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Ask Dan was a feature on Nintendo of America's website that was created by Dan Owsen. Owsen would receive e-mails from Nintendo fans and would do his best to reply to them. Below are some of the questions and answers present on the site:

Excerpts

December 3, 1997

December 3, 1997—Welcome to the first Ask Dan for the new web site! First off, I wanted to say thank you for all the questions for Mr. Miyamoto. In my interview with him, I only got a chance to ask a few of them. I'll post those soon. Lately, I've been deluged with e-mail about the new site design. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive, although many people have come up with some great constructive criticism that we'll certainly take into consideration. One thing that will not happen, however, is a return to the old look and departments. The Loud House, Product Lab, Newsroom and HQ are gone FOR-EV-ER! Everything that was in those departments has been or will be moved over to the new site design. We're adding new things everyday, so check back soon if you can't find something now. With that, let's get on to the questions.

Q: WHY DID THIS ALL HAVE TO HAPPEN??? AND SO QUICK WITH NO WARNING! I cant stand the new look!! The graphics ARE cool, but they just don't have the same cozy and homey feel that I got when I wandered into NPS just a day ago. What horrible beast possessed them to change the site's look?? And what's with the "Nsiders"? It just doesn't have the same nice friendly sound that "The Loud House" had. I believe that this is the beginning of the end for NPS It has reached its golden age, and now is starting to fall, all marked with the new graphics. Please, if nothing else change the name back to "The Loud House" Thanks for your time --Flight16 (NSIDER name)

A: Hey Flight, as one of our chat regulars, you of all people should have known that the web site was going to change! We've been talking about it for almost six months now. I think the new graphics are brighter, more colorful and more friendly than ever. They fit a lot better with Nintendo's image, which is FUN! The Loud House was over a year old, and was based on our slogan of the time, "Play it Loud!" That was two slogans ago! We thought it was high time for some change around here. The NSIDER was created to be the place for Nintendo insiders to get together and talk Nintendo. I know I'll see you there!

Q: Hi, congratulations on your new web site, I think it is a great improvement. But I have a question: are there still downloadable sounds that you had on your previous site, like the Loud House? Because I really liked listening to music and stuff, I didn't find anything on that, but if there is, will you tell me where, and if you don't, I think you should make one. Also, I like the new search Code Bank, I think it makes it more convenient, but most of the time I type in a word, and nothing happens: like "Star Fox", or "Diddy Kong", the only successful one that has worked was "Turok", what do you think is wrong? --<EjUkAtiD@aol.com>

A: We haven't added the new downloads section yet. We're thinking about doing this in two ways. For the top games, we'll have a link to a downloads area from the game review. We'll also have exclusive downloads that are only available to registered NSIDER members. In the Code Bank, if you enter the name for a game that doesn't have codes, like Star Fox 64, it will now come up with a message telling you that no codes were found. We held off on revealing the Diddy Kong Racing codes, but since they're now widely available, we featured them in Code of the Week, and we'll add them to the Code Bank soon.

The new site, I think, is better than the old one. But I was looking for a few games, but couldn't find some, for instance, Zelda 64. I think that there needs to be a site where you can search for a game, and info about that game or sites linking to that game would pop up. Other than that, I think it is a great place. --Rebecca Shaw <reshaw@intrcom.com>

A: We haven't updated all of the old content yet, and there are some old previews and stories that we will not be converting to the new format. Instead, we'll create entirely new stories on those games. Zelda 64 is currently covered in our Space World ‘97 review, and we'll be adding more screen shots, movies and updates as they become available. We've also added a game list that links to the available articles on a game. Our eventual plan is to make the game list more like an index to the site that links to the content we have on a game, but that project will take some time to program and implement.

Q: I have recently been angered to the delay of Zelda for the N64. Why has it been delayed again???? I mean if you don't know when a game is going to be ready don't give us a release date. If it's going to be out in Japan possibly by April 98 when do you think it will come out here in the U.S. ???? --<McBane1324@aol.com>

A: If you've been a fan of Mr. Miyamoto's games, you should know by now that you can't rush THE MAN. He's simply going to take the time to make the game as good as it possibly can be, and it just won't come out before it's ready. Delays are always bad news, and we get frustrated by them too, but the good news is, the game will be great. If the game is in fact released in Japan by April 1998, I would say it might come out in the US by around July or August of 1998, but that's just my guess. From what I saw of the game at Space World, it will be worth the wait.

Q: Hey Dan, I read on www.nintendo.com that one of the Mario Artist series comes with a special cartridge that lets you load video on it. Will the American version have this? Or will it be one of those nifty and tantalizing accessories that you show us from Japan but never makes it to the U.S.? --<--AJLarrea@aol.com>

A: As far as I know, the Capture Cartridge will be available in the US. It hasn't been decided yet if it will be packed in with the Mario Artist software, or the 64DD, or what. A cost and release date for the system also hasn't been announced yet.

Q: Just moments ago I came upon the 64DD portion of the Space World report and was amazed. The creative power that would be made available to gamers with that software is incredible. It seems obvious to me that the real applications for those programs would be the ability to import files from them into games. For example, you could render yourself in 3D by using the image capture device, move that file to a game like Zelda 64, and then play as yourself instead of Link. You could even design your own vehicle for F-Zero X. Are there any plans to do something like this? --<bmerrell@netw.com>

A: Mr. Miyamoto did say that F-Zero X would be compatible with the 64 DD. He did mention that it may be possible to get new tracks, edit tracks and edit your car, although I don't know if that meant putting new texture maps on it. It hasn't been decided if Zelda 64 will be compatible with 64DD, but I doubt that it would be possible to put your own face on Link.

Q: Hey Dan, I have a question. In Golden Eye there is a way to set off a Remote Mine without your watch. How do you do that? --<Maxim13@aol.com>

A: Press the A and B Buttons simultaneously after you place the mine, and it will explode.

Q: Umm well Duke Nukem 64 is out but I can't find it's home page. I need a site that gives you weapon specs, baddies, levels and the items in the game. Along with the story and some screen shots of course. Could you please put this on your ask dan section? I think a lot of Duke fans want to know the site too. --Brant Mackey "The Duke of Dukers" <brantf@hotmail.com>

A: Duke Nukem is up at:
http://www.nintendo.com/n64/dukenukem/index.html.
We'll be adding maps soon.

February 4, 1998 (Ask Henry)

February 4, 1998—This week, we are honored to have a special guest! Henry, the now-famous NOA game producer who's worked on such titles as NBA Courtside and Killer Instinct, has generously donated his time to answer some of your questions. (Basically, this is the guy with our dream job.) You may recognize Henry as the face appearing on several back issues of Nintendo Power Magazine, circa Volume 73. Ask Dan will return in another week or so.

Now that the introductions and niceties are out of the way, let's get down to the questions!

Q: Hey Dan I saw in the review for NBA In The Zone has a create player option. Is NBA Courtside going to have this feature as well? I have read virtually all the reviews on these two games and my choice would be Courtside but without create a player I think I'm going to go with In The Zone.

Q: Dear Dan, please tell Henry that if he doesn't plan to include a create player feature in NBA Courtside I think he's making a big mistake. I think it's really cool to create a player using your own name, or making M.J.

A: Well, these letters are perfect timing for my guest appearance. Creating a player is normally a very fun feature that I personally use when I play basketball games. So, NBA Courtside WILL absolutely have a create player mode. Not only will it have it, but it will be the best create player mode to date. Of course, I may not have to create my own player for me to be in the game. ;)

Q: I am contemplating whether to buy N64 or Playstation. I would rather have N64, but right now it seems that there aren't too many sports games available on this system. Could you please tell me if there are any plans for basketball or football games, especially NCAA, for N64? Also, will N64 be releasing any EA Sports games on their system? Thank You.

Q: Where are all the basketball, baseball, and tennis games for n64?

A: As you probably heard, not only have licensees began making great N64 sports games, but Nintendo is launching the Nintendo Sports series with NBA Courtside in April and Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball in May of this year. This, of course, is just the beginning. Acclaim has NHL Breakaway 98, and All-Star Baseball, GTI has Mike Piazza's Strikezone, Konami has NBA In the Zone on Febuary 12th, and EA has just announced a sequel to the recently released FIFA: Road to the World Cup. We still do not know what else EA has planned, but they are supposed to have some games ready this year, and you never know if they will surprise us like they did with Madden Football coming out of nowhere.
Another thing to keep in mind with N64 sports games aside from the graphics and processing power of the N64, is that the analog Control Stick really, REALLY adds a lot to sports games. For example, in NBA Courtside you can walk, jog, or run with the analog stick. This has been long overdue in a basketball game, since players do not always run at full speed in real life. N64 sports games will offer things never before possible.

Q: Make a SpiceGirls64. It could be like Goldeneye,but the SpiceGirls should have guns. The Spice Gun could be like the golden gun. You could pick which SpiceGirl you want to use. All my friends that have Nintendo 64 love the idea and if the game came out my friends and me would buy it!!

A: Believe it or not, this is not the only Spice Girls meets Goldeneye e-mail we have received (I still don't believe it). In fact, I am so stunned by all these ideas that Sarcastic Henry will have to answer this letter.

Sarcastic Henry: Actually, I think this is a great idea especially when you think of the multi-player possibilities. You could take your favorite Spice Girl and battle it out against the others in 4-player split screen JOY! Of course, it would not be complete without a hidden code to use the group Hanson in the game. This is the perfect combination since neither group has any annoying songs. Does anyone have a cool name for this sure fire hit? Maybe MMMM Bop World 64?

Q: Are there any good codes for FIFA '98 ?

A: Actually there are quite of few fun codes for FIFA: Road to the World Cup. Check out the brand new Code of the Week for Pen and Paper mode, ghost players, a code to remove the stadium, and lots more.

Q: Who did you record voices for in Super Metroid?

Q: We read on you column that you did some of the voices on Star Fox 64? Which one? If you did Peppy or Slippy... Thank the lord!!! Cause then I'd have a reason to say that Slippy and Peppy aren't annoying.

A: Well, as you know, Dan is not here and I am filling in. Dan did the "the galaxy is at peace" voice in Super Metroid, but they added some effects and it really doesn't sound like him. In fact, it also sounds like he says "the galaxy is at peas." Which of course, make less sense than Mario saying "Let's Pickle!". I did the grunts, groans, and other noises for Eyedol in Killer Instinct for the SNES. This was a very strange experience since I had to make noises for imaginary hits. I have since retired and leave the voices to the professionals.

I did have a chance to assist with the coordination of the Star Fox 64 voices. There were some very talented voice actors that did the voices. Peppy and Slippy were voiced by these professionals, and I think every character in the game has their own distinct personality because of the great voice talent. Of course due to secrecy reasons, I wasn't involved with the actor that supplied Andross' voice, but the rumor is that it may have been Evil Dan.

Q: When will the Ice Blue-colored Game Boy Pocket be released? I've tried asking some people at video game stores, but no one seems to know, and most of them haven't even heard of it.

A: The Ice-Blue colored Game Pocket will be released on Febuary 16th and it does look very cool (no pun intended, I wouldn't do that). The Ice-Blue Game Boy Pocket will be a limited edition release, so make sure you are not left out in the cold and get one as soon as it is released (Doh! I did it again).

Q: I wanted to know if there would ever be a game called Ask Dan'. I think it would be really cool, and the graphics would be really good I bet. C-Ya

A: I think an Ask Dan game would rule! Dano could be a full 3D polygon model, the game could be in Hi-res and Dano would have to battle SPAM e-mails and his evil split personality (boss battle!). Dano would sing all the game music himself, and maybe I could make a special appearance?!? Of course, this may be Sarcastic Henry speaking.

Q: Can a nintendo video game cartridge hold more data then 3 CDs?

A: The Legend of Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time will be the largest N64 game available at 256 megabits. A CD can hold quite a bit more data than a cartridge, but there are a number of things to consider. First of all, how efficently is the data compressed? It is very easy to do massive compression on the N64 to store more than enough data. Another thing is that all N64 games at launch were 64 megabits, and as you can see this has quadrupled in a very short time (since Zelda is 256 meg). Next is how much time does it take to actually program the game? Most games take at least a year to make, and programing that much data takes a long time unless it is full motion video (which the N64 normally uses real time cinemas like Star Fox 64 instead of full motion video). So, games are still limited by labor hours as opposed to data space. Finally, the size of the RAM dictates how much data can be dispayed on screen at one time. More RAM means more colors, more animation, larger levels, it gives programmers the ability to use the high resolution display mode, and more. With all this said, the N64 has the most RAM of any console system available.

Q: Hi Dan I was wondering two things first when you fight in the Pokémon thing to capture other monsters what are you weapons do thet monsters like claw each other or something and also another will you like build your monster or is it like gigamons and they grow on how you train them and feed them or can you even train them and feed them at all opps that's three question well anyway thanks for your time even thought. (i know your not going to response to this.) Thanks

A: Pokemon is a very unique and addictive game. Battling and capturing monsters takes place in an RPG style sequence. Each Pokemon has its own unique attack methods. These range from normal attacks to special attacks that you earn. The cool part is that there is a lot of strategy in which Pokemon and what attack you use against other specific Pokemon you encounter. You also build up and grow your monsters like a traditional RPG with an experience level type system. The depth of the game play is astounding and it is a lot of fun to collect, trade, and build up all the monsters.

Q: Hey Dan...Im really excitied about the upcoming release of 1080%. I have two questions for you? 1.Is April 1 the definite release on it..or is there a possibility of delayment or an early release? I really want to know because im going to buy it the day it comes out! 2.Is it really as good as the pictures look? It's hard to believe that any game would look that good! If so Does it play as good as it looks?

A: 1. The current release date for 1080 Snowboarding is April 1st. 2. The game is much better than the pictures look. Actually, my favorite part of the game is the outstanding play control and snowboarding feeling. The feel is undescribable, but it is tons of fun (similar to the amazing feeling of playing Wave Race and riding on water, this is like that but on snow). In fact, when I play I don't even care what mode I'm in because it is so much fun just to snowboard.

Q: Do you know how to get dennis rodman on wcw vs now?

A: There are no confirmed sightings of Dennis Rodman in WCW vs. NWO. Based on the fact that Rodman had a very short NWO career (so far), it is unlikely that he is in the game. While Rodman in WCW is a very interesting thought, I think the real question is if Mike Tyson will be in WWF Raw is War (by Acclaim)? I'd be down for some Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Iron Mike Tyson grudge matches any day!!!

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