The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse
  • Genre:
    • Platformer
  • Developer:
    • Capcom
  • Publisher:
    • Capcom
  • Released:
    SNES
    • JP 11/20/1992
    • US December 1992
    • UK 03/18/1993
    GBA
    • JP 08/09/2002
    • US 08/13/2002
    • UK 09/27/2002
Score: 80%

This review was published on 02/28/2017.

The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse is a side-scrolling platform video game developed and published by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Famicom. It was originally released in Japan on November 20, 1992, North America in December 1992, and Europe on March 18, 1993. A port for the Sega Genesis was planned at some point, but it never came to be. The sequel, titled The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey and Minnie, did successfully get ported to the Genesis, though. Anyway, before the release of The Magical Quest, Disney licensed Capcom, the company behind Mega Man, to make a plethora of games based on their animated properties on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy, like DuckTales and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. These games sold extraordinarily well, with the first DuckTales game selling over a million copies on the NES and Game Boy, making it Capcom's best selling game on both platforms. Most of these Capcom developed Disney games are fairly good, and that quality is reflected in The Magical Quest.

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One day, some of Disney's most iconic characters were playing catch in the park together. Said characters include Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Living up to his name, Goofy goofs things up by throwing the ball too far. Pluto then runs off to chase the ball, disappearing into the distance. Goofy assures everyone that he'll find Pluto and saunters off to begin the search. Not confident in Goofy's dog finding skills, Mickey opts to go after him. During his search, Mickey does a goof of his own by falling off a cliff, plummeting into a strange land of magic. Shortly thereafter, Mickey meets a wizard who tells him that Pluto had been captured by his old nemesis, Pete. For some reason, Pete is an evil emperor in this world, and he's using magic to brainwash everyone into his servitude. Now Mickey must go on a magical quest to defeat Pete and save Pluto.

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On this magical quest, you'll be controlling Mickey. The game does have a two player mode, but both players take turns controlling Mickey, so it's basically the same thing. Pressing left or right on the d-pad causes Mickey to walk in those directions, down makes him duck, and the B button has him jump. Like Mario, Mickey's main method of attack is stomping on enemies. Most enemies are only momentarily stunned when first stomped, but they can usually be defeated with a second stomp after they come to. When an enemy is stunned, you can grab them with the Y button and press it again to throw them. Thrown enemies will rapidly twirl while moving forward, injuring or stunning any other foes that happen to be in the way, kind of like a Koopa Shell from Super Mario Bros. Unlike Koopa Shells, tossed foes don't hurt you on the rebound. You can grab and throw blocks in this fashion, as well. Some objects react differently when thrown, like tomatoes that begin to fly upwards when released, and you can hold onto them during their ascent for a short ride. The controls are good, though Mickey is a bit slow.

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Over the course of his adventure, Mickey will receive various magical costumes. To switch costumes, you press the L or R buttons to select the desired costume and the A button to put it on. There are three costumes total and each one gives Mickey different abilities. The first one you get is the Wizard Costume, which enables Mickey to shoot magical bolts of energy from his fingertip with the Y button. You can even hold the Y button for a tiny bit to charge up the shots, allowing Mickey to fire more powerful blasts that also travel farther. This essentially turns him into a magical Mega Man, which makes sense given that Capcom was behind the wheel. The Wizard Costume also lets him swim forever without drowning. The second outfit is the Firefighter Costume, which allows Mickey to fire a powerful stream of water from his hose that can put out fires and push some blocks. Both the Wizard and Firefighter Costumes have limited ammo that can be replenished by collecting magic lamps and fire hydrants, respectively. The costume system is undoubtedly the game's best feature.

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The final outfit you get is the Mountaineer's Costume, which is definitely the most fun one to wear. Unlike the other costumes, this one doesn't require any ammo. Instead, it allows Mickey to shoot a grappling hook that can attach to various surfaces, like cliffs, ceilings, blocks, and certain platforms. The hook is fired with the Y button, and it goes diagonally upwards by default, but can be aimed left, right, or straight up by holding those directions on the d-pad whilst pressing Y. If the grappling hook attaches to a surface diagonally, Mickey will begin automatically swinging back and forth. However, if it attaches to something vertically, Mickey will hang from the rope while remaining completely stationary. In either scenario, you can press up or down to either extend or retract the rope, but Mickey will let go if the rope is extended too far. If the rope retracts enough, Mickey will climb onto whatever the grappling hook was stuck to. It takes some skill to master, but the Mountaineer's Costume is awesome.

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Occasionally, you'll encounter large yellow blocks with Mickey's face on them. These blocks usually have a chain below them that can be pulled to break them open, often revealing various goodies. Among these goodies are gold coins, which can be used at shops scattered throughout the game to purchase even more goodies. At the shop, you can buy big hearts that increase Mickey's maximum health capacity, extra lives, magic lamps, fire hydrants, and more. Most of these goods can be found outside the shop, but a few items are exclusively bought. These shop exclusive items include a permanent upgrade to the Wizard and Firefighter Costumes that reduces their ammo consumption by half. Besides the big hearts, these are the most useful items in the game, and also the most expensive. The only issue with shops is that they're not always available and are usually hidden, so you might miss out on them. Also, you can't really grind for coins, because every stage is timed. Aside from that, the shop system is neat.

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There are six stages and most of them are fairly creative. For instance, the first stage is a land of giant beanstalks, clouds, and flying tomatoes, but it then becomes a swamp with bees you hide from by going underwater. The second stage is a dark forest with bouncy branches that eventually has you swim through the sap of a giant tree. Stage three begins with a stone elevator going down a big tunnel, and you have to avoid being caught on enemies, blocks, and the walls so as to not get hit by the spikes on the ceiling. Even the stereotypical fire area is creative, featuring moving platforms that become lit on fire whenever they dip into the flames below, requiring you to douse them with the Firefighter Costume. The obligatory ice stage is also rather inventive, as it allows you to create frozen platforms using water from the very same costume. The game gets better the further you play, because you'll have access to more costumes, and the later stages exploit that fact.

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Most stages have at least one mini-boss and one regular boss, and many of them are cool. The first actual boss is a giant snake that'll lunge forwards at you and spit out eggs that'll bounce around. Every time you hit him, he loses one of his slithering segments, and his attack pattern changes the smaller he gets. The second major boss is a giant spider that crawls around a massive web, featuring impressive sprite rotation effects courtesy of the SNES' Mode-7. The fancy Mode-7 effects get further demonstrated by a boss that ice skates on a half pipe, doing fantastical flips in the air. One mini-boss is a goon that'll hit the ground with a mallet, causing lava to raise the platform you're standing on towards spikes on the ceiling. Another boss is a giant bird that attempts to blow you away, forcing you to utilize the grappling hook to stay on the platforms. You then use the grappling hook to swipe the egg it carries so you can throw it back to damage the boss. This game's good boss to bad boss ratio is quite favorable.

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Aside from being a little too short and easy, The Magical Quest is a perfectly solid game. It's got good graphics with a vibrant color palette, decent controls, fun stages, and good bosses. However, the cool costumes are the main reason to play this game. The mountaineer's costume alone is worth playing the game over, but the other two costumes are also very helpful and fun to use. They're extremely well balanced, too, so you'll be using all three costumes throughout the whole game. This is a great game to pull out during a costume party.

Word Count: 1,531

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