Do you know, I’d not noticed that before? It got me looking at the Titannica page seeing if I could spot any more. Apologies if this has been covered in a previous post or the Fighting Fantazine...
Petulengro – probably named after Claire Petulengro – the astrologer Guignol the archaeologist’s name (fittingly) inspired by the Grand Guignol horror theatre? Quite amusingly the giant rat Bransell must be named after Brian Ansell, previously the Citadel Miniatures boss, and at that time boss of Games Workshop! That tree monster the Mahogadon – a play on the word mahogany and the drug mogadon [from titannica: Although strong, it does have vulnerabilities. Sleeping draught absorbed by its roots returns the Mahogadon to its dormant state] The name Parcleasus inspired by the real Paracelsus no doubt (with a connections to Rosicrucians - mentioned in FF48 Moonrunner] Monty Caphisto looks like a play on Monte Christo and Mephisto The name Smegg suggests Stephen hand was a Red Dwarf fan.
The name of that gambler Bartolph rings a bell from another book, a Michael Moorcock one [?], but I can’t remember or am misremembering. Or maybe it’s just from Shakespeare, Bardolph.
Hey guys, not sure if anyone is still active in this thread but really appreciate everyone's input on this great book. This is the second FF book that I've ever read (First is #41 Master of Chaos) so both books have a special place in my memory. What I liked about this book is: 1a). You have multiple routes to victory, but mainly the SE/SW main trade route options. Also when you are running in Royal Lendle, you can choose LEFT/FRONT/RIGHT option which will make a difference later in the game, but the results are not permanent. 1b). The excellent illustrations within the game and especially the ominous cover title pumpkin heads. I think most people mistook these as the Shadow Warriors before they actually went deep in the book. I remembered as a kid this cover page was one of the ones that really stuck in my mind, if not the best one. The dark, ominuous and rainy background, the scary looking pumpkin heads, and the Asian yellow fonts really stood out even to this day. On the other hand there are two things I didn't like: 2a). One of the SE/SW path is much harder, as most reviewers have already concurred, and it's a pity that I have never taken the hard path, as a few initial tries almost resulted in death or getting lost in the maze. Also the fact that if you take the easier path, not only is it much easier, but you also get rewarded with an item which is VERY VERY GENEROUS even in most FF books I've read. Therefore, to me the two-path option is irrelevant, as I have only played the easy route. I was randomly flipping through pages and I realized that you an get the Ring of Rabbam with the hard route, but the amount of luck and effort needed does not justify the reward, especially when I said the other route is MUCH EASIER AND the reward is MUCH BETTER! 2b). When you get the SPEAR OF DOOM you have to roll 1D6 + 5, so if you are really unlucky and roll a 1, your chance of winning the game is much slimmer. All in all this is still one of the best FF to date and as mentioned before, will have a special place in my heart.
One of the best FF books in terms of atmosphere, story, game play, balance of difficulty and artwork.
Having two routes adds to the replay value, and the titular Shadow Warriors are very difficult foes without simply being Skill 12 giving a good challenge no matter what your stats are.
Completely agree with you Bro. This book is neither too hard nor too easy and just about right in terms of everything. This is one of the books where I don't bother playing until I get good stats coz I know it will be a waste of time, even going on the easy route.
One of these days I will beat it by the more difficult route!
Good luck on that Bro I know I'm the same I always wanted to "Be a Man" and go the hard route but then after seeing the hermit will say "Oh WTH why bother..." Not that I mind going the hard route as it's just trial and error in the nightmare maze and then slightly easier in the Dark Elf cavern, but it's just too ridiculous to give up the RING OF DESTINY on the easy route. Stephen really made me feel like Rambo when I spent 4gp in Royal Lendle to get the 4/6/2 BATTLE AXE, and after getting the RING OF DESTINY I basically dish out 6 dmg per attack round, thus effectively ending most battles in two rounds. That's no different than spraying your enemies with a .50 Cal in Rambo IV...
However, the funny thing is after reading #44 LotSW a few days ago, I'm reading #43 KotLL and even though there are multiple routes to winning the game, with the quickest one around 35 paragraphs, I still enjoyed going the long route and obtaining every single artifact and rescuing most villagers on the island. This is completely unnecessary but most readers including myself seem to enjoy it. So I'm not sure why such a big difference between the approach to #43 KotLL and #44 LotSW. If I have to guess, #43 is super easy so although it's sort of a waste of time going the long route and obtaining artifacts that have no effect on the final outcome in the game, the writing makes it a picnic to enjoy when going the long route. #44 the long route is super hard and you get lost or easily killed by the Nightmare Master or killed off by the Dark Elves, and again not being able to get the RING OF DESTINY.
#41, #43 and #44 are all my earlier books and thus have great sentimental values to me, not to mention the difficulty levels are around medium, making them enjoyable for me as a beginner back in the good old days... :-)