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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel
Following the phenomenal success of the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain a sequel was inevitable, with this time Steve Jackson producing The Citadel of Chaos alone. Story-wise this is a disappointingly unimaginative retread of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - once again as the hero you have to venture into the lair of a mighty sorcerer,...
Published on 4 May 2005 by Jane Aland

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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent back
Loads of faults!Back. The Citadel of Chaos is hard so if you want a challenge you would better have a go! It's hard like all of Steve's books are! It is very long.
Published on 28 Dec 2011 by Helen Hiscock


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel, 4 May 2005
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) (Paperback)
Following the phenomenal success of the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain a sequel was inevitable, with this time Steve Jackson producing The Citadel of Chaos alone. Story-wise this is a disappointingly unimaginative retread of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - once again as the hero you have to venture into the lair of a mighty sorcerer, besting monsters and traps and collecting artefacts along the way. However, looking back at the gamebooks produced, while Ian Livingstone always seemed content to churn out a small industry of vivid but standard Fighting Fantasy adventures Steve Jackson was always trying out new innovations to the format. As such, while the story is familiar here, Jackson adds some new ideas to the mix, the most important being the inclusion of a magic system, which works surprisingly well.
In The Warlock of Firetop Mountain it was quite common to win your way through to the end of the book, only to be stumped by not having found the correct keys for the Warlocks treasure chest, but The Citadel of Chaos is a much less forgiving book, with plenty of sudden death moments: if you don't find a certain item on your travels you'll never get past Balthus Dire's wife; and if you don't defeat her you'll never get the right artefact to destroy the Hydra - worst of all are the dreaded Ganjee's, which must have been responsible for defeating me on a dozen occasions. Even once you get past this lot you'll still be stumped unless you have also discovered both the combination lock for Balthus Dire's door and the method to defeat him.
Once you find the correct path through the citadel this adventure is surprisingly easy and can be completed by the weediest character providing they have the right spells (this is not a book you can win through on hack and slash combat), but finding that right route is a nightmare. As a child this book was one of only a couple of the Fighting Fantasy's I could never complete without cheating, and as a nostalgic 30-year old it still took me about 3 dozen attempts and copious amounts of map drawing to discover it. Very tough, but fun
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite game book of all time., 25 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) (Paperback)
The Citadel of Chaos is the second book in the successful Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.
In this medieval-style gamebook, you play the part of a wizard/warrior hero, sent to prevent an invasion, by slaying a Dark Sorcerer Warlord called 'Balthus Dire'.
In the adventure, you have to journey to Dire's citadel, explore the maze-like fortress, overcoming traps, hostile fantasy creatures and collecting certain artifacts; which you must find to complete you quest. If you manage to avoid being imprisoned or killed, you can face Balthus Dire in a fight to the death (using your weapon or/and magic).
This FF book is great. Without doubt, is an absolute FF classic. The second book in the series (the first one written by Steve on his own), Citadel of Chaos has all the fresh, enthusiasm of a first work. The traps, monsters and situations are original and exciting.
A must for all FF readers. The ending is especially satisfying, if you get that far...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They're back, 13 Sep 2002
This review is from: The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) (Paperback)
The Citadel Of Chaos...
It conjures up distant memories of a wasted childhood rolling dice in an attempt to reach the elusive paragraph 400.
The Citadel is for me the better of the three lauch books. The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain for those who don't know was co written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. Each writing the book for one side of the river deep within the mountain. Sadly it showed and I always fely WOFTM was disjointed.
This on the other hand is Steve Jackson through and through and probably his best single book work. The multiple routes through the book give a real sense of exploration and adventure. Balthus Dire is your enemy but reaching him is another matter entirely. All manner of creatures inhabit the Citadel and as with all the FF books there is one golden path to follow.
My main gripe with this book is that it really is too easy. I completed it at the second attempt.
I don't want to put people off however and if you are considering buying a FF adventure book then Citadel Of Chaos is not a bad buy. It never approaches the richness of Deathtrap Dungeon but is streets ahead of Warlock.
A little on the repackaging. Its nice but I doubt that it equates to a five pound price tag. Wizard books would do well to remember that the originals are ever popular and are changing hands for just 2 pounds each. Putting dice at the bottom of the page and updating the cover is little justification for 3 extra pounds. Excluding these minor changes the books are identical to their early 80's form.
Very lazy boys...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel, 4 May 2005
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Following the phenomenal success of the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain a sequel was inevitable, with this time Steve Jackson producing The Citadel of Chaos alone. Story-wise this is a disappointingly unimaginative retread of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - once again as the hero you have to venture into the lair of a mighty sorcerer, besting monsters and traps and collecting artefacts along the way. However, looking back at the gamebooks produced, while Ian Livingstone always seemed content to churn out a small industry of vivid but standard Fighting Fantasy adventures Steve Jackson was always trying out new innovations to the format. As such, while the story is familiar here, Jackson adds some new ideas to the mix, the most important being the inclusion of a magic system, which works surprisingly well.
In The Warlock of Firetop Mountain it was quite common to win your way through to the end of the book, only to be stumped by not having found the correct keys for the Warlocks treasure chest, but The Citadel of Chaos is a much less forgiving book, with plenty of sudden death moments: if you don't find a certain item on your travels you'll never get past Balthus Dire's wife; and if you don't defeat her you'll never get the right artefact to destroy the Hydra - worst of all are the dreaded Ganjee's, which must have been responsible for defeating me on a dozen occasions. Even once you get past this lot you'll still be stumped unless you have also discovered both the combination lock for Balthus Dire's door and the method to defeat him.
Once you find the correct path through the citadel this adventure is surprisingly easy and can be completed by the weediest character providing they have the right spells (this is not a book you can win through on hack and slash combat), but finding that right route is a nightmare. As a child this book was one of only a couple of the Fighting Fantasy's I could never complete without cheating, and as a nostalgic 30-year old it still took me about 3 dozen attempts and copious amounts of map drawing to discover it. Very tough, but fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first one., 3 Nov 2007
What can I say about this one; I liked it really. I think that it's a good book and fun to play. It's a decent one in the whole series of these things. I believe that it's also better than the Warlock of Firetop Mountain, which was the first one made.

The story is basically that you have to travel to the castle of a despotic warlord and assassinate him. This means you have to adventure through his fortress, which is fun as it's in the middle of the night!

The best bit for me is the final battle with the sorcerer-warlord himself in a cool fight if you survive long enough. Fun book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars textual content improved, but laziness creeps into the art, 17 Nov 2013
I bought this book when it came out and again recently. Putting Warlock and Chaos side by side what is instantly apparent is that the gig Russ Nicholson won with Warlock- striking, evocative and memorable images is promptly lost with Chaos. It just looks like laziness or one might suspect the artist was hassled to produce too much in too short a space of time. It's a shame. Warlock remains the best illustrated of all the FF books, probably because the fantasy it evokes is speculative and unprecedented- sure we had D&D back then but the imagination of the reader wasn't pre-populated with Games Workshop monsters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A highly engaging tale of fantasy!, 19 Jan 2013
By 
George Trail "George" (Crowthorne, Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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One of my favourite Fighting Fantasy books. You start off with a certain number of spells and you start off feeling confident that, even if you get into a perilous situation and your skill and/or stamina and/or luck is/are low, there's every chance that some spell will save you! Some of the events that happen depending on the choices you make are enough to make you laugh... and it's very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than its predecessor, 14 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) (Paperback)
The original release of this book was notorious for possessing a terribly drawn cover (re-releases have involved several attempts to amend this), but never is the adage not to judge a book by its cover more apt. Any issues or flaws that emerged in 'Warlock of Firetop Mountain' are improved upon or corrected in this second release of the original series.

Paragraphs are better written and more detailed and there is much more consideration and characterisation given to minor characters. Your quest feels like you have a greater purpose. Whereas in 'Warlock of Firetop Mountain' you were treasure seeking in a sorcerer's lair, n this adventure you must infiltrate a socerer's fortress to slap him before he unleashes armies of chaos upon the world. Because of this Balthus Dire becomes a lot more of a threatening figure than Zagor.

The characterisation of Balthus Dire is one of the highlights of the book. He is larger than life; a physically impressive sorcerer full of ambition and pride, possessing the stature of a warrior rather than an old wizard. The reader's final confrontation with him is lengthy and multilayered. It is a duel of words, weapons, magic and intellect. It remains one of the finest confrontations in the gamebook genre. It is much more interesting to have some dialogue with the main villain rather than just fighting him.

The author provides an incredibly varied army of creatures/opponents for the reader to face. Many are your basic fantasy creatures but there are some creations of great imagination, from the amusing wheelies to the eerie and disturbing gangees.

The most innovative addition to the FF series provided by 'Citadel of Chaos' is the introduction of the use of magic. The system for using magic is relatively simple but very effective. It gives another layer to the gameplay, making adventuring more interactive. Surprisingly not that many FF books went on to use magic. The Sorcery series by the same author used this magic system as the basis for its own.

This is an adventure that is reasonably difficult. Some much trickier adventures come later from Steve Jackson but hid one is still sufficiently challenging. The opponents closest to Balthus Dire, especially the gangees, are quite difficult to overcome and Dire himself can be a challenge.

This is a well constructed and developed adventure with plenty of character and atmosphere to enrapture the reader. It is one of the strongest offerings of the series. However, the legacy of 'Citadel of Chaos' is probably its huge influence on the Sorcery series, especially 'Crown of Kings'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great gamebook for the magically minded., 25 July 2011
This review is from: The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) (Paperback)
Steve Jackson's first solo Fighting Fantasy Gamebook, THE CITADEL OF CHAOS was originally published in 1983, and was the second book in the series.

You play the role of a young wizard entering the citadel of Balthus Dire, a sorcerer of great power, in order to assassinate him before he begins an invasion of your home country. As such, the Fighting Fantasy rules were expanded to include magic. Twelve spells are at your disposal, and you make your selection of which spells to take at the beginning of your adventure, and more can be acquired on the way through the book. The spell system works very well, and is a convenient way of helping you vanquish monsters and avoid traps.

The citadel itself is a sprawling place with plenty of rooms and monsters to fight; it may well take you several attempts to get to the end, but it is well worth persevering as the final magical battle with Balthus Dire is a real highlight.

With superb illustrations by Russ Nicholson, THE CITADEL OF CHAOS has 400 paragraphs and requires only two dice, a pencil and an eraser to play.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 26 Dec 2010
By 
W. Davis "wendabell" (coventry) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) (Paperback)
another great read for kids who dont like to. just sit with apencil and dice for endless combinations of endings and fun
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The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2)
The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) by Steve Jackson (Paperback - 3 Jun 2002)
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