About The New 8-bit Heroes

Mystic Origins

A mysterious orb that crackles with magical potential. A sturdy old lute that thirsts to give voice to the song of the world. A young vagabond who carries both, searching for the mythical lost continent of Myrinda.

But since setting foot in the cape of Varekai, it’s been nothing but trouble for Julian. Who is the mysterious old main in the ruined temple who has commissioned him for a bizarre quest? What horrors have the miners unearthed in the Hamishago mines? What secrets to the Bogmen of Brackwater keep?

Towns, caves, swamps, enchanted forests…discover everything you need to know to keep Julian alive in the dangerous and exotic realms though which he travels in this prequel quest to the upcoming Mystic Searches.




When we​ began this project, we had a limited knowledge of what we’d be capable of. Everything was laboriously programmed by hand, from scratch. We did not even know the right questions to ask in terms of NES development. We were building the tracks as the train was barreling towards us. As a result, the code base was an unoptimized mess, held together with proverbial safety pins and duct tape. But by the time we were wrapping the documentary, we were proud to have reached our goal of creating something that could rival a middle of the road adventure game for the NES.

The problem became that our once-novel project evolved into something much grander. During development, the lore grew. Our in-house development tools were refined. Our greater understanding and better workflows allowed for the ability to work in cooler game mechanics. The project itself took on a new meaning, and paying off on decades of inspiration warranted using our growth to realize Mystic Searches to its full potential.

At the same time, we realized that it would mean going back to the drawing board to rebuild the engine from scratch to optimize the game and better conform it to the tools we’d been building along the way. Since we had people waiting patiently for our NES adventure game, and we realized that scope creep would extend the release significantly, we took all the work we’d done to that point and revised its lore as a prequel quest to the larger game we intended to build.

Simply put, Mystic Origins was Mystic Searches, and it is what Mystic Searches would have been had we not also unexpectedly developed a whole new paradigm for making NES games in the process. You can even see in the map comparison that the Origins map (Varekai) was originally the Mystic Searches map (Myrinda).

Though not as grand in scope as the current version of Mystic Searches, Mystic Origins is a full, stand alone adventure game for the NES with some unique mechanics. It has everything one could want in an 8-bit adventure; monsters to battle, secrets to unlock, missions to complete, various biomes to explore, and with a narrative that acts as a perfect set up for Mystic Searches.

Role Name
Programmer Joe Granato IV
Narrative Joe Granato IV
Music Joe Granato IV
Art Austin McKinley
Art Erin Johnson
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