Monday, September 20, 2010

Lone Wolf: Flight from the Dark

I discovered the Joe Dever Lone Wolf gamebooks are online here. Clearly, there's only one thing to do: play through and review them here, hopefully at the rate of one a day[1].

So Flight from the Dark. You are Lone Wolf (formerly Silent Wolf), training to be a Kai Lord at their monastery[2]. Unfortunately all of the Kai are wiped out in a sneak attack at the start of the book leaving you the only survivor. Obviously you make a run for it across Sommerland, which is being invaded by the Darklord's armies, to the capital to tell them that their most powerful force has been wiped out. If you make it, you're greeted surprisingly positively by the King, especially as his only son gets killed on the way. It seems that they have a job for you and only a Kai will do[3].

One of the interesting things about the books is that you're often given the choice to run away or hide, or generally act like a coward cautiously as well as being able to be all gung ho and fight-crazy, even when the plot doesn't require sneaking. These types of books (and games) usually make you a sneaker or a fighter, while in Lone Wolf you can decide how you want to act. My first try I was all up for a fight and died, which sucked, but my second go I ran away a lot, although I rescued a few people along the way, including a young journeyman mage, who I suspect has a great future ahead of him.

Score so far: 6 Giaks, 1 Burrowcrawler, 1 Gourgaz, 1 Cryptspawn

[1] Embarrassingly I was killed by a Burrow Crawler and had to start again, which begs the question of what I'm going to do if that happens by the time I get to book 16; do I have to go back to book 1 or just from the last savepoint (start the book again). Any thoughts?

[2] I think of the Kai as some sort of hideous cross between Knight's Templar, the Cult of the Assassins and Shaolin monks, as presented in popular media, but that's me.

[3] The Story So Far section makes the later "last of the Kai" theme I recall a bit problematic:

In the northern land of Sommerlund, it has been the custom for many centuries to send the children of the Warrior Lords to the monastery of Kai. There they are taught the skills and disciplines of their noble fathers.

The Kai monks are masters of their art, and the children in their charge love and respect them in spite of the hardships of their training. For one day when they have finally learnt the secret skills of the Kai, they will return to their homes equipped in mind and body to defend themselves against the constant threat of war from the Darklords of the west.
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