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Derek Heemsbergen
Reviews Editor, Random Encounter Co-Host

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At RPGFan Since:
May 2010

Location:
Tucson, AZ, USA

Favorite Games/Series:
Earthbound, Xenogears, Xenoblade, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Skies of Arcadia, and the following series: Grandia, Castlevania, Xenosaga, Valkyrie Profile, Lufia, Mana, Shining Force, Tales, Lunar, Suikoden, Breath of Fire, Phantasy Star, Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, Mega Man, Metroid, Zelda, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, Ys, Dragon Quest, and Pokémon

Favorite Genres:
RPG, Strategy, Action, Adventure, Fighting

Other Interests:
Ferrets, coffee/tea, languages, reading, fitness, food, collecting RPG memorabilia
I've been gaming since I was a wee child, enchanted by and thriving off of the worlds inside those little plastic cartridges. RPGs defined my childhood and remain my favorite genre. There's something about getting to know a group of characters and experiencing their world step-by-step that I find enthralling. As such, I gravitate more towards JRPGs and prefer to customize pre-defined characters, rather than creating characters from scratch. I can stomach the genre's typical tropes and clichés if character interactions are top-notch (I'm looking at you, Falcom). I love retro aesthetics and pixel art, especially when they're combined with solid gameplay systems.

My personal life isn't nearly as dynamic as an RPG character's. I'm not descended from a legendary hero, I've never piloted a giant mech, and I don't even know any magic. Ideally, I'd like to inherit an ancient relic and use its power to save the world, but my local university didn't offer a program in Impossible Heroics. Instead, I hope to make a career out of writing about games, if I can convince someone to trade me valuable paper in exchange for the buttons I press on this keyboard. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in both Linguistics and East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona, and I'm determined to ensure that my career path makes use of both.

Aside from gaming, I like to spend my spare time lifting weights, doing Yoga, getting another gaming tattoo, making jokes that teeter precariously on the edge of self-effacing, drinking too much not enough coffee, reading, dancing in my underwear, and wishing I still had ferrets. Miss you, Oy, Chai, and Kupo. I also love food! If it involves avocado, hummus, chia seed, or Sriracha, count me in.



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The Blackwell Legacy
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Every Tuesday • 11am PST/2pm EST

Tales of Symphonia
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Valkyria Chronicles
Every Thursday • 5pm PST/8pm EST

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