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Item - The Endless Catacombs


Series: Endless Quest — no. 22
Translated Into: Catacumbas infernales (Spanish)
Catacumbas sem fim (Portuguese)
Author: Weis, Margaret (Baldwin)
Illustrator: Easley, Jeff
Date: September, 1984
ISBN: 0880381620 / 9780880381628
Length: 157 pages
Number of Endings: 19
User Summary: You are an orphan visiting a town with the gypsies who have raised you. During your visit, you learn about your past and get involved in an important mission.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is a truly awful book, which disappoints me greatly; Margaret Weis is certainly capable of doing better than this. The story aspect of the game is cliched but not too bad and certainly more developed than is usual for a gamebook. It's the game aspect that's terrible. There are really no choices anywhere in the book that have any purpose. Either a choice has an obvious correct answer (things like "Do you help your friends or do you run away and give up?") or you end up winding in circles until you eventually reach the correct answer anyway. This would have worked better as an ordinary novel, except that it wouldn't have been a very good one.

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Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Spanish translation.)

There is some validity to the criticisms that have been levied against this book: it is extremely linear and railroady a lot of the time, and the choices needed to complete it successfully tend to be quite obvious (Margaret Weis has always been more of a story writer than a game designer, so it is no surprise that she expects the reader to act more as an author than a role-playing character). Still, I can't help but have something of a soft spot for it. While your character is a relatively novice thief, you also get to make decisions for a well-balanced party of high-level AD&D-type characters (contrary to what happens in many books in this series, where player characters do not feel like D&D heroes at all). Moreover, the book captures the dungeon crawl elements of the D&D game quite well (similar to the first few titles in the series). The excellent illustrations by Jeff Easley also contribute to making the experience enjoyable. The story being told, while extremely cliched, is still passably entertaining. Overall, while highly flawed, this is still a book worth reading.

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Kveto's Thoughts:

From one of the writers of Dragonlance comes a pretty poor offering, of which the most interesting thing is the name of the book.

You play an adopted gypsy who, surprise, turns out to be of royal blood. A long convoluted adventure with too many characters to keep straight, but I guess it was practice for the large cast of Dragonlance characters. The only fun thing I remember was an Iron Golem fighting a rust monster.

Boring choices as well. But the cover art is nice.

Note: This is the first Endless Quest I read, borrowed from my cousin. I didn't understand how they worked so I started reading on the first page, which is kind of a teaser, to show you an important choice. It starts you right in the middle of the story. Dead confusing.

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