Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Super Nintendo

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is a Role-Playing Game aimed at beginners and was the first Final Fantasy game released in English-speaking territories, coming out on the Super Nintendo through Square in 1992. It was actually released in North America first, then in Japan and Europe the following year. The game was released in Europe as “Mystic Quest Legend” which hints at its similarity to the classic Final Fantasy Legend series on the Game Boy.

In Mystic Quest you control a young man called Benjamin, on a mission to save the world. His goal is to reclaim a set of stolen crystals that determine the state of the world’s four elemental powers.

The gameplay in Mystic Quest is a departure from the Final Fantasy series in a number of ways. There are no random battles, no save points (you can save at any time), there’s no inventory or organising of equipment (it’s all done for you), and no party system. While you do have a companion follow along with you most of the time, they default to fighting battles automatically, although you can also manually control them during combat if you like.

Combat, when it occurs, is turn-based and to initiate it you usually have to touch a visible enemy, although there are places in the overworld called ‘battlefields’ that connect locations together and from where you can fight repeat battles to earn experience points (EXP) and sometimes win rewards. Each character has a health bar, and – depending on their level – a number of ‘lives’ that re-fill the bar if it reaches zero. During combat you can choose what kind of attack to make by cycling through your available weapons using the shoulder buttons. In fact, this is the most tactical element of combat since different weapons are more or less effective against certain monsters. You can also cast magic spells (white, black and wizard types), if you’ve previously learned them.

Another feature seldom seen in this type of game is the ability to jump while exploring, which you can do in Mystic Quest. This allows you to reach otherwise unreachable areas, cross rivers, and so on. Later on, when you acquire the Cat Claw, you can also clamber up cliff faces – if there’s an uneven path to follow.

As RPGs go, Mystic Quest is relatively easy to play. Poison only affects you during turns in battle (not when you’re walking around); chests with healing items re-spawn whenever you re-enter a location, and character healing can be done either with potions, spells, or by resting at inns (or the occasional free bed). That said: once you get into Mystic Quest it does become more challenging, which is good, and although it might be aimed at beginners there’s perhaps enough here to absorb even a seasoned adventurer.

More: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest on Wikipedia

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