Game of the Month Club – Gargoyle’s Quest Final Report

Another month gone, another game to talk about; Halloween has arrived!

To follow the whole “book club” tradition a little more closely, I wanted to feature an actual discussion on our game of choice this month, Gargoyle’s Quest. So I assembled a couple of “Gargoyle’s Quest heroes” for a chat: SplatNess Inkling (@GreenMoblin on Twitter) and fakt00r (@fakt00r on Twitter). Here’s what we talked about:

Holly: Alrighty! Let’s start with presentation. This game blew me away in visuals and sound. I haven’t played a lot of Game Boy games, so I had no idea a game on the system could look as amazing as Gargoyle’s Quest does!

SplatNess Inkling: Yeah, the background of the sidescrolling areas looks great.

fakt00r: The presentation is what took me in back in 1990. Just consider that in my opinion the best game on Game Boy, Link’s Awakening, was released 3 years later. So Capcom did an awesome job at this point.

boss_defeat_screen_gargoyles_quest

SplatNess Inkling: Oh wow, I didn’t realize this was a game that came out early in the Game Boy lifecycle.

fakt00r: Here are the common enemy sprites: http://www.spriters-resource.com/resources/sheets/40/42485.png They are very detailed.

SplatNess Inkling: I liked some of the weird dialogue the villagers had. The beginning was weird, but I was alright with it. I mean, like 3 or 4 guys come in and disappear back to back out of nowhere lol.

Holly: Speaking of random disappearances, I love the atmosphere and sense of lore in this game. There’s another set of characters later on who show up in the dark, one at a time, and tell Firebrand about his destiny, each disappearing again in his turn. Creepy!

fakt00r: Yes, I loved this part. Or that you have dialogues with your enemies. Usually you just killed them 1990. 😀 The villagers also told you important things. Not just “I am Error” like in Zelda 2.

SplatNess Inkling: Yeah, it was cool finding out you are the Red Blaze.

Holly: Rushifell the imposter! He was a cool dude, though, in the end.

dialogue_screen_gargoyles_quest

fakt00r: The music also is memorable. Here you can hear the whole [soundtrack] again. Listen to the game over theme. Love it.

Holly: Favorite themes? I like the short level/bridge music.

fakt00r: Boss theme… so good. You know with this theme that the action will really start now! I think Matt as a composer can say even more about the music.

Holly: Ooh, you’re right!

SplatNess Inkling: I can’t say too much of the music; personally, I played it with the volume not too high up, and chiptune music has to be very, very good for me to remember it, otherwise it kind of just blends in.

Holly: Hopefully you didn’t miss the sound on the top of that tower level! The wind and lightning made it epic!

wall_clinging_screen_gargoyles_quest

SplatNess Inkling: I need some headphones next time lol.

fakt00r: Technically the developers were very limited back then with the midi sound on Game Boy. But with the right melody you can create, even with those limits, a catchy tune. Just think about the music in Tetris or Super Mario Land.

SplatNess Inkling: Was there something that was supposed to tell me to search that tree for an item needed in the game? I forget what item it was, but I got stuck and randomly checked that tree and finally figured it out, but I almost got discouraged from playing.

Holly: There was! A character in town mentions it, but it’s the town where everyone seemingly says the same thing! Tricky game!

fakt00r: The Wings of Falcon. Tricky part. I’ve played this game so many times, I directly went to the tree. XD

Holly: I had to check a walkthrough, sadly. The game is very linear, but you can miss important info if you’re not paying attention! On that note, let’s talk actual gameplay. It’s great, in a nutshell. 😀

final_boss_screen_gargoyles_quest

fakt00r: It was something players don’t expect in this game. Back then, as 10-year-old me, I couldn’t speak/read English. There was no walkthrough. I translated all the dialogue as good as I could with a dictionary. It also has some slowdowns when there are too many sprites. Also, the random encounters can be annoying a little bit. You don’t have to buy the talismans anymore because you have the save system from the 3DS.

Holly: Thank goodness for restore points! The game is fun but very, very challenging, haha!

SplatNess Inkling: Haha, yeah, I used restore points a lot. I loved the many abilities as far as gliding and wall sticking, then getting upgraded as time goes on. The gliding around reminded me of the Mutant Mudds game where you can hover sideways and shoot. I wonder if [Renegade Kid] got that inspiration from this game.

Holly: It is a great game to take inspiration from.

fakt00r: I asked Jools. He said yes.

SplatNess Inkling: Awesome! Thanks for asking! [Gargoyle’s Quest] did get a bit annoying, switching between the different weapons. I wish it was just one single one that would get upgraded with all the features. I like the overall aspect of top down view and sidescrolling gameplay, though.

firebrand_screen_gargoyle's quest

Holly: I didn’t find weapon switching to be bothersome, but now that you mention it, just having one weapon throughout probably would have worked! I also enjoyed flying and shooting and clinging to walls in sidescrolling style. Firebrand’s moveset is just the best!

fakt00r: You have to switch the weapons only on some points. But I see your point.

SplatNess Inkling: Yeah, I mainly mean the last level where you have to use the one to stick on spikes and switch to one to blast through the wall. I’d switch back to what I assumed was the strongest one each time afterwards. It took me a while to figure out how to kill that last boss too lol. Cool enemy designs, though, and this game was a bit tough but not so much that I’d rage quit lol.

fakt00r: I like when the bosses are a real challenge.

Holly: I found most of the game’s bosses to be on the easy side myself. Still fun, though.

SplatNess Inkling: Yeah, I had more problems getting to the boss than the actual boss itself, except for the last boss. I may have to look into the sequel sometime soon.

Holly: I’d love to look into that as well.

fakt00r: Boss fights: play it without save system and only use the password system. 😉 Gargoyles Quest 2 is close to the first one. New levels, in color, no random encounters. Demon’s Crest (part 3) is much different. I have them all on virtual console.

boss1_defeat_screen_gargoyles_quest

Final Thoughts

SplatNess Inkling: I liked this game more than I thought I would, to be honest. For being as old as it is, though, I think the core gameplay holds up quite well. I think it’d be awesome if one day Capcom were to revisit this series with a quick eShop release or something similar. Overall, I’d probably give this game an 8 out of 10, with the only real downsides being some obviously dated mechanics, but the core gameplay and weirdness/creepiness kept me going back enthusiastically.

fakt00r: If you love retro games and action adventures then buy it. It’s an evergreen from back in 1990 that is still worth buying and playing. Also give Gargoyles Quest 2 and Demon’s Crest a chance.

Holly: First I want to thank SplatNess Inkling and fakt00r for taking the time to talk about Gargoyle’s Quest and for participating in our Game of the Month Club in the first place! I’m happy to say I beat Gargoyle’s Quest myself, and I really enjoyed it! It’s got a perfect balance of challenge and fun, plus it looks absolutely stunning for a Game Boy game.

If you have any of your own thoughts or comments, please leave them below and let the discussion continue!

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Author: Holly Fellmeth View all posts by
Site Manager/Editor - Holly's favorite hobby is playing new or different games. She believes there is no other medium that can offer such weird and wacky things as the gaming industry can. Her Nintendo Network ID is Aeroweth.