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Why September Sucks
Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Ten hour shifts rock. Four hour nights, don't. I'm well aware that my dating is off, as I've messed up the mailbag schedule for the week. See, Tuesday, I'd finished a ten hour shift at a new job, and had the exact same shift Wednesday. It basically requires me getting up really early and getting off work really late, so I kind of chose to sleep instead. Yeah, sleep... in a freakishly cold room that was once so hot I had to open all my windows and have the fan going. Yes, even at four in the morning. I blame September for bringing this sudden cold weather...

I think I forgot to ramble on the other day about some SSBM tourney at a local fair that I came this close to winning - by one KO, in fact, and out of 32 entrants. Not that I thought that I was good, but apparently I was enough to get to the finals against only one other person, whose character is... a bit faster than Roy. It's amusing how being a girl gets you attention if you play video games - and lots if you do well as I was apparently doing (and it was freaking me out) that day. Unfortunately, I'm a little weird (as in, oddly shy) in any sort of limelight - though it can also be attributed to being in a room with a bunch of teenaged guys. Anyway, I got a nifty SMS lanyard and a Gamecube shirt out of it... whoo.

Go read some letters so I can sleep. Please.

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E-mail Daniel, unless you're a scammer from Nigeria.
 
 
Yes I know, I could be meaner.

First off, I'd like to know if there will more Final Fantasy remakes in the proximate future, such as FFVIII or FFVII or FFIV? I would like to really know, and what games would you recommend purchasing for your readers? Also, will there be any rpg's for the Xbox? Thanks for listening, and I visit your site everyday, it's my favorite. Oh, and I hope you like my fanart.
First things first. Go look at the release dates on our page. Do you see any FF remakes on there? Guess that answers your question. My recommendations of games.... would take up the entire Mailbag. Basically, you should simply refer to past columns where I tend to get a little long winded on my favorite games... I kid you not.

Finally, XBox is getting Project Ego, Phantasy Star Online Episode I and II, and Shenmue II... if that last one truly counts. Lucky, lucky you guys. Why should I bother telling you this anyway? It's not my damn fault you're not looking at the release dates page!

 
I blame Enix.

Don't you just hate it when in a game like Grandia 2 where the save points regenerate your characters (thus taunting you when it's just out of reach), one of your characters dies and you don't have a way to revive them, then you start to run around in circles in a big maze of a dungeon looking for the nearest save point, you reassure yourself saying "Okay, they ALWAYS put the save point in front of the boss, so if I just keep going and dodge all the enemies, I'll be fine!" then you walk in to a big corridor by accident and get raped by the boss, effectively setting you back 2 hours? Of course, Grandia 2 is a bad example because the battles in it are actually fun (god forbid) and I wouldn't mind going through a dungeon again, but that's just me.

Actually, that brings me to a good question. How in god's name did they manage to screw up the PS2 conversion of Grandia 2 so horribly? They must have had complete morons doing it! *Embraces his long dead Dreamcast*

-Poojipoo

Well, I'd have felt that way about FFX more often, if there wasn't fifteen trillion save points already scattered throughout Spira. The only real problem was the Omega Dungeon, when I kept getting AMBUSHED by the Great Malboro... that dungeon was my hardcore, big time 'level up for hours and hours' area... and you'd think it'd be simple to just STICK BY THE SAVE POINT near the beginning, so you could heal as needed? Well silly me, thinking I'd be using the save point so often that I only really needed to save every once in a while, kept forgetting to actually SAVE amidst my constant HP/MP refills. After five hours..I...died. It was very, very heartbreaking. *sigh* Oh, those evil healing save points.
 
FFX gameplay tips, revisited.

Heya,

I've just got a couple FFX comments real quick. This may be old news, I dunno, I just ran across an old June issue of the mailbag where you mentioned that you were greatly frustrated with the Greater Sphere, and said that it's the one reason you need 255 on mag and mag def. on at least 3 char. The way I got around that was as follows: I had tidus on 255's across the board except luck and magic (about 160 on magic), and the rest of my characters were significantly lower on everything (around 100's). I configured an Assault sheild for Tidus consisting of auto-haste, auto-protect, auto-shell, and auto-phoenix, and used his unlocked caladbolg. I quick-hit for 99,999 every time, and although the $*#^$ sphere killed my other 2 chars. each time I hit him, he only did about 300hp damage to Tidus each time. The only healing I had to do (other than the auto-phoenix's, which were actually a waste, the other two could have stayed KO'ed and it would have saved me from having to replenish my phoenix downs when the battle was over) was one x-potion, because the little press-move the greater sphere does takes off about 2k. That assault shield is my best friend eh.

So now here's my question. I just unlocked Nemesis and am working on finishing the grid with the rest of my characters. My question is about the clear spheres. Now, if I clear say, an evasion+2 and put an evasion+4 there, do all the characters that had the +2 bonus from that node lose 2 when I delete that sphere? I hope not eh, I need as much room as possible for HP spheres. Nemesis is still toasting my dudes thoroughly with one particular move, and the only way I can see to get around it is HP, HP, HP. Thanks!

Ah, Quick Hit is pretty much a necessity for most of the original Arena creations. Thankfully, my strongest character (Yuna) has One MP Cost on Nirvana... however, she ends up hogging all the experience. I eventually figured out how to defeat the Greater Sphere... I think. My memory's a bit vague, but I only had one or two enemies to go before I unlocked Nemesis, but now, I'm sans FFX to find out. Bah. By the way, Auto Phoenix is best equipped on the character least likely to die, obviously... and I wouldn't have it on everyone either, it seems like a bit of a waste. Another tip: If you're loving them X Potions, head out to the Sanubia Desert and hang out there for a while - there'll be tons of them in chests in battles. I was always pretty full, as that area was another one of my level up spots.

Anyway, in a short answer no, using clear spheres won't do that to character stats. In a tad deeper explanation, think about it - you can clear -any- sphere, even the abilities. Since there's no way to get said abilities back, Square wouldn't have allowed the Clear spheres to make characters lose whatever statup or ability what was on the sphere. So basically, you could go on forever with the Grid - or at least, a very long time. Isn't that fun?

 
Is that Windows XP or experience?

What I'd like to see bust out of Japan onto America's shores.

I guess the first thing would be the new Final Fantasy I and II remix package. With 16 bit enhancements and new CG, going back on a nostalgic trip with FFI and a new journey with the real FFII on Playstation would make my day.

I guess the second thing would be the new RPG Maker 2. I have to hope that all the problems that have plagued the first one on PSX are worked out. First and foremost is the memory card problem, as in RPG Maker simply takes up too many slots for so little of your game. Just making up a decent storyline or beginning pushes your scenario slots in the 7 to 8 slot range. Another is the hidden monster and characters in anime maker, which if you use them take up even more memory. The final problem is the balance of the game because of the way XP is worked, meaning people rarely get out of a decent first level dungeon below level 5. And that just isn't right. So I have to hope that the PS2 version will have more memory, better balance, and no need to use up extra memory for characters and monsters on the CD itself.

-Steven the 'Old School' Gamer

Eh... I can't comment on RPGMaker much, since my little creative mind only goes so far and doesn't venture to that kind of medium... heh. I am, however, curious as to why not many people think that the FFI and II remakes will make it to our shores... these remakes never saw the light of day (nor did the WonderSwan Color) over here, it's got the FF name and would surely sell here, and a lot of gamers would have the opportunity to play 'em for the first time, if not for the first time with updated graphics. Of course, I've been thinking of importing the sucker anyway...
 
Presenting... one of my new favorite people. No, that's not sarcasm.

I am writing to COMPLAIN about the person calling him/herself Aaron in the August 30th letters column. H-How dare he mock our beloved Christine!! I BET HE IS A HOMOPHOBIC GAYBO AND HAS NO LITERURAY SENSE!!! Are you all so blind to her talent? With lines like "KEEYAH! SEPHIROTH! AHHH!" you can tell that she's putting her heart, nay, her very SOUL into this work. I can't believe anyone could put her down in such a HORABUL way!!

Didn't you read her story, Teach Me How To Blitz? Tidus will always be there for her, NO MATTER WHAT U HORABUL PPL SAY!! And she's only 14 and a virgin! If this is how brilliant she is now, imagine how far she's going to go! CHRISTINE: FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA!! And she'll be a doctor and author too, because she said so in her wonderful stories somewhere!!!

Ahem. Anyway. Fanfiction? GOOD? The very idea of non-crap fanfiction is against all laws of nature and reality. Come on people, make your own characters and plotlines if you want to be taken seriously. That is why we should appreciate people like Christine, who can make us laugh and cry and BEG FOR DEATH with their wonderfully WRONG stories. Suffice to say I have never in my life experienced such emotions reading fanfiction than when I read Christine's Promised Land Final Fantasy VII story. And if you think her fanfiction.net stories are bad, wait until you see some of her wondrous earlier stuff. You WILL believe a God can hate.

And yeah, I admit there MIGHT be some halfway good fanfics out there, but how many people are willing to trawl through the mass of absolute mediocrity in order to find them?

-Bloiffy, who is soon to be doing a CHRISTINE SPECIAL UPDATE on his site. Hooray!

There's definitely no talent that touches Christine's, for sure. Of course, no one even WANTS to touch that kind of talent, nor do I dare search fanfiction.net for anyone who writes such similar... er, masterpieces. *coughs* Yeah. I do wish she'd not delete some of the reviews left for her stuff, because they're so amusing. Of course, the positive ones are too, but there's so many creative ways you can insult - er, I mean praise her. Mind you, there's some recent reviews on the Blitz one that cause a chuckle or two...

Ah, yes, 14 and a virgin. I don't know whether to feel sorry for her, or to blame these facts for her uninformed attempts at writing sex scenes. Or sex scenes with video game characters, to begin with. (And as I type, I'm pretty sure my readers will be truly scared.) I will spare some courtesy for my readers though, and not show them her DigiMon fics. "And then, they were never the same again."

You'd be surprised at how many people are actually willing to seek out decent fanfiction - some spend all night combing various corners of ff.net, I kid you not. And a good friend also writes good fanfiction - even though it uses existing characters and (partially) settings, it's still much more original than 80% of ff.net put together.

I anxiously await your Christine special - and a night of rolling around on my floor in peals of laughter, again. Oh yes.

 
More .hacked goodness.

Hiya, Liz.

Okay, I'm back. Sorry it took so long. I was the one that mentioned the Valkyrie Profile 2 game. It was a rumor, but I thought I remembered seeing it...I'll find a link for that. And, being such a .hack fan I am, without even playing the game yet, =P here's a link, for some people about the releases of the DvDs from it, and a sample song =D DOT Hackers

I wouldn't be e-mailing you for no reason, now would I? Well, yes...but anyways... I was just wondering ...er... for some odd reason when I try to listen to the sample music on the website (RPGFan.com) I never get a chance to hear it. It's always CONGESTED...something must be wrong with my computer...but it's new..

*sigh*
DV

Eh? Congested? What? I'm lost. Oh yeah, back to that Valkyrie Profile thing, I'd heard that tri-Ace expressed interest in doing another VP... who knows, we may hear something at Tokyo Game Show - then again, maybe not. By the way, also for anyone interested, the .hack/SIGN anime has an awesome soundtrack - apparently, it's similar to Noir. Not that I've seen or hear Noir. Regardless, get the .hack/SIGN soundtrack. Somehow.
 
Closing Thoughts

I embrace my day off tomorrow with much anticipation - maybe I can finally get some things done around here. Like bill paying. Keep writing in folks - now that my update schedule this week is a bit messed up, I uh, guess I'm updating Friday night. I'm such a moron.

~ Liz, once again lost in fanfic land. (letters@rpgfan.com)



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