The Lord of the Rings is a 2003 pinball game designed by George Gomez, programmed by Keith Johnson, and released by Stern Pinball. Based on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, it naturally encompasses all of the major characters and events of the epic. Assemble the Fellowship, fight the Balrog, knock down Barad-Dûr, and face the Eye of Sauron. Players who manage to endure all three multiball modes (one for each part of the trilogy) will be able to finally Destroy the Ring. But only the best warriors can ascend into Valinor...
The Lord of the Rings was re-released in December 2009 as The Lord of the Rings: Limited Edition, which includes a signed playfield, gold-plated and brass metalwork, a mirrored gold backglass, and software and hardware support for a shaker motor. Only 500 units of the limited edition were made.
This pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Anti-Frustration Features: Do poorly on the first two balls, and the Dwarven ring reward will automatically be set to "Start Fellowship [multiball]". If you really shit the bed, then ball 3 starts with Extra Ball being lit.
- Artifact of Doom/Ring of Power: The One Ring, which must be destroyed during "Destroy the Ring".
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: An Easter Egg replaces the "Bash the Balrog" mode with "Bash Gary", a reference to Stern Pinball president Gary Stern.spoiler
- Combos: The "Destroy the Witch King" mode requires the player to shoot either the left ramp or right loop, followed by a right ramp shot to defeat the Witch King.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Two Towers.
- Gotta Catch Them All!:
- Collect all Fellowship members to start Fellowship of the Ring Multiball.
- Collect 5,000 souls to start Return of the King Multiball.
- Collecting all six Elf Gifts is one of the requirements for Valinor Multiball.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition
- Ramp Jump: The Ring Ramp, located in the center.
- Real Song Theme Tune
- Score Multiplier: There's the Jackpot multipliers during Two Towers and Return of the King Multiballs, as well as the 2x Scoring gift, and during Gollum Multiball, you can score twice (Smeagol) or half (Gollum) the value. The player can score an 84x(!) Jackpot during Two Towers Multiball by combining many of these, but it is difficult to do.
- Shout-Out: Bordering on Easter Egg territory - getting "Big Points" from an elf gift while 2x Scoring is running prompts the game to say "The prize is doubled!", alluding to Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure using the exact same quote when lighting a doubled jackpot. Programmer Keith Johnson confirms it as intentional here.
- Skill Shot: There are three skill shots: the Tower Skill Shot, the Flipper Skill Shot, and the Lane Skill Shot.
- The Tower Skill Shot requires the player to plunge the ball into the Orthanc Tower for points, and to send the ball to the Path of the Dead.
- The Lane Skill Shot requires the player to plunge the ball over the O-R-C lanes for points.
- The Flipper Skill Shot requires the player to fully plunge the ball, and then quickly shoot the right ramp for points.
- Spelling Bonus: O-R-C increases the bonus multiplier, while K-E-E-P lights a lock for Two Towers Multiball.
- Take That, Audience!: Tilting causes the game to insult you:Treebeard: "There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men for this treachery."
- Whole Episode Flashback: "There and Back Again", which revisits all of the Ring Modes.
- Wizard Mode: Valinor Multiball, which is as difficult to reach as The Simpsons Pinball Party's "Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode". It can only be enabled if the player completes all three multiball modes, achieving "There and Back Again", collecting all of the Gifts of the Elves, and Destroying the Ring (the latter which must be done last).
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Valinor Multiball teasers are shown after completing Destroy the Ring, if the player hasn't met the requirements to reach it.Valinor awaits, but there is more yet to do. — Teaser to Valinor Multiball
- You Shall Not Pass!: As in the movie, Gandalf shouts "YOU... SHALL NOT... PASS!" upon defeating the Balrog in Fellowship Multiball.