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Item - Crypt of the Sorcerer

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(Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number front))
(Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number spine only))
(Original, fourth printing (Dragon, Black text, Unnumbered))
(Original, fourth printing (Dragon, Black text, Unnumbered))
(Original, fourth printing (Dragon, Black text, Unnumbered))
(Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))
(Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))
(Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))
(Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W))
(Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W))
(Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (Clays))
(Wizard S1 (Standard), AU printing)
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Combined Summary

Series: Fighting Fantasy (1982-1995, Puffin) — no. 26
Fighting Fantasy (2002-2007, Wizard Books Series 1) — no. 6
Alternate Title: Crypt of the Necromancer (working title)
Contained In: Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox (Collection)
Fighting Fantasy Box Set 2 (Collection)
Fighting Fantasy Box Set 3 (Collection)
Fighting Fantasy Box Set 4 (Collection)
Translated Into: Černokněžníkova krypta (Czech)
A cripta da feitiçaria (Portuguese)
A Cripta do Feiticeiro (Portuguese)
A Cripta do Feiticeiro (Portuguese)
La Crypte du sorcier (French)
Troldkarlens krypt (Danish)
A varázsló kriptája (Hungarian)
Yamogaeru youjutu-tukai [甦る妖術使い] (Japanese)
Author: Livingstone, Ian
Illustrators: Edwards, Les (cover)
Sibbick, John (interior)
Dates: April, 1987 (Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number spine only))
2002 (Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W))
October 7, 2002 (Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))
2003 (Wizard S1 (Standard), AU printing)
2003 (Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (Clays))
ISBNs: 0140321551 / 9780140321555 (Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number spine only), Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number front), Original, fourth printing (Dragon, Black text, Unnumbered))
1840463961 / 9781840463965 (Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W), Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W), Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (Clays), Wizard S1 (Standard), AU printing)
Length: 400 sections
Special Thanks: Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W):
Thanks to Ryan Lynch for the back cover/spine/title page verso images.
Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W), Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (Clays), Wizard S1 (Standard), AU printing:
Thanks to Ryan Lynch for the cover images.
juski's Thoughts:

The following review was written in 1987 when I was a teenager.

FF26: Crypt of the Sorcerer

Author: Ian Livingstone
Cover Illustration: Les Edwards
Internal illustrations: John Sibbick
Setting: Fantasy (Titan)
Price: £1.95
Publisher: Puffin (Penguin)

This latest Fighting Fantasy title, Crypt of the Sorcerer… “Oh no!” I hear you say. “Not another sorcerer squashing gamebook!” However, don’t be mislead. This is actually yet another necromancer nutting gamebook. “But who is it this time?” you ask. “I’ve already killed all the spellcasters in Titan. Zagor (FF1), Balthus Dire (FF2), Zanbar Bone (FF5), Shareella the Snow Witch (FF9), Malbordus (FF14), Ikiru (FF20), Morgana (FF23), Zharradan Marr (FF24).” Ah, but what about Razaak, the Undying One?

Chalice, near the Moonstone Hills, has suddenly gone permanently dark, because someone has opened the crypt of the sorcerer. Hearing of this, YOU decide to investigate. The story begins with you meeting up with your old friend Yaztromo. (You should know him by now from FF3 and FF14.) He tells you about Razaak and how he can only be defeated by his own sword, now in possession of Kull, a skeleton who is condemned to carry the sword eternally until someone takes it from him. To make matters worse, the horn of a Gargantis is required to pierce Razaak’s heart and kill him forever. So you set off on your quest. On the way you join up with two allies, Symm, a hunter, and Borri, a rather eccentric dwarven inventor, whose ‘new invention’ becomes transport for part of your journey. (How about a halfwit troll inventing a Sinclair C5 in a future book?) Anyway, I won’t say anything more about the plot or I’ll spoil it.

The cover is good, but not outstanding. The internal illustrations by John Sibbick (who also did the cover for FF23) are realistic looking, atmospheric and of a very high standard. I hope he illustrates further titles.

Although Ian Livingstone appears to have a Yaztromo obsession, his books are of a very high standard and tend to be easily recognisable from other authors. They hold your interest throughout the adventure, being difficult but not too difficult (the downfall of FF24 which is otherwise excellent). I believe this is his best book yet, better than even FF6 or FF21. There are both lots of numbers (I counted at least nine) and many objects required to complete the quest.

A brilliant gamebook! Thoroughly recommended, Ian (and Yaztromo) at his best.

Hint: Although Borri’s a bore, let him say more!

Originality: 10/20. Kill the sorcerer / necromancer again.
The Adventure: 19/20. Probably the best adventure in Titan (so far).
Cover illustration: 14/20. Good enough.
Internal illustrations: 19/20. Excellent throughout.

More reviews by juski

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the original unnumbered cover scan and to Brett Easterbrook for the original numbered cover scan.
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Users with Extra Copies: badboybaggins
Ian2405 - 2003 Edition Wizard Books
twar - (UK) 1st print. Some creases on front/back cover. Some spine lines. Erased pencil marks on character sheet. Name penned on inside of front cover.

Known Editions

Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number front)
Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Number spine only)
Original, fourth printing (Dragon, Black text, Unnumbered)
Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W)
Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W)
Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (Clays)
Wizard S1 (Standard), AU printing

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Related Documents

Play Aid

Fighting Fantasy #26 Character Sheet
Thanks to Ben Nelson for providing this file.