Mystic Quest is a very basic SNES RPG. Players who have experienced more elaborate RP Gs
might consider MQ to be too basic, but too few consider that the game was designed as an RPG for beginners when the genre had yet to steal the spotlight in America. Its simplicity does not limit the game's greatness, though, and the game is no less magical than other Final Fantasies.
Gameplay is less complex than RP Gs
such as Final Fantasy 4. The player can only move along set paths on the overworld, as opposed to a free-roam map. Battles are turn-based, with only two characters to command, but the CPU can control the second character so as to simplify battles further. If the both characters fall, the game does not end; instead players are given an option to retry the battle.
Graphically, Mystic Quest is simple. Characters, both in battle and out, are very small and have simplistic animations. During conversations, cute little nuances are added. When surprised, characters have exclamation marks appear above their heads, and the protagonist has a habit of shrugging confusedly. Monsters are quite detailed, some of them take up large portions of the screen. Boss monsters stand intimidating at the start of a battle, but as they are weakened, their sprites change to reflect damage done to them. The graphics are about as colorful as in Final Fantasy 4, and very little, if any, use of Mode 7 can be found in game.
The music is awesome. Each of the pieces create the perfect atmosphere. The overworld theme has an adventurous tone to it; the town theme, which is remixed for each town, reflects the mood of the setting; the dungeon themes create an atmosphere of hostility; and the battle themes are intense. The normal battle theme is an upbeat rock 'n roll track, while the boss battle theme takes the intensity a step higher.
This game does not deserve its bad reputation. Back in the 90's, when This Troper was a child, MQ was his first RPG. That same kid grew up to be a fan of both Eastern and Western RPG series, from Star Ocean to The Elder Scrolls. Looking back, I couldn't be more thankful that Mystic Quest had been made, otherwise I wouldn't have had such an easy and enjoyable introduction to Role-Playing Games.
If you are new to RP Gs
, try and track down a copy of this game, This Troper could not recommend a better way to start off.