Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Location: Allansia, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson

Illustrator(s): Russ Nicholson (Puffin/Wizard versions)
Vlado Krizan (Scholastic version)
FF2 Original
Cover illustrator: Emmanuel,
Ian Miller
First published: March 31 1983
Number 2
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031603-5
Previous Book: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Next Book: The Forest of Doom
Wizard (Series 1)
FF2 Wizard SE
Cover illustrator: Kevin Jenkins
First published: June 3 2002
Number 2
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-389-9
Previous Book: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Next Book: Deathtrap Dungeon
Wizard (Series 2)
Cover illustrator: Kevin Jenkins
First published: September 3 2009
Number 2
ISBN: ISBN 1-84831-076-5
Previous Book: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Next Book: Deathtrap Dungeon
Cover illustrator: Robert M. Ball
First published: September 7 2017
Number 3
ISBN: ISBN 1-40718-125-4
Previous Book: City of Thieves
Next Book: The Forest of Doom

For other uses of The Citadel of Chaos, see The Citadel of Chaos

The Citadel of Chaos is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by Russ Nicholson and originally published in 1983 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2002 and 2009, and again in 2017 by Scholastic Books with new illustrations by Vlado Krizan. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the second in the series in the Puffin (ISBN 0-14-031603-5) and both Wizard (ISBN 1-84046-389-9) (ISBN 1-84831-076-5) series, and 3rd in the Scholastic series (ISBN 1-40718-125-4).



Who knows what monstrous creatures lie in wait in the Citadel of Chaos?

The Citadel holds a dark and dangerous peril for anyone foolhardy enough to venture through its gruesome gates. And yet venture you must, for your mission lies at the heart of the Citadel, with the dread sorceror, Balthus Dire!

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to take, which monsters to fight, and where to use your special knowledge of the magic arts.

The book is, like its predecessor The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, set in the fictional world of Titan in the Allansia region. The Evil warlord Balthus Dire who has ruled from his Black Tower high upon Craggen Rock for the past eight years is now agitating to expand his sphere of influence, beginning with the nearby Vale of Willow.

Word is sent to the Great Forest of Yore and the wizard who lives there of the problem and the player, the star pupil of this wizard is dispatched to the Vale where King Salamon charges the player with penetrating the forbidding citadel and defeating Dire. Along the way the player is forced to use both sword and magic to overcome a number of obstacles including the Ganjees and a Hydra.

How to Fight Creatures Within the Citadel/Using Magic/Magic Spells/EquipmentEdit

  • The book in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (see Game System).
  • In the Wizard "Series 2" edition, instead of rolling the stats for a character as per tradition in Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, the player has the option of choosing a pregenerated character from three choices (see "Further Notes" below for choices).

Unique RulesEdit

Equipment List[3]Edit

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Main article: The Citadel of Chaos (illustrations)


During the time that Puffin was publishing the Fighting Fantasy books, The Citadel of Chaos had two covers. The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Emmanuel which was eventually replaced by one by Ian Miller.

Of note, when the book transitioned to the Dragon Cover Format the style of writing for the title changed, but only on the cover. On the inside title page the font remained that of the earlier printings.

When the book was republished by Wizard in 2002 a new cover was designed and illustrated by Kevin Jenkins. Their 2010 edition makes use of a section of the previous edition's cover art.

The 2017 edition featured a new cover by Robert M. Ball.

The Citadel of Chaos through the years
1983 1984 1986 1987 1989
FF2 Original FF2 Zig Zag FF2 Zig Zag 2 FF2 Dragon Spine Front FF2 Dragon
Colour Star Zig-Zag Banner
(Cover 1)
Zig-Zag Banner
(Cover 2)
Dragon Format Dragon No No.
£1.251 £1.752 £1.953 £? £?
1990 1993 2002 2002 2009 2017
FF2 Dragon FF2 Wizard SE FF2 Wizard CitadelofchaosShield CitadelSch
No. Spine Only No Bronze-Foil Wizard "Special
Limited Edition"
Wizard Shield Scholastic
£3.504 £3.995 £4.99 £4.99 £5.99 £6.99


  1. Price of 1st~2nd Impressions; £1.50 for 5th~11th Impressions
  2. Price of 15th Impression. Oddly it is £1.50 for the 16th Impression
  3. Price of 17th Impression
  4. Price of 25th Impression
  5. Price of 26th~28th Impressions


The interior illustrations were by Russ Nicholson. There were 30 full page illustrations and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 13, 25, 40, 52, 64, 79, 90, 118, 144, 156, 169, 182, 196, 210, 222, 234, 245, 257, 269, 281, 292, 304, 316, 328, 339, 352, 362, 374 and 386.

The full-page illustrations in the book were accompanied with a caption giving the number of the paragraph depicted and a short extract from the text, a format which was only used in two other books, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and The Forest of Doom.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

The main villain of the book, Balthus Dire, also appeared in the novel The Trolltooth Wars by Steve Jackson and the character is a contemporary of Zagor (from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain) and Zharradan Marr (from Creature of Havoc).

Other MediaEdit

Computer GamesEdit

Main article: The Citadel of Chaos (computer game)

Videogame versions of the book were released in 1984 for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.

Main article: The Citadel of Chaos (iOS game)

An iOS conversion of the book was produced by Big Blue Bubble and released in 2010.

Main article: The Citadel of Chaos - Dire Consequences

An iPhone game based on the gamebook was produced by Derp Studios and released in 2012.


Main article: The Citadel of Chaos (Kindle)

A Kindle adaptation of the book was produced by Worldweaver Ltd and released in 2011.

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of The Citadel of Chaos



Further NotesEdit

  • 19 instant failures, 1 victory, plus failure by inadequate inventory, insufficient spells or loss of stamina points.
  • This gamebook has been deemed by many fans to be one of the few Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, if not the only one, that offers a fair chance of completing the book with the weakest possible character (skill 7, stamina 14, luck 7, magic 8). This fits well with Steve Jackson's statement in the rules that no matter how weak a player's initial dice rolls are, so long as he or she made the right choices, should be able to made it through the game with a bit of luck.
  • In many ways The Citadel of Chaos was similar to the original Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain with a similar goal and setting. However The Citadel of Chaos removed the key-collecting mechanism of the previous book and expanded the rules with the inclusion of a magic system.
  • Balthus Dire must be defeated by a long and strategic spell battle at the end of the book - this took Steve Jackson many hours to plan out. In fact Steve named Balthus Dire his favourite Fighting Fantasy character.

Series 2 AdditionsEdit


  • The illustration for (1) shows burning torches but the text states lanterns.
  • (55) leads to (10) and (249), but (10) also leads to (249). If you go from (249) to (231), the option to go back and take the other passage takes you to (243), which may be where (10) is supposed to lead to. Alternatively, the Citadel has two pantries.
  • In a minor continuity error, in (102) the Miks give you the Charmed Amulet, which you place around your neck. But when you show it to the Ganjees in (168) you remove it from your backpack.
  • In a minor error, (244) leads to (243).
  • (258) is an "orphan". Since it deals with the three small creatures in (64), it must follow this or (3). Either of these paragraphs is missing an option not to use an item from your backpack (most likely (3)).
  • The Wizard "Series 2" introduces an error in that the rules state you can only restore stamina with the stamina spell, yet the pre-generated characters each have 6 Provisions listed in their equipment.


Puffin EditionEdit

For Ken, Lilian and Vicki

Wizard EditionEdit

For Ben and Jake
May they live long and prosper

See AlsoEdit


External LinksEdit


  1. The Citadel of Chaos - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  2. The Citadel of Chaos - p.14
  3. The Citadel of Chaos - p.19
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