The Oracle
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The Oracle, Brad Lohr - March 5 '00- 09:00 PST

Alright.. here we are.. another day, another Q&A. Got some answers to things I asked for.. got some corrections (doh!) .. and best of all.. got a funny thing to tell you about right now!

So we're at dinner, looking at the personals, (Ben, Kevin, myself, and Heather).. and Ben shows us this classified ad, that starts with one word highlighted:


That's it... goes on to say other stuff, but nothing even linking the word herpes to the rest of the ad. Thought it was REALLY weird. We laughed for a while.

Anyway, I'm about ready to get goin' here.. hope you guys are... lots of stuff!

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Brad Now Playing:
Asheron's Call
Final Fantasy Tactics
Should be done with FFT pretty soon, then on to Tactics Ogre!
Macro-Leveling on Asheron's Call?
Hiya......Lohr-acle...what's happening?

Anyway, in Ascheron's Call, is there any cheap way of macroing skill gain without even being at the computer. I haven't played AC but i play UO a lot. Uo probably isn't as good but what is really annoying is how players can set up macro programs to power up there characters overnight or when there not home. So, to get revenge, if I see some player who looks like there macroing fishing in a unpopular part of town, I lure a troll over to them during an really pisses ppl off.

I can't think of anything that would work the same way as the macro-leveling in UO.. most of the actions you need to preform require targeting before hand, or other things that would just require a bit too much AI to program into anything but a complex little TSR program that did it for you.. though I suppose there are definitely more than a few people out there with the smarts to do that.. what I really want for that program is just a little app that sits in the background, remembering what your ingame coordinates are, and when you die, just stores that information in a little buffer.. I'm always losing my corpses way out in the middle of frickin' nowhere... wah.

Wrong twice in one weekend.. sorry guys, it's just that time of the month...
A couple days ago, you said that the only way to get chaos blades was to catch them from ninjas on the 9th floor of the deep dungeon, while I know for a fact that you can get it with move find item on the 10th, and I'm pretty sure it's at the highest point on the battle field. But be carefull because if the character with move find item has a high brave you will likely get a measely pheonix down instead.
~ t.c.

Not even 3 hours after writing that, I get home, look in my own FFT Strat guide, and yup, there it is.. a Chaos Blade that you can Move-Find Item and get.. right in the Deep Dungeon. Sorry about the mis-information, guys.. it's just been that kind of week, or something. As a note, today I got the "Ultimate" Javelin and Shield off of the twin pillars in the Nelveska Temple battle.. that was a tough one! Had to bring in a Chocobo, and get someone with 5 jump to ride the chocobo, go up to the pillar, dismount, get the item, go back onto the chocobo, ride over to the other pillar, dismount again, and all that while Worker7-new was busy clobbering poor Agrias and Beowulf with his smash-techs. :( But I got 'em.. anybody for Ultimate Lancer?

More Info on Chaos Blades in the Deep Dungeon
Greetings again, Oracle!

In Level 10 of Deep Dungeon - End - there are four items. Two elixirs, the best katana - Chirijiraden - and a Chaos Blade. A description: the highest point there is a square of nine panels. The four corners contain the items. There are no traps there, though. I've tested it myself, and that's the way it is. Also, as far as I know, this is the only way of getting the Chirijiraden. Som people claim that you can catch it, but if that's true it's EXTREMELY rare. I was down on Horror and catched 47 Chaos Blades, 36 Javelins (the best spear - attack 30), 26 Scorpion Tails (best flail, attack 23), some Excaliburs, some Defenders, Koga Knives, etc etc. But no Chirijiradens. Trust me on this.

Please post this, since it will help at least the guy in today's column. Thanks.


There ya go.. I'm sure as heck gonna be the catch-master when it gets down to Horror, that sounds like loads of fun. :)

The SaGa Frontier call for help has been answered!
In response to person who wrote on help on beating that saga frontier 2 battle I will offer some tips. This battle is ludcrously difficult and unfair. You will have to get lucky in this fight. The way I finally beat it is by:
  1. divide your force in half. Move 3 soldiers and 1 archer as far as possible to the enemy on the right. Move 2 soldiers and 1 archer to the left. Move David up 2 spots. Get as close to the enemy as possible.
  2. With a lot of luck you will kill these guys very quickly. By turn 2 or 3. Some tips on killing the soldiers. The Lawnmower attack is effective if you have the archers supporting you. If lucky 1 lawnmower attack will kill a soldier. I reccomed using the flame spear attack too since it is the most powerful but also the most slow. The lawnmower attack will usually 1/2 time attack before the soldiers do. You should also usually when going 4v4 in the battles have at least 1 soldier defending. They usually like to attack the individuals in the front so make one of them defend. I like to have my the 2 soldiers in the back do flame spear and have 1 in the front do lawnmower and have the other 1 defend. Don't stick to this though you must mix up your attacks and take risks to win the battle. Try to gang up and constantly kill a unit till its dead. Make sure Your archers are near your units.
  3. You must have 3 characters right in front of the steel soldiers by the end of turn 4 to block them from moving 2 spaces downward toward your camp. If you fail to do this you lose because they will infiltrate your camp if they are allowed to move more 1 space. Have these soldiers defend because their is not a chance in hell they are going to even kill 1 of the assalting steel troops. Keep having your guys defend and hold the steel troops movement to 1 square per a turn. Also try not to have David be the one defending the steel troops movement because on rare occasions you will lose that unit from being pushed back. If David dies its all over.
  4. Finnaly by the end of turn 8 the enemy will be one sqaure away from your camp and you will win.
This battle makes Wiegraf's battle from FFT look like a piece of cake
This battle took me more than 20 times to win and you can only win this battle by getting extremly lucky. I was very dissapointed by the fact Sqaure would put something like this in this game. You cannot power up before hand and you are stuck with really wimpy soldiers to use which are all the same.

This is the best I can give, there is no sure way to win this fight. Sorry this got so long but I really wanted to give this guy a better chance at winning this fight. If all else fails invest in game shark.

Sounds nasty.. I'll see what I can do when I start playing the game.. (in a couple months, maybe.. ) but this looks pretty detailed, and is solid advice. Hope that helps everyone out there who are having problems with SF2 at this point.

Naughty Battle Tactics part 2
Hey, Brad, last Saturday someone ( I think he was called Ben ) needed help with a strategic battle in Saga Frontier II ( the one where you must either last 8 turns or kill the enemy general, and avoid having your HQ invaded or general killed ). Well , I have 2 stategies for him, so I would like if ya put them in your column.( to make thing more easier, a unit on the map field will be called an "army" and a unit in a battle will be called a "unit" ) 1. First strategie given by most faqs : Hey, Brad,

last Saturday someone ( I think he was called Ben ) needed help with a strategic battle in Saga Frontier II ( the one where you must either last 8 turns or kill the enemy general, and avoid having your HQ invaded or general killed ). Well , I have 2 stategies for him, so I would like if ya put them in your column.( to make thing more easier, a unit on the map field will be called an "army" and a unit in a battle will be called a "unit" )

  1. First strategie given by most faqs : beat the regular armies, than hurry and block the way of Gustave and his armies (they start moving at turn 4) . Just defend yourself as he attack you to buy some time(around 4-5 turns). If you did it right, Gustave and Gustave's armys will be at one square at your base at the end of turn 8, so you will win. Its really hard, however, because most of the time, Gustave will enter your base at turn 8 .
  2. Super kick ass stategie given to you by the best of the best, Guillaume ( its me ).

    Beat the normal armies, then put one army south of Gustave, one southeast and another southwest of him. Then put a army 1 square north of Gustave. Put an archer army close to Gustave (so you can have support fire ). The next turn , Gustave will attack your armies , simply defend and note what unit attacked what unit and the battle formation. At your turn , replace your armies so they still close to Gustave, and attack Gustave with the army now 2 square north of him. Gustave's steel unit ALWAYS attack the same your unit in the same order [ just rember that for different formation, they will attack different people ( formation is random, but there only like 2-3 formation ) ] : simply wrote it down. Then, use DEFEND ( so it will take 2 rush to kill one unit ) for the 2 of your units that will be attacked, and use FIRE SPEAR for the 2 that won't. Using this, only 2 of your men will die, and the 2 other will do damage on the ennemies units. If you have luck, the support fire ( 120 damage total ) and the 2 fire spear attacks ( around 40-50 damage each ) will do more domage to Gustave units then the contrary ( Gustave do around 150-200 damage to you ) : Gustave will retreat. But since he have nowhere to retreat ( your 3 armies block his ways, right ) , he will fail to retreat and die. This technique look more harder , but in fact, its far more reliable : I won using it the first time I tried it , and I never won using the other one stategie even if I tried 3 time. Why ? Because you have 2-3 time to try this stategie in the battle, while if you miss the stategie#1, you are dead meat .My advise is to try Stategies #1 first, and if you know Gustave will enter before end of turn 8, use strategie #2 .

That almost looks like cheating, but hey.. if it's rough.. go for it!

Ex, as in.. Extra Crispy!
A few questions for you (hey, that's what you're here for, right?)

Correct. That is what I am here for.

  1. Was that guy serious about that "Radical Dreamers" thing, or were we just hit with April Fools a month early?

    I would assume that he wasn't kidding, as I got 20 or so letters saying the same thing.. well not quite that much, but a lot of people named the same game.

  2. Do you really think Square will be dumb enough not to release the new version CT in America? I know a lot of people who have never played it and will resort to ROMs if they don't get it this time around...

    I'd be disappointed.. I'm hoping they do bring it over, I'd buy it, and a lot of other people would, but they might not, they've been like that before. Makes us cry.

  3. EX-girlfriend? Did I miss something?

    Yeah, I have ex-girlfriends too. Heather and I are still together, but the chess set that I mentioned was from the girl I dated from about April-ish of '99 through October of '99. She's a cool gal, it just didn't work out, if you know what I'm sayin'. If yer readin', Sus, then all I've gotta say is, "word". :)

  4. Actually, I go to UC Irvine (yes, it IS a real city, and the name predates FF8 by a century or so), and I've been considering a career in video or computer game graphics, so this is like a dream come true for me. Although I doubt that the major will be in place before I graduate *sniff* but at least I can enjoy a few courses...

    Yeah, I know where Irvine is, in an almost ironic twist of fate, that's where another of my exg/f's goes to school currently... how funny. :)

- ChocoMog "Okay, so that last one wasn't a question, so what?" ZERO
Defending TO
Just curious, but how could you like TO better than Final Fantasy Tactics. I like TO, but it just pales in comparison to FFT. While TO has the advantage to train with twenty of your party at a time, and being able to save in battles, but it is still not enough. For one thing, FFT has life spells and Phoenix Downs. If one of your party dies on TO your screwed and have to start the battle over. I know there is a life spell, but no one has turned to items in my party since early in the game, so the spell is useless! Also in FFT you don't have to fight up hill, every other battle. In TO seems every battle to have to fight up hill, or against a castle. Just when you're finally able to knock off a wizard or Archer, they have a super Cleric who seems to cured the whole party! FFT just saves that for the rare big plot twisting battles. And finally, being able to save during battle allows you to manipulate the game. Don't get me wrong you absolutely need it if you want to keep your whole party alive, without any ways of reincarnation, but it just not the way I want to play. FFT is my favorite game of all-time, and while I liked TO the ease of losing key party members is just to much to continue playing.

The Great Cornholio

Alright, here I go:

  • With no life spells (well, in TO there is a life spell.. just not till later in the game.. there's actually about 3, but one is a "sacrifice yourself to bring everyone who's died back", one's a "bring them back, but as zombies" and then a real "bring someone back to life") you're forced to actually play some REAL battles.. no more put Canopus out in the middle of nowhere to take out some guy, and then WHAP!.. Canopus is dead, "Oh well! Let's beat the battle in three rounds, and he'll be okay!" .. you have to be thinking about real strategy, and keep everyone alive. I like that better.
  • Uphill? So? It's harder. Harder is more fun. I like hard tactical games.. and I've actually been through Tactics Ogre up until late Chapter 4, without losing but one person, early on.
  • I hardly ever save in the middle of the battles, and I don't really see how this can be abused to your advantage... unless I'm missing something.
  • The training mode is cool. You can do it with two players, if I remember correctly, so you could theoretically have PvP tactics! That's cool.
  • 10 people in a battle instead of 5. I'm sorry, but this could be the single point as to why TO is better than FFT, and I'd buy it.
  • Calculators are cool and all, but nothing beats having a Lich in your party.
  • Same thing for dancers and Angel Knights.
  • Whips are cool weapons.
  • At the end of FFT, you go, "What the hell happened there?" .. at the end of TO, you go, "RIGHT ON, only 7 more endings to see!"
  • Deep Dungeon: 10 floors. Hell Gate? 99 floors. Now that's a deep dungeon.
  • There's nothing like having the four sisters of Water, Wind, Fire, and Earth going around finding altars and kicking butt.
  • The replay value of TO is about 30 times that of FFT, with major decisions that completely re-write the game at the end of each chapter.
  • Because I say so.
  • Because Marek says so.

    More FFT questions, yo!
    Do you happen to know what raising your job level in FFT does besides making you eligible for other jobs? If it doesn't do anything else, then what's the point of going to lv. 8 in some jobs?

    Chris P

    Well, for one, it gives you more JP per action you do, the higher your level is.. other than that, I don't know of anything specific other than getting to other jobs, but the more JP point seems to be a good one to me.

    Good story?
    Dear Brad,

    My father thinks all video games are a waste of time(even rpgs). He wants me to read a lot more, but in RPGs the reading and story are both abundant. I later made a bet with him that if I got all A's on my report card he would play 1 game start to finsh. I want to prove my point to him by giving him a RPG with a GREAT story. What would you recomend? Thanks for your time!


    Honestly, one of the best stories out there in a game has been Xenogears. I really enjoyed the complexity and depth that they put into Xenogears. Let's see.. the Final Fantasies have some good storylines.. check those out.

    Emotion Levels in SO2, answers!
    In Star Ocean, emotion levels are also affected by how much two people fight alongside each other. If Claude and Rena are always in your party together, then they're bound to end up with each other at the end. So if you want either of them to end up with someone else, start seperating them as soon as you get 5 or more party members.

    Forgot about that. Doh. ..this has just NOT been my weekend.

    Jimmy Crack Quickies, and I don't care

    Braddy me boy-oh

    If you had a soul what would it look like, but more importantly how would it taste?

    The Fresh Prince of Darkness

    I think it'd taste very yellow.. and yes, it'd definitely match your pink lacy underwear.

    Hey! Slimey has a name you know(or at least I think it does)! Slimey's a lot better than you are!!!!!!!

    Slimey's name is mud, after what he did last night! Go to your room!

    How come when I opened a box of milk duds there was a whopper inside? And why was there a copy of Radical Dreams in the box of Cracker Jacks I just opened? I'm getting so confused? Can you help, Brad? I hope so?
    -Rinoa the (confused) Resistance Fighter

    That, and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse (though my Speech book would require me to write out, "The Four Horsepeople (Horsefolk? Horse-riding-genderless-beings?) of the Apocalypse..) are sure signs of the end of the world. Now you've ruined the party for everyone.. what do you have to say for yourself?

    Dude, I can't believe that this is my third e-mail to you in the last 24 hours, but I just HAD to call your attention to this. Most of the RPGamers that I know also like Star Wars-- and some even Shakespeare, so I thought it was valid. It's a short film titled "George Lucas in Love"-- it's hilarious and definitely worth five to ten minutes of your time.

    Here's the link:


    Heh, heh, heh.. go now!

    Words from the Wise One:

    There she be.. Sunday's column.. time for me to get outta here.. have fun, see you all on Friday!

    Brad "An RP Nazi is punctured for 34 damage by Unprecedented Loser's leet speech!" Lohr

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