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Literature / Magehunter

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You officially chose the wrong day to fly!

"Under the patronage of the Margrave Mechtner, you have become the foremost Magehunter of your age. Orayan the Summoner of Demons, Yurial of Rachsburg, Salome the Warlock's Bride — these notorious sorcerers, and many others, have fallen to you."

Magehunter is the 57th entry in the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks, written by Paul Mason, and is a standalone sequel to Slaves of the Abyss.

The Player Character is the titular Magehunter, hunter and pursuer of sorcerors and magicians, on a world where magic exists, but is the gift of evil. But now your latest captive, Mencius, has escaped by a powerful spell to Kallamehr, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Ancient Persia, where magic and strange beasts are far more common. You must now hunt him down and find a way to return to your own world.

Besides your broadsword, you are also equipped with your trusty flintlock pistol, and you will need both your weapons and wits to stay ahead of cunning, magical foes in the mystical land of Kallamehr.

In addition to your usual stats, the adventure sheet of Magehunter also provides you with an extra COMPANION box; as the adventure goes on, you'll find out soon enough that you're not the only one with a score to settle with Mencius. The problem though, is that... will you and your fellow companion, which you're reluctantly stuck with, complete this adventure... without killing each other?

Magehunter provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Your flintlock pistol can fire all sorts of ammo, including a diamond!
  • Action Pet: You can purchase and train a dog named Kurt, which can sniff out mages for you and assist you occasionally in combat.
  • Action Prologue: In the opening pages before reference 1, you are depicted in the middle of a duel against Mencius and eventually defeating him and capturing him alive.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Getting into too much trouble in the marketplace will result in you getting arrested and punished by having your sword arm hacked off, leading to a shocking Non Standard Game Over where you're now a hapless cripple unable to partake in any more adventures.
  • Anti-Magic: Given your occupation as a hunter of sorcerors, you'll need to collect amulets and artifacts that protect you from spells.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: The adventure brings you back to Kallamehr, the FF-verse' Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Ancient Persia.
  • Assist Character:
    • Reinhardt is capable of assisting you in battles, but given his low SKILL stat he won't be helping much.
    • In a few battles if you have Kurt at your side, your trusty pet will attack your foes causing them to lose STAMINA automatically each Attack Round.
  • Behemoth Battle: As depicted on the front cover, there is a fierce battle between a Roc and a Winged Serpent... and you just happen to be ensnared in the Roc's talons! If the Roc loses, then it's Game Over for you!
  • Burn the Witch!: As a magehunter, this is the fate you inflict on the many sorcerors and witches you've captured in the past. You even tried to dispose of Mencius using this method when you've seemingly defeated him for the first time...
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of your adventure, Reinhardt offers you a position as his chief retainer out of gratitude, but you decline. The Mage-hunting lifestyle is the life you're comfortable with after all!
  • Continuity Cameo: The Riddling Reaver, which previously appeared in Slaves of the Abyss, makes a quick comeback here.
  • Continuity Nod: The storyteller Al-Fakik will tell you the tale of Bythos's invasion and the treachery of Sige the Silent, which is the main storyline of the previous Kallamehr-set gamebook Slaves of the Abyss. He didn't get to finish the story however, probably to avoid spoiling the events of that book to any newcomers to the FF-verse.
  • Dem Bones: Mencius will sic a skeleton horde at you as you attempt to confront him.
  • Energy Beings: The Scintillating Globe is a ball of light that attacks you, which you can only defeat by making it exhaust its natural energy and subsequently dispersing itself. Also overlaps with Our Monsters Are Weird.
  • Enhanced Archaic Weapon: By dipping your Cool Sword into Mencius' blood, you can turn it into a bejewelled rapier which can harm sorcerors.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted; you begin your adventure with your trusty flintlock as your sidearm, and you are given several opportunities to use it.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Subverted, your character did show up on the front cover of the book (you're the unlucky sod trapped in the Roc's talons) but your features are still mostly obscured. The only thing visible to the players is that the titular Magehunter is a man in robes instead of the usual ambiguously-gendered FF-protagonists.
  • Forced Transformation: Losing to Mencius in the final battle will end with you being turned into a rat.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: At various points of the game, you will find yourself swapping bodies with Reinhardt, most of the time against your will. Sometimes you can deliberately execute a body swap with him, though.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One blocks your path as you attempt to cross a beach. You can feast on its meat after winning the battle and gain a quick STAMINA boost.
  • Grand Theft Me: A major plot point, where you are constantly cursed to swap bodies with Reinhardt.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Reinhardt, the son of Margrave, which you form an uneasy alliance with. You need to keep him alive if you even want to succeed in this quest.
  • Headbutting Heroes: You and Reinhardt don't really see eye-to-eye with each other most of the time, in fact your alliance in this quest is more of a matter of coincidence.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If you purchase a dog (which you named Kurt) as an Attack Animal, sadly it won't make it out of the book alive. Right at the end of the quest where you're facing down Mencius' skeleton horde, Kurt will distract the skeletons for you to escape, getting itself hacked to death in the process...
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Mencius has the ability of flight, although it is possible to stop him from taking off before he can complete his flying spell. Usually by using your trusty flintlock pistol.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Dwellers, a race of underground bug-people who lives in caverns and travels while riding on the backs of giant insects.
  • Job Title: You are a Hunter of Mages, and one of the best of the lot.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey: You can get into a fight against a Roc, and if you're unlucky, you might get carried away by the humongous monster and be fed to its young!
  • Kneel Before Frodo: At the conclusion of the adventure, Reinhardt of Margrave has returned to his throne, just in time to stop a war from breaking out. Cue soldiers, viziers, and the chamberlain kneeling before him and recognizing his position as successor to the throne.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Mencius' fate when you finally defeat him, the paragraph even said he's been blown to a thousand and one pieces.
  • Mage Killer: After years and years of mage hunting, you're now quite good at your job!
  • Magic Carpet: A rather unorthodox fight scene occurs on one, where you, Reinhardt and Khasim fights against each other while trying to keep your balance on a flying carpet.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: Your weapons against mages and wizards includes your trusty sword and pistol.
  • Metafiction: To complete the book, it is compulsory to listen to Al-Bakbuk's brother tell a story, which quickly turns out to be a metaphor for the story thus far, and which turns up Reinhardt's surprising secret.
  • Nintendo Hard: This book has many routes through it. All but one will lead to failure or at the very best a bittersweet end. Most lead to death, and there's a lot of specific things you need to do to win, and plenty of things you can do to screw yourself out of winning, even very early on.
  • No-Sell: Lacking essential items or modifications to your sword and you will be unable to even scratch Mencius in the Final Battle. Brace yourself for a humiliating defeat, and Have a Nice Death!
  • Noun Verber: One of the last Fighting Fantasy entries to use this naming method.
  • Our Genies Are Different: This being a Persian/Arabic-inspired adventure, genies of various shapes and sizes will show up, including a demonic genie prince and one living in a ring.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Inverted with the Golden Lion-Lord; it's practically a Manticore in all but name only, and somehow it lacks a stinger tail (hence its single-digit SKILL score).
  • Proportionately Ponderous Parasites: After defeating the giant crab, if you return to the same area where you slay it some time later, you'll discover the gigantic carcass to be infested with hordes of snake-sized parasitic worms, which will slither towards you. You need to defeat the entire swarm, but thankfully they're rather weak enemies.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: If you manage to kill Mencius, but left Reinhardt stuck in Mencius' body, then Reinhardt will be executed by his own men as soon as you both return to the palace. Keep in mind you're both Fire-Forged Friends at this point, so... by failing to keep your companion alive your quest is still a failure.
  • Scary Scorpions: A giant scorpion attacks you in the desert, and can use its poisonous stinger to inflict greater damage on you.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: You eventually defeat Mencius using a Silver Bullet.
  • Squishy Wizard: Some of the enemy wizards you fight have laughably mediocre stats, and goes down with a single stab or gunshot.
  • The Storyteller: Al-Haddar, who narrates an important story to you after a feast.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Getting bitten by poisonous insects or snakes will lead to you Testing your SKILL to remove the venom.
  • Supernormal Bindings: Your enchanted rope made of human hair, the only type of rope that can restrain mages.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Between you and Reinhardt, but if you both made it out in one piece by the end of the quest you are both now Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Translator Microbes: You can learn various languages in Kallamehr and its surrounding regions though enchantment or hypnosis.
  • Trapped in Another World: You are sent from your world to Kallamehr by Mencius at the start of your adventure.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: For you, the only good sorceror is a dead one. We'll let this excerpt do the talking:
    Reinhardt: You didn't have to kill him! He saved my life!
    You: Killing mages is my job.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Mages can be hurt when being bound by ropes made of human hair.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: Reinhardt might get shot during this adventure, at which point you'll have to do this. Lacking the proper tools? Then you'll need to use your fingers...
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": If you obtained a dog, you decide to name it "Kurt"... after your distant uncle.
  • The Witch Hunter: You are the titular Magehunter.
  • Wizard Duel: You can summon a genie to battle against Mencius. Both magical combatants will use Energy Blasts and bolts of electricity to assault each other, but unfortunately Mencius has the upper hand...
  • Yeti: The Shaggy Shambler that attacks you resembles a traditional yeti. Seems unusual to see one of these in a Middle-Eastern-inspired fantasy setting, though.