Title: Demon's Crest
Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Date Published: 1994
Platform: Super Nintendo
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

Introduction

One of the most overlooked action games of the 16-bit era, Demon's Crest follows Firebrand of Gargoyle's Quest fame as he seeks revenge and ultimate power.

Story

There once existed two worlds; the human world and the demon world. In the Demon Realm, six stones descended from the sky, each a piece of the Demon's Crest. War broke out over the Demon Realm, as everyone sought to claim the power of Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Time, and Heaven for themselves. In this civil struggle, one demon claimed victory over the others.

The Red Demon, Firebrand

He successfully retrieved five of the six crests and proceeded to claim the final one, the Crest of Heaven, from the Demon Dragon.

After a long battle, Firebrand arose victorious with the final crest, but sustained much damage. This left him open to attack from the scheming Phalanx. Phalanx dispatched Firebrand quickly and claimed all the crests for himself. Hoping to keep anyone else from claiming all of them, he divided the crests up among those loyal to him, keeping the Crest of Heaven. With the power of the Demon's Crest, Phalanx hoped to rule over both the Human Realm and the Demon Realm.

But Firebrand was not so easily defeated. Seeking revenge, he set out to claim all the crests yet again and destroy Phalanx.

Game Mechanics

Controls

D-Pad
Movement
A Button
Headbutt
B Button
Jump
X Button
Use Spell/Potion
Y Button
Fire

Being a gargoyle, Firebrand possesses a lot of interesting moves. In his basic form, his wings allow him to hover and fly (though he can't ascend…yet). His clawed feet allow him to latch onto walls, and his rock-hard head lets him head-butt statues and doors.

Little-Known, Fact I Made-Up: In the Demon Realm, it's customary to head-butt doors open, rather than using ones hands/claws. This has led to the extinction of the doorknob.

As Firebrand continues his quest, he'll find himself in the possession of each crest once again. These crests give Firebrand new abilities and forms.

The Crests

In all, there are six crests. The Crest of Fire is divided into five pieces. Firebrand starts with one of these pieces, but he must search for the other four.

  • Fire - Firebrand's basic attack. Available at the beginning of the game.
  • Buster - Fire form that can break certain walls.
  • Tornado - Can serve as platforms to reach higher ground.
  • Claw - Covers spiked wall to allow Firebrand to climb them safely.
  • Demon Fire - The most damaging form of fire.

Each of the other five crests changes Firebrand's form and allows him to do much more than he could before.

Obscure, Video Game Reference Crest I Made-Up, Crest of Lode - Firebrand becomes Runner. Digs holes, fights monks.

Characters

There are three main personalities that play a major role in the story.

  • Firebrand - The anti-hero of the game. His quest for ultimate power ultimately led to his defeat. Revenge against Phalanx is the only thing on his mind now.
  • General Arma - In charge of hunting down Firebrand. He sees him as a worthy adversary and rival.
  • Phalanx - The treacherous demon that stole the crests from Firebrand in his moment of weakness. He now rules over the Demon Realm. Interestingly, it seems that in his victory, he has convinced the other inhabitants of the Demon Realm that Firebrand was a madman mad-demon who would have destroyed the Demon Realm, if it wasn't for Phalanx's heroics.

Bosses

You'll face quite a few major bad guys in this game, most of them very challenging.

  • Somulo - Firebrand's very first enemy in the game is a zombified dragon. He could possibly be the Demon Dragon that Firebrand slew in order to gain the Crest of Heaven.
  • Hippogriff - This flying gargoyle is capable of turning into a statue.
  • Arma - General Arma is a tall (or maybe Firebrand is just short) gargoyle with feathered wings. You fight him several times in the game.
  • Belth - In the boneyard resides a hunchback skeleton with a scythe-like right arm.
  • Ovnunu - This one is a giant mass of delicious green Jello with marshmallows and a giant cherry. Wait, no. This one is a giant mass of delicious green slime with many small eyes surrounding a larger eye, which comes complete with eyelids and optic nerves.
  • Flame Lord - He's an embodiment of fire that burns down the forest. He did start the fire.
  • Flier - Take to the air to fight this insect-like demon with a human face, scarab body and a long, segmented tail.
  • Scula - Scula's a giant crustacean that possesses a detachable head.
  • Holoturion - This is, in fact, the Biggest Mollusk Ever™.
  • Crawler - There's not much to this guy except teeth and oozing flesh.
  • Grewon - This giant white wolf is one of the last bosses and one bad dog.
  • Phalanx - Firebrand's arch-nemesis is the final boss and quite possibly the hardest.
  • Dark Demon - The real final boss is only challengeable after getting all the items in the game, including the Crest of Heaven.

Interesting Details

  • Firebrand starts off in a colosseum. Supposedly, he has been imprisoned there, as his escape is what triggers General Arma's persuit.
  • The game has a total of four endings in all. The worst is obtained by beating the game without all the crests. The good one is obtained by beating the game with five of the crests (five Crest of Fire pieces and the Crest of Earth, Air, Water, and Time) but not all the items. The better one is obtained by beating it with the same five crests and all the items. The final, complete ending is obtained by defeating the Dark Demon.
  • Firebrand's very first appearance was in Ghost'n Goblins as the Red Devil. He has also appear in Gargoyle's Quest and Gargoyle's Quest II, the pseudo-prequels to Demon's Crest.

Why This Game?

Demon's Crest is a fun, challenging action game with a very dark atmosphere. Also, Firebrand is not what you'd call a traditional hero. He isn't fighting for great justice or everlasting peace. He's in the game for revenge and power, nothing more. In addition, Firebrand has a wide array of abilities to play with that become extended as you gain more crests. In true demon fashion, you'll want to seek out the ultimate power of the Demon's Crest for yourself.

Sources:
Demon's Crest by Capcom (Emulated ROM)
Demon's Crest Instruction Manual
GameFAQs <http://www.gamefaqs.com>

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