Written: 7.6.07 Acquired: 2.8.06 Status: Cart only Price: $6.99
Do you remember the good ole early days of the Super Nintendo, and how titles like F-Zero, Final Fight and Contra III captivated your imagination and shattered your senses? Most of all, do you remember THE MAGIC those games had? You knew the SNES would take you on many more exciting trips. But then somewhere along the lines you settled in, longing for the magic of days gone by. Well then... welcome to Demon's Crest! "HI, I'LL BE YOUR HOST FOR TONIGHT..."
Part of the fun comes in the form of who you control. Not your average cute and cuddly SNES protagonist, he's the malicious and vicious Firebrand, better known as Redareemer to our friends in Japan. The incredibly annoying git in the Ghosts 'n Goblins games, his first appearance as a 'good guy' came in the Game Boy title Gargoyle's Quest (Makaimura Gaiden in Japan)
It's an old tale, a perennial camp fire favorite... so without further ado... and don't forget to grab your s'mores...
THE TALE OF DEMON'S CREST
Uhhhhh... don't quote me on it...
I got five bucks on the vile demon looking bloke, yes sir
Hey, don't kill the mood. Everyone has their own version OK? I'm just trying to connect it with the kids of today; those damn freeway, byway, highway whipper-snappers!
[You mean Information Superhighway? -Ed.]
Ahem... so where was I... AH YES! The best bit of the story...
Oh yeah? Not if I have anything to say 'bout that...
Capcom's dirty little subliminal message! *GASP*
DUN DUN DUN!!
Right away you know it's something special
Apparently some cursed fella was here before you, and left a final note scrawled on the wall. You can even see the tally marks, used most likely to count down the days he had left before the inevitable...
Shame you didn't spot his warning until it was too late
Well now wait-a-sec, hey, he could be friendly
... Or not!
Somulo reminds me of King Ghidorah!
1 of Godzilla's most notorious foes!
He's a big pussycat though. Should be easily dispatched
NOT SO FAST! Somulo rises again for one last go...
He should have stayed down instead -- the scamp!
Your initial firepower is a single fireball shot. Slow and weak, but it serves its purpose well on this introductory stage
"That's it, that's the last time I buy sheets from the 99 cent store!"
I love how it looks like the creature's got Firebrand in the middle of its talon claws there... ace
You really shouldn't ever mock the dead...
Told 'cha so
Back in the day my jaw dropped when I first saw this!
[I hafta say I agree. Not nice. No sexy time for him -Borat]
WHAT'S YOUR DESTINATION?
After the introductory stage you're taken to a lovely giant overhead map screen where you can pick your next location. Search everywhere! Never know what you may find. Not all areas are filled with enemies...
Pressing start takes you here. Select wisely. All of these are to be found throughout the game... some are well-hidden while others are simply..... well-guarded!
This is the wise man known as Malwous. He runs the Talisman Shop in town. No, you cannot coax the geezer to sell them to you, his only purpose is to disclose their special powers... or is it.... ?
"Yeah? Well we'll see about that old-timer!"
"Hot damn... the fossil wasn't joking... soul energy me like!"
But just in case he planted it there: a reminder that no one messes with me -- Firebrand!
[Dude, there goes his book with all the info ya git -Ed.]
"My book! From this day on... you shall be forever CURSED!"
And this git here, well he runs the Spell shop. For the price of some bills with dead demons on them he'll sell you whatever your heart desires most... or at least what Capcom have pre-arranged, anyhow. You'll also need to find the spell vellum in order to carry spells. Up to five can be found. They can be tough.... so make sure you explore every last hooker and nanny. And don't discriminate against the chubby h --
[That's "nook" and "cranny" ya fool! And CUBBYHOLE. Enjoyed your 4th of July much, ne? -Ed.]
At the spooky Black Lotus shop you can stock up on various potions. For a fee, of course. Sometimes a finger, sometimes a toe, or even a whole leg. Hey, he's gotta feed his hungry hounds somehow right...
"Yes yes lemme measure the circumference of your head...."
Don't take that lying down Firebrand! Show 'im who runs shit around here!
WHOSE DA SHERIFF?!
"OW MY EYE MY EYE!"
[You make a lousy trade partner don't cha? -Ed.]
Not true. Over, hmmmmm, 50 trades on GameTZ.com. All excellent ratings across the board. Speed, courtesy, honesty -- you name it! Hell this past March I received my six year plaque. *rubs chin* Ah lemme tell you my favorite swindle, uh I mean trade.. back in 2003 I believe it was, yess....
[*clears throat* -Ed.]
Oh, right right right...
*puts away framed copy of Radiant Silvergun traded for World Series Baseball II*
My man! Trio the Pago... runs various set-up's around town that specializes in game for demons. For a fee skulls will appear against the wall and it's your job to smash 'em all. Do so before the torches flicker off and score some gold pieces! There is a beginning, intermediate and expert game. Pretty cool stuff that reminds me of those "smash-the-alligators!" games you'd find at the boardwalk or at Chuck E. Cheese's
The high ones are the toughest. Get your practice on with the infamous window section in town. Anyone who has played DC will agree I bet, who could ever forget smashing the windows looking for not only gold, but also serving as grounds for invaluable practice
However many torches remain lit you earn 5 gold pieces for. Er, they look silvery here but you get the picture, no pun intended [Har har -Ed.]
This denizen is something of a gossiping demon hobo! He even asks you a yes/no question. It's the little touches like this that help to separate Demon's Crest from the rest!
"Heard the wire? Phalanx wants to kill some guy named Firebrand"
This barrier cannot be flown over with your standard form, nor shot down. Hmmm, what could be behind that door? Valuable treasures locked up, or perhaps a vile beast fenced off from the rest of society?
"Shoot, I ain't gunna be the one to find out"
Ah, a potion bottle, hurrah! Only four more lie in waiting. Be crafty -- look in the most unlikely places... by the way hovering is essential
He has it made at public restrooms, no?
Woot -- a spell vellum! I wonder where the other 4 are...
In addition to hovering, clinging is another critical asset in your arsenal
Firebrand's such a good-hearted bloke, gregarious too
Or p'haps not!
As you gain more powers, the game expands. This one is very cool and acts much like the Magnet Gun from the original Mega Man
Whatever's hiding behind this wall you won't find out til much later after you've acquired Power X. I'm a sucker for these type of games, yes I am
I cannot stress the importance of exploring. The game can be beaten without finishing all the area's, but you won't get the best ending, nor the satisfaction knowing you've conquered this ace game
Let's take a look at some of the stages
Yikes! Steer clear of the low ground and you should be OK
Remember Creepshow? Show creeped me out! [Hence, Creepshow, creep -Ed.] I caught it when I was but knee-high and some scenes have haunted me to this very day. Fack, where's my medication..
"COME IN COME IN!"
Ah indeed, this all wouldn't be possible prior to 1994!
Around mid-'94 Nintendo revamped their policies. It started with Mortal Kombat II maintaining all its gory glory, and allowed for games like Demon's Crest to be released. Its dark and gruesome imagery simply would not have happened prior to '94
PLAY IT LOUD also hit the GameBoy scene... it was all 'bout the 'tude
Thank you PIL movement, indeed
No it can't be...
Say hello to Belth... one tough hombre!
Damn what a way to go eh?
Strangeness abounds in this deranged woodland area. Keep your eyes peeled as there are secrets waiting to be found!
How can you get to that bottle there...
The whole place goes ablaze as tentacles rise from their slumber searching for food
Flame Lord is the toughest boss early on by far. He has tricky offensive patterns so make sure you've got some herbs before you take him on
His second form is a bit of a you-know-what!
Stay out of the water! It's hazardous, until you can find the Crest of Water that is
Now that's what I call 2 for the price of 1!
Look at this guy. Lovely detail on such a minor foe
Best end its misery after all! I love how Capcom does not discriminate
Ahem, never minding the Street Fighter games of course... selective memory you understand
These guys explode into fragments of hazardous flame debris when killed
This section is highly atmospheric, tough too
In the glow of the candle light, bats dare not attack...
Things can get a bit creepy in the dark
But hang on here...
... It doesn't break everything! But your shoulder may beg to differ here
Believe me, they really are!
Linger here and you'll pay the piper
I really care not to know what that disgusting goo is composed of
Then, one of the most dramatic moments in the game occurs:
OK I lied, it's really your death spell in action
Ovununu is very irksome. After you've killed its little babies it goes after you relentlessly
A really bad case of eyejam!
Bonus points to all who knows the reference
I would like to do that to my boss...
[You're fired -Ed.]
Aw look at that, Capcom's star mingling with SNK's star. And who said that back in the day they couldn't get along eh?
Looks like they were made for each other!
[Uh, it was him... Steve's his name, kind sir -Ed.]
Game makes a sweet sound everytime you get one á la Metroid
The bubbly mass gives chase to our anti-hero... another very memorable moment!
At the end of the hallway you're trapped and forced to do battle with this giant mass of tissue
Changing color as he weakens, it's old school boss gaming at its best!
UNDER THE MURKY WATERS
Blast blocks to oblivion
Very hard to get through this without losing some health but you'll be OK
Carefully blast the blocks so that you leave the upper and bottom parts covered. Otherwise you're likely to get punctured... badly
This disgusting mutant snail is sadly all bark and no bite!
Lots of really cool stuff is tucked away, no pun intended, in Demon's Crest
See? It's not ALL violence... [Right -Ed.]
This is my favorite part in the game, but I'll just show this one shot. You really have to see it for yourself...
Indeed he is. Control is super smooth and crisp
"NO DON'T FALL FOR THAT!" they cry
"YOU'LL BE SORRY IF YOU DO!" they add
Play the game to find out for yourself!
Surely it couldn't be Fortunato... right?
NOW AND LATER
Just like Super Metroid, certain areas are playable but it is not until you've discovered weapon or power-up X that you can go back and truly dissect the game. The following three pictures depict this perfectly
BOX OFFICE BOMB
Despite the praise from the press, it's been a well-documented fact that this game sold very poorly. According to Nintendo Power Magazine Capcom ordered a limited supply. I'm not convinced, because the game is not rare or even scarce. There's always a handful of copies floating on eBay. So I'm not sure how accurate NP's statement was
However, we know for sure that the game flopped at the box offices, so to speak. Capcom did very little to hype this, which came as a shocker of the highest degree. True, it did come out around the time of Donkey Kong Country (which sold off-the-chart numbers) but did you know: one week Demon's Crest generated NEGATIVE sales?! Preposterous! It's a gaming tragedy that more people returned the game than bought it!
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
EGM:8, 8, 8, 9
GAMEFAN: 97, 97, 98
I wasn't kidding when I mentioned elsewhere on this site that Super Play were tough graders. The overall score is a bit misleading there, actually. They really wanted to give the game high marks but its lack of gamelife led to major point droppage. Graphics scored 94%, sound 89 and gameplay 91%. Gamelife came in at 72% however and was the main knock. Games which GameFan raved and awarded high 90s to, it wasn't uncommon to see Super Play score in the low 80s! This is a perfect example of that. Personally, I think they were too harsh on DC. It may not be the longest action adventure ever made, but it's definitely worth playing through more than once
Playing through this game was akin to taking a time machine. The destination: 1992. It was refreshing and had the magic of those early SNES titles that you'll always remember fondly. Graphically, almost every trick in the book is used: transparency, umpteen layers of parallaxed clouds, soft eerie swirling mist, some excellent Mode 7, etc. Sonically it fares even better. At times it is Castlevania-esque! The music runs circles around other games which try desperately and fail to summon up a foreboding atmosphere. It's packed with authentic-sounding church organ, haunting horns and jiggling flutey effects. Very orchestral and that BOSS THEME... it's unforgettable how tense and dramatic it sounds -- as the behemoth boss reveals itself to you... classic Capcom quality. Even the little sound effect that plays every time you add another life unit to your health is spot-on perfect. If not, then surely damn close!
Gameplay? The best part of them all! What I really loved about this was the open-ended aspect, how as you gain powers new parts of a world you've already been to just suddenly open up. Very similar to Super Metroid in that regard. There's also an RPG/quest flair to it, with side games, shops, interesting non-bad-guy characters. And hey, let's face it, Firebrand is a GREAT anti-hero. Fun as hell to control and managing your potions, spells and forms add some strategic qualities to a quality adventure
The game just sucks you in with its mysterious and dark nature. It is definitely not another me-too platform action game! And yes, there are multiple endings, depending on what you do or don't do. It is short, and you'll feel bad when it ends all too soon, but you'll have an absolute blast doing so. Not only is it one of the best action games on SNES, in my book, it's one of the best, PERIOD
I don't hesitate to recommend this highly. Likewise I won't hesitate to say this:
Sans the Street Fighter games, Capcom's finest hour on the Super Nintendo -- the best of the rest -- is easily...