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Literature: Appointment with F.E.A.R.
Appointment with F.E.A.R. is a Gamebook by Steve Jackson in the Fighting Fantasy series. It is especially noteworthy for taking on a very different subject: instead of the usual Heroic Fantasy settings, it is set in a Comic Book-inspired superhero setting, though still in a place called "Titan" (Titan City, to be precise).

You are Jean Lafayette, a.k.a. The Silver Crusader, a masked vigilante who underwent a genetic experiment as you were born, and the effects started to show just as the scientists behind all this gave up on seeing the effects. Having either Super Strength (with Flight), Psychic Powers, being a Gadgeteer Genius or blasting Pure Energy, you embark on a fight against crime in the city of Titan!

Evil organization Federation of Euro-American Rebels, or F.E.A.R., led by the sinister Vladimir Utoshki a.k.a. the Titanium Cyborg, is bent on world domination. The Silver Crusader must stop F.E.A.R. the day their leaders are to meet, or else it might be The End of the World as We Know It.

The book is slightly longer than a normal Fighting Fantasy book with 440 references compared to the standard 400.


Appointment with F.E.A.R. provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bald of Evil: Vladimir Utoshski
  • The Beastmaster: The Ringmaster, a supervillain. The hero learns that he has escaped, but because the plot branches based on the players choice of superpowers, there's a 50:50 chance he won't show up later.
  • Big Bad: Vladimir Utoshski / Titanium Cyborg
  • Bound and Gagged: Several instances. In one case, you do this to a villain once you defeat them.
  • Busman's Holiday: Lafayette can hardly go shopping in the mall or relax on the seashore without some supervillain or big danger coming by...
  • The Cape: That's the kind of superhero the Silver Crusader is supposed to be.
  • Captain Ersatz: The book is full of them:
    • The Scarlet Prankster is a CE of The Jester (Marvel) or the Joker (DC).
    • The Creature of Carnage is definitely an Incredible Hulk CE.
    • The Silver Crusader himself, as well. Picking Super Strength/Flight makes you very much like Superman, while Gadgeteering Genius plays out a lot like Batman.
  • Chainsaw Good: Chainsaw Bronski is a criminal whose weapon and tool of choice is, as you'd guess, a chainsaw.
  • Chinese Launderer: He seems to also serve food if you ask him too.
  • Damsel in Distress: Several, although children and men are just as likely to need rescuing as the women.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Most of the endgame sections where you're looking for the F.E.A.R. meeting are unique to one specific superpower, but the game disguises this by having options for all four superpowers. (Using one you can't have will either kill you instantly or lead you to the bad ending where F.E.A.R. takes over Earth.)
  • Featureless Protagonist: Although this is one of the few Fighting Fantasy books in which you play a named character, the text is careful to avoid stating their gender and the character has a Gender Blender first name.
  • Fun with Acronyms: F.E.A.R itself.
  • Flying Brick: One of the four superpowers you can choose from, and the one that makes the game easier to beat.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the French version, the "Peking Duck" has been translated as "Canard de Cholon" ("Cholon Duck"). You'd better not try to learn what it is unless you require Brain Bleach.
  • Guide Dang It: As is usual for one of Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy books.
  • Heroic Bystander: If you are fighting The Poisoner and have super strength, a hostage you rescued earlier will come to your aid and kill the Poisoner. Doubles as a Moment Of Awesome.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Contains one of the darkest bad endings that you can possibly get in a Fighting Fantasy gamebook.
  • Karma Meter: You win and lose Hero points depending on your actions, although they don't have any impact on gameplay beyond Replay Value to try and get a higher score.
  • Lighter and Softer: When you fight enemies, you merely capture them as opposed to killing them. That's not to say that deaths don't occur in the book, just not when Silver Crusader wins any fights. Of course, you're a superhero. You can kill them, but you lose hero points. This is something of a hollow punishment when you consider that hero points are very rarely important. Gameplay-wise, almost never. They're really meant as a way of keeping score so you can compare one playthrough to the next.
  • The Many Deaths of You
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: You will meet a mad scientist who has created a four-armed man and a tiger-headed one.
  • Mugging the Monster: You being the monster, of course. You can choose whether-or-not to fight them off, although fighting them off leads to your secret identity being revealed and you having to retire from the superhero gig.
  • Multiple Endings: The location of the F.E.A.R. meeting (and the people who have the clues you need to find it) changes according to which superpower you choose.
  • Mummy: One of the supervillains to be fought, described as an Implacable Man.
  • Mysterious Informant: Several.
  • Mythology Gag: The name of the present-day setting, Titan City, references the world of Titan in which the usual Fighting Fantasy gamebooks take place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Usually causes you to lose hero points, except for one case where your powers actually kill somebody and nobody calls you on it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • Oh Crap: The members of F.E.A.R. when you defeat Titanium Cyborg
  • Pastiche: Of Silver Age superhero comics.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire Warriors.
  • Pun: The very last sentence if you get the good ending.
    "You can honestly say that you've saved the world from F.E.A.R. itself."
  • Red Herring: If you choose Super Strength as your power, one of the clues you can obtain actually contradicts all the other clues. Deceptive, cunning villain or sloppy editing? Your call.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Fear The Serpent, supervillain in a snake suit who has an actual poisonous bite!
  • Shout-Out: Many!
  • Superhero Speciation
  • Threatening Shark: When you go to the beach, guess what danger comes from the sea?
  • Ungrateful Bastard: If you defeat the shark by blowing it up with an Energy Bolt, it will explode and chunks of its flesh will land on the beach-goers... who will then criticize you harshly and calling you out for tormenting a "poor fish". This will quite dishearten you.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The Psi powers will prove to be the most useless one. Check this one if you want a challenge!
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Rather than instantly losing the final fight if you don't have the Circuit Jammer, you actually get to fight the Titanium Cyborg... only to automatically lose (and then die gruesomely) after 3 moves.note 
  • Yellow Peril: The only Asians to appear in the book are shifty-eyed orientals in an ethnic restaurant who turn out to be working for the Titanium Cyborg to destroy the world.


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and ClaySuperhero LiteratureBigtime
Fighting FantasyChoose Your Own AdventureHouse of Hell

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