Saturday, September 22, 2012

Five stupid decisions that you can make in a gamebook

If you don't get one, it will reflect
badly on you.  
For the April A to Z, I wrote about enemies you may face.  However, there are times when you are your own worst enemy in gamebooks.  Here are ten of them in no particular order.  

1)  Not picking up a mirror in Portal of Evil.

I lost the count of the number of times you have the opportunity to pick up a mirror or mirror like object in Portal of Evil.  When you finally meet Horfack, you realise why it is so important.  You also realise that Peter Darvill-Evans is being very helpful.  What would you rather face - a mindless skill 8 stamina 10 zombie or a powerful skill 10 stamina 20 fighter who reduces you skill by 2?

He hasn't done it
for a reason.
2)  Losing the map in the Tyrant's Tomb.

How blatant does Dave Morris have to be when he says 'Guard it (the map) with your life as you cannot complete your quest without it.'  If you don't have it when you reach the desert then your bleached bones deserve to turn to dust in the wasteland.

3)  Throwing Singing Death into the pit in Sword of the Samurai.

You've come all this way for the sword, it boosts your initial stats and you still throw it away and destroy it.  Even the demon Ikiru isn't that evil.

You're batty if you do.
4)  Swimming to the surface in Demons of the deep.

You have gills.  You can see a big underwater city.  If you swim to the surface you will be seen by the ship load of evil pirates who have just thrown you overboard to drown.  How blatant does the clue need to be?  Explore Atlantis.

5)  Putting on a slave collar in Chasms of Malice

There are plenty of random deaths in Chasms of Malice but putting on a collar  that only the slaves of your enemy wear is not random and although you probably will die in about four paragraphs time, you shouldn't die  in this way.


  1. At least three The World of Lone Wolf books (out of four) include idiotic decisions. There's 'Don't go through the door that leads to where you have to go' in book 2, and 'Choose not to resist mind control' in books 3 and 4. None of these end well.

    Another classic, from the first Golden Dragon book, is 'Attempt to drink a potion while being throttled by an animated rope'. If you can't get any air down you, how do you expect liquid to go any further?

  2. So are these your words of advice that I should take to heart in all my future playthroughs?

  3. House of Hell. Trying to save the girl that's about to be sacrificed in front of about 40 worshippers. Iirc that paragraph ended with the words "you deserved to die".

    Thanks for a nice blog btw.

  4. I think this list is missing some "good" ones.

    Trying to steal from a powerful wizard who has politely asked you not to (twice) (Forest of the Doom, this one gets you turned into a Crow, which still ends your adventure)

    Running out a window because your "brother" asked you to, even though you met him and it should be obvious hes an imposter (Dead of Night)

    Trying to attack the equivalent of Satan head on, armed with you sword and lacking vital mc guffins (Phantoms of Fear. You get instant killed. In one hit. Burned alive.)

    Picking a fight with a 20 foot tall giant who isn't hostile (Stealer of Souls. This one isn't an insta death, but the fight will probably kill you, and even if you luck out and win, you don't get rewarded for it and you miss out on some help)

    Refusing to kneel before a short tempered lightning god who has told you to kneel (Siege of Sardath. She even calls you a fool before frying you)

    Trusting a magic serpant whos only purpose is to kill his masters enemies or report back to. In this case, you have him at your mercy, but you decide to let him return to his body for no good reason. The book even calls you out for being a dumbass (7 Serpents)

    Grey Star has 2 good ones:

    Making a deal with the dead then trying to cheat them, even though you warned several times not to (this one gets your soul tortured)

    Trying to attack a god head on, rather than simply blowing up the portal hes climbing through.