In continuation of this most festive Halloween season, I thought it would be a good time to bring up Firebrand, a character that some of you may not be completely familiar with by name, but I guarantee almost everyone will remember him because of the game, Ghost ‘N Goblins.
I thought that for this article, it would be more appropriate that I talk about the initial introduction to Firebrand, as well as the other games that were significant in the character’s history.
Chapter 17: The Red Blaze
Ghost ‘N Goblins (NES/1986):
Originally one of the Red Arremer tribe, a race of demon gargoyles (and which of whom Firebrand is a part of), was introduced as the pesky minor boss in the first level of the game. This, if I had to put money on it, was where many gamers probably left off with the character, but it wasn’t until the excellent spin-off series, Gargoyle’s Quest, that we were fully introduced to the character.
Gargoyle’s Quest (Gameboy/1990):
The first in a trio of spin-off games from the Ghost ‘N Goblins series that fleshes out the character of Firebrand and actually gives him a legitimate backstory. According to the game’s lore, the Ghoul Realm (the world in which Firebrand lives) was on the brink of total destruction by an army from a neighboring universe, but just when everyone in the Ghoul Realm had given up hope, a great fire swept over the land, wiping out the invading force.
Several hundred years have passed since the initial attack from the neighboring universe and looming on the horizon is yet another threat to the Ghoul Realm. A young red gargoyle by the name of, you guessed it, FIREBRAND, returns home from another dimension and comes to fulfill the legacy of “The Red Blaze.”
Gargoyle’s Quest II (NES/1992):
The second game in the trio is unofficially the “first” part of Firebrand’s story. The game’s story states that one day, while in the middle of Firebrand’s training, a mysterious black light covered the land and drained the land of its magic. In the same timeframe as the mysterious black light, an army had been spawned that goes on to kill a lot of the residents of Eturnia (a town in the Ghoul Realm). The king of Eturnia’s last request is that Firebrand take on the army and save the Ghoul Realm.
Demon’s Crest (SNES/1994):
One of my favorite SNES games solely based on its amazing soundtrack, Demon’s Crest is the third and final game in the Gargoyle’s Quest series. The whole gimmick in the game is that Firebrand has the ability to morph into different types of gargoyles with the help of crests, magical stones that grant the user with the ability to manipulate the forces of nature.
The story of the game goes as so: there exists two different lands – one ruled by humans, the other by demons. One day, six magical crests (fire, earth, air, water, time, and heaven) fell from the sky and landed in the realm ruled by demons. The demons shortly begin to fight one another in hopes of acquiring the stones to gain extraordinary power when all of the crests are combined to form the Crest of Infinity.
Firebrand, already in control of five out of six of the crests, takes on the demon dragon in battle to take control of the six and final crest. Severely wounded from the battle, however, Firebrand walks away with the sixth crest, but because of his current condition, he is attacked by Phalanx who steals all of the crests besides the Crest of Fire, which was broken into several pieces. Firebrand is then forced to fight a zombified demon dragon in his wounded state, and after the battle, Firebrand seeks out to defeat Phalanx and reclaim the crests.
That is a quick run-down of the Gargoyle’s Quest series featuring the anti-hero, Firebrand. While these games never garnered the attention that the Ghosts ‘N Goblins series did, and call me crazy for this one, but I actually prefer the spin-off series over the main series. Firebrand is an unusual character for a lead, but dammit, he’s got spunk!
That sounds gross…
There are only two more Character RETROspects before Halloween, and I hope everyone likes the next two articles. Until next time!