll regarding how long people want their RPG's to be. I wanted to vote for games under 10 hours, but I felt generous today and voted for games between 20-30 hours long. And the results came in - looks like only 5% of the readers agreed with me. 75% of the them liked RPG lengths to be over 45 hours. Well to those guys, I say you're freaking sick. There has not been ONE good RPG over 45 hours. The Final Fantasy series, Suikoden series, Parasite Eve, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Lunar series, the Legend of Zelda series, the Pok–émon series, Brave Fencer Musashi, and heck even Castlevania: SotN are all individually under 45 hours. What games are your readers thinking of? I sure hope it's not Xenogears (a 35-50 hour game, btw, although usually closer to 50) - because then this just further confirms how demented your general reader *base* is. Again, I emphasize their "baseness".

A Disgruntled Reader,

I think the biggest point you're missing in this poll isn't "What was the length of your favorite RPG?", but instead, it was "How long would you like RPGs to be?" I understand your point, but then again, it always takes me around 60 hours to get through a Final Fantasy game.. so maybe most of us don't finish all those games in less than 30 hours, y'know? I know you like the crack, but dude.. drugz R bad.

Evil Twin Grandfater
Hello Brad. My cousin's stepsister's boyfriend's daughter's teacher wants to have your baby,

Again? Err... no thanks.

In case the subject line didn't give it away, I'm being wierd right now. Anyway, I do have a question or 2 for you.

(For those who haven't hacked into my email box (both of you!), the subject line was: Inverted Nuclear Gunshot Butter

1) Was there any news from Square's recent conference other than the FF IX/X/XI stuff? I remember a rumor a while back that they were going to retire one of their pillar series and some other stuff...

Well, er, um, no. Not that I heard, anyway, and I'm not a news guy, I answer questions. So the answer is, "Ask Stom". :)

2) If someone made a really great game that was enhanced for 16:9 (widescreen) TVs, would you want one of those TVs? I want one anyway, but it'd be awesome to play games at that screen ratio. Of course, now it seems the Game Boy Advance will be doing that, but thats a small screen.

I'm not that big on the TV viewin'.. so I'd go with no on this one.. I have a 20" (television, perverts) which suits me just fine.. I don't watch any TV.

3) Peanut butter: creamy or chunky? (creamy peanut butter must die![except in peanut butter cups])

Creamy is my choice... sorry. :) Not a big fan of the chunky.. though right now, just about anything sounds good.. wonder if Heather would kick my ass if I ordered her to go cook dinner... er.. nevermind... she looks mean today :D

4) I was going to Ramza bunch of puns down your throat, but I hit the wrong key and accidentally Delita'd them. Alma gonna try and remake them, but to do so might be a Tactical blunder. Anyway, my head is Clouded, so I'm gonna go open Ajora pickles and eat them. Teta for now...


Bart (I'm my own grandpa)

Want the works?
Hey Brad,

I just bought "Xenogears: Perfect Works" over the weekend. I noticed on the back sleeve that there is also a "SaGa Frontier 2: Perfect Works". Up until then, I had thought that Xenogears was the only game to have a Perfect Works book. Are you aware of any other PW books put out by Square/DigiCube or are those the only ones? I looked around online, but couldn't find anything conclusive.


I've actually not even looked at the Xenogears PW .. so I don't know. I'm sure there's a few nuts fans out there who know everything about these things.. and I predict.. yes.. they will have an answer for us tomorrow.


Someone has listed the following reasons for submitting your name to the National Registry of Known or Suspected Mutants:

* You frequently exhibit behavior or traits associated with the genetically altered. These traits include the tendency to appear and disappear unexpectedly and flash a blinding smile.

* It has also been noted that you often demonstrate an affinity for spandex. In addition to the above, a number of unexplained phenomena such as increased hormonal response have been documented and traced back to your presence.

* Unusual physical characteristics such as your perfectly toned musculature have been analyzed and confirmed by our mutant profiling experts as mutant-positive.

* Additionally, your peers have filed complaints that they sometimes feel hot and tingly when in close proximity to you.

Brad:1. I do not wear spandex. Ever. Even if it'd turn my g/f on beyond all belief. 2. I do not have perfectly toned musculature. Period. It's ABSOLUTELY Perfectly Toned Musculature (tm). 3. Okay, I make people hot ang tingly, I admit to that. But I'm not a mutant!

Not enough apathy!?
Dear Brad,

I know everyone keeps referring to you as being Thor-esque, but I just want to say that while you are doing a great job,... you aren't apathetic enough. That said, I have 2 things. The first is an answer to the person who asked about RPGamer's .MP3 policy. I personally have asked Mark a similar question. RPGamer's policy is it will support .MP3 recordings of existing .MIDs (since not everyone has an AWE64 Gold lying around ^_^) but as far as actual recordings from games/soundtracks, no. Now my question: I recently purchased FFVIII for PC, but have thus far been unable to play it. About 1/2 way through the opening movie (which is very pretty) I get a notice that the CD is unreadable. It's not due to the game mind you, because I returned the game and grabbed another one and am having the same problem. It's not my video card either, because A. it's sexy, and B. it's fully supported but the software. Any thoughts?

Jeff Chermak

This question left unanswered due to apathy. I'm making up for lost time ;D

Argh, not the Elnoyle question again...
hello great and exalted, super-duper-mega-ultra-powerful-crazy-sexy-cool Oracle,

i'm trying to get squall's ultimate weapon, but i cant figure out how to get pulse ammo. i know that i can get them from a laser cannon, and energy crystals, but i can't figure out how to get those. i know that you kill elnoyles to get energy crystals in esthar, but whenever i fight one, i cant seem to get another one. so i want to know an easy/semi-quick way to get them. thanks.


There's a guy, in all black, on the upper-left side of Esthar (er, that name's right.. right?) who is always an Elnoyle, and you use Ammo Mod (GF Skill) to turn the Energy Crystals into Pulse Ammo.

I love FFT Questions, but I feel sorry for you all when I move on to Tactics Ogre. :)
Er, right, FFT question... um... Is there any easy way to beat Gafgarion outside Lionel Castle? What level should I be at, and what kind of backup party should I take with me?


I actually just did this, and well, I went down and used "Weapon Break" on him. Pissed his little Gafgarion-butt off, I'll tell ya. Shame I didn't have "Steal", because those swords are pretty good that he uses.

Agrias, put down that chainsaw, and listen to me!
Mr Oracle,

In case anyone didn't think to try this, a cool Final Fantasy Tactics trick is turning Agrias into a ninja. Being that her worst stat is probably her speed, the ninja class works very well for her. Don't forget to equip the knight's 'equip sword' ability so that her 2nd skill can be her holy sword attacks. then she's fast, can attack with two holy swords, can use all her sword techs, and throw weapons and balls too! This makes some of those chapter 3 and 4 battles a LOT easier.

Dude, that is awesome.. I just might try that.. the only problem would be that she couldn't use holy sword techs along with hitting twice.. but oh well. :)



Heh.. no thanks.. I just ate.

How many boards would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored?
~SmartLaine "Be careful or be roadkill!"

I like that. It's clever. Clever is good. Are you taking notes?

My B-day is Saturday, and then I'm not going to be a sugar bowl anymore. Yay!

No more two handles?? What happened.. did one break off?

My psychiatrist won't take me back!!!!! He says I'm too far in the Hole of Oblivian!!!! HELP ME!!!!!!!! ................I'll give you a cookie if you help me.

Okay, but you need to mow the lawn first. You thought you could get away from that?

In japan, Saga Frontier II came with a Legend of Mana demo...So does the US vesion of SFII have the LoM demo too?

Well, I looked in the case.. and mine didn't. So I'd assume nobody's did.

What would followers of Brad be called. Are they called Bradists, Bradionians, mayhaps they're just called Steve. One more question, can I be a high priest of Bradism? Please, it'd make me so happy!

Sure dude. Whatever makes you happy. And I'd prefer they were call Bradists, personally.

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a monkey.

Haven't you always wanted a monk~ee!

Bare Naked Ladies

Dude, I didn't know BNL wrote in to my column! How cool!.. I only have one response for that line, though: "Hey. Would you like to buy a monkey?"

I'm depressed. Gimmee a dolphin.

~The Sack~

Sorry, all I've got left is this dead baby seal, with its head bashed in.

Words from the Wise One:

Well, there's still a lot left, but it's a pain in the ASS writing this thing through windows, and I'll do a better job tomorrow... gonna cut out a bit early, but we'll be on a roll, (with buttah!) tomorrow. Promise!

Brad " I ate ate ate ate ate ate ate ate ate ate ate ate ... ATE it when the H key doesn't work. :( " Lohr

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