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A Gamebook by Dave Morris, the creator of The Fabled Lands, Heart of Ice is set in a post-apocalyptic 2300 where the world has been ruined by climate change caused by the insane supercomputer network GAIA. The player is a slightly extraordinary survivor in this world who receives a mysterious message from Gaia, revealing the existence of the Heart of Volent, a meteorite that can grant the user ultimate power over their surroundings. A part of the now out of print Virtual Reality gamebook series, it has since been re-released. Also available for free at Dave's blog here.

Tropes appearing in this gamebook:

  • Affably Evil: Kyle Boche.
  • AFGNCAAP: You choose your background and skills, but otherwise this is applied as usual in a gamebook.
  • After the End: The world looks like this by now, though in keeping with its themes, the world's been slowly dying but hasn't had a single big event that blew it apart.
    • Just Before the End: Humanity really isn't expected to last another century, so the rich are spending their lives in revelry while the poor huddle in the slums, and everyone's waiting for the lights to go out. If someone gets the Heart, it really will be the end. Some of the lines that the player can give, however, indicate a hope for the future and the salvation of mankind.
  • A God Am I: Anyone who gets the Heart of Volent.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: Well, it's not AI itself that's the problem, but dumping a bunch of mutating computer viruses into Gaia did not end well, and Gaia is not only insane, but tends to take over any computer that links to her. The Little Gaia prototypes are uninfected.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Gargan sisters. By the time of the book, they're all dead except for XIII and XIV.
  • Apocalypse How: The backstory was a three-hundred-year-long Class 1 that's slowly sliding to a Class 3a. The Heart of Volent causes a Class X-4 if used.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: The Gargan sisters act this way, being devastatingly capable close-combat fighters, Blood Knights and extremely rude to anyone who isn't one of them.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Heart of Volent.
  • Artificial Human/Designer Babies: The Gargan clone sisters, all of whom were created in artificial wombs.
  • Badass: Most of the characters at Du-En are unambiguously Badass; the only one who definitively does not qualify is Janus Gaunt, an intellectual Necromancer who relies on his minions for manpower.
  • Badass Automaton: Gilgamesh.
  • Badass Normal: Chaim Golgoth to the max. The PC can also be this if he doesn't take ESP or Paradoxing and doesn't get himself genetically enhanced or cyborged.
  • BFG: The mantramuktra cannon, a man-portable Wave Motion Gun.
  • Black and Gray Morality: There are no unambiguous heroes in this game. This goes double in Du-En, where you'll find yourself wondering whether any of your rivals for the Heart are good guys. No. The best you can get is a My Country, Right or Wrong Nineties Anti-Hero Sociopathic Soldier.
  • Blast Out: The final scene usually results in this.
  • Career Killers: Chaim Golgoth, though he's a US agent, not a freelancer.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: You can encounter almost anyone who you meet in Du-En earlier in the game, in varying contexts. One of them can even be your travelling companion for most of it.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Chaim Golgoth.
  • Cyborg: The technology exists. You can become one on Al-Lat. However, the parts are prosthetic replacements, not really upgrades as such, though they're useful under certain circumstances.
  • Crapsack World: Yep. Even the nice parts, like the cities, are only nice for the rich, while the poor live in lawless slums. Outside the cities, the only thing you can be certain of is that it's a wasteland of some sort, whether that means an ice waste or a deadly jungle. And it's getting worse; humanity's not expected to last another century.
  • Death World: Earth.
  • Deus Est Machina: Gaia. When she's lucid, she's benevolent, but due to her insanity she often uses her godlike powers to cause random destruction.
  • Disability Superpower: The Baron is legless, and he's also the most powerful psionic on the planet.
  • Divided States of America: Inverted; the United States is the only government (that's mentioned in the book) to remain above the city-state level.
  • End of the World Special
  • Enemy Mine: At Du-En, everyone's going for the Heart and everyone knows that There Can Be Only One. Vajra Singh forces everyone to cooperate to a limited extent until they reach the Heart, at which point it's implicit that all bets are off.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Barysal guns, a kind of plasma pistol, are the weapon du jour of this world. There's also a laser pistol and a Lost Technology Wave Motion Gun to be found.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: You can get superpowers from genetic-enhancement retrovirii.
  • Global Currency: Scads.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gilgamesh makes one to save your life from the Beam Phantom. Later, you and Chaim can make one to destroy the Heart.
  • Hidden Space Colony: Al-Lat.
  • Hit Points: Life Points.
  • It's All About Me: The majority of those going to Du-En will do anything for the power of the Heart, and they don't care about the consequences of its use.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: If you ally with Vajra Singh and keep your alliance to the end, he'll refrain from using the mantramuktra cannon against you because you have no comparable weapon. If you don't have a gun, he'll take you on hand to hand.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kyle Boche.
  • Melee a Trois: If you have no prearranged alliance going into the final scene, then this will obviously happen.
  • Memory Gambit: Kyle Boche has himself hypnotized into setting a trap for Baron Siriasis, so that the telepathic Baron doesn't realize he's planning to betray him.
  • Multiple Endings
  • Patchwork Map: Justified. Yes, there are jungles in the middle of ice wastes. That either means that Gaia is making it happen that way, or something else is going on.
  • Psychic Powers: ESP and Paradoxing.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The people who make it to Du-En are a colorful bunch, and they're only working together because the most heavily-armed guy says so.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Chaim Golgoth specializes in using a crossbow against laser-armed foes.
  • Scavenger World: People on Earth aren't developing new technology all that much anymore, though they've done an impressive job at keeping what's left going. Al-Lat is faring a bit better.
  • Science Hero: The Scientist archetype, though he's more an Adventurer Archaeologist than an inventor.
  • Science Fantasy: Most of the stuff in the game is science fiction and has at least some technological trappings to it (mutated monsters, robot soldiers, Psychic Powers as a mutation), but it tends to be portrayed in a somewhat mythical way nonetheless (such as the beam phantom), and there's also an honest-to-God vampire at one point with no such explanation.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Saharan Ice Wastes. Fortunately, there's no sliding around, just the usual hazards of an icy wasteland.
  • There Can Be Only One: Only one person can get the Heart, though in some endings nobody does.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: If you attempt to contact Gaia on Al-Lat without Cybernetics skill, they toss you out. You're wearing a suit, but you only have enough air for one hour.
  • Ubermensch: Vajra Singh.
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