Vintage computing, old video games

Finished Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for SNES.

Released around the same time as Final Fantasy V, but it is a way lower level of technical achievement compared to the mainline Final Fantasy games from that time. It has very tiny sprites with two-frame animations, not very many maps. In terms of gameplay there are some things to like: no random encounters, and your character can jump and use a weapon to interact with the environment. The plot is kind of thin and forgettible.

Everything made sense once I read about the origins of this game. Apparently, this was meant to be an introduction of Final Fantasy to a wide western audience, including children, since in the late 80s, early 90s console RPGs had yet to gain as much traction in the west as they did in Japan. That requirement meant streamlining all the combat and equipment system, and having something more action-oriented in the map aside from just walking around. And, having characters that are simpler. They further reduced the difficulty and grind by making it so you can save anywhere, rather than fixed save points, and all battles can be re-tried.

FFMQ has one really good thing: the soundtrack. Unlike the mainline Final Fantasies from around that time, it was not composed by Nobuo Uematsu. So the music feels distinctly different. Less anime-ish and more old-live-action-movie-ish. It’s almost at the point where a game like this does not deserve a soundtrack this good.

Some people call FFMQ the “worst Final Fantasy”. Maybe it is but it is not worse than Final Fantasy XIII.

 

favorite music

Japan VS USA box art

 

April 3rd, 2017 at 11:11 pm