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by the NWR Staff - June 18, 2003, 6:27 am PDT

Oh snap! It's another giant size mailbag! Feed it!

Afroman asks: in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, will there be any sort of summons or aeons like in the past FF games?

Jonathan says: This question is actually answered in our very comprehensive preview of Crystal Chronicles, which you should definitely read if you're interested in the game. But no, FFCC doesn't have summons for some reason. However, one really cool thing you can do in battle is combine attacks and spells from multiple players to create a powerful combo attack. It's comparable to Double and Triple Techs in Chrono Trigger, except that you have to work together with other people to pull off the timing and positioning. Should be a very cool feature.

Kuroihayato asks: My questions have to do with the state of Zelda. First, is the Four Swords game for the GCN a new game, or is it just a port of the GBA version? Second is Tetra's Trackers an actual game by itself or will it be with the Four Swords? Third, will Capcom be working on the aforementioned titles. Finally, will we see a new GBA Zelda game coming out anytime soon, or maybe just a port of one of the first two on the GBA?

TYP says: I'm pretty sure Mr. Okamoto has gone on the record stating that he is working on a new Zelda GBA game, but I know no details. The Four Swords GC game at E3 is most certainly NOT the same game found in Link to the Past (GBA).

Although the new Four Swords game borrows from the handheld original, there were a lot of new features displayed at E3. With the GC's power the game runs at a higher resolution and actually zooms in and out. The E3 version also used LttP graphics with Wind Waker special effects and boasted over 100 sprites on a screen at once! The GBA is used as a personal screen for use when the player enters a building or secret passageway. I don't know if it is being developed at Flagship or EAD--maybe someone else on staff knows.

Tetra's trackers is developed by Nintendo, and may not even remain a Zelda game (or ever get released). It was really more of a concept game than anything else.

Jonathan says: Okamoto-san of Flagship/Capcom is indeed behind Four Swords for GameCube. I thought he was doing Tetra's Trackers too, but that was just a guess. Anyway, both of these games, along with Pac-Man, are basically just tech demos at this point. Nintendo has not decided how or even if it will release them to the public. My guess is that either they will be included with other games, or they'll be piled together onto a single disc that Nintendo can either give away in promotions or sell as some kind of "Connectivity Collection".

Gen asks: Hi. I was just wondering if there was any chance that Nintendo might consider NOT to do the Wind Waker sequel cel shaded? I mean, don't get me wrong, i love the graphics of wind waker, but when i play it, it just feels like it really isn't Zelda to me. What do you guys think?

Mike Suzuki says: I think if we're going to see another Zelda game on the GameCube from Nintendo it can't help but be cel-shaded. With signs pointing to a 2005 release of Nintendo's Generation 6 console, it seems unlikely that they'd put the effort into building a new Zelda game engine for a sequel when a perfectly good one already exists. Doing this would shorten development time for the game and allow more resources to be spent on future post-GameCube games.

As for the Wind Waker not feeling like a Zelda game...I can't disagree more. Sure it looks different from the previous versions of the game but the gameplay mechanics and control are built off the foundations laid in the N64 Zeldas. From the second I first picked up the Wind Waker, it has always felt like a Zelda game.

TYP says: Mr. Suzuki is quite correct. Majora's Mask used an enhanced Ocarina of Time engine, and we will likely see a similar pattern on the GameCube. I think the Wind Waker is a definitive Zelda game full of exploration, puzzles and swordplay with a plot that successfully integrates others in the series. If you're going to complain about un-Zelda-like Zelda games stick to The Adventure of Link and Majora's Mask--both of which are great games in my opinion.

While on the topic, I would like a longer main quest in the next Zelda game. Although both of Aonuma's Zelda games are very well done, neither are as lengthy as I would like, relying on additional sub-quests for substance.

Daniel says: I think TYP means more dungeons to which I would wholeheartedly say YES. I honestly felt a little jipped with the final area of the game. On the other hand, I do love the crazy side-quests and mini-games. The cabana puzzles have had me and my girlfriend occupied for hours.

Moe asks: How you guys doin'?

I have a big problem: Frequent game buying. Every time a new game comes out, I have to get it, regardless of the fact that I didnt finish the previous ones.I swear, what Im about to tell you will really trip you guys out. When I first bought my gamecube, I bought it for one sole purpose: Metroid prime. I started playing it for a little, bought nightfire, and to this day I have not beat both. I bought sunshine, I have not beat it. I bought zelda, the bonus disk with it, splinter cell, nba street 2, rogue leader 2, enter the matrix, def jam vendetta, super smash bros. melee, and tiger woods Golf, and I swear to you guys II have not beat any of them yet. I kinda like getting all the new games just to have the satisafction that I have the best games for the conesole (eternal darkness is on the way, and so is the hulk, wario world, sc 2, and all the badass games that are coming out that were shown at E3. Every game that I buy, I play it for a little, then get a new game. However, I never lose interest in any of them. I love video games to death, and I would seriously consider mnyself a hardcore gamer, always lookin out for news. What should I do guys? any suggestions?

Mike Suzuki says: I hear you Moe. I don't think I'm quite as bad as you, but I used to pride myself in finishing every game that I bought. That's definitely not the case now, though I've been a lot better this year about not getting as many games. Of course, this is mostly because I'm on a tighter budget and have less time to play games. If you're really bothered about not finishing games, then I guess you'll just have to force yourself to hold off on some purchases until you have the time to finish a particular game. However, I really don't see anything wrong with not finishing a game...you just a type of gamer that collects games. If you've got the money to do that, more power to you. You're helping keep the industry strong!

Steven says: Until lately, that's exactly how I am. I buy a game, I play it and play it, then when a new game I want comes out, I get that one while the others start collecting dust. However, I've found a way to break this habit.

When I bought the first Golden Sun for the GBA, I played a lot of it, then when I got another GameCube game, it started being neglected. Months had passed, and I realized how good of a game I was missing out on. So what did I do? I simply forced myself to play it. One night, I ignored every other game on my shelf and forced myself to play that game, and ever since then, I've been better at finishing games I've started.

You should try it, too. Pick any of your older games and force yourself to finish them. If you can't, you might as well trade it in and be rid of it. If you do, you'll be glad you did.

Aussie Ben says: Another option is to get yourself an Action Replay and cheat your way through. Sure, it's not how the games were intended to be played, but I'm seriously getting more games than I can finish, and the Action Replay has been a godsend for me in some situations. Without it, there'd be no way I'd be able to beat games like Metroid Prime (I'm terrible at first-person shooters). It may sound like a cop out, but you'll find that if you limit your use of it, you'll still get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment out of your games.

Daniel says: Well, I've experienced the same problem in the modern age of working for a living. There are a few games that I'll finish like Zelda or Mario, but I bought Skies of Arcadia, and I think I got to the first dungeon before another game came out or something pulled my attention away. It's even worse with GBA games. I figure that one of these days, I won't be working two jobs anymore, and I'll have a chance to catch up. Windy's advice is good too.

Diwa de Leon asks: I live in the Philippines where PS2 is dominant but I'm a big N fan and bought GameCube and have lots of games for it. Anyway, Nintendo seems to be focusing on more long-term goals such as teaming up with the top developers/designers in the industry e.g. Hideo Kojima, Will Wright, Yuji Naka etc. Such alliances have the potential to produce more poineering quality games in the long-term future. And as Silicon Knights head Denis Dyack said in your interview with him, when technological capacity doesn't matter anymore, it's the games that will. Right now, I believe it's a technological race in the console business thanks to Sony and MS. What are your thoughts on Nintendo decision in forming alliances with the tried-and-tested top developers? Will it save them in the long term future? Will this decision be a key element in making them the dominant force in the industry once again?

TYP says: Such alliances are always a good thing, but sometimes I question how sincere they are. For instance, Konami working with Nintendo on MGS:TS, but then again Nintendo is putting up a lot of the money and Silicon Knights is doing all of the grunt work while Konami reaps the rewards through its position as publisher. I'd say Konami has a pretty sweet deal, there. I don't see them announcing any other GameCube titles. In my opinion Square's (er, Square-Enix's) dedication is a bit more sincere, as it is developing Crystal Chronicles itself.

Nintendo's new collaboration philosophy is a daring approach, one that is slowly founding a little community around Nintendo. With more creative minds come more ideas and polish, and ultimately a better game. I believe a less-competitive attitude is healthy for the video game industry.

Also, if I may add, it's fun to see Nintendo demonstrate how to get exclusives with historical enemies without buying anyone.

Daniel says: I like the idea that Nintendo is building relationships with designers rather than simply drawing up contracts. I think it will work out well for them in the long run.

Clifford asks: I have two Q's for ya:

1. Honestly, what game was the best overall at E3 (all consoles)?

2. How is the music in FF:CC? I hope it's as good as the other Final Fantasies.

Ty says: Aside from rad games that you already know about, like F-Zero and Viewtiful Joe, I plan on snagging both of Konami's DDR games (for PS2 and XBox) and SNK vs Capcom: Chaos. Since E3, a few more screens of SVC have shown up, including one with Bao sitting on Hugo's head while Poison taunts at Ken. What.

It was pretty hard to hear the FF:CC music, even in the closed off booth...

Daniel says: The problem with picking the best overall game is that I can't imagine that anyone has time to play even just the good games. My sleeper favorite was CIMA: The Enemy for GBA though. It's a great puzzle-oriented RPG with a fairly innovative setup.

Alex asks: Do you guys have any ideas to what will be in store for Nintendo's E3 next year. Since Nintendo is releasing that new system in 2005, I suppose next year is the last year for GameCube to be at the E3.

Mike Suzuki says: Well, seeing as E3 2003 just ended a few weeks ago, it's a bit early to say what's going to be at next year's show. Assuming that Nintendo is targeting 2005 for their next system, then E3 2004 should still focus on the GameCube and GBA. If you take a look at how Nintendo unveiled the GameCube, the initial unveiling with specs and demo videos appeared at Spaceworld 2000; about a year before the Japanese launch. The first playable GameCube games didn't show up until E3 2001; a few months before the Japanese launch. So going from that history, there may be system info and videos at next year's E3...but these could just be held back for Spaceworld 2004 (assuming there is such a thing).

Daniel says: I think that next E3 will be the big unveiling for all three new systems, but I agree with Mike in that I don't think Nintendo will have much (if anything) playable.

Momrazahmed asks: I would like to know if nintendo or its 2nd parties are considering making a game which would compete against the GTA series. If so, when and how would they make it stand out?

Mike Suzuki says: Judging from recent comments from Satoru Iwata, I doubt we'll see Nintendo publish a GTA type game. That doesn't necessarily exclude a 2nd party from doing one, but I still wouldn't count on it. It's just not the type of game with which Nintendo currently wants to be associated. At best, I'd guess that it would take Nintendo several years to publish this type of game...which means you probably will have to wait until the next console.

The closest thing that's on the horizion for the GameCube (and other consoles) is Activision's True Crime: Streets of L.A. which is scheduled to come out in September.

Daniel says: Nintendo never really tries to follow the trends, and I don't think they'll be looking to make a GTA killer just like you don't see them trying to make a Gran Turismo killer. Instead, you'll see them noticing that shift in the market more, and bringing their own projects to the table like Geist.

Alex asks: A few places have mentioned that nintendo and capcom are working on another GBA zelda game. I heard it was going to be completely original.....but why the hell wasn't it at E3? I heard another rumor about it too, saying there would be 4 games in one. 2 would be the first two zelda games. the other two are originals with graphics like the four swords mode. Is there even going to be another zelda game for gba? Please help me out here.

Daniel says: Well, I can't say definitively, but I'd be willing to bet those rumors simply refer to the new version of Four Swords.

Alex asks: Hey guys, great work on E3 coverage. It really kept me updated. Keep up the good work. Anyways, I was looking through pictures of Nintendo at E3, and there was a pic at their press conference with GTA: Vice City pictures on the screen. Why were they there?

Rick says: They were shown as an example of games in other markets that are doing very well, but are games Nintendo isn't likely to pursue. If that doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry. It didn't make sense to us either. That's as good as advertising a competitor's product, and is very unlike Nintendo. Maybe there's more to that story ... we just don't know for sure yet.

Mike Sklens says: If I remember correctly, Iwata-san said something along the lines of "Mario won't be shooting hookers anytime soon" while that picture was being shown.

Link asks: Why wasn't Mario Tennis showed at E3? I'm really looking forward to its release, because my family loves the n64 version. Does anyone have an idea of when it will be released? I've heard about it for months now.

TYP says: I too am a huge fan of the N64 original. After all, it introduced Waluigi and features some of Charles Martinet's best work. Oh yeah, and the multiplayer gameplay is crack.

Camelot is working on both Mario Golf and Mario Tennis for the GameCube at the same time, and with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour nearing completion I'd imagine the small company has neglected its other Mario sports game. I'd imagine Nintendo and Camelot decided it wasn't ready for display at E3 2003. Besides, Nintendo didn't really need two Mario sports games on display. Considering the relative simplicity of Tennis compared to Golf, if Mario Golf: TT does indeed come out next month we'll likely see Mario Tennis by the end of the year.

Andy asks: How come the Arwing in the video looks completely different from the Arwing in the screenshots?

Mike Sklens says: That's because there are screenshots from two different builds of Starfox flying around. If you'll notice some of the screenshots look rather hideous, while others have crisp graphics. The older (uglier) version has Arwings that look more like the Arwings found in Starfox 64. The newer (prettier) version has redesigned Arwings that have 4 "wings" sticking out the back (as opposed to 2 on the old model). There's a good chance that the newer Arwings will be in the final version.

Unknown asks: Hey, I was just wondering, is the new Final Fantasy on the Cube basically a multiplayer version of the first Zelda on the N64? That sounds uneducated of me, but looking at the new FF trailer, I couldn't help but draw a number of parallels. How will it be different, besides the FF universe and the multiplayer? Or is that enough to make it unique?

TYP says: I played Crystal Chronicles for all of five minutes, so I really can't say much... The only way I could describe it is the spirit of a Ninja Turtles arcade game in RPG form factor. The action is fast paced, and everyone fights together on the same screen. It seemed like a lot of fun--too bad the healer (played by the NOA rep) died so quickly. Ty made a valiant effort all alone, though!

Ty says: Oh yeah, I remember now, everybody else died while I was able to stay alive for like 5 or 10 minutes against the boss. I suppose the most similiar game I've played is Secret of Mana, but this seemed to require more careful spell-planning and teamwork...

modestos asks: Is Nintendo planning to make SpaceWorld this year? Nintendo said that the their next Mario game is nearly ready and they would probably present us in E3 but... what happened?

Rick says: Miyamoto opted to not show the game, as we mentioned in our last Mailbag. As for SpaceWorld, while it would be wise for Nintendo to have one after this year's lackluster E3 showing, it was a rumor that was started well before E3, and is likely not going to happen.

Aussie Ben says: I've heard rumours that this year's SpaceWorld has also been canned, but don't quote me on that. Actually, just don't quote me.

Nate asks: Since Square is now making games for Nintendo again, does Square have any plans to port any of their older high grossing games to Game Cube such as Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy X? If not why? Copyright? The Dark Lord? Space Devil? I am almost ready to snap and get a PS2 if I don't get my fix soon.

Mike Suzuki says: Square-Enix has not announced any plans to bring it's recent PS2 games to the GameCube. I'd heard some rumblings of Kingdom Hearts making it's way to the GameCube eventually, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it. Sony's close ties to Square-Enix will likely hinder any plans to port PS2 games to the GameCube. If you're looking for ports of Square-Enix, you're probably going to find them on the GBA. So if you're really hungry for some Square RPGs soon, I'd look at getting a PS2 as Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is the only Square-Enix game on the GameCube's immediate horizon.

Aussie Ben says: Seriously, if you're hanging for some Square games, then I'd recommend that you buy a PS2. Not that I like the things - christ, I tried that bloody Mickey Mouse game with the kid with the giant clown shoes and hated it. The music for that intro FMV was nice, though. So I traded it in for ICO. Ha ha. But yeah, at present it looks like you'll be waiting till you're a withered old corpse for your fix of Square RPGs on the GameCube. After all, each console does have its own positives and negatives, and you'll have to weigh up each to decide what will give you your gaming fix. What's the point of owning a console if you're not getting the games you want?

Every person who has ever emailed anyone, ever, asks: Are you guys doing a DVD this year? Why aren't you doing a DVD this year?

Jonny says: No, we are not doing a DVD this year. Everyone wanted to have a DVD, but no one wanted to put in the work to actually make it...and who can blame them? It's a huge job, and it would have taken a lot more money upfront to have the thing made than it cost us last year. We had to make a business decision. I really appreciate everyone who has expressed interest in a new DVD. If you missed last year's, we're still selling it for a really low price, and although the gameplay movies are really outdated, there's a lot of other cool stuff on there. Plus, you'll be supporting PGC.

Who knows, we may still do a DVD for next year or somewhere down the road. In the meantime, we're posting all of our E3 videos on the site for free, so please download and enjoy those!

Phil asks: Hi PGC,

Do you think Nintendo will pull their socks up and release games sooner in PAL Regions after being released in the rest of the NTSC world? The only games, that I know of, that are released in the UK first before everywhere else is 007.

Steven says: Nintendo tries to get all of its games out in PAL territories as fast as it possible. It's not just about getting the game from NTSC to PAL format, but also localizing games for many European markets, and all its different languages. While Europe is definately the largest videogame market in the world, that's because it's really a dozen small ones added all together, and when you need to release one game there, a publisher actually releasing it many times. These, among many other reasons, are why games take as long as they do get across the Atlantic.

As great a publisher as Nintendo is, you know it tries to get its high-quality games out there without turning them into crap, which many other publishers wind up doing. You guys might even get lucky and get better games as a result of it, like Metroid Prime.

NYYanks asks: Hi, I've been extremely excited about f-zero gx since the day it was announced because I've been a huge fan of the series since the snes days. Anyway, with Mario Kart: DD!! sporting LAN capabilities and possibly online through gamespy as i have heard rumors, is there any chance of either these possiblities going for F-Zero GX? I have pretty much given up on thinking of it going online, but I think it's a clearcut choice for LAN gaming as well with up to 30 racers per race. Although this game I can tell is going to be amazing and I will thoroughly enjoy the single player as well as the 4-player split screen, I feel that Nintendo has lost out on a major aspect of the game without LAN support. If you have any information on this, i'd be extremely grateful. Keep up the good word guys.

Steven says: An intersting find over at Nintendo's own game profile is that there isn't a set number of players for the game, although the E3 demo clearly had a four-player mode, and one of Nintendo's long-confirmed LAN games, Mario Kart, has an "Up to 8 players" tag clearly placed on its game page.

That being said, it's not out of the question that it won't be in there, as hooking up that many GameCubes would make for a full 30-machine field. It would make that game just all the better.

While we're on the subject, let's not forget about F-Zero AX, which will more than likely have multiple system link capability, as Sega has been doing that with many of its racing arcade games for quite a while.

Alex asks: Hey guys, nice site you got here with really good coverage that I can really depend on ! And nice E3 coverage, anyways my question is this: Whats going on with Camelot and it's RPG for the Cube ???

TYP says: Right now I'm playing Golden Sun: The Lost Age on my Game Boy Player. Does that count? The GBP really was invented for just such games--ones that are only on the GBA because it is the popular 2-D system.

I don't think Camelot has ever announced any plans to make a GameCube RPG, so I wouldn't assume it is just because the company is close with Nintendo. If the two Golden Sun GBA games are any indication, Camelot likes its RPGs as old-fashioned as possible.

Tom asks: Miyamoto-san at one point stated that this year would be the year of the new franchises. Now that E3 has passed, many people are wondering are there going to be any this year. Do you guys have any inside info? What is your (PlanetGamecube Staff) speculation? Are they saving new stuff for the next system?

TYP says: I think E3 unofficially retracted that statement. I guess there were a few new franchises at E3, like Geist and Custom Robo (new for USA), but at best this is the year of the newer franchises, and realisticly the year of much-anticipated sequels like Mario Golf, Mario Kart, 1080 and F-Zero. I don't think Nintendo's hiding anything from us that will be out this year.

Psongoku asks: No one has covered or had pictures on the device[s] which allows you to watch anime, Pokemon, etc on the GBA? it was at E3 but no info?

TYP says: The Pokemon TV show was pretty underwhelming on the GBA. It looked like a Nokia N-Gage game with horrible MPEG compression. I swear, it must've been running at 10 frames per second. I couldn't hear any audio. I imagine we no one has covered it because it just isn't worth mentioning.

Ty says: A company called AM3 was showing a remarkable GBA device down in Kentia hall that was using flash-card based video on the GBA that looked tons better than the thinger I saw in Nintendo's booth. If I'm remembering right, the AM3 rep I talked to said that each flash card is good for at least a half-hour of a show and that it was coming out this fall in Japan. I bet there are other devices being worked on at other companies, too.

Michael asks: Have you heard any new news about Mother 1+2? I've noticed that it was not mentioned at all at E3 so does this mean a North American release is out of the question or does Nintendo enjoy making me suffer? Oh and finally since Billy is gone does that mean Louie is gone too? He was my favorite reporter at PGC.

TYP says: Louie's still on our staff list, isn't he? As for ports of semi-obscure RPGs...NOA can't seem to make up its mind. It's finally releasing a Fire Emblem game in the U.S., so it would make SENSE for them to release a game in a series they DID bother to translate before.

Blowyurnose asks: I thought Mario 128 was going to be shown at e3, what gives? I havn't heard anything about it since March--- give me some hope!

Mike Suzuki says: It was only speculation that "Mario 128" would be at E3. There was certainly a lot of hype building up to E3 that the game would be shown, but I don't think anything official was ever said about this. So if you're looking for a little hope, um, well...there will be another Mario game...eventually...on the PS3 (just kidding).

TYP says: MAAAAARIO! Mario? Where's-a Mario? Nintendo is famous for delaying its games 23423432 times in the past, so it's starting to just wait longer before revealing them to the public. But, hey, who needs more Mario when you can SMACK things with Wario on the GameCube? Nyahahaha!

Al asks: After reading about the new games from E3, I was dissapointed to hear that Too Human was nowhere on the show floor. Is this game still in development or has it been canned?

Mike Suzuki says: If you'd checked out the PGC E3 2003 interview with Denis Dyack, you could've read between the lines here...

Denis: Right. But this development path and because it is a remake, what’s set is set. You’re probably not going to see a lot of that this time. Don’t forget, it’s coming out fairly shortly. One of the things that I’m really happy about with this project, amongst many, many things which I’ve already talked about… you know, last year there was Eternal Darkness, this year there’s going to be MGS, and in the future, next year, which I can’t talk about… hopefully there will be others. If things go well, and they seem to be.

Rick: Is Too Human hopefully going to be one of those others?

Denis: I can’t talk about those. I can’t talk about ‘em... so sorry! As soon as I started mentioning it, I was like, "Uh oh..."

Jonny: But you don’t "cancel" games, right?

Denis: Uh, no... we don’t like to. So... uh... No. *laughing*

...and you get the idea that Too Human has not been cancelled and will hopefully be out some time next year.

Ty says: I think it would be pretty darn funny if they delayed it for the next Nintendo system.

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