I get a few questions regularly, so I figured I could be lazy and put stock answers here instead of actually getting back to people.
Q. Are you going to make a guide for [game name]?
A. I intend to cover the core games of my three favorite RPG series: Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Ultima. This is something I do in my free time, though, so who knows how long that will take. While it would be nice to do every spinoff of note and games from other series, I want to keep my goals from expanding too much. (The recent addition of Dragon Quest to the site charter notwithstanding.) Here’s the list of guides I definitely plan to make at some point (making no promises that it will actually happen):
|Final Fantasy||Dragon Quest||Ultima|
|Other Series||Arcana (SNES), Chrono Cross (PS1)|
Q. What guide are you working on next?
A. The Final Fantasy VII guide is currently under development. Final Fantasy XII is likely to follow, though I may make an NES Dragon Warrior guide or two in the interim.
Q. Can you hide spoilers in your guides?
A. Unfortunately, I haven’t thought up any reasonable way to do this. The nature of these guides is inherently spoiler-filled. One of my goals is to analyze parts of the game in context of the whole. While it might be possible to go back and put spoiler tags on everything that would be considered a spoiler, there is a lot of information in these guides and I’d certainly miss things, and I feel like breaking a spoiler promise is worse than making no promise at all.
While it’s not really an answer, I do recommend playing these games without such a detailed guide the first time through. I used to play every Final Fantasy with guide in hand on release day, and I’ve grown to enjoy them much more since I stopped doing that. You may not feel the same, but there isn’t much else I can do, and for that I apologize.
Q. Why do your guides only cover the original versions of games?
A. I used to be a big fan of remakes. When Final Fantasy Origins came out, I was super excited because I hadn’t been able to play the original Final Fantasy in years. Back in this era the remakes were fairly rare, and I even covered one (the PS1 version of FF1). However, these days there are multiple versions of each game, between re-remakes, portable remasters, and mobile ports. I don’t have the time to make guides for every version, and it’s not clear which version I should cover. The only reasonable conclusion was to cover the one unchanging version of each game: the first one. This site is as much about series history as actual game guides, so covering the originals also makes it clearer where in a series things that may have been retroactively added to a game actually originated.
Q. Why are there guides for games that never came out in the US?
A. While I could make the case that the PS1 version of Final Fantasy II is the “original,” Final Fantasy III throws a monkey wrench into that plan because nothing like the original version was ever released here. The DS version is fine, but it’s a lot different than the original. Once I decided to cover the Famicom version of FF3, it kind of just became a policy. It gets tricky with things like FF4 where the US original is so different from the Japanese original, but for the most part I want to cover a reasonably accessible version of each game. (Incidentally, these games are pretty inexpensive to import.)
Q. Why “Final Fantasy VI (SNES)” but “Dragon Warrior (NES)” and not “Dragon Quest (NES)”?
A. A lot of the games I’m making guides for had their names changed when they came to the US, but all of them have been given the correct canonical name at some point. The problem with FF6 (and 2, 3, and 4) is that those names are ambiguous. Technically the FF6 guide is for “Final Fantasy III” but that would be hard to differentiate from my Final Fantasy III guide, which covers a completely different game. With Dragon Quest, on the other hand, there is no ambiguity about what game “Dragon Warrior” refers to, even if that game is properly a Dragon Quest game. I left the title alone for the same reason I didn’t use more recent translations for the monsters and items in it: because that’s what the game is. If I ever release a guide for the mobile DQ1-3 ports, they will be properly titled as such. (Also note that I will generally use “Dragon Warrior” when referring to the games with that title, but try to always refer to the series as “Dragon Quest.” This can be pretty confusing if you’re not aware that they are one and the same!)
Q. Why do your have ‘maps’ pages with no maps?
A. This is honestly just a bad choice of wording on my part. When I made the Final Fantasy 1 guide, I denoted each location as an ‘area’ and each screen of that area as a ‘map.’ It didn’t even occur to me until I added a feedback feature that this was horrendously misleading. Sorry about that! At some point I’d like to re-do a lot of the URL names, and I’ll likely change this. I have started to make maps for the early Dragon Warrior games, but this too was a late addition so I didn’t actually use the term ‘map’ for Dragon Warrior 1. Oops!
Q. Can I write a guide for your site?
A. While it’s incredibly cool that people have actually offered to make guides for the site, for a variety of reasons I want this to remain a one-man operation.
Q. Do you work on these guides yourself?
A. Yes, I write the code, gather the data, and even edit the images (though ‘edit’ in this case generally means arranging images into a CSS sprite).
Q. Do you rip off other people’s guides?
A. No, this is something I try very hard to avoid. In many cases I’ve used other guides as a starting point to figure out how things work, but if at all possible I verify the data myself. Incidentally, this is why my guides have been concentrated on the earlier games (where it’s pretty easy to figure out exactly how the game works) and the later ones (where the game gives you lots of information). In the PS1/PS2 era, it’s much harder to figure things out without relying more than I am comfortable with on the work of others.
Q. What happened to the FFXIV guide?
A. I quit FFXIV and realized that making a guide for an MMO was a terrible idea anyway. However, after taking down the guide I received some feedback that it was still useful because it covers a lot of non-endgame data that is largely ignored in other guides. For that reason, I put up an archived version at ffxiv.gamercorner.net. This version removes some of the site features, like logins, and will never be updated, but it’s totally independent from the rest of the site and should remain as-is indefinitely.