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Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest Review


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Review by Emperor Ghaleon
  I've heard a lot of people criticize this game for its lack of any real challenge, but those are people who are used to games like..let's say FF6 or 7. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is the only RPG I know of to be released in the US before it was released in Japan. It was intended to be a kind of beginner RPG, and that, my friends, is the result. However, after Mystic Quest was released, Japanese gamers became curious about the game and wanted to have a chance to play it. So it was released in Japan under the name Final Fantasy USA. It turned out to be very popular in Japan as it did here.
Now most people I've heard criticize this game do so because of two things: The gameplay and the overall brevity of the game. I, on the other hand, don't see what the big deal is. It's supposed to be an RPG for newbies!
Play/control 10-10. It could not be any easier, and I don't mean figuratively. There's no equipment system, as all weapons and armor you find are automatically equipped, as are the spells. The main hero can have four weapons equipped at a time, Sword, Axe, Claw and Explosive. The only one of those four you can buy I believe is the Explosives, but I could be wrong. The hero is accompanied at various points on his quest by various warriors (never more than one companion at a time), and you can't affect them in any way. They don't gain experience with you, yet their stats will still be higher next time they join you. As to actual gameplay, the hero can use his weapons on the dungeon maps, which comes in handy when you have to hit switches or blow open new chambers. You can switch your ally between Automatic and Manual control. Auto obviously means that that character will be controled by the CPU. This can come in handy sometimes, as if the main hero dies the companion will automatically revive him and if necessary heal him. As for entering a new area, say from the world map into a town, you press A or B in front of the place to enter it. People criticize this game for being too easy and this I think is a part of it.
Audio 10-10. Though the composer here was not Nobuo Uematsu, he did an excellent job. The themes all fit their uses very well, as do the SFX. Battle themes are all uptempo and fit the situation nicely, while dungeons have a dark feeling. Nobuo, looks like ya got a rival.
Story 8-10. It's basically the same as FF1. The four Elemental crystals are losing strength after having been stolen from the Focus Tower. You are Benjamin, a young lad who is chosen to save the world from destruction.
Challenge 6-10. I think any challenge is in finding where to go and how to get there. Most bosses are disappointingly easy, even the last boss is a joke!
Overall 10-10. An excellent game, even if it is a little...too..uhm..basic for people's tastes. If you're a newby to the RPG genre this is a good one for you.
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10
Review by Larcen Tyler
  It seems that this game wasn't considered a 'true' Final Fantasy game by purists, namely because of the beginner's difficulty level and the short game length. However, with a unique battle system, and incredible music, as well as a unique storyline, I found this quest worth venturing on at least once!

Graphics: 8/10
As is the tradition with most Final Fantasy games, most of the characters are rather small and lack a whole lot of detail. The same with the monsters, except when you engage with them, they actually look a lot bigger! As you damage your enemies, they actually change in appearance to reflect the damage done (sometimes in hilarious ways!) The smoke effect at the volcano, though, is incredible. Another nice touch is the speech bubbles which form from each character to show who's talking.

Sounds: 10/10
What really shines about this game is the way the music is composed. It blends standard orchestra music with rock guitars and synthesizers, which makes for a unique experience for the ears! Check out the battle music especially. As for sound effects, you hear things like spells being cast, swords being swung, and so forth.

Controls: 10/10
Controlling your character is a breeze, whether you're on the map or in a certain locale. What's great about this is that you can actually see monsters on the screen and decide whether or not you want to fight. Another thing is that you actually use your weapons for things besides fighting, such as to chop down trees and scale walls. You can even jump onto items and the sort so you can cross over water and stuff.

Story: 10/10
The earth is rotting, and you, a young man whom you name at the beginning, are chosen by an old man to recover the four crystals of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire. Along the way, you meet other people who join you in your quest, each with his or her own personality. A rather nice story indeed, considering that when you recover each crystal, you see its effects in use where it was once dying. (i.e. The Earth crystal causes the forests to grow once again, etc.)

Replay: 5/10
Alas, the story is rather linear, and there are no hidden secrets to speak of. Once you've beaten the game, you're done with it.

Overall: 10/10
If you like RPGs, then I strongly suggest giving this quest a go through. Even if you don't like it, you may want to give it to a younger sibling who may need it to get experienced for true RPGs.
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10
Review by PatrickBateman
Ok to start with I've played many many rpgs including every ''normal'' final fantasy and dragon warrior game, excluding game boy or other psuedo systems like that. I did manage to track down original ff2 and 3 so I'll be playing those soon, but they're a lot like 1. Just about the ONLY criticism I have of this game is the lack of difficulty. Almost every other aspect of gameplay is perfect when I think of what I would change about the many great rpgs I have played.

Ok I lied. The graphics could be better, but I'm writing this review basically to make the claim that with sound and graphics up to par with current system capabilities and a higher difficulty level this might be the best rpg ever. The graphics aren't bad, just not great even for the time when this game came out.

Fantastic! Excellent sound even by today's standards, except it's not surround enabled (like Legend of Dragoon, for example) and it could be ''bassier.'' But overall great sound. The world map theme gets annoying after awhile, but you don't spend too much continuous time there anyway.

Absolutely great! The ease and layout of the button controls is great. Let's run through all the stuff that's good about the gameplay.
1. Multiple weapons that can be switched during battles or at any other time with the press of a button.
2. Enemies ''degenerate'' as you kill them - very cool effect.
3. The magic system is great in my opinion, spells can have more than one use and can target single or multiple foes/allies.
4. You can jump! I remember when I was a wee lad this was my only complaint about the original Zelda. The layout of dungeons allows (and often requires) jumping and things can get quite creative.
5. The battlefield system is a great idea, this way once you've fought all the enemies in a certain area, you never have to fight there again. Also, most battlefields are optional so if you want extra, ahem, CHALLENGE you can just skip some to miss out on the experience, gold, and special items.
6. The icon system for enemy encounters within dungeons. Again, it's great because once you've defeated monsters to clear a path, that path stays clear. The BEST thing about this is that while you're looking around to figure out how to best navigate a dungeon (since there are traps and numerous dead ends) the screen doesn't blur to pieces like other rpgs and interrupt with random battles. You can also choose which enemy type to fight quite often.
7. The puzzles are a good idea, usually involving stategically placed enemies and traps. They tend to be easier than in other games though because of #6 above. The general idea is good though.
8. The battle system is great in my opinion - very fluid and well setup with characters at the bottom. Games like FF7,8,9, etc have better battle systems, but that type could be adapted to a sequel of Mystic Quest (which hopefully would preserve the great stuff about the original.)

What could be better?
Well along with stuff said above, more characters and character options would be great - i.e. more than 2 at a time, weapons/armor/spells could be interchangeable. Also more weapons, armor, spells, and items in general would be great (many more) as this shortens and simplifies the game and contributes to how easy it is. Eliminating regenerative chests would be great - another huge reason this game is easy. Basically if Square took this game and made a sequel that was longer, more difficult, with much more complexity of characters, weapons, armor, and magic, and had special skills for charcters and even more flexibility, while retaining present-day graphics and sound and all that was great about this game, I seriously think it would rival the recent Final Fantasy games that to me seem a lot more like watching a movie than playing a game. Oh, they could also add subquests.

Why so easy?
Um, two words: Seeds and Exit. In Fireburg I believe it is, you can buy seeds at a ridiculously low price, considering how much magic each one refills, and makes it easy to carry 99 at all times, or at least 50. With that much magic, any level is easy to blow away, but they didn't stop there. If you use the exit spell it will instantly destroy just about any non-boss enemy and makes it very easy (with seeds) to waste everyone in sight and get all the experience and power you want to fight the bosses. But even before you get these two things, regenerative chests keep you happy with lots of cure and heal potion and bombs and arrows. But the biggest reason by far is the seed thing. You have a nearly unlimited supply of them, therefore you also have nearly unlimited cure spells and no matter how badly you suck at fighting you can take your time and pummel away in any level, just using cure a lot and then seeds. Ok for those who didn't know that's why the game is so easy. But if these things were remedied in a sequel, it may just be the elusive perfect rpg!
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10
Review by Nivla
  Role playing games sure are getting more and more complicated nowadays. Materia, junction and other stuff just scares RPG rookies away. But this is where Final Fantasy Mystic Quest comes on. Using the most famous and highest selling RPG title, it goes without saying that now the Final Fantasy series covers the basics of RPGs, a perfect starting place for people comming in to the world of role playing games.

The story is the big disspointment of the game. Just because this is a game for rookies does not exactly mean the story has to fall short. In fact, I would say that this is a discrace to the well known Final Fantasy series. You could think of the story as a simplied version of Final Fantasy V, except there are no plot twists of any kind. The story pretty much stays the same throughout the whole game. A young kid is trying to save the world by saving these crystals. Sounds too simple? Unfortunatley, that is the whole story.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is a turn based RPG. Which is perfect for beginners since you get all the time in the world to carefully plan out the battle and consider what you should do with your turns. Players can do all the RPG basics like attack, cast spells, escape and other things. The huge letdown of the battles are that you can only have a maximum of two party members at a time. And two is all you will have throughout the whole game (think of Legend of Mana, only with a maximum of two characters at a time, party members show up and dissapear). The game also allows parts specifically for leveling up, these grounds are called ''battlefields''. In here, you can fight up to ten times. This is a great addition for beginners because they can stop after each battle to rest themselves up at the local inn. Another great feature that makes this great for beginners is there are no random encounters. All the battles are touched based. The challenge is extremely low, and can easily be completed by veterans. Rookies might have a bit tougher time. The controlls are great. No button mashing required, and your hand-eye cordination does not need to be extremely good to play this game.

The graphics of this game is slightly below average. Not a lot of things are in porportions with each other. And some of the character movements just look a bit sketchy. The audio, on the other hand is great!! Specifically the music. This game's soundtrack definatley carries on the Final Fantasy tradition of great music. The battle and boss songs really get you going. All of the songs reflect on the emotions felt during the game. The sound was pretty good too, although there really isn't much to brag about.

The fun factor is high for rookies and average for veterans. Since this is a really easy game, veterans won't find this much fun (but I did, and some other veterans may too). Rookies will probably find this game extremely fun on the first time through. The replay value is extremely low. For veterans, there won't be much to replay since there really isn't much story, really isn't that many secrets. Rookies will probably not want to play this game again once they grasp the RPG basic skills.

Overall, this is a great game for RPG rookies. Veterans, rent this game, I think it would be worth at least a rent. Rookies buy this game! It is for you.

Fun Factor:6
Replay Value:3
Reviewer's Score: 7 / 10
Review by Vegetaman
  Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was made by Square in 1992, and is copyright Square 1992. It is for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It is a beginner RPG, as it teaches all the basics, and lays down the mat for further Final Fantasy games to come!

Gameplay 10/10
This is one of the best games out for RPG trainers today. It provides a high level of experience and is excellent for any age. The game boasts several high points such as the amazing battle sequences, and trying to figure out ''Where do I go next?''. This game floods you with an endless sea of amazement and fun. The great thing about this video game is the fact that it opens up your mind. It makes you think. All Final Fantasy and Zelda and other games like that make you think. It opens up certain parts of the brain that normally aren't used much. So in turn, the more you have to think, you become smarter as you go. It makes it easier to think. So don't give up! Keep trying! You'll get your chance to kill the evil Dark King soon enough, just keep your pants on and build those levels and KEEP THINKING!

Story 10/10
Not a bad story if I do say so myself.

It starts out as you are on the Hill of Destiny You climb up to the top and a mysterious wizard is there. He will talk to you and you follow him to the safe side of the hill. When you make it, the side of the hill you were just on sinks below in an earthquake. He talks to you and you look at out Focus Tower, once the famed heart of the world. 4 Monsters have taken the keys and sealed themselves behind 4 doors. The wizard explains how the prophecy has come true, and YOU are the knight spoken of in the prophecy who will save the world. Then a monster appears, and you must fight it with only your sword. After you win, the wizard ASSURES you that you are the one spoken of in the prophecy. He tells you to meet him at the Level Forest and he disappears. You leave the hill as it starts to collapse. When you escape, the hill crumbles down and is part of the rubble of the nearby rocky landscape. You are at the Level Forest and should enter. You will meet the wizard and he will tell you more about your quest.

If I say anymore, I would be getting out of the intro... and the first five minutes. Don't worry, what I've just said is the intro. I haven't done anything to the rest of the game.

Audio/Video 10/10
This game is about 8-9 years old now, but it still has good aspects. The sound is good. You shouldn't compare the SNES to the N64 or Dreamcast. You have to think back to when it was made. Otherwise, people would say the original Nintendo (NES) was worthless, and they wish that they had never bothered with it. The sound on this game ranges from the swing of a sword, the chop of an axe, the scratch of a claw, the sound of a bomb or grenade exploding. Endless little sound effects that make this game! The graphics aren't bad either. For as much area there is, the graphics are good. They aren't fuzzy, or wavy. Just good nice old graphics. The outer world is very nice, but the towns and levels are something else. It doesn't take much to come to appreciate this game!

Replayability 10/10
Like many games that take about 20 or so hours to play and beat, you have to wait awhile before you play it again. I have sat up and beaten this game in one sitting. I got back up and played it again the next day. If you think you are getting bored, try leveling up so you can plain crush enemies. Then again, you could keep it at low levels so that the game was more challenging to you. This game gets two thumbs up for replaying!

To Buy YES!
You will find this game for about $10-$15 and there is a strategy guide made by Square for this game. If you find it, it is rare, so I would buy it!

If you want a well rounded game packed with fun, then this game is for you!

Don't delay, play today!
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10