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ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


UPDATED JANUARY 13th!

No, not the SNES one!



In the spirit of the newly-released (and newly mixed-reviewed) "The Hobbit" film, I decided it was high time that this gem of a game make its way into the hearts of LPers everywhere.

Some of you are likely familiar with the old SNES "Lord of the Rings Vol. 1" (why they didn't just called it Fellowship of the Ring, I have no idea). You may also be aware that, objectively, that game is lovely McShit. I know some folks have a soft spot for it, and that's fine. You are wrong and terrible, but that's fine.

Both the SNES game and the PC version were brought to us by this once-mighty company:


Weep, you heartless bastards. Weep for what this logo once meant.

Interplay, which billed itself as a company "By gamers. For gamers." created such beloved series as Fallout and (for those of us in North America), published the original Alone in the Dark (thought by many to be the true father of the 3D survival horror genre). Their track record was hit-or-miss, as were most studios in the late 80s/early 90s, but they could crank out some gems. They made good money back then with their licenses.


Also this. Remember this poo poo? loving GameFAQS ruined everything!

Lord of the Rings vol. 1 was released in 1990 and is probably my favorite game of all time. It's an RPG that takes a few (and I do mean few) ideas from Ultima (mostly in the combat sections), but is, at its heart, really a game about exploring Middle-Earth any way you drat well please. Combat is there, but is not in any way the focus (you are, in fact, encouraged through the mechanics to avoid combat whenever possible. You know, like a small band of infiltrators trying not to draw attention to themselves should be doing). Instead, you can wander the countryside talking to people, exploring hidden caves, discovering all sorts of things about the lore of the land and just generally have yourself a goddamn adventure.

I own the Enhanced CD-ROM version of the game, which came out a year and a half after the initial release. It adds way better music, sound effects and (slightly) tweaked graphics (though they still aren't anything to write home about....even for 1992) as well as cinematic cutscenes licensed from Ralph Bakshi's animated film. This CD-ROM is unbelievably rare now, and while not impossible to find, its pretty close. The original is actually much easier to get your hands on, oddly.

This will be a screen-shot LP and, in general, I will take under advisement the wishes of the thread in terms of where we go and what we do. The world of Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 is basically wide-open almost from the start. Don't want to head to Bree right off? Don't! Don't feel like making a bee-line to Rivendell? gently caress Rivendell! We can go where we want! We don't even have to recruit the standard members of the fellowship if we don't want to. Think Legolas is a prissy bitch? Leave him! The game throws you a lot of potential fellowship recruits at various points. Most of whom are completely non-canon. Part of the fun is finding them.

If you have played the game before, please don't give away any of the changes/additions that the game throws at you during gameplay (there are a lot! most of them don't suck and are actually fun!) until we get to them.

Let's have an adventure, y'all!

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART ONE: Not Prepared For This poo poo
PART TWO: The Quest For A Meat Shield
PART THREE: Goddamn Elves
PART FOUR: Women? In My Middle-Earth??
PART FIVE: Uncle Tom
PART SIX: Ghosts and Goblins (Minus Goblins)
PART SEVEN: Not The Smartest Plan
PART EIGHT: Back On Track
PART NINE: Yeah, Yeah, I Know
PART TEN: No Particular Hurry
PART ELEVEN: 3-4 Months Later
PART TWELVE: Caves For Everyone!
PART THIRTEEN: That House Is A Little Homely
PART FOURTEEN: So Many drat Books

ComposerGuy fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2014 around 02:49

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ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


BONUS UPDATES!

THE MUSIC OF LORD OF THE RINGS

ComposerGuy fucked around with this message at Apr 21, 2013 around 02:06

MrNelson007
Feb 25, 2008


Yes. I remember the PC version of this. I'm not sure if I ever beat it. In fact I'm not even sure if I ever got out of the shire back in my elementary school days. But I kept trying and playing anyway until my poor hobbits got murdered yet again. Really looking forward to seeing what I missed. Do you plan to do volume two eventually?

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


PART ONE: Not Prepared For This poo poo

Let's check out the bitchin' title screen again, shall we?



So yeah, the very first thing to note, here, is that starting a new game completely erases your saved games. How many save game slots are there, you ask? Two. You get two slots. As such, it is much harder in this game to jump back to much earlier points because you did something you have now lived to regret. Cheating is difficult as a result, but that's just how we like it.

Let's get this party started!



You'll recognize this (or, you know, you won't) as a frame from Ralph Bakshi's "Lord of the Rings" animated film from the 70's. As I mentioned in the OP, Interplay licensed it for the enhanced CD, so we get a prologue! Be we all know the backstory here. Dark Lord, rings, evil stuff. Blah, blah, blah.


Frodo is PUMPED for this.

After the video introduction, we are taken to the main gameplay screen:



As I said in the OP, graphically there isn't much going on here, but that just makes it charming! Also, you see that kickin' rad flavor text? This game loving loves flavor text, and a great deal of it is well-written when it isn't outright pulled from Tolkein himself. I will not be depriving the thread of one goddamn word of the flavor text because frankly it makes this game.



We start to move off (via the mouse) but wait...they aren't following.

In order to add members to your party, you have to recruit them by pulling up the interface:



Right-clicking brings up the interface. The portrait of your current party leader is on the left, including an HP bar in gray. Since Frodo is all we have right now, that's who is displayed...he's...well, he's not Elijah Wood.

There's a lot of stuff going on here. Let's talk about it a bit, shall we? The icons, from left to right, are:

Attack - Only used in combat. It's function should be easy enough to decipher.
Status - Brings up our character sheets, where we can check on the vital stats of every current member of the fellowship.
Get Item - Pick up useful things you find. You rarely have to click this icon, as most of the time when you find things you are immediately given the chance to take them.
Use Item - Use any item you are currently carrying.
Skills - Displays the skills that each character knows. You may also use those skills which have a practical application to a situation from this menu.
Magic - Displays the spells and/or Words of Power that each character knows. We'll talk about magic a bit later on.
Talk - Interact with NPCs.
Change Leader - Changes your party leader, which just decides who is on point.
Computer - Save/Load games, quit, etc.
Exit - Exit the interface, which can be done by right-clicking on the screen as well.

Before we recruit, let's check Frodo's status.



Currently we have no money whatsoever, which seems like really poor planning on our part. We'll remedy that shortly.

The stats system isn't terribly complex, but it gets the job done:

DEX determines your chance to hit an opponent in combat, how frequently that character's turn comes up in battle (high DEX characters can sometimes attack multiple times per round) and is a small factor in a character's chance to block or dodge an incoming blow.

STR determines your base damage dealt. It also is used as a pre-req stat for weapons and armor. Certain levels of STR are needed to wield/wear many things. This stat also has a small hand in your chance to hit (high strength means knocking aside a shield or block).

END is your maximum health. It has no other function or value. It is simply a measure of how much damage you can take.

LIFE is your current health. Something to note is that characters who fall below 6 health during combat will fall unconscious and they can, and will, begin to bleed out if you don't mop up the fight quickly. Characters that fall to 0 health are dead. IMPORTANT: Death in Lord of the Rings is permanent. There are no items, spells or other tricks that can resurrect a character once they are dead. When you die, you die. The end. Give their stuff to someone else and move on.

LUCK actually has more to do with how hard you are to hit than DEX does. High Luck means enemies are more prone to miss you.

WILL is a character's ability to overcome evil influence or power. In practical terms, it is essentially a meter that lets you know how often a character can put on The Ring. Yes, you can wear the ring in this game, turning you invisible during combat to all but the Ring Wraiths. Each time you put it on, however, you drain a point of Will (ditto the longer you wear it in one go). Any character that drops to zero Will turns into a shadow, and is essentially dead. There are things other than the ring that can cause a Will dip. They are rare, but they exist.

All that said, take a look at Frodo's stats. Reasonable DEX, but absolutely terrible STR. Hobbits all have bad strength scores and as a result they can't use heavy weapons or armor. They have good luck, though, and Hobbits have the highest Will scores in the game, on average, with Frodo being the highest of any character you can get (outside of one exception that I'm not mentioning yet).



By pulling up the interface and selecting "Talk" we can recruit nearby characters into the fellowship (obviously most NPCs aren't recruitable). Let's pick up Sam and Pippin.


Look at that face!

Sam is...well...basically a poor-man's Frodo. Literally all of his stats are slightly worse with the exception of STR, which is equal (most Hobbits have 8 STR). Still, he's better than no party member at all! As for Pippin...



...he's a poor man's Sam.

Since in addition to the stats you start the game with no weapons nor armor, what the game is trying to tell you here is that in these early stages you need to be avoiding combat as much as possible and when surprise combat DOES happen you run the gently caress away. Hobbits are already combat-weak...but fighting with no weapons with just Hobbits is basically suicide. At minimum its painful, and health isn't easy to gain back in this game.

Before we scoot off...



Let's raid whatever's left in our home!




We search around a bit until we find ourselves in the library of Bag End. At this point, we take a minute to USE one of our latent skills from the skill menu: READ.

And thus comes my favorite part:



Flavor text! In a book! I loving love that!

Looking around in the other rooms, we happen upon some other things we can read:




World-Building

ALSO!



"Dear Frodo, GTFO ASAP. Signed, G."

So remember how we just read about Luthien? Well if we check our Magic status screen:



Each member of the current fellowship has now learned the Word of Power !Luthien. Words of Power differ from normal spells in that they are useful only in certain situations. Having them tends to make those situations go much more smoothly when used. For the most part they aren't required, but they definitely help.

Spells, on the other hand, are known only by Wizards and a select few magical beings (you aren't going to find a spell-casting Hobbit, Dwarf, Elf or Man). MP isn't a thing in this game. Casting spells drains your life points (Words of Power do not) which means you should only use them when absolutely needed because, as I mentioned, gaining health back isn't easy in this game.



Goddammit, Bilbo! There might be weapons in there!

No worries, though, this is why we have Pippin:



Pippin has the picklock skill, and is one of the only fellowship members you can recruit who has it, making him invaluable in the early game when he's literally the only one who can open things like this.



It turns out to be Silver Pennies, which means we now have 70 Silver. Not quite so broke anymore, but hardly rich.



So now let's talk skills for a moment. There are 3 types: Active, Combat and Passive. Active skills usually require that you physically activate them to use them. Passive skills simply function on their own. Sometimes Active skills will function as Passive skills by activating themselves in certain situations. Combat skills deal with weapons and general fighting techniques and are used, obviously, in combat situations.

Generally speaking, only one character in the fellowship needs to have a skill (combat skills excluded) for the whole party to benefit.

The possible skills are:

ACTIVE

BOATS - Required to use any type of boat.
BRAVADO - Actually useless in this game. It finds a use in The Two Towers and would have had a use in Return of the King but that one was never made
CHARISMA - Basically persuasion. Limited usefulness.
CLIMB: Climb is absolutely neccessary in order to traverse certain terrain and reach some areas.
DETECT TRAPS: Exactly what it says on the tin. In general you won't have to physically activate this skill.
DEVICES: Let's you use complex machines and disarm traps.
HIDE: Helps you remain hidden from view BEFORE combat begins, allowing you to bypass some fights.
JUMP: Lets you jump over chasms.
PERCEPTION: Perception is the most useful skill in the game. You can find hidden items and much more with it.
PICKLOCKS: Opens pretty much anything but a magical lock.
READ: Read. yeah.
RIDING: All about horses...which you can't ride in this game. Has way more use in Volume Two.
SNEAK: A lot of times you are warned of imminent danger before it stumbles into you. Sneak is usually a good way to get past...though not always.

COMBAT

AXES: Give a higher chance to hit with axes, which are unwieldy to begin with. Don't bother using one if you don't have this skill. Also grants the "Swing" command, which does more damage than a regular attack, but it less likely to hit.
BOWS: Increases chance to hit with a Bow. You can still use one without this skill, but it isn't recommended. Also grants the "Aim" command, which improves chance to hit, does more damage, but also lowers your defense some for one round.
BRAWL: Allows you a better chance to hit unarmed.
DODGE: Gives you a large bonus to your defense when used. No attack happens for the round.
SWORDS: Better chance to hit with sword. Also gives you the "Block" ability, which is an attack that does less damage than normal, but gives a one-round defense boost.

LORES

Lore skills are all passive. If you possess a lore skill, then when you enter certain areas you might get more info about things. Perhaps gain items or magical knowledge and other things. The lore skills are:

Hobbit Lore
Elven Lore
Dwarf Lore
Orc Lore
Ranger Lore
Numenorean Lore
Wizard Lore
Dark Lore

Continuing onward, we find some more items! Maybe they're swords!


Pictured here: Not Swords

But that's OK, because those rations are a drat good thing. I mentioned that health is hard to regain in this game, and its true. The only way to do it is via food and sometimes magical events (healing spells aren't A Thing). But here's the kicker: You can only effectively eat one item of food per day/night cycle. You can eat MORE, but it won't heal you. You'll have wasted the food.

Yeah.

And how many health points do rations return, you might ask?

2.

That's it.

Let's talk again about how you need to not get in fights with Hobbits.



The torch, in a pinch, functions as a weapon. A really lovely weapon, but a weapon nonetheless. We give it to Frodo because Sam has the brawl skill and gently caress Pippin.

You also need a torch equiped to see in dark places like caves unless you use a spell to light it up...which we obviously don't have right now.

That's all there is in Bag End, so it's time to head out!



The Shire is big. That isn't hyperbole. This game doesn't just throw a few Hobbit holes around and call it "The Shire". We are currently in on Bagshot Row in Hobbiton. Other areas on this giant current map:

Michel Delving on the White Downs
Waymeet
Bywater
Green Hill Country
Overbourne Marshes
The Marish
Woody End
The Yale
Scary

And that's just The Shire. We haven't even touched Buckland.

So yeah, I'm saying it's big, and you can enter most of the dwellings/holes/houses and talk to a shitload of people...most of whom have nothing really important to say other than gossip, but some can point you towards quests and the like (which aren't really kept track of in a journal. You just sort of DO poo poo).




The talking system is basically a keyword system. You click "question" and enter a keyword (there's no list, you do it from memory). Usually you ask about something they say in their opening statement, but the words everyone will AWALYS respond to are "News" and, strangely, "Weather".



Good to know! Could you maybe point me in the direction of...




Yeah, I didn't think so.

By the way, you can't buy weapons in the shire. No one sells them, outside of torches. In fact, weapon stores are VERY few in this game. There's maybe 3 or 4. Total. Most of the weapons and armor you get are via finding them out while adventuring.

Let's ask some more people about things:




The portraits tell otherwise, but those were two different people.

What they have to say sort of vaguely hints at quests. There are no quest markers in this game. You roam about and collect news and gossip and follow up on rumors (in fact, asking about Rumors often works). Everything is very free-form and as-you-like-it. You aren't required to do any of it, but often it increases your character's wealth, skills and stats.

We're done on Bagshot Row, so let's head southward on the road.



What the gently caress? Swear to god you better not have REALLY hit me...



gently caress! ONE HEALTH POINT! YOU BITCH!

Dick move, game.



You can actually blow right past her and not give her the key...but that's not the play here. First of all, we're done with Bag End and the key takes up inventory space (each character has a limited amount), but most importantly, if you fail to give her the key she actually shows up later on with the sheriff in tow and poo poo gets kind of real. You don't want that.



Yeah, gently caress you too.



The Gaffer wishes us farewell.



Lost kids, you say? Sounds interesting.



The road forks here. We go for the north east branch.



It takes us to the edge of a forest. What was that someone was saying about the east woods and wolves or something? I'm sure it wasn't important.



Oh poo poo! Those lost kids!



...oh poo poo.



OH poo poo



THAT is a wolf, my friends, and it will wreck your poo poo right now. Frodo is the only person with a weapon and its just a goddamn torch. The smart play here is to run...but I think we need to drive the point home.



OW.

3 damage when your max is 16 (and 15 for Sam and Pippin) is no joke. It's already more than a single ration can heal in one day.

Combat works in a similar vein to Ultima. When a character's turn pops up, they can move a certain distance and then attack or take some other action. The distance you can move isn't measured, so you just have to get used to it. We have no ranged weapons right now, so we have to get up close to the wolf to attack it.

Alternatively, having all your characters haul rear end off the screen will end most fights...but there are some fights you can't run away from.

Let me sum this battle up in a few images:






Son of a BITCH.

You will miss. A lot. In the early stages. Hobbits are NOT meant for combat without proper equipment and without decent weapons they will miss all the goddamn time. It gets better once you get daggers, but they will never be powerhouses.

Luckily, Hobbits have high Luck, which means they tend to dodge a lot. It's just that when they DO get hit, they get hit hard.



Frodo finally puts down the wolf, but our battle damage is severe.



Further into the woods we find...



Athelas are fantastic. They will heal 5 points of damage (The highest any item will heal is 6) which sounds like bullshit but as I mention, health is hard to get back. The problem? You have to have the Herb Lore skill to use them at all...which means we are poo poo out of luck because no one in the party has it.



We finally locate the source of the sobbing.



Further prodding reveals that she isn't alone here. We inquire about her friend.



Great. A hole. That's going to go well, I can just feel it.

A bit to the south, we find just what we were looking for.



In order to get there, we need to use our Climb skill.



Oh gently caress me.



We get it right the second time, and find ourselves inside a large cave.



You might think you can run up to the chasm and the game will stop you from going over. You would be dead wrong. You WILL lose your lead character if you get too close.



Well that's good, at least we aren't here for nothing.



There's our little friend...although those spider-webs he's in don't look very...



gently caress.



Spiders, thankfully, are significantly weaker than wolves so it doesn't take us longer to take care of the problem, which is good, because our party health is already in a bad way (as you can see from Frodo's health bar on the left).



More flavor text!

We also gained an axe (which no one in the current party can use), a key of some sort and there's a readable scroll on the ground. A quick use of Frodo's READ skill gives us:



Well that's mighty friendly! Too bad about your messenger and all that!

Freddie is also now a part of our Fellowship! Let's look at his stats!



I...oh.

Well, he is a kid, after all.

Throughout the game, many, MANY characters will join and leave your group and most are totally optional. Some will stick with you until the end of the game unless they die or you dismiss them, others will stay with you until some task is complete or you go a certain distance from their home. They all vary, and its part of what makes the game interesting.



It's time to get these kids home, though. They're taking up valuable party space!




FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

NEXT TIME: An Early Doom?

ComposerGuy fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2013 around 04:04

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


MrNelson007 posted:

Yes. I remember the PC version of this. I'm not sure if I ever beat it. In fact I'm not even sure if I ever got out of the shire back in my elementary school days. But I kept trying and playing anyway until my poor hobbits got murdered yet again. Really looking forward to seeing what I missed. Do you plan to do volume two eventually?

I would like to do Volume Two, but one step at a time. I'm still super-sad they never made part 3 to finish things off.

Mega64
May 23, 2008

i like goobbues


Wow, this looks pretty awesome so far. Lots of freedom and lore-building is always fun. Looking forward to seeing all the weird and wonderful stuff you'll show off.

eating only apples
Dec 12, 2009

for faith


Bookmarked. The last one of these died off, but not before I got some hardcore spergin' in. I hope this one lasts longer, this game looks so great.

Greyhawk
May 30, 2001




ComposerGuy posted:


Interplay, which billed itself as a company "By gamers. For gamers." created such beloved series as Fallout and the original Alone in the Dark (thought by many to be the true father of the 3D survival horror genre). Their track record was hit-or-miss, as were most studios in the late 80s/early 90s, but they could crank out some gems.

Alone in the Dark was Infogrames, not Interplay.

Tereon
May 30, 2011


Oh wow. This game. I remember a few bits from my early years, but not much. I never made it far ;-)

Glad to see this played!

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


Greyhawk posted:

Alone in the Dark was Infogrames, not Interplay.

You are correct!

Interplay was the US publisher. I made the correction.

kalonZombie
May 24, 2010

D&D 3.5 Book of Erotic Fantasy


I used to play this game and sucked at it, because I was a dumb kid and didn't even know LOTR was a book and that Hobbits weren't built for combat. I'd always get to a certain point, try to fight a certain enemy, and then he would absolutely destroy me and my adventure would end.

I hated this game, all because my dumb kid self didn't get the idea of "run away from fights, stupid".

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


kalonZombie posted:

I used to play this game and sucked at it, because I was a dumb kid and didn't even know LOTR was a book and that Hobbits weren't built for combat. I'd always get to a certain point, try to fight a certain enemy, and then he would absolutely destroy me and my adventure would end.

I hated this game, all because my dumb kid self didn't get the idea of "run away from fights, stupid".

It took 10-year-old me quite a few tries before I ever got out of the Shire because of this exact phenomenon. Thankfully, combat against things like wolves quickly becomes pretty trivial thanks to some optional party members you can pick up in the Shire. Later on when the enemies aren't quite so tame and grow in numbers poo poo starts to kind of get real again.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

"A superstitious cowardly lot," right buddy?


eating only apples posted:

Bookmarked. The last one of these died off, but not before I got some hardcore spergin' in. I hope this one lasts longer, this game looks so great.
The last one was pretty good. Worth emulating here.

CAPT. Rainbowbeard
Apr 5, 2012


ComposerGuy posted:

I would like to do Volume Two, but one step at a time. I'm still super-sad they never made part 3 to finish things off.

Me too.

Isn't the party limit 8 or 9 in this game? If you want to do it "by the book" your options are pretty much set in stone, IIRC.

I really liked the Moria area in this game. I won't say any more. I'm looking forward to great things from this LP.

Leavemywife
Feb 7, 2012

That's not sweat. It's the blood from my fingers, since I can't stop updating.

My regrets are minimal.


This looks pretty sweet. I especially like the flavor text in books, especially since you can see "J.R.R Tolkein" in the upper right corner of the books. Such a small detail, but so cool.

Potooweet
Feb 17, 2012


Lots of amusing/crazy/broken stuff to explore in this game. Looking forward to this LP.

The Sharmat
Sep 5, 2011


kalonZombie posted:

I used to play this game and sucked at it, because I was a dumb kid and didn't even know LOTR was a book and that Hobbits weren't built for combat. I'd always get to a certain point, try to fight a certain enemy, and then he would absolutely destroy me and my adventure would end.

I hated this game, all because my dumb kid self didn't get the idea of "run away from fights, stupid".

I think I know what enemy you're talking about and I did the exact same thing, except I knew about the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I just did stupid things because it was a videogame and you were supposed to be able to hit and kill things like Megaman. I don't think I ever even figured out how to recruit Sam and Pippin. I thought they'd only tag along after I did some quest I never found or something. If it weren't for me screwing up such basic things I'd be able to forgive myself for being a dumb kid, because this thread has reminded me how old PC games simply did not gently caress around. The design decisions in this game are things no one would make in the current day and age. I mean, a 2D isometric game with permadeath that lets you just walk off a cliff and die? drat.

Really looking forward to this thread. Plus any potential sequel. I had no idea there even was a Volume 2.

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


The Sharmat posted:

Really looking forward to this thread. Plus any potential sequel. I had no idea there even was a Volume 2.

There was indeed, but it just makes it more sad that they didn't finish the series.

Interestingly, there are some things in the original, floppy disk version of the game that you can't do in the enhanced CD edition due to the way they changed how some of the scripts activate without following through to see what implications that could have for certain events.

As a result, there are some secrets in the game that are completely closed off to us here using the CD version. I still prefer the CD version because the music makes all the map-traversing feel much more atmospheric and just makes everything in general more fun. Any time we come up to something that I know we won't be able to do because of the glitches, I'll point it out.

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


CAPT. Rainbowbeard posted:

Me too.

Isn't the party limit 8 or 9 in this game? If you want to do it "by the book" your options are pretty much set in stone, IIRC.

I really liked the Moria area in this game. I won't say any more. I'm looking forward to great things from this LP.

The party limit is actually ten, which means you can have an extra character in addition to the 9 fellowship members. It's also worth noting that, with a couple of exceptions, you aren't even required to have the "canon" fellowship members. It's even possible to miss the opportunity to recruit some of them if you get careless.

What this means is that our fellowship can pretty much be whatever we want it to be.

I'm putting together the next update at this very moment, so it should be up soon! We'll have a choice to make at the end of it.

kalonZombie
May 24, 2010

D&D 3.5 Book of Erotic Fantasy


But with only 10 members, we can't make Revenge of the Hobbit: Let's Kick Smaug's Skeleton's rear end.

I need a party with 13 dwarves, only 4 of which get an actual personality!

(i love the hobbit please dont yell at me)

Leavemywife
Feb 7, 2012

That's not sweat. It's the blood from my fingers, since I can't stop updating.

My regrets are minimal.


kalonZombie posted:

But with only 10 members, we can't make Revenge of the Hobbit: Let's Kick Smaug's Skeleton's rear end.

I need a party with 13 dwarves, only 4 of which get an actual personality!

(i love the hobbit please dont yell at me)

gently caress YOU, I'LL YELL IF I drat WELL PLEASE YOU FILTHY HOOKER YOU GET NO DWARVES WITH PERSONALITIES BUT THEY'RE NOT DWARVES THEY'RE ACTUALLY GNOMES

And the party limit is ten? Sweet Jesus, I can't even think of that many Lord of the Rings characters. But, I just thought of something; is Tom Bombadil in this game? Can we recruit him? And just what the hell is he, anyway?

CrookedB
Jun 27, 2011

Stupid newbee

Sweet, I've played a lot of old obscure CRPGs, but I've never played this one. Should be fun to follow.

Are there any ways to regain your Will? Or is it just permanently reduced by wearing the ring?

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

Gentlemen, welcome to SA.

Now vote this thread 5, or pay the price of insubordination!


Leavemywife posted:

And the party limit is ten? Sweet Jesus, I can't even think of that many Lord of the Rings characters. But, I just thought of something; is Tom Bombadil in this game? Can we recruit him? And just what the hell is he, anyway?

He's basically Satan.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

"A superstitious cowardly lot," right buddy?


Leavemywife posted:

[sub]And the party limit is ten? Sweet Jesus, I can't even think of that many Lord of the Rings characters.
Come on, they're easy enough to remember:
There's Frodo and his boyfriend/manservant. There's Gandalf. The other hobbits (at least two, given the plural). The elf and the dwarf. And two humans to round them out.

Then we've got Sauron, Saruman, Seoden (king of the horse people) and the other king of the other place that took a running jump off a cliff while on fire. (I don't think we'll have a chance to put them in the fellowship, but they're still characters that are easy to remember). There are nine nazgul, one for each fellowship member (also handy for making sure you've got the right number of humans and hobbits when accounting for the fellowship), and I honestly hope we'll manage to glitch at least one into our party.

There's Bill the Pony, a lot of orcs, that one chick who killed a Nazgul and his pterodactyl, her husband, and a bunch of interchangeable elves that don't join the fellowship. I think that's pretty much everyone in the LotR universe.

azren
Feb 13, 2011



I... wow, that was dark! It's one of those neat "what if" interpretations, like the Pokemon=Ash's coma dream, that's just so wonderfully fun about fiction. It's just plausible enough to make you wonder, but I don't for a second believe that was Tolkien's intention for the character.

In answer to the earlier question, Tom Bombadil is not just an enigma, he's kind of the enigma. Book-wise, he seems to be literally the only being who is completely and utterly unaffected by The Ring. He sees right through its power, and doesn't give a poo poo about it; The Ring does not affect him, it seems, because he wants for nothing he does not already have. The extent of his powers, as well as his true nature, are completely and utterly unknown. He feels to me kinda like a Jack-in-the-Green character mixed with the Wanderer at the Crossroads. The Old Forest and nearby areas are his domain, and he seems to have something of an absolute authority within that area. He's very much "old magic" in his presen... you know what, this is going on much farther, and with WAAAY more than I meant, so I'll just leave these here.
---
Anyway, this is really neat, and I'm looking forward to this! I'd be tempted to play along (if I could get a copy at all), but this kind of game is just too unforgiving for me. This coming from the man who plays Dark Souls...

azren fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2013 around 20:40

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


PART TWO: The Quest For A Meat Shield



Last time we were just about to get attacked by another wolf. Thankfully, we manage to run away while only taking 2 points of damage (Frodo).



We are, however, in dire straights where health is concerned. Frodo here has only 9 of his possible 16 life points. An inspection of Sam reveals he is sitting at 10 (of 15) and Pippin has 9 (of 15). Recall that any character that falls below 6 health in combat is knocked unconscious, and you can see how these numbers might be worrisome. Luckily, we're out of the East Woods, and thus out of danger for the moment.



There are a lot (and I do mean a lot) of NPCs that serve no real purpose other than to talk to you about worthless, random bullshit. Generally speaking, NPCs with important things to say will have actual names, and NPCs that just want to ramble on about weather and whatnot will just be called "Hobbit" or "Human" or whatever in the Talk tree. Sometimes even the named ones are useless, but its a good rule of thumb. We can ask this guy about weather.



...and get this bit of flavor-text. I mentioned this before, but actually most NPCs will respond to the weather key-word. It never tells you anything important, but hey, its there.



We've come to another crossroads. We really need to be getting the kids back to their families, but hell if we know where to go! We've only lived here our entire lives!

This gives us a moment to pull up the best feature introduced in the CD version of the game:



The Automap.

In the original, disk version, there was no in-game map function. If you wanted a map, you had to draw that poo poo by hand, on your own. I mentioned before that the game world of Lord of the Rings is very, very big and a lot of that bigness is just endless wilderness without much of anything going on. Mapping it out by hand is a chore at best and absolutely soul-crushingly tedious at worst. The automap function bypasses all that by giving you a good local radius to get your bearings. It isn't a fancy map, but its better than no map at all, and it gets the job done.

To the northwest you can see Bagshot Row, where we started the game. The northeast shows the bridge we took to get to the East Woods (with the actual woods themselves being further to the east, but not currently visible on the map due to our current position). All the gray areas are places we haven't explored yet, but we can already see a few houses, so that's as good a place to start as any!



Anson Goodbody, being a names NPC, has a high chance of being at least semi-important (or having something interesting to say).



You're too lame to catch it? Why does your dog need catching, Anson? It doesn't come when called? You haven't trained your dog?

You're right, you are pretty lame.



Asking about dog clues us in on the direction we need to go to find it. Westward, ho!



It's literally a fifteen-second walk to the west, off the road. Anson is apparently completely worthless.



The dog has no interest in coming with us, and seems mistrustful.



Luckily, Sam possesses the charisma skill, and is actually the only member of the current fellowship that has it. Must be all the down-home simple charm of his.

Technically, Taffy has this skill, as well...and nothing else. Freddie possesses no skills of any kind.



Yes! We have an attack dog now! gently caress Anson Goodbody, he can't even manage to train a dog. He doesn't deserve an attack dog! We're gonna keep this mean, lean fighting machine and start kicking some...


Pictured: A Real Bad character, y'all

Oh...well then.

While you can never go back to Anson and keep the dog with you, you are very clearly not meant to do so, and the stats on the dog are intended to make you want to immediately go back to Anson with it. With only 8 life points, a single hit can knock the dog out. It also won't leave The Shire, and abandons you if you attempt to stray too far from where you found it.



As soon as we re-enter Anson's home, we are told that Dog is leaving our party. Characters you recruit in the game all have different circumstances under which they will leave the fellowship. Sometimes it's straying too far from a certain place. Sometimes its completing a quest or other task, and sometimes they will stick with you until you dismiss them yourself. This means that the make-up of the fellowship is can be constantly shifting, which adds to the fun in my opinion.



Anson warns us off the Buckland Bridge and gives us a shovel, which we give to Sam to carry because, you know, gardening.

You might think a shovel is a lousy reward, but it actually comes in handy quite a few times over the course of the game and would cost us 8 silver pennies to buy otherwise. Money is rare in this game and there is a finite amount of it. You do not gain money by fighting random enemies. It must be found as either quest/task rewards, or hidden treasure.



Pop-ups like this are very, very frequent. I love them, as it adds to atmosphere.



What's this?



We ignore the rude human and step further in. Ain't no bumbling giant gonna stop us!



Well gently caress me.

This is an instance where the day/night cycle comes into play. Attempting to enter the mill in the daytime results in this outcome. The threat implied is idle...you can continue to go try and go in and be tossed out each time. In order to get inside, you have to attempt it at night:



Let's forget for a moment that we have children in tow as we stare down a potentially dangerous situation.



Pippin, luckily, has the sneak skill, the only current member to possess it. Between that and the picklock skill, the game really wants you to believe that Pippin is pretty much nothing more than a common thief, which is hilarious when you consider that every Hobbit in the fellowship other than Sam is basically some form of Hobbit nobility, including Pippin.

Failing to sneak, by the way, results in the humans waking up and outright attacking you. They will murder you nigh instantly, even the kids. They straight up do not give a gently caress.



Machines?? In my Shire?

This will not stand! Push buttons! Push all of the buttons!



A successful blow struck against industrial terrorism!



Amusingly, attempting to re-enter the mill gives us this message. Way to go, Team Planet!

This "quest" actually has no rewards or benefit other than just being a sort of world-building exercise. There are a few quests like this in the game and while they could potentially become annoying, I always found them to be nice additions. Sometimes the only reward is the knowledge of a job well done.



Further south, we enter Hobbiton-proper. There are several homes here, some of which have NPCs to talk to, but they don't tell us anything we don't already know about. Our current goal is to dump off these goddamn kids.



Because one (or, in this case, all) of our characters possess Hobbit Lore, we get this little pop-up. Having different types of Lore skills increases the number of these you see throughout the game when they are relevant to the area. It helps with world-building, and in this case points us in the right direction, as Freddie lives on the Grange.



So yeah, I saved your dumb kid. I don't think a bit of a reward is too much to ask, do you?



Oh, hey! Yeah, that sounds about right!

We have a pony!



...though not a particularly strong one.

The true purpose of ponies and horses is to use them as pack-mules when you don't have anyone else. They can't hold more than a standard party member, so their usefulness is really only realized when you have no other options, or a less-than-maxed-out fellowship. They make poor fighters in combat despite average strength, because they can't wield weapons of any kind, and thus miss a lot.

There is a glitch that sometimes completely wipes out the inventory of any ponies in your group, so they aren't really even useful for their primary purpose...still, right now we have an abundance of space, so a meat shield is welcome.



Frodo, being highly-educated from all those years living with his Uncle, possesses the Elven Lore skill, and thus we get this pop-up letting us know that we might be able to find some elves in the Green Hill Country to the south.



This is Great Roads Goods, the first store you happen across in the game. Stores are actually rarer than you might think, so it is usually worth checking out what each one is selling.



As it turns out, Taffy's father runs the establishment.




He offers us four rations, free of charge. This is a very good thing because, as I keep mentioning, health is an extremely precious commodity that isn't easy to regain. As a result, you will almost always want to grab any healing items you come across when you have the space for them.



Jolly also has a couple of things for sale: more rations and torches. We don't buy the rations (generally speaking, never spend money on rations, since they only restore 2 health points), but we spend 2 silver on a couple of torches, giving Sam and Pippin weapons, finally.



Right next door is the Green Dragon Inn, which currently has a Dwarf sitting at the bar. For reference, almost every dwarf sprite in the game looks like this one, so it is usually easy to tell. In fact, most racial sprites in the game look identical except for differing male/female types. There are no female Dwarves in the game.

This Dwarf's name is Druin, and he is super drunk.



Now that's a coincidence! Didn't we just find a dead Dwarf in a cave with a note addressed to Bilbo? And didn't we take his axe? Maybe this guy knows something about it.

We trade the axe to Druin.



Oh, dude...sorry about your uncle, man. That sucks.

On the plus side...NEW PARTY MEMBER!



Druin is the best fellowship member we've found yet in terms of combat potential. His maximum health is a full 6 points above Frodo's (this is actually fairly significant), though that still puts him a bit on the low-end as non-hobbits go. The real draw here is his STR stat, which is 2.5 times higher than a Hobbit.



He also can equip the axe we just traded him, and comes with cloth armor. He also has the Axes skill, which makes him more accurate with the weapon, which is good because axes tend to miss a lot, though they do more damage than swords.

What this adds up to is a character that will be serving as our front-line damage-dealer for a while. This also makes fights with single wolves and the like astronomically easier.

Druin is also special in that he is one of the few non-canon fellowship members that will stay with you for the entire run of the game if you let him. He leaves you only if you enter a tavern, as his alcoholism gets the better of him...but you can actually just re-recruit him when you leave anyway, so it isn't really a big deal. You can also dismiss him from the party, but there is zero reason to do that until you have the maximum of 10 members and want to use someone else.



Now that we have someone who can handle wolves, there is some unfinished business back at the cave where we found Freddie earlier.



But first we're going to head a bit to the south:



Healers are scattered about the land in a few places and represent one of the only ways to restore large amounts of life points. They can be absolute godsends when you're in bad shape.



Asking about heal reveals the catch, though: in order for most healers to heal you, they require Athelas. Some healers have their own supply, but some do not. This is the latter example. Luckily, we picked up three Athelas leaves earlier in the woods.



The trick is that you have to TRADE the leaves to the healer, which isn't really properly explained anywhere, so its easy to become frustrated and give up on him.

There's another catch, too: For each leaf you trade to the healer, he will restore, at random, between 1-10 life points to each character (each character gets a different roll), which means that if the RNG happens to hate you today, then you could be healed for less than what a set of rations will do. You also can only use the healer once per day/night cycle.

Repeat after me: "Health is really hard to regain in this game!".



We use 2 leaves to get everyone back up to fighting shape, and head back into the cave.



With the jump skill that Frodo has, we can leap over this chasm, but only right after this message is displayed. Be extremely careful that you don't accidentally double-click the message off because you WILL move forward and your party leader WILL die, leaving you down one character.



Safely on the other side, we find a door with a keyhole. We picked up a Star Key earlier along with the axe, so we use it now.



Time for some dungeon raiding!



Well...that was short.

There is only one large room on the other side of the door, and a strange-looking spirit inhabits the center of it. Approaching it seems like a super-good idea!



Do you see that part about Elven script surrounding everything? That is a REALLY subtle hint about what you need to do that you need to pay attention to because the very next thing that happens is this:



You are offered a chance to take the ruby and some money immediately. DON'T YOU loving DO IT. Click out of that poo poo post-haste.

Instead, Frodo, who possesses both the read skill and Elven Lore, uses read to check out the script.



"Star of the North", eh? Perhaps using the Star Key again?



"Ray, when someone asks you if you will bear their legacy to the king, you say YES!"



NOW it is safe to take the ruby and the money. Bringing us to a total of 98 silver pennies.

Had we attempted to take those things sooner, the spirit would have attacked us...and completely destroyed us. Not even Druin would have been able to deal with it, although he would have gotten a few good swings in.

Speaking of fighting...




Let me explain something to you, wolf.




We are not loving around with you anymore.

Druin's normal attack tends to do more than twice the damage that our torch-laden Hobbits can do. His "Swing" attack sacrifices accuracy for more damage and is available to anyone who has the Axes skill.



We've done everything we can in the northwest portion of The Shire.



At this point, we have options, folks!

VOTING TIME!

Where are we headed next?

To the south is Green Hill Country, where we've been told there might be Elves willing to help us.
To the east is Bywater, another part of The Shire that will take us closer to Buckland, which is our current destination.

The Current Fellowship Status is:





Choose...wisely.

ComposerGuy fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2013 around 19:11

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


Leavemywife posted:

And the party limit is ten? Sweet Jesus, I can't even think of that many Lord of the Rings characters. But, I just thought of something; is Tom Bombadil in this game? Can we recruit him? And just what the hell is he, anyway?

Spoilering because we aren't there yet (also, as a note to everyone, DON'T SPOIL poo poo BEFORE I GET TO IT):

Yes he is and yes you can.

quote:

Are there any ways to regain your Will? Or is it just permanently reduced by wearing the ring?

There are ways to regain Will, but they are few and far between. I'll talk about how the gaining stats works likely in the next update.

ComposerGuy fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2013 around 21:34

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


Let's go South for sidequest goodness and maybe new party members?

BgRdMchne
Oct 31, 2011

Put 'em up and tell
me that you love me.


This is a good game for just loving around and exploring everywhere. Let's go South.

Also, we get a new party member who also can kick a little rear end. (At least more than the hobbits.)
We have to go through Bywater either way.

ComposerGuy, I hope that you'll be showing some alternate paths also, like what happens if you try to keep the Bag End key, or what happens if you try to cross the Brandywine Bridge.

Leavemywife
Feb 7, 2012

That's not sweat. It's the blood from my fingers, since I can't stop updating.

My regrets are minimal.


ComposerGuy posted:

Spoilering because we aren't there yet (also, as a note to everyone, DON'T SPOIL poo poo BEFORE I GET TO IT):

Yes he is and yes you can.


Alright, thanks!

In that crypt, is it possible to defeat that spirit, at all? Or is he just flagged to be unkillable?

Verbose
Apr 22, 2006
Thanum an Dhul, do ye think I'm dead!?

Green Hill Zone, Act 1

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

Gentlemen, welcome to SA.

Now vote this thread 5, or pay the price of insubordination!


azren posted:

I... wow, that was dark! It's one of those neat "what if" interpretations, like the Pokemon=Ash's coma dream, that's just so wonderfully fun about fiction. It's just plausible enough to make you wonder, but I don't for a second believe that was Tolkien's intention for the character.

Ehh, the whole 'dying dream because GRIMDARK' thing is just lazy and unimaginative. This is one of the few darker interpretations I've seen in a while that's actually had some effort put into it.

But yes, I'm pretty sure the point of ol' Tom was to show that, no matter how learned you are, there's always going to be things outside or beyond your scope. He's meant to illustrate that you could live forever and still not know everything. Just... not very well.

UED Special Ops
Oct 21, 2008


Might as well head South and delay the main quest for as long as possible.

i81icu812
Dec 5, 2006


BgRdMchne posted:


ComposerGuy, I hope that you'll be showing some alternate paths also, like what happens if you try to keep the Bag End key, or what happens if you try to cross the Brandywine Bridge.

Yes, please show off the alternate paths. The older thread did a great job of this, before it died.

SPERMCUBE.ORG
Nov 3, 2011

Space commies are th' biggest threat t' red-blooded American Freedom we got in th' future. So me and my boys got to talking over a few hot dogs the other day and this is what we came up with...


I always liked going south.
Also east is just where they expect us to go.

pathetic little tramp
Dec 12, 2005

HE IS GLISTEN


Head ye in a southerly direction and gently caress with some elves.

Johnny Longtorso
Nov 24, 2007
The Man Who Comes In Pieces!

We're going south to see the elves.

Mega64
May 23, 2008

i like goobbues


Let's go South and visit the elves.

Also, is it possible to have a party of one person and nine ponies? Because that would be fantastic.

ComposerGuy
Jul 28, 2007

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


Leavemywife posted:

Alright, thanks!

In that crypt, is it possible to defeat that spirit, at all? Or is he just flagged to be unkillable?

He is killable, its just very, very unlikely at this stage with the party members we have. Actually, by and large, nothing in this game is outright invincible. Its just that a lot of times fighting those things is so impractical that you really should find a better way to deal with the problem.

Also! I don't want you to think I was yelling at you about spoilers and stuff, it just reminded me to remind everyone not to spoil things. You didn't do anything wrong.

quote:

Also, is it possible to have a party of one person and nine ponies? Because that would be fantastic.

There aren't nine recruitable ponies in the game (just a handful), but it is absolutely possible to have a party of just one person and then those ponies. You cannot, however, have a party of nothing but animals, you have to have at least one "humanoid".

quote:

Yes, please show off the alternate paths. The older thread did a great job of this, before it died.

I will do this as much as possible when choices I give to the thread that contain multiple solutions are available (there's one coming up pretty soon actually).

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Rodyle
Feb 18, 2011


I want to know why the inclusion of anything Bakshi related was considered a bonus.

Poor Sam, the things that movie did to you.

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