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mailbag02-08.html
February 8, 2002

Welcome fellow RPG fans. Tonight we have another larger-than-usual update thanks to a ton of letters in my inbox. I know some of these were sent in at various times in January, so many apologies for just now getting to them. If you wrote in and don't see your letter, don't worry, I haven't passed on it. Unless it's really pointless and unreadable, it'll go up next time. :P

Seems a letter posted in a previous edition regarding game music stirred up some controversy in some readers. I got two letters responding to it, which are both in today's column. Not I mind getting these letters, but one idea if anyone would like to contest this, or continue debates (or start new ones) such as this, is submitting an editorial.

Speaking of music, I for the life of me, can not figure out why I'm listening to a song from the Final Fantasy movie right now. *skips track* I guess when you have as many songs on your computer as I do, you're bound to run into stuff you don't care to hear much... if at all. Of course, thinking of listening to music on here, reminds me of how much better it will all sound on my new computer... you know, whenever the store gets it in. Still waiting...

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Thor! I choose you!

Subject: Thor sez: Thank you, RPGfan! Thor joins your party.

Blarg!

I just wanted to thank RPGfan for being the first to link to Save Thor Antrim. You were also one of the only sites that deemed it worthy of a front page news item, so it's quite obvious you guys rock hardcore.

I'm happy to report we're over 3/5ths the way there! I want to thank everyone who donated what they could. We also appreciate those who could only give their best wishes and those of you who promised to donate after the holidays.

Mom is now convinced that gamers are among the kindest, coolest people in the world. I've been telling her all along. ;)

In closing, were there ever a big RPG website gangland rumble (Moogle goons in accessorized costumes, wielding broken cure potions and switchgunblades) you can bet I'd watch your back.

- Thor Antrim's new year's resolution is to get his family indoors.

=====
- Thor Antrim (thorantrim@yahoo.com) http://thor.mirtna.org

Chronologist:
Oh yes, we rock alright. We're down with all that jive stuff and...er..and... Okay, I'm bad at this. In case any readers missed it, we ran a story about Thor here back in December. Check it out here for all the details, and if you can help, great. As for us, a few people may have thought it odd that we ran a story about a former staffer of RPGamer, but after hearing the news, well, we felt it was important enough. And different site or not, you're still part of the online RPG community, so it was the least we could do. I think I speak for the whole staff here in wishing you the best, and hopefully things will start looking up.
 
Top secret government project in New Mexico? That's new.

I for one am a very,very angry person.Why?I'll tell you why,mister.When I (and millions of others,I'm sure) read your little "I take off my socks when I sleep" jab in the closing comments of Dec 26th's baggy,I (we) took great offense.You see,where I'm from it's illegal to EVER take off your socks for any purpose.So what it they get all yellow and sweaty,all ours be like that and that's the way we likes em!It pains me to see little kids without clean socks,but that's the way it's always been.So to make a difference,I plan on moving to New Mexico and starting a top-secret government experiment.I,of coarse,will be the volunteer in this "project",for which I will be placed in a time accelerator armed with only my wit and devilish good looks.I'll need a hologram to help me on my many miraculous journeys,which brings me to the true purpose of this letter....I need you to help me young Chrono,you're my only hope.

The reason for the time machine is simple: (note:the project be a time machine yo!) I need to stop Luke Skywalker from blowing up the Death Star.Why you ask?Because we all know that Spock had his eye on the captain's chair from day one.You know it,I know it.If not for that blasted Crypt Keeper,Luke'd never have accomplished such a task.I vote to have that Crypt Keeper be catapulted.Yep,nothing like a good catapulting to set things right.If there's anything I like,it's a good catapulting.I love catapulting.Ii love you too,baby.Anyway....seriously....really....Happy B-day Mikey poo.=P

--The Nallinator
(aka Nallo,aka Jason,aka Your baby sister)

Chronologist:
And all this time I thought it was that guy from Quantum Leap that put Luke up to it. Anyway, I'd be glad to help you build a time machine. Just find me a DeLorean and some plutonium (or a Mr. Fusion), and we have a deal. Oh, right... I also want... one billion dollars. Or Hershey's Kisses. Your call.
 
Beware the NOL

Hey Chrono (or Schala or whoever this is), Recently, I've been itching to play some Online PC RPGs, but since I haven't played many...or really any at all (except Diablo if that even counts), I don't have a clue where to start looking for games. Now, I'm a big fan of console RPGs, Final Fantasy, Xenogears, Suikoden, Persona and etc. But, I'm also quite fond of free movement games, action, adventure and etc. I was wondering if you could give me a few ideas on where/what to look for and possibly a few games that I might be interested. Sorry if I didn't leave enough information for you, but anything you can do to help, I would appreciate greatly. Thanks in advance.

~ DeSarr

Chronologist:
Phantasy Star Online. There's your answer. PSO gives you all that online RPG stuff, but also free movement and control, unlike some online games. If you have yet to play it or read up on it, picture the controls and battling similar to the N64 Zelda games, though somewhat less fluid. While the game's 4 main areas will no doubt get old eventually, the whole interaction element keeps the game interesting (for most people) for awhile. And hey, there's ports of PSO coming out on PS2, GameCube and Xbox, so you should be able to find one for whatever console you own. Personally, I'd recommend the GameCube one. The PC one, being for PC, will only run as good as your system allows, as I've seen pretty frightening screen shots of it running on a lower-end one. The GC one has added features over the DC one, and avoids those PC problems. Xbox, well...who knows when that's even happening.
 
Hand to hand - the basis of all combat

Hello mail bag person. I have been looking at alot of Xenosaga screenshots and have not seen any hand to hand battles. The game has to have hand to hand. I coulnd't stand the mech battles in Xenogears, but love the hand to hand. I just don't find the designs of the gears that interesting I prefer charecter designs. Anyway I guess what I'm asking is whether or not Xenosaga has charecter battles and not just gear battles.
I guess hand to hand is the best way to describe it since the gears fight hand to hand as well.
Chronologist:
Well I'll be. Despite the fact we... don't seem to have any screenshots currently of 'normal' battles, rest assured there will be character battles as well as gear (or A.G.W.S.) battles, same as Xenogears. And unless I heard wrong, the combat system is apparently somewhat similar to the first game as well. We'll see.
 
Dragon this, Dragon that

With the popularity of Dragon Warrior/Monsters in the U.S., do you think that the PSX version of Dragon Warrior Monster will reach the US? And besides Dragon Warrior 4, do u know of any other RPG's that are going to b released in the US anytime soon? Which is better out of the two Dragon Warrior Monster 2 games: Tara's Adventure or Cobi's journey? Thanx

-Azn1990@aol.com

Chronologist:
With Enix releasing Dragon Warrior VII, and planning to bring over the remake of IV too, I think the PSX version of DWM being brought over is sort of a possibility. Problem being, the PS2 has been out for awhile, rendering the PSOne all but defunct. How much longer Enix will want to bring out games for the system is anyone's guess. As for the GBC games, I believe they're essentially the same idea, in the same vein as Pokemon Red and Blue. If you'd like to know more about them, check out our reviews. And for upcoming RPGs, there's always the Release Dates section.
 
Final Fantasy X and Music Debate #1

Hey. Favorite RPG this Christmas? Easy. Final Fantasy X. Quite possibly one of the greatest RPGs ever released. Simply put this game does everything right, adds wonderful new elements to an aging series and fixes everything the detractors to the series have complained about. The Sphere Board system is an ingenious change, is amazingly deep, and for the first time in 5 years of gaming I'm looking forward to maxing all of my characters out. The battle system is that fun and intriguing. Heck even if this game had crap graphics, a horrid storyline and bland music I would still play this game through to the end for the sole reason of the wonderful Sphere Board. Thankfully this is not the case as FFX has one of the most involving storylines in FF history and my favorite bunch of characters in an RPG. Auron especially! Simply put FFX is truly a masterpiece of gaming.

FF X's great yeah, yeah. Now I have one more thing to say with a little more importance in my view regarding a little letter posted in the last update regarding videogame music and how bad it is. Did this individual every question the fact that this "horrible music" was in fact a different genre or style? Seeing as how one of his choices of music are Alien Ant Farm who are quite average as a rock band when compared to such wizards in the genre as System of a Down and Tool, it's hard to find his opinions credible, but then that's where opinion comes in and he/she needs to learn to acknowledge this. People are different and as such so is music, thankfully, otherwise we should all be left with Alien Ant Farm. Regarding his comment of drowning out his videogame music. How could he ever have heard such wonders as "One Winged Angel" or "The Legendary Beast" if his stereo is drowning it out? Hey! Now we're just being ignorant! Oh, I willingly and gladly paid 45 dollars for my FF7 soundtrack not 30.

Tyrone Swanson

Chronologist:
I agree entirely on FFX (of course). Pretty much everything about the game is pure gold. Though if you level up too much, you run the risk of the end of the game being ridiculously easy, like I did. Oh well.

Yeah, the music letter irritated me a bit too. I'm almost sad I didn't get to reply to it myself. While it's perfectly understandable for a person to not like most, or all, game music, the way the letter was written was a bit much. As you pointed out here, there's these things called opinions. While that individual may think Uematsu and Mitsuda only make 'crap' music, he regrets to notice the different style. I guess some people have one-track minds... too bad. While I may not be fond of some types of music, including that by the bands you mentioned, I'm not about to say it's bad. Just not my thing. I guess not everyone can look at it that way though, huh? I'd love to see his reaction to my game CD collection. :P

And with that, we now have this letter...

 
And here's #2

Hey Schal or Chrono,

Here I am just reading the mailbags enjoying my Sunday evening off from work when I come to a disturbed BOY critisizing other peoples taste in music. I know you guys probably don't like other fans of your website complaining about one another but when I came upon the topic it just unnerved me. I myself enjoy RPG music from all the way back to FF1 up to FFX, Xenogears, BOF4, etc.(and yes I even lve the music in GrandiaI & II) Now this person might think of me as another nerd for spending anywhere from $30-$80 on a RPG soundtrack and I take somewhat of an offense to that.(In reallity I don't thanx to www.yesasia.com) If he thinks it is so easy why doesn't he just go to Squaresoft and show thm how to do THEIR jobs. I work at a music store now and I have always had a wide variety taste of music, buying bands like A.F.I. and the Ataris to foreign groups like Fei Wong and Megumi Hayashibara and Rammstein. All I have to say is You need to broaden your taste and make it more diversified bub.

Now to my questions.
First of all, I read that their were talks of making a FFT 2 and I was just wondering if it was true.(heard from friend at work so you can guess how reliable the info was)

Also any information on a next BOF would be most delightful.

Irish Heimdal

Chronologist:
All I have to say is You need to broaden your taste and make it more diversified bub.
Either that, or just not criticize people who like it, or the composers, who are most definitely talented. Anyway, enough on that subject.

Final Fantasy Tactics 2 is many a strategy RPG fan's wet dream, though its a total mystery if we'll ever see it. While Hoshigami was reported to be by the FFT team, and an unofficial sequel of sorts, it ended up being different people just making a game very very similar to FFT. Unfortunately, Square's future plans are a mystery, save for Final Fantasy XI and XII, and Kingdom Hearts. There's the Wonderswan games in Japan of course, but nothing else on the horizon. Maybe they're keeping quiet to wow everyone later... or maybe there's really nothing even planned yet. Well, there's Chrono Break and Unlimited SaGa, but those aren't really set in stone yet.

Everyone wants to know about a new Breath of Fire it seems. Sadly, the only one announced for release is the port of part II on the Game Boy Advance. I shouldn't say sadly, because apart from the laughably horrible translation on the SNES, that game absolutely rocked. Maybe once they finish up with that we'll hear of a Breath of Fire V. We ARE talking Capcom here afterall, and they've never had a problem with sequels before. If I can only get my Megaman Legends 3...

 
Old school fan in da hizouse!

Konichiwa Otaku San! First off I'd like to say that RPG-Fan is my new primary info site (I'm ditching THEGIA ). You guys are always on top of it, and also allow for exchange. Enough gushing! Does anyone out there LOVE the GameBoyAdvance as much as I do? It brings me back to the old Nes/SuperNes days when games were about games, and not cut-scenes and the newest 3-D engine. I can't wait for Magical Vacation and Shining Soul.

On a different note, can anyone in your influence give me any info as to who to talk to (possibly even an e-mail address) concerning RPGMaker/Tsukuru 4 (not 5, I don't have a PS2)? I've been to the Enterbrain English and Ascii-Store sites, and it seems like I can purchase it, but can't find where to e-mail or even if they accept US currency. Please use your 2-ton connections to help a man who's grandmother wouldn't be proud of him until he made his own RPGs. Thank you for your benevolence, Phil N.

Chronologist:
I love the GBA too... though I have no problem with fancy cut scenes and realistic graphics either. There's something to be said about making a world so realistic, and bringing characters more life than any sprite could ever do. If done right, it can really draw people into the game. (I bet you're all waiting for me to mention FFX accomplishes this...) Like in Final Fantasy X. (there, happy?)

But then, it's also nice to see old school stuff still around, like Magical Vacation, Shining Soul, Golden Sun, the BoF ports, etc. Here's hoping the first two make is to the US in a timely manner.

I'm not sure where you live, but RPG Maker should still be available in most game stores. There's also the online stores, such as EB and GameStop that should carry it. Though making an RPG without a keyboard proves to be rather tedious.

 
On today's episode of Name That Syndrome...

Dear RPGfan mailbag,

I was going to post this on the boards, but I figured it would end up in a bunch of stupid flame wars, so I decided to use this medium to say my stupid little piece; emphasis on the 'stupid.'

I think I have some kind of RPG syndrome that I have no clever name for. I seem to dislike RPGs that people hail as godly and vice versa. I disliked FF6. I disliked Xenogears. And, it looks like Skies of Arcadia is following in that tradition.

I had a few hours to kill last night, so I decided to sit down with Skies. I'm about 2-3 hours in (as of this writing), and frankly, there's been nothing thus far that really enthralled me. The atmosphere and visuals are great, but I find ship movement slow and ponderous (I assume that'll improve when I get a better ship), the battles play out too slowly for my taste, and well...after those couple of hours I just feel like I'm just going through the motions to get past my 5-10 hour grace period & shelve it...and hell, I'm not at all motivated to even play that many hours. After an hour and a half, I was like "am I done with 5 hours yet?" I'm simply not having fun with this game. I wanna like it, really I do.

Is there something wrong with me, that I find myself disliking such near-flawless titles as FF6 and SoA? Is there something wrong with me for really liking such games as SaGa Frontier and Thousand Arms which are almost universally panned and quite flawed? Can a clever name be thought of for this syndrome?

I apologize for sounding like a complete imbecile. I feel kinda bad that my first letter to the 'Fan isn't one of my more intelligent ramblings.

Best,
Blademaster Dezo

Chronologist:
Oh, so you think by writing in here you can avoid flames? Well listen up buddy, you obviously have some kind of mental condition to not like those games. Either that or you just have no taste at all. How can you NOT like those games? SQUARE IS TEH BESTEST COMPANY EVAR!!!11

Ahem. Now that I got that out of my system... I think it's all opinion. While some regard FFVI as near-flawless (I'd probably be inclined to agree), obviously not everyone is going to feel that way. Oh, since you mentioned it, I should say I actually liked SaGa Frontier as well. While I wasn't fond of having to re-level people all over again each time I started a new character's story, the game WAS fun for me, about one and a half times through, and challenging too... if not kinda ugly. I figure, just play what you like. If your list of favorites differs from the norm, so be it. Anyone that's going to berate you over it isn't worth listening to anyway.

Although.... Thousand Arms? Come on. :P (kidding)

 
Why didn't we think of that?

Well my idea is you get a host like a porn site but hide it somewere thats what lots of sites are doing to stay alive well anyway hats of to you for all the work you done ieven if you dont stay on the net
Chronologist:
....yeah, thanks for the tip. We'll uh, be sure to consider that. Really. No, I'm not being sarcastic. Really. (haha)
 
Closing Thoughts

I hope everyone enjoyed today's debate and porn-filled update. Of course, we wouldn't have such quality content without you, the readers. As a way of saying thanks, allow me to provide you with the following:

Thanks!

Look for a time-themed update next time, with letters about time travel, Chrono Break and more. Speaking of Chrono Break, I'm still waiting for more letters on the subject. So if you have anything to say about Chrono Break, write in and let me know. For now, I'm off to hunt down a DeLorean.

'Til next time,

Chronologist (chronologist@rpgfan.com)



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