Demon’s Crest (SNES) Walkthrough

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Demon’s Crest (SNES) Walkthrough

~By tankMage (January 2021)

Introduction

First off, thank you for using this site and this guide in particular. People like you are the reason RetroMaggedon exists and I really appreciate all of the support I’ve gotten over the years. As far as this walkthrough goes, it relies heavily on maps (special thanks to Vgmaps.com for the Demon’s Crest maps) that have been edited to correspond with the walkthrough. Important parts of each level are numbered on the map and advice for each point can be found in the written section below the map alongside the corresponding number. I’ve also labeled doors with letters to make some of the area transitions more clear.

There are also detailed strategies for the bosses, a tips section, and an item guide. Additionally, this guide examines the various abilities the hero, Firebrand, can acquire. Finally, the names of the bosses were taken from the game, but I do not know the enemy names, so I loosely describe them based on their behavior.

Contents 

I. Basics

    A. Controls 

    B. Navigating the World Map

    C. Crests

    D. Potions

    E. Spells

    F. Urns

    G. Vellum

    H. Talismans

    I. HP Containers

II. Tips

III. World Map

IV. Walkthrough

    A. Murkland (Colosseum, Cemetery, Slope, and Abyss)

    B. Ruined City (Dark Avenue, Reservoir, Catacombs, Darkened Catacombs, Pit of Ovnunu,   and Boneyard) 

    C. Towers of Doom

    D. Dark Forest

    E. Poseidonia

    F. Mountains

    G. Phalanx’s Fortress 

    H. The Demon’s Hideout

V. Trio the Pago’s Skull Bashing Game

VI. Getting the Best Ending

VlI. Item Locations

    A.Crests

    B. HP Containers 

    C. Spell Vellum 

    D. Urns 

    E. Talismans

VII. References and Further Reading

VIII. Download PDF Copy of this Guide

I. Basics

While Demon’s Crest follows most platformer conventions, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with its basic workings. This is especially true in the case of the various powers Firebrand can acquire, which you will need to complete the game.

A. Controls 

Start Button: Starts the game at the title screen and brings up the inventory menu during gameplay. 

Directional Buttons: The D-Pad moves Firebrand left or right and determines the trajectory of his jumps. Pressing Up on the D-Pad while standing in front of an open door will make Firebrand enter it. Can also be used to navigate inventory, options, and password menus.

B Button: Makes Firebrand jump. Hit it a second time while the Crest of Fire, Air, Time, or Heaven is active to make Firebrand hover in mid air.

A Button: This button activates the special ability of the currently equipped Crest. Here are the abilities as follows:

Fire/Time: Headbutt.

Earth: Charge.

Air: Fly up or down while hovering.

Water: Swim quickly while underwater.

Heaven: The Heaven Crest can use almost all the special abilities of the other Crests. What ability is activated is situational. Hitting A while jumping will make Ultimate Gargoyle perform a headbutt. If pressed while on the ground, Ultimate Gargoyle will charge. Press A while hovering to make him adjust his altitude.

Y Button: Makes Firebrand spit a projectile.

X Button: Activates a selected spell or potions.

Using the Inventory: After pressing start to open the inventory menu, use the Directional Buttons to choose the Crest, Talisman, Spell, or Potion you wish to equip. Press Y to equip the selected item. If you wish to activate a Spell or Potion, you will first have to equip it like a Crest, then press X to use it after exiting the inventory.

B. Navigating the World Map

After completing a level or choosing the “Select a Stage” option after dying, the player will be taken to a quasi-3D world map. The D-Pad makes Firebrand fly in the desired direction, just push Up and Left or Right. Press Y to make him land. Most stages are marked on the ingame map that can be accessed via the Start Button, but there are many other areas that are indicated by buildings or hidden altogether that can be entered. Many areas are unlocked by completing other stages.

C. Crests

Crests grant Firebrand a number of powers and are required to make progress in the game. Firebrand will need to defeat certain bosses to acquire each Crest. Open the inventory screen to equip a Crest.

1. Fire: Firebrand starts the game with the Crest of Fire in his possession. As the most basic Crest, it allows him to use a weak fireball attack, perform head butts that can smash objects in the background, cling to walls, and hover in mid air. You cannot adjust your height while hovering with the Fire Crest active. Despite its weaknesses, the Fire Crest is quite versatile and reliable for much of the game. Players will find upgrades for the Fire Crest throughout the adventure, which are as follows:

Buster: While not more powerful than the standard fireball in terms of damage per shot, Firebrand can have two of these on screen at once rather than the standard fireball’s single shot. This makes it an effective weapon against enemies that are difficult to hit or those with high HP. Additionally, the Buster can smash through armor. With the Hand Talisman equipped, players can have four Buster shots on screen at once. Most importantly, the Buster can smash certain blocks, often opening up new paths or revealing hidden items.

Claw: The Claw creates a glob of slime that coats surfaces. Firebrand can cling to any surface, even spikes, that are coated with slime from the Claw. Unfortunately, most players will find the Crest of Air shortly before or after getting the Claw, which renders it useless, because it’s far easier to simply fly over obstacles than to use the Claw to clear them. Please note that this Crest is not terribly effective as a weapon and disappears a few seconds after coating a surface, even if Firebrand is clinging to it.

Tornado: Creates small whirlwinds that can be used as a platform. Arguably useful in some situations, but (once again) the Crest of Air is superior. Deals minimal damage and many enemies are immune to it.

Demon Fire: A powerful fireball attack. It can be helpful in some fights, but the Crest of Time is preferable.

2. Earth: The Earth Crest is dropped by Arma at the end of Murkland and will be the first crest Firebrand acquires. Equipping this crest will transform Firebrand into Ground Gargoyle. As G. Gargoyle, the player can charge forward by pressing and holding the A Button. Slamming into certain objects, like piles of bones, will break them. Jumping while charging will cause Firebrand to leap a long distance.

Ground Gargoyle also spits a fireball of sorts that will travel along the ground. Jumping and firing with the Y Button will cause the fireball to travel in a straight line for a short distance. The fireball is more powerful on the ground than in the air, so use it on land based enemies. Ground Gargoyle cannot fly or hover in the air, but he can latch onto walls.

3. Air: Dropped by Arma in the Towers of Doom, the Air Crest is tremendously useful. With this crest active, Firebrand will change into Aerial Gargoyle. In this form, Firebrand unleashes a powerful breath attack that can cut vines and kill many enemies in a single hit. However, many bosses are immune to A. Gargoyle’s attack. Press A while flying to move higher. Switching between this Crest and other Crests can be very helpful if you are trying to gain a tactical advantage in a boss fight by adjusting your height in the air.

4. Water: Obtained by defeating Crawler in the upper half of Poseidonia. This crest will turn Firebrand into Tidal Gargoyle, an adept swimmer that spits a water ball. The water ball is weak on land, but it’s very powerful underwater and if used against Flame Lord in the Dark Forest. T. Gargoyle cannot fly, though he can swim very nimbly and speed forward in the water if the player holds the A Button. 

5. Time: The Crest of Time is the final Crest that Arma drops. It allows Firebrand to assume the form of the Legendary Gargoyle. In this form, Firebrand takes 50% less damage and can unleash a powerful fireball. Aside from that, L. Gargoyle is identical to the Crest of Fire. The Armor and Fang Talismans work very well in conjunction with this Crest.

6. Heaven: The most powerful Crest in the game can only be obtained by collecting all of the other Crests, HP Containers, Urns, Talismans, and Vellum, then defeating the final boss. After the boss is defeated, the player will be given a special password that starts them off with all of the items and the Heaven Crest. Activate the Crest of Heaven to become Ultimate Gargoyle, who can fly like A. Gargoyle, swim like T. Gargoyle, and charge like G. Gargoyle. In addition to all of the aforementioned powers, Ultimate Gargoyle takes even less damage than Legendary Gargoyle and has an even more powerful breath attack.

D. Potions

Potions can be bought in shops on the world map and in the Ruined City. An empty Urn is required to hold a potion. Most potions are geared towards restoring Firebrand’s HP.

Mercury: Warps Firebrand back to the start of the current level. Not very useful.

Sulfur: Allows Firebrand to return to the world map. Good for backtracking if you do not feel like completing an area you have already explored.

Herb: Restores some health. A cheap alternative to Ginseng that is effective early in the game.

Elixir: Costs 100g and resurrects Firebrand with 4 HP if he dies with it equipped. Does not work if you die from falling into a pit.

Ginseng: Fully heals Firebrand. You should almost always carry an inventory stuffed with these.

E. Spells

Spells can be purchased in shops like potions, but are oriented towards inflicting damage. A blank Vellum is needed to contain a spell.

Shadow: Supposedly increases Firebrand’s defense, but appears to be bugged and does not work.*

Hold: Another bugged spell, Hold is intended to lock enemies in place, but does not work.

Imp: Summons a tiny demon that will drain life from enemies, effectively halving their health from what I can tell. Unfortunately, the imp will take some of your money every time it drains an enemy and it does not work on bosses, so you’re better off skipping this spell.

Shock: Damages enemies on the ground. Not very powerful, but more effective than most other spells.

Death: Easily the best spell in the game, Death inflicts heavy damage on everything on the screen. Good for blowing away pesky mobs and damaging bosses a bit to soften them up. This spell has no effect on the final bosses.

*Note: I’ve seen claims that Shadow damages enemies, but I could not confirm this through testing.

F. Urns

Urns are found hidden in many of the stages. They are used to contain potions and can be refilled once the potion has been consumed. There are five Urns in total. See Section VII, Part D for the locations of the Urns.

G. Vellum

Firebrand will need Vellum to transcribe spells bought in shops. Like Urns, Vellum can be found in stages and used infinitely as long as the player pays for the spells they hold. Five Vellum are available in Demon’s Crest. See Section VII, Part C for a list of Vellum locations.

H. Talismans

Talismans are powerful items that can be found hidden in stages and equipped by Firebrand. While the game only tells you what each Talisman does if you wear it at a shop in the Ruined City, the effect of a Talisman is active as long as you have it equipped. Below is a brief analysis of each Talisman. You can find the locations of these items in the walkthrough proper or in Section VII, Part E.

Crown: The Crown Talisman increases the likelihood of gold dropping from enemies and broken objects. Very helpful if you need cash.

Soul: More life refills drop from objects and foes if you have this equipped. Unfortunately, this Talisman only increases the odds of a health drop a tiny bit as far as I can tell, but it’s worth wearing if you have nothing else.

Armor: Halves incoming damage. One of the best Talismans in the game. Also stacks with the defense bonuses granted by the Crests of Time and Heaven.

Fang: Doubles damage from Firebrand’s attacks. Very powerful and a good choice for players who are adept at avoiding enemy attacks.

Hand: Doubles the number of projectiles allowed on screen at once. A good way to boost damage until you get the Fang Talisman.

I. HP Containers

Firebrand will often find orange orbs encased in bone after defeating a boss or hidden in stages. These orbs increase his max health by 1 up to a maximum of 20. See Section VII, Part B. 

II. Tips

Demon’s Crest is deceptively hard towards the very end of the game, so it helps to really master some tricks that make it less daunting.

1. Always be prepared!

It helps to bring along potions and spells when adventuring in the demon world. Always carry a few Death Spells and Ginsengs in case you get in trouble. Herbs suffice early in the game, before you have more than 6 or 7 HP.

2. How to earn money quickly.

You’ll need money to buy Potions and it can take a lot of work to earn enough to buy supplies. Luckily, smashing the windows in the Ruined City is a great way to get rich quick. Simply headbutt the windows and enter one of the shops when you run out of stuff to break. All of the windows will return when you exit the shop. You can quickly earn about 70 gold every time you smash a bunch of windows. Later on, you can wear the Crown Talisman to make money even faster.

3. Master adjusting height and moving around with the Air Crest.

The Crest of Air is great at getting to difficult to reach bosses, particularly those at the end of the game. Get used to making fine altitude adjustments with this Crest equipped.

4. Take your time. 

There’s no need to rush in Demon’s Crest, because there is no timer. Watch enemy movements and plan a strategy. 

5. Don’t be afraid to swap Crests and Talismans in battle.

Switching Firebrand’s powers during boss fights and even in stages can be really effective. For example, if an enemy is difficult to reach, you can always change to Aerial Gargoyle to get close to it, then switch to another form to deal damage.

III. World Map

Here is an annotated copy of the world map that includes shops, stages, and hidden areas. Please note that many stages are not accessible until you complete a few of the first few levels.

Location Key

1. Murkland

2: Ruined City

3. Trio the Pago’s Skull Bashing Game Level 1

4. Dark Forest

5. Towers of Doom

6. Potion Shop

7. Trio the Pago’s Skull Bashing Game Level 3 (Land in the lake to find this place)

8. Poseidonia

9. Mountains

10. Spell Shop

11. Trio the Pago’s Skull Bashing Game Level 2 (Land in the trees on the island to enter)

12. Phalanx’s Fortress

13. Demon’s Hideout

IV. Walkthrough

Demon’s Crest is a rather open ended game that allows you to choose the order in which you complete many of the stages. The stage order that appears in this guide is more of a suggestion than a hard rule and you’re free to visit the stages in any order you like as long as you have unlocked them. Important points in each level are labeled on the maps provided for each area; refer to the written instructions below the maps for info on each point.

A. Murkland (Colosseum, Cemetery, Slope, and Abyss)

Murkland is the opening stage of Demon’s Crest and a good place to practice the basics. While Firebrand can die in this stage just like any other, you will not receive a password or game over if he dies.

1. Colosseum and Cemetery 

Items: HP Container x2, Spell Vellum

The Colosseum and Cemetery are fairly simple introductory areas designed to get players accustomed to Firebrand’s basic abilities. Get a feel for hovering after jumping and using Firebrand’s wall cling, you’ll be using them in more difficult situations soon enough.

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Boss: Solumo

Solumo is a massive undead dragon that will attack Firebrand as soon as the game starts. While you cannot see your life meter at this point, you can still die from taking more than three hits and Solumo can instantly kill you if you let him trample you. Walk to the right as soon as the dragon enters the arena to escape an untimely demise.

Stay on the ground and wait for Solumo to lower his head to shoot a fireball at Firebrand, then jump up and spit a fireball of your own at his head. If you are fast, you can hit him and make him recoil before he spits fire, if not, the fireball will travel along the ground after touching it. You can tap B a second time to hover and avoid landing on the ground fire. Hit Solumo about six times and he will collapse. 

Firebrand will automatically exit the Colosseum after Solumo falls. Walk right and the dragon will poke its head out of the door you just came from. He’ll start breathing fire again. This time the fireballs will only be aimed downwards, so you can just hover and spit fire at him. Three hits will finish this boss off permanently, granting you your first HP Container.

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1. Press the A Button to make Firebrand head butt the gargoyle statues in this stage. Doing so will break them, revealing goodies like coins and life refills.

2. Use fireballs to destroy pots like the one on this pedestal to get powerups.

3. The ghosts in the cemetery are slow and weak, just don’t let them gang up on you.

4. Firebrand cannot clear this pillar with a normal jump. Instead, jump towards the pillar and he will cling to it after touching it. From there you can jump on top of it. Remember this technique, you’ll need to use it a lot.

5. An axe throwing imp guards the way forward, step away from his axes and jump into the air to shoot him. It takes two hits to kill these monsters.

6. Destroy the gargoyle statue on this pedestal to get a Spell Vellum.

7. The final pot before the boss contains a full health refill, so grab it if you need life.

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Boss: Hippogriff 

Hippogriff doesn’t attack you at first when you enter his domain. For whatever reason, he’s content to remain in stone form, waiting for you to make a move. Walk up to the big white gargoyle in this room and head butt it to wake the boss up. Take a few steps away from the statue after head butting it or the boss will hit you once it becomes active. 

Hippogriff likes to hover high in the air and only has two attacks. The first attack consists of three spikes that he launches in a fan pattern while in the air. These spikes always travel downward at a 45 degree angle and are easy to avoid if you stand about half a screen length from the boss and simply step between them. For his other move, he will land and swiftly charge across the screen towards Firebrand; he can also perform this move while airborne. Hippogriff tends to flap his wings rapidly three times before attacking, so you’ll have an idea of what he’s about to do when this happens.

Jump up and spit a fireball at this boss to damage him. As far as I can tell, it takes 16 hits to kill him, but it may take more or less depending on certain conditions. Once Hippogriff is low on health he will turn a reddish color and occasionally transform into a statue again. If this happens, head butt him to make him become flesh. I’m not sure if head butting this boss while it’s a statue counts as damage, which is why it may take more or less than 16 fireballs to defeat him. At any rate, the final hit will cause the boss to momentarily burst into flames, then transform into a statue a final time. Give him another head butt to destroy him and collect the second HP Container.

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2. Slope and Abyss 

Items: Urn, HP Container, Crest of Earth

The Slope and Abyss are home to man eating plants that damage Firebrand on contact. Some more difficult platforming also awaits players in this area as well as General Arma, who will kindly give you the Crest of Earth if you best him in combat.

1. These greenish pillars will crumble slowly if you stand on top of them. They will not crumble if you cling to their sides and they are still safe to stand on even if they crumble entirely.

2. Touching the plants on the ground in this stage will harm Firebrand.

3. You’ll meet another axe throwing imp here, but he’s fairly easy to hit from the pedestal.

4. There’s another imp that hangs out on the plants in this location. He can be annoying, so try to hit from afar.

5. Jump up and hover after landing on this pillar so you can safely shoot the imp on the right.

6. A spider-like creature crawls along the wall here, a fireball will get rid of it.

7. The ledge with the pot on it looks like it leads to a bottomless pit, but it’s actually safe to drop down. Go left after falling straight down to find a cave with an Urn in it. Use Firebrand’s ability to scale walls to get back to the top of the ledge.

8. Ride this levitating rock to the cliff to the right and continue right to reach the Abyss. Wait on the ledge above the urn for a moment if you do not see the levitating rock.

9. Cling to the sides of these flying rocks in order to ride them upwards.

10. To reach this levitating rock, jump from the top of the one below it when it reaches its apex and hover for a moment.

11. Don’t bother trying to scale the cliff here, but if you do, avoid touching the brittle looking spots on the wall, because the man-eating plants hiding under them will damage you.

12. You will have to jump from the rock in point 10 and hover again to reach this rock.

13. You can’t destroy this wall right now. Come back later with the Buster and use it to break the wall, which will reveal a cave. Inside the cave you’ll find an HP Container.

14. You’ll have to use the jump and hover technique one more time to get to this levitating rock. Ride it all the way to the right, then jump and cling onto the rock outcrop to get to the top of the cliff.

15. Break the pot here to get a health refill, you’ll need it to fight Arma who is just ahead.

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Boss: Arma 

Arma likes to fly around the screen, often just out of your reach. He only has two attacks, but one of them is kind of hard to evade if you get too close to him. The first attack is a simple orb that travels to the ground at a 45 degree angle. It’s easy to dodge since it’s slow and Arma cocks his head back before shooting it. His other attack is a horizontal charge that he can perform from any height. There’s no tell for his charge, so it’s best to stay on the ground when not attacking and keep your distance from him so you can get out of its way.

Simply jump up and shoot a fireball at Arma every two seconds or so when you’re not busy evading his attacks. Wait in between fireballs, because Arma gets about a second’s worth of invincibility after taking damage and you’re just leaving yourself open to his attacks if you are too aggressive. Arma also tends to fly just outside of Firebrand’s reach, so it’s best to stay on the ground as much as possible to lure him into firing range. Seventeen hits will send this boss packing and win you the first Crest: the Crest of Earth.

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B. Ruined City (Dark Avenue, Reservoir, Catacombs, Darkened Catacombs, Pit of Ovnunu, and Boneyard) 

After defeating Arma you will be able to explore the world map freely (See Section III: World Map) and visit most of the areas. There are a few spots worth checking out before exploring the Ruined City, which is just west of the Colosseum. The Ruined City is larger than Murkland and full of new dangers as well as opportunities.

Before entering the city, visit the Potion Shop north of the Colosseum and get an Herb Potion, it’ll come in handy when fighting the boss. You may also want to pick up an HP Container at Trio the Pogo’s skull game, which is hidden in a lake in the northern continent, though it takes a lot of practice to win it.

Finally, players can either explore the Catacombs or the Boneyard first. Most other guides recommend exploring the Catacombs, but the Boneyard is fairly easy to complete first, so it’s ultimately up to the player. My advice is to choose the one you want to visit first and explore the other if you are having trouble.

1. Dark Avenue and Reservoir 

Items: Urn, Hand Talisman 

Firebrand will not be attacked in the Dark Avenue and is free to visit a number of shops. He can also converse with a friendly demon by the well in the center of town who will fill you in on current events. Head east to visit the Reservoir.

1. A head butt will shatter the windows on the front of this building, often causing coins and life refills to drop. Each square in the large windows can be smashed.

2. Head butt the skull of the skeleton hanging from this window to potentially receive some coins.

3. Open the door here with a head butt, then push Up to enter the talisman identification shop. Right now you have no talismans to identify, but remember this place for later.

4. Equip the Crest of Earth and press A to charge into this fountain to destroy it, which will possibly award you with coins.

5. Approach the demon sitting by the fountain to talk to him. His reaction to Firebrand will change depending on what Crest you have equipped.

6. This spell shop will transcribe a spell onto your vellum, provided you own one and have enough money. The following spells are sold here: Shadow (10g) Hold (20g) Imp (25g) Shock (50g) Death (80g). I recommend buying Shock or Death. Avoid Shadow and Hold, they do not work thanks to a bug.

7. You will need the Buster to destroy the blocks here. With the blocks gone, you will be able to enter a Potion Shop.

8. Flames will rise from the top of these statues, burning Firebrand if he stands on them. They will spit fireballs from their sides if you stand next to them. Use regular Firebrand’s ability to hover to get past these things. You can also avoid damage from the flames that come out of the top by standing on the very edge of the statue. I find it best to just jump and fly through this stage as quickly as possible.

9. Fishmen will jump out of the water here. They are somewhat resistant to G. Gargoyle’s attacks, so use Firebrand’s standard fireballs on them.

10. An infinite stream of ghosts that slowly fly towards Firebrand start spawning in this area. It takes two hits to destroy one and they keep coming, so push forward quickly.

11. You can fly though the rest of this stage by jumping before the bridge slopes, which is a very safe way to get to your destination.

12. The statue in this spot conceals the door to the Catacombs. Transform into the G. Gargoyle using the Crest of Earth and stand a few paces to the right of the statue. Do not go too far right or you will accidentally enter the Boneyard. Face the statue and use the charge ability to slam into it, pushing it away from the door to the Catacombs. Press Up while standing in front of the door to go inside.

13. Come back here with the Crest of Water to find another Urn.

14. You can walk through the wall here with the Water Crest active to get the Hand Talisman. It’s possible to grab the talisman without using Tidal Gargoyle, but you’ll need a fair amount of HP to survive water damage long enough to get it.

2. Catacombs, Darkened Catacombs, Pit of Ovnunu 

Items: Buster (Fire Crest), Vellum, HP Container

Firebrand will face greater challenges in the areas underneath the Reservoir. New enemies, hazards, and a boss that is significantly stronger than anything you’ve faced thus far await you in the Catacombs. With this in mind, you may want to visit the Boneyard first to get some extra HP or buy a few Herbs at the very least.

1. Use the Earth Crest to destroy the crawling zombie below the entrance to this area. 

2. G. Gargoyle’s charge ability can be used to destroy bone pillars like this one, often uncovering coins and health.

3. Come back here with the Buster after beating Ovnunu to get a Vellum.

4. Stay on this ledge and use G. Gargoyle’s breath attack to clear the flame creatures below.

5. Ignore the pot sitting on the shelf here, it only contains a coin and the flame skull guarding it is not easy to kill due to its positioning.

6. A flying eyeball monster will come towards you in this area, jump up and shoot it, but stay on the ledge. After the eyeball monster is gone, use the Earth Crest to destroy the flaming skulls below.

7. This area is tricky. Several eyeball creatures hang from the ceiling and there are spikes on the ground, so it’s hard to get through this area unscathed. Transform into G. Gargoyle using the Earth Crest and stand on the pots. Wait until the eyeball creatures get close and use his breath attack on them. The breath attacks should kill the eyeballs in a hit if you are standing on the ground, which will clear the way if you spam the attack. Transform into Firebrand’s normal form and hover over the spikes, shooting any enemies you see from a distance to cross the pit safely.

8. Smash this pillar with G. Gargoyle’s charge to reveal steps leading deeper into the Catacombs.

9. Hover over this pit and scale the wall.

10. The candles will start burning out here, use Firebrand’s normal form to relight them. It’s important to keep the candles lit, because the bats in this area attack when it’s dark. You can also light the big skull chandelier to the right. 

11. Come back with the Buster and use it to destroy this wall if you like, but it only serves as a shortcut.

12. Ghosts that eat candle flames start appearing when you get to this section of the Catacombs. Try to light as many candles as possible as you head downwards while avoiding the ghosts. Only one or two ghosts seem to spawn at a time, so you can get ahead of them easily if you light all of the candles you see on the way. Keep in mind that candles go out on their own, so don’t dawdle.

13. Come back here and use the Buster on these blocks after beating Ovnunu to get the HP Container in the pot.

14. Switch between the Fire Crest and Earth Crest in this corridor to keep the torches lit while destroying the bone pillars blocking the way. Go all the way to the right to find a pit that contains a full health refill.

15. This is the most difficult stretch of the Catacombs. You’ll have to try to climb upwards while keeping the torches lit and avoiding the ghosts. Move quickly and light every torch you can while scaling the walls, but don’t stop if you miss a torch or you will get hit. Go right when you reach the top to find the door to the Pit of Ovnunu.

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Boss: Ovnunu

You’ll see Ovnunu to the right after you enter the room. Jump up in the air in regular form and fly over to the far right wall. Do not touch the slime that makes up Ovnunu’s body or you’ll likely get stuck and take damage until you die. If you do happen to get stuck in the boss’s gelatinous body, try to jump out of it rapidly. Ovnunu will start climbing up the shaft once you near it, which is why you have to fly over to the far right wall and latch onto it. Start jumping up the shaft as soon as the boss starts climbing. 

Keep going up the shaft and ignore the pot on the left unless you have the Air Crest, because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to break it, grab the health refill, and start making your way back up before Ovnunu catches you. Keep going up the shaft until you come to a chamber. 

Once in the chamber, Ovnunu will stop climbing and remain on the floor. You can still get caught in its slime, so be careful. After a moment or two, eyes will start popping out of the boss’s body. Switch to the Earth Crest and jump up onto one of the ledges above the pit. Start shooting the eyes as they approach. Remember, the Earth Crest shots are more powerful when fired from a standing position, so stay on the very edge of the platform and let them fall into the eyes to kill them in two hits. Change to normal Firebrand and fly to the opposite platform when they get too close for comfort. It’s safer to step into the slime at this point, so do so if you need to, just jump to avoid sinking. Try to save your Herb potion (hopefully you took the advice at the beginning of this section and purchased one!) for later in the fight, because this boss has two phases. If you’re having trouble with the eyes, try to herd them into a place that is easy for you to hit them by moving back and forth across the room.

There are eight small eyes in total; when all of them are gone, the large eye will emerge from the goo. The eye will fly towards Firebrand rather quickly, occasionally stopping to fire a stream of acid at him. Switch to the Fire Crest (normal Firebrand) and fly away from the eye when it gets close. Use the Air Crest instead of Fire if you have it. Try to get as many shots in on this boss as possible when not moving and use your potion if you need it. About 12 hits from the normal fireball will destroy the eye, earning you the Buster.

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Be sure to revisit the Abyss and Catacombs after getting the Buster so you can grab a few powerups.

3. Boneyard

Items: HP Container x2

The Crest of Earth is really effective in this stage, not only for destroying obstacles, but also for defeating enemies. Bring an Herb Potion along for the boss battle.

1. Use G. Gargoyle’s charge to smash these stone structures, which occasionally yield gold coins or life refills.

2. Hands will come out of the ground and hold Firebrand while a zombie head emerges from the ground if you touch the floor of much of this stage. The head will slowly move towards you and cause damage if it touches you. These hands are common throughout this area, but the upper platforms are safe.

3. Bone piles like this one are common throughout this stage. Demons that toss rolling skulls stand near these piles, but they are easy to eliminate with the Earth Crest power. It’s also possible to use the Earth Crest to smash the bone piles. 

4. Destroy this bone pile with the Earth Crest’s charge attack to reveal an HP Container. You may also encounter flying armor here. These creatures are impervious to frontal attacks and float slowly towards Firebrand; get behind them and destroy them with a breath attack. Hitting the armor from the front with the Buster will break the armor, causing the revenant inside to move more quickly.

5. Try to stay on the high ground in order to avoid dealing with the hands on the lowest level of the area. Also, be careful if you destroy any of the skull piles before killing the demon next to them, because the demon will rush towards you after the skull pile is destroyed.

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Boss: Belth

Belth is a giant skeleton that moves towards Firebrand rather slowly. He can corner and swipe you with his blade, which has quite a bit of reach. Sometimes Belth will beckon with his finger before performing a charge attack. Use the Crest of Fire, with either the normal fireball or the Buster to fight Belth, because you’ll need to fly over him in order to avoid his attacks. It’s best to shoot at this boss once or twice, then jump up and fly over him as far as possible, then shoot him again. Repeat this process until he dies. 

Sadly, Belth is a bit unpredictable and will likely hit you while you are flying over him. This usually happens when he raises his blade to slash or when he performs a leap. A single hit from Belth will cost you two HP, so watch him carefully and back away if he squats like he’s about to jump or pauses to raise his blade.

I’ve seen other guide writers claim that the Buster works well on this boss, but after testing, I found that it takes about 30 hits to kill him with either weapon. G. Gargoyle can deal a little extra damage to Belth if you fire off his breath attack while standing on the ground, but this will force you to switch between the Fire and Earth Crests constantly to reposition yourself. Defeating this boss will earn you an HP Container. 

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C. Towers of Doom

The game labels this stage as the fourth and many players like to do this after the Dark Forest, but I prefer to do the Towers of Doom after the Ruined City. This is partially due to the fact that the Air Crest is very useful and you’ll want to get it as soon as possible. Firebrand can also pick up a second Urn here if he has the Buster, which is a nice bonus and I find the boss of this stage to be easier than the boss of the Dark Forest. That said, you should get a Ginseng or two from the potion shop before entering this area.

1. Gryphon Spire and Misty Skies

Items: Urn, Claw (Fire Crest)

This area is a bit more difficult than what you’ve faced thus far in terms of platforming. However, most of the obstacles are easy to navigate if you are patient. It’s wise to have at least 8 HP and the Buster before coming here.

1. Drop down from this platform and hit B to hover just before you touch the spikes, then fly over to the platform coming out of the ground to the right.

2. Fly over these spikes and keep going until you hit the wall to the far right.

3. Firebrand will have to cling onto this wall with his claws and jump upwards to scale it. Worms that burst out of the sides of the wall make this task more difficult, however. Luckily the worms retract after a moment, which is your cue to quickly jump upwards before they emerge again. The areas that the worms come out of look different than the rest of the wall, so stop before climbing further if you see one above you.

4. Climb straight up until you get to this spot, then jump and fly over to the wall on the left. Climb up the left hand wall to get to the middle of the stage.

5. Fly over these spikes slowly and wait for the pillars that come out of the floor and ceiling to move before trying to pass them.

6. Do not try to scale the wall to the left of the final pillar or you will take damage from the spikes. Instead, grab onto the side of the pillar when it lowers and jump from it when it’s high enough for Firebrand to fly over the spikes.

7. If you have the Buster, equip it and ride the pillar upwards until you see a block wall to the right. Fire the Buster at it to smash the blocks, then jump into the hole in the wall you just made. Walk right through an invisible passage to find the second Urn.

8. Jump from the first pillar onto the wall here and wait for the worm to go back into its lair, then climb up to the final leg of this zone.

9. This area features more moving pillars. This time it’s best to jump on top of the pillars that come from the floor and let the ones that come out of the ceiling retract before moving forward to avoid being pushed into the spikes.

10. Firebrand has to fly over the chasm in this stage with winds pushing him forward and enemies in his way. Try to avoid falling into the pit, because it will cost Firebrand two HP. The Buster is really effective in the initial part of this area, because it can crack the armor of the ghostly knights that block your way. Fire off two Busters at each knight to quickly break its armor and destroy it. 

11. Land on the pillar here and take a moment to get your bearings, because the stage gets more difficult here. Skeletal birds will fly towards Firebrand and try to knock him out of the sky. These birds double back at you if you stay still too long. It’s best to quickly fly forwards with the Buster equipped and rapidly fire shots at any birds in front of you to clear the way. You can also use the pillars to adjust your altitude and dodge the birds. Don’t worry too much about your HP, because you will find a full health refill just before the boss.

12. The blue whirlwind here will take you to the Spire Bridge (See Part IV, Section C2) if you jump into it. 

13. Be sure to break this pot and grab the full health refill inside.

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Boss: Flier

This thing is really annoying. As its name implies, it flies around the room (usually in your direction) in a sort of serpentine pattern that makes it difficult to hit. Every so often, Flier’s claws will detach and fly around in haphazard manner until they reattach to its body. While it’s possible to stand on this boss’s tail, you should only do so to realign yourself, because this boss moves quickly and often flies around in a circle, which will result in Firebrand taking contact damage from its body.

The Buster works really well on this creature, mainly because Firebrand can have two Buster shots on the screen at once as opposed to the single shot he is usually allowed. This basically doubles his chances of hitting this evasive beast. Generally it’s best to move quickly, either flying over Flier or walking under it depending on its elevation. Fire as many Buster shots at this thing as possible and don’t be stingy with your Ginseng, because this boss does two damage per hit. About 20 normal shots will kill this boss. You can also use the Earth Crest to fight Flier, but you’ll often have to stand on its back to get G. Gargoyle’s attack to deal extra damage, which makes this method difficult. Defeat Flier and you’ll earn the Claw.

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2. Spire Bridge, Ivy Spire, and Chasm

Items: Crown Talisman, Crest of Air, Vellum

You’ll have to go through the Gryphon Spire and Misty Skies to explore the rest of the Towers of Doom. Look for a blue tornado near the bottom of the screen, just before the boss in Misty Skies and jump into it to enter the Spire Bridge. A number of doors line the walls of the Spire. Each door is marked with a letter on the map and leads to a door in the Chasm marked with the same letter.

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Boss: Hippogriff 

This Hippogriff is identical to the one in the Cemetery at the beginning of the game. However, Firebrand is much stronger at this point, so you should have absolutely no problem here. Use the standard Fire Crest to fight Hippogriff and quickly transform into G. Gargoyle with the Earth Crest if the boss comes low enough for his ground fireball to hit. Head butt Hippogriff after he turns to stone to finish him off. Defeating Hippogriff will award you with a full health refill.

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1. Floating platforms rotate around the central trunk of this stage. Use a combination of jumping and flying to move upwards using these platforms as footholds.

2. Don’t try to cling onto the purple goo that lines the walls of this tower, it will hurt Firebrand.

3. Go through Door B to enter the Chasm.

4. Jump down from this ledge and fall down to the bottom of the tower. Try to avoid the enemies on the way down. Go through Door A on the left when you land. Do not try to fly or the updraft will carry you upwards.

5. Smash the statues in this hallway to get some goodies. The final statue conceals the Crown Talisman.

6. You may have noticed by looking at the map that there are many doors that connect the two portions of this stage. Your goal is to reach door F, but this is made complicated by the flying heads and spikes that infest the Chasm. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get to door E near the top of the Chasm. Grab onto the wall on the right and start jumping upwards while clinging to the wall. You can use this method to get all the way to the Chasm “ceiling”.

7. Climb up the wall as quickly as possible to avoid the flying heads and spikes. 

8. A Vellum is hidden on the underside of the bridge in the upper right. After taking the Vellum, you can simply fly over to Door E on the left.

9. All you have to do to reach Door D is climb the rotating platforms in the center of the area. Ghosts make this task more difficult. Be patient and destroy any ghosts that approach (the Earth Crest works really well on the one that comes in from below) while you wait for the platforms.

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Boss: Arma 

Arma is back and this time he’s green, but not much else has changed… well at least for the first part of the conflict. He will fly high into the air and swoop down on Firebrand just as he did before as well as fire a slow moving beam. Use the Fire Crest and get any shots in that you can while flying over Arma’s swoops. After taking about 15 hits, Arma will occasionally land and create a whirlwind that can suck Firebrand up, often slamming him into Arma, who does two HP of damage this time around. Foil this attack by simply walking through it. Attempting to jump or fly will just result in Firebrand getting caught in the twister. Hit Arma about 15-20 more times and he will leave, granting you the Crest of Air, which will allow you to use A. Gargoyle.

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D. Dark Forest

Despite being marked as the third location on the in-game map, I suggest visiting the Towers of Doom first and this part of the walkthrough assumes you have the Crest of Air. The Dark Forest is fairly dangerous thanks to the obstacles and enemies that it is home to, so bring a few healing potions along for the trip. There’s also a lot of water in this stage and much of it is inaccessible until you get the Crest of Water.

1. Thorn Grove, Riverbank, and Burning Grove

Items: Urn, HP Container, Skull Talisman, Tornado

The Crest of Air will allow Firebrand to fly over many of the threats in this stage. Steer clear of the water in the Riverbank, because it’s quite dangerous.

1. Fly over the thorns using the Crest of Air.

2. A. Gargoyle’s breath attack can cut the vines that block the way.

3. Take a moment to break any pots you come across and collect the large coins they contain.

4. A head butt will shatter the stone blocking the door here, which leads to the Underground Dyke. You can either enter the Underground Dyke now (which I do not advise doing) or finish off the stage. Keep going right to complete the stage.

5. Use Aerial Gargoyle’s breath to cut the vine blocking the Urn on the ledge.

6. Jump as high as you can and fly over the lake. Ignore the platforms in the water, they’re basically traps thanks to the spiked balls they spit and the fishmen that jump onto them. The Crest of Air is really good in this area if you have it, since it will allow you to bypass everything by flying over it.

7. Flying eyes will come out of the forest canopy. You can kill them in a shot with the Air Crest or fly over them. Regular Firebrand will have to hit them twice, which makes crossing the lake even more difficult. It’s best to use the Buster if you do not have the Air Crest, because its wide hitbox is more likely to connect with the eyes. You’ll make it across the lake without issue if you fly carefully.

8. It’s possible to use the Buster to break the blocks here and take a shortcut to the Scula Cave (See Section D, Part 2), but you will have to take some water damage to do so. I recommend fighting the boss in the Burning Grove ahead and coming back later. 

9. Destroy the pot to get an HP Container. 

10. This door leads to the Underground Dyke, just before the boss.

11. Use A. Gargoyle or normal Firebrand’s ability to fly to safely cross over the thorns. In fact, it’s a good idea to stay airborne throughout the stage to get through it as fast as possible without getting hit. Do not fly into the burning trees or you will get hurt.

12. Globs of flame will fall from the burning canopy throughout the area. They are very difficult to avoid, because they tend to burst when they hit the ground. If you see one, try to back off a bit and go when the way is clear. You can also just push through the danger, because there’s a healing item in a pot at the end of the stage.

13. Thorny tendrils will start emerging from the ground and stretch towards Firebrand. You can tell a tendril is about to appear, because dust will puff out of the spot where it spawns. Just fly over the tendrils quickly to avoid them before they even manage to burst out of the ground.

14. Flying Armors block the way forward. Either use the Buster to smash them or push them back with normal attacks. 

15. Break these blocks with the Buster and smash the door shaped wall behind it with a head butt, then enter it to find a secret room.

16. Grab the Skull Talisman in this room, then leave the way you came.

17. Break this pot and collect the health refill inside before facing Flame Lord.

18. Return to this forest later on and all of the trees will have burned away, revealing a hidden HP Container. You will need the Crest of Air to reach this item easily. Alternatively, you can go all the way to the end of the stage, jump from the hill near the boss, then fly left to get to the HP Container.

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Boss: Flame Lord

Note: Do not use the Crest of Air on this boss; it deals little damage and the boss’s second form creates wind that pushes A. Gargoyle around.

Flame Lord has two forms. His first form primarily stays on the ground, spawning fire birds that fly towards Firebrand. Jump over these birds or shoot them. After spawning a few birds, the boss will transform into what appears to be a hand and leap towards you. Just back away to stay safe. Jump over Flame Lord if he corners you. The Crest of Earth works best on this form, so use it to get him to change into his next form in twelve hits. The Fire Crest (aside from Buster) is ineffective against this boss, but you can easily clear the birds with Buster.

The second phase is a skull that flies from one side of the screen to the other, occasionally making a figure eight. He will also drop flames on you. Just walk into the space between the flames and jump over the Flame Lord when he gets to the low point of his figure eight. The main issue with this phase is the boss’s habit of abruptly switching patterns. Keep your distance from it and use the Buster or bring a few potions so you can fight this boss without worrying about your HP. Use either the Crest of Earth or the Buster during this phase. Sadly, the Earth Crest won’t get its ground damage bonus since you’ll have to jump up and shoot at the boss, which makes it slightly inferior to the Buster due to its short range. Flame Lord’s second phase takes about 25 hits to kill and you will get the Tornado as a reward.

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2. Underground Dyke and Scula Cave

Items: Vellum, HP Container 

First of all, I strongly suggest saving this area for when you have the Crest of Water, because it’s a lot easier if you can transform into T. Gargoyle and swim around. With that in mind, skip to Section E of this walkthrough and come back to this once you have the Water Crest, I’ll wait….

Got the Water Crest? Good. Now you can explore this area freely and grab up all of the goodies in one go. There are two paths to the second boss of the Dark Forest. The first path takes Firebrand through the Underground Dyke where he will find a Vellum, while the second one takes you through a hidden door in the Riverbank, which places you near the boss. This guide assumes you want the Vellum, so it starts with the Underground Dyke.

1. The sea urchin thing near the spikes will spew worm-like creatures out of the top of its body that make clearing the spikes difficult. Aerial Gargoyle’s breath attack can destroy the urchin in a couple of hits, just watch out for the spikes that line the ceiling.

2. Transform into Tidal Gargoyle and destroy the pot in this nook to get a full health refill.

3. The water level in this area rises and lowers rapidly, so don’t try to swim over the spikes. Instead, fly over it with regular Firebrand or A. Gargoyle and be sure to destroy the enemy on the other side of the spikes before it has a chance to spawn any worms.

4. Here’s a chance to make good use of the Water Crest. Use it to kill the fish below the floating platform and swim over the spikes to the right when the water begins to rise. Fire off a water shot to kill the creature on the other side of the spikes in one hit.

5. Swim through this area to avoid the spikes on the ceiling and blast the fish to the right to clear the way.

6. Transform into A. Gargoyle while standing on dry land when the water lowers so you can fly into this alcove. A few Buster shots will clear the blocks that prevent you from reaching a pot that conceals a Vellum. 

7. Swim or fly up this shaft to enter the Scula Cave. Alternatively, you can just ride the floating platform as the water rises to enter the cave.

8. Hopefully you have the Water Crest, because it’s very easy to use it to swim though this area, killing fish on the way. Otherwise, you will have to jump from platform to platform or try to fly over the water while killing bats at the same time.

9. Don’t ignore these pots if you have Tidal Gargoyle! Each one contains a large coin, which will add up to big money if you bother to collect them.

10. Take a moment to destroy these blocks and enter the door behind them to find a hidden cave. Destroy the pot in the cave to get an HP Container. You can also reenter the Dyke from the cave, but you’ll want to leave through the door you came from to return to the cave.

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Boss: Scula

This walking horror is actually two monsters. The “head” can detach from the body and has its own life pool, while the same goes for the body. Usually, Scula walks back and forth, occasionally squatting before leaping forward. Try to keep your distance from the boss and walk under it just as it jumps to get to safety. Sometimes Scula will stop and throw its head, which is a bit of a problem. If you have room, you can jump or walk in the opposite direction after the boss throws its head to avoid it and its subsequent charge to retrieve the head after it lands. If Scula is right next to you, you can try to jump straight up to avoid the head, but it’s probably going to hit you anyway.

Fire rapid shots at the body (Buster is best since it has a lot of range) and about 30 hits should kill the body. Try to avoid killing the head, because the body will constantly charge Firebrand and the head is very easy to kill by itself. Once the body is gone, the head will spin on the ground briefly before bouncing around the room. This move can be a pain to dodge, but you can effectively freeze the boss in place by using Ground Gargoyle’s breath attack on it. Make sure you hit the head while it is on the ground to deal maximum damage and make it stagger backwards. About 9 hits will kill the head, netting you another HP Container. 

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E. Poseidonia

Look for this area just northeast of the Towers of Doom after you clear the first four stages. Poseidonia is home to the Crest of Water. Obtain the crest and you’ll be able to explore a lot of previously unreachable areas. Visit this place before going to the Underground Dyke in the Dark Forest in order to cut down on backtracking.

1. Aquatica and the Temple

Items: HP Container x2, Water Crest

The first half of Poseidonia is on land and you’ll want to stay on the high road, which isn’t difficult due to the fact that water hurts Firebrand. A somewhat difficult boss compared to what you’ve fought so far awaits you at the end of the Temple, so bring a few potions along.

1. It’s possible to smash the statues near the entrance, but they do not hold anything special.

2. Use the Crest of Air to fly over the fishmen and perilous water.

3. Skeleton birds like those from the Towers of Doom will start flying in from the right. Luckily the Air Crest’s breath attack can destroy them instantly.

4. Smashing the pots on the platforms below will yield some minor items. However, it’s best to stay airborne. Focus on taking the birds out and keep pushing eastward.

5. Transform into G. Gargoyle and use his charge attack to smash these statues.

6. Aerial Gargoyle can fly over the spikes in this area and kill the ax throwing demons in one hit, so use him here.

7. The water below leads to another part of Poseidonia. You can return here after you have the Crest of Water, though it’s just an alternate entrance to the Underwater Grotto. For now, keep moving forward. 

8. Use Aerial Gargoyle to fly up this shaft or grab onto the patch of bare wall to the right by jumping as high as possible, then jump over to the wall to the left.

9. Use Ground Gargoyle to smash these statues. The first statue contains an HP Container.

10. Look out for the false floor here. Falling into it will force you to use Aerial Gargoyle to fly back up or backtrack through the spikes. Incidentally, this hidden pitfall can serve as a shortcut if you return here.

11. Watch out for more ax throwers in this area. Climb up this shaft the same way you did the previous one.

12. Crawler, the boss of this stage, will bust through the ceiling behind you just as you smash the statue blocking the hallway. At this point, you can either move forward or walk into Crawler (taking damage in the process) so you can reach the passage he opened in the ceiling behind you. I recommend taking the passage, because it contains a powerup and you won’t have to backtrack through this stage later if you get it now.

13. Walk into Crawler after he breaks through the ceiling or return here later to climb up to this hidden room. Go right and destroy the statue to get another HP Container.

14. Push forward, breaking the statues with Ground Gargoyle’s charge, to avoid taking unnecessary damage from the boss as it chases you through the hallway.

15. Take care not to touch the spikes if you decide to swim through this area after getting the Water Crest.*

16. Return to Aquatica after getting the Crest of Water and blast the blocks here to open the way to the Underwater Grotto.

* Steps 15 and 16 cannot be completed until after you explore the Temple.

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Boss: Crawler

Crawler is immune to damage unless its eye is open and is not phased by attacks from the Air Crest, so you’ll have to use the Fire or Earth Crest. As its name implies, this monstrosity slowly crawls around the room in a forwards/backwards pattern, halting briefly to make a move. Flying zombies occasionally spawn out of the boss’s back. These creatures fly off the screen in an S pattern and can be destroyed with a few Buster shots or Ground Gargoyle’s breath attack. Crawler will raise its arm and open it’s eye before performing its other attacks, which is your chance to jump up and shoot the eye. When the boss raises its arm it will either throw a ball that will turn into a smaller crawler (a few Buster or G. Gargoyle shots will kill the tiny crawler) or slam the ground, causing rocks to fall from the ceiling. Stand to the far left or right to avoid the rocks.

Try to stay close to this boss and wait for the eye to open before jumping up and shooting it. Don’t fire on the boss unless the eye is open, because shooting seems to make it less likely to open its eye. If you are fast, you can get two hits to connect every time it opens its eye. It takes about 20 Ground Gargoyle or 30 Buster shots to destroy this boss and earn the Crest of Water. 

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2. Water Crest Backtracking 

With the Water Crest in hand you are free to either explore the rest of Poseidonia or visit areas that were previously inaccessible. Take some time to revisit the Ruined City Reservoir (See Section IV, Part B for details) and the Underground Dyke in the Dark Forest to collect a few Powerups (See Section IV, Part D). This is also a good opportunity to stock up on spells and potions. Stop by Aquatica in Poseidonia after you are done backtracking and use Tidal Gargoyle to open the way to the Underwater Grotto (See Section IV, Part E1 for details).

3. Underwater Grotto and the Lair of Holothurion 

Items: HP Container x2

Revisit Poseidonia after obtaining the Water Crest and swim to the end of Aquatica using the Tidal Gargoyle. Underneath the water you will find a passage obstructed by blocks that leads to the Underwater Grotto. You will need to use T. Gargoyle throughout this area, because Firebrand’s other forms will take damage from the water that fills the Grotto.

1. Get used to swimming if you haven’t already. Tidal Gargoyle can swim in quick bursts that are similar to a jump if you press B or swim in a straight line that can be guided with the D-Pad if you hold the A Button. It’s usually best to use the B Button, because it gives you more control, which is what you should do to clear the spikes ahead.

2. Stand on the safe spot here and destroy the enemy to the right before trying to cross these spikes. There’s a fish and another sea urchin thing just beyond the first creature, so be ready to defend yourself.

3. The blocks aren’t much of an impediment for T. Gargoyle’s breath attack, so use it to clear the way. 

4. This shaft leads back up to the Temple, which you have already cleared, but it’s worth visiting if you haven’t gathered all of the items hidden in it.

5. A plethora of spikes that line the walls and ceiling of this corridor will test your swimming skills. To make it even tougher, there’s a fish in the way and another urchin at the bottom of the shaft. Luckily, the spikes deal little damage and you can let Firebrand drop to the bottom if you take a hit without worrying too much about his health.

6. Beware the fish that prowl this corridor as well as the urchin on the ledge above. Proceed slowly and take the fish out as you see them. The urchin will rain worms down on Firebrand, but there are safe spots directly under the beast.

7. Swim up here to get an HP Container. Use the A Button to swim in a straight line between the spikes.

8. Break the wall with Tidal Gargoyle’s breath attack and walk left to get the HP Container.

9. Double back to this spot after getting the HP Container and swim between these spikes using the A Button. Remember to jump a bit before hitting A so Firebrand can clear the spikes on the floor.

10. Watch out for a fish when going down this shaft. Try to stay close to the spikes on the wall to avoid it.

11. Do not try to rush through this area, because it’s very easy to lose a lot of health to the spikes and fishmen. Destroy the blocks, then take out the fishmen behind them from a safe distance to get through this gauntlet.

12. You’ll need to navigate this area in a manner similar to the last one. Be extra careful of the fishmen, because they are more likely to spit here. The fishmen tend to stay just out of your range, but a carefully placed shot can hit them. Alternatively, you can lure them out of their nooks, then kill them when they are exposed.

13. Blocks bar your progress at this point, but you can move forward using the same tactics as before. The fishmen are harder to hit here, but careful shooting will clear the way.

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Boss: Holothurion 

Holothurion is easily the weakest boss in the game. This snail-like creature remains rooted in the center of the screen throughout the battle and only its fleshy face can be harmed. It will produce brown bubbles that float towards Firebrand from the top of its shell. You can simply swim away from the bubbles or destroy them with your water breath. Holothurion itself will poke its head out of its shell (keep in mind its head is invulnerable when retracted) and try to suck Firebrand into its mouth. The Crest of Water makes it really easy to swim away from the boss while it is pulling Firebrand, so hit the A or B Button while facing away from the boss to escape the current.

You can get a few shots off at the face while it’s suctioning water as long as you swim away after firing. About 20 hits is enough to defeat this monster. The only time Holothurion is even marginally dangerous is when it’s low on health, it’ll turn a shade of red at this point and start altering the water current rapidly. In fact, the only time the boss managed to hit me was when it started to speed up, so watch your HP and you’ll be fine. If the boss does manage to suck you into its body, simply swim out of it and you’ll escape with only a few lost HP. Firebrand will get another HP Container after eliminating Holothurion.

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F. Mountains

The Mountains are the beginning of the end of the game and home to some fairly serious threats. Luckily, you have plenty of tools to deal with the dangers of this area. Do not miss the powerful Armor Talisman hidden in the upper portion of this stage.

1. Ice Crevasse and Valley of Grewon

Items: Urn, Demon Fire

The first section of the mountains is fairly trivial, because you will have the Crest of Air at this point, which will allow you to soar over any obstacles. Explore thoroughly to find all of the items in this area. Visit the Ice Palace, whose entrance is located in the upper right corner of the first part of this stage first, because the boss in the Valley of the Grewon is really tough.

1. Firebrand will slip and slide on the ice, so tread carefully.

2. Use Aerial Gargoyle to fly straight up from the starting point to this secret ledge where you will find the final Urn. From here you can fly to the end of this area if you wish.

3. These bones may look harmless, but they are actually spikes. 

4. A skull chucking demon protects this ledge, so take it out with a few fireballs to proceed. The bone pile can be broken with Ground Gargoyle’s charge attack. 

5. The surface of the wall is very slippery and Firebrand will slide down it if you try to climb it. Just use the Air Crest to fly over this obstacle.

6. Skeletal birds will make life tough for you at this point even if you fly high above the ground. Use A. Gargoyle’s breath attack to clear away the birds.

7. Fly up to this spot and enter the door here to go to the Ice Palace. I recommend checking the palace out before attempting to defeat Grewon who’s lair can be reached via the path below.

8. This path leads to the Valley of Grewon.

9. There isn’t much to the Valley of Grewon. Firebrand will need to use Aerial Gargoyle to navigate this icy realm while dealing with flying armors and skull throwing demons. You’ll also find a few bone piles to smash, but only one of them holds a significant item.

10. Use the Crest of Time to hover over the spikes and blast the flying armors that get in your way. The Fire Crest and Buster will do if you do not have the Crest of Time.

11. Fly up here with A. Gargoyle and use the Crest of Earth to smash the bone pile to get a Vellum.

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Boss: Grewon

Grewon is one of the most powerful bosses in the game. A single hit from the creature will shave 4-5 HP off your life bar. Hopefully, you took my advice and got the Crest of Time from Arma in the other half of this stage. The Armor Talisman, which can be found on the way to Arma, is also a really powerful tool in the battle with Grewon. 

This boss will stay close to the ground, often charging into Firebrand. Grewon will also stop momentarily to breath icy fumes that can hit anything a few body lengths above or in front of him. He also bounds off of walls and can jump high into the air, so you’re not very safe flying above him.

Hitting the boss with an attack of your own will cause him to turn green and become temporarily immune to damage. The Air Crest is totally ineffective against this boss and the other standard crests inflict little damage on him. However, the Legendary Gargoyle can slay Grewon with roughly 10 hits and will take little damage with the Armor Talisman equipped, which makes it possible to fight this boss rather sloppily and still win.

Players using the weaker Crests will have to avoid his leaps by walking under him and use the Air Crest to get enough altitude to get out of the way of his breath attack. Another option is to fire at the boss and jump immediately afterwards. Grewon will be momentarily stunned on impact and you can fly over him, though there’s always a chance he may jump.

You’ll also need a lot of Ginseng if you do not bring the Crest of Time to this battle, so prepare accordingly. Defeat Grewon and you will earn the Demon Fire, the final part of the Crest of Fire.

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2. Ice Spire, Ice Palace Corridor, Darkened Tower, and Arma’s Realm

Items: HP Container, Armor Talisman, Crest of Time

Firebrand will slip and slide on the surfaces in these areas, much like in the Ice Crevasse, but the Air Crest’s ability to fly will neutralize this issue for the most part. Most of the enemies in this area are not difficult to deal with, so enjoy the brief respite before you get to the toughest parts of the game.

1. Fly up this shaft using the Crest of Air and look out for the jagged ice on the walls.

2. You may recognize the flaming skull on this ice shelf from earlier stages. Keep your distance from it when you destroy it to avoid the flames that burst out of it upon death.

3. Another flaming skull awaits you in this spot, but it’s even easier to eliminate from a safe distance than the first.

4. A head butt from the Fire Crest form will smash the ice that blocks the doors at the top of the spire. The first door you come across leads to a bonus room, while the second will take you to the next part of the stage.

5. Head butt the ice blocks in the background with the Crown Talisman equipped if you’re looking for some extra money. You can also use the Buster to destroy the stack of blocks in the center of the room, but it’s easier to fly over them.

6. One of the final HP Containers in the game is hidden in this pot.

7. Smash through the statues in this hallway with Ground Gargoyle.

8. An eye bat makes it tough to clear the spikes here without taking damage, but Aerial Gargoyle’s breath attack is well suited to destroying these monsters.

9. Fly over these spikes with A. Gargoyle and blast the ax thrower on the platform near the large spike pit. 

10. Yet again, it’s best to use the Air Crest in this section. The spiked ball shooting platforms are difficult to navigate, especially with the eye bats that hang from the ceiling, but A. Gargoyle’s ability to fly and powerful breath attack makes it easy to cross the pit. Use the platforms to realign yourself if necessary when dealing with the bats.

11. Beware the ax throwing demon that hangs out just in front of the boss room, it can knock you into the pit if you aren’t paying attention.

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Boss: Flier (Rematch)

Flier is back and you have to beat him to proceed to the next area. He’s just as annoying as ever and uses the same moveset from before (See Section IV, Part C1). Even worse, the slippery surface of the bridge makes it harder to dodge his attacks. Stay low and jump over him as he swoops towards you. Staying on the ground will generally ensure that you will be able to jump over his scythe attack and his direct charges. 

Flier is fairly vulnerable while flying around in a spiral pattern, so fight defensively until he starts circling, then unload on him. A. Gargoyle and the Hand Talisman work really well in this fight. The extra shots from the talisman make it more likely that you will hit Flier and A. Gargoyle’s ability to fly makes it easy to get out of the boss’s reach. Flier can deal 3 HP worth of damage, so take care not to get hit too much, because there’s more of the palace ahead and you’ll want to save your healing potions for later. Fifteen shots from the Air Crest will put this boss down. He’ll drop a full health refill and Firebrand will automatically move to the next area.

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12. Welcome to a harder version of the Darkened Catacombs. This time you’ll not only have to light the lamps scattered throughout the area to keep the bats at bay, but you’ll also have to deal with slippery ice. Just as before, you’ll need to use Firebrand’s standard Fire Crest breath to light the candles.

13. Hover over the pit and quickly jump up the wall after you reach the other side. Don’t fall or the hands in the pit will damage you.

14. Light the chandeliers on the left to buy some time while you fly across the pit to the right. Ignore the one to the right of this spot, because it is difficult to reach.

15. Drop down very carefully at this point and keep your eyes open for a blob on the ground, which you’ll need to destroy with the Earth or Air Crest. After that, jump up to the ledge on the right and destroy another blob. From there, light the chandelier.

Pro Tip: Using fire breath on the blobs will cause them to burn, making them into a temporary light source.

16. Use the Air Crest to fly up here. Stop and switch to Fire when you reach a chandelier so you can light it and continue upwards using Aerial Gargoyle. You’ll need to adjust your altitude carefully and switch forms quickly if you want to get through this area unscathed.

17. Continue to fly upwards, lighting torches on the way until you get to this spot. Destroy the blob on the platform to the right, then look for a frozen statue right of where the blob was. Smash the statue with the Earth Crest to get the Armor Talisman. Be sure to light all the torches on the way back after getting the Talisman.

18. Light the chandelier right away after dropping down here from where you got the Armor Talisman, then switch to Aerial Gargoyle and light the lamp that’s just above it.

19. Fly up this shaft as quickly as possible and light the candles at the top, then switch to the Air Crest and get rid of the blob on your right so you can safely land. 

20. Delicate maneuvering is required to get through this area without getting hit. Destroy any bats you see with the Air Crest, light the chandelier, and carefully fly over the hands. Drop out of hover a tiny bit by tapping B and tapping it again when you get to the second candle holder, then light it. After that, quickly fly over to the right and you’ll enter the boss room. There’s a good chance you’ll fall into the hands or get hit by the bats in this final stretch before the boss; if that happens, jump quickly while pushing right and you should be able to break free.

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Boss: Arma 

Arma will challenge you one final time once you reach the end of the Darkened Tower. He will use his old swoop attack and the whirlwind from when you fought him for the Air Crest. While these attacks should be familiar, you should take care to evade them, because they deal more damage than they did in the past. Equip the Armor Talisman to reduce some of this damage. 

The Air Crest works nicely in this match, since it will allow you to fly over his swoops. Arma will also shoot a slow moving projectile at you from a 45 degree angle, but it’s easy to dodge. Hit the boss about 25 times with the Air Crest and he will change his tactics a bit. At this point Arma will swoop less and begin firing white, dragon shaped projectiles. These projectiles are faster than the purple ones he shot before, but you can tell he is about to fire one when he flaps his wings and white sparks form around his hand. Simply jump or fly over this attack and keep shooting Arma with Aerial Gargoyle. About 35 hits should defeat Arma and net you the Crest of Time.

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G. Phalanx’s Fortress 

Phalanx’s Fortress is the next to last stage. The ending you get after beating Phalanx is dependent upon how many crests you’ve collected, so be sure to get the Crests of Earth, Water, Air, Time, and the four Fire Crests if you want the best ending. There is some debate regarding whether or not you need to collect all of the HP Containers and other items for the best ending, but I recommend getting them regardless, because having them in your possession will make the battle with the final bosses more manageable. Defeating Phalanx with all of the Crests/Items will award you with a password that will unlock a hidden stage when entered.

As for the stage itself, it’s rather easy compared to many of the earlier levels since you’ll have plenty of tools to tackle every threat you come across if you used this guide and/or explored thoroughly. That said, there are several bosses in Phalanx’s Fortress as well as Phalanx himself, so it won’t hurt to bring a full inventory of healing potions and use the Armor Talisman.

1. Front Hall, Western Bell Tower, and Spiny Balcony 

Items: HP Container, Fang Talisman 

Equip the Armor Talisman and use the Crest of Time throughout most of this area. The threats aren’t severe compared to what you’ve been through, but be careful, because you’ll need all the strength you can muster for the final boss.

1. Death from above! A crossbow operated by a pair of imps is located conveniently above the spikes. Just fly towards the crossbow and stop when you get close to it. The arrow should miss and embed itself into the spikes. It takes the demons a few seconds to reload, which is your cue to fly over the trap. Do not touch the arrow; it will damage you even if it’s not moving.

2. Phalanx placed another crossbow here just for good measure. Use the same trick to get past it.

3. A demon clown will leap from the stained glass in the background. These guys are tough customers and you’ll need to eliminate them or they will hassle you throughout the stage. Fire off a few shots as Legendary Gargoyle, then jump and hover. The demon clown will either perform a slide kick that your projectiles will soar over or they will throw an energy orb in an arc. Moving backwards a bit while hovering will allow you to avoid the energy shot as well. After that you can get another hit in on the clown which should kill it.

4. You’ll have to deal with a combination of demon clowns and ceiling mounted crossbows throughout the rest of this stage. Get rid of the clowns as they come and move past the crossbows just as they fire to get to the end of this hallway safely.

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Boss: Hippogriff 

You’ve already fought Hippogriff twice by now, so there’s no point in describing his move set here. Use the Armor Talisman and Time Crest to fight him. With both items equipped, Hippogriff will only deal half an HP of damage. He should die in about 13 shots and drop a full health refill. 

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5. Transform into Aerial Gargoyle and fly up the tower. Avoid or destroy the ghosts that spawn here.

6. Ax throwing demons occupy the platforms on both sides of the shaft. Just fly to the left or right and quickly blast one of the demons, then land on its former perch. From there you can get rid of the other monster and continue upwards.

7. Another ax thrower inhabits this ledge. Fly up to him and blast him like you did the others.

8. Transform into L. Gargoyle or normal Firebrand when you reach this bell, then jump up and head butt the bell. A pot that contains an HP Container will drop out of the bell.

9. Change into A. Gargoyle so you can fly over the spike pits and thorny pillars in this area without worrying about the wind blowing you off course.

10. You’ll encounter a few flying spike traps here, just bait them into dropping down by flying under them, then backing up. This should allow you to pass by them safely. Skeleton birds also infest the skies here, but the Air Crest can fly over them or kill them in a hit.

11. This section is a tight squeeze thanks to the flying spike things and the birds. Wait for an opening and quickly fly forward. From there you should have no problem flying to the end of the stage as long as you dodge or destroy the skeleton birds.

12. Before leaving the stage, drop down through the false floor here if you want the final talisman.

13. Look out for the spike trap floating around near the ceiling and grab the Fang Talisman to the right.

2. Eastern Bell Tower, Hall of Agonized Souls, and Phalanx’s Chamber

Items: None

Oddly, the second half of Phalanx’s Fortress is significantly easier than the first aside from the fact that you have to refight Grewon before you face Phalanx.

1. Head butt this bell just like the one in the western tower to get a full health refill.

2. This tower is filled with flying heads and ax throwing imps. Equip the Armor Talisman and Time Crest, then drop down the shaft. There’s really no point in trying to avoid the enemies in here, because you will only lose a hit point or two on the way down and the next area is even easier to navigate.

3. Crawling zombies emerge from the iron maidens in this hallway. Pay them no mind and equip the Air Crest. Fly over everything in this hallway until you reach Grewon. There’s no reason to fight the zombies and nothing is hidden here.

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Boss: Grewon 

Remember this guy from the Mountains? Some guides claim he is stronger this time around, but I cannot tell the difference. Grewon uses the same breath and jumping attacks as before. He also becomes immune to damage for a few seconds after taking a hit, just like in the first battle with him. 

Equip the Fang Talisman (use Armor if you’re low on health) and the Crest of Time. Fire at Grewon and fly over him as he flinches. About 6 shots should be enough to slay the Grewon once and for all. Upon death, he will drop a full health refill.

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Boss: Phalanx 

Phalanx has three phases that become progressively more difficult. Make sure you have at least 18 HP (the full 20 HP is better if you want the best ending), the Armor Talisman, 5 Ginsengs and all of the Crests before fighting this boss. Try to save your Ginseng for the final phase, because it’s substantially more difficult than anything you’ve fought in this game up to this point. Get a few copies of the Death Spell as well, because you can use it to soften up Phalanx’s second phase.

Phase 1

Phalanx tends to fly back and forth near the top of the screen. He swoops down, ramming into Firebrand or fires off an energy orb that moves in a zigzag pattern. Sometimes he will create several orbs near the top of the screen that drop down on Firebrand. 

There’s a very simple way to defeat this phase: transform into Aerial Gargoyle, fly to the top of the screen, then transform into Legendary Gargoyle. Keep hovering and fire at Phalanx when he gets close. Drop from the air when the boss gets close enough to hit you, then use Aerial Gargoyle to fly up to the top of the screen again, then resume your assault with Legendary Gargoyle. About 10 hits should force Phalanx into the second phase.

Phase 2

This phase is almost two phases by itself, but we’ll count it as a single phase since the boss’s health meter doesn’t reset in this fight. At any rate, after taking enough damage, Phalanx will talk to Firebrand and redouble his efforts to kill him. The room will begin flooding with water, so you’ll have to use T. Gargoyle to avoid taking water damage and swim to the top of the screen. From there you can jump out of the water, change into Legendary Gargoyle, hover, and shoot Phalanx. You’ll have to switch back to the Water Crest when he is about to hit you. 

Phalanx retains the same attack pattern from phase 1 while the room is filled with water, so you just have to worry about adjusting your height to hit him. It may be tempting to just use the Water Crest to fight him, but the Time Crest deals more damage. Also the water level in the room will rise and fall, making it difficult to reach the boss. Use the Air Crest to fly to the top of the screen when the water is too low for the Water Crest.

After about 15 hits, the water will drain and Phalanx will change his tactics. He’ll still use his swoop, but his energy orb will track Firebrand slightly. Just jump away from the orb and you should be fine. From time to time, Phalanx will drop down a bit and start flapping his wings furiously. The wind generated by his flapping will push you into the spikes, so change into A. Gargoyle, then back into Legendary Gargoyle to foil Phalanx’s flapping. Finally, he will sometimes drop a single large energy orb from high above that transforms into a black hole. Firebrand will get stuck in the black hole, leaving him vulnerable to attack if he is too close to it. The black hole will emit a spinning ball of energy, then dissipate after a few seconds. Keep hammering Phalanx with Legendary Gargoyle, using the same trick as before. Another 15 shots will cause Phalanx to assume his final form.

Phase 3

Firebrand will be transported to a new area after you beat Phalanx’s second phase. This final form is a real nightmare to fight and I’m not even sure where to start, so I guess we’ll begin with the terrain. Lava coats the entire floor of this area and touching it will damage you. You will also have to simultaneously contend with and use a series of platforms that fly from the left side of the screen to the right. While the platforms can keep you out of the lava, a hit from Firebrand or the boss will crumble them. Furthermore, the platforms can easily push you into the boss or one of his projectiles if you are not cautious. Speaking of the boss, Phalanx is now a giant serpent demon that dominates the right side of the chamber.

Phalanx himself fires orbs that track the player. You will need to actively keep the orbs under control by destroying them with a breath attack, lest they knock you into a bad position or destroy a platform you are using. He will also emit a bolt of lightning that travels in a 45 degree angle. This lightning bolt can also break the platforms and it’s difficult to avoid unless you are high in the air.

Phalanx only has one weak point: his head. Unfortunately, the hit box for his head is small and he will protect it with his arms if you manage to get close to it. You’ll also have to watch out for a powerful beam Phalanx fires from his mouth. The beam can deal a lot of damage and the boss will fire it even if you fly to the far side of the screen where you cannot see him.

Equip the Time Crest and Armor Talisman for this fight unless you are really good at dodging, because this boss can seriously damage Firebrand in his other forms. In order to hit Phalanx’s head, you will have to climb up to the highest moving platform while shooting at the tracking orbs to keep them under control. You should also hover at the same level as the highest platform when you reach it in order to dodge the lightning bolts. If you make it this far, Phalanx will protect his head, so you need to face away from him for a second while hovering to get him to open up for his beam attack. Shoot him in the face when he raises his arms, then drop down a bit to avoid the beam. After that, fall backwards a bit and grab another platform. You will have to perform these manoeuvres quickly and flawlessly to keep from being hit. It’s especially important to stay close to the boss and fire the second he raises his arms, because his beam will cancel your fireball.

Sadly, there isn’t an easy trick to this fight and it just takes a lot of practice to complete. Magic has no effect on this boss and you can’t power through him thanks to the arms. That said, here are a few strategies that can make this fight easier:

-Make sure you have at least 3 or 4 ginseng potions.

-Get used to fighting him before you use the potions to heal. It’s ok if you die, because you can just hit Retry and start the fight again with full health. However, you cannot get the potions back if you use them.

-It’s a good idea to have the full 20 HP before you even think about fighting this guy, not only for the sake of survivability, but also to get the best ending.

-Master climbing up the platforms and adjusting your height to hit the head.

-If you can’t get the hang of the platforms, switch to the Air Crest and use it to position yourself in a place where you can hit the boss. Try not to get hit in Aerial form; a single blast will cost you 3 HP even with the Armor Talisman.

Hopefully this advice helps, but as I said before, it mostly comes down to memorization and a bit of luck. Watch the full ending after you defeat this boss and wait for the very end, then wait a few more minutes to get a special password that will grant you the Crest of Heaven and allow you to fight a secret boss. You will need all of the HP Containers, Crests, and possibly all of the Vellum, Urns, and Talismans to get this password.

H. The Demon’s Hideout

Now that you’ve collected all of the items, beat Phalanx, and entered the password shown at the end of the game, you can finally face the last boss. Check your inventory after entering the password and you will see a new crest: The Crest of Heaven. This crest will allow you to transform into the Ultimate Gargoyle, which you’ll need to beat the last boss. Visit the Ruined City one last time to gather money and buy five Ginseng Potions before you enter the Demon’s Hideout.

1. The Demon’s Hideout

Items: None

This stage consists of only two areas, which are a short hallway and the boss room. If you’ve made it through the rest of the game, you’ll have no trouble finding your way through the hallway, but I’m going to include a map and instructions for the sake of thoroughness. 

1. Ultimate Gargoyle can clear all of the obstacles in this stage, so start by equipping the Heaven Crest and smash the statues that obstruct the hallway. 

2. With the Crest of Heaven active, you can jump into the water and move around freely without taking damage. Shots from Ultimate Gargoyle can also smash the blocks to the right.

3. Fly up this shaft using the Crest of Heaven.

4. Head butt the bricked up door in the background and prepare yourself for the final battle in the room behind the newly exposed door. Using head butt is a bit tricky as Ultimate Gargoyle, because you’ll have to jump, then hit A to perform the head butt.

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Boss: Dark Demon

Dark Demon will switch between two forms throughout the battle and both are fairly tough. You’ll want to use Ultimate Gargoyle in this fight as well as the Armor or Fang Talisman. While difficult compared to the majority of bosses in this game, Dark Demon is not as bad as phase 3 Phalanx. However, you may want to bring five Ginseng Potions and practice a bit before using them. 

Form A

The first form is a collection of skulls and bones that flies around the room firing off spinning bones that fan out in four directions. It also creates a blue sphere that follows Firebrand. You’ll have to jump over the bones or use some fancy flying to evade them, but the sphere can be destroyed with a few attacks. Form A will crash into the floor every so often, but it gives an obvious tell that it’s going to crash by stopping in mid flight and you can walk away from it without trouble. The crash attack can also make rocks fall from above in a random pattern, though this doesn’t happen often.

Form A hangs around for about 20 seconds before turning into Form B. It’s erratic flight pattern and constant barrage of bones make it hard to hit, but if you play defensively you will eventually get a chance to hit it. Keep in mind that you have to hit the top half of the beast and it will counter your attack by creating a deluge of red liquid that comes down from the ceiling. Luckily, it’s safe under the Dark Demon, so walk under it when the water appears. 

Form B

Dark Demon’s second form does not move and seems to hang around for 40 seconds before transforming back into Form A. Form B fires bones as well. This time the bones head straight for Firebrand. He also shoots bones that arc into the air and fall on top of Firebrand. You’ll have to constantly adjust your height while hovering to stay clear of the bones. If you’re having trouble flying, you can always stick to the walls, but it’s not something you can rely on, because the boss also shoots a huge blue sphere that turns any surface it touches into spikes.

Form B will also react to your shots by fading in and out of reality, which makes it immune to damage. It can only flicker for a few seconds and doesn’t always react to all of your attacks, so fire at Dark Demon whenever it’s solid. 

General Strategy 

Dark Demon may have two forms, but they appear to share the same HP pool. It takes about 90 hits without the Fang Talisman to kill this boss, so be ready for a long fight. Try to master dodging its attacks and use the Armor Talisman while you learn its patterns. Getting good at flying also helps, because adjusting your height as Ultimate Demon is a great way to get away from the bones while getting a few of your own hits in. Magic is useless against this boss, so Ginseng is the only support item you can count on in this fight. Unfortunately, there’s no trick outside of skillful flying and careful positioning to make this boss easier, so keep practicing and enjoy the ending after defeating him.

V. Trio the Pago’s Skull Bashing Game

You will find Trio’s shops scattered around the world map. The first one is easy to locate, while the second and third are hidden. Trio will charge you twenty gold to participate in a game that’s essentially Whack-A-Mole. Skulls will emerge from the wall and Firebrand has to destroy them with head butts within a time limit indicated by the torches above Trio. Destroy enough skulls before time runs out and you will earn a gift. Most of the games just give you money, but game number three (hidden in a crescent shaped lake in the northern continent) awards you an HP Container. However, level 3 is the toughest game, because you need to smash 25 skulls to win. The tips below can help you win game 3.

-Bring at least 200 Gold in order to play and practice enough to win.

-Equip the Crown Talisman. While you shouldn’t waste time picking up coins dropped by the skulls you break, you will pick a few up just by going to the next target, which can help earn a bit of money to play another game if you fail. The Crown Talisman will increase the odds of coins dropping.

-Be precise. Hit the A Button just as Firebrand reaches his target when jumping. 

-Go for the skulls on the bottom row whenever they appear. The order in which the skulls emerge from the holes is random and the ones on the bottom row are easiest to break. As an added bonus, the skulls change positions whenever you break one, so you’re more likely to get easy to reach skulls the more you break them.

-Skulls on the top row should be your second priority. For some reason, I find the top row almost as easy to hit as the bottom and you should be able to break a fair number of them just by concentrating on these rows.

-Trio can be used as a platform. Some players like to stand on Trio’s head in order to reach the higher skulls. Personally, I think it is unnecessary, but it’s worth trying if all else fails.

-Practice, practice, practice! Like with just about everything in these old games, nothing beats a bit of patience and persistence if you are trying to succeed.

VI. Getting the Best Ending

There are a number of endings in the game that are based on how many items you collect. While it’s easy to get the bad and good endings, you’ll need to collect all of the HP Containers, Crests, Urns, Vellum, and Talismans to get the best ending. You will also need to defeat Phalanx and watch the good ending. After the ending is complete, leave the game on for a few minutes and a password will appear. This password will start you out with everything you had before and a new area unlocked: The Demon’s Hideout. You will also have the Crest of Heaven, which will allow you to change into Ultimate Gargoyle.

VlI. Item Locations

There are a lot of hidden items in Demon’s Crest. This section is basically a checklist that includes the locations of all of the items. If you are looking for item descriptions, check out Section I of this guide.

A. Crests

Earth: Obtained from Arma in the Abyss near the start of the game.

Air: Dropped by Arma in the Towers of Doom.

Water: Kill Crawler in Poseidonia to get this crest.

Time: Defeat Arma in the  Mountains.

Buster (Fire): Defeat Ovnunu to get this upgrade for the Fire Crest.

Claw (Fire): Win this by beating Flier in the Towers of Doom.

Tornado (Fire): Defeat Flame Lord in the Burning Grove to get this Crest.

Demon Fire (Fire): Kill Grewon in the Mountains for this Crest.

B. HP Containers 

HP Container 1: Defeat Solumo in the Colosseum.

HP Container 2: Defeat Hippogriff in the Cemetery.

HP Container 3: Visit the Darkened Catacombs after getting the Buster and destroy the blocks in the lower left part of the room.

HP Container 4: Return to the Abyss with the Buster and destroy the block wall.

HP Container 5: Break the second bone pile in the Boneyard using the Earth Crest.

HP Container 6: Dropped by Belth in the Boneyard.

HP Container 7: Found in a secret room in the Dark Forest Riverbank that leads to the Underground Dyke.

HP Container 8: Return to the Burning Grove and look for this container high in the air.

HP Container 9: Smash the statue in the Temple to get this container.

HP Container 10: Hidden in the Temple near Crawler.

HP Container 11: Kill Scula in the Dark Forest to get this one.

HP Container 12: Look for this one behind a wall in the Underwater Grotto.

HP Container 13: Holothurion, boss of the Underwater Grotto owns this container.

HP Container 14: Enter the first door at the top of the Ice Spire and destroy a pot in the room it leads to in order to get this container.

HP Container 15: Head butt the bell at the top of the western tower in Phalanx’s Fortress.

HP Container 16: Destroy 25 skulls in Trio the Pago’s level 3 skull game.

C. Spell Vellum 

Spell Vellum 1: Break the gargoyle statue near the end of the Cemetery with a head butt.

Spell Vellum 2: Revisit the Catacombs after getting the Buster and break the blocks near the entrance to get the second Vellum.

Spell Vellum 3: Hidden under the bridge leading to Arma in the Chasm in the upper right corner.

Spell Vellum 4: Use the Buster to destroy a block wall in the Underground Dyke, then smash the pot behind the blocks to get this Vellum.

Spell Vellum 5: Smash a bone pile on a secret platform in Valley of Grewon to get the last Vellum.

D. Urns 

Urn 1: Found in a cave at the bottom of a pit near the middle of the Abyss.

Urn 2: Behind a block wall that can be broken with the Buster in the Towers of Doom, Gryphon Spire.

Urn 3: Located behind a vine that can be broken with the Crest of Air in the Thorn Grove.

Urn 4: Hidden underwater in the Ruined City Reservoir.

Urn 5: Hidden on a secret ledge at the starting point of the mountains.

E. Talismans

Crown: Found in a hidden room in the Chasm section of the Towers of Doom, just before Arma. 

Skull: Hidden in a secret room behind some blocks in the Dark Forest, Burning Grove, just before the boss.

Armor: Look for this in the Darkened Tower encased in a frozen statue. Reduces incoming damage by 50%.

Fang: Hidden in a secret room in the Spiny Balcony of Phalanx’s Fortress.

VII. References and Further Reading

I used a number of guides and other resources as well as my own experience to create this guide. Check these sites out if you want to learn more about Demon’s Crest.

An older, yet well done walkthrough by NintenGenius:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/snes/588275-demons-crest/faqs/21785

This is more of a let’s play style blog, but I did use it in conjunction with my own testing and other walkthroughs to confirm the spell effects. It’s also an entertaining read:

https://8bithorse.blogspot.com/2010/02/demons-crest.html

If you’re looking for blank maps of this title or just about any other game, visit this site:

https://vgmaps.com

VII. Download PDF Copy of this Guide

Thanks for using this walkthrough!

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