Tuesday, 28 August 2012

An important announcement that reveals all!

The time has come.
I'll keep this brief. I've been itching to get this started for a while and so it gives me great pleasure to announce that a new gamebook series will join the ranks of May Your Stamina Never Fail! In case the giant picture on the right does not give it away, this series is the Destiny Quest book, (Soon to be books!) The Legion of Shadow. Quite frankly, it's awesome. Think of Fighting Fantasy mixed with World of Warcraft, with a bit of old-school platforming in the vein of the classic Spyro the Dragon series. I say platforming for the reason this book is split into three acts (Home Worlds) with each one having various quests (Levels) and also a boss battle (As is) and various Legendary Monsters (Mini-bosses). It is not compulsory to complete every quest to finish this book, but fear not; I shall be attempting every quest and legendary monster going on my playthrough. The great thing about DQ is that when/if you die, you do not have to start the entire book from the beginning. Thank God for that by the way; this book is bigger than a person who eats McDonald's their entire life! You instead go back to the aforementioned "home world" and lose any items you picked up on the quest you happened to be on. That's a neat way of doing things, although it must be noted that the early quests are so short that you can breeze through them without too much trouble anyway. In Destiny Quest you can pick up items/armour/weapons to equip your character with that give bonuses to his/her stats and also grant them special skills. I won't bother listing them all here for there are far too many; check out the official Destiny Quest website for more, although I do plan on doing a post listing them all for convenience sake in the near future.

My method of doing a post for an entire gamebook will be torn to shreds for this series. Instead, posts will (probably) be shorter, each one focusing on a single quest, plus any visits to Taverns for healing/item purchasing between. I will still analyse my adventure as usual, with my journey through the quest laid out and ratings for each aspect of the book still present. (Barring Illustrations - more on that come the first quest playthrough) I thought about changing the title of that feature to 'How much Destiny was in this Quest?' instead of 'How much fight was in this fantasy?' although that seems:

A) Too cheesy.
B) I feel continuity is important to this blog and keeping my features with the same name feels right.

If anyone has any opinions on that matter please let me know, this is for your sake as much as mine! That especially applies to Michael J. Ward should he read this. If he does, firstly Hi, thanks for taking the time out to read my blog. Secondly, thanks for writing an awesome book and continuing the series with The Heart of Fire and hopefully many more to come. Thirdly, do you have any objections to me using a specifically FF-style name for a feature when analysing your gamebook? I should have mentioned; Michael J. Ward is the author of this little gem. I learnt yesterday that the greatest reward of writing a gamebook playthrough/review blog is getting the author of the work themselves to read the post after Ian Livingstone himself read my City of Thieves playthrough. I am unashamed to admit I am still floating around somewhere up on Cloud 9. Having already played through Act 1 of The Legion of Shadow in the few days after I got the hardback edition on release day, I can say that the first few quests should be easy to me and that therefore there should be a quick-ish stream of content coming this way soon. Seeing how this blog has evolved into much more than merely a Fighting Fantasy playthrough blog (It will remain primarily so though!) I have decided to remove the FF logo from the right hand side of the page. I've babbled on way too much now, so I'll cut to the moral:

Everybody in the world has the chance to do extraordinary things. All they have to do is be brave enough to take a leap and seize their chance with both hands. Don't wait for that chance to come to you; take that leap and find it for yourself.


May Your Stamina Never Fail...

The quest to stop the Legion of Shadow commences...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Birthdays and Bathdays (City of Thieves playthrough coinciding with the 30th Anniversary of Fighting Fantasy!)

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Fighting Fantasy (and me!) happy birthday to you!

My, is that a dagger in your hand
or are you just happy to see me?
Port Blacksand. The very name strikes fear into any honest person. Port Blacksand is, after all, a city of thieves, vagabonds and all sort of unsavoury characters. It is, then, based upon the very real city of Liverpool. In all seriousness, it is not a nice place to find oneself in. My journey to this godforsaken place is not without good reason though, as I shall explain shortly. City of Thieves is one of the books I remember really enjoying when I was younger; I seem to recall a great deal of exploration within the City itself. It is #5 in both the original Puffin series and Wizard series 1, whilst being #6 in the second Wizard series. I will be using my copy labelled #6 for this playthrough, for the simple reason that I love the slightly bigger illustrations throughout. As I type this I realise this is yet another Ian Livingstone book; perhaps I ought to give Steve Jackson's books a go soon. Although, thinking about it, his were usually plot heavy and rather intricate whilst also being very challenging. Decisions decisions. Ian McCaig does the interior illustrations for this one, also doing the original Puffin cover,  an occurrence I am not aware of happening in any other FF book. (Cue the throngs of people correcting me) Martin McKenna, as he did with so many of them, drew the revamped Wizard cover, which is the one on your right. The rules are fairly standard; no extra attributes, you start with 10 provisions and ONE swig of a potion of either Skill, Stamina or Fortune.

Every journey starts with a name. A person. This person is Robin Turpin, an infamous thief who robs from the rich and sometimes gives his spoils to the poor. Robin is trekking about looking for an adventure of some sort to flex his thieving might with when he stumbles across the reasonably wealthy town of Silverton. The people seem nervous about something though and the iron grates over windows suggest that something is up. Deciding to investigate, I promptly find myself in The Old Toad. This is not a nickname for a local prostitute but rather more pleasingly a local Tavern. Robin's appearance causes quite a stir too; there are whisperings afoot as I make my way to the bar to inquire about a room for the night. Curiously before taking my money the innkeeper proceeds to iron bolt the door to his inn shut. Apparently nightfall in Silverton brings all sorts of terror; maybe The Old Toad is a murderous prostitute! Suddenly a thunderous knocking on the door of the inn sounds, with a voice shouting 'Open up! Open up!' Fearing for the survival of my lower regions, I am quite relieved to find the voice belongs to Owen Carralif, mayor of Silverton. It appears old Owen has put his town in a spot of bother; Night Prince not-so-charming, Zanbar Bone sent a request that Owen's daughter, Mirelle, go "stay" with him. Like any self-respecting father would, Owen rejects the Undead Prince's request. Every night since, Zanbar has sent his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs to kill anyone and everyone within Silverton. With rumours circulating of the people handing Mirelle over to Zanbar to stave off any further bloodshed, poor Owen is on the brink of collapse. To that end, he hands me 30 gold pieces, tells me to get a move on to Port Blacksand, find there a Wizard by the name of Nicodemus, a man powerful enough to slay Zanbar Bone single-handed. So, Robin Turpin has a quest. Guess I better get a move on then...

Far more intimidating than a Police helmet
I guess.
Robin Turpin is blessed with stat scores of Skill 12, Stamina 20 and Luck 8. I'll be taking that Potion of Fortune then! Arriving at a decidedly-grim looking Port Blacksand, I am greeted by the charming face on your left. Looking back in hindsight, asking the fellow to be taken to Nicodemus was not my smartest move I've ever made. I end up being escorted to a jail cell. Bugger. A strange old man in the cell next door offers to somehow free me for 10 gold pieces. I know you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but if he can free me how come he is still a prisoner himself? Ignoring the old man, I pretend to have the plague, escaping the cell by making the guards all flee in terror. Picking up a couple of gold pieces and a Merchant's pass to trade freely within the city. I am then faced with a choice of three streets to take a stroll down; Key Street, Market Street or Clock Street. I choose the former, for the bare bones logic reasoning that a Key will be more useful to me in completing my quest than a clock. I enter a locksmith belonging to a J.B Wraggins. A Skeleton key for 10 gold pieces sounds like a good deal, so I give Mr. Wraggins some of my precious gold and leave him to his intricate little job he has going for himself. Further down the street a scruffy boy hands me a piece of paper informing me that I'll be peppered with arrows should I walk further down the street without leaving 10 gold pieces behind. It is safe to assume that the threat is very real, owing to the dastardly nature of this place, so I reluctantly oblige, finding myself 20 gold pieces poorer in a mere matter of paragraphs. Ouch. The next building has a welcome sign outside, so I oblige. Inside is Robin Turpin's dream scenario; two Scorpion brooches are lying on a table. I greedily take them both and exit the house immediately. I'm given the option of going upstairs, but why risk it? The golden brooch gives me luck and the silver one will replenish a tiny bit of stamina after each fight. Both very handy finds!

The favourite pastime the world forgot.
This city is one potential fuck up after another. Shortly after leaving the brooch building some of the City Guard turn up asking to see my Merchant's pass, even though I'm not actually trying to sell anything. Crafty bastards. Fortunately, I produce the one I nicked earlier during my escape from the cell. Evidently my face is not yet recognised around Port Blacksand, as the guards seem suspicious but let me go on regardless anyway. Next up is some good old-fashioned fun in the marketplace. There's a crowd of people hurling eggs at this man in a pillory. Seizing upon the opportunity for a riot of a time (Pun most likely intended) I take some eggs off this old woman next to me and throw them right at the poor man's face. The sly crone steals a gold piece from my pocket while I do this, but you know what? I don't feel hard-done by; I enjoyed this activity and am happy to pay a bit for it! I ignore a man playing a lyre for the reason he is dressed in purple velvet. Never trust a man in purple velvet. I do, however, engage in a battle of ego's with a bare-chested man whose smug grin pissed me off. In this duel for 5 gold pieces we must hold a cannonball until one of us rolls a 1. He rolls a 1 on his very first roll of the die. It just proves that muscles aren't everything; Robin Turpin can best an egoistic strongman in a cannonball-holding contest, success! Using my prize I buy a lantern and a climbing rope, two of the most useful items in any FF player's arsenal. Well, I say that, but shortly after buying them I remembered I'm in an urban setting, not an open expanse or a cave/dungeon of some sort. Bugger. Rules are rules though, I bought them before remembering this and shall plough on regardless. I ignore the charms of a local clairvoyant as I've never been one to believe in people reading the future; I'm not about to start now. After a short while I come to a bridge adorned with skulls, some of which are not even human. My morbid love for the disgustingly unpleasant has me positively writhing in glee here. That's some quite wonderful juxtaposition there, I hope you'll all agree!

Nicodemus' body double.
I go beneath this bridge, admittedly because I remember that what lies beneath is Nicodemus himself. Ganda.. sorry, Nicodemus greets me and proceeds to give me one of the strangest item hunts ever devised. I need to get a white unicorn inside a yellow sun tattooed on my forehead for all to see, a silver arrow, black pearls, hag's hair and last but not least a lotus flower. Only equipped with all of these can I hope to slay Zanbar Bone. Oh dear. I've placed my faith in a man who is quite clearly loopy. Still, this is a book written by Ian Livingstone; Nicodemus must be right! Leaving Nicodemus, I decide to go down Candle street in the hope of finding a tattooist in one of its many buildings. The first building I enter has no tattooist but instead a very deadly gambling game. A man puts 6 pills in front of me, 5 are harmless yet one will kill me. If I swallow a harmless one, I win 20 gold pieces. If I die, the man gets to keep all my possessions. No shit, Sherlock. Still, Robin loves a risky gamble, so to hell with it. Rather satisfyingly, I survive. Now considerably richer, I feel I can do anything. Say, even play with some brown Goblin-esque creatures called Bays. They are playing Bays' Ball. It is at it sounds; by that I mean Robin Turpin is about to play Baseball. Hey, every hero needs a break! I turn out to be an ace at this and win my team the game. I am adorned with all sorts of gifts, ranging from a useful sounding potion of mind control to a piece of chalk. None of my shopping list for Nicodemus sadly though, but at least I know I could retire and become a professional Bays' Ball player should this quest go to pot. With nowhere left to go down Candle Street, I head for Harbour street, following it to the jetty it takes me to.

Warning: This may not be an entirely
accurate depiction of real events.
Arr! There's a pirate ship here! I sneak aboard using a rope ladder, avoiding the Pirate left on guard by the gangplank. Sneaking further down into the cargo hold, I hope that these Pirates will have one of my obscure items onboard. The first door I open reveals a trio of Pirates asleep on the job. Braving a luck roll and being exceedingly lucky at that (Double 1, I love you) I cut a pouch of one of them containing a small family of black pearls. ITEM GET! Going into the other door presented for my endless curiosity, I find a pirate sitting in a bathtub singing a very annoying and repetitive ditty. This happens to be the Pirate captain, fresh from an adventure involving Scientists. Despite his frankly awful singing, I offer to spare his miserable life in return for information on my unusual shopping list. He recommends a Silversmith to me for that arrow I need, but otherwise is about as much use as a porthole that is stuck open. Thus ends my venture onto the Pirate ship, without even needing to use that Eyepatch I have as part of a cunning disguise. That disappoints me. I also feel I should have engaged the Pirate captain in combat so I could inform him that he fights like a cow. On that note, I should move on before I get trapped forever in the Bermuda Triangle of Pirate references...

It's alright; he's actually quite tame.
Sorry about that. I got caught up in my love of all things Pirate-y, forgetting what the fuck it is I'm supposed to be doing here. Right, hunting down an evil Undead thingymajigy, got it! Before I leave Harbour Street, I am informed by some fishwives with "plump cheeks as round and shiny as red apples" that I am likely to find a Hag somewhere in the sewer system. Nice. I ignore a boy crying as I enter Clog Street; the chances of him having a Lotus flower on him are reasonably slim, after all. I also ignore a candle-maker. As nice as it would be to purchase a candle, I really have no need of one and cash is a little tight. Remember, I still have to pay for the world's most stupid tattoo to be smacked on my forehead yet! The next shop, however, is of the utmost importance. This shop belongs to Ben Borryman, Silversmith extraordinare. He takes 10 of my gold pieces in return for a Silver arrow. ITEM GET! Clog Street then comes to an end, leaving me with a seemingly random choice as to which street will hold one of my remaining precious items I seek. I choose Stable Street over Tower Street for no other reason other than the fact my coin landed on heads. This appears to be a good move; I come across a manhole leading to the sewers. I say good move... I mean this in a manner of speaking. Robin Turpin would far prefer to leave the sewers alone, but alas I trust the ramblings of the fishwives with apple cheeks. Unfortunately I do not find a Hag in the direction I head but a Giant Centipede who takes a slight distaste to my presence. He's (Well, I assume it's a he. Maybe I should be less sexually assuming when it comes to fantasy creatures) a considerably skillful menace, although Robin's too good for this fight, not even having to call on the aid of Batman. (I apologise.) Hey, that was my first fight in this entire adventure! That's mightily impressive and also annoying. Skill 12 and I've only just been called upon to use it. Upon disposing of said Centipede, I neglect to remove the grill behind it. Yes, I chicken out. I'm only human! Besides, look at the mandibles on that Centi; if it has a mate in that grill I have no chance! Heading in the other direction of the sewer system in search of my aunt the Hag I seek, I get myself into my second fight in as many minutes, this time with a posse of Rats. Killing them, I find that elusive Hag. She tries some evil sorcery on me but the Potion of Mind Control conveniently given to me for being the Bays' Ball champion prevents her from having her wicked way with me (Perish the thought!) I give her a makeshift haircut and promptly flee the Sewer system. ITEM GET!

A pair of shears and you'll be safe.
Tower Street now sounds rather appealing. However, it really isn't when I get there. A couple of men fighting in the street fails to interest me, nor does some people in a hurry with some sacks, as I highly doubt they will be shifting flowers around. Soon I come to a Stable. I think I'm still on Tower Street and not somehow teleported back to Stable Street, so allow myself a wry smile at the irony of this. Entering the Stables, I find a Blacksmith who offers to make me a fine chainmail coat for 20 gold pieces. I can afford this but my money might be better spent elsewhere, so I politely decline and leave one of the only honest men in the whole of Port Blacksand to his labours. What happens next is one of the best moments of rapid adapting to the situation I've ever done in an FF. A man comes up to me in ball and chain pleading to be freed. It appears he has been dodging taxes. Bizarrely though, the man is not a former politician. Freeing him, the City Guard suddenly arrive and point their pikes at me. Bugger. Realising that I'm not going to get away with freeing the man, I change tack and proclaim that I have captured this escaped prisoner for them. It turns out the sly bugger was lying to me; he's actually a murderer. Bastard. The Guards give me 5 gold pieces for my troubles and I go on my merry way. After a change of scenery, I pay the one gold piece entry fee into the public gardens, hoping to pilfer myself a Lotus Flower. Unfortunately the local topiary animals take offence to this action, attempting to eat me whole. I give them a quick pruning and escape with my flower intact. ITEM GET! Now all I need is the lame tattoo and I can move on to Zanbar Bone himself! I soon find the tattooist who will be tasked with removing all pride I may have ever had from my life. Jimmy Quicktint performs the task for a mere 10 gold pieces, although I feel it should be me getting paid here! With huge regret, I hand over the money and let him get to work. ITEM GET! Now fully equipped and fully twat-ified for the job, I leave, apparently noting that my "New appearance is somewhat strange". You don't say!

Sums up how I now feel.

On my way out of the city, I am approached by Sourbelly and Fatnose. No, these aren't the nicknames of the kids everybody hated at school. These are two Troll guards who decide to pick on me. I show them my merchant's pass so they don't arrest me and am instead offered to be thrown out of the city. Checking I have everything I need, I gleefully oblige to the idiots. On my way to the Night Prince's tower, I am greeted by a messenger bird sent by Nicodemus. Apparently he screwed up; only 2 of the ingredients mixed together will kill Zanbar, not all 3. He can't remember which two, so it's time for random luck to intervene. Trying to think logically, it seems that a Lotus flower is a reasonable candidate for one of the ingredients. My coin lands on tails this time, meaning that clump of Hag's hair forms the other one. Time to cross my fingers. Apparently my mashing up of flower and greasy hair has attracted a wandering creature, specifically an Orc. A mere Orc is no match for the refined swordplay of Robin Turpin though and I am soon on my way once more. The moment I approach the tower of Zanbar Bone, however, two of those dreaded Moon Dogs set upon me. Man, these guys are nasty. As killer hounds go, Moon Dogs are better skilled in combat then most assassins. This could prove a problem. Fortunately, the odds are in my favour and I survive with only even a few scratches! I now feel invincible. Better yet, my skeleton key I bought aeons ago unlocks the door at the base of the tower. Things improve further still when I get inside; taking a shield with a Unicorn on it (Fuck it, I have a Unicorn on my head already) I get a skill boost. Well, I will when/if I lose a skill point. My next option is to get in this bed in the next room and get some sleep. Ian, Ian. You may be a crafty so-and-so but do you really expect me to be so stupid as to fall asleep in this monstrous place?!?! I ignore the next couple of rooms on the way up; all evil people make their base at the top of their tower, don't they? The fourth floor appears to be my stop; Zanbar Bone starts calling out, claiming he can see my every move. Gulp.

The joys of paranoia when you know something is there.

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.
Two doors greet me. One black, one white. I choose white. There's a sarcophagus present, complete with hostile Mummy inside. Finally, that seemingly useless lantern I bought earlier comes to use, barbecuing the Mummy and allowing me to claim it's treasure; The ring of the Golden Eye. Sounds awesome, doesn't it? Apparently it is; I can now see through illusions. An item so intricately named will be useful, you can be certain of that. Moving on to the black door, I find that it will come to use far quicker than I could have imagined. A black cat on the floor turns out to be merely an illusion; it is Zanbar Bone himself! Performing some quick self-dentistry, I am faced with three Skeletons that were once the Night Prince's teeth. Dealing with them, the time to show that Robin Turpin's lessons in archery in a certain hidden forest were well worthwhile has come. I have time for just the single shot to land my silver arrow in the heart of Zanbar. It lands right in the spot. Phew. Time to see whether Lotus Flower and Hag's Hair makes for a deadly concoction to Zanbar Bone. IT DOES! Dancing with glee as the Prince crumbles to dust, I skip back to Silverton full of considerable joy. This joy only increases when Owen Carralif presents me with a Gold Orb worth hundreds of gold pieces.

This is a very good moment. Success in a Fighting Fantasy book is extremely rare. To succeed in a second one as I have just done leaves me feeling all sorts of fantastical superlatives you normally only see in a children's book that involves Caterpillars of some sort. Suffice to say I'm happy. My rather long journey was as follows:


That was me visiting 122 paragraphs; well over 25% of the lot. That's quite an achievement in itself, I feel. It took me half of that before I even came across a single combat, but then they came reasonably steadily:

Giant Centipede - Skill: 10 Stamina: 5
First Rat - Skill: 4 Stamina: 4
Second Rat - Skill: 5 Stamina: 4
Third Rat - Skill: 5 Stamina: 5
Leaf Beasts - Skill: 6 Stamina: 6
Orc - Skill: 5 Stamina: 4
First Moon Dog - Skill: 9 Stamina: 10
Second Moon Dog - Skill: 11 Stamina: 9
First Skeleton - Skill: 6 Stamina: 7
Second Skeleton - Skill: 8 Stamina: 6
Third Skeleton - Skill: 7 Stamina: 7

The Giant Centipede was not necessary to reach the end of the book, yet all the others are. Looking at it, a warrior with weak initial stats would have a good chance. Well. They would, if only those pesky Moon Dogs weren't there. They, my friends, are horrible. It's time again for the analysis part. Get ready.


I've only just noticed the 3 ingredients in the
top left of this; a wonderfully detailed image.
Illustrations: Both the original Puffin cover (Which features Zanbar Bone in front of his tower) and the Wizard one at the top of this entry are evocative of pleasant memories of this book. I like the original cover but I feel the Wizard one sums up the whole 'City' part of the book far better. Both are detailed and nice covers though. The interior illustrations are simply fantastic; some of the best FF has seen. All highly detailed, they are a joy to look at. You've already seen a couple of them as I've broken my unwritten rule that interior illustrations do not feature during my playthrough. Indeed, the illustrations of Zanbar and the City Guard are two of my favourites. Sourbelly and Fatnose are also excellent, but I've plumped for Nicodemus as my featured illustration here. 10/10

Monsters/other NPC encounters: There are plenty of interesting characters in City of Thieves. Nicodemus may not be as interesting as Yaztromo but he works well as a grumpy wizard who is still good-natured deep down. Those of you with Dungeoneer or Blacksand! will have access to more fleshing out of Nicodemus too, adding to the grumpy old git persona! The City Guard work well as a symbol of the corrupt nature of Port Blacksand as you can bribe your way out of any trouble you get into with them. There's not that many combats in this book on the whole, this being a book that focuses more on the personalities of the various inhabitants than actually thrusting you into combat against everybody you meet, a move that works well. The Leaf Beasts are an interesting creation; they may not be very strong but they are an interesting enemy concept. A nice collection of characters in this one. 8/10.

Storyline/Plot: The plot itself is basic enough with no real additions to it as you go on; the backstory is told completely in the introduction. Barring the untimely arrival of Nicodemus' messenger bird, there are no twists or major developments to the plot. However, the setting is crucial to the success of any story. Port Blacksand as a setting happens to be one of the most vibrant and truly alive settings in any FF book. You can really place yourself in this city, imagine the sights, sounds and smells described to you as you wander around searching for the most obscure items ever needed to fell an Undead horror. For that reason, I'd say the Plot works rather well. 6/10.

Difficulty: I may have completed this but that does in no way make it easy. Whilst the combat for the best part is never too challenging, the essential and unavoidable Moon Dog battle is evil, with only lucky dice or a high skill score getting you through it. I was fortunate to have both! Up to that point it is reasonably difficult to actually die, so this is a rather gentle Ian Livingstone book in that respect. However, the one true path aspect is certainly true in the second half of the book, as you can only find that manhole to get into the sewers if you choose to go down Stable Street. For that reason, this one is reasonably challenging to complete. 7/10

Seal of Approval?: City of Thieves is one of the true classics. Port Blacksand may just about be one of the greatest cities in fantasy writing, although I can't say I'd fancy a trip there! I really, really enjoyed playing this one. To me an FF book is simply a personal duel between the player and the author; the author being the dungeon master with his monsters and traps, leaving the player to use their cunning and lucky dice to outwit them. To best Ian Livingstone in mortal combat such as this once in Forest of Doom felt nice. To beat him once more here is enough to make me feel immortal. This is, of course, highly foolish. Heck, Crypt of the Sorcerer will likely bring me back down to earth with a bone-crunching bang. For now, though, I shall revel in the glory of sweet success. Read this one, it's a delight.
The sweet feeling of beating an OBE in combat for the second time.

Sorry this blog post took so long guys. I actually started it a month ago, with my opening gambit being done straight away. I then hit holidays, illness and mental block preventing me from completing it for ages, which was highly frustrating. To tell the truth, this has been ready to go up for nearly a week now, but I thought I'd hold back to coincide with Fighting Fantasy's 30th Birthday, in an effort to hopefully get more views. The fact I actually won again made the decision to release it today make even more sense; this post proves the evil minds of Fighting Fantasy authors do not always prevail! I shall try not to take a month for the next playthrough, although I shall no longer make any promises as I seem to always fail miserably in keeping them. So, a very happy 30th birthday to FF, a happy 19th to myself (This makes me feel horribly young!) and a thank you to anyone reading this. The moral of this one is not based on the experience of the book but the legacy of FF itself:
Some books will become famous for a short while, but as they age lose their lustre, moving into obscurity never to be heard of again. Some are more like a fine wine; They draw you in with an interesting flavour, but if you leave them for years and then come back to them they can taste even better and be enjoyed all the more for it. They may change their appearance slightly as they age, even adapt to their surroundings to keep themselves relevant, but they will still have that appeal that made them famous back when they were a brand new wine. These are the books that become legendary. 
I'd like to think Fighting Fantasy's legacy is similar to that of that fine Wine, don't you?


May Your Stamina Never Fail...

I make an important announcement and reveal all...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Blink and you'll Miss It

I am indeed back. Although
I've never really been away...
Hi all. I have not died. I have a reasonable plethora of excuses for my inactivity as of late.

Reason no 1: The Olympics have had my full attention as I've previously mentioned in my last post.

Reason no 2: I spent a week in the Lake District (Lovely part of the world it is too)

Reason no 3: Briefly panicked as I forgot today was A level results day, fortunately I can now confirm that in September I shall be starting a BA in Creative Writing at the University of Northampton, Yay!

Reason no 4: I'm now in one of those nerve-jangling things in life known as a relationship and have therefore been politely advised to use more of my free time towards various relationship things. Fear not, this shall not prevent me from dying endlessly for your reading pleasure!

I will also be going on holiday next week but I will this time take my laptop with me so I can finally get my City of Thieves playthrough done; I am enjoying it, it's taking a while! I've changed my mind about following it up with Blood of the Zombies. I played it a couple of times and felt hollow inside after. One of those times might have something to do with Gingrich Yurr's bazooka leaving a big hole in my chest, but for some reason I just couldn't love it. Personally I think it's the removal of Skill and Luck. To me without them it just didn't feel like a proper FF book. That's probably a debate for another day, maybe even another blog where there are more readers to debate about it like Stuart Lloyd's one. I hope by delaying my playthrough I will appreciate it more when it comes to it; I guess I was so desperate to love it that I expected too much. Rather reminiscent of my recent viewing of The Dark Knight Rises, which I enjoyed but expected more. I just wish I knew what it was that I was expecting from both of them. I'll be back soon hopefully; I feel guilty with my recent slacking of meaningful updates. The moral is simply to Never build up too much hope and expectation for a single event; you may end up feeling disappointed. Keep your hopes low and you can't fail but to be pleasantly surprised. See you soon for some antics in Port Blacksand!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Just a Quickie

I needed an image. Seeing how our games are
going this seems appropriate.
I must start by saying that all potential innuendo within the title of this post and anything that comes from within is fully intentional. On that note, this post will be short, to the point and will more than likely leave even my hardcore readers unsatisfied. Blood of the Zombies is now out. My signed copy is (hopefully) in the post right now, but some of my lucky fellow bloggers (Namely TorallionMarsten and Stuart Lloyd) were lucky enough to go to Forbidden Planet and meet not only Ian Livingstone in person but also The Tin Man himself of Tin Man Games. From looking at their blog posts/recent tweets it appears they had a rather amazing time of it. Oh for missed opportunities. Bugger. I only hope this will not have been my only opportunity to meet Ian Livingstone or indeed any of the people I mentioned above. A gamebook bloggers meet up of some sort is surely a good idea? (Hint hint!)

To change flow a minute and give you something a little different, (Warned you) how amazing are GB doing in the Olympics right now?! Inspirational stuff. I can't even ride a bike but seeing the efforts of Bradley Wiggins et al makes me want to just get outside and ride a bike to nowhere in particular. To see so many go all the way and provide the climax of a medal in front of an excited home crowd is great and had bought me close to tears on numerous occasions over the past week. More I say! I shall now finish myself by giving you all an overwhelming feeling of relief; I have not forgotten about my City of Thieves playthrough. I have got so caught up in the spirit of the Olympics watching everything that I have simply not had time. It is therefore unlikely that the playthrough will be up before the Olympics reach their conclusion. Apologies for that, but on the positive side by the 12th August I shall be a very proud owner of Blood of the Zombies. Rest assured, I shall be sharing with you what I expect to be a pleasurable experience likely involving death by Zombie, as soon as possible following the conclusion of the greatest Olympic games ever. The moral for today took some thinking; I thought about bemoaning my misfortune of not getting down to London yesterday some more, but positivity and humour wins the day. 'None can appreciate innuendo as much as the Brits'.