Format reviewed: SNES
Red Arremers is the collective term given to the annoying red demons that stalked poor Arthur through his many quests to save his fair maiden, Princess Prin Prin, in the Ghosts ’N Goblins series. Realising that these testing imps were proving to be popular with many fans, Capcom decided to pluck one lucky Arremer out of obscurity and give him his very own videogame series… and we’re very glad it did.
The Gargoyles Quest trilogy follows the exploits of one likeable Arremer called Firebrand. Beginning on the Game Boy in 1990, with Gargoyles Quest, all three titles that this hot-headed scamp appeared in were side-scrolling action platformers but with a RPG slant.
Perhaps expectably (given the game’s pedigree), the majority of the action in Demon’s Crest plays very similar to Ghouls ’N Ghosts but mixed with a dash of Castlevania. Beginning with a memorable boss battle against a giant fire-spewing dragon, which would probably look more at home loitering around the end of the game than its start, Demon’s Crest grabs you by the lapels and doesn’t let go. From the game’s epic introduction to the wonderful Mode 7 game map that finds Firebrand flying to the numerous levels, the game feels wonderfully polished throughout.
Firebrand himself also boasts a far bigger move repertoire than his knightly counterpart. He can fly, cling to and scale walls and even borrow the powers of his fallen foes through the collection of the titular Demon Crests which allow Firebrand to morph into other gargoyles. But while Demon’s Crest is crammed full of elements that you’ve probably seen before in other videogames, the game can be forgiven as Capcom does such a great job of meshing everything together.
If you’ve yet to experience the delights of Demon’s Crest, we urge you to seek it out. It’s one of the most lavish and enjoyable action platformers on the Super Nintendo, and isn’t as devilish as the usual crop of Capcom games… despite what its name suggests.