Miscellaneous Works by Robert Blond [Робърт Блонд]
Jonathan Harper and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (literal English translation of title)
Blond, Robert [Робърт Блонд]
(pseudonym used by Russev, Bogdan [Богдан Русев])
Ivanchev, Ivailo [Ивайло Иванчев]
242 sections (plus travel entries) |
The plot offers an alternate history scenario of Word War II: Nazi Germany conquers Europe, defeating the United Kingdom and USSR. In the early 1940s, Germany and Japan control most of the world, the USA remaining their only enemy in the war for total domination.
The only hope for humanity to overcome the tyrannic powers that now rule the planet and regain freedom is hidden in the book of Revelation (chapter 6) in the Bible. Some leading experts in the British and French Resistance believe that the Scripture actually refers to four artifacts (connected to the horsemen), full of great supernatural powers that could change radically the course of history in favour of those who possess them. Your character is Jonathan Harper, a young English archaeologist, whose mission (if you accept it) to find the four artifacts, traveling through various countries in four continents, all occupied by Germany and Japan.
At the start of his adventure, the reader faces a rather strange question: what type of women does Jonathan Harper prefer (blonde, brunette, red-haired)? This choice determines who will be his assistant in this most dangerous journey. Each one has her own unique skills and weaknesses that can be decisive in some situations. Another option is to choose either the British or French Resistance (the second options means more money in the beginning but also brings Jonathan through a series of extremely dangerous situations on his way to his French allies).
The game system includes many traditional and some unusual elements. There is a randomizing method (in-book) that is used from time to time, but much less than in most gamebooks. You have some ammunt of money, collect various items (some can be sold for money or exchanged for one of the four apocalyptic artifacts from people - if you are lucky). The character is also rated in five skills, and you have to give each one a different initial value (1 to 5), that later can be improved in special cases only. Another important attribute is Archaeology, determined by testing the reader's knowledge with a quiz. A very important factor is time - if you spend too many days wandering, then Gestapo agents will bring your mission to a very unhappy end. The most innovative element is the possibility to choose where you want to go and when (sometimes for a second time), and there are even some options about the type of transportation. There is a World map and traveling from one city to another is described in a special Travel part of the book, apart from normal sections. There are many possible destinations (London - starting point, Oxford - Jonathan's home, Paris, Vien, Berlin, Istanbul, Cairo, Jerusalem, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, China), and each can be important for success in the mission. If you succeed, then war is miraculously won by the Allied forces.
The combination of the time factor, free movement and exchanging item for item (with the right people, if you find them) - in order to gain the four horsemen's artifacts - makes this gamebook one of the most challenging ever. This exciting adventure is only 242 sections (not counting Travel).
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