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Haha, as you can see from the title of this post, I’m still in a GE mood. xP
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The soundtrack I’m recommending this time is a soundtrack from Granado Espada for an area called Ustiur Base Camp, and it’s called Grito Fuera… which means “cry out” when translated from Spanish using Google Translator. No idea why it’s called that, but the Spanish name is catchy!
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It’s a moderately paced trance soundtrack, and it’s a peaceful piece. Enjoy. =D

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Grito Fuera soundtrack from Granado Espada.
Note that I have nothing to do with the creation or posting of this video;
I merely posted it here in my blog.

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~Estrelita Farr, really in GE mood o_o

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Of course, when we play an online game, it’s important to have loads of resources so that we can make better choices in-game; these MMORPGs aren’t exactly a quick game, after all. Here’s a bunch of resources that I’ve gathered so far in my Granado Espada gaming!
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Though this list is posted while I’m currently in Granado Espada SEA version 3.2, hence the score is based on that.
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The resources:
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  • Granado Source: 3.5/5

    A pretty good place to look for the almost-complete list of guides, including RNPC recruitment guides. One gripe I have about the quest guide on this place is that it’s not exactly most recently updated; many of the quests now give glaziums (low grade, general grade, high grade, etc) for pioneering equipment, but it doesn’t say it. Another grip is, it’s pretty difficult looking for older posts if they’re not popular; there isn’t a list of categories to choose from.
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  • Distinguished Sword: 2/5

    Even more incomplete compared to Granado Source, especially the fact that its latest post is on a “new” NPC for version 2.4. Regardless, there are extra guides here that many other places don’t cover, such as the Hedgestone and Area Voucher quests, not to mention it also has a list of costumes that are possible to be gained, at least for people who like to look nice like me… except it also isn’t updated. Not so useful beyond that though.
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  • Book of Wind: 5/5

    A consistently updated Granado Espada site. The catch is, this site isn’t focused on guides and databases like others, but rather on characters. List of characters, combination buffs, stances and more, which will help in choosing which characters to be placed in your long term team. A pretty good place.
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  • Granado Cafe: 2/5

    An expansive database and explanation articles, which will help new players greatly. However, I don’t think it’s updated anymore; the latest piece of news is in 2007, so it may not have data on the newer stuff. Still, it helps a bit.
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  • Port Coimbra: 3.5/5

    An even bigger database compared to Granado Cafe, it has data on weapons, armour, shops and more. While it’s still being consistently updated, the only problem is that some of the names are different… because it’s based on Sword of the New World, not Granado Espada SEA version. Personally I don’t use this because it’s a bit of a hassle trying to find out the names of the equipment and stuff; going to the NPCs in-game is much more convenient. I don’t quite like the site design either, but that’s another story.

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I’ll update when I get more. @_@

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~Estrelita Farr, relies a lot on resources. x_x

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Usually, if I were to try a new game, I’d first hear about it from people online. Various places, such as gaming forums, review sites and more are places where I, like many people, look for new games to play. However, that’s not the case with World of Goo; I had been so busy for the past few weeks that I didn’t look for new games to play. Yep, I’ve been a good girl.
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I have a bunch of friends who install games in the Final Year Project lab at the university. Of course, it’s not like they play all day and do no work; on the contrary, they go there to work and play games during breaks.
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That’s when I first saw a friend play World of Goo.
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It’s such a cute game; I mean, who could resist those cute little blobs of goo? They squeal when you accidentally drop them, and if you put them into a structure (more of the gameplay later on), they stare at you with big curious eyes as though wondering what you’ll do to them next.
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It’s a mind-tickling game too. It’s based on physics, as in building structures and making sure that they don’t crash before you reach the goal. Sometimes you’re required to do more than just building structures; you’ll have to wake sleeping goo up!
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But first, before I go more into detail about the game, here’s a trailer:

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Official World of Goo trailer taken from YouTube.
Note that I have nothing to do with the creation or posting of this video;
I merely posted it here in my blog.

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It’s actually the second official trailer. I didn’t put the first trailer instead because I didn’t quite like it; it sped all the gameplay up and confused new people (like it did my friend).
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But anyways, now I’ll go deeper into the details of the game, and my thoughts on it!

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Artwork / Graphics:

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The first thing you’ll notice from the trailer is the stunning colours of the game. Different chapters of the game will give a different feel to the atmosphere; the happy summer beginning is filled with greenery and blue skies, a nice happy start to the game’s early stages; brown desert colours as we approach the autumn chapter in a windy desert; and so on.

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The Colourful Design of the World of Goo.
Source: http://wii.ign.com/

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These colours are pleasing to the eyes, making the game an attractive game to see, especially to people who usually prefer 2D games like me.
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It doesn’t matter if it’s not incredibly realistically 3D like Devil May Cry 4; a game doesn’t have to be 3D to be attractive, right?

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Music / Soundtracks:

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From the trailer, after the artwork / graphics, the next thing you’ll notice about the game is the music. Dramatic, full of vocals, mostly orchestrated (or, at least, it sounds orchestrated to me) and sometimes touched with percussion, the soundtracks adds on to the emotions created by the game, just like the track used for the trailer.
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Of course, not all soundtracks are dramatic and orchestrated; Captain of Polka is a fast-paced song, giving the players the excitement of building the highest tower of goo; Drive Slowly has a slow, dangerous feel to it, cautioning the players to proceed with care; Wind Through the Willows, a slow sad song that shows the desolation of a windy desert; and so on.
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For people who like orchestrated or slow songs, World of Goo is a great recommendation, available for download for free at Kyle Gabler’s Portfolio: World of Goo Soundtrack.
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Geez, I sound like a promoter now. x_x

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Gameplay:

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And, of course, the gameplay of the game is important; after all, without good gameplay, a game is of little value. Fortunately, World of Goo has a great gameplay, keeping players occupied and entertained for hours to end.
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World of Goo is a puzzle game with strong emphasis on physics, where the players build structures to reach towards the goal, not completely unlike the flash game Fantastic Contraption. There are five chapters in the World of Goo, each with varying number of stages, and in every stage, the player is given a different starting structure with varying number of goo balls (you may get a little as four clickable ones or as many as a hundred), distance to the goal, and terrains and obstacles to the goal, which may include, but not limited to, spikes, fire, blades, and more.

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The Different Ways of Reaching the Goal.
Source: http://www.gamesradar.com/

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The players will have to use each set of terrain to their advantage and build towards the goal, which, in many cases, is the pipe where the goo balls are sucked into. The catch is; each stage requires a certain number of remaining / unused goo balls to pass.
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Can you build a structure and still attain the number of goo balls left?
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Not only that, there are also several types of goo balls; the black ones, which can only attach to two others at the same time; the green ones, which can attach to three others and be detached from the structure; pink balloons that help to keep the structure up; water drop-like clear ones that only attach to one; and more.
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Other than the stages in the five chapters of the game, there is another stage called the World of Goo Corporation, where extra goo balls gained from each stage will go. Here, players can build a tower of goo as high as possible and submit their score to the online leaderboard.

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Storyline / Plot:

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Usually puzzle games have little to no storyline, as the focus is often on the gameplay. However, in World of Goo, there is a short plot; which is told mainly through short cutscenes (which occurs between every chapter) and even shorter messages on signs left all over the stages, which are written by the mysterious Sign Painter.
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As the game starts, we are presented with the curious and naïve goo balls, and we follow them around the summer island in search of adventure. As they reach the highest point of the island, they tried to go even higher by floating high into the sky, and there, they are able to see far and wide; a world much bigger than just their puny little island, where they can meet new kinds of goo!
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But the World of Goo Corporation then opens… what lies in store for the goo balls? What is this organisation up to?
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The storyline is a little subtle; while the Sign Painter’s messages are hints to help the players on the stage completion, they’re also often subtle messages that hint towards the storyline. The storyline are humourous and creative, added with a degree of silliness that makes it fun and entertaining.
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Yep, the storyline has a degree of silliness in it, with happenings that don’t make sense in the real world. For example, who would’ve thought it was possible to leave an island by grabbing onto floating eyeball things (filled with helium, maybe?) that are strangely strong enough to support a whole structure of goo?
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Of course, I don’t mean that the silliness is a bad thing; in fact, it’s greatly welcomed, we do need some humour in our lives. Not unlike how I enjoy watching cartoons sometimes!

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Is It Worth It to Get World of Goo?

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Of course! With great combination of colourful and cute design, expressive soundtracks, fun gameplay and interesting (though short) storyline, topped with humour and creativity like icing on a cake, who wouldn’t want to at least try the game?
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But hey, still not convinced? Well, here’s some extra resources for you!

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Reviews:

 

Downloads:

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Get it now! You’ll enjoy at least some hours of fun. =D

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~Estrelita Farr, who finished the whole game!

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There was one day after some time of absence from YouTube when I finally logged in; and it was then I saw this really cute video of the friendship between a cat and a rat.
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A cat that loves rat instead of chasing and playing with it? Of course it’s cute!
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I always thought humans could learn things from animals. Not things like how to scratch your head with your leg, of course… more like, how to coexist in harmony with each other.
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For example, in most (if not all countries), one can see the level of racism and how bad certain races are treated for, well, just being of that certain race. Some Chinese and Japanese people may still dislike each other (the hatred probably spawned from the Japanese occupation times), and many white and black people are often at odds with each other. How many people refused to vote for Obama simply because he was black? Even here in Malaysia, where we are proud to be multiracial, racism knows no bounds.
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Humans also seem to be the only creature capable of cruelty… What other creature would cause war among themselves and kill each other? What other creature would actually rape its young due to uncontrollable lust? Of course, animals might actually fight its own kind, like a stray tomcat defending its territory from a trespassing cat or a pair of male moose dueling each other to win the heart of the female, but never would they actually kill the other if they win… merely drive them away. In the animal kingdom, it’s a eat-or-be-eaten world, a tale of survival, but some people do unspeakable acts just for amusement.
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Sometimes, one couldn’t help but to feel sad.
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But, different animals could actually be friends with each other, like the video (which was supposed to be the main topic of this post, really o_o). Even at my house, the three cats and one dog at my house (originally two cats and two dogs, one dog died of old age and we recently got another cat) live together in harmony. Well, not in full harmony yet (my cat likes to bully the newcomer, once she’s gotten used to her…), but there are never fights among them in my house.
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Why can’t humans live in  harmony with each other when animals of different species could?
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Oh well, I guess it’s a question that I probably won’t get an answer to… not that I mind so much, anyway.
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Regardless, I recommend this video to all animal lovers! :D

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Note: This video is copywrited by the original author at YouTube. I had no hand in its creation, nor do I have any relation to its owner! I merely posted this video here for recommendation purposes.

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~Estrelita Farr, who finds the video cute!

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Haha, I’ve this craze over Whose Line is it Anyway? (US version) lately. xP
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In case you’re wondering what it’s about, it’s what they call a “short form improvisional comedy TV show”. We have four performers and a host, and the performers will improvise the scenes / songs / etc on the spot, using prompts from the host (predetermined) or the audience.
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If you want to know more, Wikipedia is the place to go!
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This particular YouTube clip of Whose Line? features a game called Hollywood Director, where Colin (the green-shirted guy) is a bigshot Hollywood director giving pointers to three actors to improve the scene. The current scene is Ryan (the tall, red-shirted guy), a prisoner doing a job of breaking rocks, and the warden, Chip (the blue-shirted guy), has something against him because he thinks he’s concealing a weapon. Wayne (the pink-shirted guy) attempts to bust Ryan out with a helicopter.
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Hopefully you’ll enjoy it! My favourite is the last scene, STOMP-style! :D

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Note: The video is uploaded by the guy at YouTube, I had no hand in its creation nor do I have any relation to the one who uploaded it!

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~Estrelita Farr, who likes the show!

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Note: This video isn’t made by me. It’s made by the guy at YouTube!

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One of my favourite opening themes. It’s so dramatic! I usually love game soundtracks that are orchestrated and dramatic, and this is one of them. xP

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~Estrelita, who likes orchestrated songs!

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Ta-da! Estrelita’s new story at FanFiction.net!!

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Breath of Fire III official art on the characters. Swiped from Wikipedia.org.

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Title: Breath of Fire III: Of Gods and Dragons

Based on: Breath of Fire III (PSX Game)

Type: Fantasy / Adventure RPG

Length: Twenty-eight chapters, one prologue, one intermission, one epilogue

Short Summary: Dragons. Great beings the Goddess deemed evil, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the heart of the bravest man. But they are now extinct, for reasons unbeknown to us… except for the last Dragon. This is his story.

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Read it here.

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A Partial Summary on the Storyline of Breath of Fire III:

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The world is advancing. People have discovered a new source of energy. Chrysm crystals, formed by the fossilisation of bodies of magical beings.
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Magical beings such as the extinct Dragons.
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Dragons, great beings deemed evil by the Goddess, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the bravest man.
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No one knows why they are extinct now.
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Deep in the Dauna Mine, two people discover a dormant Dragon whelp in the highest quality chrysm crystal they have ever seen. By their manager’s orders, they regretfully shattered the crystal to free the Dragon.
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Only to discover it is still alive.

The Dragon whelp, frightened out of its wits, is captured, but escapes as its cage rolls off the train and onto a cliff.
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A half-tiger and a young boy, hunting in the forest, discover a small, shivering boy hidden under the bushes.
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A boy, whose name is Ryu, who remembers nothing but his name. With nowhere to go, the duo take him in as their family, as brothers passing their days peacefully.
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But apparently these peaceful days are not to last long.
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They are targeted by strong members of the black market, whose attacks are intended to kill the trio.
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Ryu survives, and leaves the area in search of his family.
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Only to meet the attackers who have separated him from his friends.
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They try to kill him once more.
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He is pushed beyond limits. Filled with determination to protect the princess who saved him once.
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Unconsciously, he draws on the power of his heritage.
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He is not human.
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The blood of a Dragon flows within him.
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And there, the story begins.
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My Views on this Game’s Story, a.k.a. Why Choose This for a Novelisation?

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Back in my younger days when I used to play games all day long, the PS1 was my trusty companion. On that console was the platform for most of my favourite games; Alundra, Brave Fencer Musashi, Tales of Destiny, Azure Dreams, Legend of Legaia, Legend of Mana, Legend of Dragoon, etc… and of course, Breath of Fire 3.
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I’ve always loved Dragons. You could say that, among all races, Dragons are my favourite races. Hence, I’ve never liked stories with all evil Dragons (so I never quite liked the portrayal of western Dragons… too evil for my liking), but prefer stories with Dragons as legendary beings, powerful beings that humans can’t match.
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Dragons, in my view, aren’t actually reptiles, but actually avians – same category as birds. They don’t always breathe fire, they can also spew ice, lightning, and other sort of things, depending on the element they are. Even humans in the magical world have at least an element that they’re pretty good at, right? Same with Dragons. Not all will shoot fire or even use breath attacks – some may be good at speedy flying and clawing, some may be slow but really strong. But, even though I like stories with Dragon riders / trainers and such, I prefer them to be a noble race on their own, that can talk as well as humans do.
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But I’m getting rather sidetracked… the topic is, why Breath of Fire 3?
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Of course, the main reason would be: DRAGONS!!
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But there’s also Breath of Fire 1, 2, 4 and 5, you’d argue.
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True. But Breath of Fire 3 is my favourite one among all the BoF games. It’s the first Breath of Fire game I’ve ever played, and therefore my attachment to BoF3 is always the strongest. That’s why I chose BoF3 as my novelisation topic.
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By now, you’d think that my head works in simple ways, right? xP
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Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy reading my novelisation! I post new chapters regularly, around Saturday 12pm (GMT+8) every week, so you don’t have to hang on the uncertainty of wondering when a new chapter will be up!
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Also… please review. I take anonymous reviews, too. xP

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~Estrelita Farr, happy with Breath of Fire III!

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