Elvira II - The Jaws Of Cerberus

Title           Elvira II - The Jaws Of Cerberus
Game Type       Adventure
Publisher       Horrorsoft/Accolade
Players         1
Compatibility   ?
HD Installable  no
Submission      Richard Hoffmann, richy@hadiko.de

After the success(?) of Elvira - Mistress Of The Dark, Horrorsoft released
its successor - The Jaws Of Cerberus. The object is to free Elvira again;
this time she has been captured by a weird demon. The basic concept of the
game is very similar to its predecessor - a decent mixture of adventure,
action & RPG elements. Changes include a new hitpoint system, which counts
hitpoints for several body parts seperately. The action part was "adapted"
to the Dungeon Master-style: instead of 2D-Sequences, the player
encounters and fights the opponents within the 3D-Frames. Another change
is that the player can talk to some characters in the game, which are
needed to solve the game. Like in Elvira 1, digitized videos scenes show
up from time to time in the game. But what's the real change now? Well,
the game area is certainly bigger than in Elvira 1, there are more puzzles
to solve, more weapons available and more enemies to defeat!

This time we start in front of a Horror Film studio. After we discover the
gatekeeper is not around, we break the window of the gatehouse door and
walk in. We open the wardrobe and hey there is the gatekeeper - covered in
blood. We take the keys and walk into the main building. We spot some
toilets and an elevator, which leads us to 3 other floors. No real fights
take place yet, we mostly pick up items here that prove useful later on.
Leaving the entrance room, we get access to 3 studios: A horror house, a
church with catacombs and another maze. The latter one contains tough
enemies which can't be defeated at this point. The church isn't too
attractive yet either, so we start at the horror house. We notice that
there's no enemies here, but a lot of rooms with lots of puzzles to solve.
After having completed most or all of them, we're ready for the church. We
discover a dead priest here who needs to be resurrected later on. The
catacomb maze under the church needs to be cartographed, which is some
tedious work - automapping wasn't used at that time. Additionally a lot of
enemies need to be defeated - basically the opposite of the horror house.
The last studio is similar - some cartography work and a lot of tough
opponents. After solving a studio a "fake" Elvira shows up and needs to be
killed, except in the studio that is solved last. Then Cerberus can be
finally defeated in the front yard right where the whole game started -
provided the priest has drawn a pentagram and we got all necessary stuff
by then. Like in Elvira 1, spells can be mixed to defeat enemies, heal
oneself or solve certain puzzles. Unfortunately, _MAJOR_ items can be
wasted with the spells. This is extremely annoying, because one can get
stuck forever easily. The puzzles in general are also more tough than in
Elvira 1. If you don't get frustrated because of that, Elvira II is a
*GREAT* game. Graphics and sound are slightly improved in comparison to
E1, in particular there's more different ways to die now, all with their
own graphics. If you like severed heads and unpleasant ways of deaths
though, the successor Waxworks has still even more to offer ;-)

All in all, Elvira 1/2 and Waxworks are a must for Horror fans! Too bad
Horrorsoft doesn't exist anymore - afaik they continue(d) to write
software under the "Adventuresoft" label, which released "Simon The
Sorcerer" and other kids adventures - what an irony. :)

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