Paul Mason's previous Fighting Fantasy books are undoubtedly some of the most difficult of adventure gamebooks, and `Magehunter' is no exception. However, it differs from his others in that where they finally revealed an intricate and complex plot that made them a pleasure to complete `Magehunter' contains virtually no plot and appears to just be difficult for the sake of being difficult. It is unnecessarily convoluted rather than being challenging. There doesn't seem to be any reason behind events and a logical approach won't really get you anywhere. I completed this by trial and error and even after finishing it I couldn't really say how I did. There was a certain level of satisfaction at reaching the end of Paul Mason's other FF works that is totally missing here.
The setting of the whole adventure is incredibly vague. I was left unsure whether or not it is supposed to be on Titan or if the beginning of the adventure was even in the same world as the rest of it. Whereas `Black Vein Prophecy' and `The Crimson tide' were both set in an oriental fantasy environment this adventure is in an Arabian one. This adventure doesn't seem to gel as well with its environment. Your character comes across as rather anachronistic in `Magehunter' whereas you felt very much part of the world in the author's other adventures. That was partly why they worked so well. More could certainly be done with the Arabian setting. It feels ill utilised, which is a shame. One of the greatest strengths of Mason's other FF adventures was the development of the character of the reader. They were journeys of self-discovery for your character and some moral lesson was learnt or emotional dilemma overcome. There is absolutely no character development whatsoever for the reader's character in this adventure.Read more ›
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This is a strange little gamebook which certainly can't be faulted for originality. Like all the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, it is written in the second person with the reader/player as main protagonist, and combines narrative elements containing choices of direction with a statistical combat and incident resolution system. Where it is unusual is that the player-character switches between different bodies in the course of the quest, in some cases playing alongside a companion. He has also come to the Fighting Fantasy world from the outside, through a magic portal, and is in an alien environment (along with some technologies unknown to Titan, such as pistols).
The book contains an unusually wide array of variables - whether the character has switched bodies, whether he is aware of having done so, whether he is with a companion, which bodies he and his companion are in, whether the companion has died or been lost - which are tracked within the story through an intricate system of items and codewords associated with different variables. The book must have been amazingly complicated to write in order to avoid discontinuities.
As a story, the book is genuinely multilinear, although tending to reproduce certain paths. The bulk of the story is set in the area of Titan around Kallamehr, firmly within the regular Fighting Fantasy universe. However, the player-character is a magehunter from a world other than the main setting, where different situations exist (all mages are evil, are identified by certain traits, can only be harmed in specific ways, etc). This character has captured an evil mage, Mencius, but the mage escapes and abducts Reinhardt, the heir to the throne, through a magic portal which leads to Titan.Read more ›