The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

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This article is about the Fighting Fantasy book. For other uses, see The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (disambiguation).

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Warlock 25th.jpg
The 25th anniversary edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, originally published in 1982 and the first in the Fighting Fantasy series.
Art by Peter Andrew Jones.
Ff1wizard.jpg
The Wizard cover of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
Art by Martin McKenna.
Author Steve Jackson and
Ian Livingstone[1]
Illustrator Russ Nicholson
Cover artist
Series Fighting Fantasy
  • Puffin number: 1
  • Wizard number: 1
Genre Fantasy
Location: Allansia, Titan
Publication date
  • Puffin: 1982[1]
  • Dell/Laurel-Leaf: 1983[1]
  • Wizard: 2002
ISBN

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a single-player adventure gamebook written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, and illustrated by Russ Nicholson. Originally published by Puffin Books in 1982, the title is the first gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2002. As well as launching the Fighting Fantasy series, the gamebook inspired two direct sequels, four novels and was adapted into a board game and a video game.

Publication history[edit]

In 1980, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone attended a Games Day, and after meeting with a Penguin editor decided to create a series of single-player gamebooks.[2] Their first submission, The Magic Quest, was a short adventure intended to demonstrate the style of game. The Magic Quest was eventually accepted by Penguin Books, although the authors devoted a further six months to expanding and improving upon the original concept.

The end result was The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and after several rewrites, the book was accepted and published in 1982 under Penguin's children's imprint, Puffin Books. The original cover of the book was illustrated by Peter Andrew Jones, with the interior illustrations by Russ Nicholson. Jackson and Livingstone approved all artwork.[3]

The title, like the game books that followed in the Fighting Fantasy series, distinguished itself by featuring a fantasy role-playing element, with the caption on each cover claiming each title was "a Fighting Fantasy gamebook in which YOU are the hero!"

The success of the Fighting Fantasy series (distribution in over 17 countries) allowed for numerous reprints of the original title,[4] although the cover of subsequent versions changed due to deliberate redesign, printing errors,[5] and releases in different markets.[3][6][7] When the franchise was acquired by Wizard Books in 2002, the title (as with others in the series) was the first to be reprinted, again with a completely different cover, the rationale being that the old cover did not suit the modern market.[8]

In 2007 Wizard Books released a special 25th anniversary edition, which included supplementary material. The cover for this edition had the original picture from the 1982 edition. In 2009 Wizard Books released another edition of the original book, with yet another new cover.

Rules[edit]

Main article: Fighting Fantasy

Plot[edit]

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a fantasy scenario involving a dungeon quest to find the warlock's treasure.[1]

Deep in the caverns beneath Firetop Mountain lies an untold wealth of treasure, guarded by a powerful Warlock – or so the rumour goes. Several adventurers like yourself have set off for Firetop Mountain in search of the Warlock's hoard. None have ever returned. Do you dare follow them?

The player takes the role of an adventurer on a quest to find the treasure of a powerful Warlock, hidden deep within Firetop Mountain. People from a nearby village advise that the treasure is stored in a chest with two locks, and that the keys are guarded by various creatures within the dungeons. The player must then navigate the dungeons beneath Firetop Mountain, battle monsters and attempt to locate the keys.

Sequels[edit]

The title was followed by two sequels, both written by Ian Livingstone. The first, Return to Firetop Mountain (the 50th title in the Fighting Fantasy series) was published in 1992 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the franchise. The second sequel, Legend of Zagor, (the 54th title in the series) differed from traditional gameplay in that the player could choose one of four characters. Livingstone and Carl Sargent also wrote The Zagor Chronicles, a series of four novels published from 1993 to 1994.

The warlock Zagor also appeared in the first Fighting Fantasy novel, The Trolltooth Wars, by Steve Jackson.

In other media[edit]

A boardgame designed by Steve Jackson was released in 1986 by Games Workshop. Based on the book, players must navigate a maze and overcome monsters in a bid to be the first to open the Warlock's treasure chest.

A ZX Spectrum game based on the book was released by Crystal Computing in 1984.[9]

The gamebook was also converted into a 40-page d20 System role-playing adventure by Jamie Wallis. It was published by Myriador in 2003[10][11] and reissued in pdf format by Greywood Publishing in 2008.[12]

In 2009, Big Blue Bubble released an action-RPG for the Nintendo DS titled Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and based on the original title. In 2010, an electronic version of the title was released for the iPhone and iPad.[13]

On 10 February 2011 an Amazon Kindle edition of the title was launched by UK developer Worldweaver Ltd[14] and in September 2011 a PSP and PlayStation 3 version was announced by UK developer Laughing Jackal.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 365. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  2. ^ Mark J. Popp (2005-11-27). "Fighting Fantasy FAQ". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  3. ^ a b Mark J. Popp (2005-11-27). "Fighting Fantasy FAQ". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  4. ^ Mark J. Popp (2005-11-27). "Fighting Fantasy FAQ". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  5. ^ "Fighting Fantasy FAQ on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on 27 November 2005. 
  6. ^ "Fighting Fantasy FAQ on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on 27 November 2005. 
  7. ^ "One". Fightingfantasycollector.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  8. ^ "Interview with Simon Flynn on the official Fighting Fantasy website". 
  9. ^ "Warlock of Firetop Mountain, The". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  10. ^ "Review of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - RPGnet". Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "SFandFantasy.co.uk - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. 2003". Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Warlock of Firetop Mountain - RPG Geek". Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Connecting to the iTunes Store". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  14. ^ "Fighting Fantasy gamebooks at Worldweaver Ltd". worldweaver.com. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "Laughing Jackal announce Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain". laughingjackal.co.uk. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 

External links[edit]