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Video Game / The Hobbit (2003)

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Cover for the PlayStation 2 edition
Click here  to see the Japanese poster for the PlayStation 2.

"Lead the Quest that started it all. Long Ago, the Lonely Mountain trembled as the Dragon Smaug destroyed the Dwarf-kingdom in fire and rage. When the Dwarves set out to reclaim their stolen treasure hoard, I, Gandalf the wizard, sent with them the most unlikely of heroes: Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. But even I could not foresee how this choice would rule the fate of Middle-earth."

A 2003 video game based on The Hobbit, published by Vivendi Universal. It was released on PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC, and Game Boy Advance.

Similar to Vivendi Universal's last Tolkien game, The Fellowship of the Ring, this game leans on the source material rather than the Lord of the Rings movies and their darker aesthetic as Electronic Arts had the rights to the movie adaptations of Tolkien's Legendarium and thus it uses a cartoony artstyle and more faithful designs for the races and the setting.

The game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: Bilbo not only fights the giant spiders, but becomes a warrior who can take on bosses such as a giant armadillo-like creature. As well, he kills countless orcs, some of which are much larger than him. Bilbo can also use his walking stick to pole vault and send enemies flying.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Bard is prominently featured in the “A Warm Welcome” level, portrayed as the captain of Lake-town's guard who sends Bilbo on various tasks. In the book, he first appears later in the story when Smaug attacks Lake-town.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance: In the GameCube, Xbox and PC versions of the game, Beorn is not shown nor mentioned until the final level, where he appears in his bear form. Averted in the Game Boy Advance release, which includes the Company’s visit to his home.
  • Adaptation Expansion: All levels add subplots involving puzzles or combat. There is even an entire plot revolving around Bilbo freeing a dwarven prisoner in Goblin-town after he is separated from the dwarves and before meeting Gollum.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Lianna is a female Elf original to the game and the only recurring female character. After meeting Bilbo, she helps him at several points, even allowing Bilbo to free the dwarves from imprisonment in Mirkwood.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The three spider queens are named Wild, Wicked and Wrath.
  • All Webbed Up: In Mirkwood, the dwarves are all wrapped together in bundles of spider silk that Bilbo must cut down in order to free them.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: If one of Bilbo’s enemies has a shield, attacking them with Sting while jumping will break it.
  • Back for the Finale: Corwin, Lianna, Bard, Gandalf and Thranduil all reappear in the final chapter after being absent for multiple levels.
  • Badass Boast:
    Balfor: I am grateful for your service, but freeing me would take the service of a hundred Dwarves. Or a thousand Elves.
    Bilbo: Or one burglar.
  • Badass in Distress: Balfor and Beorn are both held captive by goblins at two different points in the game and need Bilbo to rescue them.
  • Battle Cry: "Fight, Goblins! Fight!"
  • Battle Theme Music: "Combat in the Lone-lands", "The Guardian", "Inside the Misty Mountains", and "Battle of Lake-town" are used in fights with antagonists in the levels they appear in.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The beginning of the “Riddles in the Dark” level has three bats that shoot flaming balls of fire-breath at the player.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Beorn appears in the final level in his bear form, and while an ally of Bilbo, is a fearsome menace to the Goblins.
  • Block Puzzle: The elven halls, Lake-town and Erebor all feature these, which are necessary to proceed in the level.
  • Boss Rush: In Mirkwood you have to fight the three spider queens, one after the other. Each of them is bigger than the former and needs a different tactic to be defeated.
  • Broken Bridge: In the first level, Bilbo has to get across the water in order to reach the Green Dragon Inn, but the bridge is out. He needs to retrieve the carpenter’s hammer and nails in order to have it fixed.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Hit points in this game are referred to as “health bubbles”, and are divided into two: a minor injury will shrink a full health bubble to half its size, and another will destroy it entirely.
  • Cane Fu: Bilbo's first weapon is his walking stick, which he uses to whack enemies. While not as powerful as his sword Sting, it has a greater range of motion and can push several enemies away at once. He can also use it to pole vault when he needs to reach ledges that are too far apart to jump across normally.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • This game adds several characters, such as Lianna, an Silvan Elf of Mirkwood; Balfor, a Dwarf of the Iron Hills; and Corwin, a Man of Lake-town.
    • Most of the enemies encountered by Bilbo, like the clawed frogs and the armadillo/fox beasts are original creations as well.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The troll caves and the Misty Mountains each have a cavern located behind a waterfall where the player can collect treasure.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The wounded elf you save in the third chapter helps you free the dwarves in the seventh and fights off goblins in the final battle.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Between Hamfast Gamgee and Bell Goodchild, who in Tolkien's writings married later on. Though they won't admit it to each other.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Legolas appears in the Elven Palace, as one of the Elves that Bilbo must avoid. He can be identified by his resemblance to his father Thranduil (minus the crown), but his name only appears in the game files.
    • In a cutscene showing Elrond in Rivendell, a ten-year-old Aragorn is standing behind him.
    • The hobbit Holman Greenhand is shown in the Shire, as is Sandyman (named "Carl" in this game).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Balfor the Dwarf swiftly finishes off all the Goblin Guards with his axe as soon as he's freed.
    • Beorn vs Bolg, unsurprisingly, as Beorn is in the shape of a massive bear that towers over Bolg, a goblin.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • Bilbo is caught very easily by the stronger enemies, even when he has the ring.
    • In one cutscene, Bilbo encounters a goblin who has stolen the Black Arrow and is threatening to kill him with it. Bilbo makes no attempt to attack even though he has easily killed much more powerful goblins.
    • After freeing the dwarves from the spiders, Bilbo runs toward the exit to their cave when he hears three giant spiders who seek revenge. He stops in his tracks, even though there is nothing blocking his path. Immediately afterwards an inescapable web appears in front of the exit.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Bilbo has his moments.
      Lake-town Woman: You certainly are a curious-looking creature.
      Bilbo: Well, I could say the same of you.

      Bofur: This wood is too wet to catch fire!
      Bilbo: Perhaps you need dry firewood.
    • Ugslap, the goblin guard:
      Bilbo: Could you open this gate for me, sir? Please?
      Ugslap: Who are you? A little rabbit got away from the cooks?
  • Death Mountain: The level Over Hill and Under Hill sees Bilbo and company traveling through a mountain pass where they have to tackle several dangers including miners, wolves and stone-giants.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Downplayed. In the last level, Bilbo offers to send a message to Bard warning him of Bolg's army advancing towards him. Gandalf expresses concern that Bilbo may die in battle, and upon reaching Bard he tells Bilbo that "This is no place for a Hobbit". However, he can kill the goblins effortlessly. In this case, nobody (save possibly Gandalf) knows the exact extent of your exploits, but the higher-ups have no choice but to grudgingly respect them, so naturally, they'll pick him to get from Point A to Point B because that message needs to be delivered as quickly as possible. Gandalf soon becomes confident that Bilbo can do it. There is also a quest in which he must rescue some of the dwarves from the Goblins.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: One giant spider is found in a hidden cavern in the troll caves, two levels before Bilbo encounters more of them in an early portion of “Riddles in the Dark” and later fights them prominently in Mirkwood.
  • Elite Mook:
    • The goblins guarding Balfor's cell, although they can be fought later on in the game.
    • Ugslap looks like a typical larger goblin, but has more health and stamina.
    • The first Black Giant Spider is much tougher than the ones met later.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: The Waters of Vigour potion heals all damage and poisons, and temporarily protects Bilbo against further attacks.
  • Enemy Civil War: In Laketown, Bilbo has to sneak past the rogues and Goblins to steal back Bard's Black Arrow. If he's successful, the rogues will blame the Goblins and a ferocious fight will start.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: The Wight Lord does this to Bilbo.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The rogues of Laketown are, well, rogues, but they'll never work with Goblins against their own city.
  • Evil Versus Evil: In the "Barrels out of Bond" level, a group of small antagonists appear fighting against one of the frog-like creatures.
  • Exploding Barrels: Barrels that explode upon striking appear at several points in the game. The final level has one that must be struck in order to lower a bridge.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The game starts out with Bilbo dreaming about the Battle of the Five Armies, which has yet to occur. During this dream you are invincible, and the controls are explained. Bilbo wakes up upon being surrounded by orcs in a moment of Cutscene Incompetence and the storyline proceeds for real.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • In order to get Ugslap the goblin guard to open the gate leading to Balfor’s cell, Bilbo has to retrieve Ugslap’s stolen “wart-stone” from another goblin named Krugbit.
    • In Lake-town, Bilbo needs to enter the thieves’ hideout, and asks a reformed thief named Malloc to help him find it. To get the answer, Bilbo must retrieve Malloc’s golden dagger another thief stole from him.
  • Floating Platforms: The troll caves have platforms that float in mid-air, which Bilbo has to use in order to get from place to place.
  • Final Boss: Bolg, during the battle of the Five Armies. He's also a Puzzle Boss, as rather than face him personally you have to free Beorn from the Goblin Shamans before he dies.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Near the end of “Inside Information”, Bilbo and the dwarves are trapped inside Smaug’s lair, and Bilbo has to make a bridge across a chasm in order to allow them to proceed up to Erebor. It is actually very easy to traverse without even Sequence Breaking, but Bilbo has no way of informing this to the dwarves and therefore has no choice but to have them cross over the normal way.
  • Giant Spider: There are many different kinds of spiders as enemies, ranging from small to large sizes. Some are venomous as well.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Shire, naturally. One of the two levels with no combat, and the only one with no enemies.
  • Guide Dang It!: In the Game Boy Advance version, when you reach Lake-town, you usually have the 50 key ring you stole to free the dwarves, and then an elf takes them from you, saying Bilbo having them explained how the dwarves escaped, but if you went back to return the key ring to the sleeping drunk elf, that same elf in Lake-town will give you back the Music Box that Bilbo had left behind. There is no indication that you should do this, or that you can get the Music Box back for doing it.
  • Hacking Minigame: Bilbo opens locked treasure chests with a timed lockpicking minigame, in which he stops various moving obstacles once they turn green. Stopping them on red or otherwise failing to pick them in time may poison or injure him.
  • Harmless Villain: Krugbit. He spends more time yelling threats then trying to kill you.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: In "Roast Mutton", Bilbo has to sneak past the trolls to take their pocketbook. If they catch him before he can steal it, it's game over. But if he's caught while stealing it, the game proceeds.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • The final level has a rather intimidating looking orc hidden behind a wall. If you walk up to him, he will tell you that he is tired of the fighting, and won't hurt you (you can't hurt him either). He also has a handy supply of healing mushrooms scattered all around him.
    • In the Misty Mountains, Stone Giants will hurl boulders at Bilbo, but they can be tricked into forming bridges or opening caves in order to proceed.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Most of the caves in the game are well-lit with no explanation, aside from the beginning of “Riddles in the Dark” where the surroundings can only be seen if the glowing sword Sting is equipped. Bilbo himself, however, is fully visible even without it.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: This game has treasure chests everywhere, including part way up trees in Mirkwood. They are colour-coded as wooden, blue or gold. Unlocking them is a minigame involving timing with moving parts, where failure can lead to injury or poisoning.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Bilbo can’t climb or jump over fences in the Shire, forcing him to go around them.
  • King Mook: The first boss, the Guardian, is a larger version of the armadillo-fox creatures in the "Troll-hole" level.
  • Minecart Madness: To escape the goblin caves in the Misty Mountains, Bilbo has to ride a mine cart across the goblin railway networks, swinging his sword or walking-stick at signs in order to change his direction. His success comes when he passes into a giant cave behind a waterfall and crashes into a fence onto the floor, where he begins to enter Gollum's cave.
  • Mr. Exposition: Bilbo happens to have a hobbit standing on his property who serves the sole purpose of telling the story of Bilbo’s ancestor Bullroarer Took.
  • Multi-Platform: As seen at the top of the page, it released for several systems, including the Game Boy Advance and GameCube.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Glóin tells Bilbo, "You have courage, little hobbit. You remind me of my boy, Gimli."
    • Bilbo has pictures of his relatives on his wall and calls them by name: parents Bungo and Belladonna, grandmother Laura, aunt Linda, uncle Bingo, and cousin Falco.
    • The two hobbits Hamfast Gamgee and Bell Goodchild appear in this game as children, who have mutual crushes on each other. In canon they are a married couple and the parents of Samwise Gamgee.
    • Many of the puzzles and traps are explained by being placed there by the Witch-King's people.
    • The Necromancer is mentioned a few times. In Thranduil's halls, an elf mentions that the White Council has taken up the fight with him.
    • Balfor insults a goblin, calling him a "filthy spawn of an elf". This alludes to the origin of orcs.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Several citizens of Lake-town refer to the Master as "Calamar".
  • Newbie Immunity: At the beginning of the game, you control Bilbo Baggins in a dream sequence where you fight against orcs and goblins, and you are invincible against all attacks.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Wights wearing ancient armor and weapons are met in Mirkwood as enemies, with the demonic Wight Lord as a boss.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bilbo, when he's confronted by the Wight Lord and later spotted by Smaug. Also Bolg, as Beorn literally bears down on him.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Enemies such as bats and smaller spiders are killed with only hit.
  • Painting the Medium: Some of the enemies that Bilbo has to sneak past have health bars above them, even though they can't be killed, just to indicate to the player that they are enemies.
  • Palette Swap: Bifur and Bofur; Dwalin and Balin; Fíli and Kíli; Óin and Glóin. They look the same except for hood and beard colours.
  • Pastiche: The graphics and gameplay are very similar to The Legend of Zelda.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • The nature of adapting the novel as a platform game results in some moments of Adaptation Expansion, otherwise, moments such as Bilbo stealing the troll’s wallet, and reaching the troll cave, would be over immediately.
    • In the book, Bilbo names his sword Sting after killing a spider in Mirkwood. Here, he gives the sword its name as soon as he finds it, because otherwise there would be no explanation for why the game instructions refer to it as “Sting”.
    • In order to avoid making the game too easy, Bilbo can only wear the Ring for a limited amount of time before it slips off his finger. This is demonstrated by a meter, which rises again at the same rate it decreases.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: The cutscenes between levels are done with pencil illustrations, while four key moments are portrayed in CGI animation.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: In the final battle, Bilbo has to push certain barrels to cause a series of these that leads to culminatingly bigger items (barrels, boulders, a whole watchtower) falling on the Shamans keeping Beorn imprisoned.
  • Savage Wolves: There are several different kinds as enemies - regular wolves, blue wolves that shoot lighting, and the Wargs at the Battle of Five Armies. Bolg rides a giant one.
  • Scenery Porn: The game has several moments of impressive scenery, including outside the troll caves, and in Erebor. Bilbo points this out when he gets a view of Erebor’s main hall from above: “My, what a sight.”
  • Shock and Awe: The Misty Mountains have wolf enemies that shoot out lightning at Bilbo.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In order to prevent the elf butler Galion from seeing the dwarves in the barrel room, Bilbo spikes Galion’s wine mug with three herbs to make him fall asleep. Lianna, who gives Bilbo this plan, reassures him that Galion won’t be harmed.
  • Spin Attack: Bilbo can learn to do spin attacks later into the game, first with his walking-stick and then with his sword Sting.
  • Sinister Scimitar: Played straight, most Goblins have scimitars, while both elves and men fight with straight blades instead. Goblin Archers and Wights do sport straight swords in combat though.
  • Stalking Mission: In Lake-town, Bard sends Bilbo to spy on a thief and follow him to his hideout.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: There are many of these, where you need to sneak past enemies such as trolls, goblin guards, Smaug, and when you steal eggs from a henhouse. In one mission, Bilbo steals berries from Hobart's berry patch. If Hobart catches him, he will drone on and on about annoying things and you have to start over. If failed, you're sent back to the last save. When Bilbo finds the Ring they obviously become easier.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Goblin Miners can throw explosive satchels of gunpowder at you. One of the power ups for Bilbo's stones makes them explosive.
  • Super Drowning Skills: If Bilbo is in water and his feet aren't touching the ground he will die instantly. This is in line with Tolkien canon, where most Hobbits never swim.
  • Take Your Time: Thorin tells Bilbo they have little time in the Mountain before going to war against the Men and Elves, but the player can take as long to retrieve the Arkenstone as they need.
  • A Taste of Power: The first playable level is a dream in which Bilbo fights a group of goblins. In this dream he is invincible and already has the sword Sting.
  • Technicolor Blade: Sting and Lianna's sword are blue, while Glamdring has a light-purple hue.
  • Timed Power-Up: Bilbo can collect power-ups for his throwing stones that can freeze his enemies or deal more damage, but they only last for a brief period of time.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: Bilbo convinces the Goblin guard Ugslap to open a gate for him, but must retrieve Ugslap’s stolen Wart-stone. When Bilbo brings it back, Ugslap opens the gate, then attempts to kill the hobbit.
  • A Villain Named "Z__rg": Two goblins are named Ugslap and Krugbit. There is also Bolg.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Balfor is freed and tells Bilbo how to escape the caves, he disappears with no explanation and is never seen or heard from again, without a mention if he returned home to the Iron Hills (and he’s not seen fighting in its army).
  • You Have to Burn the Web: Giant walls of webs are a common obstacles in caverns or in Mirkwood. Usually Sting can cut though them with ease, but there are two of them (one in Mirkwood, one in the Elven Palace) that are too thick and need to be burned or dissolved.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Bilbo can perform special attack moves if the player presses the ‘attack’ key two or three times in quick succession. However, he can only do this after he acquires training scrolls later into the game.


Video Example(s):


Or one burglar

Bilbo offers to free Balfor from imprisonment in Goblin-town.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadassBoast

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