RPG Classics Mailbag #21

Well, it's been an exciting few weeks, with Diablo 2 coming out and Romancing Saga 3 being fully translated. But the mailbag must go on... regretably. I have to give up valuable Diablo 2 time for this thing, ya know? The sacrifices I must make... ah well, whatever. This mailbag's question was: "If playing RPGs ever became considered a crime, punishable by death, what would you do?" Yeah, after last mailbag's serious question, I guess you could forsee that it would be all downhill from there in terms of seriousness. I'm keeping that trend with next week's bag as well, but more about that later. For now, here's the first response, by...

Voice over intercom: Macc, could I have a word with you? }|>

Is that you, Jim?

ShaheenJim's voice: Of course, can't you see my trademark smiley? }|>

Errr... yeah. But just how can you even broadcast that smiley over the intercom system?

ShaheenJim's voice: I'm the all-powerful webmaster, I can do whatever I want. }|>

Silly me. So, what's up?

ShaheenJim's voice: Well, Macc, I've grown tired of you always being so late with the Mailbag, so I decided to replace you. }|>

Replace me? With who?

ShaheenJim's voice: That's none of your business. Step aside. }|>

Don't expect me to give up the Mailbag without a fight! ...hey wait, this'll give me more time to play Diablo 2. You can have it. Seeya. *disappears*

ShaheenJim's voice: That was easy. So much for dedication. You're up, DM. }|>

Muhahahaha! My plan worked perfectly! He never suspected that you were actually ShaheenJim's clone. Now I can use this Mailbag to spread my influence across the world! Mwahahahaha!

ShaheenJim's clone's voice: Yeah, whatever. Just give me my money already. }|>

Errr... right. I... don't really have your money right now, but let me get back to you on that.

ShaheenJim's clone's voice: Oh no you don't. You better give me my money right now, or...

*turns off the intercom* Ahem. Right, let's do a formal introduction, shall we? Greetings, inferior beings, and welcome to your doom... I mean, the Mailbag. Today, I will be commenting on your stupid answers to Macc's stupid question. You don't like it, tough. The first letter is from a guy called DaRkEpYoN, who apparently has some twitch which causes him to keep tapping the Shift key while typing his name.

"I'd flee to another country if it were just here in the United States, but if it was worldwide... I dunno. Probably commit suicide? I'd probably give up gaming altogether. RPG's are the best genre out there. The world would SUCK if you couldn't play RPG's. And that's all I got to say about that!"

You know, that's just what I'm planning to do when I take over the world: Hog all RPGs in the world all to myself. The rest of you will be given nothing but Secret of Evermore carts. Unless of course you join my side. Don't be a quitter and just give up... I'll save you a good spot in the front lines of my suicide squads. And how about you, Carpe Diem? Do you also want a spot?

"In such a case, I'd turn to politics. Strange as it might sound, I would rise quickly in the ranks, and I'd do it old school style. No more of this debating and luck, you need boyz. I'd send my boyz and be up to the top in no time. Then, I'd lose that rule, make it a crime to hate RPGs, and then own every single RPG out there. I would die a very happy man."

Oh I see... well you do have the right idea: Why waste your time talking when you can just have your flunkies beat the other guy senseless instead? Not that any amount of flunkies anyone could dig up would be a match for my suicide squads of course. But let's see what luminous ideas will be conceived in this next letter by... Kain Strife? Whatever...

"What would I do if RPG's were a crime punishable by death? Well, I think I would have to start an underground resistance of RPG players. Then slowly build up weapons and supplies needed for war. After I gained enough power I would lead an army of angry RPG players and take over the country, wait I mean the world cause that sounds better. Then I would be the ruler of the world (which is my goal in life) and start a new government for RPG players. Then I would have people hunt down RRG haters and have them impaled as punishment. That might sound a little harsh but I think it would make up for all the losses we would have taken. Thus being the supreme ruler of the world until my untimely death when I trip and fall on a steak knife."

Ohhh... *takes out a notepad and writes something down*  Well, if all it takes to destroy you is a mere steak knife, somehow I doubt you'd get to implement it, so I'll just steal that impalement idea if you don't mind. In fact, I will even if you do mind. But you won't, since I've implemented a subliminal message in this mailbag. If you've read this far, you must now already have become one of my loyal followers. Welcome to the winning team, mwa ha ha... okay, let's see, here's a letter by StarSoldier. Oh I remember her... the poor girl flattened by a 1000 Ton weight. Don't worry, I'm not as cruel as Macc is... if I wanted to punish you, I'd just cut your head off and be done with it. No needless suffering or anything... but I digress.

"Playing RPG's a crime? Well, it's forseeable since some murder was blamed on the kids playing FF7. Just to make it bearable for the readers, I'll make it pretty short.


That's the spirit! Are you interested in a spot in the GEF? What, never heard of it? It's my Government Elimination Force, a group of warriors with an uncontrollable urge to blast anyone wearing a suit. Of course, there's a good chance a lot of people who have nothing to do with the government will get blown away as well, but hey... their fault for wearing a suit.

"Um...OK, I think it's time I was committed. So if you'll excuse me, I'll go outside and worship my pear tree while I wear a tutu on my head."

Of course, if you were to join the GEF, you'd have to replace that pear tree with a statue of myself. You can keep the tutu though, it looks good on you.

"Psst, Macc, was that corny and insane enough or do I need to work on it?"

Oh I know exactly what Macc would say: "Not bad, but the pear tree thing just has to go. You should be worshipping lemon trees instead." However, I'm not Macc. I did however find the insanity to my liking... we need more of that particular brand of chaos. Well anyway, here's another letter, by some guy named Dan...

"If playing RPGs was a crime?! I thought it already was! I mean everyone criticizes me because I'm playing RPGs almost 24/7! I have to play practically when no one is around!"

That should make the adjustment period a little easier for you then.

"If it does become a crime though, I guess I'm just gonna keep playing! No one can keep me from saving the world every other week!!!"

Noone except the power company. All they gotta do is shut off the power and wham! No RPGs for you! Bwahahahah! ...what? What?? Laugh at my jokes, maggots! I'm way funnier than Macc is! Grumble...

"P.S. I'm probably one of the only RPG Mailbag fans around. Hope that makes you feel better Macc."

Muhahahaha! Now that I intercepted this message, Macc will never get to read it! He will stay depressed forever! Fwahahahaha!

Hey! How dare you use my trademark laugh!

It's not yours. I don't see your name on it.

No, but... huh?

*slaps himself on the forehead* Forget it. Just go back to... whatever job I gave you at the HQ.

Okay. Ummm... what was I supposed to do again?

I don't care! Just do it somewhere else!

Alright, alright... whatta grouch. *leaves*

*sigh* Minions... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em... let's just take a look at the next letter, by War Horseman.

"Punishable by death, Macc? You've been hanging around Ultros too much, thinking about capital punishment and all :-Đ Not that that's a bad thing, I enjoy a bit of Octo-bashing every now and then."

Ah yes, don't we all... hey Ultros, come here.

N-no, that's okay, I'll do it... *jumps down a trap door*

Bastard. That takes all the fun out of it. Besides, I was going to do something far more painful... oh well, it can't be helped.

"But anyway, *clears throat* If playing an RPG were to become a crime punishable by death, I would be the head of the black market or whatever organization of supplies. I'd be the untouchable guy at the top, the guy nobody wants to rat out, because I either reward them too much, or they're afraid of me (Preferably number 2).

I wouldn't be out there personally, of course. I'd have a bunch of RPG pushers out there selling 'em in the alleys for, like, $1000 a battle. Yeah, really! High risk involved.

I'm sure there're some RPG junkies out there who'd be willing to loyally work for me for a few minutes of gameplay per day.

But if that doesn't all work out... like, ya know... I don't have any money ({:-B), I could just take my library of RPG ROMs and just stick to piracy. Not that... uh... I do that... now..."

Of course you don't. So, you'd be willing to take the CLAT (Crime Lord Aptitude Test) then? If you get a passing grade in all categories (think of things like Greed, Leadership, Extortion and Intimidation) you've got the job. Call my secretary to scedule an appointment. Hmmm... perhaps that was supposed to be Exdeath's job... well, whatever. Let's just move on to Megaman984.

"I would continue to play RPGs if it was against the law. In fact, I would do it in front of the police to make sure that I'm arrested. After being thrown in jail, I would give all of the criminals Mithril armor and weapons that I keep in my invisible item bag with infinite space. After we break out of jail, I would lead all of the convicts to Washington D.C. where we would overthrow the government. After that I would set up a government for the RPG player, governed by the RPG player."

Another recruit for the GEF, I see. Forget about leading the government though, that's my job. Resistance is futile, as I'm sure my subliminal messages have caused you to realise now, as well.

"We would then declare war on Holland, and attack it with our swords and espers."

Now why would you do a thing like that? You think countries will have any meaning when I control the world? No, you shall all be equals at that time... willing slaves, that is.

"P.S. A few weeks ago, you said that Janet Reno would be the second best RPG villain ever. If he/she/it is second, then who is first?"

Isn't it obvious? Me, of course!

Psst... I'm pretty sure Macc said it would be Richard Nixon...

Ah, you're back! Come here, you!

Yikes! *jumps out the window*

That's a 38-story drop, you moron! ...oh well. Hey, what's this? Mazrim Taim, isn't that one of Macc's flunkies? Now what could he possibly have to say?

"I have returned!"

Okay, thanks for letting us know, bye! Oh wait, there's more... crap.

"Ok, down to the response...Man, I'm out of practice with writing...hey, that reminds me, I have to check that site...err...sorry, I shouldn't put what's happening in real life in my mailbag responses...

Hmm...what would I do if RPGing were made illegal...hmm...well, it would depend on how it was enforced. I mean, if it were enforced like the emulation laws were (i e: never), then I would just play them anyway, since I would definitely not get caught... (famous last words, eh?). However, if people came to my house every month or so, or even year, to do a routine RPG check, then I would probably just revert to emulation to get all my RPGs, and put those on CD-ROM or Zip disk...

However, if they were stricter, and looked through all of my stuff every week or so, my files on computer, and disks, then I might be forced to take drastic measures...

Mazrim's Logic: What drastic measures?

Mazrim: You know...drastic ones...like...stuff...err...Well, anyway, I guess if they check every day, everywhere, then I would have no choice BUT to yield. And then I would create games in my head, and play those, and talk to others about them, and have them store the material in their heads, and it will live on! The information will live on! The tradition will live on! I need some more apple juice! Good bye!"

Aha! I knew that in all this babbling I would find something useful! All I shall require is apple juice... yes, yes! Mwahahahah! I will reign supreme! ...but you already knew that. Let's move on to Bacon Slicer's response.

"The only possible way that playing RPGs could ever be considered illegal would be if doing so was a threat to other people or the government. Since it hasn't been proven that playing RPGs has an effect on other people, it must be that the government ruling RPGs illegal has something to fear from RPG players.

Logically, this government (let's call it the Empire, for convenience) is twisted and evil, and has a hideous plot to take over the world. All RPG players would band together to form a resistance group, probably having a hideout in the mountains. We RPG players would lie in wait, hoping that we might be saved by a group of powerful heroes travelling in groups of four. They would bring with them one who had the power to overthrow the....

Oh, I've done it again, haven't I?"

Yes you have, shame on you. As for your punishment, I will force you to read the rest of this crummy mailbag! Mwahahahaha!

"Then we'd have to go for anarchy. We'd attack the power plants of the country, hoping to throw the place into confusion. We'd use bombs with barely long enough fuses to allow us to get out of the reactors in time, and we'd get completely distracted from our goal after destroying only two reactors. But then we'd storm the Empire's stronghold, and...

You know, maybe I should think out this stuff before I write in. But since the Empire has banned RPGs, then obviously RPG tactics are the way to go.

Heck, we might even find an airship!"

Great... airships against stealth jets, enjoy your short but exciting flight to the ground! Well it's become very clear to me that my plans have nothing to fear from any of you guys. ...damn, this mailbag's still not empty? Hmmm... what's this then? Is this even a letter? Well, in any case, it seems to be written by JAlf5412, who had an identity crisis and is now called Mercenary09 for some reason.

"* hmmm * Well...I'd just get an assault rifle & c how far I get to killing  the ppl that thought it was evil...& while I'm at it....* Heh heh *...I'd  kill Jerry Springer...try to ki...I mean...Get rid of PEPSI....what else.. It is no surprise...well at least not 2 me at least. I'd...If n e 1 would listen I'd go get a bunch of my ppl (people) my mercenary ppl. Start killing...who U ask...Errr..Umm....I think it have 2 be..dam'nt U decide...n/m(never mind) I will. It'd be of course n e 1 who would think it was a crime & kill them w/ (with) no surprise & an assault rifle " Shadowrun...That game is great they should make another 1 " Who?...U ask again..well I do....* hmm * "surprise"...Oh! I'd kill them & then brainwash well...ppl who thought it was a crime. Get rid of the idea quote & unqoute " RPG's " & re-name it.....now i have 2 think...& on the spot...dam'nt. What the hell is on showtime. I'd call it...Oh!...again it would be...well I'm not gonna sound like a dumb a** saying this..." drum roll! " " Heh heh! LOL...Ha ha ha...Ok..the thing on showtime was a god damn skit! I can't believe that s***. Well, they've been making them 4 a while. N E wayz I'd call it " NARG "! Ha ha! I made a name, not a great 1, but I made 1 up! It stands 4 " No Apparent reason games "!No no no...n/m that...I have another 1 " AGWN "A Game W/o A Name "..Ha ha ha! End of response! *hmmm* What else should I say...some stupid thing....* Ahem* My hobbies...eating cookies....It's on my profile..." I should also put killing ppl " I do...only on Wednesdays " Y do I put the qoutes? I don't know..."

Bwahahahaha! See, Bacon Slicer? I told you having to read on would be pure torment! Suffer! Mwahahahaha! Oh yeah... that's the stuff alright. Mercenary09, are you for hire as an interrogator? I could make use of someone with your skillz... oh joy, looks like there's just one more letter now. By... Zero!? You... you... I haven't forgotten what you did to Macc's old body when I was still a part of it! You will suffer most of all! Well, what do you have to say for yourself?

"VIVA LA RESISTANCE!  Short, sweet, simple and I wanna see a hyperplasma shortcake attack! (with a name like that, it's gotta be hilarious)."

I show you a different kind of attack, just come anywhere near my HQ and I'll demonstrate.

"And if I need to be more precise on my actions, then you need glasses, because death ain't gonna stop me from playing RPGs...well, maybe it would...I hope they got some neat stuff in...errr...that thingy...afterlife or sumthin...I just hope they got a better processor than mine and a copy of Diablo2 waiting there, so I could go pick it up and come back here.

And...you got me too...found myself watching Pokémon in 2 languages at THE SAME TIME! *falls in tears* I admit it, they...got me...avenge me...or don't."

Ha ha ha! Well if that's the case, then...

Did someone say Diablo 2? And did someone say Pokémon? ...what, Dark Macc?!?

Macc! You're too late to stop me, my subliminal messages have turned all your mailbag readers into mindless zombies bent to my will! Mwa ha h-

Ummm, Dark Macc?

NEVER interrupt my evil laughing! Now where was I... oh yes... Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Now, what is it?

I think I just found out what I was supposed to be doing...

Oh? And what was... oh no. Don't tell me...

I was supposed to take care of that subliminal message thing, but I guess it kinda slipped my mind, ha ha...


Heh heh... looks like your plans have been foiled again, Dark Macc.

No, not yet... I...

Dark Macc! I want my money! }|>

Ack! Get away from me, clone!

What? Clone?

Oh nice going, blabbermouth, now he knows I'm not the real ShaheenJim! }|>

Well if you're so good, why don't you take care of him?

Why not? As a clone of the all-powerful webmaster, I have all his powers. I've got more power in my pinky finger than anyone on this website! }|>

Well, have fun then. Bye! *disappears*

Sure, run away, you coward! You can't hide from me! I'll be back for money later. But first... }|>


Ready to be deleted from the site forever, Macc? }|>

Errr... I... I...

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA H-urk! }|>


What? With ShaheenJim's power, that clone could've wiped out any staff member who even thought about destroying him... so who could've...

Hee hee hee... how 'bout someone who's not a staff member?

Kunoichi...? What are you doing here?

Well, duh! I asked you to put me in one of those silly stories of yours, didn't I? I guess you finally decided to do it.

...oh yeah. Well thanks for getting rid of the clone... it could get real confusing if there were two ShaheenJims.

Don't I know it! Well, I'm sure I'll pop up somewhere again, so until then... seeya! *throws smoke bomb and disappears*

Ah, Kunoichi... isn't she great? What, who is she, you ask? Well, depending on how you prefer to look at things, she's either someone on my ICQ list, or she's an android ninja who always tends to show up when she's needed most.

Unlike myself. I prefer showing up when there's no more danger around.

Somehow I knew you'd show up again. Well then, detail my latest mailbag idea to the viewers, won't you?

Alright... next mailbag's all about Big Brother. Survivor seems to be a pretty popular show, but the similarly themed Big Brother is apparently not doing too well. Time to do something about that. The question for the next mailbag is: "If you were the producer of Big Brother, and you could put five RPG characters in the house, who would you choose, and what would the results?" In other words, you can go nuts describing as much of the proceedings as you wish... you can do idle conversations, assignments which must be completed, and of course you can describe the details on who has to leave to house and in what order, and who the winner will be. Sure, it could be a lot of work, but it should be good for those of you who've been looking for a good challenge ever since responding to the Battle Royal and Who Wants to be a Millionair mailbags. If you're not too sure about the rules of Big Brother, you'll have to ask Macc, I don't watch that show either.

Errr.. me neither. But in the case of this mailbag, the rules are as follows: 5 RPG characters are locked in a house with no access to the outside world, however all other RPG characters, being the audience for this show, can see their every move through a multitude of cameras placed around the house. Every week, they have to complete a certain assignment, or their food reserves will not be refilled quite as generously, which migth cause a few... inconveniences. Heh heh... anyway, every week also one of the contestants gets booted out by means of an anonymous vote between the characters. If there's a tie in votes... well, I'm sure you can think of a way to break a tie. Perhaps whoever knocks the other guy senseless gets to remain, or something. Anyway, when there's only three people left, the audience gets to vote who was the best, and whoever wins takes home a million Gil. In the actual show, there's like 10 people, but I think 5 people would be enough for a mailbag... that's plenty of work already. Well, I hope some of you more die-hard mailbag respondees will enjoy this challenge... I realise it's a bit of a gamble on my part, but I can always scrap it if noone responds...

No actual ShaheenJims were harmed in the creation of this mailbag.