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Elf (1989)      

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Details (Commodore Amiga) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Ocean Software Ltd
Platform / 2D
Nirvana Systems, Colin Gordon, Damian Slee, Paul Oglesby, Simon Butler, Jack Wikeley, Chris Warren
Matthew Cannon

3.5" floppy disk

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Your Reviews

Aug 1991 (CU Amiga)   4th Dec 2011 10:13
New development companies are fairly common-place, but it is very rarely that their wares are up to the standard of Elf. Written by newcomers, Nirvana Systems, Elf combines Pyjamarama-style arcade/adventure puzzles with some of the prettiest graphics this side of Nutwood. In addition, supporting this top-notch presentation are a plethora of brain-squeezing puzzles, rounding off one of the best games in this crowded genre.
In fact, the only down-point of the whole game is the rather staid scenario. All is not well in the magic woods. Although the sun shines brightly and the furry little animals of the forest ar hopping around merrily, a sense of foreboding strikes at the heart of Cornelius the Elf. And, indeed, calamity is just around the corner. Elisa, the light of Cornelius' heart, has been captured by Necrilous The 'Not Very Nice'. Surely one of the understatements of the year, considering mad schemer is planning on giving Elisa a barh in a boiling vat. 'Frying tonight!' as Kenneth Williams said during a similar situation in Carry on Screaming.

Elf must be the nearest thing to an environmentally friendly game. Selective killing is an important feature, which means the player must be selective in their destruction.
A cuteness rating keeps score of the number of twee characters shot, and there's much hissing and booing if you kill wee beasties such as butterflies. However, losing popularity is not the only drawback. Although it is still possible to complete the game, if you've shot too many defenceless animals, you may not be privileged to see the full end sequence. So the moral of this tale is don't be a meanie, and be kind to cuddly animals.
There are eight levels of forest, ruins, swamps to wade through before reaching the Castle of Necrilous, where Elisa is being held. It is at this grim fortress that you must locate and destroy the winching mechanisms used to lower innocent victims to their deaths. On your journey, you will find many useful objects scattered about the landscape. Collecting herbs and pets will allow you to purchase pieces of equipment from the shops that are secreted throughout the game. Valuable commodities include power-ups, three-way fire, a magic force field and a flying machine. It's also possible to buy inane hints. These include gems as 'Never eat pickles if you want to keep friends' and other such banalities.

A rather nice twist to the fairly traditional gameplay comes at the end of each stage. Outwitting the end-of-level guardians involves serious brainstorming, rather than a twitchy trigger finger. And the necessary puzzles are enjoyable and funny, containing more than an element of toilet humour! Defeating these guardians at the end of the levels endows Cornelis with a green crystal, which will prove essential for gaining access to Necrilous' chamber. Similarly, a bonus is awarded at the end of each level, and is calculated by the number of bonus objects collected. Bonus objects are the small tokens dropped when monsters are shot. Hearts can be collected - not in the romantic sense - but for an increased health rating. Sharp shooters will prosper in this game, too, with an extra life awarded every 100,000 points.

A Kult-like element of this game occurs when encountering objects which may serve an important later on in the game. An interactive panel will give options such as 'give', 'bribe' and 'identify'. It is also possible to talk to the characters you meet, but the conversations are short, oneword affairs.
The graphics and design of the game are extremely good, with an impressive range of scenarios and monsters. Every level is an adventure in itself, with exciting and busy shoot'em up action. For example, the second level involves a trip to underground tunnels and deadly duels with mummies and rats. Level three is a swampy jungle with nasty aquatic creatures out for your blood. The colours and background graphics are full of intricate details, which are enhanced by dragons who rear theit ugly heads, belching life-draining fire.

Elf is an extremely enjoyable game with many riddles and cocundrums to sort through, it has an elfin charm all of its own. For people who think that small is beautiful, Elf wil live happily ever after in the fairy kingdom.

Fiona Keating

CU Amiga, August 1991, pp.76-77

In folklore, Fairies are supernatural beings who magically meddle in human affairs. Fairies are characteristically beautiful or handsome. It is thought that Fairies and people may become lovers, although some female fairies are deadly to their human amours. So watch out! There are many theories concerning Fairies. One is that they are spirits of the dead. A more widespread tradition is that the Fairies are Fallen Angels. They were following Satan towards hell, but were prevented from doing this and therefore remain in the forests, either helping or hindering anyone..


The origins of elves is thought to come from germanic mythology. Usually diminutive in size and of male form, Elves are often of a mischievous temperament. They have often been attributed with causing diseases and evil dreams and are perhaps best known for stealing children and substituting changelings (weak Elf or fairy children). Prehistoric implements called Elf bolts or Elf arrows were believed to be weapons with which the little imps injured cattle or unwary folk!

OCEAN £24.99
Platform romp with more than a few surprises...



(Anonymous) (Unknown)   24th Nov 2010 10:00

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This title was first added on 22nd March 2010
This title was most recently updated on 4th December 2011

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