Submission #6895: CasualPokePlayer's GB Gargoyle's Quest in 16:50.26

System Game Boy Emulator BizHawk 2.5.1
Game Version JPN Frame Count 60907
ROM Filename Red Arremer - Makai Mura Gaiden (Japan).gb Frame Rate 60.28838092334555
Branch Rerecord Count 13839
Unknown Authors CasualPokePlayer
Game Gargoyle's Quest: Ghosts'n Goblins
Submitted by CasualPokePlayer on 9/27/2020 9:40:21 PM

Submission Comments

Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.5.1

  • CGB in GBA is enabled for console verification.


  • Aims for fastest completion of the game
  • Heavy glitch abuse
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Minor luck manipulation


The Game

Gargoyle's Quest: Ghosts 'n Goblins, known as Red Arremer: Makaimura Gaiden in Japan, is an action-adventure/platformer game for the Gameboy. It was developed by Capcom, released on May 2, 1990 in Japan. This game stars Red Arremer (known as Firebrand in the West), who goes off into the Ghoul Realm to defeat the King of Destruction, Breager.

RNG Manipulation

This game has an overworld, and within this overworld random encounters can occur. From what I’ve found, it appears that the game has a 32 bit LFSR for its RNG, which for the overworld seems to advance every 8 steps. But it doesn’t stop there: for these random encounters, the game doesn’t just use one of the RNG bytes, no that would be too easy, the game also uses a frame counter for these encounters. Essentially, the game adds the second RNG byte with this frame counter, then does a bitwise AND by 3, and if the result is 0, an encounter occurs (so ¼ chance for an encounter). This does end up with a fatal flaw, if going to a tile causes an encounter, delaying movement by 1 frame will essentially guarantee no encounter takes, which this movie takes advantage of a bit.

Clipping & Zipping

So for whatever reason, if you hold Left+Right on a wall, you can clip into a wall and if you do it for longer you eventually end up just zipping (and this also ends up glitching the level layout). Clips aren’t always used for zips though; they can simply be used to clip upwards/downwards a block, although this is usually used to get up 1 block higher rather than lower. This the main improvement of this TAS, as all previous TASes appear to have forgone this glitch (under the guise of “entertainment,” yet the currently published movie managed to get auto-placed in Vault, only reason it’s in Moons now is because it’s simply not vaultable). There are some limitations that do have to be considered for this glitch though.
  • You cannot zip leftwards. Only rightwards.
  • Upwards zips are possible, but they require damage taken (and of course the damage source positioned in the right place).
  • Zips can cause the map to glitch out to the point where you end up just becoming stuck.

Flying and Wall Climbing Tricks

To quote the previous submission:
-When flying, the most efficient way to conserve wing power is to periodically stop flying, fall for exactly three frames, and then start flying again. If you do this the right number of times, you will travel farther than you would by letting your wing power run out normally. This is used multiple times throughout the run to cross large gaps and get Firebrand to affix himself higher up on walls than he would have normally.
-If you try jumping off a wall while holding in the direction of the wall, you temporarily lose control of Firebrand while he jumps up. If, however, you jump off a wall without holding the D-Pad, or while holding the opposite direction of the wall, you never lose control of Firebrand and can immediately pull him back towards the wall. This allows you to climb up walls MUCH more efficiently. By my own research, the most efficient climb pattern is to keep rapidly jumping off, getting back on, jumping off... (once every 9 frames.)
These are used extensively throughout the run.

Stage by stage comments

Stage 1 (Demon Portal)

Zip to the end then quickly defeat the boss. Not much to say. I do let myself get myself hit by the boss right after firing the final blow, which ends up playing the victory fanfare with the damage sprite, a bit humorous.


Point A to Point B with a mandatory fight. Yawn.

Bridge 1


Stage 2 (Tower)

So to get to the boss, I essentially need to get to the top left corner of the map. This does seem like a problem since I can’t zip leftwards. However, I can use an upwards zip to glitch the map so I can simply get to the outside of the tower from the left side. Then it’s just climb the tower to the top then zip inside the boss room. The boss was a bit faster than the published TAS (mostly due to being able to kill the top-left eye without needing to retreat for attacks).

Bridge 2

Can’t zip this time, got to walk back normally.

Tunnel 1

Zip isn’t as good as I’d like due to an enemy, but minor really.

Bridge 3

Copy paste Bridge 1 inputs literally

Bridge 4

Some zips are done, but nothing too major can be done with them sadly.

Stage 3 (Castle)

Same zip is done 6 times, then I climb up the wall and fly off in order to reach the boss. I switch to my recently obtained Block Buster then quickly defeat the boss.

Stage 4 (Desert)

I hate this stage, you can’t do any zips early on as the map glitches in a way that makes it impossible to finish the stage. Most of the stage is zipless, until the end where I use a minor zip to get down to the boss room.


Point A to Point B with some enemies and boring exposition. I switch to the Claw as soon as I can.

Bridge 5


Tunnel 2

I do a minor zip in one of the blocks to glitch the map slightly, creating a hole in the ceiling I can climb through then zip to the end.

Stage 5 (Castle 2)

Some zips then I go down to the boss room. To note, this boss can only be hurt with the Block Buster, so I switch to it for this fight. I need this later anyways so this works out.

Bridge 6

There isn’t much to zip through, the best I have is the top portion of the map.

Stage 6 (Castle 3)

Like the desert stage, zipping usually will end up glitching the map to the point you can’t complete the stage. This goes for both upwards and rightwards zips. Although luckily, it only happens for major zips, so minor zips are okay (which ends up useful for one section). I end up not needing to switch to the Claw and back for this stage due to clipping through the beginning spikes, although this is at the cost of some health. Due to the amount of damage timesave this stage has, I would either need to forgo one another damage timesave, or take a detour to grab the heart. Turns out that grabbing the heart ends up costing the least amount of time, so I do that.

Final Boss

This guy is a joke, 9 hits with the Darkfire and he’s defeated. I get ground to the spikes once I fire the last hit to avoid some lag. As an interesting note, his arms and upper head appear red, with the rest of his body green. This is really just a quirk with how the GBC colors DMG games. The GBC gives the background a different palette than sprites (for this game, it’s green for the background and red for the sprites). So most of this boss is actually just part of the background, with the rest composing of sprites. You might also notice that the sprites seem to sometimes disappear. This is really just due the GB’s 10 sprite per line limit, which ends up easily going over due to the absurd amount of sprites on the boss (4 sprites per arm and 6 sprites for the head).

arkiandruski: Claimed for judging.
arkiandruski:Good job on breaking the game.
I do feel that this run is different enough from the currently published run that they can be published side by side, but the published run is in danger of falling into Vault with its entertainment rating, so for the moment, I'm going to have this run obsolete [2033] GB Gargoyle's Quest: Ghosts'n Goblins "no zips" by Jigwally in 22:38.72. This in no way precludes a future run avoiding the left-right glitch from being published as a separate branch if it qualifies for Moons on its own merits.
As for the tier, though feedback is mostly positive for this run, there are a few vocal voices speaking out against it. Their arguments are very valid, but it feels like a Moon run to me. Even with zips, there is variety in the gameplay and the game is just the right amount of broken, where you can still kind of understand what's going on, but know what's happening is not supposed to happen even with no knowledge of the game.
Also would like to note that [2033] GB Gargoyle's Quest: Ghosts'n Goblins "no zips" by Jigwally in 22:38.72 needs to have its branch name changed to something that reflects the fact it doesn't use this glitch.
feos: Pub.

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
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