Super Special Awesome Retro Review! – Mystic Quest

Time for part two. Another review of something I love but you haven’t got any reasonable chance of ever buying!

Mystic Quest is technically part of the venerable Final Fantasy series. An entry for the SNES, it was meant as a kind of “baby’s first JRPG”  and you know what, it was my very first JRPG. Not that I knew that’s what it was at the time. It was a game I played through with my dad when I was a wee babe of about five.

It’s a very simple story, the Dark King wants to conquer the world by sending a different monster to each of the four elemental Crystals that keep the land running and draining their power dry. So yeah, it stole the plot of Final Fantasy I. You play as Benjamin (renameable), a boy who’s village doesn’t even hang around for a cameo in the intro before getting destroyed so he can have his origin story before a mysterious old man tells you to go sort shit out. Things never get complicated, and it never takes itself seriously.

Along the way, you travel four different areas, one for each of the Crystals, and meet a new companion for each area. Then there’s a mini dungeon and a proper one to wade through, as well as a companion to journey with and some equipment to find.

Instead of having huge equipment lists or spells, everything’s simplified down into a few groups and almost all your new gear is found. Spells are White, Black or Wizard magic, and weapons are Ranged, Sword, Bomb, Claw or Axe type (though you can’t get ranged weapons). Each enemy is weak to at least one of these, so battles are mostly about finding the right tool to take out the enemies before you. It’s not a challenging game, it was meant for stupid Americans (no, literally).

That’s not to say it’s not fun. The game goes with an exploration route. Each of your weapon types has a special ability outside of battle. Swords can hit switches in statues, axes chop down trees, bombs blow things up and claws climb and grab things. This lets dungeons be more than just walking through corridors and breaks things up a lot more than you’d think it would.

There’s not much to hold the interest of an adult that’s got any kind of experience with games, except for nostalgia. Well, if it were released as an iOS App, I reckon it’d do pretty well. It had some great music, and it’s light enough to be enjoyable on the go, especially if they added a quicksave system. Hm. Or maybe as a downloadable game for the 3DS. Yeah. Nintendo, Square Enix, bring back Mystic Quest!

And you see my blogroll over there, click on Type A Little Faster. It’s a weekly writing/fantasy/sci-fi/film/videogame/whatever nerdy stuff the author has in mind blog. Do it. Do it now. This I command!


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