Disney's Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey and Donald
  • Genre:
    • Platformer
  • Developer:
    • Capcom
  • Publisher:
    • Capcom
  • Released:
    SNES
    • JP 12/08/1995
    GBA
    • JP 11/21/2003
    • US 03/19/2004
    • UK 06/14/2005
Score: 75%

This review was published on 03/16/2017.

Disney's Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey and Donald is a side-scrolling platform video game developed and published by Capcom for the Super Famicom. It was originally released in Japan on December 8, 1995. As its title implies, this is the third game in the Disney's Magical Quest series. The second game was titled The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey and Minnie and originally came out in 1994 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis. The first game was known as The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse and originally released on the SNES in 1992. Both of these games got released outside of Japan, but the third one didn't make it overseas until the slightly enhanced port on the Game Boy Advance that came out in Japan on November 21, 2003, North America on March 19, 2004, and Europe on June 14, 2005. As for the quality of the game, it's about as good as the previous two, which is to say, it's fairly solid.

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As its title states, this game stars Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, two of Disney's most recognizable characters. During one hapless day, Mickey and Donald were outside playing with Donald's nephew triplets, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. However, the three nephews play a prank on Donald, which sends him into a fit of rage. Fearing a nasty reprimanding from their enraged uncle, the rascals dash off into the house to hide in the attic. While there, they happened upon a mysterious old book. As they began to flip through its pages, the book magically transported them to a realm known as Storybook land. When Mickey and Donald find the book, a magical fairy appears and fills them in on what happened. According to the fairy, Mickey's old nemesis, Pete, is the current leader of Storybook land, and in addition to kidnapping Donald's nephews, he plans to take over the real world. It's now up to Mickey and Donald to save the day.

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You can play as either Mickey or Donald. In their base forms, they play identically, but they do have some differences that I'll be covering later. For the most part, the basics are the same as the previous games. In other words, you can walk, jump, duck, stomp foes, and grab various things. Most enemies get temporarily stunned when stomped, enabling you to pick them up and throw them into other foes to damage or outright murder them. Like before, it's also possible to grab and throw small blocks in this way, which can also be used to injure or kill enemies. Yellow blocks are gone for good when destroyed, but red blocks will magically reappear. Some of the blocks from the previous games have been removed, like the ones that briefly stop time, but in their place is a new explosive block that does spread damage. As far as the controls go, they're just as precise as before, but Mickey's and Donald's walking speed is still kind of on the slow side.

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Like the last two games, the main focus of this game is the costume system. Every so often, Mickey and Donald will be given new costumes that they can wear to gain special abilities. As usual, there are three costumes in all and you can freely switch between the ones you currently have. The costumes are a knight's outfit, a climber's getup, and a magician's suit. You can do a short ranged attack with the knight's outfit, climb up trees with the climber's gear, and shoot projectiles with the magician's suit that transform enemies and objects into different things. The knight's outfit has a recharging power meter that determines the strength of its attack, with a full meter causing an earthquake that does damage to nearby enemies. Meanwhile, the magician's costume has limited ammo, similar to the wizard costume from the first game. The costumes in the second game mostly sucked when compared to the first, but the third game is a big improvement over it, as the outfits are more useful this time around.

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Unlike the previous games, however, some of the costumes are slightly different depending on who's wearing them. For example, Donald's version of the knight outfit has him in a silly barrel instead of a suit of armor, and he uses a mallet instead of the lance with a boxing glove attached to it that Mickey uses. This isn't merely for visual effect, because Donald's barrel allows him to float on water, whereas Mickey's heavy knight armor causes him to sink. Donald is also able to hide inside his barrel to defend himself from all sides, but Mickey is only able to block attacks from the front with his shield by ducking or holding the attack button. Further, Donald's mallet only attacks forward, while Mickey's gloved lance can be shot in all four of the cardinal directions. With the magician's outfit, Mickey shoots magical doves at a faster rate than Donald's magical bullets, but Donald can hold the button down to ready a shot. The climber's costume is the only one that's basically the same for both characters. These subtle differences make the game's cooperative play more fun, as each player controls a different character.

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The shop system from the previous games is back once again. Scattered all throughout the game are mysterious doors that, when entered, lead you to a shop with various goodies to buy. Said goodies can be bought with the coins you gather on your journey, which are usually found by breaking blocks of various sizes. All the standard stuff is still available; hearts to replenish lost health, extra lives, big hearts to increase maximum health, and ammo for the magical costume. There's also an upgrade available for the knight costume to increase the recovery speed of its meter and another upgrade for the magician outfit to decrease its ammo usage. New to this game are heart pieces, which work like Zelda in that you need four of them to form a new heart to increase max health. Also new to this game are doors that take you to a simple bonus game where you flip over cards to reveal even more goodies, like additional coins, heart pieces, and extra lives. The bonus game ends if you get a card with Pete on it, though.

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This game has more stages than the last two, giving it a more reasonable length. The first stage takes place in a medieval town festival and it has a section with a boat you row across a river by repeatedly pressing a button on it. You also explore a forest with vines, a sandy mountain filled with quicksand, an airship, an underwater area where you swim into bubbles to breathe, a snowy peak, and more. Notable bosses include a big pig that's being carried around in a giant green pepper by various crows, which utilizes the SNES' Mode-7 feature to do some nice sprite rotation effects. Another neat boss fight is against a large moth in the forest stage, wherein the screen scrolls automatically as you jump from one tree to another using the climber's outfit. In order to damage this thing, you must climb onto a tree and turn around to hit the boss with Mickey's backpack or Donald's massive behind. Some of the bosses take too long to kill, though. At any rate, there's a lot of imagination on display here, and the beautiful graphics do a good job of portraying that creativity. The music's pretty good, too.

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As with the previous game, it's possible for two players to play cooperatively, with one controlling Mickey and the other assuming the role of Donald. Whenever a player dies, they'll reappear inside a floating balloon that lets you pick where they land, giving you the opportunity to find a safe spot to spawn. This is even the case in single player mode. Each player has separate lives and health, but if one player loses all their lives, they can steal lives from the remaining player to get back into the action. If the two players exhaust all their lives, a Game Over will be initiated, but thankfully, there are infinite continues and a password system. The dialogue during story scenes is also slightly different depending on whether the game is being played with Mickey, Donald, or both. This is demonstrated when the townspeople in the first stage comment that they don't have a suit of armor that would fit Donald's unusually large behind, so they give him a barrel with some pots and pans instead. If you're playing with Mickey alone, then you'll miss this bit of humor. While it's still playable in single player, it's clear that this game was meant for cooperative play.

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Capcom, the company behind Mega Man, had a long history of developing games for Disney on the NES and SNES in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Most of these games were based on Disney's animated properties, like DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, The Little Mermaid, Darkwing Duck, and Aladdin. A lot of these games also happened to be good. The Magical Quest series was born out of this Disney and Capcom partnership, and they're all pretty decent games. It's safe to say that if you liked the previous two games in the series, then you'll likely like Disney's Magical Quest 3.

Word Count: 1,563

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