Redeemer! - Way of the Tiger book 7, is now up on the Megara website. I have just ordered it and have to admit I'm not entirely sure what to expect.. can the quality be as good as the original series after so long? I won't get my hopes up too high, but it certainly is nice to have new books available in the series. I was fanatical about Way of the Tiger in my youth. Hopefully it will become available as a more affordable paperback in due course.
It's really good. Not groundbreaking good as hoped but it ties up a lot of loose ends, and has pretty funny nods to other things tied to the world of Orb. If anything, the first half is like Inferno volume 2 and is definitely the strongest section of the book. That alone would have made a solid ending if included with Inferno in the original outing. It strives to become something different around the middle to denote the strangeness of what is going on but it feels like a dip in storytelling as well as gameplay. It picks up again for the finale and although it left me wanting a bit more, it is still a decent enough end to wrap up a wonderful series. A minor complaint is artists, for which they seem to have run out of time or money to hire. Don't get me wrong, the book is crammed with artwork but the majority of these are repeats and a few new pieces would have been welcome. Another thing, my hardback copy is also strangely, a different size to the previous books, smaller by about a centimetre in height and width, though the book itself is a noticeably heftier volume.
Well that sounds very promising, thanks Sylas. I actually haven't read the originals since the early 90s at least, so this is going to be interesting..
I've not seen any Megara books yet, but they certain look good and they have a nice line up available. I may get the whole WotT reissue set, although I'm quite pained that the Bob Harvey illustrations aren't there.. but I understand theres nothing that can be done about this because they don't have permission?
Talk about the ultimate cliff-hanger...how many years is it since the climax to Inferno!? The funny thing is, the opening paragraphs of Redeemer! show exactly the sort of escape I had envisaged way back when. (At least with one set of options.)
One thing that was slightly disappointing is that, post-Rift, it turns again into Usurper!, which seems to be a bit redundant. Were I being bold as an author, I would have kept the action "down there", and team up with Tyutchev et al in a move to overthrow the Gods. The pretext being that it was apparent Kwon and Anarchil had abandoned their heroes in the Black Widow's web. So they were not really as all-powerful as that. Now that would have been a supreme climax.
...and some sort of review again from Richard S. Hetley, since doing a changelog for Redeemer! would make no sense. Editing needed to be done, but you'll get the gist of it.
(David Walters) described book 7 as more "character driven." Now the rest of it has been written, sparing only a few sections left empty in case of need during revision. I'm delighted to have read it: he was right about "character," as there are so many established personalities with rich history from which to draw. I feel this book succeeds at being a meaningful story as well as an exciting action game. Much appreciation for Mark Smith, Jamie Thomson, and David Walters.
Now I'm deep in editing, creating files of edits to hand back and forth for author approval and revision. I'm on my fourth file and I think we're halfway to the end, so we should be done more efficiently than we were in book 0; which, for comparison, had eighteen rounds of editing. We've clearly streamlined over the months.
As with book 0, it's difficult to explain much more since you don't know the plot yet. So I'll do as I did last time and share with you the "feel" of the thing. Does book 7 FEEL like The Way of the Tiger? I'd say yes, and to demonstrate let me share with you a classic gamebook experience: dying. While playtesting, I died several times. Here's how:
Killed by the Black Widow. IS ANYONE SURPRISED?
Crushed by the tail of a blubbery monster.
Killed by the Black Widow.
Starved to death as a prisoner in my own donjon.
Incidentally sacrificed to Nullaq as I was cut apart in the Forbidden Sanctuary.
Overwhelmed by the personal bodyguard of the Black Widow.
Defeated alongside Glaivas in a futile last stand.
Killed by the Black Widow. AGAIN.
Discovered that blubbery monsters really will crush me.
Also I ALMOST died in the Palace of Irsmuncast with the character on the (former) cover of the book, and I VERY NEARLY was consigned to the lake of boiling blood alongside Yaemon. Those would have been bad, too, but I toughed them out.
. . . Then I won! If you compare, this means I died less in book 7 than in book 0. One difference is the stockpile of healing items I obtained from playtesting the rest of the series in the interim, which, of course, helped reduce deaths from Endurance loss. Without those items, I estimate the difficulty is similar to that of book 0. Given the challenge in designing a game both for new and old players, I believe book 7 will end up just as difficult as it should be.
And I apologize for filling the above with such vague terms as "blubbery monster," but you understand I can't talk about some things without spoiling them. Rest assured you'll know the "blubbery monster" when you're being crushed by it. Know also that it came straight from the brain of Jamie Thomson.
I like the fact that the first question I'm asked is "Is Foxglove with me"? Well, I can't remember because it was 30 years ago. Suffice to say that Smith and Thompson said the book was only good if she was with you. In that case I'm going to assume that she wasn't because I remember Inferno being short, easy, unsatisfying and ... awful.
Author of 'Hellfire', 'Riders of the Storm', 'House of Pain' (sequel to House of Hell) and 'Deathtrap' (prequel to Deathtrap Dungeon). All are available for download here or at: www.ffproject.com/download.htm