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Today, I wanted to list all the uses of orphaned sections. For this post, I'm defining an orphaned section as a section that is not mentioned in any other section. You are never told in the gamebook to turn to it from another section.
It sounds like orphaned sections wouldn't be needed. I mean, the whole point of a gamebook is to turn to sections, after all?
Nope, it turns out that there's lots of reasons for them.
To start the book
I suppose you are told to turn to this section at some point in the book, but not from another section. People have to start somewhere, both metaphorically and literally, so the start section has to be an orphaned section for this reason.
To make up numbers
You have finished your gamebook and it's 399 sections long. Maybe you like round numbers, so you stick in a short section that sounds like its something that someone would read, but it's unreachable. There, you now have 400 sections. This is actually true of Fighting Fantasy 1 - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Section 192 is an orphaned section.
Answers to riddles
Creatures in gamebooks like asking riddles with numbers as answers, which is very convenient because then you can just turn to the section that is the answer. You also have to state that if the section makes no sense, then it's the wrong answer and the return to the original section (or another section with a wrong answer). If you really want a particular riddle, but the answer is bigger than the largest section number or another important section is the answer, you could tell people to multiply the answer by 2 or add X or some other function.
To represent a word
Maybe your character needs to give a password or someone's name. Well, you can use that as an answer by doing the old A=1, B=2, C=3... trick. This way, you can convert a word into a number.
To prove you have an item
Some gamebook items have numbers associated with them to open up secret sections. These items used to have numbers carved onto them, but some people wanted more creative reasons to have a number associated with an item (I mean, after all, how many of your possessions have numbers carved into them?). For example, being associated with a number (like how many years old it is) or a person or place is associated with it (in which case, use the A=1, B=2 trick).
If the item has more than once use, then one use could involve its number, one could involve multiplying its number by another number or adding or subtracting another number from it.
If you need 2 secret items, then you could add their numbers (such as in Siege of Sardath with the potions or the rings)
To find out what certain items do
If you have a mystery potion or other item in a gamebook and you want to increase the tension by not telling someone what they do, then you can tell them that they can find out the results by turning to a certain section. This is fun (for the writer) and tense (for the reader).
To find out what certain stat changes do
Some stats are significant if they reach a certain value (usually 0) and if they don't automatically mean death (which sometimes doesn't require its own section), then they will require their own section. To be fair, they still usually mean death, just a different kind of death (such as committing seppuku in Sword of the Samurai or running out of time in Slaves of the Abyss), but sometimes, they might mean something else has happened (such as reducing your Ferocity to 0 in Crimson Tide).
To find out what are in certain places
It can be boring having sections that constantly ask if you want to go left or right or open a door, so one way of saving sections for more interesting things is having maps with section numbers on them, such as in this map from Grailquest 3.
To be all meta and tell you that you have won without you playing the gamebook