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Item - Les adorateurs du Mal

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Series: La Saga du PrĂȘtre Jean — no. 5
Alternate Title: The Worshippers of Evil (literal English translation of title)
Translated Into: Gli adoratori del male (Italian)
Authors: Headline, Doug
Monrocq, Dominique
Collin, Jacques
Illustrators: Terpant, Jacques (cover)
Vatine, Olivier (interior)
Date: 1987
ISBN: 2010119924 / 9782010119927
Length: 465 sections
Number of Endings: 28
User Summary: Prester John found a tablet hidden in Babylon's Tower giving the next clue to Shangri-La. This time, the "final advice" given to him is more complete than what Hassan Sabah, Nikanor and Antarsis were able to reveal. There's a mention of Shangri-La itself; Prester John will have to cross "the land of the holy cows," reach "the land of the dragons" and seek "the roof of the world" where Shangri-La lies. This clearly refers to India, China and Tibet, respectively. This time, there isn't any time travel; Prester John will walk his way to India by himself, lacking any specific person to look for.
Feldrin's Thoughts:

This book is very different from the first four. Prester John comes to India without any specific goal besides trying to figure what the "Land of Dragons" means. During almost all his quest in India, he won't understand anything of what's happening, will find out that everybody wants to kill him without knowing him and will get into a decent amount of fights.

It is more difficult to divide the book in three parts like the first four titles; I saw only 2 parts: trying to understand what the hell is going on, and saving the world. The first part required 8 attempts to finish it. I lost twice because of a bad choice, and 5 times in a fight (including the 3 sudden deaths I met due to the damned special fighting rule).

I have mixed feelings about this book. For a long while, I didn't understand what was happening, I had to fight every 2 or 3 references (which wasn't a problem when I had medium to high stats, but was far more frightful with low stats). However, there are several roads leading to the end, and it became very interesting trying to find the least dangerous one. During Les mysteres de Babylone, I was usually very confident that I would easily find the right choices, but this time, I often found myself thinking, "this country is so weird, what should I do?!!" and it matches perfectly what Prester John feels. The greatest choice I had to make was this one: "You're on a cow, and you can't control where you go. You land in a fruit and vegetable stand. Roll two dice. Are you pleased with the result? If so, go to reference X, else go to reference Y." Disturbing at first, but funny afterwards.

As for the second part of the book, I was getting used to the style of this book, and I was able to end it on my first attempt, though I admit I had luck just at the crucial moment in the end. However, there are several paths I would like to test to be able to understand every aspect of the story.

Overall, I liked this gamebook. It represents a pleasant change from the ease of book four and provides a real challenge to the reader. However, the ending and the clue to the next location are a bit surprising. You almost never hear of the usual "guy who's been to Shangri-La and knows where to go," and on the final reference, a couple of sentences tell you where to go from now on. But Les adorateurs du Mal is a good gamebook and this fact adds to the disappointment of the fact that is is the end of the series.

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