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Gamer Tuesday

February 26, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse

System: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1992), Game Boy Advance (2002)

Developed by: Capcom

The Magical Quest

Ah, Capcom. You make my job so easy. In fear of sounding like a broken record, Capcom has produced some amazing games featuring the Disney name, creating some of the most beloved gaming memories ever. Today's game is one of my personal favorites from their lineup, and one of the best Mickey Mouse games ever made: The Magical Quest for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released in North America in December of 1992.

Before I move on with the game, let's talk about Mickey Mouse. Unlike any other cartoon character from his era, Mickey Mouse has become a worldwide icon that defines a culture people either really love or hate. This is because he is a very diverse character, allowing him to be in any role without losing any of his charm and personality. On film this has been captured greatly, thanks to his countless shorts and movies like 'Fantasia' and 'Fun and Fancy Free.'

The Magical Quest

Video game designers have taken notice of this, creating Mickey Mouse games where he can be whatever he needs to be in any random universe and still be Mickey Mouse. Kingdom Hearts, Epic Mickey, Mickey Mania, the list goes on. Magical Quest is a great example of mentality at work.

In The Magical Quest, players take control of Mickey Mouse as he is plunged into a fantastical world in search of Pluto, who has been kidnapped by the evil Emperor Pete. Throughout his adventures he will meet a friendly wizard who will give him special outfits that give him powers, as well as his pal Goofy. It's a very simple story that anyone can understand and enjoy. Best of all, it does feel like a classic Disney story.

The Magical Quest

The Magical Quest is a 2D platformer akin to games like Super Mario Bros. For the most part, it is rather straightforward, save for one thing. Remember what I said about a wizard giving Mickey special outfits? This is the main appeal of the game. Mickey can don these outfits that will give him powers in order to help him navigate the world. The first and standard outfit is the wizard outfit. Mickey is able to shoot blasts of magic out of his fingers. A magic blast can be charged in order to deliver a stronger attack. The second outfit is the fireman outfit. When wearing it, Mickey gains a water hose that allows him to shoot water at hot platforms or fiery obstacles. Finally, there's the mountain hiker outfit. This outfit gives Mickey the ability to climb platforms using a special grabbing arm.

It should be noted that the wizard and fireman outfits use magical energy. That means that if your energy meter runs out you won't be able to use these attacks unless you find more refills. It is important to conserve your energy, because later on you will face these larger than life bosses that will provide a great deal of challenge.

The Magical Quest

A common problem some gamers have with The Magical Quest is that it has a slow pace, especially when compared to other platformers of the era like Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario World. In my case, I never noticed this. In fact, the slower pace works as an advantage for some as it allows players to be challenged without being beaten by the game. In other words, The Magical Quest offers a commendable level of challenge where you will work hard to complete it, but you won't feel discouraged when you fail.

One thing I love about The Magical Quest is that it does feel like a magical, Disney game. This is thanks to the great presentation. The graphics are very warm and colorful, giving it a look that resembles the hand painted backgrounds of classic Mickey Mouse shorts. Mickey himself is not as animated as in other games, but still conveys a lot of personality. Every time he changes into an outfit, a curtain appears in order to protect his modesty. Whenever he is attacked by an enemy, he shakes his head. It's these little touches that give the game an endearing personality. The game's soundtrack is made up of original songs, meaning no classic Disney songs are present. However, the soundtrack does have a Disney quality to it that makes it more magical.

The Magical Quest

The Magical Quest was re-released in August of 2002 for the Game Boy Advance. This time, Minnie Mouse joins in the fun as an alternate playable character. She too dons the same outfits as Mickey does. The port also includes a multiplayer mode as well as a save feature.

Regardless of whether you played this on the Super NES or the Game Boy Advance, The Magical Quest is a fine Disney game. The usage of outfits give the game a lot of variety and flavor, and the level of challenge is appealing towards both gamers and Disney fans. Mickey may have starred in bigger, more ambitious games after The Magical Quest, but this is easily one of the best he has ever appeared in.


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