Mystery Quest

Mystery Quest is one of the few games that I would buy secondhand that I actually had the manual to. And, even though I’ve gotten rid of the game and its manual at this point, at the time I had some idea of what was going on.

Hao, some magician’s apprentice, has to go out into the world and find four treasures that are hidden in four castles throughout the land. The thing is, though, that the castles themselves are also hidden. Compounding the issue is that Hao is pretty fragile. He can’t swim, diving into deep water is instantly fatal and touching shallow water hurts him. He also steadily loses his vitality (unless he finds some magic item). But it’s OK. He has magic bubbles to defend himself with. Combined with his razor-sharp intellect, there’s no end to what he can do!

Eh, I may have overstated that a bit.

I actually invested a lot of time into this game. I got pretty adept at finding the hidden castles and the treasures within, only to be greeted with a screen of failure each time I did so. I couldn’t understand it, why am I getting the bad ending for doing what I’m supposed to do? I even beat it three times in a row to see if there was another different ending to be had. And you know what I found out? There wasn’t. So I ended up trading this game off for some other NES game or other and hadn’t given it a second thought until today.

Today, I find out that if you want to see the ‘real ending’ for this game you have to beat it four times in a row. Four! One more than the three that I did previously. Do you have any idea what this means? It means that I’m probably never going to know how the game ends properly now. Because I can’t find evidence of the alleged ‘good ending’ anywhere on the Internet. I’m actually beginning to wonder if there actually is a good ending, and that the game is really just a giant joke on NES players. One that you can’t actually win, no matter how hard you try.

That’d be low.

And it would make me jealous that I didn’t think of it first.

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