The Oracle
The Bitbucket Blues
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - December '99- 14:00 PST

Hey there. What's up? Here we are again, end of the weekend.. the beginning of the first week of my christmas break.. whee.

I got a lot of response from the 'flame response' I printed yesterday.. (Luckily, none from the high-ups ;D) .. and well, I guess I'm just sorry for all of it. I'm just stoked about having someone so cool in my life, and well, I'm proud and want everyone to see, I guess.. but ya'll don't have to worry too much about it anymore.. not that I didn't get some "Yeah! You told HER!" responses. I did get one very well thought through response about how I was alienating those single members of the audience, but I'm not trying to do so. When I was younger, I was the same video gaming geek that I am today... but back then, I was relatively friendless, especially girl-friendless. Just how it was. But the point I'm trying to hit at, and one that Heather herself mentioned to me, is that I guess it can all work out well in the end. You'll never be the most popular person in the world... (I'm definitely not).. but if you just stay true to yourself, lern some perl... get a cool job.. and then hang out at geek-chick conventions.. er.. well, someday, life will be a beautiful butterfly....

BUTTERFLY! ... er.. what was I saying?

Yes, I was saying how fun Christmas is. Game-wise, I got Jade Cocoon, and Asheron's Call. I'll check them out soon, we'll see how it goes. Got a column to do, so let's get to it, yo!

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Recent Q&A's


The Old stuff
The Archives
Brad Now Playing:
Vandal Hearts 2
Just got to the Final Chapter.. it even says, "Final Chapter"
The Lone Reboot Watcher Speaks...
Hey, Q and A guy, some questions. 1. What do you think of Septerra Core?

Er, dunno, haven't gotten my hands on that one yet. I'm hearing a lot of good things about it, however.

2. How about Planescape Torment?

Likewise, I haven't played it yet, it IS however in the mail to me, and I will play a bit of it sometime shortly. It looks REALLY good, and if Baldur's Gate is any indication of how well these guys can make D&D games.. well, Torment's going to be REALLY good.

3. What happened to all of the noses in FFT? Did Steve eat them?

No.. Steve wouldn't do that, would you, Steve?

4. Any other PC RPG's you reccomend? (Besides Baldur's Gate)

As always, hit the Fallout series. It's great. Fallout 1 and 2 are both spectacular games with fairly similar level of graphics and stuff. So the first one isn't "too old" to be enjoyable.

5. When you go to Comdex...don't you feel cooler? By comparison, huh?

I didn't get to go to Comdex this year. But next year Howard says we're going to have a booth there. :)

6. What's the worst song ever written? ((Besides "A horse with no name")

The worst song ever written wasn't. The songwriters who "write" the worst music are hardly literate enough to read, let alone write.

7. Am I the only person that still likes Reboot?

I caught Edge watching it once.. but i don't watch TV, so I don't know.

Cheshire Catalyst

Vlad sez: "Bash Magimaster Good! Big Stick make good hurt!"
Oh Great Oracle,

Now that FF Anthology has been released, I write this letter hoping it will be of use to someone playing FFVI. On Christmas Day, some guy named "Kev" wrote in asking how to kill the Magimaster. Well, casting Life 3 is one solution, but there are two other ways you can kill the bastard without using Life 3. Yes, it is possible. I read this on some site a long long time ago, but I don't remember what site it was... anyways, the two methods:

Method #1
Required: Palidor Esper
Recommended: Scan, Berserk

Make sure you have the Palidor Esper equiped on someone, then go into battle. Cast Berserk and whomp the Magimaster like you normally would until his HP is real low. Like around 2000 or so. The point is to make it as low as possible without killing him. (Use Scan). When you have done that, use the Palidor Esper. Your party members should fly off the screen and land one by one and deal damage. With luck, you'll kill the Magimaster with the first or second party member. He will then cast Ultima, kill those two members, but the rest will still be alive, and you win!

Note: I have never tried this method, but it sounds like it should work. If he casts Ultima AFTER all your party members land, use the second method.

Method #2
Required: Osmose
Recommended: Rasp, Berserk

Go into battle. Cast Berserk on him so that he doesn't hurt you so bad. (Optional) Now, continually use Rasp on him. When you need more MP, use Osmose. The Magimaster dies when you have drained all his MP, and he won't be able to cast Ultima!

Note: He can still be at full HP when you drain all his MP, and he'll still die. The problem is that he has 10000 MP, so this will take a long time. I have done it this way. On the website I read this, it also says that you can kill the Atma Weapon by draining all of his 10000 MP. You're welcome to try, I trust it will be incredibly hard.

Of course, using Life 3 is easier than any of these methods. You can always level up to Level 80 or so...Just thought you'd like to know these.


Well, always a forum for inventive and really pain-in-the-butt ways of killing bosses, here are two examples of ways to prove to your friends that you spend too much time playing video games... of course, I have personally not only done #2 (and yes, it works)... but I have also done it to Atma Weapon, and, .. yes.. it works as well. :) Just for the record, Rasp works a lot better than Osmose does, and you can use Scan to find out how many MP the guy has.

Plea of Help from Princess Monotheistic!
Well, America has hit a new low. Princess Mononoke has disappeared from the Washington / Baltimore area. I can only assume this is because it did so horribly in the theatres because people would not go to see it. This, I can udnerstand. While being possibly the best movie I've ever seen, America is afraid of anime. When quizzed, 9 out of 10 people on my street said that an example of Anime was 'Pokemon.' Is that sad, or is that SAD? Ugh. Anyone that has it anywhere remotely near them, and is even thinking of seeing it, go see it before it disappears! Please, Brad! Ya gotta post this, because the fate of the world relies on it. =(

-Sadres, Mononoke Lover

I went, I watched, I laughed a bit. I wasn't wholly impressed beyond my wildest imagination at Princess Monogamy, but it wasn't bad. I've seen a lot worse films. But then, I'm not much of an anime person, as I've said. But I tried it, mostly because miyuski said if I didn't go watch it, my princess would always be in another castle. Wah. Anyway, if you want to see it, kiddos, go see it quick. It's not going to be around much longer, and it honestly isn't a bad film at all, even from the lips of a non-animeloving dork RPGamer.

FF5, I played that once..
Hi Brad

I have just some questions about FF5:

1. Where can I get the Blue Magic Mighty Guard??????
As far as i know, I can learn it from "Sting Ray" through Control. That Sting Ray should show up on the water near the now Sunken Tower of Walse in World 3, but I spend hours to sail around there and I only encountered some stupid Thunderpits, Fins erc.

So where is this Sting Ray really, or is there another enemy with this Blue Magic??

Alright, I'm not altogether sure on the location of a Stingray, but you might want to look for him inside the sunken tower. If you can't get there yet, well, go play some game, then come back later! :) As for who might also have Mighty Gaurd, well, Movers are a possibility, though my information shows only Stingrays with said magic. Movers are found very near to the end of the game, basically next to the last save point. This is where I leveled up all my people fairly high... so I saw them somewhat frequently. I'm also now being informed that you can get it from Shinryuu, but good luck controlling him. Try the movers, but I'm not too optomistic about it.

2. In the town of Mirage, there is a man who tells me "to round the world on a yellow chocobo" for a gift!. What does that mean? Surely I can't go around the world on a yellow chocobo?!?!?!?

Of course you can.. it's really odd, I didn't think so either, but you actually can. And don't call me Shirley.

3. I am now at Level 45, but I haven't even 3000 HP. Is that normal? In fact, I want to get 9999 HP for everyone (to kill Shinryuu without this mean 8-Dragon-Lance-Technique), but I have to kill more than 20 enemies for only 1 Level up, thant means 50x20 (or more as the Levels increases)= 1000 enemies for reaching Level 99; I think even a hardcore RPG Gamer wouldn't do this. What where the guys at Sqaresoft thinking?

I'll tell you exactly what they were thinking. They were thinking, "hahahahahahahaha this is going to make you bleed. Shinryuu is one tough mofo, yo. I didn't beat him, though I really didn't spend the time necessary to put in a good attempt.

I hope you can help me :)

Kind Regards

Martin Wallimann

More business with the pronunciation game...
I have a few slight objections to your RPG pronunciations. And I'm sure you'll get plenty of these letters, but here I go anyway.

Hey, *I* have a few slight objections to them, I said so myself :)

Yuffie - I've always said "yoo'-fee", it seems like the way the Japanese would say it, given my basic knowledge of the language.

I'll go with that. Works for me.

Rinoa - I pronounced the "Ri" as a short "i" as in "riff", or "cliff". And of course the rest like "noah" as in the ark guy.

Actually, that's how I say it too.

Quistis - I say it the same as you, but my girlfriend says it like "kee-stiss", because of her Spanish studies.

Quistis looks much more like a Scandanavian than a Spanish.

Edea - Again, because of Japanese, I would say "ehh-dey-uh"

Okay, like "Idea" 'cept with an 'E'.

Cait Sith - Cait = Kate, and Sith, well, I think that isn't up for debate since Phantom Meanace came out.

I actually got confirmation on this one, due to it being some sort of gaelic legend. See below. :)

Elw - I just say it like "ell-wuh" except clipping off the "uh"(kinda hard to do) and making it one syllable.

Yes, this one I know I was wrong on. :)

And here's an old one for the NES that many of my friends and I debated over - "Faxanadu"

"Fax" (as in fax machine) "annn" as in the name, "adooo" as in Much Ado about nothing. Fax-ann-ahh-doo

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, linguistics boy! Har dee har har!

But I always thought that the fun of RPNames was trying to come up with a pronunciation that sounded good to yourself anyway.

I agree. Of course, I was utterly wrong reading Douglas Adams when someone said, "That's not Perfect, it says, 'Prefect'. Doh.

--The (RP)Geek

PS - And here's a brain twister for ya: Do you know how to pronounce "photi?" And no, it's no "fo-tee."

"Foh-tie" As in the plural of Photon ;D

Reader on Crack, news at 11
I thought the 15 blocks thing was in reference to the amount of space that would be needed if you loaded the mini-game on to your pocketstation. Now if someone was just willing to send me a free pocketstation to test my theory....


It might be Xmas, but you are dreaming. Well, unless someone really wants to, then send me the info. :P And get me one too, I think. :)

Confuzzled Reader asks: What's confuzzled mean?

Wait... now I'm confused... if FF9 is coming out next year, will it be on the PSX or PS2? Or will the PS2 launch along with FF9...?

Oh, and I pronouce Sephiroth as "Seffroth"... it just sounds better that way.

-X the "I pronouce 'Brad' and 'The Oracle' like that, too..." Unknown

FF9 will be out for the PSX (not PS2 or whatever they're going to call it)... as you may have read , they are getting closer to completion of this game.. so well, here's to a Final Fantasy game NOT being seperated by 3 or more years from the last one!

What's REALLY inside the PSX audio System
>Now, FF8PC uses MIDI because FF8 for PSX uses MIDI!! The reason it >sounds so much better on PSX is because the >PSX MIDI synthesizer is SUPERB while the MIDI on the PC version is >software generated (i.e. very poor). This guy couldn't be more wrong (no offense if you're reading this). The PSX does NOT have any midi capablilities at all. The chip cranks out 24 channels of 16-bit ADPCM glory (I think that stands for Advanced Digital Pulse Code Modulation, but I'm not 100% sure of that). The closest computers come to ADPCM is modules (Mods, XMs, ITs... etc). An interesting fact as well, the Super Nintendo has almost the same sound chip (it's called an SPC700 I think) as the PSX. The only difference is that the SNES one is 8 channels.

-gaspump the audiophile

That's right, now with the Q&A column more resembling an editorials column ever day!

More people look for Artist information...Brad sits idly around and plays with crayons.
Word up Oracle,

Do you know where you can find any information or like a gallery for the FFT and Vagrant Story artist, Akihiko Yoshida? If you could it would make you a better Oracle person.

Evil PT3 of DOOM

I don't, but I'm sure someone out there does... I'm not too into art myself, since I can't draw.. but there are many RPGfans who can and study these artist' lives.. so they will now email myself or Googlething with said information. Thank you.

Normal Humans in RPG.. not without haircuts, recently..
I got Final Fantasy 8 for Christmas. I'm not that excited because I rented it so many times that I have almost beat it already. Also, why do they always have the people with the special abilities somehow relate to the main character. Take Rinoa for example. She was a typical teenager, but later in the game she gets to be a sorceress. Why can't they have a person you don't know get the special treatment. Also there are the Breath Of Fire Series. They all start with a dragon boy who doesn't know his power. Then there is Parasite Eve (a really great game I might add). Aya and Eve somehow get the special treatment meaning they are labeled "I'm special so I'm going to destroy/save the world".That form of RPG is getting old. Why can't they have a simple ordinary person start and somehow get involved into the story without losing their typical average human personality. If there are any games like this, let me know.

Honestly, and I know Kiah'd say this too, you want to look for games that are controlled more by you and your friends. What I'm suggesting is Pen and Paper RPGs, mostly. We play D&D around here, and while there are a great many drawbacks, (it's rough getting the same group together often enough for it to work right.. sometimes), you can have your normal guy just go around and collect money, if that's what he wants. He doesn't have to save the world. He doesn't have to be the hero. He can be an evil emperor, or just some really buff guy out in the woods who kill dragons that come a little too close. Or maybe you get sick of a character once he starts to gain more than natural abilities, then you can start a new character. PnP RPGs are good fun. Go check 'em out.

Bitbucket Blues Quickies

Who's coming out of the weapons shop? GOOGLESHNG!

No! You're wrong! Genderless beings were not a choice!

Congratulations on defending capitalism to the audience. "Irrregardless" is not a word, though. That's like saying "without without regard."

Didn't win any spelling bees, I'm guessing. :-)


I can't remember winning any, but my spelling is generally right on, 'cept for the typos and such. I actually say that word, for some reason, and looking at it, you're right, it makes no sense... maybe my grammar is dead or something.

what is more likely to happen,the world ends on jan # 1,this letter gets posted,or UCLA wins the rose bowl?

I'm an avid "Y2k is not going to break everything" and also, I don't like UCLA in particular, so I was forced to print this.

I never thought you could take the derivative of a hoe...hmmm.....
The Great One

Slope of a curve.. slope of a curve.

Hello, I'm not stalking you, Brad. I just like to look through your window at 10 o'clock at night in my monkey pants.
Forever yours, The Fox

Mega Xmanager Superguy to the rescue! >X( --TheFox--> Destroy!

I love everything. You don't want to see the pictures I'd send you.

Pooooor teddy bear. :(

Words from the Wise One:

Time for me to head out for the week. We'll see you all on Friday. Keep it cool, and have fun on your respective school breaks or family vacations or whatnot. See you then!

Brad "No, I will not have your baby." Lohr

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