Mystic Quest Reborn or Forlorn

The Journey of Mystic Quest is an ancient one, beginning in the early nineties on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was initially aimed at entry players in the Role Playing Games Genre.

It was critiqued after the first release as being too easy and monotonous. I first played the game many years ago and I was happy to complete the original Mystic Quest. My experience of making this journey was quite a pleasant one. I enjoyed the music, I found the game fundamentally engaging and entertaining, and I was interested to keep playing in order to find out what was going to happen next. I found that the game was user-friendly. I did not find myself antagonized or manipulated. On the contrary, the game was like a nice, relatively forgettable walk in the park.

The journey of the Mystic Quest is like the traditional final fantasy journey of a young knight who has to defeat powerful monsters in his effort to save the crystals of the four elements. On this journey, he is accompanied at times by an ancient one, who guides him, and by a series of companions. At the end of the game, the traveler realizes, after defeating the Dark King, that the Ancient Guide is the crystal of light that he saved.

In the so-called updated version called Mystic Quest Reborn, on the other hand, there are some serious issues to be addressed. The first question that I would pose is: Is this an advancement over the original form of the game or a decline? Has the game actually improved as it has been transformed? Let us explore these questions by considering what changes have actually been made to the game. Some the changes that I noticed in this “updated” form of the game were changes in some of the music, slight graphic changes, and, as well as the addition of some laborious difficulties.

Let’s first examine the musical changes. Mystic Quest, the original, had an excellent music selection, which was probably its strongest suit. The music from the original was so good that people actually made revamped covers for it. This one lazily swaps them from other, what is known as, Square-Enix Games. This new music isn’t bad, in fact it is alright, but instead of enhancing the experience, it actually seems to diminish it. The new boss music, for one, doesn’t really fit the mood, and the old boss music is really missed in this updated experience. What the programmers could have done is remixed the old music and actually made it a new experience by embellishing the old. So that’s Strike Number 1.

Now let’s look at the so- called graphic changes. Now what does this even mean? There is no change in character sprites, story, items, or overall game-play. So why make relatively meaningless changes? Well, the changes made are simply textual, which indicates another form of apparent laziness. What was changed was the name of items, the names of monsters, and some changes on the title screen and end credits. If this is what’s new, then why not just keep the old? Strike Number 2!

Now we come to the most unpleasant and uncomfortable aspect of the “updated” version: Each battle is a war of attrition. One can die in almost every battle. That’s not fun that’s ridiculous. Why is it so hard? Well, number one status elements and countering really make this battle system extreme;y painful. The worst status ailments are confusion and petrify. Confusion can almost end any battle in a minute and not in your favor. Your own players could use a spell against you and destroy your entire party- Not fun! If you get petrified the game’s over. Why only keep the 2 player structure? Why not be able to use the characters in the game? Why not be able to equip them? These were issues that could have been improved.

Now the equipping issue is a serious one. You are forced to take certain party members, but you can’t change their equipment. Why is this a problem? Remember those status issues mentioned earlier? Well, your party members can be affected by these deleterious circumstances. Also you cannot level up your partners’ level, so it’s all up to build up your own character’s status, which is really hard. I had to train my MC in the first dungeon, and use the exit spell super frequently!

Also, there’s no real opportunity to gain real financial resources. You can only get money from battlefields and some boss battles. So the only way you can heal your party is in the first town, Foresta. All this really wastes serious time. Last, but not least, items are moved to different locations, which is not needed. Also, in the battlefields, there are not new bosses, but there are many more battles. There are up to 99 battles to fight in order to get the Flare spell! All of these monotonous battles have the same types of monsters. You must complete this tedious struggle, engaged in fighting annoying battles in order to get 100% item completion. All of this is relating to are the same exact items from the original Mystic Quest! That’s Strike 3, and this game has Struck Out!

I believe that there really isn’t any truly positive enhancement made in this game. So, should it have been made. I would say, “No.” I got the Timewalk CIB version. I happen to have a Mystic Quest original manual and I compared the two. Again I did not find that any real enhancements were made from the original to the updated version. This is the real issue. If you are going to make a harder version of the original, then you should give your players rewards, and enable them to get something for all their hard work. I got very little satisfaction through completing this game, and that’s its carnal sin. Should you make your audience work so hard and give them nothing for their labors and exertion? So if you want to play Mystic Quest, I suggest: play the original and not this unfortunate update. You’ll have a lot more fun.