Demon's Crest, known as Demon's Blazon: Makaimura Monshō-hen (デモンズブレイゾン 魔界村紋章編, "Demon's Blazon: Demon World Village Crest-Volume") in Japan, is a side-scrolling platform game developed and published in 1994 for the Super NES video game console. The game is the third part of the Gargoyle's Quest spin-off series of the Ghosts 'n Goblins franchise, following Gargoyle's Quest and Gargoyle's Quest II. It was produced by series creator Tokuro Fujiwara.
The gameplay is a mix of standard platforming, with mild RPG elements. Each level can be played multiple times, and often the player has to revisit a level with new Crests to access areas, items and bosses that he or she could not before. As you progress Firebrand will gain more health.
The player collects different Crests (Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Time and Heaven) which, when equipped during the game, allows Firebrand to gain different abilities and alter his appearance. Also, the player can collect life extensions, urns (used to store potions), vellums (used to contain spells), potions, talismans and spells.
- Crest of Earth: Yellow in color. Ruling over the earth, the crest gives great strength to its owner. Transforms Firebrand into Ground Gargoyle. Firebrand can't fly while in this form, but he can charge into stone statues and rocks to break them, as well as move heavy objects out of the way.
- The Crest of Air: Violet in color. Ruling over the sky, the crest enables the owner control of the wind. Transforms Firebrand into Aerial Gargoyle. Grants the ability to fly horizontally and vertically. It's also able to cut vines with wind blast.
- The Crest of Water - Blue in color. Ruling over the ocean, the crest allows the owner to swim beneath the seas. Transforms Firebrand into Tidal Gargoyle. While unable to fly, Firebrand gains the ability to swim and breathe underwater.
- The Crest of Time - Green in color. Ruling over the past, the crest enables the owner to go back in time. Transforms Firebrand into Legendary Gargoyle. Firebrand's skin becomes like iron and he now takes half the damage from attacks. Additionally, his blasts do high damage, as well as double as Buster shots.
- The Crest of Infinity - Light blue in color. Turns Firebrand into Ultimate Gargoyle. Has the power of all the other forms (able to swim, fly, headbutt, charge, fire powerful flames that double as Buster shots, and takes half damage), except that it can't light torches, increase strength underwater nor swim through 2 blocks like the T. Gargoyle (uses 3 vertical blocks).
The Crest of Fire
Red in color. Ruling over flame, the crest allows the owner to control fire. The crest of fire has been shattered and must be put back together. The possessed shard contains the general ability of pyromancing. The four remaining pieces complete the crest.
- Fire: Default power. Low damage. Also lights torches.
- Buster: Medium damage. Breaks brick walls.
- Tornado: Low damage. Creates platforms.
- Claw: Medium damage. Ability to climb walls.
- Demon Fire: High damage.
- Shadow: Strikes closed and weak enemies.
- Hold: Stops nearby enemies. Doesn't work on bosses.
- Imp: Summons an imp.
- Shock: Causes an earthquake.
- Death: Summons death upon all enemies on the screen. Also works on some bosses.
- Mercury: Teleports Firebrand back to the beginning of the level.
- Sulfer: Teleports Firebrand to the world map.
- Herb: Restores five health points.
- Elixir: Resurrects Firebrand with five health points
- Ginseng: Restores full health points.
- Crown: Increases chance of pots and enemies to drop GP.
- Skull: Increases chance of pots and enemies to drop health.
- Armor: Halves damage taken.
- Fang: Doubles damage caused.
- Hand: Increases fire rate.
One day, six crests fell from the heavens into the demon realm, each one carrying power over the elements and even time itself. Wars were fought over them and after years of battle, one demon stood victorious: Firebrand.
Having collected five of the crests, the Red Arremer Firebrand challenged the demon dragon Somulo for the final crest, the Crest of Heaven. After a long and desperate battle, Firebrand defeated the dragon and gained the final crest. This came at a cost, though, as he was critically wounded.
Using the Red Arremer's moment of weakness, the Arch Demon Phalanx attacked him and stole all of the crests for himself, with the exception of the Crest of Fire, which was broken into pieces (Firebrand still has one shard of it at the game's outset). With the power of the crests, Phalanx proclaims himself the new ruler of both the demon realm and the human world.
Having fallen back to earth in the coliseum where he fought the dragon earlier, Firebrand is forced to destroy Somulo for good to survive, and then sets on a quest to reclaim the Crests and prevent Phalanx from gain the Crest of Infinity, which would render the Arch Demon invincible.
Having slayed the demons who guarded the crests, as well as General Arma, Phalanx's right hand, Firebrand goes on to engage the Arch Demon. The Red Aremer succeeds in besting Phalanx and, finally, is able to reclaim all six crests.
This is not the end of his quest, however, as a new enemy emerges in the form of the mighty Dark Demon. After a long and tedious battle, Firebrand emerges victorious. Regaining his former glory, Firebrand realizes that his true power is not derived from the crests, and disposes of all of them. He then returns to the Demon Realm, hoping to find a true warrior with whom he could once again taste glory of battle.
- Somulo: The player faces this zombie dragon at the very start of the game, in a gladiatorial arena where Firebrand is forced to fight for the crowd's enjoyment. Somulo attacks by spitting fireballs and can be damaged by shots to the head. Once it is slain, it looks as though escape from the arena is possible, but it will poke its head out for one last fight.
- Hippogriff: The player fights several of these throughout the game. Each is found in statue form until it is smashed. The awakened hippogriff attacks by flying into the player and firing trios of bladelike feathers.
- General Arma: A birdlike gargoyle bounty hunter loyal to Phalanx, players battle Arma a total of three times. Each battle he grows stronger and attacks with a greater variety of moves including energy blasts and whirlwinds.
- Belth: The boss of the graveyard, this large skeleton lurks beneath a field of skulls and attacks with the massive blade-arm that it also uses as a crutch. He has no projectile attacks, but can dash from one end of the screen to the other and has an impressive reach.
- Ovnunu: Beneath the graveyard lies a shaft inhabited by this boss. Ovnunu consists of an undulating mass of jelly filled with eyeballs and a larger, tentacled central eye. It attacks by sending out its many flying eyeballs to run into the player. When all of them have been destroyed, the core will emerge and attack by squirting acid from its pupil. Once the core is destroyed, the jelly will shrivel up.
- Flamelord: A being of pure fire, Flamelord can be found deep in the forest, burning everything around him. His primary form is of a stationary flaming skeleton that forms small fiery birds to send out after the player. It can dash across the screen in a cat-like shape, and eventually changes into a floating trio of skulls that drop fire everywhere.
- Scula: This creepy crustacean can be found in an watery grotto. It is actually two individual monsters: a "head" creature that detaches from the "body" creature to throw it around.
- Crawler: Crawler is nothing but a giant, shuffling heap of sloppy carrion, vulnerable only in its seldom-opened eyes. It attacks by releasing two kinds of smaller zombies from the holes down its back. One variety floats and emerges on its own while the legless, crawling type is pulled out and thrown at the player by Crawler itself. It will also pound the ground to rain dangerous debris down from the ceiling. When destroyed, crawler leaves behind a small heap of miscellaneous bones.
- Flier: This human-faced, insect-like monster flies in circles and attacks by throwing its claws as boomerangs.
- Holothurion: This giant water-snail doesn't move, but its breathing causes the water in the room to swirl around. Aside from pulling the player all over the place, toxic bubbles are released into the current from the creature's shell.
- Grewon: A wolf-like monster with a high-pitched cry, found in both the ice palace and final level. It attacks with icy breath and by leaping. When hit, it glows green and becomes temporarily invulnerable.
- Phalanx - The arch demon Phalanx, presently in charge of both the human and demon realms, who almost had killed Firebrand after his fight with the demon dragon, Somulo. Phalanx used the chance to strike with an energy ball that badly hurt Firebrand, taking all the crests except the Fire crest, seeing as how Firebrand was broken during the battle with Somulo. Phalanx was sure that no one could stop him in conquering all the realms and enslaving the Human World. His first form attacks with energy balls and forces the player into a water-filled arena. His second massive form doesn't move, but attacks with an assortment of deadly projectiles and only his head can be damaged. To make matters worse the player must fight this form over boiling lava, on floating platforms that repeatedly disintegrate as they collide with Phalanx's body.
- Dark Demon - An optional boss, and only accessible if players have collected every item in the game and defeated Phalanx. Dark Demon has two forms, switching between one and the other: a giant, three-headed floating skeleton, and a stationary skeleton-fallen angel hybrid. In its first form it drifts around the room throwing out whirling claws and releasing atom-like spheres that follow the player forever; it also causes a rain of blood every now and then. In its second form it keeps throwing whirling claws, while also shoots spheres of black energy that turn the walls and floor of the room into spikes. Additionally, it can cause rocks to fall from the ceiling in both forms.
Though no in-game credits exist for this game (instead featuring a "cast roll" of the game's bosses and central characters), the album Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero reveals that the game's soundtrack was handled by Toshihiko Horiyama and the sound effects were done by Ippo Yamada in their respective profile sections.
Demon's Crest's gothic soundtrack was composed by Toshihiko Horiyama, better known for his work in various Mega Man games. However, because the game has no credits sequence, it was often assumed that it was Yuki Iwai who composed for Demon's Crest, presumably because she composed the soundtrack for the previous game, Gargoyle's Quest II. She was also one of the composers on Mega Man X, along with Toshihiko Horiyama, and the sole composer for MegaMan X2, which may have contributed to the confusion. However, Toshihiko Horiyama was confirmed as Demon's Crest's composer on the 20th anniversary soundtrack collection for the Ghosts 'n Ghouls series, "Makaimura Ongakutaizen ". Ippo Yamada, the Sound Designer on Demon's Crest, also confirmed this on Twitter. The titles for the Demon's Crest tracks on the official soundtrack collection (Disc 7, tracks 22-50) were actually unofficial titles created by SNESmusic.org user "SquareTex", as discussed here . It's not clear if Capcom knew the titles were unofficial when they released the soundtrack collection, or if the tracks originally had no names, and Capcom chose to use the titles those tracks had become known as by the fanbase.
It includes the following songs:
- Opening (Opening)
- Legend of Firebrand (Opening Demo)
- Choose Thine Options (Option Screen)
- The Chronicler (Password Input Screen)
- Prelude to Horror (Before the Dragon Zombie's Arrival)
- Battle of the Zombie Dragon (Dragon Zombie)
- A Treasure Recovered (Item Acquisition)
- Beyond the Colosseum (Altar)
- Challenge of Devils [Intro] (Boss Arrival BGM)
- Challenge of Devils (Boss)
- Over the Demon Realm (Map Screen)
- The Shopkeeper (Shop)
- Headbutting Game (Headbutting Game)
- Metropolis of Ruin (Town & Graveyard)
- Catacombs of the Dead (Crypt)
- This Enchanted Forest (Forest)
- Within the Tidal Reefs (Grotto)
- Cursed Towers (Towers)
- A Sunken Aqueduct (Temple)
- Dance of the Snowy Barrens (Glacier)
- Cavern of Ice (Ice Palace)
- Palace of Decadence (Cathedral)
- Phalanx Arising (2nd Form Phalanx)
- The Infinite Demon (Ultimate Phalanx)
- The Hell of Civil War (Ending 01)
- The Crests Are Hidden Forever (Ending 02)
- The Throne Refused (Ending 03 & 04)
- Memorial of the Fallen Ones (Cast Referral)
- The End - Firebrand Victory (Ending - Last)