Thursday, 20 November 2008

#40 - Dead of Night

So we're into the 40s now, and I'm sure we can't be too far from when the FF font changes. I've some fond memories of the books with the newer font, probably because they were the new ones at the time I first read them, though I'm not sure how many of them I have on hand this time around.

In Dead of Night you're a demon hunter of some kind, and you're off to kill the head demon because he's made a threat not just against the whole world, but also your parents, which apparently is a step too far. 

Complicating matters (as if hunting down a Demon Lord isn't complicated enough) is the lure of the dark side... yes, more Star Wars. Here it's represented by an 'evil' score. But combating that, you've got a white horse, holy water, a silver cross (did Jesus save Allansia's souls?) and some 'talents' which is basically another way of saying magic tricks. 

Unfortuantely, I chose the wrong magic tricks for the shit I tried to pull. I also chose the wrong shit to pull, full stop.

First thing on leaving I came across a skeleton hanging in what the text described as 'gibbet irons'. Looked cool, anyway, so cool I decided to take a closer look. The skeleton was laughing at me, probably 'cause I was a skinny (based on my rolls) dude riding a giant white stallion. Given the option to hit him with my sword, even knowing it was a bad idea I couldn't resist. 

Onto Crowford, my parents weren't home so of course I decided to check the tavern. I could hear arguing from within, so assumed they were there and decided to wait a bit before entering. Turns out they're talking shit about me, and when I burst on in, everyone's a little embarrassed. Later on, a bunch of them approach me with pitchforks and what not, so I decide to show them who's boss - unfortunately they all chicken out when they realise I'm a demon hunter and they're villagers. Showing off is looked down upon though it seems, as I'm hit with two evil points. Hmmm. Maybe I should go all KOTOR on their asses and just embrace the dark side.

But oddly enough, the book tells me I choose not to visit my dead mate the priest's replacement, despite the introduction making a point of saying I should. I thought I showed them villagers? Anyway, somehow I manipulate the book into telling me I'm also going to skip seeing Sharleena the Seer - now seeing her sounds like an important part of the plot, so I was a little miffed. Perhaps it was my horse just going whatever way he wanted to.

I decide to go to Astonbury, thinking maybe there's a festival or something going on. Turns out only one thing common to festivals was happening - the plague. I knew I should have listened to the people who told me the town was riddled with the plague.

And that was that. Hmmm. I decide I'll play a bit longer - rewinding to the part where I didn't have the plague...

So heading to Axmoor instead of Astonbury, there's a setback when my horse is eaten by zombies while I sleep. You think something like that would wake me up, huh? The zombies' master is an orc who serves Magrand, so on arrival in Axmoor I try hunting him down. Instead for the second time I'm faced with an angry mob, but this time I convince them I'm not evil, and actually out to kill Magrand. They fall for this, and let me go on the condition I actually try to kill Magrand. I hightail it north leaving them to their fates, and suffer another two points of evil, d'oh. 

I thought it wouldn't matter till I came across some kind of castle built by pure evil, powered by a 'Death Stone'. It wouldn't have mattered had I rolled a five!

Whatever I did in this book, I don't think it did it justice. It seems like it might actually be quite good, given you do things right, unlike me.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, you certainly appear have made all the wrong choices and missed opportunities in this one.

From my memory, this was a fun book, with pretty good replay value. There's no exact 'true path" but lots of different helpful items or hints to aid you if you made the right decisions (and that includes visiting the priest and Sharleena, though I can't figure out how you missed the latter). It's not easy, by any means, cause the opponents you meet towards the end are pretty tough. But this is one of the few books designed such that you don't need superman stats to win, if you found the right items and hints and picked the right skills. Basically, lots of fun sidequests that are not essential (like killing Magrand, which you passed) but adds more to the adventure overall.

Anyway, the fact that you have an "Evil" score was sufficient hint to me in most of my choices. Picking fights with your own village folks (even the obnoxious, annoying ones. remember, you're a Templar here, and most religions...well, good religions....even in Fighting Fantasy....don't encourage killig humans), are a big no-no, as is leaving a village oppressed by evil wizards without helping them out. :)

The skeleton in the cage had me laughing the first time I read it. It's funny whenn you consider that the hero who strikes fear in the hearts of Demon Princes and most undead creatures would be embarrased by a simple skeleton, who can't even be bothered to actually attack you.

TheWycliffe said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Dan : )

I used to have a Livejournal page, but I took it down...blogger integrates better with my website. I have read your LJ though...even though I'm in snowy Canada, I enjoy reading about the happenings of life in New Zealand. Cheers!


Meneldur said...

"a silver cross (did Jesus save Allansia's souls?)"

There are crucifixes in other FF books as well; I seem to recall one in "Vault of the Vampire" and "Spellbreaker', and you can even improvise one by crossing candlesticks in "Howl of the Werewolf" (which I just finished). Maybe Jesus saved more worlds than we know (even though he ain't mentionned at all in all those books about Titan history).

As for "Dead of Night", this is probably one of my favourite books, and Stephen Hand one of my favourite authors. It's a pity you haven't got "Moonrunner", because it's his best one and probably one of the best FF books altogether.

foadiron said...

I lurved this one: my favourite non Steve-Ian book. It also contains my favourite ilustrations (although strangely enough I really hate the cover?). Loved the 'feeling' of evil that pervaded this adventure, making it feel that bit more important and dramatic than the average. As a final good point, the book can be defeated on even modest stats: no how many FF books can make that claim (none because they can not speak).

Anonymous said...

The first FF book I read & the only one Ive read again & again over the years, totally lost count. love everthing about it, so much so that ive have a copy I read & one to look pretty on the shelf.