Again, I’m messing with my own rules, that headline isn’t from Talisman of Death. I was a little torn over this one, I had originally intended to do this blog in chronological order, and that is something I do want to go back to. However, my copy of book 11 has gone missing in the post and even before that, I’d had an itch to do Creature of Havoc. This is a title that has constantly come up since I began the blog, whenever I have shamelessly plugged Fighting Fantasy Project online, a response of ‘can’t wait til you do Creature of Havoc!’ has cropped up. It’s fair to say that this could be an ernest desire to see me fail though as I am more than aware that Creature of Havoc is regarded as one of, if not the hardest of the Fighting Fantasy books. Which coming off the heels of The Crown of Kings, is making my brain wince slightly.
‘Creature of Havoc was another attempt at doing something different – setting the reader as a monster instead of a hero. And the feedback we were getting from readers is that they liked the adventures to be tough, so I made it as difficult as I could. Turns out readers found it more difficult that I thought!’
Now childhood-me can attest to this as Creature of Havoc is I think the only book I owned and never finished. Clearly a fact that stuck in my head as when I sold my original collection, I hung onto a couple of books and Creature of Havoc was one of them. So when I read this book, it’s the same copy I failed to complete over 20 years ago.
As a consequence, there are some unfortunate scribbles. Whilst I loved my books greatly, I saw no issue with adding my own illustrations, Creature of Havoc got off lightly though and only took on this abomination.
Thankfully, the visual side of the book is elevated significantly above poorly rendered morning-stars by Ian Millers cover, which Titanica tells me did see a slightly different look prior to the released version.
Regarding the actual content of the story, I can’t remember a great deal, save for being in some sort of a cave maze near the start and never managing to find my way out. Titanica points out a cool piece of information though, that one of the bad-guys of this story, Zharradan Marr, was once one of three pupils of an Evil wizard called Volgera Darkstorm (the other two being Balthus Dire from the book The Citadel of Chaos and Zagor from the book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain).
Despite it’s difficulty level, Creature of Havoc remains a very popular title, as I mentioned earlier it is one which I am asked about frequently, but it has also received universally glowing feedback on the Reviews Archive and has in recent years seen digital versions released for iOS and Kindle. It seems Tin Man Games may be getting their hands on it at some point in the future too. Here’s hoping that come the end my opinions are equally enthusiastic, in fact, here’s hoping I can just get out of that cave system this time…