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Literature / Dead of Night

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Dead of Night is the 40th entry of the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks, written by Jim Bambra and Stephen Hand.

This time, you are a Templar, a brave knight of a valiant order who fights the forces of evil in the world of Titan. Since your younger brother was killed by a demonic force, you dedicated your life to this battle, slaying many demons and living dead with your faithful sword and your silver cross, gaining fame as the "Demon-Stalker" but also enemies. Among them, the terrible Snake Demon Myurr himself took notice of your demon-slaying skills and took up measures. One night, you dream of Myurr threatening your own parents in your home village of Crowford. Wasting no time, you ride towards your home village, to start a long, treacherous quest across haunted forests, cursed villages and eldricht locations to stop Myurr's latest plans of conquest and save your parents.


Dead of Night is considered among the best gamebooks of the Fighting Fantasy: it has a great, gothic-horror atmosphere, well-written and memorable characters and encounters as well as multiple paths to victory. The gameplay features the presence of Talents you can use on your quest to survive certain obstacles, kinda like the Kai powers from Lone Wolf. It also has a Karma Meter in the form of Evil points, as performing certain actions will rise this score, which may make things harder for you.

Stephen Hand later wrote two more books with a similar style, namely Legend of the Shadow Warriors and Moonrunner. Do not confuse with Dead of Night or the Dead of Night.


Dead of Night provides examples of:

  • Animal Motif: Myurr, despite being a Snake Demon, is often represented by a Toad, and one of his many forms is a massive toad-like humanoid with multiple eyes on his shoulders.
  • Arch-Enemy: Myurr to the Demon-Stalker, since he had been an obstacle to his plans for quite some time.
  • Attack Backfire: As you're warned, sometimes the power of the Dark Veil can be turned against you by powerful opponents. And leads to an instant game over if you use it against Myurr.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A really gigantic demon guards the entrance to Myurr's tower.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: As you cross the highly-polluted River Melton to Axmoor, a pale tentacled beast tries to kill you by breaking the bridge.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Some of the powers you can choose sounds downright sinister, but you are a servant of good through and through.
  • Big Bad: Myurr the Demon Lord, one of the Three Snake Demons just like Ishtra was.
  • Black Speech: The Demon Language, which you can understand if you choose the Demon Speak talent.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Averted with Tom the Farmer and his family: if you defend their home against the incoming skeletons, they will fight at your side and even destroy some of the attackers themselves.
  • Came Back Strong: Magrand the Necromancer is turned into the much more deadly Abomination by a Moon Demon Wizard.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Part of Myurr's tower is a maze of rooms differentiate by their colors. You have to proceed in the right color order to get out.
  • Cool Horse: You own one name Godsfire, though sadly it's unlikely he'll make out of the story alive...
  • Cool Sword: Your personal weapon is a sacred sword named Nightsbane, and if you are lucky enough you can get your hands on the Demon-Slaying sword.
  • The Corrupter: Myurr's very presence turned the forest south of Cragrock Peaks into an hellish nightmare, while he also tries to corrupt the Demon-Stalker himself into becoming his evil minion.
  • Demon Lords And Arch Devils: Myurr is a Demon Lord, which means one of the Three Snake Demons along with Ishtra (the Big Bad of Phantoms of Fear and Sith (Greater-Scope Villain of Curse of the Mummy).
  • Demon Slaying: This time it's precisely your job description, and you'll get to fight many demons on your way to Myurr's tower, including Moon Demons, Demonic Servants, Blight Demons and Spirit Demons.
  • The Dreaded: For once, it's you: your reputation as a restless Demon-banishing warrior has made you known and feared among the forces of evil, though even more of them are incensed to kill you to increase their reputation.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In Dunningham you can disguise yourself as an Orc Warrior to avoid undesired attention from the local garrison.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Your character is only known and referred to as the Demon-Stalker.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Myurr's personal abode, at the feet of Cragrock Peaks. On a minor scale, the Watchtower in Dunningham hosts the Baleful Eye you must destroy.
  • Faceless Eye: The Baleful Eye is a gigantic, betentacled eyeball which can brainwash people into serving Myurr.
  • Final Boss: Myurr the Demon Lord in all his scaly glory, though the battle can also play out in a different way...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If you destroy Myurr but lack either the Demon-Slaying Sword or Brennar's Ring, there's a chance that you'll die in your parent's arms in the following explosion.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: After you used one of the buttons in the Landblight's control room, a shapeless, mysterious entity will emerge from the nearby wall: if you stay and fight, you're horribly killed.
  • I Have Your Wife: Myurr kickstarts the plot by kidnapping your parents for a ritual of his.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: If you're lucky, you can obtain the Demon-Slaying Sword from the Netherworld Sorcerer, which gives you a sweet bonus when fighting Myurr.
  • It's Personal: Myurr went precisely after your parents out of spite and hate, and while you do end up saving the world, the main objective of your quest is rescuing your parents.
  • Karma Meter: Your Evil score, which increases if you do unworthy or evil acts, such as using the Dark Veil talent. It makes the game unwinnable if you have too much Evil points and face Myurr.
  • King Mook: A single Moon Demon Wizard can be encountered in the forest. He's stronger than his brethern and can perform rituals of Black Magic.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: The Demon-Stalker lacks a proper armor, but his methods and ability to use morally questionable arts marks him as one.
  • Legions of Hell: From the frail Demonic Servants to Moon Demons to much worse entities, you're going to battle a large amount of horrors.
  • Meat Moss: The Landblight is a colossal factory made of living, pulsating flesh which can turn the land into a demonic world.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Myurr sports four arms, which means he gets to hit you twice in a row each round.
  • The Necromancer: Magrand is an evil sorcerer who practice Necromancery and is a loyal servant of Myurr. It's possible to encounter him again, when he's reanimated as the Abomination by a Moon Demon Wizard.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Due to the presence of Myurr and probably Magrand, restless undeads of various types walk the land. A good example is the battle at the farm against a small horde of skeletons.
  • No-Sell: Some enemies aren't repelled by your Silver Cross. The Abomination will crush it into powder if you try to use it against him.
  • Noodle Incident: It's mentioned that you already fought Myurr and thwarted his plans when he tried to cause a revolt by possessing a king and turning him into a violent tyrant.
  • Organic Technology: The Landblight is a giant, nightmarish factory which is seemingly made of living flesh. This include a furnace where people are fed to the flames to power it up, a button chamber where the fluids are channeled to the core.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Early on you run into a crowd of villagers who're trying to bury a man named Calbert at a crossroads. If you assist them, it turns out that Calbert is a freshly-born Vampire you must put down, but thankfully it's a rather weak opponent.
  • Portal Pool: The only way to leave Dunningham is a magical pool of water inside a ruined tribunal.
  • Puzzle Boss: Myurr can be fought in the conventional way, but he's currently being held on the material plane by an artifact in his throne room, and destroying said artifact can banish him back to his dimension. You have to figure out which is the right one. Namely, the Bone Pyramid.
  • Red Baron: You're known in Allansia as the Demon-Stalker, for your deeds of Demon-hunting.
  • Red Herring: You find a note in Crowford that suggests that your parents are kept prisoner in a cavern in the forest. It's a trap, but if you manage to defeat the monster waiting for you, there's an extra talent waiting for you.
  • Scary Scarecrows: You can run into a seemingly animated one on your way to Crowford.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Sometimes, using your talents at the wrong time can lead to an humiliating demise.
    • The worse one is near the end, where, on the top of Myurr's tower, your brother's ghost appears and tells you that you can reach the Demon Lord by jumping from the nearby window.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: The Demon-Slaying Sword in the illustration sports a barbed edge and spikes along its blade. Subverted in that it's a good weapon.
  • Shout-Out: The illustration for the factory made out of flesh and bones is an eerie homage to the "Biomechanical" lairs of the infamous Alien Beast designed by Swiss surrealist-horror painter H. R. Giger.
  • Sssssnaketalk: Myurr's speaks like this, being a Snake Demon.
  • Stupid Neutral: The Netherworld Sorcerers are neutral and actively try to maintain the Balance Between Good and Evil, but they were tricked by Myurr who persuaded them that the balance was tipped off in favor of goodness, so that his invasion of the material realm would restore the balance. Luckily, you can talk the leader back to his senses.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The one Magrand lives in was probably a sinister place before Myurr's arrival. You have to fight Zombies in it.
  • Turn Undead: The talent Banish Undead can, well, banish undead monsters. It's also the Achilles' Heel of the Blight Demons.
  • Undead Abomination: The aptly named Abomination, a nightmarish undead wight hardly human any more, full of Combat Tentacles and More Teeth than the Osmond Family, made from The Necromancer Magrand's corpse. Not only it's immune to your Cross and very powerful (enough to One-Hit Kill you), but you'll gain an Evil Point if you don't destroy this aberration.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Netherworld Sorcerers were tricked by Myurr into serving his cause.
  • Warrior Monk: The Templars are a whole order of sword-wielding warrior monks bent on exterminating evil, and the Demon-Stalker is no exception.
  • Weakened by the Light: Moon Demons, as the name implies, can only exist during nighttime and will be gone when the sun rise.
  • Womb Level: Inside the Landblight, which is entirely made of pulsating flesh and bones.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: This is what Myurr has in store for your parents.
  • Zerg Rush: Early on you can run into a village besieged by a horde of Moon Demons, which you have to fight back until dawn.


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