Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. Nostalgic geeks like me, maybe. I finished The Citadel of Chaos, which I will not read again just yet, I found it mostly tedious (as I had feared). Now I am going to walk in safe territory (so to speak) with The Forest of Doom. You can see a very bad picture of the cover on the right. It is the third Fighting Fantasy Gamebook and one that I already read it during my childhood (or my early teenage, I can't remember). The Forest of Doom in question is in fact Darkwood Forest. With a name like that, it didn't really need a nickname. Darkwood Forest is frightening enough as it is.
I know I am going to love this one, for many reasons. You do not have to fight an evil wizard or any kind of magic user, but to find a warhammer which some Dwarf kingdom needs to win a war against trolls. This book is, in fact, a treasure quest. Sure, it is not the Holy Grail, but still, it makes a nice change from killing the big baddie. This book is also thus close to low-level Dungeons & Dragons quests, and actually has an uncanny resemblance to the very first quest PJ, who was (and is) our Dungeon Master, made for us more than twenty years ago (21 to be more precise). I think he was heavily influenced by this gamebook. My character being a ranger, I was like a fish in the water. Which leads me to the other thing I find interesting in The Forest of Doom: the setting. Old network of caves or ancient fortresses might be fun, but gloomy woods have a charm the other settings don't possess. A forest is alive, creeping with life, whether this life is good or evil. It is wild, but you can find the odd shelter, the wood cabin or the hollow tree, sometimes a place to rest, sometimes hiding its own dangers. It is just a great setting for an adventure. So I will enjoy my venture into Darkwood Forest. I know because I did before.
This Country is Doomed
8 hours ago