According to the ancient magical laws of Muhmulandia (the Land of Elves) whoever challenges the Crown to a Honor Fight, and wins, will gain control of the country. Another, even greater prize also awaits. This is the mystical Dragon Fan which will reveal the secrets of the Universe. It is a prize worth fighting for but you must give the king reason to fight, and to do this you must hire your own fighters to conquer the Champion Fighters (representatives of the King). Well, the story doesn't say much, but trust me, the result is to fight in one-on-one fights.
As this is a non-violent game, the bars at the top of the screen don't represent the amount of energy remaining. Every time someone lands a punch, their opponent's bank balance is reduced and a coin appears on-screen which can be punched back into the other player to inflict yet more damage. You can combine some tasty attacks, by punch once, wait for the coin to appear, and punch again 9this is useful to defeat armed opponents). To pull a special move, you have to rapidly repeat a certain joystick combination until you character launches into your opponent. This method works well, in such, it also gives your opponent the chance to pull back and avoid the special attack.
Another nice feature is that you are not actually fighting yourself, but you're constantly hiring people to take part of the battles! As long as you collect coins and winning battles, you'll have the chance to hire a more capable fighter especially when it comes to fighting the King.
The developers managed to retain everything we love about fighting games back then whilst radically altering the gameplay to make it the most taxing and strategic combat-fest in the mid 90's! Even the way you initiate the special moves is smart, in such not only is it moderately easy to do, but it also gives your opponent the chance to see what you're up to and react to it if they can (this removes the element of surprise though)!
Elfmania is superb, and the control system really does work superbly, especially the addition of the coin-punching feature.
Terramarue had managed to create such a colorful and beautifully animated sprites on an A500! Elfmania made all other fighting games for the Amiga 500, look out-dated crap! The parallax is nothing short of incredible and all screens offer more than 100 colors at the same time! The scrolling backgrounds are big and beautiful while the range and quality of the animations has to be seen to be believed. Surely the attention to detail paid in creating the backdrops is amazing. The scenes actually look three dimensional and the backgrounds realistically fading into the distance. Also, in each scene there is an animated object or character in the background! The sumptuous graphics will draw you in, and considering this is a standard A500 title you have to wonder what improvements an A1200 or a CD32 version would bring back then!
Music accompanies the fight scenes but it isn't particularly outstanding. Surely it is not one of those irritating, but probably a more fitting choice of soundtrack could have really enhanced the theme of the game. the usual shouts and yells that fit in with the moves are included of course, fully sampled, and quite realistically convey the action.