Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 18085 times)

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #540 on: 07 October, 2022, 12:16:08 PM »
Which one did you get?
I didn't especially enjoy my first go at DotD so I might play Falcon instead and then go back to it.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3400
  • Beast Code WWW
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #541 on: 07 October, 2022, 02:47:40 PM »
The fourth one, Lost in Time.

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #542 on: 10 October, 2022, 02:56:45 PM »
FALCON 3: THE RACK OF BAAL

I got this in a job lot off ebay and after Richard mentioned these, decided to give it a go.
The premise of the book is that I am a sort of timecop - special agent Falcon of TIME (Temporal Investigative & Monitoring Executive) responsible for keeping time safe in a future era where time travel has been discovered. There is a super extensive background, with diagrams of my gear and a lengthy, cool history of the setting and what happened in books 1 and 2. The plot for this one is that Baal, who is some kind of interdimensional villain from the distant past, has been freed from his Superman 2-esque prison (The Rack) and is loose in time. I need to track down the four parts to stop Baal before he can take over the galaxy or end history.

I'm offered the choice of four locations to visit initially: Aztec Earth, American Civil War Earth, the alien planet Rigel Prime, or the Earth colony on a planet called Dustbowl. I initially try the primitive plant of Rigel Prime, but it is a bust: instead I go for Aztec Earth and arrive in the midst of a bloody mass sacrifice of prisoners to the Sun God. Using my psychic powers I gain entry to the pyramid and discover one of the racks on an altar. There's a neat little floor puzzle with a visual clue, but as I acquire the rack Baal himself busts through the wall like a demonic 20ft tall superman. I run away and he chases me through the streets, collapsing buildings as we trade shots at each other until a random roll kills me off.

It seems like my city-levelling battle with Baal probably isn't the way to go in terms of not damaging the timeline so when I restart I choose to visit Dustbowl instead. Here, when I land I find a suspicious fellow scanning my disguised timeship. I follow him to a secret underground lair to find some kind of cult of Baal - Baal's avatar manifests as a giant fly and gruesomely sucks the entrails out of a hapless captive before detecting me! Again I run away: I feel I shouldn't be using my blaster to gun down pursuers so I utilise my Thinkstrike to stun them and reach my ship where the fly confronts me. No issue with using my blaster here: I burn it to a crisp and flee back into the timeline. I've escaped, and it seems Baal has been here, but no part of the Rack was in evidence.

Next I head to 1863 Earth, where at the battle of Gettysburg I encounter another TIME agent: Lynx, who asks my help capturing Yelov, who is the bad guy from books 1 and 2. I try to assist and end up getting caught up in the battle: Lynx prevents Yelov's attempt to altar the course of the civil war, but I am wounded by a musket ball and fail to capture Yelov himself: he escapes.
Seems my best bet now is to go back to the Aztec zone, as the book asks me if this is the third or more timehole I have visited. This time things are very different - Baal himself manifests over the sacrificial altar and the Aztecs, believing him to be a god, fall in worship and he begins to feed off the life force of the sacrificial victims. Baal sucks!
I'm given the option of taking Baal on, but this seems unwise so I follow my previous path and nip backstage, navigate the floor puzzle trap: Baal busts in and I leg it. I actually died here again due to a random die roll but decided to reroll it, got to the time machine, which Ball picks up and throws about but I'm able to escape. The computer tells me that although Baal and I have damaged the rules of time with our battle, these Aztecs were wiped out soon anyway and the timeline is not wrecked. Phew!

One part of the rack in the bag and I get an update from Agent Bloodhound: someone or something has been to Dustbowl and caused a major disturbance in the winds of time, and we have another timehole opened up on Planet Cave: Agent Kingfisher was sent to investigate but we've lost contact and he is feared dead. I decide to head to Cave - a highly advanced planet in my time, but at the time of my visit, pretty much prehistoric with the natives operating somewhat like ants, with a caste structure and a brood mother, although they appear mammalian and not insects. When I arrive I find there's a civil war in progress there, and one set of the natives (Cave-ians?) seem to be armed with laser weapons - and in thrall to the 'Baal-Mother'. Erk! I infiltrate the Baal-loyal rebels tunnels and discover the horrible spongey mass that is a mother - and stacks of advanced technology that really shouldn't be around in a culture that has yet to invent the wheel. There's also part of the rack here, which I go to filch, and am immediately detected by Baal in the form of the brood queen. Again I fail a random roll and he psychically paralyzes me whilst the natives slice me up.

I'm fed up with random deaths, so I reroll, pass, steal the rack part and then use my psychic powers to direct the weak-willed natives against the Baal-mother, who dissolves under their attacks and turns out to be Baal himself. Cue another narrow escape whilst Baal is dealing with the furious Cave dwellers and I'm now back to Dustbowl with two parts of the rack in my possession.

I materialise on Dustbowl by the great Dust Sea, away from the habitation areas where I might encounter the priests of Baal again. Here I can detect a segment of the rack buried deep in the dust sea: I will need a battlesuit to get that deep into the dust, so after gearing up and disguising my ship as a diving bell, I resolve to hire someone to take me into the sea so I can retrieve my prize. Baal's priests are onto me and there are a couple of attempts on my life but before long I'm deep in the dust and collecting rack part 3. There's an encounter with a Dust Whale - essentially something best described as a sharktopus - but I remember what I've been told about these creatures and am able to scare it off. Fragment 3 in the bag!

The three rack fragments combined show me the location of the fourth - a frozen mineral-rich asteroid called Chill. My computer here notes that there is a five-man mining operation there and that one of them has connections to my grandparents, so I need to take care.
At this point the book turns into a full-on homage to The Thing. The miners have discovered the final rack fragment, along with some kind of leathery egg. The egg hatches and the creature within absorbs one of the crew, which attempts to kill me but is burnt when the rest of the station crew come to my aid. We soon discover that the radio and stores have been destroyed: there must be another 'Thing' amongst us. With paranoia growing, I am able to identify the creature due to an error it has made with the copy, but it flees. Obviously we immediately split up and I head down into the mine to get at the last segment of the rack where I encounter the now huge creature, a disgusting, mutating thing, and barely escape with my life. A third crewman is killed fighting the creature: we burn the thing from the mine, only to discover that another has been absorbed and fled into the icy wastes around the station, leading to a deadly bit of cat and mouse in the snow. I haven't gone into too much detail here in case anyone else plays this, but this bit is excellent: lots of grim descriptions and callbacks to The Thing with the icy environment, severed limbs growing insect legs to escape and one of the characters is even called McCready.

With all four segments of the rack, they combine to guide me a mysterious asteroid. I easily gain entrance and find Baal himself, sitting on a giant throne. As he marshals his powers and minions I fling the rack at him and it immediately captures him and teleports him away into a new cosmic prison. Anti-climatic victory! Time is safe and I am promoted to Section Chief! THE END.




Bit of a mixed bag this book. Random rolls killing me wasn't a great experience: what didn't help here was that starting with book 3 I had zero modifiers to any of my stats. I know from the WotT and Freeway Warrior playthroughs that playing them in order and carrying stat bonuses over is a HUGE help and it probably made this harder than it should have been (the latter FW books I'd imagine are not possible without having the boosted stats completing the first ones give you)

The art is absolutely superb from Geoff Senior and several of the illustrations are very cool / grim for a kids book - sand monsters, guys getting their entrails drained by fly demons or absorbed by The Thing... I loved it. Check out these from the chill segment:

   

FUCKING AWESOME!

In contrast the cover is awful: Baal is depicted blasting his way into reality but actually ends up looking utterly stupid with big pointy ears, a Dr Strange collar, bondage straps and the readers point of view looking right up his nose, whilst the rack elements on his wrists look like cheap jewelry rather than mystical artifacts. In fairness the design of Baal himself is not the finest as he looks like a 60s era Marvel supervillain with a vague vampire gimmick.

There were a couple of bugs in the book, with paragraphs directing me to blatantly the wrong place: The first, in the Aztec temple, I was eventually able to sort one of these with a bit of mucking about on Google that led me to an obscure Way of the Tiger Facebook group with Jamie Thomson in it. The second one, on Chill, I couldn't figure out and had to backtrack from one route (using a flamethrower) to another (using my psychic powers) to escape the creature, taking more damage in the process.

All the negatives out the way, I enjoyed the plot itself and the time travel element. Each node was quite small with limited choices, but there was a lot to do, and the book moved quite quickly so that never felt like an issue. As with the authors other work it was very well written, the book rewarded thoughtful choices rather than random ones, and items tended to make things easier / harder rather than auto-death if you hadn't picked something up. I felt the book seemed a bit more lightweight than WotT but never felt childish or like it was talking down, and as I say the art is great.

I'd like to try another, but with 50-odd FF books now in the house it'd be wise for me not to start buying anymore old books just yet....
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8212
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #543 on: 10 October, 2022, 03:34:05 PM »
That sounds involved! I really like the idea of different 'nodes', although I guess you've already touched on that necessarily making each one feel pretty short compared to a full-length adventure.

Still, nice when a gamebook tries to innovate. I'll post my Demons of the Deep playthrough soon, which... doesn't.
@jamesfeistdraws

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #544 on: 10 October, 2022, 03:57:40 PM »
Yeah! Whilst mechanically there wasn't much to do at each, each one felt quite involved and different to the other, and there were different events at the Aztec and Dustbowl nodes depending on at which point I went, and in Dustbowl's case, if I'd been there twice. I think it was nicely designed and quite innovative. I always like a book that doesn't have an exact true path, too.
A couple of the nodes were red herrings - the Civil War one for example, has no bearing on the Baal plot.

I played Demons of the Deep last week and didn't enjoy it much. It sounds like you didn't either.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8212
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #545 on: 11 October, 2022, 10:10:13 AM »
I played Demons of the Deep last week and didn't enjoy it much. It sounds like you didn't either.

You can find out right now, as I play... Demons of the Deep!

A completely new one for me, so I’m going in fresh. No special rules to speak of; no more Potions, though (sorry, Funt!) And no more pre-amble to write, except to tell you that I roll up a character of  Skill 11, Stamina 19 and Luck 9

The Playthrough
…What can I do for you, stranger? If one of those tankards is for me, you’re welcome to sit down. Ah. You want to know about the Troll. Pointed me out to you, did they? Said you’d get a good laugh if you got me talking about that day? Well, can’t hardly blame ‘em. I don’t expect you to believe me neither, but long as you’re willing to buy the ales then I don’t mind telling you. Just have a little respect, and bear in mind that a lot of good mates died that day – that’s something that nobody disputes…

So there I was. My poor Sunfish a blazing wreck, taking my murdered crew down to Hell with it. And that spawn-of-a-Seahag Captain Bloodaxe making me watch from the deck of the Troll, with his pirates jeering all around me. There was some debate about what to do with me. Then comes me ‘rewards’, for putting on such a brave show of defiance – me sword, and a sack of provisions. A heavy sack. And then me freedom, delivered by way of Bloodaxe’s boot – over the gun’els, down into the brine. Just another kind of death, really, see? Me hands tied behind me, sword an’ satchel dragging me into the depths like a stone. That’s pirate mercy for you.

So I says me prayers, o’course, and makes me peace with the deities I keeps – no, I’ll not tell you that much, a man’s own gods aren’t to be bandied about in tavern-talk. And then what d’you know? I see I’m drifting down right into the middle of a stately courtyard, and the spires of coral all around ain’t coral at all, but a sunken city! Lines of light blaze all around soon as me boots touch the bottom – the whole courtyard was a magical pentacle, or I’m a Snattacat’s uncle. I know it was, for that’s what the mermaid telt me.  Aye, a mermaid – you heard me right. Welcome to the lost city of Atlantis, she says. The pentacle’s given me the power to breathe underwater, she says, but the spell will only last til day’s end. And if I wants to get me revenge ‘gainst Bloodaxe, I’d best be collectin’ black pearls, and be sharp about it. I know, I know – t’were as clumsy an infodump as I’ve ever heard in all my years at sea, but you wouldn’t have minded either, to have it delivered by such a winsome guide. What’s that? Aye, she had charms enough – a Luck charm, which she give me as freely as kiss-your-hand. Oh, I know what charms you meant, right enough, but this ain’t that kind o’ story, stranger. Go see Saucy Sadie after, if that’s how your lights lie.



So I swims about a bit, testing out me new sea-legs, so to speak, and puts a nest of three BARRACUDA to the sword. Then what d’you think I find? Two SKELETONS o’ buccaneers past – not at rest like they should be, oh no, but comin’ at me wi’ rusted cutlasses upraised. One of ‘em has black pearls for eyes, so that’s two in the bag already. Next come a MORAY EEL (altogether now …’when an eel has a maw with pharyngeal jaw, that’s a moray; when it sulks in a reef and has two sets of teeth, that’s a moray’…) Ahem. I explores a ship wreck, and wanders around an underwater gardens. I comes a cropper when I sticks me hand into a coral fountain for a gold coin – a bastard scorpion fish stings me hand so badly that I lose two points o’ me Initial Skill! Hnh. There’s probably a moral there about greed, or something. It weren’t one I learnt any time soon, stranger, I tell you that much for nothin’!

It’s while I’m in the gardens that I sees a twee little cottage, existing inside a gigantic air bubble. Ever seen Spongebob Squarepants? No, me neither, don’t know why I brought it up. Well, there ain’t no squirrels inside, just an old hippy type called Greylock. He’s a friendly but cagey wizard, who tells me a lot without actually givin’ too much away. He does explain the purpose of the black pearls, at least – says as how they summon skeleton warriors, who’ll fight under the command of the caster. Ha! Gird yer loins, Bloodaxe! Retribution’s a-comin’!



When he opens the cottage door for me to leave, we ain’t looking out on the gardens, but a long tunnel o’ seaweed. Trying to shake off me disorientation, I thank Sandy Cheeks Greylock and swim off down it. I soon bumps into a merman, who says as how I should make use o’ their famous Sauna Baths. They’ll make a new man of me, he says. Perhaps I can claw back a Skill point or two, thinks I. Little do I know…! So I sits, and I steams, and it does me a rare power o’ good. When I leave, I’ve literally been made a new man of – to the extent o’ re-rollin’ all three o’ my initial scores…! True as I sits here, stranger. The Dice Gods were good that day, an’ favoured me with a Skill o’ 12 and Stamina o’ 23! Me Initial Luck goes from 9 to 7, so it ain’t all good, but… I’d like to meet the Hero who could ever boast of a score so high.

The merfolk won’t let me go without offering advice. If I feels very brave and lucky, I should visit the Sea Dragon; for information, I should visit the Sunken Cathedral; and for good fortune, the Water Sprite. Well, if I’m going to need luck to visit the Dragon – thinks I – then I’d better visit the Water Sprite first. So I follows their directions to a dark chasm, with a glow deep at the bottom. I swims down to the cave opening, where a shadow looms across the entrance… Bah! I’m promptly coshed by a bloody SEA OGRE, and thrown into his deep-sea larder for when he gets hungry later. (I never did find out if the merfolk sent me there a-purpose, or if it were an honest mistake). Anyways, I decides to goad the Ogre – asking if he’s scared to face me in a fair fight. Luckily, this lad has a short fuse, and he soon comes roaring into the cell to settle the matter. He’s got a fairly impressive Stamina of 18, but the recent boost to me own stats makes me fairly untouchable, and the bastard soon goes down. The dead ogre has a ring, which I slips on my own finger – and gains another +2 to me Initial Stamina, taking me up to 25! No, sit down, sit down, it’s true…!



Swimming around a bit leads me to fight two GIANT CRABS, followed by a whole mess o’ normal CRABS. And then I finds myself in the presence of the SEA DRAGON… (I ain’t sure how, but I’d obviously well and truly missed the Water Sprite at this point). Well, there’s only one way I knows of to treat with a dragon, and that’s to appeal to its greed, see? Bowing humbly, I offers it all the plunder it can carry (an’ all the pirates it can eat) if it’ll come to me aid when I finds the Troll. It deliberates from atop its treasure hoard, and then loftily agrees, telling me how to summon it at the appropriate time. Imagine that, hey? A pet Sea Dragon hidden up yer sleeve! How’s that fer an ally?

Next I stumbles across the Sunken Cathedral. It’s a vast gothic edifice, a-crawling wi’ gargoyles, but I can’t seem to looks at anything but the stained-glass windows. None of the windows move, but they’re different every single time I looks at ‘em – one shows me, being thrown overboard by Bloodaxe’s men; another has me fighting for my life against gigantic tentacles. One of the picture-windows is of a very dandy swordfish with a rapier in hand (or fin). To me alarm, there’s a whoosing sound, and suddenly I’m in the window… That’s right, stood in a cathedral on the seabed one minute, then floatin’ around in an empty void outside o’ time and space with a cavalier swordfish. No, don’t go! Sit, sit. It’s true as anything else I’ve told you, though don’t think I don’t know how it sounds.



Cyrano, as he’s called, offers to give me a fencing lesson for the price o’ either two gold pieces or one black pearl. I don’t feel I can afford to part with a pearl, but I’m happy to cross his flippers with gold. He lands one hit on me, but with me monster Skill value I’m the first to get the required three hits in. For me proficiency, Cyrano gifts me +1 to my Initial Skill. That’s right, stranger – I was on Skill 13! I was! Cyrano stamps his foot and I’m suddenly in open ocean again, among a patch o’ wooden wreckage. Let me tell you, disorientation’s a way of life, down there. I’m mugged by a gaggle of octopi before I can gets away from their clutches, and then blunders straight into big brother… the KRAKEN of legend, haunter of the nightmares of every seaman afloat on Titan. If I thought the Sea Ogre was tough, it’s time for a rude awakening – the Kraken has a Skill of 10, but a colossal Stamina of 30! Me Skill of 13 stands me in good stead, though, and the bugger’s got such a job to try and scratch me it fair ties its own tentacles in knots. I whittles away at it little by little, until I realises the immense tentacles are hanging lifeless in the water, just a-drifting with the current. If nothing else, stranger, I did that. Countless luckless mariners avenged. They can mock me all they like, but I know what I did.



The sea around me takes on a deep, reddish hue, and I realise that it ain’t just the blood o’ the mighty Kraken – sunset’s coming to the world above, and the spell that lets me breathe underwater’ll soon wear off. Do I have an unmelting ice crystal, I am asked? I do not. Do I know the name of a friendly dolphin? I do not. And so there ain’t much to do but kick for the surface. I breaks water a few minutes afore the sun sets, clings to a handy piece of floating board, and… well, that’s it. Nothing to do but wait for rescue. Certainly weren’t the first time I’d been shipwrecked. Weren’t the last, neither. But I never found out where the pirates were hiding, and so that were the end of the adventure. Never did call the Sea Dragon; never saw Bloodaxe again. Aye, I’ll grant it’s a trifle anticlimactic – but don’t you think, if I’d made the whole thing up, I’ve have seen fit to give it a better ending…?

The Verdict
[/sailorspeak] Ahem. You know how, occasionally, some of these books feel more overtly for a younger audience than others? This is very much one of those. The bizarre Cyrano the swordfish is a highlight, but he absolutely feels like something out of a book of fairy tales for little ‘uns. All the things I fought – with the possible exception of the Sea Ogre – felt quite PG13, come to that; mostly they were just various kinds of sealife. And Earth-based sealife, at that! All very weak in terms of imagination and worldbuilding. And, for that matter… Atlantis? Really?

I like the unique way the adventure begins begins, and that it has multiple possible endings, like the author’s Scorpion Swamp, but the narrative is aimless in the extreme – you’re just drifting vaguely about, hoping to bump into someone or something useful. I had fun – let’s face it, I’ll probably never have a higher Skill/Stamina combo! – but I can’t see myself playing this one again in a hurry. 6 combat dice out of 10.
@jamesfeistdraws

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8212
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #546 on: 11 October, 2022, 10:17:52 AM »
Apologies for the dubious quality of the images from here on in. It's gotten really hard to find images online after the first fifteen or so FF books (billions of playthroughs of Firetop Mountain and Deathtrap Dungeon, then interest starts tailing off - as evidenced in this very thread!) I'm now having to scan direct from the books myself.
@jamesfeistdraws

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #547 on: 11 October, 2022, 11:52:45 AM »
Great writeup and I very much dig the manner of its telling. I'm a few years into a tabletop pirate campaign so I've been writing letters, diarys, poems, dialogue etc in pirate for a while and I'm totally into it.

My playthrough of this book was identical apart from the Sprite / Ogre / Dragon bit - on my edition going to see the sprite took me to an incorrect paragraph, so I went straight to the cathedral instead.
I felt pretty much the same as you did here... the book was quite basic. I really liked the concept, but it didn't really pan out into anything that interesting and a lot of the encounters seemed weirdly tacked together and uninteresting. It all felt quite tame and safe and very aimless.

I'm going to try again as I very much want to encounter the bone thing on the cover - it's one of my favourite FF covers.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #548 on: 11 October, 2022, 11:53:44 AM »
it's one of my favourite FF covers.

Here's a question to anyone still reading this thread. Top three FF book cover artworks?
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8212
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #549 on: 11 October, 2022, 11:59:47 AM »
Great writeup and I very much dig the manner of its telling. I'm a few years into a tabletop pirate campaign so I've been writing letters, diarys, poems, dialogue etc in pirate for a while and I'm totally into it.

I had more fun writing this one up than I did playing it! 😄
@jamesfeistdraws

JWare

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 358
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #550 on: 11 October, 2022, 02:45:37 PM »
it's one of my favourite FF covers.

Here's a question to anyone still reading this thread. Top three FF book cover artworks?

For the Number One spot and for pure nostalgia I’d go with Forest of Doom myself. I got it for my 13th birthday, having never encountered FF, or even fantasy gaming of any sort before. The beckoning finger on the cover lured me into a genre that dominated my early teens.
For numbers two and three? Anything else by Iain McCaig, I suppose. I moved on from FF soon after Deathtrap Dungeon, but that one was, as the Times Literary Supplement had it, the tits.
Why can't everybody just, y'know, be friends and everything?

Richard

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3400
  • Beast Code WWW
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #551 on: 11 October, 2022, 03:06:27 PM »
That's a great write-up! And very piratey! Can't wait for you to review Bloodbones!

On my favourite FF covers, I'd have to agree that the first edition Forest of Doom by McCaig is a classic. I also like his Bloodbeast on Deathtrap Dungeon. And the woman in the spiky armour on FF25, Beneath Nightmare Castle.

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #552 on: 12 October, 2022, 11:56:40 AM »
Right. I have replayed DotD, and in an effort to not be upstaged by Jimbo, I present to you:

THE DEMONS OF THE DEEP
(A tale containing no demons, lest ye consider the wwatery denizens of the depths to be such)

Gather ye round, for a tale I've to tell
It's starts with the Sunfish smashed all to hell
Bloodaxe of the Troll had me captured, and well
It looked pretty bad for me, my boys
But the pirates, they fancied some sport

So they took some provisions and filled up a sack
Strapped that and my swordblade right onto my back
To the end of the plank, then they gave me a whack
And right down to the depths did I plunge, my boys
To Davy Jones locker, or worse

But what a surprise! I could breathe underwater!
A mermaid I met, hotter than a king's daughter
I resolved for revenge for old Bloodaxes' slaughter
Get ye black pearls to do that, said she, my boys
With ne'r a reason to why

Barracuda and skeletons quickly I slew
Collected black pearls, numbering two
I battled a grouper, and helped a ghost too
Gathered his bones I did, my boys
And he gave me a potion as thanks

Next came to a crypt, where I claimed a jade crown
(A living statue attacked me, but was quickly put down)
On my head it went, then into the sunken town
Swam I till I found a dolphin, my boys
And it chatted to me about fish

Yes, thanks to the crown, to the fish I could chat!
Though only the dolphin did bother with that
It's topics of conversation fell somewhat flat
Till we ganged up to battle a shark, my boys
And as a reward, it told me its name

Now you might think that reward was quite crap
But it took me off to a ship too, where I read a map
A clam and a spider they failed in their trap
I slew them both with ease, my boys
And left the sea red with their blood

Next was a sight that surprised even me
Who'd have thought gardens grew under the sea?
I hid from a lionfish up a tall tree
The lionfish couldn't swim up, my boys
I know, that bit didn't make sense

I met Greylock, a sage rather nice
He lived in those gardens, and gave me advice
He taught me a spell, with words quite precise
The spell was to raise up the dead, my boys
Skeletal legions, from the black pearls

"The Sea Dragon's the fellow, if more pearls you want"
So I gives my thanks and swims off, nonchalant
A merman I met, but we had a detente
Gambled with him did I for black pearls, my boys
The mermaids charm guaranteed me to win

So now black pearls I had numbering four
And I knew the Sea Dragon had a lot more
The mermen showed me the path to his door
I spoke to that dragon respectful, my boys
Yet he didn't give me one pearl

So needing to bolster my black pearl supply
To a sunken cathedral next visited I
Now this next bit is true, no word of a lie
For fencing lessons I took, my boys
From a man with the head of a fish

This fish headed fellow, Cyrano his name
Being the best swordsman was Cyrano's game
And he had the chops to back up his claim
For he easily beat me at swords, my boys
But I learned very much in defeat

The next part of my tale concerns mainly squid
Some little ones into my backpack had slid
Eaten up some of my food, they did
But I had greater squid problems to come, my boys
As I swam up to a coral reef

For by that reef I encountered a beast
Of incredible horror - the KRAKEN released!
Such a monster could make me quite quickly deceased
So I swam to the coral and hid, my boys
And the Kraken raged on outside

Eventually I had no choice but to fight
Dodging tentacles and it's krakeny bite
The battle was long, but I triumphed all right
I slew that beast in the end, my boys
And then I ate all the food I had left

On the kraken's remains I found three pearls black
But I knew it was now time for me to head back
The spell grew weak, and soon I would lack
The means to breathe underwater, my boys
For the magic, it lasted only one day

I swam to the surface and pondered my lot
Had I a crystal of ice? I did not
But the dolphins name I had not forgot
I called for him and he appeared, my boys
"I'll take you wherever you wish"

"To Captain Bloodaxes Island!" I cried
"I'm afraid that's a service I cannot provide
For no island exists on the sea far and wide
So he took me back home instead, my boys
Back to Blacksand on his back

So comes the end of my story so swish
Born into the harbor, riding a fish
I survived and I won, although I dearly do wish
That I'd had my revenge on Bloodaxe, my boys
And maybe one day, I shall.

SECRET ALTERNATE ENDING

What if instead, to the dolphin I'd said
Another destination from the map I'd read
To the pirates island my path would have led
Where the Troll sat an anchor, my boys
All ready for bloody revenge

I swam to the ship and climbed onto the deck
The pirates were there who I had sworn to wreck
"Bloodaxe, you shall get it in the neck"
So I cast my pearls down on the ground, my boys
And up sprung three skeletons there

The pirates they didn't know what to think
Some jumped over the side and into the drink
Others from the skeletal blades they did shrink
The skeletons cut the down, my boys
Till only Bloodaxe was left

Bloodaxe smashed the skeletons all into pieces
Battle was joined: my stamina, it decreases!
But with my great skill, the fight it soon ceases
Revenge for my crewmates and ship, my boys
Revenge so sweet at last

"You bastard" moaned Bloodaxe, and then he fell slain
Good sailors he would never murder again
I was pretty beat up and in lots of pain
But the ship, now it was mine, my boys
And the holds stuffed full of treasure too

Now I have mixed thoughts upon this book
The multiple endings were well worth a look
And far arduous quests have I undertook
But it was all a bit easy to finish, my boys
And the story felt aimless and weird

I suppose to get the best ending the goal
But I'd rather not play it again as a whole
And writing this poem has taken its toll
Though I STILL didn't battle the demon, my boys
That thing all so cool on the cover

So I'll file note that this FF book's merely 'alright'
And back into my bookcase it goes out of sight
That's twenty books done and discussed on this site!
Trial of Champions next, my boys
A book too bloody hard to complete!
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8212
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #553 on: 12 October, 2022, 12:16:32 PM »
Now I have mixed thoughts upon this book
The multiple endings were well worth a look
And far arduous quests have I undertook
But it was all a bit easy to finish, my boys
And the story felt aimless and weird

I suppose to get the best ending the goal
But I'd rather not play it again as a whole
And writing this poem has taken its toll
Though I STILL didn't battle the demon, my boys
That thing all so cool on the cover

Brilliant! Many kudos points on delivering not only the playthrough but the verdict in rhyme, as well!

Yep, not one I think I'll ever revisit, but it wasn't bad per se - just a bit too content to drift along with the tide rather than take us down some white water rapids.
@jamesfeistdraws

Richard

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3400
  • Beast Code WWW
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #554 on: 12 October, 2022, 01:23:09 PM »
Blimey, that write-up took some dedication!

You two are putting the rest of us to shame!

I remember that Trial of Champions is literally impossible because you never get any provisions, so you just keep slogging through it until your stamina drains away. But I'll give it a go anyway. It's got quite a cool revenge plot.