The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain

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    This is my bit of play-thru of The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain by Alex Jenkins & Stephen Morrison.

    I take up the book and read the back, so far I see that it is a parody, my kind of gamebook. The first paragraph made me kinda laugh because I rarely use dice myself (unless forced to or the gamebook manager is keenly watching me)

    “Throughout this book you will have encounters that require you to fight with certain creatures. By ‘fight’ we mean ‘pretend dice fight’ and not ‘real fight’ like when the pub closes”

    I repeat: Throughout this book you will have encounters that require you to fight with certain creatures. By ‘fight’ we mean ‘pretend dice fight’ and not ‘real fight’ like when the pub closes.

    And God knows I’ve been tossed out at 2AM far from sober and forgetting where I live, so I can relate. Next you tally up your APTITUDE, ENDURANCE and OFFICE LUCK ratings. I’m not going to use dice I’m just going to read it. Apparently I live in Portakabins and I own three office shirts, in reality this is untrue, I only own two. I am looking for a job and I get an offer at this office carved out of a mountain, and to get there I had to walk for many hours. Were the hell do I live?

    Turn to 2 it says.

    I press the button marked RECEPTION instead of the buzzer marked 24OV because of fear a big rock wall fall on my head (bad memories from Beneath Nightmare Castle). The gnarled oak door opens and I walk in to some dimly lit lobby and I am told that I need to ‘sign in’ by some albino. I’m asked if I want to befriend her? Why? I don’t know her, but maybe it will benefit me so I chose the option of yes. *Sighs*. I get 1 OFFICE LUCK point! I don’t know what happens by gaining that but I am then ordered to wait in the waiting room where there is an ornate poster of bees working in a hive and an inviting sofa. I decide NOT to look at the poster but sit my ass down and wait.

    Some guy called Bernie Ditter limps into the room (on an orthopaedic shoe) and won’t stop rubbing his eyes, the narrative keeps saying rub-rub, rub-rub and apparently he has the stench of death on him, whatever that means. He immediately leads me to my work booth and informs me I’m not allowed to go to the washroom or get up to leave because the auditors are in. He disappears as quickly as I met him and sit there dumbfounded on a chair that a contortionist or self-harmer might have used before me.

    So now I’m in the office and I have a job, great, I look at my computer to see what I can do and the two options I get to do is either Google my name or peer into the booth next to me. I want to do both but can unfortunately choose one, so I decide to be chummy and look over the wall. My neighbour is a long-necked guy who happily informs me that he is in the doghouse for always putting the wrong filing references on all his work. Now I must roll a die to test my level of small-talk. Wtf? Let’s pretend I rolled a 4 or higher. I get 1 APTITUDE point! Yay. The book then proceeds to inform me what we actually talked about and I’m not going to go into complete detail because it’s about bodies of water; what you’d do if you won the lottery; what you’d do if zombies took over the world; snakes and such…

    Now I’m worried about my uncomfortable chair, a pain in my back and what plans I’ll make for the evening. Fearing for my life I decide to check out my back and to my horror there is a gaping cut in it! then all the lights go out and the computers power off. I hear strange cries, footsteps and…hooves. I really don’t know where this book is going because now I’m asked to either flee to the left or flee to the right. Okay…

    I go left.

    After struggling and nearly impaling myself on a sharpened pencil, I end up blacking out. I wake up in a metal box in a moving vehicle and now I am confused. Where am I and what is happening? It is apparent I have accidentally, in the dark, fallen and locked myself in the tea lady’s trolley. I’m being taken to the SERVER ROOM in some dark, dank dungeon.

    I spy a troll wearing chainmail with a cellphone attached to his belt trying to unclog a pipe which is apparently filled with old blood. He is chatting with the tea lady about the power outages. It is then that I must test my luck. Let us say my roll is higher than my OFFICE LUCK score. I’m so scared of the sight of the troll, I have to pretend here that I’ve never seen one in my entire life and what bores me to tears is his IT lesson. The paragraph explains him unclogging the blood clot. TROLL. He says something about a power supply unit. TROLL. The plain filter powerboards you can buy at hardware stores are worse than useless. TROLL TROLL TROLL TROLL TROLL TROLL.

    I eventually flee this room and explore the basement. I lose 5 ENDURANCE points because I lost a lot of blood. I’m asked if I feel calm enough to cope that trolls are real and/or if I’m stuck in some vice-grip of terror by the existence of trolls? Well, although I am a ‘Temp’, I must be strong. I chose ‘calm’ and move on with my adventure.

    The illustrations in this book are as good as any Fighting Fantasy gamebook, there is an image of a Minotaur dressed in a suit, not fond of his polka dot tie though and he shouts at me asking me where the staffroom is. Apparently he is lost in the maze-like building. Wait…. There is a message just for me!

    Did you fail to recognise that a man with a bull’s head is a Minotaur? Don’t be ashamed. Even the best adventurers struggle with beast differentiation.

    I look at the illustration again and realise it’s actually NOT a Minotaur and I am asked to flip to the back of the book to look at their bestiary so I don’t have to feel awkward ever again when encountering creatures I know little or nothing about. So, do I talk to this thing or ignore it? He thinks he’s too lowly to talk to me because he is an intern. See, it doesn’t matter what option I chose because I have to fight him regardless. So, I fight him, and I win, he falls over and I make a bunch of lewd rodeo-style ruck.

    Moving on I hear ‘orcish laughter’ and feeling adventurous I burst into the room unannounced. I have interrupted two orcs playing a game of Frisbee and now they are pissed and even speak out, ‘Ftuooh nach laxangst?’. I don’t speak orc or Elvin so I don’t know what he said to me. Amidst the awful stink of the room I’ve opted to hear his story in bullet-point version:

    • Regional Accounts Director uses portals run on human temp’s blood to summon creatures from other worlds into this one

    • etc


    The orcs have a misunderstanding and get into a quarrel and I decide it’s time to leave. I help myself to key-card, a sword and a set of pens since I don’t know which one is mightier round here.

    I see a BIG F*CK-OFF DRAGON on reference 61 as I flip through the pages; when will I get to this dragon? I can’t wait.

    I use the stolen card and enter a new area, some place with two corridors. One has icicles and snow and the other has lollipops and candy-cane trees. What the hell? Nothing fantastical here at all. I choose the candy-canes, enter the Inhuman Resources Department, and encounter an old crone who smells of cinnamon. I am asked about ants, see a windchime made entirely out of Brackwurst, and are then requested to find my ‘cake’ name. It doesn’t matter because I have to fight her anyways and supposedly I am to do it….ALONE! The old bitch curses me and I get to pick from two curses she puts on me. If I pick Curse of Promotion I die, so I quickly pick Curse of the Long Neck. Why did I go down this corridor? Now I have to do the rest of this adventure with a stupid long neck. Hopefully no one notices.

    This is where I get lost, I don’t know what the paragraph is stating, for it’s gone all weird talking about American breakfasts, ham windows and something about two cloaks. Then I must choose to hide in the shadows of lower admin or fake it on the throne of top brass???

    Kay, I dunno. Lower admin? I leave out the ADMIN STAFF door, enter yet another corridor and find a payslip with my name on it. I pick it up and I am hit with an arrow! I have unknowingly fallen into a poverty trap. Whatever.

    Then I meet a centaur…. in a post room. I ask him a multitude of questions like ‘if he has two bowels which toilet does he use’ ‘how he manages the stairs’ and ‘if he takes the lift does he count himself as two people or one’? He gets really mad when I slap his buttocks and study his form. It is apparent I upset a colleague and must fight him… to the death!

    Let’s pretend I rolled bad rolls in this battle and died. I never did get to the BIG F*CK-OFF DRAGON. 🙁

    Ah well, next time.



    I love this book I need to get a copy, I only had it borrowed from the library

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