Fighting Fantasy Gamebook
Location: Romania, Earth
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Ian Livingstone

Illustrator(s): Kevin Crossley
Wizard (Series 1)
Wizard (Series 2)
Cover illustrator: Greg Staples
First published: August 2 2012
Number (no number in original printing)
ISBN: ISBN 1-84831-405-1
Previous Book: Appointment with F.E.A.R.
Next Book: Last in series

For other uses of Blood of the Zombies, see Blood of the Zombies

Blood of the Zombies is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Kevin Crossley and published in 2012 by Wizard Books. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 17th (but unnumbered) and final title in the modern Wizard "Series 2" (ISBN 1-84831-405-1). There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Scholastic series.


It is quite unbelievable and somewhat scary, that Fighting Fantasy is going to be thirty years old this year. When Steve Jackson and I wrote The Warlock of Firetop Mountain all those years ago, little did we know that there would ever be so many Fighting Fantasy fans around the world.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has now been published in over 25 languages and has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Steve and I are very proud of our original interactive adventure. The series has sold in excess of 16 million copies.

I wanted to write this new book to celebrate the 30th anniversary and, hopefully, to please all the fans who had asked me to write a new book. These were people mainly in their late thirties or early forties who read
Fighting Fantasy in their youth. The question was, should I write the book for the ten year-old they were then or the forty year-old they are today? Hopefully people of all ages will enjoy it.

Having decided to write it, I had to decide on the theme. With this year being the 30th anniversary of
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain many fans of the series might have expected an adventure involving Zagor the Warlock in an adventure inside Firetop Mountain, or meeting Yaztromo, or going to Port Blacksand, or all of the above!

But I've taken a chance and gone for a new genre. I hope
Fighting Fantasy fans will like it. I will not be asking readers to go back down into medieval dungeons. I have instead set the book in the present day, albeit in a remote castle in Romania. Everybody loves Zombies, including me, yet strangely they never really featured much in my books. So I decided to make up for that startling omission, making them central to this new adventure. And not one or two Zombies, but hordes of them!

In this adventure YOU are kidnapped and sold to a deranged megalomaniac who wants to build an army of undead to exact terrible revenge on those once mocked him. He hates everybody except for his scientists and servants. The scientists were instructed to develop a mutated gene in human blood which would be injected into innocent victims, turning them into Zombies. The madman's henchmen kidnapped hundreds of people who were locked up to await their fate. YOU are about to be injected with Zombie blood. The Zombie army is almost complete, ready to be unleashed upon the world in a frenzy of killing and wanton destruction. YOU have to avoid being transformed into a Zombie. YOU have to kill all the Zombies, dispose of the madman and escape from the castle. To do this you will need a lot of firepower to take down the hordes of Zombies. But don't kill everybody as there is one person who needs to be rescued...

During the time of writing the book, I came up with many titles for it. I finally managed to narrow those down to two but couldn't decide between them, It crossed my mind that readers might like to be involved in deciding the title of the new book. Let the reader make a choice in true
Fighting Fantasy tradition!


A poll was announced on the official website to help Livingstone decide on the title of the book. A choice between two titles was offered, the names on offer being Blood of the Zombies and Escape from Zombie Castle. 172 votes had been cast within 30 minutes of the poll going live.[1] The title was announced on February 21st, with over 1000 votes cast, as being Blood of the Zombies.[2]


Terrible things are happening in Goraya castle...

Insane megalomaniac Gingrich Yurr is preparing to unleash an army of monstrous zombies upon the world. He must be stopped and his undead horde defeated. In this life-or-death adventure the decisions YOU make will decide the fate of the world. Can YOU survive or will YOU become a zombie too?

A Fighting Fantasy gamebook in which YOU are the hero.

Blood of the Zombies - Back Cover


Unique Rules[]

  • The book in general does not follow the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (see Game System), with stamina as the only vital attribute used in the game. In the first edition this was a 2d6+12 roll, while in the second edition this was altered to 2d6+20. Since even with that revised value the book is pretty much impossible, the Bulgarian edition was published with 2d6+30 Stamina, and the Tin Man app offered a "Medium" difficulty that starts you with 2d6+40 Stamina.
  • Unlike most previous Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, this adventure uses a variable damage system for the reader, depending on the weapon employed, while each adversary generally inflicts a set range of points as stamina damage, ranging from 1 or 2 points to 6 points for one particular opponent. Hits are inflicted automatically in combat; the damage value rolled typically determines the number of enemies felled in one stroke.[3] This unique set of combat rules is meant to reflect the mass combat situations encountered in this particular scenario.

Equipment List[]

  • As an escaping prisoner, the reader starts with no equipment.

Cover and Illustrations[]

Main article: Blood of the Zombies (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Greg Staples.

The book marks the third cover design for the Wizard Books range, bringing back a slightly modified version of the yellow Puffin Fighting Fantasy logo, the bright green spines, full cover art and non-uniform title typefaces.

Blood of the Zombies Cover Variants
Old School


The interior illustrations were by Kevin Crossley. There were 34 full page illustrations and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 5, 13, 26, 35, 45, 57, 69, 82, 97, 110, 122, 135, 148, 158, 168, 176, 189, 204, 217, 230, 244, 259, 271, 280, 290, 301, 312, 322, 331, 341, 354, 367, 379 and 391.

Intertextual References[]

  • The bust (97) is a cameo from author Ian Livingstone.
  • In a certain office room (296), a birthday congratulations postcard can be found with the inscription "Happy 30th Zagor", an obvious reference to the anniversary listed above and to the iconic FF character Zagor.
  • In the library (301), two books are called Forest of Doom and Return to Firetop Mountain.
  • In another room (347), the contents include issues of the magazine Owl & Weasel and various Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

Other Media[]

Main article: Blood of the Zombies (mobile game)

An iOS/Android conversion of the book was produced by Tin Man Games and released in 2012.

Main Characters[]

YOU - Hero of Blood of the Zombies


  • Goraya Castle


Further Notes[]

  • The successful conclusion is not contained in (400).
  • Contains a foreword from Livingstone about the 30th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy and the writing of the book.


  • In both (80) and (190) you're asked whether you possess a crowbar. If you don't, you can get to (190), where the book asks again if you have a crowbar or a sword. Obviously asking about the crowbar again is pointless. The sword could have been an option right at the beginning.
  • The Attack Dogs at (326) have a damage of 2 each. The same Attack Dogs at (143) only have a damage of 1 each.
  • At (343), the doors of the elevator were made of brass, while at (190), they were made of steel.
  • At (341) we climb up some stairs from the basement and arrive at “one end of a long hallway which turns right at the far end,” giving the reader the impression that the hallway of the northern wing is a direct continuation of the stairway. However at (207) the layout of the castle suddenly changes: we not only run past the stairway we came up from, the hallway now has a “one end” that actually turns left and becomes the west wing. Later at (372) and at (285) the text says that the stairway is actually at the corner where the corridors of the northern and western wind meet.
  • On the illustration at (82) we can see that the door of the chamber opens inside and to the right. Yet at (310) the text says that the light switch is to the right of the doorway, which is both an impractical place to put the switch and an improbable location the hero would search for it. The logical place would be on the left side of the door. That, or the illustration is mirrored.
  • At (298) and at (164) the fire door is opened by a metal bar, while at (120) the same door has a handle.
  • At (243) the padlock on the main gates of the castle is impervious to bullet fire, while at (96) and at (217) you manage to shoot it down. This is especially frustrating because at this point we have already collected the keys of the Main Gate – and put it in our bags. Also this action could be pointless, as there is a valid path where you've already opened the padlock of the main gates.
  • At (321) if you wish to leave by opening the door, you should turn to (309) instead of (109).


To my family and
to Fighting Fantasy fans everywhere.[4]

See Also[]


External Links[]


  1. Tweet from @ian _livingstone - Retrieved 2019-10-27
  2. Tweet from @ian _livingstone - Retrieved 2019-10-27
  3. Blood of the Zombies - pg.10-12
  4. Blood of the Zombies - pg.5