Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back From the Pit...

Hi all, sorry for the long delay between posts. My life has been consumed with a recent wedding and honeymoon, both of which went wonderfully well. In a great bit of timing my copy of You Are The Hero finally arrived via courier just as we were about to set off down south for a week. It proved to be excellent reading material and I hope to write up my thoughts on it another time.

But for now I'm going to take a brief look at another iteration of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the Lost Chapters game by Commando Kiwi. This game was developed as part of the Make Something Unreal competition in 2012. Four teams (Commando Kiwi - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters, Derp Studios - Citadel of Chaos: Dire Consequences, Digital Mage - Armies of Death: Rise of Agglax, Indigo Jam - Deathtrap Dungeon) each designed a game based on the Fighting Fantasy brand and using Epic Games Unreal game engine. Commando Kiwi's entry was judged the winner by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

The game itself is quite rough, and boils down to hacking and slashing your way through simple dungeons populated with blocky Orcs. It features many familiar locations from Firetop Mountain, such as the kitchen, torture chamber, chieftain's room and helmet room, as well as some new areas such as the mechanical room and tomb. I must admit that I've barely played the game itself, but I have spent some time trawling through its assets. In it I have discovered an interesting alternate version of our beloved Firetop Mountain.

In Lost Chapters the old infamous Warlock has taken over Firetop with his Orc army. Before he came along, however, the mountain fortress was once the seat of power of King Gregory. Gregory led his people to the mountain after the Battle of Spirescroft, where they constructed a mighty bastion to protect them from the wars that were ravaging Allansia.

Miners delved deep into the mountain, uncovering a vast network of caverns. Unfortunately tunnel collapses and Cave Spiders claimed too many lives and the King ordered the mine shafts to be sealed up forever.

Gregory lived from the years 353 - 426. After his death he was entombed within the fortress with his trusted retinue of knights.

At the time of the Warlock's invasion Sir Yotu Bourne, the sole heir of Gregory's line, was king of Firetop. The Orcs quickly took the outer halls, forcing Bourne to sabotage the great mechanical portcullis to hold them off while he and his men escaped through the caverns.

The King and his knights quickly returned to Firetop and fought their way to the throne room, where they found the Orc Chieftain waiting for them. The Orcs overwhelmed the knights and slaughtered them, ending the line of King Gregory once and for all. In the following years many brave and foolhardy adventurers have met their end inside Firetop. You, the player, are the latest to try their luck in its dark depths.

So, how do we reconcile this with what has already been established in FF canon? Dwarfs built the fortress inside Firetop, not Men. The years that Sir Gregory lived are in the distant future of the current timeline, so that doesn't fit either. Do we simply discard the storyline presented here, or is there some way to integrate it into the existing lore?

By the way, Lost Chapters should still be available to download for ios devices on the iTunes website.

Until next time, may your STAMINA never fail!

1 comment:

  1. Discard! It's too way out there in all sorts of ways to fit in, and it hardly counts as FF canon, as pretty much no-one has ever heard of it. Nice to read about it here though!