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Amiga Cover art
|Designer(s)||Michael Woodroffe, Alan Bridgman, Simon Woodroffe|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
Waxworks is a first-person, dungeon crawl-style role-playing video game that was developed by Horror Soft and released in 1992. It was originally an Amiga game, but was also released for DOS. This was the last game made by Horror Soft before they became Adventure Soft, the company that made the Simon the Sorcerer series .
A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling various monsters, and looting any treasure they may find. Because of its simplicity, a dungeon crawl can be easier for a gamemaster to run than more complex adventures, and the "hack and slash" style of play is appreciated by players who focus on action and combat. However dungeon crawls often lack meaningful plot or logical consistency.
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.
Adventure Soft is a United Kingdom-based video game developer established by Mike Woodroffe, first as an importer and reseller of Adventure International games. The firm operates out of Sutton Coldfield, and is best known for the Simon the Sorcerer series of games.
Many years ago, Ixona, a Gypsy witch, stole a chicken from the player's ancestor, who chopped off her hand as punishment. In retaliation, Ixona placed a curse on the ancestor. Whenever twins were born into his family line, one would grow up to be good while the other would become evil.
At present day, the protagonist learns that his twin brother, Alex, is going to suffer the curse. Boris, their uncle, has died and left them with his Waxworks, as well a crystal ball, through which his spirit communicates with his nephew. The protagonist learns that he must rid the family of Ixona's curse to save Alex. He must use the Waxworks to travel through four locations in different time periods: Ancient Egypt, a zombie-infested cemetery, Victorian era London and a mine overrun with plant-like mutants. Within each location, he is to defeat his evil twin who takes the shape of a villain.
A wax museum or waxworks usually consists of a collection of wax sculptures representing famous people from history and contemporary personalities exhibited in lifelike poses, wearing real clothes.
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. As of November 2008, sources cite either 118 or 138 as the number of identified Egyptian pyramids. Most were built as tombs for the country's pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.
Eventually, the protagonist learns that the only way to break the curse is to prevent it from being cast in the first place. After defeating the evil twin four times, the protagonist is given four artifacts: the High Priest's amulet, the Necromancer's ring, Jack the Ripper's knife, and a vial of the Plant Monster's poison. The final level is unlocked, and takes the protagonist back in time to confront Ixona. Following Boris' instructions, the protagonist uses the artifacts to kill Ixona before she can place the curse. As a result, the curse is erased from existence for every afflicted generation of the protagonist's family line.
Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer generally believed to have been active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. In both the criminal case files and contemporary journalistic accounts, the killer was called the Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron.
After the curse is undone, the protagonist finds Alex unconscious in a corner of the Waxworks and revives him. Upon waking, Alex recalls a strange dream he had, in which he witnessed Ixona's death. However, in the dream, right before she died, Ixona muttered another curse which transformed the protagonist into a demon. The dream's meaning is never made clear, possibly hinting at a potential sequel. The game ends with the brothers leaving the museum.
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Waxworks is a first-person, dungeon crawl-style RPG. The game is divided into five different time periods: Ancient Egyptian Period, Medieval Transylvania Period, Victorian England Period, Industrial Mine Period and Ixona's Period. Three of those time periods have a mixture of puzzle-solving and combat, while the Victorian England and Ixona ones are more puzzle-solving oriented. Once a time period is completed, the player loses all experience points and weapons, creating a new challenge for each time period.
In each time period, the player moves through a series of tight corridors using a bitmap sprite-based point-and-click interface picking up items, solving puzzles, avoiding deadly encounters and engaging in combat with various opponents. During combat, players can target their opponent's individual body parts, such as head or arms. The player can use Uncle Boris' crystal ball to get hints and occasional healing items. The main objective is to collect a special item from the evil twin ancestors before venturing into the Ixona Period to undo the family curse.
Sprite is a computer graphics term for a two-dimensional bitmap that is integrated into a larger scene, most often in a 2D video game.
Point and click are the actions of a computer user moving a pointer to a certain location on a screen (pointing) and then pressing a button on a mouse, usually the left button (click), or other pointing device. An example of point and click is in hypermedia, where users click on hyperlinks to navigate from document to document.
A puzzle is a game, problem, or toy that tests a person's ingenuity or knowledge. In a puzzle, the solver is expected to put pieces together in a logical way, in order to arrive at the correct or fun solution of the puzzle. There are different genres of puzzles, such as crossword puzzles, word-search puzzles, number puzzles, relational puzzles, or logic puzzles.
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The game uses the AGOS engine, which is a modified version of the AberMUD 5 engine. The story for Waxworks was developed by Rick Moran. Original music was composed by Jezz Woodroffe who worked with John Canfield for the sound design. Producers Todd Thorson and Mark Wallace worked with the help of David Friedland and Tricia Woodroffe, who managed the technical resources.
AberMUD was the first popular open source MUD. It was named after the town Aberystwyth, in which it was written. The first version was written in B by Alan Cox, Richard Acott, Jim Finnis, and Leon Thrane based at University of Wales, Aberystwyth for an old Honeywell mainframe and opened in 1987.
Computer Gaming World criticized the small game maps, overemphasis on combat, and the IBM PC version's use of an Amiga-like 32-color palette instead of 256-color VGA graphics, but liked the "very atmospheric" soundtrack. The magazine concluded that despite flaws, the game was "better than most" CRPGs, and that "for those who revel in the macabre" ... Waxworks continues to satisfy the bent toward the supernatural".The game received 3 out of 5 stars in Dragon .
Simon the Sorcerer is a point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Adventure Soft in 1993 for Amiga and MS-DOS formats. The first instalment in the Simon the Sorcerer series, the game follows a boy named Simon, who is transported to a parallel universe to embark on a mission to rescue a wizard called Calypso from an evil sorcerer named Sordid. The story includes parodies of works such as The Lord of the Rings and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Pool of Radiance is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) in 1988. It was the first adaptation of TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy role-playing game for home computers, becoming the first episode in a four-part series of D&D computer adventure games. The other games in the "Gold Box" series used the game engine pioneered in Pool of Radiance, as did later D&D titles such as the Neverwinter Nights online game. Pool of Radiance takes place in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, with the action centered in and around the port city of Phlan.
Survival horror is a subgenre of video games inspired by horror fiction that focuses on survival of the character as the game tries to frighten players with either horror graphics or scary ambience. Although combat can be part of the gameplay, the player is made to feel less in control than in typical action games through limited ammunition, health, speed and vision, or through various obstructions of the player's interaction with the game mechanics. The player is also challenged to find items that unlock the path to new areas and solve puzzles to proceed in the game. Games make use of strong horror themes, like dark maze-like environments and unexpected attacks from enemies.
Curse of the Azure Bonds is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) in 1989. It is the second in a four-part series of Forgotten Realms Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Gold Box adventure computer games, continuing the events after the first part, Pool of Radiance.
Gobliiins is a puzzle adventure video game series, consisting of four entries, released by Coktel Vision for the Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and Macintosh platforms. The first three titles were released in the early 1990s, the fourth in 2009.
Beyond Zork is an interactive fiction computer game written by Brian Moriarty and released by Infocom in 1987. It was one of the last games in Infocom's Zork series; or, rather, one of the last Zork games that many Infocom fans consider "official". It signified a notable departure from the standard format of Infocom's earlier games which relied purely on text and puzzle-solving: among other features, Beyond Zork incorporated a crude on-screen map, the use of character statistics and levels, and RPG combat elements.
Veil of Darkness is a horror-action-adventure game for MS-DOS, FM Towns and PC-98, which was developed by Event Horizon Software and published by Strategic Simulations in 1993. Veil of Darkness is a third person, 2D point-and-click adventure game with RPG elements featuring a fixed isometric perspective and a fair share of action-RPG style combat.
Gods is a 1991 video game by The Bitmap Brothers where the player is cast as Hercules in his quest to achieve immortality. The game was first made for Amiga and Atari ST computers and then ported for various other platforms. Like other Bitmap Brothers' games, Gods was highly praised by critics thanks to the quality graphics and music.
Universe is a graphic adventure game developed and published by Core Design for the Amiga, Amiga CD32 and DOS platforms in 1994. It was Core Design's second and last effort in the adventure game genre after Curse of Enchantia, of which it was originally planned to be a sequel.
Spirit of Excalibur is a 1990 role-playing game developed by Synergistic Software and published by Virgin Mastertronic for MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS and Macintosh. The player is in control of a host of characters with the goal of uniting Sub-Roman Britain under a single king and defending the kingdom. The game was followed by the sequel Vengeance of Excalibur in 1991.
Curse of Enchantia is a graphic adventure game developed and released by the British video game company Core Design for MS-DOS and the Amiga in 1992. The game tells the comic fantasy story of Brad, a teenage boy from modern Earth who was magically abducted to the world of Enchantia by an evil witch-queen. Brad needs to escape and take on the forces of darkness to find a way back to his own dimension.
The Immortal is an isometric adventure game originally created for the Apple IIGS, which was ported to the Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS based PCs, NES, and Genesis. The main plot revolves around a wizard attempting to find his mentor in a large and dangerous labyrinth.
The Last Ninja is an action-adventure game originally developed and published by System 3 in 1987 for the Commodore 64. Other format conversions were later released for the Apple IIGS, MS-DOS, BBC Micro and Acorn Electron in 1988, the Apple II in 1989, the Amiga and Atari ST in 1990, and the Acorn Archimedes in 1991.
Castle of Dr. Brain is an educational video game released in 1991 by Sierra On-Line. It is a puzzle adventure game.
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is a survival horror video game developed by Horror Soft and released by Accolade in 1990 for the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and MS-DOS computers. It was Horror Soft's second published game after 1989's Personal Nightmare and stars the actress Cassandra Peterson as her character Elvira the witch.
Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus is the second game in the Elvira series of horror role-playing video games. It was developed by Horror Soft and published by Accolade in 1992. The game is a sequel to 1990's Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. It was followed by Waxworks, which can be considered its spiritual sequel.
Total Eclipse is a first person adventure game released for the Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and ZX Spectrum computers in 1988. It can also be considered an early example of a first-person shooter.
The Prophecy is a point and click adventure game developed by Coktel Vision and MDO, released in Europe in 1992 and published by Sierra On-Line in 1993 for MS-DOS, Amiga, and Atari ST. A german retail version was released.
Fascination is an erotic thriller graphic adventure game developed by Tomahawk and published by Coktel Vision for the Amiga, Atari ST, and MS-DOS in 1991.