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Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Outline
Location: Allansia, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson &
Ian Livingstone
Illustrator(s): Russ Nicholson
Puffin
FF1 Wraparound
Cover illustrator: Peter Andrew Jones
First published: August 27 1982
Number 1 (no number in original printing)
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031538-1
Previous Book: First in series
Next Book: The Citadel of Chaos
Wizard (Series 1)
FF1 Wizard SE
Cover illustrator: Martin McKenna
First published: June 3 2002
Number 1
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-387-2
Previous Book: First in series
Next Book: The Citadel of Chaos
Wizard (Series 2)
WarlockoffiretopShield
Cover illustrator: Martin McKenna
First published: September 3 2009
Number 1
ISBN: ISBN 1-84831-075-7
Previous Book: First in series
Next Book: The Citadel of Chaos


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Hamaskis
For other uses of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, see The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
For other uses of Warlock, see Warlock

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Russ Nicholson and originally published in 1982 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2002 and 2009. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the first in the series in the Puffin (ISBN 0-14-031538-1) and both Wizard (ISBN 1-84046-387-2) (ISBN 1-84831-075-7) series.

CreationEdit

Creation of Fighting FantasyEdit

The book was first conceived in 1980, when Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone met Geraldine Cooke, a Penguin Books editor, at the Games Workshop's annual Games Day exhibition at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.[1] Initially Cooke was interested in publishing a "how-to-do-it" book on fantasy role-playing games (similar to what the pair would write individually with Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-playing Game and Dicing with Dragons respectively) but when creating the synopsis, Jackson and Livingstone became less inclined to write a technical manual. Instead they fused basic role-playing rules and fantasy adventure plots so that the reader would be able to take part in the book as a single-player role-playing game;[1] the gamebook concept. The pair began work on the project in 1980, initially titled The Magic Quest,[2] and spent much of the time formulating the mechanics of how it would work. Cooke was sent the manuscript and she asked whether it was to be aimed at adults or children. Although the two authors believed it should be both, Tony Lacey, head of Puffin Books (Penguin's imprint for children) suggested that a targeted demographic of nine-to-twelve-year-olds would result in the highest sales.[3] Also, the original synopsis was mainly pictures with text at the bottom such as "Do you want to fight this ogre? Turn to page ..." Although Penguin said they would like to go with it, it would have to be without all the pictures because it would cost a fortune.[4]

After over six months of frustrating waiting, Jackson and Livingstone were commissioned to write the book in August 1981.[3] Although both authors disliked the working title of The Magic Quest, after "endless debates" they could not come up with an alternative. Eventually the two came up with a compromise. Livingstone, who wrote the first part, had mentioned in the opening paragraph that the whole adventure took place in Firetop Mountain. Jackson, who wrote the final part, had created a climatic battle with a powerful warlock. On the day the book was handed in it was agreed that the two elements would be combined to create the final title: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.[5] Ian Livingstone also came up with the brand name "Fighting Fantasy" when prompted by Puffin to do so.[6]

The books editor, Philippa Dickinson, was thorough. She highlighted inconsistencies, made suggestions over formatting, and had much to do with the final combat system that was used.[6] She also pointed out the difference in writing styles for the first and second halves was clear and this ended up requiring a second draft. Each author had written half of the adventure each (Livingstone wrote the first half, up to the river crossing, which made a convenient hand-over point, and Jackson wrote the climax of the adventure), and the writing style noticeably changed part way through the book - so Jackson re-wrote Livingstone's part of the book in his own style.[7] The finished book was made up of a clean 400 numbered references, which set the standard for the books that followed. This was, however a coincidence. When Jackson and Livingstone combined the two halves of the adventure it transpired that the numbered references, when added together, made a sum of 399. A fake key reference was added to bring to total up to 400.[8] In August 1982 the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, titled The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, finally appeared and went on to sell out its first print run in a matter of weeks, helped in no small part to the Puffin Book Club and articles in the White Dwarf magazine.[7] It eventually sold over a million copies in fifteen languages.[9][10]

References for Creation of Fighting FantasyEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.198; Penguin Books had taken a stand to promote a new book called Playing Politics.
  2. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.199
  3. 3.0 3.1 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.200
  4. Edge Magazine interview with Steve Jackson Writing Fiction, December 3rd 2007 - Retrieved 2012-02-29
  5. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p.7/8
  6. 6.0 6.1 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.201
  7. 7.0 7.1 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.203
  8. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.219
  9. The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook - p.5
  10. Letter No.5 from Steve Jackson at the Internet Archive record of the old Fightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2012-02-29


RumoursEdit

Part story, part game, this is a book in which YOU become the hero!

Your quest is to find the Warlock's treasure, hidden deep within a dungeon populated with a multitude of terrifying monsters. You will need courage, determination and a fair amount of luck if you are to survive all the traps and battles, and reach your goal — the innermost chambers of the Warlock's domain.

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.
[1]

In this book the player takes the role of an adventurer on a quest to find the treasure of a powerful warlock, hidden deep within Firetop Mountain. Through the stories of nearby villagers, the player is told that the treasure is stored in a chest with two locks (although, actually, there are three), the keys to which are guarded by various creatures within the dungeons. The player must collect keys while exploring the dungeons in order to open the chest at the end of the adventure, although not all of the keys - only a certain three - will fit the locks.

The player must travel through the entrance of the mountain, guarded by Goblins, to reach a river. The player must cross the river, by the ferry service or by other means, to reach the inner chambers. The player will have to navigate the Maze of Zagor, survive an encounter with a Dragon, and finally face the warlock Zagor in order to reach the treasure chest. If the player defeats the warlock and has the correct keys then they will become the owner of the warlock's riches and spell book and will successfully complete the adventure. If the player reaches this point without the correct keys then the adventure will end in failure.

How to Fight the Creatures of the Underworld/Equipment and Potions/Hints on PlayEdit

  • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain sets out most of the basic rules that would be used throughout the Fighting Fantasy series (see Game System for greater detail).
  • In the Wizard "Series 2" edition, instead of rolling the stats for a character as per tradition in Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, the player has the option of choosing a pregenerated character from three choices (see "Further Notes" below for choices).

Unique RulesEdit

Players can only eat Provisions when allowed by the instructions on a page, and only one meal can be eaten at a time.[2] In later books players can eat at any time outside of battle. Also, while a player has only one Potion, it contains two doses.[3]

Equipment List[3]Edit

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (illustrations)

Covers

The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Peter Andrew Jones. The design of the cover was unusual for the time, in that book covers usually had the title along the top so they could be read on the "step" shelves found in stores - Jones, however, left room for the title of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in the middle of the cover, much to the consternation of the publishers.[4]

In later printings Puffin used a different, though very similar, cover illustration, also created by Peter Andrew Jones. Interestingly, the later Dragon Cover Format printings of the book without the number on the front cover are credited as Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone present, the "present" appearing where it had not done so before.

When the book was republished by Wizard the cover was once again re-worked, this time by Martin McKenna, who was asked to use the main elements from the original cover images but make them appear more modern.

With the re-branding of the series in 2009 brand new artwork, also by Martin McKenna, was commissioned with the artwork again making use of elements similar to the original.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain through the years
1982 1983 1984 1987 1989 1990
FF1 Wraparound FF1 Original FF1 Green FF1 Golden Dragon Spine and Front WarlockoFM WarlockoFM
Wraparound Colour Star Zig-Zag Banner Dragon Format Dragon No No. No. Spine Only
£1.251 £1.252 £1.753 £2.254 £? £3.505
1993 2002 2002 2003 2007 2009
FF1 Black Dragon FF1 Wizard SE FF1 Wizard WOFTM Sample Warlock 25th WarlockoffiretopShield
No Bronze-Foil Wizard "Special
Limited Edition"
Wizard Sample
Adventure
25th Anniversary
Edition
Shield
£3.996 £4.99 £4.99 £-7 £8.99 £5.99

NOTES

  1. Price of 1st Impression
  2. Price of 11th Impression; £1.50 for 15th~21st Impressions
  3. Price of 23rd Impression
  4. Price of 28th Impression
  5. Price of 32nd Impression
  6. Price of 34th Impression
  7. Free with purchase of Cartoon Network Comic Issue 68

Illustrations

The interior illustrations were by Russ Nicholson (who would have also illustrated the cover had confusion over the content of the book and what was wanted from the illustration not required that he begin work on the interior illustrations immediately):

It was chaos. Three changes in editor, Three different cover ideas searching for what was wanted (I should have produced roughs only). Result - no time left as the main book illustrations needed to start, and the work was "Stiffening" so I reluctantly had to stop trying for the result everybody wanted.[5]

There were 34 full page illustrations and 2 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 11, 36, 58, 71, 84, 97, 106, 122, 134, 143, 155, 168, 179, 189, 193, 205, 218, 227, 240, 251, 266, 275, 287, 303, 311, 326, 336, 348, 358, 370, 383, 394 and 400. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was unique in that the final paragraph was given an extra full-page illustration. Additionally, one piece of text - a spell - was presented in a drawing of a piece of parchment (296).

The full-page illustrations in the book were accompanied with a caption giving the number of the paragraph depicted and a short extract from the text, a format which was only used again in the next two books, The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom.

Warlock Magazine EditionEdit

Mini Fighting Fantasy Adventures
Outline
Location: Allansia, Titan
References: 400
Publication details
Author(s): Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
Illustrator(s): Russ Nicholson
Tim Sell
Ftmountainpt1Ftmountainpt2
First published: May, August 1984
Publication: Warlock (Issues 1, 2)
Previous Mini-FF: none
Next Mini-FF: Caverns of the Snow Witch
Reprint

A modified (but not shortened) version of the gamebook appeared across issues 1 and 2 of Warlock magazine in 1984. This was split into two sections of 273 and 127 paragraphs respectively, with the dividing line roughly drawn at the original Livingstone/Jackson handover point of the river crossing. Some paragraphs were shuffled to allow this division to be made, but otherwise the text remained unaltered.

IllustrationsEdit

The artwork for this version was once again by Russ Nicholson (with additional art by Tim Sell, whose contributions are the title cards for each part), Part 1 featuring 5 new minor repeated illustrations appearing alongside one of the two from the book (the pile of treasure). Added to this 4 minor illustrations from The Citadel of Chaos were also used (the two swords, the scroll and the smoking potion bottle). There were 29 full page (or equivalent) illustrations (* indicates an illustration not in the full gamebook) as well as the parchment text illustration, this time at (30): Title card*, 1*, 11, 20, 36, 46, 58, 67, 71, 84, 97, 107, 121, 122, 134, 143, 150, 155, 168, 189, 193, 197, 205, 218, 228, 240, 242, 251 and 266.

For Part 2 features 5 minor repeated illustrations, comprising of 1 from the gamebook (the pile of treaure), 1 new (skull and sword), and 3 from The Citadel of Chaos (the two swords and the smoking potion bottle), and 8 full page (or equivalent) illustrations (* indicates an illustration not in the full gamebook): Title card*, 275, 280, 281, 358, 372*, 381 and 400.

ErrorsEdit

  • (115) points to (114).
  • (192) is an orphan - you cannot obtain a total of 192 using any of the keys available.
  • (308) points to (307) and vice versa.
  • (396) first tells you that you use keys from your backpack and sends you off to another paragraph, then says what happens if you don't have any keys.

ReviewsEdit

25th Anniversary EditionEdit

Other Fighting Fantasy Books
Warlock 25th
Outline
Location Allansia, Titan
Publication details
Author(s) Steve Jackson &
Ian Livingstone
Illustrator Russ Nicholson
First Edition
Cover illustrator Peter Andrew Jones
First published Wizard Books: August 2 2007
Number none
ISBN ISBN 978-1840468-37-3
Reprint

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the book that started the series in the first place, Wizard Books released a new edition which used Peter Andrew Jones's original (1982) wrap-around cover design of the first edition. The "Anniversary Edition" of the book was published in hardback, making it the only Fighting Fantasy book published this way. It was priced at £8.99.

This special 25th Anniversary Edition contains new and previously unseen material including the first draft opening of 'The Magic Quest', a fold-out map of Firetop Mountain, and the story of Fighting Fantasy.

Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference — one in which YOU become the hero!

Armed with two dice, a pencil and an eraser, you can set off on a perilous quest to find the Warlock's treasure. YOU will need to decide which route to follow, and which monsters to fight in the elaborate combat system given in the book.

You may not survive your first journey. But with experience, skill and luck, each fresh attempt should bring you nearer to your great goal ...
[6]

New Material

  • The inside front cover has a gallery of several of the different covers of the book (6 versions: 1982 (Wraparound), 1983 (Coloured Star), 1984 (Adventure Gamebooks banner), 1987 (Golden Dragon Sub-Format), 1988 (Golden Dragon No Bronze-Foil Sub-Format [actually 1993 version not 1988 as stated]), 2002 (Wizard "Special Limited Edition"))
  • 1982: The Adventure Starts Here - A personal look back at the genesis of the series from Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
  • The Story of Fighting Fantasy - A brief overview of the history of the series to date
  • The First Draft of The Magic Quest - The first page to the original draft idea
  • Mapping the Mountain: Ian's First-Half Plan - Livingstone's hand-drawn plan of the first half of the mountain interior (up to the river)
  • The 'One True Way' Through Firetop Mountain - One possible solution to the book (labelled as possibly the 'optimum' way)
  • 20 Little-Known Facts About Fighting Fantasy - Twenty facts about the series
  • The Fighting Fantasy Collection - A list of all the officially produced products for the series to date
  • A fold-out map of the interior of the mountain drawn by Nicholas Halliday

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

  • Like many of the early Fighting Fantasy books, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain did not contain many details about its setting and it was left to later books in the series and companion books to elaborate this. It later became established that the book was set in the fictional fantasy world of Titan, in the northern region of the continent of Allansia (a setting common to many of the Fighting Fantasy books). The location of Firetop Mountain was established as north of Darkwood Forest (the setting of the later Fighting Fantasy book The Forest of Doom).[7]
  • Although the village in which YOU start your quest is not named in the original text of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the text in Warlock Issue 1 and Return to Firetop Mountain leave us in no doubt that this unnamed village was in fact Anvil.[8] Curiously, this "unnamed" village received the name "Gilford" in the Myriador conversion of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and was named "Haven" in The Salamonis Gazette, perhaps because the authors had missed the identification of this village in Warlock and Return to Firetop Mountain.
  • The backstory of the titular warlock, Zagor, was also elaborated on in later books. It was established that Zagor was once one of three pupils of an Evil wizard called Volgera Darkstorm (the other two being Balthus Dire from the book The Citadel of Chaos and Zharradan Marr from the book Creature of Havoc). At the age of seventeen, the three pupils tired of learning and killed their teacher by magic. After this they separated, with Zagor travelling north to Firetop Mountain, a peak he had seen in Demon-sent dreams. Zagor took the mountain from the Dwarfs that occupied it, with a force of Orcs and undead creatures. It is established that, by the time of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Zagor is lord over the mountain, guarding the treasures he stole from the Dwarfs.[9]
  • Zagor and Firetop Mountain also appear in The Trolltooth Wars by Steve Jackson. Clues to the location of the correct keys to Zagor's chest are revealed in the novel.
  • The gamebook itself makes an appearance in a bookstore in the gamebook Appointment with F.E.A.R., written by Steve Jackson[10] and on a shelf in a room of Goraya Castle in Blood of the Zombies, written by Ian Livingstone.[11]

SequelsEdit

Main article: Return to Firetop Mountain (book)
Main article: Legend of Zagor (book)
Main article: The Zagor Chronicles

The book was followed by two sequels:

  • The first, Return to Firetop Mountain, was written by Ian Livingstone and was the fiftieth title in the main Puffin Fighting Fantasyseries, published in 1992 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy. In this book Zagor has been resurrected and must once again be defeated by the player.
  • The second sequel Legend of Zagor, also written by Ian Livingstone, was the fifty-fourth Fighting Fantasy gamebook in the main Puffin series. In this book the player, taking the role of one of four characters, must defeat Zagor to protect the land of Amarillia, to which Zagor has been banished.
  • After this came a linked series of four novels based around Zagor, The Zagor Chronicles, which were written by Ian Livingstone and Carl Sargent. They feature the arrival of Zagor to the land of Amarillia and the battle to defeat him. They are related to Legend of Zagor, with many characters appearing in both the gamebook and the novels.

Other MediaEdit

Computer GamesEdit

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (computer game)

A computer game conversion of the book was produced by Crystal Computing and published by Puffin Books for the ZX Spectrum in 1984.

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (DS game)

A Nintendo DS game loosely based on the gamebook by Big Blue Bubble and published by Aspyr Media and released 2009.

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (iOS game)

An iOS conversion of the book was produced by Big Blue Bubble and released in 2009.

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (PlayStation game)

A PlayStation adaption of the book produced by Laughing Jackal and released in 2011.

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Lost Chapters

An iPhone game based on the book was produced by Commando Kiwi and released in 2013.

BoardgameEdit

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (boardgame)

A boardgame based on the book was published by Games Workshop in 1986, designed by Steve Jackson. The box was illustrated by the original cover designer of the book, Peter Andrew Jones, and the interior was illustrated by Dave Andrews. The game involved the players travelling across the board to the treasure chest of the warlock, finding the correct keys to unlock it along the way. The game used a similar score system to the book to measure the status of the players.[12]

OrnamentEdit

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (figurine)

Clarecraft fashioned a figurine of Zagor for release in 1992.

e-BooksEdit

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for the Palm Pilot Operating System was produced in 2003.

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Kindle)

A Kindle adaptation of the book was produced by Worldweaver Ltd and released in 2011.

d20 System ConversionEdit

Main article: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (d20)

There is a D20 System conversion by Myriador called The Warlock of Firetop Mountain released in 2003.

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

LocationsEdit

EncountersEdit

Further NotesEdit

WOFTM Sample

"Sample Adventure" version from Cartoon Network Comic Issue 68

  • This book features the smallest number of failures in the Fighting Fantasy series with only 3 instant failures, not counting death by stamina loss or bad luck or the 3 failures due to not having the correct keys at the end for the chest.
  • As well as the "Special Limited" and "Standard" Editions, the Wizard Books version was also published as a shortened sample adventure in an issue of the Cartoon Network Comic Issue 68 (Issue 68:December 2003), with a slightly different cover.
  • A vaguely-linked parody exists in the form of The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain.
  • In Di Maggio's spell, if you read the lines backwards it reads: "Fire like, fire make, fire fire."

Series 2 AdditionsEdit

ErrorsEdit

  • (192) is an orphan - you cannot obtain a total of 192 using any of the keys available. This was the last minute addition made by Steve Jackson when the completed story reached the odd total of 399 paragraphs.
  • (396) first tells you that you use keys from your backpack and sends you off to another paragraph, then says what happens if you don't have any keys.
  • Each of the pre-generated characters in the "Series 2" edition has only 6 Provisions listed on their sheet when it should be 10.

DedicationEdit

Puffin EditionEdit

Dedicated to Joanna Ashton,
a true Galadriel of the spirit ...
and to Anne and Neville,
the real wizards.

Wizard EditionEdit

For Joanna,
a true Galadriel of the Spirit
— Steve

For my mum Anneka, without
whom this book would not have
been possible
— Ian

See AlsoEdit


ReviewsEdit

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.14
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.16
  4. Warlock Issue 2 - pp.6-7
  5. Interview with Russ Nicholson at the Internet Archive record of Advancedfightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2012-02-29
  6. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Back Cover ("25th Anniversary" Edition)
  7. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p.12/16
  8. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.?; Warlock Issue 1 - 18; Return to Firetop Mountain - p.?
  9. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p.103/238
  10. Appointment with F.E.A.R. - 42
  11. Blood of the Zombies - 347
  12. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Boardgame at the Internet Archive record of the old Fightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2012-02-29

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