is a side-scrolling platform game developed and published by Capcom
for the Super NES
video game console. The game is part of the Gargoyle's Quest
sub-series of the Ghosts 'n Goblins
Firebrand (Red Arremer
in the Japanese version) is on a quest to collect all of the elemental Crests, magical stones which preside over their respective elements (Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Time, and Heaven). It is said that when all crests are combined, the Crest of Infinity will appear, allowing its holder infinite power, and the ability to conquer any and all realms with it. However, during his quest, he is gravely wounded in a battle with the Demon Dragon in his efforts to claim the Crest of Heaven, and his nemesis Phalanx uses Firebrand's moment of weakness to attack him and steal all of his crests for himself, with the exception of the Crest of Fire which was broken into pieces in the fight (Firebrand still has one shard of it at the game's outset). Having fallen back to earth in the coliseum where he fought the Dragon earlier, Firebrand is forced to destroy him for good to survive, so that he can go after Phalanx and reclaim the Crests. Whether Firebrand wants them for power, glory, or some sort of revenge is never stated. However, during the True Ending, which you attain once you defeat the "Dark Demon", it is stated that "Realizing that his true power is not derived from the crests, Firebrand disposed of all the crests." With that information, it can be inferred that Firebrand was perhaps collecting the crests in an attempt to discover said "True Power".
- Firebrand: The story's anti-hero. Known as the Red Blaze by the lesser demons who fear him. He has the ability to tap into the power of the crests to increase his powers, or even take on entirely new forms.
- Phalanx: The arch-nemesis of Firebrand. He desires the crests for himself, so that he may summon the Crest of Infinity and obtain ultimate power to conquer both the demon realm and the human worlds.
- Arma: A general in service of Phalanx, this tengu-like creature has been given orders to hunt down and retrieve the Crest of Fire from Firebrand. The player encounters Arma on several occasions throughout the game, each time receiving one of the Crests he was given for safekeeping as spoils of victory (first the Crest of Earth, then the Crest of Wind, and finally the Crest of Time). Upon losing the Time Crest to Firebrand, Arma seals himself within it to help Firebrand in his quest to defeat Phalanx.
- Dark Demon: A secret boss that can be unlocked by finding 100% of the items in the game and defeating Phalanx. It has two different forms; a three-headed, four-armed skeletal charioteer who floats about and rains lava/lobs various projectiles, and a hovering, plasma-tailed fallen angel who, in addition to firing an almost undodgeable string of projectiles, causes earthquakes and gradually turns the walls of the room into spikes. It's quite a bit more difficult than the final fight against Phalanx (which is also a very hard battle), and thus a fine example of a videogame superboss.
- Trio the Pago: A trio of pudgy, piggish-looking businessmen who run the "head-butting" game shop. There are three different locations for this game shop, at three different difficulty levels, and a differently colored Pago corresponding to each. Their colors are Pink, Blue, and Purple, to easy, medium, and hard, respectively.
- Apothecary: A decrepit demon running the potion shops of the demon realm. Firebrand is able to purchase pots and salves from him of varying enhancement effects.
- Sorcerer: A magic-wielding demon who runs the few spell shops found in the demon realm. He sells magic spells for Firebrand to carry in an empty veil. These spells can vary from teleporting back to the overworld to eliminating a weak boss character.
- Vagrant: This character's name is never mentioned. He resides by the town's fountain and will say different things depending on which crest you currently have equipped, typically remarking on how best to use any given form. According to the vagrant, Firebrand's "Red Blaze" form is shown when he has the Crest of Time equipped.
The gameplay is a mix of standard platforming, with mild RPG
elements and occasional side-scrolling shooter sequences. 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.
The player collects different 'crests' which, when equipped during the game, allow to change into different-ability Firebrands. Some of the possible powers are Earth, Wind and Water. The player also collects talismans, magic potions and other equipment during the journey.