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Old 04-15-2004, 03:36 AM   #591
Icarus4578
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Bad to the bone

Demon's Crest - SNES - Rating 8
I must contend that because I've played this game again (with more experience under my belt) it has given me cause to reconsider my feelings about many of the newer action/adventure titles. I'm still somewhat reserved about it. On one hand this Capcom gem has etched itself into one of the most-distinct recesses of the SNES's history. Truly, it is a wonderful example of action macabre infused with loyal gameplay that never blows you away but rather relies on its ability to always function perfectly and properly in even the most hairy situations. Though the journey is somewhat brief you'll enjoy every step of the way as Capcom has managed to squeeze more out of the SNES than most others could dream.
The story is about six magical stones with crests carved onto each of them, and whoever collects them all will have the power to rule both the human and demon realms. Firebrand must recover them from Phalanx so that he can get his revenge. This is the sequel to the GameBoy and NES titles Gargoyle's Quest 1 & 2, respectively.
You begin by doing battle with a huge dragon and afterwards the first stage begins in a graveyard. Right from the start this game bears striking similarities to Ghouls 'N Ghosts, and even Castlevania. There's fog covering the background area with bare trees standing against the thick darkness like wounded figures. This is transposed around the eerie subtleness of the soundtrack, much in the same vein as G'NG. Red Demon can shoot fireballs (only one at a time, until you've acquired the proper powers), can headbutt background objects, can jump and float at will, but cannot fly.... yet. However, he can remain hovering around in the air for as long as you please, and you can even adjust his height by tapping jump to make him fall slightly and then pressing jump again to make him hover again. As you progress through the game you'll acquire various powers, crests which allow Red Demon to morph into various forms, such as the Water Crest which allows him to swim (normally, he'd take damage if submerged in water without it turned on) and Earth Crest which allows him to have a stronger land-based attack, plus ram and smash through heavy objects. You'll also find empty bottles to store potions, scrolls to apply magic to, and even talisman which grant our gargoyle friend special abilities.
The graphics are simply beautiful and still look very good today. The animation is on a similar level to Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse (SNES), only everything is obviously more dark. I wouldn't go so far as calling it moody though (that would probably be a good word to describe Silent Hill). Bosses are a treat but most of them are too easy, at least they are to myself. At least there's a generous variety of them. Interestingly, after you've finished the first stage you can go straight away to the final boss Phalanx if you'd like. However, you won't get to fight the true final boss, and you'll get the worst ending (note: you still need to backtrack later through the stages to obtain everything and fing new areas which often lead to new bosses ;)). The real final showdown is among Capcom's most grueling boss creations.
The soundtrack is Capcom joy though not quite as memorable as Ghouls 'N Ghosts. Featuring weird and subdued arrangements, the music is very fitting for the journey. There's just the right amount of dissonance for every occasion. Sound effects range from good to decent; nothing breaks the SNES sound board.
If you consider yourself heavily into action titles then it would be a good idea to presume you'll purchase Demon's Crest at some point in time if you already haven't. It's oozing with gameplay, and while it doesn't offer too much new, what it does it does generously well. It's among the best action/adventure titles available on your SNES. I'll leave it to you, the gamer, to make the best-possible evaluation from there. For now, I'll just be waiting for Capcom to grow some brain cells and craft the sequel that this title so rightfully deserves.

Here are several screenshots ~ http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameId,9101/
Here's a walkthrough. It tells you every item location, boss strategy, etc. ~ http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/snes/...ns_crest_c.txt
Here's the bad ending in the game (please refrain from viewing the others; don't ruin the game) ~ http://www.vgmuseum.com/end/snes/a/demonbad.htm

Codes~
Play as Ultimate Gargoyle: FDQP QRMB FGNH GTKL
Fight Bosses Only: RBNL XHGB VGBB LYLD
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Last edited by Icarus4578; 04-16-2004 at 02:13 AM.
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