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Creature of Havoc (Fighting Fantasy) Paperback – 4 Feb 2010
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"A fantastic time guaranteed for all with authors Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson." -- Venue
"Bound to appeal to fans of the fantasy worlds of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings." -- PTA magazine
"Relaunched and as gripping as ever, fans of role-playing adventures will lap [these books] up." -- Funday Times
"[Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone are] the Lennon and McCartney of the adventure book world." -- Big Issue --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
Fighting Fantasy Returns!
Wizard Books are proud to announce the return of the children's book sensation of the 1980s: Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy.
The first ever Fighting Fantasy gamebook, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, was originally published in 1982. It became an overnight bestseller, and went on to sell 2 million copies. The series "captured the imaginations of a whole generation of teenage boys," reached 59 titles and sold in excess of 15 million books around the world
Fighting Fantasy inspired a legion of fans in the 1980s and is set to take over the world once again. Relauched with a dazzling new 21st-century look, Wizard will publish 6 titles in 2002. The first print run of each of the books published in 2002 contain very special, never-to-be-repeated collector's features so - begin your collection today! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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When 'Creature of Havoc' came out, when I was eleven, I was really into it, but I just couldn't crack it. I got the language code but I could still never get out of the dungeon. It turns out, from the various reviews below, that maybe that was because of the much discussed reference 213, which has been corrected in the 'Wizard' edition, that I just bought. (The gist of the argument is: did it require lateral thinking or was this a mistake?)
Anyway, I wanted to get my son to read a bit more, so I bought him a Sorcery book, and I thought, why not try 'Creature of Havoc' again for myself?
Well, with my adult brain, and one tip from the internet (confession), I have finally managed to complete this adventure, thirty one years after I first began it. Strangely satisfying
It's arguably THE best Fighting Fantasy book, though I'd agree with other afficianados that it's unorthodox and a bit unrepresentative. To make a film comparison, it's a bit like 'Vertigo' in the Hitchcock oeuvre: not exactly typical, but it pushes out the envelope in so many directions that you might well think it's the author's best work.
The basic plot idea is both clever and brilliantly realised with the lack of logic and lack of language gradually receding as 'monsterliness' recedes and self-awareness dawns. This also leads into the plot, right up to the climax.
As a kid, I never worked out how to escape the dungeon, and it wasn't like other Fighting Fantasy books in that you couldn't just 'cheat' your way through by picking another option: this stuff was hidden, and if you couldn't apply the requisite item, well that was it for you.
I finally gave up after weeks of trying.
Three decades on, I finally finished it.
Okay, it's a kids' book so don't expect depth of emotion, but it pushes things out as much as you could realistically expect for its genre. A classic of its kind.
When I was growing up, most of my friends had a few Fighting Fantasy books - but I had them all. From Firetop Mountain onwards, I had all the sequels up to somewhere in the late 30’s or mid-40’s, whereupon I officially ‘grew out of them’ – until now! The only one I hadn’t completed was also the one which contained my favourite story – you guessed it, Creature of Havoc. At that age, I tended to give things up easily if I couldn’t figure them out quickly, so was soon frustrated when I couldn’t crack the code & died with more frequency than usual. Even as an adult it wasn’t easy but the key to it is persistence.
Creature of Havoc’s unique story led to the mechanics of the game being similarly original. This time, you play the type of monster which you’re usually expected to kill. Or rather a character who has been turned into a monster & has no memory of what has gone before. The introduction gives some background info but no clues as to your former identity or even what your mission is.
This leads to the books’ first puzzle – as a monster, you can no longer understand the written or spoken word, so these are presented in coded text. So you can either find instructions within the game of how to crack the code – or you can figure it out yourself. I figured it out myself after sweating over it for an enjoyable hour or two but I’m not giving any clues!
Even with the code, it’s still fiendishly difficult. Remember the infamous farm section in Rebel Planet where you die whatever you do? There are a few sections like that here but they all need to be explored. Because when you find the objects or info you need to progress, it gives instructions like “if you go to a paragraph which starts with ‘you are in a corridor’, deduct x from the paragraph number & go to that new reference.” This is a great mechanism for keeping players on their toes. It’s not just enough to have found the right objects – you also have to figure out when to use them! I’m surprised they didn’t use this in the other books as well.
On top of that, you also need a fair bit of luck. There’s one section where you are given a choice of four directions to go in. If you don’t pick the right two & follow the right sequence in one of them, then the only choices left to you are how to die!
So this is by far one of the most demanding books. Even as a kid, I completed almost all of them on a first attempt but that’s unlikely to happen here. But don’t let that put you off – if you’re experienced with these books, it presents a challenge. Both story-wise & game-wise, it’s utterly unique & my all-time favourite of the series.
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There is just one thing that you have to do, before starting playing: go to paragraph 213, score...Read more