Trivia: Fighting Fantasy

Trivia Tropes

  • Contest Winner Cameo: There was a competition held for the 30th anniversary book Blood of the Zombies; winners had their names appear in the book, usually as victims of the zombies. (One of the winners was Labour MP and future Deputy Leader of the party Tom Watson.)
  • Executive Meddling: One of the reasons the original series published by Puffin came to an end was because the publishers wanted to reduce the books to 300 references to make them 'easier'.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The final books of the original Puffin series are very hard to come by, and only a handful of them have been released under Wizard Booksnote . Another setback has been added with the decision to relaunch the Wizard range again.
    • There are a number of other spin-off products which are difficult to find - Warlock magazine, which notably included several mini-adventures such as a sequel to Appointment with F.E.A.R., and the two-player adventure Clash of the Princes are amongst them.
  • Missing Episode: Bloodbones, intended to be book number 60 in the original 1980s-1990s range, was never published before the series ended in spite of the fact that author Jonathan Green had actually completed it (albeit in a truncated 300-reference form, which was intended to be the new norm for the series as a result of Executive Meddling from Puffin, who felt the series had become "too obscure"), leaving the series ending somewhat unevenly at number 59. It enjoyed a practically mythical status amongst fandom for over a decade before it was finally published by Wizard in 2006, having been rewritten at the standard, originally intended 400 references. New gamebooks have been published after Bloodbones as well, so it's no longer even the final episode.
  • Name's the Same: Series co-creator Steve Jackson has written several books in the series, but there are three further books, Scorpion Swamp, Demons of the Deep and Robot Commando, which as normal (for the peak-period UK editions at least), say "Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone present..." on the cover, and give "Steve Jackson" as the author on the title page without mentioning anywhere that it's not the same person. Confused yet? To clarify, the Fighting Fantasy series creator is the British writer/game designer Steve Jackson, founder of Games Workshop. The north-American writer/game designer Steve Jackson, founder of Steve Jackson Games, wrote those three books... for the other one's series.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda:
    • There is a rumour that it is possible to win The Citadel of Chaos without rolling dice. This isn't true - you must do battle at least once. Towards the end, there is a hydra you can fight. It is possible to avoid fighting the hydra if you have the golden fleece, but to get that you need the silver comb, and to get that you need to fight and kill a Gark.
    • The Internet would have you believe that you have to kill the bonekeeper in Crypt of the Sorcerer. You don't. In fact, absolutely nothing good comes of attacking him.
    • A rumour persists that Legend of Zagor was actually written by Keith Martin and not Ian Livingstone because of how little it resembles Livingstone's usual gamebooks; rather than requiring the player to follow one specific path to win, it is more like Martin's in that it keeps track of previous events and many of the encounters are optional. However, in 2014 this particular legend turned out to be true when Livingstone confirmed it in "You Are The Hero", a book on the history of the series.

General Trivia

  • Nearly every book in the series has 400 referencesnote . This number was hit upon when it was discovered that the completed version of the first book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, had 399 references; Steve Jackson added an extra reference (supposedly not reachable and there solely to make up the numbers) to round things up.
  • "Scorpion Swamp", "Demons of the Deep", "Robot Commando", "Black Vein Prophecy" and "The Crimson Tide" do not have their winning section as number 400/the final paragraph - the former three are by the American Steve Jackson, whose Signature Style involves multiple paths to success and multiple possible endingsnote , whilst the latter two are written or co-written by Paul Mason and, although they only have one "optimum" ending, feature a number of unusual non-fatal endings such as becoming a monk and giving up on your quest for revenge. (They're also two of the most complex and difficult books in the series.)