Sunday, November 15, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse

Retro Game of the Day! The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse

The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse by Capcom, released for Super Nintendo in 1992. Ahhhh! A Disney Game - can this actually be any good?

You bet it can! There was a time when Disney games were often the cream of the crop (Castle of Illusion on Genesis). This title, handled effortlessly by faan-favorite developer Capcom, looks to be cut from the same cloth as some of their other modern games of the day (Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Mega Man X). One look at the screen and it's not hard to see that at all.

The game is a pretty standard platformer in many respects, the butt-stomp attack of many games is replaced with a grab-blocks-and-throw in this case, to spice things up a bit.

Aside from the wonderful audiovisual presentation and clever level designs, Magical Quest implemented a "costume" system unique to the Disney genre (though certainly borrowing, in many ways, from their Mega Man games). Mickey can find different outfits which grant him new abilities - the Fireman outfit will spray water, the Magician digs will grant him magic, and the Mountaineer will get him feeling like a Bionic Commando (disappointingly, this is the only time we'd see any Bionic action at all in the 16-Bit generation!)

I have to shamefully admit that this is a game which I haven't looked at in so long that I must scratch my brain cells a bit trying to dig up the memories of this one. I remember being shocked, even then, at how good the visuals looked in the local mags - "Mystic Quest" (as they originally referred to it) looked remarkable on paper, and they didn't even hint at the power-up abilities. They didn't have to!

Each level is ended with a requisite boss which, quite often, will require a bit of problem-solving on the part of the player to undermine. Each is uniquely presented, many showing off the novel Mode 7 sprite scaling and rotation effects that were all the rage at the time (it's hard to imagine people using those as buzzwords now - "Halo 3 features online multiplayer technology and - the images on screen can rotate a full 360 degrees!")

All told, a wonderful game which may have receded into the backs of many gamer's memories, but one which is sure to please just as much as any of Capcom's others of this wonderful breed of platformers - they look great, they sound excellent, they play smooth!


  1. I vaguely remember this one, but from what I can recall I think I liked Castle Of Illusion better. As far as I'm concerned Castle Of Illusion was probably the pinnacle of Mickey Mouse games, and there actually were a few really good ones.

  2. There was actually a sequel to this (at least on the Genesis). It was called The Great Circus Mystery. Also by Capcom, it used a similar costume engine, and was quite good. In that one, you could pick Mickey or Minnie (but what little boy picked Minnie?), and it even offered a co-op mode where you went through together.