Fighting Fantasy (1982-1995, Puffin)
Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox (Collection)
Le Chasseur des étoiles (French)
Csillagközi fejvadász (Hungarian)
Hvězdný lovec (Czech)
Sutaa sutoraidaa [スター ストライダー] (Japanese)
O viajante das estrelas (Portuguese)
Mayes, Gary (interior)
May, 1987 (Original edition, (Dragon)(Bronze text, number on front and spine))
0140322655 / 9780140322651
(Original edition, (Dragon)(Bronze text, number on front and spine), Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Unnumbered), UK 6th printing (Clays) [6th])
400 sections |
Original (Dragon, Bronze text, Unnumbered), UK 6th printing (Clays) [6th]:
Thanks to James Thompson for the cover scans.
|User Summary:||The Gromulans have kidnapped the Galactic President and taken him to a backwater planet called Earth. As the galaxy's top Rogue Tracer, only you can hope to rescue him in time.|
I'd heard some bad things about this book before reading it. Despite being that rare breed of Fighting Fantasy reader who can actually enjoy the sci-fi entries, I found them to be mostly true. For instance, right off the bat there's how screwed up the various options in the first section are, the choice being what you order on your flight to Earth. If you have a cocktail, you lose a Skill point. What, for the entire 48-hours you're there? Apparently. If you choose food, you get some Stamina. Which does you no good because as noted, it's the first section and it's impossible to have lost any yet.
Things are only downhill from there. The world of Star Strider is just developed enough that it's a bit annoying it wasn't developed a little more. Sometimes it even verges on the inanity of Sky Lord: one instant death has you apparently getting ready for a boxing match with an alien only for him to open his mouth and vaporize you with a death ray. Combat also ranges from cheesy easy to forget about it, and the climax of the book takes place in a gigantic (and boring) maze. If you already don't like the sci-fi Fighting Fantasy books, Star Strider's not likely to change your mind.
The following review was written in 1987 when I was a teenager.
FF27: Star Strider
Author: Luke Sharp
Another Fighting Fantasy gamebook has arrived! In this one, entitled Star Strider, you are a Rogue Tracer (a futuristic bounty hunter) and only have 48 hours to locate and rescue the Galactic President from the evil race of Gromulans, before their brainscan extracts top secrets from his brain.
To help with your quest you need to find ‘planted’ androids with the CodeMatch symbol. However, sometimes they have been ‘turned’ by the Gromulans, so will attack or report you. There are also tribal groups called Houlgans (identified by the colour of scarf they’re wearing) and fugitives who will hinder you. Add to all this the Illus-O-Scope that creates illusions ‘known to make a Brontian take fright” and you can appreciate that your mission is by no means simple.
This is the first FF book written by Luke Sharp. I must congratulate him as his ideas are fun and more importantly, due to the mass of gamebooks now available and continually being released, original. This is also the first FF title that is a race against the clock. You have 48 time units which are deducted at certain points. If they reach zero then you’ve run out of time as the Gromulans have penetrated the president’s grey matter and your adventure is over. A fear score is also included, connected to the Illus-O-Scope, but unlike FF10 remains the same (1d6+6). Occasionally you are told to roll under this and if you fail skill or stamina points are deducted.
Another unique feature is numbers appearing in the illustrations as well as the text, plus the use of a picture that becomes very important later on. (I’ll say no more!)
The location where the adventure takes place is Earth, which is easy to announce for once. (Ian Livingstone would have named the planet Yaztromosis!) My only complaint about this book is that failing a luck score nearly always results in death, with no second chance.
The cover illustration is good, featuring a horned, cat-like creature riding down a tunnel on what appears to be a galactic surfboard, neutron sword in one hand (claw? / paw?) and a stun gun in the other. The internal illustrations by Gary Mayes (who also illustrated FF18: Rebel Planet and FF22: Robot Commando) are of the same standard.
All in all, a solidly structured gamebook, made more enjoyable by its originality.
Originality: 17/20. Rescuing a president, no sorcerers, limited time, clues in the illustrations. Unique.
I have a soft spot for Star Strider because it was given to me on my birthday by my aunt in England a very long time ago; since then, I have read this game book many times and enjoy it to this day.
I have read some reviews by some experienced game book readers saying that this book doesn't play well. I can definitely see their point; Star Strider is hard, there are many instant deaths, difficult math problems to solve, choices that are hard to remember, and plenty of areas to get lost in, such as the dirty dark city and the maze.
Let me say something though: what makes this game book so enjoyable is not the game play aspect, but rather the story telling.
Like Snake Plissken from the film Escape from New York, you are an elite operative sent to rescue the President. The back drop however is science fiction action that makes me think of films like Blade Runner and Freejack.
You are an elite Rogue Tracer called a Star Strider, you have all kinds of combat training, but your primary weapon is your Catchman handgun which shoots a liquid plastic, also if you get far enough in the game you will get to use a neutron sword which I imagine is something like a lightsaber.
Your enemy are a hi-tech humanoid race called the Gromulans. They use 2 types of weapons: a portable hologram device to mess with your brain, and T-800 Terminator-like powerful androids.
You will travel to a dirty dark city, enter a shady club, get into street fights, encounter gang members, infiltrate the Gromulan HQ, fight in a gladiator style arena, and navigate through an abstract maze.
To further set the mood, the lingo found in the book to me really does the trick. Reading about Zipcars and food cubes puts a smile on my face.
I have 2 other Fighting Fantasy game books, but this one has always been my favorite because of the story. By the way, on my cover is a very cool looking horned dog-faced character with a neutron sword; for a long time I thought that was me, the reader, but it's actually a guard you will encounter.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the numbered cover scan, Brett Easterbrook for the unnumbered cover scan, and Fireguard for the plot summary.|
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|Users with Extra Copies:||
damieng - Pencil on game sheet, pages aged but no tears and cover good.
jr - Dragon Cover
Known EditionsOriginal (Dragon, Bronze text, Unnumbered), UK 6th printing (Clays) [6th]
Original edition, (Dragon)(Bronze text, number on front and spine)
Original edition, (Dragon)(Bronze text, number on spine only)