Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 08/14/00 | Updated: 07/16/01

Thou Shalt Not Mess with SquareSoft

Square Soft have long been my favorite video game developers. They are a great video game company who has produced a lot of classic video games over the years, and they will probably always remain my all time favorite video game company, because of the simple fact that a majority of the games they release happen to be very enjoyable and a lot of fun for me to play. And I have a feeling that they will always be able to produce games that I will find enjoyable and fun to play, as long as they try to keep on making quality games.

However, along the way they have made a few mistakes. SaGa Frontier and Tobal No. 1 highlights this short list, in my opinion. One game they did not make a mistake on is a game called Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. This is one of my all time favorite role playing games on the Super Nintendo, as it features incredible music, sound effects, everything about this game is simply awesome, especially the classic game play of the game. So, why didn’t people seem to enjoy this game as much as I did?

I think the main reason that people did not seem to enjoy this game as much as I enjoyed it as much as I did was the simple fact that they did not understand this game. I think they might have gone into this game thinking it was a lot like Final Fantasy 6 or Chrono Trigger. Let me tell you this right now, if you go into this game thinking that it is going to be a lot like Final Fantasy 6 or Chrono Trigger, you are going to be extremely disappointed by the results.

The reason that I say that you will be extremely disappointed by this game if you go into it thinking it will be just like Final Fantasy 6 or Chrono Trigger is the fact that this game is not like Final Fantasy 6 or Chrono Trigger at all. This is far more different than those two games because of the simple fact that this is a beginner’s role playing game. That means that this game is for beginners to the role playing genre.

Yes, this game is a game for beginners, so yes that means that it is not really complicated. It is the perfect game for role playing game beginners, I happen to know this because not only did my step dad manage to beat this game before he played any other role playing games, but because it was also the first role playing game I ever played, and I managed to beat it. So, this was the game that got me into the role playing game genre, so the game means a lot to me personally.

The story line in the game is fairly simple yet effective. It is about this kid named Benjamin who suddenly becomes ''the chosen one''. Since he is ''the chosen one'', he must go to find four crystals or something. This is a fairly simple story line, and it is not nearly as complicated as other role playing games when it comes to story line, and there are a few reasons for this.

Number one, the fact that you only have a few characters in the game, and the fact that you never really control more than one at a time (besides your main character, of course). Therefore, the character development in the game is a bit limited, because you never really find out about each of the characters on a personal level. You do find out about certain characters to a certain extent, and your character Benjamin’s story is well defined throughout the game, but the character development definitely could use some work.

Also, the basic plot is not that good, and is fairly simple compared to games of today, and even games released then. It is basically nothing more than a ''save the crystals and world'' type story line, which is not always a bad thing, but still, the basic plot could have been a lot better than what it turned out to be. Even though it was a pretty simple idea, it could have worked. Unfortunately, it did not work that well. Regardless, the story line is okay.

Graphically, this is certainly not the BEST looking role playing game on the Super Nintendo, but it is still a pretty good game when it comes to graphics. Everything about the game is pretty basic when it comes to graphics, especially the backgrounds and enemy designs, which are some of the most simple I have ever seen in a role playing game. The graphics are still pretty good, but they could have been done a lot better.

The best thing about the graphics, in my opinion, is the fact that they are so simple. The last thing I need is to be distracted by colorful and bright graphics every few seconds, so it is probably better this way. Another cool thing about the graphics is the fact that you can actually see your enemies before battling them. They do stand still, and they don’t look that detailed like they do during battles, but it is definitely a nice touch.

Speaking of the enemy designs, the enemy designs in the game are pretty good during battle, as they are nice and detailed. The battle graphics in the game are some of the best I have ever seen. Well, not really, but the graphics during battle are nice and detailed and overall really good, from the magic effects to the character designs to the backgrounds to the enemy designs, everything graphically during battle is solid.

Music and sound effects have always been a strong suit for Square Soft, especially when it comes to role playing games on the Super Nintendo, so I expected a lot out of the music and sound effects in the game. Fortunately, Square Soft just happened to deliver in this area. The music in the game is fantastic, as this is probably the second best soundtrack I have ever heard in a role playing game. I mean that too, as I am a huge fan of the music in this game.

Music in the game is simply awesome, and some of the best music I have ever heard in a video game, ever. It is simply amazing how the music is so well varied and orchestrated. I loved every theme in the game, as each of the towns had its own theme which fit the theme of the town perfectly. I especially enjoyed the unique casino type music that played in Fireburg, that was simply a blast to listen to, and the background music in the dungeons is awesome. I especially enjoyed the background music in the final dungeon, it was the best dungeon music ever. The boss theme in the game was great, and the battle theme was solid although it did get a little annoying after a while. I loved the music that played in the final battle, it was simply amazing and one of the best boss themes I have ever heard, if not THE best.

Sound effect wise, Mystic Quest was kind of disappointing but it did not completely disappoint me. Most of the sound effects, as you may expect, occur only during battle, although there are some sound effects that do indeed occur outside of battle, like when you chop trees or jump from place to place. Those are about the only two sound effects that occur outside battle, although there are probably one or two more that I am forgetting, but those are the main two anyways.

As I have already mentioned in this review, Square Soft made Mystic Quest as a guide for beginners to the role playing game genre. So, you should not go into this game thinking it is going to be very complicated and complex, because for the most part it is the simplest role playing game ever made (although Dragon Warrior does provide some tough competition in this area, that was another simple role playing game)

A lot of things about this game would bug the hell out of most role playing game players, but the simple fact of the matter is that they did not bug the hell out of me :). I did like the fact that you could save whenever you wanted, even inside dungeons without the use of a save point, and I also liked the fact that you can restart the battles after dying. It says ''give up?'' or not, and that is a rather novel idea that happened to work very well, as long as Square never puts those two concepts in a ''real'' role playing game they make.

This is a fairly simple game, the battles are your normal fare, as you collect magic and use it during battle. You collect magic in treasure chests, and you have a certain amount of each kind of music to use (there are four different types of magic). You can then refill magic using seeds. You can get items rather easily because the treasure chests refill every time you leave the room and re enter it. You can buy weapons and items using gold, just like in any other role-playing game.

One last thing to mention, the way you get into battles in this game is fairly unique. There are no random battles in this game. You see your enemies in the dungeons (they never really move) and on the over world map there are battlefields where you can go and enter in as many battles (up to 10) as you want. You get a special reward every time you clear a battlefield, ranging from extra gold and experience all the way up to crests.

Since this game is fairly simple, you would think it would not have great replay value. Well, in my eyes, this game has very good replay value. Of course, in my eyes, Jessica Simpson is hotter than Britney Spears, so take it for what you will. (Lance Storm voice) if I may be serious here for a minute (/Lance Storm voice), the replay value in this game is surprisingly decent, much more than I would have expected. I still play this game, even to this day. It is a pretty interesting game. Yes, indeed it is. A very good game with very good replay value.

This is one of the easiest role playing games I have ever played, but guess what people? This game is supposed to be fairly easy! Come on now, this has got to be one of the craziest attempts at ever making a challenging game, so I am glad Square Soft decided not to make this game challenging, because they would have never succeeded in making this a challenge role playing game.

Overall, Mystic Quest is one of the best role playing games I have played on the Super Nintendo. Yes, it may have been the first role playing game I have ever played, so maybe I am a bit biased. I still had a great time playing this game however, and it will always remain one of my all time favorite role playing games on the Super Nintendo, even though I can think of two off the top of my head that I enjoy more (just take a wild guess about what two those are ^_^).

Good Points
-No random battles
-Simple enough for beginners, fun enough for ''experts''
-Great battle system
-The outstanding music soundtrack, especially final boss

Bad Points
-You can save anywhere and never die (this could be bad to some people)
-Rather simple and basic game play
-Poor character development

Story line – 6/10
Graphics – 9/10
Music and Sound Effects – 8/10
Gameplay and Control – 9/10
Replay Value – Very High
Challenge – Medium
Overall – 9/10
Last Line: Well worth a purchase, especially if you are a beginner to the genre.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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