The Adventures of Average Joe: In Memory of The Punk

This is part 3 of my adventures through Deathtrap Dungeon. There are links to the other parts at the bottom of the page!


Throm is quick to accept Average Joe as a travelling companion, desperate as he is to fill the void left by The Punk. While he carves a small epitaph, Joe steals the troll’s things. We travel through a dangerous cavern and my character makes a bad joke and feel a little embarrassed for him, though the feeling is probably mutual.

Things look like they’re going to get serious, though, as we encounter a dwarf, a trialmaster of the dungeon. I’ve been warned about them earlier. Uh-oh.

He gives me a test. I have to roll two dice and guess whether the total will be equal to, greater than or less than eight. Obviously I guess less than, but I manage to roll eleven. The dwarf then tells me I’m rubbish at playing the odds and that he has to punish me. This is annoying. Less than is the logical answer, is it my fault that fate isn’t on my side?

I’m offered two pills, one with and ‘L’ written on and one with an ‘S’. Hmm. This book is suitable for children, right? The ‘L’ pill makes me feel depressed and unlucky, which proves a reasonable thing to think as the dwarf then asks me to grab a cobra without being bitten. It is easily done, though.

The next challenge is not so easy. I get two anagrams of monster names and have to choose which monster to fight. One is scorpion and the other I don’t solve (I’m rubbish at anagrams): RUIN MOAT. I’m not allowed to risk the unknown monster; I have to know its name. I spend a while working it out and it turns out it’s a minotaur, which seems very obvious now. Stupid me. I pick that one, having a vague memory of a nasty scorpion from the last time I played this game when I was in primary school.

Note 10: Puzzles are fun. Include puzzles.

I kill the minotaur, Average Joe’s power of averageness apparently giving him the upper hand over huge monsters. The delicious meal the dwarf then gives me heals me a bit, though strangely by less than a Mars bar from my pack would have.

And then.

I’m not sure I can relive those moments, they’re too horrible.

I’m forced to kill Throm.

The dwarf then shows me the way out. I want to kill him, but I’m not sure Average Joe would want to. He wasn’t so attached to Throm, and he doesn’t really have emotions. On the other hand he’s my pawn, so I get him to kill the dwarf. I steal the dwarf’s armour and it somehow fits me.

I reach another junction. West or North? North. I get a pearl. I journey on, get punched up, cursed and blessed, walk on stilts, walk into an invisible barrier, avoid a trap, go down a slide, and get killed by a bloodbeast.

Well, thanks for that Deathtrap Dungeon. Is it any surprise that I cheat when dice rolls can kill you at any time? I think that in the adventure my friend and I are writing we’re going to keep the effect of chance to a minimum. The story will unfold as a result of the reader’s decisions only. I completed Silent Hill 2 for the PS2 recently and that, like many video games, has different endings depending on how you play the game. I’m thinking of something along those lines. Fighting works well in video games because it’s reliant on skill rather than luck so being killed isn’t so frustrating.

I suppose I could cheat again and continue the adventure, but I think I’m willing to concede this one. You win this time, Fighting Fantasy. I did much better than I remember ever doing before, anyway. It’s fun, and I think Deathtrap Dungeon was the best of the ones I played as a kid, so consider it recommended!


About lemonmachine

I am Kieren McCallum, a third-year English Literature student at UEA, Norwich. View all posts by lemonmachine

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