Friday, 24 August 2012

I Should Cocoa

The second (and, in English, last) of Herbie Brennan's Adventure Game Books is Aztec Quest. I got my copy via Amazon. It used to be part of a school library in Durham, and consequently has several labels on the cover and a big ink stamp on the first page. No pages missing, though, and the overall condition suggests that it didn't get much attention while it was in the library.

The cover artist doesn't appear to have had much contact with the actual text, as the picture shows someone wearing glasses, but the internal blurb indicates that my character is from the 16th century. Apparently the people of my village were mistreated by the Aztecs, and joined forces with the invaders from the east. I got knocked out and taken prisoner, and am now in a cell, awaiting the final decision on how I am to be sacrificed.

A guard arrives with some food. There's been no indication that I'm at less than full Life Points, but the text says that I'm feeling weak, so I'll eat anyway. On the menu are assorted delicacies unlikely to appeal to your average 20th century European, but which are presumably nothing out of the ordinary (or maybe something of a rare and special treat) to my character, so I shan't change my mind. Yes, the ants go down a treat, the only problem with the grubs is that the chilli on them is hotter than I like it, and the rat in chocolate sauce is good enough to give me a hefty damage bonus in my next fight.

Speaking of which, that guard's waiting to take the dishes away, so I hurl myself upon him. And though I outclass him significantly, a couple of bad rolls cause me to narrowly lose the fight. An overly abrupt ending (again), but at least it means that Montezuma II doesn't get to have me sacrificed.

Another one to revisit at some point. It appears that at some point in the book I have to play a board game (which a brief look suggests to be not dissimilar to Chess, possibly of Brennan's own devising, or maybe an authentic Aztec game, but not as well-publicised as Patolli), and I'm a little curious as to how it fits into the story. Still, there are a lot of other gamebooks to try before I come back to this one.

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