<troymclure>Hi, I'm Andrew Vestal! You may remember me from popular websites such as "The UnOfficial Squaresoft Home Page," "Square Net," and "101 Fun Uses For Your Beyond the Beyond Disc! But enough about that -- let's answer some letters!</troymcclure>

Master, did you hear our MAD SKILLZ?!





Reaction to our rapping has been uniformly positive. AK and I figured that gamers should know the truth about what we do when we're not updating the site. We plan to cut a CD this summer, featuring all your favorite hits such as "One Winged Mutha (Puff Daddy '99 Remix featuring the Notorious J.A.V.)," and the Extended Navi Trance Mix ("Hey! Wissen! Hey! Wissen! Hey hey wissen wach out!"). Available in finer music stores this summer.

Music: PE; Music: MIDI

M. Vestal,

Comments on your rap artistry. Very interesting, but don't quit your dayjob at the GIA... or is it a night job? Don't quit your jobs period.

One of your readers/writers asked the other day, "Who DID compose the music for PE, anyways?" The answer to that is Yoko Shimomura. Isuggest that everyone should buy this soundtrack, if not because the musicis an interesting deviation from Square's normal music, then because of theCD case being so inordinately interesting itself. The liner notes andbackfacing are all made out of film, and it comes in a very nice dual-jewelcase which slips in a clear sleeve decorated with film clips from the game.Furthermore, the whole thing is done in that "P.R. Movie" way that makes itlook like a Hollywood-Production-Soundtrack. Very neat. All of it.

You've got a great site going on here at the GIA -- gets bettereverday -- but it lacks MIDI files. You could really use some MIDI files. Must have MIDI files. Good people love MIDI files. Yum. I have over 2,500 of the buggers, collect them, write them, I'ma musician too.

So you know, your site is now crushing RPGamer.com into a small pastethat resembles a very smelly goose-liver paté. I was skeptical at first, andI thought the G.I.A. would be short-lived and soon-gone. Now, I think itwill be around for a good long while. Your news is first, better written,more entertaining, and you have a great set up here that makes your page ajoy to read.

Fond Regards,
Insufferable English Bastard AT LARGE

Thanks for the heads up on the Parasite Eve soundtrack. Square's soundtracks typically have nice packaging and gorgeous picture discs, so fans should pick the originals up and not settle for MP3s or cheap HK imitations. Thanks, too, for the gratuitous compliments. ;)

As for MIDI files? As of now, the GIA has no plans to add 'em. Our focus, originally, was solely upcoming coverage; news and media for not-yet-released games. We'd like to think we've established ourselves as the leaders there. ;) After re-evaluating what RPG fans want, we decided that some coverage of older titles was required, so we hoped in the weeks to come to improve our "Vault" section immensely (it's starting to shape up now thanks to our new staff). But MIDI files don't really fall anywhere into our current layout or plans for the site. If you're looking for MIDIs, check out The VideoGame Music Archives. They do a much better job than we could ever hope to match. :)

It's a secret to everyone

Lo Vestal,

Did you ever notice the apparent lack of information out of thegaming industry in 1998. It was scary just how much they stoppedtalking. I remember when I could find more than just a few plot hintabout Square games. Thinking back to FF7, it was a wonderland of variousinformation leaks. You knew the characters, the villain, and heck thevarious world map locations. Same thing went with most the RPGs thatcame out in 1997, then all of a sudden the market dried up. Most thegood rumors were few and far between. Sites just stopped talking. (GIAdoes a bang up job mind you, thank goodness for small favors ^_^) Whathappened? Did espionage jump by 100% or did big money in the RPG marketinflate their egos? Any ideas on the issue?

Joe Meyer

1997 was the year of the Internet journalism boom, when suddenly everything could be available to everyone. So it was. And while that's interesting from a journalism standpoint, it doesn't make for good gaming. Who wants to play FF VII when you know the story and characters before you even tear off the shrink wrap? Information overkill is very possibile, and I think most companies have recognized this and have chosen to moderate what they put out.

This column best viewed on a Commodore 64

Dear Allan,

First off, the site is doing great, as i knew it would from the very beginning. That's why i've ditched RPGamer and psx.ign.com. I get everything from here as i did from both sites. And a great letters section to boot! Well, after supremo buttering up (though I meant it all), i'd just like to run an idea by you.

What would be your thoughts on a emulator related weekly letter thingie? Say ... a recommendation on a good rom each week, or anything...something that would benifit us illegal emulator-blessed people. I know this might bring up awkward legal questions..but if it were to just show up in the letters section..and submitted by a reader, you would have no responsability. Well, just a freaky idea ... brought by a slighty twisted guy.

Kevin Strange

Thanks for the suggestion, Kevin. Unfortunately, it's not quite doable -- while we at the GIA don't think that emulating old ROMs for defunct systems is morally wrong, it's certainly legally wrong (yes, it's more complex than that, but the crux of the matter is we could get in trouble, and get shut down, and I don't think anyone wants that :) ).

Besides, ROM sites and emulator information are abundant on the Net; featuring a "ROM of the Week" would just clutter up our site's focus. We're trying to post at least two Vault games a week (sometimes more), so if it makes you happy, pretend that everytime we put up a new Vault game we're subliminally encouraging you to play that ROM that week (Even though we're not.)

The GIA gives it to you, baby!

I wrote this song for the GIA ... it's sung to Offspring's "Pretty Fly."Uh ... this will probably seem better if you read it while hearing the song. ~_~

Give it to me baby!Game news! Game news!(repeat)And all the webbies say we're pretty fly for a game siteFF uno dos tres quatro mq tactics seisYou know it's kinda hard pressed, to get a good game todayOur subject is smart gaming or so we say that anywayWe may not have a clue in, but we rather like our styleBut eveyrthing we lack we make up in movie files!So dont look now, we just did an update!You know you already were there anyway!So how do you feel? We just updated on Unreal!Oh just you wait! Oh just you wait!So if you gonna break, just compensate!You know theres al_ways news on FF8! :)The world needs good RPG'sHey hey show the brand new game!Give it to me baby!Game news! Game news!(repeat)And all the webbies say we're pretty fly for a game siteSo we needed cool games to review,just any will sufficebut they havent started Crono 2 so we did Shen Meu, shiest!Now cruising for some new games, we saw them over-seas in mass,and if they dont domesticate em we're gonna kick their lilly ass!So dont look now, we just did an update!You know you already were there anyway!So how do you feel? We just updated on Unreal!Oh just you wait! Oh just you wait!So if you gonna break, just compensate!You know theres al_ways news on FF8! :)The world needs good RPG'sHey hey show the brand new game!Give it to me baby!Game news! Game news!(repeat)And all the webbies say we're pretty fly for a game siteSo we're gonna update again, yeah it's almost doneWe put up news on FF13, no wait it's 31 !Some say we're trying to hard, well we still think we're hip!Cause when it come to gaming news, look out! It wont all fit!Give it to me baby!Game news! Game news!(repeat)And all the webbies say we're pretty fly for a game siteFF uno dos tres quatro mq tactics seisgo back into the chorus and you're done

This has been yet more stupidity from LockeCole3

As the professional song writers on staff at the GIA, AK and I and Mixmaster Chuck must commend you for your effort. Thanks for a good laugh!


Hey Andrew,

I've got 15 minutes to kill , so I thought why not antagonize the DoubleAgent? Alrighty!

1. Which one was you singing in z64med.mp3? Twas wonderful!

2. Will FFVIII be 4 or 5 discs?

3. Muffins: good or bad?

4. Are you a general, some opera floozy, or both?

5. Where did the idea of Square already working on FFIX come from? Justwhat is it based on?

Gracias, Mr. V!

-Toaster Thief

P.S. - Navi is annoyance personified.

1) That was AK and I speaking to each other at the beginning (he starts, I answer, he replies); both of us and my brother singing, and my brother as the announcer at the end. 2) Four discs. 3) Good, if they're hot blueberry. 4) I'm just a floozy, generally speaking. 5) I have a theory which'll go up later today.

And everyone annoyed by Navi -- which should be quite a few of you, judging from sales data -- check out this "interview" for a laugh.

Endings and Shadow Madness

I'd like your opinion on something. I'm at the final boss on XenogearsandFinal Fantasy 7 and halfway through Zelda's Fire Temple, and I have to askyou, is it worth finishing FF7? I have read so many unmentioned spoilers (notin your column) that I already know what happens. I keep thinking it would bebetter to finish Xenogears before I read a spoiler about that, and then finishZelda, and then, afterwards, I don't know if I want to spend the time on FF7.

Also, what do you think about Shadow Madness? It has a unique concept but,IMHO, the screenshots look, uh, a little strange. Thanks.

If your at the final boss, go ahead and complete it. Another GIA member (who won't be mentioned by name, but his initials are "AK") made it to Final Fantasy V's final boss -- and then stopped playing. Hasn't gone back to beat it in the past three years. That's just silly, folks. If you've watched the first two hours and fifty-one minutes of the Godfather, you finish up the last four, even if you know how it ends. It just doesn't make sense to invest forty-odd hours in an RPG and to let it sit once you're that close to completion.

Be sure to play Zelda and Xenogears, though, both are great games too!

As for Shadow Madness ... we're hoping for the best. The character designs and graphics do look a little clunky in places, but the game's background and storyline sounds promising, and the characters should flesh out nicely. While we'll reserve judgement (of course) until we see the final game, we're hoping that Woolsey & Co. pulled through with a quality RPG.

Personal Musings

Andrew Vestal,

1) Do you still wear the Moogle Costume? It looks comfy.
2) Do you still have an Asian fetish? (I HAD to ask ^_^;;)
3) What happened to Sephiroth's Domain?
4) What do you think about the FF Movie? Square has more SGI machinesthan Industrial Light and Magic is it? And won't it be (Debatably?) truethat the FF Movie will be the most 'mature' as well detailed computergenerated movie to date? Won't this earn Square some huge media? I mean,computer generated movies are still pretty unique...
5) I've noted you have no banners on your site...This is very uncommon,and made even more apparent considering you have one bitchin' staff.

It was the Rap and Allan calling BrianG, Brian "The All Night Pony"Glick that brought up all these questions...Big Lick...Bahahha!

Those were the days,
Ian P.

1) Are you kidding? The Moogle costume is sooooooooo 1996. Everyone knows that Bomberman is what's hot these days. 2) I DON'T HAVE AN ASIAN FETISH! You know how their are lies, damned lies, and statistics? Well, my so-called "asian fetish" is just a damned lie about some statistics regarding women who've wander in and out of my life. :P 3) It's still up here. Not that I ever update it. 4) I think it will be absolutely, stunningly gorgeous. Assuming they ever produce more than the four still screens they've released so far. Whether the movie will be any good is entirely debatable. 5) Well, we at the GIA like being independent. Not selling out to The Man. Of course, we all like money, and if we can make it somehow through the site without inconveniencing readers, that would be super. For now, at least, we're flying solo; but as our size doubles and doubles and doubles, server space will get more expensive, which means more money FROM us, which means we need money going TO us. But that's all in the future. For now, just enjoy the site!

Closing comments

I wish I could've babbled more, but I have some life-gaidens of my own to attend to. Hope the column kept you relatively amused. :)

- Andrew Vestal, filling in for The Double Agent

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