Firebrand and Ghosts ‘n Goblins Obsession

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Like you, I have a lot of interests. Possibly also like you (I have no idea; work with me here), many of them subside in favor of newer interests. Some of them definitely stick around, while others only subside temporarily, but certainly there are times with just about any of my interests where I’m just not that into it at a given moment. Possibly when I’m distracted by something shiny, or a cute girl, or lasagna.

There are also times where I sound maybe a little kind of insane. This also may possibly be one of those times. Again, work with me.

So, onto the actual topic… I have a bit of an obsession with Firebrand — an obsession that’s been rekindled by my acquiring Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, in which he is playable — a awesome little red gargoyle dude who first showed up in the Gargoyle’s Quest games, a subseries of Ghosts ‘n Goblins. It should be noted that I have played neither.

Just like with Castlevania (which is an entirely different story that I’ll get into another day), I became a huge fan of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series completely from afar. I had never played any of the games, and therefore had no concept of how good or bad they might have been. Instead I simply got wrapped up in how cool they looked, and man did they look cool.

One day I was just minding my own business, reading some Disney Adventures of all things, and I saw an ad for Demon’s Crest (the third Gargoyle’s Quest game). Even back then, I was getting way too into monsters and creepy stuff for a kid who had a traumatic response to episodes of The Simpsons, so naturally I thought this game looked insanely cool, particularly due to the fact that it had demon in the title, had you play as a winged demon, and the ad had a screenshot of some zombie demon dragon #^$&.

Just imagine how that would have played out, asking my parents to buy me the game…

“I want that game! It has demons and #&$@! DEMONS!”

Shallow, I guess.

Anyway, being dirt poor, I never did pick up Demon’s Crest — and due to my go-with-the-flow nature regarding purchasing entertainment, still haven’t — though I still want to someday. Until that day, Bogleech’s ancient sprite archive and this video mark most of my knowledge about it. And I treasure that knowledge.

My introduction to the main Ghosts ‘n Goblins series came later and is even weirder.

I learned about the main series from Mega Man freaking 7. You may or may not know this, but in that game, holding the right button when you select Shade Man’s stage allowed you to play to an alternate song, the famous Stage 1 theme from the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. (Before you start yelling at me, this stops working once you defeat Shade Man, so new-game it, fools.)

Of course, being that this was my introduction to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, I had absolutely no idea what the significance was. This whole moment basically consisted of my brother reading about this easter egg, telling me about it, me looking at him with a confused expression, and having him explain it to me. Only later when I basically discovered the internet and almost immediately found the site that would eventually become Bogleech, did I learn anything significant about the series, again on the sprite archive.

And so, in exactly the same way, though less intense due to the series’ title not containing the word demon, I became a fan of the entire series, learning that it was this series that Demon’s Crest and its predecessors were a part of.

I have still not played any game in the series barring my recent playthrough of Maximo: Ghosts to Glory. Which, granted, is a really fun game, but it ain’t true Ghosts ‘n Goblins or Gargoyle’s Quest, which I still crave (not to mention it doesn’t contain anything that resembles Firebrand).

Oh right, whoa, got a little off track there. Oh well. History lesson. Consider yourself more informed. So, back to Firebrand. That sucker is sweet.

He’s part of the Red Arremer race (Sons of Satan… basically just really powerful devil/gargoyle looking dudes), and honestly Firebrand doesn’t really differ from the average Red Arremer in terms of appearance. He was basically a concoction of the Gargoyle’s Quest series as an excuse to actually play as a Red Arremer, near as I can tell, and that’s entirely okay! Either way, as a result, in my head I still consider Firebrand and Red Arremers to be pretty much interchangeable, probably because Firebrand is cooler and all Red Arremers must submit to Firebrand. Yes I know nothing about what I just said makes any sense.

As I said, I recently got Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and have really fallen in love with Firebrand all over again thanks to it. Honestly, I haven’t thought about almost all of the stuff written here in YEARS, until this game effectively smashed me upside the head with my favorite Red Arremer.

And in a totally unbiased preference, I’ve so far been having by far the most fun playing as Firebrand, which surprises me considering it has Zero, Deadpool, and Ghost Rider. But hey, he’s a yapping red demon dude, with an awesome cross-legged squat, an arrogant attitude, and tons of tricky, fast moves. What’s not to love?

To cap this off, here’s a video of some of his special victory quotes in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and a link to a page with some cool Red Arremer artwork!

…Admittedly this might not really qualify as an obsession. But hey, we internet writers thrive on sucking you in with misleading hooks, like how people put boobs in YouTube thumbnails. It comes with the territory.

(Thanks to Mobygames, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Wiki, and Marvel vs. Capcom Wiki for the images.)

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