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Playing Metroid Backwards
Monday, May 06, 2002

Man, I really can't wait until E3. Of course, Chrono's going to abandon me the minute we get there and make a beeline for Metroid Prime, but that's besides the point. Info has been leaking out that I'm sure was to be kept hidden until E3, and some companies have some surprises in store for us - hopefully good ones at that. Oh, and being there with 14 other eds doesn't hurt either. :P I guess the things that have me the most curious are what exactly of Xenosaga Namco will be showing off (as in, will it be the JP game or English - I'm hoping English so I can see what the translation and voice acting is like), and what Square will be showing us, besides FFXI and Kingdom Hearts. There's lots of other things, of course, that I can't wait to see, such as Devil May Cry 2, the new Gamecube games (such as the Metroid Prime that I'll never get to play), and out of twisted curiosity, Metal Gear Solid on XBox.

Non-E3 related, I beat Super Metroid last night... is that game cool, or what? I especially liked the interesting twist on the final battle. Unfortunately, I didn't get all the energy tanks or missiles, although having spent a couple of hours looking for them. So that added to my time and I ended up beating the game in *bleh* over 10 hours. Soooo as you may have guessed, I didn't see Samus' actual face or anything like that in the end. I'm on to Metroid II now and hope that I don't take as long with this game... and one day I'll get to play the NES one. Now, do you see why tonight's Mailbag has the title it does?

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I get to be the cheesy booth babe!

Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzzzzzz and Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikkkkkkkkeeeeeeeee (yay, my greetings get even longer now!),

My E3 badge finally came! I have a good feeling! Now, what I'm looking forward to. Hanging out with you guys again off course (this is what, the 4th time we've gotten together? Aren't you guys tired of me yet?), and really, I know it sounds dumb, but I REALLY hope Square announces something about the FFX Sequel that we all know is gonna happen. Of course, Chrono Break. I'm also hoping they remake the Seiken Densetsu games... all 3 on one PS2 or Gamecube disc (or both!), with spruced up graphics and sound. Multiplayer madness! Of course, any DW stuff from Enix. And also, this isn't RPG realted, but I got a kick out of Mister Mosquito and hope to see more odd games like that. =P

Anyway, cya at the show! And don't forget your cheese costume, Liz! ^_~
-RydiaMist

Schala:
You've got to be looking forward to more than just the FFX sequel. What about all those possible sequels and ports, huh? Oh wait... you mentioned Seiken Densetsu, my bad. Well, they have mentioned that as one of the games that they're doing either a remake or a sequel of. Again, a SoM port to the GBA would be cool, but so would a new game, hopefully structured better than LoM and maybe a bit more story to it. If Enix coughs up a new DW game, I hope it does better than 7... I wanted to try that game to see what the fuss over DW was all about, but then again, it got so much backlash I was afraid to touch it. Oh well.

For those of you who are wondering what the heck it is that Ry's referring to, you know, cheese and all, here goes: He wanted to promote his homemade RPG (via RPGmaker) so we figured if we grabbed some tiny chunk of booth space, dressed me up as a piece of cheese and handed out demos, his RPG's bound to get attention somewhere. :P Why a piece of cheese, you ask? Well, it was either that or Rikku, and I juuuuuust don't have the Rikku hair thing going on, y'know? (Plus the pay was better if I was cheese.) So uh... look for us there! Maybe.

 
The age-old question.

Hello Schala and Chrono!

I am eagerly awaiting the news you bring back from E3! I am extremely excited about the future of online rpg's. Get out all the dirty info you can from E3 about MMORPG's. I have already the money for:

1.Network adapter (40$).
2.PS2 Hard drive (80$).
3.Subscription to Squares Online massively multiplayer (10$).
4.Online games such as Everquest, SOCOM and FFXI (50-150$).
5.SOCOM'S packed headset mic. (Optional)
6.Broadband Internet service provider (40$).

YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!! Like I have that kind of money and this is without tax may I add =p.

I am disappointed that Sony decided on this strategy. I mean even if I do save up for this next year I wont be able to buy much else. But I really want to have all those items and experience how great online gaming can be. But I'm glad Sony didn't cut out Dial up like Microsoft did.

It's like everyone is richer than me. =P

What are your thoughts on this?

Loki

Schala:
To be honest, I'm not even sure if I'd bother even if I did have the money to burn. Anyone who reads this column regularly knows I'm not big on online gaming. However, online gaming is becoming more popular as it spreads to the consoles, and it would be a wise idea to at least incorporate online capabilities in your system, and I'm sure that there will be plenty of news from E3 regarding online gaming. But I think Sony's trying too hard, or at least focusing too much on online gaming, and from what I heard, eventually Sony wants online games to be the primary focus of the PS2, and/or whatever they release in the future, and for people to eventually view it as a machine for mainly online gaming. I think that this is going to turn off a lot of companies who are more into developing classic console games. And yes, I'm pretty sure there will always be a market out there for those. Sony also wants to expand the PS2 (and again, whatever system they release in the future) to become an all around entertainment AND computer system. I guess Sony needs to realize that the majority of us players already have DVD players and computers, and that many of us are probably just buying a video game system because they want a video game system. :P
 
You like those games with religious controversy, don't you?

Dear Chrono and Schala,

Hey whats been up? Well, I'm a long time reader, first time writer and I have just a few questions. First, why is it that there is no Final Fantasy IX MIDIS or fan fics? Second, do you think that Breath of Fire 2 is an attack on the catholic church? Lastly, why does Ultemecia want to compress time in FF8? Thanks for your time, live long and prosper. Xenogears is the best game ever made.

-el barto

Schala:
MIDIs and fanfics are both fan made, so it's up to the fans, not us, as to whether we have that kind of thing. So feel free to submit one or both. As for FFVIII, here goes: Ultimecia sought out Ellone's power so she could find and combine with Adel (who was in the past) in order to become a single, stronger sorceress, and because she knew SeeD existed to destroy her, she wanted to compress time to destroy them all, especially to prevent the founding of SeeD altogether. Whether BoFII was really an attack on the Catholic Church, I don't know, but somehow I doubt it was, at least not intentionally.

And I agree about Xenogears. Except for the pixelated sprites. :P

 
To sub or not to sub.

Actually, I'd say that the problem stems from differences between the two languages. Direct translations are most likely the hardest to do because of the fundamental differences, linguistic and otherwise, between English and Japanese. To do a truly direct translation, one would be forced to leave all the English verbs in the infinitive, for one, and the whole thing would be a garbled, non-sensical mess.

Although censorship to avoid offense was practiced several years ago by Nintendo of America, that era ended, well, several years ago. Professional translations now are rarely, if ever, changed due to content, although things may be censored a la Cid from Final Fantasy VII. As far as altering passages to "appeal more to the West", I'm not quite sure what you're trying to get across. While some companies, such as Working Designs, certainly attempt to do that, most other major companies, when they deviate from the original Japanese, do so because it wouldn't make sense otherwise. Sometimes it's not a matter of "fully translating things" and getting a better translator. And although it clearly hasn't happened with several games, like FFT, I'd wager most RPGs are checked over by someone who speaks English fluently or natively. Enix of America certainly does, Working Designs certainly does, even Square seems to be, at least with FFX.

I'm always curious as to whether the 'hardcore fans' who proclaim fansubbing as the king of all actually know Japanese, and compare the original to both the fansub and the official product. It could just be a subjective matter of personal preference, and without being completely fluent in Japanese, indeed, that would be all one had the right to judge. Regardless, it strikes me as odd to say that a fansub "... doesn't have all that kind of pressure with being careful...", as that implies that the professional localizations are, in fact, more accurate. In any case, there seems not to be an objective definition of good with regard to translation and localization, as both thematic and 'direct' translations both have equal merits- it all boils down to the subjective matter of whether one prefers the specific words or the specific intent of any given passage to come across.

Sean

Schala:
Well, it's true that the sentence structures in English and Japanese are very different, but you can still write sentences in English and Japanese that would make perfect sense in each language, but would still have the exact same meaning. So no, I didn't mean THAT direct of a translation. But even if you seen a sentence that was translated from Japanese, and it's rather broken English, I think one could still correct it to make an English sentence that actually makes sense. And no, censorship never completely ended, there's just much less of it now, but it still exists. There are still things they'll show in games in Japan that would often come out here, even if it does happen much less often than it used to. As far as appealing to the West, well, here's one example of what I meant: a particular anime contained a lot of Japanese humor, which was widely thought not to really appeal to the West at all, so they took it out, and/or maybe replacing it with Western humor. Another is Rurouni Kenshin - anyone who's seen the TV series know how polite the main character is. In its original Japanese form, he (Kenshin Himura) was even more (and maybe overly) polite, saying "my pardons" before every sentence, and always using very polite Japanese, even to his friends. It got annoying, and much of it was taken out during Kenshin's translation.

Anyway, I can't exactly speak for or against the fansubbing community in general, but I've seen some great ones done, and surely some poor ones too. And there are fansubbers there who seem to have an excellent command of both English and Japanese, and I wish most or all fansubbers were this way. But sometimes, pro translation jobs are pretty hacked to death and some fans would like to see what the dialogue originally was, but in their own language. Or, some things don't get translated at all. What I meant was, fansubbers don't have to worry about being careful as in, not having to censor their translations, so they can be accurate all they want, even if it means saying some things that professionally, would have been altered for censorship. In some other cases, as you say, the fansub is just the fansubber's take on the story.

 
Suik 2? Nahh, Xenosaga is.

Hi schala

why dont square just remake all of their great snes games on ps2 with brilliant new graphics, voices etc because it would make ffvi soooo much better and bring them all out in europe 2 years before japan for a change instead of the other way around.Now that would be something worth buying. and why did u say the final boss on ffvii is aeris when any idiot knows it goes jenova then the big 5-6 part monster then sepiroth.You really r stupid but really cool. And suikoden 2 is the best non square rpg ever.

RPGste

Schala:
Uh, the Aeris thing was an obvious joke, just as I thought the answer to 'Who is FF7's final boss?' would be obvious. So no, I'm not stupid. Say that again and your letters don't get printed again. :P (By the way, the part after Jenova wasn't 5 or 6 parts... both of your teams had to beat a part of Bizarro Sephiroth and then you fight Safer Sephiroth. :P)

Square would probably only remake old games if they knew it'd sell really well and they actually wanted to invest that much time and money into projects like that instead of new games. I personally would like to see something like FF6 redone much like the PSX FMVs... just the whole game done that way, or even nicer. I'd be more excited though, if Chrono Trigger was redone anime style... and this time Toriyama would actually do the animation (and hopefully put more effort into it than DBZ :P), and a slightly more detailed script in some areas.

 
Here comes the Spiderma--- err, inevitable question.

11??? WTF! Schala you suck at Mario Rpg! HAHAHAHA!WTF! I'm sorry I'm sorry.

Is it you that is playing Paper Mario? If it is, could you give me your honest opinion on which one is better. I mean the Battle mechanics are practically the same but still feels a whole lot different. Do you have Shining Force 3 for that saturn that you have access to?

That game is so cool Its kinda weird how you have been answering the whole mail bag without even a comment from chrono. Hope you haven't done anything with him. Congrats on cutting Mario Rpg's Ass, although you still suck at jumping. Did you beat Culex and the senshi? Did you find the casino? Did you get to LV. 30? When is E3? What are you looking forward to at E3? Why the hell you want secrets of mana of the GBA so badly, why not GC? How was spiderman?

Schala:
I know I suck at Mario RPG. :P I didn't get to level 30, or fight Culex or anyone either - I planned to go back after levels were built but I never did. I can't even figure out where in the game you see Samus, though I did see Link. I did, however get to level 28 by game's end. But, it's over and done with, and I hath moved on to bigger and better things like the Metroid series. Oh, yes. Anyway, I haven't been playing Paper Mario - Chrono has. It seems though as there's more to it than Super Mario RPG, but they still seem familiar. The 'paper' characters are amusing though. I think I have either a Shining Force III cart or a ROM, I don't know which...

Good games are what I want at E3. I don't know why, I'd just like to see SoM on the GBA. It's one of few earlier Square games not yet ported, as well, that would deserve a port. As for GC, I'd like to see a new Seiken Densetsu game on there.

Spiderman was pretty good. Toby McGuire wasn't such a bad Spiderman, I didn't think he'd be as good. From what I hear it was true to the comics, and that's usually a good thing. It was more than just an action movie too, it had a lot of elements in it. The Green Goblin was weird and kind of silly looking in a comical way though. Lastly, a few people don't seem to like the ending very much at all, but I would have done the same thing.

 
You guessed it - you get to hear MORE about Samus!

Sorry there Schala. Must have been tired. I remember typing something there, and then deleting it. Knowing me, It was about my preferring RPGs that DON'T have parties.

[7) The final boss in FF7 is Aeris. Prof. Hojo revived her and made her some kind of freak. Let's hope she looks normal again in Kingdom Hearts...]

Wait, what? Huh? Looked like Sephiroth to me. And the song One Winged Angel has the word Seph-i-roth in it. And then there's the very very very end, where it's cloud VS Sephiroth, one on one, and your limit gauge is full. The graphics at that part are hella sweet. I play that game through like 4 times, and that's STILL my fave part. (And for so damn reaosn I can;t kill Emerald weapon. He always does 9999 damage to everyone except Cid, and I can't even figure THAT one out. Oh well, maybe they will re-release it for the PS2(since Sony is anal and won't let them do FF games for the GameCube... Grrr..) and I'll do it all again. hehehe

Ah well, there ya go, finished the sentence.

-Marcus

OH, and just wait, in 1 player mode SSBM there is an event match called "Cold Armor" It's the 27th match, but man is it hard. (this is the one I meant, not 'Hot Date on Brinstar', which is FAR easier.)

Schala:
Once again, the Aeris thing was just a silly answer to an obvious question. :P I'd even bore myself by sitting here saying "Oh, the final boss in 6 was Kefka and 7 was Sephiroth"... that's just no fun, y'know? And I do agree on the final, FINAL battle graphics being very cool. Did anyone else besides me notice that you didn't HAVE any choice other than Omnislash? it took me 2 or 3 finishes to notice actually. :P

Ooooooh, Emerald Weapon. It took me many, many tries and pestering people on message boards until I finally beat him. I came up with a pretty interesting strategy... whether I read it somewhere or I made it up, I can't remember, but here it goes. First off, the obvious is to get the Underwater Materia, because more often than not it'll take longer than 20 minutes to beat Emmy. Another thing is to have at least two Mime Materias, and Knights of the Round leveled up so that you can cast it three or more times. As for Emerald's ultimate attack, 'Tam Storm', there's a trick to it. Tam Storm hits for 1111 damage on each character for every Materia that's equipped on that character! So for example, if Cid had 6 Materias equipped... Tam Storm will take 6666 off him. Unequip ALL the unnecessary Materia - try to put 3 at most on each character. (This of course, includes Underwater, KotR, Mime, and Cure and/or Phoenix Materia.) Oh yeah, and hopefully you're leveled up enough that you have LOTS of hit points on every character. Try to use characters who have a high Magic level and/or lots of HP or both. So for example if Cloud had the KotR Materia on, have him cast that obviously, and Mime it as much as you can with the other characters. When Cloud's turn is up just skip it and keep Miming with the other two characters. With Mime, you don't need to worry about MP or how often you can cast it - that only depends on how often Cloud himself casts it. So Mime KotR as much as you can, stop to heal when necessary, have Cloud cast it again after you've broken the Mime chain to heal or whatever, keep Miming, and just continue until Emmy dies. It might take a while, but it works pretty well. You'll just get sick of seeing KotR after this. :P Hope that helps, if you ver go back to your game.

'Cold Armor'... ahaha... AHAHAHAHA.. damn that event was hard. Yeah, getting my ass kicked by three metal bounty hunters was my idea of a GREAT time! Ow, did it ever hurt. I did 'Hot Date' after that and set a new record... a whole three minutes to kick Samus' arse. With my own Samus, of course. I'm starting to go through the Events and see how badly I can lose. :P

 
Closing Thoughts

Well, that took a bit longer than expected. So here I am, 15 days until E3, mapping out in my head where I'm going to go each day and so forth. Well, that and playing games and doing all sorts of work around here. I've even got a new Mailbag topic planned when this one's over!... of course, you have to wait until Saturday to find out what it is. Just out of curiosity, and this is a kind of side question to the topic we have posted, what kind of features or specials, E3-related, would you like to see here at RPGFan? There's 15 eds going, so we'll have tons of coverage for you. :P Let me know.

Schala (letters@rpgfan.com)



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