Double Agent
And what rough Mojo, his hour come 'round at last... - September 7, 2000 - Chris Jones

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this column are those of the participants and the moderator, and do not necessarily reflect those of the GIA. There is coarse language and potentially offensive material afoot. Double Agent is NOT a Miller-Boyett production in association with Lorimar Telepictures. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Man, this near-Armageddon thing's really getting out of hand. Between Mojo's hordes, DQ fans and those pesky Canadian ninja assassins (you can spot them by their battle cries - long streams of Japanese curses followed by "eh?") a perfectly good topic like GBA/Dolphin connectivity kinda gets left by the wayside. This is unacceptable, so after today I'll be toning things down a bit. But you, the readers, seem to want some conflict for now, so conflict is what you shall have.


Kind of a rapid-fire hodgepodge from me today.

1. I might buy a GameCube, and I might buy a GBA (less chance of that, though - I hate portables). But linking them together doesn't seem like an earth-shattering development. Pokemon games (blehh) are the most likely to benefit, I think...

2. If everyone abides by the word of Famitsu so religiously, why didn't everyone rush out to buy the DC Virtal On, which scored a 40? Could it be that the DQ crowd and the FF crowd are just waving scores at each other in fits of zealous love for their favorite series? Nahh, I must be imagining any case, PLAY THESE GAMES YOURSELF before catering to any fanatics' thirst for approval.

3. I feel the anonymous letter got to the very heart of the matter with Vagrant's problems. I've talked to no less than five different gamers so disgusted with its faults (successful attacks increasing your chance of failure, the irritatingly small inventory, weapon customization not worth the trouble) they'll never bother to finish it. I fought my way through it, but I'd hardly say it was worth the trouble involved.

4. Regarding Mojo, how do you intend to kill a voodoo doll, anyway? And if you succeed, won't you kill whomever he's an effigy of? Just a thought.


Won't argue the middle two points, but the first and last are interesting. It seems obvious by now that Pokemon mania (my verbal instincts prevent me from using the word "Pokemania"... oops) is over as a driving cultural force, no matter how good Gold/Silver/Crystal turn out to be. However, I'm wondering what happens if you could make a portable Pokemon game as good (yeah, it was good, at least from a design idea standpoint) as Red/Blue and somehow combine it with a deep console RPG. Think about it, you could have a single game that completely dominated both player's portable and home game playing. Even if the game itself didn't appeal to current heavy-duty RPG fans, the copycat effects it might have on the industry could make things interesting.

You work from an erroneous starting point here, SP. Not all voodoo dolls are representations of something - many follow the "build your own god for cheap" take on religion. And I'm not even saying all voodoo gods are evil (check out Tim Powers' novel "On Stranger Tides") but Mojo was clearly assembled by a deranged mental patient somewhere.

Pringles' Potato Chips: Is Youthful in Spirit. Strongly Disagree.

This is the second time I am typing this since Internet Explorer performed an illegal error as I was moving the pointer from the bottom of the screen to the send box. Anyway today I recieved my first email from the FF Movie web page even though I registered for the newsletter months ago. The letter contained a very nice plea to take a survey that would benifit the site and make it better for the people visiting it. Gullibly I clicked the link within the letter in order to help all the people at Sony whom I know care deeply about me. The survey I took however had nothing to do with FF, Square, Sony, or even movies. It was a survey about salted snacks where i had to tell how many I ate a week and whether Pringles were hip and cool, or keep the fun going at parties. Needless to say I was shocked at how far these people have sold out. Using people who are interested in your movie to help out the snack companies just seems wrong to me for some strange reason. Could the movie being drain out so much money that there was no choice but to sell their collective souls to Corporate America? Well sell their souls even more then they already have I guess.

Steve Newman

Hopeing that even if you dont print this you will care, since none of my friends seemed to

I thought everybody knew about this by now, but I still get enough letters in to make it worth a mention here. It went down pretty much as Steve says, except that the survey did mention further stuff, such as what magazines a participant subscribed to, what they used the Internet for, etc. But, unfortunately, nothing related to Final Fantasy games or the upcoming movie. The survey has been taken down by this point, or I'd put up a link here.

I think the important thing to learn here is how far the FF "magic" extends from the source. Sakaguchi is pretty well involved with the movie script, so I'm sure it won't be a complete betrayal of the series. The trailer looks pretty cool, as does the site - the designers may not be game players themselves, but they at least know how to treat our demographic.

However, go much further out, and you start to hit marketing. Probably some sunny personality at whatever PR firm Sony's hired decided that she needed to increase brand awareness of Pringles, saw the stack of names that the web geeks had correlated, and did a mass mailing. The rest is history.

Which just goes to show what I've always said: MARKETING IS EVIL.

My bizarre game character can beat up your bizarre game character!

Fear not the minions of Lucky Dan. The PDC and I will protect you!

Robert Silvers
President, Professor Daravon Club

"Ah. Nabbed from sadists by terrorists. Sort of a dream come true, ya know?" -Opus, Bloom County

Although I suppose if all the bizarre game characters got together in one giant steel cage death match, all I'd have to do would be eliminate the winner to make the world safe for serious RPGs. Hmm...

...and I'll form the head!
I think the idea of the GameCube and the GBA joining forces is a good idea. The way I look at it, by themselves they are just great systems. However when they join forces, they will form one Super Unbeatable system. It would be really cool if Nintendo would release lets say a Zelda game for GameCube, and then the exact same game for GBA, and you could swap your file back and forth, that way one could go away for two weeks and play Zelda while he was gone. Just think it was a good idea.

Dictator Sam
P.S. Why were you Utah of all places? Sorry bout it anyways.

The problem with that theory is, the system's abilities are still too far apart for the same game to be on both systems. You could certainly have a "Link's Awakening" type minigame that spawned off of Zelda Cubed (like the catchphrase?) but integrating them in a meaningful way would be difficult. How would it be done? Even Miyamoto's mighty skills might be pushed to the limit.

How can I turn my back?
Hey Double Agent,

Couldn't you have taken on something larger than Mojo's Fan Club? Dear God, there were only about 250 people registered as members, and those were the ones insane enough to openly profess their worship of the funny looking straw doll; but there may be thousands more lurking in the shadows... Their revisionist history polluting young minds as we speak... You see, the thing is, the smaller the cult, the more devoted they are to proselitizing... And feeling persecuted will only add to their determination. If I were you, I'd let the open denounciations rest, and do something more sensible, such as tipping off the ATF, or something ;)

Besides, so long as they don't come to your door asking you to read their crappy pamphlets, what do you care???

Princess Jemmy, who loves the look on JW whenever I've told them that if I really had to pick, I'd opt for satanism... ;)

But how could I sleep at night, knowing the evil that is Mojo walked the earth unchallenged? I mean, they invade our columns, and we fall back. They assimilate entire web pages, and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they have done!

Plus "Defeated evil demon from the depths of Hell" looks really great on a resume.

FF III returns!
While I don't really have much to say about Genesis RPGs, I just thought I'd jump in with my final impressions on Final Fantasy IX for those of you who are interested:

The third installment in Square's popular Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy IX marked a return to the job system of Final Fantasy I, but this time in an upgraded form: characters can now switch jobs throughout the adventure, rather than being stuck in one class for the whole game. Many now-classic jobs debuted in FF IX, such as the Summoners and Geomancers. Other elements of FF IX have endured throughout the series -- Gisahl was an actual town in Final Fantasy IX, from which your party purchased goods to feed Chocobos; and the Invincible airship made an appearance as a vehicle in Chocobo Racing.

One of FF IX's most infamous aspects has been its high difficulty level. Many of the later dungeons, such as Eureka, are stocked with duplicating monsters and can take ages to hack through. Furthermore, your party can only carry a limited number of items; you have to rely on the Big Chocobos to store your loot.

Sadly, while Final Fantasy II may have had a storyline far ahead of its time, FF IX reverted back to more standard "fetch quest" fare. And, of course, the 8-bit graphics and sound can hardly be compared to today's 128-bit 3-D marvels... what? You mean that FF IX and FF III are substantially different games? GIA's main page has me all confused. But those nice GIA agents never would let their personal biases influence their news reporting, would they?

(BTW, the formula to Coke -is- a trade secret, not a patent.)

- Fritz Fraundorf

I dunno what to tell you, man. I don't speak Japanese, so only your guide can really help me figure out what's going on, and if the site says Zidane's an "Onion Kid", who am I to argue? I only know what the media tells me, you know.


You haven't finished Gravity's Rainbow? You pansy.

--DarkLao, "Proverb for paranoids #5 -- Paranoids are not paranoid because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations." (GR)

Within the first 100 pages or so I think it becomes clear to most readers who try to seriously grok the book that Gravity's Rainbow may be more than they can chew. It's certainly true in my case. I'm not at all ashamed to admit Pynchon blew me away, and that basically the only way I'm ever gonna finish it is if I have nothing else to do for several weeks on end. In other words, when I'm dead. It's truly, truly ponderous. Also a hell of a lot of fun, but take a look for yourselves, folks.

Good quote, by the way.


If they GBA has taught us anything, it's that there's no chance in hell Square will be developing games for a Nintendo system anytime soon.

Here we have the GBA: most powerful handheld on Earth, successor to the most popular gaming system EVER, supported by a company with numerous years of experience in the gaming hardware market, and top contender for the #1 handheld position.

And here we have the WonderSwan Color: not nearly as powerful as the GBA, successor to a failed handheld, supported by a company who's only game hardware experience is it's failed predecessor, and fighting an uphill battle against an seemingly invincible opponent.

Square chooses the latter.


That, kiddies, is what we like to call "a slap to the face of the Big N."

-Agent X "we should call it the slap heard 'round the world!"

Seems pretty accurate to me. I guess the only question here is whether Square's lingering feud with Nintendo will really blind it to the profit opportunities inherent in the GBA for much longer. My vote is no.

True Names, and other stories
OK, first off, we all have to stop calling this thing "Mojo." That name does not do him justice. He is Lucky Dan. Period, end of story. I'd like to petition JP to rename the Mojo Fan Club to the Lucky Dan Fan Club.


Once again I must disagree with the venerable AK. Mojo is defined as a magic spell or charm - basically, a magical power, often dark in nature. Such a word clearly defines the hold Mojo has over his followers. "Lucky Dan", on the other hand, merely sounds like some guy with good karma - the average joe who somehow ended up with the cheerleader girlfriend, in other words. There's nothing inherent in Lucky Dan to describe Mojo's true evilocity. Case closed.

The skeptic
GBA, Game Cube, nothing was as good as the SNES.


How you can say this without even seeing any GBA/Cube hybrid games is beyond me, but we put up all sorts of opinions here.

No shelter

My back yard hardly qualifies as a secret lair. Now get out, get your ass whipped by Mojo's frighteningly loyal subjects, and take it like a man!

Justin Freeman

And here I thought my Arch Nemesis would help me against a common foe greater than both of us. Much like the Autobots and Decepticons putting aside their differences to fight the greater evil of Starscream's energy source scheme, combined we could have rid the universe of the Mojo scourge. But no, Mr. Freeman's blindness has doomed us all. When the Mojonites come for you in your sleep, remember to curse Justin Freeman's name as you're carried off into the darkness.

Closing Comments:

Before I get a ton of letters about it, IGN reports that Famitsu has given DQ7 a 38, same as FF9. Like I said, this isn't the final nail in the coffin of this debate, but it is getting closer.

Free topic day tomorrow. That is all.

-Chris Jones, needs to lay off the gratuitous references

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