Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Replaying Mystic Quest, Final Part

Welcome to the last part of this log covering my playthrough through the GameBoy classic Mystic Quest, better known as Final Fantasy Adventure. While I've already finished the game last Thursday, I didn't find the time to finish this article, so sorry for the delay. A lot of you people may find the picture to the right very familiar, because it's the very first scene of the game and often shown in commercials or reports about it. The reason, why I've uploaded it in this final part, is, because when the blog started, I've already beaten Davia's Mansion, so I didn't cover the entire beginning of the game. And before I come the end of the game, I want you to tell a little more about the beginning and the story.

You start with giving yourself and your girl a name and being imprisoned in the Dark Castle, I've mentioned in Part 3. The castle belongs to the Dark Lord, who conquests for "Mana" to rule over the world. He killed your parents, imprisoned you at his castle and let you fight for his personal entertainment. While you fight the thing, you can see in the first picture, you can play Michael Scofield by running out of the gate, which opens to release on those beasts. Outside the castle you meet the real antagonist, Julius, and the Dark Lord at a waterfall talking about they need a key to go it up and get caught eavesdropping them. The Dark Lord throws you down the waterfall, where you ironically meet the key, they were searching for. The girl and her pendant. Her boyfriend was killed by monsters and from now on you protect her, or at least try to do so. A guy named Bogard tells you about a Lord called Vandole, who also tried to get the power of Mana, which source lies in the Mana tree at the top of the waterfall. But a woman, who was wearing the pendant and is the girl's mother, enabled the so called Gemma Knights to defeat Vandole. Your journey is to help the girl with the pendant to get to Wendel and to meet Cibba there.

On this path you and the girl will rest at "Kett's", an old, scary mansion where the girl gets kidnapped. An old man helps you to find the mirror in the Marsh Cave, where you fight a two headed dragon called Hydra (actually the monster you can see in the right picture is the Zombie version of this boss, found in the last dungeon). You also get the Sickle in this dungeon, which helps you cutting vines. Back to Kett's, you can fight off the mysterious butler with the help of the mirror, find the girl in a coffin in the deepest cellar and fight against the master of the mansion, who turns out to be a vampire, by using your new Chain Flail. You also get the useful Cure Spell form the girl. Arriving in Wendel, Cibba helps the girl to see a vision of her mother, but Julius arrives and kidnaps the girl taking her to his airship. To get to the airship, you have to pass Gaia, which is only possible in silver equipment, so you and a dwarf enter a silver mine and fight a giant worm to get some silver. This dungeon had some kind of rail system, you could travel on with carts, which reminded me of the Zelda Oracle games. You and Bogard will then go to the airship, where you meet the girl again, but get thrown off again by Julius. You crash in the small village of Menos, where you find the Wind Spear and hear some stories about Jadd and a Chocobo egg. When you finally get your Chocobo, you'll arrive at Jadd and will notice, that the region at the north of Jadd is poisoned. To get rid of the poison, you have to help Lester, a boy who was cursed by Davias, the ruler of Jadd. You and Lester's sister, Amanda, will fight against the Medusa in the Medusa Cave located in the desert to get on of her tears, which have the power to heal Lester. You and Lester then fight against Davias, which is where I started my blog. Whew...

So, in short, you travel through the world of Mystic Quest to get back to the falls with the girl and try to become a Gemma Knight. The journey ends at the top of the falls on the Tower of Mana, where Julius brought the girl to release the power of Mana. The final dungeon was actually pretty cool, very complex with a lot of portals and nonlinear paths. You can fight the enemies here for the best equipment of the game. The Samurai warriors will drop the Samurai armor, the Demon Heads the Samurai Helmet and the Elphants at the Mana Tree will drop the Aegis Shield, which may be the last item in the game, if you already got the Excalibur. Because this happens very rarely, here is a neat trick to get those items. Be sure, your item menu is full, but there's still room for one item in the eqipment menu. When one of the enemies drops a chest, try to open it several times. Actually the content of the chest is not fixed, so every time you try to open a chest the content will be set randomly. If it contains a normal item, the game will tell you, that you can't carry any more items. But continue doing so, until you get one of the rare equipments. With the help of this "bug", you can get those armor parts very easy and quickly.

During the dungeon, you have to fight a Dragon, you can see in the second picture, two times and an incarnation of the Hydra Dragon from the Marsh Cave at the beginning of the game. Always be sure to have the Cure Spell equipped during a boss fight, it helps a lot. Talking about spells, there are eight of them in the game. The most important ones are the first two, the Cure and the Heal Spell. The Cure spell recovers a good part of your HP, while the Heal Spell can heal you from all conditions, like petrified, poisoned or blind. The Sleep Spell puts your enemies to sleep and the Mute Spell silences the magic abilities of your enemies. To be honest, I've never used those ones. The last four spells are made for attacking enemies. Fire, Lit and Nuke spells deal damage to most kinds of enemies in three different levels, while the Ice Spell has the ability to freeze your opponents and turn them into snowmans, which can be used to keep switches pushed. The Fire Spell is actually very useful at the beginning of the game, when you have to face enemies that can't be hurt by any of your weapons. But later, when you have a good variety of different weapons, those attacking spells get unimportant. Only the Ice Spell had to be used from time to time.

After you've beaten the Dragon Zombie, you will meet the mother of the girl in a nice outside area, who transforms your Rusty Sword into the mighty Excalibur. You're finally a Gemma Knight. And then you'll arrive at the Mana Tree, meeting your girl again and fighting against Julius. The fight has three parts, in the first part Julius will split into three and attack you with the Nuke Spell. Nothing special, just wait until your attack meter at the bottom of the screen is fully loaded and release a Zelda-like spin attack with your Excalibur to kill him. In the second phase he will use the power of Mana to turn into something very futuristic looking and attack you with Lit Spells. I kept doing hitting him with the spin attack, while I had to use the Cure Spell a lot. In the last and final fight he will turn into the monster, you can see above, and attack with Nuke Spells again. But this time, your girl joins you for the very last time and can support you with her healing abilities. But even then I had to use the Cure Spell a lot again, but that doesn't matter, when the fight is finally over.

In final scene, the Mana Tree, which is actually the mother of the girl, will die. The destiny of the girl is now to become the new Mana Tree and she transforms into a sprout. Sad ending, however the credits will show you all your companions from the game again, including the Chocobo, who gets a girl. To sum up, it was definitely a nice choice to play this old game from my childhood again. It was fun to play, even in times of all those "Fours" (Call of Duty 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Metal Gear Solid 4, ...) a simple game like this can keep you playing. What I really liked were the action based battles, this is something you usually don't get in a Final Fantasy game and that makes the Mana series special. I hate turn based battles, so these games are definitely a better choice for me. The story was actually quite cool, felt more epic than the stuff you usually get in Zelda, also I don't play games like Zelda for the story. And the game had A LOT of dungeons, I couldn't even count all of them. On the bad side of the coin, this game had no sidequests or optional stuff besides some items, you can buy but don't have to. Most of the dungeons don't have any unique aspects, so they tend to look all the same. Also, it is possible to create a savegame, which is impossible to finish, because of low health or missing keys, which is actually not good game design. And finally, the place in the item menu seemed to be very limited from time to time. These are the main points of criticism and some of them even kept me from finishing this game as a kid. But this time they didn't outweight the fun I had with game and I hope, you enjoyed reading my log about playing it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Replaying Mystic Quest, Part 5

It's getting exciting. I'm actually in the final dungeon and trying to beat the game finally. But before, I'm going to tell you what has happend so far. Yesterday I stopped playing in the Dime Tower, where I got the Dragon Armor and fought in cooperation with the robot Marcie against a Roc. It, like a lot of bosses in the game, could easily be defeated by staying at the entrance and attacking it from there. After that, I finally understood, what the Dime Tower was for. With the help of that thing, I could climb back to the Dark Castle. The waterfalls were still reversed, so I could climb them up too and arrived at the final dungeon of the game. The Tower of Gemma, also known as the Temple of Mana.

The first thing I was going to do here is leveling. I also got the Samurai Helmet and Armor by beating the enemies in that dungeons, which are supposed to be part of the strongest equipment in the game. Talking about equipment, let's tell you a little more about menus and items. Better late than never. First of all, you have two main menus, the Start and the Select menu, which can be called by the corresponding buttons. The Select menu is for saving and looking at your map or your status. The dungeon maps are drawn automatically like in most Zelda games, but unlike in Zelda you can't find a complete map of the dungeon, so you never can be sure, if you have visited all parts of it.

The Start menu gives you four choices: Items, Magic, Equipment and Ask. With the help of the "ask" function you can use the special abilities of your companions, like I've told you before. In the Equipment menu, you can select your armor and your primary weapon, which is placed on the A button. The Item and Magic menus let you select - like you would guess - items and magic spells, placed on the B button. However, the room in both your Item and Equipment menus is limited, so you have to sell or discard old, useless and sometimes even good items to get new ones. This isn't really a problem in the Equipment menu, as long as you keep discarding old armor parts and some of the semi powerful weapons. However, you can't throw away the Axe, the Sickle, the Chain Flail, the Morning Star or the Rusty Sword/Excalibur, because you can't get buy them anywhere and you need them to complete the game.

On the other hand, the item menu is used to be overcrowded by items. Especially at the beginning of the game, you need keys, mattocks, healing cures and some magic items. The latter works like your spells, only in item form and sometimes stronger. You don't need most of them, as soon as you get the corresponding spells. And like I said before, the Morning Star replaces the mattocks. So, the only things, you need at the end of the game, are some magic restoring items and/or the powerful elixirs, as well a good bunch of keys. It seems like keys as well as mattocks are only dropped by the skeleton and bubble enemies, which can't be found everywhere, so better be sure to buy some before you enter a dungeon. There's no discarding option in the Magic menu, you have eight spots there and you get eight spells. At least this worked fine. But one of the problems of the game is definitely, that you have to change items, spells and weapons a lot, because different enemies have different weak spots. But changing items takes you at least 3 steps to do so, so this is getting quite annoying after a while. Also, I'm missing an indicator, which shows me, which items and weapons I currently have selected while playing. As you can see on the various screenshots, there is none. You always have to go into the Start menu to see, what items are currently selected.

Well, see you in the next and final part.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Replaying Mystic Quest, Part 4

Didn't play too much today, but here's the update. After entering the Undersea Volcano, I found the Zeus' Axe in that dungeon. The dungeon was pretty tough, because you had to walk through some kind of lava or acid (couldn't tell), which takes about a hundred HP a second.

The boss was the so called Iflyte, a giant thing, which was able to curl itself into a ball. But just waiting in a corner and stabbing it with my Thunder Spear did it. And of course, I didn't get the Excalibur yet, but a Rusty Sword, which is supposed to be the legendary sword. But I can't use it yet, because I'm not a real Gemma Knight, whatever this means. So, I got back to the guy, who told me about the sword, sending me back to Dr. Bowow, the guy who build the Chocobot.

Dr. Bowow then told me, I have to use the Nuke Spell to destroy one of the crystals in the desert. Good thing, I already had the Nuke Spell, bad thing, the desert had many crystal and only one of them was the entrance to the next dungeon. But luckily, it was placed on the only screen in the desert with no monsters or dungeon/city entrances, which is suspicious enough, to try this region first. The next dungeon was actually pretty short, but cool. I got the Dragon Sword and Shield there and the boss was some kind of giant Mantis, which was easy to defeat with the help of the fire spell.

At the end of the dungeon, by using the Rusty Sword I could awaken the Dime Tower in the desert, which seems to be the prelast dungeon of the game. I got a new companion here, Marcie, a robot created by Dr. Bowow (who came up with that name?). Marcie shoots laser beams out of her eyes and can restore my Magic Points. Pretty much the most useful companion next to the Chocobo. And there are about half a dozen tablets in the Dime Tower, which tell you about the deeper story of the game. Very interesting.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Replaying Mystic Quest, Part 3

Welcome to the third part of my log about replaying Mystic Quest. Although this can't be called "replaying" anymore, because I already got a lot further than in my original attempt ten years ago. First of all I want to tell you a little something about the Mana or Seiken Densetsu series, where Mystic Quest or better known as Final Fantasy Adventure is the first part of. The successor of Mystic Quest is actually the well known Super Nintendo game Secret of Mana. And the series got a third part on the SNES, though never released at the outside of Japan. The series later got different installments on the GameBoy Advance, Playstation, Playstation 2, Nintendo DS and even mobile phone. Most of them are an Action RPG, like Mystic Quest is. So you get real time action and a leveling system. One noticeable title is Sword of Mana for the GameBoy Advance, because it's supposed to be a remake of Mystic Quest. I tried this game, but it didn't catch me at all. On the one hand Square Enix tried to remove all elements from Final Fantasy, like the Chocobo, but on the other hand made it look more like their Final Fantasy games by adding those neverending cutscenes. It took you ages, so you could finally start playing for real. I normally don't play games for the story and I think, the best feature of Twilight Princess was, that you could skip cutscenes by pressing the start or minus button. So, I get pretty much pissed by long boring sequences with a lot of blah, blah, blah.

So, let's get back to the original game. Like I said in the last part, I finally returned to the Dark Castle thing, where I fought a Chimera, met my so called girlfriend again and faced the Dark Lord personally. I also found the Blood Sword there, which has the ability to steal health from your opponents. However, after defeating that Dark Lord guy Julius and the girl went the waterfall up and I ended up being thrown the falls down. Again. I landed in a desert, where I met my Chocobo again and where it got some robot legs. Talking about the Chocobo, that's a bird from the Final Fantasy series and quite handy. You can ride on it with top speed and you can't get damaged from enemies. The robot version can also ride on water, which makes things tricky. On the one hand you can finally cross water and so the boundaries of the seperated regions of the game. On the other hand, you will get confused very soon, because if you cross one border of the map, you will end up at the other side. For example crossing one of the southmost screens will take you to the opposite northmost one. So, basically you can walk infinitely in one direction. Which is just weird and can easily make you lose orientation.

Next to the Chocobo, who constantly follows you on the overworld after completing the Airship, you have other companions, who mostly assist you in dungeons. They follow you like the companions in Link's Awakening and can't be hurt by monsters. Though most of them have the abilitiy to attack enemies, as well serving you in a special way, when you "ask" them in the menu. For example the girl can heal you, which is a real bless at the beginning of the game. The dwarf Watts let you buy items, Amanda will neutralize the petrified condition and Lester can change the background music.

So, after I got the "Chocobot" and new equipment, like the Flame Chain, the Ice Armor and the Ice Shield, I went back to Wendel and after that to Lorim, where everyone was frozen. So, I had to go to an Ice Cave, fighting Kary, a female gigant with serpent legs, leaving the Ice Sword after defeat. For doing so, a guy in Lorim gave me the Bone Key and said, I have to go for the Legendary Sword. Then two minidungeons were on the list. The first ended with a fight against a Grim Reaper missing a scythe and throwing skulls, which gave me the Nuke spell. I didn't have the chance to try this one out, but it sounds like fun. Then I went to the cave the Bone Key was for, buying the Thunder Spear on the way. The dungeon was quite short, too, and came up with a Kraken at the end. Now the Undersea Volcano dungeon is next, where I'm supposed to find the Legendary Sword. But I doubt so.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Just look, what I've found. After I released my old Ocean King Temple guide here, I thought, I could show you another piece of my old work. And this one is definitely old, it's an Unreal Tournament map, I've made in the year 2003. I really love the original UT, I loved to play it and I loved the cool editor, that was shipped with the game. So, I've created some maps. And this here is my best one.

I've also tried to create maps for UT2003 and UT2004, but I've been as satisfied with them as with the games theirselves, not very much. The original Unreal Tournament is still the best, if you ask me, along with the original Unreal. The whole style, the sounds, the music, the gameplay... it was perfect. UT2004 didn't live up to that, the game was awfully colorful and tawdry, the weapons were too weak and most of the maps were lacking gameplay. UT3 however, looks okay, but at the moment I only own a 3 year old notebook, which isn't actually the best choice to play games like that, as you can tell. But maybe in one or two years I try myself again in mapping, you'll never know.

Back to topic, DM-1on1-Neglect is set in an old, neglected industrial facility. I really payed attention to the atmosphere of the map, you don't need next generation graphics to produce that, an important factor are the sounds. The wood floors are creaking, the wind is blowing, I just love that. It's one of the things I really like in Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask for example, too. And it's something, I absolutely miss in modern games like Twilight Princess. So, in case you have still the original Unreal Tournament installed on your computer, like I do, go check it out.


For installing just unzip the file DM-1on1-Neglect.unr to the UnrealTournament/Maps folder.

Replaying Mystic Quest, Part 2

So, played another hour of Mystic Quest today and it was actually quite fun. I went through the Golem Cave and finally got the Morning Star. With the help of this useful weapon I can destroy walls and bricks, so I could finally get rid of those Mattocks. Because in Mystic Quest mattocks of course instantly break after you've swinged them once, like they do in real life *sarcasm*. That's why you're always forced to carry a bunch of them with you. It's the same with keys, unlike in Zelda you can't find any keys, where you need them the most. That's why you have to buy them outside of dungeons. Too bad, if you're missing any keys or mattocks and got locked up in a dungeon, because you have to spend like forever killing larger enemies hoping, you get some of the needed items from them. Thanks to the Morning Star one of these two problems is now solved, feels good. And you luckily don't need too much keys, unless you get totally lost in dungeons. Because the main problem is, when you leave the area, the walls and doors get closed again...

Another problem is, that the space for normal items is very limited. You can't keep everything you find, that's why you have to discard or sell your items from time to time, to make room for new ones. While this isn't a problem for the weapon or magic menus, the item menu is always chock-full. Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but something, which is also bugging me is talking to people. The character does that automatically, when you get near to a person, even if you don't want to speak to anyone. And like this isn't worse enough, the text is very slooow. In case, a person is blocking the path, this is getting very annoying. Luckily you can kill people, but this takes its time.

But I don't only want to talk about the bad things, so one of the good things are definitely the weapons. This is an option I really miss in Zelda games. You know, if you're really lucky in a Zelda game, you get something like a hammer, ball & chain or a two handed sword as a secondary melee weapon. In Mystic Quest you have next to different swords the Sickle, which can cut plants and does some kind of whirl attack, the Battle Axe, which can cut trees, the Chain Fail, which works like the hookshots in Zelda when you use it on poles, the Wind Spear and finally the Morning Star, I've mentioned above. All of those are fun to use and deliver a liking sense of variety.

Well, in the game after beating Davia's Mansion I finally could go through the poisoned regions, kill a giant Metal Crab, walk through some mountains with annoying, jumping monsters and enter the Golem Cave, which has the same kind "if you take the wrong direction, you will be warped back to the entrance"-puzzle as known from Zelda. There you fight a Cyclops for the Morning Star and finally a Golem for the Lit Spell. After that, you reach a bridge, which crumbles and you're taken back to where it all began. The Dark Castle. I stopped playing here, so see you next time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Temple of the Ocean King Speed Guide

screenshot of the entrance hall of the Temple of the Ocean King

This is a FAQ how to beat the infamous Temple of the Ocean King in Phantom Hourglass with a completely full Phantom Hourglass, which I've written last year. Actually, there is another version of it released on GameFAQs, which was done by me in cooperation with Rupeeman, because there are not multiple in deep FAQ about the same topic allowed there, but I don't want the original version to be unseen. The FAQ can be downloaded in text form here.



So, what's this all about? The Temple of the Ocean King is some kind of master dungeon in the game with the speciality of facing a time limit. This FAQ is not a walkthrough for the temple, but a guide how to clear it in 00:00 net time. After you've completed the temple once, the Collection Menu will give you the "Best Time" entry, which shows the best amount of remaining time you had, after completing the temple. The goal of this FAQ is to tell you, how you get a "25:00" in this spot. So, the use of this FAQ is primarily for people, who already completed the game and are interested in a polished save file, but beginners may also find it interesting, where the important shortcuts and Golden Pots are.

The first section is an overview about the major strategies, which you have to use all the time. The walkthrough part explains all the important shortcuts and the golden pots, you have to take and get. The following section is a list of the extra Sand of Hours, which you can find in the game. You'll need them to get the maximum of 25:00 minutes for your hourglass. The last part is a list of gold pot and red pot locations, which are be needed to constantly refill the Phantom Hourglass.

Well, this is the first time for me writing a FAQ and I'm German, which means English is not my native language, so if you notice anything, please let me know.



A) Stay in Safe Zones

Try staying in safe zones every time you can, because the Sand of Hours won't drain there. Don't wait for Phantoms or Phantom Eyes outside of safe zones. Place the red pots in clever positions, for example when you have to bomb a wall in the nearby area. Switch your items inside the safe zones, so you don't have to waste time doing it in cursed areas.

B) Ignore Treasure Chests

Killing Phantoms spawns several treasure chests on each floor, including random treasures, ship parts or rupees, which are of course very attractive. But unless you're very near to them, it's always better to ignore them, because it will cost you some time getting them.

But you may want to try something like a "perfect run" by completing the dungeon with 25:00 best time and getting all treasure chests. There are five ship parts, five treasures and 700 rupees to get. Most of them will spawn after you've defeated all the Phantoms on a floor. The only exception is B5, where you have to hit the crystal switch in the northeast corner to spawn the chest. Here is a list of what you can get on each floor:

  • B1 - random treasure
  • B2 - random treasure
  • B3 - random treasure
  • B4 - random treasure
  • B5 - 100 rupees
  • B6 - random treasure
  • B7 - random ship part
  • B8 - random ship part
  • B9 - random ship part
  • B10 - 100 rupees
  • B11 - 200 rupees
  • B12 - 300 rupees
  • B13 - 2x random ship part (rarer)
C) Only Get Valuable Golden Pots

There are a lot of Golden Pots inside the temple, but some of them aren't worth getting, because you'll lose more time on these tasks than you'll win. See the Walkthrough section for more details.

D) Lure Phantoms

Don't get to the Phantoms, let them get to you, while you're inside of a safe zone. The Hammer is the best tool here, because it makes a lot of noise, which the Phantoms will go investigating for.

E) Roll

This is hard to do, I know, but try to do it whenever you can for some speed advantage. But be careful, rolling three times makes you dizzy, which will cost you valuable time.

F) Don't Get Hit by Phantoms or Wizzrobes

Pretty much self-explanatory. Every hit by a Phantom or a Wizzrobe will cost you valuable time, so this is not acceptable. However, you can reduce the time damage you take from Phantoms to five seconds by equipping the Lvl 2 Spirit of Wisdom. But the time damage from Wizzrobes won't be affected by this, it's always 15 seconds.




Don't use the yellow portal, because you'll need the key on B3 for a later shortcut, or else it may be difficult. So enter the temple via the normal way and just run through the door in the center.


Stay in the safe zone and wait for the Phantom of the southeast area to come by. Kill him and then make your way over the Grappling Hook tightrope. Kill the other Phantom and then make your way to the north, ignoring the spawning treasure chest. Pick up a red pot here and smash it in the near of the bombable blocks. Stay inside the puddle, while you're switching to bombs and destroying the blocks. Activate the switch with the Hammer or step on it and run back to northwest corner, where the key lies. The exit lies in the northeast corner.


Equip your boomerang inside the safe zone at the entrance. Kill the blue Phantom to the east and use the boomerang to activate both switches as fast as possible, which will let the key in this floor appear. Bomb the wall south of the entrance and then run into the safe zone. Don't care about getting the key, the red Phantom will get it for you. Kill him, take the key and go the northwest corner. Break the red pot there and stay inside the puddle, while you're bombing the wall here. Get the extra 30 seconds and then enter the stairway down to B3.


Use the Hammer to lure both Phantoms to the entrance, kill them and get the key. DON'T use the key on the door in the south, it's not necessary to care about the Force Gems. Go the Triforce shaped pedestal area and bomb the wall in the northeast, where you'll find 30 extra seconds. Then head to the northwest exit, which is on an upper level. But you'll find another 30 seconds there and two torches, which are giving you the possibility of slingshooting yourself up the exit with the help of the Grappling Hook.

You should have about 24:50 minutes or better left. Ignore the Golden Pot inside the next area, because you're picking it up later.


Immediately kill the red Phantom, then go the northeast corner and shoot an arrow into the eye. This will deactivate all the gust valves in this room. Make your way to the red pot in the upper west area of this floor and let you spot by the Phantom Eye, so the second Phantom is chasing you. Keep staying inside the puddle, kill the Phantom, the Phantom Eye and then use Bombchus to activate both crystal switches in the near area. One will give you access to the north west exit and the other access to the key. To get the Golden Pot located on the wall, you have to dig up the geyser in the southwest, get on the upper level with the crystal switch and then to use the Boomerang from there to get the pot. There is also a second pot in the southeast corner, use the Boomerang to pick the 30 bonus seconds up. Now take the key and go back to the sea chart room in B3, where you left another Golden Pot. Don't destroy it, but pick it up and carry it to the north west exit in B4. Smash it there, take the 30 extra seconds and go down to B5.


Use the gust valve to jump over the pit and make your way to B6. Thanks to this shortcut you can totally skip the rest of B5.


Kill the Phantom at the entrance and make your way to the northeast safe zone, where you kill the Phantom Eye and maybe the second Phantom, if it is near. Go down to the south and step on the switch next to the gust valve, to deactivate it. Go to the red door and draw the Hourglass Crest on it. Exit through the door and get the Golden Pot in the Sun Crest room, then go back to B6, where you now draw the Triforce crest on the door to proceed. You should now have exactly 25:00 minutes left.

You can ignore the Golden Pot in the western side of B6, because you won't do better than 25:00.


Use the Boomerang to get the Golden Pot near the floating platforms, before the red Phantom can destroy it. Stay in the center north safe zone and grapple the chest including the round crystal with the Grappling Hook to get over the pit. Break the Golden Pot there and get the round crystal. Because you've stored the key from B3, you can now easily use the shortcut in the northeast corner. Just open the door and go down.


Break the Golden Pot, drop the round crystal in the lower safe zone and make your way to the red pot. Stand inside the puddle, wait for the Phantom and kill it. After that, use Bombchus from where you are to activate the crystal switch. The Bombchu hole is in the southwest of the covered area. This will open the blue door next to the shortcut entrance. Get the round crystal and go down to B9.


Take the round crystal to the pedestals. Kill the Phantom and all the Wizzrobes inside this area. The Phantom drops the square crystal, which you'll place on the pedestal in the northwestern area to lower the flames. Get the triangle crystal there and take it to the three pedestals. Don't just carry the crystals all the time, because this will make you slower. Throw them, run to them and pick them up again and again. You may want to use the stairway by the chest with the triangle crystal to get back to B8, where you will find two Golden Pots (see Golden Pot section for more details). But don't to forget to activate the geyser there, or else you won't make it back here in time. This is not necessary to do, but recommended. However, if you're done there, get the square crystal and insert the three crystals in the following order:

■ ● ▲

Don't forget to destroy the Golden Pot in the sea chart chamber. You should have about 24:50 or better left.


Activate the crystal switch in the southeast to the entrance with the help of your Bombchus to lower the spikes in the west. Lure the right Phantom to you with the help of the Hammer and kill it. Kill the Phantom carrying the key with the boulder, get the key and make your way to south. Use the Grappling Hook on the stake inside the safe zone and pull yourself to the other side. There is a 15 seconds pot in the southeast corner, run fast to it and break it with the Boomerang, then go back to the stake. Jump on it and use the Grappling Hook to get to the large treasure chest.* Jump down from there to the exit. You can ignore the other two Golden Pots, because it may take you too long getting them.

*Note: the chest mentioned above on the upper level is revealed by defeating all Phantom Eyes on the floor. This is considered to be done before you start this run.


Instantly run to the west and kill the Phantom, because there is a +30 seconds pot on the floor, he will break after some seconds. Get this pot and then head to the exit in the east.


You should have at least 24:50 minutes left at this point. If not, it may be too difficult to complete this task. I usually lose all the time I can refill in this room and you want to be sure, that you have enough time left for the last basement floor.

Wait for the golden Phantom to patrol the southeast part of its route and hammer jump yourself instantly to it, when you face its back. Kill it and take the Force Gem to the pedestals, but don't insert it into one. We don't want the Wizzrobes to spawn yet. Now get the other two Force Gems, one is in the northwest part and one in the northeast. The northeast area is defended by spikes, but you can easily lower them by activating the switch with the Hammer from the other side. Don't take the route, where the right Phantom Eye is patrolling. Of course kill both Phantoms on your way, but ignore the spawning chest for now. Don't carry the Force Gems all the time, because it slows you down too much. Use, what in the Battle Mode is called "Dribbling", throw the Force Gem run or roll to it, pick it up and throw it again, and so on.

After you've collected all three Force Gems, insert them into the pedestals. This will spawn two Wizzrobes, get to the treasure chest with the 300 rupees in the center and wait for the Wizzrobes to come by. You'll need the extra minute, you get from killing both of them. Then make your way to the last floor.

You'll may notice the Golden Pot near to the west entrance, but to get it, you have to activate all four switches in B11, so it's definitely not worth it. You can also ignore both Phantom Eyes, because they won't come into your way.


The last and most important part. You should have at least 24:50 minutes left again. Everything below 24:30 is impossible to do, and I highly recommend a time above 24:40, or else you have to start over again.

You may have wondered, how to get through the final door without wasting a single second. The trick is not to touch the Golden Pot here yet, it's the very last thing to take care about. Instead of this pick up the red pot in the northeast and jump down the ledge, where the geyser is. Immediately break the pot in front of your feet in the near of the geyser. The Phantoms may go wild now, but no matter what, stay inside the puddle. Do not leave it to lure or attack Phantoms, because this will waste valuable time. Only use the Hammer to lure them, and attack them when their back is next to you. Like I said, do not leave the puddle and everything is fine. After you've defeated all nine Phantoms, dig up the geyser, pick up the Golden Pot next to the blue portal and jump down with it the ledge again. Smash it in front of the last door, so you will pick up the 30 seconds time bonus in the very moment you enter the door.

Important: Carrying the pot into the hall with the bridge and break it there won't count. Only the time you have while entering the door will count.

So, congratulations, you've done it. It wasn't that hard at all, was it? See the lower sections for additional information. And of course this is just my version of what I think is the quickest most efficient route through the dungeon. You may want to try other ways and if you got a tactic, which is better than mine, tell me about it.


A tip by SkyAvengah (GameFAQs):

"When doing a Mega Perfect Temple Clearance, you might want to leave any extra time on floors 11 downwards (maybe floor 10 if you don't need the time then) until after you've killed the Phantoms on floor 13. Then go back up and get the extra time. When I get back to Floor 13, because the red pot is back in place, I go and smash it by the door so that I can carry the yellow pot to the puddle, throw and boomerang the extra time then run straight from the puddle to the exit. The puddle must be 2 squares below the exit or it won't form. This way you'll easily be able to get every chest, kill every enemy and still complete the temple with perfect time."

Extra Sand of Hours

It doesn't make any sense to start with a best time run, unless you got all five extra minutes for the Phantom Hourglass. Defeating all boss enemies in the game gives you a total of 20 minutes, the remaining five minutes have to be salvaged. (Thanks to HomiWan @ GameFAQs and his awesome sea chart 3.0 for some of this information.)

  1. Go to Molida Island and dig in front of the palm tree northeast to the house in the center to upon the Wayfarer's second hideaway. There is a chest at the botton of this hole, open it. The treasure is located in the northeast to Mercay.

  2. On Mercay Island talk to the guy dressed in green. He'll ask you if you have a Salvage Arm. Answer with "yes" and he'll give you the treasure map, pointing to a treasure in the west of Cannon Island.

  3. On the Isle of Ember talk to Kayo after helping Astrid, he'll mark a spot on your map. It's a patch of green east of the Temple of Fire, dig a treasure map up there. The treasure lies behind Bannan Island, so you'll only be able to salvage it after getting the fourth sea chart.

  4. Temple of the Ocean King, B6:
    There is an eye in the west of the entrance, shoot it to make a large treasure chest in the northeast appear. The treasure is sunken in the north of the Isle of Gust.

  5. Temple of the Ocean King, B5:
    Use the shortcut on B4 (see Walkthrough section for details) and dig up the geyser to activate the crystal switch on the upper level. This will deactivate the gust valve and grant you access to a large treasure chest here. Salvage it in the northwest of the Isle of Frost.


Golden Pot Locations

Here is a complete list of all the Golden Pots inside the temple. You won't need all of them and some will even cost you more time to get than they will give you, but it's good to know them all. If I missed one, please let me know.

  • B2 - northwest area, inside a safe zone behind a bombable wall (+30 seconds)

  • B3 - northeast corner, behind a bombable wall (+30 seconds)
  • B3 - northwest area, by the two torches (+30 seconds)
  • B3 - in the room with the sea chart, near the southwest exit (+30 seconds)
  • B3 - at the very south of the room, just below the switch that controls the left trap door. "The only way you can get to it in time is with the Great Spin Attack, get the Phantom's attention and make sure he doesn't destroy it." (+30 seconds) - submitted by SkyAvengah

  • B4 - on a wall in the center west area. Use the geyser in the south, to reach the upper level with the crystal switch and then get the pot from there with the Boomerang. (+30 seconds)
  • B4 - southeast corner, use the Boomerang or the Grappling Hook to get it (+30 seconds)
  • B4 - below the spikes leading to the key, but it will be destroyed by a Phantom after some seconds, so you have to be very fast (+30 seconds) - thanks to SkyAvengah for this one

  • B5 - use the bow to activate the eye near the south entrance, the pot is in the center of the south east room (+30 seconds) B5 - kill all Bubbles in the first center room (+15 seconds)
  • B5 - kill all Moldorms in the second center room (+15 seconds)

  • B6 - killing all Phantom Eyes will lower the spikes in the west, defending a Golden Pot. But you can also use the Hammer to get it. (+30 seconds)
  • B6 - inside the Sun Crest room, draw the Hourglass Crest on the red door for access (+30 seconds)
  • B6 - go west then south straight away or the Phantom will destroy it. (+30 seconds) - again thanks to SkyAvengah for this one

  • B7 - on the pathway southwest of the entrance. Break it with the Boomerang while moving on the floating platform, before the Phantom can destroy it. (+30 seconds)
  • B7 - by the chest with the round crystal (+30 seconds)

  • B8 - by the shortcut in the northeast. Use the key from B3 on the northeast door in B7 to get access to it. (+30 seconds)
  • B8 - on the upper level by the round pedestal. Use the stairs or the geyser to get on it and do the rest with the Boomerang. (+30 seconds)
  • B8 - in the northwest corner (+30 seconds)

  • B9 - no Golden Pots on this floor, but 4 Wizzrobes (+30 seconds each)
  • B9 - in the sea chart room (+30 seconds)

  • B10 - southeast corner, use Boomerang or Grappling Hook (+15 seconds) 
  • B10 - inside the southern area with the sound floors, protected by a Phantom Eye (+30 seconds) 
  • B10 - northwest area, dig up the geyser and use it to get on the upper level, then destroy the Pot with your Boomerang (+15 seconds)

  • B11 - instantly kill the Phantom to the west, before he can break the pot on the floor (+30 seconds)
  • B11 - in the northwest corner (+15 seconds)
  • B11 - in the center north, east of the pit (+15 seconds)

  • B12 - next to the western entrance, but you'll have to activate all four switches on B11 to get there (+30 seconds)
  • B12 - two Wizzrobes triggered by delivering the two Force Gems to the pedestals (+30 seconds each)

  • B13 - in the northwestern corner, smash it in front of the last door before entering it (+30 seconds) 


Red Pot Locations

This is a list of all the locations of the red pots. It might come in handy. Note: Like Golden Pots you can carry red pots to other floors and use them there. Unlike Golden Pots they will reset every time, you come back to a floor. This way you can also duplicate red pots by leaving a floor with the pot and returning with it to its original position.

  • B1 - in the northern hallway next to a fallen adventurer
  • B1 - in the northern hallway next to the pot above

  • B2 - in an alcove in the northwest area next to the bombable wall

  • B3 - in the alcove west of the entrance
  • B3 - on the upper level of the southeast area with the switches for the trapdoors

  • B4 - northwestern part, where the spikes defending the shortcut are

  • B6 - located in an alcove in the northwest corner

  • B7 - located in an alcove in the center of the east wall

  • B8 - located in an alcove next to the northeast shortcut
  • B8 - located in an alcove in the center of the west wall

  • B9 - in an alcove south of the northwest square pedestal

  • B10 - in an alcove in the southwest corner, where the Phantom with the key is patrolling
  • B10 - in the southeast part of the maze, in a corner north of the bombable wall

  • B11 - located in an alcove next to the stationary Phantom Eye in the east
  • B11 - located in an alcove next to the stationary Phantom Eye in the west

  • B12 - in the northwest corner
  • B12 - in the northeast corner

  • B13 - in the northeast, smash it in the lower level to defeat the Phantoms

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Replaying Mystic Quest, Part 1

What the hell is Mystic Quest, you ask? It's an old Game Boy game from 1991, which is better know as "Final Fantasy Adventure" in the US and A or "Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden" in Japan. I'm a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and I played this game as kid, because it was the most similar game to Zelda LA on the Game Boy.

Though it has its flaws, you can actually save yourself into death resulting in an ultimate game over. This is something, that happened to me as a kid in Davia's Mansion, I accidently saved with low health and there was no possibility of dealing with the enemies in that dungeon. In addition you couldn't leave the dungeon to buy healing items. You know, when you save in Link's Awakening or later installments of the Zelda series, you will start at the dungeon entrance with at least 3 hearts filled up. This did work much better for me, especially if you consider, that I was like 11 years old and my little gaming experience was reduced to the Game Boy system. But now, 10 years later, I thought I could give this game a second shot and I'm going to make sure, that I won't fail again. I even have beaten Davia's Mansion as I speak, to be exactly.

But one thing, I've noticed, it really doesn't live up to Zelda LA. It's just running from dungeon to dungeon, which all look the same. Heck, even when you go into that Airship, the inner part looked exactly like all the other dungeons just with some grates on the floor. Give me a screenshot of any screen in Zelda LA and I can tell you exactly, where this place is located in the game. It's not even hard to do so. But in Mystic Quest, it happens a lot, that I totally get lost, because everything looks the same. Same goes for the overworld, nothing but trees and rocks everywhere, yay. The villages always have the same three types of shops, just with different offerings and items...

But, I've only seen like half of the game, so I don't want to speak of the devil. However, it has its nice parts, too. It's a really nice hybrid between RPG and Action Adventure and the weapons are actually quite cool... but I will talk about items in the next part, it's getting late here.

The Future of Zelda

"Oh no, not another guy, who has an opinion about how an upcoming Zelda title would look like!" - That's what you might be thinking right now, but considering that this is the first time since Link's Awakening that we don't know anything about the future of the series, wildly speculating about it is probably a normal reaction of every Zelda fan right now. In the last decade we got 10 new Zelda games and several re-releases of the classics, so there was at least one new title per year. But in the moment, nothing is known about what the Zelda team is currently working on and we all can't wait for this year's E3 to have Nintendo show us some details about what's coming up next.

As far as I can tell, there are four possibilities of future installments in the series, which doesn't mean that we only get one of them. In the last years, there were always at least two teams working simultaneously on different Zelda titles (like Flagship or the small team who made Four Swords Adventures and Phantom Hourglass), so I don't see a problem in having a big title as well a small one again. I think everyone will agree, that Nintendo's Zelda team is putting all their efforts in the next big 3D Zelda for the Wii. So, I will focus more on what may be in store next to it.

I'm personally looking foward to a second NDS Zelda. There was only a small part of the Zelda team working on Phantom Hourglass, which put most of their efforts in the "how", which means, their focus was on the gameplay, the controls and the visual style. And I have to say that I really liked, how all of those turned out, but the actual content of the game was lacking, as we all know. But concerning a second NDS Zelda we're actually in the same situation as before with Majora's Mask - the "how" was already done by Ocarina of Time, the major aspects of the development were put in the ideas and the results were awesome. The engine, the graphics and the controls are set, which means Nintendo has to come up with some good ideas, since it's easier now to create a new Zelda game for the NDS. In the end the main audience of this game would be people, who bought Phantom Hourglass, so you have to come up with something good to entertain them. It's most likely, that a second NDS Zelda will be released even before the new Wii Zelda, maybe late 2009.

However, concerning a new Wii Zelda, I believe everything will be about the "how" again. The Wii controls of Twilight Princess were everything, but perfect, so I think they will experiment a lot with the actual gameplay, before they're getting started to make dungeons and that stuff. For example a First Person Zelda was discussed a lot, some old gameplay aspects wouldn't work in that perspective, but on the other hand it would give us completely new ways of playing and experiencing Zelda. For example imagine putting a key in a keyhole and twisting it with the Wiimote. Or direct sword controls would actually work fine in that perspective. That the next Zelda could be a first person game is actually not too unlikely, since Miyamoto stated here, that they were trying to do a Zelda in first person since Ocarina of Time and that Link's Crossbow Training was meant to be a bridge to more first person games from Nintendo. There was also a first person demo of Twilight Princess shown at GDC 2007.

Another possibility would be a more classic looking Zelda title released for the WiiWare system, in topdown perspective and classical gameplay. But maybe the Wiimote could be used to interact with the environment, like in LostWinds. Here Nintendo could actually try something to please the oldskool fans. Of course this should be just a side project, maybe something to pass the time until the next big Wii Zelda will be released. But I think the Wiiware system could be a nice platform for an upcoming Zelda title.

Talking about passing the time, next to the WiiWare platform we have the Virtual console with at least two titles missing here. The most wanted Zelda title for Wii's Virtual Console is of course Majora's Mask. We had an emulated version of this game in the Collector's Edition, but it tended to freeze a lot. For me it crashed usually at the end of the 3rd day, so completing Kafei's Quest was impossible, not speaking about completing the game. And bringing out my old Nintendo 64 just for playing the game...? It's definitely time for a new VC Zelda here. Don't know, why they haven't released it yet, but I can think of two reasons next to "save some smash hits for later". One would be that they maybe want to release it, when then next Wii Zelda is coming out, like they did with Metroid and Super Metroid before the release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. But it's definitely a long time until then. The second possibility is that they have to face the same problems with the game on the Virtual Console. But since every game on the Virtual Console gets its own emulator, they should find a solution to emulate this game properly.

The second potential Zelda VC title is Master Quest, I really enjoyed the puzzles in that game, although a VC release wouldn't be so important like Majora's Mask. But since the Wii will probably have a very long life span, we will most likely see this game somewhen in the future. It's a Zelda game anyway. So, if Majora's Mask makes it to the Virtual Console, you can expect this game to follow. The emulation of Master Quest worked better than the one of Majora's Mask back then on the GameCube, so if Majora's Mask can make it, then so does Master Quest.

But we all know, the Zelda team will give up on the Zelda franchise, because there's no point in continuing the series, when everybody is just complaining about it. Instead they will concentrate their efforts in a more beneficial franchise: "Link's". After the super-smash-hit Link's Crossbow Training, they're working on the next unbelievable installment of the Link's series, Link's Fishing Adventure. Discover a large world, containing lots of lakes, rivers, ponds and a fishing village, where Link can sell his caught fish to get rupees. With the rupees he can rent boats or buy new lures and empty bottles. Will he eventually catch the legendary Hylian Loach? ... Hey, wait... that doesn't even sound too bad...

Just joking. However, to sum up, the next Wii Zelda is the big deal. But also the Nintendo DS, the WiiWare system and the Virtual console are potential platforms for new and old releases. Also, it may be possible, that Nintendo does another spin-off. And maybe, we get nothing. Hopefully we all will be a little wiser after E3 2008.