Für Valeron, Für Herrlichkeit!
Yeah, okay that doesn’t sound quite as catchy does it – but hey, that is what our valiant heroes in Germany will be calling out as they charge into the hordes, adding their might to the ongoing battle against the dastardly Legion of Shadow.
DestinyQuest Book One was released in Germany a few weeks back, and last week I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the book. It is mighty loot indeed – mighty not only for its splendid design work by a very talented team (more on that later) but also its sheer size.
The German version of Legion is by far the largest of all the editions, with a spine that puts most George RR Martin books to shame. At first I did ponder why it had become such a large tome, after all, the text in the book looked to be a smaller font size to other versions. Then I suddenly hit on the reason – German words are big. I mean, really, really big.
The size of the wordage is most noticeable (to myself anyway) in some of the item names. The rat-bitten gloves, for example, have now become the impressive sounding Rattenzerfressene Handshuhe! Phew. I think there must be German gamebookers screaming right now for bigger inventory boxes to write all their loot in!
And, while we’re on the topic of the German language, let’s take a moment to admire this impressive beauty - beiseitezudrücken (which apparently means, ‘push aside’). Wow, I’m not sure how I would even begin to get my vocal chords around that one.
The German translation has been published by Mantikore-Verlag (http://www.mantikoreverlag.de/) and is available from their webstore. The Heart of Fire is also currently being translated and will be available next year.
Back to the design. It is a stunning looking book, with great typesetting and formatting. What I also liked were the inclusion of black-and-white maps instead of the colour ones. I had considered going the b/w route back when I self-published as an obvious means of cost-saving, but was worried that adding in lots of extra quest symbols might confuse readers. I have to say, the approach that Mantikore have taken works really well, using weapons to represent the difficulty of each quest. If you’re a DQ collector, then this makes this version of the book a nice little addition to the set.
Mantikore-Verlag was set up by gamebook lover Nicolai Bonczyk back in 2009. Lone Wolf was the first book that he published. Having got into the hobby through the Lone Wolf series, Nic got chatting with the books’ creator, Joe Dever, (via the wonders of the internet) and asked why no one was publishing the Lone Wolf books in Germany. Joe apparently said ‘well, no one asked for it.’ So Nic saw that as the perfect opportunity to bring this fantastic gamebook series to Germany.
Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength, taking on other RPG, fantasy and gamebook series. Nic also attends conventions and even runs his own every August (Manticon). which is hosted in a German castle! I have been invited to the next one to meet my German fans, so I’m looking forward to that!
And finally, talking of ‘old greats’ like Lone Wolf, be sure to check out the Kickstarter for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – the new digital version by the awesome guys at Tinman Games. I tweeted earlier this week that most gamebooks sadly lack that ‘rock n roll’ factor to make them cool – well, there is certainly some serious groove going on with Tinman at the moment, as this adaptation is using a 3D tiled combat system and digital miniatures to make the story come alive.
I will always have a soft spot for TWoFTM as it was the first FF gamebook I read and enjoyed. Please support the kickstarter if you can by pointing your browser at: - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/warlockks/fighting-fantasy-the-warlock-of-firetop-mountain
It’s been a quiet time for news, but keep your eyes glued to this site over the coming months, as I have my fingers-crossed there might be something special to share soon…