Here’s another e-mail from our friend Joe, who continues to have trouble with the Balrog in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for PC.

    Thanks for your suggestions.  Unfortunately, after at least two hours of trying ever possible pattern I could think of, I am still unable to come up with a combination that works consistently.  The Balrog has very quick responses, and Gandalf’s are just not fast enough.  And there are too many combinations–use a spell to heal yourself, and the Balrog hits you ALWAYS in the middle of the spell–making it not fully effective.  Even when he is supposedly knocked out, he has somehow managed to take Gandalf’s health down to zero, so that he (Gandalf) dies after striking anyway.  In every other part of the game, there is a “sweet spot” where the character is safe–but after trying every inch of that bridge, I think I can say there is no sweet spot for part of this game. 
    I do not know what your connection with Black Label Games is, if any.  But I would like to know if there is somewhere to write them and tell them that I will not purchase another of their games, and that I will recommend to my many nieces and nephews that they not do so either.  More pertinently, can I ask for a refund?  (Ha, ha, ha!  That should slay them with laughter!)  I purchased the game to have fun–and that has certainly not been the case at the end.  If they are trying to sell purchasers on their products, they seem not to know how to go about it.   

Don’t throw rocks just yet. First of all, the bridge isn’t the sweet spot… it’s a timed moment over by the fellowship… its sort of a Y shape… with the shaft of the Y being the bridge… run to either side of the top of the Y and continue to move until you see a fireball blaze near… then heal. It’s a timing thing. Then go back to the bridge and dodge from left to right to kill the Balrog. Only hit him three times, if you’re on fire… after being hit… it can hurt you more even if you score a hit. Hopefully that will help you settle it, although it is difficult with the keyboard.

Now the situation with the Fellowship of the Ring is a very interesting one. It is not the fault of Black Label Games. I’m not paid by them, and frankly if they screw the future titles up… you’ll see a similar message as this ripping into them from me, but the Fellowship of the Ring was not their game. The situation is difficult, but there are two sides to making a game, marketing and production. During production the game was handled by one company, and things ran into delays. Eventually the game was taken from that Developer and handed to Black Label Games, who were asked to do what they could with it to at least get it released, and as bad as many felt the game was, it still had its moments. Now moving on to future games, they have it from day one. Black Label Games has dedicated focus groups to these games, they recently held an event with us to see what the true Tolkien fans want from a video game based on his stories, and this just wasn’t done by the previous company. The heart that is being put into these titles is incredible, they have asked the help of TORn Staffers such as Quickbeam, Lao of Gondor, and myself when they have concerns about certain things, and never have I seen a company so dedicated to making a game for the fans.

Now how will it turn out? We don’t know, I haven’t played the new games yet, but we’ll have the first look for you as soon as it’s available. Don’t give up on the book based Franchise my friend, it’s just getting started!