Attempt 6?!? You’ve gotta be kidding me.
Arrow Cutting, Climbing and Poison Needles, for the curious.
After thinking about it for about two seconds, I take the path of least resistance, and again follow Chigeru to Nara.
You were just waiting for the bullet points, weren’t you? Happy to oblige!
- Chigeru and I confront the monks (TM Fenrir) and I defeat my first enemy, although he does reduce my Endurance to 10, from 20.
- I finish off the final opponent without suffering further damage.
- I follow Chigeru to Nara, climb the wall of the castle, and manage to dodge the spider / lady combo and retrieve the first flag.
- I manage to assist the samurai with the possessed sword, while losing another 5 (!) Endurance, I do, however, then get 2 Endurance back from his ‘field dressing’.
- I move on to Takahiri, enlist Nao’s help, infiltrate the castle and once more face off against the Pit Feeder.
- I’m not optimistic, since I only have 7 Endurance left.
- After a couple of mutual misses, I land a forceful kick and reduce the Feeder (hereafter PF) to 8 Endurance.
- In the next round, make that 5 Endurance for the PF, before it lands a blow against me!
- Did I say 5!?
- Because I sure as heck meant zero!!!
Take it away Sherlock :
- More importantly, I am then able to retrieve the second flag (!), say farewell to Nao and peacefully spend another night in a city alleyway, next to a sake den (!)
- Restoring 3 Endurance, I’m back up to the lofty score of 10 (!)
- Making my way into the Iga mountains, I restore a further 4 points of Endurance (up to 14)
- I confront Aiko and the swarm of locusts, and use 1 point of Inner Force to avoid the mind juju which attempts to compel me to poison myself.
- I dive into the river, and unfortunately watch Aiko die. I do, after she dies and Daon enters the fray, retrieve one (!) Shuriken and spiderfish venom, which ‘enlivens’ the Poison Needles skill.
- Daon and I run into Gorobei, and shortly thereafter confront the wolf / dog hybrids (another Gamebook sentence that you wouldn’t see elsewhere).
- We defeat the Hainu, although I do lose 5 Endurance due to one missed attack (down to 9).
- I get buried in the avalanche, losing a further (!) 4 Endurance (down to 5)
- This time, for the sake of variety, I elect to try to see if Daon and / or Gorobei have survived the avalanche. I manage to rescue Daon, although he is greviously wounded.
- Right about now is when the Queen lyric from the featured image becomes relevant.
- As I try to make it through the desolate snow-scape, I manage to make the requested roll (which is a test on my Inner Force)
- We then have a spiritual visit (!) from the Spirit Tiger of Kwon, who leaves psychic (or real!) footprints for us to follow through the blizzard.
- We make it to a secret temple of Eo where, not only is Daon saved, but I am able to restore a point of Inner Force and 12 (!) points of Endurance!
- Sacrifice for friends has its reward! (Which sort of means that it isn’t really a sacrifice but that’s a philosophical debate for another day)
- I then tell Daon that I will go on, now that I know he is safe.
- He then tries to give me (!) the flag of Nasaka, even though the rules of the contest clearly state that each flag must be won individually, and not handed from one competitor to the next.
- I reluctantly take the flag, although personally resolving to be honest if asked how the flag came into my possession.
- As I take my leave of Divine Orchid (the charming Native American-esque name of the Eo-worshipper who has helped us), I resolve to use every effort to finish this gamebook or die in the attempt!
Stats : Endurance : 17, Inner Force 3, Shuriken 6, All modifiers : 0
Recommended web-page : Although he commentates more on twitter nowadays, I highly recommend checking out the archives of Las Vegas Cabbie Chronicles. It is truly a warts-and-all description of the interesting (and often difficult) life of a cabbie in Sin City.