The Endless Quest Collectors Set #3 (Collection)
Kuesto Maunten no nazo [クエストマウンテンのなぞ] (Japanese)
Kirchoff, Mary L.
Ward, James M.
McAfee, Steve (interior)
August, 1983 (First printing)
0880380551 / 9780880380553
157 pages |
|Number of Endings:||
|User Summary:||You are Ren. With two of your friends, you set off on a coming-of-age quest to discover the source of the mysterious lights atop a mountain near your village.|
To start off, let’s talk about the ridiculously awesome cover art. I mean this gem could be an acid-fueled vision from the front of an Emerson, Lake, & Palmer LP. Unfortunately, said scene does not appear in the actual book; however, you may meet the giant, blue, two-headed, four-armed lady wielding a massive long sword at some point during your adventures.
I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction, and Light on Quests Mountain is set in TSR’s nuclear war-ravaged Gamma World setting. You are a young man setting out from your village with your two friends on a coming-of-age quest to find the origin of the mysterious lights on the mountain.
Having teen protagonists in this book is a much better choice than the small child heroes of some of previous books in the series (Revolt of the Dwarves, Villains of Volturnus, Hero of Washington Square). It feels as if younger characters are just swept along with events, whereas older characters have a greater agency for choice that is needed for a good game book. Your companions, the brainy Lizard man Sars, and excitable Monkey boy Chark, are a lot of fun throughout.
The post-apocalyptic setting provides nice mystery throughout the book, as your primitive characters encounter the dangerous technology of the Old Ones.
This classic gem gets 5 out of 5 stars.
This is definitely an above-average entry in the series. The characters are a bit more interesting than usual, and the Gamma World setting is a pleasant change from the usual D&D stuff.
Other reviewers have heaped a lot of praise on this book, which is to a degree understandable given the fact that it is a relatively early entry in the Endless Quest series, and therefore can be considered something of a classic. However, it is not without its flaws. Much has been made about its level of characterization (an area where the Endless Quest series definitely shone above series such as Fighting Fantasy, for example), but I think the authors sometimes try too hard to give their characters personality. Another strike against the book is that it's way too easy to achieve a successful ending, even by Endless Quest standards. The book is actually not a single mission but a group of unrelated adventures, meaning that the plot will be completely different depending on which path you choose to take. Personally I tend to enjoy this sort of variety, but people looking for a single, hard-to-complete quest should look elsewhere. Not a complaint, but it certainly caught my eye that the ending on the last page, while successful, does not seem to be as good as some others; a more typical thing to do for this series would have been to put the absolute best ending on the final page.
On the positive side, the post-apocalyptic Gamma World setting is a nice change of pace from the sword-and-sorcery themes that predominate in this series (as well as in gamebook series as a whole). The book is also coherent and engaging for the most part (nothing like the disaster that Villains of Volturnus was). Reading it certainly won't hurt, even though Mary Kirchoff's later entries in the series (Knight of Illusion and Vision of Doom) are far superior.
As a kid I had Return to Brookmere, and it was my favorite gamebook. Nostalgia set in when not too long ago I found this book, #12 from the same franchise. Super excited, I picked it up without realizing that this was set in Gamma World and not in the typical Dungeons & Dragons setting. This was a pleasant surprise to me because I do like the post apocalyptic future setting. The cover art is intriguing, we have a beast fighting against a green haired, blue skinned, two-headed, four-armed girl in a sword fight. The girl is really cool looking and reminds me of a Hindu deity. Unfortunately, you are not her. She does appear in the novel. So do some very interesting characters such as a trickster rabbit, metal monster that looks like a large construction vehicle, and a half-man half-robot.
The story is basically about you, a kid who is going on a rites of passage mission with two of your mutant friends, a monkey man and a lizard man. Because you're going on a journey with these colorful characters it reminded me of Go West, which is the original story that the famous manga Dragon Ball was based off of. Your adventure also has a little bit of Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland feel to it. There is a really cool scene that reminded me of the poppy scene in Wizard of Oz, but better in my opinion, when your character is told by the plants how civilization had to start over. Another really cool part is when you're riding on a pineto, a moving plant organism that can be ridden like a horse. I was also glad that they put segments with your missing brother. Overall I thought it was a pretty enjoyable experience, definitely a nice change of pace from the usual stuff.
I always remember reading this book as a kid, sitting in the back of my parent's car alone in a park at night, with the lights from a softball field providing just enough light to read. A suitably eerie setting for this book.
I always remember feeling a bit uneasy reading the book as it was probably the first post-apocalyptic fiction I'd read. It seems odd now that childrens' books could be set in a dying, radiation infected world, but those were the 80s.
I recall the book having a very isolated, scary atmosphere (but I might just be projecting). I do remember feeling a bit odd that you play the human, while your friends and everyone you encounter were mutants. And also the robot you encounter and the airplane, where you had meta-knowledge that your character wouldn't have. I might try re-reading it somehow.
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LordJR - Slight smudge on front from price stick, great condition otherwise.
ntar - 3
Known EditionsFirst printing