- For other games in the series, see Elvira.
WaxWorks is a dungeon-crawler action-RPG video game developed by Adventure Soft (as Horror Soft) and published by Accolade. The game came out for MS-DOS, and later Amiga.
The player and his twin brother Alex, aged eight, are playing in the vast majority of mine tunnels underneath the town of Vista Forge when he suddenly goes missing. Several years later, your Uncle Boris passes away and leaves you his wax museum. His butler then gives you an old crystal ball which allows you to communicate with your deceased uncle. The latter informs you that millenia ago, an Egyptian sorcerer placed a curse on two of your ancestors, two twins: One would grow up to be good and the other, evil. Then, in the middle ages, another of your ancestors cut the hand of a gypsy woman because she stole one of his chickens; the gypsy then avenged by casting back the powerful Egyptian curse for eternity, meaning every time there would be twins in the lineage, one would serve Beelzebub. Your uncle tells you Alex is not dead and plots to revive four of the most evil ancestors. In order to stop him and lift the curse, you have to first weaken him and the curse by travelling in time thanks to your uncle's magic waxworks, then kill the witch before she casts the malediction.
The game uses standard RPG elements such as health, strength, and experience levels. The waxworks can be played in any order, as completing any of them resets the player's stats, as well as taking away any items that were obtained in the waxwork. An interesting feature is that you can use the crystal ball anytime to ask for your uncle's advice. He can also sometimes help you magically, though two of the four levels are in places in which magic usage is impossible.
The game takes you through four places, in which you must stop your ancestor's evil twins by taking the place of a good ancestor. In Ancient Egypt, you must stop the High Priest of Anubis. In the graveyard, you must stop Vladimir the Necromancer. In Victorian-era London, you must stop Jack the Ripper. In the mine, you must stop an evil plant-like monster that your evil brother turned into. After you defeat the ancestors, you must stop the witch from placing the curse and revive your brother. To do so, you use four items that your uncle had managed to obtain; each one coming from an evil ancestor that you killed.
Each level has its own creepy atmosphere. In London, you have no means of defense against the cops and the angry mob who roam the streets looking for Jack the Ripper, who, as your twin, is conveniently identical to you. In the graveyard, many undead creatures wish to feed on your flesh and you must free some of your good ancestors, who have been revived and are tortured by Vladimir. In Ancient Egypt, you must fend off against not only the several guards and priests, but also the clever puzzles and traps found in the pyramid. In the mine level, you must save the prisoners, as well as fight off the grotesque mutant slaves who were once innocent humans and avoid organic traps.
The game has been noted for its large amount of blood and gore, mainly in the death scenes. When your character dies, you are given a very detailed image of his corpse. This has made some people reluctant to play the game. The game also has no automap, so the player must either make their own or look up maps online.
The game also came with a novella written by Richard "Dick" Moran. As a possible result of being the only non-based horror game in the series, WaxWorks was later included in the Elvira's Horror Pack trilogy. As a result, some have called WaxWorks a spiritual sequel to the two Elvira games; Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus.
Multiple members of the Woodroffe family worked at Horror Soft, so they got Jezz Woodroffe to compose the music to the game. Jezz had already done some music for Elvira II. Each song represents its level very well. Spooky music in the graveyard, suspenseful music in the mines, and even ragtime piano tunes composed for the London bars. Also, each waxwork has its own unique set of songs. Each level has several themes for it. For example, there's a main in-game tune, a song that plays when an enemy draws near, when you're fighting an enemy, when you die, and when you beat an enemy. Additional songs were composed for the graveyard and London levels; In the graveyard, a boss theme plays when you are fighting Vladimir the Necromancer. In the London level, each of the two bars you visit have their own theme which are ragtime piano themes. These songs appear to be original compositions by Jezz.
Unfortunately, the OPL2 music is a very bad MIDI emulation, which lead to a lot of criticism, some players not aware that the music isn't meant to sound like that. The patches used are often strange and very different from the MIDI instruments, and the music files often play multiple notes at once on the same channel, which cannot be done by the OPL2 chip. Though the quality of most tunes is much lower, in a few cases the bad instrumentation gave music that is considered better than the MIDI or Amiga version by fans, namely the London death theme.
According to Jezz Woodroffe, he wrote the music in Cubase for the Atari ST computer to create MIDI files. As a musician sponsored by Roland Corporation, he was likely provided an MT-32 to compose the music on by Roland Corporation themselves.
- Ripper: Doommaster1994
- Recorder: Cancer
- Game Credits:
The credits show both after waiting at the title screen and the ending sequence. The game appears to be John Canfield's only credit.
The music was ripped during gameplay. However, fileswapping methods were executed to get the music to play at the title screen. To do this, simply rename any of the .mus files to 'mod7.mus' (mod7 is the title music). The music was logged in .DRO format in DOSBox 0.74 and then converted to VGM using DRO2VGM.
Currenly, the rip does not include MIDI conversions to play them on Roland MT-32/LAPC-I.
The game uses AdLib/SoundBlaster to play music and sound effects. For better-fidelity music, you can also use an MT-32.
There is an audio option for SoundBlaster, Roland MT-32/LAPC-I, and Thunder Board. The game can send System Exclusive messages to Roland devices for sound effects only. For music playback, however, the default settings are used.