Star Strider: Worst bounty hunter ever
I’ve decided to go with one of the few science fiction Fighting Fantasy offerings: number 27, Star Strider. What’s really weird is that I grabbed it off the shelf thinking I hadn’t played it before, and had two very short plays during which it didn’t seem familiar. As I came here to blog it, I see that I already have a page here for it on my website from I guess 2016. Back in the day I thought it was lackluster, and I guess playing through it twice and not even recognizing it really is the definition of “meh, not much of an impression.”
So… back to this new gamebook that I’ve not played before…
The president of the galaxy has been abducted and the abductors are presumably burrowing into his brain. We only have 48 “gravity hours” until they hack in and get the launch codes or something. How do we know this, when he’s been completely incommunicado? Shut up and roll your character.
I’m the most elite bounty hunter in this part of the galaxy, with Skill 8 and Luck 9 and a Fear of 8. Obviously their definition of “elite” is very generous, as I sound barely mediocre. Maybe everybody else is on vacation? Maybe the high-up brass want this mission to fail? Oh man, that’s a dark thought, that they sent me, a loser, hoping the prez would get hacked, sort of a deep state lizard people sort of deal?
Anyway, I wake up as the shuttle is landing on Earth. We arrive at a squalid spaceport and everybody transfers over to a Silverhound (okay, that’s clever) headed to Madrid, the nearest major city. I stick around a moment to talk to an android, who it turns out is my contact here. He gives me some juicy data about the four major cities left on Earth and that the Silverhound is the way to travel since all private cars and taxis have have been budget-cut. I hightail it for the rocket bus. (of course it’s a rocket bus, it’s sci-fi)
I fold into my uncomfortable bus seat and pass the hours on the road, until the bus is pulled over by cops. They single me out specifically, and demand to know who I’m hunting that I have business here. I have no clue so I keep my mouth shut, which they interpret as me following the Star Strider code of honor and not discussing my job – and they let me go. Sheesh, cops on this planet are easy!
The bus then makes a stop at a diner. I recognize someone off a wanted poster, and he recognizes me recognizing him, so a chase ensures. I tackle him and we engage fisticuffs for a very brief and one-sided fight in which I am the victor. Then back to dinner.
I arrive in Madrid with 4 space-hours already spent, and absolutely no clue.
At the terminal, my contact pinger goes off but I’m given the option to follow the android first before making contact. Good thing, too, because a bit later it goes to talk to the cops so it probably wasn’t on my team. I decide to follow it, see who sent it and whether it can lead me to more information. Instead, it sees me and alerts the cops, who open fire on me and the entire landscape around me.I manage to duck and cover and scramble and hide, and make my way to the street. A manhole cover opens, and the guy inside tells me to get in and starts firing at the cops! Okay, I’ll buy it for the moment. I dive in, and we escape into the utility tunnels.
Down here in the tunnels is a veritable rogues gallery of fugitives, some of whom I recognize from wanted posters. They’re planning to break into some houses for unspecified reasons, but maybe that could get me to a data terminal and some intel? Sure, count me in.
Wrong. One of the guys just up and slugs me out of nowhere. I kick his ass, but apparently that blows my cover and in a cut scene I am dragged away and “taken care of” permanently. My adventure ends here.