Thursday, November 10, 2011

Return to Firetop Mountain

Compared to Vault of the Vampire and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, this book is extremely unforgiving. For starters, you begin with neither Provisions nor potions. An exhaustive list of your starting equipment is: Sword, lantern, empty backpack. Oh, and clothes. The book explicitly specifies that you have clothes.

Then, this book has a number of instant-death choices and nastily tough fights. In fairness, however, compared to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, this book has much fewer "choose a direction to go, no you don't have any hint which you should pick, if you pick the wrong one here you'll get all the way to the end and be unable to win" sections, instead favoring, "Choose a direction to go, no you don't have any hint which you should pick, if you pick the wrong one you'll die quickly," "You reach the end and die because you didn't memorize a stranger's home address" and, "You reach the end and die because you didn't enter the sheeps-eye eating contest and beat the Barbarian."

You think I'm joking? You'll see.

1: Follow Moose into the undergrowth.

341: Stop to investigate the sparkling thing.

82: (Gain Shield)

267: Charge into the bushes.

306: (+3 Gold, Gain 2 Daggers) Leave the paper on the ground.

161: Talk with Dan.

286: (Gain Mushroom.)

237: Turn south toward Yaztromo's Tower.

120: Investigate the cry for help.

318: (Gain Ring of Invisibility)

250: Find somewhere to sleep.

329: Examine the clay pots and the wooden box. (Gain Key 142, Gain Small Wooden Ball, Gain Small Wooden Brick) If you are at all injured, find somewhere else to sleep, if you are at full Stamina it doesn't matter whether you sleep here or elsewhere. Either way, if you fail a Luck test, you will have a fight, after which you will have the option of wearing something your opponent was wearing. Don't.

238: It's a trap, sail on.

182: If you succeeded at the Luck test on the ship, you know better than to shake "Yaztromo's" hand. If you didn't, you'll just have to metagame. Refuse to shake his hand.

316: Talk to the boy.

233: Give him your wooden brick. (Lose Small Wooden Brick)

116: Buy a rope, mirror, magnifying glass, leather gloves, and a lantern. (Just in case the Doppleganger fight didn't tell you how murderous this gamebook is, of the five items I listed, one is merely useful, one can be vital but can also be a trap, one is vital but you can potentially survive without it, and the other two are instant-death if you don't have them.) Put on the gloves immediately.

309: HIS ADDRESS IS NUMBER 36, DON'T FORGET. Accept some tea.

71: Land.

166: Go right.

140: Break the bottle.

321: (Gain Brass Egg)

281: Turn left.

37: Open the door.

389: Rummage around in the dirt.

242: (+1 Gold, Gain Tin Whistle, Gain Onyx Egg) Tug on the chain.

332: Put your arm in the compartment.

92: You are wearing leather gloves.

178: (+1 Luck) Finish unscrewing the canister top.

134: (+1 Luck, gain Gold Dragon's Tooth 315 [note that in some printings, the number was left off the tooth])

56: Walk on to the third door.

273: Open the door.

87: Take the ring.

339: Take the ring.

215: (Gain Seeing Is Believing Ring 30) Place the ring on your finger.

384: Climb the rope.

51: Take the sword.

355: (Gain Sword of Darkblade Skullbiter)

68: Climb down the shaft.

80: Don't read the message.

372: Jump over the skulls.

314: Open the door opposite.

283: Get ready to fight.

294: Realistic statues in sudden, intense pain? Fight with your eyes closed.

31: Go through your backpack.

66: Pull out the mirror.

231: If you survive your encounter with the Gorgon, open the door in the far wall.

347: Attack the Orc.

227: (Gain Sword)

243: Open the crate.

375: (Gain Silver Bell) Go into the back room.

132: (Gain Golden Spoon)

13: Open the door.

118: Zoot Zimmer, who lives at #36.

36: (+1 Luck, Gain Gold Dragon's Tooth 186) Go to the right.

3: Sit down on the bench.

211: (+1 Skill, +2 Stamina)

162: Open the box.

93: (Gain String)

284: (+3 Copper, Gain Piece of Paper) Leave the garlic and the earring. Walk up to the door ahead.

149: Steal the dagger and pouch.

45: (Gain Throwing Dagger, Gain Piece of Slate With Word "Arrow")

158: Refuse to pay him.

216: (+1 Gold) Enter the right-hand tunnel.

38: Obey the Inquisitor.

262: 50+250=300.

50: 4.5+15+18+22.5+30=90

90: Peruse some of the books.

18: You have a magnifying glass.

53: You now know that the Air Elemental of Light is number 186 and destroys a Water Elemental of Chaos, and that if you find half a sentence later, it refers to the Earth Elemental of Light.

337: Put on the breastplate.

317: (+1 Skill, +1 Luck--oddly the phrasing indicates that you regain a point of lost Skill from finding the breastplate, rather than getting a +1 Skill bonus as long as you wear the breastplate.)

170: Knock on the door.

187: The word on the Troglodyte's piece of slate was "Arrow."

204: Follow the Troglodyte in silence.

43: Agree to a side bet.

268: You can bet your golden spoon, or one of the dragons' teeth--it doesn't matter, since if you lose this bet you won't be able to finish the gamebook.

326: If you won the competition, the Barbarian will pay up. If you beat him but didn't win, you'll need to fight him. If you didn't beat him, the gamebook is now unwinnable.

304: Go right.

349: Open the door.

356: Take a look at the weapons.

206: (Gain Whip) Open the box.

24: (+3 Gold, +2 Silver, Gain Horseshoe, Gain Rat's Skull) Read the page.

244: Putting this together with the half-sentence from the library, you now know that the Earth Elemental of Light is numbered 94 and destroys an Air Elemental of Chaos. Put on the bracelet.

62: (+4 Stamina) Leave the pendant and press on.

151: Open the door.

60: Attack the creature.

241: (Gain Unmarked Gold Dragon's Tooth) Lift the top of the skull.

165: Read the page.

81: You now know that the Fire Elemental of Light is numbered 315 and destroys an Earth Elemental of Chaos. You can also guess, by process of elimination, that the Water Elemental of Light is numbered whichever-number-on-a-tooth-isn't 94, 186, or 315, which must be 27 since you have that tooth (unless it's a red herring and you discover a fifth numbered tooth), and destroys a Fire Elemental of Chaos. If your current Luck score is 9 or above, take the dragon's head. Otherwise leave it.

32: Open the door.

144: Jump into the pit to retrieve the box.

7: Wait for the worm to slide off of the box.

307: You don't need to take the box with you. Read the page.

39: You now know (or, rather, confirm) that the Water Elemental of Light is numbered 27 and destroys the Fire Elemental of Chaos.

97: Ignore this door and walk on.

373: Go to the right.

48: Open the door.

282: Ignore the headband and search the chamber.

115: Put your two Silver Pieces in the slot.

264: (+1 Luck, Gain Gold Dragon's Tooth 94)

4: You have an iron key numbered 142.

34: If you fail this Skill test, the gamebook is unwinnable.

371: There are 52 coins.

52: Use your whip.

382: Search the room.

376: You now know that using the gold dragon's teeth to summon elementals will involve using the word "Cachondo"...although the way you actually do it doesn't match the way described on the scroll.

328: If you are not lucky, you'll need to use your lantern against the Mummies.

102: Try to bluff your way past the guard.

69: Offer it Darkblade Skullbiter's sword.

163: Enter the side room from which the Goblins appeared.

125: Look at the staff.

20: (Gain Skull Staff) Pursue the Death Lords.

219: Use a magic item.

354: Tap the floor with the skull staff.

65: Carrying a shield and wearing a breastplate gives you a two-in-three chance of surviving this.

335: You've made it to the final confrontation with Zagor. There are no choices left to make, only 5 checks for items (each of the Gold Dragon's Teeth, plus a throwing dagger) and 5 checks for knowledge (the correct word to activate the Dragon's Teeth and the knowledge of when to use which tooth), followed by a seriously nasty fight. Good luck, hero.

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