The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – Conclusions

Reading back through this book was a very enjoyable experience (for the most part!) and has certainly made me think that this whole idea of going back through the books was a good one. Right from just seeing the old passages and indeed passageways, it was something I looked forward to doing of an evening. It may take me a while, I’ll do my best to get through all the books in time, but how long that ends up being, I don’t know!

Firetop Mountain was an interesting quest, I feel like I missed a hell of a lot, and given the fact that I got the ‘bad ending’ supports that idea. My map has a number of unexplored avenues too, but I guess the fact that I managed to get to the end means that there are multiple, branching paths through the book. The only ‘right’ way being the one that gets you the keys you need. Speaking of the ending, I didn’t really appreciate it as a youngster, but the anti-cheat barriers like this one are a lovely touch and I had completely forgotten that they were included as early as the very first book!

Having said that though, I can tell that this is an early book comparing it to the last Fighting Fantasy I read, which was obviously Blood of the Zombies. The structure of the story seems far less ambitious and a number of mechanics don’t seem particularly well realised in this first book. Difficulty wise, it’s generally very easy indeed, I got through the whole book without a single death. Granted, I had some brilliant dice rolls in my character creation, but nothing ever seemed particularly threatening in terms of the dungeon itself, no insta-deaths. I didn’t use any potions and only consumed one of my provisions. Similarly sketchy was the gold… I ended the book with 77gp and save for the boatman, I don’t recall having any use for them.

I should also take time to give the Maze of Zagor a quick mention. Not since my early days of Dark Souls have I been quite so frustrated! Very difficult section that erred on the side of just being plain annoying, but it was cool to see a part of the book that relied on something other than random choices and dice-rolls for challenge. It could have been a little clearer on occasions though, particularly those who offered me directions that seemingly took me nowhere. But maybe that was all part of the fun? Perhaps someone who knows more can tell me if the Mazemaster or the dwarves were taking the piss or not! But as you can tell from my map, I wasn’t the best at keeping track of where I was in the maze anyway…

A quick word on one piece of art that struck me as I flicked though the book, one that I remembered from my childhood with a strange feeling of uneasiness…

Did they really need to make the arse so well defined and presented to the reader?


4 thoughts on “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – Conclusions

  1. Madbaboons says:

    I love this book, and only managed to work out what keys I needed after reading the Trolltooth Pass novel!

  2. Lukas Xavier says:

    Your maze map is definitely screwed. You’ve been tricked by one of the secret passages, linking two sections that shouldn’t be. Never, EVER go through a secret passage in the maze. It only makes it more confusing.

    I hear you on the gold. There’s one place where you need 20 gp for some candles, but after that, you’re showered with riches that are entirely useless. It’s a bit weird.

    • Haha, oh god it was such a long time ago that I read that book, but the Maze of Zagor is still probably the hardest (fair) section I’ve dealt with yet. I absolutley lucked my way through it in the end, didn’t realise the secret passages were bogus!

  3. AM says:

    Which would you rather? The arse facing the viewer – or what’s on the other side?

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