WaxWorks (DOS)

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WaxWorks
WaxWorks - DOS - US.jpg
Platform: DOS
Year: 1992
Developer: Horror Soft
Buy: Amazon

WaxWorks is a dungeon-crawler action-RPG video game developed by Adventure Soft, named Horror Soft at the time, 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.

Screenshots

WaxWorks - DOS - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

WaxWorks - DOS - Gameplay 1.png

Viewing one of the Waxworks.

WaxWorks - DOS - Gameplay 2.png

Fighting an Egyptian guard.

WaxWorks - DOS - Gameplay 3.png

Watch out for the angry mob in the London level!

WaxWorks - DOS - Gameplay 4.png

Facing off against Jack the Ripper.

WaxWorks - DOS - Gameplay 5.png

One of the least gory deaths in the game.

Music

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. These songs are for the level itself, music that plays when you encounter danger, combat music, victory music, and death music. Additional songs were composed for the graveyard and London levels.

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.

Recording

Recording prefixes:

  1. - Roland MT-32 / LAPC-I
  2. - Sound Blaster / Ad Lib / Thunder Board
# Title Composer Length Listen Download
101 Title Jezz Woodroffe 3:52
Download
102 Egypt Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:29
Download
103 Egypt Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:48
Download
104 Egypt Combat Jezz Woodroffe 1:20
Download
105 Egypt Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:48
Download
106 Egypt Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:45
Download
107 Graveyard Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:36
Download
108 Graveyard Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:57
Download
109 Graveyard Combat Jezz Woodroffe 2:01
Download
110 Graveyard Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:57
Download
111 Graveyard Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:43
Download
112 Vladimir Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:52
Download
113 Vladimir Lose Jezz Woodroffe 0:58
Download
114 Mine Theme Jezz Woodroffe 4:21
Download
115 Mine Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:52
Download
116 Mine Combat 1 Jezz Woodroffe 1:20
Download
117 Mine Combat 2 Jezz Woodroffe 1:11
Download
118 Mine Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:53
Download
119 Mine Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:43
Download
120 London Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:53
Download
121 London Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:48
Download
122 London Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:51
Download
123 London Pub 1 Jezz Woodroffe 2:53
Download
124 London Pub 2 Jezz Woodroffe 2:31
Download
125 London Combat Jezz Woodroffe 1:39
Download
126 London Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:39
Download
127 Ixona Theme Jezz Woodroffe 1:42
Download
128 Ixona Lose Jezz Woodroffe 0:43
Download


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
201 Title Jezz Woodroffe 3:52
Download
202 Egypt Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:29
Download
203 Egypt Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:48
Download
204 Egypt Combat Jezz Woodroffe 1:20
Download
205 Egypt Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:48
Download
206 Egypt Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:44
Download
207 Graveyard Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:36
Download
208 Graveyard Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:57
Download
209 Graveyard Combat Jezz Woodroffe 2:01
Download
210 Graveyard Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:57
Download
211 Graveyard Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:43
Download
212 Vladimir Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:51
Download
213 Vladimir Lose Jezz Woodroffe 0:58
Download
214 Mine Theme Jezz Woodroffe 4:21
Download
215 Mine Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:52
Download
216 Mine Combat 1 Jezz Woodroffe 1:20
Download
217 Mine Combat 2 Jezz Woodroffe 1:11
Download
218 Mine Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:53
Download
219 Mine Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:43
Download
220 London Theme Jezz Woodroffe 2:53
Download
221 London Encounter Jezz Woodroffe 0:48
Download
222 London Death Jezz Woodroffe 0:51
Download
223 London Pub 1 Jezz Woodroffe 2:53
Download
224 London Pub 2 Jezz Woodroffe 2:31
Download
225 London Combat Jezz Woodroffe 1:39
Download
226 London Victory Jezz Woodroffe 0:39
Download
227 Ixona Theme Jezz Woodroffe 1:42
Download
228 Ixona Lose Jezz Woodroffe 0:43
Download

Credits

(Source)

The credits show both after waiting at the title screen and the ending sequence. The game appears to be John Canfield's only credit.

Game Rip

Format

Conversion

Download

MUS (Accolade).pngSYX.png

VGZ.png

Download

(Info)


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.

Audio Devices

Music

Icon - AdLib.png Icon - LAPC-I.png Icon - MT-32.png Icon - PC Speaker.png Icon - Thunder Board.png

Sound

Icon - AdLib.png Icon - LAPC-I.png Icon - MT-32.png Icon - PC Speaker.png Icon - Thunder Board.png

(Sources: Music, Sound)

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.

Releases

  USA.svg   USA
WaxWorks - DOS - US.jpg
Title: WaxWorks
Platform: DOS
Released: 1992-08-10
Publisher: Accolade, Inc.
  UK.svg   UK
WaxWorks - DOS - UK.jpg
Title: WaxWorks
Platform: DOS
Released: 1992-??-??
Publisher: Accolade, Inc.
  Germany.svg   Germany
WaxWorks - DOS - Germany.jpg
Title: WaxWorks
Platform: DOS
Released: 1992-??-??
Publisher: Accolade, Inc.
  Spain.svg   Spain
WaxWorks - DOS - Spain.jpg
Title: WaxWorks
Platform: DOS
Released: 1993-??-??
Publisher: Accolade, Inc.

Links