Written by  :  Indra is stressed (20706)
Written on  :  Jan 03, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
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Limited graphics does wonders to your imagination

The Good

Whoa! This must be my first Interactive Fiction with Graphics game. When you were a kid, do you remember playing make-believe games with you friends, being heroes and stuff? Well, for some strange reason, this game greatly duplicates every thought I had playing make-believe.

The first time I tried this game was Whoa! A text game WITH graphics! Cool! The graphics were so beautiful, each area you enter (which is basically North, South, East, West) usually had a small picture graphic that describe the area. Considering my age then, I had a lot of imagination running in my tiny brain (thinks me still haves a tiny brain :p), so this game provoked a lot of imagination from my end, like a Dungeon Master story-telling a AD&D board game.

It was basically a neat classic version of today's Multi-User Dungeons (MUD's) - but the great thing is, you get to play all the characters in the novel simultaneously, that is when you meet them. Even so, you still play the primary role of Frodo, you can't play another character unless Frodo dies (I think...could be wrong). What I do remember is, to get other characters to do something, you have to type "Tell Sam to ..." or "Ask Pippin to ...". Does wonders to your typing capabilities.

The first time around you play Frodo, collecting every item that says "picked up" or something like that, every time you type "get" or "pick up". Hmm...come to think of it, I played this after King's Quest 1, strange I like this game better for some strange reason...maybe because of the graphics (didn't provoke a lot of imagination with King's Quest 1).

Continuing, later you meet Sam and Pippin. Sam is the strongest of the bunch, you can tell as he seems to be able to carry most of the stuff. Next, you have to meet Merry by some place with a river (I remember the graphic shot). Funny thing is, if you wander around too long, Merry wouldn't be there waiting. Never did know where he went though. Later, you meet Aragorn whose name was something else before he finds a sword somewhere...confusing if you haven't read the novel (like me), so basically in the first chapter you can play 4 characters.

Oh, chapters! Forgot to explain that one...uh...the game consists of 2 chapters as I explained the game description (need to make it better BTW)...well at least in the DOS version. Don't know about other platforms. The first chapter starts with you at the Hobbit Village (forgot the name) and ends with the scene where that Elven lady rides off being chased by those undead knights. Sheesh, forgot the name...

The second chapter begins where all the main characters meet to form the Fellowship of the Ring. Funny thing is, after you finish the first chapter, you have to exit the game and run a new file that starts the second chapter. And this was one the same disk! Wonder what that was for?

When you haven't read the novel, this game is practically a new world...especially when you're young. It's funny to recall this game, when you finally know the real story, you find out that most of the thing's you recall about the story where wrong. I remember going to the place where there's the Balrog. For some strange reason, I recall entering some place that resemblances a pub and remembering the Balrog as some overgrown Orc bodyguard at the back entrance. Funny really, when you compare these things.

There are a lot of other NPC's here offering stuff that either doesn't do anything or does but I just didn't know what it was. You have, Tom Bombadil (who ever he is) which seems to be the strongest fellow around. You have the Green Knight, that has a green medallion (whatever that's for). I actually had Tom Bombadil do all the fighting for me: "Tell Tom To Go East"..."Tell Tom To Kill Green Knight". I even recall him killing the Balrog for me...could be wrong. Whoever he is, that Tom doesn't die. He bleeds a lot, but he doesn't die.

I think this game inspired a lot of MUD's, for instance when you kill a person/monster. You don't just kill a person, you "Cleave His/Her Head. Does wonders to your imagination. Even to this day, I recall vivid images some cracked head or something similar everytime I hear the word "cleave". Those were the days.

The Bad

Considering my lack of vocabulary, this game was quite difficult. But, thanks Gawd for King's Quest that taught the basics.

Anyway, I never did pass the second chapter. The first time around in the 2nd Chapter, I took a wrong turn and ended up freezing to death. I restarted and chose the other path, only to find myself stuck at that stupid gate that says "only friends may pass". How the hell was I supposed to know what to type? It helps if you know the novel. If you don't, like me...you'll have a lot of question marks along the way.

The Bottom Line

A classic Multi-User Dungeon game...with graphics. Had a lot of good memories with this one.