The Oracle  



Brad Lohr, The Oracle - June 17 '00

Oh, yeah.. ! hehe.. We went and saw the Shaft movie last night, and well, it was highly entertaining. Samuel L. Jackson does a great job in everything he does, and this was totally no exception. I heard they edited all the sex scenes out (there weren't any, unless you count the opening credits, in which Heather SAID she saw boobs, but I didn't. :|) .. but anyway, you'd think a Shaft movie without sex scenes would just not have all the Shaft-ness you require, but strangely enough, it got along just fine.

Anyhow, it's Saturday... and here's the column again... man. (yawn) I gotta stop waking up at like 11am on weekends... but then again.. it's Summer. I should be able to do whatever I please, correct?


Leave me alone. :(

Say my name!

(snicker), Hi Edge.

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In Brad's Head:
Go see Shaft..!
He's one bad mother-- (Shut yo mouth!)
I'm just talkin' about Shaft!
Question and Answer
10.5 Years.. new Video Game wall of Shame member...!
Me! After about 10 1/2 years I finally beat "Super Mario Bros." on the Game Boy Color, trying to do so on the Nintendo, then SNES.. Pitiful, huh? Anyway, on to my question:

With all of the talk about the "New" Final Fantasy's on the PS2, any word on if they might be coming out on Computer? 7, 8, and most likely I would assume 9 have come out/will be coming out on cdrom. ..I probably won't be getting a PS2, and the thought of missing them is a little strange to me, having been there since the beginning on the ol' NES. (However, I did say the same thing about the Playstation, heh) The online capability would be there, that's for sure, with the way online gaming is nowadays.

Thanks for your response! (if you answer this!)


P.S. - The Legend of Dragoon is a must buy!

P.P.S. - yes, I am that pitiful that I spent the last 10 1/2 years, on and off, trying to beat a single game, during which time I've beaten coutless others including the mammoths Castlevania 3, Xenogears, and more!

With the successes that they've seen with Final Fantasy 7, and then FF8 on the PC market, I'd say that 9, and most future games will be expected to be ported over to the PC. I think they like the little extra money that they get from doing it.. and hey, when you're measuring "little extra bits of money" in the "Millions of Dollars" category.. I don't think any one of us would mind.

AC hax0ring Questions!
you said yesterday that if you can get a copy of the cd and install it, you don't need to buy the game...unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. a friend gave me his copy to install on my computer, and after a few weeks of begging, i was able to get my dad's credit card number, and i logged onto the zone, and tried to get a subscription. turns out you need to put the coupon number on the back of the jewel case in, and as my friend had used the game, it was already used up...yar. now i gotta buy it. =(


I was under the impression that you only needed the number for a free month coupon, and that you could buy the subscription full price and just not get the free month. It wouldn't make sense to do it the other way. Think about it, if you reinstalled on your computer, what would it do? Say, "Sorry there, bucko, that CD # has already been used!" .. I don't know. Maybe they do have it rigged up with Zone passwords or whatnot, but that doesn't make sense either, since I know a LOT of other people buy a 2nd Zone account for their game. I suggest trying it again, and not looking for the free coupon part, just make your zone account, then hit the zone main page, and buy a subscription to AC. Just for the record, we actually DID buy another copy of the game so that Heather could play. Though I'll be the first to admit that finding out I didn't need to later made me go "Doh!".

Give the Dude a Sword!
Hello Mighty Oracle. (i'm not good with sucking up so mighty is all I came up with.)

I must say that even though I have been reading this column since the days of Thor, this is the first time I've written in. I usually don't have to. When ever I have a question I look to the column and there is already a letter that asks at least somewhat close to the same thing I wanted to know. Like the fact that Vagrant Story was delayed in Canada, I had no idea why until I was about to write in and ask if Anybody at RPGamer had heard anything. but when I got to the column I read a letter saying why. Coincedence? i think so.

Anyway, I have a question and a comment. The comment is that Vagrant Story still isn't out here in Canada and I (even though I haven't been looking) I don't think LoM is out here either. I really hope Square's "Summer of Adventure" isn't going to be comepltely ruined because of these delays. Walmart (No EB in town so Walmart is my best chance) says Vagrant Story will be in around the end of the month. They said that back in May as well.....Seems kinda like Diablo 2....

My question is to do with main characters as mages. **possible final Fantasy 9 Spoiler if you don't want to know anything about the game** PSM says that the main character is going to be Vivi, the guy who looks like the black mage. Something always kinda makes me reluctant to use a character that relies nearly solely on magic in RPGs. I know magic can be very powerful even early in the game but the mages normal attacks usually suck. Do you think that instead of carrying a weapon for physical hits they should have like a free spell with no elemental alignment as a default attack or no?

Thanks for your time.

Al Bechard

Well, I like the idea of the main character having a free magic attack, (trying to think of a game that did this OTHER than gauntlet..) but I think we definitely need some variety... our main heroes are all ending up to be sword-weilding guys. (Suikoden, and a few other games excepting). Maybe it's the fascination with King Arthur and that kinda stuff that does it. I mean, Merlin was a kick-butt kinda guy.. but did he get all the fame, glory, women? NOoOoOooo... I think mages have been shafted for those lousy melee guys... NERF THE SWORD FOLK! .. er.. ahem.

Well, to be honest, I've had it since it came out.. :P
HAHAHAHA!!! I've had Suikoden longer than you have!!! 3 great years, buddy! And I was willing to forgoe FF8 because of Suik 2...Mmmm...Suik 3....Yummy...

Speaking of which, I had a really neat gameplay idea for a future Suikoden. They could make the 1-on-1 duels into a sort of fight game, and make the Army battles into more of a strategy game. Then, when you've beaten the game, you get a mini, two-player fight game based on the duels. That way, they could sell the game to RPGamers, Strategy buffs, and to Fight game fans. How about it?

Draklar "Can't sleep...playing Suikoden..."

Hehe.. a mini Street Fighter in the middle of Suikoden.. and a little battle arena, so you could take any 2 of your castle members, go in there, and have 2 player fun! Yes.... and I love the TacRPG addition too. Get to it, Konami! We love you! :) ..(and btw, I've had Suikoden since basically the first or 2nd week it came out. :P So nyah. I just hadn't realized it'd been 3 years. :o )

NeverWinter Nights...
Brad what is your opinion of never winter nights? It has a feature where you can design your own scenarios...kinda of like vampire: redemtion. It also has the new 3rd edition rules, which acording to trs/ wizards of the coast, will rock. did you ever play and tabletop/dice rolling rpg's? i hope neverwinter nights stays true to the core books...if it is anything like baldur's gate it will rule...

Matt Sullivan

Well, let's just put it this way. I've seen a working copy of NWN, (hee hee, E3!) and if you're an AD&D tabletop fan, you're going to LOVE NWN. It's basically as close to tabletop play as you can get over the computer. One person will design the campaign, and DM it, while other people connect later to play through it.. of course the DM can change things as the people are playing, (just like a real Tabletop environment)... and yes, it is COMPLETELY based on 3rd edition rules. We got a seriously great look at that game, and it looks AWESOME. As for me, I've played a bit of tabletop RPGs, but not 'enough'. I'd like to play more, but there really isn't a group I'm in that plays them regularly. Don't expect NWN to be like Baldur's Gate.. it's going to be a bit different. I think you'll like it, though. :)

Six Fingered Froods.
Did'st thou knowth that people with fingers numbering six are known as polydactyls? Methinks you did not. I should know, for I am one of those vile, soul-less creatures. Death to those who would taint the land with their foul evolution!

*hurls self off of highest battlement*

Nichabod "ow..." Potter

Nick Chase

And actually, having six fingers is a dominant Genetic trait... so supposedly, eventually, all humans will have 6 fingers, because .. well, the more of them that there are, the more their kids will have the trait.. Unless none of them have kids. And well, the women like the ex-- okay, I'm stopping now.

I just searched the release dates and I couldn't find one for Diablo2. So could you share some of your vast knowledge and tell me when it comes out? Oh, by the way, I can only buy one game at this point in time. There are a lot of choices and I'm undecided, what do you think it should be?


P.S. Goat people bad. Really.

Well, Diablo2 went gold recently.. so I'd say that it's not very long at ALL from hitting the shelves. This just in from news staff! (insert newsy bloop-bloop-ba-doop! here) .. Doug "Stom" Hill informs me that the official release date for Diablo2 is June 30th.

Unanswered Questions and Comments
So.. which one's my middle finger? :P
Admit it! You did kill his father! I have the picture that proves it!


[ .... ..... ..... ]

Yeah, wellbut... ... dork. :(
There's about 10 million Atari 2600s and over 30 Million NES's around. They're freaking everywhere. Any moron can find one of either console damned cheap with zero effort.

By comparison, there are about ~300,000 US NeoGeo Pocket Colors. That's a lot less. It is perhaps closer to being fair to compare the NGPC to the TurboExpress or TurboDuo (not sure on quantities, but each were under a million), which now each fetch roughly $150, give or take.

Admittedly, this is less than their original purchase prices ($400, $300), so they're hardly good investments.... but they have at least some potential to hold their value.

Speaking of investment potential and the NGPC, I understand some gaming magazines got advance copies of the US version of "Faselei!" I wonder how much those're worth, now that the release is cancelled?


[ Well, think about how much bootleg CDs are worth if the songs on them never go public. That's probably the area you're looking at... the thing is, only the biggest fans know that something is missing, so it only has value to a limited group of people. ]

Heh, heh, Shaft!
Hey there Brad well I just beat LoM and it took about 17-18 hours with all 67 quests done, and that was playing it rather slowly by my standards so yes the game may be short but it kicks arse like nobody's business so I recommend it to all. Later dood

-Jeffypop "it's my duty to please your booty"

UO user takes Brad's foot, and puts it in someone's mouth.. ew...
Hey there! Hold on, Oracle-dude!

AC may be getting lots of updates but UO is as well. In fact the Ultima world has expanded to twice it's previous size. One world being no player versus player. Plus, there are so many events organized throughout all the shards these days. Also, the expanded area will soon allow much more space for houses and since a bunch of recent patches, skill and stat gains are MUCH faster. Making a good character takes A LOT less time and in, the expanded area with no PvP, it's a lot safer. More info, of course, can be found all over the net.


[ Never afraid to be blatantly wrong in a major forum.. that's me! ]

PS2 blind loyalty?.. I wouldn't say completely blind.
Hey Brad,

I just wanted to say that people like Archmage I don't understand. He pre-ordered a PS2, but he had no idea what game to pre-order. I don't get this blind loyalty that people have for Sony. Yeah, there will probably be some cool games, but as of yet, I haven't really seen anything that interests me. It seems that people are more excited about the hardware and not the games. Yeah, I may get a PS2 sometime down the line if a bunch of cool games come out and it gets cheaper. I'm just saying that people should check out all options (Mainly the Dreamcast) before commiting to one. I think that Sega is providing one of the coolest gaming opportnities with the Dreamcast mainly because of the quality of their software. It's the games that count, not the hardware. There are a bunch of cool rpgs coming out on the Dreamcast including Phantasy Star Online, Eternal Arcadia(by he original Phantasy Star Team), and Shenmue. If you think that the Dreamcast hardware is weak, well it isn't, and it does a fine job at graphics. It's got more than enough power for games, and isn't it the games that matter and not the graphics, right? Ok, I'm done.


[ People follow the 3rd party developers.. now DC does have a lot of the good ones, but certain specific ones, (especially Squaresoft... go figger) tend to draw people to specific platforms. I'm buying a PS2. But hey, I saw Armored Core 2, and had luvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv for it! ]

Chrono Cross demo question...? hehe.
Hello Brad,

I have been reading your columns for a while now and I have always looked to RPGamer for news and stuff, but I finally decided to ask you a question. After buying Vagrant Story I was really impressed with the Chrono Cross demo and I have watched it a LOT! I was wondering if you could help me? In the demo the boy runs into that girl and she seems in pain do you think he stabs her or something it looks like it, but the angle they give us doesn't show us his hands well I was just wondering hope you can clear up my confusion.

[ I tend to stay completely away from games I'm really looking forward to, so I haven't actually even seen the demo for this game yet. I'm sure someone will explain it and send me a neat letter tomorrow so you can get your answers. :) ]

Another Mini-LoM review. Or should that be LoM mini-review? :)
Man oh man, the AI really really sucks. Was LoM rushed? It seems... incomplete somehow. The AI problems, the lack of xp sharing (unless you have special eq which is sort of silly for a proc), various control problems, (as I write this i've been trying to get this stupid egg for about an hour and a half, the process for getting it in the tutorial is apparently diffrent from the normal process....) A subpar menu system (for squaresoft, anyway), An incomplete manual, diaries that don't tell you anything about the quests, (I thought they had this covered with FFL for Gameboy but apparently not.) And of course the lack of any apparent plot, (although that would suggest to the optimist that LoM were to be a background game for other Seiken Dentsu/Mana games), an apparent lack of strategy necessary to actually complete the quests and events, the lack of a 3p setting (which blows because AI characters are essentially useless.)

I mean it feels like the suits at squaresoft said "Okay, the people in charge of gameplay have until the people in charge of Art, Storyline, and Music finish." I mean it's still a fun game just because the style of gameplay in LoM is so rare, but honestly, you play it and you just think "Damn, this could have been so much better."



Even though I don't think Al Gore is that great (I wanted Bradley), Bush is too stupid to run this country. Also, shame on you for being a registered Republican.

Brad: I was -almost- offended till I saw this came from someone at Berkeley. :P Not saying anything about Berkeley students, other than the fact that they're historically anti-Republican.

Why don't sheep shrink when they get wet?


Brad: Cuz they're pre-shrunk, duh.

Ha! I found Suikoden NEW at a local Babages for $15 (and that includes tax!).


Brad: That's a bit more enterprising!

To the guy who bought Suikoden for ten bucks used, I got it for $15 new. Then the day I beat it, Circuit City had Suikoden 2 new for $20.

Bow to that

Brad: Heh, I should let you guys buy my games....

Are you the Dread Pirate Roberts?


Brad: No, but I've got his addres... do you want it?

What in the name of Janet Reno is k-rad??? Oh, yeah, and what's sic mean? And... what's in my pocket?


Brad: k-rad is an old hacker-joke thing.. of which I'm not (an old hacker, that is, I stay on THIS side of the law, thankyouverymuch.) and sic means, "Spelled in Context" or something like that. Meaning, "the guy I'm quoting misspelled this word" .. you've got one hand in your pocket, and the other one's playing on your organ.

The Master Slime on lufia 2 is easy to kill. This is cheap, and sounds like it dosen't work, but in that battle. KILL YOURSELF. It REALLY works. honestly

Brad: Yeah, sacrifice yourselves to the slime.. that'll help Goog's ego a ton. :P

I hear that oracle's a Brad mutha! (ouch, ohhh, the pun. It hurts!) Anyways, I spotted a used copy of Secret of Mana at my local Rip-U-Off, er, I mean Funcoland. But it was $40, and the game's nine frickin' years old. That's almost half my life. However, it seems to be a rare and well liked piece of softcore software. Tell me, oh ye of infinite wisdom: Is it worth it?

-Lard Lad

Brad: In my opinion, not at $40. :|

Ice 3!!! HAHAHA!! Freeze beneath my icy powers of extreme coldness!!! Bwahahaha!!!


Brad: Meganuke. :P

Wrapping it up...

Well, what can I say.. that wasn't nearly as painful as it could have been.. .. (streeeetch), I need to go get some food in me, and some shower on me, and stuff like that. You all have a fun day, and we'll see what happens for tomorrow. By the way, I only got one reply on the sidebar thing, and it was from someone who said I should leave it as it is. So nyah.