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Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark logo

ACCOLADE * £24.99 Mouse

E Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark lvira, the lady with the big reputation, wants a hand with her chest. She has opened up her old ancestral home Castle Killbragant and along with it a real can of worms – the really slimey ones. She has also reawakened an ancient curse, placed by her great, great, great, grandma, who it appears ws not so great after all.

The spooks and demons have come out of the closet and trapped Elvira in her own home. In answer to a small ad you are now her rescuer. Searching through the castle you must find six keys that will unlock an ancient chest and lift the curse. Easy? It would be if the ghosts did not carry loaded swords and were not able to use magic – not any of your Paul Daniels rubbish either, this stuff really hurts.

Carry On Elvira
Guided by the lovely Miss E’ you roam around the castle killing guards, fighting monsters, receiving horrendous wounds abd being healed by Elvira’s own sweet hands. As it is the family home of the Elvira clan the place is full of unexpected tunnels, guardians and other suprises. Nothing is what it seems and the level of innuendo and derision is along the lines of a "Carry On" film and are only ever a wobbling breast away.

Elvira, and her accompanying house, are beautifully drawn and the story created by all your wandering is well animated with arcade style sub-games around every corner: from sword fighting to breath holding feats, they are all yours to try. All you have to lose is your life, so why not give it a go?

Get Y’er Disks Out!
Elvira is flawed however, in many painful ways. The most frightening is the sheer number of disks; five to be exact. You get your moneys worth though, as virtually every movement between locations forces disk access. Irritation soon starts to get in.

The adventure though, is well thought out, with a strong side-line in role-play underpinning the plot. As you roam, most of Elvira’s ghostly ancestors insist on sword battles. Seeing as your starting weapon is only a dagger, they are not easy to win. Yet victory earns you experience in handling the weapon and access to another room or area.

Two Strokes Are Enough
Sword battles are limited to two strokes on attack and two on defence. You have to select which blow the other guy is going to try and react accordingly. A simple sub-game of guess the sword stroke, it is at the heart of the game’s earlier stages. Unfortunately, fighting with the dagger and no visual guides means that you take many more blows than you should. Elvira has given you masses of healing potions, but these cannot be used during the battle. Henceforth, and rather fittingly for a Gothic game, you spend large amounts of time dead.

The slowness and the repeated deaths ruin Elvira. It is simply no fun to play. The frustration is heightened by the graphics because so many remain unseen. Success is a matter of persistence and luck. Still, Elvira does have nice...
Trenton Webb

Amiga Format, Issue 19, February 1991, p.85

VERDICT
  • Graphics that will suit the heavy breathers and gore fans.
  • Five disks means far too much swapping.
  • Disk access before each move means slow game play.
  • Strange licence that makes an irritating game.
  • An average adventure that falls apart due to bad disk management.
Verdict: 61%


Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark logo

Genau vor einem Jahr haben wir das Preview zu diesem Spiel gebracht, und dann haben wir gewartet und gewartet und gewartet – bis wir selbst schon fast nicht mehr an die Existenz der Horrorlady glauben konnten! Aber Damen verspäten sich halt gelegentlich ein wenig...

Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark Und Damen dürfen das, so aufregende wie Elvira erst recht! Noch dazu ist sie selbst ja eigentlich völlig unschuldig. Der Grund für diese wahrhaft monströse Verzögerung ist schon eher bei ihren Programmierern zu suchen, die halt einfach mal Perfektionisten sind. Und jetzt, nachdem wir das aufwendige Horror-Adventure mit eigenen Augen gesehen haben, ist die warterei vergeben und vergessen. Das muss man sich mal auf der Zunge zergehen lassen: Über 800 Örtlichkeiten, über 300 Gegenstände und über 100 Gegner warten hier auf einen, der auszieht, um das Gruseln zu lernen! Klingt gut? Ha, wenn Ihr unseren megaexklusiven Testbericht zu end gelesen habt, werdet Ihr wissen, dass "gut" hier schon fast eine Beleidigung ist...

Elviras Oheim Elmo ist gestorben. Kein grosser Verlust für die Menschheit, denn besonders beliebt war der alte Finsterling zu seinen Lebzeiten nicht gerade. Vor allem Elvira ist ganz angetan von diesem Todesfall, hat ihr Onkel Elmo doch seine Burg mit allem Drum und Dran vererbt. Aus diesem bereits erwas wurmstichigen Gemäuer will sie eine Touristenattraktion ersten Ranges machen. Anfangs läuft auch alles nach Wunsch, am Abend vor Allerheiligen (Halloween…) ist die Bude bereits gerammelt voll. Nur, eigentlich hatte sie sich ihre Gäste etwas anders vorgestellt! Die Besucher denken nämlich gar nicht daran, irgendetwas zu bezahlen – ausserdem sind sie nicht mal lebendig...

So eine Horde Gespenster im Haus reicht ja normalerweise vollkommen aus, um einem das Wochenende zu versauen, aber es kommt noch dicker: Elviras vor 100 Jahren gestorbene Ururgrossmutter Emelda hat sich nämlich überlegt, dass sie jetzt lange genug tot war, und plant deshalb ihre Auferstehung. Außerdem scheint Bescheidenheit nicht eine der bevorzugten Tugenden Emeldas zu sein, denn als nächstes Ziel peilt sie gleich die Weltherrschaft an! Der ganze Irrsinn lässt sich nur stoppen, wenn man eine Schriftrolle mit Zaubersprüchen findet, die irgendwo im Schloss versteckt ist. Das Röllchen modert in einer Truhe vor sich hin, für die man wiederum sechs Schlüssel braucht, die wiederum…

Ihr seht schon: Ohne Eure Hilfe ist die fesche Elvira nun wirklich aufgeschmissen! Beim Durchwandern des Spukschlösschens kommt man dann aus dem Staunen überhaupt nicht mehr heraus: Grafiken in allerfeinsten „Amigacolor" und absolut filmreife Animationen beeindrucken selbst das verwöhnteste Auge. Und davon gibt es gigantischee Mengen - das Game hat allein zwölf verschiedene Todesbilder (Game Over) zu bieten! Der Soundtrack ist so atmosphärisch gruselig, dass selbst Frankenstein eine Gänsehaut bekommen würde, sofern er nicht schon vor den makaberen Effekten Reissaus nimmt. Zugegeben, manche Szenen sind hart an der Grenzen des guten Geschmacks und absolut ungeeignet für zimperliche Zeitgenossen. Aber die ganze Schauermär wird mit soviel Humor präsentiert, dass sich vermutlich selbst die Altherrenriege von der BPS das Lachen nicht verkneifen kann. Ein Gagjagt den anderen, jede Überraschung ist überraschender als die davor, kurzum: Entertainment in Reinkultur!

Amiga Joker Hit Und damit man die prächtige Story auch richtig geniessen kann, bietet Elvira eine Benutzerführung, bei der man seine Tastatur getrost abstöpseln darf (ausser für's Abspeichern von Spielständen). Alles und jedes läuft im Maus/Icon-Betrieb, nur mit seinem Nagetier in der Hand kann man sich bewegen, handeln und das Mammut-Inventory verwalten – die Handhabung ist ähnlich wie bei Lucasfilm Games, mit Scrollbalken, einer Verben-Liste, usw. Die leichte Bedienbarkeit ist hier auch bitter nötig, weil es einiges zu tun gibt: Es darf gekämpft werden (in Echtzeit und mit Gegern, die sich schön langsam steigern), logische Rätsel harren ihrer Lösung, und Millionen von Schränken und Schubladen (naja, vielleicht sind's auch bloss ein paar tausend…) müssen geöffnet und durchsucht werden. Ausserdem enthält das Game diverse Rollenspielelemente: Der Spielercharakter hast sechs verschiedene Werte (Stärke, Erfährung…), er kann zaubern und muss darauf achten, dass er immer ausreichend zu essen und zu trinken kriegt. Zudem kann man nicht unbegrenzt Zeugs mit sich herumschleppen, und auch das Karten zeichnen sollte man nicht vergessen – Möglichkeiten, sich im Schloss oder im Gartenlabyrinth zu verlaufen, gibt's genug!

So schwer es bei einem derart gelungenen Programm auch fällt, ein paar nagative Dinge dürfen nicht unerwähnt bleiben. Ein wunder Punkt ist das Kampfsystem, das gestandenen Rollenspielern vielleicht etwas zu simpel sein könnte. Dann findet die geballte Sound- und Grafikpower natürlich nicht auf einer Diskette Platz – dass man es bei Horror Soft geschafft hat, die ganze Angelegenheit auf fünf Disks unterzubringen, grenzt schon an Hexerei! Wer also keine Festplatte sein eigen nennt, muss schon etwas Handarbeit zum Diskwechseln investieren. Und wer gar nur 512K Speicher in seinem Amiga hat, muss auf Elvira leider ganz verzichten. Anderzeits: Wer sich für Elvira keine Speichererweiterung zulegt, ist der grösste Geizkragen seit Dagobert Duck – dieses Game muß man einfach haben! (mm)

Amiga Joker, November 1990, p.p.14-15

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Was immer man sich von einem Adventure erwartet – Elvira hat's!"

Amiga Joker
Elvira
Grafik: 96%
Sound: 95%
Handhabung: 86%
Spielidee: 88%
Dauerspaß: 93%
Preis/Leistung: 91%

Red. Urteil: 94%
Red. Urteil:
Für Fortgeschrittene
Preis: ca 99,- DM
Hersteller: Horror Soft/Accolade
Bezug: Korona Soft

Spezialität: Unsere Testversion war noch in english, Elvira wird aber komplett in deutsch erscheinen. Kein Kopierschutz, Codeabfrage.



Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark logo

E Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark lvira is a graphic role-playing adventure, controlled entirely by mouse. Moving around could not be easier – simply click on the part of the picture you wish to move to, or click on one of the highlighted direction arrows. The latter moves you forward, up or down, and in the direction you are facing, whilst the left, right and back arrows change that direction, and redisplay your perspective from it.

The speed of moving around in a game of this sort is a crucial test of the game’s playability, and Elvira scores highly. The disk loads are fairly snappy, and the disk swaps – bearing in mind there are five disks in total – are tolerable. A number of locations are cached in memory as you move from section to section, thus reducing the number of disk loads.

That is just as well really, for the castle is a fairly massive place to explore. In addition to the living accommodation, there are towers, dungeons, catacombs, and gardens complete with a hedge maze. Mind you, getting around can be hampered by armed guards, who are prone to attack on sight, whilst the maze has some positively beastly, if relatively non-fatal monsters lurking within. I won’t even mention what inhabits the catacombs!

Fighting is a major element in the game. When confronted you may choose to flee, in which case you may lose points by being hit in the back whilst making your escape. Otherwise, the game switches into combat mode, and icons offering the choice of BLOCK/PARRY and LUNGE/HACK are alternately flashed on the screen. Hope for a few good hits as you watch your life points ebb away!

In collecting the six keys you need, problems, must be solved, and, because these are mainly of the ‘you must get (a) before you can do (b) but you need some (c) first variety, the player has to work his way up a problem and discover its requirements, before setting about trying to work successfully through it. Because of the fighting nature of the play, it is vital to save the game position frequently, to pick up where you left off – for once you are defeated in a fight, the game ends.

The screen layout is quite pleasing and not too cluttered. Below the main graphic window is an objects window that doubles as a text message window. To the left of the main picture are icons that swap the contents of the objects window to show ROOM objects, INVENTORY objects, and INVENTORY objects that are weapons. Below that are movement arrows for the four compass points plus UP and DOWN. To the right of the main picture are the verb icons, plus system commands to PAUSE, SAVE, and RESTORE. All this is enhanced by a soundtrack of faintly disturbing music and sound effects accompanying the action.

Unlike Personal Nightmare, Horror Soft’s previous offering, Elvira has no real-time element save in the fighting sequences This makes it far less confusing to play, since you know you won’t miss a crucial clue by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, of all the mouse-only adventures I have played, this one feels the least restricted and, graphically, the most logical.

Elvira is a big game, part adventure and part RPG, and I enjoyed it far more than I had expected I would. Indeed, I am already showing signs of becoming dangerously addicted to it! If horror is your scene (and be warned, there ARE a few grisly pictures in there) then Elvira deserves a place in your collection.
Keith Campbell

CU Amiga, December 1990, p.p.98-99

Elvira is a descendant of the evil sorceress Queen Emelda, and has returned to the ruined family castle to turn it into an attraction of offering ‘horror weekends’ for paying guests. In restoring the castle to its former glory, however, Elvira has triggered off the return of her dead ancestor, a facility provided for Emelda many years ago by Satan. The Queen’s servants have started arriving in preparation for her return, where by the practice of devil worship and other satanic ceremonies, she hopes to take over the world. A scroll locked in a chest hidden within the castle, will enable Elvira to prevent the return of Emelda. So Elvira hires a freelance ghostbuster, for a fat fee, to find the six keys held by six of Emelda’s servants, and thus obtain the scroll. That ghostbuster is you, and it must be said that Elvira is not overly impressed.

Problems are solved by collecting and manipulating objects, and these are taken by dragging them out of the picture on to the INVENTORY icon. Manipulation is by selection of a verb icon from a list of ten. Additionally, spells feature in the game, and are made for you by Elvira herself. All you need to do is to collect the required ingredients, take them down into her kitchen along with a suitable recipe book, and click on Elvira and then MIX. You will see her stirring and pouring, until she puts the new spell in your inventory. The characters in the game are animated, and there are other animated effects too, such as climbing the many spiral staircases in the tower, not to mention the beasts that come at you, and the maggots that are infesting something nasty in the woodshed!

ACCOLADE £29.99
In-depth RPG cum adventure - fangtastic
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
81%
74%
85%
86%
OVERALL 84%



Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Accolade, Amiga (1 Meg only) £24.99

Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark (This review has been written by CRASH's trendy tipster, Nick Roberts, who expressed much interest in the game for 'a couple of reasons'!).

A creepy castle, undead inhabitants, the return of a vampire and buckets of fake blood – the perfect combination for a trashy 'B' movie, but also the perfect recipe for a great fantasy adventure. Many of you may be familiar with the character Elvira, she has already appeared in a number of films. The provocatively dressed, well-endowed star is also the centre of attraction in this orgy of horror.

The story goes like this. On the demise of Uncle Elmo, Elvira inherited Castle Killbragant. Little did she know she was also inheriting a heap of trouble with it. When she visited the castle she was imprisoned by the various creatures returning from the underworld to prepare for the arrival of Elvira's Great-Great-Grandmama Emelda. It turns out that Emelda made a deal with the devil to be resurrected in the future. The secret is stopping her resurrection lies hidden in a chest in the castle. As you can imagine, Elvira is not too happy about the return of her ancient ancestor. Not being a fan of family reunions, she advertises for someone to help.

After answering the advertisement you arrive at Killbragant ready to start your quest. You must find six keys to open the chest an dispose of the creatures you encounter on your travels. The game is played with the mouse, using menus and arrows to control your movement. Picking up objects is a matter of pointing at them in the location window: you can find weapons, ingredients for spells and food to keep your strength up.

Elvira 1 - Mistress of the Dark You can't play the game for long without coming face to face with some hellish creature, and combat with these is an essential part of the game. There are a variety of ways of polishing them off, though. You can cast spells you have had mixed up to weaken them, fire weapons from a distance or enter into hand-to-hand combat. The latter is a fight to the death with your animated opponent swiping at you in one of two ways: hence you have two defensive choices (block or parry). Fend off his attack and you can choose between two offensive moves (lunge or hack).

So what part does Elvira play in the game other than that of page three lookalike? Well, she has confined herself to the castle kitchen where she will conjure up any spell you wish if you have the correct ingredients in your pocket. These spells have some strange names (Cat & Dog Broth, Fire Sponge and Mushroom Tenderness) but can be very useful in restoring your energy and giving you special powers to use in combat.

What will really attract many players to Elvira are the excellently drawn and animated graphics used in every location. They really make the came come to life, or death! A warning has had to be given on the packaging on the game, though, as you can come across some fairly gory scenes. The sight of an old gardener having what is left of his neck nibbled by maggots is not too appetizing (pass the sick bag around at the back!).

Elvira's puzzle factor is a little tough. You are constantly bombarded by creatures taking pot shots at you and this severely hampers your progress at first. When you have mastered the basic art of fighting you can begin to explore Killbragant and its grounds. Things then begin to piece together, if you keep your eyes peeled – the slightest speck on a wall could be a vital clue to the completion of the game.

Elvira is similar in style to the authors' last game, Personal Nightmare (87%, Issue 53), but far superior in size and graphical quality. Anyone who has plated that game will know about the endless disk swapping. Elvira comes on five *yes* five!) disks and needs one megabyte of RAM. Disk swapping isn't too annoying, though, as each part of the castle uses a different disk so at least you can anticipate when a change is about to happen.

Elvira is a must for all fantasy adventure fans. A blood-curdling, all-action game that will have you totally perplexed and enjoying every minute of it.

Zzap! Issue 71, March 1991, p.37

ATMOSPHERE
2%
PUZZLE FACTOR
87%
INTERACTION
88%
LASTABILITY
89%
OVERALL
90%