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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game)

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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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EA's The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King box.jpg
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Video game
DeveloperElectronic Arts
PublisherElectronic Arts
PlatformPlaystation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh
Release dateGameCube, PS2:
  NA: 5 November, 2003
  EUR: 14 November, 2003
  JPN: 8 January, 2004
  NA: 5 November, 2003
  EUR: 14 November, 2003
  NA: 31 October, 2003
  EUR: 14 November, 2003

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a video game by Electronic Arts based on the movie of the same name. The game was released in 2003.


The game plays very much like its predecessor, featuring 'hack n' slash' combat based around three offensive—speed attack, fierce attack and physical attack—and one defensive move. All characters also have a ranged attack and a group-specific special ability which can be activated periodically to make it easier to gain exp, take no damage or turn invisible depending on the character.

Players traverse generally linear levels fighting hordes of progressively more difficult enemies and usually a boss at the end. There is usually a few interactive level elements such as carts of explosives which can be detonated by shooting arrows at them, doors which must be opened by operating levers and spears which can be picked up and thrown at enemies.

There is also an RPG element: each character accumulates experience points (EXP) after defeating an enemy. Players can gain more EXP per enemy by stringing together attacks and combos without taking damage. EXP is used to level up, making new combo moves available. As in The Two Towers EXP is spent at the end of each level on new combo moves and increases to health, however there is also a strategic element to how this is done in The Return in the King; with players being able to chose between unlocking a move for just one character or for the entire fellowship, at a cost of extra EXP. Each character must still reach the required level in order to use an unlocked fellowship move, however.


The game has eight characters are split into three groups: the path of the wizard, the path of the king and the path of the hobbits. At the beginning of the game only Gandalf (path of the wizard); Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli (path of the king); and Frodo and Sam (path of the hobbits) are available. Each group has its own special ability and its own set of levels, but after completing the final level the player can play any level with any character. Completing the final level also unlocks the final three characters: Merry, Pippin and Faramir.


The cast of actors is not specified by role, other than the actors who reprised their role from the movies. Footage from the films is used, however, the actors remain uncredited.

Role Actor
Frodo Baggins Elijah Wood
Gandalf the Grey Ian McKellen
Aragorn Chris Edgerly
Samwise Gamgee Sean Astin
Éowyn Lorri Holt
Gimli John Rhys-Davies
Meriadoc Brandybuck Dominic Monaghan
Peregrin Took Billy Boyd
Legolas Orlando Bloom
Gollum Andy Serkis
Faramir David Wenham
Witch-king of Angmar Andy Serkis
Saruman the White Christopher Lee
The Mouth of Sauron Roger Jackson
King of the Dead Jarion Monroe
Shagrat Andrew Chaikin