Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Iain McCaig to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Breaking news! Ace Fighting Fantasy artist Iain McCaig will be attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 on Saturday 2 September!

Iain first made a name for himself working on the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, illustrating two classic Livingstone titles - City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon - and providing the cover art for The Forest of Doom and Island of the Lizard King as well.

In 1987 he collaborated with Ian Livingstone again on the puzzle quest book Casket of Souls, and some of his paintings for the book were later re-purposed as covers for The Zagor Chronicles novel quartet.

Iain also worked with Steve Jackson, providing art for Steve Jackson's Battle Cards.

But 2017 has seen McCaig and Livingstone reunited for The Port of Peril hardback collector's edition.

Today, Iain is an internationally recognised and award-winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today.

He has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the ClonesStar Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode Seven: The Force Awakens. His work includes the landmark designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul.

His other film credits include: James Cameron's Terminator II, Steven Spielberg's Hook, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, Neil Jordan’s Interview With the Vampire, Sony/Revolution/Universal’s Peter Pan, and Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He is also Co-Producer and Concept Design Director on Ascendant Pictures’ science-fiction epic Outlander.

Iain is rarely in the UK so if you are a fan of his work you will not want to miss Fighting Fantasy Fest 2! (Tickets are still available.) He will be giving a talk and taking part in a Q and A, and will also be signing copies of The Port of Peril with Ian Livingstone.

Other confirmed guests* are Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Marc Gascoigne, Peter Darvill-Evans, Jamie Thomson, Malcolm Barter, Alan Langford, Tony Hough, Leo Hartas, Jim Burns, Pete Knifton, Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby, Robert M Ball, Keith Phillips and Jonathan Green.

The cast and crew of the new Fighting Fantasy audio drama The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest will also be there, as will the designers and developers of the FF video games Fighting Fantasy Legends and Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

* Health and work commitments permitting.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Audio Drama of Firetop Mountain

There are now just three weeks to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2.

As well as a host of special guests - including authors, artists and games designers - the event features a number of exclusives, such as the release of the brand new Fighting Fantasy audio drama The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest.

Listen to the just-released trailer for the audio drama here!

This brand new audio drama is brought to you by FoxYason Productions, whose previous post production credits include Warhammer, Stargate, Robin Hood, Terrahawks, The Avengers, plus over forty titles in Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero’s Quest is a 60 minute audio drama inspired by the very first gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy range:

"When a Warlock lays claim to the Dwavern caverns beneath Firetop Mountain, an Elven adventurer is sent to end his reign of evil."

The Warlock is played by Toby Longworth, probably best known for being the voice of Judge Dredd in numerous productions, or for his voice roles in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

The heroine of the piece, Vale Moonwing, is played by Rachel Atkins, best known for her voice work on computers games franchises such as Final Fantasy, Broken Sword, Dragon Age and Warhammer.

The hero of the adventure, Cassius Stormblade, is played by Tim Treloar, probably best known for playing the third Doctor in Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.

The production team had one key rule when producing this drama: they wanted to be absolutely faithful to all of the original characters and creations, but not spoil the gameplay of the original book for anyone who reads it afterwards.

Listeners will encounter lots of familiar characters, such as the Warlock, the Ferryman, the Minotaur, the Orc Chieftain and a pair of daring adventurers… but often in new and unexpected ways.

"Simply put, our goal was to bring the fantasy world we loved to life, with a new – but very familiar – adventure story," explains writer David N. Smith.

The production team will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 to answer all your questions, along with Toby Longworth, who provides the voice of Zagor. They will be giving a short seminar about the production, as well as selling some advance copies of the Limited Edition CD, before the official launch on the 3rd September.

For further updates on the project, you can follow FoxYason Productions on Facebook. Pre-orders are being taken now for the Limited Edition CD and Download, which can be purchased at: www.fightingfantasyaudiodramas.com.

And, of course, if enough fans purchase this pilot episode, the hope is that a full series will follow. So, if you would like to hear more audio dramas based upon Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, pre-order your copy today, and help to spread the word!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Freeway Fighter #4 released today!

The fourth and final part* of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER is out today from Titan Comics.

Cover A, by Ben Oliver

This four-part mini-series has been wonderfully crafted by Andi Ewington (writer), Simon Coleby (inks), Len O'Grady (colours) and Jim Campbell (letters).

If you missed the Forbidden Planet signing that launched the comic, you can meet the creators Andi Ewington and Simon Coleby, along with Ian Livingstone himself, at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, which is taking place on Saturday 2nd September at the University of West London in Ealing.

Cover B, by Simon Coleby & Len O'Grady

 Cover C, by Tazio Bettin & Luis Guerrero

Are you ready to meet the Animal?

The Animal, by Simon Coleby

* Unless, of course, the collected trade paperback of this first series sells well enough, in which case there could easily be more.

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Signing of Firetop Mountain

Last Friday, 4th August 2017, a number of the faithful gathered at the shrine to geekdom known as Forbidden Planet in London to beg audience with the masters of Firetop Mountain themselves, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

As you can see from the pictographic images here (and the ones reproduced within the esoteric Book of Face) the signing brought forth all manner of fans, including those who first discovered Fighting Fantasy back in the 1980s and '90s and newer devotees of the gamebook cult. There were also a few familiar faces spotted among the hordes, as well as celebrity fan Matt Holness*.

If you were unable to attend the Forbidden Planet signing, the next opportunity you'll have to meet Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 in September, where Scholastic Books will be selling the limited edition, signed hardback of Ian Livingstone's brand new FF gamebook The Port of Peril.

* An actor best known for his portrayl of fictional '80s horror writer Garth Marenghi in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

What's in your Backpack?

Today is your last chance to pre-order your Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 Adventurer's Backpack. If you haven't grabbed yours already, remember that the Backpack will be a unique memento of the event, containing...

  • An event-exclusive t-shirt
  • An event-exclusive lanyard and tag
  • An A4 art print
  • A Balthus Dire miniature

Balthus Dire, as sculpted by Paul Muller for Otherworld Miniatures.

There will be other goodies inside the Backpack too, but you only have until midnight to bag yourself one. (After midnight tonight you will receive an email asking you what size of t-shirt you will require.)

So don't delay, pre-order yours today!

Image courtesy of Steve Britton, whose Fighting Fantasy miniatures appear in YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, which will also be on sale at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 - Talks and Panels

Just four weeks from today, on Saturday 2nd September, Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 is taking place at the University of West London in Ealing.

With a host of guests and exhibitors in attendance there will be something for every Fighting Fantasy fan, be it role-playing game sessions, creator talks, or video game demonstrations.

This year there are two talk strands which will include the following...

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone giving a behind-the-scenes talk about how the Scholastic Era of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks came about...

Nomad Games showcasing Fighting Fantasy Legends in a Fighting Fantasy Fest exclusive...

Former Fighting Fantasy consultant editor and author Marc Gascoigne in conversation with Fighting Fantasy historian Jonathan Green...

Arion Games on their plans for the Advanced Fighting Fantasy Second Edition role-playing game...

Jamie Thomson talking about his Fighting Fantasy collaborations with Mark Smith and Dave Morris - the gamebooks Talisman of DeathSword of the Samurai and The Keep of the Lich-Lord...

Fox Yason Productions previewing their brand new Fighting Fantasy audio dramas...

Three-time FF author Peter Darvill-Evans with Alan Langford and Tony Hough, talking about their creative collaborations...

A panel featuring the creative team behind the new Freeway Fighter comic, published by Titan Comics...

A play-through of inkle studios' Sorcery! game, with narrative director Jon Ingold and Steve Jackson himself...

Tickets are on sale now but event-exclusive Adventurer's Backpacks - which include a t-shirt, lanyard, A4 art print, and Balthus Dire miniature - are only available for pre-order until midnight on Sunday 6th August.

Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Russ Nicholson is no longer able to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, and all of us at FightingFantasy.com wish him a speedy recovery. Get well soon, Russ!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone signing at Forbidden Planet today!

To mark the relaunch of the Fighting Fantasy series, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be signing copies of the books at the Forbidden Planet London Megastorefrom 6:00pm – 7:00pm today - Friday 4th August.

Ian will also be signing copies of his first new Fighting Fantasy title in five years, The Port of Peril.

In this brand new addition to the multi-million-selling books, YOU must travel across Allansia, from Darkwood Forest to Port Blacksand, on a dangerous quest!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Fighting Fantazine #16 is here!

It's been over a year since the last edition of Fighting Fantazine was published, but now issue #16 of the fan-fuelled fanzine is here, and just in time for Scholastic's relaunch of the series too!

To download the ezine for yourself - for free! - follow this link.

Fighting Fantasy relaunches today!

It's the day Fighting Fantasy fans all over the world have been waiting for, but at long last, in time for Fighting Fantasy's 35th anniversary later this month, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and his cronies have returned!

As well as reprinting five classic Fighting Fantasy titles, new publisher Scholastic have also released a brand-new adventure, penned by Fighting Fantasy co-creator Ian Livingstone.

The Port of Peril is available in paperback but also as a limited edition hardback, signed by Ian Livingstone.

There are only 500 copies of the limited edition hardback - which features brand new cover art by Iain McCaig and a new painted map of Allansia by Leo Hartas - so don't delay, pick up yours today!

And once you've read The Port of Peril, don't forget to post a review on Amazon.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Competition of Firetop Mountain

The brand new edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the original gamebook by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone that kicked off the whole Fighting Fantasy series, is re-released tomorrow for a new generation of readers and gamers.

As well as the adventures themselves - with their terrifying monsters, cunning tricks, and lethal traps for the unwary - the Fighting Fantasy books are famed for their fantastic, not to say fantastical, illustrations. So to mark 35th anniversary of the original publication of the book as well as the relaunch of the series, here at www.fightingfantasy.com we are running a competition for all you budding FF artists out there.

What we would like you to do is re-imagine one of the classic monsters that appears within the pages of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Will it be the Minotaur, the Dragon, or the Iron Cyclops that you re-design? Perhaps it will be the Vampire, the Sandworm, or the Giant Spider. Any creature is fair game, as long as it is encountered somewhere within The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

You can draw it in pencil or pen, as the original illustrations were produced, or you can paint it, or produce the image digitally. However, your picture must be submitted in the form of a .jpeg via email to mail@fightingfantasy.com by Friday 15th September, and the winners of the competition will be notified by Saturday 30th September*.

Every winning entry will receive a Steam key to download a free copy of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, courtesy of Tin Man Games, who have recently released the first DLC for the game - Goblin Scourge!

So don't delay - get drawing today!

* Terms and conditions
Copyright in the image remains with you (although any characters, locations or logos from the Fighting Fantasy series remain the copyright of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone), but www.fightingfantasy.com reserves the right to reproduce the image however we like and how often. There will be no fee paid and you give us permission for www.fightingfantasy.com to use your image regardless of whether you win the competition or not. No correspondence will be entered into regarding any entries and if you have not heard from us by Saturday 30th September then you must assume your entry is not among the winners.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Second Swordsman – Preparing for The Port of Peril

With Ian Livingstone's The Port of Peril published this Thursday, it's time for another in Malcolm Garcia's Second Swordsman series. Enjoy!

The Second Swordsman – Preparing for The Port of Peril

By Malcolm Garcia

With the imminent release of Ian Livingstone’s new FIGHTING FANTASY gamebook, The Port of Peril, I decided to get ready for attempting the latest adventure by trying the Second Swordsman process on a trio of his books from the original series. The last time I entered his part of Allansia was in Island of the Lizard King (which was the seventh of his books that I’ve attempted). This was the adventure where I set a new record by dying within four choices, so I was hopeful this was just one-off failure and I’d find more success if I tried three of his books in quick succession.

In each of these three, YOU ARE THE HERO trying to save the world of Titan from impending doom by attempting to destroy an evil ne’er-do-well. Temple of Terror has the evil wizard Malbordus, who will be given unchecked power if he can get his hands on several dragon artifacts which are hidden in the lost city of Vatos Crypt of the Sorcerer has the necromancer Razaak, who has risen from the grave bent on vengeance and can only be defeated by his own long-lost sword. And Armies of Death has the shadow demon Agglax, who is amassing an army of evil in northern Allansia.

The internal illustrations for both Temple and Armies were done by artists who would only do this once in the FIGHTING FANTASY series, being Bill Houston and Nik Williams respectively. Crypt was illustrated within by John Sibbick, who also did Midnight Rogue and the cover for Masks of Mayhem. And both Temple and Armies had covers by Chris Achilleos. Armies is also unique in that it’s the only time YOU are the adventurer in a direct sequel, it following on from your successful attempt at Trial of Champions. While the opening of Temple seems to suggest that the wizard Yaztromo knows you from The Forest of Doom, although whether this is actually the case is not explicitly revealed.

The three adventures all started well with either fair or good starting scores for my SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK. Temple added the ability to use several magic spells – although I never actually had the opportunity to use any. Crypt dispensed with the usual ten provisions and gave me a five-portion healing potion instead – although I never got to use it. And Armies added the opportunity to have skirmish battles between soldiers – although I didn’t get to try this modification either.

In Temple I was able to reminisce about good times as I visited Port Blacksand early on and stayed at the Black Lobster tavern, although while there I was robbed of all my gold (which is apt for the City of Thieves). I was later rescued from a sinking pirate ship by a crew of sea-going Dwarves, but not before I was quizzed about who was their King (the answer is in the background section of the book – well played Mr. Livingstone!). Then I started across the Desert of Skulls looking for Vatos. I fought some Needle Flies but then ignored too many opportunities to gather information and objects and was finally killed by a Giant Sandworm. This is only the fourth time the Second Swordsman process has failed due to a fight (the previous time was against a Kraken in Demons of the Deep). With the Giant Sandworm’s SKILL score of ten I figure I either (a) had gone the wrong way entirely, (b) had failed to find a special object to help kill it, or (c) this was just a test to cull the weaker characters before they reached Vatos where more fearsome foes dwelled.

Crypt also starts with a chat with Yaztromo where he tells me that Razaak’s sword is to be found in the Lost Lake which is somewhere in the Moonstone Hills.  I headed into the Hills on horseback but then, through two unlucky rolls of the dice, I was thrown from my horse and then robbed and left for dead by some Chameleonites. Thus a new record has been set – dead after just two choices. No fights. No puzzles. Just an ignominious end.

In keeping with its title, in Armies YOU start with an army of 220 warriors. And YOU still have 700 gold left over from your success in Trial. For this I can forgive the lack of any provisions at the start of the adventure. Through using the Second Swordsman process I don’t muck about and immediately start marching to find Agglax’s army. In doing so I ignore the advice of people I meet on the way and anonymous cries for help (ignoring things seems to usually be the second choice in Ian Livingstone adventures). I reached the town of Zengis in record time, and then before nightfall I managed to ignore six opportunities in a row to spend my loot or otherwise gain information or objects. After leaving Zengis, no better off than when I arrived, I then entered the Forest of Fiends and continued to rush and ignore things. I found Agglax’s army and, while I had not yet lost a single warrior, I had also not gained any more troops or objects or information to help me to victory. A combination of Chaos Warriors, catapults and an arbitrary dice roll cut my troops by half and I then suffered an instant death at the hands of a goblin armed with a crossbow.

I did get into several one-on-one fights in Armies, taking on a Fishman (possibly related to those in The Forest of Doom – another Ian Livingstone adventure), a trio of Robbers, a Mountain Orc, a Hill Troll, and a Werewolf. While none of these were too difficult, because of my good starting SKILL, it was annoying not being able to replenish STAMINA that was lost from the occasional unlucky dice roll. And even though the Werewolf managed to inflict one wound upon me when it only had one STAMINA point, I still needed to do a LUCK test to see whether I’d contracted lycanthropy.

So once again, the Second Swordsman process has been unsuccessful in my quest for glory. But while I set a new record for failure in Crypt, I did manage to find Agglax’s troops in Armies. It will be interesting to see how I perform in The Port of Peril. In all of my adventures I’ve yet to die in Port Blacksand, but will choosing every second option mean I continue to ignore too many opportunities for new objects or knowledge and fail tantalisingly close to the finish? We will find out in just a few days...

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Rebirth of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks

It's going to be a busy week here at www.fightingfantasy.com, as this is the week when the official relaunch of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks will take place, courtesy of Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone and Scholastic UK!

That said, there are some individuals who clearly Tested their Luck and were Lucky, finding copies of the new editions in WHSmith stores up and down the country. If you happen to be one of those bold adventurers, don't forget to post a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or anywhere else, to help spread the word to the next generation of dungeoneers!

Also already out is Nomad Games' brand-new Fighting Fantasy Legends, which will be showcasing at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 on Saturday 2nd September, and which has already received a Silver Award from Pocket Gamer!

Also available now is the first DLC for Tin Man Games' 3D dungeon adaptation of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Called Goblin Scourge, it introduces players to a whole new area of Firetop Mountain as well as unlocking new playable characters for the game.

And lastly, Fighting Fantasy makes two appearance in the August issue of SFX magazine, once in the Red Alert news section, and once on the Event Horizon page.