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Nerds Without Pants Episode 113: The Fourth is With Us

Can't believe how many of you got the wrong answer...

Welcome to another episode of Nerds Without Pants! I’m gonna level with you: this is either going to be your favorite episode of the year, or the thing that makes you yell at Julian, who has clearly gone mad with editing power. With that warning out of the way, let’s get to it!

00:00-05:34: Intro

05:50-1:01:47: Stage Select- Who is the team you would put together to make one last game for your studio?

1:02:58-2:03:49: Consumption Junction- The NWP wish list for the rumored Super Nintendo Classic, Prey demo, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Angelo on VR, Julian’s collecting woes, NieR Automata

2:04:12-2:26:44: Chrono Crossing- 1995

2:26:59-2:33:51: Outro and outtakes


STAGE SELECT: What are your top three favorite “tropes” in video games?

CHRONO CROSSING: What is your favorite game of 1994?



John Williams- Star Wars Theme

Brenden Small- Starboy

Splender- Spaceboy

Bill Murray- Star Wars

Super Star Wars- Luke Skywalker’s Theme

“Weird” Al Yankovic- The Saga Begins




Super Step Contributing Writer

05/10/2017 at 08:37 PM

Ok ... I might not have time to listen during finals week and when a billion grades are due, but I'm super curious what Julian did to piss everyone off. lol 

Casey Curran Staff Writer

05/12/2017 at 01:19 AM

Stage Select

3. Almost breaking the fourth wall- Video games are ridiculous and writers pointing this out without breaking the fourth wall is funny. I especially love when it's done with how ridiculous or impractical a game's mechanic is within a story context, like when Shepard and Liara talk about how you can't use omni gel to hack doors anymore in Mass Effect.

2. When a random NPC turns out to be a boss- Bonus points if he/she comes off as a joke character. These are always fun surprises because every RPG has its unimportant characters so I never see it coming. Persona 4 did this especially well without spoiling anything.

1. Recruiting a sociopath in a Bioware game- Characters like Black Whirlwind, Wrex, HK-47 and Shale have the funniest one liners, the most interesting outlooks on the universe, and the best backstories. I make sure they're always in my party. 


Chrono Crossing 

My 1994 pick is Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Both parts came out in 1994 and they wouldn't make it separate but together the two created sidescrolling perfection. There's nothing like a Genesis Sonic level where levels encouraged both rushing through as quickly as possible and exploring for secrets which was enhanced by three unique characters. There's a reason why twenty years later after so many underwhelming games I'm still a Sonic fan.

Also "And Knuckles" might be my favorite meme ever

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/15/2017 at 02:15 AM

Sorry about the late Giantbomb application Julian. I think you'd be a great fit but I'd hate to see NWP go away. Though I don't see why itd have to unless it's too much to do both. I think the spot filled but who knows what could happen down the line.

I loved the Price is Right theme for Stage Select. There was only 1 right answer, even for me. I couldn't not pick it. I love the music and Frogs Theme is my favorite piece of music from those days. I forced myself to learn how to whistle just to whistle that song.

Also did you know that Ozzie, Flea, and Slash make an appearance in Chrono Cross? In NG+ you can go to a hidden island on the map. It turns out to be The Bend of Time. You have to do the 3 laps like in Trigger. Then you face off against the trio. Each has a great item to steal also. But the coolest part is if you use Sprigg and she finishes them off, she has a chance to dopplegang them later. So they can be teammates in a manner of speaking.

You should check out Yu Yu Hakusho if fighting anime is your thing. I even got my wife into it. The characters have some heart and it isn't 1000 episodes so It's actually watchable. 

Chrono Crossing: Super Metroid
It's not even close. This game was perfect. I'm sure Julian has already sung it's praises so I'll just ask: Did any of you play Axiom Verge and if so, does it fill that hole Nintendo drilled into our hearts?

Stage Select:

3. Exploding Barrels: Who cares how little sense it makes? Few things are more satisfying then blowing guys to hell with a single bullet. Just Cause 3 comes to mind.

2. QTE boss endings: I love crazy cinematic cutscenes where you wreck enemies in ways not possible in game. God of War comes to mind. That fight against Hercules was brutally awesome.

1. CG Cutscenes: Even in today's world where graphics are amazing, I'm still fond of some highly detailed CG technology. Chrono Cross is the first I really recall but damn was the Lost Odyssey opening awesome. Should have had that on my Top 3 favorite openings. Kicking myself now.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/17/2017 at 12:46 AM

I'm glad the Price is Right horn didn't annoy everyone!

Catherine Hauser Staff Alumnus

05/15/2017 at 03:24 PM

Stage Select:

3.That moment in RPGs when you suddenly lose everything/can only use one skill/things are backwards. While it may be annoying at first, it really changes up gameplay in something you're putting 50+ into. For example, the dungeon area of FF9 where the original or weakest weapons suddenly did the most damage.

2. CG Cutscenes: I feel like these are my reward for putting time into something and I appreciate these little mini movies whenever they appear.

1. The specific to Zelda "Link does not talk" expectation. Even in BotW, I was glad he didn't speak. I'm fine with his little grunting noises and his random arm gestures when he's speaking to NPC's, because what if they gave him a voice and it was TERRIBLE? Let's face it, most of the voices in BotW were bad. Just let Link be, he's made it this far.

Crono Crossing 1994: Final Fantasy VI, Super Metroid just behind it. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 was also great for GameBoy.


05/16/2017 at 02:34 PM

Stage Select:

3) A rival that is always your equal. Vergil in the Devil May Cry series as an example. I always find it entertainting how the relantionship between you and your rival evolves throughout the course of a game.

2) Paragon/Renegade system. Mass Effect and inFamous are the two the come to mind. Seeing how events play out or what powers/abilities your character got gave me a reason to play KOTOR and Mass Effect multiple times in succession. 

1) Alternate endings. Whether it be one or multiple alternate endings, I always appreciated more reasons to go back to a game. Sometimes alternate endings require you to play a different way or get an item you were not aware of the first time around. 


Chrono Crossing (1994):

As a Sega Genesis owner, it was Sonic & Knuckles. I probably would've still picked it had I owned a SNES because I am not a Metriod fan. Mortal Kombat II is a honorable mention. I remember playing the demo for Sonic & Knuckles in the store as a kid and my mom having to drag me away from it when it was time to leave. The fact you could attach Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 to it and play as Knuckles in those games was pretty awesome as well. It was probably my favorite game in the series next to Sonic 2. 

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/16/2017 at 10:15 PM

Damn good list. I think I'd have used yours if I thought of those. Another good one is the teammate who's vastly cooler. Its hard to think of a JRPG that has a main character who is the coolest character. I love alternate endings also. Hence my love for the Chrono Series. 


05/17/2017 at 08:00 PM

thank you. it was kind if tough to determine what constituted a trope. i was thinking about it for a bit. 

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/16/2017 at 10:23 PM

Julian I also just finished Breath of the Wild the other day. I definitely side with you on the score. I think nostalgia is a powerful thing for the Zelda series. I'd go solid 9 at most but more around 8-8.5.

The world traversal is by far the best in any game I've played. I want a Horizon Zero Dawn 2 using that same feature. The shieldboarding was great too. Outside of that though it was pretty lackluster. I don't get the people who want to keep playing non-stop. To each their own I guess.

The rain was pretty annoying. Especially one area where I think it never stops until you finish a shrine. I didn't know that. I sat and waited for a half hour til I fell asleep in my chair after a long work day. Turned it on the next day while watching TV and finished a whole show still waiting. I eventually said screw it.

I think it may have been the super hype that got to me. So many prefect scores and so many of my podcasts praising it like the second coming. I think your opinion was the only one I've heard that wasn't enormous praise. I'm looking forward to the next one for sure but I'd be happy with a more traditional dungeon model next time. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/17/2017 at 12:45 AM

Yeah, upgrade the combat system, add some real dungeons, and streamline some of that Japanese/Nintendo user interface jank and you have a recipe for a near perfect Zelda game. Like, that inventory system is terrible, and even selling or buying items is super annoying. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/17/2017 at 11:38 AM

Art of Blazblue/GG and music of Final Fantasy ... Surprised I love the combos in Guilty Gear games ... trick to unlocking any fighting game: pick easy-to-use character and trust the half circle.

That was an interesting stage select. I've been up since noon yesterday grading 60 portfolios and other things, so I kind of went in and out when Julian started discussing Gunpei Yokoi, but now I want to hear what he did or didn't do. Michael117's idea sounded like a really cool PC game.


#3. Self-referencing humor, as seen in Mario RPGs like Paper Mario; I think Saints Row has some too, only I didn't pick up on the references in IV, since that's the first one I ever played.

#2. Characters bringing attention to the fact you aren't playing for a long time; Sonic had his finger wag, now people on the TV just yell at you ... or maybe that's just what I hear ...

#1. Unlocking more story as a reward. I feel as if 1998 kind of jumpstarted this trend, even if it was somewhat in place before. Once OoT and MGS came out, we all stopped caring about scores. 


Mega Man X2 ... I thought the opening cutscene with the speeder bikes was AMAZING and I could remember Flame Stag's stage and music so vividly well, as well as that opening robot fight. I know this is 2 MM picks in a row for me, but MMX2 honestly was one of my favorite games growing up and I'd rent it all the time. 

My runners up included Donkey Kong Country, Uniracers, Killer Instinct, and Cruisin' USA if we count arcades. Apparently I gamed more at 4 than I thought before; quite a score ... of games!

I'll come back to comment on the rest of this episode. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/17/2017 at 01:10 PM

Basically, while Yokoi has been credited as the father of the Gameboy, it was Okada Satoru who made the system what we actually got. This isn't the article I was talking about, but it covers much of the same ground. 

Still, Yokoi was lead on a lot of major Nintendo projects, and he was the director of Super Metroid, so he's good in my book. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/17/2017 at 08:36 PM

Thanks for sending me the article, sir! I love behind the scenes stuff like that, even if it's about a product i don't care too much about (but i did like game boy so even better)


05/17/2017 at 08:24 PM

Stage Select (3 favorite video game tropes)

3. Space Marines. I love the lore, atmosphere, and visual aesthetic of Warhammer 40k. The series has had a massive influence on video games as you can see in Doom Guy, Master Chief, Gears of War, and tons of military sci-fi. Covering a genetically altered solider in massive armor and dropping him or her into the middle of a horde of numerically superior enemies is awesome, even though it's been done to death. For the Emperor!

2. Every story in a Splinter Cell game being a convoluted rabbit hole down into the military industrial complex. You'll investigate a terrorist and he'll lead you to defense contractors, private military companies, a computer programmer, and eventually you'll end up in the offices of politicians and CEO's that profit off the war. Nothing supernatural, no proper Shyamalan twists, just straight up politics, espionage, and the jargon that comes with it.

1. Metal Gear in all its iterations. It isn't that practical to have a walking tank that can shoot nukes since Snake proves in each game they can be taken down somewhat easily, and nuclear submarines or ICBMs can bomb anywhere in the world in minutes anyways, but the concept of a walking nuke tank is thematically awesome and audacious, so I loved seeing it come back in every game. Metal Gear?!?!

Chrono Crossing 1994

Didn't have to deliberate at all, it's Doom 2. Whip out the super shotgun and turn all of Hell into piles of guts!


05/17/2017 at 09:29 PM

Bah weep grah nah weep nini bong! Just wanna say thanks for helping me register to the site Julian! (Or whomever helped me on Twitter) I sincerely appreciate it! You guys are the best, keep up the great work!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/18/2017 at 12:35 AM

You used the universal greeting?! Welcome, sir! I humbly accept your energon goodie.


05/17/2017 at 10:02 PM

I know that speculating about the SNES Classic is all the rage right now but I’ll be surprised if they make one at all. Despite being a publically-traded company, Nintendo has shown time and again that making money is not their primary concern. The NES Classic is a prime example. Demand for it still had not been met—there was a lot more money to be made off that thing!—but Nintendo discontinued it because money was never their goal. They had no big games for the holidays but needed to keep their name in the public mindshare. The NES Classic did the trick. Now that the Switch is selling gangbusters, they are probably prepping it for Virtual Console (or perhaps some new Classic-branded service). Why sell NES games for the equivalent of $2 a pop when you can sell them for $5 or more? They want you to buy a Switch. So while an SNES Classic would make a gob ton of money right now, that’s not what Nintendo is after and that’s why I don’t think we’ll see one at all.


3. Hero’s village is destroyed—This is especially true in RPGs. I hope you don't have any beloved family members, little protagonist dude!

2. Elevator with no power—In any other medium the hero would just get in the working elevator...or take the stairs...but in games you always have to restore the power first. Dang those faulty but easily fixed generators!

1. Losing all abilities after opening—This is mostly true of Metroid but I know it happens in other games sometimes too. Though it sucks to go down to being a weakling, that opening taste of power is awesome.


We got our Super Nintendo between the release of the SNES Final Fantasies (let’s call them by their actual numerals for clarity’s sake). While we rented FFIV from the local grocery store quite a few times (and eventually acquired our own copy nearly a decade later), it was Final Fantasy VI that made such a lasting impact on my childhood. Thanks to Nintendo Power we knew the game was coming and we scrounged together all the money we could. We had $80 by the time the game came out but then couldn’t find a copy anywhere. My dad drove us to store after store to no avail. Finally we tried Service Merchandise, an overpriced big box electronics store that went out of business a few years later. They had one copy…for $90. My dad let us get it anyway, bless his heart. I can’t tell you how many times we played that game in the years that followed. Never had we seen a game with such an epic story fraught with drama, intrigue, and adventure. The cast was great. The soundtrack was fantastic (we totally recorded it on cassette tapes to listen to). I think I can safely say that no other game made a bigger impression on me as a kid. I haven't played it in years but I'd love to go back and join the Returners once again.

One other thing. I was wondering the other day what you'll do when you run out of years for Chrono Crossing and, hindsight being 20/20 and all, it occurred to me that maybe you should have alternated Chrono Crossing with Stage Select. And that would cut out an hour+ on most of the episodes, which I would certainly appreciate. Sometimes it's really hard to fit in listening to NWP because the episodes are so dang long! You could still start alternating but most of the years, especially those people really care about, are already behind us. But assuming you replace Chrono Crossing with something else eventually, I'd definitely urge you to consider an alternating schedule for the show segments.

Now, time to wait and see if my post actually makes it into the episode this time...

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/18/2017 at 12:39 AM

Chrono Cross will be ending once we get to 1985, which will be a special episode. After that, we'll be announcing our new segment, which I'm excited to debut.

I know the show is long. We might look into streamlining Stage Select so it is under an hour. I've actually had a lot of feedback that is in favor of the longer episodes, but that's surely because we're bi-weekly.

Exrian Contributing Writer

05/20/2017 at 10:41 PM

I am one of those who enjoys the longer shows. I would actually like them longer sometimes. If only so we could get some good Consumption Junction talk. That extra episode a few weeks ago was great. I'm assuming once 85 is done then it'll probably return to that. It'll be similar to how the show was before Stage Selct but when we still had Chrono Crossing. 


I really enjoy the interactive appeal of the show. I think Stage Select was a great idea. Maybe every few weeks, people could post a stage select topic down the line. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/24/2017 at 02:06 PM

I'm excited about the segment that will be replacing Chrono Crossing. It will also be interactive, and will share some of the traits of Chrono Crossing. 

Here's what I have in mind going forward:

1. Restructuring Stage Select to move a bit quicker (it was intended to be a 30-40 minute segment, not an hour and a half).

2. Giving a bit more time to Consumption Junction (unless we just don't have much; episode 114 is one of the shortest CJ segments to date).

3. Spend a few episodes getting the new segment ready after the 1985 Chrono Crossing, which will be a special episode looking back at the segment. Those episode will be shorter since the new segment won't debut right away.


05/18/2017 at 02:37 AM

Part of me is super interested in the idea of SNES Classic but I know the same thing will happen that did with the NES Classic. I'll start looking to buy one for the historical importance of the games on it, see the price tag, and then start wondering if maybe I should just buy a few games on the 3DS digital store (which I will forget about at some point...) Anywho. 


3. The One Enemy Who Isn't - From Legion (ME2) to Fawkes (Fallout 3) it always delights me to find the one follower, companion or party memeber who is somehow better then his compatriots whom you have mowed down hundreds off, and then decides to join you. 

2. Riding around on a Motherf&#$ing Dragon - Dragons are awesome. Flying is awesome. What more do you need?

1. The Robot/Non-Human Creature in search of the comprehension/acceptance of humanity - I love this trope. Assuming it is done well, it always strikes me as heartbreakingly sad, and it usually ends in a way that is uplifting, with hillarity in between. Examples being: Aigis (Persona 3), Bau (Lufia and the Ruins of Lore), and the Androids of Neir: Automata. 

Chrono Crossing - I thought for sure I wouldn't have a game for 1994 but low and behold I did. Final Fantasy 6. Oddly enough I have never personally played the entire game (or even most of it). When I was a youngster riding the bus to school I would listen to my friend tell me about FF6 on his SNES. I got to try it once, for about an hour and I was in-love. It wasn't until much later that I got to play more of it on the PS1. But the disc was scratched and I couldn't complete the game. Recently, I was given a GBA copy by a great person, *(But I'm saving my first complete play through to play along, with the Square Roots Podcast). Despite never getting to complete the game, Steampunk and Post-apocalyptic themes remain some of my favorites in all forms of media.

* - Entirely at the hosts whim to read. I don't want to shamelessly plug unless you folks don't mind. 


05/18/2017 at 05:35 AM

Legion and Fawkes are amazing, those are some of my favorite companions. I was pleasantly surprised by how great their writing was and how interesting they were. Super good characters that made me totally rethink how I viewed the races I'd been killing


05/31/2017 at 06:59 PM

Right?! I was 17 when I first saw this take place on screen and it made me pretty uncomfortable to stop and think about all the games I had played and not stopped long enough to find out if maybe one of those dudes I had just massacred might have not wanted to fight. 

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

05/18/2017 at 05:58 PM

Chrono Crossing 1994

Without question it's Super Metroid. My first game in the series was Metroid II and I was estatic when my brother brought home Super Metroid and we saw that sweet prologue that picked up where the previous game left off.

Nintendo hit it out of the park in terms of gameplay, music, and erie atmospher. Interestingly enough, exploring planet Zebeth in this version helped me to find certain secrets in the original Metroid and finally beat it.

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/22/2017 at 07:00 PM

Can the next Stage Select be a number of games everyone would want for SNES Mini we'd actually trade in for other games? For instance, "what 3 obvious games would you replace with lesser known titles for your more personal list?" 

Rogue One's main problem for me is I just could not care less about the characters, except maybe the humorous robot. I actually felt worse when he died than when human characters did (even if the way certain human characters went was eerily beautiful). They're not bad characters, but they're not really explored enough to be interesting to me. 

Otherwise, I liked the story and action better than other Star Wars movies. I like that Gareth Edwards at least had more interesting stuff happening in the first two acts this time, so it the third act wasn't weighted quite as heavily over the first two as it was in Godzilla (2014). Having said that, the third act still blows everything else out of the water and I still think it's a bit slow to get there at times, but I was at least vaguely interested in the first two acts of Rogue One and would watch all of it at home, where I'd FF through much of Godzilla (2014) were I to watch it at home. 

The CG on Tarkin honestly didn't occur to me until the Internet pointed it out, because I was not aware of the actor's passing. Leia looked SUPER OBVIOUS CG to me, perhaps because I was aware of her having aged beyond that look, but it didn't bother me too much since she was only there for a second. I actually thought Jeff Bridges in Tron:Legacy was fine the first time I saw it, but found it more noticeable later. I still say Captain America: The First Avenger has been the most convincing facial CG so far to me (though that is also obvious upon subsequent viewings, especially because of the proportions).

I'll be interested in VR when I'm able to test it. Until then, its price range (PSVR is the ONLY one I'd even consider) and the fact I'm unable to really try it where I am makes it nonexistent to me ... even though I'm excited for its future. 

I've been having the itch to pick my guitar back up and learn some AudioSlave and SoundGarden songs since Chris Cornell's passing, and Rocksmith has me really curious. 

I hate checkpoint systems now. To be honest, I just feel those should only exist in the context of "only kids with that amount of time play this." Otherwise, I think checkpoints should be optional. I'd still turn them on for something like Metroid, but for me it's often more of a time issue than a difficulty one and just ends up being unnecessarily inconvenient.

I've never played Chrono Trigger, so I was never going to pick it. Tongue Out Can't wait to hear your rant about color though. Re: New Game Plus, Wikipedia (the greatest source on Earth that I totally wouldn't answer with a Patrick Stewart hands-in-face meme if I saw a student put that on a paper): The term was coined by the 1995 role-playing video game Chrono Trigger,[1] but examples can be found in earlier games, such as Digital Devil Story: Megami TenseiThe Legend of Zelda, and Ghosts 'n Goblins. I think it depends on what your definition of NGP is. I'm guessing Chrono Trigger let you use all the items and abilities you obtained on your second playthrough, while the inclusion of LoZ tells me they just mean a second game within the game. 

I think the mention of Robot Jocks caused the audio to change ... lol 

Comix Zone looks so cool, but I wonder if I'd be able to get very far in it. The fact he beat it 50 times is impressive to me despite having never played it, since it's known for difficulty. 

I almost picked Yoshi's Island lol. I love the art style. Again ... I miss color. When you say N64 "version" .... ? All I remember is Yoshi's Story, which was its own thing.

I'm not bothered by "feminist." I consider myself one. I don't think it means what a lot of people try to torture that word to mean. I'll donate if it's in my budget, but I may have got a bit crazy celebrating the end of my third semester teaching ... 

Always good to hear Weird Al; didn't realize he did that song to the tune of "American Pie." I need to look into his stuff more. 

What is that "keep firing assholes" thing at the end from?

Julian Titus Senior Editor

05/24/2017 at 02:11 PM

Yeah, Zelda was a new, more challenging quest. My knowledge of the MegaTen games is very surface level, but the specific thing about Chrono Trigger's new game plus was that you kept your levels, gold, items, and abilities from the previous play through. My characters were close to level 99 when I beat the game the first time, so I could fly through the game by one shotting every enemy and boss until the last couple dungeons or so. 

When Angelo and I mention feminism the way we did, it's specifically the hyperbolic Tumblresque type, which I just can't abide. I'm for equality, not a war of the sexes. wound me. That was Dark Helmet from Spaceballs at the end. It was the final joke in my "Star Wars Day episode that goes out of its way to reference actual Star Wars stuff".

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/24/2017 at 09:28 PM

I watched part of spaceballs on Netflix i think. I'll watch it if it's still there or on hulu.

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