Site Navigation

RPGClassics Main

Section Navigation

This Week's Mailbag
Mailbag 128
Mailbag 127
Mailbag 126
Mailbag 125
Mailbag 124
Mailbag Archives

RPG Classics Mailbag

You are all bad, bad boys. Here I go, getting all my hopes up of a hugely great mailbag like last week, and by Sunday night I have six responses. Six. I mean, come on! What kind of a mailbag d'you think I can do with that? And I gave you such a delicious topic, as well!

Not as delicious as you expected, I guess!

Obviously. So to the world at large, this is for you.

Tis has to be excepted....

No, no, no! That's just stupid!

So what would YOU want to give them?

This! It's perfect, because not only does it inject it with a dash of kawaii humor, it also allows for a twisted cameo! Here!

Hmmm... It might work. I still like mine better, though. It makes people feel guilty. Anyway, let's go to what we DID get. We asked about people's predictions and predicted interests in the next-generation consoles. First, we go to the answer by that crazy dwarf, I Abdide.

The existence of four console-based role-playing game platforms could represent a return to the status quo that was originally set in place in the days of the Sega Genesis, the Super Nintendo, and the Turbografx 16. Since about 1997, the Sony Playstation has unquestionably dominated the role-playing game market, but I believe that the market has finally caught up to its master. The old competition among gaming companies will, I think, be reinstated, so that there will be no one dominant platform for a while. The Sega Dreamcast, for example, is already showing promise with the release of games like Evolution and Shenmue, as well as the promise of Phantasy Star Online. The other three platforms are dependent upon which direction the Square juggernaut will take, but the two platforms that do not receive its blessing have the potential to break new ground with their own role-playing games if they take the initiative, as the Sega Dreamcast has done. Most players will likely side with whichever platform has the backing of Square, and the other companies will likely follow that lead due to the resulting exposure that will be heaped upon the chosen platform, as they have done with the Sony Playstation. At this juncture, however, it is too early to tell for certain which way the new war will go. Since all four of the new platforms seem to be going the online route, I doubt I will buy any of them, since I do not take well to that sort of game play. For now, I am content with my Sony Playstation and the stack of new memory cards that will allow me to play it on into infinity. If I had to name one particular winner, however, I would look to the Sega Dreamcast.

I dunno, some people would argue that the TurboGrafx 16 was never what you'd call a contender... they had the Ys games (I *think*) but that's about all. It was a bomb of a console. As for online play, I think we'll have quite our share of non-online games. FFX, for example, will have no online components. I agree that lately Dreamcase has been serving up some top-notch games, and if they keep the ball rolling they can definitely be a strong contender even without Squaresoft support. But Megaman984 doesn't agree with me.

mmm... A question about the new consoles. That's a good twist for a question.

Thoughts on the Dreamcast:
The Dreamcast is a good system. It has innovative games like Crazy Taxi, Shenmue, and Jet Grind Radio. It has doubleplusgood fighting games like Powerstone 2, Marvel Vs. Capcom, and Soul Calibur. It doesn't have many quality RPGs yet, but the quality ones it does have are phenomenal. Grandia II has an awesome battle system. Skies of Arcadia has an excellent story and cool ship battles. Shenmue is reportedly going to be 16 chapters long. Right now, I believe that the Dreamcast is the best system out there. It has a lot of games. It has online play. It's cheap. It has good graphics capability (just look at Shenmue, Soul Calibur, and Dead or Alive 2). Right now, it is the best 2D system there is. It has no developers that produce solely for Sega, but it has Capcom which has released about 16 games for the DC. The Dreamcast will probably die out in 2001. The Dreamcast is a good system, but it will be the first next-gen console to die out.

Thoughts on Playstation 2:
I don't have a PS2, and have yet to have been impressed by it. I probably have sort of a bias towards Sony, but I am not impressed by the PS2. Sony wasn't even original with it. It's name is unoriginal. It looks like Sony used the same controller design from the first Playstation. Despite my feelings on it, the PS2 will be the best selling console of 2000. Do you want to know why? It's because of fanboys. Yes. Fanboys. Fanboys that will blindly buy the Playstation 2 because of its name only. From what I've heard, Sony has only one sole-developer. Albeit that developer is Square, but it sounds like Square might jump ship for the X-Box. I might buy the PS2 if it gets some games that I like and has a major price drop. The Playstation 2 has a DVD player, but you can buy a DVD player that is better than the one included in the PS2 for about the same price that it costs to buy a PS2.

Thoughts on Gamecube:
I like Nintendo. The Gamecube is going to fare well in the upcoming systems war. It has a few developers that will produce games solely for Nintendo. It has some great franchises like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and every six years old favorite, Pokémon. I don't like Pokémon, but it will help sell the console. I don't know if I will buy a Gamecube yet, but that is only because I don't know what title will be produced for it. With the rumors that Sega might start making games for other systems, that bodes well for the Gamecube. Nintendo seems like the prime candidate for Sega to make games for. Nintendo's future looks good.

Thoughts on X-Box:

The X-Box is backed by the evil empire Microsoft, so you know it will do well. I know even less about the X-Box than I know about the Gamecube. The X-Box controller looks like a cheap copy of the Dreamcast controller. With rumors that Square will produce for the X-Box, the X-Box will get a lot of the Square fans that helped support the PS2.

Overall thoughts:
The Dreamcast will die out despite the fact that is an incredible system. PS2 will do extremely well because of Sony fanboys, but might lose some to the X-Box. The Gamecube will also do extremely well. It might even beat the PS2 if it shies away from releasing mostly cutesy games and gets some good RPGs. The X-Box is supported by the evil empire and has a cheap Dreamcast controller rip off, so it will do well. It might get Square to produce games for it, so that will help it even more.

OK, let's see here... first, I have no idea why you think the DC will die out. The PlayStation has been going strong for about five years now, and that's normal for a game system... don't know why you think DC will only last for two or three. As for the PS2, why would Sony mess with something that works? The name and controller are the same because they've worked until now (I've never had problems with them) and they should work with the PS2. The price is certainly a turn-off, but apparently it isn't suffering too much from that. And it seems like there are very few "sole-developers" as you call them - companies only doing games for one console. If Square does stuff for the X-Box, it doesn't mean they'll stop doing PS2 games as well.

Nintendo's future certainly looks good, but on the RPG horizon it doesn't look so great... besides for Zelda, what does it have going for it on that bounds? No one can name a single decent N64 RPG. But of course, there's always room for change. As for the X-Box... I'm quite interested in how it does. Apparently it has a great relationship with its developers, it's easy to program for, and a few decisions I've heard about make me believe Microsoft's actually thinking before doing anything in this field. Certainly one to look out for. Let's see what Captain Jackass has to say.

Dreamcast, PS2, X-Box, GameCube? Where did they come from? And where are they headed? These things... I am going to analyze!

HEY! HEY! Copyright infringement! Get my lawyers! Squall! Get over here!

...Whatever. We're gonna sue.

...Run, my friend, run...Squall's lawyers are better than O.J.'s ones!

Since Dreamcast and PS2 are already on the mainstream market, most people know what to expect from them. As long as Sony holds on to Square, and therefore, the Final Fantasy franchise, they will have a strong niche in the RPG market.
It'll be interesting how Nintendo and Microsoft come back from their late starts to play catch up to the Dreamcast and PS2 systems. It could work for them, by seeing the mistakes Sony and Sega have made, or against them, by Dreamcast and PS2 already selling big enough that gamers can no longer afford to shell out that kind of cash for yet another "cutting edge" system.
X-Box's strength lies in the pockets of Billionare Gates. If microsoft sees the potential in the RPG market, lots of money might be funneled through to buy a winning team of RPG makers and try to corner the market. There is no doubt that Mr. Gates himself was a Dungeons & Dragons master in his day, so don't be surprised if Microsoft takes heavily to producing RPGs as the fuel for X-Box profit. The X-Box has high potential, but don't get your hopes up, as it could be buried in Microsoft's large project list.
The GameCube will come out with low expectations at first. Will all the games that come out have the same names, only with "Cube" attached to the end? If it doesn't go far beyond expectations, it will end up being called the LameCube or the GamePube by people who are bitter they actually paid money for that piece of crap. Nintendo is a resilient company, however, and could far exceed the low expectations that will be set for them.
The most important thing to remember is that these corporations are in it for the money. They will recycle ideas (Final Fantasy, Zelda, etc.) RPG players are some of the most devoted (and sometimes totally addicted) forms of gamers. The company that can best figure out a way to capitalize on our vulnerability will, in the end, come out on top, at least until these systems are obsolete and the new generation of consoles comes out in 3 or 4 years.

Some nice points here. There's the paradox between learning from competitors' mistakes, or being too late to do anything about it. I doubt things will get "buried in Microsoft's project list" simply because if that were true, Sony'd do the same thing. Remember, the PSX was originally just kind of an afterthought for Sony, who'd got the Walkman and Discman markets cornered. But they did great. The X-Box might be the same sleeper hit. And you gotta love that slightly depressed yet horrifically realistic view of reality at the end there. 8-)

I dunno. I think it's better being in an RPG than playing it.

Sure, unless *this* happens to you. *Presses a button marked "DO NOT PRESS"*

This is SO cliched... *falls through a plot hole*

On to the entry by Nine Inch Nails. Hello!

hey. i'm the new staff member Nine Inch Nails. and lemme first off say that the mailbag kicks ass. i've been reading it for awhile and i finally decided to write in. ozzie and ultros you guys are cool........especially when you get hurt (your cue lunaris).

....Huh? My Cue? What this about? I'm just doin' my job! .....Alright alright...It fun to blast Ozzie and Ultros to smitters once in a while...but I've got others things to do ya know! Like blasting aliens and super-mutants...

*pops back from Plot Hole Land* And I have NOTHING in common with that purple wimp!

Except that you're the mailbag sidekick and keep getting thrown down plot holes.

Well... nothing physical. Besides for the bumps and bruises.

anyway on to the question. being the nintendo freak that i am i really hope that nintendo has learned its lesson with the N64. i think the gamecube will be good as long as nintendo actually releases a decent amount of games. i can't speak for everyone but i know that i kind of get sick of waiting 6 months for the next game to come out. remember nintendo quality AND quantity are the keys. anyway as for PS2......i think it will do well just because the first PS did well. personally i hate playstation with a passion. anyway as far as sega is concerned i kinda like them and hope that the dreamcast keeps doing well. now for the tough one. the x-box could do well if its going to be as cool a machine as everyone says.! ........but on the other hand........the gaming industry is getting pretty crowded......and people also tend to be loyal to their companies. it will be interesting to watch. anyway this is long so i'd better wrap it up......bye!

He thought THAT was long? Hah! Anyway, that was a nice and neutral letter which said almost nothing either way, except that he hates PlayStation. I wonder why everyone here hates PlayStation when almost every decent RPG in the last four years has come out on that platform? Weird. Next we have a fellow Mysidian, Deathscythe.

Hi, first of all I just have to say one thing about the new consoles and that is that I'll go where Square goes. Sure some of you might think the recent gams aren't as good as the older ones, but I don't care good is good and that's all there is to it. Now for what I think of the consoles themselves, I honestly think PS2 will do the best simply because of some of the polls I've seen. Here's a few of them to show you why I think that

Which console do you think will do the best in 2001?


Which of the four major next-generation consoles will fare the worst in 2001?

Which of the four major next-generation consoles do you think will be your favorite by the end of 2001?

In case you think I just made these up, just go to and check the past polls. These numbers show one thing, there will most likely be more developers for the PS2 then the other systems, because games are made to be sold and played. What better way is there to get a game sold then to put it on the most sucessful system? Even if the best game ever made was on the Nuon(whatever that is) will it sell? Not a chance. So even though the X-Box might be a superior system, if the majority of people think Microsoft is pure evil, the developers won't make as many games for it. As for Dreamcast and Gamecube, the same thing applies here too, but I think they might have a brighter future than the X-Box. This could change when the X-Box is brought to the Tokyo Game Show in March, but as of right now there hasn't been much intrest of it in Japan and that's a bad sign...

Indrema? Nuon? O_o Where the hell did THOSE come from? Anyway. Looks like a lot of people subscribe to the Bill Gates-Microsoft-Conspiracy Theory.

The Wha-ha-ha-hat?!

Oh, look who's here! Whoops, I said the C-word, didn't I? Guess that means I have to have a 10-ton weight dropped on my head.

Hah! You messed up! *10-ton weight drops on his head*

Oops. Guess I messed up *twice*. My aim's getting worse every day. Yep, it does look like fanhood might turn the tide... but again, remember that the PSX had no fanhood when it started against the two heavyweights, Nintendo and Sega. You never know what can happen in these things... Our final (groan) response comes from Mysterio, who wants my job.

Interviewer: Hello, ladies and gentleman. Welcome to the weekly episode of Mysterio's Interviews. As you know, each week this program interviews famous videogame characters in order to answer Cidolfas' Mailbag. This week we are going to interview representives from the three main videogame companies: Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation. Oh yeah, and in case you don't know, I'm the anonymous interviewer guy.

Interviewer: Alright, for our first guest, we have... Mario!

*Mario enters stage amid applause*

MARIO!? HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! Wasent he was dead!?

Only when Macc ruled the messageboard. Now my rules go, and they make a lot less sense than his. Pray continue, strange mysterious person.

Interviewer: So, Mario... can you tell us what your take on the 'Console Wars' is?

Mario: Itsa' me, Mario!

Interviewer: Ah yes... We couldn't have started without that famous line! But in all seriousness, is Nintendo planning any secret strategies? What's their plan?

Mario: Itsa' me, Mario!

Interviewer: Err...

*Luigi enters stage*

Interviewer: What's going on?

Luigi: Sorry... I'll have to speak on Mario's behalf... He's a little... traumatized...

Interviewer: Traumatized?

Luigi: Yeah... trying to find the 5th star in Boo's House... the one where you have to double-leap on the walls... Look, I don't want to go into it.

Interviewer: That's perfectly understandable. So, do you know anything about Nintendo's strategy for the Console Wars?

Luigi: Nope.

Interviewer: Anything at all?

Luigi: Nothing whatsoever.

Interviewer: Umm... In that case, we'll skip to the debates... Alright, let the other guests come out...

*Sonic the Hedgehog runs out, followed by Squall Leonhart and Seifer Almasy*

Interviewer: Alright, let me first describe to you all the format these debates will take...

Sonic: Did you ever stop to think what the point of my collecting lots of rings was? All I really ever needed was one ring, seeing as how I lost ALL my rings whenever I was hit...

Interviewer: Well, I'm sure there was probably some other gameplay aspect you're forgetting about...

Sonic: Forget it, I'm outta here...

*Sonic begins to leave stage; suddenly, Mario leaps in his path*

Mario: Are you ready to meet your fate?

Sonic: We shall fight one day... but not today...

*Sonic speeds away*

Mario: Let us go, Luigi... our day of restitution awaits....

*Mario leaves stage, followed by Luigi*

Interviewer: Goddamnit... Alright, alright... *tone of desperation* Squall, Seifer, what do you guys think about the Console Wars?!

Squall: ......

Seifer: Add him to the disciplinary list....

Squall: *gets up* I'm leaving.

Seifer: This place is beat. Let's get out of here.

*Squall and Seifer start to leave*

Interviewer: Ah.... let im' go... this episode is finished...

*the audience lets out gasps as the rear stage door opens, revealing a man draped in a black cloak*

*Squall and Seifer withdraw their gunblades*

*Bill Gates removes the black cloak and powers up his double-edged light-saber*

*abruptly, Gates runs up to the stage rafters, followed by Squall and Seifer in hot pursuit*

*Gates turns around suddenly and kicks Seifer off the rafters*

*Seifer's body lands on the stage*

*Gates leaps deftly over Squall's head and stabs him through the midsection, then gracefully jumps down to the stage*

Interviewer: Mr. Gates... this is very unexpected... We don't have much time left... could you briefly describe Microsoft's strategy for the coming Console Wars?

Bill Gates: Alright... Let's see... First I use my vast wealth to become elected to the United States Senate... Then, by secret communication, I will convince a hostile country to invade a neutral, unassuming country... This will of course take me to the presidency because of the deadlock it will create in Congress... And I'll be cloning an army of stormtroopers on the side while all this is going on...

Interviewer: You're not completely certain about the stormtroopers! It could just be a rumour!

Gates: Well... I'm pretty sure...

Interviewer: Alright ladies and gentleman, that's the end of tonight's show, mostly because Mysterio thinks this submission is long enough already...

Yes! Another Bill Gates Is Evil Incarnate e-mail, complete with whacked-out interviewer and dead RPG heroes! And a reply that completely avoided all the issues! What more could a mailbag guy want?

More responses, more violence, more content, better questions....

Well, that's it (sigh...) For next week, we return to the "role of" series. The next logical step is heroes. Just looking at the last few Final Fantasies, we've had sad heroes, depressed heroes, happy-go-lucky heroes, womanizing heroes, and antisocial heroes. Chrono Cross has a mute hero. What best fits the bill? How much of an impact does the hero have on the game? How "good" does a hero have to be? And how cool? As usual, the address is And if you don't e-mail me, I will tell Lunaris to hunt you down and dismember you in a particularly gory way. Because I love you all!






...a new hat, a few doritos bags, a brand new lock, a new light...*the light shut down and the generic door lock is heard* a brand new rocket laucher....