Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness is an NES video game released by Capcom in October 1992. It is the prequel to Gargoyle's Quest (part of the Ghosts 'n Goblins franchise) and features a similar gameplay style, which combines role-playing video game elements with side-scrolling action in a macabre fantasy setting.
The Demon Darkness utilizes a password system and is broken into two sections: Traversing the Ghoul Realm via a JRPG overhead map view, and side-scrolling action areas, that take place in dungeons, across giant pits, and more.
The action portions of the gameplay are nearly identical, in a broad sense, to the previous Gargoyle's Quest game. The main difference between these parts and the original Gargoyle's Quest's action platforming segments is the addition of the Magic Tornado power-up, which allows Firebrand, the playable character, to raise himself into the air in vertical directions by standing on temporary platforms. Like is the previous game, Firebrand gets around with the added help of his wings which let him glide horizontally in mid-air. Firebrand can shoot 'magic weapon' projectiles as a mean of attack or self-defense at any given moment. One of the staple abilities of Firebrand is his power to cling to walls for climbing up vertical cliffs, grabbing on to the sides of moving objects, and slower descending. Firebrand is notably slower than most video game characters of his kind, often leading to a necessary confrontation with each foe. Occasionally, Firebrand is blocked by foes that have significantly more health than regular ones and must defeat them in confined rooms to advance.
In the overworld and town screens, Firebrand moves faster than he did in the first game. Like with the JRPG games of this time, Firebrand moves in the four cardinal directions to navigate the realm he inhabits in semi-linear paths. Towns contain ghoul denizens, who talk to Firebrand, and various stone buildings that can be entered. Also similar to a role-playing game, Firebrand becomes more powerful as he progresses, whether by increased glide time, higher jumping ability, or more stamina, through the use of acquired enchanted items.
According to the video game's content, a long, long time ago before humans starting appearing in the fictional place called the Ghoul Realm, there was a fictional, young ghoul warrior, a gargoyle named Firebrand from the town of Etruria. One day, while Firebrand was out partaking in his daily routine of training in a small, alternate dimension, The Black Light appeared unexpectedly and destroyed his home. When he returns from his training, he was told to hurry to the local King by another ghoul just before it collapsed and died before him.
Firebrand then made his way there. After defeating Nagus (the Spaulder-wearing monster as seen in the distance on the European box art), Firebrand was able to meet with King Morock, who informed Firebrand that he, himself, was on the brink of death. Before dying, he gave Firebrand the Spectre's Fingernail and Firebrand set off on a journey to unravel the mystery of The Black Light, facing off against an invading army the whole way.
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