Evil is festering in Trolltooth Pass. The Necromancer Zharradan Marr is close to stealing the secrets of Elven magic, which will make him invicible. Nothing could then prevent his legions of Chaos from taking over the whole of Allansia
But what do you know or care about all this? In this unique adventure, YOU are the Creature of Havoc, a monstrous beast with a taste for fighting. Ruled only by hunger and rage you have no knowledge of your past or destiny. If you survive, you may beign to control your bestial nature and learn your true purpose, but success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many . . .
Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference – one in which you become the hero! A pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to take, which creatures to fight & which dangers to risk.
Steve Jackson (born 20 May 1951) is a British game designer, writer, and game reviewer, who is often confused with the American game designer of the same name.
Along with Ian Livingstone, he is the creator of the Fighting Fantasy books. The US Jackson also wrote three books in the Fighting Fantasy series, which adds to the confusion, especially as these books were simply credited to "Steve Jackson" without any acknowledgement that it was a different person.
"Are you ready to become the Creature Of Havoc?" (Warning!: May contain spoilers...)
Steve Jackson gives us Creature of Havoc where YOU play as the powerful yet instinct driven primal being. This has to be one of my favourite Fighting Fantasy books which I played as a teenager and in turn for its high difficulty, where you must navigate twists and turns yet many outcomes are set in loops of doom: Choices that lead to a grisly demise or an uncertain or different fate. This huge undertaking and near impossible task will test your patience and memory. It is recommended you draw a map or route that you take and when you first emerge into consciousness that you have to roll a die to determine which way you go or what you do...
The beginning also features an inspiring and compelling backstory/introduction involving the necromancer Zharradan Marr with his fellow pupils Zagor and Balthus who destroy their old teacher when they become too powerful, and his experiments involving marrangha that stem from his creators... Dree - Village of the Witch-Women, the village of Coven, The Rainbow Ponds, Stittle Woad, the Vapours of Stittle Woad are also mentioned and described in detail. The reader is also treated to an account of Marr's faithful servants, the first a half-elf and undead creature named Darramouss whom is ruthless and powerful. These qualities impressed Marr and soon gave him the control and mastery of the Yellowstone Mines. A strong and cruel half-troll named Thugruff was put in charge of the hidden training ground in Knot Oak Wood where he trains and builds Marr's legions. There is also more information regarding a white haired elf named Daga Weaseltongue and the flying ship known as the Galleykeep…
Examples of the dark and foreboding illustrations by Alan Langford...
Creature of Havoc also features a handy ability, thanks to your strength and powerful physical disposition, that when you enter a fight if you roll doubles you automatically win the fight. Bringing a smile to the face when it does transpire. The first part will have you feeling extremely grateful and pleased when you escape the underground dungeon which will more than likely leave you with a frustrated headache if you become lost or choose the wrong way. (When you have that choice of course!) Yet escaping this underground minefield of potential death and confusion should not put you in a safe and content disposition at all. There are plenty of pitfalls and either choices that can lead to death or even worse conclusions. Gamebook players usually do not like adventures that either too easy or too hard yet I would say this one is very difficult and that provides a worthy challenge. There is also a few choices that can be made where you can get back on track but not many.
Overall, Creature of Havoc is a truly unique and radical journey that will take a few attempts to complete... I will say you will need the Vapours, to be covered in the elven dust, obtain the crystal club, also to get hold of the pendant and magic ring when you are in the underground complex. There is also a mistake in the book at paragraph 213 where you must use the pendant and add 20 to the entry for finding the secret passage/opening. Also for replay value some different endings which are either in your favour or not, (You be the judge of that! Heheh!) and a change of flavour from the main one. So hard but worth it! Creature of Havoc will tantalise and at times confuse yet rewarding when you find the right pathway/route. Highly recommended creating a map as you go in case you go the wrong way and need to remember for next time.
My solution (Map) and pathway to the main ending: (Warning: Spoilers!) My stats: Skill: 12 Stamina: 18 Luck: 11 (Image = Page 1 + 2 of notes/map...)
1) The encounter with the wounded dwarf, bring your foot down, turn to 185 185) Decoded "Leave me alone," examine body, turn to 399 399) Message (Turn to 337 to read), roll die, I rolled 1,(2),3... Turn to 308 308) Roar and enter the chamber to confront whoever is there, turn to 205 205) Fight the Hobbit, SK 5 ST 6, defeated in three attack rounds, turn to 160 160) Decoded "Control its mind! It may be able to lead us to that swinebeard cur!", which will you turn your attention to? Test your luck, I was lucky, turn to 292 292) Kill red robed magic-user, -2 stamina, face KNIGHT SK 8 ST 9, victory turn to 446 446) Eat them all! Restore stamina to its initial level, roll die, I rolled 3, 4, (5), 6... Turn to 101 101) When time roll one die for next choice, roll die 4,5,(6)… Turn to 168 168) Bitten by teeth on foot, lose 2 stamina, three shapes materialising in front of you, turn to 447 447) Fight 3 FLESH FEEDERS SK 6 ST 6 SK 6 ST 7 SK 6 ST 6, victory = turn to 89 89) Purple flask releases contents, turn to 382 382) Vapour of Reason, decoded when looking back, "I am released from my rest. Foul creature what do you know of the forces with which you tamper. But nonetheless my purpose is ordained. I bestow on you the power of reason. From now on you are in control of your destiny. And now - may I return to my peaceful rest intel once more the heavens take their positions." restore 2 luck points, head West, turn to 51 51) Leads to encounter, Fight with STRONGARM SK 7 ST 8, victory = turn to 320 320) Fight remaining two, FEMALE WARRIOR SK 7 ST 7 THIEF SK 8 ST 6, victory = turn to 281 281) Picked dull metal pendant, turn to 306 306) Notes: "You cannot see a thing..." -20 from paragraph, now turn to 115 115) Regain 4 stamina points, test luck, lucky = turn to 166 166) Heading North, turn to 358 358) Entering large chamber, turn to 257 257) "You cannot see a thing... -20 from reference and turn to 237 237) Notes: You find yourself..." +20 to paragraph, recover 1 luck point, go in secret door, turn to 458 458) Choose the rock, turn to 110 110) Note: Crystal club if used in battle go to 333... Now though turn to 257 257) Go West, turn to 309 309) Go West, turn to 280 280) Continue in direction you're heading, turn to 342 342) Attack the humans, turn to 258 258) WARRIOR SK 8 ST 9 FIGHTER IN LEATHER ARMOUR SK 7 ST 8 victory = turn to 13 13) Poke through the sack, turn to 147 147) Vapour of Tongues/languages: decoded = "I have been awakened from my slumber! Who calls on the Vapour of Tongues? The heavenly bodies have taken their positions. My gift is granted. For better or for worse my release bestows upon you the understanding you desire." Paragraph 283 will tell you how to translate the coded speech/messages... (Also nice to go back and look at messages/speech previously used to see what it all meant too! :D) Decode parchment message (337) from Dwarf (Swinebeard) obtained near beginning: "Swinebeard of Yore. You have been found guilty of the crime of wilful and malicious arson, a most serious offence in the dry regions of Salamonis. As punishment you are sentenced to undertake a perilous mission of recovery. You must travel northwards and enter the underground domain of Zharradan Marr thereto seek out and recover flasks containing swirling vapours. These are the Vapours of Stittle Woad. You must find the three flasks containing these vapours and return them to this court. ON NO ACCOUNT MUST THEY BE OPENED. This is the sentence of the court and the geas has been cast. This is your punishment. You must succeed in your mission or die in the attempt." "Vapour of knowledge / - Flaxenmane of Silverton =/- Winged helmet." Continue turn to 137 137) Head north, turn to 144 144) Pass through chamber as quickly as possible, turn to 239 239) East then south, turn to 298 298) Head east, turn to 373 373) Try door to left, turn to 241 241) Two blood orcs and old blind man, decoded speech = "Who is it? What is happening? What has disturbed us? Please god, release this black eye curse." Then commence fight with enemies first BLOOD ORC SK 7 ST 7 second BLOOD ORC SK 8 ST 7 (Rolled doubles against first!) victory = turn to 7 7) The old man talking decoded: "Have mercy on a blind man whoever you are. If you are friend then lead me from this place. If you are foe then leave me be. You are strangely silent. Who are you? Do you understand me? My god intruder. If your plan is to do away with me then do it quickly. Otherwise be off with you." If you can understand the human, turn to reference two hundred. "So what is it to be? Is not my misery enough? Show some pity. Give me gold and feed me, or leave me be." Turn to 200 200) The old man is the wizard Hannicus… Gives me magic silver ring, notes: Use against Darramouss +50 to entry... Human asks for magic ring back, do not give him it back, turn to 360 360) Option to grab Darramouss option to use ring by adding 50 to entry, turn to 138 138) Open next door, turn to 15 15) Ignore what you see, turn to 436 436) Take east door, turn to 49 49) Test luck, lucky, turn to 457 457) Continue, turn to 122 122) Try door in north wall, turn to 154 154) Try breaking the door, turn to 396 396) Lose 1 Stamina point, room has desk and parchments, pick up parchment, turn to 100 100) Battle the rock demon, turn to 327 327) Find out it is an illusion, check the parchment, turn to 192 192) The message decoded: "Biography of Z. Marr page ninety three: ...thus came Marr to abandon the physical world and take refuge in his own. A strange netherworld which occupies no space in the world we mortals know. A world of illusion in which where he appears to be he is not. And a world in which those searching for him would instead find themselves. He has but one weakness in his new world and that is a Crystal Club which may be used to destroy forever the gateway between our world and his!" If at some time in the future you believe you have located the entrance to Marr’s netherworld, deduct the page number above from the reference you are on at the time and turn to this reference. If you are correct you will meet the necromancer. For having the good fortune to find this parchment you may restore your luck score to its initial level. -93 when you find Marr's gateway. Crystal club can destroy the portal/gateway! Restore luck to initial level, take door in south wall turn to 450 450) Charge door, turn to 263 263) - 1 Stamina point from breaking door, then fight with MANIC BEAST SK 7 ST 8, victory = turn to 209 209) Choose the human carcass, turn to 249 249) Find 2 gold pieces + regain 4 Stamina points, choose green liquid, turn to 318 318) Potion of Strength, restore stamina to initial level, continue by turning to 293 293) Attempt to surprise whoever is inside, turn to 66 66) Not what you expect, turn to 161 161) Investigate the room further, turn to 104 104) Decoded Chattermatter: " ‘Over here. Come over here if you want to learn of great riches in these parts. Do you not understand the human tongue? Perhaps then you speak the troll language. C'rgga gvonusoog mg pa'sthwag ig thaan'g. Va n'oigg? (Starts speaking your creature tongue...)What about this? Is that better? Ah, yes. I can tell you understand me. Look, I can help you. Maybe you would like me to direct you to a tasty morsel? Two fat hobbits? Or shall I tell you about he who knows all secrets? I speak, of course, of Zharradan Marr. Come, talk to me." Enter the arch and talk to the owner of the voice, turn to 323 323) Try another arch, turn to 220 220) Climb through to investigate glittering lights, turn to 56 56) Note: You have been covered in elven dust. Eventually you continue, turn to 405 405) The door to the north, turn to 300 300) Try passage to the west, turn to 213 213) Use pendant (There is an error here, no "find yourself" indicator!) +20, turn to 233 233) Step through and explore secret passageway, turn to 369 369) Decoded "Your progress has been watched foul creature of destruction. So far you have done well though you know not why or what. But you have caused two of the Vapours to be lost. Zharradan Marr himself has decreed your destiny. You shall remain in his dungeons and do my bidding. For I am Darramouss, your master!" If you can understand him, turn to reference ninety. "Your first order is this. Report for duty at the Yellowstone Mines. Leave now and head there immediately. I will be watching." Turn to 90 90) Tall gruesome creature that is Darramouss in black cape, use magic ring +50, turn to 140 140) Sweet smelling gas from ring destroys Darramouss! Head north, turn to 184 184) Tell him you have permission to leave by Darramouss turn to 3 3) Make no gesture, turn to 437 437) Remain until he returns, turn to 38 38) Give him pendant, turn to 442 442) You have escaped the dungeon! Look around the old building, turn to 123 123) Sisters of Romeena, undertake their quest, turn to 324 324) + 8 stamina points and +2 luck for the encounter... Head south, turn to 95 95) Leave Coven by street to west, turn to 274 274) Come to the aid of the Half-Orc, turn to 291 291) Fight VILLAGER SK 7 ST 8, victory = turn to 438 438) Travelling companion Grog is with you, note: references ending 7 can -52, now turn to 107 107) -52 with Grog = turn to 55 55) Questions from Grog and suggests seeing Rosina to the west, head west, turn to 177 177) -52 with Grog = turn to 125 125) Gives you 2 gold pieces and says to go in Rosina's cottage, return to 177 and then enter, turn to 252 252) Pay the money, turn to 11 11) Note: Blue stemmed Sculliweed grows in Toadmen region... Also note the coil of rope. Restore 2 luck points, then set off to crossroads, turn to 386 386) North, turn to 130 130) Regain 4 stamina points... Continue north west, turn to 190 (these signposts are wrong! :P) 190) Continue into rushes, turn to 307 307) -52 with Grog = turn to 255 255) Grog warns about clearing and footprints... Head north, turn to 267 267) -52 with Grog = turn to 215 215) Return to 267 and look at plants by river, turn to 380 380) Choose one with blue stem, turn to 106 106) Note: When asked to present plant remember number 49. Now leave turn to 18 18) Reach a clearing, turn to 315 315) Fight the creature, turn to 145 145) TOADMAN SK 9 ST 9 Victory = turn to 287 287) -52 with Grog = turn to 235 235) Grog's imminent demise as he saves you... RIP Grog. Note the box and potion of fortune restore luck to initial level, proceed by turning to 92 92) Give sisters the root... Add number (49) 49 + 92 = 141 turn to 141 141) Ring of Truth to use on Weaseltongue, Note: -50 from reference when with him, Ophidiotaur is his ally, restore luck points and restore stamina, awakened at river, turn to 423 423) Approach calmly and mount it, turn to 127 127) Test skill, successful turn to 5 5) Steed takes you into woods, turn to 366 366) Help him, turn to 429 429) First BRIGAND SK 8 ST 9 Second BRIGAND SK 8 ST 7 Victory = turn to 448 448) Ask about the Galleykeep, turn to 269 269) Use ring of truth, -50 turn to 219 219) Note/clue: Blue element... look for symbol with water on Galleykeep door, set off through the undergrowth, turn to 189 189) Test luck, successful turn to 341 341) Fight first GOBLIN SK 6 ST 5 second GOBLIN SK 5 ST 5 victory = turn to 312 312) Choose door with jug of water, turn to 346 346) Check the mirror, turn to 422 422) Use crystal club clue -93, 422 - 93 = 329 turn to 329 329) Zharradan Marr tells you his design and plan, turn to 121 121) Memory returns with surprise and horror as Marr continues, turn to 199 199) Refuse to give him the box/vapour, turn to 133 133) Did you bathe in elven Dust? If so, turn to 417 417) If you have the crystal club (yes) turn to 28 28) Add number from Crystal Club 28 + 333 = 361 turn to 361 361) Marr becomes nervous, turn to 460 460) Marr stalls for time by outlining promises of power and says without him you cannot return to your original form... You destroy the portal/gateway and are restored to being a human again. You are commander of the Gallleykeep again too and Marr's creatures will be your crew, since their old master is gone. Though Marr may have shown you a mercy of sorts, you in turn gave him the mercy he deserved: none!THE END What you do with the Vapour of Life remains a mystery though...
Alternative ending (Become commander of Marr's forces...) 199) Give Marr the Vapour, turn to 74 74) And thus your fate is decided. How you will fare as Commander of Zharradan Marr's forces will be decided by your own skill. Your leader is known for his ruthlessness. Perhaps you will be remembered as his greatest Commander; perhaps your fate will be that of your predecessor. Whatever the outcome, one thing is for certain; your aimless life will finally have a sense of purpose . . .
Ending up at Dree (Becoming an unwilling organ donor or comfy slave lifestyle to an old witch...) Escape from the dungeon when at 422... 422) Go into the old building, turn to 123 123) Undertake quest, turn to 324 324) Head west, turn to 299 299) Meet a talking Jabberwing bird, take its advice and go North to Dree, turn to 433 433) Look at landscape then follow another trail, turn to 134 134) Arrival at Dree! Renowned for witches and mutants resulting from experiments, Woman calling you turn to 210... Or continue towards market go to 35 210) Help her turn to 224... Or continue go to 35 224) Reward a potion of fortune? turn to 294... Or potion of healing? turn to 196 196) Life as a slave serving the old crone who continues to feed you Obedience Potions... 294) Same outcome resulting as a slave for the old witch who serves up the Potion of Obedience everyday... 35) Getting captured by men who will sell you for your internal organs and glands... Apparently very valuable! So Dree ends up being either a lifetime of subservient slavery or captured and chopped up for profits...
Encountering and fighting the Master of Hellfire (Highest stats scoring opponent in COH... Yet this a sure way to become toast and earn a slow and agonising death much to his delight!) When you reach the doors at the Galleykeep on 312 312) Go through the fire door, turn to 29 29) Face it defiantly, turn to 143 143) MASTER OF HELLFIRE SK 14 ST 14, if you reduce its stamina to 2 or less, turn to 266 266) Investigate body turn to 194 or search the room turn to 105 194) Fancy illustration and fire streaming from its eyes. Slow and painful death. (Toasted!) 105) Similar/same outcome... Blasted by its fiery consuming eyes.
Pros: A lengthy introduction/background which I found extremely engaging. Attempts several new things - you're some sort of monster and gradually develop over the course of the book. At first you have to roll dice to make your decisions, then you get more control of yourself. You can't understand people and eventually get given the instructions to decode the gobbleydegook. It's also a great ending that explains what happened.
Cons: The introduction has a lot of interesting background that never comes into play. I was expecting that over the course of the adventure I'd go to certain places and encounter various elements - never happened. This book is *hard*.
Quite possibly the the most complex Fighting Fantasy ever written. This was Steve Jackson's last FF book he personally authored.
I don't so much play these books but rather follow through on every single possibility using lots of fingers and dog ears. Even so, *and* with a map and decodes I found this book trying. For example, you need to remember things like "If the passage starts with 'You find yourself' then subtract 20 from the reference to use the pendant." And "If the reference ends in 7, subtract 50 to find out what character X has to say".
This has to be one of the most challenging game books I've personally encountered. After a lengthy background story, you wake up as a creature with no inkling as to your identity or purpose. As the adventure progresses, you start gathering hints and clues about your destiny, while picking up language skills along the way. It's also pretty obvious that Steve Jackson took pains to ensure that cheating would be exceptionally difficult by developing a code to mask revealing passages in the dungeon story arc. While the story of this book was intriguing at first, it got frustrating the more I ran into dead ends and abrupt endings. I believe there is only one true path to the solution: everything else is a dud. And you've got to run in circles before you even get close to leaving the dungeons (the error at passage 213 doesn't help!) *Spoiler* The end of the book requires that you do something seemingly inconsequential in the dungeons. I thought I'd pretty much covered the dungeon area when that little detail came up. *End of Spoiler*
I have to give props to Steve Jackson, though, because he wanted to create a fiendishly difficult puzzle and succeeded!
After playing The Gates of Death and The Forest of Doom, I thought I'd revisit another Fighting Fantasy I played in my youth. If I remember right, I got this one as a Christmas present. Once again, back then I ran out of patience with it before solving it, although the atmosphere and plot certainly made an impression on me. In this game, you start out as a monster, unable to make decisions and driven by instinct - many of your early moves are made by dice throws.
As things go on, you gradually recover the ability to think and reason, and understand what's going on around you. The very complex background is described in a very lengthy introduction, which I won't go into huge detail on - suffice to say the game has many fascinating little details in it.
And boy, is it difficult. My first few attempts all ended in very early death. There are a LOT of ways to die in this book, especially because if you follow the rules you don't have much control over what you do. There are many sections where death ends up inevitable if you get something wrong, or are unlucky. Unlike many other Fighting Fantasy books, finding various objects or taking certain actions reveals alternative references to be taken in certain circumstances - there's ways of finding secret passages, understanding what others are saying, even discovering and interacting with other characters. If these items aren't found or taken, it's impossible to complete the game. You could play it dozens of times without success.
I admit that in the end I used an online solution to complete the game, as there was no way I was ever going to get it right myself. There's a huge number of things you have to find, and then take the right course of action, to complete it, and it could take many attempts to do it. I enjoyed working through the solution, but ultimately I've knocked a star off because I think this game is just *too* hard. A challenge is good, but a book you find almost impossible to finish is just a bit frustrating.
If the truth is to be known, these books are fun at first. Sadly, however, they quickly grow old.
If you have experienced one of these kinds of books you have experienced them all. Whilst the stories differ, the effect they have upon a person is the same across the board. You have fun for a while and then they are put aside.
It is okay to pick up one or two throughout your life but I would not recommend going out of your way to buy them en masse. As for which one(s) you pick up… well, that is a choice only you can make.
Aimed squarely at pre-teen boys, this was and is my favourite fighting fantasy book. It was incredibly hard to complete and required the reader to decipher a code language. Due to a typo it was actually impossible to complete in it's original edition. It's a bit cringeworthy to read now I'm in my 30s, but thoroughly recommended for kids.
Couldn't have completed it without an online guide! 🙈 The code is crazy hard to translate and there's so many little rules (such as if you have this item, subtract this number from certain references) that it's hard to keep up. Like the whole being a creature thing though.
A quest to escape from the mind of a monster 25 August 2012
I am not necessarily going to say that these books seem to get better and better, but rather that they do seem to try to move on from the previous books in that they explore a new rules, settings, and concepts. What I have come to appreciate about the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks is they do not find a formula that works and stick to it, but rather that they continue to push the boundaries. With Creature of Havoc Steve Jackson has gone above and beyond and produced a book that outshines every gamebook that has come before it. It is not to say that the book is perfect, far from it, but the problem is that by attempting a book of such a high standard, it is going to be very difficult to meet the challenge. The book begins with a fairly long and complicated background, and while the background is relevant, it can also be misleading. Due to the scope of this book, the nature of the background is very important, but it is more to help you, the player, understand what is going on. The book revolves around a necromancer named Zharradan Marr, who was a child of a witch. However, he wanted much more power than witchcraft could offer him, so he fled from them to establish his own empire, much to the witches' concern. As he began to build his power, he managed to infiltrate an elven kingdom and steal some magic vapours from them, which was the source of their power, and also began to creating his own monsters, but, as I mentioned, none of this is known by you, the player. You begin the adventure deep in a dungeon and it becomes obvious very quickly that you are a ravenous beast. In fact, the book begins with you not actually being able to make any choices, though Jackson is quite clever in that the choices are made by rolling a dice. Unfortunately, the wrong rolls can find you caught in a deathtrap, though remembering that all of these books could result in you dying because of some bad dice rolls, this aspect of the adventure probably isn't that bad (though some have criticised it on this account). Fortunately, it does not take long for you to gain control of your instincts, however you still are unable to understand basic speech. Once again Jackson is quite clever in creating a complex code so that if you actually know the key (and mind you the key to the code is very difficult in any case, meaning that I had to resort to using the translations that I had found on the web) you can understand what is being said. Fortunately, once you get past a certain point in this adventure, the speech returns to normal, though you, yourself, are not able to communicate. Jackson also uses numbers a lot in this adventure. For instance, if you have a certain item, when a paragraph begins with a certain phrase, you deduct a number from the paragraph and go to a new paragraph. Also, for a period, you may pick up a companion (though if you do not, you die) and he indicates that whenever a paragraph ends in a certain number, you subtract that number from the paragraph and turn to the new paragraph. Unfortunately, at one point, it breaks down because the phrase that you are looking for does not actually occur in the paragraph where you are supposed to use the item. This is actually one of the hardest gamebooks I have encountered (after Appointment with FEAR) because death comes all too quickly, and it is also one of the longest gamebooks as well. Part of the game involves you escaping from the dungeon, and this is not at all easy, but the book does not end when you have escaped because you must then go on a further quest to locate and destroy Marr. However, the overriding goal is, of course, to discover who you are, and why you are this beast because, for some reason, it is clear that you were not born a beast, but something else, and that is simply because you do have the power of reason, it is just that it has been suppressed.
Generally considered the best book in the series... but I don't know.
The premise is great. You're no hero in this one, but rather a mindless monster that rampages on with (at first) barely any conscious choice on your part. You need two whole power-ups before you can even start behaving like a person, with full faculties and comprehension of language. The book is well-written and well-designed, and has a fair amount of hidden options that you won't even know you missed unless you have a clue, making it much more difficult to cheat. It has one of the better plots as well, with more backstory than I think any other book has, and it's actually a nice read and pretty interesting to go through, and a great deal of depth in the game itself, with a few good twists and turns and a legitimately interesting search of your identity.
It's just really frustratingly difficult, with one of the tightest and longest paths in the entire series. The few mechanical good ideas help, but can't really save it on their own.
Basically, it may be the best book in the series, but Fighting Fantasy is a series of gamebooks, and that first bit is where Creature of Havoc falters. Read it for the story, with a walkthrough at hand.
Death turns at every corner in this roleplaying fantasy adventure. It’s a lot different to some of the other adventures, as though you are a powerful fighter; there is little that you can do in the way of deciding your own destiny. A lot of outcomes rely on the roll of the dice; not just in the combat scenes but in choosing which direction to travel as well. A large amount of the adventure relies on finding a relic which allows you to translate some of the coded text. And it’s certainly a risk to decide whether or not to perform even the simplest action such as venturing into a room or abandoning a feast. I wonder if it’s ever possible to read through the whole story successfully and meet all of the characters mentioned in the prologue? I think that I will have to create a map for each journey so that I can learn which paths loop or lead to certain death. I can’t remember ever winning.
This book is just hilarious! In this book you, yourself are the hero. Another interesting fact is that, you can turn to any page and start right there next it will take you to another page which then will take you to another pages. This book is really funny and intersting!
Este libro es uno de los más controvertidos de la colección y uno de los más difíciles. Lo he vuelto a releer últimamente. Tras 72 Personajes muertos. El último ha conseguido llegar al final correcto de este volumen. El protagonista es una criatura creada por Zharradan Marr como parte de sus experimentos. Al principio no puedes tomar ninguna decisión, solo tirar dados y más adelante adquieres más y más capacidad de decisión por razones que es mejor no revelar. Como la mayoría de otros libros de Fighting Fantasy, solo tiene un único final bueno y el reto está en encontrarlo, el resto te llevan a una muerte segura. Aun así, los finales malos están muy bien escritos y te muestran parte del lore que de otro modo no podrías descubrir. También permiten entender mejor el camino bueno, porque están implementados de una manera coherente y muy inmersiva. El libro está diseñado para ser muy inmersivo a expensas de su usabilidad. Por ejemplo, al principio solo puedes hacer tiradas aleatorias, que simulan el hecho de que no tienes control de tus actos. En otra ocasión hay un bucle del que solo puedes salir si tienes el objeto apropiado simulando el hecho de que te han atraído a una trampa para encerrarte y “reeducarte”.; tu única salida es seguir en el bucle o acabar incinerado. El libro usa mucho secciones secretas, activadas a demanda o a través de un texto que debes encontrar o mirando la numeración. Eso hace que ciertos caminos que parecen malos se conviertan en el correcto si tienes el número secreto necesario. En una parte, Steve Jackson usa este método para darte un acompañante que te ayuda. Otra cosa original es que emula, a través de criptogramas, el hecho de que no entiendes a otros personajes. Solo cuando aprendes a entenderlos te enseña como resolverlos, cambiando el sentido de varias secciones. En general es un típico libro de Fighting Fantasy, más difícil de lo habitual pero con mucho detalles interesantes. No al gusto de todos, sobre todo si no te gusta ese estilo. La parte negativa que le veo es la misma que a otros títulos de la colección. Los combates son totalmente accesorios y solo sirven para hacerte perder tiempo, además al estar mal equilibrados y no darte alternativas, te requieren tener un personaje con Destreza por encima de 8 para tener alguna oportunidad. Lo mismo pasa con la suerte, aunque afecta menos al tener que tirar en menos ocasiones. Para reducir ese impacto yo suelo usar lo PJs con estadísitcas malas para probar caminos que no he usado, lo que me ayuda a descubrir algunos secretos del libro. No tengo problema con los bucles o los malos finales, sirven para añadir contenido y forman parte de la experiencia, pero entiendo que no gusten y parezcan anticuados. Un modo de hacer más llevaderas las partes malas es saltarse las tiradas o usar PJs con estadísticas al máximo. No recomiendo puntos de guardado porque es muy fácil que pierdas la oportunidad de encontrar algo vital si guardas demasiado adelante. Recomendado si te gustan mucho los Fighting Fantasy difíciles.
The Creature of Havoc is certainly an interesting read.
There's a lot of lore in the book before you actually start your adventure. If you've read The Citadel of Chaos, this lore will explain the origins of the strange animal-hybrid monsters you encounter. This lore itself is actually pretty good and it links the world together quite nicely.
The adventure itself is something else. The encounters are charming, the creatures are interesting, and you're playing as what felt like a silverback gorilla with claws. The only thing that let the adventure down, in my opinion, is that the book tries to do too much. From needing to decipher the language at the start, to having to remember to add or subtract numbers from your current reference in order to find secrets which are vital for completing your adventure, it's a little bit too much. If it wasn't for the fact that the in-game world is so great, I'd be giving this book a high three-star review. Me and my braincell hate maths and this tag-team duo simply didn't enjoy having to constantly add and subtract from the reference depending on how things were worded.
That said, I enjoyed the world in this book. I enjoyed being the Creature of Havoc and being able to instantly win encounters due to being the Creature of Havoc was fun. This was always a book that I could never complete when I was younger and it's nice to finally be able to say that I've completed it. I honestly think that this adventure could be Deathtrap Dungeon-good if it was simplified however.
This is that one extremely hard-but-good gamebook and it can get frustrating.. but the satisfaction of solving the puzzles and clues along the way is what makes it so good.
If you are new to fighting fantasy books then this is NOT what you should start with.. (This was my very first Fighting fantasy book btw and it took me weeks to solve it). The plot is simple- You are some experimentated monster trapped in a dungeon and at the start of the book you have very little control over yourself (You're movement is mostly controlled by dice rolls). progress is slow and the twists and turns of the maze can get repetitive and boring, but along the way you solve clues and find secret passageways until you finally get out of the dungeon. This is a huge relief and now you are free to go anywhere you want, if you take the right path and make the right friends you'll succeed in knowing your true identity (who you were before you turned into a monster..) other options will just give you an ending with which you'll feel empty and that something is missing.
At the start it can get boring and cheating from looking answers online might feel like the only option but don't make that mistake-It will ruin the experience and once you cheat it is impossible to take risks on your own then (I speak from experience)
Good book. Excellent plot. Would highly Recommend.
Four years and 24 books after The Warlock of Firetop Mountain kicked off Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s hugely popular Fighting Fantasy franchise, Jackson’s 1986 effort, Creature of Havoc, is credited with reviving the series, and is considered one of the best. It’s one of only a handful of the original series of 59 books that Wizard publishing has chosen to rerelease. It was always one of my favourites.
The most notable thing about Creature of Havoc is that you start the adventure without a mission, not knowing who or what you are, with no memories. You act on instinct (dice rolls) rather than through conscious choice. Like life - as the introduction points out. Slowly, as the adventure progresses, you start to gain self control and self awareness and the ability to make choices. It’s a bold experiment that works well. Creature of Havoc is also extremely hard, when later entries in the series had gotten easier. I never managed to complete it. 30 years later, doing it with my seven-year-old, we’ve died twice already, and have put it aside for now.
I recently saw a video in which Steve Jackson was talking about what was, for me, undoubtedly the most difficult Fighting Fantasy book of them all: Creature of Havoc. I honestly don’t know whether or not Steve was exorcising a few demons with this one…but he ended up creating one of the most memorable adventure gamecocks in the entire canon. Not only does Creature of Havoc contain a long and detailed backstory (which was more like the lore you’d be given at the start of a Dungeons & Dragons fantasy campaign or a linked series of short stories) and its own language, it also places you front and centre in a skin you’re not entirely comfortable with at the start of a plot that contains a hefty burst of twists, turns and surprises. To this day, I absolutely love playing it. I honestly can’t wait to attend the dinner launch for Dice Men at some point this year (or next). If you haven’t heard of the book, go check it out on Kickstarter.
Fairly hardcore interactive fantasy fiction that would not be amiss within Steve Jackson's "Sorcery!" series. The original contains a mis-print, or a deliberate lateral thinking test, depending on what you believe. This makes it near impossible if read literally and will lead to frustration. However, the in-depth nature of the story combined with the (what was) novel aspects engineered here is impressive.
Perhaps the most richly-written of Jackson's gamebooks (outside of the lush Sorcery! series), but let down a little by experiments with the medium which, whilst interesting at first, become an annoyance on repeated plays. Full review: https://refereeingandreflection.wordp...
Still my favourite fighting fantasy book. Aged well IMHO, at least for me. So many unique features. The unique starting perspective. The creative addition of abilities through the book. The coded language and the use of secret passages. Still fun. Wish I kept the original one.
Despite this been a huge fan favourite, bits of this I found annoying, first of all you rely more on luck as it is all down to dice rolls! Secondly there is far too may in my opinion instant deaths also by the roll of 1 dice, took me 3 attempts to crack this one.