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Mmm, Controversy
February 13, 2002

Here's a different kind of update for you. I've gotten a few e-mails in response to such and such reader in past editions. As you probably saw coming, we have another entry in the whole 'game music sucks' debate, from the source of it all. Then there's your usual system debate e-mail, though compared to the former, this one isn't as heated. Finally there's the first letter(s) of the column today, which is definitely something new.

In other news, there's not much new around here. Still waiting on my computer... Schala, still on Mailbag hiatus, got a Japanese PS2, on which she will be playing Xenosaga in a scant 3 weeks or less. You know you're jealous.

Since I'm short on interesting comments tonight, let's just get to the letters. By the by, it's worth noting the final letter contains a bit of profanity, so if you're offended by that stuff, here's your warning. Otherwise, enjoy.

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Jade Cocoon 2 contest entry redux

Dear Chronologist and the rest of the RPGFan staff,

I just really wanted to say thank you for picking my entry as part of the Jade Cocoon 2 contest. The game came just days before my birthday. And, my big bithday present for my 18th year of life was a PS2! I'm so happy, now I'll be able to play Xenosaga when it finally gets released in the U.S.A. There is just one problem, it seems that a serious memory card shortage has occured in my area. Everywhere I go seems to have just run out. Oh well.

I just ran across the fifth sketch of my monster, kitsumushi, which I forgot to include in my rush to send off my entry, so I thought that I would just send it along as well. By the way, I think that I am probably one of the only people left without a copy of Photoshop, the colored images I sent were done with good old Crayola colored pencils.

Thanks again. I love your site, especially the image archives that you bost.

Stephanie Brandl

Chronologist:
Wow, that must have been one nice birthday. Glad it all worked out so well. While I wasn't sure about posting another partial entry, I went ahead and did so anyway. Check out the last part of Stephanie's submission here. Also, take a look at her other (colored) entries, along with others, in the January 30th edition of the MB. Take a good look, since that will bring us to...
While looking through the recent mailbag with the winners of the Jade Cacoon 2 contest pictures I noticed that the first one posted by a Stephanie, seemed to resemble the dragons or Breath of Fire IV A LOT. While I could not do better and I didn't even bother sending a picture in. And since I feel like complaining I think you should've awarded more orignal designs. Your comments on this are wanted.

-Xela Wheeler

Upon first reading this, I was worried that it was something we may have overlooked. As such, I looked into your claims and found some similar artwork for Breath of Fire IV. I took the 3 that most closely resembled Stephanie's entry, and made a compliation here. As you know, the bottom left image is Stephanie's entry, and the other 3 are dragons from BoFIV. While there's some vague similarities, such as insect-like wings and the fact they have four legs, there's not much more besides that. Kitsumushi, as it was called, is more similar to an insect crossed with a fox, which explains the wings, eyes, and bug-like tail. The other dragons also appear to stand on 2 legs instead of 4. While it could be said there's some things alike, I think that could probably be said of a lot of the entries, if you dig deep enough.

As such, we stand by our decision. Aside from the points made, Stephanie also provided a detailed written description on her creation's features, habits, and even lifespan. I think that's deserving of a prize, no?

 
Of course, there's always Product Placement...

I just read the "Save RPGFan" article for the third time, and I was thinking of ways for you guys to make some extra money.

Why not sign up with one of those banner programs, where banners pop up on all the pages of the site? It may be annoying but it would make money and I'm sure the "RPGFans" wouldn't mind that much. (It wouldn't bother me)

Belthasar

Chronologist:
As it happens, we're working on that as I speak...er, type. As part of this plan, we'll be posting a small survey for our readers to fill out, which will appear in a pop-up window on the main page of the site. For all our readers, do us a favor and fill out this survey. We won't ask any personal information, and the whole process should only take a minute or two. It will help us stick around for awhile, which is better for everyone, right? Also, look for more on saving RPGFan in the near future.
 
SCE games...hahahah...sorry.

Why are most RPG's other than Final Fantasy and the crappy SCE games produced in limited quanities? Wouldn't it make more sense that if a game is produced in small quantities and they all sell out that the company would produce and ship more? Valkyrie Profile sold out 2 shipments at the local Babbage's the same day they were made available. After that they never got another shipment. I ended up paying $60 for a copy off Ebay (Sealed and New though). Other games that come to mind when I think of this are Xenogears, Tactics Ogre, Vandal Hearts II, Vanguard Bandits, Brigandine, Breath of Fire IV...I could go on.

Belthasar

Chronologist:
I'm not sure if they're really produced in limited quantities. At least, not all of those. I'd say one heavily-influencing factor is where you're buying your games. Certain stores, or chains, might only decide to order so many copies of a game from the publisher, and once they're gone, unless they decide to get more, that's it. Maybe the demand isn't there, or maybe in some cases, the shipments really are limited. I know the new shipments of Xenogears last year were limited (my local store got 2... though they usually manage to keep at least 1 or 2 in if it sells), though I don't think the initial ones were. Though again, it depends on if you're talking a bigtime retail chain, or a backwater local store run from the basement of some guy's home. But then, Babbage's... Well, who knows. Ask them. :P
 
Box, Cube... Wonder when we'll get a Sphere.

Alright. I was reading the mailbag and some guy wrote that the X-Box sucks. He knows damn well that if he had the cash he would get the 'Box, so he shouldn't go bashing it. So, gamers everywhere should remember that the newest things only suck if you don't have them, and they become the best thing since sliced bread once they have the spunolli.

Rory Cooper---

***If you decide to put this on the site you can take out "damn" if you want.

Chronologist:
I wouldn't say I agree with that myself. I had the 300 beans for the Xbox too back in November (though let's not discuss my current financial state), and I didn't get one. I don't plan on getting one... well, ever, either. I think it's more a matter of usefulness, as opposed to the ability to get it or not. I mean, if there's nothing for the system you want to play, they could give them away and it still wouldn't matter.
 
Sure, it WOULD be nice, but...

Hi!

Can I have "Squaresoft" company phone number please??!! I want to know that, do they will came out a REMAKE FINAL FANTASY VIII or not! and when they will came out! For God Shaking, I want it came out!!! Thank You so much.

- Linda Nguyen

Chronologist:
This was a shock to get... While I don't doubt people are interested in the oft-mentioned FF remakes, I'm surprised the one I was asked about was the endlessly-critisized part 8. Unfortunately, I can't, nor could anyone else, really give an answer to this one. Square mentioned wanting to remake FFVII, VIII and IX for the PlayStation 2, though not much else was said. Possibilities included putting them in DVD format, and re-encoding the FMV to take advantage of the media, which would have resulted in much cleaner images. While that, and the possibility of other enhancements, sounds good and all, Square never commented on it any further.

Apparently the remakes are now on 'indefinite hold', though with the amount of time that's passed since first mention of them, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. And yes, this is why the remakes were pulled from RPGFan's Release Dates section, if anyone noticed/wondered.

 
Excuse me, can you pass me that bottle of acid? Thanks.

Hey there Chrono, you are a very lucky person to get to talk to me, you know. Any conversation you have with moi (that's French for me, by the way) will be one rollercoaster ride of high wit and intelligent comment supplemented with fascinating information you probably don't know about. Name any subject you like, I'm such a well-rounded individual. You might think studying Biology might constrain my possible conversational topics wouldn't you? You might think that if you wanted to discuss the interesting issues of chlorophyll in plant leaves or the intricacies of cell production (don't get me started about bone marrow!) then I'd be your man. And you'd be right. On all such topics I am both fascinating and full of the sort of information that would just rock your world! It would, however, be wrong to limit to such clearly defined areas. That would be like settling for a satisfying bottle of Australian chardonnay when you could easily uncork a beautiful Chateau d'Habile '87 sitting next to it, for free (see, I know all about wine too!). Whether it is the current economic turbulence experienced by the Argentinean economy or the weaker moments of Beethoven's 5th I've got lots of views that you just cannot miss out on.

Buying a new game is always my biggest problem. So many games, so many suited to a man of my many talents, knowledge and interests. I just found I played and finished nearly all of them. If Online gaming is your thing then lets talk PlayOnline, I'm a fully paid up member. Don't like online games? No problem, my acquaintance with the Final Fantasy series is so intimate that I can easily compare the most complicated topics in such games with the minor essays of Nietzsche. That a bit heavy for you? I can come down to your level, I'm an avid player of sports games- what do you think of Cameroon's defensive problems in the latest FIFA version? In fact it might be better if you don't speak at all. To be honest if you were to talk to me then you would be merely wasting valuable time when you could be listening to my avalanche of fascinating insights. Furthermore it is highly likely that anything you say I will already know (and then some!). Listen up and you soon could become a well-rounded and fascinating individual like me!

Alexander Holmes

Chronologist:
Oh gee, I can only dream of becoming such an egotistical maniac as you. It's been my lifelong ambition, don't you know. Luckily, you won't have to 'come down to my level' to talk sports since I don't like sports games. I could go on, but I'm feeling nice at the moment. Bye bye!

And by the way, I'm kind of interested in knowing how you're a paid up member of PlayOnline when it's a free service (excluding game fees of course).

 
Bad Language Alert

[subject] When I grow up I want to be a principal or a catepillar.

Hey...again,
I'm that asshole that mocked your "music", and I have to mock that other dude that was such a fucking geek...here are some things I have to get out...

"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."

Um....Geek, I just found that funny, buddy.

"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."

Yes, I do think the title of "nerd" is most fitting for you.

"All I have to say is You need to broaden your taste and make it more diversified bub."

Actually, you're way off. I do have a rather "diverisified" taste in music, while it's not like I listen from Mozart to Dr. Dre, and I don't listen thouroghly to other types, I do respect artist that actually struggle to get where they are. I find going to college to study music just to make music on a computer and get paid royally, wrong. These guys just sit on their ass and mix pre recorded sounds on a computer to sound "original". Game music is repetetive, boring, and stupid. As much as these computer composers say there is true emotion in it, there isn't. There is no thought, and no feeling. It is just there to keep the game from being silent (Which would be much better than listening to that god awful music.). Do you guys also find it sad that porno music "composers" do the same exact thing as video game "composers" except that the people that work for porno companies put their music into porn, and videogame "composers" put their "music" in games. Nobuo Uematsu was probably going for working at a porn company, but was too terrible he resulted to videogame soundtracks.

Dutch_Fuck

PS, here are a list of bands that I find to be TRUE music...
At the Drive-In <--- my fave
Sparta <--- check these guys out, download their music on Kazaa and Audiogalaxy, good stuff...
AFI
Death Cab for Cutie
Dashboard Confessional
Thursday
The Mars Volta

Chronologist:
Fascinating. I think you're way off on the whole thing. Just because people make music on computers doesn't mean they simply remix pre-made sounds. The computers don't MAKE the music, they're merely tools for doing so. Another thing worth pointing out is the fact that not all game songs are done as such. Off the top of my head, I know two songs in Chrono Cross are played with real instruments, as is the entire Xenosaga soundtrack (by the London Philharmonic Orchestra for that matter), as well as numerous arranged albums out there. It's not all entirely computerized, and even if it was created as such, doesn't mean it's always recorded from there, as is the case with the aforementioned orchestrated songs.

But then, that's not my main gripe. Everyone's entitled to their opinions, etc etc. Now, where it gets a bit out of hand is criticism of people who like this music. It would be one thing if you had wrote in saying you personally didn't like the music. Problem being, you wrote in just saying 100% of game music is horrible, and anyone who likes it has no taste. That's just out of line if you ask me. Just because some people don't share your opinions doesn't make them WRONG. That's something I think you should learn.

I also think it's sort of ironic that you gripe about people composing music on computers, how they don't deserve praise, money, blah blah. Yet even with the bands you like, you suggest downloading their songs? If you were such a fan, wouldn't you actually buy their CDs? (and therefore suggest others to do the same) Funny thing, really. Before I finish up, our Editorial editor Parn wanted to comment here, so without further ado:

Parn:
It's always amusing to hear someone who thinks they are right, start off with a derogatory term in an effort to further prove they're right, especially when the person doesn't realize the hypocrisy behind it all.

Since you type coherently, visit this site, and bother to write in to a letters column for said site, you can't possibly NOT be a geek like the majority of the people that drop by. The fact that you even care about this subject, makes you a geek. Maybe even a /FUCKING/ geek.

While non-gaming music in general, in particular vocal songs, tend to be more "inspiring", a lot has to do with the human voice, which is the most dynamic instrument of them all. As moving as an instrumental piece can be, a human voice with great lyrics and the same music accompanying it can be even more moving.

However, you exaggerate greatly on your feelings toward game music, and this "I'm a fucking rebel, look at me cuss and be all angsty, saying anything just to make people angry" is all nonsense. Sorry, this isn't WWF Wrestling, Jackass, or whatever other stuff you watch where it's cool to be bad. I don't think it's too much to ask for you to let people like whatever they like.

All music influences events and scenes in any form of media, whether it be videogames, movies, or even a mere play. You cry that videogame music is boring, but nothing is even more monotonous.

By the way, you should consider writing an editorial to me about why you hate gaming music, and support it with some content so people could take you more seriously. You've already proven that you're a geek like the rest of us, since you've written in not once, but twice to the mailbag, so you have plenty of time on your hands.

In short, your letter was weak, geek.

Chronologist:
And there you have it. Unless this discussion can be continued in a civilized fashion, it's over here. I won't be publishing any more letters on the subject if they merely contain insults back and forth.

 
Closing Thoughts

Whew, that was different. While I'm not fond of letters like that last one, I guess it means people are reading this column, so that's good I suppose. :P

It's funny, earlier today I had an idea for a theme for letters, but I seem to have forgotten it. I knew I should have written it down. I guess it's okay, since I think a good plan now is just have them once a week. No sense in having a new one every other day, now is it? So, what we'll do is have one every Friday, giving you the weekend and coming week to write in on whatever the topic is. I'm sure by Friday I can remember whatever it was... and if not, well, I'll pick something. Til then, happy writing,

Chronologist (chronologist@rpgfan.com)



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