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The Substitute
Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Chrono's busy, so you readers get to deal with me (Parn) for this update. Yeah, I feel sorry for you too.

Keep sending mail to Chrono though, unless you have hatemail specifically for me. Since I'm short on time, and you all are short on patience, let's dig in.

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Old-school Stuff

I have to go into some obscure games on obscure systems for my favorite soundtracks. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of some FF(FFIV, FFVI, FFVII) and CT music (You know, that Nobuo Uematsuo stuff), but that is sure to get a lot of attention on this type of topic(My favorites specifically are the CT main theme song, the WorldMap, Character themes, and TownScene music of FFIV and FFVI, as well as much of the soundtrack to Midgar in FFVII which I like for adding to the dark atmosphere of the city). Well enough digression.

Two of my favorites are the Working Designs TG16 CD game Vasteel and the Sega CD game Dark Wizard by Sega. Vasteel featured some really up-tempo jazz on the map and rock and roll in battle scenes, really getting you into the hex-based map strategy and then the action when your mechs fought the enemy or enemy installations (You actually controlled your mechs and fought). The odd combination of strategy and action was really fun.

Dark Wizard was another cool hex based strategy RPG game. It had four different character paths including playing as the evil Vampire Lord Amon who usurps Chesire by killing the king and usurping his throne then making his appearance match the king, then sets out to crush the evil empire to show the world who is truly the most evil villain. Anyway, the music including up-tempo classical music, as well as rock and roll tunes. Each of the character's as well as bosses have their own music. I especially liked the endgame music of the villains, one featuring a cool guitar themed piece, and the true final battle with a really cool drum piece.

Not that this has anything to do with RPGs, but Lords of Thunder, a shooter on both TG16CD and Sega CD, had one of the coolest rock and roll soundtracks period. It has to be one of my favorite shooters of all time, not just for its soundtrack, but for the cool gameplay where you collected gems from defeated foes to buy powerups, continues, extra lifes, and upgrades. Experimenting with the different elemental armors and their weapon types is fun too.

-Steven the 'Old School' gamer

Parn:
In that listing of obscure games, I've only heard the music from Dark Wizard, which is pretty good stuff. We should all be thankful for file compression, since we can now hear near CD-quality music in titles these days, and still have space leftover for big games.

As far as classical music goes, the game with said style that comes to mind quite quickly would be the finale of a rather popular RPG series in the USA, Ultima IX: Ascension. I paid $80 for the "Dragon Edition", which featured a good number of useless extras, Ultima: Collection, and a soundtrack CD, encased in a ridiculously oversized box that was large enough to hold a PlayStation 2 game console, a dinner for four, or a Sport Utility Vehicle. The game itself was about as enjoyable as jamming an ice pick into your nasal cavity.

Oh yeah, back to the music... the score is pretty astounding. It's fully orchestrated and composed by George Oldziey, whom I think is a fairly talented and un-noticed game music composer, overshadowed by the more popular names such as Uematsu and Mitsuda. It may have something to do with his composing music in the PC market, but regardless, considering that I picked up the Ultima Ascension Enhanced Soundtrack for a mere $4, this is hardly something you should miss out on. This goes for everyone who appreciates game music.

 
*blinks*

"Chronologist:
Uhhhhhh, yeah... sure. Meet me in Menlow Park, behind the big tree, at 10pm. Don't worry, I'll be there. I won't sit at home and pretend you don't exist or anything. Never.

Freak"

Y'called?

Parn:
No.
About Lolo: I'd love to see that myself. But it's a dream, yet. I'm still waiting for a new Startropics sequel (Kinda hard to do when the series ended with the second game, I know)...But Smash Bros? Who Knows? They still have Earthbound characters in it, right? Considering I've recently been on an Earthbound Kick I may jumpstart a new manhunt for the creator Shigesato Itoi. I failed once to track him down and kill him, though my demands are somewhat more lenient this time around: I may just leave phonecalls of heavy breathing on his answering machine and launch stinkbombs in his doghouse until he finally collapses and issues the relaunch of Mother 3 development. Bitter? You bet your shiny plastic dentalwear I am.

Oh Yeah, Lolo still hangs around the Halken offices, primarily as a bad guy (LoLoLo, with LaLaLa) in Kirby games. Better than nothing though.

This is one of those types of letters I mentioned to Chrono about... the ones where I can't say anything meaningful, because I haven't a clue as to what the writer is talking about. I really need to buy and play more games, I think. Feel free to send me money so I can rectify the situation.

...you can stop rolling your eyes now.

There, I wrote to ya. Stop crying you big baby, before I throw a tantrum and hold my breath 'till I explode. I want my Teddy Ruxpin doll!

-TF

I had a Teddy Ruxpin doll of my own when I was very young. I owned it for about 6 months, up until the day my sister decided it would be funny to pull out his right eye. Needless to say, being blinded in one eye made him unable to keep out of sight from "The Mothership", whom promptly lifted the poor bear and dropped him into a dumpster. Without his best buddy, poor Grubby was never the same.
 
Disappointment.

Hey Chronologist,

It's Tuesday night, I'm bored. I haven't written to the mailbag since the days of JD. Anyways, I got bored of keeping count of how many:

1) Dumb emails you get (especially the one from Billy Jean...I mean who would want to make out with you besides Liz? :P)
2) Emails about Square this...Square that...blah blah
3) Emails going like this: "Um...Mr. All Mighty Chrono...what game should I buy?"
4) Poorly written rants about nothing.

Parn:
Lucky you. I get to comment instead.

1) Me.
2) OMG WTF
3) I'll speak for Chrono... go read the reviews on the site. We have an awesome review staff, past and present. They are all you need to assist in your game purchasing decisions.
4) *insert witty phrase*

I, PR, will help you shift the tides a little by asking questions that are out of the norm.

1) Best movie you've seen recently in the theaters?
2) Best soundtrack you've purchases or listen to recently?
3) Best website that starts with a "R"?
4) Your opinions on the lack of work that Schala has contributed to lately to the mailbag? :P
5) Your opinions on the new workers on the staff?
6) Your opinion on a certain pop star? Her name starts with a "B" and ends with a "y".

A special bonus! More inane commentary from yours truly!

1) Last time I went to a theater was... well, let's just say, quite awhile ago.
2) Probably the Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack. Sure, you don't play as Sonic, but the game has some pretty nice tunes.
3) Gamespot!
4) I wouldn't touch this with a 50 foot pole.
5) An excellent batch of slaves. They shall serve me well.
6) I imagine the word "urine" applies well enough. I actually feel sorry for her though.

By the way, have you heard of this great website? It's called Chrono Continuum. Unfortunately, it's never updated by the lazy webmaster and his staff. :P

-Your friendly neighborhood Phoenix's Rage (PR)

I think the culprit is some kind of disease. Yes, a disease that causes laziness. The bum that runs the server that hosts that site seems to not do too much updating either. Weirdos.
 
Did You Say Phantasy Star?

yo, i heard rumours ages ago of the Phantasy Star games coming out on the GBA but ive heard nothing since. any news? (i dont wanna spend a fortune getting em on eBay then watch them come out for half the price!) thanks. oh, and any news on returning characters in Suikoden 3? thanks. oh, and for this weeks topic, Super Hydlide for the Genesis has the best music of any RPG. pity the game stunk!
Parn:
I remember that talk of Phantasy Star on GameBoy Advance, though nothing has come further since then. I'm unfamiliar with the Suikoden series, though straight from ol' Nallo on RPGFan's unofficial chatroom (details about the chatroom is on our General Discussions board): "I'm pretty sure Pesmerga will make a comeback... but that's just an educated guess. He was on the other two... And that Blinking Mirror chick will prolly be on it."

Another cheer for Nallo for helping us out yet again. Or rather, helping ME not look like a total moron.

 
Hmm.

Hey!
Parn:
Straw.
What if I don't want to do the topic eh? SUE ME hehe j/k Chrono boy!

We are going to take a trip into the world Final Fantasy shall we? Grab your boots and suitcase...its gonna be a long ride. Starting off with Final Fantasy I where the music was....well sleepy, but it started a revolution. I don't know if anyone ever played Hydlide (old OLD school RPG) but holy crap that music was terrible. It consists of bleep bleep bloop bloop bleep bleep bloop bloop...etc. We obviously would need an improvement with the next generation consoles or videogames would turn into sleep medicine but hey we have that don't we? I call it X-Box!

Super Nintendo and Sega...music revamped and we have the birth of a new generation. Phantasy Star Online, Shining in the Darkness, Prince of Vermillion, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Earthbound, Secret of Evermore, Master of Monsters, and again our friend, Final Fantasy. These incorporated orchestras, synthesized crap, and wow new sounds to splender! Who can honestly say they don't find themselves downloading Chrono Trigger music untill our computers won't start up anymore? YOU THAT'S WHO! DON'T LIE! The unique sounds of Earthbound...the extravagent opening music of Final Fantasy 2...endless classics from Sega...

Uh... yay?
This is where music gets GREAT right? LOL well since everyone lived this generation who needs to say anything? Now to go off topic...concerning X-Box, Gamecube, and Playstation 2.

Playstation 2: The wave of the tomorrow..TODAY! This console has anything and everything and will feature everyones' favorite titles with the best companies...how can you say no? Chrono? Professor Ghast?Tenchi-no-Ryu? I THOUGHT NOT! hehe

Agreed here... as far as gaming is concerned, particularly if you are big into RPGs (as you should be if you are here), you can't go wrong with the PlayStation 2.
Gamecube: The kiddie console that kicks so much butt it isn't even funny! I am hooked on Super Smash Brother's Melee like it's nobody's buisness and where is a frickin tournament so I can win it? I don't care how good you are..I would win!
Well, a few months ago, you really couldn't have convinced me that GameCube was going to be a killer-system, given its initial lineup. I own one, but strictly because of one game... Phantasy Star Online. But I'm a Sega geek, so.... there you go.
X-Box: The console formally known as crap...I mean...crap. Did anyone say crap? Wow I coulda swore someone said total crap... Chrono did ya say crap? Hmm few to no RPGs...games on every other console...more money for Bill Gates...Oh I am sorry I was thinking about the wonderful backpack..ERR X-Box!
Yeah, and I imagine you've actually sat down and played the games the console does have to offer. You won't hear any praise from my end from Xbox bashing.

Despite my dislike of first-person-shooters, Halo is easily an awesome game. I can actually sit back and WATCH my brother play the game, and be entertained. The commentary from the marines is nothing short of hilarious.

I don't see Jet Set Radio Future coming to any other system any time soon, nor a port of the upcoming Panzer Dragoon title Smilebit is working on for Xbox. Xbox has its own exclusives, mostly from Sega, and I think it isn't too much to ask for people to give the system a chance rather than letting hatred of Microsoft cloud your judgement. I think Windows is a really crappy operating system too, but come on.

Oh ya and hey Chrono...these idiots with their name every summon, monster, or even name the songs made by (insert some hard to pronounce name)...LOL don't put up with their responses. Here is what to do: Post their letters and have a field day with them by asking them one of those insane trivia questions and post their response...if they don't send one then make one up! hehe

Anyways see ya later Chrono and post my letter...first time I wrote and need it to be posted! Yes need!

I'd have a field day if I managed this section all the time, and was allowed to REALLY tear up. Of course, I think less people would read the mailbag then.

You probably didn't get the responses you were aiming for, nor a response from the person you intended, but your letter made it. Smile.

 
Closing Thoughts

I was given this batch of emails and this mailbag task on short notice, and I guess I did okay for a rush job. I only have 5-ish hours to sleep before heading to work, so I'll end your torture now. Once more for those that didn't get it the first time: keep sending mail to Chrono, and NOT any to me.

~ Parn (parn@rpgfan.com)



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