The Oracle  

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Brad Lohr, The Oracle - June 11 '00

Woot! Too much Suikoden for me.. and Asheron's Call too, but that's besides the point. Right now I'm fighting Olthoi in Asheron's Call. Bug things. Big, nasty, hard to kill bug things.

They're actually quite creepy.. and the worst part is, they WOLF WHISTLE. It's like, "HEY. NICE LEGS. FOR ME TO EAT!" .. :( Freaky bugs.

So I played some more Suikoden.. don't know why I'm going back to Suikoden, which I've beaten, when I have a million other games (FM3, namely) that I haven't even played all the way through, but well, I guess I just have to go with what feels right. And baby, Suikoden feels oh-so-good right now. ;P

Anyhow, I've noticed my trend to wake up at like 7 or 8am on these weekend mornings, then like do the "sleep for an hour, wake up, sleep for an hour" little mini-nap thing all the way up to 10am, and well, Goog doesn't like when the Sunday column goes up too late... but hey, it's not -that- late :)

How can I say this...

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Question and Answer
Gunblade? Hrm..
Hey Brad :)

I was saving some FFIX pictures, and while loading a Zidane picture, I noticed something interesting: I think Zidane wields a Gunblade! I'm not sure about it, but if you look closely, you'll see that his sword has a weird (oh I forgot the word, the place where you hold in the sword:P C'mooon I'm not a native english speaker and I don't know where my dictionary is :P)! I took this picture from the wallpapers section of What do you think? I liked the Gunblades, but I don't think they would exist in a medieval world. But...whatever. Since it has something to slice....

Bye bye^^

Agrias Oaks - Lesalia St Konoe Holy Jedi Knight.
"Body and soul, I'm a freak"

Well, technically, there actually were guns in "some" of the times that these games were taken from.. I guess it's not particularly medeival times, but later 1600's etc, they had one-shot rifles... but I can see what you're saying from the picture. Then again, it could just be a funky hilt. (that's the word you were looking for, hilt) .. anyhow, obviously we'll see in a few months.

Maciel and I argued about this all yesterday.. :)
Yo Braddy-boy,

'bout the whole language thing... Germanic languages are not based on Latin. Compare Old English with Latin. There are none of the similarities. The similarities came with the influence of the other cultures on the English through the ages, and therefore the Romantic influence. Also, I'm not 100% positive, but I think that the Latin alphabet was introduced to English later on (note the lack of accent marks present in every single other romance language). But the real question is what language category does the Vandal Hearts theme song fit into -- Germanic, or Romantic? ok, so I tried to trick you, it's Slavic.

-Joshua "Shameless Editorials Plug" Maciel

Now my knowledge of Old English is pretty bad, but I'm pretty sure it used the Latin Alphabet. Not only that, but German does. And about the accents, well, English might not have them, but German does. :P Now I'm pretty sure Slavic, Arabic, and Oriental languages are completely non-latin based, but whatever. Maybe I'll find a nice linguistics teacher and ask them about it.

"No more drugs for that man!"
Hey Brad,

I'm sending in a letter with 4 random topics of interest! Aren't you proud of me?

  1. How come every RPGamer has an army of some sort? You have your arctic monkeys, Google probably has an army of slimes somewhere, and all the people asking questions have an army of demons in the basement to sic on random RPGurus/Oracles/Ask (insert name here)s when their letters don't get printed. I don't have an army... I don't even have a basement :(. I should get one sometime. An army, I mean, not a basement. Basements are scary with all those demons prowling around down there. :o

  2. Why do people complain when their letters don't get printed anyway? I've only gotten 3 out of 15 or so of my letters printed (4 if you print this) and I've never even mentioned it in any of 'em.
    Until now. :)
  3. Dragon Warrior Monsters is OK for about five minutes. Then it gets tedious. Someone made up a really really stupid rule that your monsters don't exactly enjoy being left behind, so when you do leave them behind they don't listen to you. I personally collected as many monsters as possible when I played, and I tried to level them up evenly, leaving a lot of monsters behind constantly. Thus, all the monsters hated me. They were my only friends. :(

  4. I think that I'm the only one who's noticed that each episode of Dragon Ball Z is made up of the following:

    Standing around breathing loudly - 52.68%
    Random babbling - 22.45%
    Flashbacks of standing around breathing loudly - 11.32%
    Actually fighting - 8.79%
    Talking about what will happen next episode - 4.76%

OK, I'm done. Maybe I'll send in an actual question next time.

Sabin "Happiness is an army of cats" XIII Actually, I'd rather have an army of Kirby people. Kirby rules, man. :D


  1. Basements are necessary for evil armies to conglomerate without your parents finding out. You think they aren't scared of the basement too?
  2. What I really dislike is when people send the same letter over and over and over again, saying each time, "I'm going to keep sending this until it's printed!" ... ergh. I have a special mail filter for these people.
  3. Never played it.. but come on.. how would you like to be left alone.. especially if you were just a little level 4 slime.. and the BIG BAD SKELETON was makin' fun of you while the trainer was away! You gotta CARE MAN.
  4. Hahaha.. you forgot about the breakdown of the fighting:
    • Groaning like you're constipated: 89%
    • Talking smack to the other guy: 10%
    • Firing balls of super-energy to just end the damn thing: 1%

Argh.. I was tricked into printing it!
yo b.

whats the story on legend of mana? have you played it? know anyone who has? whos doing the review and when are they doing? trying to decide whether or not to buy it. secret of mana on snes was sweet, and the graphics on this one look sweet, but i hear thats the only good thing about it. thanks for the info *in advance* (this last sentence requires you to respond, or else the "thanks" was made in vain which would cause the moral conventions of society to crumble, chooch).

some guy

Due to the replacing of my car engine, I haven't been of financial fortitude to be purchasing games. But Andrew is going to be doing the review, and knowing him and his work ethic, he'll have it done very quickly. He's quite a great guy. Didn't know him very well at all before E3, but after meeting him and hangin' around for a while, he's a real top notch dude. And I mean that in the most Californian way I can. :) Even if he did take pictures of buildings. :) "Wow, they're so big!" ... "Yeah, Andrew.. it's LA. We have big buildings here." "*snap* *snap*" ...

Unanswered Questions and Comments
I wanna be William the Conqueror when I grow up.
Dear Oracle,

Since we are delving into the roots of the English language, I decide to insert my 2 cents. Very early English was almost totally Germanic because those living in England at the time were descended from the Germanic tribes that caused the final fall of Rome. That all changed in 1066(date ring a bell), when William the Conqueror of Normandy France invaded England. These French speakers introduced their language and English slowly evolved from this, to make a long story very short. Hence, the Germanic roots of English and the Latin roots that come from French.


New Info on the Language Situation! (snicker)
the english language was HEAVILY influenced by french in the 1060's and later due to William the Conqueror (French), and also by the Germanic tribes (Germanic obviously), so it would be correct to say that English also has its roots in Latin, because it has so many roots due to invasions in the late middle ages and stuff like that


I'm going to change today's Q&A title to "Linguistics 101"
Ok... German, Latin, not quite.

German, English, Dutch, etc. come from a "proto-Germanic" language, which comes from a common "proto-Indo-European" language (which covers pretty much everything from Afrikaans to Yiddish).

Spanish, Romanian, Italian, etc. come from Latin, which (with Oscan, Umbrian, and Faliscan which don't exist anymore) also comes from the proto-IE language.

Germanic languages are probably closer to Slavic ones (like Russian) and the Romance languages are probably closer to Celtic ones (like Welsh). But none of the above come directly "from" another.

Gosh that was picky... I'll never do it again, I promise.


Marraige, BAD!

[Once again proving the "I know this won't get printed" method of getting printed...grumble..]

Hey Brad, guess what?!

I was chosen to beta-test Diablo II yesterday! Me! I never get anything! Not only that, but I found $50 yesterday! AND I was proposed to! I am soooooooo happy! What a great friday!!! How was your friday?


p.s. I know that this won't get printed, I'm just telling everyone about my great and happy friday! The last day of school even! Woo-hoo!

[I was engaged to be married once.. all I have to say is, well, I don't know for a fact, but I'm thinking you're in high school .. if so, just be careful, yo. You change a lot in the next few years, and well, so does the other person. One of the least smart things you can do is lock yourself into a bad situation early on in life. (shrug). THIS GOES TO YOU TOO, SPENCER. :P]

RPGs... just chess?
Gee, I meant to make this shorter, but I just got carried away. Chess, like video games and other competitive games is basically a simulation of war. (and a murder simulator to boot, but that's neither here nor there) The problem is, chess isn't nearly as advanced as say, Vandal Hearts, so the logical step is to make RPG Rules Chess! It plays like regular ghess, but with the following pieces as Warcraft-style heroes.
  • Good Guys:
    • King - Ineffectual Rebel Leader - Similar to Banon, Huang(FM3) - This is the brave, valiant, noble leader of the group.. until things stop going his way. Then he cries and wets himself and gets slaughtered. The Bad Guys need not capture him to win, as he is so ineffectual. He moves like the king, but can't get himself out of check.
    • Random Knight - Merc with Issues - Similar to Clod.. I mean Cloud, Fei Wong, Squall to a certain extent - He's much stronger than the guards who only nick him with their pathetic assault rifles, so he can take multiple hits before going down. They can only more every other turn, since they need to spend time grappling with their screwed-up heads. This character needs to be captured to win so the Effeminate Deity Wannabe can bring his diabolical machinations to fruition.
    • Random Bishop - Mysterious Helper - Similar to Citan, Garr, Xellos - This guy has a secret or two. He moves like the bishop, until after the climax and the Effeminate Deity Wannabe reveals himself, where he spills the beans about his powers, then he moves horizontally as well as diagonally. He also knows the enemy's next move, but he isn't telling.
    • Random Pawn - Crabbit. Blarg! - Simliar to Pikachu, Minku, and a host of others - They're fuzzy (Pikachu), hairy (Chu-Chu Baka... geddit!?), or leafy (Peco), and always a pain! He doesn't capture any pieces at all, and is basically adorable cannon fodder. However, you can set up a trap since the enemy tends to concentrate his effort on wiping this character out first. To guarantee this, taunt the opponent with phrases like "Bet chu can't get me!" after every turn.
  • Bad Guys:
    • King - Ineffectual Emperor - Similar to Golbez, Gestahl, Pres. Shinra, Pres. Deling (see a pattern?) - He's the evil figurehead ruler who's so obsessed with power that he doesn't realize that being manipulated or mind-controlled by the real guy in charge. The Effeminate Deity Wannabe will not enter the game until this guy is killed off.
    • Queen - Effeminate Deity Wannabe - Similar to Kefka, Seppy, Lukav, Ghaleon, Krelian, need I go on? - This fey baddie is so insecure of his masculinity that he feels the need to evolve into a god, beyond the need of petty gender. He doesn't move, instead he just hangs in out his Castle of Doom. No mere mortal can capture this piece, except for the Merc with Issues. When Femmy-man is killed, the Good Guys win.
    • Random Knight - Upset General - Similar to Ramsus, Leo, Delita - Whether by careful Machiavellan scheme, honorable swordplay, or plain ol' beserker rage, this character's a tough cookie. He also likes his boss about as much as he likes the enemy, and can kill the Ineffectual Emperor if the Disenfranchised Son is adjacent.
    • Random Pawn - Disenfranchised Son - Similar to Kwang(FM3), Gustave XIII, Rico - He's the rightful heir to the throne, but was tossed aside like yesterday's Ramsus.. I mean trash. He can kill off the Ineffectual Emperor with the help of the Upset General and by doing so, can now move anywhere in a three square radius. However, this act reveals the Effeminate Deity Wannabe to the other team.
So I guess my question is this: Anyone excited about Fallout Tactics?? No? Hmmm....

The Sesquipedalist

[Several of the guys at work, (and myself) are lookin' forward to Fallout Tactics. :)]

All I know is that people say Vagrant Story is great...
O Blinking One (I'm sorry, I'm not altogether original today, and I just got done reading the column),

I purchased Legend of Mana on Thursday, as I now have a source of steady income. (Yay.) It was a decision between LOM and Vagrant Story. After three or four days of playing, I fear I've made a mistake. Although I've only played Vagrant Story a small while, and I believe it is already better than LOM. I've played through thirteen or fourteen "events", and I use that term loosely, in the game. Is there a story? Do my weapons get upgraded? Does the magic get more powerful? Does the mana mean anything? Do the bosses get any harder? I must congratulate Brady (I'm assuming they're doing it since they've done most Square games.) on the perfect release timing of its strategy guide. </heavy dripping sarcasm> Lord knows the information booklet doesn't help at all either. It just seems to me the innovation is lacking compared to any of the previous three. Am I just not going far enough, or is it time to pick up Vagrant Story? 'Til later, Brad.

The Resident Square God

[ this makes me sad .. I want LoM to be good. ]


38. Don't Ask


Brad: "In a row?"

What if the girl eats the stick of the corndog first? Ewww...

Brad: I'll get back to you on Alex's interpretation on that one.. :o

Wrapping it up...

Alrighty.. well, not as long as a really nice length column, but oh well, some days it's just short. I'm pulling a good 40 emails a day, maybe 45, makin' do with what I've got. Anyhow, you all have a good week, I'm off for another day of mind-numbing game playing, (summer is GOOD :]) .. anyhow, talk to you guys on Friday.

Brad "FIRE, BAD! FIRE... BAD!" Lohr