Mailbag 2.0 – 01/15/07

imageHey, kiddos. It’s that time again, for the semi-regular Mailbag here at The Escapist HQ. Just like last time, I take a look at what’s kicking around inside the annals of Team Humidor’s mailing list for questions that demand answers, and for some questions that don’t. Here we go, and be sure to submit your questions to the Mailbag!

Does anyone really believe that the idiots throwing controllers through televisions, windows, and hula hoops are really wearing their strap. Personally I think these future olympians are chucking their strapless controller through their 42inch lcd, freaking out because they just broke two thousand dollars worth of equipment, and then simply yanking the strap off the controller in hopes that the good people of ninetendo will believe they actually were wearing it. Who knows?
– nikudada

Good point, nikudada. And what’s funny is I’m actually one of the idiots you’re talking about. At least prospectively. See, my roommate picked up a Wii over the holiday season (I’m still not sure how; he claims he “went to Virginia” to “visit family” and “found one at a store there,” but I’m still not convinced he doesn’t “know a guy” – he “grew up” in “New York”), and after the system was in the house for two days, my damn dog got a hold of the controller and obliterated the strap. I – plug your ears, Nintendo – abused the recall to get another strap sent to the house, but it’s yet to arrive. So until it does, we’re going strap commando.

Which isn’t a big deal for the roomie. He’s comfortable sitting down to play Zelda, lounging on the couch in front of the 50-inch Samsung like an emperor of the 21st century. But not me; I’m the nimrod who’s going to be a statistic. I can’t in good conscience sit to play Wii Sports, especially Tennis. You’re just not serving unless you jump three feet into the air and smash your arm down, all the while hanging onto the strapless controller for dear life. It’s not a volley unless you actually run from one of the living room to the other to chase down a particularly good return.

And, apparently, you’re just not a Wii owner until some idiot puts a hole in your $2,000 TV. The good news is we have a warranty. I’m pretty sure screen damage is covered. If not, you wanna buy a dog?

I need something to get me through the holiday season. Something other than games. In fact, something that goes with games really well. In that light, what’s the official booze of the Escapist?
– Ian “Yoru” Dundore

imageWell, like all questions involving religion, the answer is dependent on whom you talk to. Me, I bounce between scotch and Wild Turkey 101. Fellow Associate Editor Russ Pitts seems to operate on about the same wavelength, though he’s more of a Forrester guy. Producer Jon Hayter is a Jack Daniels man. Our fearless chief, Julianne Greer, seems to rock the Belvedere and the Goose. And we’ve all been known to sail with the Captain on many an occasion.

But to really get to the bottom of a question like this, you’ve gotta go to the drink that’s an event. Sure, I relax to scotch and bourbon turns me into a lecherous animal, but when I think of a party with my fellow cohorts at The Escapist, only one drink comes to mind: Boozo.

Boozo is our devil drink. New initiates to the team who choose to party with us end up doing this mix of Bacardi 151, ouzo and some substance Publisher Alex Macris pulls out of his freezer wearing heavy duty rubber gloves and a chemistry apron on their first night. I always describe it as swallowing a cinnamon-flavored brick. A few of us veterans will pony up to the bar to help newbies acclimate, but the stuff never tastes better.

I wouldn’t recommend it by any means, but when people say The Escapist marches to the beat of a different drummer, I’m pretty sure Boozo is conducting the orchestra.

Why were the middle Final Fantasy‘s never released in the U.S.?
– Julianne Greer

To answer this question, I made a beeline over to the Wikipedia, figuring that an online encyclopedia updated by a huge nerd contingent would have the answer to a question that, like Dear Leader, has plagued me a bit, despite the fact I’m not a fan of the series.

Unfortunately, the entry had nothin’. 39 sources over 5,500 words, but nothing about why it took almost 20 years for the West to be able to pick up a copy of FFVI at a domestic retail store. On the upside, I’m now entirely knowledgeable of the numerous themes that permeate the series, despite the fact I’ve logged about three days in the Final Fantasy universe, total. (Note: I realize this is blasphemy, but I’m sorry. I like my stories interesting and dynamic and not starring Teenage Ideal of Brooding Hero.)

Anyway, I did a bit more digging throughout the numerous Final Fantasy stubs, and the most I could come up with was the quality of the initial translations the middle games were so bad, Square didn’t even bother. I’m thinking there had to be some serious financial restrictions, too, given how popular the first two games were in the States. But as our astute Gearoid Reidy pointed out, a bad translation can sink even a great game, so maybe Square thought discretion was the better part of valor and waited to hit us until they could put together a better localization team.

Either that, or it’s because you’re wicked, Julianne.

We love your site and are hoping you’d like to link to us: ( We write reviews of console games that focus on being entertaining rather than informative. Hopefully at the least you’ll check us out. And BTW we’re already linked to you. Thanks.
– Derek

Ask and ye shall receive, my man. And I’m doing this not because of your ostentatious logo or the quality of your reviews, but because you have a guy named Joe on your staff. And on one level – the one I call the Highlander Level – I know that someday I’ll have to kill him to take his power. But on another level, it’s good to help the Joe Cause, and tossing a link in these trying search engine optimizing times is the least I could do.

And also, it means I know where your Joe is. Bide your time, Joe of Bide your time.

Annnnd that’s a wrap from our corner of the internet, folks. Thanks, as always, for reading, and if you’d like to see your name in boldface, 10-point arial, fire off a shot across The S.S. Mailbag’s port bow.

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