This is the last of the front guides in this series, and it is the one that I am most conflicted about. There are a lot of details to the war in the Pacific that school didn’t cover that this book points out and makes a hell of a lot of sense. I knew in the abstract about the campaign moving from island to island across the Pacific until the war ended, but I did not know about the battles in Burma and through South East Asia. In the abstract, a jungle war sounds like it would be fun (from a game setting perspective), but this book goes out of its way to remove that romanticized view by spending a lot of space emphasizing the quickness of infections setting in, the lack of reliable medical help, and the harshness of the environment making this seem like a less than appealing place to set your game.This is somewhat mitigated by the option of playing those local to region who would have a better chance surviving in the jungle and fitting in with the population in general though you would have to do any research on the cultures that you choose to portray because they are not covered in this book. As an aside, this book does give enough information that the later wars in the region to end the various colonial holdings. So the information in this book gives a lot of good information about the progression of the war in this theater, how the POWs and captured civilians are treated, to some extent what the Japanese thought would happen if they were captured. All of which makes things seem to brutal to make a good game setting.
On the other hand, this book has some great information in chapter eight on the Cthulhu Cult with the deep ones and what their goals are and what they are doing to work towards these goals. We also get a brief mention of the “sons of Cthulhu”. I am not sure who introduced thesebeings to the mythos since I am not familiar with them, but we get descriptions of them and a little bit about their powers. We also get a little bit on the ghouls of Asia and the hunting horrors. We also get a fascinating section on the serpent people (Nagas), and their city in Korea. We find that the inhabitants of the city have been working for millions of years to transform themselves to survive the awakening of the Great Old Ones. Currently they are working to infiltrate the Japanese government as part of their long-term plans. We end this section with information on the Tcho-Tcho. This while perfectly acceptable from a cursed, humanity can not win perspective, it is still the weakest of the three main groups here.
The artifacts and tomes also pretty weak with only one of them originating in a local language. The rest of them are in either Latin or English which seems like a missed opportunity. This goes similarly for the three adventure seeds none of which are very inspiring.
From my point of view, if I where going to run a game set in the Pacific front, I would probably request quite strongly that the characters be native to the region and/or give the players an option to spend a benny to escape capture if they are defeated as opposed to them getting captured and in all probability killed either trying to escape or shortly after escape. Another option would be to only have the characters follow after the battle and have to deal with any saboteurs and harassing forces left behind as they deal with various mythos related tasks.
So this is another book that I am really happy that I got and that is well written, I am just not sure how I would make use of it in any games that I run. This now leaves me down to my final three crossover books to read. Interface 19.40, Elder Godlike, and Secrets of the Dust.