Gargoyle's quest is a spin-off game starring the annoying Red Devil (named Firebrand) from Capcom's Ghosts n' Goblins series. The story goes some evil demon-thing has taken over the neither world from the usual less evil demon things, and so Firebrand takes it upon himself to whup some demon thing ass, or something like that. Lots of flying from left to right and shooting stuff ensues.
The game is played somewhat like Zelda II, as in there's an overhead RPG map where you travel to towns and castles, searching for stuff and talking to townspeople (who in the demon world are all monsters or zombies or something.) When you hit an enemy the action switches to a side scrolling battle scene.
Firebrand can fly, hang onto walls, and shoot fireballs. Flight is handled by a meter that quickly dissipates. Also Firebrand cannot fly upwards while in the air, think of it more as an extended jump. Per usual he's pretty weak at the beginning and gains more abilities as the story progresses. A lot of the levels are built vertically with flying and climbing in mind which is a change from the generic side scroller, although there are some staple elements like floating platforms here and there. In the "overworld" encounters with random monsters usually consist of a small section with a few beasts that you can skip over by choice. These scenes become pretty tiresome sometimes. But the later levels do a lot to mix up the level design, such as spike filled rooms that you have to fly through, vertical floating platforms that you have to cling to in mid air, rooms with no floor, etc. These later levels require precise timing as one screw up means instant death.
The story is pretty linear, go to one place, beat a dungeon, get an item, go to another place, etc. You are given YES/NO choices now and then but all they do is open up another dialog box and the story progresses as normal. It is fun to chose the "wrong" choice once in a while, like at the end when the last boss does that Darth Vader stuff and asks you to join him. If you answer yes he takes away all your powerups and you have to fight him as the weak, default Firebrand. Punk.
The game has a Nightmare Before Christmas kind of feel to it, as it does kind of establish this netherworld of supernatural creatures who aren't necessarily evil just because they're monsters. They seem to just want to live their unlives in peace and harmony, kind of makes you sad when some hero-type shows up and kills them all as it tends to happen in video game land.
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