Cornelius the Elf was living peacefully in a forest with his sweetheart Elisa. However, an evil creature known as Necrilous the Not-Very-Nice kidnapped Elisa and disappeared with her. Cornelius must embark on a perilous journey to rescue the love of his life.
Elf is a platform action game with light adventure elements. Cornelius is armed with a ring that fires projectiles at enemies. During the course of the game he can collect herbs and animals (called "pets"), which can be traded in shops for upgrades such as stronger attacks, extra speed, magic spells, or devices such as a flying machine. In addition, certain segments require the player to communicate with NPCs populating the game world and fulfill their requests, usually by obtaining specific items for them. The game keeps track of the player character's behavior, assigning the player a rating and affecting the ending scene depending on the protagonist's actions, which mainly involve killing or sparing the lives of the game's non-hostile characters. The protagonist's health is measured in hearts and lives, which can be replenished or increased. The player can save the game between stages.
This is a conversion of the great Amiga action-platform game that combines some good ideas. You could say that this game is an improved hybrid of some popular Amiga and C64 platform games published in the early 90's. You play a role of a forest-elf whose girlfriend was kidnapped by the evil wizard. Everything else is clear.
Levels are long, there is no time limit and you can save the state only after completing an entire level (use F1-F7 to restore, depending on which level you wan to play). You progress through screens (there is no scrolling) shooting enemies with your magic ring. Enemies can be divided into two groups: pre-ordered ones which are the same every time you play and random ones that continuously keep coming. You should clear the screens of those pre-ordered ones so that they will be safe for a few seconds when re-entering them again.
Generally you have to explore the level finding necessary objects and characters and figuring out how to use them. On the inventory screen you will be able to select items and try to use them somehow or you can speak with somebody. All this applies if you stand near an important place or character. You can freely try out what to do with items as they can't be used in the wrong way. Also you can find some bottles for energy, upgrades or some tricky effects that you can use if necessary. At the end of a level like this, you'll be fighting a big enemy. Not all levels are like this. There are levels without items but they have other sorts of puzzles.
All of this is hard to do while creatures are constantly attacking you. There are some creatures that are not unfriendly. Shooting them will lower your fame score. Items that enemies leave behind will improve your fame score. Fame score and points are not the same thing. Fame score is only for the fame, while points will earn you extra life (every 100,000). Also there are some friendly animals and some herbs that can be picked up. You use those in shops instead of money. You can buy various upgrades, extra life and energy, but know that certain upgrades are for sale only on certain levels. You can get information about any upgrade from the shop-keeper before buying it.
Technical parts of the game are more than satisfying. Every level has different design except for the last two that take place inside the wizard's castle. Enemies and animals also vary from level to level (some are the same) and this really deserves praises. Enemies are different and original and are very nicely drawn. Well this goes for the entire game, if you like this Amiga style of drawing. Also there are some small but nice stuff (considering the graphics part of the game) that may impress you. Sound quality is fine and the tunes fit the atmosphere with only one fault: they are very short, but this doesn't have to be the fault at all, considering the taste.
This game is very hard to beat. You can easily loose a life if you don't pay attention and then you'll loose all the upgrades. Some enemies shoot, but you should worry more about collisions and holes. Sometimes enemies leave harts (energy) so you might be able to find the screen where you can easily destroy them and hopefully you will regain some health, if you don't have any more potions. Naturally, a game like this can't be so good without some humor. There will be some funny creatures and characters, funny messages in the inventory screen on.
You take the part of Cornelius the Elf (hence the title) who must rescue his beloved Elisa from the clutches of the said Necrilous-The-Not-So-Nice. Just by the first look at the name of the bad guy you know you can expect some good laughs. And you might get just that!
Elf is a platform game with some adventure elements. The creatures you meet on screen are divided into two type: Goodies (rabbits, gnomes etc.) and Baddies (soldiers and monsters). Killing Baddies is good and will boost your score and energy but killing Goodies will cause a Boo! or a Hiss! to appear on screen and will effect your end of game rating.
Cornelius is armed with just a ring, which fires energy bolts and must interact and trade with the various people he meets along the way in order to progress. Progressing is mostly just a matter of, for example, picking up some birdseed, giving it to a bird, picking up a feather from it, giving that to an Indian, who gives you something else, etc. That is about as difficult as the puzzles get.
Overall, Elf is a standard platformer but there are a lot of neat scenarios, the graphics and sound are very good and - it's very enjoyable to play! It's not terribly difficult but it should keep you occupied for a while. You might even come back to it - definitely worth a look.
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