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EGM Jan. '01 - A Dragon's Lair Movie?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 04, 2005   |   Episode 2 (Show Archive)  


JANUARY 2001: If EGM only knew what was going to happen in 2001 ...
The look, logo, staff, and consoles may have changed, but there's one thing that has remained the same since the very first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly nearly 17 years ago. And that is Quartermann, the man you call on when you want rumors, gossip, and speculation. Although his write up has gone under a number of different titles, a rumor section has appeared in every one of EGM's almost 200 issues. But what if I were to tell you that this rumor monger's facts were spotty, at best? What if I were to tell you that the rumors, while juicy, are often incorrect? Well ... that's precisely what I'm about to tell you, and to prove it we're prepared to look at his rumors one magazine at a time.

Here's what you need to know: In each episode we are going to take a different issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly and go through every single rumor the Q-Mann talked brought up. I'm going to write them up EXACTLY as they are in the magazine, and then explain the truth ... knowing what we know all these years later. We're not here to pull any punches, we're just curious to see how well the magazine holds up over the years. In our second episode we decided to look at EGM issue 138, January 2001.

Rumor #1 - Final Fantasy XI on the Xbox!
"... Square on Xbox?! Looks like Square might have more in mind for Final Fantasy XI than we all first knew. In addition to XI coming to both the PS2 and PC (in 2002), and Xbox version of the game is reportedly in the works. While Square HQ has been rapid-firing their "no comment" responses to all in the press who ask about it, the Q has learned that there are indeed Xbox dev kits

It's a shame the Xbox never saw any of the good Final Fantasy sequels!
at Square. And Microsoft is apparently making it very tempting for them to join Mr. Gates' cause. Since a PC version is coming, how much extra work would it take to convert the game? *WHOOSH* There goes the sound of Square being exclusively PS2. Did you hear it?"
Reality: The rule of thumb is that if you predict something and wait long enough, chances are it will come true. Ever since Square jumped ships and became good friends with Sony there have been rumors circulating about a return to Nintendo, a partner ship with Microsoft, and just about everything in between. Would Final Fantasy ever make its way to the Xbox? Sure, if you wait long enough.

Let's just get the debunking out of the way; Final Fantasy XI did not make its way to the Xbox. Square never decided to support Microsoft's first foray into the video game world, instead they stuck it out with Sony (and eventually made a couple of games for Nintendo). Rumors persisted that they Square and MS were close to an agreement, but it just never happened ... and so this rumor is false.

But if you waited half a decade you would find that this rumor eventually came true ... kind of. At this year's E3 Microsoft was proud to announce that Square-Enix would be developing a version of Final Fantasy XI for the (wait for it) Xbox 360. Not the Xbox, but MS's second attempt at the console market. They didn't have it running on Xbox 360 hardware yet, and the game won't come out for at least a year, but in a very small way EGM ended up being right. Some may say that this is the sound of Square leaving Sony, but judging by their current line-up it would seem as the PlayStation 2 owners still end up coming out ahead in this deal. We'll see how things shake up next generation.
Conclusion: There were never any Final Fantasy games on the Xbox ... but if you wait long enough you'll be able to play the eleventh installment on your Xbox 360. Does that mean EGM was right? Hell no!

Rumor #2 - A Dragon's Lair Movie?

There's no denying that we need Drik on the big screen!
"... Remember Dragon's Lair? Wasn't that a cool "game"? Well, OK ... maybe it was more of a cool-looking cartoon than packed with gameplay, but it was good for the early '80, darnit. Don Bluth, the guy behind it, is rumored to be in preproduction on a full-length Dragon's Lair movie based on the game and its sequels to be released in theaters in 2002. Those of us who remember the game fondly will certainly be at the theater on opening day for that one ..."
Reality: Don Bluth, Dragon's Lair, and just about everything associated with the franchise seems to be missing in action. Don hasn't made a movie in years, and all attempts to revive the Dragon's Lair name have failed miserably. There was no Dragon's Lair movie, only 3D version of the classic game. Oh Don, where have you gone? As much as I love debunking Electronic Gaming Monthly, I really would like to see a Dragon's Lair movie (though, not live action), it would be a great way of getting Don back on the map and people to remember all the exciting adventures they had with Dirk the Daring!
Conclusion: The Dragon's Lair movie never happened. Not in 2002, not in 2004, and probably not in the future. It's time to stick a fork in that series, because it's done!

Rumor #3 - One Ring Rules them All!

And I predict they'll make a game out of the new X-Men movie, too!
"... Speaking of movies, the Q and others will be there for opening day. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is going to be made into a video game if everything goes smoothly. Supposedly the bidding on the right to make said game has been fierce, with names like Activision, THQ and Codemasters reportedly entering the fray. But ultimately it looks like Electronic Arts will be doing the honors. That gives them Harry Potter, Bond and Tolkien. What's up with EA getting all the movie-licensed games these days, anyway? No that the Q is complainin' one bit - the N64 version of TWINE was phat, baby. As long as the games are good, they can keep churning them out ..."
Reality: Oh wow, how could EGM have predicted that the Lord of the Rings would be made into a game (or games, as the case ended up being)? Was it some special wizard magic that made them all psychic? Is this more proof that they are well connected? Or maybe, just maybe, it was so obvious that it didn't even need to be said. We're talking about a series of movies that cost over $400 million, movies that are all about swords, ogres, epic battles, and magic ... the real news would have been if somebody decided NOT to make games based on these movies. You don't see EGM reporting that they are making new Star Wars games, do you? What, oh yeah, I guess you do. Hmm ... I guess Quartermann just likes to throw in the obvious from time to time.
Conclusion: It wasn't the first time the Lord of the Rings had be brought to a game system, and I doubt it will be the last. Who knows, maybe EGM's next rumor will be about a new Madden game.

Rumor #4 - I Smell a Conspiracy!

The Record of Lodoss War game has put many people to sleep!
"... A new company called Conspiracy Games is entering the world of bringing Japanese games to the U.S. Its first title will be the Dreamcast RPG Record of Lodoss War, based on the mega-popular anime series ..."
Reality: Hey look at this, it's yet another thing Electronic Gaming Monthly got right! The Record of Lodoss War did in fact make its way to the Dreamcast, but it's one of the few games they brought to the U.S. from Japan (contrary to what this rumor says). Conspiracy Games did manage to bring over a few other Japanese games - including Bangai-O (a Treasure game that this very site panned, believe it or not) - but most of their titles since then have been more traditional North American fare. We're talking about Tiny Toon Adventures, the Land Before Time, Road Trip, the Flintstones, An American Tail, and even the Animaniacs. As a developer they were even worse ... Mix TV Presents: Eminem anybody?
Conclusion: EGM gets enough of this story right for me to consider it a well-reported rumor. But seriously, did we really need more Tiny Toon Adventures games??

Rumor #5 - Grandia II for Everybody?

Maybe if they wanted it to sell they should have put it on the Xbox, a system with very few quality RPG's!
"... Looks like Game Arts wasn't quite satisfied with the Japanese sales of its DC RPG Grandia II. So you know what that means, don't you? That's right - it's headed to Sony country. Grandia II on the PlayStation 2 will feature all-new eye candy using the system's power, enough to make the fanboys go sterile once again (and buy it again, of course). Sproing! The Q still has a place in his heart for the DC version, though ... and hey, the DC version'll be out in the U.S. way before the PS2 version sees the light in Japan. Sauce!"
Reality: Although EGM got this one right, I have a bone to pick with the Quartermann. At one point in this rumor he hints that the Dreamcast version will be out sooner, so you should just go out and buy that one instead. In fact, not only does he conclude that but he does it with a stupid sound effect ... and "sauce," whatever that's supposed to mean. The problem with the logic is simple, not everybody owns more than one game system. In a perfect world people would be able to buy all games, regardless of the system they are out on. But this is not a perfect world, and gamers have to make tough decisions from time to time. Would it be the PlayStation 2 or the Dreamcast? Thankfully Game Arts decided make sure that both sets of gamers got it. After all, Quartermann certainly isn't suggesting that they go out and buy a Dreamcast for Grandia II, is he? If so, I wonder how bad he feels considering that in January of 2001 (yes, the same month as this magazine) Sega officially killed the Dreamcast. Bad timing, Q-Mann, bad timing!
Conclusion: Yes he's right ... but if he's suggesting people buy a Dreamcast the same month as it's untimely death, then he's very, very wrong.

Rumor #6 - First Person Alice on a Console?

Don't confuse American McGee with Lucky McKee, the man who directed May!
"... While yours truly isn't one for the first-person shooters (though I did get to blast that darn Mark EGM guy through the roof a couple times in DC Quake III before he and friend Faust handed me my entrails on a platter), this lil' nugget is too interesting to ignore. American McGee (yes, a real guy whose name alone conjures up imagines of mullets 'n' pick-up trucks) and his game Alice will show up next year for either PS2 or Xbox. It's based on Alice in Wonderland and uses the Quake III engine ... hmmm ... looks like we aren't in Kansas anymore, Tot ... wait, wrong story ..."
Reality: Quartermann isn't much of a first-person shooter fan, eh? Why do I get the feeling that at some point down the road he's going to contradict that statement? Anyway ... Quartermann has the right description of Alice, but it certainly didn't manage to make it to the PlayStation 2 or Xbox like he said. As of today Alice is a PC-only title (and a Mac game, can't forget that). American McGee has gone on to make other console titles - including his upcoming satire, Bad Day L.A. - but not Alice, which is a real shame.

Since we got that rumor debunked in no time at all I thought I would go off topic a little bit. Hey Quartermann, how about not making fun of American McGee's name? Better yet, how about not making fun of ANYBODY'S name! After all, it's a guy named Cyril Lachel that is independently evaluating these issues; maybe you should have thought twice of making fun of people with interesting names! You're the one hiding behind a fake name, how about you tell us what you're stupid-ass name is and we'll take turns roasting your name. It's not like I stole my name from Spyship, the cult TV hit of the 1980s.
Conclusion: Conclusion American McGee has a unique name and makes really interesting games ... but Alice didn't come out on the PS2 or Xbox, so he's wrong yet again.

Rumor #7 - Still Waiting for the PS2 Ninja Gaiden?

At least this rumor didn't bring up DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball!
"... Development of Ninja Gaiden PS2 is still moving forward in Tecmo Japan's offices (like the Q told you a few months ago - it's lookin' good). But Team Ninja is not resting on its laurels. Apparently Dead or Alive 3 is already in the early stages of development, with a few members of Team Ninja already beginning pre-production work on the game ..."
Reality: Now I know what you're thinking, I'm going to go after Quartermann for suggesting that Ninja Gaiden was a PlayStation 2 title. But you're wrong, because in January of 2001 (which means this was written in late 2000) Temco hadn't sided with the Xbox yet. Ninja Gaiden started its life as a PlayStation 2 game, but as we all know now, it didn't stay that way. Neither did Dead or Alive 3, a game that Q doesn't put a system to. Both of these games ended up coming out, so EGM was right that they were being worked on. Some may still conclude that this rumor is inaccurate, but at the time I have a hunch that this report was dead on. I have a hunch there are a few PS2 owners that still wish this rumor was 100% accurate.
Conclusion: Ninja Gaiden was in production, Dead or Alive 3 was in production ... unfortunately for Sony, both ended up switching sides and making the Xbox their home.

Rumor #8 - Luigi's Mansion is "Freaking Awesome"

Run Luigi, run from your terrible debut on the GameCube! Better luck next time!
"GameCube status report #00005 - hardware done, games going full steam ahead. The new Mario/Luigi game is going to be freaking excellent. The Big N plans to have a smorgasbord (I love that word) of titles available for both the Japanese and U.S. launches later this year. And if Current reports are right, the system will be priced very competitively with both Xbox and PS2. It brings a tear to the eye of this crotchedy old newshound to see Nintendo actually gearing up for a big hardware splash. Next year is going to be such a good time for games, it makes me shiver just thinkin' about it ..."
Reality: This rumor isn't necessarily wrong, but it does beg me to ask a few questions. For starters, the Q man does realize that 00005 and 5 are the same number, right? Had he put .00005 or 50000 that might have been a different story, but #00005 is still the number five. And what's with the guy talking up games he clearly haven't played? The new Mario/Luigi game is going to be freaking awesome? Way to guess based on Nintendo's previous track record. For what it's worth, neither Super Mario Sunshine nor Luigi's Mansion were "freaking awesome" ... one of them was a good game, but they certainly weren't "freaking awesome."

Quartermann also concludes that the Nintendo launch will have a "smorgasbord" of games available at launch ... sadly that wasn't the case. Sure it wasn't like the Nintendo 64 launch (which launched with only a couple of games), but compared to the Xbox and PlayStation 2, the GameCube barely had any software at first. Of course there were a few good games, but when you start to "shiver" about how good the line up is going to be then you might just be overselling things a bit. If you're going to be hyperbolic about any launch game it should be Halo, most people would have probably agreed with him if he called that game "freaking awesome."
Conclusion: Quartermann is beyond vague here, but even then he manages to get a lot of it wrong. I know it's easy to talk up games based on your favorite franchises, but when you look back at it now it really shows that he hadn't yet experience Mario Sunshine or the suck that was Luigi's Mansion.


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