Released in 1998 on the Nintendo 64, Quest 64 was the first RPG released for the console in North America. The SNES was a goldmine for RPG’s, and everyone was starving for an RPG on the dry N64 library.
You play as a young boy Brian, and after hearing that your father has gone missing from his search for the Eletale Book, you begin your quest to find him and retrieve the book. During your travels to various countries, you find out that the four elemental orbs were stolen by thieves. This has nothing to do with the story whatsoever, and the only purpose it serves is to give you something to do in the game. Neither you collecting the orbs, or what purpose the Eletale Book does is ever explained in the game. This is also as far as deep the story gets, as it’s almost non-existent.
Quest 64 differs from many RPG’s at the time, as it lacks an experience point system. Taking inspiration from Final Fantasy II, Quest 64 has a turn based battle system where you raise your stats from performing certain tasks in battle. Hitting things with your stick increases your attack, casting more magic increases magic, and getting hit a lot increases your HP. This can be counter-productive, as it increases the time spent grinding.
Your magic system is somewhat interesting, as you have four elements, and you increase it with gems to level up each element. There are two ways to gain gems: 1 – by grinding in battle until you are rewarded one, 2 – by finding them in hidden locations. Each time you gain a gem, you can select which element to apply it on. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to max out all four elements, so the realistic approach is to focus on two elements. The two most important elements are water and earth. Water is where your heal spells are, and earth has the most powerful spells, and the game breaking magic shield. Practically all of your enemies use magic to attack, and the magic shield makes you immune to magic. You could play the game normally, or reduce frustration by being a cheater, your choice.
This is probably the best part of the game. Unlike the majority of RPG’s on the PlayStation (or even a good bit on the PS2), Quest 64 is a full 3D game. It actually looks pretty nice running around in full 3D fantasy villages and castles. Even outside of town, the draw distance is actually fairly impressive for its time. Do keep in mind, that like other games from this time period, expect cardboard cutout fences/walls, and 2D trees. The only complaint with the visuals is that some of the towns and dungeons are kind of mazelike, and the shoddy camera controls don’t help.
The music is just okay. There are some decent tunes, but some of them seem uninspiring, or just bleepy. Don’t expect anything memorable.
For hardcore RPG fanatics, the lack of any kind of depth is going to put you off. The game itself is incredibly mediocre. You could ignore the lack of a story by having very entertaining gameplay, but that also is lackluster.
Visuals (Or Graphics): 7/10.