The Far Too Realistic Traveling of Quest 64

Image by Flickr User: Rolo Tanedo Jr.
Image by Flickr User: Rolo Tanedo Jr.

Many of us probably have a game that we keep, even if we, well, kind of really don’t enjoy playing it in the slightest.  Or not.  I don’t know.  But, I do, and that game is “Quest 64”, a game that certainly has its fans, while the rest of the world’s population either steers clear of it (for good reason) or has never even heard of it to begin with.  You might be asking, then, why in the world do I keep this game if I don’t like playing it?  Well, I kind of like playing it.  Sometimes.  A little.  But, not that much…  I guess the main reason I keep this game is because it’s different.

But, first, a little summary of what the game is…  Okay, I think the story had to do with the main character, Brian (I always spell that name as Brain…), looking for his father.  I think.  But, I could be wrong.  There are barely any characters to speak of in this game (aside from townsfolk), and it also appears to lack a villain, the final boss being a creature that I don’t see how it relates to anything in the game whatsoever.  The graphics are rather depressing, and characters and creatures look kind of like the chunky people of “Final Fantasy VII”.  (Though, speaking of that vastly superior game, “Quest 64” has a battle theme that sounds suspiciously similar to that of “FFVII”….  Hmm, do I smell a little bit of thievery perhaps?)  And worst of all, the game is just a pain to play.  For one thing, items are limited, since you can find them, but not buy them, so once you eat all your loaves of bread, you’re doomed, as apparently people don’t like to bake anymore than necessary in this game.  And the random battles involve your character standing within this bizarre octagon shape, and you must use your turns inching closer and closer to your enemies until you finally get close enough to actually whack them.  Yeah, it’s weird.

But, while most of this game is actually rather unpleasant, there is one thing that I both hate and enjoy about this game…the traveling.  That’s right, the traveling.  Just as it is in real life, traveling can be fun once you reach your next, interesting destination, even while the traveling itself is really, really boring.  And I can only assume that’s what this game is trying to emulate.  Because it takes absolutely forever to get anywhere in this game.  I swear, it’s like these forests and fields and caves are life-sized, they take so long to get through.  You have no idea how many hours I spent just walking and walking and walking through that horrid Blue Cave, a place that all those who played the game will agree is as bad as it gets.  In anything.  Ever.  Playing this game was such a chore, there are times where I considered visiting it again, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it once I remembered how bad all that blasted traveling was.

And yet, at the same time, there is a reason why I do occasionally endure the traveling in this game.  A couple reasons, actually.  One, completing the Blue Cave is a brutal trial of patience, but once you reach the end, there are few moments as satisfying.  When playing this game, you live for the moment you finally turn around the bend and find the town or whatever it was you were looking for.  Sure, the relentless traveling is excruciating, but at least you kind of get rewarded once the pain finally relents.  Seriously, this game is about as realistic as you will ever get in terms of locations being similar in size to real places.  I mean, okay, I know I’m exaggerating a little.  A lot.  I am well aware that the forests in this game are nowhere near the size of a real forest, but they are far larger than what you’d find in any other game, because every other game in the universe is kind enough to know that traveling is boring, and no one wants to spend tons of time doing it in a game.  A game, for crying out loud!  Let’s have Mario travel miles and miles between each stage!  That’s right, we can just hold the control stick in one direction, no jumping necessary, and just walk.  Isn’t that fun?

But, I’m contradicting myself a little, aren’t I?  Earlier, I said I enjoyed the traveling, didn’t I?  Well, the traveling in this game is about as dull as it gets, even if I receive a great deal of glee whenever I reach my next destination.  But, what I’m trying to explain here is my true reason for tolerating this long, monotonous game on more than one occasion.  This might be a strange reason, but the huge amount of traveling makes the locations in this game feel just a bit more real, and I did very much enjoy the various places I got to visit.  There is a decent variety of locations in this game, including a mine that was kind of cool (despite being really long and boring, like everywhere else in the game), and two places in particular always stood out to me most of all, the town at the end of the game (I forgot the name, but it’s just before Brannoch Castle, I believe), with the dark sky and the haunting music, and the Isle of Skye, an island with a charming, little cottage, not to mention music that is both beautiful and mysterious.  (Both of these locations, by far, have the best music in the game.)  While the graphics are not good, there was an attention to detail that certainly served to make the locations more interesting, and I really enjoyed exploring each town and castle and abandoned cottage, finding little nooks and forgotten corners that piqued my interest every time I played because of how mysterious and unexplained they feel.  While getting from place to place is terribly boring, the locations themselves aren’t, really, and that’s what made suffering through the torturously long traveling segments in this game a little more worth it.  Kind of.  Somewhat.  Almost.

I wouldn’t recommend playing this game, though.  It’s really just something that you need to stumble upon, completely unprepared for what you’re getting yourself into, and only then will it give you the nostalgia that it gives me, even if I, frankly, don’t think I can stand to ever play it again.  Because the majority of the gameplay is boring.  The traveling is boring.  The fighting is boring.  And there isn’t enough of a story to speak of that will keep you interested in the game, either.  But, at the same time, while I really can’t ever see myself playing this game again, I’m still having a hard time getting rid of it due to the countless hours I spent playing it and the nostalgia I feel for it as a result.  It’s not a good game.  It’s more of an occasionally exciting, usually mediocre experience, really.  Nevertheless, I am among the few fans this game has, even if I’m a bit of a reluctant fan, and I just thought this forgotten game deserved to be shared.  In a format that is far less boring than actually playing through it.  (And I will eventually be posting a little article on one fun, little secret this game has, as well, someday.)

The Duck Realizes Now That Not All Quests Are Fun

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Matt says:

    I have never played the game, but based on your description I can see how travelling can be dull and exciting at the same time.


    1. duckofindeed says:

      Yeah, it could indeed be pretty exciting at times, but I think the dull parts comprised the overwhelming majority of the game. The exciting parts were really just moments of relief when the boredom was finally over.


  2. Oh my God, Quest 64. As a tyke I rented this game at the video store and could barely play it. I don’t even know if I have the patience for it now.


    1. duckofindeed says:

      I really don’t know how I managed to finish this game. More than once. And I really don’t think I could ever stand to play it again. I think I was more patient as a kid than I am now. Or I just have much higher standards now.


  3. Hatm0nster says:

    A friend of mine had this game and played it until they’d done everything they possibly could. If what you’re saying is true, then I don’t know how they managed to do it. Hmmm…I remember that they would leave the console on overnight in order to get some things done. Is it possible to make the game autobattle for you?

    Maybe it takes so long to get through some places that you might as well tape the stick and a button down and step out for awhile?


    1. duckofindeed says:

      Yeah, I have no idea how anyone got through this game. I don’t even know how I did it. Maybe I didn’t, and it was all just some really long, boring nightmare. Perhaps taping the control stick in one direction would be the best way to get through this game.


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