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YMMV / Sorcery!

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  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • The Sun Serpent, who has been turned into a Sealed Evil in a Can offscreen.
    • In The Crown of Kings, the concluding book, you reach the Archmage of Mampang, the character hyped as the Big Bad since the introduction to book 1... who decides to turn into a netherworld demon (and the book is so unclear some readers thought the Archmage had died for no apparent reason). Said Demon can be killed instantly if you're playing as a wizard, and even if you're a warrior it only has a SKILL of 7 and a STAMINA of 7 — being only partly-formed. Still, if you fail to beat it within five attack rounds you're dead. Given you only do two points damage a round most times that leaves little margin for error. It is still quite an anticlimax.

      It crosses into Fridge Brilliance if you realize that the Archmage has fallen victim to his own Bond Villain Stupidity. He intends to trick you into entering his prison tower, but if you confront him as Farren Whyde he doesn't have his badass wizard body to fight you with so he has to assume his demonic form. Basically, you've caught him at a distinct disadvantage and assuming his true demonic form is the only way he can fight back. Too bad that form is extremely vulnerable before it can fully transform...
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    • This trope was further reinforced on the Inkle Adaptation of the Archmage. He was revealed to be reduced to a weak man largely relying on the Crown of Kings to protect himself and is completely defenseless otherwise, and eventually sells half of his soul for a Hopeless Boss Fight if the player fails to stop him on the initial attempt.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In order to make the game winnable when playing as a warrior (and if you don't have a silver whistle), it was necessary for special holy water to have the ability to revive the dead with minimal explanation (usually it only works when used in conjunction with a spell). It is supposed to be special rejuvenating holy water given by healer Javinne, but having the power of resurrection? A bit far-fetched.
    • The possibility of developing a romance between the Analander and Flanker in the Inkle Adaptation of Sorcery! 4: The Crown of Kings. While Flanker is arguably the most encountered among other non-playable characters with the Analander (albeit a maximum of 4 times before the final game rolls out), most were brief with little development in their relationship and the Analander always end up alone by himself/herself for the vast majority of his/her journey. Other than the typical shipping fandom logic of quick relationship development, it doesn't make much sense that the pair would suddenly get romantically involved based on the interactions they had.

      However, the progressions of all relationships are accelerated in a game with such a short timespan. Aliizi tells the Analander she thinks of them as an aunt/uncle after talking to them literally two other times, Jann affectionately calls himself, Flanker and the Analander a trio even though they've been together once before, and Vik coddles the Analander as his old friend having met them once or never. Having a romantic relationship after a handful of increasingly fond encounters isn't so strange.
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    • Inkle Adaptation again: The requirement of Flanker's presence in order to overcome the Crown of Kings wielded by the Archmage. Flanker was clearly proven to be vulnerable to the magic of the Crown of Kings, is there any exception on the second time where the Archmage can simply just work his magic on both him (again) and the Analander?.
  • Broken Base: Fans of the gamebook series tend to be divisive on certain points:
    • John Blanche's illustrations. Are they appropriately creepy and discomforting, suiting the dark atmosphere of the dangerous universe? Or are they just grotesque and messy? Blanche tends to be a divisive artist in the community.
    • The final boss battle in Crown of Kings. Disappointingly simple, after such a complex adventure and a hyped villain? Appropriate in its context? Or a necessary evil for newcomers who would only have picked the last book to play?
    • The new covers. A welcome update or a disservice to the beautiful classic covers by John Blanche?
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  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The wizard's SKILL penalty doesn't mean much anymore once you get Ragnar's Armband of Sword Mastery from Alianna, that increases your fighting power by 2 points, making the penalty null in combat.
  • Cursed With Awesome: If you refuse or fail to save Khare, Lorag's ghost will possess you, replacing your god. While Lorag is certainly less helpful than, say, Courga or the Spirit Animal, he does have a personality many players find charming and ultimately winning his respect is such a Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming many players will deliberately let themselves be "cursed" with him because it makes for a better story.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Inkle adaptation-wise, Flanker. He even gets a social media event dedicated to him for the purpose of marketing Sorcery! 4.
  • Fanfic Fuel: A lot of Kakhabad on the map is unexplored. This includes Lake Lumle, the Croaking Caves and the Avanti Woods. Just imagine what could be there to explore...
  • Fridge Logic: The Inkle Adaptation of Sorcery! had extensively expanded on the plot in the 3rd and 4th book, which introduces a number of inconsistencies:
    • If the Archmage killed Bria upon learning of the Analander and subsequently made the beacons as a trap for the Analander, how was it possible that a younger Bria (named Aliizi at that point in time) even knew about the beacons, or was even affected by the power of the beacons? Logically, the beacons should only exist in a time where Bria is no longer alive.
    • If the Archmage knows about the Analander 1000 years ago, why wait that long to steal the crown? That's an inhumanly long time of insecurity which he could have avoided by, you know, not chosen longevity and not stealing the crown in the very first place.
    • If the Archmage without the crown is so weak as described by Valiquesh, it sounds rather implausible that he can survive 1000 years of rule without the power of the crown.
  • Mind Screw: Just who or what the Archmage really is, for crying out loud? The original books made him an enigmatic if not undeveloped antagonist, and while the Inkle Adaptation gave him significant background and characterization, the additional time travel plot elements makes the story just as difficult to interpret.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The pitch-black chamber with swords poking out of the floor, the monster with heat vision that burns your arm off if you do the wrong thing, the super-fast ram made out of solid marble that charges at you endlessly whilst you are in a locked room with it, the god-headed hydra...
    • What if the Archmage actually put up a real fight in the final confrontation?
    • If you killed all Seven Serpents there is a reference modifier you can use whenever you are identified in The Crown of Kings (as no word of your mission has been relayed back by the Serpents and nobody know you are coming). Eventually you suddenly find out — whilst in the very heart of the fortress — that your identity has been discovered without your knowledge.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Yes, it is possible over the four books to use every one of the spells in your spellbook at least once in a situation where they are actually useful. No, it is not easy.
  • That One Boss:
    • The Manticore in the first book. It has top stats and is a challenge even for a warrior. If you play as a wizard and still have Jann the Minimite with you, it becomes almost impossible.
    • Not to mention the Serpents... The Time Serpent is invincible unless you have the spell on the Goblin scroll.
  • That One Level:
    • The maze in the end of the first book. Let's hope you didn't call for your goddess yet, considering some traps are escapable only through her intervention. And heaven help you if you brought along that damn Minimite.
    • Also, the sewers in the second book. Another maze with difficult monsters, except that it's completely pointless. Luckily, it's also avoidable.
  • What an Idiot!: The Analander finds a box in the Elvin village that contains a dangerous poisonous scorpion along gold coins and a key.
    • You'd expect: The Analander to simply pick up the box, turn it around to drop what is inside, and let the scorpion run away, unable to sting him since he wears boots and pants. Or at least stab the scorpion inside with his sword.
    • But instead: The Analander is only given the option to manually pick up objects from the box with his bare hands, getting the risk of being stung by the scorpion each time, with serious damage.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: This series gets very dark (particularly in the Goya-inspired artwork), with the final volume in particular having some nasty deaths far beyond anything seen in Fighting Fantasy (noted under Nightmare Fuel), and the text is written at a higher reading level than the main Fighting Fantasy series. When originally released in the early eighties, the series was aimed at an older audience (with promotional material explicitly saying it was "for adults") and the covers had nothing beyond Steve Jackson's name to connect them to Fighting Fantasy (and was actually released under a different imprint). As seen here, over time the books were reprinted to include the FF logo and similar markings of the main series, although elements of the new covers and the fact that they were still published by Penguin and not Puffin (their children's imprint) made the distinction. When Wizard Books relaunched Fighting Fantasy in the early noughties, they made no distinction at all and just republished the original books as part of the main range.
  • The Woobie: Captain Cartoum risks his own life to help you if you give him the locket with a picture of his Lost Lenore in it, and you then leave him "pining for his lost sweetheart".


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