Post by dinefwrwolf on Feb 20, 2021 17:04:36 GMT
I recently discovered Project Aon after many years and have started a new playthrough. Currently I have got as far as finishing book 12 "The Masters of Darkness". In this thread I will just talk about my playthrough of books 1-5 and if the thread proves interesting to people, I will create another thread for later books. Please no spoilers beyond book 12. I would be very interested to hear how other people got on in their quests. Please be warned, my posts in this thread do contain spoilers regarding books 1-5
Book 1 "Flight From the Dark."
I first played this in 1992/3. I really enjoyed it but found it difficult and took several attempts to complete it. Fastforward 28/29 years and I completed it without losing a life. I headed south along the river and avoided the Graveyard of the Ancients. I remembered very little details from my first playthrough but must admit that I did remember the Graveyard of the Ancients being difficult. However most of my decisions on replay were totally without any help from memory.
Book 2 "Fire on the Water"
One of my favourites in the series. Again I remembered almost nothing, with the exception of knowing that the priest was the would be assassin in the tavern and also that I needed to find a silver spear to deal with the helghast. I completed this losing two lives and had to change my discipline choice to include animal kinship, to communicate with the noodnic as I couldn't think what different choices I could make to get the spear. On reflection, I think one probably has to take the spear out of the wounded man that the szalls say is a helghast and risk combat there ?
Book 3 " The Caverns of Kalte"
Back in the '90s I completed this without losing any lives but this time around I lost one life after losing on the random number table shortly after finding the mage from the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star. Despite the fact that I didn't lose many lives, I thought this was a challenging adventure with lots of tough choices, for example the Kalte child hostage situation. It was difficult to know what to do to come out of that scrape alive. Plus there were several successive combat situations near the end which were difficult because of their quick successive nature.
Book 4 "The Chasm of Doom"
In the '90s this was not one of my favourites but this time around I loved it.On replay I lost one life (can't remember how I did all those years ago) I think that Joe Dever created a very well paced and balanced adventure here. You really have to think how you are going to avoid successive combat situations in book 4 because their cumulative nature is dangerous. I think Joe really got the combat right here, where as a player if you win or lose in the combats it was primarily down to the choices that you made leading up to them. This certainly wasn't true in all of the books (8, 9 and 11 spring to mind !) The race to the Ruanon town gates was very exciting and I loved the mine setion at the end.
Book 5 " Shadow on the Sand"
This was perhaps my favourite book in the whole series and on replay I certainly wasn't disappointed - It was brilliant. Joe really makes Vassagonia feel like a real place and my escape from the Vassagonian authorities at the beginning, the journey through the sewers and the race against time to find some Oede in the palace all felt very exciting. In the '90s I took several attempts at completing book 5, this time around I lost one life in the second half of the adventure after falling victim to the random number table.
I was sorry to hear of Joe's passing a few years back. I think he truly was the master of the gamebook genre, he really managed to combine challenging, exciting games with great and immersive storytelling. It is great that his works are being preserved here.