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Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Island of Illusions

Here's another extraordinarily obscure bit of collector's-item trivia: a short CYOA-style story that Oliver and I wrote to promote our Golden Dragon Gamebook series. This has only appeared in print once, in the 3rd issue of a kids' magazine called Crunch, edited by Gillian Osband and published by Scholastic in 1984.

Leo did the illustrations, of course. The two color ones were pics he already had lying about - and one of them inspired the Rathurbosk Bridge in Dragon Warriors.

So here is the adventure, pretty much word for word as it last appeared 26 years ago...
* * *
The Island of Illusions

Who nowadays has not heard of adventure gamebooks? In these books, the reader (you!) takes the part of the hero. Your own decisions determine the outcome of the adventure. Unlike a novel, where the hero's success is a foregone conclusion, in an adventure gamebook you must use your own luck and judgment to win through. If you make a mistake and get yourself killed, there is nothing for it but to go back to the beginning and start again. You may find it is not all that easy to be a hero.

To play
you will need two dice, a pencil and paper. Before setting out on your adventure, you must use the dice to determine how strong and dexterous you are.

First, roll two dice and add 20 to the number rolled. This is your VIGOUR score. It represents your fitness, stamina and general will to survive. Make a careful note of this score. You will need to keep a running tally of VIGOUR throughout the adventure. If it ever reaches zero you are dead.

Now roll one dice and add 3. This is your AGILITY – how nimble and generally athletic you are. Like VIGOUR, you must keep a record of your AGILITY. It is unlikely to change much during the adventure, but it is still very important. If your AGILITY should ever reach zero then this means you are unable to move (having broken a leg, perhaps). If this happens, you must begin the adventure again.

CombatThere is only one more thing you need to know before embarking on your quest, and that is how to fight the various opponents and monsters that will seek to slay you. A typical entry might read like this:

94 The Troll draws his sword and rushes at you, bellowing madly.
Roll two dice:
score 2 to 6 – you are wounded and lose 3 VIGOUR
score 7 to 12 – the troll loses 3 VIGOUR

So, you begin each combat by rolling the dice and, depending on the number rolled, deducting 3 points from either your own or your enemy's VIGOUR score. Having done this, you repeat the procedure until the VIGOUR score of either you or your enemy is reduced to zero, indicating death. If you kill your enemy, you proceed to the next numbered entry. If your enemy kills you, you go back and start at 1.

You are now ready to begin the adventure. You should start at 1 and then turn to further entries according to the decisions you make. Good luck.
1 Your travels have brought you to Memnos, a prosperous city on the coast. The people of Memnos are rejoicing because the Princess Elvira is to wed a prince from a neighboring kingdom. Less than a week before the marriage, however, you awaken to discover a heavy gloom has fallen over the city. Over breakfast, your innkeeper explains the reason why. The princess has been abducted, and many believe that the evil warlock Helkarrion is responsible. If the princess is not brought back within four days then Prince Langwer will call the wedding off and return to his own land. The King is apparently offering a vast reward for his daughter's safe return. You count out your few remaining gold pieces and decide to try and find her.

Princess Elvira was last seen the day before in Port Cantala, on an island to the east. You decide to try and pick up her trail there. After buying a small boat you find that you only have ten gold pieces remaining. You will need to hire a sailor but there are only two people available. One is an old sailor who tells you he will charge eight gold pieces. The other is a fresh-faced cabin boy who claims to be an expert sailor. His fee is two gold pieces. If you wish to hire the old sailor, turn to 10. If you would rather hire the boy, turn to 26.

2 Prince Langwer will soon cancel the wedding and quit Memnos in a fury unless you get back within a day. The only way you can do this is to pass through the dreaded Straits of Tarnish, where a giant whirlpool sucks down even the largest ships. You make a bold decision and set your course. Turn to 9.

3 Approaching the group of children, you notice that one of them is not a child at all, but a merry little dwarf. He is sewing away at a sail on his lap as the children dance and play around him. He looks up with a friendly twinkle in his eye. "Go to the island of Kathar to the east," he says. "Wait until you see a sign, for it will lead you to someone who might help." He hands you his Magical Sail as a gift – note down that you now have this item. You thank him and head back to your boat with the cabin boy. Turn to 11.

4 After drinking the potion, you go down to the door at the bottom of the stairs. Pushing the door open a crack, your gaze falls upon an old lady in a mob-cap knitting by the fire. However, even as you look at her you see the image swim before your eyes. You catch a glimpse of lank hair, of evil yellow eyes and nails like talons. It is not an old lady at all, but Helkarrion himself, disguised by one of his illusions. The potion you drank enables you to see through his trickery. Will you rush into the room to attack him (turn to 32) or will you pretend that you haven't seen through the illusion (turn to 50)?

5 You eventually piece together enough driftwood and yarn to make a raft. This takes you half a day – add this to the time that has already elapsed during your adventure. You push your frail vessel out to sea. Turn to 27.

6 Evening settles blackly over the thorn forest. The hounds suddenly turn tail and slink away. Looking up, you see why. A roc, a giant bird of prey as large as an elephant, is swooping down from the sky. Its claws are spread wide, ready to seize you from the treetop. Roll two dice. If the score is equal to or less than your AGILITY, turn to 23. If greater, turn to 15.

7 The bottle is full of rum. You gulp it back and are soon horribly drunk. You slump down against a rock and fall asleep. When you wake up, another half a day has elapsed – add this to the total time you have spent on your quest. Turn to 34.

8 The water is magical, and as you drink it you are refreshed and filled with energy. Add 2 points to your VIGOUR. You walk back to the shore. Turn to 28.

9 Soon you are at the mouth of the Straits. Your boat is whipped around in ever decreasing circles. You reach the rim of the whirlpool. Looking down into it is like gazing through a hole in the world. Roll one die (and add 1 to the score if you have the Magical Sail). If you score 1 or 2, turn to 47. If you score 3 or more, you sail around the abyss and set a course for Memnos: turn to 63.
10 The old sailor clambers into your boat and grabs the tiller, telling you to set the sails. You expected this to be his job, and are slightly peeved! The boat has soon passed out of the harbor and is skipping over the waves. The old man puffs contentedly on his pipe. Suddenly you realize that you're not heading east at all –your course is taking you west, towards the notorious Pirate Isle. You swing round to tell the old man to change course, only to find that he has drawn a dagger and is creeping up on you. He is a pirate who has lured you into his trap. You must fight him.

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 5 - you are wounded; lose 3 VIGOUR
score 6 to 12 - the old pirate loses 3 VIGOUR
If you win, turn to 18.

11 You sail eastwards for half a day; note this down, as the total duration of your adventure is very important. Dark storm clouds gather on the horizon, and soon rain and high winds lash your boat. Suddenly a large wave sweeps the boy overboard. Ahead, dimly through the driving rain, you can see an island. You might be able to reach it if you don't stop for the boy. Will you back the mainsail and try to rescue him (turn to 19) or will you leave him and head for the island (turn to 37)?

12 You hastily hoist the sail the dwarf gave you. The boat ploughs through the waves at twice the speed it was going before. The black sails of the pirate vessel soon disappear over the horizon behind you. Before long you find yourself approaching the bleak shore of Helkarrion Island. Turn to 14.

13 Half a day passes; add this to whatever time you have already spent on the adventure. You are standing on the edge of a sheer cliff looking out over the bay when a small white bird flies straight at the cliff and disappears into it. Do you want to investigate where it went? The climb down looks dangerous, but if you would like to attempt it, turn to 21. If you would rather go back to your boat and set sail, turn to 28.

14 You see nothing dangerous moving on the shore, so you inch your vessel into the shelter of a cove. You are rather surprised to see a number of gold coins scattered about the bed of the cove. Will you dive to retrieve some of them (turn to 22), throw some coins overboard if you have any left (turn to 30) or ignore the coins and go ashore (turn to 34)?

15 You fail to avoid the roc's clutching talons. It lifts you aloft and carries you over the thorn forest towards a dark tower atop a hill. Here it drops you and flies back towards its roost. You land with painful impact; lose 4 VIGOUR points. If you are still alive, turn to 31.
16 You decide it is better not to experiment with the contents of a warlock's laboratory. You leave the room and go down to the door at the bottom of the stairs. Turn to 41.

17 You open the trapdoor and find Princess Elvira lying in a drugged sleep. You shake her awake and lead her past the corpse of Helkarrion and through the thorn groves to where your vessel is moored. Turn to 25.

18 You roll the body of the troublesome old pirate into the water. You swing the boat around, but because you are not a skilful sailor it takes you half a day to get back to Memnos. Note this down, as you will need to keep a record of how long your quest takes. The cabin boy is still sitting on the quayside. He waves at you happily. You hire him, though this takes all the cash you have left, and sail once more out of the harbor. Turn to 26.

19 As you take in the mainsail you expect at any moment to be swamped by the churning waves. Instead, to your amazement, there is a lull in the storm. Almost as soon as you have rescued the boy, the dark clouds pass overhead and the sea is calm once more. You drift into a quiet bay on the island. The boy remains to build a fire and dry himself while you walk up to the middle of the island. Turn to 33.

20 The pirate ship soon comes alongside. With a bloodcurdling yell, two pirates jump aboard. You see their vicious scowls and realize this must be a fight to the death.

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 3 - you are hit twice; lose 6 VIGOUR
score 4 to 7 - you are hit once; lose 3 VIGOUR.
score 8 to 12 - you hit one of them; you choose which of them loses 3 VIGOUR.
If and when you have killed one, note the VIGOUR score of the other and turn to 38.

21 You lower yourself over the cliff edge and start to climb down. Suddenly a rock gives way under your foot and you slip. Can you grab hold of anything before you fall? Roll two dice, trying to score less than or equal to your AGILITY. If you succeed, you manage to hang on and climb down to a cave entrance, turn to 29. If the dice score exceeds your AGILITY, turn to 39.

22 You dive into the clear water. As your hand closes on the coins, they shimmer and vanish. An illusion! In their place is a black sink-bole. Before you can swim away, eight thick tentacles emerge from the hole and writhe towards you. Two limpid eyes glare at you from the dark depths. In moments you are struggling for your life against a giant octopus.

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 4 - you lose between 3 and 18 VIGOUR (roll a dice and multiply the score by three)
score 5 to 12 - the octopus loses 3 VIGOUR
If you win, turn to 42.

23 You twist nimbly out of the way of the colossal bird's attack. Jumping down from the tree, you run through the thorn forest until you reach a dark tower atop a hill. Turn to 31.

24 You lift the trapdoor and rush down the steps into a small chamber. You expect to find the princess, but instead there is a pile of moldering bones. You look up to see that the benign old lady now stands revealed as Helkarrion, Master of Illusions. Gloating hideously, he slams the trapdoor shut and bolts it. You will never escape from this. prison. Your adventure ends here.
25 It will take you a day to get back to Memnos. How long have you been on your adventure so far? If rescuing the princess has taken you three days or more, turn to 2. If you have spent less than three days, turn to 63.

26 You are surprised to discover that the cabin boy is a first-rate mariner. You make good time in reaching Port Cantala. After mooring the boat you make your way through the colorful throng of merchants and sailors who choke the dockside. Not far away is a tavern called the Rogue’s Return, which seems like a good place to pick up information and rumors. However, the cabin boy is tugging at your sleeve, trying to drag you over to where a group of boys and girls are playing. Do you shake off his hand and enter the tavern (turn to 36) or do you go with him (turn to 3)?
27 Your raft eventually drifts in towards the island you: saw .through the storm. To your astonishment; the cabin boy is sitting beside a small fire cooking a fish. He appears none the worse for wear and greets you without rancor as you land. Embarrassed at having left him to his fate, you decline his offer of smoked fish and set out to explore the island. Turn to 33.

28 There is no sign of the cabin boy on the beach. However, in place of your old craft there is now a fine boat painted blue and gold. It is not difficult to man single-handed, and you are soon at sea and heading north. Another sail appears off the starboard bow. As the vessel draws nearer, you see it is flying the skull and crossbones. Do you have a Magical Sail? If so, turn to 12. If you do not have this item; turn to 20.
29 As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you see a bearded old monk leaning on an oak staff. He stands beside a bubbling rock pool and the white bird you saw before is perched on his hand. He addresses you in a serene voice, saying, “Stranger, the princess is on Helkarrion Island where the evil. warlock, Helkarrion, holds sway. If you saved the cabin boy when he was swept overboard, turn to 58. If you did not stop for him, turn to 51.

30 You throw in a couple of coins. They seem to pass right through the coins that are already there and vanish. You suspect that the gold coins are some kind of illusion trap, and decide to ignore them. Turn to 34.

31 You approach the tower cautiously. There is a doorway – an ebony portal bound with black iron. You can enter by this door (turn to 41) or try climbing the rough stone walls to the top of the tower (turn to 53).

32 The old lady's form changes and you see the thin gray face of Helkarrion, his yellow eyes ablaze with mad fury. He rips off the mob-cap and you see, as the last of the illusion fades, that the "knitting needle" in his hand is actually a glinting jeweled knife. You must fight him:

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 7 – you are wounded and lose 3 VIGOUR
score 8 to 12 – Helkarrion loses 3 VIGOUR
If you defeat him, you can open the trapdoor at his feet; turn to 17.
33 You reach the centre of the island after quite a strenuous climb. A magnificent ancient citadel stands here, long deserted and partly overgrown. Through a vast armorial archway you have a staggering view across the azure bay to the far side of the island. The only sounds are the cries of the seagulls and the moan of the breeze as it sweeps over the grassy hilltop and between the antique columns. If you want to wait here in the hope that something will happen, turn to 13. If you want to return to the beach and set sail immediately, turn to 28.

34 You set off for the middle of the island. Your route takes you past groves of bleak thorn trees. It begins to drizzle and you hear the rumble of thunder – closely followed by the savage baying of a pack of hounds. They are coming closer. Do you have the Golden Wings? If so, turn to 40. If not, turn to 45.

35 Seeing the implacable fury in your eyes, the remaining hounds turn tail and flee. You clean the blood from your sword and continue on your way. Before long you arrive at a dark tower set on the crest of a hill. Turn to 31.

36 You stride into the smoky tavern and walk up to the bar. As you are trying to attract the landlord's attention, two burly unshaven longshoremen come and lean against the bar on either side of you. These two are local bullies called Gobstopper and Dogbite. They order drinks, loudly telling the landlord that you will pay. If you have the necessary one gold piece and are prepared to part with it, turn to 55. If you have no money, or refuse to be bullied into buying their drinks, turn to 44.

37 You feel somewhat guilty at leaving the cabin boy to drown, but your main concern is to save your own skin. The storm sweeps you around the island you saw and carries you across the heaving iron-gray waves. Soon the cliffs of another island loom above you and your boat is smashed on the rocks. If you had the Magical Sail, you have now lost it. You manage to reach the shore, but you are battered and bruised and must deduct 3 VIGOUR points. If you are still alive, you glance up to see a figure watching you from the rocks. He has a wild look in his eyes and his fine clothes are torn and grimy. He draws back out of sight. You guess he is a castaway, probably half crazy with solitude. Will you climb up to talk to him (turn to 49) or concentrate on collecting enough driftwood to make a raft (turn to 5)?

38 As one pirate falls, the other battles on desperately
Roll two dice:
score 2 to 5 - you are hit; lose 3 VIGOUR
score 6 to 12 – the remaining pirate loses 3 VIGOUR
If you win, turn to 57.

39 You fall onto a ledge in front of a cave in the cliffs. Lose 3 VIGOUR points for the fall. If you are still alive, you get up and hobble into the cave entrance. Turn to 29.

40 Quickly you strap on the wings. You flap them experimentally and soar up into the air! A savage pack of slavering hounds bursts into the clearing where you stood and bark furiously up at you. You espy a lonely tower beyond the thorn forest and fly towards this. You circle and land on the parapet at the top of the tower. Turn to 46.

41 You push open the door. An old lady in a mob-cap is knitting by the fire. She jumps and cries out joyously when she sees you: “Ah, adventurer, you have come to save Princess Elvira and me, her old nanny! What a relief - to think that I almost despaired of rescue, and here you are. We must get away quickly before that horrid warlock returns, though. The princess is in there.” She points to one of two trapdoors set into the floor. Do you wish to head for the door she indicates? If so, turn to 24. If you would rather try the other, turn to 32.

42 With a spurt of ink, the octopus withdraws into the depths of its lair. Now that the illusion has gone, you see an old bottle lodged in the sand. If you wish to open it and drink from it, turn to 7. If you would rather get on with your quest, turn to 34.

43 Beyond the door lies some sort of workshop. Various vats full of vile liquids bubble away merrily all around you. You open a cupboard and find a ceramic bottle marked Potion of Clear Vision. If you wish, to drink this, turn to 4. If not, turn to 16.

44 You swing round and catch Dogbite on the jaw with your fist. He crashes to the sawdust-strewn floor, out cold. Gobstopper grabs a barstool and swings it at you. You dodge and whip out your sword. The other patrons of the tavern turn to watch the fight.

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 6 - you are hit; lose 3 VIGOUR
score 7 to 12 - Gobstopper loses 3 VIGOUR
If you kill him, you leave quickly before the town guard arrives. Turn to 48.

45 You race through the groves of thorn trees. The prickly branches tear at your clothes and the baying of the hounds comes closer and closer. Eventually you realize that you will have to either climb one of the trees (turn to 52) or else stand your ground and fight (turn to 59).

46 A circular staircase winds down into the heart of the tower. You make your way down, sword in hand, until you come to a heavy oak door on your left. If you wish to open this, turn to 43. If you would rather descend to the door at the bottom of the stairs, turn to 41.

47 Your frail vessel is sucked down into the whirlpool's depths, and neither you nor Princess Elvira is ever heard of again.

48 Back in the street, you look around for your crew member and notice him playing with his friends. If you wish to go and join them, turn to 3. If you just want to call him over and get back to the boat, turn to 11.

49 You clamber up to where you saw the castaway. He is now some distance off. As soon as he sees you, he utters a terrified scream and rushes off. You follow, calling out to reassure him that you mean him no harm, but he takes no notice. He rushes down onto the treacherous rocks by the water's edge. Since he has nowhere left to run, you leisurely make your way over the rocks towards him. Suddenly a ghastly sea monster from some sunken lagoon rises up out of the water. The mad castaway stands petrified with terror. You race forward, drawing your sword as you run, but you are too late to save him. The sea monster snatches him up and dashes his brains out on a jagged rock. Then it turns on you with a spine-chilling roar.

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 6 - you are wounded; lose 3 VIGOUR
score 7 to 12 - the sea monster loses 3 VIGOUR
If you win, you return grimly across the rocks and begin to build a raft that will carry you away from this awful place. Turn to 5.
50 You push open the door and walk in. Helkarrion, thinking you believe his illusory guise, gets up and simpers, “At last! An adventurer has come to rescue fair Elvira and me, her old nanny! Oh, I had almost despaired of rescue. Quickly now, before that horrid warlock returns! The princess is in there.” He points to a trapdoor, where no doubt some hideous trap awaits you, but you're not taken in. “Madam,” you say, “first I will escort you to safety.” You grab him by the arm and bundle him out of the front door, then quickly slam and bolt it behind him. You hear Helkarrion's curses as he hammers on the door. You soon find the princess, drugged by some foul brew of the warlock's, and awaken her. Do you have the Golden Wings? If so, turn to 61. If you did not acquire this item on your adventure, turn to 54.

51 Before you can get any more information from the monk, he vanishes into thin air. The little white bird flies out of the cave, chirping wildly. The water in the rock pool looks fresh and inviting. If you wish to drink some of it, turn to 8. If you want to be on your way, turn to 28.

52 The dogs stop at the base of the tree and circle around it howling. They do not go away, and you waste half a day clinging to the upper branches. They are still there after this time. Will you jump down and fight them (turn to 59) or will you stay where you are (turn to 6)?

53 You have nearly reached the top of the tower when your foot slips on the moss-covered stone wall. Roll two dice, trying to score equal to or less than your AGILITY. If you succeed, you manage to hang on and reach the parapet – turn to 46. If you fail (ie, if the dice score exceeds your AGILITY), turn to 60.

54 Princess Elvira shows you a secret panel in the wall, behind which Helkarrion keeps an enchanted broadsword. You pry the panel open and take the sword, then throw open the door of the tower. Helkarrion stumbles into the room off-balance and you swipe at him with the sword. Soon you are locked in mortal combat – but you have a slight edge thanks to the enchanted weapon.

Roll two dice:
score 2 to 6 - you are hit; lose 3 VIGOUR
score 7 to 12 - Helkarrion loses 3 VIGOUR
If you win, you escort Elvira back to your boat. Turn to 25.

55 Dogbite and Gobstopper go off clutching their drinks, smirking at how they have fleeced another visitor to Port Cantala. You ask the landlord if he has seen anyone fitting the description of the princess. He replies that his memory is bad and can usually be jogged only by a gratuity of two gold pieces. If you have this much and wish to hand it over, turn to 56. If not, turn to 48.

56 He stuffs the coins away in his apron, and then tells you that two cloaked men passed through late yesterday. They were carrying a princess-sized bundle and claimed to be rug merchants. He overheard them say they would be sailing east. You don't really feel this information is value for money, but he has nothing more to say. You leave the tavern. Turn to 48.
57 Seeing you defeat their captain and first mate so easily, the rest of the pirates show no desire to fight you. They quickly turn their ship about and sail off. You head on, and after another half a day you are approaching the bleak shore of Helkarrion Island. Turn to 14.

58 He smiles pleasantly. “Because you risked your life to save my grandson, I will give you two gifts. The first is the water of this magic pool at my feet, the other is this pair of Golden Wings which will carry you away from the jaws of danger.” You thank him and stoop to drink from the pool. Its life-giving magic adds 2 points to your VIGOUR. When you stand up again, you find that the old monk has disappeared. A pair of Golden Wings lean against the back wall of the cave. They have straps with which you could fix them to your arms. Note down that you have the Golden Wings, and then turn to 62.

59 The dogs are soon circling you, baring their foam flecked fangs and glaring at you with rabid red eyes.
VIGOUR 5 each
Roll two dice:
score 2 - you are bitten three times; lose 9 VIGOUR
score 3 - you are bitten twice; lose 6 VIGOUR
score 4 to 6 - you are bitten once; lose 3 VIGOUR
score 7 to 12 - one of the Hounds loses 3 VIGOUR
If and when you have slain three of them, turn to 35.

60 You fall and land heavily at the bottom of the tower, twisting your leg under you. Lose 3 VIGOUR and 1 AGILITY. If you are still alive and able to move, you may either attempt the climb again (turn to 53) or else enter by the door (turn to 41).

61 You lead the princess up to the top of the tower and tell her to put her arms around your neck. With the Golden Wings strapped on securely, you launch yourself out from the parapet. Helkarrion's screams of rage soon recede into the distance as you fly back across the thorn forest to your boat. Turn to 25.

62 You return to the beach. The cabin boy is no longer there. In place of your old craft, you now find a gilded sailing boat. This fine vessel handles so well that you have no difficulty manning it single-handed. You head north towards Helkarrion Island. This journey will take no appreciable time if you have the Magical Sail, but if you do not have this item then another half a day will elapse. You survey the bleak shore of the island with some trepidation. Turn to 14.

63 You sail into the harbor at Memnos with the princess beside you. Cheering subjects soon line the quayside, and the King and Prince Langwer are there to greet you as you dock. The King hugs his daughter and then bestows a gift of 500 gold pieces on you. He dubs you a knight of the realm and even offers you a job as commander of his palace guard. Smiling, you decline the latter. You do not want to be tied down in one place, however pleasant, while a whole world of adventure awaits you. You swing the sack of gold onto your shoulder and make your way through the cheering crowd. You seek new quests and, if you have enjoyed this adventure, you can find them in The Temple of Flame and Crypt of the Vampire, our Golden Dragon Gamebooks.


  1. Thanks for this Dave, this is wonderful.

  2. Nice pre-Christmas gift Dave, very nice indeed! Golden Dragon has always been one of my favourite gamebook series, especially The Eye of the Dragon. Actually, one night (I think I was 10 or 11) I dreamed to walk into the streets of Thalios... :)

  3. Heh - "The Rouges Return". Gets us all eventually.

  4. Two great DW & GD Christmas presents in short order - you're really spoiling us Dave! I didn't even know this mini-adventure existed.

  5. I haven't been replying all week because my internet provider (TalkTalk) has epically failed to supply either broadband or credible excuses! Anyway, glad everyone is enjoying the freebies. There's more to come over Christmas ;)

  6. Would you mind if I reposted this, linkifying the paragraphs so one could jump between them (i.e. simulating a printed gamebook experience more closely)

  7. Nice. Someone get Leo Hartas a spellcheck for Christmas.