The Oracle  



Brad Lohr, The Oracle - June 23 '00

Heh. I don't have a whole lot of time to get going with this today.. (busy Friday ... ew.. anyway).. so I'm going to jump into stuff pretty quick, and well.. I'll say it now. It's not going to be a long column. Not due to anyone's anything, but because I need to get outta here. If you sent something in, if it isn't posted today, look for it tomorrow, I'll clean out my box then.


Like the wind!
I'm really quick. Just ask Heat-- .. er, wait a second...

Recent Q&A's


The Old stuff
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Brad Now Playing:
Asheron's Call
Moot now has Life Magic. :) Very happy about that.
In Brad's Head:
I still haven't got going on my Suikoden2 game...
Oh well, someday I will...
Egads, going back to school is going to suck.
Question and Answer
... a few good men.
Hi Bradley! =

Ok I was just wondering if having the characters in Suikoden level up that effects the army sequences AND.. do you have all your characters at high levels or are most of the 108 (the ones you used) real high. I'd like your reply please! Thank you ~.^


Mumble, I don't respond well to "Bradley" .. anyhow. The 2nd time through the game, when I got all 108, I leveled everyone up to about 45-50ish? I think this does help out the army sequences a little bit, (attack power going up? I don't know for sure)... but I -know- for a fact that levels effect the 1 on 1 battles .. as does equipment. This last time through Suikoden1, I actually only kept my main party highly leveled, and only them really equipped. Who I used: Viktor, Flik (They're going to be in the last party, might as well use them anyway), Valeria (till the very last), Cleo for a lot (Water Rune early on), the Hero, and -always-, -always-, -always- Kai. The combo attack between him and McDohl is probably the best 'normal enemy' clearing attack there is for two people, and you always have one in your party, so why not the other? (I very much like Eikei, Pahn, and Morgan's combo... it's great. :])

MGS -- Isn't that what they put in Chinese food?
*** Metal Gear Solid semi-spoilers ***

Hey Brad,

While waiting for suikoden1 to arrive by mail(if it's as good as the second one,I'll crap my pants),I decided to rent the kick ass game Metal Gear Solid.I think I've almost beaten it,but there's just one thing I'd like to know:Is it actually possible to resist the torture,not submitting to it? Thank you.


As my information tells me, (I rented MGS, and didn't like it very much, just not my type.. nothing really wrong with it.. just didn't click with me), yes, you can resist the torture, you just hafta mash those buttons like you never have before. Also if you think you can get away with using a turbo controller, think again: The game can sense it, (probably can tell by the exact timing of the repeat), and you won't get what you want out of it. ;)

You spoony Brad!
Bard, er, Brad, (I have the FF4 mindset right now)

Yeah, okay, I'm in a :P`,`,`,` mindset.

First off, I'm stuck in FF4. I'm at the Cave of Power. All the random battles in there are just too powrful to fight since all the characters have to unequip all their good stuff. So I ran from all the battles, and when I got to the boss, he's too powerful for me. So what do I do? Level up before going in the cave? Or are there some good equipment to equip that I dont have?

Well, here's the advice from Kevin: He says to take the silver rings off of Yang and Tellah, then run from everything. (I assume by "Cave of Power" you mean "Magnus Cave" or the cave where you can't wear metal.) .. once you get to the boss, he'll of course waste you, then Edward will "save" you... you'll be able to re-equip everything. Hit the Dark Elf with as much as you've got, MAKING SURE to keep Tellah alive. Once he changes into the that white dragon/snakey thing, ... hit him with the "Weak" spell. It works a good 50% of the time, and bring him down to less than 10hp. If you can't figure out the rest, there's nothing I personally can do to save your sorry hide. :)

Next up. I hear how FF2j and 3j werent any good. I've never played them, but I'm wondering why arent they considered any good?

Well, the problem is that most people played these games AFTER playing something like 6. Now the graphics aren't as good, the stories not so involved, and well, they were still making FF intot he series it is today... so in COMPARISON they weren't as great of games. But they're not bad at all, really. That of course, is personal opinion.

I'm looking at expanding my RPG repertoire. I dont have any PC RPGs, so I've been looking at Baldur's Gate. Do you know what kind of RPG it is? I know it's AD&D, but I mean does it have good storyline and character development? Or is it all about dungeon sweeping?

Baldur's Gate is more about story, and finding the right way to move along in the quest, than actual fighting... though of course, if you don't fight and get something for exp, your people will be in sad shape for boss battles, etc. Nicely enough, the best character in the game, Minsc, is also one of the most humerous, and coolest to keep in your party. ;)

Lastly, here's a little goodie I made shorly after that FF6 "me good pilot" screenshot.

Right on! I love it... That is high quality work right there. :)

Uh..., Phoenix ^_^

"W, wark!"

Soul Food.
Hey Brad,

In Suikoden (1), Ted said that the Soul Eater kept him alive after 300 years. Will the McDohl guy have that same incredible lifeline? Also, why does Clive look younger in Suikoden 2 than in Suikoden 1? Bleehhh...

I believe that the Soul Eater keeps the bearer alive by eating the souls of people around it, so quite possibly McDohl will be immortal until the damn thing gets enough soul food, or he passes the misery off to another unwitting victim. As for Clive.. it's because he's so damn cool, even time leaves him alone. Who's the party member that gets all the kills..... CLIVE!

A goon who drags around... :)
Oh Mighty Brad

I have a burning question to ask: Is a Dragooner someone who where a suit of armor and carries a long spear and jumps on people or is it someone who controls and/or rides dragons


Going from the FFT names, they're either "Dragoners" (one 'o'), or "Dragoons" (two 'o's, no 'er').. a Dragoner is basically a dragon Tamer/Trainer, and a "Dragoon" is an armored knight who specializes in killing Dragons. Just that FF got stuck on Dragoons jumping at everything.. :) But the spear thing works.

Suikoden 1, Neclord...
Sup Homie,

Well i need help in suikoden. Unfortunately I'm stuck at the Necrolords Castle, and i can't seem to find him anyware to fight... What do i do in that room where there is just only a piano sitting there? Also, can you continue your game in Suikoden II?

Thanks Homie,


Well, unless you've started the Neclord scenario, (Hix is in your party), he won't be there, but I've never tried going into the castle before that.. make sure you've visited the Temple, and then gone BACK to the village to start the "scene". Neclord is in the top room, with the Organ. As for Suikoden2, yes, you can load your save data from 1, and it will have noticable effects in 2, I suggest checking out somewhere for an FAQ on the specific things that will be transferred.

Unanswered Questions and Comments
More stories of cheap game buying!
Hey Brad...

I think it's kind of interesting that Maloki got Suikoden at the Sears in West Towne, because I live in Madison and I never even knew that that particular Sears -sold- Suikoden. Or games for that matter. I usually go down to the Software Etc. down by the mall's food court, where they indeed sell Suikoden and Vandal Hearts for $15 a piece, brand new. (You can also get MDK and Pandemoneum for $11 a piece, which are also good games, but not RPGs.) I guess I'll have to check out Sears from now on. Not that I feel ripped off...

Just to make this email worth reading, I guess I'll pass on a little of my own game-buying wisdom- try Walmart. At the local Walmart I've seen Xenogears for $20 (sorry, I got the last copy in town...), Worms Armageddon for $15 (don't make the mistake I did- go for the PC version, as the Playstation version is really stripped down), and Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions for $20.

Oh, and I was able to pick up a copy of Suikoden II at a Circuit City for $20... but that sale is long past.

"Evil Frog- Because sometimes 'bad' isn't good enough."

[ I too have found Walmart to be a good place to buy games.. and Worms Armegeddon just plain rocks. :) ]

LoD Mini-Review
Yesterday, someone wrote in asking for goog's opinion on LoD. Apparently, there have been many reviews, both good and bad. Here are my opinions of the game at certain points:

After seeing Japanese screenshots: Hmmm.....interesting. Battles look pretty cool, but it resembles Final Fantasy 8 waaaay too much at this point. Could really go either way.

After watching video demo inside June issue of OPM: Very cool. Graphics are impressive, music and vocals are excellently done. Definitely buying it now.

After reading review inside July issue of OPM: The reviewer seems really impressed, but he never really picks out any elements that make it so cool. I'm beginning to wonder if OPM is starting to kiss Sony's ass.....

After playing demo inside July issue of OPM for first time: This crap sucks!!! I never seem to do any damage to enemies, the character designs are retarded, and all audio aspects seem weak outside of battle. Now I don't have to waste the $5 on a rental.

After reading review again, and deciding to give demo another chance: Cool! Now I actually know how to do those Additionals (thanks to in-demo tutorial). Story has good potential, battles are going quicker thanks to my new-found skill, and I'm learning to ignore the hero's clichd design and personality. Fighting the boss in the cave was cool, and the world map is huge!!! I think I'm gonna buy it now.

After purchasing it and playing for 8 hours straight: Only weak aspect is character design. Very happy I bought it. Going to recommend it to a friend.

To sum it all up, I recommend LoD to anyone who wants a 50+ hour game and a unique combat system. I'm 15 hours in and totally addicted. Give the game a chance if you don't like it at first; I'm glad I did.


Middle Name unknown? Naw, nobody does that... _
Dear Brad-meister (THE MASTER OF BRAD)   [ Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad of Earl, Earl, Earl.. nevermind ]

I have a problem to relate (whatever that means). Anyway, I have an import device called the "game hunter cd version". This device allows me to play imports on my playstation. The problem is, I can't seem to be able to change discs in the middle of playing! I know this is because of the spring you have to put in your playstation that affects the spinning of the disc. For US games this is okay (just remove everything) but for import this just cannot do. How am I supposed to play the whole import game if I can't change discs? This wouldn't be a problem if import rpgs were all magically 1-disced but they aren't. Do you have a solution? can you post this so other people can answer? does any one have a better way of playing imported games? (I am open to all suggestions, except the ones that won't work)

Yakage "If you post this I'll reveal my middle name!" Mushima

I first mentioned this to Googleshng, but Goog thought I didn't have my facts straight. I don't know why, but Goog has yet to print any of my letters, yet you've printed over half of the one's I've sent to you... you can guess where my preference is starting to lean... Anyway, to the point.

Infogrames (yes, with an 'r') is releasing Koudelka in the US, which as we all know, is an RPG with heavy HP Lovecraft-ian influences. This isn't a first for Infogrames though- they were also the people who made the Alone in the Dark games, which are also very Lovecraft-ian... coincidence, or do you think the guys at Infogrames have some sort of Cthulu fetish?


[ Heh, one of the guys here at work has (er, had, his last day was 2 days ago) a big Cthulu obsession. Oh well. :) ]


When was the mailbag that you had Heather guest host? What month was it?

Brad: September sometime... heh.. back before we were dating.. when "everyone knew" except for us. :P

In response to the guy who went to Rip-U-Off err... I mean Funco Land and saq SoM $40. Don't bother ever going there to get games. I think selling would probably be better though. Oh yeah I got SoM for $3 off of a friend of mine! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Shouta Shura

Brad: Wow, $3.. I think we've finally got a winner. :) Well, that all depends.. if it's US money, any Canadian buying a game for under $20CAN would beat out $3US anyday. :)

Hey Brad recently I had dream with you in it. The strange thing was that you where in the body of A three-hundred pound man. What do you suppose it means?


Brad: Probably that I need ot lose some weight ;(

Oh yes.. check the news out... my evil monkeys are in boot camp!


Hey Brad! If you like Xenogears, please check out my Sophia painting that's up for auction on E-bay. Just search by seller using "65poni" and it should be the only listing. Thanks!!! ^_^

Always a fan,
Rinoa the Resistance Fighter

Brad: Heh, I'm not usually a big fan of posting other peole's semi-ads, but hey.. maybe someone actually wants to buy it.. :)

Brad, This is IT! I've given up trying to go out with you! I'm gonna start dating King Albert! He treats me equal ^_^


Brad: .... (sigh of relief)

My name's not Steve - it's Steve-Dave.
Tell 'em, Steve-Dave!

-Steve-Dave Pulaski

PS - I'll be your best friend if you understand this reference!

Brad: Well, I don't know where that reference is from, but I'd been asked about a million times where the whole "Steve" thing came from... and well, I guess I'll tell you all now. Go see Multiplicity. The line, "I like Pizza, Steve" is pretty much what got it all going. :)

Wrapping it up...

That was a lot more full of a column than I expected to get, but I still gotta get moving... I'll be more fun tomorrow. ;)

Brad "Mover && Shaker" Lohr