I’m too heavily biased for my regular completely objective and spotlessly precise journalism. I spent way, way too much time reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings when I was a child for it not to be imprinted favorably on me in some fashion. Thankfully, years of drug use and impact-related brain damage have robbed me of almost all memories of the books, so I can experience it again anew in this SNES version by Interplay!
I remember some things about reading The Lord of the Rings: I remember really wishing there was a video game version where I could play as a creepy faceless stick-hobbit. I recall fervently wishing for a quest where I played as Frodo (tasked with throwing the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom to prevent Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor from ruling all of Middle Earth with a flaming eye) and I spent all my time wandering about the Shire looking for the Gaffer’s glasses. Yes, the Gaffer’s glasses. Mission-fucking-critically important. What’s that Sam? You can’t leave? Have to find the Gaffer’s glasses, do you? How about fuck you, Sam. Fuck you. You know what? Yeah, go lift up some goddamn hobbit cushions and look for blinky’s worthless eye unblinderers. That’s a really good use of our time here, y’know? It’s not like FUCKING SAURON is dispatching his FUCKING RING WRAITHS and planning on cold stabbing our shit, now is it? No, let’s calmly wander hither and yon, murdering snakes and wolves and occasionally stopping to check for missing eyewear. Sam, you are the most retarded hobbit.
My drug-burned brain aside, who can forget the opening chapters of the Fellowship of the Ring? Bilbo has gathered his extensive family to celebrate his hundredandeleventieth birthday and as a final surprise, slips on the One Ring and disappears from sight! Then he walks ten steps to the left and reappears, clearly still visible to the crowd he just left behind. Well done Bilbo, you drunken idiot. Hey! Should we go home? We’re going to stay here and keep drinking, if that’s ok with you. Hey? Bilbo! Yeah, back here guy. Are you coming back? Should I save you some cake? Hey! Hey Gandalf! Do you want cake? It’s hobbit cake, but I don’t think it’s poisonous for wizards. Can wizards get poisoned? Is there wizard poison?
For the record wizards are immune to poison and will notice if you try to poison them. Do not try to poison a wizard, even if you are very brave. Take it from the sad survivor of a wizard attack, you do not want to try to poison a wizard. I really can’t emphasize this enough.
As for this game, here are some final points to consider:
- every character model is a creepy faceless mannequin in a cape
- Gandalf is only minutely taller than the hobbits
- much of the environment is a bleak and depressing wasteland
- I was killed by an orc 😦