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Legend of the Shadow Warriors

Series: Fighting Fantasy #44
Translated Into: I guerrieri ombra (Italian)
La légende des guerriers fantômes (French)
A lenda dos cavaleiros das trevas (Portuguese)
Author: Hand, Stephen
Illustrators: Oakes, Terry (cover)
McKenna, Martin (interior)
Release Date: March, 1991
ISBN: 0140342729 / 9780140342727
Length:400 sections
User Summary: The five demonic riders known as the Shadow Warriors have appeared, and you must find them and their infernal master before it's too late.
Fireguard's Thoughts: Even though the connections between them are tenuous at best, as I try to analyze this book I can't help comparing it to the later Moonrunner by the same author. For one thing, both are adventures with a horror bent, and to me, neither succeeded very well. Legend of the Shadow Warriors comes out a little ahead as the source of the title actually made it into the book, giving the reader a more tangible menace to combat (not that the unknown can't be scary, but it needs to be handled a good deal better than it was in Moonrunner). However, there are problems. For one thing, one of the Shadow Riders uses martial arts, and the idea of a kung-fu zombie did a bit of damage to my ability to be chilled.

Legend of the Shadow Warriors deserves some praise for attempting to have more realistic effects on gameplay than other Fighting Fantasy books for giving the player unconventional weapons and armor (for instance, wearing heavy chainmail will protect you from damage, but it will slow you down and it becomes useless after a certain number of hits... rather than simply adding a point to your Skill). I didn't get to experiment with this nearly as much as I liked, though, as it's pretty hard to find non-standard weapons outside of the marketplace at the beginning of the book.

The book has some interesting experiences, particularly the battle with the Haggwort from the cover and dodging creditors at the beginning of the adventure, but on the whole ranks a solid "decent" on my approval scale. If I were going to read a horror Fighting Fantasy I'd much rather read Vault of the Vampire or Howl of the Werewolf again.

More reviews by Fireguard

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the cover scan, Ben Nelson for the character sheet and Fireguard for the plot summary.
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Play Aid

Fighting Fantasy #44 Character Sheet