The Oracle
Baby's got an Atom Bomb
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - March 4 '00- 13:00 PST

Yo. What's up? Here we are, another day.. another bit of sunshine, welcoming us to.. .. okay, nevermind. I didn't get to bed until like 4:30am this morning... what a horrible idea that was... so, how's YOUR day? :)

I'm actually not doing all that poorly, I slept in till 10am, ate some food, (well, not much).. played a game of chess with Spencer, (who is actually quite good..), and then here I am.

Chess, you might ask? Who plays THAT old game.. man.. the graphics on that game suck! There's no plot.. just a bunch of characters with these orbs running around trying to save the wor-- oh, sorry. Anyhow, yeah, my exg/f actually bought me this nice chess set, and I hadn't even opened it until last night, and then Kev and I played.. 1-1.. maybe I'll get back into playing chess.. it's a great game. I love it.

So anyhow... what's up for today and the column.. not much.. have some stuff left over from yesterday, (okay, only like 6 emails, but there was some good stuff in there!) .. and then all the today stuff, which I haven't even looked at yet. :) We'll see how it all turns out.. see you at the bottom!

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Brad Now Playing:
Asheron's Call
Final Fantasy Tactics
.. Up till 4:30am playing AC last night.. wah. And Elmdor, I will steal your damn stuff!
In Brad's Head
No! I don't like friends!
Hey Brad,

In FFT, when you get cloud to 'bout level 70, if you make him a monk he does around 500 damage each hit. Set him up with two swords and he makes T.G.Cid look like a pansy.. Also when you use skills that raise Faith/Courage it permanately increases their stats.I got all my mages to about 92 faith with this..Kicks ass.I'm sorry..Jusy wanted to waste some of your time.

Can I be your friend?,

At level 70, everyone makes eveyrone at lv40 look like a pansy, dude. Orlandu does a full 999 shot with them holy swords of his at like level 40-something, often enough... I've actually stripped Orlandu of his Excalibur, and given it to Agrias, since she's cool.

Memory Card Blues
i'm 40 hours into grandia, a stunning game by the way, and i go to load my game yesterday and it says, 'checking memory card' and then 'memory card unformatted' and it wont load, is my data lost forever? what can i do? and oh yeah, its one of those 'mega memory cards' with 25 blocks, its just over two years old, i'm on block 9, thanks for any help you can give me,

Desperate Davey

I don't know of any way to recover memory card data that's been lost due to those damned Mega Memory Cards. I had one, myself for a while, and after the 3rd time I lost everything on it, I finally went out, and bought regular memory cards.. I have 4 of them right now, and a neat CD-Jewel Case with an insert made especially for PSX Memory Cards.. it's WAY cool. Heather gave it to me :D She's the best.

"Yeah, I got my BS in FFT"...
Greetings Oracle,

I just found this news article:,4586,2455068,00.html

An "Interdisciplinary Gaming Studies Program...." I wonder if it is a coincidence that the courses were being offered at the University of California at IRVINE. Anyway, here is a list of courses I think they should offer:

  • History of Console Systems
  • 2D Graphics vs. 3D: An Historical Overview
  • Linear Story Progression in Modern RPG's
  • Calculus-based Hit Point Calculation Systems
  • Differential Joystick Calibration
  • Critical Study of 3D Studio-Generated Models
  • Character Generation: A Modeling Perspective
  • Advanced Uematsu for Music Majors
  • Japanese Society and RPG's
  • Final Fantasy and its Relation to Greek Mythology
  • Xenogearian Philosophy
  • Religious Studies: Christianity in Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Artificial Attack-Defense Intelligence
  • Undergraduate Writing Program: Beauty in Code Dynamics
  • Introductory Nanotechnology, taught by Professor Krelian
  • History of Societal Views of Video Games
  • Physics of Magic
  • Kefkanity
  • Study of Live Nanotechnology Colonies
  • Senior Seminar on Mute Main Characters
  • Speech and Debate for Madmen and Madwomen
- Lord "No, I do NOT lick the pooms!" Veniteo

Heh.. getting a college degree in video gaming would be the dream of waaaay too many kids. Of course, if you could actually DO such a thing for a living (and I suppose many people do).. then, hey.. more power to ya. I'm doing the DB Programming thing.. wouldn't know about programming video games... but who knows.. the future holds many odd things.

I am a magical being
Just a quick question for really all the Q&A hosts: Do you guys ever use strategy guides (from Prima or Brady Games, for example) when answering questions? You guys seem to have a lot of info from obscure areas in games. I don't even remember 80% of the stuff I did in Grandia, and I'm playing that right now.


A lot of the stuff comes from memory. If you didn't smoke so much pot, you'd remember what it's like to remember things. Remember? Heh, heh. Anyway, I do have a couple Prima strategy guides, I may have a Brady or two, and I do refer to them when I need to. Paws has told me that she buys the guides, because she likes the posters that comes in them. Interior decoration is the ONLY thing she needs those guides for, I'm sure ;). As for myself, I like to go through a game for the first time without any sort of guide, though near the end of a game, I sometimes look at FAQs to try and do SOME of the neat little things that the programmers threw in near the end.. I mean, some of that stuff would be insane to find on your own (Deep Dungeon?) .. anyhow.. but a lot of the stuf comes from uus just remembering cool stuff we did in games.. sometimes we have to do research too, but not TOO often.

I'm a cucumber.
Hello Southen Oracle,

How are you? Hope you're always happy like any sunny whether. I got some questions for ya...

  1. What do you think of Squall and Rinoa together?

    He's a jerk, she's naive beyond all else... 20 years down the line, she's going to wish she'd liked Zell, at least he paid attention to what he liked.. Just because his face looks like a roadmap.....

  2. What ending did you get for Star Ocean 2?(I got Claude and Ashton seaching how to exocist the dragons without killing them, Rena...well she and her stepmom change positions (imagine that!) and the rest are all 'lonely')

    I got Claude with Rena, Ashton and Celine, .. and the rest I can't rememeber. It's been a while, and I didn't stop playing once I beat the game.. I just beat the game to sorta beat it.. there are so many more challenging things to do than just beat the last boss. :)

  3. What made you add your name?

    ... I don't understand the question?

  4. What made you work for Rpgamer?

    Alex K, Palidor, forced me to do it. I swear.. I was like, "No, dady, no!" but .. well, .. I wasn't strong enough.. someday.. I'll have ULTIMATE PO-- .. riiiight

  5. If you found out that one of your friends is an alien, what will you do? (Call the FBI?, leave your friend alone? or 'type yourself')

    What do you mean, 'If'.. ?

  6. Who is the leader of Rpgamer?

    Mike Tidwell owns, operates, and does nude photography for, (and our other site, ''

  7. When did you first work for Rpgamer?

    I started in early June of '99 .. doing editorials, then moving to Q&A, after not being able to stand the tedium.

  8. Just how old are you?

    I'm currently 21 years old, and will turn 22 on September 7th of this year.

  9. And lastly, which Final Fantasy do you think is the best?

    I'm personally partial to 6, though I really like both 4 and 5 a lot too.

Thank you very much if you answer this!


Oh, moose army THIS
Braddy fella...

I have dedicated my only life to obey you... so before I go to the "The Monkey Monastery of Brad" and give all my money to you... I'd like to ask you couple of questions...!

  1. Is "Southern Oracle" your evil twin brother, or do you look like that before your first cup of coffee...?

    1. I dont' drink coffee, and 2. I look so much worse in the morning than I normally do, it's not even funny.

  2. Which is better FF7 or FF8? (I think FF7 is much better)

    I'd go with FF8, I had a lot of fun with that game.

  3. Will Square publish Xenogears platinium edition? (..I don't have the game [please don't kill me!!])

    Nope.. go buy a used copy of the original.

  4. What is the best RpG game you have played on SNES/NES/PLAYSTATION?

    Beyond the Beyond. :) .. nah, I like Tactics Ogre, Star Ocean 2.. those are both really good. FFT is what I'm playing recently (couldn't you all tell?) .. yeah.

  5. Can I have your hat...?

    Yes, please.. take it. :P

I sense much Windows in you.. bevare of the Bill side

Webziz "king of my moose army"

Look guys, I'm Palmer!
Maybe you could help me with there, somewhere in Webland, a definitive list of all the ways to affect your characters' friendship/romantic levels? The last time I played through, I went out of my way to try to piss Claude off, and yet here I am stuck with him at the end again. I know about the book trick, and also that it only works to a point, and I have a sneaking suspicion that books and PAs aren't the only thing that have an effect, but I'd love to be able to verify that with the words of soneone who knows what the hell they're talking about. Thanks!

Sailor Solathei
"Look, guys! I'm Palmer! 'Hey-hey! Hey-hey! Hey-h--OH
SH- *whump*' "
--A very drunk Reeve

I hate to tell you, but the books and PAs are the only ways that I know that you can change how the characters feel about eachother.. there might be one or two little things other than that, that you can do.. but none of them come to mind. You can do a lot of damage with the PAs, as far as feelings go.. check out some of the FAQs, I know I found one that listed how you could affect each character with each PA.

Somehow, this doesn't fit my idea of a sequel, but hey...

In your last comlumn, somebody wrote in inquireing about a Chrono Trigger sequel for the SFC which never made it to America, and you claimed that it was "totally untrue". Actually, there was a sequeal for Chrono Trigger on the SFC released back in 1996 called "Radical Dreamers". What's more, its not only a sequel, but a DIRECT sequel--A rarity for Square. The reason you may never have heard of it is because it is EXTREMELY obscure. It was released for an add-on system to the SFC called the Satteleview (better known to people who bought it as the 'worst failure in the history of videogaming'). The Satteleview worked by having a reciever unit that Japanese families could hook up to their sattelite systems that allowed them to download games from sattelite broadcasts onto blank SFC ROM carts. Sound like an interesting idea? Well, there were two faults in the system: 1.) you could only download games for a one hour period each week, and 2.)they stopped broadcasts after only about two months, effectively rendering the unit itself (which was not at all cheap, BTW) into a rather clunky doorstop. Anyway, long story short, in the short period of time that games WERE being broadcast, a couple of really interesting ones were released including 8 by everyone's favorite RPG company, Square. I've included a list of those 8 for people curious about it:

Chrono Trigger Special Jetbike Addition
Chrono Trigger Music Library
Chrono Trigger Character Library
Radical Dreamers (the elusive Chrono Trigger sequel that somehow was
released back in 1996 without anyone in America knowing
about it)
Treasure Conflict
Koi Wa Balance
Dynamai Tracers
Tatoeba, K-Kun no Tabou na Ichinichi

Anyway, to answer the reader's other question of "Does it have any crucial story lines?", let me respond with an entusiastic 'YES!'. I have actually played Radical Dreamers all the way through (not an easy feat... for those who do not know, Radical Dreamers is an entirely text-based game in Japanese, although I'll admit it is not very long--5 or 6 hours probably), and let me say, the plot is quite interesting. It is a real shame that the game slipped through so un-noticed. The first thing that one should know about the plot of Radical Dreamers is that it IS actually a direct sequel to Chrono Trigger. Only one of the characters returns in playable form (Magus or 'Maou'), but there are many other connecting elements. For example the Grandlion (Masamune in the American CT) plays a major role in Radical Dreamers, as does the 'Time Egg'. Radical Dreamers explains the fate of at least 3 of the characters from CT (I say 'at least' because, like CT, there are multiple endings--7 to be precise--and frankly, its too difficult to play a text adventure in Japanese for me to explore it enough to find the other 6 endings). I should note that there is one ending that is like the 'Black Omen' ending in CT, in that it is accepted as the 'Main' ending, while all the others are more-or-less optional (this of course being the one that I have actually gotten).

The other major thing that I feel I should mention about the plot of Radical Dreamers is that while CT had a fairly 'light' and 'happy' feel to it, Radical Dreamers is the polar opposite. It is quite dark and sad, and the ending (at least the 'Main' one) is down-right depressing, as well as confusing and just 'eerie'.

Finally, if you do not mind, I would like to take this opportunity to plug a project that I have been toiling over for the past couple months: I have a complete script of Radical Dreamers that I have been translating into English. I am about one third done, but it is sort of a slow proccess. There is quite a lot of text in RD, but I would like to have it done by the time CC comes out in America. Anyway, if you would like, I could write in with an alert of when I am finished, since I'm sure there are at least some CT fans out there interested in what actually happened to Crono and the gang after the end of CT. Thank you for your time.

-Eric Reichel -

Well, there you go.. obscure text-based sequels to Chrono Trigger.. what'll they think of next?

Gale Ring, Demon Ring, Ring around your Bathtub Ring...
Hey, Brad!

I saw that question from Xelloss-kun about Lunar and well, I know five hundred people will write in with the same thing, but I just had to do it anyway. Lunar's really captured my love, and I wouldn't have even gotten it if it weren't for the recommendations in this column. ^_^

The item to get the extra attack is the Gale Ring and you do get it from Lily, but in order to get it you need to have talked to her before she's kidnapped until she repeats herself. Then, after Vane falls go talk to her and she'll give it to you. (Oh yeah, the Hell Ring is a must also, halves MP used... you get it from Damon in the Spire after Vane falls also.)

Oh, yeah, I asked you way back when for help with a battle in FFT... thanks! I finally beat that execution site! Now I'm trying to get skills to beat the next one... I'm so bad at tactical games. ^_^; I've had FFT since it first came out and haven't beaten it yet, thanks to that ONE battle... two years?! Argh!

Anyway, hope this was of some use!

Amanda Swiftgold, proud RPGirl and rememberer of all the fun game secrets

There you go... I only played through Lunar once, and really haven't looked back since.. it was a great game.. just didn't need to do it again, y'know? But a lot of people love this game.. and for good reason.

8 Round Deathmatch!
Hey, Brad,

Okay, I could use a hand with this one, Brad. I know you aren't playing SaGa Frontier II, but I am totally, and I mean totally, stuck. I don't know who better to ask than yourself, so... There's this strategic battle a ways into the game where you must either last 8 turns or kill the enemy general, and avoid having your HQ invaded or general killed. Well, the enemies are WAY more powerful than you, and I don't see how this is even possible to beat at all. I can beat the regular guys, who are better than you anyway, but the general and his elites just mow my guys down, and there's nothing I can do about it. So, could you please ask the readers or someone you know about this? I wouldn't ask but I really am stuck. Oh, and my take on the game is that it's awesome. Take SaGa Frontier, lose all the bad things about it, add some very nice graphics and you have SaGa II... Well, I'll go. Thanks, and happy trails,


Well, if I actually got to PLAY the game.. just kiddin'.. Spencer is playing my copy, so I haven't had the chance to play it, but then, I probably wouldn't be playing it, even if he was, since i'm stuck on FFT right now.. (stuck as in focused on it, not unable to get beyond a certain point), but I'm sure someone out there knows how to do this stuff... so let's hear it!

Chaos Blades...
Hi Steve:

I've heard that you can find Chaos Blades and other stuff (using Move To Find Item) on level 10 of the Deep Dungeon. But in some FAQs, I've read that the only way to get Chaos Blades is to catch them from ninja's that appear on level 9. Since I can't verify this, because I gave Tactics it to a friend for a while (you know who you are!), I decided to ask you instead of wasting my time figuring it out by myself. Which one is it?

-The guy formally known as Steve-

The only way I've ever heard of getting Chaos Blades is through the catch method. I'm pretty sure you can find some interesting stuff on the ground in the Deep Dungeon with Move/Find Item, but not Chaos Blades, sorry.


Why aren't there any quickies today?

Well, there are.. but they suck.

Words from the Wise One:

Well, that took a lot longer than I thought it would.. which sucks.. oh well, I kinda rushed at the end, but we'll do it again tomorrow, I promise!

Brad "Baby buddy baby boy! Buddy baby boy, buddy boy!" Lohr

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