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Magazine MADNESS
Retro Fire

Written: 7.6.07
Acquired: 2.8.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $6.99

Pub: CapcomNov. 1994
Dev: Capcom16 MEGS

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!


                               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
(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...


                                                              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*



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

                                               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]


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.....


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?!

                                                I AM!

                                                                                              "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

                                                                                                      "Mmmm... bacon"

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
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

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

                                     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

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!


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


                                                            Play the game to find out for yourself!

Surely it couldn't be Fortunato... right?


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


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!


  • EGM: 8, 8, 8, 9
  • GAMEFAN: 97, 97, 98
  • SUPER PLAY: 80%

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...

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9.5
Longevity: 8

Overall: 9.5

Double Gold Award