You’re probably reading this because you already know that Lord of the Rings by Stern has a deep set of rules. There are 3 wizard modes: Destroy the Ring, There and Back Again, and Valinor. This blog post will discuss “Destroy the Ring” and leave the others for another day–in other words, I’ll talk about them when I can say I’ve reached them. Anyways, the settings of the game will largely determine how easy it is to light it.
Start all three movie-themed multiballs to light “Destroy the Ring”. To avoid carpal tunnel problems I’ll abbreviate things as the following: The Fellowship of the Ring–FTR, Two Towers–TT, Return of the King–RTK, and Destroy the Ring–DTR.
Pinball is about keeping the ball alive as long as possible and trying to complete objectives, so wherever possible make each shot count for more than one thing.
1. Starting with ball 1, try to land every launched ball into the Orthanc tower to collect Path of the Dead ‘souls’ for the RTK. This will also safely feed your left flipper.
2. Focus on the shots for lighting FTR multiball. Wherever possible shoot things that will double count i.e. shoot Aragon only after the lock is lit or shoot Pippin very last because it will start FTR if it goes into Baradur.
3. Pay attention to the return lanes and K-E-E-P letters for lighting the lock and TT. There are a lot of shots that feed directly to the return lanes to light the letters.
4. Boromir is the hardest fellowship member to light unless Mystery or Palantir gives it to you. Shooting Pippin or Gandalf is the easiest way to get it to the bumpers. You can also shoot through Gimli back to the bumpers but it’s a much harder shot. Another good way is through Frodo–nudge the machine when it’s stuck in the ring to have it go into the bumpers.
5. If you still need more souls, start the Ents mini-mode. Try to stack Ents with Gollum multiball. An extra ball helps a lot because the return time from the Path of the Dead is not quick.
6. You don’t have to complete the multiball objectives just survive, so don’t kill yourself with wild shots.
There are many more things to say for best results but then it depends on so many other situational variables. So let’s just stop there and talk about playing the DTR mode.
Start the mode with a shot to to the Ring.
1. The best advice for any pinball wizard mode is to relax and stay calm. Until I owned the game I could get to the DTR but never complete it because the stress to complete it was so high.
2. It’s only 6 shots, but don’t drain because you’ll have to start all over again with the three multiballs.
3. The first 4 are Legolas, Gandalf, Aragon, and Merry. They can be in any order. The safer shots are Legolas and Aragon because the ball is returned to your flippers.
4. The next 2 shots are to the ring. The first shot “Gollum has the Ring!” Depending on the game settings the Ring will hold the ball with its magnet or send it on through. If it holds the ball you’ll get another ball to launch. The reason this setting is optional is because sometimes the ball falls out the front of the ring. If one of the two balls were to drain it ends the mode.
5. Assuming the Ring is holding the ball you need to get a strong, direct shot that will at least knock the ball sitting there through the back of the ring. Otherwise just shoot the Ring twice.
Sit back and watch the machine FREAK OUT! Pinball is really about beating the machine. Lord of the Rings does the best job of embodying that man vs. machine emotion. It’s a very satisfying feeling to have conquered the machine especially after all the grief (and quarters) it took to get you there!
Comment with your own strategy tips and tricks!