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NGF Mailbag - Edition #5
Feb. 1st, 2001

Got a question, a rant, or just feel like seeing your letter in print? Forward all questions & letters to adrian@vgf.com.

From: <TIKKIMAN87@aol.com>

i need information on how to work a game shark for the 64 system as if how to put those codes in and have then work.

Go here and never darken our doorstep again with questions that should be directed to www.gameshark.com

Now serving #2!

_______________________________________

From: <wvashirl@aol.com>

please help! i need to know how to get the door open to click clock wood but i can't find the place where you feel up the puzzle pieces in for click clock wood please i beg of you ive been to different places and no one will answer my e-mail thank you so much please help as soon as possible im stuck until you save me thank you so much i really appreciate it thanks, shirl my e-mail is wvashirl@aol.com thanks again

While I do appreciate the many platitudes and obsequious phrasing, once again, I am going to direct you to the amazing work being done over at www.gamefaqs.com Their entire purpose for existing is to provide persons like yourself with the information you so desire...so would you people STOP ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS!?!? I have a very large friend across the river in Brooklyn who does very painful things to people for very little money, and he owes me some favors.

Next!

_______________________________________

From: <JBBURDINE61463@aol.com>

how do i enter cheat codes in outlaws

I canít believe Iím answering this, but if youíre talking about the PC game thatís nearly four years old, you just type them in at any point during the game.

_______________________________________

From: "qhman" <qhman@eatel.net>

Hey,

I read an article on some site last month ( I believe IGN ) about the power differences between the PS2 and GCN. In it, Factor 5 stated that the Gekko was more powerful than the Emotion Engine plus VU0 and that Flipper could do anything VU1 could do. Now, according to NintendoNation.com, the Gekko is a 64-bit CPU ( could you confirm that for me? ), and everyone knows the Emotion Engine is a 128-bit CPU. I would like to know how the hell it could be more powerful ( if you know at all )? And could you tell me the bittage for the GPU part of Flipper? Thanks for your time.

P.S. Keep up the good work with the mailbag. Your sarcastic remarks always makes my day.

All right. First of all, I donít think Ďbittageí is really a word, but it works and I like it. As for this 64/128/256 whatever bull***t, let me make something clear to a lot of people...the Ďbittageí (see, I used it!) is no longer the specification to argue about. Sure, that worked in the 8/16/32 bit days, but there are far too many facets of hardware design anymore for that to be an accurate yardstick. Bits refer to either the number of bits or binary digits that could be processed or transmitted in parallel (this vagary of definition was the manner in which Atari attempted to dupe the public by claiming that their Jaguar was 64 bits. It simply had a 64 bit bus.) or it can mean the number of bits used for a single piece of data. From here it starts to get a bit wacky, as we enter into the bus width, which is counted in bits. The wider the bus, the more information that can be accessed, since a 64-bit bus can access information in unique addresses of up to 64 lines, the sheer amount of data this allows to be stored and transferred is staggering. But even this phenomenal number is limited by the speed at which the information transfers, which is the mhz. This means that a 32-bit cpu at 33 mhz will be much slower than one at 66 mhz, which would be a noticeable difference if it were taken advantage of.

Now that you have a bit of a basis here, let me assure you that the specs of the Gamecube are quite impressive, and they outshine the PS2 without doubt.

Either way though, this is meaningless mud-slinging since, as always, itís the games that count. I have some awesome brand-new games for my Dreamcast waiting for me to jump in, but Iím most looking forward to playing Vagrant Story for the PSX and trying my new copy of Zelda: A Link to the Past out on the SNES.

_______________________________________

From: "Jeffrey Peckham" <jeffpeck@peoplepc.com>

I am doing research for a project on the actual cost of development, manufacturing, and distribution of a state-of-the-art video game. Can you help me get a breakdown of the financial facts?

Thank you,

Jeff Peckham

Oh man. I really donít know the specifics on this. I do know that it should be broken down into a number of factors, from which you can estimate certain quantities. These costs include:

1) Office space- Generally $15-25 a square foot depending on location.

2) Equipment- Considering the total usage of equipment, I have been told (by a former president of Konami, so I believe him) that $8000 per employee is a safe range.

3) Employees- It will usually require at least 15 people (programmers, artists, sound, designers) just working on the actual game, none of whom would want to work those hours for less than $40,000 a year, and a secretary/assistant or three, PR personnel and of course a few people that take care of the business side of things like drumming up a publisher and extra cash. Consider then that the project will take at least 18 months, and probably over two years and that these people will need to be paid.

4) Licensing- You may need to license an engine to get things running, which is an expense up front.

Hope that helps.

As for manufacturing and distribution, you should probably call a publisher like Eidos or EA, since they often handle both, and speak English as a first language.

_______________________________________

From: <MEISHANG@aol.com>

first of all, could you tell me how good and powerful the Gamecube is going to be compared to X-box? Then could you tell me if Gamecube will come in different colors other than purple? And now could you guys try to make the site faster? E-mail me as soon as possible and thank you for your time and effort.

Okay...first of all, Iím not going to get drawn into a debate about the power of one system over another. Particularly when we havenít seen either one in motion. Secondly, there are many details about each system that fanboys of one camp will use to flame fanboys of the other, and I have no interest in making the mailbag a forum for those imbeciles.

I have no doubts that Nintendo will release multiple colors of the Gamecube, though it might not happen at release.

As for the site...we have no control over that. Allow me to make something clear about the internet for you. ĎWeí arenít this website. This website is just a series of documents that are being stored on a computer. Though I donít know the actual specifics about our particular situation, itís generally a safe assumption that the website is simply renting space on someone elseís server, which allows for countless people to access it. Lastly, get a faster connection. Besides, you use AOL, so the last thing you should be doing is complaining to us about service.

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From: "Chimp Dude" <sk8boarder_3013@hotmail.com>

Hey, I was wondering if you think this is a good idea for a new game..... A scooter game!! I'm thinking you could get Neversoft and the guys that put together Tony Hawk's Pro Skater to get permission from the Razor company and make a scooter game. They could have a career and they could get upgrades on their scooters as they progress, such as shocks, wheelie bars, etc. I think its slammin', whaddya think?!?!

I think you hang out with the geniuses who keep asking me to provide them with detailed walk-throughs for every game on the planet. Hell, someone asks me about Scooby-Doo this time, for cryiní out loud.

Someone already made this game Tex. Apparently itís geared for younger gamers...I canít imagine why.

And how many versions of Tony Hawk do we really need? Will I be getting mail about wheelchair games with the Tony Hawk engine? Perhaps professional dog-walkers? Or snow sledding?

Iíd like to point out that this guyís handle is ĎChimpdudeí...which goes a long way towards explaining this submission. Obviously a distant relative of Bilingual Literate Monkey.

Next!

Jared adds: THQ already owns the Razor license, and they've got plans for scooter games on multiple platforms.  Adrian's right...how many of these games do we really need?

_______________________________________

From: "Jason Wilson" <JasonHasRoadRunner@msn.com>

My question was in the subject. (Has Nintendo actually mentioned buying Sega?)

No, they have not.

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From: <PhantomAngel13@aol.com>

Hi I was wondering if you could help me. Ive heard that their is a "Sim" game where the people are Xena, Ares, ect. I would like to know what it is called.

Thanks,

-Carrie

The only thing I was able to locate that seemed to fit your profile was an online game from a company called Simutronics. They were a subscription game company (for a monthly charge of around $10 you were able to play their games on their servers) that had a lot of trouble, and I havenít heard anything about them since 1998. They were slated to develop Hercules/Xena online game, but I donít think it ever panned out.

The other possibility is that you heard about The Sims, which is so outrageously customizable that itís doubtful there arenít at least a hundred versions of Xena floating around for download.

_______________________________________

From: "Blackard, S. Christine - CHI" <christine.blackard@piperrudnick.com>

About five years ago, (or so), my boyfriend used to play a game called EarthWorm Jim -- I think it was a Sega game. Anyway, I was wondering if there was a new version of the game and if there were versions for other game systems. Do you know anything about the state of Earth Worm Jim???

Thank you very much for your time.

Yes, there is a more recent addition to this series. Called Earthworm Jim 3D, it is available on the Nintendo 64, but oh man, is it bad. If you want to give him a taste of the nostalgia, I suggest you try one of the following:

1) Locate the PC version released in 1996 that contained Earthworm Jim 1&2

2) Buy a Genesis 3 (third generation Sega Genesis system that sells for $20 in most stores) and pick up copies of the original games, which can be found many times brand new at Toys Ďrí Us or at a Funcoland.

3) Try Ebay.

Otherwise, I guess you could try the 3D title, but the camera is so incredibly awkward it destroys much of the enjoyment.

Best of luck.

_______________________________________

Hey Im havin trouble on level 8, Masquerade, of the new James Bond game, the world is not enough. I can't seem to escape Renards bomb alive, ive tried everything. Please help me, ive tried almost 100 times and im losing my mind, I need HELP!! Please get back to me asap...

Anonymous

Look to the answer below. And yes, this is the most moronic solution to a puzzle since Zork screwed up an entire generation of gamers.

_______________________________________

From: <Cdrom019@aol.com>

on the level masquerade what do you do at the end to escape the explosion cause when im running the door always shuts right when i get there i would appreciate it if you send me your reply

You have to jump and grab the hanging hook/chain with the yellow and black stripes. This will kick you into a cut-scene. Donít feel bad, unless you had seen the movie, it takes a while to figure out. My girlfriend had to tell me.

And you just barely escaped being filed under the new mailbag section, so be grateful we have similar tastes in games.

Read more mail!-->



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