I thought it was about time to resurrect this thread.
It seems to me that the "Find Your Fate" books are undeservedly ill-regarded by fans, mostly because of the problems presented by the "Choose Your Own Adventure" format. There are many contradictory stories in a FYF book; how do these stories fit into the larger Indy canon? (How did Indy escape from the Legion of Death, for example, before getting caught up in the events of Raiders
It's not an easy question. The consensus approach thus far, as evidenced by TheRaider.Net's own Indy timeline, is to treat the premise of each FYF book as canon, but stay silent about what happens after the reader is presented with his/her first decision point. I don't find this to be a particularly useful approach, because
- it doesn't actually answer any questions; it just responds to "what happened then?" with a big shrug.
- it ignores the vast majority of the content of the books. At most, a few pages at the beginning are considered canon, and the rest is worthless. That doesn't seem like it's getting the most value from these books.
Now, Junior suggested an intriguing alternative several years(!) ago:
That certainly gets more value from the books... the problem is that it's a subjective process: reasonable minds can disagree about what constitutes the "best parts" of these stories. Plus, synthesizing elements from the various branches is more of an art than a science; no two Indy fans would create the same story out of any given book.
So (because I'm an OCD Indy nerd and issues like this literally keep me up at night) I would like to propose another solution. While there are many narrative paths in these books, the possibilities aren't infinite. Each path can be evaluated against just a couple of simple criteria, and in most instances a single "best" path can thus be determined. This path's story should then be considered canon.
Seems reasonable, right? But what criteria should be used to evaluate the narrative paths? Well, I would suggest the best path is
- the longest path (as measured in number of pages) that
- does not thoroughly contradict established Indy canon.
If the longest path ends with Indy getting burned alive in 1934, for example, well that contradicts all of the movies, so it can't be canon and it shouldn't be considered the best path.
I wanna wrap this up before it turns into a Master's thesis, but because this proposal involves determining the longest path in each of the Find Your Fate books, it would be extremely helpful to chart out all of the paths. You guessed it: I've got charts! Here's one for Find Your Fate #1: Indiana Jones and the Curse of Horror Island
(Each bubble is a page, and ending pages appear as black boxes. Purple bubbles are illustration pages. You can see there are 18 endings, and the longest path ends on page 63.)
I've got graphs for all the other books too, but I'm tired and I don't know if anybody besides me cares anyway