cjm?s Walkthrough and Guide
? Miscellaneous Notes
? Default Controls
? Recommended Combos and Upgrades
? Special Abilities
? Useable items
? This walkthrough is based on the \'normal\' difficulty level
? Perfect mode ? not sure where else to describe it, so I?ll do it here. There?s a ring at the bottom of the screen which quickly fills, then drops, during combat. The quicker and more effectively you dispatch enemies, the more it fills, especially if you successfully use combos. If you manage to fill the ring completely, you enter perfect mode. While in perfect mode, you?ll receive a perfect rating on every enemy you kill, and the damage of your attacks will greatly increase.
Move Forward/Backward: ?W?/?S?
Move Left/Right: ?A?/?D?
Speed Attack Left mouse click
Fierce Attack Right mouse click
Ranged Attack Hold ?shift? to activate, hold and release the left
mouse button to fire
Physical Attack Left ?Control?
Jump Back ?Tab?
Special Move ?F5?
Finishing Move Spacebar
Recommended Combos and Upgrades
After each level, you?ll be awarded a certain number of ?experience points?, the total of all the points you received for each enemy you killed during the level. You?ll see a number and a rating float in the air for a second after each kill ? the better your performance in the fight, they higher they will be. These points can be used to purchase attack combos and character upgrades after each level; here?s those I recommend buying first.
Note: some combos/upgrades can only be purchased for one character, but some can be purchased either for a single character or for all characters at once (for more experience points up front). These that I list are available for all characters. For the character-specific combos and upgrades, buy those that increase the damage of an attack first. Aragorn?s ?speed? attack has the most upgrades and is the most powerful when fully upgraded; Gimli has the best ?fierce? attack; and Legolas has the best ranged attack.
Basic speed combo Left click, left click, left click
Every character possesses this combo to start. It quickly and repeatedly slashes at the enemy, and is very useful even later in the game to back up combos. However, it won?t do any damage to a shielded or heavily armored enemy.
Basic fierce combo Right click, right click
The other beginning combo; it strikes an enemy twice, hard enough to smash a shield or armor. For the most part, the speed combo is better (it gives the enemy fewer chances to land a blow) ? unless, of course, you?re fighting a shielded/armored foe.
Orc Hewer Left click, left click, right click
This is a pretty easy combo that will kill most unshielded enemies. Some characters will swing their weapon in a broad sweep that hits multiple enemies; others, especially Aragorn, swing it over their head, hitting single enemy.
Final Judgment Left click, left ?control?, spacebar
This combo?s not too tough either; it strikes, knocks down, and finishes any unshielded enemy.
Strength of ______
These upgrades increase the character?s total health. Obviously, this is pretty handy once you reach the harder levels.
Simply increases the length of time the character stays in perfect mode.
Helm?s Hammer Right click, right click, right click
Increases the basic ?fierce? combo to three strikes. Obviously, it?s extremely easy to use, but you can?t purchase it until you reach level 9.
Swift Justice Left click, left click, left click, left click
Increases the basic ?speed? combo to four strikes. Also very easy, but it?s not available until level 10.
Orc bane, Warrior bane, Bane of Sauron ?q?, spacebar
These three combos will instantly kill an attacking orc, human warrior, and uruk, respectively. They?re the hardest to pull off, but definitely the best looking. The best strategy is to press ?q? (the ?parry? key) repeatedly, then press the spacebar the moment after you block a blow. They?re tough until you get the hang of them.
All special abilities operate for a limited (but upgradeable) time, shown by the circle over the character?s face in the lower left corner of the screen. After being used, a special ability cannot be used again for a certain period of time, also shown by the circle.
Gandalf?s special ability is a magical shield, which make him completely immune to damage, and which damages any enemies it touches. Great for crashing through crowds of enemies, or for taking on a tough boss.
The Hobbits? special ability is their elven cloaks, which make them invisible to enemies. They move much slower while cloaked, but they then have the ability to backstab an enemy (walk behind it, while cloaked, then press the ?finishing? key). They become visible again after a certain period of time, or after backstabbing.
The special ability of these characters is an increase in the damage of any attack, and an increase in the speed with which the character reaches perfect mode.
War Pikes ? You will find war pikes stuck in the ground or leaning against a wall in some levels ? to use them run up to them (a ring should appear on the ground), then press and hold the ?action? key; turn to face the enemy you want to hit (it should turn slightly green, with a glowing green sphere above its head), and release the ?action? button.
Boiling oil ? Some levels will have one or more pots of boiling oil mounted on the tops of walls or other drops; tip them over by pressing the ?action? key while behind them (a ring should appear on the ground when you?re in the correct position) to kill enemies below.
Torches -- Some levels will have torches mounted in brackets on the wall; they can be used just like pikes.
Fire baskets ? Press the ?action? key to tip over the metal baskets full of glowing coals; any enemy who is in, or walks through, the area of fire, will die in a few seconds.
Winches ? Press the ?action? key repeatedly to gradually open a gate, lower a drawbridge, etc.
Ballistas and catapults ? Fire these siege weapons simply by pressing the ?action? key while standing behind them. Either they are already aimed at the target, or you need to wait until the target (only the mumakil in the ?Pelennor Fields? level, I think) moves in front of them.
Tutorial: Helm\'s Deep
You shouldn\'t have much trouble completing this level; you have plenty of allies, and other characters will shout you directions. Once the movie clip merges into the game, start killing any orcs you can reach. Within a few minutes, Legolas will ask you to help him fight the orcs on top of the wall. Fight your way through the orcs between you and the ladder Gimli climbs, then follow him up and use your ranged attack to take out the orcs shooting at you. Kill the three orcs that run along the wall towards you, then follow Legolas down the other side of the wall to help Aragorn (run over to the ring on the ground beneath the grappling hook, then press the ?action? key). You\'ll need to fire all three of the ballistas at the orcs on the bridge. If you want, you can fight the orcs near the ballistas for a few minutes to earn experience points -- eventually someone else will trip the ballistas. Otherwise, just fire them yourself (see the ?Useable Items? section if necessary). The level ends when the third ballista is fired.
The Path of the Wizard
You play as Gandalf in the ?Path of the Wizard? levels. He has no allies in all but the final level, but he manages pretty well without them; he has good movement speed, good attack speed, and good attack strength ? plus the snazziest special ability of any character. Overall, he?s a very strong character.
The Road to Isengard
Run straight along the path, killing any uruks that attack you ? you?ll need to use your ranged attack for the archers above you on the path walls. When you see a cart loaded with explosives ahead, hit it with your ranged attack from a safe distance to deal with the orcs near it. Continue until you see another cart at the foot of a bridge; destroy it the same way (you?ll need to be on or past the small rise in the road to hit the cart), then kill any orcs left on the bridge. Continue straight on past the bridge.
Head down the ramp into the clearing filled with ents and orcs. You can?t proceed until you and the ents have finished off 75 orcs; there?ll be a counter in the top right corner of the screen. Be careful not to let the ents step on you! When the ent smashes through the pile of rocks, continue along the path through a couple of small ambushes until you reach the open.
Admire the view of Orthanc, then continue. The towers across the chasm will fire a rapid stream of arrows at you; fortunately each one has a cart of explosives at its base. Alternately fight groups of orcs on your side of the chasm and hit the carts on the other side with your ranged attack. Eventually you?ll reach a bridge to the other side. Destroy the last two towers opposite you above the bridge, then deal with the uruks guarding said bridge; you might want to use your ranged attack (it needs to be fully charged to smash a shield), since they?ll just stand there if you shoot at them! If you turn left at the end of the bridge and run up the hill a little ways, you?ll find an elfstone, which gives you some extra experience points; if you pick it up, however, you?ll have to fight an additional few orcs on the way back down. Whether you choose to get it or not, you?ll have to run down the hill, to the right of the bridge?s end, to continue. You?ll reach a sharp incline up to a small plateau near a water wheel, where you?ll be attacked by a few more orcs and a couple of orc archers on a platform near the wheel. Once you?ve dealt with them all, continue down the ramp on the other side of the platform. NOTE: the camera angle changes abruptly here; you need to see the water wheel in the background as you continue (if it?s not, you?re retracing your steps). To finish the level, keep the orc archers ahead from shooting at the ent long enough for him to pull out the braces for the dam. Waiting for you on your side of the river is a particularly tough orc; fortunately, he doesn?t wear any armor, so you should be able to deal with him without too much trouble. Then, quickly kill the rest of the orcs on your side of the river, and shoot the archers on the other side. For some reason, Gandalf will want to aim at the dam supports the ent is pulling on, but he can?t do them any damage. Turn him away from them to aim at the orc archers across the river. If you get mobbed by more orcs, don?t worry ? it seems that the ent can?t die; he?ll just stand there until the orcs stop shooting, then he?ll continue pulling on the bridge supports. When the supports collapse, the level ends.
Minas Tirith ? top of the wall
Your goal in this level is to prevent the orcs from overrunning the wall of Minas Tirith. The percent that the gauge in the upper right corner is filled with red shows how close the orcs are to winning; if it completely fills, you lose the level. You can lower the percent on the gauge by knocking down the orcs? ladders (run up to them and press the ?physical attack? key). The overhead map to the left of the gauge marks the location of ladders with red squares, and the location of siege towers with larger, rounded squares. It is laid out just like the level area; to reach the left side of the map area, run to the left. If you want to clear the ladders of a section of wall without being attacked in the process, stand next to one of the grappling hooks and press the ?action? key to swing down to a ledge below the wall; press ?action? while near one of the ropes to swing back up.
After you?ve fought for a few minutes, a siege tower will approach the walls; try to destroy it before it reaches them. You can use a catapult on the wall to destroy this tower; to reach it, go to the main, central area of the wall (where you start the level), then run left. Instead of staying against the far edge of the wall, which you take to reach the left end of the wall, hug the near edge to the camera; you?ll reach a flight of stairs up to the catapult, which is operated by several men. Run over to the the crank and press the ?action? key. You?ll need to wait for the men to reload, then fire the catapult again to finish the tower.
Before long, another tower will appear, at the other end of the wall. You?ll have to use your ranged attack to destroy this one. The third tower appears back at the left side of the wall; you can use the catapult again to destroy it, but if you do, a nazgul will attack the men after the first shot. However, it only takes a few blasts from your staff to kill the beast it rides, which crashes into the wall below. Fire the catapult again to finish the siege tower, and head back down the stairs. You probably won?t be able to stop the fourth siege tower from reaching the wall; it will open and pour out orcs. Head over to the right end of the wall (if you used the catapult to destroy the previous tower, you?ll have to swing down to the ledge outside the wall to get around the rubble where the beast crashed), but go just far enough to see the tower, before the camera angle changes; now shoot at it with your staff. It should only take a few blasts to destroy it now that its shield has been dropped. Once the tower is destroyed, Grond, the battering ram, will make its appearance; you can then kill the rest of the orcs on the wall to gain the experience points if you want. When you?re finished, run towards the center of the wall; when the camera zooms out, you?ll see two Gondorian soldiers standing at the top of a staircase. There was previously an invisible wall here; now, you\'ll be able to get down the stairs. Follow all the soldiers until you reach the courtyard; an animation plays, and the level ends.
The Path of the Wizard: Minas Tirith ? courtyard
In this level, you must hold off the attacking orcs long enough for 200 civilians to reach the safety of the inner keep. Two useful notes: first, there are three barrels that drop healths if you smash them; the first is on the left wall near the middle; the second is on the right wall near the front; and the third is on the left side of the back wall. Second, the courtyard contains two firebaskets heating pikes, which regenerate every few minutes; one to the left of the big statue in the courtyard?s center, and one in a little alcove in the courtyard?s back right corner. Once about 100 civilians have reached the keep, you?ll start to see some much stronger orcs in heavy armor, carrying a mace in each hand; you?ll have to use your ?fierce? attack to smash the armor, or you can try to hit them with a pike (one pike will smash the armor, and another will finish the orc). These orcs drop healths when they?re defeated.
Once about 150 civilians have reached the keep, trolls will start to enter the courtyard. It?s impossible to parry their blows; it?s best to kill them either with a pike, or with your ranged attack. The orcs will be entering the courtyard en masse by now ? try to keep the entrances to the courtyard and to the inner keep clear for the civilians. If you?re having a lot of trouble staying alive, then just stay up on the terrace in front of the door to the inner keep; you?ll be attacked a lot less frequently up there. When the counter in the upper right corner of the screen reaches 200, the level ends.
The Black Gate
See under ?The Path of the King?.
The Path of the King
In the Path of the King levels, you can choose to play as Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli. My advice would be to choose one character to play as for the rest of the game so he?ll be upgraded more when you reach the higher difficulty levels. Legolas is the fastest character in the game, with an excellent ranged attack (especially upgraded), but his melee attacks aren?t as powerful as those of the other two characters. Gimli?s melee attacks are very strong, but he moves slowly; while Aragorn?s abilities fall in between those of the other two characters.
Paths of the Dead
Once the animation ends run along the path and through the patch of fog; just beyond its end, several dead soldiers will appear. After you?ve killed ? er ? defeated them, a health will appear in the doorway they came out of. Keep going until you reach a narrow archway ? when you try to pass it, a wall will rise out of the ground, blocking your path. You?ll have to defeat all the dead soldiers to continue ? the open area in front of the archway contains several pikes that you can use.
You?ll enter another patch of fog on the other side of the archway; two dead soldiers will rise out of it. Beyond the fog, two dead archers will appear above and ahead of you; use your ranged attack on them. Pass beneath the archway they were on and turn to your character?s right, taking the path blocked by the two dead soldiers. Beyond them you?ll find another elfstone. After you pick it up, you?ll have to fight several more soldiers on the way back down. Turn left back onto the main ramp to find a boulder you can drop on four dead soldiers below (run up to it and press the ?action? key). When they?ve disappeared, two more will appear ? you?ll deal with them later. Turn around and run all the way back down to the archway you first entered by; you?ll pass a ramp on your right, your character?s left, that leads up to where those two dead archers were standing. Keep going past it down the hill until you reach a fork; the right fork, heading downhill, leads to a health at the bottom. Take the left fork to continue. You?ll immediately be faced with two more dead soldiers; you?ll need to use your ?fierce? attack to smash their shields. Continue on through the doorway into the room with the pile of skulls straight in front of you, and deal with the soldiers you find there. The path makes a U-turn beyond this room, and leads to a large open area blocked by a raised drawbridge. The winch to lower it is a short distance to the right of the bridge, but it?s covered by three dead archers. Use the winch once you?ve finished off the archers; pick up the health to the left of the bridge, then continue across it into the fog.
You?ll be ambushed by quite a few dead soldiers here; fortunately, there?s a ramp at the end of the patch of fog with a health at the top of it (you?ll have to deal with two archers at the foot of the ramp). After you?ve picked it up, run through the archway at the end of the fog. You?ll find another health if you run straight toward the camera, then turn left. A little ways farther on an animation will show several pillars collapsing; you?ll have to fight your way through another group of soldiers as you zigzag back and forth through the prone pillars. At the end of them, you?ll turn left into another patch of fog which you?ll pass without incident; you?ll fight two more soldiers in the large chamber beyond it. Once you?ve dealt with them, climb the ladder against the far wall. Another wall will rise out of the ground to block you at the top of the ladder, and you?ll fight another large group of soldiers before continuing. The last soldier will carry two swords and be somewhat tougher than the others, but fortunately, he doesn?t have any armor ? you?ll defeat him quickly with your speed attack, and he?ll drop a health when he disappears. When the wall shatters, run along the curving path ? you?ll pass a doorway to your character?s left that contains another health ? toward the statue of the King of the Dead. Defeat the soldiers that appear, then run up to the statue and press the ?action? key to knock it over and turn it into a bridge. Run across it toward the gate, then turn left onto the ramp that leads below the fallen statue. You?ll be attacked by two of the tougher dead soldiers when you run up to the winch on the other side; a health will appear in the doorway they came out of once you?ve defeated them. Use the winch to raise the main gate, then return by the ramp. You?ll be attacked by three more armored soldiers on the way. Run through the now open gate ? another health will be straight in front of you on the other side ? out into the open main chamber and onto the bridge. Halfway across, you?ll be trapped by two walls rising out of the ground and will have to defeat 35 soldiers to continue (a counter appears in the upper right of the screen). When the wall shatters, continue over the bridge and through the doorway to end the level.
The King of the Dead
Once the animation ends, you?ll be faced with your first boss: the king of the dead. The key to defeating him lies in understanding his attack style. At the beginning of the level, his attack consists of two quick blows, followed by a single heavy blow. After he lands the third blow, hit him quickly ? with a combo, if you have one. It?s a good idea to engage your special ability (the skill increase) whenever possible to increase your attack strength and (hopefully) reach perfect mode, further increasing your attack strength.
After you?ve fought for a few minutes, he will disappear to the far end of the room and call up four of his soldiers; you should be able to take them out with a fully charged arrow apiece, (you?ll find a regenerating ammunition on the left side of the leftmost boulder) since they won?t rush you unless you approach them or hit one without finishing him. Once you?ve dealt with the soldiers, the king will reappear in front of you; try to put some distance between you as he appears so you can hit him with a couple of arrows before he closes. After a few minutes, he?ll return to the back of the room and bring up more soldiers; this time, it?s two pairs of archers on two ledges to either side of the room. You may not have time to fully charge your arrows due to their fire, but don?t worry about it ? you?ll have all the ammunition you need on this level. If you fire arrows at them without hitting them, you may be out of range and need to move closer (this is more likely to happen if you have not yet upgraded your ranged attack). When the king reappears, try to hit him with a couple more arrows. This time, after a few minutes the king will use a powerful wind attack on you three times; stay behind the boulder and you?ll be fine, but be ready for him to rush you immediately after the third blast. He will now use a more powerful attack combo: four quick blows and a heavy blow. Use the same strategy as before; just parry all five blows before striking.
After a few more minutes, he?ll call up more soldiers: two unshielded and two shielded. You can take out the shielded soldiers with two fully charged arrows, on for the shield and one for the soldier; he?ll rush towards you after the first arrow, but you?ll still have time to charge and release the second arrow. The fight will continue about the same until you?ve completely defeated the king. Occasionally after you?ve defeated the soldiers he calls up, he?ll reappear in the same place at the back of the room, then rush you, which allows you to hit him with more (or more fully charged) arrows; and occasionally he may call up the more powerful soldiers that drop healths when defeated. If the king uses his wind attack again, just stay behind the boulder, and don?t forget to dodge arrows if he calls up some of his archers. Keep these tips in mind and you?ll defeat him in no time!
With the king of the dead defeated, you must now escape from the mountain; if you take too long about it, everything will collapse on top of you. The roof of the main chamber will start to cave in when the animation ends; dash over the bridge and through the archway, then hurry down the path. Since time is extremely important in this section, your best strategy is probably to run straight forward full speed when rocks start falling; if you?re fast enough, they?ll land behind you. The entire hall caves in behind you as you run through the doorway and back over the collapsed statue of the king of the dead. The doorway to continue will be blocked by another wall rising out of the ground; defeat the dead soldiers as fast as you can to continue. Dodge the falling rocks as you rush straight down the path until you reach a sharp right turn where you?re blocked by another wall and a larger and stronger group of soldiers. Shortly after you defeat them and continue, you?ll run into a patch of fog; you move much slower here, so it?s easier to get hit by falling debris. You can turn around and proceed faster by repeatedly hitting the ?jump back? key, but it is harder to move in the right direction with that strategy.
Just after you get out of the fog, you?ll catch up with your two companions in a larger chamber containing a health in front of the door. After a tough battle (if you run out of time on this level, it?ll most likely be here) climaxing in a fight with three strong dead soldiers at once ? good time to use your special ability ? you?ll be able to escape through a large doorway, ending the level.
The Southern Gate
There?ll be no enemies in sight when this level begins, but if the many pikes stuck in the ground mean anything, they?re not very far. Run toward the main gate, then run back as soon as the troll appears (unless you?re feeling confidant) and turn to your left, your character?s right; you must trip the two catapults to continue. There?s a third on the right side of the path, but it doesn?t seem to have any effects. Once the dome collapses, you?ll be able to cross the moat and climb up onto the wall; try to kill the troll in front of the gate with pike first. There are several pikes near the bottom of the path across the moat ? you can?t see the troll from there, but aim in his general direction and you have a good chance of hitting him ? but don?t worry about it if you can?t manage it.
Once you?ve climbed the ladder on the far side of the moat, you?ll have to deal with a couple uruks on the stairs; at the top of the stairs you?ll be greeted by another troll. Your best bet is to keep your distance and hit him repeatedly with fully charged arrows ? your companions should be able to keep the uruks surrounding the troll from reaching you. Shortly after you drop the troll, a mumak parks itself next to the wall; you?ll have to use arrows (you may not have a chance to charge them completely) or pikes (you?ll find a couple standing upright on the far end of the wall from the stairs) to smash three shields protecting its side, then to finish it off. After he?s down, you?ll be able to use the winch to open the gate; you?ll probably want to deal with the rest of the uruks on the wall first. If you didn?t kill the troll that was standing in front of the gate earlier, he?ll keep it from opening; there are two pots of boiling oil next to the winch you can use to deal with him (see ?Useable Items? if necessary). You?ll have to wait for him to resume his post, then tip the pots over again several more times to finish him.
Now you can open the gate, inviting a squad of uruks to rush through to guard the entrance; take them out with the boiling oil, then head back down the stairs and across the moat. You can immediately run through the now open gate, or you can stay and fight orcs for a while to raise your level and earn experience points (it?s possible to kill all of them if you fight long enough). Whenever you?re finished, cross the bridge and run through the gate to end the level.
You?ll be dropped right into the middle of a major battle at the start of this level, with Easterlings and uruks charging towards you from the front and the Rohirrim from the back. You and your allies will have to kill 60 Easterlings for you to continue (uruks don?t count toward the total); a counter in the upper right corner of the screen will keep track of your progress. Some of the Easterlings you encounter will be much tougher than the others; they wear heavy armor, and fight with two halberd-type weapons. They also drop healths when defeated. You shouldn?t charge into the thick of the battle here; hover around the edges, picking off enemies as you see the opportunity, without getting overwhelmed. Once you?ve killed 60 Easterlings, an animation will play.
Your new goal is to stop each mumak before it reaches Eowyn and Merry. You can use the ballistas and pikes scattered along the edge of the cliff against it; a single hit will take out on of its shields. You?ll also find an instantly regenerating ammunition at the head of the path to the valley floor. After you take it down, another mumak will appear; you?ll have to cross the valley and climb the cliff on the other side to hit it. The path down your side is right next to the flag (and beyond the ammunition); once you?ve reached the valley floor, ignore the Easterlings and uruks and bear slightly to your character?s left for a better chance of hitting the path up the other side. If you miss the bottom of the path, run along the cliff face until you do ? and hurry! Once you reach the top of the other side, you?ll have to fight/dodge Easterlings and uruks while you try to hit the mumak. After you drop it, an animation will play; now you have to keep the Nazgul away from Eowyn and Merry; kill every mumak that approaches them; and defend yourself from the enemies that attack you on top of the cliff, all at the same time. No problem! As soon as the animation ends, run to the far left end of the cliff, kill the Easterling, and start shooting at the Nazgul (I would recommend charging your arrows as fully as possible ? although you?ll hit him fewer times, you?ll still do more damage). After a few hits, it?ll fly off and another mumak will appear. Watch the animation carefully; if you see a flag in the foreground, you?ll have to cross back to the other side; if you see a torch, you can stay on this side to fight it. If you have to cross, again, bear to your character?s left for a better chance of finding the path up. The Nazgul reappears after you kill this mumak; if you?re on the flag side of the valley, you?ll need to run to the far right end of the cliff to shoot at him (vice versa for the torch side). Continue alternately fighting mumakil and the Nazgul ? they?ll both appear with ever-increasing frequency ? until you kill the beast the Nazgul rides. The meter in the upper-left corner of the screen shows Eowyn and Merry?s health; if it drops to nothing, you lose the level. The meter in the upper-right corner of the screen shows the Nazgul?s beast?s health; when it drops to zero, an animation plays and the level ends.
The Black Gate
In this level, you can choose to play either as Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli, or as Gandalf. Assuming both characters are about the same level, I would recommend Gandalf due to his special ability (it?ll come in very handy this level) and the good balance between speed and power in his attacks. However, if one of the other three is significantly more upgraded then Gandalf, one of them might be a better choice.
Your first job in this level is defeating the Mouth of Sauron ? in my opinion, one of the easiest bosses in the game. He has one tough attack; he?ll crouch, then spring into the air and land in front of you, knocking you over. You can?t parry this attack; just press him so hard he doesn?t have a chance to use it. The ?speed? attack works well against him or the ?orc hewer? combo ? particularly if you?re playing as Gandalf. An animation of the black gate opening will play once you defeat him.
To win this level, you?ll have to kill 6 of the tougher orcs (the ones with the health bars over their heads); at the same time, you?ll have to survive the onslaught of weaker orcs, and make sure your three companions (whichever characters you did not choose to play) survive as well. There will be a counter in the upper right corner of the screen recording how many of the tough orcs you?ve killed, and three gauges in the upper center of the screen showing how much health your three allies have left (these gauges won?t appear until the character takes damage). When one of your allies is injured, you can heal him simply by standing next to him until the characters is enveloped in a blue cloud; their health will increase for as long as they are in the cloud. The cloud disappears a few seconds after you leave the character?s side, so the more damage they?ve taken, the longer you?ll have to stay to fully heal them. You should memorize where each character is placed on the hilltop so you know where to find them if they are seriously injured; assuming you?re playing as Gandalf, you?ll be placed in the front of the hill, Legolas will be on the left side of the hill, Aragorn will be on the right side, and Gimi will be in the back, directly behind you. The orc bosses can do a great deal of damage to your friends, possibly killing them before you can reach them, so try to intercept the orcs first ? or at least rush over as soon as you see someone?s health bar dropping rapidly.
As the animation of the black gate opening and the orc horde rushing toward you ends, press your ?special ability? key repeatedly; you should be able to bring your magic shield up just as the wave of orcs hits you ? just crash through them, slashing as you go, to take out a lot of them very fast. You should use your shield every time it?s available and there are a significant number of orcs on the hill. It is also very useful as you attack an orc boss.
There are clusters of pikes scattered around the edge of the center circle on the hill; they are also very useful for rapidly clearing the hill of orcs, or for taking out a boss (one hit will destroy a boss?s armor, and another will finish him off).
After a few minutes has passed an animation will play and the orcs (and now Haradrim as well) will begin to attack the hill from both sides, as well as the front. You?ll have a brief respite before they reach the hill, so make sure all three of your friends are fully healed. Several archers will soon appear on a platform behind Legolas (or whoever is on the left side of the hill); take them out as soon as you see Legolas taking damage. Orc bosses will appear with more frequency now, even multiple bosses at a time. If you see you?ve almost defeated all six orc bosses, try to make sure you still have some ammunition for your ranged attack left; you?ll need it in the next section. The battle will continue for a few seconds after you kill the sixth orc boss; just keep yourself and your three allies alive.
After the animation plays, you?ll be faced with three Nazgul. It?s virtually impossible to defeat them in melee combat (at least, before they kill one of your friends). Just stand back, let your friends keep them occupied, and hit them repeatedly with fully charged ranged attacks, which do them a great deal of damage due to the Nazguls? weakness to fire. If you run out of ammunition, you can use the pikes as well. The level ends once you defeat all three wraiths.
The Path of the Hobbits
In the Path of the Hobbits, Sam is your character for all levels but the final one, where you play as Frodo; the two?s abilities and combat styles are very similar. Their attack strength is poor, but their movement speed is fairly good, and their attack speed is quite good. They also have fast finishing and ranged attacks. Just don?t send a hobbit crashing into the middle of a battle, and they?ll do fine.
Escape from Osgiliath
Once the animation ends, run forward and to the left, through a large archway. Two orcs will attack you in this room; cut them down and run through the hole in the wall to reach the bottom of a stairway. Take out the orc archer at the top; beyond him are several more orcs attacking one of Faramir?s men. Run towards them, killing one or two that attack you, and a section of the wall will burst outward, killing most of them. Head to the right through the new hole. Ignore the archers in the back right corner of the next area; run up the ramp of debris on the left side, through two more orcs, to reach the rooftop. A gauge will now appear in the top right corner of the screen; whenever you see it, you must reach the safety of a roof or overhang before it fills completely, or a Nazgul will grab Frodo and you?ll lose the level. Continue to the right at the top of the ramp, and hide under the boards at the bottom of the staircase at the far end of the area. Kill the two orcs that run down the staircase, then climb the staircase once the gauge in the corner of the screen is completely empty (it begins to fill again as you climb the stairs). Kill the two orc archers at the top of the stairs, and turn left. Three orcs rush you at the end of the area, but a shot from a catapult obliterates them. Run under the section of roof to stop the gauge, kill the two orcs you?ll find, then climb down the ladder through the hole in the floor. Turn right at the bottom of the ladder and kill the two orc archers at the edge of the drop (they probably won?t even notice you). Climb down another ladder on the left end of the wall and kill the two orcs that meet you at the bottom. Head through the hole in the wall, into the middle of a fairly sizable skirmish. Some of the orcs will concentrate on Faramir?s men, but quite a few will attack you. Once you?ve taken them out, you can deal with the orcs that ignored you, to earn a few more experience points ? hit them with your ?fierce? attack or a combo from behind. There?s a health at the far end of the area to the left of the staircase (watch out for the archer at the top of the stairs). Once you?ve killed all the orcs in the area, run up the stairs, kill the archer, and head through the doorway to the right of the staircase.
Another option for passing this area, if you don?t feel confident of your combat skills, is to dash forward as soon as you reach the area, then use your special ability (your cloak) to reach the end.
Once you?re through the door at the top of the stairs, turn left, cut down the orc in your way, and head up the ramp of rubble. Take out the two orc archers on the ramp as fast as you can, then turn right at the top. Fight your way through the orcs on this platform; if you turn right at the end of the area, you?ll find a health guarded by an orc archer. Turn left at the end of the area and run through the doorway to finish the first section of the level.
Climb up the ladder that?s right next to you. The gauge in the upper right corner will reappear as soon as you reach the top, and you?ll have to cross a large section of roof, through several orcs, to reach cover; you may want to stay at the head of the ladder, take out the orcs with your ranged attack, climb back down the ladder until the gauge empties, then cross the roof. As soon as you reach the top of the ramp, turn to your character?s left (you?ll run towards the camera ? the angle suddenly changes) to hide under the roof. Dodge the arrows, and kill the orc under the roof. Try to take out some of the archers with your ranged attack; once the ?Nazgul gauge? is empty, leave the roofed section and head toward the far end of the area from the ramp you came up by. Once you reach the far wall, turn to your character?s left, run a few feet, and climb down the ladder through the hole. You?ll be attacked by two or three orcs at the bottom; once you?ve dealt with them, climb the stairs running around the edge of the room, fight your way through a couple more orcs, and press the ?action? key while standing behind the large, fallen bell to roll it down the stairs, smashing a hole out of the room. There?s a health at the end of the small ledge you?re standing on, possibly guarded by another orc or two. Head through the hole you just created and up the stairs, killing a few orcs in the process; turn left, kill the two orcs that attack you, and hide under the little lean-to at the far end of the area (there?s a health under it) before the ?Nazgul gauge? fills. Finish off the orcs attacking the ranger, then return part of the way toward the staircase you came up by; you can climb the dirt ramp to the left (your character?s right). The next area is filled with orcs; dodge them, or knock them down and keep going, straight on from the entrance, to another ramp. The orc archer at the top is killed by a shot from a catapult, and you can hide under the roof. Kill the orcs attacking the ranger, then try to take out some of the orcs outside the roofed section with your ranged attack. As soon as you?re ready, run towards the roofed section at the far end of the area and climb down the ladder through the hole. Kill the orcs waiting at the bottom, then climb down the next ladder, near the base of the one you just climbed down, into the flooded tunnel. Run along the tunnel, cutting down the few orcs that attack you, until you can see a stronger, armored orc. To kill him, you can: hit him with a fully charged ranged attack to smash his armor, then a few more to finish him (although you may get hit by an arrow before your attack is fully charged); kill the orcs around him with your ranged attack, then close with the tough one (you?ll have to use your fierce attack to smash his armor); or, run as close to him as you dare, activate your special ability (your cloak), walk behind him, and press the key for the finishing attack to stab him in the back ? then deal with the other orcs. Take your pick, and once you?re finished, press the ?action? key repeatedly on the winch to raise the gate ? run through the opening to end the level.
Your most frequent enemy in this level will be large spiders, Shelob?s children; you?ll need a new strategy for fighting them. Although the speed attack is the best style to use in most situations, it won?t work here, since it does the spiders very little damage. A good technique is to hit the spider once with your fierce attack, knocking it on its back, then hit it with the finishing stroke. The ?Final Judgement? (left mouse click, left control, spacebar) combo also works well once you get the hang of it. Another new enemy you?ll find is crowds of tiny spiders; they don?t attack you, but they do a great deal of damage if you step on them.
The beginning area of the level contains many branching paths; some of them lead to healths or elfstones (which increase your experience points). However, you?ll get mobbed by several spiders at once if you follow those paths. I?ll describe the correct path to reach Frodo.
Run forward until you reach the first fork; continue straight on the left path. A few feet farther on, you?ll reach another fork, just beyond the dead, hanging orc; keep on the path heading to the left. It curves around to the right; you?ll pass a branch heading left, but don?t take it. Head left at the next fork, just beyond the stalactite above the stalagmite (pointy rock thingies :-) ). Take a left at the next fork; stay right at the next, and a little farther on you should see two torches on either side of a branch to the left. Congratulations, you?ve passed the trickiest part. A crowd of tiny spiders block the path flanked by the two torches; throw one of the torches into the crowd to separate it, allowing you to pass. You?ll be attacked by several spiders a little farther on; once you?ve dealt with them, you?ll need to burn down the web (by throwing a torch at it) to continue. Wait for the web to completely burn down to run forward, or you?ll take damage. Once you pass it, you?ll reach a large, open area with quite a few orcs camped below you. Take them on if you?re feeling confidant, or else use your special ability, the elven cloak, to sneak past them. The path beyond this area is blocked by two orcs, one wearing armor you?ll have to smash with your ?fierce? attack. Just beyond them are several orcs and spiders; you can take most of them out by throwing the torch at the cocoon hanging from the ceiling above them (you should see the green sphere just below it). There?s a fork in the path just beyond them ? you need to head right. The camera angle will change suddenly, so you?ll be heading toward the camera. Once you?re around the corner, you?ll see a whole bunch of orcs standing on the path straight ahead. You should see a ramp to the right side of the path ? run up it, cut down the two orcs, and press the ?action? key while standing behind the pile of rocks to knock them down onto the orcs below. Run back down the ramp and forward past where the orcs were standing. You?ll have to fight several spiders that come out of the doorway as you approach it; once you?ve finished them off, run through the doorway and out onto the bridge, triggering an animation.
Four orcs are standing on the bridge ahead; if you?re quick, you can throw the torch at the cocoon above them, but you may not have a chance. Once you?re finished with them, run forward, through two orcs, then two spiders, until you reach a large crowd of tiny spiders across the path. You?ll have to throw one torch at the group closest to you, then the second torch at the group farther away, to pass them. Two spiders drop down from the ceiling to attack you once you?re past. There?s a couple different ways to continue beyond this area once you?ve defeated them; I?ll describe the one I think is easiest. Just beyond the crowd of spiders, turn right ? you should see a torch in the corner. Pick it up, turn to face the other crowd of spiders farther down the room (you won?t be able to see them from where you?re standing) and throw; hopefully, the torch landed in the middle of the crowd. Next, pick up the torch against the column in the middle of the room and throw it at the web. Run along the left wall of the room towards the web you burned down and through the opening.
NOTE: if you can?t get the torch to land in the crowd of spiders farther into the room, you can throw the one against the column at them; they?ll part and allow you to get to another torch against the wall, which you can use to burn down the web. However, the spiders run together again pretty quickly ? be careful you don?t get caught in the middle of them.
Three spiders attack you in the opening that had been blocked by the web, and two orcs a little bit beyond them. The next room you reach is a bit of a puzzle; you need to throw the torch just beyond the doorway at the crowd of spiders to your right. Once they part, run up the ramp they had been blocking (four spiders drop down from the ceiling on the way). You should be able to throw the torch at the top of the ramp at the web blocking the doorway out of the room. Head back down the ramp, using the torch on your right side near the bottom to part the crowd of spiders at the base again. The first torch you used should have regenerated by now; use it to part the crowd of spiders directly in front of you, to the left of the ones you just passed. As soon as you pass them, three orc archers run out of the doorway ahead of you. You won?t be able to close with them due to the two crowds of spiders in between; dodge or parry their arrows, and use your ranged attack as fast as you can whenever you have the chance. Once all three are down, use the torches to get past the last two crowds of spiders and reach the doorway. You?ll be attacked by several more spiders here; once they?re dead run a little farther up the path.
OK, you?ve found Frodo ? time to take on Shelob. When you first enter the room, she has her back turned and won?t notice you until you attack her, so use a strong combo, or at least your basic two-blow ?fierce? attack. Hopefully, you?ll knock her off her feet and have a chance to hit her again. After that, she?ll most likely be on her feet and ready to fight, so here?s some tips for beating her. First: she moves quite quickly, trying to get behind you, so make sure you keep her in front of you and are ready to parry at all times. If you can manage it, back her into a corner so she loses her speed advantage. Second: her basic attack is hitting you repeatedly with her two long front legs, so she tries to keep a fair amount of distance between you. You should try to get right up in her face; it?s then much harder for her to hit you, and much easier for you to hit her. Third: your basic ?speed? attack is probably your best bet; for the most part, she?s just to fast for you to use your ?fierce? attack or a combo. An exception would be if you manage to knock her off her feet (three fast ?speed? hits in a row should do it); in that case, you may have time for a stronger attack. Fourth: don?t bother using your ranged attack; apparently, she can parry it. Fifth: if you?re having a lot of trouble, try using your special ability; since she can?t see you, you?ll be able to sneak behind her undetected ? hit her with the ?finishing? attack to deactivate the special ability, then with a strong combo, as fast as you can.
Once you?ve done her some significant damage, a quick animation will play; Shelob will run up one of the walls and wait for a few of her children to fight you. As soon as she does, you should have a chance to throw a fully charge ranged attack at one of the smaller spiders. After a few minutes, Shelob will jump through the air and try to land on top of you. Just run back and forth along the area, and hopefully she?ll miss. If she does, she?ll be knocked off her feet for a second ? hit her hard while you can. By the way, try to deal with her children before she jumps; it?s pretty tough to fight her and them at the same time.
After she?s taken some more damage, she?ll climb up the wall again, then jump after a few minutes; you?ll have to fight more of her children this time. Next time she takes a chunk of damage, another brief animation will play, then she?ll run very fast all over the room; if she hits you, you?ll take quite a bit of damage. If you stand right next to the wall, she probably won?t hit you ? or you can just try to dodge her. After a few moments, she?ll climb the wall again.
Basically, this pattern will repeat for the rest of the level; she takes damage, climbs the wall, you fight the smaller ones, she jumps down, repeat. Once her health is completely drained, the third and final animation will play. Congratulations! That level was a toughie.
In this level, you must travel up the tower, hunting for Frodo. Dozens of orcs block your way, but you have two advantages: first, two orc factions are fighting each other, so they won?t pay as much attention to you; and second, along the way you?ll be able to pull off lots of clever tricks to take out a whole bunch of orcs at once. I think you?ll enjoy this level ? it?s one of my favorites.
Once the cutscene ends, you?ll see a gauge in the upper right corner of the screen, showing how many orcs you?ve killed; the total must reach 80 over the course of the level (the orcs will help by killing each other). Just follow the path I describe, and you?ll fight at least that many. In the first area, you?ll face a few orcs and a large troll-like orc. Try to lure the smaller orcs over to attack you, so you can deal with the big one alone. You fought one just like him at the end of the ?Escape from Osgiliath? level; see the strategies I list there. Once you?ve dealt with all of them, press the ?action? key at the lever next to the raised ramp to make the ramp fall; an orc and an uruk will run down it. Head up the ramp and turn right -- two uruks will rush out of the doorway at the far end. Once you?re through the doorway, two orcs will rush you, with another of those big orcs blocking the hall farther on. Once they?ve all been dealt with, run to the end of the hall and through the doorway at the left. Kill the uruk at the top of the stairs. You should see a flaming spear standing above the stairway; you can throw it at the orc or the uruk fighting on the stairs. Run down the stairs, killing the other one on the way. Near the bottom you should see two orcs fighting an uruk ? kill all three. Just a few feet beyond them are about a dozen orcs and uruks fighting each other. If you?re quick, you can dash forward and knock over the firebasket to the right side of the crowd, which will take out most of them; finish off the rest yourself. Farther down the area you?ll see an even larger crowd battling, but ignore them for now; you need to go through the doorway on your left, between them and the stairs you just came down. Kill the armored orc who attacks you, then head down the hallway till you reach the next room. An armored orc attacks you right in the doorway ? as soon as you defeat him, knock over the firebasket in the front of the room, on the left side, to take out a large chunk of the crowd of orcs. Finish off whichever are left yourself. There?s a health against the right wall of the room in the center.
Through the doorway and just a few feet farther on, you?ll reach a large, open room containing the largest crowd of battling orcs yet. Turn left once you?re inside and dash around the perimeter of the room (or use your special ability to sneak around) ? most of the orcs won?t notice you. Head up the stairs and cut down the few orcs you find fighting at the first landing. Run through the doorway (exactly opposite the camera when you?re in the middle of the landing) to reach an outer platform, with a mounted pot of boiling oil. Press the ?action? key to dump it on the orcs below; you may want to wait a few seconds for it to refill, then dump it a couple more times, to hit all the orcs. You?ll have to pass the area below later, so dispose of as many enemies as possible.
Head back out to the landing and up the stairs to the right ? there?s a health guarded by a single orc on the next landing. At the top of the next and final flight of stairs is another of the big orcs; you can hit him with the spear standing at the top of the stairs to smash his armor. Once he?s defeated, run straight along the narrow area to the rope at the end; press the ?action? key to slash the rope and drop the chandelier on the big crowd of orcs below, which you passed before. As soon as you do that, a few orcs will run up the stairs and attack you. You?ve probably killed the 80 orcs required before you can reach Frodo now; run back down all the stairs (a couple more orcs will attack you on the way) to the large room at the bottom; run back around the perimeter, past the door you entered by, and through the archway opposite it. You?ll find a few more orcs here, but hopefully you already took out most of them with the boiling oil. Turn to the right (your character?s left), and you?ll shortly reach another crowd of orcs fighting each other. They?re in three distinct groups: you?ll walk straight into the first one; a second is in a little alcove on the far side of the first group from the camera; and the third is a little farther down the area, below the raised bridge. Eliminate or sneak by the first two groups ? it shouldn?t be hard, they?re pretty well occupied already. There?s a health at the back of the little alcove. Once you reach the third group, quickly press the ?action? key on the lever to drop the raised bridge, killing most of them. Finish off any survivors, then run up the ramp, then the ladder. Kill the two uruks at the top. If you want you can press the ?action? key on the couple of explosive barrels to your left, knocking them down onto the orcs below. You?ll never pass that area below, but killing the orcs earns you some free experience points ? plus it?s fun!
If you head straight on from the ladder you just came up, a quick animation will play, showing the remaining orcs rushing toward the bridge to the main tower. Most of these orcs are impossible for you to kill personally; there?s another means of dealing with them. Shortly before the head of the bridge, you should see a short staircase to the right, heading up to a small, low-walled area containing a ballista. The staircase is straight ahead at first, then it will be behind you and to your right once the camera angle changes. Defeat the big orc guarding the ballista, then fire it. It has been conveniently aimed at the tower, so the projectile crashes straight into it ? knocking a chunk of it onto the crowd of orcs below. Rush down the stairs and over the bridge; as you approach the door to the main tower, the bridge collapses behind you and the screen fades out
Once the animation ends, you?ll be attacked by Shagrat, the orc-captain. He?s tough ? so tough, in fact, that you can?t hurt him by hitting him with your sword! To defeat him, first smash his shield, either by throwing one of the many pikes around the edge of the room at it (the pikes regenerate quickly); or by hitting him several times with your ?fierce? attack. Now throw another pike at him to stun him (if you take too long about it, he?ll pick up another shield, and you?ll have to start all over); he?s now vulnerable to a sword attack. Use your most powerful combos ? my recommendation is the ?Final Judgement? combo (which damages him and knocks him down) followed up by repeated ?finishing? blows until he revives. He?ll jump to one side of the room and pick up another shield and sword. You should run to the opposite side of the room and get another pike ready. If you time it right, you can pick up a pike, aim it, (even though you can?t see Shagrat on the screen yet ? Sam?s stance changes slightly if he?s aiming at something), throw it to smash the shield, and pick up and throw another pike to stun him, before he ever reaches you. If you don?t manage to pull it off, just parry his attacks and bide your time; every so often he?ll jump back for a second before he charges you again, giving you time to aim and throw a pike.
Keep alternately stunning and pounding Shagrat until his health is completely gone, and the level ends.
The Crack of Doom
Here it is, folks: the grand finale, and Gollum is peeved. The only way to beat him is to repeatedly knock him over the edge of the platform of rock you?re standing on ? swords won?t hurt him. If you slash at him with your ?speed? attack, he?ll back up, hopefully towards the edge. Slash at him when he?s at the edge, and he?ll teeter for a few seconds; before he recovers hit him with either your ?fierce? attack or your ?physical? attack to knock him over, then with the ?finishing? attack to knock him completely off.
Meanwhile, Gollum is probably pounding you black and blue. Sometimes he?ll rain blows from his hands and feet, which you can parry; or sometimes he?ll sit on his heels, throw his head back, and squall ? meaning he?s about to spring at you full force, which you can?t parry and which knocks you down. So if he starts howling, move ? towards the cliff, so hopefully he?ll land right next to it and you can knock him over without much trouble. A health appears somewhere on the platform each time you knock him over the edge.
Sam will be running interference the whole time, and sometimes he?ll manage to get Gollum tottering on the cliff edge ? making it easy for you to run in and knock him over. After he falls the first time, a quick animation will play and the ceiling will begin to collapse as he climbs back up; if you stay still too long you may get conked on the head. The third time Gollum climbs back up, lava will begin to fall as well ? you?ll take damage if you walk in the pools where it lands. The next time, another quick animation will play of part of the rock platform collapsing. You?ll now have a smaller area in which to avoid Gollum. Knock him over a couple more times, and he?ll finally stay down, ending the level.
Congratulations ? you?ve finally won. But the game?s not over yet. You?ve unlocked three new characters with whom you can play any level but ?Helm?s Deep?; you can now play any of the original characters on any level but ?Helm?s Deep? (Gandalf vs. Shelob, Sam vs. a mumakil?); you?ve unlocked cheats, and several new interviews; and you?ve unlocked ?The Palantir of Saruman?, an extra level ? basically a deathmatch. Plus, once you raise Gandalf, Sam, and either Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli to at least level 10, you unlock the ?The Palantir of Sauron? ? similar to ?The Palantir of Saruman?, but harder and in my opinion more fun. So enjoy yourselves, and so long!
Copyright 2004, ?cjm?