Imagine you are an indie RPG studio looking to remake a Final Fantasy game. Square Enix already has most of the popular games accounted for, so what other option is there besides turning to that absolute worst Final Fantasy game that nobody wants to play anymore?
We’re looking at you Final Fantasy Mystic Quest!
For those who don’t remember it, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was a horribly gutted JRPG released in the States shortly after Final Fantasy IV became somewhat of a hit. Seeing that the franchise had some legs, Square released this game to teach Americans the basics of its series hoping it would get them excited for the actual release of Final Fantasy VI.
Not only did the company manage to backhandedly insult the American RPG audience, it did so at the sacrifice of Final Fantasy V‘s localization. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest still exists in Japan as Final Fantasy USA, a similar situation as our Super Mario Bros. 2.https://twitter.com/darkdesigngames/status/570762032040976384
It was this game that UK studio Dark Design decided to give the HD treatment to. I mean the Earthbound fans get to play it, am I right? Yes, but only they aren’t charging for it. Dark Design had a release date, pre-order options, a gameplay trailer, and a booming staff of a single person.
I’m not sure that copyright notice is going to do a lot of good.
However, word got out to Square Enix who immediately put a halt to all this nonsense, making a statement to Kotaku.
We are aware of the ‘FINAL FANTASY MYSTIC QUEST HD Remake’ project, and can confirm that it is not a Square Enix project nor endorsed by Square Enix in any way. We take the protection of our IP very seriously, and will be speaking with Dark Design Games to address this matter.
Whoops! What could Dark Design have been thinking? Was it praying that fans would be so overjoyed by the thoughts of playing Mystic Quest in HD that Square Enix would just up and give them the benefit of the doubt? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way, fellas. With a list of Twitter posts like these going back to early February though, it seems as if Dark Design has already gotten some money out of it too.https://twitter.com/darkdesigngames/status/568841800615657472 https://twitter.com/darkdesigngames/status/568850321230962688
Check out this one!https://twitter.com/darkdesigngames/status/568847801041489920
As for the game itself, I mostly exaggerate when I talk about Mystic Quests reputation. I liked it when I played it back in the day, and I was already a fan of RPGs and Final Fantasy by that point. I don’t take Square’s accidental insult personally, and the company would go on to realize that the real thing could be just as successful.
No harm, no foul, really.