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Spectral Stalkers

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Hunted across Time and Space! The Aleph is a prize beyond all measure, a mysterious globe from another dimension which can be used to harness all the forces of the Universe - and it has been entrusted to YOU for safekeeping. YOU must use its unearthly powers to transport you through the many Spheres of the Multiverse and return it to its rightful owner. But beware – the nig Hunted across Time and Space! The Aleph is a prize beyond all measure, a mysterious globe from another dimension which can be used to harness all the forces of the Universe - and it has been entrusted to YOU for safekeeping. YOU must use its unearthly powers to transport you through the many Spheres of the Multiverse and return it to its rightful owner. But beware – the nightmarish Spectral Stalkers also want the Aleph, and they are on your trail! Part story, part game, this is a book in which YOU become the hero! Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need. YOU decide which routes to take, which dangers to risk and which foes to fight.


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Hunted across Time and Space! The Aleph is a prize beyond all measure, a mysterious globe from another dimension which can be used to harness all the forces of the Universe - and it has been entrusted to YOU for safekeeping. YOU must use its unearthly powers to transport you through the many Spheres of the Multiverse and return it to its rightful owner. But beware – the nig Hunted across Time and Space! The Aleph is a prize beyond all measure, a mysterious globe from another dimension which can be used to harness all the forces of the Universe - and it has been entrusted to YOU for safekeeping. YOU must use its unearthly powers to transport you through the many Spheres of the Multiverse and return it to its rightful owner. But beware – the nightmarish Spectral Stalkers also want the Aleph, and they are on your trail! Part story, part game, this is a book in which YOU become the hero! Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need. YOU decide which routes to take, which dangers to risk and which foes to fight.

30 review for Spectral Stalkers

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    A Doctor Whoesque Fighting Fantasy 9 December 2013 It seems that a number of commentators have noticed that there is a very Doctor Who flavour to this particular gamebook. I am not at all surprised since Peter Darvill-Evans has written a number of Doctor Who novels in his career. I would not be surprised if, like me, Darvill-Evans has been a Doctor Who fan since his was a child, and bringing this passion into the Fighting Fantasy world is actually a refreshing change to many of the previous books A Doctor Whoesque Fighting Fantasy 9 December 2013 It seems that a number of commentators have noticed that there is a very Doctor Who flavour to this particular gamebook. I am not at all surprised since Peter Darvill-Evans has written a number of Doctor Who novels in his career. I would not be surprised if, like me, Darvill-Evans has been a Doctor Who fan since his was a child, and bringing this passion into the Fighting Fantasy world is actually a refreshing change to many of the previous books that I have read which have all been pretty much the same. In Spectral Stalkers you are wondering along a road, looking for a new quest, when one suddenly falls into your hand in the form of an artifact known as the Aeleph. However you are only given a hint of what you are supposed to do with it, and that hint comes in the form of a name. You are not told whether this person is good or bad, or whether you are supposed to give the Aeleph to him, or prevent him from getting his hands on it. You are not given much time to ponder the situation because some powerful creatures known as Spectral Stalkers begin to materialise forcing you to use the Aeleph and jump to another world. The whole gamebook involves you jumping between various worlds collecting things that will become useful in your quest. In fact they are referred to as signs and portents. The problem is that much of it is random so you do not have much choice in where you will end up next when you use the Aeleph. On the flip side there is actually not all that much combat in the book, which is also a refreshing change from the endless hack and slash and unmapable mazes of the previous books. What really stood out about this book though was that the end (and I don't want to tell you because it is a spoiler) does not involve a huge combat with a big bad guy but rather twisting the situation around to your own advantage. As I mentioned you know very little about the actual quest and what you are supposed to do, and in fact you can get to the end of the adventure and still not know all that much. Fortunately you do not need to make your way along the 'one true path' to get there because, as I mentioned, it is simply not possible. A few have suggested that they had not given this one a shot previously because of a number of reasons, and I must admit that I was one of them (namely because I simply did not have my hands on it, and also that I had pretty much stopped reading them around the mid-twenties - I believe that last one that I read in my younger days was Armies of Death, and I had stopped collecting them by that time). I think I better start trawling through Ebay again to see if I can get my hands on some of the other Fighting Fantasy books that I do not have and have not read (there are some that I don't have but have read because I have borrowed them off of a friend, however I would like at one stage to complete my collection by getting them as well, but as I have already read and commented on them, that time is not now).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Peter Darvill Evans must've been my spirit animal when I was a kid. Before China Mieville, before H.P. Lovecraft I read this weird bastard's work and it must've corrupted me. Because of all of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, this and Beneath Nightmare Castle are the most memorable. Although BNC is the superior of the two. Spectral Stalkers right off the bat lets you know you're in for some weird shit. You are faceless, nameless Protagonist 5,757 walking through the country of Khul when one day, a Peter Darvill Evans must've been my spirit animal when I was a kid. Before China Mieville, before H.P. Lovecraft I read this weird bastard's work and it must've corrupted me. Because of all of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, this and Beneath Nightmare Castle are the most memorable. Although BNC is the superior of the two. Spectral Stalkers right off the bat lets you know you're in for some weird shit. You are faceless, nameless Protagonist 5,757 walking through the country of Khul when one day, a strange alien winged humanoid falls from the sky. The figure is dying and presses a glass sphere into your hands. Turns out this sphere is the Aleph and it literally has the entire multiverse inside it. You now have the power to travel to different universes at your fingertips. Except the Archmage Globus is looking for the Aleph and has sent the Spectral Stalkers out to find it.... The first thing that you'll notice when you crack this book open is how fucking WEIRD this one is. This isn't your typical high-fantasy romp like a lot of the Fighting Fantasy books. It's weird fiction/space opera/science fantasy/horror all blended into a huge squishy mish-mash of ideas. You really get to see Darvill-Evans Doctor Who influence here because that's basically what the Aleph functions as: a TARDIS contraption for travelling across time and space. Throughout the story you can travel to a magic show with a real vampire, an underwater kingdom ruled by strange fish people, a ritual sacrifice to a giant stone head that spews acidic water, a chess game played by two gods with people as the chess pieces, a library run by a dragon, a workshop run by a cyborg on caterpillar tracks and Globus's homeworld, protected by strange aliens in glass armour. There's a wealth of strange and amazing stuff to find and explore. But not all of it is that well fleshed out. Because the bulk of the story has you dimension hopping, you won't always spend a lot of time in each area and some of them are lackluster to say the least. While travelling to the maze of the Logic Dog might be a weird quirky ride, travelling to a future timeline of Khul which is basically just an alteraction at a tavern with its innkeeper will feel boring. On the note of the gameplay, Spectral Stalkers follows Darvill-Evans's last book in much the same way. There is a surprising amount of freedom in this book with multiple pathways towards the end and multiple options to take to get to the end. The Aleph gives you the ability to travel but because you can't control it, you have to roll a die to see where you'll end up. This basically means that no two trips through the book will be the same. Hell, its even possible to get right to the end of the story from beginning, albeit at massive damage to your character and a thin chance of survival. Speaking of survival, like before Darvill-Evans opts for the "give the player a fighting chance" mode of gameplay unlike Ian Livingstone whose method was strapping a ball and chain around your bollocks while standing over the tiger pit. For the most part, fighting is more of a side-thing with more of the problems being puzzles with Evans sometimes gives the reader multiple options with which to solve problems, some of which are actively kind of novel given the setting. At one point, you can pick up an item that is a fire extinguisher in all but name, but your character won't know that because you're a pleb from a high-fantasy world. Even the before mentioned "fast track to the end" is possible, although extremely unlikely. The biggest threat the player if anything beside the obligatory "You died LOL" endings is the titular Spectral Stalkers, big fuck-off eldritch horrors that are tailing you throughout the whole book. They are represented by the TRAIL score, a measure of how close they are to zeroing in on your tasty arse. The more you draw attention to yourself, the higher the score grows and sometimes you will need to roll a TRAIL test. If you fail, prepare your arse because they've found you. Even then, there is a narrow chance of survival. But with all that being said, the story of Spectral Stalkers is kind of.....just there. Considering the general gist of the story is "have magic orb, will travel" the threat of Globus and the Stalkers just kind of fades into the background over what amounts to magical tourism. That's not to say you never meet him. Globus is the final encounter/puzzle of the book, but until you enter his homeworld, the books spends more time throwing you around across various magical environments than preparing you for the threat of the archmage. Spectral Stalkers is an interesting read, if only from the sheer creative juices squirting out of all of its pores like so much lemon-flavoured pus. It's weird, wild and insanely fun in its delivery but the story itself is kind meh, the arc villain is pretty standard fare and outside of the TRAIL mechanic, its still just your standard fantasy romp. Just with old granny dragons and tentacled robots.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neville Ridley-smith

    I'm really torn about what rating to give this. It's almost a 4 but not quite. As far as the FF formula, it gets so much right. Good points - the art is pretty darn good - lots of incredible detail - the plotting and story line at times is very good and promising - insta-deaths are fairly logical and not just random - you can play through the book with minimal stats - apparently you can get through it without any fighting at all - the maze is very well done - the last third of the book on the ziggurat I'm really torn about what rating to give this. It's almost a 4 but not quite. As far as the FF formula, it gets so much right. Good points - the art is pretty darn good - lots of incredible detail - the plotting and story line at times is very good and promising - insta-deaths are fairly logical and not just random - you can play through the book with minimal stats - apparently you can get through it without any fighting at all - the maze is very well done - the last third of the book on the ziggurat is very well structured in terms of how sections connect - it avoids the corridor-with-rooms-on-either-side pattern (I follow every path when I read gamebooks) - the trail score concept is pretty good - decisions can be made intelligently - one of my biggest bug bears - in a lot of FF books, it's a crap-shoot - in this one you can often make considered choices given the information and be rewarded for making a good choice Bad points - the random worlds for the first half of the book are just that - very random - it's a mishmash - the promising story line doesn't quite deliver, partly due to the randomness and especially the ending - the end is very abrupt and unsatisfying after such a long quest - I mean it's kind of clever in one way how you win but still, it's over in a flash Ultimately it comes down to whether I'd want to read it again - and the answer is.... maybe?.... BTW here are some rough notes I took for the maze: (view spoiler)[the map is mirrored! (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Craig Anderson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was torn about what rating to give this one. It is certainly imaginative, which is a plus. Some of the settings are very interesting. However, on the downside, the way you keep jumping between places - sometimes just as things are getting interesting - can be frustrating, and makes it difficult for the author to build narrative momentum. I did enjoy the finale. Unusually, instead of a big set-piece combat, victory depends on leading the villain to be undone by his own hubris. This is a refreshi I was torn about what rating to give this one. It is certainly imaginative, which is a plus. Some of the settings are very interesting. However, on the downside, the way you keep jumping between places - sometimes just as things are getting interesting - can be frustrating, and makes it difficult for the author to build narrative momentum. I did enjoy the finale. Unusually, instead of a big set-piece combat, victory depends on leading the villain to be undone by his own hubris. This is a refreshing change from the norm.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jules

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nick Green

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Green

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter Wise

  10. 5 out of 5

    Neil B

  11. 4 out of 5

    Theo

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jason Ezra

  14. 4 out of 5

    James Coulson

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hiphop Clown

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott Moore

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jack Hanson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharrif Belweil

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kellyann

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pedro António

  21. 4 out of 5

    xXRossiya AruXx

  22. 5 out of 5

    André Faria

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Pascall

  24. 4 out of 5

    Xeno

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wayne That Little Bookshop

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Reilly

  28. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  30. 4 out of 5

    K. Carters

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