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Chasms of Malice

Series: Fighting Fantasy #30
Translated Into: Os abismos do mal (Portuguese)
Akuryou no doukutu [悪霊の洞窟] (Japanese)
Dybets djævle (Danish)
Les Gouffres de la cruauté (French)
Propasti zla (Czech)
Author: Sharp, Luke
Illustrators: Edwards, Les (cover)
Nicholson, Russ (interior)
Release Date: January, 1988
ISBN: 0140324755 / 9780140324754
Length:400 sections
Braxus's Thoughts: I am quite fond of this book, it at least tried to innovate on the typical Fighting Fantasy adventure.

You are cast underground into a pretty nasty underworld very early on, after a typical poor background section. However, the sense of urgency is maintained and you must kill 7 of what I call "Ringwraiths" (yep, their idea is lifted from LOTR). The underground land gets typically more difficult, as you start amongst friends and slowly venture into unknown territory.

One thing that I don't like about the book is the fact that it seems so random! The author seems to have invented his own Stamina and Skill tests, and these come up far too frequently. Much in the same way, you will encounter enemies who pop up out of nowhere and it seems you are given little choice of who you come across. You are directed to go to certain places, but you can't find them easily.

Nevertheless, it's fun, and this harsh underground world comes alive throughout the book. The illusion of non-linearity is maintained, but sometimes it really felt that I was back on land again instead of underground.

It all ends with a final house of doom, sort of like in Mario games. Basically, everywhere leads to death, which can be annoying, seeing as you've come so far, but is also challenging.

So overall - pretty cool, but too random (don't we all hate dice rolls that kill you after an hour of playing if you're unlucky?) and difficult at parts.

More reviews by Braxus

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the numbered cover scan, Brett Easterbrook for the unnumbered cover scan, and Ben Nelson for the character sheet.
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twar - (UK) Creases on front cover. Spine line. Name penned on inside front cover. Erased pencil on character sheet.
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Play Aid

Fighting Fantasy #30 Character Sheet