Day #205: Demon’s Crest

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Man, I sure do miss the good old days.

I mean, I guess I do, though I’m not entirely sure what days I’d be referring to. Back when there were less video games to play? I suppose a more accurate statement would be to say that I kinda miss the feeling of those older days, when I was a little less informed, odd as that may sound. I’ve written before about how dangerous nostalgia can be and I tend to look back with a more objective eye than most, but even I’ll admit that there was a certain appeal to the days when the only way evaluate the quality of a game beforehand was to either luck out and catch a magazine review or judge it strictly on its box art.

By that scale, Demon’s Crest will always be a 10/10 in my heart.

I didn’t actually have a Super NES of my own to play until I was (technically) an adult, growing up in a mostly Sega-themed environment, though my trips to Blockbuster Video would always stir in me a furious jealousy whenever I stumbled too far, looking at all of the games I couldn’t play. Don’t get me wrong, I was quite happy going home with Crusader of Centy, but I’d always see that face; that demon that looked like he belonged on a Meat Loaf album cover. I was convinced that the greatest game in the world was always right there just outside my reach, mocking me. In fairness, it was. Chrono Trigger was on the shelf right above it.

But that’s a story for another day.

When I got around to finally playing Demon’s Crest, I never actually expected it to be much. After all, I’d lived through a similar situation with Xenophobe for the NES, expecting the alien on that game’s cover to be a reflection of the pants-rocking excitement I was in for. In contrast to that experience, I was quite surprised to find how strongly Demon’s Crest maintained its position on pants-rocking. It was decidedly for it, so much so that was actually difficult for the game itself to keep up with at times. It’s a beautiful and often chaotic thing, yet remains a weird outlier in pantheon of 16-bit classics. Despite how good it is, you almost never see it in that conversation.

Perhaps it didn’t speak to others the same way it did for me, having a weakness for the heavy metal aesthetic at the time, though playing today, it still resonates. I certainly have no idea how the hell I found any of the secrets back then, some of them a little too well hidden. As great as Mode 7 was (and let’s not mince words, it was great), it can get a little tiresome flying around that too-small map in hopes that you’ll stumble upon the next item or upgrade you need. For the purposes of this project, I didn’t care as much, simply content to fly around whilst wondering why more hasn’t been done with this franchise, especially considering just how much this industry loves its reboots.

Oh yeah, Capcom. Best we can hope for is a Dead Rising skin, I guess.

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