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Finding Nostalgia In A 1992 Game I’ve Never Played

A recollection of the SNES’ most divisive Final Fantasy game

Meet Flamerous Rex. Source: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Manual. Source: Square.

An “entry-level role-playing adventure”

Before you chastise me about using the phrase “entry-level,” it’s literally on the tin. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was the first Final Fantasy title developed with an American audience in mind, right from the translation process to the divisive dumbing down of the game’s core role-playing elements. Staples like random battles and a party system were canned in favor of a streamlined approach to combat and storytelling.

A still from Final Fantasy Mystic Quest’s manual. Source: Square.

Handholding: The Video Game

Flipping through the digital edition of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest’s manual feels like watching a no commentary retro walkthrough. After watching players take it for a spin on YouTube, I can say with confidence that Mystic Quest plays just the way I had imagined it. While the handholding manual does seem excessive for someone who has scaled all sorts of videogames, I can see how this could help someone dip their toes into a videogame genre that they aren’t familiar with. It makes perfect sense for a title that must have found itself under thousands of Christmas trees in 1992, well before internet guides were a thing.

The cover of 1992’s Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Source: Square.



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Antony Terence

0.2M+ views. 5x Top Writer. Warping between games, tech, and fiction. Yes, that includes to-do lists. Words in IGN, Kotaku AU, SUPERJUMP, The Startup, and more.