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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 18075 times)

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #570 on: 10 November, 2022, 09:51:06 PM »
That's quite funny! I missed that little detail. I'm now imagining goatee beards from that Star Trek episode. Glad you enjoyed the book.

I think I'm probably going to skip Trial of Champions and move on to FF 23, Masks of Mayhem (but I won't have time to do that for a few days).

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #571 on: 10 November, 2022, 10:23:54 PM »
It's only mentioned in passing, that everyone has grown out their facial hair and that nobody in 'real Falcons time would ever do that! Must be a Star Trek reference.

I have played MoM but cannot remember a thing about it!
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Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #572 on: 11 November, 2022, 01:46:49 PM »
My only memory of that book was that at the very end you have to identify a traitor by working out which paragraph to turn to next, otherwise it's instant death. There weren't many characters to choose from, and I was certain that it was Ifor Tynan (and I was right) but I couldn't figure out which paragraph I was meant to turn to. Even when I methodically pliers through the book from the beginning looking for the paragraph, which turned out to be number 40, I still couldn't for the life of me see why. I spent hours converting each of the letters in his name into numbers and working out codes and equations and so on just to figure out what the solution to the book was. When I eventually gave up in despair, I happened to glance one last time at the name and only then noticed that it was Ifortynan.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #573 on: 14 November, 2022, 07:17:16 PM »
I've just been listening to the Hypnogoria podcast devoted to the history of Fighting Fantasy books.  What I hadn't realised was that some of the Steve Jackson ones were written by a second, coincidentally-named Steve Jackson, who was hired when the original Steve Jackson's line of books got popular
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Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #574 on: 14 November, 2022, 08:12:27 PM »
Yes the other Steve did Scorpion Swamp, Demons of the Deep and Robot Commando.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jackson_(American_game_designer)

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #575 on: 14 November, 2022, 10:47:23 PM »
US-Steve Jackson is famous for Car Wars, GURPS, Munchkin etc.
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zombemybabynow

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #576 on: 16 November, 2022, 09:36:17 AM »
i rolled a six, so was allowed to post a reply

i think i was 8-ish when they came out - absolutely fantastic

https://i0.wp.com/rubberchickengames.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Fighting-Fantasy-3.jpg?resize=1170%2C912
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karlos

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #577 on: 16 November, 2022, 01:14:12 PM »
Can anyone confirm that Falcon #1 got a reprint a few years but the other books didn't (not sure why, if so)?

Also, Way of the Tiger books - did these get reprinted? 

Thanks, chaps!

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #578 on: 16 November, 2022, 01:36:18 PM »
Can anyone confirm that Falcon #1 got a reprint a few years but the other books didn't (not sure why, if so)?

Also, Way of the Tiger books - did these get reprinted? 

Thanks, chaps!

Yep - Falcon #1 was reprinted but none of the others, I assume nobody bought it. I've not seen it so not sure how different it is, if different at all.

The WotT books have all been reprinted - they were released in hardback with new art and some errata, but the company that did that folded. They're now available through Amazon on some kind of print on demand deal - I don't think the art works as well as it's obviously intended to be colour and so reproduces poorly at times in b&w - but the text is the same (and improved in Inferno, at least).
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #579 on: 16 November, 2022, 01:37:30 PM »
i rolled a six, so was allowed to post a reply

i think i was 8-ish when they came out - absolutely fantastic

https://i0.wp.com/rubberchickengames.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Fighting-Fantasy-3.jpg?resize=1170%2C912

Great image that. We're less than halfway through that lot with our playthrough (although I'm over halfway through the ones I own myself)
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #580 on: 16 November, 2022, 02:21:17 PM »
Speaking of playthroughs:

ROBOT COMMANDO

Another book I managed to complete in my younger days. I was a big fan of this one back then: the premise is absolutely ridiculous but it's got giant robots against dinosaurs, how can that NOT be awesome? I seem to remember it's also not that difficult to complete with several paths to victory  - a solid antidote to Trial of Champions then.

The plot is as contrived as it can be: I live in Thalos, enemy state of the Karosseans, where we use mecha for most tasks including dealing with the native dinosaurs population. One day everyone in Thalos falls asleep due to some dastardly unexplained plot by Minos, the leader of Kaross and only I am left awake to stop the impending invasion. It's all just a vague setup for me to wander around a deserted land in a battle robot and I'm totally fine with that. I'm also totally fine with me, a simple Dino-rancher, deciding that it's time to be taking on the entire Karossean army and saving the world.

I've got the choice of two robots at the start: a tough, all round humanoid robot designed for dino-herding or a light flyer. I seem to remember usually taking the former, so this time I go with the latter - it should be useful to quickly get somewhere a bit more useful. My robot of choice is Dragonfly class and literally looks like a giant dragonfly with rubbish armour and no combat bonus at all. I've also got 5 crappy medkits (1 stam each!) and a sword, because in this future society everyone still carries one of those, I guess. I decide my first port of call should be the City of Knowledge - perhaps there will be something there to help me in my plight. En route I battle a Pteranadon, which luckily has terrible stamina as my dragonfly robot has effective stamina 5, and defeat it before landing and making my way to the college of medicine where I read up on a compound that cures all sorts of sleeping sickness. I immediately make some - I've now got a litre of this cure, which should be enough to everyone in Thalos, but it gets super unstable once opened so I have use it all at once on everyone. More troublingly one of the ingredients I used (essence of Man Trap Flower) was unstable and may need to be topped up with a fresh dose. I'm not really troubled by how I'm going to add this to the compound when I already can't open it because I'm so hugely overconfident. I'll sort that out later!

After a scrap with some giant lizards I head to the college of war where my weedy robot is immediately shot down by a Karossean Myrmidon (essentially a Decepticon plane / robot transformer). Testing my luck, I scramble from the burning wreckage and hide until the Karossean stupidly climbs out of his robot and I nip in whilst he's wandered off and take over. This robot RULES with high stats and the ability to switch forms, even though I don't know enough about the controls to fully get the benefit of it. I then head off to a museum where hoped to get info on the Karosseans but the only useful bit of info I get it that they often settle tribal disputes with hand-to-hand duels.

My next stop is the City of Jungle where I'm hoping to get the other reagents for my cure. I transform my Starscream mech from plane to walker and enter the jungle on foot, quickly find the Man Trap plant, pick the flower and drop it into my cure capsule to complete it, before I have to fight the Man Trap in an epic plant vs robot battle, making short work of the foul flora. The jungle is hard going on my robots armour however and when I spot Karosseans are in the city it's time to leave.
I now decide to fly to the exciting sounding City of Pleasure, which sadly turns out to be mainly arcades - for the men and women of Thalos, Southend seafront would be the place to party! Here I accidently shoot myself playing Zap the Karossean but I do get a tip about something exciting... back in the city of knowledge - bah!

My only choice from here is the City of Industry. Here I pop into the Robot Experimental Centre and find a transponder helmet that better allows me to control my mecha, boosting my skill by +1 if it's below 11 (it is), get hit on the head by a book losing 1 stamina, and then bashed about by an experimental battlesuit for another 2 stamina damage.. ouch. A skirmish with a guard robot leaves my stamina pretty depleted by now so I use a couple of substandard medkits before beating a retreat but not before snagging an experimental missile. It's then back to the City of Knowledge, where I snag the one-use experimental Invisibility Cloak that I found out about in the arcade! Then I fly to the coastal City of Storms where at the weather bureau I discover a huge storm is due to hit Thalos soon - and if I can release my compound into it from The City of Worship I could potentially cure everyone! Result! I also replenish my medkit stock here (and then use them all up)

From here I can head straight to the City of Worship. The storm is rolling in, so I pilot my craft high into it - taking damage as I do so - and release the compound into the storm. As the rain washes across Thalos it wakes everyone up (I know, this still doesn't really make sense) and the Karosseans retreat. I am a hero and Thalos is saved!


As suspected I still enjoyed this - in fact I enjoyed it enough to play it again and try a different route that I was more familiar with, whereby I ended up fighting (and losing to) the Karossean leader in a giant battle tank and from a bit of reading there is also a third route to victory where you duel the Karossean leader with swords. It's a pretty easy book - I didn't really have any issues on my first go - and you can return to the city locations pretty much indefinitely although each time you do you risk an additional combat - although you can't go back to the in-city locations once you've been there. It all adds up to a non-linear experience with plenty of scope for exploration.
The robot side is well handled: combat is nicely straightforward compared to some other more complex books - essentially the robot has a stamina of its own and may or may not give you a skill bonus., and the robots stamina is generally on the low side meaning you may need to switch mech every once in a while. There's plenty to choose from on the way through the book, although many of them suck.
Where it falls down is that the plot itself is really stupid and the book lacks a bit of atmosphere - Thalos must be a wasteland because I was zipping about barely encountering anyone, including the invading Karosseans (incidentally, something I liked about them was that they are always described / depicted as having beards, which presumably is the Star Trek way you can tell they are evil). In fact the Karosseans are completely useless and fully deserved to be defeated via a deux ex machina.
I'd rate this one as fun, but not top tier.

Dinosaurs vs robots though!
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karlos

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #581 on: 16 November, 2022, 03:15:32 PM »
Can anyone confirm that Falcon #1 got a reprint a few years but the other books didn't (not sure why, if so)?

Also, Way of the Tiger books - did these get reprinted? 

Thanks, chaps!

Yep - Falcon #1 was reprinted but none of the others, I assume nobody bought it. I've not seen it so not sure how different it is, if different at all.

The WotT books have all been reprinted - they were released in hardback with new art and some errata, but the company that did that folded. They're now available through Amazon on some kind of print on demand deal - I don't think the art works as well as it's obviously intended to be colour and so reproduces poorly at times in b&w - but the text is the same (and improved in Inferno, at least).

Thanks for the info, BB!

I'm going to try and get the WotT reprints as my original copies have long since vanished.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #582 on: 16 November, 2022, 04:24:35 PM »
Interesting that all of the American Steve Jackson's books have multiple endings. I'm sure I've said this before but I much prefer these non-linear books where you can explore different locations like Robot Commando and Scorpion Swamp, over the one true path variety. Spectral Stalkers does that well.

The ability to trade up to a better robot or vehicle sounds like an innovative feature, I can't think of another gamebook that does anything like that.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #583 on: 17 November, 2022, 10:27:11 AM »
I totally agree. Playing it right after Trial of Champions, where the path through is razor thin, made it seem really refreshing to the point where I ran through it multiple times to try out the different paths and different robots.
A bit like Scorpion Swamp and Demons of the Deep it's not really than enaging in terms of immersion, but it's just fun. Forgot to mention the art is really nice, if obviously very influenced by Transformers.

Masks of Mayhem next for me but I'm looking forward to Creature of Havoc and Nightmare Castle after that. Beyond book 25 I've barely played any of them, so that's all going to be new for me.
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #584 on: 17 November, 2022, 10:28:37 AM »
Thanks for the info, BB!

I'm going to try and get the WotT reprints as my original copies have long since vanished.

Top man! I have a couple of the reprints going spare if you like.

Oh, and if anyone plays the prequel and wants to give a verdict on it...
You're a dark horse, Boots.