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Video Game / The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers is a Hack and Slash tie-in game to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It was released to coincide with the 2002 film of the same name, but actually covers events from the first film as well, starting with the siege of Barad-dûr depicted in the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring. In the main version ported to all major consoles, you’re allowed to choose Gimli, Legolas or Aragorn for each mission, and it’s possible to replay successful missions with the other two later on. It boasted advanced graphics for its day, as well as the use of the 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.

The console version game was universally well-received, and possesses Metacritic rating of 82 and similarly high user scores. The game received a sequel, The Lord of the Rings: The 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:

  • Accidental Suicide: Can occur, likely due to faulty programming. Some Uruk-hai crossbowmen throw fire pellets at you, but sometimes if there's an obstacle between you and them, the pellet rebounds and engulfs the caster himself in flames.
  • 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 Helm’s Deep and these guys are swarming to blow up the door.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: It's based on both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, in equal measure. It's just called The Two Towers though as it was released to coincide with that film, making it a slightly Non-Indicative Title.
  • Adapted Out: Faramir, Gollum, Treebeard, Eomer, Arwen (though her voice is briefly heard) and Grima. Sam, Merry and Pippin only appear briefly in cutscenes, and are inexplicably absent from the levels at Moria.
  • 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 don’t discriminate. It probably helps that they glow purple and dark blue as they gain in power.
  • Background Boss: The Kraken-like Watcher 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 Balin’s Tomb is also this in the second stage: your character retreats to the walkway above and has to rely on ranged weapons to finish him off while he’s whipping you with his chain.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Downplayed. There is a spurt of blood when you strike enemies, but it's cartoonish and only appears for a tiny fraction of a second, making it easy to miss completely unless you have the Slow Motion cheat activated.
    • Completely averted in one cutscene after the "Helm's Deep: Breached Wall" level when Gimli hacks at an orc.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted for the protagonists: Aragorn gets 30 arrows, Legolas 60 and Gimli has 25 axes. Played straight for enemy characters with ranged weapons.
  • 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.
  • Deadly Lunge: The goblins with shields will occasionally do one if they’re at a distance. Doesn’t help them much, however.
  • 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.
  • Dual Boss: The Fangorn Forest level has two Forest Troll fights early on and ends with a big fight against two Forest Trolls at once.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Legolas fights with two elven short swords. Somewhat realistically, he's also weaker in melee than Aragorn and Gimli, who manage fine with their single weapons. Same applies for ranged weapons: Gimli's 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 (like the one in the movie).
  • Explosive Barrels: There's one level dedicated to destroying the supplies of Saruman’s explosives. As expected, it’s absolutely full of those.
  • Fake Longevity: Working with only one character, the game can be defeated in under 5 hours. However, true 100% completion is obtained by needing to do 10 of the 12 stages three times with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, plus a separate Palantir challenge level for each.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Warg Riders appear in one level and look like they’re all that. In reality they’re laughably easy to dispatch, due dealing surprisingly little damage, possessing below-average health and completely unable to block or avoid any of your attacks.
  • Finishing Move: If you stab/hack at an enemy while they're down, it'll finish them off regardless of how much damage they've taken (hence why the game calls it the "Killing Move").
  • Flaming Arrows: All of the hostile archers use these from lowly goblin archers to Uruk-hai crossbowmen. This is apparently just to make them easier for the player to see (as well as looking cool). Legolas can also get a weapons upgrade to enchanted arrows which set enemies alight.
  • Flunky Boss: The Cave Troll in Moria, Lurtz (Boromir's killer) and the Warg Commander boss will all summon flunkies throughout the fight. They’re 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 projectiles (arrows and fire grenades) launched by enemy characters. If one of their fellows happens to stumble into their path, they get hit. Same with the suicide bomber Uruks and the ground-shaking blows unleashed by trolls.
  • Gameplay Grading: The game ranks each kill depending on how much of a clean streak you were on (how much damage you were able to inflict without receiving any in return): Fair, Good and Excellent, and if you manage to fill the bar all the way up, for a short time your attacks do more damage and all kills are counted as Perfect.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The Uruk-hai in their signature black armour to the freshly hatched unarmoured ones. Health-wise, they're the toughest enemies in the game.
  • Involuntary Group Split: In the "Gap of Rohan" level where you have to fight the Wargs, the roof of the burning building you've just passed through collapses, cutting you off from your teammates and meaning you have to take on the boss alone.
  • 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.
  • Level Grinding: Possible on the Warg Level. Just let Sharku (the Warg Boss) keep summoning his minions and dispatch them with combos. About an hour of killing will result in you being able to afford pretty much every upgrade for your character.
  • Man on Fire:
    • One of the village NPC's in the level "Plains of Rohan".
    • Averted with the player character. If you stand in fire you of course take damage, but unlike enemy NPC's you don't actually catch fire.
  • Mook Chivalry: Averted: enemies have no qualms about hitting you while you’re down.
  • Moveset Clone: Isildur plays exactly like Aragorn with all upgrades unlocked.
  • 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 Goblin's Bane, Orc's Bane, and Uruk-hai's 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 Balin's Tomb level and Lurtz both have two stages of the fight.
  • 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.
  • Shockwave Stomp: One level has Gandalf assisting your chosen character. This is his most useful ability there.
  • Spin Attack: The Charged Attack you can purchase and improve works like this. There's also a 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, Sharku can only be damaged when his Warg rears. You'd think he'd have learned after the first time.
  • 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.
  • 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 you’re taking too long.

Alternative Title(s): Lord Of The Rings The Two Towers