An epic adventure to slay a dragon

Night Dragon - Steve   Jackson

Well, I am getting pretty close to the last of the Fighting Fantasy series, but with the time that I have taken reading them I have a feeling that the next few are going to end up taking almost another year. Even then, there are still a number of other gamebooks that I also wish to revisit (namely Grailquest and Lonewolf among others) and that makes me wonder if I will ever get around to completing all of them before Goodreads, and the rest of the internet, ends up dying due to some super-computer becoming sentient and destroying everything we know and love, and then sending a bunch of robots back in time to kill the mother of the child that ends up defeating it.



Who knows, maybe the internet will simply end because it all becomes obsolete due to massive advances in technology in which we either all become fused with robotic bodies, or simply wake up one day, trash all of our technology, and go back living on a farm growing our own crops because it is all so much easier. Well, I like that third option because at least I can take all my books with me and read them while watching the plants grow. Hey, I could probably do that now, and take my computer with me, but then again I don't know anything about farming, nor do I have enough money to buy a farm, unless that farm is in Vietnam, but then I probably won't have the internet.


It seems like, once again, I have got a little distracted by talking about anything except this particular book. Well, I better rectify this because this is one pretty cool gamebook. You start of in that scumhole of scumholes known as Port Blacksand where you are approached by a Dark Elf (and since it is a Dark Elf hiring you for this quest, then it must be serious) to help bring an end to a great evil (which surprises me because shouldn't Dark elves be happy that great evils are about to arise, unless of course they are in the firing line as well, which makes a lot of sense as to why they want somebody to deal with it). Anyway, you must travel overland to the frozen north, collect a sword, a shield, and some armour, and they go and kill a dragon that is bigger, more powerful, and much more nastier than any dragon that you have ever encountered before.


A big-arse dragon



You can find a solution to this adventure here though this is not necessarily the only way to successfully complete it. In fact I suspect that there is another way through as you should be able to get some specific items prior to reaching certain locations, and you should also be able to destroy some other aspects of the Night Dragon's power before the ultimate combat.



The book has some additional traits, such as an honour and nemesis statistic, though I discovered that neither of those stats seem to add all that much to the adventure. While the nemesis stat did have some effect, mine never got as high that it would end up having a negative effect upon me. As for honour, well, I think there was one point where it came into play, but for the most part it was almost as if it did not exist. Another stat counts the amount of time that passes, and while it can have an effect upon the game, it is not necessarily a huge effect. However it does give you the impression that you are working against the clock, and every time you are told to increase that stat it sort of makes you want to get through a lot quicker, which could result in you missing important items. What it does do though is that after a certain point, it begins to make your final adversary a little tougher.



Like a lot of these later adventures, there are number of maths puzzles that need to be solved, so a lot of the important items have numbers attached to them, which when used at certain points you are told to manipulate the number in a certain way and then turn to the resulting paragraph. It also uses the old turn the letter into its corresponding number, add them all up, do some other things, and then turn to the resulting paragraph. Oh, a number of the monsters, to make them a little more interesting, and some rather convoluted skills, which while they are convoluted, still makes them a little more interesting that simply rolling the dice, working out who won, and then deducting the relevant stamina.


All in all, a pretty cool adventure, though like a lot of these later ones, also pretty long. That probably has something to do with them dropping a lot of the paths that the earlier ones had that would move you towards your goal, but also result in you missing a large chunk of the adventure.


Black Dragon