The first Fighting Fantasy playthrough of 2019 has me pretty excited. Originally, I was going to play through Starship Traveller, but found that after a day or two of it I just didn’t have it in me to do sci-fi yet, so I went back and pulled out Freway Fighter! Mad Max, now that’s the ticket. The story line for this one and the instructions are a lot more complicated than any of the previous years books as the most they changed up was adding some magic spells. This book not only has the standard character sheet for myself, but then my car gets one as well! Very cool. Not to mention the fact that obviously not every combat will be hand to hand as I have a gun.
The story is laid out as such. A deadly plague has wiped out much of the world leaving small settlements of hope with nothing between save roaming gang who pillage, rob and steal to survive. My town, “New Hope” has contacted an oil refinery and agreed to an exchange. We give them seeds for crops and they’ll provide us with a tanker of petrol. I’m chosen to make the dangerous trip and retrieve the precious cargo. For my mission I’m given an interceptor armed with machine guns, missiles, oil slicks and iron spikes. I’ve also got my trusty revolver. This should be a lot of fun.
The day I leave town I make my way west, to the next nearest town over, which is abandoned, but I still stop to rest for a bit. I hear a gunshot in the distance and decide to investigate. As I sneak around the corner of a building I hear a man cock a shotgun and threaten me not to move. He asks me who I am, where I’m from. I tell him the truth, that I’m from New Hope. He says that he was heading that way, hoping to join the town and his name is Johnson. We talk for a while, his family is dead, he’s a carpenter. I tell him the town could certainly use his skills and that he is close. He lets me know that there is a mechanics garage ahead that will tell me they have petrol, but they are liars, just looking to rob weary travelers. We shake hands and continue our respective paths. Sure enough, as I exit town I see the garage. There is a girl outside waving at me but I follow the info that Johnson gave me and drive by.
The highway turns north where I encounter another car. (The one from the cover of the book) It attacks immediately. I’m in awe of the fancy car, but I think mine is fancier. We have a gun fight and I suffer a little damage to my vehicle but win the battle. I check the enemy wreck but find nothing of use to me. As I continue I receive a radio transmission from home. They say that the town was attacked by a motorcycle gang and one of the councilmember was kidnapped. I have a second goal now which is to find him if I can.
I come to a crossroads and go east down an interstate. I pass an ambulance that looks fresh but I pass by. Any car that doesn’t look old is sure to have an owner and I don’t really want to go looking for unnecessary fights. I reach a junction and turn south again where I come to a rickety wooden bridge with a posted sign that says keep out, private property. Fair enough, I think as I turn back and head east again. I come to a roadblock of rusted and ruined cars. I can blast a rocket straight through, but I feel my rockets are precious and I don’t want to waste one so frivolously. I turn back going far to the original junction that led me down this road and head west instead. I continue that way until I cannot continue due to rusted cars blocking the entirety of the interstate. I take some time to examine some of the cars finding a crowbar on an old tow truck and a can of gasoline in a trunk of a car. I must go back a little way but not far before hitting south turn.
I continue heading this way apparently narrowly avoiding a minefield. (The book tells me this, though I feel it would’ve been much more ominous just to have me roll the luck and then say I continue on) As the landscape around me changes to scrubland and more desert style surroundings I feel for certain I’ll be running out of gas somewhere out there. I see a recently used dirt road to the west and decide to head that way. Perhaps I’ll be able to find or barter some supplies. I pull up to a wooden gate with a guard who looks suspiciously like Chuck Norris. He asks me what gang I’m with and I make up the name Black rats on the spot. He says he doesn’t recognize it but that means little. He motions me on.
I discover this is a race track used by various gangs to host what they call the ‘Blitz Race’. The entry fee is 200 but the winner gets a large can of petrol. One of the contestants I’m speaking with mocks me as a fresh meat. Clearly, I must defeat him and so I challenge him to a race, pay my money and we’re off! We’re not allowed to use machine guns or rockets which is BS considering he has a grenade launcher hooked up to his car so that’s allowed. Nonsense rules. I take an early lead and struggle to keep it as his car is overall faster than my own. He launches a grenade in front of my car and I take my chances gunning the accelerator hoping to drive over it before it goes off. My luck doesn’t hold on this and the car sustains quite a bit of damage, though I’m still out front. He rams me trying to make me skid off course but I am a skillful driver and hold on.
As we round the track heading back toward the finish line there is a bridge ahead that is only wide enough for one car at a time. A game of chicken from which I decide I shall not back down. My opponent races alongside me not braking until the very last second. As we get across the bridge I drop a set of iron spikes in hopes of slowing him even more but to no avail. Apparently, his car has some kind of wind blower underneath that blows the spikes out of its way. I do manage to cause a slow leak to a tire which lets me maintain my slim lead. As we approach the finish line he punches it and goes to pass. I must choose to block left or right which will clearly be the deciding factor of the race. I chose correctly (though I think the book is misprinted here because I chose to block I think left (I didn’t write that down in my notes) and when I turned to the page it said that he managed to get around me the same direction I blocked which made no sense, so I turned to the opposite page and that time succeeded). I won the race and the gas and frankly I assume my money back though it doesn’t tell me this. Chuck Norris approaches and congratulates me basically, saying he hopes the rest of my gang isn’t as good at racing as me. I take my prize and go.