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Brad Lohr, The Oracle - May 13 '00

Word up from the floor of E3. Yup, they got the internet line up and running again and so I am able to do the Q&A LIVE FROM E3! wheeee... just call 1-800-BRA-DR0X ... er.. bra drox? hehehehehe... nevermind. OKAY.. anyway.. not a whole lot of stuff in the mailbox, but I didn't give ya'll much time to send stuff in, so that's mostly my fault. That's alright.. it's just a quick one.. we'll do a nice one tomorrow.

Anyway.. this place is closing down today.. so it's "go grab a bunch of free stuff day". :) Enix has these awesome plushy slimes. I want a metal slime! :D

Let's see.. what else to say.. not a lot.. (it's distracting in here).. so I'll just get down to bizz.

Be afriad. Be very afraid.

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I eat glass and it does not hurt me.

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Armored Core 2
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Question and Answer
Caarrrrrrdddd Gammmeee...
Oh mighty oracle,

I am just now getting down to playing Final Fantasy 8 (shame on me) and I am having a problem with triple triad. I know this question has been asked a million times, but how do I stop rules from spreading. The games are getting complicated with all the rules and it is not fun anymore. What can i do to stop the madness from getting worse?


Well, when someone asks you if you'd like to play, they also ask you if you'd like to play with their rules intact... just say NO. Keep saying no about three times, and they won't ask you anymore. Some other people had listed out some more detailed information on how to mess around with the rules of the lands, but they'd be buried in ancient Q&A's.. lemmie see if I can find a date or two.. check around the October 10-11-12-13 period.. that's just from a brief glance at a grep for "triad" in my directory. By the way.. the "all" rule, (where you win ALL the other person's cards when you win), is the best rule for those of the "reset when I lose" persuasion. :)

Hrm.. it's not my boat, but..
Hey Brad! Are you outraged? Wild Arms 2 has modchip lock-out and doesn't even allow an actual US copy to be played on a modded PSX. Most likely, this trend will continue with all new PSX games. That means that people who import games are being greatly punished just so that Sony can attempt to defeat piracy. They're hurting importers just so they can try to hurt piraters. Don't you think that is unfair and excessive?


I think that does suck for the importers. I know why Sony is doing it, though.

Plain and simple mathematics. There's more pirates than there are importers. I don't have a chipped PSX.. I don't import, and I don't have pirate games, (which after writing that sounds highly redundant...) but I can definitely feel for those that do. I don't know what to say, other than I think that all games should work on all the consoles. I mean, IS THAT REALLY HARD?!.. geez, guys... I mean, let's get our acts together. Anyway... murmble...

Legend of Mana...
Hey lucky bastard!

Mmmmm...oh yeah...have you seen the Metal Gear Solid 2 video? I just saw it (I love my DSL) from and I have to say that it looks _amazing_.

Anyways...on to my question. Legend of Mana has taken a LOT of hits from people who've imported it and say it sucks compared to Manas 2 and 3. Have you played it at E3? What's your take on it? Almost everyone I've seen review it say it's too fragmented and easy and all that other crap, so I want your opinion thus far.

- GaminMachine

Yeah, I've played Legend of Mana.. but I really can't compete with the people who've gone through the entire game. I got a cursory look at the gameplay, graphics, and music, but I couldn't tell you anything about the plot, or overall difficulty or fragmentation. I'd say it LOOKS good, and for Seiken Densetsu (forgive me if I spelled that incorrectly) fans, it's a must buy, regardless. I'd say the game looks solid from what I've played of it.. but if you've heard otehrwise from a whole lot of sources who have better information, don't take my 10 minute experience over theirs. And yeah, the MGS2 video is ... very nice. :)

Armored Core 2! YES YES YES...!
I know Armored Core 2 isn't an rpg, but... could you elaborate? How is the networking, etc?


Yeah, we all know how anal I am about keeping the column RPG-related (winkwink), but here goes..

This is all just me remembering the press stuff, I have the press release on it back at the hotel, and can give more detailed information later.. but it looks SO GOOD. It's about 100x cleaner than AC1 (which looked great anyway) ... and has like 200 more items.. I'm not sure about importing your AC from the other games, but I know that there's both the split-screen multiplayer, and link-cable compatibility is also already functional (I blew someone up on the show floor, woohoo!) .. the controls and everything have remained VERY true to what made AC1 great, and I'm -definitely- getting this game. If you liked AC and the expansion... you're gonna love AC2.

Age Problems at E3...
Hey, do you know why minors aren't allowed at E3? Is it because they can't help the industry, or is it because they will "just get in the way"? Anyway, I was asking because last year, I received an invitation to E3 from Bungee Software. I had just bought Myth II and after registering it, they noted that I was in the area and so they sent me an invitation to go to E3. Basically, with the pass they sent me, I could get in free! Well, I couldn't go because of that age problem. Have you any insights, oh mighty Oracle?


Well, mostly because they don't need a bunch of kids running around. It's a trade show.. meant for business, and well, let's just face is. If they didn't cut it off at 18, would they cut it off at 12? 16? .. nobody wants a place filled with baby strollers and crying kids... and nobody wants to have a hundred 8 year olds running around wild.. and honestly, a bunch of businessmen (who bring the money to these companies), don't want a bunch of 14-16 year olds running around either. In mass numbers, it'd be chaotic, and well, I can see why they do what they do. It's not cool, but think about it.. you'll be over 18 soon enough.. and then you can go! :D (As a note, several RPGamer staffers who were highly qualified to go to E3 were also turned away from the event due to age.. so y'all aren't alone out there)


You seemed to be in an unusually good mood today... E3 going good, or.. ohhhhh, i get it... You go boy!!

Heh heh heh...


Brad: Heh.. I know where you're going... yes.. I -did- get some at E3.. some very nice keychains. :o

But seriously, we're all in two rooms, there's no time for any naughty-bizz :P .. anyhow, E3 is going well .. and it's a lot of fun... (there's a LOT of typing going on in this room.. if my sentences seem more disjointed than normal, that's why).. anyhow.. we're having fun.. and well, this is the last day.. and hey.. Q&A's even going up at a decent time!

You dead?

Brad: Nope! You?

I'm from "ArkansAss", darn it.

*boos and hisses*

Brad: So is Stom, who was in the room at the time, which is why I took a shot at it... it really wasn't for any other reason... I think. :D

I bought Unreal Tournament instead of Front Mission 3. Does this make me a bad person?

Chris Martin

Brad: Well, we of the better-than-you can't help you can't handle a game that takes as much brainpower as FM3 does.. it's okay.. we'll forgive you... ;)

I may be insane, but (on your website, at least), when you look at the E3 logo out of the corner of your eye, doesn't it look like a chocobo?

Your Humble Servant,
Insanerest of AOL

Brad: ... isn't the Square booth getting bigger each year? OH NO.. ERAUQS SI DLROW EHT

Can I be you?

I am so jealous. You make lots of money, work at a cool job, work another job devoted to video games, know lots of math, have mad cool programming skills, live in California, write a column read by thousands, get to go to E3, and, best of all, have a beautiful girlfriend who is into the same stuff as you are.

I already have the name.. Come on, pretty please?


Brad: Goddamn.. rub that ego, rub it, oOOoOoh yeahh.. er.. anyway, if you say it like that, hell, I guess I do have a pretty cool life. But you forget things like the fact that I go to school full time, + full time job + RPGamer on the weekends, + girlfriend = no time to play video games. :( Stuff like that. I'm busy. I'm not saying my life sucks, but it isn't exactly PERFECT either.. and you know what? Back a year ago, I had none of this. So just keep yer chin up, guys.. I was a dork doin' crap work, with no girlfriend, and a total unknown at one time, and now I'm .. well, me. Could happen to you... KILL GOOGLESHNG TO HAVE A CHANCE TO GET YOUR EVERY DESIRE.. KILL THE SLIME.. KILL KILL PIKACHU DEMANDS BLOOD

don't you just hate those people who send in pointless letters just so we can be published on the column?


Brad: Yeah, they're bad people. And so are you.

what did you get for dinner?


Brad: Ergh.. McDonald's... but at least they screwed up our order on the magnitude of two EXTRA chicken sandwiches... heh.

i am pickles. do i get a sugar cookie and a cracker now? pickles.

Brad: No. You go in the jar! Muwaahahahahahahahhaa....!

Dude, that code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, start) was the code from the original Contra! You got 30 lives for it!


Brad: It's actually classicaly known nowadays as the "Konami Code" and works on most of their 8-bit games to do SOMETHING for you.

Wrapping it up...

Well, that's that. Like I promised, I'll do a big post-mortem with all my 'impressions' and whatnot in tomorrow's Q&A. Talk about what I played, what I liked, what I didn't like, what I -need- to buy now.. that kinda stuff... but for now.. I'm gonna free up a computer for someone else in this place to use. I'll chat 2 u all l8r, SK8Rz! .. *cough* that felt dirty.

Brad "Interact with me! Tshirts? Hey Heather.. do you want one o-- *OOF* owww..." Lohr