Flying is always better than walking.
These items are acquired through brutal boss battles or are hidden within the game's seven stages. In another surprising shift in the Gargoyle's Quest paradigm, Demon's Crest is a somewhat non-linear experience. Instead of having to march his way around the Ghoul Realm as he has in the past, Firebrand can now (gasp!) fly over the world map to any of the stages. Extremely skilled players could conceivably complete the game after having only passed through a few of the levels, but to get the best of the four different endings you'll have to complete all but the final stage at least twice to find all the hidden items and multiple routes.
All told, the Gargoyle's Quest series is a solid group of platform games. Not everything works and they certainly aren't without their flaws. Taken as a whole, however, the good bits are really good and the bad bits are more annoyances than anything else. While it's a bit disappointing that the NES "sequel" wound up just being a rehash, I can hardly be upset when it's as fun as it is.
Still good after all these years.