Phantoms of Fear (book)

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Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Location: Khul, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Robin Waterfield
Illustrator(s): Ian Miller
Cover illustrator: Ian Miller
First published: October 29 1987
Number 28
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-032411-9
Previous Book: Star Strider
Next Book: Midnight Rogue
Wizard (Series 1)
Wizard (Series 2)

Phantoms of Fear is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Robin Waterfield, illustrated by Ian Miller and originally published in 1987 by Puffin Books. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 28th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-032411-9). There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Wizard series.


I only did one set of interior images, and as I recall this was also a trouble free experience. I didn't chase any more interior work after this and was never asked again after PHANTOMS of FEAR, so you can draw what conclusions you like from that.[1]


How can YOU, humble Wood Elf, over-come the Demon Prince Ishtra?

A humble Wood Elf you may be, yet it's YOU the Gods have chosen to take on Ishtra and his gathering army of evil, chaotic creatures. YOU must penetrate this force before it becomes invincible. As a Demon Prince, Ishtra cannot be overpowered by weapons made by any Earthly race - even by the most magical sword of the High Elves - so what can YOU do against him?

Perhaps the Wood Elves' powerful art of dream-control could give you important advantages and allow you to cast spells at vital moments in your adventure ...

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need. YOU decide which paths to take, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight!

The player is an Elven prince who must journey alone through Affen Forest and defeat the Demon Prince Ishtra, who is threatening the kingdom. There are two ways to successfully complete the quest, which result in different final paragraphs. One is by collecting magic items to defeat Ishtra in the real world, the other is by combating Ishtra in the "dream world".


The book in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. (see Game System)

Unique RulesEdit

  • Phantoms of Fear features an extra score, power (2d6 plus 6),[3] which is reduced by one every time a spell is cast. power is also used in combat when the player sleeps and enters a "dream world" at various points in the book.[4]
  • The player also has the ability to cast spells, at a cost of 1 power point per spell. The following spells are available: Protect, Illusion, Weaken, Levitation, Finding, and Fire.[5]
  • The player begins with no Provisions.[6]

Equipment List[7]Edit

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Main article: Phantoms of Fear (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Ian Miller.

Phantoms of Fear through the years
1987 1989 1990 1993
Dragon Format Dragon No No. No. Spine Only No Bronze-Foil
£2.251 £2.502 £3.503 £?


  1. Price of 1st Impression
  2. Price of 2nd Impression
  3. Price of 5th Impression


The interior illustrations were by Ian Miller. There were 30 full page illustrations and 7 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 14, 28, 42, 56, 72, 85, 98, 113, 130, 142, 156, 171, 184, 198, 212, 226, 240, 254, 267, 281, 295, 309, 323, 335, 348, 362, 375, 386 and 398.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

Other MediaEdit

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Eldenurin



Further NotesEdit

  • The book has two different successful endings.
  • The player is at one point during the adventure able to flip between the real-world and a dream-world, paragraphs marked by an additional * for real-world paragraphs and # for dream-world ones.
  • Interestingly, the placement of the illustrations matches Masks of Mayhem with regard to paragraph numbers on all but two occasions.
  • This is one of the few books where the character actually states his name, rather than being nameless throughout his entire adventure (see also Appointment with F.E.A.R. and Clash of the Princes).

Errors Edit

  • (309) is flawed in multiple ways and will accomplish only that the player dies.


To Steve and Ian

See AlsoEdit


External LinksEdit


  1. Interview with Ian Miller at the Internet Archive record of - Retrieved 2013-09-17
  2. Phantoms of Fear - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  3. Phantoms of Fear - p.8
  4. Phantoms of Fear - pp.13-14
  5. Phantoms of Fear - pp.14-16
  6. Phantoms of Fear - p.17
  7. Phantoms of Fear - pp.18-19

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