Way of the Tiger review and survey!


Well! We’ve made it to the end of a long and winding road!

Thank you to all who have both stayed with me since March 2016, and also those who’ve joined the journey along the way, while reading the archives.

I’ve always felt a magnificent thrill of pride when I note that some individual reader has burned through 50+ posts in one day, after discovering this little blog.

I was going to write a sweeping overview of the Way of the Tiger series, but my summaries really speak for themselves.  I’ve had an extremely high level of admiration for the coherent world-building which occurs within the context of this series.  Although clearly the product of the pre-existing RPG campaign of Messrs Smith and Thomson, the ability to channel this scenario into a gamebook is admirable.

Alright, this is the section where I need your participation!

I have statistics on visitors to this blog, and I can tell you that only a very VERY small percentage of readers actually leave one or more comments.  There I will make this request quite explicit.  EVERYONE reading this should answer one or more of the survey questions.

Here we go!

  1. What is your age and country of current residence?
  2. What was the first gamebook you ever read?  Feel free to share a charming anecdote about ‘your first time’.
  3. Had you read any (or all) Way of the Tiger books before discovering this blog?  If so, how did you come to the series?
  4. Do you have a favourite book in the Way of the Tiger series?  If so, what made that book your favourite?
  5. Did you play gamebooks honestly, or did you cheat?
  6. What is your favourite movie?
  7. What is the first album you bought with your own money?
  8. How did you discover this blog?
  9. Is there anything you particularly want to mention about this blog in terms of improving it when I start on another series?

Briefly, my answers :

  1. 40, Australia.
  2. Warlock of Firetop Mountain.  At the age of 7, I saw it (and Citadel of Chaos) in my primary school library and never looked back.
  3. Yes, duh.  (although I didn’t own Warbringer! and had only borrowed it from a friend)
  4. Tough.  I’d probably say Avenger!, just for the atmosphere and world-building or Usurper! for the dual paths and the strategy pending your palace coup.
  5. I would often forego dice rolls and simply play through the choices, and I found that aspect more interesting.
  6. Casabalanca.
  7. Make It Big! by Wham! – A great pop album that still stands up!
  8. N/A
  9. More Hawthorn references!






29 thoughts on “Way of the Tiger review and survey!

  1. 1. 46 Australia
    2. Avenger, First time was in a Sales Meeting (hid the book in my folder and read a few paragraphs)
    3. no
    4.Avenger, the original is always the best
    5. I refuse to answer this to avoid incriminating myself
    6. Madame X – Lana Turner
    7. a Suzi Quatro Album, I think it was Greatest Hits
    8.My lawyer
    9. More Trump jokes and Cat pictures

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1) 30…and i’m from Italy
    2) My first one was “Overlord!”…and i remember i bought a wrong edition…sections were only from 200 to 420!!! Not bad as my first time in the gamebook stuff, isn’t it?
    3) Yes, i did.
    4) Overlord! Because it was my first gamebook at all and it is incredible how action and politic melt together in this masterpiece.
    5) Always honestly, at least in my first five attempts…you know what i mean, ah!
    6) The Godfather
    7) Iron Maiden’s “Iron Maiden”…Up the Irons and Paul Di Anno!
    8) Searching for clarifications about the “Popularity” rules in “Overlord!” And then i discovered a huge world!
    9)As i commented in previous posts, i’d like a great walkthorugh for the Lone Wolf Series.
    Your Truly,
    Matteo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Bruce Dickinson rules, no doubt…but i have a special feeling for Di Anno…as strange as it sounds but i knew Iron Maiden thanks to that record…and in that record Paul Di Anno is the singer 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. What is your age and country of current residence?
    36, Sweden.
    2. What was the first gamebook you ever read? Feel free to share a charming anecdote about ‘your first time’.
    I think “Hämnaren”, the Swedish translation of Avenger!.
    3. Had you read any (or all) Way of the Tiger books before discovering this blog? If so, how did you come to the series?
    Some, but not all. I think I got the first book as a birthday present, or similar, by somebody who knew I was a bit into fantasy and RPGs.
    4. Do you have a favourite book in the Way of the Tiger series? If so, what made that book your favourite?
    I’d have to think about it. Maybe not. I’ve got the strongest connection to the first two books as the ones I’ve played most and earliest.
    5. Did you play gamebooks honestly, or did you cheat?
    Think I mostly played honestly.
    6. What is your favourite movie?
    Don’t really have one.
    7. What is the first album you bought with your own money?
    Don’t remember.
    8. How did you discover this blog?
    Comment by you, the author, on Nathan Mahney’s “Your Adventure Ends Here” blog.
    9. Is there anything you particularly want to mention about this blog in terms of improving it when I start on another series?
    Mostly just thanks and keep up the good works. The one thing is if it was fully tailored to my interests it might sometimes be slightly more focused on exploring different possible paths, but I’m not sure that would make it better for most people and in any case you should do what works for you.
    And then, I kind of think you should do Talisman of Death at some point, and maybe you don’t have to wait until you’re through all of Lone Wolf.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1- 34, Ireland
    2- Possibly Trial of Champions. Still wonder if it’s possible to finish it without cheating.
    3- Yes but not all of them. My brother borrowed Avenger! from a friend when I was about 12.
    4- Avenger! was the first I did. Vastly different from Fighting Fantasy and the final confrontation with the three villains is awesome.
    5- Might have been some cheating involved.
    6- Couldn’t honestly say. I have a soft spot for Eastwood (both sides of the camera) and the Coen Brothers (it’s not all good though). Oh, and just because it’s one of my pet hates, Peter Jackson sucks 🙂
    7- Probably Oasis – Morning Glory
    8- A friend pointed me to it. And I thank him for it.
    9- Nope, looking forward to Lone Wolf though. Best series in my opinion (1 to 20 at least).

    Thanks for the good times.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice. As I recall, the fights were not the problem for me. It was finding the 9 rings and the 3 codes. I think the best I managed was 5 and 2 respectively. And that was with drawing a map etc. The horror…


  5. 1. 36 Malaysia
    2. The Gateway of Doom, 2nd book in the Grail Quest series.
    3. All except for Redeemer!
    4. Overlord! but Warbringer! comes close. Both were so different from every other gamebook that I’d played.
    5. Cheated mostly. I read most of my gamebooks in the bookshop while my mom did her weekend shopping.
    6. Hard to say…there are so many.
    7. Michael Learns to Rock (Danish band that was really big in Malaysia during the 90s)
    8. Stumbled here while I was Googling for “Way of the Tiger” and “Orb the Role Playing Game”.
    9. Would love it if you did “Night Dragon”, “Creature of Havoc” and some Grail Quest one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 1) As a pen name, David Walters is 5 years old! And Scotland. Jamie Thomson sometimes refers to me as the Scottish samurai.
    2) first ever was Talisman of Death, first Tiger one was Overlord
    3) read all six, hated the ending so wrote two more
    4) Overlord was my favourite of the originals. If there was a book 8 by me we’d see some more rulership options for sure
    5) Way of the Tiger was about the only system I played by the rules as there wasn’t just random dice rolling in combat
    6) Aliens
    7) Seduced & Abandonned by Scottish band Hue and Cry
    8) I still look for all things WOTT related
    9) I too think you should do Talisman of Death before leaving Orb
    Just to say the next WOTT related material should be the Orb RPG which is already over 100,000 words in draft form. For those not bothered about RPG part, it has great encyclopaedia material on the world and its history!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Orb RPG!! Yay!!! Even if there’s no book 8 in the near future (sadness), fans will still be able to enjoy further adventures in that fantastic world in another medium.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What is your age and country of current residence?
    33, UK

    What was the first gamebook you ever read? Feel free to share a charming anecdote about ‘your first time’.
    Talisman of Death

    Had you read any (or all) Way of the Tiger books before discovering this blog? If so, how did you come to the series?
    I actually found one book in a bookshop in Hasting, but didn’t buy it. I came across it probably from Dave Morris’s blog.

    Do you have a favourite book in the Way of the Tiger series? If so, what made that book your favourite?

    Did you play gamebooks honestly, or did you cheat?
    Cheat cheat cheat. But that’s what you have to do when monster stats seemed to have been decided by throwing a dart at a dartboard whilst blindfolded in the 80s.

    What is your favourite movie?
    Time Bandits

    What is the first album you bought with your own money?
    Never really bought albums. I think it was a collection of Faure’s works, because that’s just how I rolled when I was 17.

    How did you discover this blog?
    Maybe from David Walters. I think.

    Is there anything you particularly want to mention about this blog in terms of improving it when I start on another series?
    Nope. Carry on what you’re doing please. Please don’t stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 1) Age 47 (oldest here so far, yah ). Dublin

    2)Citadel of Chaos, saw it on holiday, bought it and was quickly hooked. As an aside, shortly after this my parents discovered I’d being having a rather miserable time in the neighbourhood and to try and make up my dad from then on bought me every Lone Wolf, Fighting Fantasy, Skyfall, Wott, Sorcery, Sagard book that came out so to me gamebooks are tied up in feelings of a fathers love.

    3) Had played all including Ninja and Redeemer. Played Assassin first, found it strange, died several times, but loved it ever since.

    4) They’re all amazingly different but its between Overlord for the city rulership and Warbringer for the AMAZING Bridgewater Battle.

    5) Generally honestly, which can be frustrating, BUT in Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf I would make sure I started with good stats, don’t need to cheat so much then😉

    6) Lego Movie because I watched it two days ago with son. It varies depending on what I’ve just watched/feel.

    7) Either a Now compilation or Aqua (I apologise for NOTHING!).

    8) David Walters recommended it on Megara’s Wott facebook page. Thanks again David.

    9) I wrote a Warhammer fan book once, only my mother read it. While she enjoyed it I’m not the one to give you writing tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 1) Age 41, U.S.A.

    2) Probably a Lone Wolf book, probably a copy of Caverns of Kalte I discovered at the library. If you don’t know the American book cover, it really got my attention: http://lonewolf.wikia.com/wiki/The_Caverns_of_Kalte
    As a kid, I would read Choose Your Own Adventure AND play board games by myself (playing multiple players). Gamebooks were a natural progression.

    3) I now own all the books, but have NOT read Redeemer yet. Guess I’m saving it. Haven’t read Inferno in decades. Still remembered the world-building and frustratingly intriguing combat system.

    4) Warbringer! Starts with usual destroy evil threat, then it gets interesting. Choose and win an ally, decide on a battle plan, then do cool ninja stuff again before leading your troops to victory (or not).

    5) My cheating is honestly accidental. As I flip through another section, I catch some interesting text, and can’t help but read it. I can now see some of the future. I also make choices and stick with them, to the point of starting over, but first read at least one path I didn’t take.

    6) As a kid: Back to the Future
    As an adult: Pulp Fiction

    7) Probably Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. Also, are you Deadpool?

    8) Dave Morris’ Fabled Lands blog. I actually rediscovered gamebooks after decades, thanks to a stray online comment recommending Fabled Lands and DestinyQuest. Otherwise, I might have missed out on those great series and the new Way of the Tiger books.

    9) I like the jokes you make, but I wonder if you’ve held back on your more … risque material. Perhaps you’re afraid we’ll think less of you. If so, push past that feeling, and make that joke. For example, here’s a joke I would have written if this were my blog, when you pass the temple of Zarahrayal, the goddess of seduction, and note the ‘rising carnal noises from within’

    I can imagine a conversation between two beggars, one new to the city, the other a native:
    “Is there a temple that will help a poor soul like me?”
    “Yeah, you need to stop by the temple of Zarahrayl.”
    “Do they worship a pious god that instructs them to feed the poor and heal the sick?”
    “Who cares!”


  10. 1. 35; Canada
    2. Do CYOAs count? If yes, one of those. If not, as FF. In either case, I don’t know which specific one. The first one I ever beat though, was the Shamutanti Hills in the Sorcery series. The Sorcery books are favourites of mine.
    3. I had never even heard of them. I found the blog through another blog.
    4. n/a
    5. Definitely cheated. I am a completionist and liked to see all of the things, so I would “bookmark” choices and then look to see what my alternatives would have been. I would also let my character ride on zero or even negative health if I knew they would get healed up.
    6. Not much of a movie person, sorry!
    7. Between Earth and Sky by Rhea’s Obsession.
    8. Through another blog. Don’t ask which one; I don’t remember.
    9. I had trouble navigating to specific entries if I had not read in a few days because there is no submenu under the month or book title in the archives to let you jump to a specific “part” easily. Also, when multiple emails came a day, there was sometimes a giveaway based on the numbering system of the title that Avenger was going to die. I like the numbering system though, because it makes it very easy to tell where you left off and that you are reading the posts in the right order.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 1) 39, UK
    2) My first gamebook was probably a bunch of choose your own adventures.
    3) I did read all the Way of the Tiger books back in my childhood, over and over and over again…
    4) My favourite was probably Overlord, especially the political bit. It was a shock to my teenage mind that sometimes you needed to compromise rather than always follow advice from the purest good guys.
    5) I started cheating early on because it was the only way I stood even half a chance in some of the Fighting Fantasy books.
    6) Favourite movie: The Pianist.
    7) First album: maybe The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld.
    8) I came here from your comment on the Fabled Lands blog.
    9) It took me a little time to work out how to get to the first post chronologically. Otherwise no suggestions, it’s great as it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What is your age and country of current residence?

    43 – United Kingdom

    What was the first gamebook you ever read? Feel free to share a charming anecdote about ‘your first time’.

    Deathtrap Dungeon, I think. It might have been the first one of the Lone Wolf series. Actually no, it was Citadel of Chaos.

    Had you read any (or all) Way of the Tiger books before discovering this blog? If so, how did you come to the series?

    Oh yes, I think I did them all about 3 times over the mid eighties. I remember looking for new Fighting Fantasy books in a large bookshop in a town in southern England called Reading (no that wasn’t a pun). What, 1984 or something like that? I think one or two of the Fighting Fantasy books had got a bit lame at that stage, I remember one just ended in an illogical death because there was a misprint of the reference entry number and it f*****d up the whole thing, and I had to read every entry to navigate my way back into the story, which was not worth it by then as I had read most of the surprises in order to get back to it. So I was frustrated and open to a new experience of the same format. Already liked ninjas and nunchakus and that. Bought the first two books. Remember being very excited with all that Kwon sh*t. Love it off the bat.

    Do you have a favourite book in the Way of the Tiger series? If so, what made that book your favourite?

    Assassin. Your man really gets his game on with extra powers and it gets all mystical and the story unfolds nicely.

    Did you play gamebooks honestly, or did you cheat?

    Tried to play honestly. Then got killed. Had to backtrack. Continued in denial of the wrong turn I’d took. Today such behaviour would probably be called a “hack” or somesuch godawful turn of phrase that I’m a bit too old to feel is part of me.

    What is your favourite movie?

    Oh, I don’t know. Pick one. Enter The Dragon? Withnail and I? Star Wars (I’m not calling it Episode IV or A New Hope – it’s just f******g Star Wars).

    What is the first album you bought with your own money?

    Dare by the Human League I think.

    How did you discover this blog?

    I honestly can’t remember. And it was only a few minutes ago.

    Is there anything you particularly want to mention about this blog in terms of improving it when I start on another series?

    That mystical learning the Fist of Kwon on a mountain top sh*t kicks ass, I know it’s as derivative as every other martial arts fantasy tale. The magic in the series was awesome in combination with the martial arts. But there was something in the combination of derivative elements which rendered the Way Of The Tiger series an original experience. The artwork was awesome too. Don’t know really. I suppose making the character at least three dimensional, with a real chance of experiencing and the actual experience of loss (a la Game of Thrones) would I think give it more meaning for the reader, but how you do that in the context of a first person gamebook is anybody’s guess. A very dark experience of tragedian despair where the most beloved third person character snuffs it just when victory appears within grasp, by random misfortune maybe, I don’t know, by poking his or her own eye out by mistake with their own sai or poisoning themselves by mistake, might be interesting. Good luck though. I prefer these formats, like D&D, paper based and relying on imagination a bit. Apart from all the stats. That was boring. But they were fun afternoons. The gamebooks of any description were a proxy for the true D&D peer group experience where everyone was invested in their characters and the dungeon master was enjoying it. Now I’m sounding like an old nostalgic fart. I’ll be saying “I remember when this was all just fields!” next. Bring back my youth! Where did it go?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 1. USA, 35
    2. The first gamebook I ever read was Lone Wolf #7, Castle Death, and I believe I picked it out simply because I thought the stupid looking ruby red sword on the American cover was “awesome”. In lieu of a cute story about my first time, I invite you to read my heartwarming story of how gamebooks helped me: http://projectaon.proboards.com/thread/2094/lone-wolf-story
    3. I missed out on WOTT as a kid, but stumbled on the series after rediscovering gamebooks as an adult. All of them are proudly sitting up in my dedicated gamebook bookcase now.
    4. Avenger! Is my favorite for the world-building and the way things are set up in such a way that the reader knows will be paid off in later books.
    5. As a kid I automatically won every fight, had every ability, and had every dice roll go my way, though I would be scrupulously honest about whether or not I had found a particular item. These days I’m mostly on the level, with perhaps an occasional quick glance at “what might have been” (if I had only chosen better) before starting back at the beginning of a book.
    6. Hmm… today I think I’ll say The Passion of Joan of Arc (make sure you watch it with the Richard Einhorn score!)
    7. That’s a really good question, and all I’m certain of is that I’d be ashamed to admit to it now. The Sign by Ace of Base, maybe?
    8. I saw your request to use Lone Wolf pictures on the Project Aon mailing list.
    9. Mostly just keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 1. 38, Singapore!
    2. Lone Wolf #10: The Dungeons of Torgar. I read that book till it fell apart.
    3. Yup, owned and read them all. Found them in the book store I frequented as a kid.
    4. Overlord. The political aspects of the book were very interesting to me, wish there could have been more.
    5. Mostly honestly, though I did cheat sometimes (mainly when playing Fighting Fantasy)
    6, Aliens
    7. Sting – Fields of Gold
    8. Was Googling for Way of the Tiger and this popped up. Am I glad it did!
    9. Nope, love it. Hope you can keep this going!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 1- 35, Italy
    2- Grailquest 1, The Castle of Darkness (1984). Fell in love with it and completed the serie, then I discovered other series I loved, like “La Loi du sabre” (Samurai), and Way of the Tiger!
    3- I played them all. First I found Overlord, then I decided to complete the serie… except for Inferno! A friend borrowed it to me and I totally hated that book so in my mind I decided that the serie ended with the previous book and that one never existed.
    4- Avenger! … I loved it because there are several references to other gamebooks of the Duelmaster serie (in particular Arena of Death and Blood Valley). Also it’s a self contained story with an epic climax and ending.
    5- Depends… I cannot play Fighting Fantasy/Sorcery! honestly at all, I even used a walkthrough for Creature of Havoc… good writing and setting but it’s a pain.
    6- The Matrix
    7- “Permanent Vacation” – Aerosmith
    8- Looking for info on Way of the Tiger 7 (after I completed Ninja!)
    9- No it’s ok, but now that you mentioned this, I’d like to read more series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My ex-wife also had the exact same problem, she went to have her snoring checked at a clinic and was told she could either loose the weight and the fatty tissue would also retreat or have her nasal passage widened but it does not always work and is pain full. We slept at opposite ends of a 50 foot house me doairtwnss and her upstairs, still kept me awake. My ex did not loose the weight and had no operation and still snores like a beast

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 1) 38, UK
    2) The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – I remember loving it at first, and then nearly being driven to distraction by that wretched maze!
    3) All of the original six, but Redeemer! is on its way…
    4) That’s tough as most of them have very fond memories – like many others, I did enjoy the rulership decisions in Overlord! followed by infiltrating the Valley of the Scorpions.
    5) I tended to forgo dice rolls a lot of the time.
    6) Pan’s Labyrinth
    7) I actually can’t remember!
    8) Having rediscovered gamebooks, I decided to reread TWotT, and idly googled it to see who else enjoyed them.
    9) As a casual reader appearing after the event, nothing – it was a thoroughly enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

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