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Quest 64 (Holy Magic Century Eltale) [N64 - Beta]

Quest 64 (Holy Magic Century Eltale) [N64 - Beta]

Quest 64 (aka Holy Magic Century in PAL regions and Eltale Monsters in Japan) is an RPG developed by the Japanese company Imagineer. It was originally published in 1998, while the Japanese version was released in 1999 and features an extended ending cutscene.

Quest 64 was announced under the title “Crystal Stories” in June 1997. Screenshots of this early build feature a capeless, knight-like version of the final protagonist Brian. In August 1997, the game reached the second stage of development and was renamed “Holy Magic Century Eltale” (or simply “Eltale” in Japan). This version was meant to be released on a 96Mbit cartridge (the final game had 128Mbit of data) in December 1997.

The graphics of this second build resembled the released game, but its story was different: As in the final game, it revolved around Spirit Handlers, which are magicians with the ability to control the elements. Unlike Quest 64, however, there were five elements and not four. Half a century before the events of the game, there was an evil Spirits Handler named Larva. He was a priest who served the pope of the Highland, but his spirit-handling skills became too strong and he was excommunicated. Larva then traveled through the world as the Black Spirits Handler and found accounts of the Evils, three kinds of sinister powers which were accidentally created during the first spirit handling experiments. They fed off the Seven Deadly Sins committed by humans, made them do more evil deeds and could even create monsters. Larva eventually freed the Evils and a fierce war ensued. It lasted until the Zeek crystal appeared and equipped three heroes with holy swords, giving the forces of good a deciding advantage. Although peace was restored, Larva managed to escape.

The second build featured three playable protagonists, each with their individual strengths and weaknesses:

Magician (named by the player)
Description: A descendant of an ancient dynasty of sorcerers
Age: 12
Height: 1,50m
Weight: 42kg
Skills/weapons: Magic, staff

Nina
Description: A princess, also a descendant of the Spirit Handlers
Age: 13
Height: 1,55m
Weight: 38kg
Skills/weapons: Defensive and healing magic, bow and arrows

Cozi
Description: A strong and ruthless pirate
Age: 15
Height: 1,70m
Weight: 70kg
Skills/weapons: Fists, sword

The unnamed magician was a descendant of one of the heroes who originally fought against Larva. Together with Nina and Cozi, he was to search for the three holy swords and stop the reemergence of evil. The final build omits most of these plot points and the magician Brian is the only protagonist. Nina probably turned into Princess Flora of Dondoran and Cozi might have become the pirate Kiliac on the Isle of Skye.

As the screenshots show, the early builds had a traditional level-up system as seen in other RPGs. The menu screen had additional options for the cursor, spells, sound effects and a help option. None of the images from the early builds indicate the “elementals” collected, which is otherwise shown in the bottom left corner in the final version. In one of the screens in the gallery below we can even see a removed bubble attack: its graphics were used for King Beigis’ “Large Cutter” look-alike, though no official attack name is known.

This information was taken from previews found in Nintendo Fun Vision (issue August/September 1997) and N64 Magazin (issue September 1997). Thanks to Hydrozor for the contribution!

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Quest 64 (Holy Magic Century) è stato un gioco sicuramente atteso oltre le ragionevoli aspettative. Sviluppato da Imagineer, venne pubblicato nel 1998 sia in Giappone che in occidente; fu il primo RPG ad arrivare su Nintendo 64, almeno qui da noi, e proprio per questo motivo ottenne un’alta attenzione da parte della stampa. Potete notare dalle foto che il materiale beta è relativo a due differenti stadi di sviluppo del gioco, dei quali il più interessante è sicuramente quello più vecchio. Si vedono delle strutture poligonali molto grezze, sfondi abbozzati e personaggi ancora incompleti. Il gioco finale è stato evidentemente modificato esteticamente, ma l’ambientazione ed i soggetti presenti nella beta sono molto simili a quelli inseriti nel prodotto finale. Più che a locazioni o personaggi inediti, le immagini sembrano riferirsi a un gioco ancora allo stato embrionale di sviluppo. Questo si nota anche dall’HUB, che comprendeva solo un radar in basso a destra. Le rimanenti foto sono quasi identiche alla versione finale e le differenze principali risiedono ancora un volta, nell’hub: le barre di HP e MP erano disposte in modo perpendicolare, invece che essere ben visibili in alto a sinistra. Il radar pare addirittura scomparso, mentre alla fine sarebbe stato presente in alto a destra, sebbene piuttosto diverso da quello delle prime foto. In tutte le immagini della beta mancano gli indicatori degli “elementali” raccolti, sempre presenti in basso a sinistra nella versione finale, nella quale è invece assente l’orario, segnalato in basso a destra nella beta. Abbiamo un’unica immagine di un terzo tipo di HUB, che disponeva HP in un cerchio e MP in una barra. Possiamo infine avanzare un’ipotesi, che purtroppo resterà tale, non avendo altre foto di combattimenti: nell’immagine beta in cui Ayron (Jean-Jacques nella versione NTSC) infligge dei danni al nemico, non è presente il caratteristico raggio d’azione della magia, solitamente segnalato da un cerchio bianco aderente al terreno. Forse gli sviluppatori non lo avevano ancora inserito, ma è anche probabile che era solamente scomparso dallo schermo, visto che il nemico sembra aver già subito i danni da qualche secondo.[/Spoiler]

First build:

imaginerpg6.jpg

Early second build:

































Late second build:

quest61.jpg


Other images (first and second builds):


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13 thoughts on “Quest 64 (Holy Magic Century Eltale) [N64 - Beta]

  1. Hydrozor

    I would’ve loved to see that bubble attack implemented. Its graphics were used for King Beigus’ “Large Cutter” look-alike, though no official attack name is known.

    It’s also possible they were slightly reused for Nepty’s Bubble Attack. Same as above for official names.

    Ironically, that screen is not here. Useless rant much?

  2. Hydrozor

    Or not. I’m still looking for that image. Maybe you can figure out how to make that wierd image(amongst the link) appear(that has 4 bubbles with 4 items in it. I think that was a beta version of selecting elements for levelling)

  3. Celine

    Interesting enough in a build pre-release there were available 3 characters to play with.
    Brian ( mage ), Nina ( princess ) and Cozi ( pirate )

  4. Celine

    It is past many years from the last time I’ve played it.
    If I remember right. the princess was a NPC found in the first castle you encounter.
    Can’t remember the pirate.

  5. Hydronix

    Kiliac was interesting. I’m hoping to find data on Quest RPG: Brian’s Journey myself.

    And Nina was probably made into Flora, and Cozi was probably made into Kiliac. They all play a role throughout the game, although not a major one. Flora does nothing of importance besides saying she wants to fight. Kiliac provides you a ship to get the Water Jewel.

    They’re a lot more important in the Game Boy remake, however.

  6. Hydronix

    After looking through the screenshots(that were put up), Cozi has the nearly same design as Kiliac. So I’m 99% sure he was changed into him.

    As for Nina… they look nearly alike. Barely any difference, really.

    Besides that, one might note how Shannon looks amazingly a lot like Impa in Ocarina of Time. Are there any beta shots of Impa and Shannon? This theory does hold a bit more water when you notice they share a lot of similar traits in how they help the hero.(with the obvious difference of what their alligiences are.)

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