Saturday, 27 September 2008

#33 - Sky Lord

Sky Lord is the last science-fiction FF gamebook, and it's not difficult to understand why - it's pretty dang strange, and perhaps takes a few too many liberties with what a FF adventure is supposed to be.

It doesn't start out too badly though - despite a lengthy introduction/mission section, which I normally hate - the back story as at least interesting. Maybe because it begins as a cross between Star Wars (must infiltrate planet alone, destroy defences fro the inside, making possible full-scale attack) and Babylon 5 (huge races fighting, taking everyone else out in their wake), then goes off on an awesomely random tangent. An ex-human resources employee of the galactic king was caught cloning the staff in order to collect their paycheques, and was inevitably caught and fired. He then decided to get revenge by pretending to be a famous cosmetic surgeon, offering his services to the king's wife for free. She accepted, and he basically butchered her so she looked like the cat woman, and went into hiding, where he (also inevitably) began building an army of vicious killer dog-headed super warriors.

Err, what? Okay... 

So I head off on my journey to his planet, but first completely fail by choosing the wrong method of interstellar travel. I can 'time travel' or 'light travel', I choose time, and apparently enter 'the fourth dimension'. Which I thought we were already in, to be honest. My ship somehow gets covered in space weed, which I have to get out and fight off...? I think perhaps the author was battling some space weed of his own when he wrote this book.

The only way to get it off apparently is to fly into the atmosphere of a nearby planet and get rid of it Shuttle Columbia-style. I should have predicted it wouldn't go well, and sure enough, my ship was hit by lightning (how freakin' close was I flying to this planet?!), sending it rocketing down into a lake, where it sank, and without jedi powers, that's where it stayed.

Luckily though, my R2 unit was intact, and started wandering off, saying it needed to find its master. I followed, and soon came across an even larger ship, that wasn't stuck. Sweet! Unfortunately it was defended by a whole range of mutants, and after killing a bunch, the book told me I'd given up trying to steal it. Oh, really? 

So we found the R2 unit's Obi Wan, and he fixed my ship by taking it back in time so it was never hit by lightning, and obviously messing with the space-time continuum in a way this wouldn't create a paradox of any sort. 

Anyway... so  I headed off, and found myself attending a distress signal from another ship, and it turned out the staff were being eaten by orange blobs. I know this because one of the staff, in the process of being eaten, politely warned me against using my blaster weapon due to the gas leak. That one that isn't killing me already. Hmmm. So I'm next forced on a seemingly random wander through the ship, picking up random objects when all I really wanted to was get the fark out of there. Without any indication of what would be useful and what wouldn't, and only the slightest hint as to why I was picking up all this random shit, I grabbed a cricket bat (maybe there'd be zombies?) a skipping rope, an oxygen cylinder (that one actually seemed useful), a can of beer (it's Saturday night here on Earth), weed killer (again useful) and something called a 'viscous negater' (no freakin' idea). Turns out each of these items had a rating of how much it would slow down the blob should I need to escape, and the items I collected didn't rate high enough - though the beer did surprisingly well.

The blob ate me. That's about all I can say, as that's pretty much all the text said. No gory description, nothing. 

I didn't even make it close to the bad dude's planet, let alone save billions of my species. D'oh, sorry about that. 

A pretty random book, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the sole reason FF didn't get back into science-fiction again. The Titan/Allansia books were always my favourite ones anyway, so it's no big loss in my view. 

I still can't decide whether that thing on the cover is supposed to be the title character either. If so, cool.


Anonymous said...

This is one of the two books that my dad owned that got me hooked on FF as a kid, the other was Midnight Rogue. No prizes go to the person who guesses which one of the two I obsessed over, and which remained hardly touched.

For me the success of the FF books were all about flavour; some of the books were completely captivating no matter how difficult (Creature of Havoc, Deathtrap Dungeon), whereas some of the books just didn't excite me as much. Sadly, Sky Lord was one of those.

I'm a late-comer to these blogs (only four years late!), but have loved reading through them. I feel bad that this has been the first entry to receive no comments when you're doing such good work!


Fido815 said...

I had a small playthrough of this one recently, and I quickly discovered the humour of this book. It's not an adventure to take that seriously. It appears the adventure is approached as if it's a cartoon...and that's how you need to treat it. If you come at Sky Lord expecting a serious adventure, you'll hate it. If you can embrace the humourous nature of it, it's a blast and is a very unique animal, compared to the rest of the FF series. I really do like this one. So far, at least. :)