crossposted from The Tumblrg
I’m really enjoying YOU CHOSE WRONG, a collection of bad ends from various choose-your-own-adventure books. Thinking back, we had a lot of these around the house over my youth—I have no idea if my siblings thought they were The Business or if it was just the done thing for kids to have them.
When I was but a wee thing, the rest of my family often tried to defeat The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. My dad dismissed it as stupid but mum found the book with the character sheet filled with his handwriting in pencil. I think he got killed by rats or something. (The sequel to this came many years later, when my brother arrived home to find the PS1 and Tomb Raider left on and Lara Croft’s corpse at the bottom of a pit in the first level.)
Some of our books were random volumes out of order without any context for what I was doing; one was even a Battle Book with just pictures of endless sky and the occasional dragon butt. For some reason this never held up my compulsive reading.
My favourite CYOA is The Mystery of the Secret Room because it’s totally boss, it had a wide variety of endings, the bad ends were hilariously dire without actually inducing nightmares (unlike Mystery of Chimney Rock FUCKING CHIMNEY ROCK AND THE ‘NO ENDING’ END AAAAAAAAAAAARGH SPEW) and the artwork is really nice! I love the character designs, especially the protagonist who was this adorable gender-neutral perp with short hair and a pink sweater. If the girl from the future (with wildly-dyed hair, multiple piercings and a leotard natch) had better plot lines (though her plot was still interesting—probably the first “Moral Quandary” I ever encountered—the other paths were so awesome and varied that she was plain outclassed), the book would be pretty much flawless.
Unfortunately, I think most of our books were lost among family split-ups and multiple moves. We even had Inside UFO 54-40 with the infamous Utopia ending, which I figured out almost immediately because I was a cheat and flicked through the books to check out the endings. Ahh… I want to read some now… I wish I could find them in PDF form or something… maybe I’ll just write sappy Secret Room femslash….