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Bloodsworth Bayou
Golem Gauntlet
Shrine Of The Salamander
A Flame In The North
A Shadow In The North
Escape Neuburg Keep
Any Port In A Storm
Below Zero Point
Tales From The Bird Islands
The Ravages Of Fate
Nye's Song
A Knight's Trial
Return To G15-275
Devil's Flight
Above The Waves
The Curse Of Drumer
The Word Fell Silent
A Strange Week For King Melchion The Despicable
Sharkbait's Revenge
Tomb Of The Ancients
A Midwinter Carol
The Dead World
Waiting For The Light
Contractual Obligation
Garden Of Bones
The Hypertrout
The Golden Crate
In The Footsteps Of A Hero
Soul Tracker
Planet Of The Spiders
Beggars Of Blacksand
The Diamond Key
Wrong Way Go Back
Hunger Of The Wolf
Isle Of The Cyclops
The Cold Heart Of Chaos
The Black Lobster
Impudent Peasant!
Curse Of The Yeti
Bad Moon Rising
Riders Of The Storm
Bodies In The Docks
House Of Horror
Rebels Of The Dark Chasms
Midnight Deep
Lair Of The Troglodytes
Outsider!
The Trial Of Allibor's Tomb
Hellfire

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Any Port In A Storm




Half Pint
Thu Mar 12 10:13:55 2015
Those three gamebooks you mention bring back memories! I never quite got into Demons of the Deep or Robot Commando as much as other gamebooks, in my opinion barring Starship Traveller, none of the sci-fi adventures matched the fantasy ones in terms of plot or playability. The first sci-fi one I bought was Rebel Planet, I liked it but it, (and the others) just didn't grab me like the Titan-based ones or House of Hell. Starship Traveller is the exception, even though I've never been a fan of Star Trek which many quote as been the inspiration, (personally at the time I bought it, it reminded me strongly of the cartoon series Galaxy Rangers), I still love this book with its variety of worlds and alien encounters of various technological/industrial and social levels.

With your mention of Lone Wolf I played several of those books as a kid, but I was way more into Fighting Fantasy. The random combat system wasn't my ideal way (at the time), now I prefer something like that, (such as in World of Darkness, Middle-earth Roleplaying, Ice and Fire RPG, Warhammer RPG and Rolemaster). The one I really did enjoy was Voyage of the Moonstone, it was early 1994 and I'd gotten Games Workshop's Man O' War for Christmas so I was crackers on fantasy with cannons. Not only that, but it was a excellent adventure, (still remember that lightning-spitting giant spider on the cover!). By the way did you know there was a Lone Wolf PC/console game in development? Last year I'd heard it was cancelled, then conflicting reports it was been remade, haven't found out anything different. There was a trailer for it on Youtube from 2009, it's the 'Be Kai' teaser. Fingers crossed it appears one day...

Robert Douglas
Fri Mar 13 23:02:37 2015
@ Half Pint,

Last time I looked on Steam there was a Lone Wolf PC game recently released. You can also purchase the code for it on Amazon. Not sure if it's something I'd want to play: Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3 are enough for me.

Starship Traveller was obviously influenced by Star Trek. Sadly, Leonard Nimoy - who played Mr Spock - died last week. For a gamebook very early in the FF series, Starship Traveller was quite an ambitious outing, as regards close/gun/ship combat, choice of crew members, diverse alien races, etc, as you pointed out. However, I would say it's a shame the book didn't exceed 340 entries.

Talking about ships and cannons, one of my favourite games would have to be Assassin's Creed Black Flag. Would that be a similar idea to Man O'War? I've never collected tabletop Warhammer figurines or citadel miniatures; FF was my first taste of the fantasy gaming world which is going way back to 1987. I have to say that the series was also a timely and very welcome distraction from a nightmarish time I was going through. I'm hoping this hobby will continue to reshape my future for the better.

Half Pint
Sat Mar 14 09:47:31 2015
Regarding the Lone Wolf game on Steam, I know there's a mech-combat game by the same name, it's one which often appeared on Google searches when I tried to find out about the Joe Dever one.

Yes, sad about Nimoy, - (howse Big Bang's Sheldon going to cope?) As I said, not a Trek fan but he was certainly a good actor. And now we've lost Terry Pratchett...

With Black Flag, I've only seen screenshots but to answer your question yes, this is like Man O' War as in naval combat. Just talking about it reminds me of Seas of Blood, - and to my memory it's the first gamebook I played when the player-character was not a 'good guy'. I quite like the change to a (slight) villian or perhaps 'antihero' would be closer.

Good to hear FF helped you through a difficult time! Couple of years ago I suffered, (almost fully recovered) from an injury which resulted in muscle wastage and nerve damage to my leg, left me in a lot of pain all day and for a period of a couple of months this time last year I had a stretch of playing one gamebook after another. Having not done so for years it was a joy to get back to them, - one of the things which really pushed me to write my own adventures. As a kid I dabbled in doing so, but I was too much into my monsters, it was just battle/battle/battle/nasty death scene/battle. Looking back on those early ones I sort of think of them as 'crap' while at the same time I'm kinda grateful 'cause it nurtured my love of the books and wanting to add my own stories.

Talking about various gamebooks, with Any Port in a Storm, the boat you start out on is the Moonrunner, - I'd guess named after Legend of the Shadow Warriors sequel? (There's a interview with Stephen Hand where he talks about how he'd planned a third sequel, Blood of the Mandrakes which would have completed his trilogy). I never played Moonrunner, but Legend of the Shadow Warriors is one of my top favourites, (the haggworts especially!), always saw the shadow warriors as inspired by the nazgul, - whether they were or not I don't know.

Final note, know it's been a while since either of us have mentioned books, - are you a Terry Brooks fan? If so, no doubt you've heard the news of the TV adaptation starting with Elfstones of Shannara?

Robert Douglas
Sat Mar 14 20:22:14 2015
@ Half Pint,

When googling, it's best to put: 'Joe Dever's Lone Wolf on Steam'. You'll then correct list of relevant articles. I've tested this and the topmost will take you straight to '1337 Gamers' (never visited that site before though). Apparently, the game has been remastered.

Sorry to hear about your terrible injury and hope you have or will have fully recovered. Still, there's nothing better than to pass the time and lessen the pain by playing some cracking gamebook titles!

FF#48 'Moonrunner' written by Stephen Hand and illustrated by Martin McKenna was indeed the inspiration behind the name of the boat in APIAS. I thought it sounded like a good boat name which also acted as tribute to one of my favourite FF authors. I used Stephen Hand's name for a character in Nye's Song.

I'm also familiar with the planned sequel 'Blood of the Mandrake' (sadly it never materialized due to FF's demise). I was hoping perhaps Wizard publishers would make it possible to print this and other titles - but, apart from Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson, commissioned authors haven't made it into the Wizard series. I'm hoping planned gamebooks will make it to online status at some point in the future.

I consider the first stage of FF (Books 1-10) a little jaded by today's standards, although it can't be denied that they are true classics which provided the basic template. Citadel of Chaos, Deathtrap Dungeon, Island of the Lizard King, and House of Hell are amongst my favourites. I'm wondering if the Haggworts were based more on Halloween 2 (or was it 3?) featuring those evil pumpkin masks. I think John Carpenter directed the movie I'm on about. Silver Shamrock!

I've heard of Terry Brooks but sorry to say unfamiliar with his work.


Half Pint
Mon Mar 16 15:20:48 2015
Thanks, - I'm a lot better than I was.

Did as you said regarding the Lone Wolf game but haven't had much time to really look into it.

'Moonrunner' certainly a good name for a boat! Would have liked to have seen 'Blood of the Mandrakes' released in some format, - I also wish Wizard would republish more of the old FF books.

I agree with your view on the early gamebooks, both in terms of them been a great template and been jaded though I would say the fantasy ones started to slightly broaden their range with City of Thieves and this grew as it went on. Island of the Lizard King holds a special place for me as it was my first gamebook, soon followed by Crypt of the Sorcerer, - and when you compare the two (given the gap), it's clear to see how the authors have widened the scale in how the player can go off adventuring and the inclusion of little sideplots/quests that don't necessarily relate to the main one, (for example in Crypt of the Sorcerer the goblin raiders). In the adventure I'm writing, there's a couple of incidents with gorchongs as a nod to Island.

As to the haggworts I've never seen any of the Halloween films, the John Carpenter ones that I have are The Thing, Ghosts of Mars and Assault on Precinct Thirteen. Sorry, what I meant was the shadow warriors themselves seem to be a lot like the nazgul given their nature.

Lastly, bit on Terry Brooks. Terry Brooks is the author of (among others), the Shannara series of whose first book he released in 1977, - it's a sword and sorcery epic that follows the various descendants of families who have had a pivotal roll in certain wars, threats, etc. As the series went on, Brooks released a seemingly unrelated trilogy, The Word and the Void which was set on modern-day Earth and featured demons and magic, a few years after this his Genesis of Shannara Trilogy revealed that 'Shannara', (the name of the continent the books take place on), is in fact North America thousands of years after a world-wide war instigated by the demons resulted in widespread devastation with the use of chemical and biological weaponry, (referred to as the 'Great Wars' in series), and this ended with further mass-destruction when nuclear missiles are launched at the end of this trilogy. Thousands of years later, Earth has reverted back to a fantasy-Medieval level, magic has come back, several typical fantasy races are in fact the future-generations of survivors, (dwarves are those who sought shelter in caves and mines, trolls those who suffered high-radiation poisoning/chemical weapon bombardments, gnomes are those who hid in the relatively untouched forests to the north and south), along with various monsters and beasts, some of magical origin. The main threat throughout the latter books is the spread of the dominating Federation, - the distant descendants from southern survivors, (who were not so heavily hit in the Great Wars), they have formed a highly-trained and ruthless empire obsessed with conquering all of Shannara and controlling its people, (enslaving where necessary), and subduing magic. Along the way other threats have surfaced; the fallen druid known as the Warlock King who waged war with his armies of monsters, legions of demons have escaped more than once from the dimension the elves banished them to, the shadowen, - parasitic wraith-like creatures who steal and devour the bodies of others, the Antrax, - a supercomputer who managed to survive and function in this new world, - among many others. As the series has progressed, the peoples of Shannara have created new kinds of technology, (such as airships). As a whole, they're fantastic books and well-worth a read.

Robert Douglas
Sun Mar 22 20:11:04 2015
@Half Pint,

Regards the Shannara premise, it's certainly possible for past civilizations to have thrived then wiped themselves out, leaving no or little trace, leaving remnants of the world peoples to survive then rebuild. They reckon there was an ancient nuclear war (a quartz-crater has been found in Indonesia, or was it Indo-China?) buried by thousands of years of soil. This might tie in with the 'Great Flood' as described in Sumerian writings - long before Christianity's tale of Noah's Ark - although they have actually found outlines of a ship high on a mountain. They have also discovered statues of a mysterious creature buried in the desert (the arid climate ideally preserves such antiquities, not forgetting the Dead Sea Scrolls). Atlantis may sound like a fantasy, but in light of such findings it's entirely feasible. Also, the natural dilapidation of buildings can be found in a fascinating if somewhat disturbing documentary titled 'Earth After Man'. What if Mankind suddenly disappeared? Very nearly all trace of buildings worldwide will be lost after about 100,000 years. This is academic yet instrumental in revealing how past civilizations can be smothered to inexistence both physically and historically.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham also adopts the idea of a world thousands of years after a nuclear holocaust. The settlers of Waknuk (somewhere in modern-day United States) are religious zealots at war with 'deviants'; spawned from those mutated by radiation. Their crusade is to destroy all those not created in 'God's image'. Unless, of course, they serve a useful purpose such as the gigantic horses ridden by the Fringe dwellers. An enjoyable and thought-provoking story.

Shannara sounds a little bit Shadowrun's mix of fantasy and sci-fi. I'm a bit puzzled with how magic exists unless it's a similar source to S.T.A.L.K.E.R's anomalies (radiation has caused magic) unless magic lay dormant and stirred to the surface somehow. I can understand, through the eyes of a vault-dweller, how Fallout 3's rad-pumped ghouls would be mistaken for the undead following a nuclear catastrophe.

Half Pint
Mon Mar 23 12:23:14 2015
In response to your early points there's all sorts of theories which arise from natural and man-made incidents/disasters. In the fantastic sci-fi book Wheelers by Ian Stewart and Jack S. Cohen there is a comment made by one of the characters towards the end of the novel, (which is set in the twenty-third century and tells the story of Prudence Odingo, a young woman who discovers artifacts on Callisto, - she is about to be convicted of fraud when suddenly these artifacts come alive, and the moons of Jupiter shift to send a planet-killer comet towards Earth. Prudence becomes part of the team sent to make contact with the suspected aliens responsible - and time is running out), where one character makes reference to an map from Ancient Egypt discovered on the Moon and the possibility of the Egyptians have space-flight capabilities. (Personally I don't agree with this but it's still an interesting and weird idea). Furthermore the brilliant film Dark City is sometimes said to be partly inspired by the belief of Last Thursdayism, - which states that Earth was created as long ago as last Thursday and everything we do is pre-programmed.

In answer to your question about magic existing in Shannara, the answer is it's a power which has always existed. In the early books, magic is gifted to Knights of the Word who work to combat the demons. The Word and the Void been two entities which have existed since the beginning and have warred for eternity. The Word chooses a human who has proven themselves a warrior and gives them their staff, (sometimes injuring them so they remember who they are), and forever after are set on hunting down the minions of the Void. Demons are humans who have been corrupted by the Void, overtime loosing all their humanity and just been a shell. During the Great Wars, large amounts of humans became once-men, corrupted forms made to serve the demons as they destroyed settlements and captured survivours for vicious experiments. As the series progresses and the Knights of the Word die out, magic mainly belongs to the elves, (who have existed since long before humanity), and is passed down through bloodlines. Humans also gain magic, some by simply studying ancient tomes, others born with it, - the Omsford family is an important one in the series, their half-elf blood provides certain members with magic. The shadowen, who steal magic from others and devour it, owe their capabilities to their origins, (I won't say in case you decide to read the books). A superb series that Shannara reminds me of is Stephen King's Dark Tower books, - especially the comparison between the settings, both All-Earth and Shannara were once technologically and industrially advanced worlds which have suffered a cataclysm and reverted to a different state, and both feature the re-emergence of magic. The one which befell All-Earth was partly due to a corporation attempting to replace magic with technology, (All-Earth is the only world in King's multiverse where the structure of the Dark Tower stands, - it is a place which holds thousands of doors to hundreds of thousands of worlds, (and in many cases, alternate versions of those worlds), it is held up by magical columns called 'Beams' of which a corporation attempted to replace with their own mechanical devices. The Dark Tower also keeps 'the Prim' locked away, - this is a chaotic dimension inhabited by many vicious and horrendous monsters, (it is also the place the creatures come from in King's The Mist). A powerful monster from the Prim, the Crimson King, wishes to destroy the Dark Tower and let chaos rule once more. The Crimson King is extremely powerful and manipulative, he has also made many appearances in King's books, for example the 'hotel manager' in The Shining is in fact the Crimson King seeking for powerful psychics to be captured and turned into 'breakers' in order to destroy the Beams, - he also manipulated the scientists to cause a tear into the Prim, (called a 'thinny') in The Mist.

Robert Douglas
Sat Apr 4 10:24:21 2015
@Half Pint,

Sorry for delay in replying, I've been busy reading and writing my Windhammer 2015

Alternate timelines and Multiverses are very popular in fantasy/sci-fi circles (not sure which category - perhaps both - they fit into). Luther Arkwright is a comic book format created by Bryan Talbot, the protagonist is an enforcer assigned to apprehend 'disruptors' who visit and influence various timelines for their own ends.

There's lots of fascinating stories out there - I'm just wondering if we could have a 'Reading Club' section on this site devoted to sci-fi and fantasy novels? Would it also be viable for 'FF Gamebook Range' section, listing book-covers (front and back) of both Puffin and Wizard editions? A sort of introduction for new fans.

On Amazon, prices vary: some are a mere 1 penny (so really you'd be paying for postage and packing!), while others are about the normal price. 'Out of the Pit' is curiously twenty five pounds or thereabouts - rare edition?
Some Puffin editions can still be bought at second hand bookshops and I believe they still do (for a pricey service fee) a search of these shops nationwide for the more elusive titles. The more avid collectors can always resort to placing newspaper/magazine ads requesting FF title sale offers.

Back to the quill and ink....
Well, I've added a 'Reading Club' thread, use it how you will. If I understand you correctly about the FF book covers, that seems to me something that's better dealt with by sites like Titannica.

Robert Douglas
Sat Apr 4 10:33:33 2015
Sorry, back again, briefly. Just had a further look on Amazon, both Spellbreaker and Moonrunner is priced at around 20.00. :O! Meanwhile, strangely, classics like Deathtrap Dungeon are a mere penny. Bit of revelation news (unless you already knew this): Keep of the Lich Lord (formerly FF#43 Puffin) is now published under the Fabled Lands Quest series authored by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson.

Half Pint
Wed Apr 8 15:33:47 2015
Don't worry about late reply, been busy myself. Currently writing my first novel, sci-fi set a few thousand years in the future...

Personally I think multiverse can apply to either sci-fi or fantasy, after all D&D belongs in a multiverse, so too Final Fantasy and Magic: The Gathering. All three had a mixture of fantasy, sci-fi, (Spelljammer for D&D) and other genres like steampunk. I much prefer sword and sorcery set on a 'secondary world' than have other planets/dimensions etc featured.

Think your 'Reading Club' idea is brilliant, people can natter about books as they please and as you say, no doubt us long-time FF fans will mention our favourite books.

As to the price of Out of the Pit, when I looked up the remastered version on amazon it was a hardback copy of the same price. There's also one similiar of Titan and the AF&F books. I'd be interested in seeing what new beasties lie in the latest Out of the Pit. Some of the ones I quite like were directly involved with the plot and might seem out of place if randomly brought back, - going back to Legend of the Shadow Warriors, I'd like to battle against the hagworts again but someone would have to work up a reason behind their reappearence rather than randomly bumping into one. I remember one of the most dangerous ones I read in Out of the Pit long before I encountered any were the decayers. Stat wise, they're very low but it was the automatically been infected with their plague as you fought them that was harsh. Other creatures, such as the bloodbeasts I seem to recall encountering only in Deathtrap Dungeon and I think one other.
Some I never did fight, - the kokomokoa and the slime-eaters spring to mind, - having said that I bought almost all the FF series as a kid. I think it was the kalamite in Daggers of Darkness I kept an eye out for and never encountered one again. Any person favourites of yours?

evan
Sat May 9 14:33:17 2015
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
fun game, didnt win!

Robert Douglas
Sun May 10 12:27:41 2015
@ Evan,
Glad you enjoyed it, sorry you died.

Evan
Fri Aug 7 18:01:01 2015
Woohoo finally beat this one. Got stuck a few times but your clues were very helpful in figuring out why I didn't get to the next stage. My only criticism is it seems inspecting things always works in your favour (excluding one time I believe), assuming you've done things in the right order. There is also one time where you have to arbitrarily choose the right direction without any guidance, and I didn't like the randomness of that.

Robert Douglas
Sat Aug 8 18:44:09 2015
@ Evan,

You're quite right. In real life, of course, it doesn't matter if things are done in order or not; all good and bad things happen out of randomness for an unfortunate few (or is it 'many'?) no matter what decisions they make. Inevitably, nightmare of one sort or another, but a hopeless case sadly.

Jeff
Fri Aug 28 04:15:33 2015
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
GARG! I am deturmened to win!

Jeff
Fri Aug 28 04:22:54 2015
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
I give up ARG...

Robert Douglas
Fri Sep 4 13:02:24 2015
Hi Jeff and All,

Just wondering if a walkthrough APIAS would help? I can write one up if you'd like.

Tammy
Sun Dec 13 02:29:57 2015
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
Meh, I died, and I don't get it. I found there to be a lot of description and very very long paragraphs that I ended up scanning down half the time and I didn't like the dialogue. It's not what I was expecting, although I do love a good seafaring adventure like Pirates of the Caribbean, Seas of Blood and Bloodbones. Just won't be reading this one again unfortunately. Still, enjoyed other works by this author such as The Curse Of Drumer.

Oracle_163
Tue Dec 22 02:08:52 2015
Star - optimum ending reached
Bonnie story!

bluejuice915
Sun Feb 12 21:32:35 2017
Star - optimum ending reached
Great gameplay. Fictionality in a modern setting is always a refreshing change. It was also nice to have a second character involved. The slight monotony of obtaining items to "release" Liches is annoying, but otherwise the gameplay is fun.
Grade: 99

Robert Douglas
Tue Feb 14 22:04:45 2017
Very late reply to Half Pint: a personal favourite monster of mine is, oddly enough, from Legend of the Shadow Warriors...the Mandrake!

Glad you enjoyed APIAS bluejuice915, sorry you didn't enjoy the items gameplay mechanic. Some ideas work, others don't, and a few can always be improved. However, it's also down to personal taste of the player, but thanks for your honesty.

Stinger
Sat Jul 8 03:23:01 2017
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
Arggh! I was sooo close to recovering Tes but I was afraid I'd have a luck roll involved with that sneak attack and fail it. :)
This is my third play through, but I'll keep at it. Thanks for the new skill/stamina/luck system. I like the idea of having a class of stats to step into. Instead of re-rolling over and over.
I've developed a real hate on for these villagers! I look forward to wiping them out. :D

Kostas 30
Sat Sep 16 20:49:34 2017
Star - optimum ending reached
This is my second finished gamebook and I found it pretty interesting & hard to say the least... It took me 4 attempts to finish it as a
SPOILER  
END SPOILER
and I'm curious to know if the other classes, have the ability to follow exclusive (for their class) alternative paths, in order to reach to the finish line?

Congratulations to the author and the thanks for the beautifuly spent afternoons!
The paths are slightly different for the other classes, but not very much.

RogueOne
Tue Nov 7 00:01:04 2017
Star - optimum ending reached
Done!



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