The llama is still at large.

There's a bit more information regarding the llama incident from yesterday's column below, and a few questions for me to answer, even. Amazing, no? Anyhow, you may notice something amazing and groovy in the blue bar at the side: yes, friends, it's amazing, it's stupendous, it's the amazing Double Agent Archives, and they're open for business! Every DA column from the preview in late October, clear up to yesterday's column, is there, and ready to read, super-sexy as it gets. Thanks go out to Andrew K. for his hard work in getting those suckers all done up pretty as you please. Moreover, the blue bar now lists the five most recent columns, instead of the last three. Who says I don't love ya?

Lastly, a thought for the day, since we've had a paucity of good debate for a little while.

What the hell is Sega of America doing? I've got nothing against Sega of Japan, or Sega of Europe, or even the games that Sega of America releases, when they feel up to it. But SoA has a long, storied history of totally botching potentially viable properties and systems in North America. They sunk everything from the Sega CD to the 32X to the Nomad to the Saturn, and I'm looking at coverage of the Dreamcast with a growing feeling in my gut that it's going to be shanked up the ass in America come the fall. Press for the US launch of the Dreamcast is sparser than copies of Penthouse magazine in a pediatrician's waiting room. If Sega of America has the faintest hope of making the Dreamcast a success in America, they've got to get off their asses and start plugging it, and soon.

I want the Dreamcast to be a success. I want it to carve out a niche for itself. But I have zero faith in SoA's ability to launch and sustain a system at this point. Does anyone else see any hope for the Dreamcast in North America? Does anyone else see a golden era ahead, one that I'm too bitter and cynical to notice above the mound of unsold copies of Sewer Shark that fill the used game slots at every pawn shop I visit? What is Sega of America doing? What should they be doing? Tell me.

FF8 gripes and arguments

O Great Agent of Double ^_^,

There was a very amusing FFVI hidden character FWAK made on AGFF on the great UOSHP back when it was on (!). My oldest HD recently died, frying my copy. So I got to DL it again and that Spoony Tidwell no longer has it! Do you, or any readers, know where I can find a copy? (Note: I've heard it referred to as the Eggnog FWAK, but the one I'm looking for is the version 4.0 (I think) with the like 5 page intro at the beginning.)

Also, to insert the necessary Controversial Material,Although I have not played the FF8 demo (It was either BFM for a 1/2hour FF8 demo or Wild ARMs, FF Pray, and a few cases of soda), from what I've heard about the Timed Hits, they sound like a rip from Mario RPG.

Also on FF8, any word on whether, in addition to Draw, any chars will have skills such as "Black" and "White"?

The FWAK is currently available at the AGFF (, a Usenet newsgroup, for anyone that's wondering) homepage located here.

Timed hits does sound a lot like Mario RPG's system, doesn it? On the other hand, Sabin's Blitzes in FF6 were clearly derivative of fighting game movements (quarter-circle forward for a fireball et al). It's just a way of sprucing up combat a little, and in any case, only appears to be part of Squall's limit breaks, so I wouldn't get too upset about it. As for Black and White skills, I doubt it. If Square has gone to all the effort of creating a new system for gaining and using magic, they wouldn't undermine that by giving certain characters ready access to spells. I mean, why use a character who can Draw spells out of enemies, then cast them, when you can have Miss Mage '99 just belt a few Fire2s off from the get-go?

Zelda chronology

What exactly is the chronology of the Zelda Games?I know that Zelda 2 follows Zelda One, and that Zelda 64 precedes link to the past, and that both those are before the NES games, but where does Links Awakening fit in? And does link get Beaten for being a redheaded stepchild? Thanks for your time.

-Vincent Valintine

Okay, as near as I can tell, Link's Awakening takes places sometime after the conclusion of Link to the Past, after Link has journeyed across the sea to sharpen his skills and increase his powers. Consequently, the series order would be as follows: Zelda: TOoT (N64), Z: Link to the Past (SNES), Z: Link's Awakening (Gameboy), Legend of Zelda, and finally Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link.

Vows of revenge and allegiance

Dear Allan,

That llama will pay for stealing letters from GIA..and also for the murder of Rosebud ( I always liked that guy/girl. I have no idea really should make the names easier to identify. But i have heard of her/him before )

Well...yes im a bit loony...yes im only 15...but damn it would be cool to werk for the Agent. You've seen my werk..u've seen my app...u know i can write ok..and i can be serious when need bout it Allan? Will u take me? ( There could be some "helpful information" ((read: money)) in the mail ) So...come know i can do it...and you know you need some help...and i HAVE been with you a long think about it :)

- Kevin Strange

I'll tell you what, Kevin. If that llama ever comes around again, I'll be sure to tell you. One-on-one with the llama, Kev. Can you handle it? Can you cope with the pressure? Those things don't give second chances, and I don't want to lose a second partner. Are you a bad enough dude?

I suspect you are, so, in good faith, I admit you as the first member of the GIA, Cleveland Auxiliary Chapter (CAA! for short). A special membership button, information packet, and sock with lots of pennies tucked into it will be sent to you before long. You'll be on-call as a reserve member, not involved in day-to-day activities like the core staff, but will be sent on specialized seek-and-destroy missions when needed. So buck up, Kevin. You've got a shining new life ahead of you. Get shades.

Er... flying cats?

I have gone utterly insane trying to figure this out on my own, so I decidedto go to a higher power about it. In Dragon Warrior 3, I got a piece ofequipment from the flying-cat things. Unfortunately, I dropped it when I washaving my merchant examine it. (My memories a bit foggy since it's been quitea few years) Anyways, I was wondering if y'all know what it could have been.

Thanks for your time,

Eblanite Thanatos

Er... could you be a little bit more specific? The Dragon Warrior games used a lot of enemy recolors, and "flying-cat things" doesn't help? Whereabouts was this? Early on in the game? In the endgame, where you're heading off to attack Baramos? I'd like to help, but I need more info.

Extra points to anyone that can point me, and ET, to a DWIII monster/item list.

He's gotta believe, but not in me

So, I read what you said about how I should believe in the company and trust their choice for the new hero. And I gave it some though. Then I looked into the eyes of Parappa, who is hang on the wall right beside. I looked and I read what Parappa was saying.. "You gotta believe." I ponder this phase. Then as if the heavens open and gave me the answer, I knew what Parappa was really saying. He was saying "Use the for.. I mean You gotta Believe, Ben! You gotta Believe in me!" So, I stand by my orignal though. No new Parappa without Parappa.

- Ben Mo, who still believes

Very well, Ben Mo. It's your decision.

However, if you, or anyone else, enjoyed PaRappa, and don't wish to soil yourself with the touch of his duly appointed successor the lamb, I suggest the following: play Bust a Groove. Yes, you heard me correctly. This is one of the most bizarre, yet amusing games I've ever played. Gameplay-wise, it's like a more sophisticated version of PaRappa. It has more depth. Sadly, the characters aren't nearly as memorable, but it has its own charm, and I suggest anyone that liked PaRappa give it a fair shake. It's good people.

Controversy and old FF games

Hmm...fanfics on the GIA? I dunno, isn't the whole focus of this site newsand not fanfics/art? Well, if Fritz Fraundorf'll contribute something youwon't see me complaining...anway:

1. Is it just me or is RPGamer going through staff members fasterthan...something...really fast? I mean, everytime I go I find out eitherthe guy in charge of art, music or letters is quitting/has quit. I wentthere today and some guy called Thor was doing the letters. *Thor* forZark's sake...

2. If Square's going to rerelease old FF classics, why not 1-3 (unlessthey already have, in which case feel free to flame into a tiny lump ofcoal)? And why can't they at least improve things like battle graphics ifthey're going to rerelease oldies? You see FMV only at certain points ofthe game; you have to put up with battles and such all the way through, sologic dictates they should look nice. Eh?

-Thundergod Matt

First off, GIA's focus is indeed on news and game coverage first and foremost. We do, however, maintain a nifty-doodle fan art section, have a somewhat silly letters column, and have toyed with the idea of having fanfics here. We shift with what our visitors seem to want. For example, a lot of people seem to want a stronger backing of Vault coverage, so we can be a truly all-in-one gaming site. Ergo, we're pumping up the Vault in the coming weeks, so you can do all your shopping at one spot. So while fanfics aren't our main focus, it is a possibility. Time will tell.

In answer to #2, they have not been rereleased. I suspect that Square has drawn the line of nostalgia at FF4, and decided that the earlier FFs are too old and antiquated to rerelease without substantial upgrades, which would take up lots of time and money that they'd rather spend elsewhere. Alternately, they may be planning a Final Fantasy Classics rerelease compilation, and just aren't talking about it. We don't really know.

Lastly, in response to you, and several dozen others who have asked me about RPGamer and what I think about recent happenings there, here is my official answer: I think it's business. Specifically, None Of Mine. I run my site. They run theirs. I'm friendly with a few of them (Thor, and Lorelei, whom I really need to return email to), and not so friendly with others. But at the end of the day, I frankly get sick and tired of being asked what's up with RPGamer every so often, because I DO NOT WORK THERE. Do you understand? I've moved on. My suggestion, if you're confused/concerned/annoyed with the rapid staff turnover there, is to talk to *them*. Not me.

This is the last letter about RPGamer I am going to print in this column. This isn't the forum to discuss it. Discussion closed.

Ransom note

Muwahahah! I have your letters and I killed your partner. If you everwant to see these letters again, put forty-two thousand dollars inunmarked one dollar bills in a garbage bag and put it in the garbage canon the corner of Oak and Brunette, right outside the K-Mart.


The Llama

No, damn you and your evil hooves! I'll never back down from you! I'll bow to your demands over my sidekick Kevin's body, you hear me? I will prevail! And I'll personally stock a Kinney's shoestore with your remains, I assure you. Watch yourself, you bastard.

Closing comments

Well, I'll let you know how Kevin pans out in single combat with the llama, and with any luck, I should have more semi-serious questions to peruse tomorrow-like, all right? Sort of a slow day in the Hard Game Question category, really. Ah well. I print what I got. Have a good one.

- The Double Agent

Return to the Archives
Weeks of ponderings and perusals, all for your reading pleasure.
Contact the Agent