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Gamebooks (Choose your own adventure, Fighting Fantasy, etc)

Started by DJ Omnimaga, September 26, 2016, 06:29:03 am

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DJ Omnimaga

September 26, 2016, 06:29:03 am Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 06:41:19 am by DJ Omnimaga
Does anyone remember back when RPGs were not played in front of a TV screen, but rather with dices, a pen and paper? In the late 70's until the early 90's, there were various novels known as gamebooks, in which narration used the 2nd person instead of 3rd. More importantly, in those books, pages were not numbered: Instead, bunches of paragraphs were assigned numbers (although in Give Yourself Goosebumps, standard pagination was used) and in many occasions, at the end of each resulting sections, you were given options, such as going to 294 if you want to go west or 175 if you want to go right. Sometimes, there were multiple good endings, but bad endings (requiring you to restart everything from scratch, but I bet nobody ever followed that rule) were rampant, such as falling down a pit to your death.

Among gamebooks, some popular series were "Choose your own Adventure", "Fighting Fantasy", "Lone Wolf", "Give Yourself Goosebumps" and "Un livre dont vous êtes le héros" (the latter which included French translations of Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf). In some of those, there were also battles against enemies like in Final Fantasy, but obviously much more basic (or in Fighting Fantasy's case, 100% luck-based) and with hits missing 90% of the time due to broken system. But I felt they were pretty fun back then and a good alternative to video games when you couldn't play the latter. Even after I lost interest in playing those RPGs I continued reading the books, but without doing any of the battles.

Also, in case you don't know, before I started calculator programming, I also made Choose your own Adventure books of my own, all by hand, way back in 2000 and 2001. The difference is that they were comic-based rather than novel-based, battles were much more complex (to the point where a basic calculator was required) and there were shops in which you could buy items. The first game had four battle stats with each of them having their own set of experience points that you acquired by defeating enemies. The second game went as far as using a standard video game-based JRPG level up system with LV 99, 9999 HP, 999 MP and everything. Also, in those two comics, especially the sequel, there were world maps that worked similarly to board games with cases and the dice number determining when random enemy encounters happen. The following video has several scanned pictures of the first book:

I am wondering if you ever played that type of game and if you knew other gamebook/Choose-your-own-adventure-type novels/comics?

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