Holy Magic Century
North American Nintendo 64 cover art
Quest 64, released as Holy Magic Century in Europe, Australia and New Zealand and as Eltale Monsters (エルテイル モンスターズ Eruteiru Monsutāzu?) in Japan, is a single-player role-playing video game developed by Imagineer and published by THQ. It was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998 and was the first RPG released for the system in the United States.
After Quest 64's moderate financial success, a sequel was in consideration by the developer Imagineer. However, only the sequel's story was revealed before it was ultimately cancelled. Imagineer released two other related games for the Game Boy Color: Quest: Brian's Journey and a puzzle game called Quest: Fantasy Challenge.
The playable character is an apprentice mage named Brian. Brian sets off to find his father who has left the monastery of the mages—the player learns later that his father is looking for a thief who has stolen the "Eletale Book". The player must also collect elemental amulets, which have been hoarded by powerful criminals and are integral in the defeat of the game's final boss.
The game's main characters and bosses are:
Brian — The protagonist of the game, Brian is a young boy who has set out to save his father. He lives at Melrode Monastery and is an apprentice magician with the ability to use Water, Fire, Wind, and Earth magic. The protagonist's name in the Japanese version is Jean-Jacques (ジャンジャック?), while he is called Ayron in PAL region releases
Lord Bartholomy — Brian's father and Master Spirit Tamer. He lives at Melrode Monastery and set out to recover the stolen Eletale Book, but has been missing for a month.
Leonardo — Another apprentice magician who appears at Normoon and at Brannoch Castle near the end of the game. Though not a main character, he still manages to help Brian by providing healing items in a room within Brannoch Castle.
Leila — The guardian of Larapool, the city of water. She has the ability to control the water flow of the city, thus giving Brian access to Larapool's entrance to Blue Cave.
Colleen — A Sorceress who has protected the Water Jewel for generations is the only inhabitant of the Isle of Skye; her home is connected to Epona's home.
Epona — The mysterious seer who resides in the Blue Cave; her connection to the Isle of Skye gives Brian access to the Water Jewel. Later on, her powers allow her to enter Mammon's Dimension at the end of the game to provide aid to Brian.
King Scottfort — King of Kenneshire, he rules over Dondoran Castle in Dondoran.
Queen Deanna — Queen of Carmagh, rules over Limelin Castle in Limelin and rules alone due to the death of her husband.
Prince William — The son of Queen Deanna and the crowned prince of Limelin.
King Beigis — Militant and power-hungry king of Highland, rules over Brannoch Castle in Brannoch Castle Town.
Fargo — Arsonist and thief who stole the Fire Ruby.
Nepty — Female Magician and thief who stole the Water Jewel. She has blue hair and wears a blue outfit.
Zelse — Magician in a group of vagabonds in Normoon and thief who stole the Wind Jade.
Solvaring — Self-proclaimed "King of the Beasts" and thief who stole the Earth Orb from the King of Dondoran.
Mammon — The demonic embodiment of greed who attempts to trick Brian into releasing him from his prison so that he may seek to possess the powers of the human spirit.
Shilf — Mammon's assistant, hiding in Baragoon Tunnel. She has red hair, wears a red cocktail dress and walks seductively.
Shannon — A puppet created by Mammon for the sole purpose of leading Brian around the world to collect the Elemental Gems, and who, near the end of the game, threatens to kill Brian's father, Bartholomy, unless Brian kills King Beigis and opens the World of Mammon.
Guilty — King Beigis' monstrous looking apprentice. He has made Brannoch Castle Town chaotic with his magic experiments.
The game's story is set in Celtland, a fantastic medieval world that resembles Ireland.
The game differs from most other RPGs in that the experience system is not based upon a traditional "level-up" model. Instead, experience is gained for specific stats based on how the player performs in battle. If the character gets hit a lot, for instance, defense will increase. Also, whenever the player finds a wispy white spirit, they can choose an element of magic to upgrade (from Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind). Leveling up these elements grants the character new attacks and strengthens existing ones.
The game has no money system which is unusual for an RPG. Every item is either found in a treasure chest, given to the player character free of charge, or dropped by a monster, if the character doesn't have one already. If Brian runs out of HP, the game will return him to the last inn at which he saved. He retains all spells, items, and experience he has gained before death, but any items used before death will not be returned.
Because North American and PAL releases of the game were considered too short and easy, Imagineer added new events and tightened some of the repetitive gameplay for the game's Japanese localization. Expectations were high for the game as in 1998 when the game was released the Nintendo 64 didn't have any hit RPGs on the system.
Quest 64 received mixed reviews upon release with GameRankings giving it a score of 53.79% Though praised for its high quality graphics (IGN wrote "Quest proves beyond a doubt that compelling RPG graphics are possible on a cart") and inventive spell system, reviewers criticized it for totally lacking depth on all fronts: gameplay, storyline, and exploration. GameSpot wrote "Quest 64's individual puzzles and challenges are similarly straightforward. Go to Town #1. Converse with townspeople. Discover that there's a villain scaring everyone and making it impossible to get through Forest #1 to Town #2. To boot, he's stolen Unique Elemental Magic Item #1 from Lord #1." The general conclusion was the game was competent enough to charm gamers who had never played an RPG before, but too simplistic and trite to interest anyone else.
- "Buy Eltale Monsters". Play-Asia. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- IGN staff (January 26, 1999). "Quest 2". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- "SPACEWORLD'97" (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- Critic reviews at GameRankings
- AllGame review
- Edge staff (August 1998). "Quest 64". Edge (61).
- "Quest 64". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1998.
- GamePro review
- Game Revolution review
- GameSpot review
- IGN review
- "Quest 64". Nintendo Power 110. July 1998.