Gargoyle's Quest, known as Red Arremer: Makaimura Gaiden in Japan, tells the story of Firebrand, an antagonist of Capcom's better-known Ghosts 'n Goblins series, as he is summoned to save the decaying Ghoul Realm from the influence of the demon king Braeger. The Ghouls tell legends of the Red Blaze, a mythical gargoyle that will save them from destruction.
The gameplay takes place in one of two perspectives: a top down overworld where the player moves Firebrand from town to town, exploring the Ghoul Realm in search of power-ups and dungeons. When the player enters a dungeon, the perspective shifts to a side-scrolling platformer with a heavy emphasis on vertical traversal, as Firebrand has wings offering limited hovering flight, as well as the ability to cling to walls to ascend even further.
While the game doesn't have a traditional XP system and character-levels, as the story progresses, Firebrand learns new abilities and spells, offering greater traversal before eventually allowing infinite flying ability and devastating ranged attacks, effectively turning Firebrand into the Red Blaze of legend. Being "given your wings" near the end of the game is one of the game's more liberating and memorable moments.
The overworld map features frequent random battles, where the player is thrown into a small "arena" dungeon where Firebrand must defeat a group of enemies before he is rewarded with power-ups and allowed to continue. Some of these battles are not altogether random, as some enemy characters can be seen in the overworld map and engaged at the player's discretion.
This combination of traditional RPG tropes and challenging action gameplay featuring very large sprites and screen-filling boss encounters makes Gargoyle's Quest one of the most original titles of its time, and still quite unique to this day.
The game uses a password system in lieu of a battery pack for saving the game.
There are two sequels to this game, Gargoyle's Quest 2 on NES and Demon's Crest on SNES.