|Final Fantasy Mystic Quest|
Fainaru Fantajī USA Misutikku Kuesuto
|Developers||Square Co., Ltd.|
|Publishers|| Square Soft, Inc.|
Square Co., Ltd.
|Game modes||Single player|
|Platforms||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii Virtual Console|
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is an entry-level RPG for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System designed to feature simplified in-game options, storyline, and player control. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest features many elements of other Final Fantasy games, including a story focusing on quests centered on restoring five crystals. Designed for American gamers as an RPG for younger players in the days when RPGs were still a niche genre, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was a simpler and more narrowly driven RPG title than the players and/or fans of Final Fantasy and other such RPG games are used to. It includes an optional auto mode for the other party members to make the best decisions during battle. The game was designed to be linear, that is, travel in the game is restricted to certain pathways as the game progresses.
The game is called Mystic Quest Legend in Europe to connect it to Mystic Quest (the name of the European version of Final Fantasy Adventure). Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is called Final Fantasy USA: Mystic Quest in Japan, even though the game was made in Japan. On September 24, 2010, the game was released on the Wii Virtual Console.
- Benjamin: The game's main character, Benjamin is aided by four different allies at different points in the game.
- Kaeli: A native of Foresta. She is able to talk to trees and her weapon of choice are axes she wields during battle.
- Tristam: A mercenary who fights with shurikens during battle. He is Benjamin's least reliable ally as he is always looking for compensation for his "services".
- Phoebe: She is a powerful archer from Aquaria, who accompanies Benjamin to the final battle.
- Reuben: He is from the town of Fireburg, and wields a morning star in battle.
The game begins when Benjamin finds his village has been destroyed, and is on the Hill of Destiny as it is beginning to collapse. He is contacted by a mysterious old man and told he must rescue the other four crystals and return their emblems to the Focus Tower at the center of the world. After defeating a Behemoth, Benjamin sets off on his journey. Journeying to the Level Forest, he learns the forest has begun to rot as a result of monsters. This has also affected the village of Foresta nearby and has begun to age its people at an accelerated rate.
Recruiting Kaeli from Foresta, Benjamin explores the forest and finds a Minotaur, who poisons Kaeli. Benjamin travels to a shrine seeking the Elixir to cure her, but is beaten there by Tristam. Tristam agrees to give Benjamin the Elixir if he assists him in acquiring a treasure in the nearby Bone Dungeon. Accompanying Tristam into the dungeon, the two find the Flamerus Rex guarding the treasure keep. After killing the Rex, Tristam hands over the Elixir for Kaeli, after which the Crystal of Earth appears, rejuvenated and returning the Level Forest to normal. Tristam claims the dungeon's treasure and leaves. Kaeli is cured, but worries about Aquaria to the north-east. Benjamin volunteers to go make sure the people are safe.
Entering the Focus Tower, Benjamin meets the old man, who tells him Captain Mac will be vital to his quest before running away. Climbing the tower and entering the Aquaria region, Benjamin finds the land in deep snowfall, and the waterfall overlooking Aquaria frozen solid. Meeting Phoebe in Aquaria, she tells him the Libra Crest in Wintry Cave can allow them to warp to the Libra Temple and use Wakewater to melt the magical ice. Accompanying Benjamin to the cave, Phoebe finds the crest and uses it to acquire the last of the Wakewater from the old man. The Wakewater fails to melt the ice, and Phoebe decides to go to the Ice Pyramid to investigate.
After traveling through Falls Basin, the two scale the waterfall and enter the Ice Pyramid. At the top floor they find an Ice Golem. After killing it, the Crystal of Water shines again and the ice melts, freeing Aquaria. In the restored Aquaria, Benjamin finds Phoebe's grandfather Spencer digging a path under the town. Spencer tells Benjamin to go to Fireburg and gives him more information regarding Captain Mac.
After finding Fireburg near an active volcano, Benjamin discovers it has recently been plagued by earthquakes. Benjamin finds Reuben and helps him rescue his father Arion by releasing a huge boulder that was blocking his way. Arion tells Benjamin the Crystal of Fire is inside the volcano. Benjamin scales the volcanos outside and descends into the Lava Dome. At the end of the path lies the Dualhead Hydra. Upon slaying it, the Fire Crystal is restored and the volcano erupts, opening a new entrance to the Focus Tower.
Entering the tower, the old man tells Benjamin to look for Otto Cid Bekenstein in Windia. Descending to a valley, Reuben falls off a bridge fighting a monster, leaving Benjamin to continue with Tristam to the Alive Forest where a large tree will not allow Benjamin to pass. Benjamin returns to Aquaria and asks Kaeli to help move the tree while Spencer and Tristam go treasure hunting. At the center of the Alive Forest, the giant tree allows the two to enter him and kill the monsters plaguing him in return for passage. After doing so, the tree takes them to Windia.
In Windia, Otto's daughter has been stranded in Pazuzu's Tower on a northern plateau accessible only by the Rainbow Bridge Machine, which the high winds have destroyed. After going to Mount Gale and weakening the winds enough for the bridge to be repaired, the two enter Pazuzu's Tower and find Pazuzu. After chasing Pazuzu through the tower via elevators, he is killed and the Crystal of Wind is restored, bringing the winds to a halt.
In Windia, Reuben tells Benjamin about a secret passage to the Focus Tower under the bridge. After acquiring a Thunder Rock from Arion, Otto increases the Rainbow Bridge's power to allow passage to a deeper area of Spencer's tunnel. Using explosives, Benjamin and Reuben find a crest that allows them to warp to where Captain Mac's ship has been stranded. After rescuing him from the monsters on the ship, Mac and Kaeli return to Foresta, and Phoebe accompanies Benjamin. Using Mac's ship, they enter a secret area of the Focus Tower known as Doom Castle.
After finding reincarnations of the fiends draining the crystals, Benjamin and Phoebe reach the top of the Focus Tower and find the Dark King who explains the prophecy of a hero was a rumor spread by him centuries ago. After a fierce battle, the Dark King is killed and the old man appears, revealing his true self as the Crystal of Light. Benjamin decides to take Mac's ship in search of more adventures, bidding farewell to his friends before sailing away. Tristam emerges from below decks and decides to accompany him. The game ends with the ship sailing towards the open sea.
Mystic Quest's gameplay is significantly different from most Final Fantasy titles. Enemies are not met in random encounters, but appear on the map screen with sprites, allowing players to fight them when they choose. To this end, enemies are universally found guarding key paths. In fact, the closest to the traditional random encounter enemy aspect of Final Fantasy and other "traditional" RPGs are the foes Minotaur and Behemoth at the beginning of the game. Enemies also change sprites to reflect their state of health: the Ice Golem melts as it takes damage, and the Flamerus Rex loses bones and collapses.
Travel on the overworld map is restricted to direct travel between places, allowing for no exploration. Enemies are only found on battlefield squares, where beating ten enemies yields rewards such as equipment, EXP, or gold. The game is entirely linear in its design and there exist no side quests beyond finding the battlefields. The ATB (active time battle) system traditionally used in most Final Fantasy titles is replaced by a traditional turn-based battle system; players and enemies each make one action a turn, then are allowed to input new commands. Speed in turn affects the order in which the player characters and enemies execute their commands.
Benjamin can equip swords, claws, axes and bombs. In addition to their battle uses, each weapon can be used on the field. Swords can hit switches, claws can be used to climb walls, axes can cut down plants and trees, and bombs can blow up walls and obstacles. The Dragon Claw, a special claw-type weapon, can be used to pull Benjamin to switches and across gaps, whilst the Mega Grenade can be thrown to hit targets out of range. Benjamin can also jump across obstacles and push objects, similarly to the style of puzzle games and/or platformers.
Weapon and armor shops do not exist, instead, new equipment is only found in dungeons, and in a few cases bought from NPCs. Additionally, the strongest type of each weapon and armor is automatically equipped. Magic is limited to four spells from three schools: White, Black, and Wizard. Each school of magic also has its own MP count, and spells are not learned, they are found in dungeons. NPC allies join and leave at set times, and cannot level up, their equipment and spells are set and cannot be changed, unless they give the player an item, in which case they will use a different one (for example, Phoebe uses the Cat Claw until she gives it to Benjamin, at which point she uses her bow).
Some Final Fantasy/all around traditional RPG elements still remain. Status attacks are usable, as are elemental weaknesses and resistances. Many of the weapons, armor and spells are prominent Final Fantasy mainstays. The themes of crystals and Four Fiends are also present. Otto is portrayed as a technological genius and fills the role of a Cid character. Many monsters are cartoonish versions of common Final Fantasy enemies, such as the Minotaur and the Water Hag (Sahagin). In Windia, a chocobo weather vane appears, while live chocobos are mentioned to be a myth.
While experience points and levels are earned as per usual, the player's level cannot be maxed out at level 99 or 100, but at level 41. This is because of the lack of random battle encounters; when an enemy is defeated, it is gone for good. This will effectively leave the game world with no more possible means of gaining experience points, setting an artificial limit on maximum level. The only way around this is by leaving and re-entering a dungeon, causing the enemies inside to respawn. However, the player's level will not exceed 41, no matter how many experience points are earned in this way.
- Main article: Final Fantasy USA - Mystic Quest Sound Collections
A soundtrack for the music featured in the game was released in Japan, called Final Fantasy USA - Mystic Quest Sound Collections. It was composed by Ryuji Sasai and Yasuhiro Kawakami.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest has received a considerable amount of criticism, and is perhaps one of the most disliked games of the series. Many of the fans' complaints stem from the game's simplicity and difference from other games in the franchise, as well as a "too basic" setup. Some of the more well-known objections have to do with its story, gameplay, linear paths, characters, and exploration, the latter being one of the most frequent ones. The general opinion regarding exploration in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is that Final Fantasy is not a game of exploring. As a basis, the most criticized area of exploring is the usage of weapons in the map instead of in battle, as well as jumping across gaps and using weapons like the Dragon's Claw to traverse open areas.
The game nonetheless has a cult following, and is most commonly praised for its musical score, which was composed by Ryuji Sasai who also composed the music for Final Fantasy Legend III, and Rudra no Hihou, another Square title which took the basic Final Fantasy mechanics and put a different spin on them. Some of the other praised elements include the divisive exploration and "field weapon" mechanics; for players who do enjoy the concept, the field weapons and their related puzzles, while fairly simple, help to add identity to individual dungeons and a sense of player progression. The field weapon concept also puts some value into revisiting dungeons for extra rewards, as opposed to the relatively "one-and-done" nature of such locations in most Final Fantasy games.
- The game shares more than a few similarities with Final Fantasy Legend III, most likely due to the games having the same staff.
- Despite being a relatively obscure title in the series, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was still acknowledged in Dissidia Final Fantasy, where one of the Mognet Moogles is named "Benjamin" (the Japanese release naturally reflects this with the name "Zash").
- This is the only one of a few games in the series to have Excalibur as the strongest sword/weapon in the game reflecting the legend from which it originates.