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Okay, I said I was going to post these reviews here so we might as well get started on that.
But first let’s get the general overview of the series out of the way.
The Gamebook Adventure Series was a series of 12 digital…wait for it…gamebooks from Tinman Games from about 2008-2015. Not a very long life span and I’m not sure why they aren’t still making them since Tinman Games is still around and publishing stuff.
My only conclusion is as soon as they got the contract to reproduce the Fighting Fantasy series books, they found it easier printing money off of nostalgia rather than creating anything new. While it’s a pretty common scenario, it’s sort of a shame in this case since a lot of work actually went into the world building of the fantasy setting for this series.
The GA series was probably very inspired by the FF series and could be considered the closest “modern” successor to that series. I actually think even with only the twelve books they had, it rivals and even surpasses the FF series at times.
Let’s get this out of the way first though; their decision to call their gamebook adventure series “Gamebook Adventures” was probably one of the most retarded things they could have done. Granted there is a kind of “exactly what it says on the tin(man)” directness about it, but I can’t help think that given how much effort they put into the lore of the world, they got so fucking lazy with the series name.
So on to the lore, well unlike the FF series, it’s pretty apparent they built it before creating the adventures. The FF books were for the most part not as connected, at least not until it got going with a few books under it’s belt. They sort of fleshed out world lore as they went along.
The GA series had full glossaries and indexes of shit in every fucking book they did. Listed all the important continents, all the important cities, all the important races, etc. This was available in the menu section of game so if you wanted read all of that stuff even before playing, you could. (There was a section on gods listed, which was ALWAYS unavailable since they never did get around to finishing that I guess) There was also a world map which was pretty handy if you wanted to see exactly where all these cities they were talking about were.
The main continent that all of these adventures took place on was Orlandes, a few of them took place on Rema or a few islands, but Orlandes was the main focus. The continent was more of a collection of city states held together by a bunch of Dukes and other nobles rather than a real “country.” Naturally this lead to a lot of implications of scheming and in-fighting involving someone trying to take it ALL over. (As you’ll see in most of the GA reviews.)
It wouldn’t be a fantasy setting if it didn’t have races other than boring old humans in it. The GA approach to this is almost like Games Workshop’s approach when they redesigned their Fantasy setting, which is basically they kept most of the traditional fantasy races but either just called them something different OR they hilariously spelled their names differently presumably to copyright the names and such.
So orcs became orcun, troll became trolk, goblins, they just spelled with a “y” rather than an “i”. The only ones that really stay the same are dwarves. There’s no elves, but the Trav are pretty much the same thing. About the only “unique” race is the Trycians which are a bunch of bird people they strangely live underground. But bird people in a fantasy setting isn’t exactly ground breaking either, plus you don’t really encounter them that much anyway, in fact, most of your enemies in these books in general tend to be other humans because humans are all over the fucking place and are better at being assholes.
As for the mechanics of the gameplay for these books, well I like it better than the FF style. Generally speaking you have two stats, VITALITY and FITNESS. Vitality is basically your hit points, while fitness is basically reserved for your skill checks. Fighting is dependent on your weapons and armor your character has. The better your weapon, the more dice you roll for your attacks. The better your armor, the more dice you roll for your defense.
So for example, if you just have a rusty dagger and wearing some dirty rags, then you’re only going to be rolling one die for your offense and defense until you get yourself some proper equipment you bum. This can make combat a lot more deadly since the damage is done based on the total number rolled. Rolling a lot of sixes for an attack that can’t easily be blocked due to having poor defense can make for instakills.
Of course it’s thankfully a lot quicker than how the FF series did it which was 2 points of damage at a time for each successful hit. Maximum amount of dice you can roll either way is six though. There are a few books that technically go over this, but the books never count it and it’s always six digital dice regardless of how big your sword is or how tough your steel panties are.
There’s also a chance to use your fitness in combat to score a little extra damage which is similar to how luck worked in combat for the FF series, but honestly you shouldn’t ever have to really use it.
Finally this series typically gives you three ways to play the games. You can pick from Classic, Adventurer, and Faggot. (Okay it’s called Casual, but it’s the same thing really)
Classic mode is basically the way the games are meant to be played. You don’t get any advantages and you only get a limited amount of “bookmarks” which are sort of like the equivalent of save spots. You can’t “overwrite” the save spots either, so when you bookmark, make sure it counts. You usually get six in classic mode, but the more difficult books just give you three.
Adventure mode is the middle mode where you get the maximum amount of vitality and you get ten for fitness. (Though in classic mode you could potentially roll a six for fitness and get twelve, so it’s not that great) You also get unlimited amount of bookmark so you can scum save like the saving scum you are. This mode isn’t even available in all of the books because presumably nobody likes centrists.
Finally casual mode, not only gives you unlimited bookmarks, but it gives you a back button so you can just ignore a result you don’t like at all, you get an insta-heal button and you can just click any choice that might normally be unavailable to you if say you didn’t have the right object for example.
Now obviously I finished all these games on classic mode, because I’m hardcore like that, however I can actually see a use for casual mode if you already beat the game and didn’t want to go back and struggle through certain battles, so you can see where other paths take you.
Of course if you used casual mode immediately to beat the game then you’re just being a huge faggot.
The series also had a bunch of artwork and achievements you could unlock too, if you find that to be a good use of your time.
Well anyway, that’s a general overview of the series, might as well get on with it. While most of these games have a single “true ending” more than a few of them have multiple ways to get there. I won’t go through every possible branch, I’ll just mention the shit that might be of interest.
Oh and I’m going to be spoiling the shit out of these, so if you don’t want to know what happens, then stop reading you fucktard.
(Isn’t it great to read these reviews now without all the IFDB censorship faggotry?)
1. An Assassin in Orlandes
As I said in the into, the GA series REALLY likes taking place in Orlandes so naturally the first one starts you out in Orlandes City which is sort of the “capital” of Orlandes, though not really. It’s just considered the most important/influential and run by the Grand Duke as opposed to all the minor dukes, lords, and such.
But fuck all that political shit because you’re too busy crying in your beer about your girlfriend who dumped you.
Yep, that’s right the GA series tended to take a less traditional approach to its adventures by not having you start out as some adventuring rando that suddenly gets begged for help to defeat some evil overlord or something.
So as I said, the game starts out with you crying in your beer over your girlfriend Kari dumping you. Eventually you’ll end up leaving the bar and take your first steps of getting into the adventure.
You’ll soon come across some young fop getting roughed up by some thug and because you’re a busy body who’s spoiling for a fight anyway due to getting dumped, you intervene. Again it won’t matter too much since the fop gets killed regardless of what you do either by the first thug, or another lurking about. You can always search his body either way which is a good idea since looting the dead is still a staple in these types of things.
Sticking around to search his body will get you some vital info that he was the son of a baron in the city. Of course sticking around also has you getting chased by the city guards, which will then lead to a chase. This can go a few different ways since obviously you get different options of where to run. Hell, you can even get captured and get released the next day, provided you didn’t have any incriminating evidence on you.
One of the more interesting options is hiding out in the sewers where you can stumble into some crazy old cannibal where upon you get a minor info dump of an Orlandes “urban legend” of some evil druid that used to be quite the terror back in the old days until he was captured, but then escaped in the sewers causing parents to scare their kids into behaving since he became a kind of boogey man as years passed. Has absolutely no other connection to the main story, but the GA series tends to like to flesh out its lore with little things like this.
Survive guards and old cannibals and eventually you’ll get some shadowy figure warning you to leave Orlandes and mind your own business or else they’ll kill your ex, who they mention they’ve captured. He even gives proof by showing you a necklace you gave her and mentioning a physical description of her including the fact that she’s a red head.
At this point, I’d say my IMMERSHUN IS RUINED, because I was fucking a filthy ginger, but because I’m not a CoGite faggot, I can separate myself from the character I’m playing as. (Who apparently likes fucking filthy gingers)
In any case, killing this asshole leads you to a little more info about what you’re dealing with.
Now I’ve mentioned discovering info a few times already and that’s because picking up clues tends to be fairly important, not just for this particular book, but for a lot of GA books in general. It can make the difference between continuing with the adventure later on or getting a non-standard failed ending as you’ll soon find out. How soon?
Well if you didn’t search the dead fop or you didn’t kill the thug bragging about your girlfriend being captured, you won’t have any info to follow up on, and as I said, you’ll get a non-standard ending about how you have to leave the city because people think you’re going around killing nobles and eventually you’ll even get accused to assassinating the Grand Duke of Orlandes becoming an outlawed wanderer as Orlandes falls into chaos.
So to avoid all that, you need to follow up on leads. The more interesting of the two is breaking into the dead fop’s funeral and posing as someone who knew him to search for more clues. Apparently the fop was known to hang out with the underclass a lot so you aren’t held under too much scrutiny unless you say the wrong thing and get the hounds unleashed upon you by his grieving parents.
Snooping about the mansion will get you the info you need and more importantly the name Eltane, if you hadn’t heard about him already. Basically though you need to find out where his next meeting spot is taking place (a graveyard) or else you’ll get a non-standard ending like I just mentioned.
So heading to the graveyard and you’ll find Eltane standing around waiting to meet someone, now this is one of those times where rushing head long into battle isn’t a good idea. Not because he can kill you, on the contrary you can actually beat him in a fight, though he’ll use a classic villain trick of managing to escape before you can land the killing blow and you’ll have to chase him anyway.
However, if you attack him rather than waiting a bit to over hear his conversation with one of his lackeys, you won’t know where his next destination is. And you WILL fail, if you don’t have this vital info and get another non-standard ending though it’ll be even worse since not only will you get framed for mass noble murders, but you’ll also get assassinated yourself presumably because you pissed Eltane off enough for him to tie up that loose end.
Whether you listen in or foolishly go in for the kill immediately, you’ll have to go into the crypt to chase Eltane down. Once again this can be easy or difficult depending how unlucky you are in picking directions to go into. There’s also a silver dagger you’ll need to find down here.
Besides bumping into a few of his goons, you can also bump into yet another minor info dump opponent. There’s an undead lord down there who apparently usurped the City of Orlandes for a little while before finally being killed. He got cursed with undeath (And not the fun kind since he’s trapped in the crypt) though hence why he’s lurking about in the crypts playing games with you.
Beat the Crypt Keeper, and you’ll soon reach the outside of the crypt and possibly fight one more Eltane goon, before heading to his secret fortress. (You did find out the location didn’t you?)
Along the way you can have a few wilderness encounters, some of which are pretty beneficial. The most beneficial being a group of nomads who can provide a lot of info that will make things a lot easier. One of which is about that silver dagger which is called “Ehrlich” and is magical.
I should mention at this point, you will have gotten a bunch of questions periodically asking if you have the Orlandrian plague. I managed to avoid it in my play through, but it apparently fucks up your stats making fitness checks and such a lot harder as the game progresses unless you figure out a way to cure it.
Disease ridden or not, you’ll eventually get to Eltane’s castle to rescue your ex-girlfriend. Remember, that’s the whole reason why you’re doing this in the first place. Ol’ red must have really laid it down good for you to simp like this for her and you’re not even together anymore.
Sneaking about the castle, bushwacking guards can net you some better equipment, but eventually you’re going to have the showdown with Eltane who tells you to surrender or he’ll kill Kari.
Now at this point you can either do that, or do what I did and attack him anyway because if he kills her, my violent revenge will have even more meaning.
Unfortunately regardless of what you do, Eltane gets the upper hand and you’re unceremoniously knocked to the ground and deprived of your weapons. Then the ultimately twist is revealed which is Kari set you up and claims how easy you were to manipulate.
See? This is why you don’t trust fucking gingers. You got CUCKED. Lol.
So after this crushing blow to your manhood, you get tossed into a dungeon cell without your equipment (Well most of it). Eltane comes by to gloat about how Kari lured you here and laughs.
Hopefully you have lock picks stashed on you to escape. From there you probably need to find all the equipment that was taken from you, and then seek out Eltane. Upon finding him, you’ll see he’s speaking to his wizard minion who has cast some spell to make him look like you and then teleporting him to Orlandes.
While it’s still not spelled out, it’s pretty clear he intends on assassinating the Grand Duke of Orlandes and framing you for it because then he intends on “returning” as himself to “save the city.” He also mentions something about how one of his ancestors was cast out from the city a long time ago, thus robbing him of his birthright, so he’s doing all this for revenge as well.
Of course this brings up the question, why the fuck was it necessary to risk luring you to his inner sanctum in the first place? Seriously, it’s implied in one of the non-standard endings that they pull this plan off even without you around. I suppose Eltane having the “assassin” in captivity would be a convenient political move and boost his popularity when he executed you in front of everyone. But hell, he could have just had some goons konk you on the head and lock you up or better yet, have Kari drug you while you the two of you were fucking and then lock you up.
Doesn’t seem like it was a well thought out plan, but what the fuck, it’s Tinman’s first book and Warlock of Firetop Mountain wasn’t perfect either.
So at this point you need to get the wizard to transport you to Orlandes which can either be accomplished by fooling him into thinking he fucked up the spell and him still thinking he’s talking to his boss, bribing him or just forcing him. In any case, you’ll soon arrive in a crowd with the Grand Duke and now a scene is caused because now there’s two of you and you’re shouting about how the other you is trying to kill the Grand Duke.
What happens next can be easy or more difficult depending on if you managed to get Ehrlich since the dagger dispels the illusion immediately, otherwise it’s a fight to prove you’re not the assassin.
After subduing Eltane, Kari is apparently lurking about in crowd and in one last attempt to horse fuck you, she claims that it can’t be determined if you’re not the real assassin or not, so at the very least you should be forced to leave. This is where Ehrlich is necessary to get the true good ending. Because if you didn’t have it, the illusion doesn’t break even with Eltane dead, so you’re still under suspicion, get driven from the city while that bitch Kari goes unpunished.
Having the dagger avoids all that though, since the true face of the noble killer has been revealed as Eltane and the Duke recognizes Kari as his wife’s handmaid and mentions that certain documents had been going missing in his home for awhile so he knew it must be someone fucking things up from the inside, just didn’t know it was her, now that he’s put it all together.
Now apparently a lot of other nobles were involved in this conspiracy, BUT when Kari just goes full on villain reveal mode and claiming how she has a huge army approaching soon, well the other nobles thought it was just going to be a simple shift in power rather than a full on bloody coup, so a lot of them start moving away from her, especially since she starts casting magic.
And so begins the final battle where you get to do what so many men probably wish they could do and that’s kill your ex.
Kill the vile ginger and the game ends with her cursing you, the Grand Duke rewarding you and taxes the peasants for extra defense money (There’s still an invading army lurking in the wilderness even if it is leaderless now)
Oh and you meet the Grand Duke’s daughter who you hit it off with since she’s another noble that likes slumming it.
It also mentions how you’ll treat her like an equal rather than being a simp and putting her on a pedestal.
Great idea, but the joke’s on you. She’s an uptown girl and you basically fumbled your way into high society. Doesn’t matter how much of a “warrior princess” she is that likes roughing it, there’s still going to be a small pedestal you’ll have to climb a step to if you want to keep plowing noble pussy.
But at least she’s a blonde and not a filthy ginger this time.
And that's the book.
This one was fine for the first outing of the GA series. The plot "twist" is a little easy to predict (Hell the fact she was a ginger, should have given it away) and the plot itself seemed a little convoluted, but again, this isn't the worst book of the series and I enjoyed it well enough to want to play more in the GA series.
Yeah I'll probably give an ordered list of best and worst, when I'm done with the reviews.
I mean I guess I might go back and do those as well at some point, but I always had plans of doing another "series" here. You can link them somewhere I guess, but I was keeping this thread mostly clear for the uncensored GA reviews.
2. The Siege of the Necromancer
I’ll admit, I’m never an excessive fan of adventures involving going against liches. Call it professional courtesy I guess.
Necromancers on the other hand, well they haven’t quite achieved perfection yet, so it’s not as upsetting to cut them down if I have to. Some are pretty lame anyway.
The one you face in this one leans a little more towards lame, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
As if it couldn’t be predicted by the title of the book, your main antagonist in this one is a necromancer by the name of Erid Buul who has taken over your home town of Myr which is located all the way on the other side of Orlandes (Like the exact opposite of side of where Orlandes City is located)
You’re on your way back to Myr since your mining contract is up at one of the dwarf holds. As you’re riding in the caravan back, you’re already hearing about the shit that’s gone down at Myr. None of it good and you’re concerned naturally because your family is still there.
Now despite the rumors of Erid of being a necromancer, he hasn’t actually attacked Myr with hordes of undead. He’s attacked it with hordes of goblins known as the Shagraz. Some necromancer he is so far, relying on the living. Couldn’t even afford orcs.
In any case, it doesn’t take long before your caravan is attacked by a bunch of the little fuckers, along with their ogre muscle. (And yeah all of these races are spelled differently in the GA series, but I’m not bothering to do that for this review because I’m lazy)
Now you start out with the help of two buddies as you try to find an escape in the outer village you’re currently hiding in. I should mention that the rest of your friends in the caravan are dead at this point, in fact don’t get too attached to the two still left because they’ll both be dead too before you even escape the burning village.
Before you manage to steal a boat and row out safety, you’ll encounter a dying royal guard telling you to not let them get the ruby stone and reveals a ruby stone. Well no point in letting dead men kept their wealth, so you naturally pocket it before he tells you need to stop Erid and that he’s in Lord Bliryn’s stronghold (The ruler of Myr presumably).
Well given that your family may be dead and goblins just horse fucked your town, you might as well try to take it back from them Die Hard style so you head towards the stronghold.
Now from here, you’ve actually got a few ways to get into the stronghold. A lot of it loops back to a main path or is a fake choice that tells you a way is a dead end and it makes you go back to the other path anyway.
Really there is only one way is the optimal path though, in fact there is a character you MUST meet early on while you’re breaking into the stronghold.
And that’s a Goblin Trickster (AKA greenskin wizard). You aren’t supposed to attack him though, you’re suppose to make a deal with him since he isn’t too fond of Erid and doesn’t completely trust him despite his promises to the goblin tribes.
Basically you have to agree to learn some vital information about Erid like if he’s planning on backstabbing the goblin tribes eventually.
Now there’s a really annoying oversight here too. There are multiple locations you can meet the trickster to make this deal, but after a certain point there’s only one place to meet up with him to provide this info to him. The problem is you could easily stumble upon the info and miss out on the trickster until the next to last meeting. You can still make this deal with him, but you can’t give him the vital info for some reason, making a win condition impossible.
There’s also a few other items you sort of need to make the later combat easier, but the info is one of the more important bits.
Anyway, if you actually manage to find this shit while lurking about the infested goblin filled castle, one of the pieces of info is Erid has actually been masquerading as a scribe in the stronghold for quite sometime. Though the trickster already knows that shit and calls you a dumb ass human for telling him the obvious.
The other piece of info is the smoking gun that Erid has the Staff of Orfus (Which actually the original property of a WAY more powerful lich called Makros the Unearthed) which can bring back the dead on a massive scale. This is a bit more alarming since while the goblins did a pretty good job of decimating Myr, most of the people fled rather than got killed. Which meaning Erid needs a bunch of bodies from some source if he wants an undead army, meaning the goblin tribes.
Fortunately, he doesn’t have the ruby stones to power it up…or does he?
Amusingly there’s at least one path that can allow you to find the other three ruby stones off other dead guards, which you may have been carrying around, thinking they’ll be useful. Oh they’ll be useful alright, just not to you. And if you have all four of them and learn about how Erid needs them…well yeah the joke’s on you because you just brought them all back into the center of danger.
Of course the responsible thing to do would have been to immediately throw them away or down holes in the floors, walls, etc. But nope, you don’t do that, you insist on keeping them all with you because well at least you’ll be rich if you survive all this right?
Anyway, after a few more looping bits and forced dead end paths, you’ll stumble upon Erid and most of his goblin minions. It’s here you have to meet up with the trickster one last time. If you didn’t meet him or make the deal or tell him the vital info, then you’re fucked no matter what you do. (Especially if you have all four ruby stones on you)
If you’ve done all the proper steps, you start the end game with Erid who has pretty much revealed his true colors of planning to backstab the tribes and unleashes a dragon. No not his dick, an actual dragon, or at least this world’s equivalent of one. Defeat that and the gobbos are some pleased that you helped them out (And pissed that Erid tried to murder them all) that they pack their shit and just decide to leave meaning you only have Erid to deal with now.
Lord Bliryn’s scattered forces have managed to regroup by this point too, so at least one of them isn’t completely worthless and helps you during the final showdown, since Erid’s managed to raise a few undead in a last ditch effort in his escape.
Kill Erid and all the dark magic he’s been using creates a painful death for him as his soul is ripped from his body. Such is the price for walking the darkside and failing spectacularly. You also get some of the blowback from this, so you get knocked unconscious for awhile. When you wake up though you find out that your family is still alive.
The game then sort of goes into an epilogue about what lead up to all this (in case you didn’t learn all the info), along with what happened after all of this. It’s a last moment info dump. In fact this game in general tends to do that quite a bit (Going on about tapestries and such as you travel through castle), which can annoy some people. I was okay with it though.
Ultimately life in Myr returns to normal and given your Die Hard experience, you’re given the position with the Lord’s High Guard, though it ends with saying you still miss the simple days of being a miner because apparently there’s nothing like working a shaft in a dark hole with a bunch other men.
And that’s the book.
Overall, this one is rather meh. It’s still about on par with the last book, but it relies a bit too much on dead end fake choices which just make you go back to one of the other choices anyway. It’s like why bother? Just have less choices and make them more meaningful.
Still, not the worst in series.
3. Slaves of Rema
So far the GA series has been about average. Their last two books both had their strengths and weaknesses in places, but this third book is where they finally strike gold.
This one mostly takes place in Rema rather than Orlandes though you still start off there. Rema is basically like this world’s equivalent of the Roman Empire, or rather it was the equivalent of it, since the Reman Empire is long gone and only the more powerful city states on that continent maintaining its culture remain.
You’re from Bosque which is one of the southern cities of Orlandes. It does a lot of trading with the Rema and one of the major things they trade in is slaves. The yankee cities in Orlandes don’t really approve of this practice, but since Orlandes isn’t really a proper unified country and more of a confederacy of city states, it’s not like they can declare a war of aggression on you over it.
Naturally as a proud southerner, you were born into a culture where dealing in slaves is the most normal thing ever, so you don’t really see what the big deal is. Plus you’re a soldier, so you don’t really think too much about the politics of it all.
Well that all suddenly changes one night when a group of Reman slavers attack your small coastal guard camp and take you away aboard their galley. While you don’t spend 90 days on a slave ship, rollin’ in your own left over, you are chained up the whole time until you eventually reach Acoleii which is the most powerful Reman city state.
Acoleii and Bosque’s relationship has always been a bit shaky, but the cities are supposed to be trading buddies. Attacking and taking citizens as slaves is clearly an act of war, but apparently Acoleii doesn’t give a shit about all that because they throw you and the rest of the survivors into the colosseum where you’re going to be gladiators.
So a little bit of FF’s Trial of Champions is here in the first part of the game, though rather than focusing on surviving the area battles, it focuses more on your escape plan since you really want to get back home. Still I would have liked a bit more gladiator stuff since as it stands, you only really do one major fight with a choice of three different opponents.
Though that fight really sort of influences your path later on. Depending on who you choose to fight, you’ll get different help later on. One in particular allows you to learn magic, another one allows you to get a good ending, but not the “true ending.”
The one I happened to pick is probably the true path, so that’s the one I’ll focus on. The opponent in question is the most obviously difficult of the bunch since its a huge lizardman (They even spell THAT one with a “y”) After a choice related battle with a fitness check, you’ll get some cheers from the crowd along with roses being thrown at your feet. One of which has a bronze coins with initials on it. (Which you stealthily hide)
The person who threw this coin is basically going to be the person to help you later on.
So after one fight, and you’re already getting asked to be involved with an escape plan by a guy named Carlos who is another Orlandes resident. He also says there’s a boat ready to head back to Bosque soon otherwise it would be a long swim back home. This seems slightly quick though since usually plans like this do require a bit of trust and knowledge between the participants, if only to know that the new guy is actually reliable.
However, Carlos just saw you kick ass in the arena and that’s good enough for him and the rest all trust him a lot I guess.
So the next part of the game as I said involves actually escaping the arena. This changes up a bit depending on what parts of the plan you decide to engage in. Some of these are better than others since you can acquire a few extra pieces of protection and useful items.
I found as in real life, the plan usually goes better when you take matters into your own hands directly.
Eventually if you survive the escape, your buddy Carlos will be mortally wounded and tells you to tell his family he loves them. Well actually he dies before he gets that far in the sentence, but you got the general idea. You then pay your respects by taking the dead man’s money.
By the time you get to the city proper and are hiding out in the crowds, the other three escapees still with you all split up. You then make your way to buy a ticket for a trip back to Bosque and that’s when you find out that it’s WAY more money than Carlos managed to scrape together.
Apparently Bosque and Acoleii relations have deteriorated even more which sort of happens when one city starts enslaving the others citizens. So the last boat to Bosque costs a shitload now. You also find out how Bosque in general is pretty much fucked on the world stage. Lord Bosquez is out of favor by the Grand Duke of Orlandes due to all the slave trade shit, but Acoleii that was supporting Bosque, has now decided to just throw its military weight around and just try to take the city as a first step to revive ye olde Empire.
You can’t really do much about any of this right now though since you’re just trying to keep from getting recaptured. Now if you’re lucky, you found an expensive gem to book yourself passage, otherwise you’re going to have two more days to figure something else out.
You got two days to waste in the city so you’ve got some activities you can engage in in the meantime. Buying more equipment is always useful provided you have the money to do so. You can also encounter some interesting people as well. One of which is an Orlandrian agent (The one who threw the coin in the arena) who has uncovered info that some of the Orlandrian nobles are involved in fucking over Bosque too.
Hopefully you’ve managed to book passage aboard the ship and you’ll soon be on your way (Potentially even first class) unfortunately nothing is easy and after a bit of time has passed on sea, you’ll be attacked by pirates. This is a losing battle. Granted you can do all sorts of stuff like either helping the captain, killing the bowman in the crow’s nest, preventing some ladies from getting RAEPED, etc. But ultimately the ship is going down and if you’re lucky, you’ll be escaping on a piece of driftwood.
As if it needs to be said, floating in the middle of the sea isn’t the safest thing even if there’s land in sight. The land in question isn’t very big and there are some freaky creatures living on it. You won’t get into trouble with them though unless you foolishly follow one into a dark cave where upon more of them show up and rip you apart since it isn’t often they get fresh human flesh. However, if you have a certain item you can scare them away and turn your foolishness into fortune since you’ll find a good weapon here left over from a previous victim.
Whether you deal with the creatures or just ignored them, the fact remains you’re stuck on a shitty reef since it isn’t even a proper island. There’s one in the distance though. At which point you can either swim, which is pretty dangerous if you don’t have the right item to help you (AND you have to leave behind any heavy armor you might have) or you can explore a bit more.
Exploring a bit more eventually results in you spotting a mermaid and she’s HAWT.
No seriously, you’re entranced by her fishy unnatural beauty almost immediately. Granted you wouldn’t be able to have traditional sex with her, but there’s nothing like fish heads.
She’s pretty fond of you too and says if you just grab her tail (Aw yeah) she’ll take you to the island. However, she says she really would like to show you something first since she doesn’t get many visitors
And here is one of my personal favorite non-traditional endings.
If you accept her offer, she’ll take your hand and the pair of you go underwater and deeper and deeper and eventually the pair of you are swimming around playing grab tail with each other. You briefly wonder why you can breathe underwater for so long and why you can swim so effortlessly, then you forget everything about your old life entirely.
Then it cuts to a brief scene of some sailor in the future thinking he sees two figures swimming near his boat and then shakes his head figuring he must be imagining things and returns to work.
Living happily ever after with a mermaid probably isn’t the worst ending in the world.
However, if you want to win, you’ll have to forego fucking Ariel. Demand that she take you to the island and she’ll actually do so, though she’ll be surprised you didn’t succumb to her Deep One charms. She gets over it pretty quick after she drops you off and you’ll soon learn you’re on an island with hostile savages probably wondering why you didn’t go for that sweet mermaid puss.
The possibilities start getting scarcer here if you don’t have certain items to help you. The savages could kill you, or you could very well just not be able to signal the right ship and get yourself in trouble with pirates for a final time.
Assuming you manage to get a rescue ship, you’ll be treated with getting rescued by an Orlandrian vessel. If you met with the Orlandrian secret agents, you’ll be able to hand over a message to someone aboard the ship as well.
The last bit involves another sea battle. This time with an Acoleii ship. They also have a wizard on it controlling a two headed sea serpent. You sort of have to play a game of figuring out the best way to go about beating it before finally fighting it proper and killing it.
So after that final battle you get a “true ending” if you managed to uncover the extra plot going on against the Lord of Bosque.
Basically it’s a shake down by the Grand Duke and other powerful nobles. As said before, they really don’t like Bosque engaging in the slave trade so if Bosque agrees to stop it, they’ll help Bosque out on the military front, so Acoleii doesn’t beat the chicken soup out of them. After all it isn’t like they really want a revived Reman Empire on their shores either.
You return home to see your family who are glad to see you. You then meet up with Carlos’ wife to tell her about the fate of her husband. She figured he was dead, but at least there’s closure. You also think about how you’re glad that the slave trade has been put an end to in Bosque because of your own experience with being a slave and because you’re all woke and shit now.
But you’ll always regret not getting that sweet mermaid puss.
This one was definitely one of my favorites in the GA series. The whole adventure was pretty cool. The only down side was I wish there had been a bit more gladiator stuff to survive. But other than something as minor as that, the story was solid all the way through.
4. Revenant Rising
Back in Orlandes again and this one starts you off as a typical ne’er do well that’s in between jobs at the moment. While you’re sitting around in a tavern thinking about your next job, your old friend Saul pops in to greet you. He’s been having a streak of bad luck for awhile, such as getting his application turned down to serve in the Falavia army, along with returning to his home Nurroth to rejoin his clan, but apparently he didn’t get along with his uncle on something. However he’s got a whole new plan to turn his misfortune around and he wants your help.
While he may be an old comrade of yours, he’s always been a bit shady so you’re suspicious already. He says he knows where a valuable treasure is and mentions it’s owned by Makros the Unearthed.
Yep, Makros the Unearthed, the infamous necromancer who was mentioned in book 2 when Erid the wannabe necromancer tried to use his staff to destroy Myr. The GA series likes to make call backs to intertwine the lore.
Swiping shit from a super powerful necromancer sounds like a bad idea, but Saul assures you that you’ll be out of there before he notices. Also, you’re apparently a danger junkie, because you just agree to go. Not even an option to opt out for a premature ending.
The next day you blow off your caravan gig and go with Saul to sneak into Makros’ hidden lair. This part has a couple paths to the treasure. Either way you’re going to get separated from Saul and probably going to encounter some monsters at some point. All varieties, vampires, ghouls, golems, orcs, etc. Some paths are easier than others.
Eventually you’ll meet up with Saul again and eventually he points at an amulet near a pit of spikes that has to be dangerously leaned over in order to get it. Saul immediately says this is the treasure but claimed before he didn’t know what it was. You even call him out on this, but he just says he just figures this might be it and urges YOU to grab it.
Obviously you’re playing as a retard this time around, because you just go ahead and do it.
As if it needed to be said, Saul’s backstabbing ass pushes you into the spike pit and then as you lay dying from multiple impalements, he insincerely apologizes saying only ONE of you can have the amulet of invulnerability and takes the treasure before you void your bowels and descend to hell.
Well not quite.
You wake up and find yourself in a kind of lab. Makros then shows up to explain he’s spent a good deal of effort to bring you back to life as a revenant.
As soon as you and Saul broke in to his place, Makros was alerted through some sort of magical fantasy alarm system he’s got set up, but by the time he arrived, Saul escaped and you were dead. He’s sending you to go retrieve his property since he’s got more important shit to do than to hunt Saul down himself.
Speaking of alarm systems, Makros REALLY needs to make better ones or pick better “secret” lairs to stash his shit, because he laments the fact about his staff got stolen to attack Myr and now his amulet is being used for something similar.
Seems in the months you were developing a nice case of rigor mortis, Saul’s used the invulnerability amulet to pose as a reincarnated god, gather all his old clan buddies in Nurroth and make alliances with orc tribes to stage an attack on Falavia which is located in a more central location of Orlandes. It’s partly due to revenge (Like most motivations are) but it also has the most military shit. Take that city, and nobody can do much about it. From there it’s the first step to RULING THE WORLD.
But Makros doesn’t really give a shit about all that, he just wants his property back. (And you want revenge too)
On top of being enthralled by Makros, he also gives you a sword that can bypass Saul’s invulnerability. It also heals you by absorbing the life-force of whoever you kill. This will help since while you don’t feel pain anymore, you can still be chopped up and normal healing items won’t work on you in your new undead state. You can also heal via meditation or discovering that a certain embalming liquid can help, but both of those are hardly as metal as gaining the life-force from your enemies.
Keep in mind, even if you kill Saul, you’re going to still be under Makros’ commands. Just because you accomplish your task doesn’t mean he’s going to just let you go. So there’s also the lingering thought of how the hell are you going to get out of this predicament entirely.
From a game play perspective, things are fairly easy combat wise. Your sword is pretty powerful and you’ve got more than a few ways to heal yourself. What’s a little more difficult is stumbling on a few vital things you need that will let you get the true ending.
And your first choice as one of the undead is going to determine if you can achieve it or not. There’s a group of warrior priests you MUST encounter because you’re going to need one of them to help you later on.
Three of them want to purge you as the undead abomination you are, but one (The female naturally) senses you’re not an evil man, you’re just in a bad situation. Naturally they all call her a blaspheming whore and try to purge her too. You need to save her because at this point in time, she’s the only one that’s willing to help.
After cutting down the zealots, you speak more with the warrior priest girl who says her name is Alaera and thinks she was about to get kicked out the church anyway so she’s not too broken up about turning completely against her former comrades. She likes ‘em cold and stiff, so she insists on traveling with you a bit more, which as I said, you need to cater to her necrophilia if you want to achieve a true ending.
Eventually you’ll part ways with her though since she needs to gather her shit back at the temple before they realize what she’s done and she’ll give you a pendant for luck.
You can encounter a few other things on your way to Falavia, gathering more useful items and such, though the main thing that will help is what you usually always need to gather in some fashion in these GA books, and that’s information.
One particular incident involves a burning village where you can question one of Saul’s marauding troops about his battle plans along with speaking with the villagers to get into the city of Falavia easier. You can also get directions to a shaman who you need as another person to find to help you with your undead status.
The shaman is another one of those nomad people who gives a lot of helpful info that will be useful in the future, but not directly helpful in the here and now. He also mentions how you need someone who CARES about you, to help you break your curse. Hope you gave Alaera your dead dick, because all his info means absolute fuck all since it’s too late at this point and there’s NOBODY else who you meet that will care about you. Then the old shaman tells you to leave because you’re stinking up the place with your rotting dead ass.
Eventually you’ll stumble upon Saul’s main army camp itself. This is another place to get vital info about the attack plans by creeping around listening in on the attack plans on Falavia. Amusingly you can actually sneak in and murder the shit out of Saul right now, however that results in a premature ending with Makros instantly teleporting you back with the amulet where upon he sends you to some weird pocket limbo realm where he sends all his revenants until he needs to call upon them again for some task. You just wait around with a bunch of other corpses and it’s really boring.
While this is bad enough, the bigger problem is Makros tends to just forget about his former creations since I guess it’s easier to just make a new one when he needs one. So you essentially just waste away waiting forever.
So yeah, don’t kill Saul just yet.
Continue on to Falavia and after getting past the guards, you can speak with the head of the city, Baron Rodrigo who you can tell any important attack plans you’ve learned. It makes the later siege of the city a little easier the more you learned.
So after all that, you’ve got a little time to kill. You can go to the market or the blacksmith, a hypnotist’s show or find a tavern.
Wait, one of these is not like the others, I guess that could be a clue that it might be a good idea to choose that one. Of course it could be an incredibly bad idea too, but it’s not in this case.
Going to the hypnotist’s show seems pretty inconsequential and choosing to volunteer in his act and speaking to him backstage seems like it might even be a bad idea, but doing these things gains you a vital ability you’ll need later on. If you don’t have it, you’ll lose.
You’ll the chance to catch a traitor to make the siege easier before you have to find some place to rest.
And now comes the final vital thing you need to do to even get through to the end game. You have to pick the right inn to head to. Pick the correct one and you’ll bump into Alarea again who figured she’d help defend the city. And I hope you spoke with the old Mongolian shaman, because if you didn’t, you won’t have the vital info to tell Alarea so she can properly help you when the time comes.
In any case, since she’s still in the closet about her dead loving ways, you don’t get to share a room with her in a public inn and you have to go sleep in the Falavian barracks since you’re part of the defense anyway.
Okay so on with the siege portion of the game. Well again this is all pretty straight forward. It’s going to be easy or difficult based on what you managed to learn ahead of time. Saul’s got humans, orcs and even those fucking bird people attacking from all sides, but if you manage to survive all that, eventually you’ll push back Saul’s army and take the fight to him on the battlefield.
Unfortunately for Baron Rodrigo, he goes in pants on head retarded against Saul who still has the invulnerability amulet on. Either he’s really ill informed (Possible, since you had to tell him about attack plans) about Saul’s status which is sort of well known given that he’s flaunting it about or he really is just retarded.
Saul cleaves the Baron’s head with his axe feeling pretty proud of himself and then promptly shits his pants when he sees you. Assuming you manage to win the combat, he finishes shitting his pants in disbelief that you’re able to kill him at all.
So you got your revenge, but now begins the last stage of the game.
As with the premature ending if you killed Saul in his camp. Makros teleports you and shoves you into the pocket plane. He also mentions he doesn’t really owe you anything seeing as you broke in and tried to steal from him in the first place. (He’s got a valid point)
This is where all your zombie charm that you worked on Alarea comes in as she does a reverse version of “Come into the light!” to contact you.
This is also where the hypnotist trick of strengthening your willpower comes in too because if you didn’t do that, you’re not strong enough to follow her attempt to contact you and you just wait around like a dumb ass zombie.
Get through all this, and Alarea tells you in order to break this spell, you’ll need to kill Makros’ aspect in the plane, of course you’ll have to find it first. You figure the mountains in the distance are as good as any place to start.
One of the first things you’ll stumble upon is a river where you’ll have to wait for a boatman to cross. To your surprise the boatman is Saul! He mentions how all those folks you killed with your magic death sword trapped their souls here in the river and how you can make amends by giving your soul to him.
As if it needs to be said, this is the most fucktarded idea ever. Even if you had some pangs of guilt like a faggot about trapping souls in the “I can’t believe it’s not Styx” river, the last thing you should want to do is help out the guy who got you into this mess in the first place.
Refusing to be a dumb fuck, causes a bit of grumbling on Saul’s part, but he rows you across. He then attempts a last trick where he hopes you defeat Makros so all the souls can be released and offers to bless you by trying to touch your forehead. This is a bad idea too.
Refuse again and he’ll expose his true colors by exclaiming he hopes Makros tortures your soul forever as you leave the boat. Now you have an option of ignoring him and carry on OR you can attack him. Honestly it doesn’t make much difference in the game play, in fact attacking him puts you in a dangerous situation of getting instakilled if you fail a tough fitness roll.
However from a story perspective, throwing him overboard into the soul river and letting the other corpses drag him under seems pretty fitting. You’ll even mock him and feel incredibly satisfied about doing it.
The next bit involves an odd hopscotch up the mountain and a few encounters with shadow beasts before finally dealing with Makros’ aspect. You then get the choice to have the forces of good or evil help you in the form of a sword. Choosing either one leads to a trick where you get oblivion for your poor attention span when the shaman specifically said rely on yourself.
So yeah not choosing a weapon and just beating Makros’ aspect with your rotting old fists is how you finish this.
However, like most powerful necromancers on their way to lichdom, killing his aspect doesn’t actually kill him. It just destroys his presence in that pocket plane. And since his presence was the only thing keeping it in existence, you’ve essentially just destroyed the support beams.
Marks’ laughs being leaving you to oblivion, and you’re busily trying to keep one step ahead of collapsing reality as you hear Alarea’s voice. Follow her voice and you’ll get a series of increasingly more difficult Fitness tests. This is a bit of a troll since failing any of them won’t result in you losing, you’ll actually be brought back to the winning ending quicker.
You wake up and find Alarea a little weepy eyed, happy that her dead boyfriend’s back. She mentions after you killed Saul all his buddies fled. You aren’t sure what happened to Makros, just that you sort of fucked up one of his planes, but he’s not dead.
You’re also not sure if you’re actually “alive” or you’re still an intelligent zombie. Alarea suggests that you both find out together, because she’s fucking a walking corpse either way.
While you and your girlfriend go find a spot to celebrate your unnatural love, the game ends with some shadowy figure pilfering the death sword you had from the battlefield, to use it for nefarious purposes no doubt.
For obvious reasons this is another one of my more favorite GA books. You get to play as a fucking undead abomination. Granted you’re not exactly reveling in such a thing, it isn’t like many of these types of stories put you in that role in the first place.
I liked the storyline to this one too since it had a couple levels going on of getting revenge, but having to deal with an even bigger threat that’s temporarily helping you out on your revenge.
Makros and Saul were both better antagonists than any of the ones that came before at this point. It’s a pity that Makros doesn’t really show up again in later books since he could have easily been the on going “Uber villain” of the series.
It's definitely in my top ones of the GA series.
5. Catacombs of the Undercity
Back to the City of Orlandes again, though slightly different since this time you’ll be spending all of your time under it. Also once again, you start out as a lower socio economic sort. You’re a part time adventurer type that supplements your income with a bit of theft.
Well you fucked up, because the game starts off immediately with a group of criminals about to throw you into a pit for stealing shit without the Thieves’ Guild permission. Now of course you proclaim your innocence and didn’t actually steal anything…yet.
In any case, they’re either not buying it because you’re lying or they don’t give a shit since you were probably going to steal something at some point without guild permission anyway. Of course they wouldn’t be overly dramatic antagonistic if they just killed you right away.
One by the name of Guilo even asks why don’t they just do that, to which their leader Valvidios pontificates about how they are the Red Hand Guild and they do things with style! They also follow the Shadow God and what better way to deliver a sacrifice to him this month than to just throw you into some dark hole in the Orlandes City sewers?
Yeah I don’t get how throwing you down a pit is “stylish” exactly. It also seems pretty inefficient. In fact Gulio even asks again what if you survive. Val at this point gets annoyed with Gulio’s perfectly logical questions and exclaims that even if you make it to the Undercity, that Gulio is going to be there to kill you anyway (And because he’s asking too many damn questions)
And with that, you’re tossed down a hole and into darkness. Now in the title it says catacombs, but it’s more like a sewer system. Of course “Sewers of the Orlandes City” doesn’t quite have the same ring.
The beginning of this game is a little on the tougher side since you start out with nothing, the choices are pretty random since it’s just picking a direction most of the time. If you’re lucky with your picks and dice rolls, you’ll manage to find some basic weapons, armor and useful items in your encounters.
Your first goal is to get out of the dangerous sewers and to the Undercity though why you can’t just try to…y’know find your way out of the sewers completely is a bit of a convoluted mystery. I suppose its possible you’re not really near any major entrance, but there is actually one point where you can see the docks. You can’t exit because of the bars in your way, but I just feel like there could have been a path that has you trying to get out of the sewers and potentially leading to a good, but not “true ending”
So once again you’ve got more than a few choices, however a lot of them are going to loop back to one path. In fact some will just tell you to go back the other way anyway. It’s slightly better about it than it was in Siege, since you could potentially find some useful stuff at a “dead end” path before having to go the other way.
Encounters can include rats, crabs, giant slugs, goblins, smugglers (rival gang to the Guild), ratlings (AKA Skaven) and more. You can even speak in a civil manner with some of these encounters and surprisingly some will even help you out.
Speaking of help, you really need to find someone to help you when you eventually get to the Undercity because I hardly need to mention you know how these games go. You ALWAYS try to get revenge (I think that’s why I liked a lot of these games) and when you finally attack the guild you will need at least one person to help you out. Two of which can be found in the first part of this adventure. I managed to get an apprentice wizard to help me, so that’s the one I’ll focus on.
So eventually you might get to a point where you stumble upon a small underground harbor which has an actual stairway going up (I think you always encounter it, but not sure) A couple of friendly goblins just fishing say there’s a wizard doing magic shit up there though. This wizard is the apprentice I just mentioned. And before you can get his help, you have to actually save him from doing the fool thing of summoning a fucking demon in a wine cellar. (There’s a mild Harry Potter reference since he’s summoning it to kill Potion Master Snype)
Hope you found a specific item in the sewers to deal with the demon because he instakills you if you don’t have it. At best you can just hide in the shadows until it kills the apprentice and goes away, but that’s no good since you need his help.
Assuming you managed to deal with the demon, Delario the apprentice agrees to help you against the Guild if you meet up with him later in the Undercity, however what would REALLY help is if he just let you go out the wine cellar and up to the city surface. Unfortunately he won’t because you’ll wind up in the magic academy and apparently the other wizards will feed you to some magical abomination if they catch you lurking about up there on your way out.
So you’re resigned to still trudging through shit water until you get to the fucking Undercity. You don’t have too far to go, though you can still stumble upon a particularly nasty cult before you get there called the Nightjaws. You can guess what they want with you. Of course you can also manage to avoid them altogether.
Eventually the Undercity will be in sight and after an encounter with an obnoxious ogre, you can enter the city proper. As you might guess the Undercity of Orlandes is home to all manner of rogues, assassins, outlaws, outcasts, and overall degenerates.
Still, that doesn’t mean they want you walking around the place still covered in shit water, so you actually have to clean yourself off with a bucket of water and trough before entering it since there’s a tavern just outside to hang out at. You can listen to rumors (Which will net you some important info) or even play that knife game for more money. (You know which one, you try to avoid stabbing your fingers while quickly moving a knife around them)
Speaking of knives, after you get some rest and try to leave the tavern, you’ll soon run into Gulio who looks a little like Danny Trejo from the movie Desperado and just like the character from that movie, he’ll start throwing knives at you.
Defeat him and you can finally get on with entering the Undercity proper. Now you probably could get yourself out of this underground hell hole, however you’ve determined that the Guild will probably just hunt you down given you just killed a top lieutenant so you might as well try to take them out. Plus y’know there’s the whole revenge thing.
This is going to be the last chance to really heal up in what is a book that doesn’t have too many opportunities for it. You also can seek out more info on the Guild (Which amounts to finding easier ways into their hideout) and getting more help. In my case, I went and got Delario who was waiting at a tavern he told me to meet him at. And the kicker is, you STILL need enough money to hire the fucker after you saved his scrawny ass from a demon.
There’s another guy who can help, but as I said I didn’t meet him in my sewer journeys. There is a third and fourth option. The third option is there’s a barbarian dude who you can hire to help you, however he’s utterly useless. He literally will go in pants on head retarded through the main entrance and if you follow him, you’ll get yourself an instadeath. I suppose he’s fine as a distraction since you can slip away while he’s busy chopping up Guild members, but its a waste of money, you might as well go in stealthily by yourself.
Which brings me to the fourth option which is going by yourself. This can be pretty difficult due to all the difficult combat and fitness checks, though you might have the info to bypass some of that. You CAN actually get to Val by yourself, but you won’t survive the final battle, or at least I don’t think you can.
The main point of having Delario or the other guy helping you is at some point they’ll mention a special weapon needs to be used on Val in order to kill him and you won’t have the knowledge to pick it up if you don’t get that info. I could be wrong on that though, but I went through a few times and I’m pretty sure you need at least one of them.
So after hiring help and possibly doing some last minute shopping, you’re ready to cross the river to the northside of the Undercity where the Red Hand Guild hangs out. The easiest way to get across is to just walk across the bridge as long as you have a certain amount of vitality which you should since you presumably healed up.
Once again the Orlandrian Plague can rear its ugly head as a last minute fuck you, if you managed to catch it during your time in the sewers and failed to cure it. Hopefully you’re not running around like a diseased leper though.
You get several options of entry into the Guild’s lair. You can enter through the Shadow God temple, an entrance through some back alleys or if you couldn’t get enough the first time, there’s a way in through more sewers. Depending on what way you choose, it’s going to be easier or more difficult based on if you got info about the locations. Some of the paths will loop as well when you get inside.
As I remember the quickest way is through the Shadow God temple if you know the secret entrance. It’ll take you straight to the final fight. The problem is, you won’t pick up the needed weapon to beat Val if you do. If you want to win, you’ll have to take one of the longer ways and do more fighting unfortunately. Even worse, you’ve got a companion in tow, so you also have to roll dice for him too because escort missions are just oh so fun.
You can even pick up ANOTHER companion to help you in the final fight. His name is Hursus and he’s some prisoner that you can release. Sort of helpful since the final fights aren’t exactly the easiest.
Before you even get to Val, you’ll encounter his shadow priest lieutenant Orsio that can cast some damaging spells on you even before combat starts. If you have Delario with you this is where he dies, though he manages to nullify the spells first. Hursus will wound Orsio even further.
After finishing off Orsio, Val will finally show up and admit to having a retard moment by not just killing you right away, then he’ll try to waste you with his repeating crossbow. (And it’s one handed, so it’s almost like a pistol) Assuming Hursus is still around, he’ll come in handy as a meat shield so you don’t take the brunt of the volley, then it’ll be a fight between you and Val if you’re still alive.
And here’s where your potential victory can be snatched away.
Val proceeds to turn into a furry. Or more specifically he’s a were-panther, and you can’t beat him unless you had the knowledge to pick up a silver weapon along the way. Assuming you did, THEN you can fight Val properly and put an end to the furfag.
Beat Val and in true adventurer fashion, you’ll proceed to loot the place for valuables. Some of the Guild members will come in and be in shock about what you did. Some will even make threats, but since you killed their leader, they puss out and show how much of faggots they are with one of them even helping to show you the way out, because obviously they don’t want you in their safe space any longer.
You get a lot of warm and fuzzies on your way out since nobody liked those Red Hand Guild assholes anyway, and finally you reach the surface again being glad you’re alive, a little richer and not breathing in shit fumes every second.
This one isn’t as good as the last two books, but I still like it better than the first two books. As I said it’s definitely one of the tougher ones due to being a bit at the mercy of randomness in the beginning and a lack of good defensive armor while facing difficult combats throughout. Plus the whole needing the special silver weapon at the end thing.
Doesn’t have as much of a complex plotline as some of the others since there isn’t nearly as much background political intrigue going on. It doesn't even tie much into the overall world like the others have at this point, though you do still get some interesting lore.
In some ways, this one feels closer to an FF book, though that’s not entirely a bad thing.
You just answered your own question. He's a degenerate shark furry.
6. The Wizard From Tarnath Tor
Another GA book, another one that mentions Orlandes City in the back story.
This one basically starts out with you being some sad sack that couldn’t live up to your dad’s rep of being the best blacksmith in the city and then when he died you inherited everything and you were complete shit at it. Realizing you’d never be half the Chad he was, you left Orlandes City to seek your fortune elsewhere.
Since this is Orlandes, being a caravan guard is always open, so you sign on for that’s traveling north to an ex-mining town imaginatively called Quarry, which fell on hard times due to the dwarves saying people couldn’t mine their minerals anymore. In fact it’s a bit of a nod to Siege since that protagonist was a miner there.
Well as we all know hard times creates bad situations, so a lot of folks decided to just turn to banditry and that’s exactly who your caravan gets attacked by. Apparently you aren’t complete shit at fighting, but unfortunately due to your complete shit at blacksmithing, your sword breaks in combat and the bandits knock you out. (You’re also retarded for using a sword you made when you know you’re complete shit at blacksmithing in the first place)
The bandits decide to not kill you but they do leave you hanging upside down from a tree until the cold weather or animals get you. Their leader Gorgoth and his buddies laugh at you and leave. Now it wasn’t mentioned before, but your dad apparently died at the hands of thieves so NOW you’re determined to get free and (you guessed it) REVENGE.
Of course you’re not doing shit until you get free and you’re not alpha enough to do that. Fortunately a young gay wizard by the name of Alladar wanders by and helps you down.
Now Alladar has a tale that results in one of the longer info dumps for one of these books as far as establishing the storyline. Apparently he’s from Taranath Tor, which was destroyed about two hundred years ago due to a mixture of a massive orc attack and a massive failure of attempt at a defensive spell against them. The city was pretty much one of those wizard run cities with a whole bunch of magical wonders and such, but the old gray beards weren’t as smart as they thought they were and managed to horse fuck their own city in an attempt to save it.
So how the hell Alladar survive this and keep his youthful appearance after all these years? Well as with anything in a fantasy setting, a wizard did it. Or multiple wizards in this case.
Well he was charged with leaving the city to warn everyone, but he stayed behind to help by…hiding out in the underground rooms in the city. He ended up using a teleporter to go back to his room for something, but that’s about when the ritual the wizards were casting was completed and he got stuck in some weird limbo until he found himself outside the ruined city in your present day.
He was holding up in Quarry trying to wrap his mind around all this, and had a dream that Tarnath Tor was becoming a hot bed of evil shit. And some how he decided that fate led him to you to help stop it.
Now I could make a bunch of gay jokes of the mild homoerotic “connection” you and Alladar seem to have, but I think everything speaks for itself.
So the main thing he wants you to do is get his wizard tools in his quarters because he can’t go back there himself or he’ll be trapped for good this time, meanwhile a non-magic user like yourself won’t be affected. He also gives you some money to get equipped and a magic compass thing so you can find your way around the ruins.
Naturally you accept his offer because you don’t have anything else going on right now, well besides wanting REVENGE on the bandits, but you’re easily swayed by this well build young wizard. (No seriously, he’s actually described that way at one point)
So your first step is to Quarry where you can gear up, listen to rumors or visit a temple if you find that to be a good use of your time. At one point you get the option of going to Alladar’s place where he was staying, but you’ll find he isn’t there and you just take his bracelet he left because you feel compelled to do so. (And y’know you want to wear something of his to feel closer)
His bracelet is sort of needed later anyway so it’s better if you have it.
The trip to Tarnath is relatively mundane. There’s encounters to be sure, but nothing really major. About the only bit is the side trip to fuck about with some griffons and murder the shit out of a bunch of them and take their eggs like a fucking poacher.
Honestly even when you get to Tarnath Tor, it’s not the most interesting of places despite it being a magical ruin. It’s mostly just searching and wandering around the ruins trying to avoid getting your head smashed in by the various statues that periodically start coming to life.
One encounter of note though is a lich called Zelbrook who is peacefully going about his experiments. You can encounter him a couple times. Once as a test subject which can go well if you choose correctly. The other time is potentially a little more interesting. There are also a tribe of goblins infesting the underground portion of the ruins and you can offer to help them if they let you through their territory.
They’ll agree, but only if you help them get rid of Zelbrook, who they’ve sealed off a passage way to. They’ll unseal it so you can try to assassinate Zelbrook, but it’s pretty dangerous given that he’s a lich and all.
In fact, if you’ve already encountered him already, he’ll assume you’re there to help him with his experiments again. At which point you can actually make a deal with him (Gee, guess what I did?) and allow him to enter the goblin lair since he seems really eager to gather them all up as good batch of test subjects. Even mentions how you hear their screams as he stalks the entire tribe to enslave a lot of them.
Then he’ll whip up a batch of healing potions for you and even make stronger ones if you have all those griffon eggs you stole when you killed the entire flock. Nothing like being a complete dick and getting rewarded for it.
When you’re done messing about with goblins, you’ll soon get to your boyfriend’s room and find Alladar’s tools. You’ll also want to grab his wand which is nine inches long and made of ebony.
(The jokes really just write themselves.)
So now that you’ve got Alladar’s degenerate bag of sex toys, you have to get out of this place. Unfortunately all those statues are still lurking about on the ground level and they’re still pissed at you. So you have to continue to do a bit of exploring and the best way is in the local library!
You’ll need to ask the magical “librarian” for some info that could help you. Asking for something that will give you great magical power is always a winner. You can ask a few other questions about what exactly happened to the city, but ultimately you need the magic words to stop the statues from crushing your head like a ripe melon.
Get past the statues, and you’ll soon find that the ruins have become a lot more populated and not with statues or goblins. With humans who seem to have protection against the magic traps around here. In fact this group has Alladar in tow, however you don’t actually know that unless you have his bracelet (which allows you to sense him) or at least a telescope to get a better look at the crowd in the distance.
Now if you don’t have those things, you’ll get a bad ending. You’ll survive, but you’ll fail to stop the horrible demonic forces that are summoned because you left the ruins without saving him.
So you have to save him, but charging in against a bunch of angry spirits roaming around the city now is a death sentence. So you have to head back to the library where the magic transport device is, hoping you can teleport into the palace where all the kidnappers seem to be heading.
Using magic you don’t really know too much about is always a crapshoot, so it’s no surprise you’ll find yourself in some weird pocket dimension trying to figure out where to go next. Fortunately you have Alladar’s bracelet to help you where you need to go, though you sort of need to find his old mentor first who has a presence here and has been trying to contact you because y’know, exes always want to size up the current competition.
So Alladar’s master (Yes, he calls himself his master, because they were totally into that sub/dom shit) Andraven mentions that he and the rest of the wizard lords didn’t actually die when they cast that spell centuries ago. They became trapped in some sort of limbo and the only way they can get out now is by sacrificing one of their apprentices, which is Alladar since he’s the only one alive at this point.
It should also be noted that while in their limbo captivity, they’ve all gotten really powerful to the point where most of them have big plans to act like major dickheads when free. Despite being a degenerate boylover, Andraven doesn’t like this plan, not so much because of all the evil they’ll unleash on the world, but because he really did love Alladar and wanted him to be a wizard lord and molest young apprentices like his father before him.
(Yes, yes, all of this really isn’t in the book, but come on we all know to read between the lines)
In any case Andraven tells…no, commands you to go rescue his former shota, and bows out that you’re the new love in Alladar’s life.
At this point you’re running to find the nearest portal and you got a Hound of Tindalos on your heels. When you finally get back to the real world you’re in the cult gathering where they’re about to sacrifice Alladar. Fortunately for you, Hounds of Tindalos aren’t easily evaded and it follows you into the real world, shattering the mirror, not only causing shards of glass to fuck up the cultists, but it ends up attacking a bunch of them too, because inter dimensional horrors don’t give a fuck about sides.
You naturally go over and release Alladar and I hope you got that powerful magic book from the library, because you’ll really need it here. Now would also be a good time to pass Alladar’s bag of wizard tools so he can pull out his nine inch black dildo, I mean wand.
And here’s the shoehorned moment we’ve all been waiting for!
You remember those bandits that fucked you up in the beginning and you vowed to get REVENGE on them? Well you’re in luck, because the evil forces possessed them and they were part of the kidnapping cultist crew. So now you get to face their leader Gorgoth for the final combat! Isn’t it great that the REVENGE worked out that way?
After killing Gorgoth, you and Alladar finish beating the chicken soup out of the rest of the cultists. After you win, it mentions how you and Alladar look at each other and smile.
Okay, I’m just convinced this was definitely written as you playing as a gay male protagonist. Seriously there is no other way to interpret some of this writing.
There seems to be this thing about making your dead dad proud too, like when you finally kill Gorgoth. It’s almost like it implies he was ashamed of you for some reason (Gee, can’t imagine what trait that might have been!) obviously the best way to make your dad proud is to kill someone.
In any case, on the way back to Quarry, Alladar fills you in on what exactly happened to him after you parted ways the first time while you fill him in on how your journey went. Then presumably when you get back to Quarry, you both fill each other that night and become life partners.
From there, you and Alladar team up because you still want to AVENGE your dad properly and go hunt down the actual thieves that killed him so you’re on your way back to Orlandes City to do just that. (And because they’re a little more progressive in the bigger cities about your sodomite ways)
This one isn’t really one of my favorite ones and no it’s not because you’re playing as a gay dude. Actually the book probably would have been more amusing if it had been as blatantly gay as I tried to make the review for amusement purposes. It’s just sort of dull and plodding most of the time.
I guess I just didn’t give a shit about Alladar or Tarnath Tor. Or maybe this was a case that this just wasn’t my story to tell. Lol.
7. Temple of the Spider God
I believe this one is probably the most difficult of the GA books or at least it’s designed a bit that way in mind. There’s no centrist mode, and the classic mode doesn’t give you as many bookmarks/savepoints, there’s more fitness checks, and there’s an extra stat to keep track of which is PHOBIA. Even better, you don’t even get to roll for this stat. It’s a flat seven and as far as I know, it never changes during the adventure so you’re stuck with a low phobia stat.
So what’s the phobia? Spiders. And guess what you’ll be dealing all throughout this adventure? You get three guesses and the first two don’t count. Every time you have to fight a spider or something spider like, you’ll have to test your phobia and if you fail, you roll less dice in combat and there are some tough battles in the adventure.
Another change is your character is slightly higher on the social scale this time. Or he’s at least serving the noble class directly as opposed to hanging out with thugs and cutthroats in his downtime. You serve Duke Rodrigo of Miramar which exists in…wait for it… Orlandes. (Some things never change)
Like Myr, Miramar is on the other side of the continent of Orlandes City , but towards the southern end of things (About the same as Bosque was)
Adventure starts off with you giving a report to the Duke about some land you cleared of disreputable types. While you’re in the middle of speaking to the Duke, you’re interrupted by some conquistadors who say they’re representing Cesaro Cortez who went out to explore with three ships years ago and most just figured he fell off the edge of the world or something. Turns out he supposedly found a shitload of treasure during his exploration of Isla des Desperanza. which is a large jungle filled island southwest of Orlandes.
Cortez’s crew puts down a chest saying its filled with treasure for the Duke, but upon opening it, a deadly poisonous spider attacks! Before that even happens though, you get the choice to be a government man and open the chest BEFORE the Duke can. (Or you can just let the Duke nearly get assassinated)
After dispatching the spider and the two conquistadors, the Duke starts yelling at people to as why they just let any asshole in without searching them first. Meanwhile you’re playing forensic investigator and examining the dead conquistadors and find that they have similar spiders inside them attached to their spines which you also have to kill before they detach and try to escape.
Yep, you’ve got intelligent parasite mind control spiders. It’s sort of like the premise of the FF book, Island of the Lizard King. A similar creature takes over the Lizard King hence why they’re all very organized all of a sudden, except there’s WAY more than just one spinehugger controlling people this time.
Since you’re the only obvious competent person on the Duke’s payroll, he assigns you to do the investigation. You don’t really want to, but such are the duties of serving the ruling class. He promises to reward you well though and hands you a shitload of coin to help you get started and his ring with the seal on it, so you don’t get any hassle. You got a few options to choose from and you can take the option to gear up as well.
Now I’m not exactly sure why an investigation is really necessary at all since it’s already been established that these were Cortez’ men and were acting in his name so one can assume he’s still alive in some form, probably with a spider on his spine. It also says he went to Isla of Desperanza so we also know where he went.
I think part of the idea was, even though there’s a map of the world on the main menu which the reader can look at and see where everything is, the characters in the book don’t exactly know where the island is so you have to do a little digging.
There’s actually A LOT you need to find during this adventure. The first bit of course is the vital info of Cortez’ location. It’s hard to fuck up this part, but if you fail to get it, you’ll get a premature bad ending about how you have to just have to flat out leave the city of Miramar because you failed the Duke so badly. (Though worse as you’ll soon learn in the following months that you failed to stop the spinehugger invasion)
Other things you’ll be wanting to keep an eye out for are journal entries which sort of help on the info aspect. There’s a couple of items you really should have for the final encounter. However the most important thing you need are gems. Doesn’t matter what type, you need them and you’ll be finding them along the journey. If you don’t have enough of them, you’ll be fucked to get the true ending.
So once you’ve gathered the obvious info that Cortez is at Desperanza, you can start making your way there. What’s sort of cool is you can get sailing there immediately, or take a land journey and just set sail when you’re a closer distance.
I’m fairly certain that the “true path” involves setting sail immediately rather than traveling over land since you can find shit that you need to complete the adventure (Like the gems). In fact traveling over land leads to a lot more necessary combat and more opportunities to get dead real quick.
However traveling over land does have some interesting encounters. One of which is you can take control of a group of bandits if you kill their leader. This sort of balances out the problem of not having a “crew” since you get one of those if you set sail immediately. The other is eventually getting to the southern most city of Quintos and discovering that it has been completely overrun by spiders and their human slaves. You’ll have to purge the city of its arachnid masters before you can get a ship to go to Desperanza.
It’s sort of funny that you can miss this rather major event entirely because the destruction of Quintos is referenced in a few other later books and you might even be wondering what the hell they’re talking about if you never took this path.
Whether you go overland or sail directly, you’ll eventually reach Desperanza and promptly get your ship destroyed via large fantasy laser. Actually it’s a large mirror that redirects the sunlight to focus on your ship that’s made mostly of wood. The ship goes up like a tinderbox, you lose all your allies and you have to swim to Desperanza.
So begins the last leg of the journey. From here it’s stumbling about in the jungle until you finally reach the lost temple Cortez was looking for (And apparently found). You can encounter the usual jungle dangers like natives, giant apes, snakes, spiders (of course) or even a few skeletons.
Hopefully you’ve collected enough of Cortez journal pages by the time you’ve reached the temple because there’s going to be a shitload of traps and things will go easier if you know the dangers and such ahead of time. Darts, boulders, pits, all of that usual stuff that tried to kill Indy and Laura will be trying to kill you too.
Now eventually you’re going to reach the nest where all the eggs are to these eight legged freaks. It’s not the most pleasant task for an arachnophobe such as yourself, but then the entire ordeal isn’t. You sort of need to destroy the nest if you’re going to make sure you aren’t going to have spiders attacking you later on, plus y’know it sort of helps fuck up their plans for world domination.
Soon you’ll be captured by human spider slaves and brought to the man who started all this nonsense by fucking about with old temples in the first place, Cortez.
Cortez does a whole monologue that how he’s been reborn as a servant of the Spider God Inzi and it’s time to do likewise. At this point Cortez starts doing a whole Mola Ram thing and forcing you to drink spider venom with the help of his men.
After drinking sticky yellow spider venom (At least we’re hoping it’s just venom) you have to pass your phobia check or else suffer a really bad trip. Cortez still thinks you’re under the influence of spider goo so he goes on about ordering his people to start setting sail with shitloads of spider eggs.
You can recover and launch a surprise attack now that he’s got less people with him, of course he runs like a bitch and you have to go chasing him down. Eventually you’ll follow him through a secret door where once again he starts launching into an insane rant about spiders and such. This time he mentions a spider goddess and how you’re in big trouble now.
He’s not exactly wrong because you’ll soon face dimestore Lolth and if you didn’t clear out that nest, you’ll be fighting all her remaining children too. Regardless of if she has back up, Inzi is no slouch herself in combat. It’s a little easier if you’ve read info about her and have a special knife to attack her with, but you don’t need them. In fact they made it so if you have one of those things, you couldn’t have gotten all the gems. Nothing like making a difficult book even harder.
Kill her and she’ll make the usual large monster death roar and then collapse right on top of Cortez.
So you’ve killed the spider goddess and Cortez. You’ve won right?
Well no, not quite.
Cortez’ men are still sailing away on multiple ships with spider egg cargo. They still can wreck major cities like they did with Quintos, if they’re allowed to get away. So that means you have to stop them.
And this is where all those gems you’ve been finding are necessary. If you don’t have eight gems, you get a failed ending.
There’s a statue of Inzi with eight eye sockets, and if you have enough gems you can insert them in place which will cause a crystal lens rise up from the pyramid and just like what happened with your ship when you were approaching the island, the focused sun light can be used to set their ships on fire. And you’ll rotate the statue about so you can get all the ships.
Now you’ve won.
The game ends saying how you’ve stopped the spider cult and you can return to Miramar to collect your reward. All you have to do is get off the island now and the game trolls you by asking how good are your raft building skills.
While this one is difficult as far as these books go, it’s also one of the better ones. Doesn’t keep you stuck in Orlandes quite as much for one thing so you get a change of scenery.
The storyline feels a bit of the usual thing of someone/something trying to take over the world, though this one seems a little better planned out than just a single disgruntled fucker that sort of half asses his way to do it via a stolen magic item or assassinations. Then again, it’s actually run by an ancient spider goddess as opposed to a puny human.
So I was meaning to replay all these over again, but honestly at the time I was bored of writing up reviews and wanted to get back to finishing up my story.
While that particular story has been finished for awhile now, I'm still not really keen on replaying these all over again since I played these damn things out pretty thoroughly and the last two books have some severe bugs going on where they will suddenly crash and you have to restart the game all over again (Your saves won't work).
However I don't like leaving shit half done, so I'm going to add the reviews for the rest of these books from the old reviews I wrote (Which are a lot shorter) and add in a few extra things here and there.
Somewhat, though I did make some additions to a few of them.
8. Curse of the Assassin
(Hey, I actually had a partial new review written for this one)
The GA’s first attempt at a true sequel to a previous book. Results are mixed.
Let’s get this out of the way first, gameplay wise is probably where they did the best job with this book. There are three different paths which actually vary a bit in difficulty and each of those paths have minor branching within them. The three paths do link back up to the main story, but there’s more than enough replay value, especially since the game is much longer than any of the previous books so far.
The story however is another well… story.
It’s not really bad per say, but something about the protagonist you play as just isn’t appealing to me. Probably because I wasn’t really wowed about him the first time around, so I wasn’t really interested in playing any further adventures with him. There’s other annoying things, but I’ll get into those later.
Game starts off a few years after the events in Assassin in Orlandes (As if it needs to be said where this takes place) and does sort of a wrap up of what happened afterwards. In fact it sums up the events that happened in the other books as well (Potential war with Rema, Falavia getting attacked by Saul, Quintos being destroyed by giant spiders, etc). The Archduke of Orlandes offered you a job in the city guard due to taking care of Eltane, but since you still have problems being part of the system you declined. Determined to make you conform somewhat he offers you a job as free lancer that works for the interests of the country or national importance. You accept that job probably because you’re fucking his youngest daughter Eleanor.
It works out for everyone. You’re an easily manipulated dumb ass simping for his daughter who for some unknown reason likes you. She even wants to marry you, which is great for the Duke because he’s been wanting her to stop playing warrior princess for years and start popping out more nobility to marry off.
Which brings me to the other annoying bit. They made a big deal of how you were going to vow to treat the next woman as an equal and you pretty much do the exact opposite of that. Granted she’s of higher birth and you’re low born peasant trash, but you didn’t really learn your lesson given how much the book goes on about how cool your girlfriend is. (No seriously, how AWESOME your girlfriend is even in part of the description of the book!)
It’s like why the fuck am I playing as this simp? I should be playing as Eleanor.
Well anyway, let’s get on with the rest of it because there’s a lot more. A whole lot more.
Cut to a scene where you sort of stumble into a funeral procession and by sheer chance, you find out the corpse is one of your old adventuring buddies by the name of Roble. You, him and a few others were from a small village called Olives Verdes and instead of being upstanding citizens that actually worked for a living like your parents, you all decided to form an adventuring band called The Death Hawks, because you lot thought that name was the most metal thing ever.
You guys went on some adventures and tried real hard, but you know how teenage bands are, they never last past the summer. The fighter (Esplandian) got a real job and got married to the healer (Amatista). The rogue (Gatito) of the group decided to just continue being a thief on her own since that’s a pretty typical line of work besides caravan guard in Orlandes.
Finally the most useless one of the group (Amadis) which was the bard continued being a big wandering mooch like all musicians.
Meanwhile you take the opportunity to speak to the few people at Roble’s funeral which isn’t many, though at least his girlfriend showed up and some guy he helped out once. Asking them and the priest about your old buddy results in them believing he was murdered. The priest has a little more info if you’re willing to tell him who you really are. Naturally you’re spurred on to investigate his murder.
One clue that pops up a few times is an eagle symbol, but the best way to learn info is to just go to his last known address.
I should mention that you start out equipped with your old magic dagger Ehrlich, though it seems a little weaker in the attack rolls this time around, guess they didn’t want you to start out too powerful.
I’ll also point out that this is another game where you’ll need to find a lot of certain objects to get a true endings. There’s more than one place where if you don’t have something, you’ll be fucked and get a bad ending.
Finding Roble’s journal is one these things. Find it and you’ll start snooping through it to learn more info that might help in your investigation.
Besides the old shit about your past adventures during your Death Hawks days, Roble apparently knew about your deeds in Orlandes and gushed about how great you were. Amusingly he seems to dislike the rest of the band. In particular he hates Esplandian the most. Mainly because Amatista who apparently was your girlfriend at the time, left you for him which lead to the band breaking up.
Great. So you got cucked in your younger days as well. Seriously, I already hate playing as this loser.
You’ll follow more clues and eventually find what you’re looking for in an art gallery of all places and learn that the potential murderer is a man by the name of Khevu. So now it’s off to find this asshole.
But first you have to go talk to your fiancé first and ask if it’s okay because you’re really supposed to be doing boring noble shit with her, however because she’s so AWESOME, she’s cool with you seeking…REVENGE! (Hey wouldn’t be a GA book without it as a motivator)
Your first stop is to head back to your home town since Eleanor says you should go inform Roble’s parents he’s dead. Though you’re not thrilled by that idea since they always claimed you were bad influence.
Now there’s a potential encounter with a coyote that you really need to do otherwise you miss out on needed info later on. The coyote isn’t really a real one and is more like one of those trickster Indian Feather ones that speaks to you in a dream. He warns you that weird shit is about to go down and creatures once considered folklore or myth will be coming back in force to stalk the land so you best be prepared.
As if you didn’t have enough shit to worry about.
(And here's where the old review stopped, this game really was a slog)
The investigation will eventually lead to traveling back to your old village, involving a visit to your parents (and the old friend’s parents to inform them of the news) and branch into three different paths depending on what other old friend you decide to seek out.
Now I went for the rogue Gatito since I'm already a fighter type and not about to break up the married couple and I'm certainly not going to drag around a useless bard. Gatito is being held in a prison though, so you have to bust her out first and all the hassle that entails.
Once she's free, she's happy to travel with you as you continue to solve this mystery. She actually CAN die during the break out (and other places I believe) and if she does, well you're basically fucked and will be getting a bad premature ending.
I also should mention, you find out later that she had a MAJOR crush on you that she never told you about. She gets all teary eyed and a bunch of other shit. Of course you're with your high society warrior girlfriend so you're not wasting your seed on some gutter wench.
In between this drama, you're running into these creatures of myth that usually have a weakness to something that can make the combat easier assuming you collected said stuff.
Speaking of this, combat almost takes a backseat to the story most of the time, especially since you don’t do much equipment upgrading or item collecting. Most of the stuff you’ll be collecting that’s needed is information.
Ultimately it turns out the one behind all this multiple mystery shit is some minor villain that your adventurer group fucked up his master's plans like years ago. So he's getting revenge and trying to take over the world or something. Also your mom is involved somehow since she's got some sort of magical item that hasn't caused her to age or something. The villainous mastermind is trying to gain that too.
Basically you have to have the right combo of info and a few items to beat the final boss otherwise you aren't going to get the winning ending even if you "win." To top it all off if you do everything right, your SUPER AWESOME Girlfriend comes in at the end of the story to bail your ass out with an army or something and yeah, I'm glad this review is almost over with because I'm sick of remembering how the game just simped over her.
I will also mention that even with a complete victory, there’s still a bit of a cliffhanger, which of course never went anywhere since the series is now dead. No big loss for this one though because as I said, I hated this protagonist and his girlfriend anyway.
Anyway, that's the book.
Honestly, it's all pretty fucking convoluted. The book in general is much more packed with writing, at one point I read over 15 pages or so before moving on to a fucking choice! (Might as well been a shitty gay and depressed Twine game)
As you can probably tell, this book was one of my least favorite of the series. About the main thing going for it is there is a bit of replay value since there's three different companions you can potentially travel with, but hell, I barely wanted to play through it the first time around.
9. Sultans of Rema
Much like the last book, this is another sequel to an earlier book. I do remember there being a bit of a long pause between the seventh and eighth book so maybe they were struggling with new idea and just decided to start doing sequels.
However, this one is a lot better than the Assassin sequel since it follows the protagonist from Slaves of Rema which was a better book in general. It starts out by playing a bit of catch up from the events from that book. From there is goes on about what you’ve been doing since your escape. Acoleii is the major Reman city state that’s been causing problems for the southern cities of Orlandes and has been mentioned in passing in a few past books about its increasing hostility.
Of course since you managed to escape from that city, now you’re considered important enough to go on a diplomatic mission to another major power in the Rema province called the United Emirates of Akbir to make sure Orlandes doesn’t have more hostile sand people to deal with from that area of the world. As we all know they're a volatile people after all.
You start your adventure off in a Reman city state called Callae and it’s from here you must travel to the Emirates. You won’t spend too much time in Callae before you’re making your trek across the desert. In fact you'll probably be chased out of town rather than leaving the normal way.
As you might expect there’s plenty of danger in the desert, environmental and the usual monster kind. There’s a few different ways to cross it, others being more difficult than others. This part of the adventure reminded me a bit of the old FF book 14, Temple of Terror which had you crossing a desert.
Survive the desert and then your mission continues in Amin al Joddah where you’ll have to locate your contact and hopefully expose the Acoleii plot to muddy the waters between Orlandes and the Emirates. This is where a few key important objects and information come in handy.
Not finding specific information and a few key objects can make the winning ending a lot harder or even impossible, so as usual you just have to explore as much as you can as you go along. Of course as it turns out like with any of these sandy settings its the Sultan's vizer that's scheming behind the scenes to fuck up your diplomatic missionand ultimately you have to face him down in a final fight. Beat the chicken soup out of him and you've successfully made the western world a littler safer for democracy.
There isn't much more to say about this one as it's pretty straight forward with what's going on. Sure there's a bit of mystery to uncover, but you sort of already know what the basic premise is and what you're attempting to do. Much like Slaves of Rema, this one is probably about fair as far as difficulty level. Combat can be tough in places since armor is generally expensive and finding it isn’t common. Upgrading your weapon is a little easier, so this is one of those games where you might be able to his hard, but you better take out the enemy on the first try if they’re rolling a lot of dice to attack. The last fight is especially difficult if you aren’t really equipped for it, but it’s doable thanks to having some help if you have nothing else.
This one is also similar to Curse of the Assassin in that it’s a bit more story heavy, however this one better since it's definitely more focused on a single plot line and doesn't have any cringy shit going on. (It also doesn’t end on fucking cliff hanger) Plus it’s always nice to get away from Orlandes once in awhile to see other parts of this world.
I probably still liked the Slaves of Rema better than this sequel, but this book was still a solid addition to the GA series.
10. Lords of Nurroth
Honestly, I feel like with this one, I'm probably going to go back and replay this one to do a proper longer review since this one has a lot going on and it's a really good entry in the series. I'd probably argue that this one has the most replay value out of all of them along with having an interesting storyline in general. (I'm sure I'll probably be lazy and not actually do it, but if I do, it'll be this one!)
So this one is the first GA gamebook that doesn't do the sequel thing since the Spider God book. It's definitely back to Orlandes though because the GA books still haven’t explored ALL the major regions of the land yet.
As by the title, this one takes place in Nurroth which is located in the northern region of the land and is considered to be quite the hive of scum and villainy (Basically like FF’s Port Blacksand), so it’s even more appropriate that your character is a thief. Not an adventurer that does some thieving when down on his luck either (Like in Catacombs) you’re an outright thief. While in some of these other books you’ve played as a morally gray protagonist at times, in this one, you can definitely be an outright villain protagonist.
This book is also the first to add more customization. For example, you get to choose if you’re male or female (How progressive!) and you get four abilities that you can add a few points to at the start.
Story start off as you going about your one of your thievery jobs, afterwards you get hired for another one which naturally turns out to be more complicated than you signed up for.
One thing that stands out about this game is there are a lot more fitness and ability checks than actual fighting. In fact you should probably avoid fighting if possible since your equipment isn’t exactly the most powerful. (Though there’s one exception to that) This can make some of the actual combat difficult, but it sort of emphasizes the fact that you’re not a warrior or adventurer in this one, you’re a thief that relies on other abilities rather than combat.
As the story progresses, it goes on a bit about the city’s background from time to time and how it’s semi-held together by various clans which can barely stand one another and are on the verge of open hostilities. There’s a call back to Revenant Rising and how Saul was a member of one these clans. As if the internal conflict wasn’t enough, there’s strife with the city of Falavia as well. (Which makes sense given Saul laid siege to it at one time)
The funny thing is there is obviously of lot of stuff going on here, however as you’re a simple thief, you don’t really play a part in a lot of it most of the time. This story in the scheme of things is actually fairly short.
You can profit from being an honest thief, you can profit from treachery, you can uncover the actual secret plot and try to play a bigger role on the world stage, you can just complete the job in ignorance, and as always you suffer an ignoble fate if you really screw up. While there is one “true” winning” ending, this is probably one of the few GA books that has multiple “lesser” winning endings.
And that's the book!
Seriously this one favored multiple shorter paths rather than an epic storyline like most of the other books. (Even the "main winning path" isn't that long) Had this series continued it would have been nice to get some more books with this layout since despite this one being a little smaller in scope, I actually enjoyed this one the most out of all the GA books. The multiple endings, different branches and even using different stats give this one a lot of replay value especially since it’s on the shorter side.
No major downsides to this one at all.
11. Songs of the Mystics
A couple things off the bat that stand out about this one. One, this one doesn’t take place in Orlandes (Sort of a plus considering how old that gets), it doesn’t even take place in another major land like Rema. It instead takes place on Isla Des Misticos, which sort of sits in-between Orlandes and Rema (And Drymar which is the third major land the GA books have not had an adventure taking place in and never will I suppose)
The other major stand out, is you play as a female protagonist, as opposed to a male one which has been the case for nine of the past books (And Lords of Nurroth allowed you to choose). Makes sense due to this one being written by a WOMAN. You just have to put on your big girl pants embrace your feminine side for this one.
I'd probably go back and replay this one too to give a proper longer review, but the major problem with that isn't my toxic masculinity, but rather that this particular book is sadly buggy and has a habit of fucking crashing on you to the point where you have to start over again. I remember even having to uninstall and reinstall the app to get it to work again, which meant I actually replayed this one like five times (Though maybe it was the universe's strange way of making me try to appreciate the struggles of being a leg shaver or something) Fortunately I remember a lot of this one due to having to play it over and over a lot so the review might be long enough anyway.
Anyway on to the actual story.
You belong to a rather insular community that lives in the forest called the Mystics that defend a wellspring thought to be the source of all life. You’re the daughter of the last of the Spellsingers which are basically singing wizards. Due to Orlandes starting to colonize the island and steadily encroaching on the previously unblemished nature, your crazy tree hugging mother has decided to stop them by becoming one with the wellspring.
Unfortunately for you, she means to do this by sacrificing you in the process. Even the boy you liked turns against you. Naturally you escape and the rest of the game unfolds from there. Along the way, you’ll soon discover that you also have the power of a spell singer, and you’ll gain various songs throughout. And you’ll need them too, to overcome some of the difficult encounters.
There are several paths you get to choose from fairly early as you’re making your escape so the encounters will be varied. You can fight a serpent man sorcerer for example. Actually wouldn't have minded a bit more about his character since he's considered to be one of the greater powers of the forest. He's almost like a mini-boss since going through his path can set you up with some better equipment and songs.
You can also help defend a village from your crazy eco-terrorist family. It gets destroyed anyway, but it's the thought that counts! Helping out some underwater monsters is another thing you can do which can gain you some valuable equipment. There's also a bad path that can get you BRANDED and captured by a traveling circus. It doesn't quite go into the RAEP route, but between the branding and having to dance for strangers, you come close to it. Obviously your next step is to try to escape which isn't necessarily easy if you missed out on some songs.
This book tends to take the protagonist on a wide variety of mini-situations. Mostly seeing the effects of “civilization” on the island since you’ve never been out of your forest.
Assuming you manage survive all that, you’ll eventually encounter some kindly father figure character (VERY important in any young girl's life) who will help you more directly and even act as a new “family.” They're actually another traveling circus, but they don't kidnap and cage folks like the other one does.
However, your temporary peace doesn't last since your mom and her tree fuckers are still hunting you, so you have to move on with your new family. From there you’ll encounter more struggles like a plague infecting a city (You can help out) more run ins with your mom's minions.
I should mention one path involves potentially meeting a guy living in a very nice home and is willing to give you lot shelter as long as you spend some time with him. Agreeing to do so involves him wanting you to wear a certain dress and sitting next to him (Keep in mind, you're all alone with him in these scenes) Complying with these wishes leads to him saying how unique your beauty is (You do have pretty purple eyes after all) and then he BITES you.
Yeah, he was a vampire and your adventure ends there. Though he did say he was going to make you into another vampire, so it's probably a better life than being sacrificed.
Anyway, avoiding various perils and eventually you realize you're going to have to just confront her directly and put an end to this once and for all. You also get to deal with your asshole traitor ex-boyfriend too. He didn't ride, so he can die.
In the final showdown with your mom, you learn that she's become one with the wellspring herself and is now a horrible abomination. Hope you've managed to collect some good equipment and learned a good amount of songs, to make the fight easier.
After putting the Bitch Bark down, you are free to live your life as you see fit, rejoin your circus buddies and finally lose your virginity. (Thankfully you didn't get that far with that asshole you had a crush on)
Looks like I remembered quite a bit of it.
Despite the fantasy setting, this one really does play out like you were some sheltered home schooled kid that was raised by religious fanatics and you escaped before you got married off to some old gross guy. (Well, that's mostly right anyway, they were going to be a little kinder just by sacrificing you instead)
Really this is a solid adventure and if it hadn't been for the horrible crashes, I would have enjoyed it even more. Without the crashes it's definitely one of the better books in the series.
12. Asuria Awakens
This is it, the last book they made in the GA series. I’m still not entirely sure why, though I can only guess it might be due to getting the Fighting Fantasy books and making more money off those instead. A shame really since as much as I like the FF series I found the GA series to actually have more interesting stories and there was still much more to explore.
Anyway, for the final outing, this one takes a cue from Lords of Nurroth, by having a bit of extra customization, like choosing if you’re male or female. You also get four extra abilities that you’ll have to test from time to time. Now the first time you play through, you’ll go through the in story process of raising your stats (which also fills out your background) however in replays, you can skip this part and just allocate points as you see fit during the character creation page which is very convenient.
Okay, so before I get into it too much, this is another one that had REALLY bad crashes. Like this one was even worse than Songs of the Mystic. I replayed this one even more except it was to the point where I was just trying to get to the fucking end of the game. As a result I don't remember most of the more intricate details of it and I have no desire to even replay it again thanks to all the fucking crashes.
That being said, let's get on with it.
Fitting for the last GA book, it starts in Orlandes City, you’re technically supposed to be an “investigator, but you’re more of a jack of all trades ne’er do well since you’re living in the slums and will do stuff like kill and torture for money. Book starts you off right in it with someone holding a knife to your throat. Eventually you’ll be taken before the Duke of Orlandes who you’ve apparently worked indirectly for in the past. While you might start in Orlandes City you won’t be staying there since the Duke sends you on a mission located all the way to a city called Casporur on the opposite side of the continent. In fact it’s probably one of the few areas of Orlandes there hasn’t been an adventure taking place in yet.
You’re supposed to be finding out what happened to an emissary that went there along with learning more about the rumors of the return of the god Asuria and finding out if there is any truth to them. The next part goes on a bit about your training and preparation for the mission and how you’re given only the barest bones of equipment and that you’ll basically be on your own since the Duke doesn’t want to be implemented in the plot if you get caught.
Doesn’t take long before rebels seek you out since they’re concerned about all the Asuria business, along with people going missing and figure you can help them too. Of course the ruler of Casporur and his closest advisors all seem to be focused on Asuria to a cult like degree, though they aren’t completely happy with each other either. You’ll have to figure out where everyone exactly stands. who to side up with (If only temporarily) and ultimately uncover the main plot.
There’s a slight steampunk element to this one. Stuff like clockwork golems, a submarine and even a ornithopter are present. Though there is also a mild Cthulhuesque element present to this one as well due to the whole bringing up a “dead” god from the water, along with some body horror going on. (You seriously at one point find "clones" of folks disassembled in boxes and still talking to you)
This one also has some loser endings that result if you just try to escape from Casporur. Ultimately the clockwork clone abominations find you in Orlandes and kill you anyway implying that these body snatcher style beings are already starting to infiltrate the rest of the world.
However, uncover the mystery and stop it and a hero is you!
The game involves a lot of finding certain items and clues to make winning possible. It's one of the more difficult games (And even more so when you have it crashing all the fucking time) so everything is important.
They certainly didn’t hold back for this one and the more grotesque artwork adds to the more horror vibe this one has. Again, it's a shame this had some really bad crashing problems otherwise I would have enjoyed it more.
Crashes aside, this was a perfectly fine book for Tinman to end on, before they got lazy and just started churning out the old FF series books for phat loot instead. (But hey, you can't argue with the free market)
13. Infinite Universe
Where are you going? You ain't done yet!
So this one I never even bothered to replay and finish a second time around since I just couldn't get into it again. I do remember beating it once a long time ago, so this is just mainly going to be a brief overview of how this one is set up in comparison to the others. (Especially since I've never going back to this one either)
Anyway on with it.
While there were 12 GA books set in the same fantasy world, there actually were 13 of them. There was a single sci-fi attempt in the GA series that came out after the Spider God book. (So technically Infinite Universe is the 8th book)
Much like the Orlandes setting there is a map available in the options setting if you’re interested in getting a larger look at the setting. There’s also an encyclopedia of things like for the fantasy books, but the difference is you don’t have access to it until you play the game. (So no research before you get started)
Since this one came out right after the difficult Spider God book, this one had some of that difficulty carried over, like you only get three bookmarks rather than six. Though it still has three difficulty settings rather than just two. (Adventurer setting is called Bookworm in this one)
This one sort of does a bit of the character creation as part of the story, like picking if you’re male or female. Oddly, you don’t pick your name. You’re Joe Bloggs (if you’re male) and you don’t remember anything though someone who appears to help you brings you a bit up to speed on what’s supposedly going on. You’re a Terran Galactic Secret Service initiate and the academy that you’re in is under rebel attack.
Of course since you can’t remember anything, there’s no reason to necessarily believe what he’s saying and you can just shoot him. Always like games that give a wide variety of options.
The first part of the book is a bit chaotic considering you’re in a fire fight situation and you’re suffering from amnesia on top of everything. The writing though is a bit chaotic as well. It seems to go from humorous (breaking the fourth wall quite a bit, even to the point of self-mockery) to serious to technical, sometimes all within the same passage. It’s almost like the author wasn’t sure what he was going for, though it doesn’t bother me too much. Just makes reading through it feel a bit weird sometimes.
There are a lot more random rolls in this book too which adds to the chaos. Fighting seems a bit more lethal at times, though that might be due to shooting people with lasers as opposed to beating armored opponents with a sword.
If you manage to survive the first part, you’ll soon learn what’s really going on and embark on a larger adventure filled with danger, time travel and a general odd writing tone. It should be mentioned that originally this was also Tinman’s experiment with “pay to play” content since you could play the first part for free and unlock the rest after you shelled out more money. I’m guessing it didn’t really work out for them since as far as I know, they didn’t do it with any of their other GA books.
That's the book.
This one probably gets even less attention than the fantasy series because it was a one shot. I’d also say that it isn’t really as good as any of the fantasy books which is similar to how the Fighting Fantasy series struggled with sci-fi settings.
Still, I think there was potential here if the writing had been a little more focused. It’s worth at least a play through if only to see what a GA scifi setting themed series might have been like. (And at least it never crashed.)