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Brad Lohr, The Oracle - April 8 '00

Word up, my homeys. Yeah. I'm so g-funk that I am. You know it, yee yee.

That moment of weirdness was sponsored by Cocaine. Cocaine, the drug that'll make you go crazy, and cost you your life's savings while doing it.

So anyhow, what's up, kiddos? Ya'll having fun? I sure am.. I'm sittin' here, doing my thing.. just .. having fun. Or something.

Well, the speech yesterday went better than it probably should have, but that's fine by me. The inclass essay was somewhat weak, but oh well. Oddly enough, I'm doing the best in my English and Speech classes.. well, I'm not doing so bad in my Programming class, (even if it is programming in Ada.. ew.)

Physics, on the other hand.. ain't goin' so hot. It sucks.. I'm just not doing homework, and well, that formal lab writeup that was due last Tuesday? Haven't even started. Wah. I'm a lop.

Oh well, after that beautiful dissertation on Brad's school habits.. it's the weekend, and so let's act that way. RAR!

I got column for you!

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Asheron's Call
Heh.. shadows attacked everything last night .. lots of death. I was at work.
B.R.A.D. .. huh? :P
It's about time somone revealed this. They told me not too but ive been silent too long! Everyone knows how every badguy in most RPG's has some sort of teleport spell/cantrip/magic that they use to leave when the good guys start getting an edge. Well I have discovered where they go!! Its a place in the farthest reaches of the galaxy called Badguys Resort and Diner (B.R.A.D) They all sit around plotting there next move and telling each other what losers they are. It was founded by Ghaleon who still currently runs it today! Last week I managed to record this conversation with a few of its regulars.

Sephiroth: "Damn that Cloud... even under my mind control he still manages to thwart my plans. No matter I still have my black....

Seifer: "Hey Sephie, you still bummed out cause you cant defeat some twerp? Good god how in the hell could you NOT kill a skinny little dork like Cloud??"

Sephiroth: "Thats it Seifer, lets see how you take a blast of Fire3!" <Pulls out fire Materia>

Seifer: "What the hell is that thing?"

Sephiroth: "Its Materia, or didnt you know? EVERYONE usese Materia."

Seifer: "Magic in a can? Weird....check this out!" <Draws Supernova from Sephiroth> "Hey this is pretty cool! Nice spell Sephie!"

Sephiroth: "How...? You just took my Supernova! And without Materia! You little..."

Wiegraf: <Teleports in> "DAMN THAT RAMZA! I was just in Orbonne Monastery and I thought things were doing great! I brought along 2 Knights, 2 Archers, and a Wizard. I took out his Lancer, and thats all I manage to accomplish before Ramza whips us all using his fists! All I had to do was cast Fire4 and I would have had him!"

Sephiroth: "Wait a minute Fire4? I must speak with you sometime!"

Seifer: "Fire? Oh you must mean Firaga!" <Casts Firaga on Weigraf>

Wiegraf: "Ouch DAMN thats hot Seifer! Thats it! Your gonna..." <loud crash followed my weird laughter is heard in the background>

Sephiroth: "We had better take this conversation elsewhere, Kefka's here!"

Well the truth has finally been revealed and I can profit, er sleep better at night!

-Vengeance "I ratted out for a dollar!"

P.S. I promise to send more conversations as I get them!

Heh. All I have to say is that there'd be a huge number of TacRPG bad guys in there.. they're always taking off to come back later. How unfortunate. FOR THEM.

DSL Questions
This isn't RPG related, but it seems that little is anymore in this column....
  1. What does DSL stand for?

    Y'know, after that smartass comment about little being about RPGs anymore, you're lucky I like to talk about things .. so nyah. Anyway, DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line, if I recall correctly.. (checking)..yes, that's what it stands for.

  2. Is it really as superfast as you claim?

    I've gotten speeds of over 100k/sec on the line, but it's easily regularly around 30k/sec. It's fast, dude.

  3. Is it available all over the country? (such as in a rural area)

    It has limited availability, you should check with your phone company, as thay're the folk who do it.

  4. Does it require a load of new hardware?

    Mine doesn't. I have a 'DSL Modem' which is basically something about the size of a textbook (a bit smaller), that connects to the phone line, then that has a CAT5 output that goes to either your computer, or in my case, an Ethernet Hub .. which connects all the computers in the house.

  5. Is it expensive?

    We're paying $80/mo for the line, and 5 static IP addresses. The 'basic' service has a dynamic IP address and costs about half as much.. but the static IPs were important to us.

I'm really tired of putting along at maximum speeds of 4k per second (and that's on a really good day!). I need a new internet source :(

Check into Cable Modems as well.. where I don't really like them as much, they're quicker than modem, and more widely available.

--Da Red Gobbo

Santie Claus is comin' tonight!
** SO2 Spoilers, sorta ***

i was reading the questions on april 7 about a shop keeper in the cave of trials.

well after going there,completely beating it and after accidentilly turning off indelacio's limiter forcing me to go there and pump my group up to levels around 250 i know for a fact that the sales man comes randomly but he does sell kick ass stuff like this stone you can sell to him for more then you paid for it. cool huh

p.s. i have beaten indilacio with limiter off ( not a joke)

from: will duggan

There ya go, kids. Someone actually crazy enough to know the answer has spoken... Heh!

Heh.. this is rather cool, actually..
Idol Dying
by Greg Campbell

The sun blazed, scorching those below,
Sizzling the flow of tears and awakening hate,
From on this day, only minutes ago,
Another man joined the plane of history,
A peaceful man who had it coming,
Falling from the grace of life,
And another man replied to him,
Acting in avengement, powered by rage,
Going after the hand of Death,
Armed with only a sword,
They fought where all could see,
In the square of the crimson sun,
But he'd forgotten one crucial point,
The mortal hand can't beat the hand of death,
And so he fell in the crimson square,
The hand of Death now a mortal hand,
Body of a god no longer,
Now subject to mortal authority,
So the hand of Death passes on,
Now to the ruling figure,
Who, by law, took the hand of Death upon himself,
Killing the murderer of these two men...
Miles away a woman waits,
Anxious to hear news of her lover,
Now she hears the truth and weeps,
For he is gone now,
Killed by the murderer that was her cousin,
Wanting to be left alone,
So she is lie and cry,
And desperately wants to die,
Taking a dagger from its restful sheath,
She examines it and prepares to thrust,
Downward toward her life's cage,
With the fury of a thousand blazings,
And she does,
So sadly does another fall,
With a frantic scream,
Enough to alert her unwary father,
Who comes quickly,
Too late to save her,
Yet in time to witness another idol dying.

(An alternate ending to R+J as written by me. Inspired when I was in this for a school play and Tybalt killed Romeo in the scene.)

-EE "Two Most Silent"

Very well done .. an' I don't wanna hear any of you guys bitching about this being not RPG related. This is cool, and well, it related to something from the column yesterday.

Large Memory Cards: Is your PSX at risk?
Hey Lohracle,

A while ago I was reading GamePro and I came upon an interesting article. It (WatchDog, by the way) stated that extra memory peripheral memory cards were dangerous to a system because anything over 15 blocks could short out the controller ports of a PlayStation (a Sony employee said this) and I'm wondering if it's true. Do you have one? Where can I find some, if they're "safe"?

I owned a "Mega Memory" card (8 pages of 15) for a while, and well, I recently ditched it for a few reasons. One of them was the worry that it'd screw something up somewhere. Another reason was the damned thing kept on losing data. I'd lose ALL the stuff off one page every few months. Very VERY annoying. Now I'm not sure whether or not these cards can damage the controller port, but it's a possibility. I now have 4 of the colored Sony cards, and am fairly happy with that. I hear a great alternative to all that is going with the little disk drive, however. Sounds good to me.. and you can also download other people's saves from the 'net... groovy!

Square for the DC?
A lad came into the Software Etc today and asked me (since I work there) if the rumors were true. Does Square mean to develop Final Fantasy games for the Dreamcast? I've never heard of such a thing, and it offended me to the core just to think about it. So, what about it, Lohracle? Evil Sega plot to get more customers?


All I have to say about this is to watch RPGamer's front page, and check out the news. Something like that wouldn't get past Stom, he's too much of a smartass , news fanboy good worker to let that happen!

Hahaha.. Star Wars humor.. I love it.
Hey, this may not be about RPGs, but I think I've given this a lot more thought than any RPG...

Star Wars and the interesting (operative word: INTERESTING) battle conclusions. Hey, George Lucas did a great job writing and all... but... Well, you be the judge.

The Empire/Federation has made a *few* mistakes in their role as galaxy's predator, one as such in Episode One. If the droids can't be autonomous, why bother having redundant droid control nodes somewhere else? Nope, just put all the hardware on the command ship (a'la Independence Day). They made sure not to shield the landing bay, and also wanted to put the very fragile reactor core within line of sight of hundreds of weapon bearing droids and spaceships; probably to enhance the drab decor. But, I could grant them the mistake this FIRST time. Let's look at Episodes 4-6.

Episode 4. Over forty years later, and we're still being a little careless with our reactors. So, we need to vent all the volatile gasses of our fusion reactor into space, and to be extra safe, we'll "ray shield" the bugger of an exhaust shaft, which is silly anyway, since a "ray" would have to make a 90 degree turn to get down the shaft anyway. And while we're at it, let's NOT bother putting any rebar across it, in case a Mynock decides to nest in it, or a stray torpedo manages to pull a hairpin curve and make it down the tube. And also, lets make sure that if the reactor gets all blow'd up, it doesn't simply make a toxic mess in the core, let's be SURE that our nuclear fuel goes critical mass instead of venting into space. Live and learn, I guess.

Episode 5. Our ATATs are impenetrable! But "Oops!" we didn't count on the possibility that those darn rebels would be out ice-fishing for gigantic snow whales and would have 200 ton test-line on their conveniently armed Snow Speeder harpoon guns! No sir, was not handy. Good ole Cloud City and those conveniently placed weather vanes and TV antennas. Oh, how it's always a good idea to stick them directly beneath a garbage chute, so that any tampons, newspapers, or odd dead bodies that come flying through have got something to get tangled in.

Episode 6. OK, our reactors are still finicky when they get shot at, but now we've got ray AND particle shields so those pesky ships can't get close to our contraptions. But darn it, we forgot to give our badass super star destroyer an auxiliary bridge somewhere deep inside where there aren't any windows. Boy, were our faces red when those pesky kids trashed our shields and crashed into the living room. Yep,we lost ALL sorts of control. Wasn't another steering wheel to be found in the entire 50 mile long spaceship. Also kinda handy how our biker-goons down in the forest never noticed a herd of teddie bears lofting 2-billion pound tree trunks into the canopy, or clear-cutting an avalanche slope down to our AT-ST path and how they never finished building that log cabin way up at the top of the hill.

The Empire not the military mastermind you once thought? Maybe they'll learn for Episode II...

<rpg> Tactics roolz.

Manji, immortal ronin

I laughed, I cried.. I nearly wet my pants. :D

But are they Eeeevil Quickies?

Dear Brad,

I'd like to ask you about something that's very dear to my heart, but not many RPG fans like to discuss it. It's something that is just waiting to happen, but no RPG developer will try it. It's got to be done eventually. You know what I'm talking about. Synchronized swimming mini-games! It's the future of RPG gameplay. It makes perfect sense!

- Underwater Researcher

Heh.. only FF7 would have mini-games dumb enough to compare to synchnroized swimming. Now I did like a good many of the mini-games in FF7, but stuff like breathing into that little girl? Uh. I'd have to say that the sub game was my favorite. What's your favorite mini-game? What's your least favorite? Tell me!

To learn to read Japanese, do I need to learn Kanji? Keep in mind that I only want to learn it so that I can play imports, and do not need to learn to speak it.

Since I actually don't have the desire to learn myself, I don't know. Lots of other people do know, however, so I'm sure there'll be a good well-thought out answer for you tomorrow.
Possible FF2j spoilers!

Hey Steve,

Just to clear something up about yesterday, when someone said that Final Fantasy 2's main character was Lionel. He was wrong, Final Fantasy 2's main character is Frioniel, Lionel (or Lionheart is another way of spelling it) is the one who is with the group at the start and becomes the Dark Knight and re-joins the group when the Emperor Paramekia is revived. Hmm, maybe you should label this FF2j spoilers if it gets printed (not like anyone cares about FF2j).

Third letter I've gotten to today, third one in the quickies.. but I really don't have much to say to this one, either. Maybe I'm just taciturn today. Wait.. me? Taciturn? Hahahaha... riiight.

Are you still touching me??

--Ardor (Don't you have a kingdom to run?)

OoOohehehehehhehe.. that tiiickles!

-- Brad (My tummy feels funny.. BUUURRRRRRRPPP)


Now, I know practically diddly squat about many RPGs. I enjoy the site though. I was a tad disturbed by UZ's comments on Faris from FFV. I mean, come on now.... How can you call Faris a hottie? Seriously, if the rest of the cast couldn't even tell he was really a she, how hot can she be? Besides, she's only 16bit, and 2D. If you wanna see a hottie, it's gotta be someone like Aeris, or Quistis. Now those are hotties.... *grin*


Hey, different folks like different things. Maybe it's the purple hair..

Damn! Mercutio dies?! Thanks for ruining the rest of the story. Now I wouldn't read it except for the fact that I'd fail english....

Sorry.. forgot to mark it with a *** Possible Romeo and Juliet Spoilers *** tag. :P

Hi Brad :)

If it helps with your disappointment from yesterday, I'm going to a Weird Al Concert at the Open Air Theater in July!


Been to two of his concerts already so :P`,`,`,`

Statistic from Men's Health Magazine
for people who use a computer over 28 hours a week percentage who have some form of social disorder:


Yeah, mine is that I answer you guys' questions all the time :P

Riemann sums are the work of the devil.


Preach it, brother. I hate those damned things.

Who the @&$% is this guy "Steve"?

As if you don't know. Stop teasing, Steve.

Why are the cookies in your closet?? Why?? Set them free! I beg of you!!

-Cookie Queen-

Not until they pay their taxes. Period.


- sorbie


The only bad thing about this new design is that you can't put in any "hidden messages". :(

--Toby,...the real one.

Of course you can't... I didn't put one under the signature either.

Closing Comments:

Well, there's Saturday. Remember.. tomorrow is Urban Zombie and myself.. so ask something stupid, and you'll probably get a stupid funny response... from either one of us. It'll be comedy day, or something. We'll have fun. See you then. Out.

Brad "Yay! Transparent background BlinkeyMe! Thanks to everyone who sent one in." Lohr