By Spencer . May 12, 2009 . 4:39pm
Magician’s Quest: Mysterious Times, a DS communication game with magic and mythical creatures, is out in stores today. Since the title was first discovered in Japan it has often been hastily explained as Harry Potter meets Animal Crossing. We asked Gregg Nolan, Product Manager at Konami, what makes Magician’s Quest: Mysterious Times different and how he feels about the comparison.
How do apprentice magicians learn and use spells?
Gregg Nolan, Product Manager: The main component of the game is to attend magic academy and study to become the greatest magician ever. Each day your character will have the option of attending a class where he or she will learn how to cast magic spells and incantations. Magic spells are cast by selecting certain icons in a certain order through the menu system.
By lining up the correct icons you learn in class a magic spell or incantation will be “loaded” into your wand allowing you to cast the spell. There are more than 100 magic spells and incantations in the game that do everything from turn you invisible or allowing you to see what’s buried under ground to making someone fall in love with you or making them fart.
What kinds of quests can players complete and what is the most difficult quest you created?
There are 52 adventures in the game that test a gamers abilities in a number of ways. Some will challenge their spell casting abilities, while some will task them to seek out a variety of objects while others will require them foster relationships or figure out mysterious languages.
Each of the adventures are so unique or require such exploration that gamers will never get tired with what they’re asked to do. It’s tough to determine the most difficult adventure however nursing a dragon back to health by seeking out a number of unique elements to cast incantations that’ll heal his broken wing can be quite challenging. When was nursing a dragon back to health easy?
Up to 3 friends can join your game at anytime through Nintendo Wi-Fi connection and affect the way your game is played. A friend can enter your game and help you in completing any number of the 52 adventures you face in the game. Or if your friend has learned more advanced magic spells he can assist you in spell casting or teaching you new spells.
Incantations require you have a specific element in your bag before you can cast the spell so if your friend has that element already he can assist with incantations. Also, friends can join your game to goof around with you by getting together and performing in a band and playing music together, you can run around and cast magic spells on each other or write and exchange notes with each other. There’s so much variety possible that gamers will enjoy figuring out all the fun things to do together.
Were there any spells, characters, or elements you wanted to add to the game that didn’t make it in?
Everything we wanted to get in the game, made it and it’s a huge game!
1,600 customizable accessories, 52 adventures, over 100 magic spells and incantations as well as more than 365 days worth of game play. That’s not to say there isn’t more we want to do. With the success of the game in Japan selling more than 400,000 copies, worldwide distribution and great feedback from press I don’t think it’ll be long before a sequel will be in the works.
The game has more than 150 unique, non playable characters each with their own AI. Meaning each character will respond differently to the ways you interact with them. My favorite would be Thom, the post office worker. He’s a cynical, snarky little cat who will tell you exactly how he feels.
What downloadable items were released over Nintendo Wi-Fi in Japan? Will we see these in the US?
Every month Japan has released a special broom that gamers can download through Nintendo Wi Fi connection. The brooms don’t necessarily hold special powers, they’re meant to special collectible items that you can then trade with your friends or sell for money. We expect that Japan will continue to make new brooms available every month for another 12 months.
Still pending are whether or not these items will be available in the United States.
Nintendo and Animal Crossing have been extremely successful in establishing a compelling simulation experience both on Nintendo DS and Wii. For journalists to be comparing Magician’s Quest to that caliber and standard of game play experience is very exciting. Konami has worked hard at creating a real time simulation experience that surpasses Animal Crossing by adding a robust adventure component as well as hundreds more customizable features.