The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)
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|The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring|
|Developer||Surreal Software (PS2, Windows)|
The Whole Experience (Xbox)
Pocket Studios (GBA)
|Platform||Playstation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows|
|Release date||Game Boy Advance|
NA: 24 September 2002
EU: 8 November 2002
NA: 22 October 2002
EU: 8 November 2002
Frodo decdies he must leave the Shire, and sell Bag End to Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. He performs various tasks around the village; such as repairing Hal Hornblower's weather-vane, and fixing Ted Sandyman's mill.
Frodo rescues a terrified Robin Smallburrow from a white wolf, before proceeding with haste to Green Hill Country.
- Night Green Hill
The Old Forest
- Forest Labyrinth
- Withywindle Path
Frodo finds Merry and Pippin taken by Old Man Willow. After Tom Bombadil arrives on the scene to rescue them, he asks Frodo to help him gather lilies for Goldberry. Along the way, more spiders emerge. As a reward, he takes the Hobbits to his house, where they can recuperate.
- The Barrow-downs
Frodo's companions are again lost and Frodo has to find them in the fog of the wight-haunted downs. In the final barrow Frodo finds his new weapon, one of the Daggers of Westernesse. Though the quest log tells the player this knife is necessary to defeat the Barrow-wight that serves as a boss, throwing many rocks at him from the safety of an elevated part does the trick too. After "defeating" the wight, Frodo decides to sing a song tought to him by Tom Bomdail, who emerges and sings the wight away. He gives them more daggers, and tells them to stay the night at The Prancing Pony.
- Town of Bree
It is apparent that Merry is missing and gameplay switches to Aragorn. Having found Merry he then hunts for objects to construct Hobbit decoys to fool the Nazgûl who are still on their trail, battling wolves and ruffians along the way.
- Weathertop Hill
After spotting lightning at the pinnacle of Weathertop, Aragorn escorts Frodo and Sam to the summit. On the way Wargs and Orcs are first introduced into the game. At the summit of the hill, Aragorn discovers signs of a struggle, and a rune bearing the letter "G" and a "3". Soon after he is attacked by a troll. After defeating the troll, Frodo notices Black Riders on the Great East Road, and they head back to the encampment.
- A Knife in the Dark
In a cut-scene, Frodo is stabbed by the Witch-king, and Aragorn must prevent the Nazgûl from stabbing Frodo even more, fighting them off with a fire-brand.
- Troll Shaws
Aragorn must clear the area of enemies including orcs, wargs and several trolls. Once all enemies are defeated Glorfindel appears; he sends Frodo away on Asfaloth. After his stance at the Ford of Bruinen, Frodo collapses.
- House of Elrond
- Hollin Ridge
- 3 Passages
- 2nd Hall
Frodo and Gimli have to fight themselves through the Second Hall. The player controls Frodo, who has to pull several levers to connect bridges and open the main door. Though most of the fighting can be left to Gimli, some foes - several archers, some orcs - are outside his reach, and have to be avoided or killed by Frodo.
- Abyss Fight
Gandalf fights the Balrog. The Balrog can only be stunned by the spell of lightning, after which Gandalf has to hit him with Glamdring. One hit from the Balrog's sword, however, is lethal.
- Lothlórien Forest
- Orc Dam
After leaving Lothlórien, the Fellowship finds the river Anduin blocked by a dam. They seek the shore, and Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir have to clear it before they can portage the boats. They have to beat two trolls, several archer orcs, and Uruk-Hai, who are first seen in this level.
- Amon Hen
- Final Cut Scene
Used copies of this Vivendi classic is still available, but reports are that many modern video cards do not like it and the screen is blank.
The story arc is only loosely tied to the book. Despite some video sequences quoting short passages verbatim, 'factual' accuracy if limited and great liberties taken with other events (e.g. at the start having to 'mend a weather vane').
Without being over the top, the graphics are a joy - the design, attention to detail and rendering of Bag End and the Mines of Moria are a complete joy and make the game worth owning even despite all other gripes.
As a game experience it is primitive and annoying. Even for 2002 its controls' sophistication is 10 years behind the times. Panning with the mouse is restricted in up/down unless in 'First Person', but in that mode it is difficult to keep to the paths required, which are narrow in many scenes. Some of the action buttons are different than advertised in the (small) manual, and some (push/pull and climb up/down ladders) are very clumsy.
- Combat and Balance
Apart from a few 'solo' scenes, you are accompanied by companions. Whilst your own health is fragile and healing scarce, your companions are indestructible! This means your best tactic is to stand back and let your companions do all the fighting, but of course that makes the game boring.
Most scenes are pointless busy work interspersed with excessive pointless monster attacks. After the first dozen spiders in the old forest, the writing is already on the wall. Unless you like busy-work games you won't enjoy this.
- Character rotation
A plus point is that chapters place you variously as Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf, but far too often having acquired companions you 'lose' them and have to walk a rather linear maze to find them again.
There is at least one good walkthrough published online, which I venture is essential if you ever want to complete the game without losing the will to solve 'impossible' scenes like escaping from Hobbiton and killing the Balrog. Not all of the solutions in the walkthrough are the only ones that work, so feel free to try others.
As a video game, Vivendi's Fellowship is a real turkey, but as a Tolkien fan this reviewer is delighted to have found it and played it, will proudly keep it rather than selling it on, and was forever delighted by the experience of 'walking around' Bag End, Hobbiton, the Prancing Pony, Bree and Moria. Oh, and meeting Tom Bombadil of course!
A sequel was planned for this game, and was to be titled The Lord of the Rings: The Treason of Isengard. The game was in development, but was cancelled before its release.
Cast of characters
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 So called in the game's .rsg-files.
- ↑ GAMING: Treason of Isengard axed, TheOneRing.net, September 12, 2003