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Original Xbox Download  The Third Age: Exploring East Moria Original Xbox Downloads

The Third Age: Exploring East Moria


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Regardless of how cool anyone thinks they are, there's just something about the Lord of the Rings that forces the inner dweeb in all of us to come bubbling to the surface. Let's face it; the literary masterpiece covers all the basics: hot elf babes, wicked-cool magical powers and weapons of orc destruction. It may have been surprising for Hollywood executives to green light the film adaptation with a practically un-proven director, but it's no surprise the three films went on to gross a zillion dollars.



A movie adaptation satiated the needs of film fans, but what about gamers? Where do they go for their own special brand of Tolkien-based heroics? Now there's an answer. Lord of the Rings: The Third Age delivers orc-crunching action spanning the entire trilogy. And while you can't play as any of the main characters, the experience parallels the events from the movies closely, allowing for several run-ins with the characters from the original story.

To prove we're not high off the Hobbit's leaf (sorry, I had to) we've taken an early build of Third Age and stormed through the second chapter of the first episode. By the end of the journey, we had kicked so much goblin ass we were practically swimming in an ocean of blood and gizzards. Full details down below.

Level Walkthrough

The chapter starts with the Balrog tearing through the entrance to East Moria. Idrial mentions the Balrog is dead set on taking out Gandalf and the Fellowship as they make their way through the mines. Without flinching, the party runs past the smoldering entrance to East Moria and give chase. The party encounters a rabble of Goblins as they make their way east toward an opening. Before clearing the area, the party encounters another group of Goblins. They surround the heroes this time, forcing them to wheel about so they can attack effectively.

Before reaching the east opening, the party faces the first of nine cave trolls. They're pretty tough and require powerful attacks to defeat. Take it down then make your way through the small entrance at the end of the cavern and save your game. Once again, our heroes need to work their way down the steps of a fiery cave toward an exit to the south east. Halfway down, you'll be attacked by a pair of bloodthirsty goblins. Once the goblins are good and buried, proceed down the steps and through the opening into another large cavern.

Once again, goblins will descend from the ceiling. Eliminate them and run toward an opening to the south. Halfway through the cavern, you'll come upon a statue to your left. Approach it to trigger a cutscene where Hadhod swears vengeance against those who have defaced and plundered Moria. Another cave troll attacks from behind the party Before Hadhod even gets a chance to stand. Take him out then move south toward the entrance, slaughtering three goblins along the way. You'll emerge in a large, fiery cavern. You may recognize this place from the "dwarf-tossing" scene in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Descend the stairs to trigger a cutscene. The staircase crumbles and nearly sends Idrian to her death. Ever the gentleman, Berethor saves her, earning a kiss from the hottie elf in the process. Proceed west to exit the cave. Of course, you'll need to battle your way out. You'll enter another monstrous cave. There's a large hole in the middle of floor leading into another area. Proceed down where you'll notice a goblin sitting atop a large altar. He jumps down and tries to fry our group pf heroes with strong magical attacks. Take him out then trudge around the altar to the right.

Enter a small cave to the right to collect valuable booty then proceed to the exit located directly behind the altar. Exit the cave through a large opening and work your way up toward another cavern. Entering the cave triggers a cutscene where Goblins are seen calling for reinforcements by pounding large war drums. Head south and take out the third cave troll. You'll need to take out the goblin drummer before he can summon reinforcements. Make your way down a nearby tunnel. You'll emerge in a great cavern strewn with flaming garbage.

Cross the two makeshift bridges snaking down the middle of the cave. Before reaching the end of the second bridge, the fourth cave troll will emerge. Slice and dive em' then continue toward the massive stone stairwell to the south. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, our band of heroes enters a great burial hall. Cave troll number five then promptly assaults the band of adventurers. Take him out then proceed south into the hall. Reach the end of the hall and retrieve Idrian's 3rd Age Rohan Steel Long Sword from a pedestal.

To the right is a hole in the wall leading into small cavern. Step inside and take the makeshift staircase down. In front lies a large stone staircase leading north; take it halfway up and then go through a narrow tunnel to reach another burial ground. As soon as you approach the nearest sarcaphogus, four goblins will attack. Upon slaughtering each of them, you will be awarded with new weapons and armor. Proceed east along a ramp made of crumbled stone. Head south through several chambers slaying everything in your path. Eventually, the party once again enters a large cavern. Head east toward a small opening.

Just as start getting close, two cave trolls jump you simultaneously. Taking them out won't be easy. If you've achieved "Perfect Mode" you're in luck. Unleash "Fell Clawing" if you have it. One should perish after such a powerful attack, granting you the opportunity to concentrate on the other. Take it out using whatever means possible. Only two of these suckers left! Proceed toward the east opening. You'll emerge in a massive fiery cave. Make your way down the stairs toward a small plateau. Gandalf will face the Balrog off in the distance but you'll have problems of your own. Two more cave trolls will attack from the rear. Only this time, you'll face a Cave Troll Shadow Chieftain.

The Troll Chieftain uses his drums to incite the "Battle March" which seemingly pisses the hell out of the normal Troll, causing it to attack relentlessly. You'll need to concentrate all of your attacks on the chieften before turning your undivided attention to the normal Cave Troll. Defeat it with a string of powerful attacks. Make sure to have Idrian in your party so she can play the designate healer.

After the fight, steal the items in the treasure chests and keep heading south toward the spectacular battle between Gandalf and the Balrog. You'll run in and join Gandalf. The Grey Wizard boasts over 8,000 health points and a devastating attack that takes 5000 damage. Still, taking down the Balrog will take time and strategy if you hope to make it out alive. Defeating the Balrog triggers a cutscene replaying this climactic battle as seen in the Fellowship of the Ring.
Source: IGN
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