Samus > Sephiroth
Friday, August 30, 2002

Whoever thought that a mere 26 hours of work in 4 days would be this exhausting? I guess it doesn't help that I tend to stay up late, but hey, that's beside the point.

Here I am, making this midnight-my-time update... when my body is drained of energy and I need to be up at 8 am. Yes, it's fair time again, and you know that that means for me. Lots and lots and lots of rides. Oooo. And then, I go to work after about 6 or 7 hours of this. What a day tomorrow is going to be.

Anyway, tonight's column is brought to you by a bunch of people who wrote in at the last minute, pretty much. I woke up this morning and checked my e-mail... would you believe that I had not a single letter, and that all of these letters here were sent to me TODAY? Yep. These are my wacky friends.

My brain's now in shutdown mode though, so you'll have to wait another day for a rant from me, and go read some entertaining letters.

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Thought provoking fan fiction: Non existing.

Heya, Liz. To answer your topic: Chrono Break. Hoowah.

Now, to my pseudo-point: An open letter to fanfic authors. I've been up since the buttcrack of dawn trying to spew out something even half-recognizable as a story, and when I finally think I've got something, I decide to take a break. Coffee and bagel in tow, I hop on IRC only to find that a friend of mine -- and this is especially painful after only hours earlier debating the merits of fanfiction -- is dying to show me her new FFX piece. And she did, and mine eyes are still bleeding. This is the same individual who only a few months ago wrote a Suikoden fic and showed it to me. Afterwards:

"Like it?" She asked.
"Sure," I said.
"I think it's really great," she replied, "I think I did an awesome job with the characters and motives and such."

Except for the fact that they already existed; all you did was make two of them have sex, and one of them die unexpectedly. One died because -- Surprise! -- the other two had sex. Wahooie!

Yeah, this happens a lot with her. All the time. She thinks she's a literary God because she can take preexisting characters, scenarios, and settings, and put a slightly new twist on it all. What would happen if Rikku suddenly turned evil? How about the entire cast of CT switching genders? What if -- and bear with me -- every character from every RPG/Adventure title happened to appear in a gigantic, epic 200,000 word crossover fanfiction in which they beat every villain together and engaged in one gigantic group orgy?

Wait, that probably already exists, too.

Listen, I've got nothing against fanfiction, so long as it's used with a purpose. It's easy to get into. It's fairly entertaining. It allows you to play around with plots and such with a preexisting set of characters and events, thus saving you immense amounts of time by allowing you to skip the creation phase. That's a good use for it. However, people like this one do not use fanfiction for such a purpose. Nor do most of the finks on ff.net.

Some authors, however -- and Liz, you know who, since we sing her praises daily -- do a fine job of it. But these sorts are few and far between.

Feel like plunking down 150,000 words about your favorite Gundam character? Self-insertion-with-Donkey-Kong-fic? Pool that energy for something original. Fanfiction is creative theft. An original character is a thousand times what your nefarious Rikku could ever be, so draft one.

And for the love of god, quit making everybody hump eachother.


Ah yes, some deep discussions of fanfiction in #fret have carried over into my column. Not that I mind, of course. The main reason said IRC channel can have such lengthy conversations is simple - several avid fic/otherwise amateur authors frequent the channel, and I've been browsing fanfiction/net in an attempt to actually find something decent, just to say that the content is NOT 100% crap. However, yes, a few people do it well... one I know even writes YAOI well. Yes, yaoi.

Now, I have a confession to make to my readers. :P I've been trying my own hand at fanfiction. Yes, I'm starting to dabble in it once again, and thats also my excuse for looking for decent fanfiction - to draw inspiration from. I've come up with very little, however, but I've since realized, really, that the best way to draw inspiration is to figure out how you want the story to be told, yourself. Given that a lot of those who browse ff.net seem to enjoy the generally below subpar fiction that can be found there, I'm afraid of putting any of my own work there, simply because it's so different - though to me, it'll be different in a good way.

Looking back on my nights of fic browsing, I can certainly agree about the originality issue. Sure, a lot of people whose fics I've read tend to be... oh, 12 - 18, and they're trying, but how many fics can you read about Link and Zelda breaking up because Zelda loves Marth? How many fics have the cast of FF7 go on another adventure and end up fighting like, the 5th or 6th form of Jenova in the end? If it isn't rehashed from the plot of the game which 'inspired' the work, it's rehashed from about 30% of all the other fiction that falls in the same category.

I suppose it should be taken into account that a lot of these authors just want to have fun and aren't actually attempting a serious piece of literature. I guess that's what sets me worlds apart from a lot of them, is the fact that I'm at least four years older than the majority of them, and attempting a writing with an actual purpose over and above entertainment, and which isn't so devoid of creativity. (And yeah, I know there's others in the same position as me, and they do a pretty damn good job themselves.)

Beware, whenever this little piece of fiction is done, I guarantee that 99% of you will not know my pen name nor what I'll have written.

Wild release dates... nice.

Ok, this is really been bugging me lately. Wild ARMs 3 is one of my most anticipated games of the year, but lately, there has been some confusion about the actual release date. The original release date was for September 17th, I believe, and Sony announced that it was moved to October 8th. Some sites that I have visited still have September for the release date, but I'm assuming they are behind in their release date updates. Now, when browsing over GameFAQs, I noticed the release date was set for early January, 2003?! To clarify, I went to EBgames.com and checked their release date, but, it was the same release date! I'm really hoping that it is just a typo, do you know anything about this...I don't want it to turn into my most anticipated game of *next* year...Do you know anything about this? Tell me I'm being paranoid...

~ DeSarr

I really doubt that Wild ARMS 3 could possibly be pushed back as far as January of next year. I just looked at Gamestop's site, and their date is October 15, which I'm hoping is much more accurate, and I get the feeling that October is much more likely than January. Thankfully.
I can't have fanboys without having fangirls.

Dear, sweet Liz. I'm an eccentric one, yes, but surely you can find it in your heart, overflowing with love, to agree with me, no? ....Or not.

My opinion is that the somewhat recent 'Uber-Customization!' trend in Final Fantasy, well.. I just don't see why everyone likes it. I mean, just seems like now all characters can go any which way stat wise, kinda losing their individuality. Also meaning you can pretty much just use a team of your favorites and equip them accordingly. While it may seem nice, it just seems much better to me to have to use certain characters for certain skills.

Also makes you appreciate characters you might not otherwise. I know it did make me appreciate Gau in FF6 after a while. Had I been able to just do anything with any character, I may never have used him. But, I liked the Rage system, and soon I grew to like using him enough to usually give him a permanent place in my party.

Now it seems like "Don't like Rinoa? Just never use her unless you're forced! Anyone else can do everything she can!" ..It's probably a bad example, but you get what I mean?

Ah well. I'll sign off here. Maybe I'll draw you some nice Roy hentai in my spare time. *V-sign* ^_~

-Your dear, loveable fangirl, Fujin.

While there are still things that sets each character apart, such as Limit Breaks and Overdrives, it does seem as if the many ways to customize can really take a way from a character's... well, character, doesn't it? It's weird though, because I played so much of FFX, and some characters ended up rather overlevelled. Three or four eventually learned all Abilities possible, yet I was still in the mindset that I HAD to bring Rikku into the party to steal, Yuna to heal, Tidus to Flee, and so forth - even when I was 130 hours into the game.

In ways I do think it's better for certain characters to have unique skills, but when they become simply useless anyway, that's when customization could be useful. Even so, if the option is available customization isn't exactly necessary, such as in FFX's case, you can simply either stop using the Sphere grid (though I'm not sure why you'd want to, with all the statups there are on it), or just not use the abilities that are (initially) unique to that character, or whatever you feel like, if you'd really like them all to have any extreme amount of individuality. And yeah, despite all my ramblings, I loved the unique-ness of the FFVI characters, and at the same time... they all could still use the same Magic spells. Plenty of RPG have characters so unique, they can't even do that.

Oh hell yeah.

Okay, first off, the fine folks at OmniGroup only develop for one platform, and they don't do Windows. :P So yay for them. Yeah, I said this in IRC, but I wanted everyone else to know too. All 3 people who would actually care that is.

Moving on to a more RPG-related topic, I think---it that a cutscene in Metroid Fusion? Good Lord. Somehow this game is still managing to impress me. Must.....get.... Oh, right, RPGs. Um. Kingdom Hearts is coming in three or so weeks. Yay. After finally breaking down and downloading some videos of the English game, I must say I'm impressed with the voice acting. I'm stoked (yes, I said stoked, ugh) that they got David Boreanaz for Squall (or Leon as Yuffie calls him...for some reason), as I love his show, and he seems really fitting for the role. Apparently Sean Astin is voicing Cloud...well, whoever it is does a good job. I guess most people would be shocked to hear Mandy Moore is doing everyone's favorite (and now alive) FFVII heroine Aeris... but I'm not. She's got that whole 'oh look, she sings pop, she must be a ditz' image, but she's really different from the rest. She's not Britney, or Christina Aguilera... who hasn't been around much lately. I wonder whatever happened to her. Anyway, Mandy may have started with the whole sugary pop stuff, but she's grown up. Um, yeah. That's enough of a pop music rant.

So yeah. KH voices = good. The game seemed fun enough to me, being an action RPG fan, so one of the only things I feared was the dub. Then again, this is a huge deal for Square AND Disney, so they'd be fools to mess it up.

Before I go on some other random tangent, I'll end it here, and save other things for another time.

~Mike, who is hoping the apparent Square announcement IS what most people are hoping it is... and it had better be.

You do realize that you wouldn't have come upon that Metroid Fusion screen shot so soon if I hadn't pointed it out to you, right? Yeah, you already know what my reaction was. (For the rest of you, it was something along the lines of: :O~) And you can't forget that yellow suit...

I'm the same way about Mandy Moore, really. I think it was... ever since I saw her movie, A Walk to Remember... that I was actually impressed by her. The last time I cared to pay attention, she was more candy pop-ish than Britney at one point, and I never really gave her a chance after that candy song. After the movie, I was pretty impressed by her acting, and well, her music, and how it's changed and actually very tolerable and much less geared towards 14 year olds. Yes, she has a good set of vocal chords, something you couldn't really notice in her early days. I'm actually looking forward to hearing her voice Aeris, since I already know how good of an actress she is. Lance Bass though, I dunno...

Wakka Wakka Wakka!

Hey Liz,

I've been playing Super Mario Sunshine (and loving it! Also, it doesn't seem to make me queasy like other 3D platformers do...), which I bought with my now limited funds. And that got me to thinking about my next big purchase... Kingdom Hearts, Castlevania, and Animal Crossing all come out on the same day or something in September. Major dilemma there, as I can barely get one of those as it stands now. I'm a huge Castlevania fan, and certainly eat those games up, but I have a bunch of GBA games to beat already, so I shouldn't buy any more until I beat some of them. And I've bought Square's big releases as soon as they came out for the past five years (Final Fantasy VII, Xenogears, FF8, FF9, FFX)... so you'd think I'd pick Kingdom Hearts, right? It looks like it'll be awesome and everything. Shouldn't a Square whore like me buy it ASAP?

But nope, I'm gonna get Animal Crossing! It's certainly not as pretty as Kingdom Hearts or anything, but everything I've heard about it makes me want it even more. I've always been kinda interested in those life simulation deals... Shenmue was cool when it let you just run around and do things. Animal Crossing sounds awesome because you can do all these cool things and interact with characters, and things happen in real time, who needs a life when you can just play Animal Crossing? So that's why I'm getting Animal Crossing before Kingdom Hearts.... there's so much to do, I figure I should get started as soon as possible! (and hide from KH spoilers)

Oh, and uhm, on-topic stuff? I want to hear more about the FFX gaidens! More Wakka! :D


Well, if I had the choice, I'd get KH ASAP. With all the attention I've been paying to KH updates and such, especially after E3, this game gets me excited every damn time. The soundtrack, and the chance to play the game at E3... and, well, everything. Unfortunately, unlike the world of North American gamers, I have to wait until Kingdom Hearts Final Mix arrives in December. *sigh* And hide from KH spoilers until then.

Animal Crossing... I'll honestly say that the commercial/ad thing Nintendo showed at E3 was what turned me off from the game. Yes, neat idea and all, but the kids... I dunno what else bothered me about it, but the whole thing came off as lame. Of course, I might change my mind if I ever sit down and play it for real, but who knows if that'll ever happen? Whatever the case, it better not turn out as boring as Shemmue.

Speaking of the FFX gaidens, I heard they will be PLAYABLE at TGS... but behind closed doors. I hope there's an overabundance of info on those games... And maybe some Chrono Break info too. Bah...

Saga of The Metroid Fic

Oh, alright, I promise. My fanfic will be better than the 'expletive of choice here' on fanfiction.net. I sure hope it's better, anyway.

I have a friend with the same motion sickness problem, Dunno if it will help, but he finds that if he plays in total darkness it helps. Something about being more focused on the screen and ignoring everything else.


I'm going to trust you to be writing a fic which would outshine the majority of ff.net's content... if it doesn't there'll be hell to pay. Or something. Mwahaha.

...Playing in total darkness? Hmm, I could have sworn I played PSO with all the lights off, and I still didn't feel good. I'm not totally sure that I'm remembering this correctly though, so I should try that with Suikoden II sometime. If it doesn't make a difference, I'll be off to the pharmacy. Thanks for the info.



Can I have $200 so I can get a GCN and Smash Bros? I'll be your best friend.


PS. Does Sephiroth suck or what?

Ooh, Bacardi as in Bacardi Silver? You're supposed to be in my fridge, not my column. :P Just for that, no $200 for you! Unless you have $200 for me! Wait, that doesn't make any sense, does it? Oh well.
Samus should've won.


A-fricking-men. No offense, FFVII fans, but I think Sephy is way too overrated.

Kefka could own him anyday. And in turn, Samus could own Kefka.

*runs to avoid fames*

Closing Thoughts

A parent-free weekend ahead... lucky me! Chances are I'll be working on FE, my layout or uhm... some form of writing. Oh, yes. Enjoy the weekend, people, I know I will. You know there's no way better to enjoy your weekend than to write me a letter. Right?

~ Liz, now available in strawberry slush form. Pearls optional. (letters@rpgfan.com)


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Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Final Fantasy IX • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Speedrun) • 6pm PDT/9pm EDT

Octopath Traveler • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

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