Friday 28 April 2017

Marc Gascoigne to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 is delighted to report that Marc Gascoigne will be one of the guests attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 on Saturday 2nd September, at the University of West London in Ealing, London.

The name Marc Gascoigne is almost as familiar to fans of the FF gamebooks as those of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, Marc having worked on the original Out of the Pit and Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World source books. He also wrote Battleblade Warrior (FF31), co-created (with Pete Tamlyn) the Advanced Fighting Fantasy books Dungeoneer, Blacksand!, and Allansia, and wrote the FF novels Demonstealer and Shadowmaster - all whilst working as consultant editor on the Fighting Fantasy range.

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 is going to be a memorable occasion indeed, with a host of special guests in attendance, demo games, comics, traders, signings, and a cosplay competition. So don't delay - grab your ticket today!

The Second Swordsman - 'The Jackson Three'

This week it's time for another of Malcolm Garcia's Second Swordsman posts. Enjoy!

The Second Swordsman – 'The Jackson Three'

By Malcolm Garcia

So far I’ve attempted to complete ten FIGHTING FANTASY adventures by unfailingly choosing the second option. But I’ve noticed that something has been amiss. It’s not that I’ve yet to be successful in reaching section 400 (I’m accustomed to that), or that I’ve died within a few paragraphs of starting (that’s only happened a couple of times), or even that I’ve not managed to fight any gruesome creatures (I’ve done that a few times too). No. What’s been wrong is that of all my adventures, five have been solo efforts by Ian Livingstone, but only one – The Citadel of Chaos – has been the work of the co-founder of the FIGHTING FANTASY series, Steve Jackson.

To redress the balance I embarked upon using the Second Swordsman process to tackle three of Steve Jackson’s adventures. (No, it’s not the Sorcery! series, yet.) Interestingly, none of these is set in the familiar territory of Titan. Starship Traveller has YOU in a Captain Kirk-esque role, trying to guide your spaceship and crew back to Earth after being pulled through a black hole. House of Hell has YOU attempting to survive being captured by a group of devil worshippers in the world’s worst haunted house. And in Appointment with F.E.A.R. YOU are the resident superhero of Titan City who is trying to serve truth and justice, whilst also trying to uncover just enough clues to disrupt a meeting of super-villains.

Refreshingly, choosing every second option did not lead to a sudden and inglorious death in any of these three adventures. Despite acting in a gung-ho manner in Starship, I survived for a surprisingly long time. I destroyed two other spaceships (using a process much more complicated than that in Seas of Blood, but for no gain), killed local fauna for food, drew my blasters on alien species, and beat up guards. This foolhardy approach did, however, leave my own spaceship only one laser blast away from destruction. It was good having several crew members join me in my attempts at hostile negotiations and I never lost a single red-shirted one of them; until towards the end when several of them lost all hope of rescue and committed suicide. And then I went into another black hole and everyone died.

Fighting was not quite so successful in House. When following the process I failed to find a weapon for a long time and lost three rounds in unarmed combat against the appropriately named Invisible Enemy. I did manage to find a knife just in time to fight a Ghoul in the kitchen. But by this point I was only one FEAR point away from being scared to death and, even though I beat the menace without losing a single STAMINA point, I made such a racket that I was captured by the inhabitants of the house and placed in a cell to await a horrible, and unspecified, end. I thought the addition of the FEAR statistic was interesting, as I had to rely less on my LUCK (which I only had to test once), but it did provide an immediate penalty to any wrong turn in a way that other FIGHTING FANTASY books don’t.

In Appointment I fought only one character, a pickpocket, and this was in a city teeming with super-villains! I’ll admit right now that, even with all of the punishing names of characters and places, I did not enjoy playing Appointment. While I survived a few days (helped by being able to replenish six STAMINA points every night), and knew what I ultimately needed to do (unlike in Demons of the Deep), I found the adventure to be very disjointed. Each day I would be given the choice of visiting several different places, almost on a whim, with no real sense that I was gradually getting closer to my goal. The process in Midnight Rogue was better with all the locations being presented up front and then YOU choose the order in which to investigate them. I was also unsure about the purpose of the HERO points. In House, when your FEAR score reaches its maximum you die. But in Appointment there didn’t seem to be a penalty for losing HERO points or a benefit to be gained from accumulating them. There was also an unusual scene in Appointment where I faced off against a super-villain who was about to destroy a nuclear reactor. My initial attack against him was rebuffed and I then fled the scene, but nothing happened to the nuclear reactor! And my last gripe with Appointment was that the Energy Blast skill I chose was worse than useless – I used it three times and it failed twice, the second time resulting in my own death.

The only good thing about Appointment was that choosing the second option every time did not have me ignoring everything. The usual options were to go to one place or another. This meant I was able to stop a plane hijacking and rescue some swimmers from a frozen pool. But while not ignoring things meant I learned a lot about the plans of other criminals, I was never able to actually use this knowledge.

The situation was different in Starship where, even though choosing every second option let me survive for a long time, I fell into a cycle of ignoring most opportunities – I orbited a lot of planets, but then I ignored most of those with intelligent life. I only beamed down a few times, and when I did get to the surface I always seemed to be in a hurry to get back into space. The result was that I never really learned anything about the galaxy I’d found myself in, or how to get back to Earth. I even ignored the one opportunity to repair my ship, and this was after I’d been pummeled in the aforementioned space battles, as well as by a storm of meteors.

In House, even though I ignored a multitude of places to explore - for old times’ sake I would have loved to check out the Balthus room – it probably had the Ganjees! - I didn’t ignore absolutely everything. But this meant I gathered FEAR points way too quickly to have a good chance of finding the golden path through the labyrinth. One area in which House certainly shone was atmosphere. As soon as you start reading you get the feeling that coming here was a bad idea – in other FIGHTING FANTASY adventures your character usually knows what they’re getting themselves into. There was a growing sense of dread as I waited for the adventure to turn from me being a house guest of some local aristocrat to fighting for my life as a prisoner of some fiends. This wasn’t lightened by the interesting choose-your-own-banquet sequence and it’s no wonder that House was rated in the top ten FIGHTING FANTASY adventures in a fan poll several years ago.

So, although attempting ‘The Jackson Three’ using the Second Swordsman process didn’t see me slain by an ogre or fail to collect an important artefact upon which the fate of the world rested, I still fell short of reaching section 400 (or 340 and 440 in Starship and Appointment respectively). Next time I’ll grab my trusty sword and shield and seek out monsters, magic, and expanding mushrooms back on Titan.

Thank you, as always, to Malcolm, for his latest Second Swordsman blog post. If you have any suggestions for items for the official Fighting Fantasy blog don't forget to get in touch via

Friday 21 April 2017


The variant covers for issue #3 of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER have been released, and they are as awesome as you would expect - particularly because two of them focus on the villain of the story, who will be very familiar to fans of the original Freeway Fighter FF gamebook.

Art by series regulars Simon Coleby and Len O'Grady

Art by Ben Oliver

Art by Ben Willsher

Thursday 20 April 2017

One month until the official launch of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER at Forbidden Planet, London

One month today, on Saturday 20th May, you can join an all-star Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks line-up at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London, for the launch of Titan Comics’ Ian Livingstone's Freeway Fighter: The Comic from 1:00-2:00pm!

Forbidden Planet are pleased to welcome Gamesmaster Ian Livingstone, artist Jim Burns, editor Jonathan Green, and creators Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby and Orlando Arocena, bringing us the first leg of a furious three-way road trip.

Celebrating 35 years in 2017, Fighting Fantasy brought together choice-driven storytelling with a dice-based role-playing system to create a world in which ‘YOU are the hero!’ The series sold over 18 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 languages.

Freeway Fighters #1 (Forbidden Planet/Jetpack Burns Variant)

In the new comics series, an unknown virus has wiped out over 85% of the world’s human population. Former I-400 Driver Bella De La Rosa is one of the 15% – living every day as if it were her last. Now, eighteen months after the collapse of civilisation, faced with a new world order where violence and chaos rule the Freeway. She must hone her racing skills and survive any way she can! 

Stepping away from the usual mix of orcs and goblins, FREEWAY FIGHTER is a road trip like no other. Dare you take it? If yes, turn to paragraph 132!

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Freeway Fighter in the Judge Dredd Megazine

On sale from today is Judge Dredd Megazine 383, which, in its regular 'New Comics' slot, has a four-page feature on Ian Livingstone's Freeway Fighter.

Creators Ian Livingstone, Andi Ewington and Simon Coleby are all interviewed, so if you want to get the inside track on the most anticipated Fighting Fighting comic of all time, pop into your local newsagent or order your copy today.

Saturday 15 April 2017

First guests confirmed for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2

With 20 weeks to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, it seems timely to announce some of the guests who have confirmed their attendance*.

Guests of Honour

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be in attendance at the event, talking about the Fighting Fantasy series, which will be celebrating its 35th anniversary at the even. Ian will also be signing his new book Port of Peril as well as the Freeway Fighter Comic.


Russ Nicholson - one of the artists that really helped define the look of the Fighting Fantasy world, Russ illustrated eight FF gamebooks, including the seminal The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. He also illustrated all of the FF novels, the young FF Goldhawk series, and two of the three original AFF books. More recently he contributed extra illustrations to Tin Man Games' adaptation of Warlock.

Alan Langford - the illustrator of six FF gamebooks, including Island of the Lizard King and Creature of Havoc, Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 will be Alan's first convention.

Tony Hough - the illustrator of four FF gamebooks, including Night Dragon and Bloodbones, Tony was also a guest at the first Fighting Fantasy Fest.

Jim Burns - the artist behind the covers of not one, but two different editions of Freeway Fighter. Jim's classic 'red corvette' cover has also been used as a cover variant for the Freeway Fighter Comic.


Peter Darvill-Evans - author of three FF gamebooks, including Beneath Nightmare Castle and Spectral Stalkers, Peter was responsible for starting Virgin Publishing's Doctor Who New Adventures line of tie-in novels, after the popular TV show went off air in 1989.

Jamie Thomson - co-author of three FF gamebooks, including Talisman of Death and Sword of the Samurai, Jamie was the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012 for the novel Dark Lord: The Teenage Years.

Jonathan Green - author of seven FF gamebooks and YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, Parts 1 and 2.

And that's not all! More guests will be confirmed in due course.

Don't forget to pick up your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 today.

* Please note, all guest attendances are subject to health or other work commitments.

Friday 14 April 2017


Issue #2 of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER is now available for pre-order, from Forbidden Planet or your local comic store. But no matter how you order it, you're going to need these pre-order codes:

Click to enlarge.

In other news, Issue #1 has been garnering a lot of interest, and praise, from the comics community. Here's what just a few reviewers have had to say about it:

"Ewington and Livingstone together have put together a first issue that feels familiar, but still very entertaining. Normally this world setting is fuelled by macho male leads with women acting in a subservient role. Their choice of Bella De La Rosa as the hero around which this series rotates is brilliant..." ~ Graphic Policy

"Driving fast, and doing it well, are the keys to survival and when crashes happen, they are spectacular. The combination of Coleby’s art and O’Grady’s colours bring that kind of world to life... In Freeway Fighter, Campbell’s job as letterer is pushed out into the forefront to give the high speed chases and resultant crashes a little extra impact." ~ Pullbox Reviews

"This fast paced comic deserves your attention, as the story immediately grips the reader and the art brings it all to life... If you’re looking for something away from the mainstream, pick up Freeway Fighter #1." ~ Heroes Direct

"If you’re a fan of the original “Fighting Fantasy” adventure books, this is a must read." ~ Ain't It Cool News

Friday 7 April 2017

The Second Swordsman – ‘All at Sea!’

It's been a couple of weeks since Malcolm Garcia's last Second Swordsman post, but then it's been a busy couple of weeks for Fighting Fantasy, what with the announcement that the series is coming back with Scholastic UK, the announcement the Nomad Games are making Fighting Fantasy Legends, and the funding of the YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 Kickstarter. But now he's back, and this time Malcolm is...

The Second Swordsman – ‘All at Sea!’

By Malcolm Garcia

After my previous, and universally unsuccessful, adventures across the cities, forests, and dungeons of Titan I decided to see if choosing every second option would lead me to glory on the open ocean. In Seas of Blood (written by Andrew Chapman) YOU face off against your nemesis in a pirate-captain-showdown to see who can get the most treasure in fifty days while terrorising the Inland Sea of Khul. While in Demons of the Deep (written by the American Steve Jackson) YOU are the intended victim of a different pirate captain who casts you overboard, not knowing you would discover the underwater city of Atlantis and plot your revenge.

By dutifully following the Second Swordsman process, I made a poor start in both Seas and Demons. In the race-against-the-clock that is Seas, I eschewed the traditional pirate business model of plundering all manner of vessels and, after leaving the city of Tak (whose reputation makes it somehow sound worse than Port Blacksand), I instead went and hid in the desert for three days. After I gave up waiting for a caravan that never came, I headed to sea, only to then decide that the best way to make some serious loot and win this competition was to go… gambling. These two decisions resulted in a big waste of time for very little treasure gained.

And in Demons, while I didn’t stupidly try to immediately return to the pirates who had pushed me overboard, I did start my adventure in Atlantis by declining to help the spirit of a sea captain, swimming away from a Grouper (which bit me anyway and cost me two STAMINA), ignoring a crown and a trapdoor in a mausoleum, and then not helping a dolphin while it was being attacked by a shark (which lost me one STAMINA and one LUCK). If there was ever a time that an adventurer did not deserve the epithet ‘You Are The Hero’, this was it. I also didn’t explore a sunken ship or seek out a Sea Dragon for help against the pirates. Indeed, throughout my whole adventure in Demons I never actually found out what I should be doing; a few people mentioned that black pearls were important, but I wouldn’t have known what to do with them even if I had any.

In Seas there was only the one occasion that the Second Swordsman process earned me some serious booty. Because you have a ship’s crew, you can take on entire towns and other enemies that would usually be too much for one adventurer to fight. This meant we were able to sack a small town and steal its treasure. But I only did this once (I’m not quite sure why fighting the gambling pirates in Calah didn’t become a crew fight) and never had the opportunity for a good old-fashioned ship-to-ship fight. For most of Seas I ignored opportunities to get some gold and win the contest with the rival pirates. I left the desert after only a few days, I didn’t push onwards to the Dead City, I decided not to hunt for ships, I didn’t explore the island of Roc after killing the Roc, and I turned down the opportunity to attack the fishing town of Kirkuk (isn’t that in Iraq?).

In Demons, choosing the second option got me into some perilous fights. A Sea Ogre took half my STAMINA to beat it and fighting the Lion Fish cost me eight STAMINA. I also fought the aforementioned Grouper, but that wasn’t very exciting. However both the Grouper and the Lion Fish attacked me while I tried to initially flee from them and I lost STAMINA as a penalty, without even testing my LUCK. The only time fleeing worked without being penalised was against the much slower, and probably tastier, Giant Crabs. While exploring Atlantis I also had to take on the Kraken and, with a SKILL of 10 and STAMINA of 30, this was the beast that killed me. Other than a dragon or demon, this must be one of the highest STAMINA scores in all of Titan and I think I’d have needed a SKILL of 12 (or an enchanted weapon) to stand even the slightest chance against it.

Other than the fight against the gambling four pirates, in Seas, the only other creature I fought was the Sith Orb. While I know that Titan is a place full of mystery and monsters, I genuinely did not expect to encounter such a monster in, what appeared to be, a quiet farming town. Whatever happened to the locals using some wild dogs, or even a bear to guard their treasure? And how did those townspeople even get their hands on a Sith Orb in the first place?

In Seas, choosing the second option every time meant I had to test my LUCK six times, and it was the final (and inevitable) unlucky roll of the dice that doomed my crew faster than you can say ‘iceberg ahead’. Conversely, in Demons, I never once had to test my luck. I probably could have done it in my epic battle against the Kraken, but I doubt it would have changed the outcome.

So, once again, the Second Swordsman has met with failure, my body left to drift at the bottom of the ocean, probably being picked to pieces by those Giant Crabs. Maybe next time I’ll stick to adventuring on dry land.

Thank you once again, to Malcolm, for his blog post, and don't forget to get in touch if you have any suggestions for items for the Official Fighting Fantasy blog via

Monday 3 April 2017

Nomad Games announces Fighting Fantasy Legends

Cheshire, England - March, 2017

Nomad Games will be combining their expertise in digital card games with interactive fiction this summer! The team are pleased to announce their newest license - Fighting Fantasy, in conjunction with legendary authors Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

Fighting Fantasy Legends is a card-based role-playing-game set in the world of Fighting Fantasy. The game will feature three iconic books from the series – City of Thieves, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and The Citadel of Chaos.

As the series reaches its 35th anniversary, Nomad Games is putting a new spin on these familiar adventures. The player will explore the continent of Allansia, collecting cards and powering up their dice. Tricky decisions lurk around every corner as the player advances through decks of cards themed to their location, including cities, dungeons and more.

“I am delighted that Nomad Games have developed Fighting Fantasy Legends. As fans of Fighting Fantasy, we know the Nomad team has gone the extra mile in making their game not only exciting, but as realistically authentic as possible. Exploring Port Blacksand, Firetop Mountain and the Citadel should be a delight for the fans of the books!” Ian Livingstone, co-creator Fighting Fantasy.

“We’re really excited to be adding the Fighting Fantasy License to our portfolio and can’t wait to share this new adventure with you all this summer.” Don Whiteford, MD, Nomad Games.

Fighting Fantasy Legends will be coming to Steam, iOS and Android later this year.

About Nomad Games

Nomad Games is an independent video games developer and publisher based in Lymm, Cheshire. It was formed in 2011 by a small team of veteran digital developers, with over 20 years of experience. The company has evolved from the team’s passion for digital gaming on PCs and mobile devices, and is expanding its business to offer publishing services to niche developers and license holders of table top games. The company is best known for its digital version of the classic Games Workshop board game Talisman, which has sold over a million units on PC, Mac, Android and iOS formats. For more information visit