-->'''PARENTAL WARNING!! Intense Graphic Violence!''' - A sticker on the game box (They MEAN it)
[[caption-width-right:252:Descend Into Five Vast Worlds of Molten Terror!]]

After the success of their [[VideoGame/{{Elvira}} Elvira-based adventure games]], [=HorrorSoft=] followed them up with another point-and-click horror/adventure in the original IP ''Wax Works'', which is so similar to the ''VideoGame/{{Elvira}}'' games that it's often considered a spiritual sequel.

The storyline was fairly simple: After the death of your uncle, he leaves you his wax works, a crystal ball, and a letter telling you that you must rid the family of a curse put upon you by an evil witch Ixona, which has affected the family whenever twins were born. One twin turns out good, and the other evil. To defeat each evil twin, you must use your uncle's wax works to go back in time to five periods and locations: An Ancient-Egyptian pyramid, Victorian London (in which the evil twin is none other than UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper), a cemetery teeming with zombies, and a vast mine shaft filled with plant mutants. If you survive each stage, you will be able to enter the final wax work, the Witch's lair, and rid the family of its curse for good. If you need assistance, you can speak to your uncle through the crystal ball for clues and tips.

But much like the ''Elvira'' games, the story is hardly the most memorable aspect. In addition to being NintendoHard, the game is notorious for having [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axqRgDkWXA0 horrifically realistic and gory death scenes]]. If this isn't the game with the most disturbing game over screens in history, then it is certainly a worthy contender for the title. It actually makes the ''Elvira'' games seem somewhat tame by comparison. That said, it's a great point-and-click adventure game. Just prepare like you won't believe. And you may wish to avoid eating during gameplay.

For those interested in the game, a longplay of the Amiga version can be found [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxM_KJFPKVg&feature=related here]], and the game is available for sale as a download at [[http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/waxworks Gog.com]].

Not to be confused with the film ''Film/{{Waxwork}}'', which had a similar premise.

* AbandonedMine: The Mines level. [[spoiler:Also counts as a sort of plant version of a WombLevel, as the vines and deadly plants that litter the walls all belong to the evil brother of that level.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: The game came with a short novel that served as both exposition and prologue. It also reveals the witch's name as Ixona, which is never mentioned in the game.
* AnachronismStew: Not too serious, but there are several items that don't belong to the period they're found in:
** Giant glass panels and tuning forks in ancient Egypt.
** The graveyard level is supposed to take place after the mineshaft level if you are to believe the plaques. However, in the latter you find a lot of modern technologies (Dynamite, elevators, and a truck at the end) while there are no traces of such in the former, and even the clothing has more of an 18-19th century style.
* AncientEgypt: One of the levels is set inside an Egyptian pyramid.
* AnimalStereotypes: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] twice in the pyramid: One death has you being dragged into the water by a crocodile and eaten, and the other involves snakes coming out of holes in the wall and one of them biting you.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: The prologue states that the first evil twin born after the witch curses the bloodline became known as Vlad IV, later known as [[UsefulNotes/VladTheImpaler Vlad the Impaler]].[[note]]The real Vlad the Impaler was Vlad III[[/note]]
* BadMoonRising: In the Jack the Ripper segment, the moon looks like a skull. But not, oddly, in the graveyard level.
* BloodierAndGorier: While the game isn't a true sequel to the ''Elvira'' games, it's similar enough that it might as well be, and is a lot gorier than either of them (and they weren't slouches in the gore department, either).
* BodyHorror: Those plant mutants in the mine? ''They used to be human.'' [[spoiler: The worst case of this is your twin brother, who is so badly mutated that he doesn't look even remotely human anymore]]. And of course, this trope can happen to you - especially the tongue mutant death.
* CainAndAbel: Your family was cursed so that one of every set of twins becomes evil, and you have to go back in time using the titular waxworks building to kill the worst of them and break the curse. Your own brother is incapacitated before and throughout the game, and part of your goal is to save him, but other than this, the "evil twin" aspect isn't played up much: the evil brothers of the past include Jack the Ripper, a necromancer who looks far older than his good twin, and a human/fungus mutant who doesn't even resemble a human anymore. [[spoiler: Then you get to the ending, however, and the "evil twin" aspect comes back to hit you in the face in full force.]]
* CartographySidequest: You get experience for each part of the map visited in an area. This is the ''only'' way to level up in London.
* CopyProtection: At the start of the game, your uncle's assistant asks for your ticket. You must then supply a ticket number based on four words and images.
* CoversAlwaysLie: See that melting candle comprised of faces deep from the UncannyValley up there? Nothing even resembling it appears in the game.
* CueTheSun: The ending of the Egyptian wax work will have you and the Princess leave the maze just in time to watch the sun rise over the Pyramids.
* DaylightHorror: The only waxwork that takes place during the day is the Mine scenario. Both the Graveyard and London ones are set at night, and the Ancient Egypt one takes place during a single night, the sun sets just as you enter the pyramid, and rises as you leave.
* DeadlyGas: Used as a trap in the pyramids and a plant in the underground mine can release noxious fumes.
* DeathByIrony: UpToEleven according to the prologue. After the witch places the curse, she is later killed by the first evil twin for refusing to lift the curse. [[spoiler: [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale The irony then goes up to infinity and beyond]] in the ending after it is revealed ''you've been playing as the evil twin all along and Alex is actually the good twin''. That means ''the last evil twin got to her before she was even able to cast the curse to begin with''.]]
** The prologue also explains that the first twin had Ixona imprisoned and repeatedly tortured before finally having her executed, the latter of which took '''''two whole days''''' for her to finally die, during which time the snakes and snapping turtles in the surrounding bog slowly ate away at her still-living flesh, which could be seen as an example of KarmicDeath.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper meets his end with a variation of this at the end of the London stage- he's stabbed through the chest and then falls into the River Thames as he dies]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: Long ago, one of your ancestors cut the hand off of a witch for attempting to steal his goods. Her curse in revenge was to ''condemn one of every set of twins born to the family to serve Beelzebub and become evil''.
* {{Dracula}}: There's a dead ringer for the classic vampire in the graveyard.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: [[spoiler: The fact that you, the evil twin, is going to hell and back numerous times to save your twin brothers and prevent the curse from starting says a lot about the protagonist.]]
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: The Graveyard waxwork is teeming with the undead, and the best way to kill them is by lopping their arms and heads off with a sickle you find.
* EyeScream: Quite a few of the deaths depict ocular damage.
** The only way to defeat the last boss is to [[spoiler:utterly mutilate her with a barrage of attacks, starting with shooting an arrow through her eye.]]
** In the mine scenario, to incapacitate [[spoiler:your [[EyeScream horribly mutated]] twin brother you have to poke all of its seven or eight eyes with a rail.]]
* FacialHorror: A lot of the deaths involve horrible things happening to your face. Also, the two zombie models in the Graveyard waxwork have decomposed faces that are pretty unsightly, to say the least.
* GameplayRoulette: Each level has its own style of play. The pyramid is based around puzzles and traps, Victorian London is stealth and evasion, the graveyard is the most action-packed, and the mine is almost like a pre-''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' as you traverse a mine shaft full of plant mutants. The best weapon against them is the chemical thrower, but it has limited fuel and you must go to a certain spot on the map to refuel it.
* {{Gorn}}: ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' has nothing on this game.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: See DeathByIrony above and ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice below.
* KaizoTrap: In the mines, you might be tempted to [[spoiler:prime the TNT right away after you supposedly defeat the Evil Twin, thinking that doing so will invoke a TimedMission, or maybe TakeYourTime. That is most ''definitely'' not the case, as you only have a few seconds before the TNT explodes and collapses the mine.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: According to the prologue and the waxwork itself, this is how [[UsefulNotes/VladTheImpaler Vlad the Impaler]], the first evil twin, killed Ixona after she refuses to lift the curse.
* IndyEscape: There are a couple of giant boulders in the Egyptian levels that you must dodge or be crushed.
* UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper: In this game, he is presented as one of the evil twins you must vanquish.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: You would be hard-pressed to find a better (and more disturbing) example of this trope.
* NintendoHard: Just like the ''Elvira'' games, ''[=WaxWorks=]'' is very difficult.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown / CurbstompBattle: [[spoiler: The final boss fight with the witch.]]
* NoKillLikeOverkill: How [[spoiler: the last evil twin kills Ixona the witch]] during the climax [[spoiler: before she can cast her curse]]. [[spoiler: Let's see, a glass vial of acidic poison to the face, her hand getting chopped off, an arrow to the eye, and a stab directly on the neck for good meassure.]]
* PoliceAreUseless: Go ahead, try to have the policemen roaming around the Victorian level help you. [[MistakenForMurderer Too bad you look much like their suspect]], [[CainAndAbel your twin brother]].
* PornStache: Oddly enough, one of the zombie models in the Graveyard waxwork is sporting one of these.
* PressXToDie: In the Egyptian pyramid, you can find an option that lets you knock down a supporting pillar. Take a wild guess what happens when you do it. *squish*
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: For many players, the vicious brutality they inflict on [[spoiler: the witch at the climax]] is payback for the many gruesome deaths they undoubtedly suffered up to that point. Also character-wise, as it is your twin you're trying to save and the game makes it very clear ''nothing'' is going to stop you from doing so. [[spoiler: UpToEleven and then some if you consider you're trying to save ''the good twin''.]]
* ShoutOut: The part in the pyramid where the snakes come out of holes in the wall is very similar to an infamous scene from ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. No snakes slithering out of human skulls, thankfully.
* SlashedThroat: Jack the Ripper's specialty. In the London Waxwork, the first thing you see is a girl whose throat was slit. The same happens to you if you lose in the fight with Jack.
* SpikesOfDoom: One of the deaths in the pyramid involves a [[EyeScream very nasty]] encounter with a spike pit.
* TempleOfDoom: The Egyptian level, which is filled with traps and puzzles made to kill the player instantly. Unlike most examples of this trope though, the player is entering it in ancient times instead of thousands of years later.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler: You're the evil twin.]]
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: You WILL die. A ''lot''.
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Twin Brother Instinct]]: The other goal of the game besides lifting the curse is to recover your twin brother's soul and save him.
* TwoFaced: One of the zombies in the Graveyard waxwork.
* UnwinnableByDesign: Near the climax of the London Waxwork, you are to go to a shady part of town, where you need to get a [[FetchQuest box of tea]] for a bar owner in order to get to the last part of the game. Later, ''every'' alleyway leading out is filled with thugs. If you try walking past them, one of them will punch you. Once you wake up, all your items are gone, including the crowbar you needed to open the crates and the box of tea. How to avoid this? You were supposed to find a whistle hidden in a house that's ''very'' hard to notice.Even if you found the house, the whistle is hidden inside a vase. Oh, and the thugs steal the key to get inside said house too. Sucky part is that not only you had no idea that you even needed the whistle, but were probably even unaware it ever existed.
** It is possible to get rid of them with another not-so-concealed item:a shotgun which is found in the same room as the whistle (but in plain sight. While it can lead to extreme disappointment (trying to shoot it reveals it is loaded with blanks) the noise is enough to chase the thugs away.
* VictorianLondon: One of the levels is set here.
* WitchHunt: There is a mob searching for Jack the Ripper. If the player comes across them, they'll mistake the player as the killer and beat him to death.