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Subject: Persona 3: FES
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Date: 3rd October 2014 Time: 16:00 EST
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Author Topic: Game books  (Read 3665 times)
Willy Elektrix
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« on: June 06, 2007, 04:50:17 PM »

Recently I was inspired to write my own game book (which is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure but longer and with combat, inventory, and RPG statistics). So I started digging up some old game book series in .pdf form on the internet to get some ideas. I'd really been into Joe Denver's Lone Wolf series when I was younger so I checked out his Freeway Warrior series (mostly a Mad Max rip off) and had a lot of fun with it. It has some relatively detailed statistics (for the medium) and some pretty interesting resource management challenges. I might try the Blood Sword series next. I'm pretty excited about their (apparently) insane difficulty.

Is anyone else interested in game books around here? Do you have any favorite series?

If you're interested in some more info on them, wikipedia "game book", or you can download some at  

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D-Rider
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 05:47:41 PM »

I know you meant well with that link, but I can't let you link to a site where roms are two clicks away.
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Logick
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 06:03:27 PM »

I remember the Lone Wolf books, man its been ages since I thought about them.  Thought I was the only one who read them also lol.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 11:41:54 PM »

Quote from: "The Darkrider"
I know you meant well with that link, but I can't let you link to a site where roms are two clicks away.


Okay. Cool with me.

Quote from: "Logick"
I remember the Lone Wolf books, man its been ages since I thought about them.  Thought I was the only one who read them also lol.


Nah. I think they were a staple for kids who wanted to play D&D but didn't have any friends to play it with. Or whose parents would buy anything to get them to read.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 09:07:17 AM »

I loved gamebooks as a kid.  Choose Your Own Adventure, Time Machine, Find Your Fate, Which Way, Endless Quest, and the like.

I also remember FIghting Fantasy like Demons of the Deep, Seas of Blood, & Rebel Planet (I agree with gamebooks.org's reviewer that Rebel Planet is one awesome gamebook) and Way of the Tiger stuff like Avenger, and others where you had to roll dice during battles, select your skillset, and such.  It was like single player D&D.  

Good stuff, gamebooks.
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 11:19:56 AM »

Loved Fighting Fantasy when I was a kid.

Fantastic art, probably would never have gotten released today.

Kids don't read, and they'd be considered too violent.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2007, 01:55:33 PM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
I also remember FIghting Fantasy like Demons of the Deep, Seas of Blood, & Rebel Planet (I agree with gamebooks.org's reviewer that Rebel Planet is one awesome gamebook) and Way of the Tiger stuff like Avenger, and others where you had to roll dice during battles, select your skillset, and such.  It was like single player D&D.  

Good stuff, gamebooks.


Yeah, I've just been reading about the Fighting Fantasy series. Seems like it has a relatively in depth RPG combat system. I also like how they encompass a variety of settings (rather than being strictly fantasy, like a lot of series. Pretty cool. I'll have to check out Rebel Planet.

They've even got some interesting fanmade Fighting Fantasy books on their official website (you should be able to find it fast with google).
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Dincrest
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2007, 02:52:03 PM »

Lard- yes, I remember some of the monster art in Fighting Fantasy books giving me nightmares as a kid.  And I remember going "holy shit!  Could I really win a fight against that thing?"  Man, those were the days.  

I adored gamebooks as a kid since, well, this was the pre-Nintendo days.  I liked that gamebooks were interactive and I had some control over the outcomes.  The bus ride to school was a long one so a whole bunch of us would trade gamebooks like Time Machine to read on the long bus rides to school.  I used to check out CYOA books a lot at the school library.  

When I started reading Fighting Fantasy books, it was like "whoa!" because they were more mature and heavier reading than CYOA and other such books.  As usual, I lost my copy of Rebel Planet during one of my family's house moves so I may try tracking that one down again.  

I wouldn't be at all surprised that my love of RPGs is borned from my love of gamebooks as a kid.  Or better yet, that my love for Japanese style graphic adventures stems from my love of gamebooks since those are CYOA style games.

EDIT: Re: "kids don't read."  They read Harry Potter pretty voraciously.  But since the last book is coming out next month, they'll go back to their illiterate selves in no time.  

And re: the violence, it's amazing what was permitted in the 80s as far as "kid" stuff.  Cartoons in the 80s like Inhumanoids would be deemed overly nightmarish scary violent for kids today.  And even standard Choose Your Own Adventure books could get surprisingly violent at times so when I first read a Fighting Fantasy book, my jaw dropped at the more descriptive violence.  I was scared of it at first because I didn't want an ending where I died a horrible bloody death.
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Lard
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2007, 05:17:05 PM »

They actually released a monster manual at one point which was prety cool and had some great artwork.

 I still have all of my old books - I think I'm missing about 3 or 4 from the original run of books. I'd like to get ahold of them.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2007, 09:05:32 PM »

How could I forget.  Comprehensive gamebook link http://www.gamebooks.org

I think part of the reason I was a little intimidated by Fighting Fantasy as a kid (besides the scary art and more descriptive violence in the text) was that there were more consequences associated with fighting, death, killing, etc. than in more simplistic gamebooks like CYOA.  Winning a battle within an inch of your life in Fighting Fantasy carries significantly more consequence than a life-or-death struggle in a more simplistic gamebook.

I believe Seas of Blood and Rebel Planet were made into Commodore 64 text adventure games with some graphics.  http://homepages.tesco.net/~parsonsp/html/c64_gamebooks.html should have a couple of Rebel Planet and Seas of Blood screens.  

Part of me wonders what a Fighting Fantasy gamebook would be like as a more modern RPG since there are encounters and turn-based combat built into the books.  However, another part of me likes them just fine as books and I can use my imagination to create the visual environments of the adventures.  

Genres like Japanese visual novels and love adventures embrace and heavily use the CYOA format.
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2007, 10:19:55 PM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
I believe Seas of Blood and Rebel Planet were made into Commodore 64 text adventure games with some graphics.  


As was Temple of Terror, which had no graphics.

Quote from: "Dincrest"
Part of me wonders what a Fighting Fantasy gamebook would be like as a more modern RPG since there are encounters and turn-based combat built into the books.  However, another part of me likes them just fine as books and I can use my imagination to create the visual environments of the adventures.


Deathtrap Dungeon was released for PS1 as an action style game, rather than an RPG.

It sucked. I hate to say it, but it sucked.

I really wanted to like it....but it sucked.

And it probably killed any future development of FF books into games.

You're right. It would be much better as an RPG.

Problem is that you're solo in most books - rather than having a party.

Could work though.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2007, 10:21:17 AM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
Part of me wonders what a Fighting Fantasy gamebook would be like as a more modern RPG since there are encounters and turn-based combat built into the books.  However, another part of me likes them just fine as books and I can use my imagination to create the visual environments of the adventures.  

Genres like Japanese visual novels and love adventures embrace and heavily use the CYOA format.


While it's true that Fighting Fantasy does have RPG statistics, turning it into a video game would be a little underwhelming. On a computer where you have a processor to do hundreds of calculations for you and to easily keep track of detailed statistics for you and your enemy, the simplified systems in Fighting Fantasy books would surely disappoint most RPG gamers.

Of course, you could make it into an Interactive Fiction game (which I suspect it probably similar to the Japanese Visual Novel genre you mentioned).
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Dincrest
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2007, 10:35:25 AM »

This one import game I played briefly for Dreamcast called deSPIRIA was like a point and click adventure with turn-based RPG battles.  I never played a game quite like that one.  

Lard- I recall that a few Fighting Fantasy books did occasionally have group combat.  I believe Seas of Blood had some crew/ ship-to-ship battles.  But, yeah, Fighting Fantasy was always pretty much a solo struggle.  

One thing I realized about the Way of the Tiger books that I liked was the ability to choose what kind of strikes I would use against an opponent.  I thought that was pretty boss.  

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the statistics/innovations found in video games were originally drawn from gamebooks.  For example, the sanity meter in Eternal Darkness made me think of House of Hades's (House of Hell outside the US) psychological resistance meter where each encounter added points and accumulating too many points would cause you to die of fright.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2007, 11:34:25 PM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
Lard- I recall that a few Fighting Fantasy books did occasionally have group combat.  I believe Seas of Blood had some crew/ ship-to-ship battles.  But, yeah, Fighting Fantasy was always pretty much a solo struggle.


The Blood Sword series has you (or you and friends, if you hang around with your friends and read game books together) control a party of up to four characters chosen from different classes. I'm not sure how well it's implemented (I haven't read one yet) but it seems like a cool idea.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 02:10:54 AM »

I know this is an ultra-necro-res, but considering the recent release of Sorcery!, it's relevant.  I think Sorcery! is the best video game representation of a Fighting Fantasy book, especially since it has scans of actual pages from the book.  http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/Sorcery!/index.html

I pretty much agree with Yeager's assessment of Sorcery! and hope that other Fighting Fantasy books get the same kind of treatment. 
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