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Video Game / The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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One ring to rule them all.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2002 video game based on The Lord of the Rings. Unlike The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the game is not based on Peter Jackson's film trilogy but instead the novel. It was released for PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance.

The console and PC versions are an action-adventure game where the gameplay alternates between Frodo, Aragorn, and Gandalf. The GBA version is a roleplaying game with turn-based combat, and all nine members of the Fellowship become playable as soon as they join the party.


The game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: The Hobbits actually manage to do a good job of fighting their enemies (wolves, giant spiders, and barrow-wights) even before they meet Strider in Bree. Instead of Frodo and Sam calling for help when Pippin and Merry are eaten by Old Man Willow, Frodo single-handedly wounds Old Man Willow by destroying his two arm-like branches, all the while armed with nothing but stones and a walking-stick.
    • The Winged Nazgul in the Amon Hen stage. In the novel, The Winged Nazgul only flies over the Fellowship before Legolas takes it down with a single arrow. But in the game, it serves as the game's Final Boss, in which Aragorn must fight it off with sword and bow, before it's finished off by Legolas.
  • Age Lift: In the console and PC versions of the game, the two Hobbit-children in Hobbiton are Sancho Proudfoot and Minto Burrows. While Minto and Sancho were five and eleven years old (respectively) during Bilbo's Birthday Party, they would be at least in their twenties by the time Frodo left the Shire seventeen years later. Averted for the latter in the GBA version, where Sancho Proudfoot appears as an adult Hobbit.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted for the Game Boy Advance version, where all Fellowship members in the party will participate in combat. Played straight though for the console/PC versions, once the full Fellowship is assembled. The only time in the latter version where the entire Fellowship participates in combat is to fight off two Cave-trolls while Gandalf solves a puzzle to open a door leading to Balin's Tomb.
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  • Battle Discretion Shot: The fight in Balin's Tomb is strangely omitted. After entering the tomb, a cutscene will play where Gandalf reads the Book of Mazarbul to the other members of the Fellowship, before cutting to Orcs swarming into the chamber. The game then abruptly skips to the next stage, in which Frodo and Gimli have been separated from the others in the Second Hall.
  • Bowdlerize: When Frodo sings "The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late" at the Prancing Pony, the line "And there they brew a beer so brown" is changed to "And there they make a stew so brown". This was presumably done to avoid references to alcohol, which would give the game an "M" rating by the ESRB.
  • Cutscene Boss: The Game Boy Advance version is particularly guilty of this. All of the enemies that could possibly serve as a reasonable boss battle (The Ringwraiths, the Watcher in the Water, the Balrog, etc.) are only "fought" in slideshow cutscenes with no interactivity of any kind.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Frodo's rocks can kill enemies, but they'll usually take a very long time to do so, even the weaker ones.
  • Death by Adaptation: Bill Ferny is one of the ruffians that Aragorn kills during the Bree level, even though he lived until at least the end of the War of the Ring in the novel.
  • Escort Mission: The Trollshaws stage. After Frodo is wounded by the Ringwraiths, Aragorn and the other Hobbits have to protect him from the Orcs, Trolls, and Wargs in the area.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Aragorn is the Fighter, Gandalf is the Mage, and Frodo is the Thief.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Several in the GBA version, such as rooms being left unfinished and inescapable due to the game being rushed out, occasions where important items that are needed to progress through the story might not spawn when they should, and even a point where the game will freeze after walking through a specific doorway in Moria. The latter was so infamous that Black Label's website has a page dedicated to getting around the freezing.
  • Game-Over Man: The cutscene that plays when the Black Riders catch you (see The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You below) will also play if Frodo wears the One Ring for too long and succumbs to its effects.
  • Giant Spider: Several of these are fought in the Old Forest.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Shire. There is even an area of it called "Green Hill Country".
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Several characters in the PC/console version greatly resemble their voice actors, especially Aragorn (Daran Norris) and Merry Brandybuck (Quinton Flynn).
  • Lethal Joke Item: In the Amon Hen stage of the console and PC versions, it is possible for Aragorn to meet Gollum, who will offer to give him a "present". The present happens to be a swordfish, which instantly replaces Aragorn's sword, and is the strongest weapon in the game. It is so powerful that not only will it take down Trolls in three or four hits, but it will do enough damage to skip the entire second phase of the final boss's battle.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the games based on the films, it is noticeably more tame.
  • Lost Woods: The Old Forest level, at least in the first section. The trees constantly move around, making navigating the level very tricky.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In the console and PC versions of Fellowship of the Ring, it's possible to find what appear to be llamas or alpacas roaming the Shire's pastures, even though those animals are only native to South America (or whatever equivalent Arda might have to that continent) while the Shire is based on the countryside of England.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: The Shire in the console and PC versions. During the day, the Shire is a bright, sunny and peaceful place with no immediate danger other than Farmer Maggot's dogs (which are only a problem during the Old Noakes sidequest). But at night, everything has become dark and sinister, since Black Riders and wolves are now on the prowl. The former must be avoided at all costs.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: During the Amon Hen level, even if Aragorn receives his "present" from Gollum, he will still use Anduril during cutscenes, then switch back to the "present" when gameplay resumes.
  • Obvious Beta: The Game Boy Advance version, due to how severely rushed it was, is riddled with bugs and glitches. In addition to the examples listed under Game-Breaking Bug, there are glitches that causes items to duplicate upon saving and re-loading a game after dropping them, and even the music takes almost a minute to start playing or change tracks when entering another area.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: During the nighttime section of the Shire level, you have to sneak past the Black Riders patrolling the streets of Hobbiton, and then one more in the Green Hill Country before just before entering Farmer Maggot's farm. Getting caught by any of them will instantly result in a Game Over. There is also a side-quest in the Shire during the day where you have to sneak into Farmer Maggot's farm to retrieve some Healing Herbs for Old Noakes without being seen by the farmer's dogs.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Getting caught by one of the Black Riders in the Shire will trigger a cutscene in which the Ringwraith will draw its sword, point it directly at the camera, and growl "Surrender the Ring!". The same cutscene also plays if Frodo wears the One Ring for too long and succumbs to corruption.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Frodo can throw an unlimited number of rocks to distract enemies. Absolutely vital when avoiding Black Riders.
  • Truer to the Text: It is more faithful to the book than the Jackson films.
  • When Trees Attack: Old Man Willow.

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