Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - Retroview

What Posessed Me To Review This Game Is Beyond Me

By: TheShroud13

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 1
   Interface 1
   Music/Sound 1
   Originality 1
   Plot 1
   Localization 5
   Replay Value 1
   Visuals 1
   Difficulty Very Easy
   Time to Complete

10-20 hours


Title Screen

   If there is a game that greater scars the face of a great series, I wish to know nothing of it. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was supposed to be a role-playing game for the beginner, the welcome doormat to the RPG castle. Well, if it was a doormat, Square spilled oil all over it, causing anyone trying to get into the role-playing genre, or expecting the second coming of Final Fantasy II (IV) lying on the ground wondering what just happened. Square fails almost completely with this almost unbelievably bad game. Never before have I played such a bad game, and actually finished it. This game has less of a chance to welcome new members into the genre, as much as sending them home dizzied and confused. If you have never played this game before, I beg of you, don't do it!

   One of the many absolute abominations of Mystic Quest is its absolutely awful battle system. Never before has there been such a boring way to battle. Like most RPGs, it is menu-driven. However, the game features absolutely no innovations, a very clunky item system, little spell depth, and overall nothing to make it interesting at all. They succeeded in making it simple for beginners; however, they failed in making it interesting, which is what would really hook beginners.

   As if the battles weren't bad enough, Mystic Quest continues to insult us with an interface that is perhaps the worst to ever grace the genre. The menus are laid out in a very poor fashion. The equipment is hidden within the item menu, and it is almost an exercise every time I want to change my equipment. No better is the item menu in itself, which is quite tedious to navigate. As if it could not get much worse, the game plays incredibly slow. The characters move an unacceptably slow pace, making your experience with this game that much longer. Tack on an uninspired node-based world map, and you have basically defined tedium.

Just die here and save yourself some suffering.
Just die here and save yourself some suffering. 

   If there is one thing you CAN do to make your game of Mystic Quest game slightly better, it is pushing the mute button immediately. Not only do the sounds and music have NES sound quality, they have composition that is absolutely terrible. Not a single song in this game is enjoyable, and the sounds sound nothing like what the events happening should, and more like the sound effects one would make on the playground as a young child. If you're brave, go ahead and keep the sound on, but the droning, repetitious, boring music and sound will have your head hurting for hours.

   Perhaps the worst of this game is its plot. Mystic Quest takes the plot of Final Fantasy IV, takes away all the characterization, drops the complexity, sprays it with water, and packages it as Mystic Quest. You have a goal in this game, but that's about it. No plot twists, no interesting dialogue, no character, nothing but a straight line to your goal, and a very thin line at that. If you have played any other RPG, ANY other RPG, you'll find this game's plot truly unacceptable, especially consider what Square can and had done.

   All that being said, I think it is quite obvious that the originality in Mystic Quest is nonexistent. Everything in this game is by the numbers. Nothing breaks the mold of the stereotypes set by fantasy stories, and games of before. Beyond that, it does it much worse than the stories and games of before, making it an absolute failure when it comes to originality. You can almost feel the originality being drained from you while playing this game, absolutely terrible.

Your biggest mistake was waking up.
Your biggest mistake was waking up. 

   At least the localization wasn't too bad for Mystic Quest. While the localization is by no means a superb job, it is certainly par. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are relatively rare, albeit existent. It's a hard game to judge the localization of though because it is so obviously dumbed down, but nonetheless, the localization is nowhere nearly as bad as some games, but still no more than average.

   This game has no replay value. You'll beat it once, and never, ever want to play it again. Period. It is easy, it is short, there are no secrets, and it is tedious; all elements of a game with no replay value.

   After playing this game, it makes the NES graphics look like the PS2 graphics. The menus, sprites, and environments all look simply awful, and there is nothing to enjoy about these graphics. Normally, I'd be able to pass over these awful graphics, but, they are simply nothing more than a show of laziness by Square, and it shows exactly how little care and effort Square put into this game.


   When you play a game like this, it's not that surprising that RPGs were a niche genre back then. If you're going to try and make a beginner's RPG, you should make a lot better than this. Not only the difficulty, but everything about this game has been dumbed down. It won't welcome any but the most easily impressed gamers. If you've never played skeet shooting with an SNES title before, this the game to try it out on, it really is that bad.

   TheShroud13's Bottom Line: If you haven't gotten the picture yet, this game sucks! Playing this game is one of the leading causes of insanity among RPGamers. You've been warned. Don't come crying to me if you actually play this game. My advice to you is to not buy this game under any circumstances!

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