Saturday, 19 July 2014

There Is Too Much. Let Me Sum Up.

Apologies for the continuing low level of activity here. Life stuff is getting in the way.

On more than one occasion I've mentioned the time in the 1990s when I played through the first 12 Lone Wolf books in order, going back to the start every time I failed. I also commented on the 'condensed' version of Flight from the Dark that I created to reduce wear and tear on the book, and said that I'd have posted a scan of it if I knew where it was. I have now found and scanned it, so I'm posting it here. It's not as legible as I'd hoped, but then, it was written in pencil two decades or so ago.

Having found my preferred route through the book (by no means the only viable one, nor even necessarily the best one), I took it as read that I'd make the same decisions every time, and just noted down whatever would still require action on my part on each subsequent attempt at Flight - combat, healing, amendments to my inventory and random number checks. Doesn't look like much when you pare it down to those details, does it?

Actually, the pared-down Flight is even less than what's on the paper shown above. The rather wobbly horizontal line about two thirds of the way down the page marks the end of the first book (as could probably be inferred from the word 'Succeed' that precedes it). Below the line is the start of a similar summary for the second book in the series, abandoned on account of the random encounter that occurs at an early stage. With five different incidents that could occur, most if not all of them featuring further random elements, noting down all the different permutations would have been more work than I was willing to put in. So I just reread the actual book from that point onwards. Which almost certainly required me to make more effort in the long run, but that's not how it felt at the time.

Thinking about it, this is pretty much an early ancestor of the gamebook manager I created in the last decade (and have continued to modify and expand since then). That also contains a condensed version of Flight from the Dark (and around half a dozen of the subsequent books in the series), though the newer version isn't quite as 'simplified' as the original.


These past few days I've been quite low-spirited regarding what I've achieved (or not) in my life. This has actually cheered me up a little.


  1. Loved playing through the Lone Wolf books.

  2. When I started playing gamebooks again last year, I played through Deathtrap Dungeon enough times that I could play up to the dwarf trialmaster without needing to open the book.

    When playing Trial of Champions I took it a step further, writing a program to play through the book up until the point I wanted to try a new decision.

    1. Ever considered writing a similar program for Crypt of the Sorcerer? While it probably still wouldn't ever enable you to win, you could find out how you failed a lot quicker.

      Click! - Made it as far as the Gargantis this time.
      Click! - Paralysed by the Harpoon Flies.
      Click! - Throttled by the Clay Golem.
      Click! - Harpoon Flies again.
      And so on.

  3. I did a summary like this when I did my play-through of the first twenty books in order, years ago. The start of book 2 isn't too bad, since most of the random encounters have no effect in game terms.

    My summary for the start of book 2 looks like this:
    16/25, 4h, use all Healing Potions
    {0-1: 15/15, 16/24
    {8-9: 0-4: 15/25
    Heal, 0-4: -2EP

    For book 1, it's even simpler than yours:
    5-9: 15/24
    I take Camouflage, so there is a 50% chance of completing the book without any combats at all (I avoid the Gourgaz fight).