The Oracle  



Brad Lohr, The Oracle - May 20 '00

Well, let's see.. it is kinda late for me to be starting this, but I don't want to miss any days for a while, so well, here's the gig..

My DSL did go down last night, not that I was going to do it last night anyway.. I used to do the column during the night all the time.. but well, that just led to me only having one thing to say during every column. "I'm tired, I'm sleep deprived, god let this be over so I can go to bed" etc. :)

Also drove my g/f at the time, Susan, nuts. Like, totally nuts. She started asking me more often than anyone in the column, "When is Thor coming back?" heh. Anyway, that time is long gone...

But I'm still here. And on number 102, I might add. woot.

Anyhow, I did a bunch of house cleaning this morning, which was good.. since it really needed it. .. and well, that was my exciting morning.

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Asheron's Call
Summer's comin'.. maybe I'll play more than just one game ... maybe.
In Brad's Head:
Glass Cleaner: Smelly nasty
Mop, mop, mop, all day long..
Mop, mop, mop, while I sing this song..
Question and Answer
Vagrant Story Graphics...
I just read a news story on RPGamer that said Vagrant Story was released and I went to read the preview, and was surprised by something I saw there. The writer states: "Graphically, Vagrant Story leaves a lot to be desired. The game is in full 3D, but details are sloppy and inadequate." However, in the latest issue of EGM the reviewer says: "This is the best looking PlayStation game to date..." I know reviewers opinions can differ, sometimes to a great extent, but those are completely opposite statements. Know anything that can clear that up for me? Thanks.

-- Xtreme Psycho

Honestly, from what I've seen, I agree with the RPGamer preview, and not from co-worker loyalty.. it seemed a bit grainy to me, and somewhat pixelated.. but then again, I haven't played the game myself -at all-. I just talked to Googleshng, and well, the quote is, "best polygonal possible on the PSX, if you like the style..." and, "well, textures look pixelated when you get close enough, but it tends to be really zoomed out".. so there ya go. For more details, ask Google on Monday.

Online Custom RPGs?
I was looking in my monthly issue of GameInformer a few weeks ago, and I noticed that, after a long wait, RPGmaker was finally making it stateside. I think I wet my pants! Finally, I could make my own game!

But then, a thought came to mind, and I've been wondering about this ever since...

With the new Playstation2's online capabilties, is it possible that people could post their custom-made Rpg's for all the world to play?

Think about the possiblities!!!!

Forever yours, in life and in death, and beyond -


Well, I'm pretty sure that if they were putting this functionality into RPGmaker, they'd advertise it.. so I wouldn't keep your hopes up. Yes, it would be cool, but no, I don't think it'll be in this version of RPGmaker. Possibly in future ones, should they be made, however.

It's Hammer-time!
Me and one of my friends were playing Xenogears and we got into a major argument over what kind of animal Hammer is supposed to be. We have bet a pretty large sum of money on the outcome, so I'm hoping you can answer this. I think he is a rat, while my friend thinks he is a camel. So, what is he?

I am definitely going with that of the rodent lifestyle. Rat is my answer, due to just his look, and because he turns out to be such a rat in the end anyway. <-- Spoiler! Anyway.. that's my answer.

Analog Controllers..
Hiya Brad. What do you think of Analog controllers? Most of my friends complain about them. One says they are worse for tournament fighters (Street Fighter etc). Also, I find there aren't very many RPG's, even the new ones, that use the analog stick. Wild Arms 2 doesn't have it and Neither did Suikoden 2, which made it somewhat more frustrating to play.


Well, as a good many things are.. Analog controllers are good for what they're good for, and pretty lousy for anything else. If you play games that use the Analog well, (driving games specifically come to mind), then the Analog is where it's at.. Gauntlet Legends uses it fairly well, though I still use the directional controls, Heather finds it much easier to use Analog.. go with what you like, I say. Besides, the analog controllers aren't that much more expensive.. but the dual shock can be neat..

Music for FF9...
Hey Brad! I have a couple of things to say.

I was reading this magazine article a couple of days ago, and something it said caught my attention. It was some spiel about all the original greats being back together again to make this game: Sakaguchi Producing (As always), Yoshitaka Amano as artist, and...Nobuo Uematsu as composer? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that I read right here at RPGamer that FF IX's music was going to be done by someone else. Not that I mind, since I'm one of those people who loves Uematsu, but I just want to know for sure. Who is composing the music for FF IX?

On different note, I was reading one of your letters yesterday someone was talking about FF8's ending and how the starfield screen and Prelude were missing. Then you went on to say, "I agree. There are a few things I really look forward to, the first time I beat a new FF game.. the bridge crossing theme is SO one of those things.. messing that up is such a sin. :(" I guess you must have missed it. The Prologue (or bridge-crossing theme) plays during the ending credits with the Balamb garden videocamera FMV. Remember?


Well, first off, I didn't say that they forgot it in FF8, I said that if they did in any of the FF series, that would suck. Sheesh, read people, read. :P As for your question, it's rumored I guess, that Uematsu is going to come back and do FF9, though I'm not really certain about this.. don't know :)

Suikoden Questions, whee!!

"Screw you, Pikachu!"

I have a few questions for thee conserning Suikoden 1 and 2.

  1. Should I buy Suikoden1 or just rent it.I heard it was really short,and it would kill me to buy it and not play through it twice or thrice.BTW,Suikoden2 took me 50 hours.

    I got very close to beating that game in a 3 day rental.. but I didn't beat it, because I knew I wanted to buy the game. It's that good.

  2. And if you think it's better for me to just rent it,is getting all the 108 stars easy?I had some trouble getting them in Suikoden2.

    It's not terribly difficult... probably won't happen till your 2nd time through, without a walkthrough, however.

  3. In Suikoden2,in the small town of Banner,there's a girl called Ellie who encourages you to stay at her parents' inn.I'm asking you if you know why the staff decided to create a portrait for such an insignificant caracter.Can you see her somewhere else?There's notting about her in the guide...

    Yeah, I saw that too, and tried to get her into my party like crazy.. that's usually what it means when they have a picture.. but I haven't read through the 108 stars walkthrough, so I may have missed the way to get her to join you.

  4. I think Camus looks like you,and he's cool!^_^

    I think I'm cool too, well, sometimes.. when I'm not bitchy towards me.

  5. In your opinion,who's the hottest in Suikoden2?Kasumi... Well that's all for!wait...erhh...I know this won't get printed!...and stuff

    I would have to say that Gremio is the hottest chick in Suikoden2. :) And I did -not- print you because you said you wouldn't get printed..

Well, yeah.. actually.. :P
Ok, in Final Fantasy V I've gotten to the point where I'm just fed up. After you take down the monster in the fire ship and get to the shrine down south where all the priests are running around, that's where I am. I go in, I beat up Ifrit (the fire monster guy) go through to the next room, and get attacked by a monster (a regular random fight) BUT the monster casts Death lvl 5 or something like that which KILLS all my guys in one hit! I'm just sick of playing the game because this is just ridiculous! What did the developers think when they made a REGULAR monster have that kind of power? A boss monster I could understand, but not jsut a regular monster.

How can I get through this stupid shrine (which was pretty cool till that happened. And yes, i've tried it twice. The first time I was killed like that, and just a few minutes ago I decided to try again and it happened again. It's just a waste of time to go through it and then get killed by a regular random attack, grr) So, is there something i'm missing or what?


Well, this attack only hits characters who are at multiples of 5 in their level.. 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. So go change someone's level before going in there, and that person will survive. And as an added note, your blue wizards can learn that spell! ;)

Unanswered Questions and Comments
Why? Who knows... I'm not PR. :)

Why, oh why must the Japanese rpg makers be so anti-profit? There are so many games in Japan that are only released in Japan. Many of these games would sell great in the U.S.

For example: Langrissers II-V and Millenium, The remake of chronotrigger, tokimeki memorial(any of 'em), and many more.

I just got Arc the Lad III as a gift, and the game rocks, or at least the first 20 minutes of it does. I just don't have the money to import all the other games that I want, let alone the time to struggle through them, I no like no japanese. I heard that Square almost didn't release Xenogears in the U.S. How stupid would that have been if they didn't. They made money off of the game.

I guess what I'm askingis, Why can't game companies open up a little bit, or get decent P.R. departments that would listen to the gamers.

I hope there are people out there that agree with me.


ps: I can't wait for suikoden III

Oh, that's rad!
Hey Brad,

Here's an intersting tidbit for you and the readers. If you let the demo disc that comes with Vagrant Story run for a little while, it plays a pretty cool remix of "The Prelude" from Final Fantasy. Check it out.

Signed, Richard M. Nixon

Suikoden 1 + 2 .. data transfer answer..
*** Suikoden 1 Spoilers ***

I've received this question quite a bit myself :-) To upload the Suikoden 1 data to 2, simply save in Gregminster before the final battle with all 108 characters. Which means you must save Pahn and Gremio and have NO ONE die. Using a cheat to bring them back won't work. Also, put the memory card in slot 1.

--Nick Boice

Try out Might and Magic!
Oh Glorious Beagle, er. I mean... Oracle, yeah,

I liked Fallout and it's sequal (aptly named Fallout 2) because it had an original plot. Also, there is a lot of comedy relief. I loved that scene in FO2 where the Nuclear man's eyes burn out. There are lot of little things like that. In FO2 there is the "Cafe of Broken Dreams" and the "Bridge of Death" from Monty Python. In FO there was the crashed spaceship with the stamp "Property of Area 51" and a plasma rifle inside. Or the Tipped Nuka-Cola Truck with 20,000 caps in it. While this is good, there is another series which has more playtime, but recieves little recognition from people. This is Might and Magic. People complain about games not having not enough play time, but MM4 and MM5 (which can join together and allow for some really cool side quests) combined as aforementioned make over 150 hours of gameplay. It has some really cool music and a really involving plot. MM6 takes at least 70 hours and it also has a great plot. MM7 takes at least 70 hours. MM8 takes... well I don't know, but I've heard it's short.

This is just and example of the last 4 MM Games that are not covered on your site and I just thought I should let you know that there are alternatives to "Streight-up Console RPGs"

Master Ironfist

Well, if a Fallout fan likes it, it probably can't be all that bad.. but I've never tried anything but one of the Heroes of M&M games before.. maybe I'll give it a try sometime..


eh...can you repeat the question?

Brad: A/S/L!?!?!?

I still haven't got the pink tail... *cry* I want my adamantium armor gosh darn it!


P.S. Final Fantasy IV is the best console RPG of all time. :o)

P.P.S. I feel if I don't add a IMHO to that last one, I'm gonna get death threats in the mail, so... that was IMHO. :P

Brad: My friend Kevin would agree.. and I wouldn't be too disagreeing with that myself. I love that game.. I love 6, too, though, which is probably my favorite in the series.

Geeetings Lord Brad. After reading Sacks top 5 ways to get your letters printed it made me wonder.what is it like to be a teapot?


Brad: I don't know.. I'm a surgarbowl :(

Hey Brad, quick question. I dont know if you've already played it, but in Vagrant Story, around the very beginning, one of the quote thingies is from "A.J. Durai." Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that a character from Final Fantasy Tactics? Well, at least "Durai" is, I think. What do you make of this?

- Chris

Brad: What do I think of it? I think you've got good eyes, and yes, Durai was the name of the historian guy who did FFTactics.. don't know what that means, though. :)

Hey Brad,

Seeing as you've posted all your past columns, whatever happened to Zac? (the PC guy..I think) Wasn't he your weekend guy? (almost a year


Brad: Zac's gender-bending surgery went awry, and well, he/she/it is now doing week--- ER OH NO SPOILER

Wrapping it up...

There you have it folks.. Saturday. And I've gotta get jammin', have laundry to do and stuff.. talk to you all tomorrow! Oh yeah.. go check this out: What breed of dog are you? .. take the test, and tell me what kind of dog YOU are. I'm a Pug. Heh.

Brad "Uga-chaka, uga-chaka, uga-chaka, uga-chaka.." Lohr