(Capcom, 1994)

It's October 2004 and one of the most popular themes going around these days is that everybody wants to play as the bad guy. You don't have go to far to find games like Grand Theft Auto San Andreas where you do what ever it takes to get the job done (stealing cars, drive bys, and running over innocence civilians is all OK). In this Game of the Month I'm looking back at a game that doesn't have your typical anti-hero though. This anti-hero is none other than a demon. In Capcom's Demon's Crest you play as a crimson red creature in a cool looking 2D horror/action/RPG complete with creepy graphics, moody music and eerie sounds.

Demon's Crest is actually the third game is the Gargoyle's Quest series if you haven't already noticed. After the events in the NES game Gargoyle's Quest 2, the powerful winged demon Firebrand finally got a hold of all the 6 legendary Crests. Firebrand wasn't happy with the 5 Crests and he wanted the Crest of Heaven held by a huge dragon. After a vicious battle Firebrand was able to defeat the Demon Dragon but he was also badly wounded in the process. As a very weak Firebrand was about to return home he got ambushed by a rival demon by the name Phalanx and quickly lost all the Crests. Now the 6 Crests are in the hands of Phalanx and if Firebrand doesn't stop him, both the demon and human worlds will be quickly under his control. Not your average story line, eh?

I really like how Demon's Crest begins. Although Firebrand wasn't killed after getting attacked, as luck would have it he landed in the pit of the dragon he just barely defeated. The dragon's fresh is now rotting and decomposing (which looks pretty sick by the way) but it is somehow still alive and it wants revenge. Firebrand's long and hard quest to get his Crests and honour back has just begun. Phalanx knows that if he wants to hold on to power, he would have to hide the Crests in different locations over the demon realm instead of having all them at once. Firebrand starts out with only limited fire attacks and flying abilities but with each new Crest he finds it will transforms him in some way. Some new powers can enable him to break stone, while another can improve his flight control for example. I love going back to an older level to see if I can find something new after finding a new power.

Another strong thing about Demon's Crest is the game's sharp graphics. Each stage has both highly detailed backgrounds and large and well animated characters. The only issue I have with the graphics is that they can be a little too dark at times and some images can be repeat themselves. The soundtracks and sound effects are definitely an acquired taste but it is still very creepy and eerie which is perfect for the game's theme.

If there is anything critical I could say about the fiendish game play here is that it is a little too short. Demon's Crest may challenge you but it only has 7 lands to explore and each stage only takes a few minutes to complete. Fortunately with all of the game's cool Crest powers, secret locations, and four multiple endings there is a lot of game here. If you feel like being bad this Halloween then give this demon and his special game here a look.



overall rating: 79/100

For 1 player only
graphics: 8/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 8/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2004

My Demon's Crest Art

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