The Oracle
A wild speeding train...
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - November '99- 00:00 South Pole Time

I love skittles. They are so good. yum yum. Toyota Echos are ugly cars. They're just like bubbles. If I wanted a bubble, I'd buy a hornking VW bug. Not that I have anything against VW bugs, *glare at Heather*, but they aren't my style. Well, not for my only car.. once I'm rich and cool and stuff. (Someday I'll be cool! SOMEDAY DAMNIT).. then I can own a VW bug for just show purposes, and just because.. well, some days you just want to drive a bubble. The Echo is dumb looking.

I went looking at cars today. Saw some neat stuff. Some some dumb stuff. As always, wished I had a little more money, so that I could totally afford the fully loaded BMW with the royal blue paint. Ah well, maybe next time... heh. Anyway, no real excitement besides hanging out with crazy people at the south pole.. it's nice down here. Kinda chilly, but I can dig that. I've decided to set up permanent residence at the South Pole.

You may ask, "Won't you get lonely?" .. but.. I belong with the penguins. They are my friends.

.. that, and well, I'm massing my secret army of Arctic Monkeys in order to wreak havoc upon the civilized world. Them's the beans, sometimes, kiddos. At least you can say you were warned.

Oh yeah, I will, of course, continue doing the column, even through freezing snow storms. It'll be fun. I'll be tired, hungry, and cold now too!

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Now under new management!
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Oh no, someone's got root on brad's head!
I'm a swedish tank. Vah-room.
That's French for "I give up, take Paris!"
*** Possible Star Ocean 2 Spoilers Present and Accounted For, SIR! ***
Hey Brad, I have a nice multiple-question letter, just for you. I hope you can supply me with some answers.

Hey, that's what I'm here for, n'est-ce pas?

1) After defeating Indalecio, he starts babbling about not being able to stop him, blah, blah, blah. Well then he says " mission and my raison d'etre." Is raison d'etre a typo or is it Latin or what? Can you make sense of that?

Actually, it's French (as was my little comment before, mine meant (roughly) " , right?" (very not-literal translation). Indalecio's comment is translated as "reason to be" .. or 'reason for existence' or 'reason for living'.

2) Since beating Claude's scenario I'm playing Rena's. In that port town(Herlie, I think), I did a Private Action and when I went to leave the town Rena heard a couple of Zand Minions shouting at a mystery person. I choose to help her(him?). The minions left and the woman(man?) said her/his name was Yul. Now I've looked at many walkthroughs and FAQs and none of them mention Yul, or that Private action. Is Yul a playable character? If so, do I get her/him later on or do I have to do something before I leave town?

Yul is not a playable character, and as far as I've been able to tell, has no real impact on the game outside of Herlie.

2 1/2) Speaking of Herlie, what does Zand have to do with the town? Nothing happened with Claude's scenario, is it just for Rena? It would seem to be a big waste of programming if nothing happens with Zand.

I've found absolutely nothing with that Zand guy, either. I thought this was weird, and I'm possibly missing something, but I've played through Star Ocean 2 a couple of times, gotten all the playable characters, and consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable about the game... and well, Zand's thing just draws out to a plot dead-end, as far as I know.

3) Here is another mystery character. Once I went to the Lacour port(Hanton?), I went back to Cross Castle in hopes of being able to see the PA where you bumpped into the 3-eyed man. While looking for him I found Celine in from of that resturante. I agreed to some tea and found the chef yelling at this guy who didn't pay his tab. He strangly replied that he didn't known he had to pay, and I eventually paid for him. He thanked us outside and we introduced each other. But while he was saying his name he went: "C...Chris. My name is Chris." He certainly didn't look like a normal town person. So is he playable character? Can I move on and find him later, or do I have to do something right then?

Heh. The three-eyed man is Ernest, read through walkthroughs on how to get him. (Yes, I could detail it out, as I've done it, (he's actually fairly decent in battle, though I personally think he sounds like a goob..), but you asked for no spoilers, anyhow. Chris is someone else entirely. I won't tell you everything about Chris, but let's put it this way, Chris can have some big affect on the ending of the game, depending on how many times him and Celine get together. He is not a playable character. Upon enough requests, I could detail out the Chris and/or Ernest scenarios, but well, send the requests and I'll do it tomorrow.

Thanks Brad for at least reading this, sorry it's so long. If you DO know about Yul and Chris try not to spoil TOO much as I haven't beat Rena's scenario yet. Just tell me if I only get one chance to get them.

Some of the Chris stuff may be a one-chance thing, and a lot of the Ernest stuff sure the heck is. (If you've already got Ashton, kiss it goodbye... and even if you do get Opera, it's still a pain in the butt to get Ernest.


Moogle Mage

Veronica wasn't apparently that interested, but maybe you are. I found something cool in Final Fantasy Anthology. Well, it might not be cool, but it is to me. I was playing FF VI and in the World of Ruin, I went and got characters in this order:

Celes, Sabin, Edgar, Skipped Mobliz. Went straight for Setzer, Visited Terra in Mobliz, Cave on the Veldt: Got Shadow to Thamasa, Relm, Strago

Now, when I got Strago into a battle, he turned into Mog's twin. Another Moogle was fighting with me, not Strago. Nothing else was affected; he still had his Lore command, he just looked like Mog. Then I went on to get everyone else, including Mog. Now when I go into battles with both of them in my party, I can't tell them apart!

Check Strago's equipment. $20 says he's wearing a Moogle Suit, which either him or Relm can equip, and make them look like Moogles for the duration of the wearing. Talk about annoying. :)

Konami Predictions (per Veronica's request)
Dear Oracle,

Can you tell me whether Konami's next game will be utter garbage or a masterpiece?


Yeah, I bet if she told you to dip yer fingers in battery acid, you'd do that too. I don't know about Konami's next game, period.. heck, I don't do news, I don't know what their next RPG coming out will be. But I'll tell ya what. Vandal Hearts 2 is going to rock, and that just might be the next RPG out in the market by them. I'm picking it up day of release, baby. I love Vandal Hearts.

Brad answers the 4554341341665788th FF8 question. Again.
*** FF8 Spoilers, if you're lucky! ***

I'm on the 3rd disc of Final Fantasy 8, and I can't figure out how to get Doomtrain! I know that you need 6 Steel Pipes, 6 Remedy+, 6 Marboro Tentacles, but now that I have the Ragnarok I can't find any of these enemies. Marboros have virtually disappeared now that Esthar is all twilight, and I was never able to find Wendigos either. Am I still able to get Doomtrain at this point in the game?

Is there anyway you can help me out?? I'd really appreciate it!!


Wendigos can be found in the forests of Galbadia, or just hanging around where Galbadia Garden used to be. Malboro's are easily found on the Island Closest to Heaven, in the upper right handishness of the map, near the forest north of Esthar. (Land on all the little islands, it's not too big, and not super-miniscule either, check your map for the name of where you are, when you find Heaven, well, SAVE, and then hang around until you get your butt kicked find some Malboro's.

Pug pug pug pug pug pug pug pug
Would you happen to know what a Tonberry (TONBERRY! NOT PUGS!) is? It's been around since FF5, always being that freaky enemy which slowly advances towards you and then (gasp!) kills you. I mean, a lizard-like creature with a lantern and a knife. Is is some weird Japanese mythology or something?

Probably has something to do with 30+ year old japanese perverts and their fetishes. :) If anyone can find a neat explanation of this one, be sure to let me have it. Oh. And they're pugs. :)

Notice for those lacking knowledge of irony and sarcasm...
Who is this goog character? He's a real biased person.....biased to the point where he sounds pretty stupid. Square's made some good stuff but to worship them and declare to like non-square games better than Square games is insane....i mean gosh, Square's made alot of crap as of late.

Ergiez and Bushido Blade 2 did not meet expectations. Parasite Eve and Saga frontier were plain old humiliations and no matter what you say about FF7 and FF8. FF6 will always be the peak of the series. The only things Square has made so far that deserve praises is Final Fantasy tactics, FF anthalogy (wich really was previously made games) and Bushido Blade.

Goog should think twice before worshiping square. That way you could be playing bad games but wont even know it.

-Ross Levine

This letter would look a lot less dumb if it wasn't obvious exactly what Goog was saying back then, and that he was kidding.

Woo, Valeria!
in suikoden 2 when i put a kindness rune in valeria's weapon i got a 999 attack power. so when i got to l'renouille when i got to battle lucia i used the falcon rune while low hp which changes from 2x to a 6x attack which caused 8000+ damage just so you know how to make a super-powered character.
imperial mog

If this really works, that's a cool way to make one of the most kickbutt fighters in the game even moreso. Another good reason why chosing Valeria over Kasumi is the way to go.

Bahamut Blues
*** FF8 Spoilin' Sandwich ***
How come in the place where you get Bahamut, there are fights like every 2 steps? Oh yeah I didn't get Bahamut because Ruby Dragons take too long to beat. How do you get Eden?

-The letter M

Don't walk when the light is shining in that room, or else you'll just end up being attacked all the time. At least there aren't tons of Rubies running around the floor.

Wipeout XL. Not RPG, what you gonna do, cry about it?
You have Fluke in your head. Atom Bomb is a good song. Wipeout XL is a good game, is Wipeout 3 any good?


Yeah, I dig that song. I haven't played Wipeout 3.. I want some reviews of it. Well, not big ones. Ya'll send me some words on how good Wipeout3 is. Right now.

Bein' nasty with the whacking!
*** FF8 Is your friend, your possibly-spoiling friend in this entry ***

Everyone's saying their strategies on energy crystals: here's something to make Elnoyles WAY easier: Junction 100 Death to your status-attack. It's SO satistfying to see Squall hit one for 5000 damage and kill it instantly. *evil grin*

-Runic Knight Nanakidan

That's just not very nice. But that does work on quite a few enemies, as I'm told... but I didn't cheat like that. I whooped 'em good and clean. 'sides, it's cool to draw holy from those guys.

Swedish Quickies

Don't you think it's a bad idea to smile and wave at snipers? I do.
--Nick Boice sad. Discrimination, that's what that is. Snipers are people too, for gosh sakes!

I was playing final fantasy V the other day( from final fantasy anthology) and on the game load screen, a character walks by. Well, this time I saw what looked like Cloud from FF7. Is he in final fantasy 5?

Nah, they're just throwing others into the screen for the halibut.

"Icewind Dale"? What kind of a stupid name is that for a game?!

Well, that's better than "Icewind Chip&Dale's Rescue Rangers"*, which coming from an unreliable source, was the original title for the game.

It's spelled "buon giorno," not "bon journo,"
Captain Lou.

Er, I'm supposed to have sucky spanish, not sucky italian. I stand corrected.

How do you pronounce Googleshng?
Scrappy ~_~

I try not to. When forced, I basically fake a sneeze and throw some weird sounds on the end.

The JELL-O.... jumped from the cup and it hit me! Bill Cosby must be stopped! ::handcuffed:: I'm telling you he's trying to take over the world!! ::being dragged away by cops:: We're all gonna die!!!! We're all-- ::forced inside police car::

Repeat after me, children, "Bill Cosby is not Satan...", "Bill Cosby is not Satan...", "Bill Cosby is not Satan..."

Still haven't gotten over this split personality "Brad" phase, have you JD? You need help.

If I could write half as well as JD, there'd be more peopole like you, I'm sure.

In yesterdays column, when talking about items in FF8, you mentioned that when you mug someone, you thought they dropped items less frequently. That's mostly true. You can either mug a monster for his items, or let him drop them. If you mug him, he will not drop anything. Some items can only be received by mugging, and some items must be dropped by the monster. Elnoyles will only drop Energy Crystals. Same with Adamantoises/Adamanatine. So it's good to take off mug sometimes.

That's what I said, didn't I! Yeah.

Words from the Wise One:

Wow, that there is a pretty full column. Good job, me! Heh, and done early.. it's been such a crazy week. Such a .. great/weird/crazy/hectic/insane/whacked/weird/awesome/yikes/whoa week. I tell ya... something's in the air. And I got it all right. Yikes. By the way, one of my readers decided to write in and announce his exit from the closet. Frederick Post.. the newest member to the GayGaming scene.. thanks for writing in and making yourself known. If any of you wish to correspond with dear Frederick, just drop me a line and we'll see what we can do. Heh, that's what you get for writing in telling me to announce in my column that some not-buddy of yours is gay. 'splain THAT one at school tomorrow, dude.

Dude, give me back my unicycle.. I'll never make it to the Geek Lunch on time without it.. Duuuuuuuuude!

Brad "I've got the whole world.. in my pa--.. socks." Lohr
* Disney probably owns rights to those names, I don't want to get in trouble, so uh, those belong to them, or someone who is not me.

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