`Night Dragon' by Keith Martin is one Fighting Fantasy gamebook I was looking forward to for some time, and may be the darkest adventure. You face an evil from the dawn of time itself, a Dragon so immensely powerful it can weave its ancient magic in the world of dreams, capable of fabricating copies of itself to strengthen its resurrection in the real world. Safe to say, it is the hardest opponent to defeat.
`Night Dragon' is challenging, though I say that as an understatement. Even deciding which order you should collect the Magic Artefacts is tricky enough, but defeating the sturdy, terribly unfair, highly-skilled enemies in your path is horrendously difficult if you have poorly determined stats. Also, you will have to cheat, depending on your choices, because of editorial mistakes that mean your calculated numbers to solve puzzles don't match up to the references it says to turn to (similar to an infamous error in Martin's later `Revenge of the Vampire' where it is impossible to take the best path without resorting to cheating).
Tony Hough's illustrations do an excellent job at enriching the portentous atmosphere created from Keith Martin's descriptions, as you head further into the encroaching threat of formidable darkness. They breathe new life into a paper-thin threat. Sadly, the interior illustration of the eponymous Night Dragon isn't nearly as impressive as the eye-catching cover, that exudes a menacing and enticing aura.
`Night Dragon' has great re-playable value. The sequences set in the Dreamtime are interesting, and the Mirror Demon is a signature threat, both hideous and strangely wondrous to look at. The Bone Stalker Mage has a name that just rolls off your tongue, and is a truly evil being, in its fierce stats and abilities, and hellish appearance. A brilliant read.
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Puffin (25 March 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140364072
- ISBN-13: 978-0140364071
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.7 x 18.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 159 g
- Customer Reviews: 5 customer ratings