Return to Firetop Mountain
Les Edwards cover (1992)
|Cover artist||Les Edwards|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
ISBN 1-84046-481-X (Wizard)
Return to Firetop Mountain is a single-player roleplaying gamebook written by Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Martin McKenna and originally published in 1992 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2003. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 50th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-036008-5) and 16th in the modern Wizard series (ISBN 1-84046-481-X).
It is a sequel to the first Fighting Fantasy book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, written to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy. It was originally planned to be the final book in the series but, as the series was still so popular, it was continued.
The reader must travel to Firetop Mountain and defeat the resurrected Warlock Zagor. The book fleshes out the details of Zagor and the area Northern Allansia in the world of Fighting Fantasy. In The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Zagor was portrayed as merely a reclusive Warlock who is guarding the treasure chest in the heart of a mountain, and the player's objective was only to obtain the treasure by slaying Zagor. In the sequel, Zagor is instead portrayed as an evil wizard who was once slain by a heroic adventurer years ago and is now resurrected, seeking revenge on Allansia. The reader takes the role of another adventurer, and this time their objective is not solely to gain the treasure, but to rid Allansia of the evil Zagor.
Unlike the first book the player must actually traverse the land to actually get to the mountain before facing its dangers. In addition, the second half of the mountain has been changed, giving the player no particular advantage from knowledge of the layout provided in Warlock of Firetop Mountain. There are several references to the original The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, including a case that housed an arrow in the original book that is found to be empty. A trap involving a sword disguised as a lever also reappears.
There’s a portrait of Ian Livingstone hidden in the interior art of the game book. It's the face of the Inquisitor carrying a sword and dagger in the picture for reference number 262. Artist Martin McKenna added the author’s face to his artwork for all the game books he illustrated that were written by Livingstone.
Popularity and other references
By the time Return to Firetop Mountain was published, the Puffin Fighting Fantasy series was nearing its end. The series may not have continued after this title, however due to its unexpected popularity Puffin published another nine books before they ended the Fighting Fantasy series.
The character Zagor appeared in the Zagor Chronicles series of novels written by and Keith Martin (although credited to Ian Livingstone  || Jim Burns & Martin McKenna || Martin McKenna || 1993 || 0-14-036566-4), and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook based on the novels, Legend of Zagor.
The Special Limited Edition of the Wizard version used gold embossing as opposed to the usual silver.
- Green; Jonathan (2014) You Are the Hero: A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. Snowbooks Ltd, p. 164. ISBN 978-1909-679368
- "Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks on gamebooks.org".
- "Return to Firetop Mountain on gamebooks.org".
- "Return to Firetop Mountain on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on November 27, 2005.