The answer to your question is this: badgers.

That aside, let's see what's new in the world this week. After a few days down, due to server stuff, GIA is back up and running, albeit a bit slowly. See, we always try and bring you the latest news as it breaks, as always, but around this time 'o year, there's the minor stumbling block that most of the companies that make the news are on vacation themselves, which slows things down a tad.

In other news, Working Designs have been working hard at finishing translation of Lunar: Silver Story Story Complete, which prompts me to do my patented Happy Mambo. I am an unabashed Lunar fanboy, and the sooner it's in my hot little hands, the happier I'll be.

Also of interest, GIA posted up an interview with the (in?)famous Ted Woolsey, where he discusses what life is like at Crave Entertainment. I, for one, wasn't aware that they were looking into localizing games, as well as doing their own, original projects. Myself, I'd like to see them translate an oldie but goodie for PSX, by the name of Bloody Bride, but that's me...

Also, in a purely selfish turn, Starcraft for Mac is due out Pretty Soon Now, with Brood Wars following suit right quick, which pleases me to no end. Why, think of it: in a few short weeks, all of you can kick the living shit out of the Double Agent on the battlefield. Three cheers for whipping boys! Hip hip hooray!

Lastly, I hope you all had a good, and safe, holiday season. Honest.

He throws Scrabble letters at old ladies just for fun

Sometimes it's just so satisfying to hear the crack as a "Q" connects withan old woman's skull... Call me a sentimental fool, but I liked it betterwhen they fought back. In my day, I would chuck assorted consonants at oldtimers and watch them chase after me. It was bliss. But nowadays...Nowadays I've got to actually coax them after the barrage of little tabletshits's sad.

Speaking of horses, did you know that an area of horses the size of Kansasis leveled every day? It's so awful to imagine those crazy equestriancritters just getting slaughtered left and right. And now for somethingcompletely different.

Have you ever gone to the zoo and attempted to mate with the animals? It'sfun, I highly recommend. Not in a sick beastial kind of way, but in a waythat screams to the world, "Fear me! For I have the courage to climb intothe cages of such beasts and make wild, wild love to them!"

Or is it just me?

-Toaster Thief

And people wonder why letters column people go nuts. Pish.

I'll say it once, I'll say it a million times: Scrabble is a game of wit, wonder, and words, NOT of whapping women with wood. Set the letters down before you put someone's eye out.

I've never thought of horses as being able to be "leveled" before, but yeah, it's a distressing thought. I'll never eat Jell-o again...

I don't mate with the animals, mainly because the zoos around here tend to electrify the cages. I like having some energy, a little electricity to my sexual encounters, but that's pushing it. Also, I find that animals in zoos have their sex drives beaten down by their time in captivity. They just don't get into the mood as easily, which is a damn shame. They just can't keep up with me, poor things.

Talkin' bout an evolution

Dear Allan,

I read about telling you our fav games..well mine iz none other than.....*drumroll*...EVO: The Search for Eden!! * the sounds of many people going "Wha?" *

Well if u haven't played EVO ( a lot of u r guilty...admit it ) i'll give u a brief rundown of it. You start out and Mother Gaia ( Earth ) wants to lead u to Eden..the holy animal world or something like that. So u start out as a crappy lil u decide to go up to a jellyfish..AND THEN U EAT HIM!!! Now i dunno about u..but any game where u can kill another animal and then eat him to evolve iz HIGH up there in my book.

Thus, the point of the kill off lesser animals to evolve into the next stage of evolution. You can evolve any part of ur body to become an almost different creature..such as ur jaws, ur body, and even ur tail..and THATS when it gets fun. Cuz u can mold a creature into ur own liking..make him a fast wily lil devil...or a slow lumbering killing machine..its all up too u.

You reach the next stage of evolution by beating a boss on each level. You start out as a fish but can evolve into: a amphibian,a dinosaur, a bird, and finally..the pinnacle of evolution.....Allan Milligan....heh heh..just kidding..u can turn into a club-wielding human.

-Kevin Strange

EVO! Woo! Another lost classic - hear that, you Vault people? :)

Anyhow, yeah, EVO's an oldie but goodie (for the SNES, by Enix, by the by). I've got to say, though, that the human sucked pretty hard for the "peak of evolution." I always preferred something with more points put into Jaws... I like the feeling of sinking my massive teeth into the soft, throbbing flesh of a young, nubile... oh, right, the game. Not for everyone, it should be said, and got kinda tedious, especially at the start. Worth it, though, and a lost gem.

Jack be Nymble

1) Do you really think Final Fantasy IX will be the last? I somehow doubt it...

2) As far as I can tell Wisdom Tree never was a game developer. Well, not officially. Nintendo never gave their seal of approval. So technically they're not professional, right?

3) Did you know that if the Bible was made into an RPG, it would have to be rated 'A', because of adult content? Wouldn't you just love to play as Moses and Abraham? "Red sea, part!" That would rule!

4) Hey, would you recommend Suikoden? It's $20 at my Wal-Mart now and I want a copy if it's any good.

5) How many questions have you ever had on one letter?

Pokémon, for not being very compelling, is doing pretty dang good for a litte Game Boy game. All the people I know are about 15 or older and they all love Pokémon.


1. I sincerely doubt FFIX will be the last in the series, unless it flops horribly, sales-wise, which is *really* unlikely. There's far too much money to be made from an endless series of FF games. Look at the James Bond movies. Look at Megaman. Look at Street Fighter and Parodius. As long as it's profitable, I expect the Fantasies to continue, in spite of their name.

2. It wasn't an official developer, that's true, but it did develop games, mass-produced them, and marketed them. Unlicensed or not, they developed and sold several titles, so I think they qualify as a developer, official recognition by the big N or no.

3. I think the public outcry would cripple the operations of any company that attempted as much. Religious matters are a very touchy subject, and making it into a game would be viewed by many as trivializing their faith. Moreover, how do you handle standard game conventions in a Biblical game: what happens if Moses reaches 0 HP? It's a minefield, and I think most developers would rather avoid potential moral and legal issues entirely.

4. Yep. It's kinda short, but for $20, I have no qualms about recommending it. At the very worst, you might find it kind of uninspired, albeit with superb music. Hopefully, you'll outright enjoy it. I certainly did.

5. The current record-holder was 100 questions in a single letter, which AK didn't want to answer, and I subsequently lost in a HD crash. Right now, though, I'd be highly tempted to give that a shot. I'd suggest we play "Stump the Agent", but I fear that wouldn't take too much effort. ;)

... right

I'm getting really fed up with GIA covering Final Fantasy VIII to the limits.You guys need to mello out on the covering of that game... because you'reruining it for everyone.

-Colin Moriarty

We report news as we get it, do not post spoilers to the main page where you are forced to get them, and get chewed out for it. Sheesh. I shudder to think of what you'll think of our Lunar coverage once it's released...

Really, if you think getting too much information on a game will ruin it for you, DON'T CLICK ON THE BLEEDING LINK. We're not forcing you to be interested in FF8. We're not forcing you to read all about it. We report what news we get, and it's up to you to decide whether you want to know more or not. Only you can ruin it for yourself, so don't blame us.

Shades of FF6

Now, I'm talking about the American version of FF6 (on SNES) here.. thebox, ya know? It's got Mog (or some other moogle) sittin' there withthis sword, and.. well, I just noticed that there's like a shadow of...SOMETHING! Has anyone figured out what it is?


Two ideas: first off, it's a generic Evil Monster, perhaps a Behemoth, looming menacingly over the innocent moogle.

Alternately, it is the ever-imposing darkness of the Empire and their unrestrained evil, looming over the meek of the world and threatening to tear them limb from limb. The shadow is a metaphor for the collapse of world order that we see played out in the game, the corruption of the esper-exploiting patriarchy grinding the free and the good into the dust. Only through perseverence, meditation, asceticism and vegetarianism can you possible hope to battle against this growing darkness.

Give me a hand

Allright Mr. Double Agent, I just wanna know one thing: Do you have a talking mutant hand? And if so, is she available? I've got a friend who'd be most interested.

- Thor "CyberThor" Antrim

I'm afraid my talking mutant hand had to be amputated, put in a small brown envelope, and shipped off to the small European country of Latveria for study by its monarch, who assures me that it'll be returned safe and sound as soon as he's learned all he can from it.

In the meantime, I'll forward any letters of inquiry or wooing to Sara (that's the hand's name) upon request.

Sowing the seeds of love

Hi, it's me again. :) I only have one question this time, but, justbecause I feel like it, I'll number it. :)

1) Can you please give me some tips to help me get past the "Tears forFears" section of Solaris (near the end of Disc 1 I think, after youmeet again with Hammer and the rest of the playable characters)? Thatmaze seems nearly impossible and I'm having alot of trouble with it.Thanks!


There are three sections of this maze. You're going to be heading westward, so keep that in mind. The Xenogears strategy guide has a map, but that costs money, so here's my attempt to explain it. First off, don't use your first-rank characters yet. Use some second-stringers, as you'll be needing your top dogs quite soon, in tip-top condition. Secondly, make use of Hammer's shop - you'll be needing some healing items.

All that aside, you're heading westward here. There are three main sections of maze here, each one progressively smaller. You can tell you're heading in the right direction if you pass through a long, gray metal tunnel. After running through there, you need to find the exit of the next maze section that, again, leads into a long, gray metal tunnel. The third maze section has a greenish tint to it. As soon as you see that, keep on going, as the area is smaller, and you're almost at another area where you can save and change characters. Hope that's of some help.

FF7: The Lost Scenes

Hello, Allan. Bet you want to strangle Glick now that he's evoked pounds ofpity mail from you, don't you? (Allan's note: yes, yes I do.)

Anyways, here's just a thought. Why does Tifa, Barret, and Cloud all end up atthe same place after jumping out of the moving train in Midgar while attackingMako Reactor #5?

Well, having played Z:OoT and BFM, I can honestly say that I'm the only personin the world who liked Brave Fencer better. Maybe I just liked the voices, butI thought BFM was harder, and just simply more fun...

Also, having played FF7 PSX for the first time, I must ask...why (especiallyconsidering that EIDOS did the port) was FF7 PC MORE censored than FF7 PSX? Inaddition to fixing up SOME of the translation, Eidos also removed many strayobscenities from the PC port, adding #$@!s instead. Did the ESRB tighten theirrules a little bit, and told Square that if they wanted to keep the Teenrating, they'd have to clean it up a little bit? (Not that FF7 was especiallydirty in the first place, mind you.) Perhaps the two changes in the PC versionthat stuck most in my mind was, instead of the "So that's how you'll foolthem" bit, instead they had

Cloud: I must go in there to complete my disguise.

Aeris: Ok, I'll wait for you out here.

And, in the scene where Don Corneo is being threatened, instead of threateningto rip "them" off, they just threaten to rip "it" off...a preferable change,in my opinion.

Well, hope I've stopped you from your suicidal thoughts by giving you a littleattention. I'll always be there, if you're desparate!

The Gutless Wonder,Daniel Seltzer.

You see, this is what happens when I get sick - people go around and spread rumors that I'm planning to kill myself. Silly people. If things get really bad, I take it out on those around me, not myself. :)

Tifa, Cloud, and Barret leapt out of the train at different times, but there's a small time lapse between the scene where they leap and where you resume control of the game, during which time they all meet up again, play a hand of euchre, discuss the pros and cons of sex change operations, and then continue with their mission.

As for the Eidos-spawned bits of censorship, your guess is as good as mine. I suppose Eidos wanted to have FF7, being a bit of a sales experiment in the PC market, be available to as much of the populace as possible. How ripping "it" off is less offensive than ripping "them" off, I don't know. Many people had a lot of problems with FF7's translation, and I guess Eidos found it needlessly crude.

And that's all she wrote.

- Allan Milligan

Vote Zemo in 2000! He controls hope, so why not you?

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