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Item - Vision of Doom


Series: Endless Quest — no. 35
Translated Into: Visiones de destrucción (Spanish)
Author: Kirchoff, Mary L.
Illustrators: Otero, Ben (cover)
Barr, George (interior)
Date: December, 1986
ISBN: 0880383070 / 9780880383073
Length: 160 pages
Number of Endings: 18
User Summary: You're a half-elf cleric who often has visions. Your latest one alerts you to a threat to your home and forces you to go on a dangerous quest to prove your manhood.
Demian's Thoughts: I was looking forward to re-reading this book, as I remember enjoying it when I last played through it. Alas, I was rather disappointed -- the book's story doesn't stray far from the "young, inexperienced hero on a dangerous mission" formula that defines most of the books in this series, and the writing is fairly weak, with unengaging characters and quite a few amateurishly overblown attempts at artistic descriptions. The gameplay does deserve a bit of credit, as it is quite challenging to reach the optimal ending, and many of the decisions are both interesting and tough. Unfortunately, it is not without flaws, and for every challenging decision, there is an obvious or unsatisfying one. There's also a lot of text between choices, so unless you're very patient, the adventure seems to lag a lot of the time. This book isn't a complete waste of time, but it's definitely not a classic.

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Fireguard's Thoughts: Vision of Doom is a decent but unremarkable book. The writing and adventure are nothing too special, especially this late in the series, and I'm not sure why Kirchoff bothered to make the villain a vampire, unless it was just a reason to make the reader decide between finding him and finding the magical doohickey he's after. While I won't say this is a bad book, I have read better. And scarier.

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Guillermo's Thoughts: (Review based on the Spanish translation).

I must side with Kveto here and point out that this is actually one of the best Endless Quest books (despite the crappy covers in both the English and Spanish versions). First of all, it feels a lot like an actual D&D module (or rather, an AD&D one, which is even more impressive for this series). The characterization is very detailed and gameplay is more challenging than is usual for a systemless gamebook. There are two ways to tackle the quest, giving the book considerable replay value. Definitely give this one a try if you can find it.

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Kveto's Thoughts: The second to last book in the original series, this one is quite good. You play Gersham Cullen, a young half-elf cleric, expelled from your abbey for having nightmare visions about a vampire king. You set out to prove your visions true by finding the king. You are joined by Alamar, an Elven wizard and Tess, a young female fighter.

Strong focus on characters is what makes this book click. Alamar and Tess are well-rounded personalities and there is a lot of interaction in the book, focusing on Gersham's inexperience and the other characters' flaws. Tess, in particular, feels very original. The adventure itself is good with some reasonable choices.

The cover is fairly plain with a standard Bela Lugosi type vampire but the interior artwork is quite good. Ludlow the vampire king is much scarier on the inside artwork.

Overall, one of the better books in the series.

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