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Mega64
May 23, 2008







So, uh, this is an interesting one. This is a remake of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest done in RPG Maker, which...goes about as you expect. There's obvious changes in mechanics, graphics, and so on, but otherwise it tries to remain somewhat faithful to the original while simultaneously trying to improve on the game and working within the limitations of RPG Maker. I figured it'd be interesting to compare and contrast the remake with the original, see what each version does better, so that's pretty much what I'll be doing here.

Important Note: This playthrough is blind. That said, I've played the original a few times so I have the gist of things, but I might miss things here or there, so feel free to call me out if I do so. Assuming any of you have even played this game...

This will be more barebones than usual due to laziness, since I've been kinda bad about completing LPs recently. No music links (the music's pretty much unchanged anyway), skipping most dialogue (since it's almost identical to the original), and my knowledge of the original will rely on a combination of memory and the LPs already done for it. I recommend reading one (or all) of those if you haven't played Mystic Quest before, they're pretty good reads!

No spoilers for the remake. Spoilers for the original are fine.

Oh yeah I'm on loving Twitter and poo poo.

Oh, and one more fun fact: In February 2015 the person who made this game tried to get this game published as an official Square-Enix-sanctioned remake, fooling quite a few gaming websites including Gamespot. After trying to sell pre-orders on his sketchy site, Square-Enix confirmed this was a con and the guy promptly disappeared from the internet, taking the pre-order money with him.

The weird part though is that he made this game years ago and even planned to make a similar remake for FF4, before suddenly pulling it from the internet. I was planning to do this LP years ago, long before the scam drama happened, but by the time I began looking for the game all download links had vanished. Eventually I found a post somewhere where someone who contacted the creator said he claimed to be arranging a deal to get the game published by Square-Enix (this was back in 2013 or so), and that was as far as I got, at least until the scam drama hit. Oddly, he was continuously improving the game even until "release", so as far as I can tell he may actually have planned to release it. Maybe. The entire thing doesn't make sense to me, and honestly I'm happy leaving things at that.

But anyway, let's check out the game.

-----

Chapter 1: Level Forest
Chapter 2: Bone Dungeon
Chapter 3: Wintry Cave
Chapter 4: Ice Pyramid
Chapter 5: Hellmouth Hill
Chapter 6: Lava Dome
Chapter 7: Giant Tree
Chapter 8: Pazuzu's Tower
Chapter 9: Mac's Ship
Final Chapter: Doom Castle

Mega64 fucked around with this message at 00:28 on Dec 29, 2017

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Mega64
May 23, 2008





Reserved for insanity.

Mega64
May 23, 2008





Chapter 1: Level Forest





Dark Design is the one-man company that made this game. Square-Enix is the many-person company that had nothing to do with this game.



The intro has the same animation, just with the slightly different title and button prompt.



There's a few versions floating around. The one I got a hold of is 3.1.0.0.



Oh yeah, the art and sprites are also stolen, according to my most trusted source, Youtube comments.

Going with the "canon" name of Benjamin (according to the manual, anyway) because I'm a purist.





The introduction is pretty much the same, including the dialogue here.

I also love that this is the entire backstory of Benjamin. His family's probably dead now, who cares. Mystic Quest gives no fucks.



So, first difference, and this one is a doozy: There's no jump button. The original's jump button led to a couple cool puzzles and, of course, being able to jump all over the place in a freaking RPG. No awesome jump sound effect, no jumping over NPCs' heads, no jumping in every single direction. No, this jump is scripted.



The creator also cheats a bit here. In the original, when Benjamin makes the jump, the previous area descends, shaking violently. Benjamin had just cheated death due to the wonders of JUMP. Jump is good, Jump is sacred.

In Remastered, the game just slowly slides to the right while shaking, conveniently sliding the previous area off-screen. It's kind of a cheat, but it's one I can kinda forgive for a free fan remake in a limiting game creation engine. Of course, once you consider he tried to charge money for this...



Plot's the same, gotta go to four different parts of the world and defeat four monsters to save the four crystals. Pretty much a Final Fantasy game distilled to its barest of bones.





Much like the original, our first encounter is a Behemoth. All we can really do is Attack.





And here we get to a major difference between the two. The original opted for a rather simple scale of numbers. Benjamin starts with 40HP and gains an extra 40 each level. The levelling curve is a lot flatter than most RPGs, which makes sense as this game is designed to slowly guide the player throughout the game due to being designed for beginners in mind.

In contrast, the remake goes for big, basic RPG numbers. You and the Behemoth do a ton of damage to each other.



Much like the original, one unlucky hit or miss and you will die and have to restart. I'm kinda surprised he didn't bother to fix that considering how freaking dumb it is you can lose in the first drat battle in the game through pure luck. At least you can still retry from the beginning of battle, which is one of those features that I'm still surprised few other RPGs actually used. Mystic Quest had some surprising innovations at the time to streamline the gameplay experience for jRPGs, yet nobody used them since. What the hell?



Same as before. But once we get to the end...



How...how do you gently caress up The Shrug!?!?!?

The Shrug is Benjamin's signature emotion. Pretty much 90% of Benjamin's interactions involve Benjamin encountering something mind-boggling dumb, and Benjamin shrugging helplessly for a couple seconds. The timing is perfect, just enough time to process what's going on to let you emphasize with Benjamin's continued frazzled state. This is especially true with this mysterious man. It's probably the most iconic symbol of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, itself the helpless shrug of the jRPG world.

I may be overreacting just a tad here, but I say the biggest flaw of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Remastered is not the creator trying to scam people with a lackluster fan remake using stolen assets, or even not being able to Jump, but that Benjamin's shrug is a single quick animation that's over in a third of a second. You cannot shorten The Shrug to such an extent and have it still resonate with the player. The Shrug needs time to breathe, to strike into the very heart of the player so that they, too, can understand Benjamin's plight in having to save the world using only the guidance of some floating jackass. Also Benjamin's family is probably still dead or something.



Map screen is pretty much the same, graphics aside.



The menu is quite different, however.



In case you wanted to play through this game twenty times, well, there's that option for you!



Also achievements! Sure, why not.



The equipment's also different in that there's equipment. In the original, you pretty much get given pieces of armor besides a couple optional buyable options. Since there's only three tiers of armor total, the game automatically gave you the effects of the highest-tier you had, which was mainly status immunities.

Here you get a regular standard jRPG equipment system. We'll see if it does anything interesting with the concept, but I wouldn't be surprised if you just get straight upgrades through the game. At least later FF games either downplayed armor or instead gave different reasons you'd wear different pieces like elemental/status immunities or what have you.



Anyway, we've got our first mission. Alright, then.



On the bright side, you can still use weapons outside of battle to solve puzzles.



Still have to recruit Kaeli before we can handle the area proper.



In the original, you had to jump over the man to push the boulder out of the way. Hell, you could jump over the boulder too and just go straight to town, though obviously you wouldn't be able to advance the plot that way.

I already miss jumping.





Key Items!



Some item chests, guarded by some Brownies.





In the original, Benjamin could handle Brownies fine. It would've been a bit ugly, but nothing too bad.

Here, they will stomp the poo poo outta you. Hope you remembered to save!



We'll come back to that. In the meantime, let's go explore Foresta.



The NPCs are pretty much the same.





The original had a whopping four consumable items you could use. The remake has a bit more than that.

Also, you can't re-enter areas to refresh chests like in the original, though to be fair that was kind of ridiculous anyway.





In the original, this was our first spell, Cure. We get a Shield here instead for a modest Defense boost. We learn magic by leveling up now.



Phoenix Downs didn't exist at all in the original, but every partner knew the Life spell so that made up for it.





In the original, Refreshers were in-battle items that reset stat debuffs. Here, they simply boost specific stats permanently. I'll just use them all on Benjamin as I find them.



There's also Hi-Potions available.



A free heal if you need it. I'll be using this a lot.







We've got our first partner! They usually tend to outlevel Benjamin and be much more useful to start.



I forgot to check if I could steal her stuff and give it to Benjamin. Maybe next time...



Kaeli hits harder than Benjamin, and the two of them together can kill one Brownie. Of course, the Brownies also hit hard, so if they gang up on Benjamin he'll go down.



From what I observed, EXP is the same no matter who lives or dies, but you have to be alive to get it. So Benjamin pretty much needs to be alive at the end of each battle or he'll miss out on sweet EXP.

A few people who played this version claim this game is too difficult, and if you just spam Fight then, yeah.



Kaeli has quite a few spells to start. Life is not as ridiculously broken in Remastered as it was in the original since it won't heal a living character to full and as far as I know won't insta-kill enemies. Seriously, Life was ridiculously broken in the original game.

In addition, Kaeli has Fire/Ice/Lightning and Sleep. The original had twelve spells, four each in White/Black/Wizard. White was the bare basics (Cure, Heal Status, Life, Exit spell), Black did damage, Wizard did more damage. Honestly Black Magic sucked except for Aero, while for Wizard magic you'd do the best spell you had at the time and just choke down a Seed when you needed it because, hey, restore all MP from one consumable, why not, what the hell is balance. For Remastered, the elements are just bog-standard Final Fantasy starter spells.





Sleep is new to the game, and from my experience it works around 2/3's of the time? Anyway, if you simply cast Sleep every battle then you can pick off the enemies more easily without getting walloped. You'll still be healing a lot, but Benjamin is significantly more likely to live that way. It certainly makes things less difficult.





At L3 Benjamin learns Haste, which...I don't think makes a big difference? Raising speed in a pure turn-based game doesn't really work, especially with only two party members. That's why Haste boosted the number of hits you made in the NES games and didn't affect speed until the ATB was introduced.



Anyway, money.







The only other enemy here is the Slime. I think it can inflict Sleep, but otherwise is around the same level of threat as the Brownie. Sleep works wonders here.



I clear out the area and get all the items.





Achievement Unlocked!





Anyway, the boss is a tree.





As a nice touch, Kaeli actually starts the battle poisoned here. Except...there's no way to cure it. Welp!



Minotaur can be put to Sleep, too. But any attack will wake him so it's kinda moot.



Poison hurts a good bit, too, so it becomes a bit of a race.



Turns out the elemental spells are pretty drat powerful. I opt to have Kaeli focus on magic attacks while Benjamin chips in or heals with Potions when necessary.





Otherwise, Minotaur has some nasty attacks.



I will complement the Remaster so far in that these battles require more thought than the original so far. You can't just spam Attack here and try to win. This guy was actually moderately difficult!



As a bonus, Benjamin's latest level gain finally nets him the Cure spell.





Kaeli's out, so we get her axe.





Great timing there.



Next time, Bone Dungeon. Assuming I don't abandon this one, of course.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

Hubris

Fun Shoe

I, uh...I don't get why this was needed. Like, the entire point of FFMQ was that it streamlined away a lot of mechanics in favor of goofy charm. This feels, aesthetically and mechanically, like someone trying to write grimdark Super Mario Bros. fanfic.

Do the monsters even have goofy damaged portraits for when they're low on life?

Mega64
May 23, 2008





So far all but the Minotaur had damage portraits.

And now I'm curious who did those portraits, they're pretty faithful to the originals.

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> BEWARE, COWARD




Mega64 posted:

So, first difference, and this one is a doozy: There's no jump button.

Why did this guy even loving bother, then

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

This is already a magical ride.

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

...Wait, what?

Greyarc
Dec 29, 2016



Mega64 posted:

So far all but the Minotaur had damage portraits.

And now I'm curious who did those portraits, they're pretty faithful to the originals.

Did a quick search, looks like the minotaur and behemoth at least are concept art for the original game. The slimes are a free RPGMaker asset.

As for the rest of the art, it's mostly freebies that come with RPGMaker with a filter smacked over the backgrounds. Could very well be he threw some stolen art in there as well. Still, this could've just been a nice little hobby project if it weren't for the whole 'trying to sell it as the legit remake' deal.

Kyrosiris
May 24, 2006

You try to be happy when everyone is summoning you everywhere to "be their friend".



Ground floor on this poo poo. I heard about this when it blew up (both excitement because FFMQ is rad and then disappointment when everything happened), so seeing it in action is gonna be a treat.

Orcs and Ostriches
Aug 26, 2010




The Great Twist

This will be so bad.

I assume the music is straight up ripped from the original soundtrack? At least that can't be messed up.

Black Mage Knight
Jan 25, 2012

stop biting my cape

I love how the "remastered" sprites are just made in the RPG Maker sprite creator, so they still have that lovely RTP style. Also for stealing other peoples art couldn't the guy who made this at least picked something that tried to match either the original style or his own sprites.

The idea that someone would try and scam people with a lovely RPG Maker project is admittedly funny to me, so I definitely want to see how "quality" this gets.

Dragomorph
Aug 21, 2007

HE'S NOT A REAL GOON, SAM!

Can I keep his head as a souvenir?

Say, why is it ticking?

Man, speaking as someone who actually has some childhood fondness for Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, this "remake" is pretty heartbreaking. Way to miss the point of whatever made the game actually interesting and distinctive, Mr. Scammer Dude.

They're not even good drawn portraits. Bleah.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

Delicious, delicious heartbreak. This looks promising, unless it breaks down near the end of the game or something.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


No jumps.

No Shrugs.

What is this pale imitation?!

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Glazius posted:

Delicious, delicious heartbreak. This looks promising, unless it breaks down near the end of the game or something.

I hope it does. That's what makes an LP fun.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


A mediocre lovely remake makes for a boring LP. A spectacular gently caress-up makes it worthwhile.

Felinoid
Mar 8, 2009

Marginally better than Shepard's dancing. 2/10


I hate every last aspect of this.



Please continue.

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


The jumps! Are yumps!?!?!

The shrug! Is bugged!?!?!

This Remaster! Is a Disaster!

In a more serious note the game seems pretty faithfully adapted into an RPGMaker game... Which is part and parcel of the problem, since part of FFMQ's charm was in it's simplicity. The increased difficulty so far just makes me interested for how the Crystal Bosses and a few other transition area bosses are if freakin' Brownies/tree Minotaur is this difficult.
Although props to the remake, having Kaylie be poisoned during the battle AND you having no way to cure it is a great bit of story/gameplay integration.

EponymousMrYar fucked around with this message at 06:36 on Nov 29, 2017

Edvarius
Aug 23, 2013


I dunno who that guy is, but he looks way too serious to be Benjamin. Or to be in Mystic Quest at all for that matter.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I've seen RPG maker being beaten into things it was not designed to do including top down shooters and visual novels - paring down the combat system and jump buttons would be trivial compare to the monstrosities I've seen, but it definitely feels like he just used the default load out without really thinking about how it effects FFMQ

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




Ha-hooooly poo poo. This looks like amazing garbage.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


As someone who's spent way too much time loving around in RPG Maker over the years (don't judge me), I can say that I can easily think of at least two or three different ways to easily accomplish everything he's cut out or hosed up.

And one of them is "steal the script that someone more clever than me used to do it".

Bliss Authority
Jul 6, 2011

I'm not saying it was witches

but it was witches



PMush Perfect posted:

And one of them is "steal the script that someone more clever than me used to do it".

As an occasional tinkerer in RPGMaker, Yanfly motherfucker do you know him.

There is zero excuse for this when the scripts for those functions are CC-BY.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




VX Ace has the ability to have a character jump as one of the default events, so I'm decently certain you code a jump with a bit more effort. I expect the problem was that interacting with the enemies/the environment got complicated, but I really cannot imagine it being that much of a hurdle.

Credit where it's due though, looks better than the crap Matrix Software shits out.

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.



Mega64 posted:

At L3 Benjamin learns Haste, which...I don't think makes a big difference? Raising speed in a pure turn-based game doesn't really work, especially with only two party members. That's why Haste boosted the number of hits you made in the NES games and didn't affect speed until the ATB was introduced.
The original NES games also had massive design influence from the older editions of Dungeons and Dragons, and that's what the Haste spell did there.

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007





FF1 was basically an unlicensed AD&D game, and I've never really understood how Square didn't get sued for it.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

Hubris

Fun Shoe

ultrafilter posted:

FF1 was basically an unlicensed AD&D game, and I've never really understood how Square didn't get sued for it.

Rules can't be copyrighted, just content, and most of the content in FF1 isn't a direct-enough rip to be problematic. They did rename the Beholder to "EYE", though. Tiamat is a bit trickier, but the name itself comes from mythology, and I guess the concept of a multi-headed dragon that's named Bahamut wasn't worth getting into a legal battle over.

EDIT: Tiamat, not Bahamut

TooMuchAbstraction fucked around with this message at 16:58 on Nov 29, 2017

Dragonatrix
Aug 16, 2009

You have offended STRINGIE! You must be punished!


Marilith on the other hand is explicitly D&D only outside of Final Fantasy using it.

Granted, it was just an example of a name for a type of demon and only became an actual copyrighted thing in and of itself in... 1987. Huh.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Along with Japan has different copyright laws than America, and just back when FF1 came out, information from different countries doesn't fly as fast as it does now.

DariusLikewise
Oct 4, 2008

You wore that on Halloween?


Didn't know of the original game but I'm always in for a bad RPG Maker LP

Cool Ghost
Apr 13, 2012

MORE YOU SWEAT、
LESS YOU BLEED。
MORE YOU WEEP、
LESS GAME OVERS。
...OVER

I heard about the scam part of this, but never knew that anything playable was released.

Sneaky Wombat
Jan 9, 2010



RPG VX is a cool toy to mess around with, and I like it. You get to mess with tools and get a sense of how cool event triggers work and that stuff, really fed my curosity.

This looks like a diaster, a terrible thing-that-should-not-be yet here we are.

I can't look away.

Prop Wash
Jun 12, 2010





Lord help this FFMQ remake where you cannot jump

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

Anyone who doesn't jump nonstop is playing MQ wrong

BioEnchanted
Aug 9, 2011

He plays for the dreamers that forgot how to dream, and the lovers that forgot how to love.

Rabbi Raccoon posted:

Anyone who doesn't jump nonstop is playing MQ wrong

It's-a me! Benjamin!

Mega64
May 23, 2008





Just did the battlefields and the first room of Bone Dungeon, and uh...I think I made a huge mistake.

There are two enemies who can poison you, which in this game knocks off ~10% of your max HP every round. Normally that's fine, except you can't buy any status healing items and you don't learn any status healing spells, at least early on. So the only way you can heal poison is to A) use the rare item you find in a chest, B) backtrack all the way to Foresta and rest at the inn, or C) die and get resurrected.

Just...how the hell do you miss something so god drat fundamental. How can you play through your dungeon and not notice what a pain in the rear end poison is to deal with, this is basic god drat game design.

Otherwise, battles are significantly slower-paced than the original since enemies hit harder now relative to your HP, meaning you have to spend more turns healing. Same amount of encounters, though, so it's basically much slower. Don't know if I'll fight every battle like I usually do when I replay the original, but then I'm worried I'll get underleveled because I don't trust this game's balancing. Eesh.

Next update hopefully this weekend.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


See if you can just crack the game open in RPGMaker and give yourself that ability.

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


Not giving you antidotes/heal potions to cure Kaylie is thematic.

Not giving you antidotes/heal potions to cure yourself in bone dungeon while increasing the danger of poison is dumb.

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Mega64
May 23, 2008







i did it

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