Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Broken Gamebooks #4: Revenge of the Vampire

Time once again to examine the flaws of an adventure gamebook in unnecessary detail. This time it’s one of the last books in the greatest gamebook series of them all, Fighting Fantasy. The fifty-eighth and penultimate book in the original series, Revenge of the Vampire, is notable for going for silly money on eBay these days, having one of the most gruesome death scenes in gamebook history and, yes, a few logistical problems.

Problem #1: Gold Warriors
Section 276 gives you the option to buy a horse to try and catch up with the Count. Problematically, the horse costs you all your money, irrespective of how much that is (by my calculations and playthroughs, it costs you a maximum of 11 gold pieces). You need the horse to get to the coaching inn before the Count leaves… except, when you arrive at the inn, you need to spend another gold piece to book in (section 289), and there’s no opportunity to get more gold between buying the horse and arriving at the inn. This means that unless you cheat, it’s impossible to get an important (but not vital) item.

Problem #2: The Incredible Reconstituting Igor
Here’s a bit of a strange one. If you manage to get to the inn, then you have to fight the Count’s manservant, Igor (at section 26). Killing Igor is the only way to get the gold ring set with moonstones. (NB: This isn't the item affected by Problem #1, as it's totally impossible to get that item... as you'll see below, there is a second chance to get the gold ring.)

Later on in the book, at section 368, you are asked if you have said gold ring (and you have to prove it by multiplying the number of moonstones by 30 and turning to that paragraph). If you have the gold ring, then you have to fight Igor again, despite his notable handicap of being dead. If you don’t have the gold ring, then there’s no sign of him. One presumes that the two paragraph numbers were accidentally switched, although given the test for proving that you have the gold ring, it’s difficult to see exactly how this happened. (Just to prove it – you also get an identical gold ring for fighting Igor the second time round.)

My head hurts now.

(NB: Between writing this blog post and publishing it, I discovered that Problem #2 was resolved in some later printings of the book, although Problem #1 – as well as some other minor problems with incorrectly labelled sections – remained.)

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