Added to the lair: 2/24/18

Genre: RPG / Adventure

Developer: Horrorsoft

Year: 1990 / 1992

Platform: Amiga

Emulator: FS-UAE

Wikipedia: Elvira / Elvira II

Elvira Collection

They don't get much bigger than this

I love schlock cinema, and have since I was a kid - my Dad raised me on MST3k, Godzilla, string-touting UFOs, and cheap Kung Fu flicks. It's no surprise then, that I'm a big fan of Elvira, mistress of the movie macabre. And macabre is certainly an accurate description of these games.

It's a bit of an odd juxtaposition between Elvira's goofy, schlocky, double entendre-laden remarks and the extreme violence taking place in the game, but that's really right in keeping with Movie Macabre; I could understand how it might seem incongruous if that's something you weren't familiar with though. In any case, Elivra: Mistress of the Dark and Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus are some genuinely interesting RPG/adventure hybrids that shouldn't be dismissed simply because they have the name "Elvira" in them.

 

The combat takes some getting used to, but is fairly simple once you get the hang of it. Outside of combat, you spend your time exploring, finding items, and solving puzzles. There are moments where they reminded me of Shadowgate in that, like that title, death is swift and frequent; though in this case that typically also entails some particularly brutal imagery.

The graphics are quite nice considering the release date. Some locations fare better than others, but the violence is consistently good and gruesome. The music in the Amiga versions is excellent and wonderfully moody. It's considerably better than the DOS versions; so Amiga is definitely the way to go here.

Both the RPG and adventure elements are lighter than in more singularly focused titles, but they're combined in such a way that's rather unique. They're definitely worth a look.