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 Atari ST version offers decent graphics with up to 30 colors on screen (!) but fails to match the PC and Amiga versions which both use more details on the background. Of notice is the fact that the ST version has different details on the backgrounds, compared to the Amiga and PC version and they look pretty nice. All three 16bit versions suffer from low frame-rate and the ST is the worse among all. This makes the gameplay frustrating many times. The two different worlds (Fire and Frozen World) are nicely presented having several animated backdrops here and there. The visual details such as, snowing effects in the Frozen World is quite impressive. Elvira herself is well animated while there is a degree of perspective at the backdrops. Soundwise, the ST version apart from having a nice introductory Gothic-style tune (along with the digitized intro) there are some (rather frustrating to the ears) sound effects! This version has no music at all as well!
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).