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Video Game / Gargoyle's Quest
aka: Demons Crest

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If there's a game that can put the fear of God into a 1980s gamer, it's Ghosts 'n Goblins; and if there's a specific aspect of Ghosts 'n Goblins which can increase his/her heart rate further, it's the Red Arremer.

So Capcom put this lethal foe into the player's hands with a trio of spin-offs. Naturally, he's not quite as deadly while being controlled, but he's still a force to be reckoned with.

Gargoyle's Quest and Gargoyle's Quest II star a Red Arremer (the eponymous gargoyle/demon) named Firebrand, a Proud Warrior Race Guy who wants to be the most powerful being in the Ghoul Realm. It just so happens that a prophecy has foretold that a "Red Blaze" will save the land from an unimaginable evil.

Demon's Crest picks up a while later. A mysterious sextet of magic stones has appeared in the Ghoul Realm, and the inhabitants fought over them, until Firebrand emerged victorious with five, and then defeated a large dragon to claim the sixth but was critically injured in the process. A rival demon, Phalanx, took the opportunity to attack Firebrand unhindered and claim the whole Crest for himself (except for a fragment still in Firebrand's possession), which he then spread out to his subordinates to assure their safety. Firebrand sets out to get them back.


Firebrand appears as a playable character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, as the developers wanted a flying character and thought Firebrand would be fun and interesting to play. He also appears as a boss character in Namco × Capcom, which makes him a Composite Character with the Red Arremer Joker from the Game Boy Advance port of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts and refers to his appearance in Demon's Crest as pre-game backstory. The trilogy is also available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, though only the latter two games are available on the Wii U's. Demon's Crest became one of the first games available for the Nintendo Switch's Super NES Online service along with its cousin Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts.


This series provides examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: In the first game, Talismans of the Cyclone first cost 8 vials apiece. The price doubles twice over the course of the game, ending up at 32 vials.
  • Aerith and Bob: Boss names range from Ovnunu, Holothurion, Belth, and Somulo to... Flame Lord, Flier and Crawler?
  • All There in the Script: The bosses aren't named in-game, and even the manual doesn't name most of them. Their names are listed in the closing credits, like in most GNG titles.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Crest of Heaven gives Firebrand access to the Ultimate Gargoyle form, which has more stamina and can ascend, swim, dash on the ground, and breathe very powerful fire, effectively combining the five other forms into one.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Three in a row at the start of the first game, each warning you that an unknown army has attacked and something has happened to the king, they are very strong, and you need to hurry and get through the dimensional portal that leads back to the Ghoul Realm so you can get to work stopping them.
  • Anti-Villain: Firebrand starts out at this, and then shifts to Villain Protagonist by DC.
  • Bag of Spilling: Firebrand loses all of his accrued powers between games. Only DC bothers to Hand Wave this by having him be depowered by losing the Crests.
    • He does keep his infinite flying power from the first Gargoyle's Quest in Demon's Crest though.
  • Big Bad: King Breager in the first two, Phalanx and the Dark Demon in DC.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The first two games, as par for the course with early Capcom titles.
  • Blood Knight: Firebrand after he beats Phalanx or the Dark Demon.
  • Bonus Boss: In the Playable Epilogue. It is ridiculously tough.
  • Bowdlerise
    • The title Gargoyle's Quest was given to the earlier games to downplay the fact that Firebrand and his friends are actually demons from the underworld.
    • Lucifer's name was translated as "Rushifell" in English. Of course, knowing the problem with Japanese L/R switches makes it easy to spot the original intention.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Area 6 contains a very hard boss named Grewon, who you will likely be needing the Crest of Time to defeat. His relinquished powerup? Demon Fire, which is completely inferior to the Legendary Gargoyle's attack and also loses the defense bonus. The only thing it's really good for is a more powerful alternative to the basic fire breath when you need to light candles, which isn't often.
  • Breath Weapon: Firebrand and Arma's modus operandi.
  • The Cameo: The "Imp" spell summons one of the Petite Demons from the original Ghosts 'n Goblins. Also, the Aerial Gargoyle's projectile slightly resembles a Sonic Boom and the Ultimate Gargoyle's resembles a Hadouken.
  • Charged Attack: Firebrand as the Ultimate Gargoyle.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Could be justified since the Ghoul Realm has much different properties from the human world, but Firebrand can get pretty darn close to fire without being injured.
    • Firebrand also has an affinity for fire, so he may just be naturally resistant to extreme heat. He is a fire-breathing demon after all.
  • Darker and Edgier: Demon's Crest is considerably darker than the previous two games in the series in terms of atmosphere and presentation, similar to the Castlevania series. It's actually one of the darkest games on the Super NES, and one of the few examples of Dark Fantasy on the console.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Headbutting pottery, statuary or windows is a quick reliable source of money.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The eponymous Crest in Demon's Crest.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese versions, the playable character is just a normal, unremarkable Red Arremer. Only the international releases give him a name.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Depending on how fast you rush through the game, DC's final dungeon can be either very short (which Phalanx comments on) or very elaborate.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: You can actually go fight Phalanx before he's marked on the map. If you do this, he lacks his final form, and you get a strange, haunting Bad Ending if you win. "Many now ask if living under the rule of Phalanx would have been worse than the hell they are now confined to..."
  • Elemental Powers: The effects of four of the Crests on Firebrand.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: This happens if you beat Phalanx early. Firebrand hasn't assembled the Crest and thus lacks the power to rule in Phalanx's place, so he takes off, leaving the Ghoul Realm in anarchy.
  • Fetch Quest: Several times in the first two games.
  • Flight: Firebrand can glide or hover for a short period that increases with powerups, but cannot ascend under his own power. Demon's Crest lets him fly indefinitely from the get-go, and the Aerial Gargoyle form can ascend.
  • Gaiden Game: To the Ghosts 'n Goblins series.
  • Global Currency: Vials. Changed to G.P. in DC.
  • Grimy Water: Firebrand takes damage from immersion if he's not in his Tidal Gargoyle form.
  • Heart Container: Only show up in Demon's Crest. In the first two games, your life meter is extended at predetermined points through obtaining magic artifacts or receiving power from Non Player Characters.
  • Heroic Mime
  • 100% Completion: Required to get the best ending and the Ultimate Gargoyle form in Demon's Crest.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Ultimate Gargoyle form. Its charge shot can One-Hit KO several of the bosses when used in conjunction with the Fang talisman.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: The Demon Dragon, Somulo, the big dragon statue in the background of Area 1, and the dragon-shaped flame when Firebrand uses Demon Fire.
  • Metroidvania: Advance to a location, defeat a boss, earn access to ability upgrades that let you reach new locations. Yep, they count. Demon's Crest fits the trope even more as there is some optional backtracking that can be done to obtain previously unreachable items.
  • Minigame: Headbutt enough skulls before time runs out to earn some extra cash, or even a Heart Container in the most difficult one.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: King Breager.
  • Multiple Endings: Demon's Crest has several.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: One of those Multiple Endings. See Evil Power Vacuum.
  • Nintendo Hard: Capcom didn't skimp on the difficulty in these titles, either, even if they're not as insane as their progenitor.
  • Noble Demon: Firebrand is most concerned with being a Blood Knight. But he's saving his realm.
  • Noodle Implements: The Crest of Heaven. You never get a chance to find out what it does or to equip it by itself.
  • Off-Model: Firebrand is portrayed as green in the North American box art of the first game, despite being plot-relevantly described as red within the same game.
  • 1-Up: "Talismans of the Cyclone" in GQ, "Essences of the Maelstrom" in GQ2, Elixirs in DC.
  • One-Winged Angel: Phalanx if you go for 100% Completion. Appropriately, it's easily the most difficult boss in the standard game.
  • Overworld Not to Scale: There is a Traversible World Map used for traveling between areas. Walked around in the first two, flown over in DC.
  • Password Save: Used by all three games.
  • Perspective Flip: Firebrand himself and many of the allied NPCs were originally enemy characters from the Ghosts 'n Goblins series.
  • Playable Epilogue: Hope you copied down the password you received after achieving 100% Completion. Or just look it up at Game FAQS.
    • Or just hit soft reset after the password appears on the screen and then go to "Continue" in the main menu and the Password will be magically there already.
  • Prequel: GQ2 is such to the first game.
  • Random Encounters: GQ1. GQ2 shifted to Preexisting Encounters, and DC eliminated them entirely.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Arma.
  • The Rival: Arma, who is a Recurring Boss.
  • RPG Elements: The elements here being a world map to explore, shops to buy items from, and permanent powerups to collect.
  • Savage Wolves: Grewon in Demon's Crest is a big, shaggy white wolf that has ice breath on top of being an agile heavy hitter who can take a lot of hits before going down.
  • Scenery Porn: Demon's Crest has some truly stunning vistas among its levels, and the varied locales give them lots to show off.
  • Secret Level: Areas 5 and 6 in DC need to be unlocked.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Firebrand grows all sorts of them as the Legendary Gargoyle.
  • Taken for Granite: Hippogriff in the third game. You even dispatch it at the end via Literally Shattered Lives.
  • Take Over the World: In all three games' endings, Firebrand is offered the human world for his own personal domination. He also starts DC wanting to take over the Ghoul Realm.
  • Temporary Platform: The "Tornado" breath ability.
  • Time Travel: The Crest of Time / the Legendary Gargoyle. At least, that's what its description says. In reality, it grants him a Body Armor as Hit Points bonus and a stronger fireball.
  • True Final Boss: The Dark Demon in Demon's Crest.
  • Upgrade Artifact: How Firebrand boosts his flying, breath and defense abilities in the first two games. He can acquire some in the third game, but can only utilize one at a time. (Save for the life-point increasers.)
  • Use Your Head: Firebrand's default special ability in Demon's Crest is to headbutt background objects. He even opens doors this way.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Spells in the third game. Don't be surprised if you go the entire game without using one. Also, Crest powers tend to undermine the special breaths the various Fire Crest pieces offer, making them pointless except to light candles.
  • Video Game Flight: Firebrand can fly in all his incarnations. In the first two installments he starts with a wing meter that rapidly depletes, but eventually gains the ability to fly infinitely; unfortunately you can't fly upwards so you still have to climb up walls. In Demon's Crest Firebrand starts out with unlimited flight, and obtaining the Air Crest allows you to fly against strong winds and gain altitude.
  • Villain Protagonist: Firebrand is a creature of Hell. The series doesn't let you forget this. This is most evident in the last game.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The various Crests alter Firebrand's physical form; Arma is unaffected visually, but his powers are demonstrably enhanced. According to a villager, Firebrand holding the Crest of Time depicts his fully-powered "Red Blaze" appearance.
  • Wall Crawl: Firebrand can cling to non-spiky walls in each of his appearances. And even spiky ones are no threat once he's earned the "Claw" breath ability.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Don't go all the way to the right in the village area in Demon's Crest until you've built yourself up a bit. Trust us.
  • Warmup Boss: Demon's Crest starts Firebrand off in a coliseum fighting a large zombie dragon named Somulo.
  • We Can Rule Together: Breager offers to make you a king if you join him at the end of Gargoyle's Quest. If you accept, he drains all of your collected powers and leaves you with just your default fire breath. Then the battle starts...note 
  • Worthy Opponent: General Arma enjoys his battles with Firebrand, looks forward to battling him again, and even gives him the final crest.
  • Wrap Around: A rare scrolling example - Breager's Castle in the first game appears to be cylindrical; the level repeats horizontally as you go left or right continuously.

Alternative Title(s): Demons Crest


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