The power of 44 strikes again.
September has seen the release of Fighting Fantasy game book Assassins Of Allansia by the Guv himself, Ian Livingstone.
Assassins Of Allansia
I recently picked up my hardback copy of the book at the Fighting Fantasy Fest 3 from the authors son, Jack. I mentioned my weirdo number 44, and asked if that copy was available as all 400 copies were numbered. He dug it out for me also mentioning it’s Ian’s weirdo number as well. Nice. Anyway Ian signed it later on with a personal message.
So, with all that aside… what do i think to this entry in the popular gamebook series?
It’s a lovely adventure to come back after the series sending up that was Gates Of Death and the fair but fatally flawed Port Of Peril. I’m old school FF and thus have noticed that this and especially Gates seem to have alternative lore to the Fighting Fantasy book many of us have read. The DECAYER in Assassins for example, is nothing like the undead looking creature inked by Tim Sell in Out Of The Pit. SEE HERE. We are also getting Earth christian names now, like Florence, Henry and Samuel. This isn’t detrimental to the book in itself but it is a thorn in an old school fans side. Makes it feel like there’s a dimension crack and reality is seeping into our beloved Titan. Hold on, 20GPs to stay on a dangerous island for how long? You can find that just bumming around for a day.
The art by Robert Ball is somewhat nicer than Vlado Krizans and given Scholastic seem to avoid the more detailed illustrations of yesteryear in favour for dummied down jagged angular repro’s I finally feel a sense of actually being on Titan again. Not much, just a bit.
I think we need to stop comparing what FF was and accept it is going to be different now a bit like any other series reboot. (Doctor Who, James Bond etc). Definitely a Livingstone book. Youll know what that means after a couple of nights on the island. The story itself is packed full of dangers and the Guv has gone out of his way to make you not want to try things out in case it causes stat penalties. Also, you could call this FF5and a half as it takes place between City Of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon. Not to mention an appearance of a familiar much loved character from one of them…and I dont mean Azzur or Sukumvit.
Overall, if we brush away the old school cobwebs and altering Titan lore, this is the best since the Scholastic FF revival. I hope more come out like this rather than the previous couple.
Hi there, my stats have been booming on people looking for snippets at what happens at FFF3 yesterday. I spent so long loading up photos on Facebook I didn’t really think to do it here but would’ve got round to it. So how was the fest? Quite simply put it was the best yet, largely responsible to this man Oliver McNeil bringing a live interactive version of House Of Hell. Armed with three actors, Alexander Hunt, Richard Alan and Emily Carding, guests got to work together exploring the creepy House Of Drumer. Better still, I got to try his brandy and those props were real 😆
Jam and The World Of Legend’s Olly McNeil.
The show was over an hour of pure joy and horror, with Steve Jackson himself striking the Hell Demon at the end with the fabled Kris knife.
As usual there was an auction with Steve and Ian selling off personal FF possessions, I managed to bag this beauty, a Trolltooth Wars flyer from 1989 signed by Steve, Ian and cover artist Chris Achilleos.
Ian Livingstone’s new book Assassins Of Allansia was available in hardback form so it was mandatory I got hold of one, and after a quick word with Ian’s son Jack I managed to bag a numbered copy which is a shared obsession (or not) between Ian and I which was pleasant to know. Now I can tell my Mrs it’s not just me 😉
Of course a bunch of the artists and illustrators were there. First and foremost, the original Warlock Of Firetop Mountain and regular Russ Nicholson, whom gave me permission to create that t-shirt I’m wearing. For me, that particular drawing of Zagors ghoul is the very icon of FF, I’m glad you like yours too Russ!
For more, check back later for the rest of my images from FFF3.
Fighting Fantasy content was going to be narrowed down here and focused on my FF site, but as my internet is down until the Sky repair man can get here I couldn’t help but add this to my blog via my phone. Ian Livingstone has been at the quills again and brought us a new Fighting Fantasy title in the form of Assassins Of Allansia.
Now isn’t that an arresting title? This new gamebook of the beloved series will be released on September 5th but is available on preorder at Amazon HERE.
Tickets are now on sale for the third dedicated fest of the popular Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. CLICK HERE TO BOOK TICKETS TODAY!
The #FightingFantasy audio dramas increase this week with four new thrilling adventures by Fox Yason Music Productions. FF classics Citadel Of Chaos, Forest Of Doom, Deathtrap Dungeon and Creature Of Havoc have all been given the audible upgrade due to a successful Kickstarter project earlier this year and come together in a lovely box set or via MP3 download.
Each adventure follows the adventures of heroes from the first CD The Warlock Of Firestop Mountain and appears to slightly predate the efforts of the hero that actually completes the adventure (the successful readers of the actual Fighting Fantasy gamebook series). Vocal talents such as Rachel Atkins, Richard Rycroft and Lisa Bowerman are also joined by Charlie Higson of The Fast Show fame and author of The Enemy book series and the latest Fighting Fantasy gamebook Gates Of Death.
All in all these are great little adventure skits which fans of the series will love, with the only real downside being they seem a little short i.e. when you consider the likes of Baron Sukumvit’s labyrinth being navigated rather quickly, with only a couple of traps and three or four monsters. That’s my only personal gripe but then consider the stories are well thought out and the scripts well written. I especially love the bitchy dialogue between Vale Moonwing and Lady Lucretia. I also enjoy the way all spell incantations pay homage to the old Di Maggio spell of the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, with basically a word associated with the spells effect said backwards then the casters’ name after it. You can tell the likes of David Smith and Violet Addison knew the lore of Fighting Fantasy before starting this project and they’ve handled it beautifully to give us a wonderful expansion on the Fighting Fantasy range. May their STAMINA never fail! To grab yourself a copy visit HERE
Yep it’s official, Fighting Fantasy Fest 3 is happening next year. Why Ian Livingstone himself just confirmed it on Twitter
Saturday 31st of August 2019 will see the third dedicated Fighting Fantasy Fest held in Ealing. Will I see you there? For updates visit fightingfantasy.com !