Diversity Is The Spice Of... No, Wait...
Wednesday, February 20, 2002

...or maybe that's 'variety'. Either way, it fits today's column of wonderfully delicious randomness. While there's no real overall theme today, some of the letters are submissions I've gotten over the whole prequel topic (see bottom). Since I've gotten a great response, I noticed I didn't much have room to post everything Friday like I'd planned. So, a few of them are in here today. More on said topic in my closing.

Since I've gotten no letters in response to my TV and music ranting last week, maybe I'll just not spend time writing stuff like that from now on... :P Moving on, here's some letters. Have at you!

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Sad but true

Oh, Chrono, how you failed to see the sarcasm in my last epistle! I suppose it is indeed the lowest form of wit (although some might argue, the highest form of intelligence). Anyway, I thought I'd write a semi-serious letter for a change.

Do you know if in the English version of FFX "Suteki da ne" has been kept with the original lyrics in Japanese or has it been translated? I'm only asking because, in my opinion, compared to it's Japanese counterpart, FFIX's "Melodies of Life" was a much inferior song. For some reason the lyrics were very childish, something that in the Japanese version didn't happen. And whatever some people might say, it isn't a problem of the language...I speak Japanese and have found better ways of translating this song (yes, I was bored)! Oh well. I was just wondering if we'd get a bad version of "Suteki da ne" too (although I think it borders on the generic as it is). What do you think? Perhaps we should ask the git that sent the letter about the soundtracks for his opinion too!

Hopefully you haven't gone and found out anywhere else by now, or I'm wasting my time here... You should be glad to know (and after Melodies of Life... so am I) Suteki da ne hasn't been altered in the US release, and is still the original Japanese version. As you can tell, I wasn't fond of MoL, though I think the Japanese version is kinda nice. I did like Eyes on Me, from VIII though. But, of the 3 vocal songs, I think Suteki da ne is by far the best yet. Since they've gotten a new singer for each game, I doubt we'd see Rikki back in FFXII (FFXI doesn't count as a real FF, so the next will be 12 :P), though I hope they have an equally good song.
As for this week's theme, I think a prequel to FF8 would be great, it could be called "FF8: the orphanage days" and we could get to play as Squall and all his friends when they were toddlers, trying to solve the mystery of why their house is so crummy and run-down when their guradian is the multi-millionaire headmaster of a world-renowned academy. It would feature exciting minigames such as "steal the lolly from the baby" and "figure out why almost everyone important in the FF series is an orphan before they reach puberty", building up to an intriguing climax...until a GF appears and erases everyone's memory, making the game absolutely pointless.


*insert long laugh track, followed by applause* I liked FFVIII, despite its ridiculous backstory and crap character development, though in all honesty, your game would probably be far more entertaining. :P Sadly, the last part there is entirely true as well. The only thing worse they could have done besides making all the characters from the same orphanage, was to make them all related. Which would have introduced a whole new level to Irvine's attraction to Selphie... and, er, all the girls...
Magna Carta... that's a boat, right?

Awhile back, there was an article on the front page on Korean RPG Games. One in particular, named Magna Carta, has been an interest of mine even months before the article came up on RPG Fan. At any rate, I was wondering if you guys know if there is any possibility of this game coming to the US shores or if it currently being ported over to a console system.

I've heard a few rumors here and there that it might (especially with the opening of a Japanese based SOFTMAX back in May 2000), and that its being brought over to the PS2 since the PC version is full of bugs and requires the user to have a high powered PC. But I'd really like to hear the news from a more reliable source over people who wants the game because of Hyung-Tae Kim's stunning art work for use on their webpages and/or wallpapers. :\

A growing korean game fan,

I'd never heard of the game before we put up those pictures and info a little while back. I guess it's mainly due to my lack of interest in PC games, and the fact its not a big title at all, being from Korea. I'm with you on the artwork though; that's some of the best artwork I've ever seen, game or otherwise. The character designs are really diverse too, on top of being beautifully drawn. I saved a good deal of artwork for my own collection.

Now, as for your question: I have yet to hear a word on a release outside of Korea, especially a US one. I wouldn't mind a PS2 port as well, since I'd actually be able to play the game. Maybe someone will pick it up, but only time will tell. Who knows, maybe it'll be at E3 somewhere. The last 2 times I've been there, one of the halls has a lot of Korean games, mostly from a company called eSofMax (I think that's right). Some of the games they had were pretty impressive... who knows, maybe they'll nab Magna Carta.

Oh look, another game music fan.


This is my second letter to the RPGFan mailbag. My topic's just about the Final Fantasy Soundtracks. I bought the U.S. Final Fantasy IV Soundtrack, even though I know all the tracks, I love the music. Then I go to Tokyo Pop to order the All Sounds of Final Fantasy 1 & 2, which is an import copy from Japan (I live on the east coast where there are no import stores, those lucky bastards in the western U.S., pardon my profanity.). Alright, it was still in stock luckily so I placed my order. Then I heard the Tokyo Pop online store was closing down, no biggy I thought, my order would still we shipped. Many weeks past, I e-mail the guy, he says all the copies were sold out! And I ordered it before it was sold out..whatever, so now I'm pissed. The Final Fantasy 10 U.S. Soundtrack here sucks because it only has a few FF selections, not all the music like in the Japanese one. I hope to god all the soundtracks to FF could make it here, with EVERY song from the games. It looks like the FF1, 2, and 3 soundtracks probably won't have a chance to be released, since 2 and 3 never hit U.S. shores and the last time the U.S. heard of FF1 was when it was released in 1990, with no re-release. Damn it, it's just not fair. Sure I can search for every SINGLE FF1 song and burn them, but that'll take me ages, plus I want to make it as nice as possible, which means a CD Labeler and all that. I was wondering if those soundtracks are on the west coast? Because I'll catch a plane and fly right there and buy FF Soundtracks one through 10 (excluding 4 since I have it already). Well okay, maybe I won't fly over there, but someday..I'm gonna get my hands on every single official soundtrack for FF...jealousy is pouring into me. Help me!!!! Okay, let my anger out..thanks for taking the time to read this letter.


Heh, you seem to be under the impression there's import stores all over the west coast here. I actually know of... not one near me at all. I've been to a few import game stores, but those are an hour's drive at best from here. Music, no idea. A friend of mine got me the Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger '99 CDs back in 1999, up in San Fran... I guess there's places there. I know New York and thereabouts has stores like that too, though of course I have no idea where exactly.

Even so, if you're willing to do the online thing, I can help you, poor tortured soul. Head on over to our Soundtracks section for starters. Many soundtracks, FF included, are on there. On the ones available, we have a link reading 'Buy At AnimeNation (or GameMusic)'. Click that, and you'll be able to order the soundtrack(s) you want. While you can also go directly TO AnimeNation, buying it through our link does help support RPGFan (at no extra cost to you, of course), so we'd appreciate that a great deal. Good luck in your hunt!


Hello Chronologist!,

You get all the best RPG's in America. I'm not so lucky cuz I'm living in Ireland. At least I get to play Grandia, Final Fantasy and Suikoden.

I'm looking forward to Grandia Xtreme (I hope it is released in America so it will be released in Europe too but since the previous Grandia games have been released over here I think it will...hopefully!)There's just one thing I'm not sure of: I've noticed that Evan carries his sword in his hand on the battlefields. Are there some areas of Grandia Xtreme that require real time battling? I know there will still be turned based fighting though.

Oh one more thing what's your fave RPG and who's your fave composer? For me, it's got to be Grandia and Noriyuki Iwadare!

Thanx 4 your time,

Grandia XTreme... I dunno. It looks similar to G2, which I love, but the name is pretty corny. I'm also not very fond of the character designs, namely the hero who wears a belt on his head. Hopefully it'll make it to both the US and Europe, though again, nothing's been announced as of yet. (key word being 'yet') I don't think there's any real time battles in the game. Unless I somehow completely missed that bit of information at least. Perhaps he carries his sword for other uses, like cutting bushes of something. (ie Breath of Fire... er, one of them)

Fave RPG... Up til December, I'd have said Chrono Trigger in a heartbeat. While CT is probably still my number one, Final Fantasy X gives it a serious run for its money. I've been playing the game since December 27th, and I'm still enjoying it. (if anyone's wondering, yes, I've finished it; I'm doing other optional stuff now) On the other hand, favorite composer is easy: Yasunori Mitsuda. The Chrono games, Xeno games... that man is just awesome. Oh, I like Iwadare too, to an extent... I like his music in Lunar: Silver Star Story the best though.



This is a very important letter, it regards you, a hampster and a cardboard box. I'm not sure what kind of letter this is, so I'll just let it out.

Chrono... I think I'm your hampster, a long time ago, I remembered those days, I would be in my big cage, laying on my back, running on my little wheel thing, and crawling through pipes. I had the life of luxury, I remember, up in your room, I laid down on my side in my cage, you screamed "Furmenheimer!" (for that was my name) and you use to cry, looking at me, thinking I was dead. But then you tried to pet me and I bit your pinky off. Those were ancient times though... And I remember the day you threw me away.

I had escaped from my cage because I wanted a couple grapes from the kitchen, and then you did it... You shot me with a nerf gun.. ME your best friend, you were only four, and shooting me with toy guns. As it turns out Chrono, this whole time I have been trying to marry The Schala, it is because I wanted to be closer to you... Where has the love gonto my human friend? That nerf bullet knocked me out, once I came to, I found myself in a garbage bag, I was then raised by a mouse, she took place as my mother, but I was still an outcast...

Tell me Chrono? how does it feel to know that YOUR hampster is miserable and sad? You think long and hard... And then by me a new cage, I havn't eaten in days! I can't live off my own poo much longer..

So Chrono... what's it going to be? you going to take me back in as your best friend again? I'll even let Schala pet me, but please, I have sensitive skin and need two eyedrops every day two times a day. I also am the first hamster required to wear a diaper due to a terrible biting incident...

Your hampster,
Furmenheimer stroodles

In case anyone isn't sure, this is another Joey letter. :P I don't have a clue how to reply to this one, so I'll just let it speak for itself...

*goes to find Nerf gun*

Vagrant Story: The Rosencrantz Menace? Maybe not...

hi chrono:

I was VVERY HAPPY with that FFVI realease news, for me, an european, that only saw a 3 out of 10 final fantasys at sale (let's count FFT). the truth is, i have already all ff's (roms and american versions), but its going to be really important for me if i see in my nearest store Final Fantasy VI - PAL version. thxz to squaresoft, it's late but it's good ^_^ congratulations for Feena for a well-writen article, and for remembreing the € ^^

would i like if my favourite game had a prequel? imagine: before going to the adventure that chagend is life, Ashey Riot in some missions as the best Riskbreaker, without knowing those missions would all lead to Sydney Lostarot, in the middle we could see some Rosencrantz cut-scenes w/ Ashley...........pretty cool, i think i would like a Vagrant Story remake ^^


While it's good FFVI is finally coming out over there, and for the price... I do wonder why Square chose to only do that one... oh well, better than nothing, I suppose.

I wish I had the time to get through Vagrant Story. From what I've played, it seems to be a really great game, with an equally good presentation. Maybe once I do that, I'll share your views on wanting a prequel.

More DBZ information than you ever wanted to know.

An answer to a previous question in the last mailbag: Gamepro #162 has some DBZ info. The gist: One is a GBA card game based on the DBZ (actual) card game. The other is DBZ: Legend of Goku for GBA, which is a mix of RPG and fighting sort of like Legend of the Super Saiyens for SNES says the text. The screenshots make it look more like an adventure game though. A Gamecube DBZ game is also in the works and looks to be a much improved version of the 2nd GBA title. A PS2 game is also in the works based along similar lines, perhaps the begining of a trilogy. Infogrames is going all out with the license. My friends are really into DBZ, I was the one who told them about the cartoon way back in the days when it was on at 6 AM in syndication before it went big on Cartoon Network. Personally, after a good beginning, the show just dragged on forever, especially with Goku trying to reach Namek for 20 episodes and then fight Frieza for like 30 episodes. I'm exaggerating, but the show really does get boring after a while. My friends though have taped all these episodes and even bought videos of stuff that hasn't come out yet...More time and money than I can afford.

A good DBZ related RPG/strategy game to check out is Saiyuki: The Journey West, which is based on the story of the Monkey King that Akira Tokiyama based DBZ on. I also heard that Saiyuki has an anime cartoon in Japan too. It was kinda easy and repetitive at times, but overall a good game with a involved plot and good finale.

This is also a good lead in to my answer to this week's mailbag question. Akira Tokiyama made DBZ, but he also helped create the Dragon Warrior series. I personally always wanted to see a link between DW III and DW IV. You'd start out as Popota, revealed as the illegitimate son of Ortega and half-brother of Erdrick...from DW III. Popota decides to leave his village in search of his real father and ends up collecting a group of three other heroes to be named later. Along the way, he comes up against the villainous Esturk, new threat to the world and abuser of the golden ring of evolution, creating monstrousities and terrorizing the world. In the first true encounter, the party is nearly wiped out and one of the heroes dies. The surviving members awaken in the floating kingdom of Zenithia. Zenithia is the land of angels and dragons, people who decided to let the world grow apart from their influences. However, with Esturk messing with God's true intentions, Zenithia is forced to come out of its long slumber and come back to the world. A young Master Dragon in a drake-like form tells the heroes of the fate of the land if Esturk were to take over and asks them to join him in an epic battle to save the world. The heroes agree and begin their quest anew, saddened by their loss but hopeful of victory. Hunting the foul Esturk across the land, he is eventually cornered at a penisula where an epic world shattering battle happens. Esturk is defeated and buried deep below ground, but the golden ring is lost. Popota continues his search for his father and the ring, but finds neither and eventually returns to his sleepy home, a place slowly vanishing as new towns develop. I think that would be a cool prequel to DWIV, with the last hero of the Erdrick line fighting for the last time before retiring for good. Popota isn't really Ortega's illegitimate son, but hey why did Ortega dote over him so if he wasn't...? It would be a cool twist. Plus Water Blowgun attack that does Icebolt damage for Popota, it would be cool. Anyway, it still would've made a better game than DWVII...

-Steven the Old School gamer.

Well, for anyone wondering about DBZ, there you go. Personally, the subject of DBZ makes me ill, so let's move on...

Ah, Dragon Warrior. Another series I never got into. I played, and as I recall, finished, the first game long long ago. At the time I was pretty young, and wasn't as into RPGs, so I never played any more of the series. Of course now we have DWVII, but... well... I think I can live without playing it.

Two for the price of one

The Ogre Battle series could definitely use a prequel. The "first" Ogre Battle for the SNES is titled 'Episode 5,' that's 4 prequels right there. And there's actually substantial story to work with. Short and sweet answers, I know you love 'em.
Oh, you know it. In fact, it was so short, I was able to group it with another letter. How about that?

Episode 5? I guess Xenogears wasn't the first game to start near the end of the big story afterall.

I'd like too see a prequel for Baldurs Gate: DA the little battle with that one girl warrior that'd be awesome! BG:DA is a great game and well worthy of a prequel/sequel I love that game. I've never played the PC ones though... But they're prolly good.


Here We Go...

What R these people arguing about videogame soundtracks 4? Well I'm sure they got their reasons so anyway....

1) do you know where I can find Grandia 2 and Skies of Arcadia for Dreamcast? Lately I haven't been seeing them in stores and I want them for that system.....otherwise I'd have to buy a PS2/and or Gamecube just to play those games and I really don't want to spend all that extra money on the PS2/Gamecube versions of the game ......unless there are added features to those versions.

2) Whats Zone of the Ender's gameplay like for the Gameboy Advance? I've only seen it but I've heard no comments at all about that game.

3) Outta curiousity, just how many copies of a game(PSX) have to be sold before they become a greatest hits title? Eventually will all PSX games become cheaper or greatest hits titles?

4) And where can I locate games such as: Alundra, Castlevania:symphony of the night, Grandia and Suikoden 2? Are any of those games worth purchases? Thanx 4 all ur answers.


Always a ton of questions... let's see if I can answer them all this time.

1) Try looking online, be it Amazon.com, EBGames.com, GameStop.com, etc, for the games. I can't really comment on local places, obviously, so that's the best I can do. Skies of Arcadia, while announced, isn't known to have new or different features on the PS2 or Cube. Grandia II -does- have added FMV on the PS2, though I've heard overall, the DC version runs a lot better.

2) Kind of...strategy...RPG...like. A far cry from the PS2 one, that's for sure.

3) That's a good question... considering some of the games to make it to GH status (you can't tell me ALL the Twisted Metal games are that great), you wouldn't think the number could be that high. I'm sure a good deal of PSX games will at least go down in price, if they haven't yet, purely since PSX is now the 'old generation'.

4) Again, I'd go with my reply to #1. Are they worth purchase? From personal experience, I'd say they all probably are, though I'd recommend Castlevania and Alundra first (in that order). I got Castlevania sometime in 1999 or 2000, for like $15. I was amazed at what I'd been missing out on. Awesome, awesome game.

Hey, Ambition is my middle name. Wait, no it's not...

Dear Chronologist,

Three Mailbags a week is certainly ambitious! I had a busy week and was a bit confused when I saw there had been a few updates I had missed. It'll be nice to have something more to break the tedium of work though.

A prequel I'd like to see... hmm... you and your themes (I guess in this case it wasn't your theme, but if they keep us writing in...). My memory isn't all that great without prompting (and no I'm not old and senile, I'm just over-worked and sleep deprived), but Final Fantasy Tactics is one where the legends alluded to in the game might make for an interesting prequel. I know it wasn't one of your favorite games, but I think the story of St. Ajora (I might be way off on the name... see aforementioned problem) and the original Zodiac Braves would make an interesting game. Plus you'd have some great game play if it was similar to the original FF Tactics. The other game that comes to mind (and probably because they're already doing the prequels for it) is Xenogears.

Oh, did you get your computer yet? Yes, it was the same company (I wasn't sure of the legal issues involved with disclosing the name of companies you have a gripe with... but I trust you're not going to get us sued), but believe me, having to wait isn't the worst that can happen with them (but it still sucks and I sympathize). Take care and keep up the good work. Try not to burnout keeping up with all of the strange letters (and it looks like you've had some really strange ones... hopefully you don't count mine among them).


FFT wasn't one of my favorites? But that's where you're wrong my dear, FFT is my favorite strategy RPG. Though truth be told, it's the only one I've really spent time with, but after playing it, I never felt another would live up to it. A prequel would be cool, but if it happened, I'd be praying night and day for a better translation. (though I guess it'd be hard to turn out a worse one)

My computer... has now become a daily joke to me with the people I talk with. I'm asked every day if I got it yet. It's been so long now (paid for it over a month ago, now), I just laugh and say no. You'd think I'd be upset, but I guess I've gotten past the anger stage and am now in the 'mentally unstable' one, or something. Oh, and I can't even believe you had a bad experience with the same company... at least it's not just me then. And legal issues be damned, if I have a problem with CompUSA, I'll mention CompUSA's name as much as I want. I don't think they can do anything to me (or you) over it. Maybe if they had better service...

Oh, and by the way, I don't consider your letters as part of the strange crowd (that's where Joey comes in :P); on the contrary, you seem to be one of the more 'normal' people. Plus you write properly and use correct capitalization and punctuation. As I'm sure I don't need to tell you, on the internet, that becomes more of a rarity each day.

Closing Thoughts

Okay, I'm done. Get your prequel-topiced (that's not even a word...oh, who cares) letters in soon; they'll be going in the Friday update (as mentioned below). If at all possible, think of a game besides Final Fantasy Tactics. While not a bad choice, I have at least 3 letters citing it as an example, and I won't be posting them all as it is. See ya Friday.

This week's topic:
Thanks to a reader known only as 'RPGFan Fan', here's the theme for the coming week. I want to know what games you'd want to see a prequel for. I think asking about potential sequels is a tired concept, so here's something different. Pick a game, anything you like, where you'd like to see the story BEFORE the story. Come on, you can do it. Remember, submissions for this theme go up Friday. Have them by Thursday evening if you want to see them posted.

Chronologist (chronologist@rpgfan.com)


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