Square Roots - THE Classic RPG Podcast

Square Roots is like a book club, but for classic RPGs! Each episode John, Matthew, Jim and Vanessa play through another chunk of one of your favorite RPGs, from Final Fantasy through Chrono Trigger. Are they experts? No. Are they qualified? Absolutely not. Are they good at RPGs? Probably not. But they're the fun kind of dumb, and that's what counts.
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Now displaying: May, 2016

THE Classic RPG Podcast, w/Jim Banks, John Brandon, Matthew Van Zandt & Vanessa

May 29, 2016

In this episode of Square Roots we finish Final Fantasy IX's Disc 2, explore possible explanations for the othering of dwarves, Dave the holy man, the terrible and disturbing marriage between Zidane and Garnet, the terrible-er and disturbing-er marriage between Quina and Vivi, the introduction of Eiko, a debate on the pronunciation of Eiko, the creepiness of the anime trope of a child being in love with the hero, finding fetish gear in your size as a larger troll, Matthew's brain noises, HILL GET GUARDED!, we get judgey about Eiko's living situation, John's Eiko goes full Carol Channing, angry porno music, skull faced brick tree things, Vivi as Skull Tree Fart Poop, Matthew solves the Hilgigard conundrum, Amarant's Ed Hardy Shirts, and the tragic (?) beaching of a villain.

Next episode: we play until we reach the town of Oeilvert!

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May 22, 2016

In this week’s Square Roots, Matthew tries out a new robo-Matthew bit that becomes the show’s new gold standard and our characters make their way to the ruined Lindblum, where they encounter one hilarious tragedy after another. Jim and John try to dive into Matthew’s psyche to figure out why he thinks dead families are so hilarious and we meet the very scary Armodullahan and the strangely Zidane-esque Lani. The guys also criticize the game’s transportation methods and ATEs, spend waaaay too much time talking about how to get into the black mage village and everything we talk about gets ‘-GATE’ added to the end of it for dramatic effect. We also get super somber and talk about the life expectancy of black mages and Zidane’s abuse at the hands of Baku, John decides to give our listeners permission to skip this week’s bullshit mini-game because it’s awful and much, much more!

Next time we'll play up until the end of Disc 2, or the Battle of the Iifa Tree!

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May 15, 2016

We start with a brand new glamorous Newsies segment before diving into Out of this World / Another World cage swinging, and emerge deep in the bowels of Alexandria to save the Princess. Topics covered: metal swimsuits, Marcus's giant junk, stomping the crap out of Zorn and Thorn, Beatrix once again decides to stomp you with her irritating Stock Break, Steiner and Beatrix pass the moral event horizon, the introduction of Lani and the big-handed, dreadlocked bounty hunter, Temple of Doom CGI cutscenes, the pronounciation of Ramuh, and much more! There's also our Q&A, we get angry at the Terrible GameFAQs Thread of the Week, John goes for his Deep Dives and Bullshit Minigame Corner and there's real thunder.

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Our episode art is an original fan work created by Obeyecow!

May 8, 2016

It's a dance-filled dance dance-tacular this week as the dancing Burmecians and Cleyrans unite in an effort to fend off Alexandria. It fails. Zidane and Freya promise to protect the tree. They don't. Kuja turns out to perhaps be the Goblin King from Labyrinth, there's a giant mud man marshmallow creature, terrible music, this is what it sounds like when a harp breaks, Sir Fratley comes alive, Glenda the Good Witch bubbles, the insanity of Chocobo's Dream World, many, many Kingdom Hearts questions from Vanessa, and whether or not Shadow the Hedgehog is a spinoff or a mainline Sonic sequel. For those playing at home, we journey from Cleyra through to the Red Rose. Next episode, we'll venture through Alexandria Castle and finish up the Hero's Story in Pinnacle Rocks! As always the best way to level up is to rate and review us on iTunes, and don't forget to send us email at and hit us up on @squarerootspod on Twitter!

May 1, 2016

“Anyone who likes pickles are nice people” opens the South Gate guard as we begin Disc 2. This time it’s all Steiner and Garnet, Zidane and his gang are all sequestered into a separate quest. We have a chance encounter with Cinna and Marcus at Summit Station, The game spends an inordinate amount time explaining Fantasy Mass Transit Systems this episode, and Matthew isn’t having any of it. Marcus is out to find Super Soft (A Photo of Matthew’s mom, SICK BURRRRN) and out of a sense of loyalty Garnet and Steiner join him in finding this cure. In this week’s edition of a non-weekly segment, John’s Tips and Tricks, he explains how to make lots of money very quickly. We decide that we are now a political podcast, so get ready for some hot, hot takes. John takes about twenty minutes to steal a Flame Staff from the Black Waltz when you can easily synthesize it later, and John makes some poor life choices. We meet Mr. Ghost, an adorable ghost who loves ore, get killed by some murder plants, and find Vivi’s childhood home. John puts those Stellazios to good use and gets the game breaking Blood Sword.


Further discussion points: What Qu’uns sound like, the cyclical nature of aristocratic classes, Steiner actually becomes likable for about ten seconds, the Shakespearean influences, not terrible minigames, Matthew’s advocation of enslaving giant bugs, Matthew’s fan mail, John’s deep love for Shadow Hearts, and much, much more! Okay. Some more.