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Brad Lohr, The Oracle - May 7 '00

Hey, a column up in the better half of the day it was meant for, what a concept!

... heh. It's not -too- long, compared to yesterday, however.. of course, nothing much is. Anyhow, I don't have a whole lot of time to just gab about the column, instead, I'll just DO it.


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Goog's got a big FAT head :D

Recent Q&A's


The Old stuff
The Archives
Brad Now Playing:
Asheron's Call
In Brad's Head:
I wanna buy Wild Arms2.
But I know I'm not gonna play it.. =/
... but I know I'll probably buy it to not play it anyway. wah.
Question and Answer
Oh no.. Evil Lord Brad!
Hey Brad

I am a pretty new rpg gamer like FF7 and FF8 and I love these. And I've been snoopn around ebay and Ive never played these classics like FF2, FF3, and Chrono Trigger and I really want to play these games, from what every one says about them I was wondering should I spend like $55.00 for a game like Chrono Trigger. And what other classic games for SNES do you think I should check out. -Thanx Chris

Well, let me get straight to the skinny on this.

You're not really going to like the old FF games nearly as much as you hear other people do.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, it's not because you're less of a gamer than they are, it's more of a thing where.. well, they seem dumb once you've played games with more game control and certain things have been made to .. well, look better, for one. Now I love these old games. But that's because I can remember when summonning Shiva in FF6 was like "whoa! that's so much cooler than 4!" .. but to you, it's going to be, "oh, that's a little bit LESS LAME than it was in FF4.." .. but if you really want to play these games.. (and here comes the evil part).. I totally suggest trying them out (at least, if not just going through them completely) on an Emulator. It may sound horrible, but honestly, you're going to spend $55 to live through other people's memories of good games. It -might- be worth it to you, but if it isn't, I'm not going to be the one who told you to go ahead and spend your money on it.

As a final suggestion, if you're going to buy -one- of those games, the one that still has the most 'fun factor' and still probably has graphics that won't make you balk, would be Chrono Trigger. It's a great game, and while the other's aren't bad games.. they're in series' and stuff, and CT, well, can stand on its own.

Not the Mama!

I was wondering wether you are excited about Arc the lad collection? I mean its three great RPGs in one really expensive package (drools on shoe). Also do you know anything about the battle systems in the games.


Dave the Dude

...well, actually, I haven't done much lookin' into the Arc the Lad setup.. maybe I'm too busy, I dunno. We'll see what I think when I hear something about it, though I'm all for old RPGs being re-released in compiled forms for current consoles.. I'll tell ya that.

Big Column.. big, fat column!
Brad you giant stud you, was that the longest column in the history of columns or what? Did you break yourself typing that?

Hey! You know what you are? An Iron Columnist! Chairman Mikel handpicked you for your obvious talent in being a weekend dude.

But then....who's the challenger? ....Can I be the challenger? Or, can I be Ota? Don't think I'm up to the job? Observe "Brad-san! challenger is answering his answer using the ancient art of 'Type-fu'! He claims this adds to the sensuality of each response!"

...I'm serious....

I've just looked through the directories, and no Q&A html file is larger than yesterday's. See? I treat you guys right.. I say sorry in the RIGHT ways... I don't know about this Iron Columnist thing.. I'm too flabby for "Iron"... maybe I'm more of a meaty Columnist... maybe I'm just crazy... maybe you are too.

Wyverns and Wombats and Wasps, oh my!
What's up Brad, almighty Oracle?

I've got a question for ya that's been buggin' me forever. Just what in the heck is a Wyvern? They've been in every RPG I've played that I can remember in some form or another, but all of them are really diffrent (yet all fly). Is it some unspoke of rule that all RPGs must have something in them called a Wyvern?


Well, a Wyvern is basically a winged dragon. It's a big part of a lot of fantasy games, but to ask why it specifically is in an RPG is kinda like asking why there are dragons in an RPG.. it's a fantasy game, they're fantasy creatures... you get them along with all your other favorites, imps, 'giants', golems, etc.

Brad's k-rad programming skillz!
Dear Thundara Maker, I have a riddle fer yas.

There are 1000 lockers (labeled 1-1000). S(tudent) 1 opens all lockers, S2 closes evens, S3 changes multiples of 3, S4 changes multiples of 4...S1000 changes multiples of 1000. What lockers will be open after S1000?


1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100, 121, 144, 169, 196, 225, 256, 289, 324, 361, 400, 441, 484, 529, 576, 625, 676, 729, 784, 841, 900, and 961. Oddly enough, that's n^2 for n=1 to 31.. which is cool. "But how did you figure that out?"

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
my $i=1;
my @lockers = ();
my $j=1;
for ($i=1;$i<=1000;$i++) {
   $lockers[$i] = 0;
} # initialize all the lockers to 0

for ($i=1;$i<=1000;$i++) {
   for ($j=1;$j<=1000;$j++) {
      if (($j % $i) == 0) {
         if($lockers[$j]) {
            $lockers[$j] = 0;
         } else {  # $locksers[$j] = 0 
            $lockers[$j] = 1;
} # do the locker flippin'

for ($i=1;$i<=1000;$i++) {
   print "$i, " if $lockers[$i];
} # print out the open ones, yo'!


Unanswered Questions and Comments
Clarification on the Zelda gameplay...
See, the deal with the new Zelda game is that you don't have to beat the game in one hour. It's more like a Ground Hog day scenario. You have a specific length of time to do stuff and then everything starts over. But, you retain the information from your previous experiences, and in this case, the special items you found (like the bow, or slingshot, or whatever else, but not money). So, you know when certain events in the world will happen and what they will be so that you can perhaps change them or at least be there or not be there for them, etc. I actually think it's a pretty cool (if not truly original) idea. I'm looking forward to it.

Factor 5

Generate Battles, in more detail (showin' me up, eh?)
This is for the person who was asking how to complete the generator battles in Xenogears. Here's my take on it.

At Generator 1, there are 2 Littlefoot Gears (tiny gears) and 6 Solaris Guards (tiny people). You should choose Elly for this battle, as Brad said, because of her Aerods ability. On your first turn, use Aerods. That will almost definitely take out all of the Solaris Guards. Then for the next two turns, just attack the Littlefoot Gears. One 'X' attack should finish each one. For winning this battle, you have a chance of getting Silver Ar, Silver Ar +1 and Rosesols. The Silver Ar reduces Gel damage by 50%, quite helpful for Generator 3. Silver Ar +1 also reduces Gel damage by 50%, but it also adds +50 Defense, compared to the +10 Defense of the regular Silver Ar.

At Generator 2, there are 3 White Knights (normal sized gears with swords). This battle is pretty run-of-the-mill, so no one in particular is needed. You should probably use Bart here simply because he is the best remaining after the other Generators. Use Booster at the beginning of this battle to speed up your turns. Two to three 'X' button attacks will kill each White Knights. Straight-forward battle. Just keep pressing 'X.' You win Lite Ar +1 from this battle, which adds +15 Defense and +5 Response. Don't equip it unless you REALLY want Response (raises Hit%).

At Generator 3, there are 2 White Knights and Citadel (a huge four legged gear). You should probably choose Citan here, because of his speed. Equip any Silver Ar +1s (or Silver Ars, if you have no Silver Ar +1s) from Generator 1 you have on Citan to reduce Citadel's Gel attacks. You can also equip Heimdal with a Noise Filter to reduce the damage of Citadel's Sonic Boom attack (if you did Generator 4 yet). Use Booster on your first turn. First attack the White Knights with 'X' button attacks to take them out as well as build your attack level. After they are out of the picture, go after Citadel. Use your best Attack Level 2 combo (which you should have from the White Knights) on Citadel, which will severely damage it (it has 6000 HP). Then simply use 'X' button attacks and Attack Level 1 combos until Citadel falls. You receive a Gold Plate from this battle, which reduces Gel damage by 100% (pretty useless now).

At Generator 4, there are 2 White Knights and Avalanche (a weird, floating, disc-like gear). This battle is virtually identical to Generator 3. You should choose Fei here because of Weltall's overall high speed and strength. Use Booster on your first turn to speed things up. Use 'X' button attacks on the White Knights to increase you attack level, just as with Generator 3. After they're defeated, use your best Attack Level 2 (which you should have from the White Knights) on Avalanche and then 'X' button attacks from there. The only thing to watch out for is Avalanche's Sonic attack, which is quite powerful. Use a Frame HP if you are low on HP. Overall, this battle is really easy. You receive a Noise Filter and Ether Ar. The Noise Filter reduces Sonic damage by 100%.

My recommendation for these battles is to do Generator 1 with Elly first, then Generator 2 with Bart, then Generator 4 with Fei and finally Generator 3 with Citan. The reason for this order is so you can equip Citan with all of the protection against Citadel's attacks. If you have all of the upgrades available in Shevat, you should have no problem. I did this on my first try with no one even getting damaged. They just kept dodging everything.


Where to get the FF font
Hey Brad,

This is for GaminMachine, the guy who was looking for the Final Fantasy font. I was looking for it a while ago and I found it at:


It's in the first page of the "Famous" section. Anyway, it's called Edition. The only problem is that when I try to type 'Final Fantasy' with it on my computer, the "A"s and the "N"s in Final Fantasy aren't smooth around the edges; they're jagged, probably because the text isn't rendered like Final Fantasy's logo.

Wise Man "No, Square's lawyers, I have not already made and distributed millions of doctored FFXV logos"

I don't know, can someone send Google a URL to these type of things?
Goddamn those pig bastards at Sony who punish the gamers who buy the incredibly legit games that they don't think will make it in the United States (i.e. the awesome Bemani series) by putting lockout codes on domestic games! Ah! I waited two years and worked twenty hours to get the game and the guide, and I can't play it!

Please, dear sir, what is the Game Shark unlock code for Wild Arms 2?

Cool info on Soundtrack Consistency...
Soundtrack Consistency is when you have several recognizable themes running through a game's soundtrack, or one song which is a remixed version of another within the same game.

Some examples of Soundtrack Consistency:

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, with the anime music (the "Boat Song" among others) and overworld themes.

Final Fantasy VI: Figaro Castle and the "Coin Song", and Locke's and Rachel's themes.

Final Fantasy VII: The Midgar Church and Aerith's Theme, the Cosmo Canyon theme along with Red XIII's and "The Great Warrior", which plays when you see Red's father and grandfather... pass on, and Cid's and Shera's themes.

Xenogears: The overworld theme is recreated in an omake video on the second disk titled "Star of Tears", I believe, and the final theme, "Small Two Of Pieces", runs through the whole frikking game. There's elements of it in Lahan, the music-box theme is a slowed down version, and there are elements of it in the airship music as well; it also makes its appearance in the opening credits and the game-over music. And the change in Shevat, when "Gathering Stars in the Night Sky" (what plays when Maria talks to you about Seibzehn for the first time, among other places) becomes the tears-your-soul-out-with-timpani-and-strings "Flight" (WHY did they give it to CHU-CHU?!)... that was the first time in a long time that I think I've cried playing an RPG. "The Treasure Which Cannot Be Bought Or Stolen" (Elly's house theme, among others) doesn't seem to be echoed anywhere else, but it is excellent enough to warrant a mention on its own...

Bahamut Lagoon: It never made it stateside, but there are several examples of Soundtrack Consistency here as well - the Yoyo themes and some of the army themes have very similar thematic elements.

Wild Arms: The opening anime theme is echoed in dungeon and shrine themes throughout the game, as well as in the best darn piece of inn music I have ever heard in my life. How'd they record a guitar doing that, anyway?

If any of you folks have a Saturn or bought it for PC, the Sonic 3D Blast soundtrack is an excellent example of soundtrack consistency... the same basic musical theme - oddly enough, it echoes in "Flight", a little bit - runs through all twenty-odd tracks.

So why am I bringing this up? Simply put, soundtrack consistency makes a game a lot more enjoyable to listen to. For some odd reason, any remixed RPG theme sounds cool to me, if it's done right; I'm willing to bet some of you folks have had similar experiences. Have there been any RPGs made where one theme, even varied, has been threaded through the whole game? If so, it's going on my "play" list immediately.

First time writing into the column in a long time, hope this makes it...

--G. Falconar


blinkey brad is staring at me...he wants to eat my brains!

Brad: Oh yum.. yum yum y-- wait. Needs more salt.

Isn't really annoying to go into the castle armoury, find the walls strewn with weapons and then not be able to take any of them?


Brad: That would be -stealing- .. you pay your 23,500GP just like everyone else, buster!

Dear Thundara Maker,

Planaria (small worms) have things beside their eyes called 'auricles', pronounced "oracles".


Brad: Actually, 'aur' in this case has a bit more open sound, the difference between aural, and oral, is fairly subtle. But 'aur' is a prefix dealing with hearing, and 'or' is one with speaking, so they are quite different. :)

haikus are no good
iambic pentameter
is better than they

(I thought that was pretty good for my first haiku....) -LionHeart

Brad: When you learn to fight
with Haiku and a plunger
talk to Dark Wombat

Where exactly would one get a blinkey-self? I want a blinkey-me too!

--The Geek

Brad: Heh.. well, you'd have to ask Shade.. once she gets her site up and going, I'll make sure to plug it a few times... and y'all can tell her what good work she does.

Am I the only person who's scared to death about the number of people who are obsessed with how fast your and Heather's animated .gifs blink??


Brad: Honestly, I don't get it either... (shrug) :)

Just wondering if you have ever played Betrayal at Krondor for PC? I think it got PC role playing game of the year in 1992. It was one of my first true RPG experiences. It was great. Even though you can play it on a 386 computer, it is still a great game. You can pick up a brand new copy at EB or babbages for about 5 bucks. You can afford 5 bucks, right?


Brad: Yeah, I didn't play all the way through it, but I did play Betrayal at Krondor for a little while.. I know I got my barding ability way up there, or something.. heh. And I rememebr money being a real bitch to come by in that game.. wah.

Wrapping it up...

Well, that's the weekend, guys... and I'm tellin' ya.. the closer I get to finishin' this.. the quicker I wanna be done and just sleep .. or something. So I'm outta here.

Brad "zzzZZzZzzzz.. ask google 'What's Cookin' in each letter tomorrow, and you'll all get a special prize next weekend.. (snicker)" Lohr