Gaming Steve

February 20, 2006

Gaming Steve Episode 39 - 02.20.2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionToday I got a change to sit down with Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing at Bethesda Softworks and makers of the highly anticipated The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Pete and I talk for well over an hour and cover a huge number of topics ranging from the basic to the hardcore questions that the fans wanted me to ask.

Find out how the Oblivion Xbox 360 achievements and downloadable content will work, Pete reveals a secret in-game "easter egg", new details on the Radiant AI system, as well as what's next for the Elder Scrolls series. We even manage to sneak in a few questions on Fallout 3, the new Star Trek license, as well as much more. Enjoy!

Gaming Steve Episode 39 Program

  • 00:01:57 Interview with Pete Hines from Bethesda, makers of the upcoming The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • 01:20:15 My thoughts on the game itself and a small tidbit from next week's detailed on-hands preview of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Download the show (85 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 39 (MP3).

Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3).
Add the Gaming Steve Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.
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Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 PM | Comments (66) | Posted to Interview | PC | Podcast | Xbox | Add this story to

Awesome interview Steve! Can't wait till next week!

Posted by Gamer Dave at February 21, 2006 12:29 AM

Yay! Gonna listen to it later, need some sleep first. It's 6.30 am over here... :p

Posted by P4p3Rc1iP at February 21, 2006 12:33 AM

Sooo, this means there's no "normal" podcast this week? =p

Posted by RealmRPGer at February 21, 2006 12:50 AM

Nice one Steve!

Posted by Liam at February 21, 2006 01:07 AM

Way to violate the embargo. What is your problem Steve? Did you lose the ability to read?

Please note that all coverage will be embargoed until 12:00AM PACIFIC TIME February 25th (Midnight of the 24th). We are not allowing direct feed, photography or filming of the game. All assets will be provided on request.


Way to screw over other websites, magazines, newspapers and tv shows across the nation.

Posted by Private at February 21, 2006 02:39 AM


Very amazing. Nice interview, I enjoyed it very much and you've helped a lot of people out.

Good job!

(Was it just me or did Pete seem tired?)

Posted by D at February 21, 2006 02:40 AM

Wow, Steve Your the best!!!!!!

Posted by jack at February 21, 2006 03:48 AM

Don't really know about this embargo, but the interview was none of direct feed, photography or filming.

Posted by RealmRPGer at February 21, 2006 04:21 AM

Private - This is just an interview. He isn't giving his impressions until next week. Like Realm said, I don't know about the embargo, but I don't think this is breaking it. Steve probably knows not to bite the hand that feeds him.

Posted by Fuzzbee at February 21, 2006 06:39 AM

I bow down to you, thanks alot dude.

Posted by Admittance at February 21, 2006 07:42 AM

Hey Steve. Great interview. I have a request to make of you. In your preview of Oblivion, will you talk about how the water in the game looks graphically. It's a hot topic on the official forums. Some people insist that the graphics have gotten worse, just based on a screen shot. It would be nice to have a previewer chime in.

Posted by Brian at February 21, 2006 08:37 AM

Pete Hines, the Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing for Bethesda, gave his approval for the release of the interview today. Otherwise it would have been held back until the necessary time. No embargo rules were broken.

Posted by Gaming Steve at February 21, 2006 08:58 AM

Way to go Gaming Steve!

Posted by Sander Scamper at February 21, 2006 09:37 AM

WTG steve. Represent WE BROOKLYN BOUND.

Posted by Steve PWNS at February 21, 2006 10:17 AM

Private, pwnt.

Posted by John at February 21, 2006 10:42 AM

OMG Gaming Steve! Awesome interview about an awesome game. I absolutely love the Elder Scrolls series, and I can't wait for the game to come out.

And your interview didn't help my excitement, either. ;)

Posted by Wahh at February 21, 2006 11:13 AM

Very cool interview. Can't wait for next week. I was very excited to hear you mention us 1500+ hours guys.

I'm preordering my Collector's Edition now.

Posted by TheShark at February 21, 2006 11:45 AM

I'd really love a transcript because right now I'm in the computer lab with no headphones [forgot my damn iPOD]. But the chances of my comment being seen and someone typing up a transcript all in the time I am actually in the lab are approximatly 1:1,000,000,000. That's honestly how excited I am for this game, I want to read an interview so bad I can't wait to even get home.


Posted by Sepharo at February 21, 2006 12:22 PM

At what time does he mention the easter egg, I'm sure there are a number of people who want to skip that part. If anyone's kind enough to oblige it would be appreciated.

Posted by Jeremy at February 21, 2006 12:26 PM

Pwnt huh? Here's my response to Gaming Steve via podcast form ...

I give Gaming Steve two thumbs down.

Posted by Private at February 21, 2006 12:55 PM

Steve has a better voice.

Excellent interview Steve. I eagerly await your next podcast.

Posted by Twiggs at February 21, 2006 01:25 PM

If you don't like it, don't listen.
You think they're boring? Then why are you listening to them.

Go read Kotaku and pretend you know more about gaming or the industry.

I happen to like Steve's podcasts quite a bit. Mainly because he really does have a great amount of information. He's got some good ties to companies. So he learn about games before most people in the press.

They're aren't any other great podcasts for video games out there. I also listen to Chatterbox Video Game Radio, but other then that they're isn't anything else even worth my time.

Honestly if you can name a better podcast with more information and quicker insidernews, please do.

Posted by TheShark at February 21, 2006 01:28 PM

Well can't win 'em all I guess. GJ Steve

Posted by Beo at February 21, 2006 01:45 PM

to steve: great interview, I'm just happy they fixed the quest log.

to jeremy: the little easter egg they talk about is that you can gain skill points by watching people fight each other

to private: Steve puts out the best gaming podcast around, I 've tried listening to other gaming podcast and they're no where near as good as steve's because he brings more depth to the discussion. Maybe you don't understand the concept of intelligent gaming discussion. You nit-pick about steve's voice, who freaking cares, it's a pod-cast, steve is more or less just some guy, what do you expect Orson Welles to give this thing.

You also you complain that there are no cuts in his show? I find it impressive Steve can go two hours straight gabbing about games without having to do any audio edits, unlike you who can't go three minutes without having to make multiple audio edits because you can't talk in a coherent train of thought.

Bottom line it's all about content and steve's podcast is jammed packed with great stuff. Your complaints may be valid but you come off like a little kid who is envious because steve can score good interviews and has a strong following.

Posted by ilikesanta at February 21, 2006 01:54 PM

ilikesanta -

I never declared any sort of podcast winner, I don't think gaming podcasts are at a level of quality where I'd want to start throwing names around. Any gamer interested in gaming podcasts is stuck with a very limited number of shows to listen to. I'm sure things will change in the future but right now I don't expect any of these podcasts to get picked up even if there was a G4 radio one day.

I nit pick about Steve's voice and his presentation because I believe that you should stick with what you are capable of. Steve does not have an on-air style voice or speaking style what so ever. Same would go for video, I could never see this guy as a G4 on-air personality in a million years. He should be writing up these previews because I'm not even joking when I say I can hardly stay awake and even fall asleep during his shows. This isn't even about Oblivion, this is in general. He would be much better suited to writing his commentary out instead of speaking it.

Trust me, there are plenty of cuts and editations in his shows. Load up any of his shows in Sonic Foundry / Cool Edit or anything else and you can find some. There's no doubt that he patches his shows before he releases them. I only made one edit to my mp3 and that was to insert some additional commentary with an example of his intro into my response. That's it, one edit and it was only a cut and paste. Not sure where you get off saying I can't stay in a conherent train of thought.

I never said the interview questions were bad, they were great. My complaints are with the timing of this release and with his show in general. Steve says he likes feedback, here's mine.

Posted by Private at February 21, 2006 02:07 PM

Want some cheese with that whine?

Posted by Gamer Dave at February 21, 2006 02:25 PM

Well Steve, There was bound to be someone who didn't like it. Only question, why does his voice sound so familliar?
And to Private: Steve was in the Industry, Sucessfully. He's not talking like he was just because he feels like it.

Posted by Sgore at February 21, 2006 03:12 PM

Hi Steve!

Great interview! Thanks for it. I'll read your preview later this week or early next week.

Posted by Necros at February 21, 2006 03:19 PM


Who are you again? I think you need to back some of your arguments up. Saying "I'm in the game industry" doesn't count. Pick any message board, everyone is in the game industry.

Steve talks about games like an adult. If Steve was like one of the annoying folks on G4, I'm sure he would lose a lot of listeners, including me. I don't some wacky guy telling me about RTS's and RPG's, I want an adult speaking like his audience is made up of adults.

Why don't you do a two hour podcast about video games and while you are at it get some good interviews with developers. If you do that better than Steve, you'll have more listeners then he does.

Also, Steve has never come across as a jerk, you managed to do that in the first 30 seconds of your .mp3. There is a difference between constructive critisim and what you recorded.

Posted by Fuzzbee at February 21, 2006 04:06 PM

You guys don't need to jump all over Private. He's simply stating his opinion and giving reasons why he doesn't like Steve and thinks he may have broken the embargo.

I listen to the mp3, and Private kind of came off as a jerk, but so what? It is hard to criticize and not sound like a jerk. Not everyone can do it.

Posted by J at February 21, 2006 04:19 PM

Private, you say Steve has a boring voice?

Stop and listen to yourself.....

Posted by n_corri at February 21, 2006 05:03 PM

Oh yes, I have to ability to criticize and not sound like a yerk. Simply takes some humbleness.
And while Steve may not have an announcer's voice, so what? I actually like his voice, in a kind of "it's his talking about games" style. I know pros, real gaming show hosts and while their voices are trained their commentaries and humor suck. Eventhough they get scripts they can't really go with them. And heaven beware that Steve sounded like "and in recent news, the prseidents speech at the ..."
You know, sterile.
And one final word... like Steve mentioned in his last cast, there is a chance a LOT of people will get exposed to his podcasts. He seems to have something cooking and it's nothing small.

So you may like him or not, his infos is prime, his voice fitting and chances that the show will get huge exposition some time later. Which show some people actually think Steve is more than audible to even a broader audience (couple o'100.000s, maybe millions).

Oh, and some final comments on your own podcast: your voice is okay but your attitude stinks. Plus you should have practiced reciting what you are saying, the amount of ahm, emm, and stuttering is just not something for the public. And Steve's show DOES have personality, the fact is he has and that's the reason I love him :)

FoxSpirit out

Posted by FoxSpirit at February 21, 2006 05:08 PM

Damn. I've been waiting for a new Fallout game forever and a half...I really, really hope, however, that it'll be able to run on low-end machines, because with my 900 Mhz, 128K RAM, and ATI RAGE PRO, I haven't been able to play normal PC games on this thing for...jeez, a long time.

Hell, I think the last game I really, -really- got psyched about was the free indie title "Doukutsu Monogotari" (Or Cave Story,) which, while being an excellent title that I still play even after having beaten it roughly five times, it...still kind of makes me wish I could just pick and choose whatever the heck I want to play, install it on my computer without worry, and be done with it! Gah!

Oh, now that I'm done with that tangent, I'm going to go on a secondary tangent, more so about your happy little detractor there, about how he totally ignored portions of your interview and...really seemed to have only listened to one or two episodes, seeing as he (A) doesn't seem to know anything about your work, (B) doesn't seem to realize that the majority of people in the gaming community lacks personality (including the detractor himself!) (C) claimed that your comment on VOs was ill-placed, when Mr. Hines -agreed- with you (D) doesn't seem to realize that if you personally -weren't- firmly established in the gaming industry, you probably would only talking with PR Reps and related staff members, rather than talking with other industry insiders, and (E) didn't seem to realize that the embargo said nothing about recorded interviews. For crying out loud, Pete Hines is the -head of public relations and marketing- for Bethesda...Don't you think ol' Pete would have had something to do with, I dunno, removing this podcast, or refusing to be interviewed, if the embargo would be violated in turn? I don't THINK so! Aaanyways, yeah, I'm mostly done.

Sorry for the giant block of text. That must be a pain to read, but rants typically aren't well-organized for a reason. Though one of the things I actually enjoy about the show -is- your voice, because I can turn it on and....*gasp* a game at the same time, and still be able to focus on both.

Posted by Stangmar at February 21, 2006 05:39 PM

I just listened to "Private's" rant but I do have a few comments.

First, a person who say's "you know" 45 times in under 6 minutes should not be lecturing anyone on their on air presence, ya know? I mean it just doesn't sound inteligent, ya know? How come every time an say some thing its a question? Ya know?

Second, I find your argument about how Pete Hines couldn't have know about all the commentary in the piece a little ridiculous. About the only thing Steve said in his commentary is, this game is really great. It looks good. They improved the quest log and made it much more accesible. The quest log thing has already been anounced and the rest is just hype. No VP of Marketing is going to stop someone from saying, "The game is pretty and fun." Come on. (if your talking about the actual interview... I'm pretty sure Pete Hine's was there... he probably knows it was a "preview interview."

Third, The music.... Good point.

Fourth, "Every time I hear you talk and act like you understand development, uh, I wanna slap myself in the head"..... Go ahead, nobody here will stop you.

5th. You're not "Calling somebody out" by anonymously posting on an internet comment section. Get over yourself.

Posted by Cud at February 21, 2006 06:47 PM

I would so listen to that guys podcast.

Posted by Jenkins at February 21, 2006 07:00 PM

Simply superb!

Thank you for this great podcast!

Posted by PatMan33 at February 21, 2006 07:12 PM

Cud, I just have to say the whole "you know" thing cracked me up and I didn't even notice that I say it that much. Reminds me of high school and college speech class when giving our speeches we'd learn our public speaking flaws.

Difference is, I can take critism without a problem and saying "you know" and "uhm" too much is much easier to change than a boring personality. :)

Regarding my past, I'm not going to get into that. If I had known that interviews weren't under embargo until Saturday I'd have prepared more for an audio or video interview with Pete. I'm down to the last minute to plan all that though since I am set to meet with him tomorrow.

Wow, "Gaming Steve" banned my ip address too. He claims he wants feedback but he bans those that give him some actual feedback. Good job Steve!

Posted by Private at February 21, 2006 07:29 PM

Steve I love your podcasts.

(But hate your opinion on buying MMO gold)

Posted by Sychon at February 21, 2006 07:40 PM

Difference is Private, you're not give constructive critism. You're just trolling and looking for a fight. Go away and make your own podcast. If it's better than Steve's we'll all be listening to yours instead.

Posted by P4p3Rc1iP at February 21, 2006 08:08 PM

Private -- you lost any credibility you might have had at the mention of G4. G4 is to video games as MTV is to music -- it may cover pop culture, but it's vapid, overly processed, and a waste of time for anything other than the most simple-mided (X-play gets a pass as they're entertaining and frequently have insightful comments).

I make this comment as someone who has never listened to a "Gaming Steve" podcast (but is about to) because some things are just obvious and shouldn't need to be pointed out.

Stop feeding the trolls.

Posted by Anonymous Coward at February 21, 2006 08:52 PM

I'm not saying that G4 is quality, I can't stand them and don't want the show. The only gaming show I watch and have ever watched is Fresh Baked Video Games on Spike and that's because occassionally some things are funny. The fact of the matter is though, the only two networks showing a true interest in gaming is G4 and Spike so anyone looking to actually earn some real air time one day is pretty much limited to support from those two networks. Otherwise it's podcasts on the web funded by google ads or misc ad contracts here and there and that's it.

Posted by Private at February 21, 2006 08:59 PM

You're the reason I can stand mondays! Keep up the good work!

Posted by Reis at February 21, 2006 09:08 PM

n response to private and his robust rant on gamingsteve:

I have no problem with people having a different opinion then myself; however the problem I do have with you is your lack of respect for whom you are arguing with. Instantly you loose so much creditability do to the fact of your inability to be mature about your opinions as well as organizing constructive argument.

Personally, i do not care you say "umm, you know" cause you were not trying to be "Mr. Gamingpodcast" you were simply trying to make a point. But since you come off like such a naive individual, I have come to the conclusion you could possibly be in gaming industry, but you have just a little knowledge of gaming mechanics/development/storyline/production as the next basic gaming employee, do to your lack of social skills as a common adult. The lack of empathy you show for someone such as gaming Steve who tries to create something and does a decent job on giving the people what they want and is informative. Moreover, your social ineptness really grinds my gears and further shows you lack of understanding and imagination of what gaming radio can and might become.

I, myself am in the gaming industry, I happen to be a 3D modeler for a video game company (I'm very very new into the industry by the way), but I would love to voice my opinion about games. Since I have been playing games and learning about the mechanics behind games for a little over a two decade now. I just do not have the gull to be able to host a website and voice my opinion, but at the same time describing events with good imagery to be able to relay the same image to the viewer who is not present, I believe gaming Steve does a great job.

Private here is the bottom-line, the internet is technology that brings a lot of people together (both intelligent and unintelligent/informed and uninformed) and podcast is just another extension of that technology that makes it easier for anyone to voice their opinion. Looking at it in a gaming stand point, gaming Steve allows us to have an actual coherent and intellectual speaker talking about “his” experience with games, I applaud him for that.

Posted by Lurker at February 21, 2006 10:31 PM

I have to say i am impressed with the interview, not only was it longer than 15 minutes [FULL of content], but it was quite informative! Hoever i have a question about the new Elder Scrolls game that i have not been able to find an answer to ANYWHERE! Modding, just how much will they allow us to mod the game [what aspects/parts can we create new content for and how much can we mod?] Thanks! Cant wait for the next follow up on this badboy....

Posted by john at February 22, 2006 12:42 AM

They say the future is internet, so if anything in the future we'll be seeing those TV guys pining for a spot in an internet broadcast, no?

Posted by RealmRPGer at February 22, 2006 01:48 AM

Hrmmm, also, a little feedback on this Private's podcast:

Right around the four minute mark, he starts talking about basically the sort of thing Gaming Steve often talks about (how things 'really' happen), and it also at that exact same point that Private pretty much perfectly mimics Steve on tone and emotion. Considering this is the only compareable part of the two casts, the logical conclusion to draw is one of a) that's just how people talk when they're discussing such things or b) Private is no better at it than Steve.

I was also a bit put off by the end of the cast. Private talks about how game scripts are written around the time of a GDD (Game Design Document), yet I have yet to see a game (particularly an RPG) that has kept close to the initial draft at all. Granted, I have limited experience in this first hand, the closest I've seen a GDD stick is about 75%, and that was in a VERY simple game. The whole process is continually undergoing revision, and that includes the script. You may have some "for sure" stuff from the beginning, but a large part is never finalized until the actual content of the game is, which is quite far into development.

Posted by RealmRPGer at February 22, 2006 02:08 AM

regardless of the quality of steve's podcast's. I have always questioned his credibility. I mean after all, this guy only really got "famous" because of Spore. Which he was only at the right place, at the right time. It wasn't steve being on the inside, having a super early look on anything. He just was at the right place, right time, and decided to throw it in his podcast and follow up on it.

Best example is his Sporetalk. It's blatantly obvious that the only reason he does that segment is because that's where the bulk of his listeners came from. He answers questions about spore that he doesn't even know the answers to himself, that's IF he gives an answer. When most times it's just "well I'm not really sure..." with continued elaboration on his view of how something might be. Or, "well.. I think so" with continued explaination of things he doesn't know about.

Aaanyway, His podcasts aren't that bad, I just think the guy blows too much smoke out of his arse.

Posted by Jason at February 22, 2006 06:58 AM

Great interview this week though, it was better than most of the cookie cutter interviews that fly around with the same things being said over and over again. Atleast this one had SOME new things in it.

Looking forward to next week's preview.

Posted by Jason at February 22, 2006 07:01 AM

Oh and lastly, in regards to all the embargo nonsense, Private - you are in fact wrong.

Here's a link to Bethesda's forums with a post from Pete Hines:

Here's the Quote:

"Steve did nothing wrong. This podcast wasn't under the embargo because it was just like any other interview/podcast we've done in the past weeks with IGN or Neowin or half a dozen other folks. What is embargoed is the art assets and a preview based on his experiences playing the game during this event, which is what I imagine he will divulge next week.

His adding a comment here or there based on his experiences is no different than someone else commenting on the game having played it at X05 last year. "

So Steve was completely in the right with presenting this information to us. Facts are facts, and there it is. (Steve... Private does make one point though... you MAY want to rethink your intro music)

Posted by Jason at February 22, 2006 09:36 AM

The music is enjoyable cheese, imho.

Posted by Harry Callahan at February 22, 2006 10:44 AM

The music kicks ass.

Posted by Max Lawlor at February 22, 2006 03:54 PM

Hi, quick question. Is just allowed to store your audio of this interview onto their servers without linking to you at all?

Posted by DW at February 23, 2006 04:18 AM

Private, listening to your little podcast was easily more monotonous and poorly made then any of Steve's.

Posted by Elrando at February 23, 2006 08:26 AM

"Hi, quick question. Is just allowed to store your audio of this interview onto their servers without linking to you at all?"

Hum, thanks for the heads up on this. Actually they don't have the right to do this, I'll talk to them...

Posted by Gaming Steve at February 23, 2006 01:56 PM

Hello from russia and you sucking gamers. you all die. i'm sure. Please sorry me for my english.

Posted by T!m0n at February 23, 2006 02:16 PM

Hello from russia and you sucking gamers. you all die. i'm sure. Please sorry me for my english.

Posted by eee at February 23, 2006 02:18 PM

cool interview steve, gived us an even more better insight into whats included. but for next weeks preview could you possibly give some more information about vampires, their roles, are the guilds for them, will there be vampires too strong for your character.

Posted by daniel fouracre at February 23, 2006 06:42 PM

Wow thanks for that great interview. Can't wait till next week.

Posted by Alucard69 at February 23, 2006 09:26 PM

Steve is your preview going up as soon as the embargo is over, or is it going be the usual Monday release schedule? Can't wait!

Posted by Fuzzbee at February 24, 2006 01:25 PM

Private I am sick and tired of your whining

Well with you talking about gamingsteve and how bad it is, with your mp3 of talking about it, your the worst one i've ever heard, your completely boring,

also I think your an idiot, bitching about things that are really makes you seem clueless, IMO you seem jealous of gamingsteve.

Posted by Lothar at February 24, 2006 03:43 PM

Nice one Steve, keep on going. Oblivion seems to be one hell of a game. I can't wait for next week news.

Posted by Daniel at February 25, 2006 11:03 AM

in Soviet Russia, die all you! I'm sure.

Posted by anony at February 25, 2006 06:12 PM

Private: your mini podcast reminds me of a story I heard about the band The Ramones recently. A guy went to their concert and was totally pissed off that his friends had brought him to see this crappy band. He went home pissed and was still pissed the next morning. That night he went back for the 2nd show.
In short, you are so passionate about GamingSteve that you actually went to the trouble to record a podcast to try and refute him. That's an undeniable statement. If you thought GamingSteve was irrelevant you would have gone about your merry way.
Another possibility is that you just wanted to post to gratify your ego. I listened to your PodCast and I am writing this in response to you. So you have been noticed. In the end that's the most important thing isn't it?

Posted by semisphere at February 27, 2006 12:13 PM

Just got around to listening to the interview today .I think it's your best interview yet Steve, it has really gotten me excited about this game.
I'm sure you're probably pissing yourself laughing at some of the "constructive" criticisms upthread, I know I was.
The podcast music is amazing, I keep meaning to drop that music guy a line and tell him so.

Once again, thank you for taking the time and effort.

Posted by Cruithne at February 27, 2006 05:33 PM

A am waaaaiting, I am waaaiting, To The Fallout, To The Threeeeee, iiieiiiiii. (on "I am sailing, cross the sky" melody, I don't remember title at this time ;)

Posted by Lunacy [RU/BY/PL] at March 1, 2006 06:24 PM

Great interview - preordered my copy yesterday!
About the whole "Private" issue:
Of course everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but this sounds like somebody who is a bit jealous. Personally I like Steve's speaking style and find it very enjoyable to listen to as probably a lot of other people also, or else they would not listen to him talking for two hours or more every week. And I do not think the success of his podcast has that much to do with "Spore". I'm looking forward to the game, but overall it's just nice to have someone tell you about the latest gaming news, hear reviews about new AND old games from somebody with enthusiasm and insight and the ability to express it in an interesting way. I loved the old Pacman title theme but meanwhile the new show music has grown on me and really belongs to Gaming Steve's universe (and I enjoy all the announcer's different quips...).
Looking forward to a lot more great shows!

Posted by otaku62 at March 2, 2006 03:20 AM