Wizards, Warriors & You
Hayabusa no kishi no fukushuu [ハヤブサの騎士の逆襲] (Japanese)
La venganza del Caballero Halcón (Spanish)
(interior and American cover)
Kirby, Josh (British cover)
0380895242 / 9780380895243
103 pages |
|Number of Endings:||
23 (not counting conditional failure) |
|User Summary:||While being exiled by the king, Sir Ashley, the Falcon Knight, proclaims his innocence and begs you to clear his name. There's a traitor to root out!|
This is the second above average adventure in a row; like the third book, it's a mystery, though this time, the starting clue is not a map but a list of potential suspects, one of them Cimmerian, a character previously under suspicion in that earlier adventure (showing a minor bit of continuity in the series). The book's plot, while rather weak when fully revealed, is at least consistently presented, and the mystery takes many tries and much persistence to unravel. It's unfortunate that most of the time, it is random luck that serves as an obstacle rather than real puzzles to solve, but the book manages to be entertaining nonetheless. It was at very least good enough to make me deeply regret the series' lack of a meaningful game system.
A decent premise which ultimately fails in execution.
First, the good-- mysteries are usually interesting, and the book provides a list of suspects with a little background information on each one. The end sequence in the warrior's story is exciting, and the ultimate resolution in both the Wizard's and the Warrior's story is consistent.
What mars the book's potential, though, is the game's design. First of all, this book has a LOT of coin flipping, even by the standards of this series. Secondly, the story flow is almost completely linear. The book's pathway can be summarized as followed: Make a choice. Correct choice, move on. Incorrect choice, death. Flip a coin five times. More heads, move on. More tails, death. Repeat.
In addition to the bad design, I had issues with the course of the story itself. The Wizard and Warrior are tasked with finding out who framed their good friend, Sir Ashley, for some unnamed crime. The story hints at what this crime was (the back cover actually states "did the Falcon Knight try to murder the King?) but I thought there was room to develop this a little more in the introduction. From there, they basically stumble from one area to the next, from one suspect to the next, running into all kinds of monsters that the author seemingly selected at random: Giant Spiders! Giant Rats! A giant shark monster thing!
And ultimately, the list of suspects presented in the book proves to be a waste of time. To reveal any more would be to give away the ending.
Many of the death passages feel completely arbitrary and unfair. As someone who's read all of the books in this series, I realize that this tends to happen quite a bit, but given how bad this book is, the results here feel even worse. One example: When fighting said shark monster, the Wizard is presented with the option of casting two spells, one of which is "Invisible Shield." If this is the spell selected, then the shield is in place, until... the shark monster opens its mouth and shoots a blast of flame, burning through the shield and roasting the Wizard and Warrior until they are nice and crispy. Because OF COURSE shark monsters can also shoot FIRE.
I'd have to rate this title as a 2/10.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Ed Jolley for the British cover scan.|
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