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Item - The Crystal Trap

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(American edition)
Series: Nintendo Adventure Books — no. 9
Translated Into: Kristallfällan (Swedish)
Authors: Wayne, Matt
Chevat, Richard (Richie) ("text by" credit)
Illustrators: Wray, Greg (cover)
Koehne, Josie (puzzles)
Dates: January, 1992 (American edition)
November, 1993 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0671742078 / 9780671742072 (American edition)
0749715448 / 9780749715441 (British edition)
Length: 121 pages (62 sections)
Number of Endings: 14
User Summary: Link and Zelda stumble into one of Ganon's traps....
Demian's Thoughts:

I'm a little confused about the origin of this book. The cover credits Matt Wayne, but on the inside, there is a credit that says "Text by Richard Cherat." I'm assuming that this is a typo for Richard Chevat, as this is a name that I have seen elsewhere (including later in this series). I'm not sure if this means that the book is a collaboration between Matt Wayne and Richard Chevat or if Richard Chevat actually is Matt Wayne, though I suspect that the latter is the most likely. Anyway, regardless of authorship, I didn't find this book to be very entertaining. On the positive side, adventuring in the fantasy world of The Legend of Zelda was a nice change of pace from the earlier and sillier Super Mario stuff, and the adventure feels long enough to be satisfying. It's also interesting to see Zelda getting more of the spotlight than Link, and fans of the game will likely be pleased to see appearances by many familiar foes. The book is rather disappointing in both text and gameplay, though. The text is too bland and brief to capture the colorful, sprawling flavor of the games (or even the cartoon series, for that matter). The puzzles are similarly unfaithful to the game, and many don't even have much bearing on what's happening in the plot, instead serving to foreshadow and offer hints. I prefer puzzles that simulate whatever challenge the hero of the book is currently facing; I'm less interested in doing an unrelated math problem in order to find out a word that vaguely hints at what might happen next. The best puzzles here offer opportunities for the reader to score extra points or require some recollection of what has happened so far; the worst don't even make much sense -- it first occurred to me during this adventure that it would have been a good idea for the publisher to include solutions to the puzzles in the back of the book. Ultimately, this isn't an awful book, but it's totally forgettable and doesn't live up to the potential of its subject matter.

My High Score - 1395

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Shadeheart's Thoughts:

​[Rating: 1/10]​​
[Recommended? NO]

Exceedingly dull, uninspired in its vigor, and seriously confused at the core, "The Crystal Trap" misses everywhere it didn't understand it could've succeeded. As elementary as the other "Nintendo Adventure Books" were, this gamebook bears very little resemblance to the source material and, quite rightfully, equally leaves Legend of Zelda fans dumbfounded at the mockery that is this "adventure". The writing style is overly basic, the puzzles mostly pointless (again, like the others), and the heightened role of Zelda as a protagonist is quite underwhelming, not to mention the ineffective narrative and its many characteristics. None of the characters or interactions seem real, and the cut-and-paste feel is applied readily to the puzzles - some of which seemed to be illustrated before a puzzle idea was thought up to go with the story. Worst of all, the puzzles destroy the impact of the narrative, and vice versa... the two things should go together as seamlessly as possible, not destroy one another!

As an "old-fashioned" Nintendo fan with standards to uphold I cannot recommend this book, save as perhaps a historical timepiece to know once existed, part of the yet woefully inconsistent - period in which it was written and published, catalogued not only in Nintendo's legacy but in that of child-oriented gamebooks as a whole. Really, though, with an underwhelming adventure like this... the not-so-creative series is begging for a GAME OVER. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

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UncleMac's Thoughts:

An extremely weak entry to the Nintendo Adventure Books series. Matt Wayne writes this book less like an adaptation of a video game property and more like a gameplay guide, with Zelda hitting up one setpiece after another with no real correlation. There's no attempt to build suspense or tell an engaging story, and the puzzles are almost always completely unrelated to what's happening. You would think choosing between a forest path and a mountain path would involve some kind of maze, but nope, instead you puzzle out the answer by taking inventory of all the cool stuff Zelda is wearing. Or hopping across a grid of oktoroks is used as a fun, abstract way to puzzle out a clue, when it should have been used in a chapter where Zelda is trying to cross a lake full of oktoroks. I think the author and artists were kept in separate offices and told to make something Zelda-themed, but then had their phones confiscated so they couldn't coordinate. To top it off, Link and Zelda are based on their insufferable portrayals from the 80s cartoon, the overconfident surfer dude and snooty twat respectively. Give this one a big, hard pass.

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Users Who Own This Item: Arkadia (UK), B0N0V0X, dArtagnan, dave2002a, egokun, Fireguard, jdreller, katzcollection (American edition), kinderstef, mlvoss, nelsondesign, ntar (American), plowboy, spragmatic, UncleMac
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