Taste My Refreshment!
Monday, April 29, 2002

Wow, after beating Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy IV this weekend, I feel relieved. Awesome games. I've got two more stars in Super Mario RPG to go, and then I'll feel more caught up as far as SNES RPGs go. (Note that I said 'more', not completely.) After that, I finally get to play Final Fantasy X. Ooh, I can't wait.

Tonight, I finally mastered the art of doing the entire column by myself - copying and pasting and all. I kind of banged up my foot in the process, and it hurts like hell. Who knew Chrono's desk was so dangerous? Anyway, before I start to dismantle the thing or something, 'tis three weeks until E3 is upon us and - darnit, I haven't gotten to the letters responding to our topic of 'What would you like to see at E3?' yet - except for one. Oh well, we've still got a good, long update for you tonight.

Hopefully when it's over, my foot will feel better.

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Long, hard games to... more, long hard games.

FFIV Hard-type. [Shakes uncontrollably]. The Sylvan cave is unbelievably hard in this one. The Malboros have this whole annilahation thing going on. They use Bad Breath alot. The enemies also seem to get two attacks off on a back attack before you can even respond. It is made even worse by the fact that there are no Heal Potions, and instead you have to buy the components separately or get Remedies at the Dwarf Castle for a whopping 5000 gold or gil. And you need Remedies, because it always seems like Rosa and Cecil are the ones who get bad breathed and you lose Esuna, plus Edge is the fastest, and most likely to be first up to be able to do something.

FFVIII. Super bosses? Its a little something called Summon GF Cerebus or Triple on a character, Triple-Aura, Holy War. Boss Loses to multiple limit breaks and invincibility. You can get 10 Holy Wars by card-moding Gilgamesh. Just keep playing the card masters at your ship the Ragnarok, then keep winning the card moding and win it again. You can get Auras by Drawing from Seifer and by stealing or winning fury fragments from Blue Dragons and then turning each into 5 Auras by a refinement ability. Probably ST-RF. If you are invincible and smash down some mass Shockwave Pulsars and Lionhearts it shouldn't be too diffcult.

FFT. FFT rocks. It is an impressive strategy game, with an equally impressive customization system. It also has a high quality plot of religious strife and war. And it even features some difficult battles. Celia, Lede, and the Marquis, Wiefgraf, Velius, etc... Better yet, it announced a wave of new strategy games to the USA, not based on hexes, but on 2d and 3d isometric field maps. Such as Tactics Ogre (The classic that started them all in 2d and imported in English by some angels at Atlus to the PSX along with Ogre Battle(I have the SNES version, but its rarity meant that few got to actually play the game on SNES), Kartia (Spells affect Terrain for a new level of strategy), Vanguard Bandits (Mechs, magic cores, plot, characters, five different endings, three event paths, WD humor...), Saiyuki: The Journey West ( A tactics game from Koei?! They still make RPGs? Cool plot and the summons and were transformations are cool.), etc. The last cool hex game BTW, was Atlus's Brigandine. Anyone who liked Dark Wizard, Master of Monsters, etc. would like this game. FFT heralded a new form a strategy RPGs. Besides, how cool is Chocobo Cavalry? Ramza rolling around on Boco plastering Gafgarion. There is so much to do and explore, from getting all the abilities, finding special items by poaching and monster raising and raiding every map of its hidden treasures. It is hard to believe that someone didn't like this game.

Xenogears. It is fairly difficult towards the end, but coupled with the frustration of not being able to control anything in Disc 2 for like five to ten hours, I beat all those bosses with pure rage really and of course, the Id Drive. The second disc really marred this game in my eyes. Up to that point, that game was classic, nigh legendary to me. My favorite part up to then was the actual mech battles in the tournament on Disc 1. It was shades of Vasteel and Armored Core and I was having a blast. I'll probably end up replaying it at some point, calmer for knowing I am going to lose control of the game on Disc 2 and probably enjoy it more.

That kind of thing, losing all freedom of exploration is extremely annoying to me though. The illusion of freedom is even worse in some games though. That's why I prefer strategy-RPG games like TO, Vanguard Bandits, and Ogre Battle more now. To has three different storylines, Ogre Battle has 12 endings based on your leadership in the game, and Vanguard Bandits has three interconnected storylines. Unfortunately, most classic-style RPGs don't allow you this 'What if?' type of freedom. The best game of this class where freedom is concerned was the ShadowRun game on Genesis, where you could literally go into any run you wanted, recruit two other runners for hire, and have a ton of fun along the way, decking into the net, gaining spells, kickng Corporations and Renraku where it hits the most...their wallets(What were You thinking?), while conviently ignoring the game's plot for as long as you want. In an odd twist, the ShadowRun for SNES was by far less cool. The upperward view on the genesis was cool and the 3/4 view on SNES was so not. And the gameplay is no comparison, genesis version hands down.

-Steven 'The Old School' Gamer.

The Malboros in Sylvan Cave are the one enemy in the whole game I hated the most. Even EvilMask, Mind and Breath in the final dungeon were easier! I wish FFIV had accessories like VI did, so you could guard against having at least a couple of the five status effects the 'Bad Breath' casts on you. I eventually just started running from the Marlboros, not caring about dropping Gil, seeing as I had anywhere between a million or two of it. It also made stocking up Remedies a LOT easier, and after you do that, you could just sell all the other status-effect-healing items in your inventory, get money, and make more space in your inventory at the same time. (Oh, and being able to buy Ethers, Ether2s, and Elixirs on the moon didn't hurt either.)

No comment on FFVIII or FFT until I play and beat both. I must say though, FFT is a lot higher of a priority on my list. As for Xenogears, whether you liked watching it rather than playing it or not, it was still very freaking hard, especially when you have to fight Ramsus' Gear, then Miang's right after. No wonder it took me a few weeks to beat. I like the idea of different endings - sure Chrono Trigger had them, but not based on how you act in the games - I think it was a fun extra for replay value, since all the endings were pretty funny. The 'What if?' type of freedom is a good idea; I'd really like to play more games like that. If I remember correctly, Valkyrie Profile is sort of that way.

From one pathetic fool to another...

Dear, [and of course, I only say "dear" out of courtesy, you pathetic fools] You Pathetic Fools:

I rule. I own you all!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA~~! Do you know why? Because I am lord of all humans!!! Pathetic fools! You shall all...erm...crumble and stuff before my...um....wrath! My black, evil wrath of evil! HAHAHAHA! I'm the 1337est and stuff! AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! You all know that I rule! At least, you do now! I rule! I rule! I rule!---I don't sound immodest to you at all, do I? I'd hate to think that. Ah well. I'm sick of typing. Too bad. Just as I had you all writhing in pain.

Lord of Chaos
The Nameless One

Awww, and I thought I ruled. I guess I'll have to try harder. I wonder if you're sick of typing, then does this mean that's the last I'll hear from you? I hope s--- I mean, er, that is... *cough*
Mmm... more awesome RPGs I never got to play.

Okay, okay. First letter. My favorite RPG scenes of all time are as follows: 1) The ending to Phantasy Star IV. Come on, you can't deny the coolness of this game. How many other 16 bit RPGs used such a cool storyboard method of storytelling? And the art was actually pretty spiff. 2) Jenova. Nuff said. 3) The end to Skies of Arcadia. SoA is one of the only RPGs I've ever played that's frustrated the heck out of me several times and even annoyed me to the point of disgust, yet made me all of a sudden long to play the entire 60 hours over again after the credits finished. The happy ending rocks, the credits with the sort of 'what happened to the characters' things were really cool (as was the music)...it's just classic. Fantastic game. I'm also hard-pressed to draw a non Skies of Arcadia character whenever I sit down to sketch. It's that good. 4) Near the end of Panzer Dragoon Saga (how many! people have actually heard of or played this game?), when Azel is getting into the little device to get you into Sestren, and she says 'Honestly, I don't want to be alone anymore.' as you're going through the portal. It was touching, what with the music and all. I wish they would remake that game for some next-gen system so that the more modern generation could get a taste of true RPGing. Arright, I've had my bit. Post me. Whoo.


Ooh, Panzar Dragoon Saga... the game that keeps going for tons and tons on eBay. Good thing we own a copy. I've seen a couple of hours of the gme, and it looks pretty cool - well graphically, it's kind of ugly, but the whole game's pretty neat. It's supposed to be really good overall, so maybe I'll get over my motion sickness long enough to play, or at least watch it. If your wish was granted and the game was remade, I really, really, really hope they update the graphics. Ew.
Awww, and just when Chrono's absent...

Hello Chrono/Schala,

i think your idea is better, both of you respond, works for me. i just suggested that because it seemed like chrono was no longer going to do the mailbag. the fake ending was funny, kefka just bursts in and starts killing! you should look for it the next time you play. though now i'm playing final fantasy 5 (i got anthology, after beating ff6 on snes) and the part when you go into faris's room is pretty funny. i think maybe later i'll play ff4, which i haven't played yet, despite getting final fantasy chronicles, last year, (got to love ChronoTrigger!). how is ff4 by the way?

well, i'm fresh out of ideas, so i'll be gone now,


I should ask you the same question, except about FFV. How is THAT game? Some say it's one of the best FFs, others say it's not worth playing. I never got around to playing it back when I got Anthology. Speaking of Anthology, the fake ending in FFVI sounds vaguely familiar now. I wish I could say that I'll replay it, but with all the games I need to play for the first time, I may never get back to VI at this point. FFIV's awesome, if you liked VI at all. It has a great story, and an interesting plot twist in the last few hours. And Cid was just so cool.
Zelda Universe? I think not.

Two words - Weekly Contest. No seriously, I come to your website daily but mainly for two reasons to check for letters and read parn's editorials. I mean getting to be one of your letters for the column is like winning the grammy and parn, ok i'll keep those personal thoughts to myself. But think about it. The reason I sent it to you and not to that other guy (I think he's the owner of the site) is because you guys would make it fun.

A word of advice Schala, if you don't get your characters in ff4 to high levels now, you will spend some time in the last dungeon doing it. So level up like mad. Have you guys played Tecmo's Secret of the Stars on the SNES? Well if you did please tell me what you think about the ending, I said it sucked and my friend said it was cool. That would make a good topic of the week Worst Rpg Ending. Just a thought!

On some other gaming site, they said that they heard a romour about another mario and zelda came coming out. They also said they think it is a Mario Rpg and Zelda in 3d, which was first previewed at E3 last year. My friends and I were talking about that and we all agreed that A Mario Platformer and A Maro Rpg would certify sales for Nintendo but two Zelda would clash with each other because one would be realistic and the other cel-shading (or to other people kiddy). Let me know what you both think, it's more insightful that w! ay. I think that they should make chrono do the letter's column, along with you,Schala, full time so that you could update everyday.

P.S. 10 Letters aren't enough, go for something like 20.

20 letters? It'd take me five hours to write up the update! I need my game time you know! :P Well, Chrono and I try to make it fun when we can. It doesn't help that we also get some amusing letters as well. Seeing as past site contests have done pretty well, we've been trying to think more up - when you say weekly contest, do you mean one just to run in the Mailbag? I'm no good at coming up with contests, but I'm sure we'd hve a few good things to give away around here. And no, my Arc watch isn't one of them. That's being sold on eBay. :P

I think I leveled up to almost level 70 in FFIV, and eventually stole the DarkMatter from Zeromus to weaken his attack. He's still a pain though, but whatever it takes, right? Why didn't I play this game earlier?

I've heard the same thing about Mario and Zelda - there's at least one game of each series definitely coming, the Mario one obviously being Mario Sunshine, and Zelda... well, I dunno. If there is indeed one more game in the works for each series, I'm sure we'll hear some kind of announcement at E3. Funny how this kind of thing leaks out just before E3 - just like we found out about Xenosaga being listed in GameStop's computers as March 2003. I'm pretty sure this is info no one was supposed to find out until announcements at E3... but if that was the case, why would Namco let Gamestop enter it into their computers this early?

Kenshin's soundtrack rules, that it does.


I'm assuming you're referring to Yumi's quasi-theme around episode 60- It's Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique, Opus 13, Second movement. Beautiful song, and one of my favorite classical pieces to play. First movement's hard as hell, though...


I think that's it. There might be another one though, but I'll settle for Yumi's theme for now. The whole 'Legend of Kyoto' season has great music, and I'm trying to hunt down a soundtrack so I can listen to it obsessively. :P
Urge to kill... rising...

I'm not going to ask some question that anybody with minimal gaming intelligence could figure out, Instead I am going to suggest that what I think, and almost everybody at the TNL Messageboard believe to be the top 10 RPGs (no particular order) games that everybody should play.╩ Hopefully this will cut down on your "I can't think for myself, what do I play?" questions.╩ Please leave a comment about each of the games that I have listed.╩

Shenmue (Dreamcast)
Panzer Dragoon Saga (Saturn)
Grandia (PSX)
Snatcher (Sega CD)
Lunar 2 (Sega CD)
Final Fantasy III (6j) (SNES)
Final Fantasy Tactics╩(PSX)
Xenogears (PSX)
Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Suikoden (PSX)
(Chrono Trigger was voted out by Lunar 2 if you wanted to know Mike or Liz, who ever is reading)

Other games you should play (non-RPGs)
Jet Grind Radio (DC)
Jet Set Radio Future (X-box)
Grand Theft Auto 3 (PS2)
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2)
Radiant Silvergun (Saturn)
Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)
Contra Hardcorps (Genesis)
Mark of the Wolves (Dreamcast)
Any Dance Dance Revolution game
Metal Gear Solid (I'm sure we've all played it, but if you haven't....for the love of god why not!)

Comment? I can't comment on them all, sorry, especially on the majority of the non-RPGs you listed. However, Metal Gear Solid owns you all and you know it! :P Grand Theft Auto 3 sure sounds amusing, though. Is it safe to say I'm a DDR whore? Unfortunately I still suck and can't do anything past Trick.

I'm very appalled and disappointed that Chrono Trigger didn't make the list... it at least belongs there in place of Shenmue or something - CT sure isn't boring, after all. At least it was beat out by the SegaCD version and not the PSX version of Lunar 2, because the PSX version is annoying the hell out of me and grating my nerves, mostly because of the talentless voice acting. I'll agree with everything else but Snatcher and Grandia since I know too little about them - but at least with FFT and Suikoden, they have a really good reputation with RPGers.

And I thought I was bad with my copies of Chrono Trigger.

I never touch my games or consoles. When handling the cases, I put a towel over my hands and then open them. When I push a disc down into a console, I use a towel to push it down. I keep towels over my consoles to protect them from dust. Every week I have a cleaning session where I take all my consoles out and clean them with a damp cloth. I once found a finger print on my SOA and FFVIII discs and for the next hour I very carefully cleaned it off (label side) with a damp cloth. I am fricking insane. Chrono, Schala, do any of you fellows do this? Or am I truly insane? Hell, I have never carried my GameCube by the handle, I just use a towel over the handle before I pick it up...
Are you insane? I kind of think so. Your systems aren't extremely fragile and won't fall apart when a speck of dust falls on it, so relax. It's good to take care of your system so it has a long life (games as well, but maybe you take too much time to do it... you should probably spend more of that time enjoying your games, ne? Just don't abandon care of your system altogether, is all.
Rantless? I think not.

Hi,Chronopopanopolis or uhm Chronologist and or Schala,

Are any of you looking forward to Dark Cloud 2?..I doubt it, everyone seemed to hate that game, but I liked it. But it was ruined by bad reviews, bastards.

The game I'm looking forward to see in E3 (If they even have it there, I don't know) is any information from Level 5 about Dark Cloud 2.

Also, don't you think SCEA should be burned down by psychotic monkeys with long silver hair and big swords? Those bastards denied Soul Hackers, and Persona 2: Innocent Sin, what damn idiots. If I were the president of America, I would make a law stating that they have to accept any Megami Tensei games from Atlus, under penalty of death.

And one more question, Parasite Eve is an RPG, right?...Do you guys have any information on Parasite Eve 3, will there even be one? or is Square too busy with their disappointing Final Fantasy series?

Was I the only one who thought Final Fantasy X sucked a chocobo's ass? I mean, Tidus was such an annoying little idiot, He is constantly bitching about hating his father, WE HEARD HIM THE FIRST TIME, We could care less about his pedophile father. And must he always refere to him as "Old Man"?, oh and Wakka's voice sounded like a Hispanic/New Yorkian/Jamaican, and the music was the worst EVER, FF1 had better music, Nobuo Uematsu sucked hard in that game, almost every song had the melody from Suteki Da Ne.. And don't even get me STARTED on Rikku and Lulu..Also, I heard the Xenosaga OST, and it sucked, it reminded me of the MGS2 ost, and I didn't like it, it was too 'Movie-esque' sounding..

This is the end of my rantless bitching. Bye.


I never got around to playing Dark Cloud; it never appealed to me. It's kind of hard to look forward to a sequel of a game you never played, ne? Soul Hackers an Innocent Sin always sounded like cool games... I guess we can import if we get desperate enough though. And of course Parasite Eve is an RPG - a cinematic one at that. No news on a PE3 though, and I'm not sure if I'd count on that kind of announcement at E3. Even if PE3 did come into existence, I really hope it's more like the first game, rather than the second.

I wasn't a big fan of Wakka's voice myself, because his voice kept changing between the accents you mentioned. I don't think the game seems that bad though, but I'm about to find out soon. I tend to disagree on the FFX and Xenosaga soundtracks - I liked both a lot, FFX being better than both 8 and 9 in my opinion. I think Xenosaga sounds a lot less movie-esque than MGS2 (which was also decent), save for a couple of tracks, and has some really good pieces - though Xenogears was still better. Though, considering how movie-esqe both the MGS2 and Xenosaga games feel at times, it's not surprising that the soundtracks might have a bit of a movie feel to them.

PS. What's rantLESS bitching? Isn't that an oxymoron or something?

Closing Thoughts

I hope that update was good enough for you as it was for me. Or something. Now, I'm thirsty as heck and my foot is numb. I hope you're happy. Anyway, you'll be seeing more letters of what you'd like to see at E3 in the next update. But I still want to hear more about your E3 expectations - we do have three weeks until the show after all. Even if they're not RPGs, why not share them anyway? Maybe Chrono will be here next time too... maybe.

I certainly hope Namco does a much better job with Xenosaga's English voice acting than WD did with Lunar 2's. Since Xenosaga isn't coming out until next March (apparently) anyway, they have plenty of time to make sure it turns out well. Here's hoping...

~ Chronologist & Schala (letters@rpgfan.com)


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Sunday, September 30
Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.4 • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Star Ocean: Till The End of Time • 3:00pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Wild ARMs 5 • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Wild ARMs 5 • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Kingdom Hearts - Re:Chain of Memories • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Wild ARMs 5 • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Final Fantasy IX • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Friday Super Variety Night • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Week in Review: Live • 11am PDT/2pm EDT
Wild ARMs 5 • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

Valkyria Chronicles 4 Review

Valkyria Chronicles 4

CrossCode Giveaway

CrossCode Giveaway

Heaven Will Be Mine Review

Heaven Will Be Mine

Retro Encounter 154

Retro Encounter 154

CrossCode Review