By Steve Jackson
Creature of Havoc is an interesting fighting fantasy book. In it you play a creature that does not know who it is, or even have any free will, instead being driven by hunger or aggression. Through the adventure you become more self aware as you discover new things and start to gain control of your actions. It really is a unique book and well worth reading. Unfortunately it is also punnishingly hard. Technically impossible in fact if you have an original penguin copy of the book (or the second Wizard release) due to a typo.
So, here we go. My stats:
I’m a beast! Those are pretty decent stats so lets see how I get on. My first action is to open my eyes and see a Dwarf, who looks a bit wretched. I try to talk to the little guy but instead wrap my fingers round his middle! Naturally he is a little bit put out by this and stabs me with his sword in my leg. This then causes me to squeeze the life out of him… Oh dear, that didn’t go as I planned! I find a piece of parchment with strange writing on it and keep it for later. As I am not really in control of my actions, I randomly head West.
Eventually the path opens up into a cavern and I hear voices… I rush forward and see a knight, a wizzard and a hobbit. I seem to have particular liking for hobbit flesh as I head straight for the hobbit and kill him. The wizard is about to cast a spell so I lash out at him next before taking care of the knight. I then immediately eat the hobbit before devouring the wizard. The knight is impossible to get into because he is wearing armour so I ignore that body. I move on and am briefly bothered by a flock of bats before I arrive at a door.
I break down the door and see some corpses being eaten by something invisible… very odd! As I move closer, the feasters are revealed – they appear before my eyes and I am forced to kill the flesh feeders. One of the corpses hides a vial of purple vapour. The vapour seems to be some sort of genie and grants me the ability to think for myself. Excellent, this is progress! So, with my first concious decision, I leave the room by the door to the West.
As I carry on down the corridor, I come face to face with another group of adventurers. One of them screams so I slash him across the face. I then finish him off before killing the other two, a warrior and a thief. When I search the bodies, I find some interesting artefacts. I decide to take a dull pendant which doesn’t do too much when I put it on, but its purpose will apparently be revealed when I arrive somewhere that I can’t see. I decide to feed on the dead adventurers before continuing West.
I come to a rocky cliff which overlooks a large cavern with a river running through it. There is a foul smell emanating from this cavern. There is a slightly dodgy looking flight of stairs leading across the river which I need to use. Luckily I don’t fall to my death and down in the cavern the smell is even worse. I leave down a tunnel to the East.
This tunnel opens up into another cavern that contains some caves and a big pile of bones. Thinking I am going to be attacked by the creature living within, I investigate. There is a terrible stench of rotting flesh and the owner of the cave comes out to try and eat me so I am forced to kill the “Devourer”. After I kill it, I leave to the North and climb some steps to a junction. Here I turn East. All the lights suddenly go out and I head East again at the next crossroads.
I reach a dead end and realise that my pendant is starting to shine. It appears that my pendant is a magical pendant that signals to me when there is a secret passage! This is a stroke of luck and sure enough a secret passage opens up in front of me so I step through it. This new passageway ends in a door that I shove open.
This room seems to be a workshop making coffins. I decide to investigate a coffin. I get a shock when a nasty creature jumps out at me and curses me for disturbing it. The curse is pretty harsh and reduces my initial skill and stamina score. I leave the room and am pleased to be away from there.
I head East and encounter the foul smelling river again. This time I have to traverse a bridge over the river. Again I am lucky enough not to fall to my death and continue onwards. I see two doors and hear some sort of breathing and snorting behind one so I decide to bash this door down and come face to face with a Manic Beast. I manage to kill it in one hit and then feast on the human that it was eating. As I do this, I find some coloured liquids. I drink the blue one, which turns out to be a Potion of Fear. Great…
I hastily leave and enter another cavern. In this cavern there are a number of archways. In one of the arches there is a man who is talking to me in a language I understand. This is the first time this has happened so I talk to him. The man is offering to find me some hobbits to eat and then offers me a drink. This is starting to seem very suspicious so I decide to leave this alcove and take a look at the next one. The next alcove contains sparkling dust that falls on my head! It seems to be elven dust and I guess this will come in handy later on. The man from the other alcove doesn’t come after me…
There are several exits from this cavern so I head south. This tunnel goes this way and that, and eventually I come to a strange black hole in the ground. It looks dangerous so I try and sneak past. I then stumble on my way round the hole and fall in. It is the last thing I do and I fall down into oblivion.
Oh well, I got further than I have before! There is a huge amount to like about this book. The fact that you play a monster is genuinely new and the way that you gain more awareness as you progress is a great addition. I do feel, however, that it is a little too punishing!