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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Box artwork for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Developer(s)EA Redwood Shores (Windows & PS2)
Hypnos Entertainment (Xbox & GCN)
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Release date(s)
Windows icon.png
PlayStation 2 icon.png
PlayStation 2
Mac OS icon.png
Mac OS
Genre(s)Action, hack and slash
System(s)GameCube, Mac, Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Mode(s)Single player, Co-op
ESRB: ESRB T.png Teen
PEGI: PEGI 12.png Ages 12+
SeriesThe Lord of the Rings (movies)
WebsiteOfficial website
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Channel
YouTube GamingThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Channel
For the Game Boy Advance game, see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (GBA). For the mobile games, see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Mobile) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Trivia.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a video game by EA Games based on the movie of the same name. The game was released in 2003.

The game plays very much like its predecessor, featuring both the hack 'n' slash gameplay and branching level selection/storyline. A major change from The Two Towers is the ability to play as not only just Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, but Gandalf and Sam and, once unlocked, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Faramir.

The game begins with the Battle of Helm's Deep (an event also featured in The Two Towers video game but this time from a different perspective) with the player taking control of Gandalf during the very end of the battle.

After the level is beaten, the game splits into 3 paths: The Path of the Wizard, allowing the player to control Gandalf; The Path of the King, allowing play as either Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli; and The Path of the Hobbits, allowing the player to control Sam (and later Frodo).

  • The Path of the Wizard: After the Helm's Deep level, Gandalf first travels to Isengard where he helps the Ents fighting Saruman's minions. After that he rides to Minas Tirith which is split into two levels: The first is on top of the wall of the city where he helps kick down ladders, defeat enemies and launch catapults; and the second is in one of the courtyards of the city where he must hold off attacking enemies until 200 people have made it to a safe place inside. His final level is in front of the Black Gate, where he and the other Path of the King members hold a battle to distract the Eye of Sauron.
  • The Path of the King: The first level in The Path of the King takes the trio of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli through the Paths of the Dead, where they must fight skeletons which have been brought to life by the spirits of the Oathbreakers. After making their way through the next level starts with the actual battle against The King of the Dead. After escaping the collapsing underground tunnel, they next head for Minas Tirith through the Southern Gate of the Pelennor Fields. Sauron's soldiers ambush them at the gate with the help of 2 mountain trolls , but after overcoming the enemy they precede through the open gate. They then fight at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields where they must kill Orcs, Easterlings and mûmakil. The Battle is depicted rather differently from the film (for gameplay reasons), taking place in a canyon. There are balistae on either side and the player must use them to kill mûmakil (who have explosives on them, presumably for some sort of suicide bombing attempt on Minas Tirith). The final level of the 3 is with Gandalf at the Black Gate.
  • The Path of the Hobbits: The player first gets to control Sam as he and Frodo attempt to escape from Osgiliath. Using hiding spots to dodge the fell beasts, Gollum (more specifically the Sméagol side/personality of him) leads them through a sewer to safety. However, the Gollum side then convinces his good personality to trick the Hobbits into Shelob's Lair in order to get back the One Ring. However, Sam fights his way through the spiders and defeats the Shelob. Thinking Frodo dead, Sam takes the Ring from him and leaves his body behind, but discovers that the venom is not poisonous after overhearing a party of orcs discussing taking Frodo to Cirith Ungol. Sam then fights his way through horde after horde of Orcs in Cirith Ungol until he saves Frodo, who he then gives the ring back to. The two finally make it to the Crack of Doom where Gollum intervenes before the One Ring can be destroyed. Gollum takes the ring but Frodo and Sam manage to knock him off the edge and the Ring of Power is finally destroyed.

After the level "The Crack of Doom" is beaten, three more characters are unlocked: Merry, Pippin, and Faramir. Also, the player is able to play any of the levels using any of the characters, as well as a secret level, the "Palantir of Saruman".

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