Unranked: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Super Nintendo

Back in the old days, I never actually played Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. This was an obscure game even back then, and I only remember ever seeing it in, of all places, a supermarket rental space. They had a small area near the frozen section with movies and video games. The video game section was a fairly random selection of NES, SNES, and Genesis games. One of them was Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. I remember staring at the cover a few times, but never even picking it up because I had read in a magazine that the game was terrible. I had loved the Final Fantasy games I had played, but a friend offered the same opinion.

It turns out that Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is not a great game, but not quite as bad as magazines at the time, and the World Wide Web of the nineties, led you to believe. It is rough in a lot of parts for sure, but it has a few useful features and an excellent soundtrack. Let’s talk about those.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is clearly made to be a beginner RPG. This makes sense in the context of its debut, which was in 1992. This game actually came out in America before Japan by a few months. RPGs were slow to take off in America. The older I get, the odder I realize my friends and I were because we had eagerly embraced Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, and games like them on other consoles like the Phantasy Star series and Sword of Vermillion. Final Fantasy IV, came out around this time and was a huge hit with me and my friends. However, not so much with other people.

This game offers a very guided play through. It is almost always obvious where you should be going and what you should be doing. This did make for a breezy play through, but I can definitely understand why some gamers may be frustrated by the game’s ease of use.

There are a few interesting features: I am a big fan of the metered health bar in this game. I really like being able to visually see how much health I have in a game. The ability to save anywhere is a feature I wish more games had. Sure, the thrill of crawling to the next save point in Final Fantasy games is…wait a minute, that is not a thrill at all! Let gamers save anywhere.

There is a big Dragon Quest vibe attached to a lot of the game. There are even slimes in it. The battle camera feels a lot like an early Dragon Quest game too.

Speaking of battles, something that is interesting about this game is its excellent soundtrack, which has an interesting prog rock influence to it.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is clearly an RPG designed for newcomers to the genre and this made a lot of sense at the time. I often see it compared to the Saga games, which are being reissued in America in recent years. It is definitely worth playing through if you love 16 bit era RPGs like I do. It’s quick and breezy and Final Fantasy completists worth checking out.

We podcasted about the game back in 2019.

We streamed this game a few years ago.

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