Fighting Fantasy Gamebook
Location: Space
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Andrew Chapman

Illustrator(s): Geoffrey Senior
Cover illustrator: Christos Achilleos
First published: February 28 1985
Number 12
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031861-5
Previous Book: Talisman of Death
Next Book: Freeway Fighter
Wizard (Series 1)
Wizard (Series 2)

For other uses of Assassin, see Assassin (disambiguation)
For other uses of Space Assassin, see Space Assassin (disambiguation)

Space Assassin is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Andrew Chapman, illustrated by Geoffrey Senior and originally published in 1985 by Puffin Books. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 12th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031861-5). There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Scholastic series.


In Warlock Issue 3, Space Assassin was referred to in the "Fighting Fantasy News" section as a soon to be released book called Assassin. It was also pegged to be published as the thirteenth book, after The Rings of Kether as book 12. The Rings of Kether went on to become the 15th book in the series.[1]

After reading Warlock of Firetop Mountain, which my parents had bought for my younger brother, I wrote Space Assassin without consulting anyone and just sent it off.

When I wrote
Space Assassin there was no Fighting Fantasy series. There was just Warlock of Firetop Mountain. I figured that since Steve and Ian probably owned the copyright to the rules used in that book I'd have to create my own, and besides the fantasy rules they used were quite inappropriate for a science fiction book with blasters, gravity bombs etc. It was a bit of an effort to torture the book back into a FF mould once it was accepted for publication.

Space Assassin was originally too short and had to be expanded.

Interview with Andrew Chapman at the Internet Archive record of Advancedfightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2019-10-26

I never had anything to do with the books once they left these shores, and it was always a surprise to see what Puffin had done. For example, the puzzle attached to paragraph 332 in Space Assassin was as much a mystery to me as to anyone else reading the book. It certainly bore no resemblance to the puzzle I sent with the manuscript.

Mission Briefing[]

A tyrannical despot is bent on destroying the world!

Looming above your home planet is the vast hulk of the starship
Vandervecken. Aboard, the crazed scientist Cyrus is planning to unleash a gruesome experiment upon your world, which will destroy all life as it is known, leaving only hideous mutations in its wake. YOU are an assassin, and your mission is to stop him - before it is too late!

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which way to go, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

Space Assassin - Back Cover ("Dragon" Edition)

Space Assassin is the second Fighting Fantasy book in the science fiction genre, the first being Starship Traveller. The book places the player on the starship Vandervecken, where a crazed scientist named Cyrus plans to unleash a hideous experiment upon the player's homeworld.

The player must make their way through the labyrinthine Vandervecken, overcoming robots, mutants and other science fiction staples until they finally confronts the scientist. If the player manages to defeat him the planet will be saved and the game will end successfully.

Introduction/Your Abilities/Using Luck/Armour/Selecting Weapons/Hand-to-Hand Combat/Gunfire/Recovering Stamina/Carrying Equipment[]

The book in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (see Game System).

Unique Rules[]

  • Space Assassin introduced the first futuristic attribute in the form of armour, a 1d6 plus 6 roll. This worked similar to the Testing Your Luck system of the gamebooks to determine if a player was protected by their armour.
  • A player's weapons are determined by a 1d6 roll with the amount rolled able to be "spent" on a choice of weapons: Electric lash, Assault blaster, Grenade, Gravity bomb, Armour . The player must buy an electric lash or an assault blaster before anything else.
  • Players are also limited to carrying a maximum of five items at any one time (excluding weapons).
  • Instead of Provisions there are Pep Pills which restore 5 stamina at a time.

Equipment List[2][]

  • 4 Pep Pills
  • weapons (see above for determination of weapons)

Cover and Illustrations[]

Main article: Space Assassin (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Christos Achilleos.

Space Assassin Cover Variants
1985 1987 1989 1990 1993
Figfan12.jpg 12 06.jpg Figfan12gold.jpg Figfan12gold.jpg Figfan12black.jpg
Dragon ver.I Dragon ver.II Dragon ver.III Dragon ver.IV
£1.751 £2.252 £? £3.503 £3.994

  1. Price of 1st Impression; £1.95 for 4th Impression
  2. Price of 6th~7th Impressions (some copies of 7th impression have official Puffin price stickers re-pricing to £3.50)
  3. Price of 9th Impression
  4. Price of 9th Impression (the Barcode suggests that it is actually the 10th Impression)


The interior illustrations were by Geoffrey Senior. There were 31 full page illustrations and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 14, 20, 31, 39, 48, 61, 88, 109, 117, 131, 138, 159, 171, 185, 208, 230, 246, 252, 266, 281, 292, 308, 318, 324, 332, 359, 369, 373, 381 and 395.

Intertextual References[]

Other Media[]

Main Characters[]

YOU: Hero of Space Assassin

  • Cyrus



  • Bivalve
  • Carnivorous Plant
  • Cleaners
  • Cyrus
  • Humans - Guards/Security/Technician
  • Mutants
  • Razor Disk
  • Robots - Guards/Laser Globe/Micro-Helicopter/Portabots/Sentinels
  • Scallopian Fang
  • Simulacrums
  • Strangling Vines
  • Tharn Doppelgänger
  • Toroid
  • Winged Scorpion
  • Zark

Further Notes[]

  • In the first edition of Sorcery! 3 (The Seven Serpents), the book was not listed as a forthcoming release, although two books that were never published were (Dragon Master and The Lord of Shadow Keep). It seems likely that after The Lord of Shadow Keep was published by a different publisher, Space Assassin took its place.
  • Has the longest Contents page of any Fighting Fantasy to date.


  • The instructions you are given in (363) will get you killed if you follow them during the floor tile puzzle at (332).
  • Paying attention to the warning given at (68) is liable to result in making a suicidal decision at (14).


Keith A., Martin A., Virginia A., Ian B., Mark B.,
Steve B. Frank C., Rosemary C., Sonia C., Ron E.,
Andrea G., Richard G., Karl M., Mary M., Svetlana P.,
Claire S., Stephen S., Linda T.-M., Mick U., Malcolm W.[3]

See Also[]


External Links[]


  1. Warlock Issue 3 - pg.4
  2. Space Assassin - pg.17
  3. Space Assassin - pg.5