Wednesday, 19 June 2013

All the Electric Vapor of My Knowledge

I must have bought issue 12 of Warlock in the newsagent's on Silverdale Road. I remember still being on my way to school when I reached the kitten-rescuing encounter in the mini-adventure, Gavin Shute's sequel to Appointment With F.E.A.R., entitled Deadline to Destruction, and I couldn't have got that far that soon if I'd bought the magazine anywhere else. As I recall, I failed by not getting all (possibly even any) of the clues to the main villain's location, and thus being unable to prevent him from destroying Titan City.

So it's an alternate history in which the Silver Crusader managed to thwart F.E.A.R.'s scheme. And has the ability to fire Energy Bolts, rather than possessing Psi-Powers. And he (between the illustrations and sections 71 and 115's description of what you wear at the swimming pool, DtD strongly implies that the hero's name is Jean as in -Paul Sartre rather than Marsh) has the following stats:
Skill 7
Stamina 24
Luck 7
I should probably have chosen the option to fudge.

I start the adventure with a couple of leads. International film-star Richard Gears (Mr. Shute's gag names are a lot worse than Mr. Jackson's) is notorious criminal the Fly (was this written just too soon for the author to realise that 'Geoff Goldbloom' would have been more appropriate?), and the villainous Cyanide Cecil is probably planning a raid on Titan City Chemical Plant. Oh, and yesterday someone calling himself the Dynamo took control of all radio and television broadcasts in order to claim responsibility for the mysterious nudiustertian power cut, and demanded to be made ruler of the world or he'd show the full extent of his power. As a taster, he plans to destroy Titan City a week from now.

Does anybody ever bother checking the earlier playthroughs when I link to them? (If you do, the one for DtD is here). I ask because, owing to changes forced on the unofficial FF forum by what looks like a corporate takeover, all the old links are now incorrect, so it'd be helpful to know whether or not it's worth fixing them. Oh, and the new look of the forum is a temporary thing (and a massive improvement on the hideous mess it became just after eamped.com unexpectedly turned into Yuku), and steps are being taken to make it more like it used to be.

Digression over, time to get on with the plot. I'm on my way to the office when a police car races past, and I hear gunshots. Looks like I'm going to be late for work again...

Hostage to Fortune
Armed policemen are surrounding a run-down house in which a man holds a gun to a girl's head. The detective in charge gives me the option of going in first, which the text accepts for me. I get to choose whether or not to fire an Energy Bolt. If I do, I have to make a Skill roll to hit my target, and my Skill's not that good. But if I don't, I'll have to take the man on in physical combat, and my Skill's not that good. But one section covers both missing and not firing, so at least there's no risk of harming a bystander if I do miss. I take a shot, and it's just on target. The gunman is out for the count, and the Stamina cost of firing the Bolt is a lot less than what I'd probably have incurred if I'd gone mano a mano with him.

Fly in the Ointment
A black limo pulls up further down the street, and guess which celebrity steps out. Bizarrely, the text has me slip into an alleyway, change back into my street clothing, approach the cinema where Mr. Gears is signing autographs, duck into another alleyway, change back into my superhero costume and approach the Muscan malefactor. He transforms in Hulk-style clothes-ripping manner (I can't really say 'Hulks out' because he's not the Hulk, and 'Flies out' sounds as if it means something else) and attacks, and for some reason (let's say it's the risk of hitting a member of the public) I don't get to use my power, so this is a straight fight. He beats me on Skill, but my Stamina might help me last long enough to get in a few lucky blows (my Luck is too low for Lucky blows) and subdue him. But with his Stamina, it'll take half a dozen lucky blows, and I'd be surprised to get that lucky. Nope, I only manage to hit him once all fight.

What sort of wrongdoing would be thematically appropriate for a villain called 'the Fly' anyway? Walking on people's food while wearing dirty shoes? Making an annoying buzzing noise?

Repeatedly banging into windows?

The tabloids will struggle to come up with a pithy headline to cover my defeat.

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