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Death and Rebirth
Monday, August 5, 2002

In case you haven't heard, I'm not having any fun at home. Well... at least as far as computer stuff is concerned. After four and a half months of using OS X on an iMac, without any freezing or crashing, I'm stuck with this PC. For some who have used Windows ME, you can imagine what it's like.

On Friday as I left for the mall, the weather was fine. Halfway through, it poured down on me, poor umbrella-less me. Now, I'm not used to rain anymore, so it was a ...er, nice welcome home. *cough* I had to wring my hair out once I got to the mall... blargh. Some good came out of it though, like being able to finish about ten errands in one day, including the ever-important GameCube-And-SSBM purchase. Indigo, to be precise. And being the addicted gamer that I am, I discovered that Bonamine, a drug to relieve someone of motion sickness (which I get with a lot of 3D games, such as PSO), doesn't require a prescription here in Canada, and it's not even an 'over-the-counter' drug. Oh, the possibilities.

I think I can survive a few months in Canada, no?

Time to crank out the letters. Here we go.

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E-mail Daniel, unless you're a scammer from Nigeria.
 
 
If only I could remember that saying from the movie.

Hello Liz!

It has been so long since I have written to the good folks at the meat factory AKA RPGFan. No, I don't get that joke either! But anyways, I am writing in to tell you a story and make some demands. I have seen Disney's Lilo & Stitch 12 times in the theaters. It is the best movie to come out EVER and Chris Sanders has become my new hero. Anyways, Lately I've been going through a Disney Phase since Lilo & Stitch came out. I've bought every Disney animated film on DVD I now have a job at disney AND I got a hawaiian girlfriend who I nicknamed "Nani".

So here are my demands... I just want to hear more gossip on Kingdom Hearts! Like, won't it be TOTALLY AWESOME!? WHen the logo's come up, what does Disneys logo look like? Is it the Disney interactive logo like on all there other games? That would be cool. Liz, you are my queen for giving me gossip. You will now be known for your great gossip all around the lands!

Hawaiian girls are cool, don't you agree!?

Twelve times? Are you nuts? Oh wait, nevermind.

And you know, if you got a job at Disney, you can find all the information on Kingdom Hearts that you wanted. Such as the voice actor for Cloud being ---wait, I can't tell you that. Okay, then the title of the Hikaru Utada song being --- wait, I can't tell you that either. I guess you're out of luck. Good thing the game's release isn't far off. I'm pretty sure the Disney Interactive logo will in fact be there, although Square took care of most of the development side of things, Disney Interactive did participate, from what I know. Let's party.

I want proof that you work there. Of course, if you're just working at one of those Disney retail stores, I'll laugh.

 
How did I know?

Laugh it up while you can, my lifelong rival. Roy and his men proved to be more skilled in battle than Marth's forces, but that is certainly not the end of my ultimate scheme! I am now working on a device SO POWERFUL...SO MENACING...that you will surely QUAKE in your boots at the mere thought of such a thing! Of course, I cannot afford to reveal my ultimate weapon just yet, so instead...

I ask you this, Liz! Have you experienced...the Gitaroo?

Plotting your demise,
Lord God Xeria

I told you that Roy would win. Anyway, moving on, why can't you afford to reveal your ultimate weapon? Perhaps it is the love child of Samus and Roy, come to get revenge on me? Or perhaps you were able to get your hands on a Metal Gear Ray and are still trying to figure out how to use the thing? Could that be it?

And no, I haven't experienced the Gitaroo... which might be the key to defeating me! Dear Lord, I've said too much...

 
Two = several? Who knew?

Heyo.

It's been several years now since Chrono Cross was released, and I had essentially resigned myself to the idea that it would never see an arranged album. Not that it really needs one, as the in-game music is already breathtaking. Still, it would have been nice.

And then I found translations of Yasunori Mitsuda's liner notes for the CC OST, in which he said (in regards to disc 2 track 7, Another Marbule):

"...This was inspired by music from the Middle Ages, so I used a lot of instruments from that era. I originally wanted to have the orchestra playing it, but somehow the results didn't turn out well. Maybe, I'll try it one more time for the Chrono Cross Arranged CD."

Nerr? Is this just Mitsuda assuming that CC would see an arrange album, but Square never gave him the go-ahead on it? Or maybe he's been so busy with Xenosaga that it had to be pushed back? Could it be that the mysterious Chrono Break is not a game, but the name of the album? Is the world even ready for arranged Chrono Cross?

Any light you can shed on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!

-- Vaeran

...Hmm, I did not know that. I guess he originally intended it long ago, but later on he DID say that he felt that CC's music was great the way it was and didn't need a re-arranged album. Mitsuda did have another couple of projects after Chrono Cross and Xenosaga, including Tsugunai and Shadow Hearts, to keep him busy. Ultimately, it's not up to Square to let Mitsuda decide if he wants to do an arranged album; he's a freelance composer. Look at Creid, the Xenogears arranged album. It doesn't have any mention of Square or Xenogears on it, that I'm aware of. Why? While Mitsuda wrote the Xenogears score for Square and the game, the music still belongs to him and he can do whatever he wants with it. Since the arranged pieces aren't in the game, it's all the property of Mitsuda and he gets all the royalties.

That said, I'm pretty sure Chrono Break is a game. If Mitsuda was creating a CC arranged album and calling it 'Chrono Break', Square wouldn't have to copyright the name now, would they?

 
Another LoD? Say it ain't so!

Hello.

This is really short, but I heard about Legend of Dragoon 2 being made, or in the works--something like that. I mean, how far are they going to take the storyline. Is it a prequel/sequel, or just some false crap, I heard?

-DV

False crap, sorry to say. For the time being, anyway. Sony expressed interest in making the sequel, but there's no confirmation. That said, there's pretty much nothing to say about the storyline.
 
'nother long one.

Yeah there aren't many good RPGs based on animes. But I'll try and come up with a few.

The Record of Lodoss War on Dreamcast, though ridiculously difficult, is a pretty good game, I especially like the very uptempo battle music for an adventure/RPG. It has a wild temper/blacksmith system, so in many ways mirrors other recent adventure RPGs like Legend of Mana(Average game, blacksmith depth is huge though) and Vagrant Story(Great game with cool blacksmith system for creating/evolving weapons and armors). The blacksmith system involves inscribing ancient words on weapons using mithril to strengthen them. You then go out and slay monsters in fast pace battle maps and try and survive to get more mithril and continue upgrading till you are strong enough to tackle the next dungeon. The anime cut scenes are really well done and even the voiceovers are decent. The controls can be a bit akward, especially the magic system and item system. Overall, its a pretty good game.

*Some spoilers therein. First chapter stuff.*

Saiyuki: The Journey West for PSX is based on an anime in Japan that's plot centers around a Chinese legend, that of the Monkey King, Son Goku and Sanyo the Monk whose quest is to take a staff from China to India in the service of Buddha. This legend also inspired the show Dragon Ball and further incarnations. Basically, Sanyo starts out and frees Son Goku from 500 years of imrisonment by Buddha at Monkey Rock and is forced to serve Sanyo in her quest. Son Goku was punished in this way because he ascended to heaven and defeated all five of Buddha's Guardians before being beaten by Buddha and imprisoned. Son Goku basically did this to challenge himself, being the most powerful fighter on the earth. Son Goku wereforms into a Giant Monkey, and as a normal character can use Cloud to extend his movement(He essentially moves twice at the cost of MP and his action, but ignores terrain mods with Cloud) and he attacks using an extending rod. Obviously, all of this was taken by Dragon Ball as the base of the character Goku (Nimbus, Saiyen Monkey Transformation, Extending pole) and then added on to as the series progressed. Sanyo must assemble a team of Were transforming characters and unseal the five guardians of Buddha by finding the meteors that fell from heaven containing them after Son Goku defeated them. This game's plot is deep. It has 4 Chapters to play through, with most of the gameplay in Chapter 2 and 3. It has some good characterizations, especially as you can take jobs at posts(Different mission types lead to new cutscenes.) which usually lead to special cutscenes that help flesh out the character's personalities. You can get up to 12 characters (10 besides Son Goku and Sanyo) and battle with up to five per battle map. Battles are done in a 3D tactics style in which you can undergo Were transformations to unleash powers and find hidden items on the field with your Godzilla- esque terrain destruction. Wide ranged attacks can reveal a lot of ground, but less powerful attacks allow for more Were attacks and usually more treasure. Try to direct attacks against foes and vulnerable terrain to maximize your power's effectiveness for damage and treasure considerations. Sanyo cannot Were transform, but she has high MP and is well suited for healing. Once you find Guardians you can summon them and gain new attacks and power up the whole party although Sanyo is affected differently in some cases for three rounds. The enemies tend to get boring as most are palette shifted. Bosses tend to be huge and dramatic though. The magic system is complex, but all you need to know is its a magic circle of five elements; your element--> clockwise compatable. your element--> counterclockwise incompatable. The other two are not affected by elemental considerations for you. So when selecting magic scrolls use your element and those clockwise to it for best results. Also using an element against its clockwise element will result in more damage, and less damage against a counterclockwise element. An example is Life which is Compatable with Earth, but Incompatable with Gold/Aura. The music is very eastern based and is for the most part good (Though like all long tactics games, songs get repetitive after a while. There are a few tracks you never get tired of though. My personal favorite is a sort of eastern guitar mix). The graphics are well done, especially character portraits and bosses. Play control is pretty standard. The card minigame can be very addictive. It is also is the key to obtaining rare items unavailable in shops. Shops have rare items too, but are usually not as good as in the minigame. The Dojo quest can be pretty boring, but there are hidden rewards to showing you can best the masters of all all Dojos... There are also several special quests late like obtaining ultimate weapons and releasing new guardians for Buddha. The point here is, Saiyuki has a lot of stuff for you to do. The opening movie will crack you up laughing. Koei has a good one here. It's an especially good treat if you are a tactics fan and a DB or DBZ fan. Controlling Son Goku just feels great.

-Steven 'The Old School' Gamer.

There you have it. Unfortunately, I don't care for Dragonball Z one bit --- wait a sec, this is Saiyuki? Nevermind, the Son Goku bit threw me off. I am interested in the Lodoss War RPG, though. Even if it is a bit hard, I'd like to give it a shot someday. I like unique blacksmithing systems, and the RoLW one sounds pretty neat.
 
My name is now... er, crap. I forgot.

Hey whoever. I can't keep up with all the name changes that have gone on in the Mail bag.

My question has probably come up many times before, I'm just too lazy to look for it. Are any good dating sims (Sakura Taisen, Love Hina, etc.) coming to America? My love for dating sims started with Thousand Arms, even though every aspect of that game was bad. I want one to come to america!! Is my wish gonna be answered???

There IS some kind of Sakura Taisen game coming to North America actually, but I've also heard that it's not any of the RPGs. Other than that, none of the dating sims seem to be making their way over here, so you'll just have to resort to learning Japanese and importing them. I hope for your sake that you're rich and have that kind of time.
 
Closing Thoughts

Well, it's finally over with, and I can go back to doing absolutely nothing. I'm so excited, I can't contain myself. Anyway, I'll be changing the topic once I think of something. But for now, I should go watch the DVD that shares the title of this update. Yay.

~ R- er, Liz. Gotta remember my real name sometimes, you know.(letters@rpgfan.com)



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