Elvira: The Arcade, is a platform and arcade adventure game based on the famous Elvira: Mistress of the Darkness graphics-adventure released a year before (by Horrosoft / Accolade), although both games are said to be distinct. Released on Commodore Amiga, Atari ST/E, Commodore C64/128 and PC (DOS).
STORY / GAMEPLAY You control Elvira, a famous witch and you must regain your family's medieval castle in Transylvania. All you have to do is to conquer three hostile environments and share your assets. Elvira can choose which world she wants to start her quest by selecting the appropriate globe. The choice is made between the Arctic Earth and the Fiery Underworld and only when she's conquers the two she may progress to the Transylvanian World and finally claim the ownership of the castle. The game is a classic multi-directional platform adventure in which you fight with hordes of evil creatures using your deadly daggers (your first weapon) that can be soon be upgraded by collecting more of the same kind. Although there are a few other advanced weapons to collect (such as throwing stars), the most important factor is to enhance your magic ability. For that reason, there are various objects around to manipulate and activate a number of useful magic spells. Also, occasionally you will get some help from an ancient Trader who offers advice for magic spells in return. Note: Make sure you avoid any water pitfalls in the Frozen World or lava pitfalls in the Fire World, as both will diminish your precious health fast! The gameplay is rather tough sometimes like when you encounter enemies that appear out of nowhere; and this can become frustrating. But fortunately you have nine lives to play the game!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Amiga version offers nice visuals with up to 64 colors on screen (EHB mode) but fails to compete with the PC version that uses more details on the backgrounds (probably due to the PC’s higher memory). All three 16bit versions (including the Atari ST) suffer from low frame-rate which is odd for the Amiga's custom hardware. These slowdowns make the gameplay particularly tricky. The two different worlds (the Fire and the Frozen World) are nicely presented, offering a variety of animated backdrops here and there. Watching details such as the snowfall effects in the Frozen World is quite impressive. Elvira herself is very well animated while there is a degree of perspective at the backdrops. The game's sound is good, having a nice introductory Gothic-style tune (along with the digitized intro) and in-game there are some sampled sound effects and no music at all!
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs