There is an old Chinese proverb that sums up my feelings at this point in time. Sadly, I don't speak Chinese, so it all sounds like readings from the menu of the local Golden Harvest restaurant to me.

Anyhow, on with the letters. Apologies for the lack of updates around GIA in general the past two days - things have become cosmically weird for many of us, and we eventually reached the point where AK was the only one around at all last night, and he had a broken computer to boot (which is now fixed!). Things should be fine tonight and onwards for a good piece, though. Well, at least until the next bout of cosmic weirdness strikes.

Okay. Enough whining. Let's get rolling.


I was... well, perusing the facilities today... and there was aninteresting... ad, let's say... for FFVIII in Japan. Now, along the bottom wasthe picture of the metal strap, and that's all well and good. But I've got twosmall questions that are on my mind...

1) Why is DigiCube the one doing the promotion? In the upper left, it hasDiciCube's logo... Does it mean something? Have I missed something? Did Iforget to turn off the freezing mechanism and woke up in a parallel universe?Huh?

2) Along the right, just above the strap... four nice little logos... Seven-Eleven and three other convenience-mart type locations... Just one word: Why?It doesn't make sense.

- Ellipsis Knight

Both your questions tie into the current state of the Japanese gaming market. You see, long way ago, Square and some other developers signed an agreement with Digicube, and several convenience store chains. The agreement went that the games would be distributed through the stores, along with plenty of special merchandise and advertising opportunities. The key idea was to broaden distribution and availability of the games - now, you could find a copy of FF7 (or whatever) on every street corner. Ergo, those logos are places where FF8 will be sold once it is released. At least in theory. Not living in Japan, I don't know whether there really is a games rack at most convenience stores nowadays. But that's what the press release from way long ago said.

Contest mania! Go go Speed Racer!

i swear, [the digitized voice in the Xenogears boss battle music] says "Common sense says blow up the gas chamber."Really. listen to it and you'll see! (It could be "to" instead of "says" but same thing basically)

on a completely unrelated note, do you know what Zhai'helleva means?And you should have a contest where you give away the Final Fantasy Collection. it'd be great fun! Make it something interesting, but not based around art. i hate contests based around art because i can't draw >:(


- Jasconius

I've never even heard the word Zhai'helleva before, so no, I don't know what it means. Sorry. As for contests at GIA, well, there's sort of a problem there. You'll notice that GIA has no banners. No sponsors. This means that it does not make any money for us, the maintainers. As a result, all costs relating to us come out of our pocketbooks, and so the question is raised: do we spend money running a contest and buying the prize for it, or do we spend it on something else, like a game to review, or an older game or system to do Vault entries on (I'm hunting for a Turbo Duo right now, for example, for Vault stuff, and it's not gonna be cheap). Ergo, for the time being, running contests with cool prizes is sort of out of our reach. We'd rather have good content and no contests than thin content and great contests.

Wild ARMs quotes

From what I could get out of the question about the thingies in WildARMs, I think the guy was referring to the double-width Japanesequotation marks. Japanese quote marks look like L's, and when they'reembedded in another set of quotes, they get wider. (Think quotemarks/apostrophes in English.) You were right in that they're just thereto grab attention, but I thought you might want to know what they reallywere.

Now why didn't they switch 'em to English quotes, I dunno...

~Nick Fagerlund, GCat

I hate being wrong. Damn damn damn. Those stupid lousy Japanese and their weird-ass quotation marks.

Kibbles 'n bits 'n bits

Okay, first off, you mentioned hoping that Capcom would make another gamesimilar to Legends. Well, I have already heard (on some site, maybe CosmoCanyon?) that there is plans for Mega Man Legends 2 starring ... Um ... what'sher name, the girl that had the crush on Mega Man. Strange, huh?

And another thing, a few days ago, someone mentioned the intro of Xenogearstalking about the Xenon reseqencing process, but they are actually talkingabout the genome resequencing process, and on the screen shows the doublehelix that is obviously a strand of DNA.

Oh, and one more thing, I think that the GIA should have interviews with someof the great fan artists/writers. Maybe throw in the 5 questions (It's gone!no more 5 questions!! And Craig is replaced by a short guy! The Daily Showwill never be the same!!!!) Whaddya think, and of course, you should start itout with the guy responsible for everyone's favorite parodies, Fritz!

Keep up the great work!


Yeah. Gamer's Republic reported that MMLegends didn't sell all that well, and that Capcom was seriously considering retiring the character. They also included a preview of that spin-off title, whose name escapes me at the moment. I'll try and get some more info on it, but it it's like MML, we'll probably have coverage of it at GIA before too long.

Fan artist/writer interviews? That's an interesting idea, actually. We wouldn't do writers until we actually have fanfic at GIA, naturally, but some fan artist interviews would be quite cool. I'll talk with Brian M. about it, and see what comes.

Wartime blues

I'm fairly sure the war in FF7 was in Wutai...Wutai itself seems to besuffering the aftermath, and one of the people who went off towar...Aeris's mother's husband, I think...was said to have gone to Wutaito fight. They may even say it right out, but it's been a while since Iplayed.

As for the big Knight of Fire mytery, I'm not sure it's doesn't sound like it.

- AJ

Thanks for the clarification on the Wutai thing. I knew there was someone who'd specifically been sent off to Wutai to fight, but I couldn't remember who.

I gotta believe!

What the bloody hell!?! A lamb! A Lamb! You can't break down with hard core gangester raps with a lamb. You need a dog, you need da rappast dog in the whole word. But since Poochie is copyrighted by Fox, you need Parappa.

Making a squeal without the star is like Halloween IV, and that sucked. I will say it now and I will believe it forever "You Gotta Believe in Parappa!"

- Ben Mo

Ah, it's not a total disaster. Sure, PaRappa was cool, but I'm sure the series can endure without him. They changed the name, they improved the gameplay, but the spirit is the same. It'll be good. Just trust in the developers, Benny boy. Isn't that what PaRappa taught us? Isn't that what he rapped so loud, so true?

You've gotta believe. The lamb will be fine. Just have a little faith.

Worthless but neat facts

Interesting but worthless facts about games we love and hate.

1. For those who had the unfortunate luck to Play "Persona" by Atlus all the way through, there was a segment of music in the game, that had morse playing in the background. The segment was normally "baddie" music, and the morse breaks out to. "D.A.N.G.E.R. A.T.L.U.S" I think the message they were trying get accross at that time was "Danger first atttempt by our company to make an RPG" Now if that's not bashing then chocolate cake tastes like meat pipe.

2. Another PXS Classic "Beyond the Beyond" was the only playstation RPG, with the exception of LUNAR coming out next month, to strictly use all sprite based graphics (do not get confused here folks, Suikoden also used Sprite-based graphics, but magic spells and certain attacks in battles use color morphing and other nifty top secret PSX abilities) . Albeit, the battles scenes did put the sprites on different levels to give it a sort of psuedo-3d-look, not that it helped the game any, but heh, I still paid 39.95 for it when it came out.

3. Anybody remember the GameGenie on the SNES. You could do some really cool tricks on the FF series games, like Big head code, infinite silver spoons(FF2u.s.), and even unbeatable bosses, what a fun code!!!

4. If anyone picked up the copy of TacticsOgre, wasn't it strange how similiar the classes worked in comparison to Final Fantasy Tactics, almost to the point of plagerism. Not to mention the game came out shortly after Tactics arrived on the shelves, almost enough time for them to write a new story, and kick down the graphics to sucky mode. Pretty impressive huh??

5. A worthwhile question for you Alan, in all you're years of game playing be it RPG, adventure, or strategy. From what game, and what particular segment (if you don't mind straining to think about it) would you say is you favorite and stands out the most in your mind. Please don't say the "opera music from Final Fantasy III" because every redneck and their cousin likes that stuff, and there's better out there. What do you REALLY like the most.

6. People don't suck, but the majority of times, Us, the general populous, come to believe that all people suck, because of unfortunate run-ins with people, who have lost their use of Common Sense. These are the people who walk in the video store and ask "Do you have anything good", then they go to the toy store and ask, do you have the toy that attacks and is on tv, and has a gun, then they go to grocery store get in the express lane-cash only, and buy 55 things and pay for it with a check. These people are the ones that we need to hate, take you aggression out on them my friends. I do and it makes me a happy camper. So did Michael Douglas in a certain movie (can't remember the name right now.)

- Piano Man - well it's 11:25 on a thursday, I'm making love to my beer and beer.

Okay, starting with #4: you're wrong. Tactics Ogre was, while released in the US for PSX shortly after FFT, originally developed by Quest and released for the Super Famicom a good two years before FFT saw the light of day. Two friggin' years. Moreover, on the basis of TO, Square hired several Quest staff members to develop FFT for them. "Make it like Tactics Ogre, but with FF characters and style" was the concept. Ergo, FFT is a rip-off of Tactics Ogre, not the other way around.

Second, I rather liked the opera scene in FFVI, thanks. It was clever, it was original, and the music was outright spectacular. I own the Orchestral Game Concert CD where the entire score for the opera is played by a full orchestra, and it's absolutely stunning. Barring that, the transition sequence between Ys and Ys II, for Turbografx CD, is a sentimental favourite. It looks horribly primitive by today's standard, but the excitement of beating Dark Fact, then his wrapping you up in energy and shooting you up to the floating island of Ys, while To Make the End of Battle is wailing away on the soundtrack... ah, that was the stuff. I want a remake of Ys, not like Ys Eternal or the Saturn rerelease, but a serious upgrade. Give me gamplay like Legend of Oasis for Saturn, graphics as smooth as Symphony of the Night's, and flesh out the plot some more. That's my most wanted game, everyone. Ys: Director's Cut. That's my gaming dream.

And the Michael Douglas movie is called Falling Down.

Closing comments

Red XIV wrote in, and successfully identified another game company house band. Namely, Sound Team JDK, the band that does the music for the Ys, Sorcerian, Brandish and Legend of Heroes series. Good work, monsieur. You get a cookie, next time I see you.

- The Double Agent

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