Shamus Plays

Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 5

Shamus Young | 17 Feb 2010 21:00
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I turn my attention to the Hobbits. My friend Celandine Brandybuck (yes, we're friends, we're just very catty) is here with some simpering toadstool named Mundo Sackville-Baggins. As if I wanted to hear more exposition, Mundo brings me up to speed:

Eogan has been trying to kidnap the Hobbits for days. Apparently he was sent to the Shire with orders to capture someone named "Baggins" and to get his ring. Eogan, being a human, (and thus a magnificent dolt) didn't think that perhaps there could be more than one person with "Baggins" in their name, so he's been chasing Mundo around even though Mundo doesn't have the ring he's after.

I'm very upset. Look at all of these people gathered here, and not one of them commented on my outfit.

Upon hearing that Mundo isn't the right Hobbit, Eogan jumps up, laughs at us, and dashes away through the wall of fire.

What? No I'm not kidding. Yes, that's actually what happened. Eogan got up and ran off. Yes, I know he was dead. I stabbed him myself. No, I'm not just making crap up to make this seem more interesting.

You really don't believe me? What's your problem, here? Haven't we been honest with each other so far?

Ok, fine. Look: You brought this on yourself:

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EOGAN GETS UP.

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TAUNTS US.

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AND RUNS AWAY.

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THROUGH A FIRE.

OKAY?

Sheesh. You have serious trust issues or something.

Really, this "bad guy faked his own death and then walked away during a cutscene" crap works in a Final Fantasy game, but this sort of cheesy plot hack feels completely out of place in Lord of the Rings. I think this whole scene is an overload of exposition and dialog set amidst what is supposedly a battle in a burning city.

Usually the writing in this game is quite good (my cruel lampooning aside) but this scene is a bit of an exposition traffic jam.

Hey look, Jon Brackenbrook is here.

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Not that he helped or anything. In fact, he let Eogan walk right by him. Suddenly I realize he's probably grief-stricken because he just lost his dad. Moreover, I seem to be standing on his dad's corpse.

Stepping deftly off the mustachioed cadaver, I go over to Jon and do my best to comfort him, "Jon, I'm really sorry your dad was such a terrible captain and inept soldier, although perhaps realizing this will make his rather timely death easier to bear."

Well, this entire ordeal has been a complete debacle. The only silver lining on the entire affair is that Amdir left our side and joined up with the bad guys. Once the Nazgul realize just how useless he is, they are going to feel very stupid for wasting so much time trying to enslave him.

Sorry if this one is a bit of a downer. "A village burns down and everyone dies" is a pretty tough set-up for jokes, actually.

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Someone really should do something about these fires.

Next Time: Bong! Bring out your dead!

Shamus Young is the guy behind Reset Button, Twenty Sided, DM of the Rings, and Stolen Pixels.

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