Endless Quest

From 1d4chan
Oldschool.pngThis article or section is about something oldschool - and awesome.
Make sure your rose-tinted glasses are on nice and tight, and prepare for a lovely walk down nostalgia lane.

The Endless Quest series was how 1980s-era TSR got in on the Choose Your Own Adventure racket. It's also how Rose Estes made her bones, writing the first seven of these.

TSR put out four at once in June 1982, doing thirty-six of these in all - up to 1987. Then after a pause nu-TSR commissioned another fourteen 1994-6. As TSR work they start with Dungeons and Dragons of course (by then AD&D; a Water Weird spouts up in the first book); moving to Top Secret in Estes' seventh book Hero of Washington Square and then later authors plug Gamma World and others.

The EQ books were longer than CYOA books, and a little more complex and - to be honest - dark. The villain in the first book Dungeon of Dread threatens to turn you into a snail to be crushed under foot, and the lizardman in the fifth book Revolt of the Dwarves opens up his massive maw to bite your head off if you Do It Wrong.

As D&D for nine-year-olds (back then, real D&D was for ages ten on up), the series did well at single-player somewhat-roleplaying, at least inasmuch as their choices make the difference. Estes lays out the stakes up front in Dungeon when she presents the adventurer with a series of monsters, inverse Russian Doll style. Can you fight a goblin? No sweat! An orc? With difficulty... how about a minotaur?

Gary Gygax got in on this genre, for a (slightly) more mature audience, with his Sagard the Barbarian tetralogy coauthored with Flint Dille.

The EQ books built up quite a bit of goodwill for Estes herself as an author, at least among the youngest players; which, er, let's just say wasn't expended wisely when Dille's sister passed Gygax' Greyhawk novel line over to her.