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Video Game: Lord Of The Rings The Two Towers
Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
is a Hack and Slash
tie-in game to the Lord of the Rings
film trilogy. In spite of its title, it actually covers events from the first two films (plus a couple additional missions), starting at the Weathertop and finishing at the siege of the Helmís Deep. In the main version ported to all major consoles, youíre allowed to choose Gimli, Legolas or Aragorn for each mission, and itís possible to replay successful missions with the other two later on. It boasted advanced graphics for its day, as well as the use of original film score and actors. The Game Boy Advance
version was understandably much simpler and had largely different gameplay
, including isometric view and larger cast of playable characters.
Unlike most licensed games
, the console version game was universally well-received
, and possesses Metacritic rating of 82
and similarly high user scores
. The game received a sequel, Lord Of the Rings: Return Of The King, which dealt with events from the third film and was similarly well-received.
The console version of the game provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Bomb: The Uruk-hai suicide bombers. Not too much of a threat when they first appear, but they become a menace in the penultimate level where your character guards a secondary entrance to Helmís Deep and these guys are swarming to blow up the door.
- An Axe to Grind: Gimli, of course, possessing both his signature axe and two tomahawk-like throwing axes. Many orc enemies also fight with these, some even dual-wielding.
- Annoying Arrows: The arrows here can be rather easily deflected mid-flight by any of the three characters. If they do hit, the damage is roughly equivalent to a sword strike from an enemy.
- Averted for Legolas, however. Unlike other characters, he actually inflicts a lot more damage at range than up close: whereas it usually takes him several strikes to dispatch an elite Orc or an Uruk-hai up close, the arrows donít discriminate. It probably helps that they glow purple and dark blue as they gain in power.
- A Taste of Power: The game begins with a prologue for Isildur, who is considerably more powerful than any of the protagonists. You unlock him if you finish the Orthanc Tower bonus level.
- Background Boss: The Kraken at the Moria entrance always stays underwater and only attacks you with its tentacles, which you have to sever in order to ward it off. The Cave Troll at Balinís Tomb is also this in his second stage when he gets the whip: your character retreats to the walkway above and has to rely on ranged weapons to finish him off while heís smashing you with his whip.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted for the protagonists: Aragorn gets 40 arrows, Legolas 60 and Gimli has 20 axes. Played straight for the enemies, who will never run out.
- Charged Attack: There's a charged version of the heavy attack, which can be bought with your experience and then upgraded twice. When fully upgraded, it is strong enough to instantly kill Trolls.
- Combos: Bought with experience in between the missions.
- Die, Chair! Die!: Most levels have some environmental objects that can be smashed and occasionally provide an experience boost or a potion as a reward. One level also requires cutting through the barricade Orcs hastily set up.
- Deadly Lunge: The goblins with shields will occasionally do one if theyíre at a distance. Doesnít help them much, however.
- Dual Boss: The Fangorn Forest level has two Forest Troll fights early one and ends with a big fight against two Forest Trolls at once.
- Dual Wielding: Legolas fights with two elven short swords. Somewhat realistically, heís also weaker in melee to Aragorn and Gimli, who manage fine with their single weapons. Same applies for ranged weapons: Gimliís two throwing axes cannot match arrows in power.
- Played a lot straighter with Dual-wielding Orcs, however. These guys deal plenty of damage, will block regular melee attacks and interrupt your heavy attacks if you donít time them right.
- Elite Mooks: The dual-wielding orcs appear quite early, but remain quite tough throughout. The Uruk-hai Crossbowmen are Elite ranged mooks, with their respectable damage and the flame vials/grenades they love to throw around.
- Uruk-hai Berserkers straddle the line between this and Boss in Mook Clothing. On one hand, they donít have much health and a couple of good attacks finish them. On the other hand, they attack fast, have much greater melee range than you do, block nearly all attacks unless you time it just right and are practically immune to arrows for some reason.
- Explosive Barrels: Thereís one level dedicated to destroying the supplies of Sarumanís explosives. As expected, itís absolutely full of those.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: The Warg Riders appear in one level and look like theyíre all that. In reality theyíre laughably easy to dispatch, due dealing surprisingly little damage, possessing below-average health and completely unable to block or avoid any of your attacks.
- Flaming Arrows: All of the hostile archers use these from lowly goblin archers to Uruk-hai crossbowmen. This has no discernible effect besides looking cool.
- Flunky Boss: The Cave Troll in Moria, Lurtz (Boromir's killer) and the Warg Commander boss will all summon flunkies throughout the fight. Theyíre only a threat when fighting Lurtz, however, and only serve as a much-needed source of health potions in other cases.
- Friendly Fireproof: Averted with the flame grenades thrown around by Uruk-hai crossbowmen. If an enemy happens to stumble into the puddle before it ignites, theyíre screwed.
- Gameplay Grading: The game ranks each kill depending on how elaborate it was and how much damage the enemy has dealt to you before that. Killing someone with a basic attack is Good if they didnít get to hit back and normal if they did. Using more elaborate attacks (or kicking them off ledges) is Great, while using advanced combos is Perfect. Interestingly, letting enemies get burnt by Uruk-hai flame grenades still counts as a kill, but only registers as Normal.
- Heavily Armored Mook: The Uruk-hai in their signature black armour to the freshly hatched unarmoured ones. Health-wise, theyíre the toughest enemies in the game.
- It's Raining Men: Some Orcs will drop down from the trees above in the Fangorn Forest level. The first ever fight against Uruk-Hai Berserker occurs in the confines of a hollow tree trunk as he smashes in from above.
- Mook Chivalry: Averted: enemies have no qualms about hitting you while youíre down.
- No Arc in Archery: Both the arrows from orc archers and ones used by Aragorn and Legolas fly perfectly straight. Gimli throws axes instead, which also travel perfectly straight.
- One-Hit Kill: There are the Goblinís Bane, Orcís Bane, and Uruk-haiís Bane moves, which will instantly kill one of said enemies regardless of armour or anything else.
- RPG Elements: The game has levels and experience, which is used to buy better and more advanced combos to use.
- Sequential Boss: The Cave Troll in the Balinís Tomb level and Lurtz both have two stages of the fight.
- Shockwave Stomp: One level has Gandalf assisting your chosen character. This is his most useful ability there.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: Firstly some goblins with their small triangle shields, then Orcs with large wooden shields. In both cases, the solution is to smash the shield with a heavy attack.
- Spin Attack: The Charged Attack you can purchase and improve works like this. Thereís also an combo that ends in your character breaking the shields of everyone around him with a single such attack.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Lurtz is practically invincible in his second melee stage. The only way to kill him is lure him near statues. His blade will get stuck there, allowing you to let loose at him in melee for a while before he pulls it out.
- Similarly, the Warg Rider Commander can only be damaged when his Warg rises on hind legs to taunt you. Given that heís smart enough to speak Common Tongue, one would think he wouldíve learned after the first time.
- Timed Mission: In two missions of the game, your character needs to arrive in time to save people (Frodo the first time, civilians the other) from the Uruk-hai. Their health is displayed in the corner of the screen and drops down with time, so you know if youíre taking too long.