The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King
|The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|
|Platforms||PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, PC|
|Release dates||October 31, 2003 (NA)
November 14, 2003 (PAL)January 8, 2004 (JP)
The Return of the King (for the Nintendo Gamecube, Playstation 2, Xbox, Gameboy Advanced and PC) was released in conjunction with the film. This game is essentially a playable imitation of the movie (also includes levels from The Two Towers), and it lets you play as Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli on The Path of the King; Frodo and Sam on The Path of the Hobbits; and Gandalf on The Path of the Wizard. When you complete all paths and beat the game, Pippin, Merry, and Faramir are unlocked as playable characters. This game also has a variety of Special Features about the making of the game that are unlocked as you progress.
 The Path of the King
- Paths of the Dead
- This level is based on Aragorn, Legolas', and Gimli's venture through Dunharrow, the caves in the White Mountains, where there is an army of dead men, bound to Middle-earth by their broken oath to serve the King of Gondor. Although they never fight the Dead in the book or the movie, this level requires you to fight through the legions of spirits, to reach the center of the caves and plead with their King. Some of the cutscenes of this level feature bits only in the Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings.
- The King of the Dead
- On this level, you have reached the center of the halls and caves of the Dead. Once again differing from the book and the film, you have to fight The King of the Dead single-handedly, and he is essentially a boss, fought at the beginning of the level, rather than the end. After you defeat him, you have to escape from the caves, as they begin to collapse in. If you move too slowly, the boulders will crush you. Occasionally, you'll be stopped at certain points and unable to continue, until you defeat a group of Dead enemies. The cave will stop collapsing for a moment, giving you time to clear them out, but if you are not fast enough, it will resume and kill you. You will meet up with the rest of your party in the last chamber on the game, where you fight one last group of enemies.
- The Southern Gate
- In the film, this scene is not stressed too heavily. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli simply arrive with the Army of the Dead and charged the forces of Sauron. It is a little more complicated here. When you first approach the gate, a troll jumps in front of it from the top of the fort and the gate doors shut. Kill the troll, fight of the Orcs, and set off the two catapults on the left side of the main road to clear a way on the right side of 4the fort to climb it. You need to access the gate winch to open it for yourself to pass through. First, you need to defeat the second troll up there. After that, an oliphaunt comes up, and its archers fire at you. Fire arrows to blow it up, while fending off the Uruk-hai. After that, defeat the last wave of Uruks so you can safely use the gate winch. Once its opened, one last line of Uruk-hai rush to the open gates to cut you off. While you are still on the fort, pour the molten metal on them to kill most of them. Then go back to ground level and run through the gate.
- Pelennor Fields
- You start this battle out in the midst of Uruk-hai and Easterlings. Once 60 enemies are slain (Warrior bane and Bane of Sauron some in handy here), the Oliphaunt begin to come. You need to stop them before they reach Éowyn and Merry. The first one will come alongside the left cliff. Climb the slope leading up and fire arrows at the caravan on its back. Once you have broken the defenses, you can shoot it and blow it up (why they explode is still unknown). The second Oliphaunt will go alongside the right cliff. Immediately go back down the slope that you took to climb that one, and dash across the battlefield to the slope leading up the right cliff. The Oliphaunt here will have gained some ground. You can use the large crossbows there to do some extra damage, or you can just fire arrows. When this Oliphaunt explodes, head for the left, but not for the slope. The Witch-king of Angmar will arrive and begin to attack Éowyn and Merry. Head to the outlook on the far left of that cliff, and shoot arrows the fell beast. Enemy warriors might attack you, so quickly dispatch them and ward off the king of the Nazgûl. After this, another Oliphaunt will come. He may be on the left or right, and the same goes for the one afterward. The the Witch-king will return to attack your two allies on the ground. The game usually repeats this cycle, two Oliphaunts, the Witch-king, two more Oliphaunts, et cetera. You cannot do this forever, though, because the more Éowyn and merry are attacked, the more health they lose. The level ends when you eliminate the Witch-king's fell beast.
- The Black Gate
- The first part of this fight is based on the Extended Edition of The Return of the King, as you fight the Mouth of Sauron, his lieutenant. Keep away from him when he makes the first strike, as it will create a damaging shockwave. The best tactic is to use Speed Attacks, and after every few swings, parry his counterattacks. If you keep this up, he should fall easily. The second part initiates the assault from Mordor's remaining army. Legions or Uruk-hai and Easterlings will come mainly from the front, but from the sides as well. The first half of this part is marked by killing three leader enemies, the larger enemies with health bars over them. The second half is killing the last three, so altogether, you need to kill sic leader enemies. They will target you or members of your Fellowship. If they die, you fail the mission, so heal them by standing next to them until they glow. After the leader enemies are down, three of the Nazgûl arrive. You can throw spears at them and dump the baskets of fire on them. You will especially want to shoot projectiles at them, but do not try to take a melee approach to them. They will kill you too easily this way, and they also have a better chance of killing your teammates as well. The recommended ways of attacking are much safer and much more effective. With the fall of the Ringwraiths, your victory is assured.
 The Path of the Hobbits
- Escape from Osgiliath
- This level is take from The Two Towers film, but it does not occur in the book. As Sam, you need to lead Frodo out of the city, fighting your way through Orcs as to go. At many times, you will see a red meter with a fell beast in it that fills over time. The best way to make it go down is to hide under something. If it fills completely, Frodo will be found and captured by the Ringwraiths. The ultimate goal is to reach the sewer that leads out of Osgiliath. There are some Orcs down there that you will need to defeat first, but after you do, spin the gate winch and make your escape.
- Shelob's Lair
- As Sam, you go in search of Frodo, as he being chased by Shelob. You fight many smaller spiders on the way and a few bands of Orcs that explore the tunnels. Sometimes, you will the floor covered in hundreds of tiny spiders. Throw a torch into their midst to make them clear away, so you can proceed. When you reach the end, you find Shelob wrapping Frodo up in her spider silk. You can attack her from behind. Ideally, you should hold your button for Fierce Attacks (it will vary with your type of game system) and then swing when it is fully charged. You should be able to get in a decent amount of damage with this. Then you want to use Speed Attacks on her. Parry her strikes, and after every couple, strike her a couple times, and then parry again. Keep up this pattern until she climbs into a nook on the wall. She then sends her smaller spider you. You want to kill them quickly, so knock them on their backs with a Fierce Attack and then finish them. If they drop healing potions, use them if you need to. Once you have cleared them out, Shelob will try to jump on you. Step aside to avoid her. If she misses, she'll be stunned for a moment. Charge your Fierce Attack again and hit her. Keep up this basic method of attacks for the duration of the battle, and you should have little problem.
- Cirith Ungol
- The Crack of Doom
 The Path of the Wizard
- Helm's Deep
- The Road to Isengard
- Minas Tirith - The Wall
- Minas Tirith - Courtyard
 Bonuses and Special Features
- Hobbits on Gaming
- Christopher Lee
- Sean Astin
- Ian McKellen
- Elijah Wood
- Billy Boyd
- Dominic Managhan
- Andy Serkis
- David Wenham
 Combat and Tactics
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