The Last Days (of the Third Age of Middle-earth)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Third Age refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Third Age (disambiguation).
Logo of The Last Days (of the Third Age of Middle-earth)
The Last Days (of the Third Age of Middle-earth)
Video game
DeveloperThe Last Days Team
PublisherN/A (freeware mod)
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
Release dateOctober 16, 2011
GenreAction RPG / Adventure / Strategy

The Last Days (of the Third Age of Middle-earth) (abbrev. TLD) is a fan-made (freeware, non-commercial) total conversion mod for the computer games Mount & Blade and Mount & Blade: Warband. [1] [2] [3] This expansive mod, covering the events of the War of the Ring, was first released in October 2011 for Mount & Blade and the Mount & Blade: Warband edition of the game. [4] [5]

"TLD" follows the basic game mechanics of the Mount & Blade game series, while also altering many of the mechanics to better immerse the player in Tolkien's Middle-earth (primarily Rhovanion, Rohan, Gondor and the lands to the east) during the War of the Ring.

The total conversion was in development for several years, from 2007 and 2008 until 2011 and 2013. It has since received continuous updating and addons. The most recent release of The Last Days is version 3.6 (released July 2020), for both Mount & Blade and Mount & Blade: Warband. [6] [7] The mod, specifically elements of it (graphics, music, source code), are licensed on an OSP (open-source project) basis since December 2012. [8]

Gameplay[edit]

The mod depicts the War of the Ring from the perspective of an ordinary soldier on either the side of the Free Peoples or those that side with Sauron. Playable races include Men, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Goblins, for either of the two sides. The mod is played primarily as an action RPG and medieval combat simulation hybrid, from a first and third person perspective, focusing on horseback combat, infantry combat and siege combat at various locations affected by the war. Over time, the player character creates a party of followers and later a company of soldiers and takes part in the War of the Ring under the leadership of commanders from various factions.

Unlike in the base Mount & Blade games, it is possible for a fortress or settlement to be permanently destroyed by the enemy side, necessitating greater care from players in order to hold and defend territory, while attempting to conquer the territory of the adversary. Another factor new to the strategy and tactics in the game is the player character's standing with the different factions, including his or her allies. It is not calculated globally, instead, the standing develops based strictly on what favours the player had carried out for a particular allied faction. (E.g. It is possible to be a celebrated friend of the Kingdom of Dale, but viewed ambivalently by fellow allies in Lothlórien.)

As in the Mount & Blade base game, the player can recruit certain unique companions to become members of their party. The recruitable companions are available to either the good or evil side, but none of them are available to both. [9] [10]

The player can meet various characters from the time of the War of the Ring, including the leaders and notable noblemen of the factions, as well as cameo appearances of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, as non-player characters.

Playable factions[edit]

The factions appearing in the total conversion that the player character can join, cooperate with and fight for. It is not possible to serve both a "Good" or "Evil" faction at the same time. A member of the Free Peoples will be unable to serve Sauron and a follower or ally of Sauron will be unable to cooperate with the Free Peoples.

The Free Peoples[edit]

The "Good" campaign: The Dawn of a New Age

Gondor is notable for having several further subfactions, meant to represent the different regions and provinces of the kingdom and their varying military traditions and specialties. These have their own unique troop development trees. (Dol Amroth has unique knights and heavy cavalry, Pinnath Gelin spearmen and archers, Blackroot Vale bowmen, Lossarnach axemen and Pelargir marines.) The Rangers of the North are a subfaction of the host of Rivendell (also with their own separate troop development tree to that of the Imladris elves) and the Beornings and Woodmen form a shared faction (with both groups having their unique troop development trees).

The Forces of Sauron[edit]

The "Evil" campaign: The Twilight of Man

The Dunledings are the weakest and smallest of the antagonistic factions.

Music[edit]

The total conversion has an extensive soundtrack of original music, composed for the mod by Australian freelance composer Vladan Zivanovic. No music from other adaptations of Tolkien's work was used. The entire soundtrack of The Last Days is roughly 150 minutes long. The composer's main emphasis while creating the soundtrack was creating a compelling musical ambience for each environment visited by the player character. [11]

The music utilises the Mount & Blade engine's capability to play music tracks based on the context of the player's location on the map, on the particular time of the day (daytime, night time), on the player's affiliation to a particular faction (both the two major campaign factions and their individual factions), and even on the type of enemy or enemy faction encountered and fought in the game world. There is an abundance of leitmotifs and themes.

Gallery[edit]

Images from this total conversion.

Screenshots[edit]

(Additional images from the mod can be found here.)

Concept art[edit]

Concept art and illustrations created during the pre-production of The Last Days, mainly by Jan "Merlkir" Pospíšil.

Videos[edit]

Sub-mods and further addons[edit]

The total conversion's original development team or other Mount & Blade modding teams have also created several sub-mods and addon packs since the release of the total conversion. These are largelly cosmetic or serve to alter some aspects of the game mechanics or scenery. All of these are only available for the Mount & Blade: Warband version of the mod.

External links[edit]

Fan-made freeware video game mods and fan games set in Middle-earth
 Conquest Remastered (TBD) Freeware Unreal Engine 4 expanded reimagining of the licensed game The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (2009)
 Civilization IV (2005) & Beyond the Sword expansion (2007) Middle Earth (2017)
 Crusader Kings II (2012) Crusader Kings II: Middle Earth Project (2014)
 Crusader Kings III (2020) The Lord of the Rings: Realms in Exile (2020)
 Europa Universalis IV (2013) Lord of Universalis (2018)
 The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth (2004-2005) BFME: Extended Edition (2006) · Middle-earth (2006) · Bodies Stay Mod (2009) · The Dwarf Holds (2010) · Return of Shadow (2013) · The Elven Alliance: Community Edition (2014) · Legends of the Third Age (2015) · BFME: Classic Edition (2017) · Shadow and Flame (2021) · The War for Arnor (2021) · BFME: Age of Strife (TBD) · Scouring of the Shire (TBD)
 The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (2006) Bodies Stay Mod II (2009) · The Last Hope of the Third Age (2015) · Power of the Ring: Campaigns of Middle-earth (2016) · The Four Ages (TBD) · Special Extended Edition: Director's Cut (TBD)
 The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king (2006) Realms of the Elf-lords (2007) · Edain Mod (2008) (An Edain SubMod (TBD) · Folk of Middle-earth (TBD) · H4lbarad's Map Pack · RJ-RotWK (2009) · The Strategy and Tactics Mod (TBD)) · Battles of Middle-earth (2012) · Middle-earth Extended Edition (2012) · BFME: Tactics (2015) · Wars of the Firstborn (2015) · The Rise of the Iron Crown (2016) · Age of the Ring (2017) · The Battle of the Pelennor Fields (2018) · Kingdom of Arnor (2018) · The Desolation of Arda (TBD)
 The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring (2003) The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring Evilmod (2013) · PalMz's Insane Warfare Mod (2017) · Rise of the Heroes (2021) · One Balance to Rule Them All (TBD)
 Mount & Blade (2008) The Last Days (of the Third Age of Middle-earth) (2011)
 Mount & Blade: Warband (2010) The Last Days (of the Third Age of Middle-earth) (2011) (TLD Scene Pack (2016-2018) · TLD Reforged (2016-2017TLD Overhaul (2017) · TLD Film Edition (2017-2019)) · The Hornburg (2011) · The Fall of Mordor (2016) · Blood in the West (2018) · Middle-earth at War (2019) · Persistent The Lord of the Rings (2021)
 Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (2022) Kingdoms of Arda (TBD) · The Silmarillion (TBD)
 Rome: Total War (2004) The Lord of the Rings: Total War (2007) LotRTW Hero Addon · The Fourth Age: Total War (2016) · The Fall of Barad-dûr (2021)
 Rome: Total War Remastered (2021) Total War: Beleriand (TBD)
 Medieval II: Total War (2006) & Kingdoms expansion (2007) Third Age: Total War (2009) (Second Age: Total War (2009) · DCI: Tôl Acharn (2015) · Third Age Reforged (2017) · Arnor Reforged (2019) · DCI: Last Alliance (2020) · Third Age: Total War 4.0 (2020) · Battle of Middle-earth Pack for Third Age: Total War (TBD) · The Blood of Númenor (TBD) · The Fall of Arnor (TBD) · Dagor Dagorath (TBD) · War of the Silmarils (TBD)) · Dagor Ennor (2010) · Divide and Conquer (2015) (Heroes of Battle (2018) · Men of Darkness Overhaul (2019) · Reunited Kingdom Submod (2019) · Wardens of Eriador (2019) · Conflicts of Eriador (TBD) · Divide and Conquer Map Submod (TBD) · Heirs of Elendil (TBD)) · Dagor Silmarillion - First Age Campaigns (2017) · Silmarillion: Total War (2020)
 Total War:Shogun 2 (2011) Total War: The Last Alliance (2019)
 Total War: Attila (2015) Total War: Rise of Mordor (2018) (Rise of Mordor Submod (2019) · [[Fiefs of Gondor (2019))
 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006) Helm's Deep for Oblivion (2007) · Middle-earth Roleplaying Project (2012)
 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) The Shire (2017-2018)

References[edit]

<references>

  1. Mount & Blade launch trailer, 2008, TaleWorlds Entertainment
  2. Mount & Blade: Warband launch trailer, 2010, TaleWorlds Entertainment and Paradox Interactive
  3. Tolkien-inspired Mount & Blade mods at ModDB.com
  4. The Last Days of the Third Age of Middle-earth mod 3.1, for Mount & Blade 1.011 (not for Warband), TaleWorlds Entertainment official forums, "Released Mods", 16 October 2011
  5. The Last Days of the Third Age of Middle-earth mod 3.3, for Mount & Blade 1.011 and Mount & Blade: Warband), ModDB.com, official overview of The Last Days mod, 31 October 2011
  6. The Last Days of the Third Age of Middle-earth mod, version 3.6, for Mount & Blade 1.011, ModDB.com, official overview of The Last Days mod, 24 July 2020
  7. The Last Days of the Third Age of Middle-earth mod, version 3.6, for Mount & Blade: Warband, ModDB.com, official overview of The Last Days mod, 24 July 2020
  8. The Last Days OSP conditions / TLD goes Open Source. Thread by Jan "Merlkir" Pospíšil, developer for The Last Days, MBX.StreetOfEyes.com mod development forum. 24 December 2012.
  9. (Spoiler) Hint video: Where to find the companions for a Free Peoples player character, video by "Kerendips", YouTube, 22 May 2019
  10. (Spoiler) Hint video: Where to find the companions for an evil side player character, video by "Kerendips", YouTube, 17 October 2020
  11. About the soundtrack. Thread by Vladan Zivanovic, composer for The Last Days, MBX.StreetOfEyes.com mod development forum. 22 January 2012.