The Hobbit (2003 video game)

The Hobbit (2003 video game)

Infobox VG |title = The Hobbit

developer = Inevitable Entertainment
publisher = Vivendi Universal
designer = Sierra Entertainment
engine =
version =
released = 2003
genre = Platform, Adventure
modes = 1 Player
ratings = E for Everyone
platforms = Playstation 2, Gamecube, PC, Xbox
media =
requirements =
input =

"The Hobbit: The Prelude to The Lord of the Rings" or simply "The Hobbit" is a video game published in 2003 by Vivendi Universal. It is a platform game that features puzzles and fighting enemies in a similar manner to the "Legend of Zelda" series.

The game claims to be "the only game based on JRR Tolkien's classic tale"Citequote|date=October 2008, though this is untrue as an adventure game based on the "The Hobbit" was released in 1982.

Plot Synopsis

Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who lives in Hobbiton. One day a wizard named Gandalf shows up at his door and invited Bilbo on a quest. Bilbo said no but accidentally invited Gandalf to tea. The next day he and thirteen dwarves arrived at Bilbo's door. While they discussed their quest, Bilbo was surprised and fainted. He had a dream of fighting Goblins alongside elves, humans, and dwarves. When he woke up he wanted to go on the quest and told Gandalf. Gandalf said yes, so Bilbo grabbed his walking stick and headed to the Green Dragon Inn and also helped Sandyman fix the bridge. When they left the group was cold and hungry and saw a light and they told Bilbo to check it out.

It turns out to be the camp fire of three Stone Trolls. Their names are Tom, William and Bert. After trying to steal a pocket book, Bilbo was rescued by Gandalf who led them to the elves at Rivendell, then across the goblin-infested Misty Mountains, and after an escape from wolves and a rescue by eagles, the company continued across Mirkwood Forest, and then to Erebor to slay Smaug the dragon and reclaim the gold.

Plot Differences

The game largely follows the plot of "The Hobbit" book, but makes several common "video game adaptations", such as added monsters, expanded "chapters" (levels), boss fights, and so on. Some of the more significant changes, however, include the absence of Beorn the shapeshifter until "The Clouds Burst" (or, the Battle of Five Armies). (The animated movie from 1977 also omits Beorn, and the game might be based on this film despite being released many years apart.) In "Riddles in the Dark", the player needs to fix various pieces of lift machinery to open a gate and free a dwarven prisoner. Also, instead of in among the trees, the fight with the spiders occurs in a big "spider hall" with cliffs that the bigger spiders can't climb.

There is also the addition of the character Lianna, a wood-elf who Bilbo aids in the troll cave, and who helps him free the dwarves when they meet again in Mirkwood after the Dwarves are kiddnapped by Thranduil.

The game also portrays Bard as already the captain of the town-guard. In the book he doesn't take command of the defence of Lake-town until the dragon comes. He also doesn't serve the Master of Lake-town until he escapes ashore after the destruction of Lake-town, but it would seem that the makers of the game wanted to make someone familiar give Bilbo important quests.

It also adds multiple characters, which are mentioned later in this article.

Game Mechanics

Being a platformer, the game has a jump feature, plus rope swinging, ladder climbing, etc.

The game also features the use of the One Ring, to sneak up on, away from, and past enemies. Unlike game, the Ring power regenerates, making it possible to use the Ring more, a good thing, since this game features more sneaking and climbing around.

Each level gives the player a series of quests, some of which may be optional to fulfil. For instance, one of the optional quests in the "Unexpected Party" level is to find four children in a game of hide and seek. An example of a required quest would be to save the dwarves from the spiders.


Most of the sound track has a rather Celtic sound to it, with a bit of Scottish and Irish influence as well. Most of the combat music is played with an acoustic guitar or an orchestra. Other tracks are just music that is relevant to the part. For example, when Bilbo fights the spiders the music is crazy and wild. Other times it sounds ghostly."Each level has its own themes, though most of the music is repeated throughout the game. "Flies and Spiders" and "Barrels Out of Bond" are both in Mirkwood, so they have the same songs (except when Bilbo is in the Elven Hall, this is most likely because the Elves are perceived as graceful, but eccentric; their music reflects these traits). "Riddles in the Dark" and "Inside Information" also have the same music. The fighting music varies.


Health Items

*Mushrooms give Bilbo health: small mushrooms give him one health bubble, and bigger mushrooms give him about 5. These are found around most levels.

*Health Potions give the player health, (up to six health bubbles) but can be carried until needed. The maximum amount that can be carried can be increased by buying the Medicine Chest upgrade. They can be quickly used by pressing the down button on the d-pad. They are pink in colour, to distinguish them from Antidotes. Found throughout most levels, and can also be bought from the End-of-level vendor for 40 silver pennies.
*Antidotes cure all Poisons. Can be carried until needed. Like health potions, the maximum amount that the player can carry with them in their inventory can be increased by buying the Medicine Chest upgrade. They are green in colour. Found throughout levels, they can also be bought from the End-of-level vendor for 40 silver pennies.

*Waters of Vigour potion not only heals Bilbo, but temporarily puts a purple sheath around his health bubbles, effectively doubling his health. Vendor price: 1000 silver pennies.

*Waters of Fortitude potion gives Bilbo an extra health bubble, therefore restoring all of his health. Vendor price is 2000 silver pennies.


*Walking Stick: This is the most versatile weapon. It does less damage than Sting, but it has a greater area of affect. It is used to pole vault.

*Throwing Stones are acquired throughout the game. They allow Bilbo to throw them at targets or enemies from a distance, giving him a ranged attack advantage. He can increase the amount you can carry by buying the "Rock Bag" upgrade at the vendor at the end of each level.

*Sting: Bilbo's famous short sword; it must be found at the end of the Troll-Hole level before he can use it. It causes the greatest damage of all the weapons that Bilbo possess. However, it has a much shorter range than his walking-stick. It is used to break the shields of enemies during combat, and to cut the spider webbing in the game.

Helpful Objects

*Gunpowder Barrels: If these are destroyed, they explode and do a lot of damage.

*Skeleton Keys allow the player to automatically bypass a lock picking process and give him/her immediate access to the contents of the chest. These are rarely found in the game levels. Vendor price: 80 silver pennies

*Chests: These usually require picking (which is a mini game in which you have to align or select the green target in a 'locking panel/mechanism' by pressing a button on your controller/keyboard), but some do not require this and all can have skeleton keys used to bypass them. During the lock picking process, a timer appears at the top of the mini game screen. You must successfully pick each mechanism of the lock before the timer reaches the end, or you will fail. If you select a blank target, the timer would quickly advance a distance. If you select a red target, then the lock picking fails instantly. Following are types of chests ranging from easiest to hardest:

:*Wood: These require either no lock picking or include one or two panels. They never cause any damage to Bilbo during a failed attempt to pick it.

:*Blue: These Require 3-4 panels and usually give a certain amount of damage to Bilbo, often poisoning him, if he fails.

:*Gold: These Require 5 or more panels, and during a failed attempt usually gives a lot of damage to Bilbo. They can also poison him. However, being the toughest chests to pick in the game, they include the most riches and provisions (e.g. health/antidote potions).


*Dreamworld: During the dwarves' visit to Bag End, Bilbo falls asleep and dreams he is at the Battle of Five Armies. Bilbo also has no health and is invincible in this level. (used to acquaint players with the basic controls and movement)

*An Unexpected Party: Bilbo is sent to the Green Dragon, but first he must collect provisions for Bombur and do different jobs for the Shire hobbits.

*Roast Mutton: Bilbo is sent to investigate a fire-light.

*Troll-hole: Bilbo must explore the troll cave and find the troll key.

*Over Hill and Under Hill: Bilbo ends up in a helter-skelter adventure trying to get back to the dwarves after an interesting fall.

*Riddles in the Dark: Bilbo is lost and must find his way through a now goblin infested dwarf mine, fix broken dwarf lifts, and rescue Balfor, a dwarf of the Iron Hills.

*Flies and Spiders: Bilbo is lost and must find his way through a spider infested Mirkwood Forest (in which he has to fight hundreds of poisonous spiders). He also fights minions of the Wight lord. He must rescue the dwarves from being eaten by the three giant spiders.

*Barrels Out of Bond: Bilbo and the dwarves are not safe out of Mirkwood yet. The dwarves are captured by elves and Bilbo must find a way to rescue them as well as a way to escape, while avoiding being seen by elves. It is primarily sneaking with the ring, but there is some combat.

*A Warm Welcome: The dwarves and Bilbo escape to Lake-town, where they are highly welcomed. Bilbo performs numerous missions for the town guard which includes expelling a group of thieves and goblins from Lake-town.

*Inside Information: Bilbo must steal the golden cup of Thrór from Smaug.

*The Gathering of the Clouds: Bilbo must find the Arkenstone for Thorin. He must also power the rooms of Erebor: he must get the canals working, repair the gears, and activate the forge so he can create the key that opens the treasury, which leads to the Arkenstone.

*The Clouds Burst: This level is The Battle of Five Armies. Bilbo must fight or sneak his way through the battle to deliver a message to Bard of Lake-town, saying that the goblins of Bolg's army are coming at him from behind, as Bard is unaware of this. He also meets up with Corwin, Lianna, and Beorn, whom he must help.

Friendly Characters

*Bilbo: The main character. Also the only playable character. His weapons include Sting, a walking/fighting stick, and collectible rocks. Bilbo's stick can be quite powerful against enemies that can't block. It is most effective against blood-thirsty but vulnerable spiders. It can also be used to pole-vault across wide expanses. Throughout the game, Bilbo collects scrolls that give him new or improved attacks. He appears in all levels.
*Gandalf: The wizard, who organizes the Quest of Erebor with Thorin. He is not a playable character, but gives Bilbo different jobs and helps him against the goblins at the end of "Over Hill and Under Hill". He appears in a few levels.

*Thorin: An important dwarf. Also King under the Mountain. He gives Bilbo some of the tasks, like investigating the mysterious fire-light. He gives Bilbo instructions on opening the doors to the great rooms of the Kingdom under the Mountain. He also tells Bilbo to retrieve the Arkenstone from the locked treasury. He appears in most levels.

*Bard: The Captain of the Town Guard. He appears in Lake-town and the Battle of Five Armies. In Lake-town he gives Bilbo jobs to perform in service of Lake-town. The main problem that he wants Bilbo to help fix is that there are thieves and goblins causing mischief and even plotting to take over Lake-town. Bard wants Bilbo to track their moves and eventually to find the thieves' hideout. In the Battle of Five Armies, Bilbo must warn Bard of a goblin attack that Bard doesn't know of that is advancing on him from behind.

*Lianna: An elf of Thranduil's Hall in Mirkwood, Bilbo must heal her in the Troll Cave. She eventually helps Bilbo escape from Thranduil's Hall. She was not in the book.

*Corwin: A sad, heartbroken woodsman from Laketown. Bilbo meets him, and he says he is the only survivor of an attack of the spiders on his camp. He helps Bilbo get through an immensely thick web. He was not in the book.

*Balfor: A dwarf of the Iron Hills who has been made a slave of the goblins. They force him to work the dwarf-built mining contraptions. Once Bilbo frees him, he kills the goblin guards, and tells Bilbo how to escape. He was not in the book.


Fightable Enemies

*Goblin Warrior: These enemies are first encountered in "Dreamworld", along with the other Goblin types. They carry a sword and shield, and some have helmets as well.

*Goblin Archer: Armed with a bow that can fire explosive arrows. These cause a lot of damage. They use a sword when Bilbo gets close. They are first seen in "Dreamworld".

*Goblin Miner: Armed with a pickaxe and small gunpowder bombs, these enemies are weak and easy to kill. They are first seen in "Dreamworld".

*Goblin Mage: These Goblins carry staffs that can create a damage inducing magic burst. They are first seen in the "Dreamworld" level.

*Carnivorous plant: These are encountered in the "Roast Mutton" level, and are living plant-creatures. A tougher version is seen in the "Flies and Spiders level", which can spit small exploding mucus blobs.

*Brown Whatnots: These are little sloth-like creatures. Even thogh there only an inch tall, they are hard to beat because they come in numbers, fifty at the most.

*Wolf: First seen in the "Roast Mutton" level. Their tougher versions are seen in "Over Hill and Under Hill", and can perform magic attacks, similar to those performed by Gandalf. Their more vicious counterparts, the Wargs, come later in the game, on the last level.

*Warg: These are more powerful than wolves, and only appear in "The Battle Of Five Armies".

*Vile Creature: These are armless, bipedal swamp creatures, first found in the "Roast Mutton" level. They appear to be frog-dinosaur composites. In later levels, they gain the ability to breathe poisonous gas at Bilbo. They fight wolves in one area of "Roast Mutton".

*Armadillo fox (or "Guardian's Minions"): These are first seen during the first Boss fight, (on the "Troll Hole" level) where Bilbo must kill them to get the "Guardian"(A much bigger armadillo fox) to show it's weak spot.

*Dire Worm: These large, fearsome worms live in underground dens with many entrances, which they can disappear into and come out of. They are first seen after the "Troll Hole" boss fight. They look like caterpillars and when Bilbo kills one, another comes forward to take its place.

*Frog People. Tiny half frog/half human monsters first appear in "Troll Hole". They seem to hate the bigger frog-like creatures, since an army of them teams up against one in "Barrels out of Bond".

*Lesser Spider: The smallest spiders. Like all spiders (except the giant spiders), they can climb up cliffs and walls. They are first seen in "Riddles in the Dark".

*Dread Spider: These are green, poisonous cousins of the Lesser Spiders. The "Riddles in the Dark" level marks their first appearance. When their web is cut, they will zoom up to Bilbo, poison him, then dart away. The small ones will usually ambush Bilbo by scurrying up and down the walls.

*Red Dread Spider: Bigger, red, and more poisonous than Dread Spiders, these creatures first appear in "Flies and Spiders".

*Brown Giant Spider: Larger versions of Lesser Spiders, these monsters cannot climb walls. They jump and strafe Bilbo, these creatures first appear in "Troll Hole", one guarding a gold chest inside a waterfall.

*Black Giant Spider: They have an armored body and Bilbo must do a jump attack to flip them over to attack their soft bottom, they first appear in "Flies and Spiders" . There are even larger versions as well, the largest being the three spider-queen sister bosses. All sizes are found in "Flies and Spiders".

*Undead Soldier: These are undead soldiers. They join the game on "Flies and Spiders". They as well as the next two on this page are described as minions of the Necromancer. ("The Necromancer" is what Sauron is known as in "The Hobbit")

*Undead Archer: Range Attack versions of the Undead Soldiers, they sometimes have explosive arrow attacks, somewhat like their "God of War" likenesses. When Bilbo gets too near, like the goblin archers, they make use of a sword. They come in on "Flies and Spiders".

*Lich: These are eyeless, purple-robed beings who are more skeleton than zombie. They shoot powerful, explosive range attacks from their hands. They use a sword for melee combat. Their first appearance is on "Flies and Spiders".

*Fire Bat: Only three of these appear in the entire game; in the "Riddles in the Dark" level. They are bright red and spit balls of flame at Bilbo. They are the only flying enemies in the game besides Smaug, and he does not actually fly during the gameplay.


*Guardian: This boss is a large armadillo fox, guarding Lianna's potion in the Troll Hole level.

*Goblin Boss: A Goblin in Riddles In The Dark who is guarding the gate. He is more of a miniboss, because he is fought like a normal enemy, though more powerful.

*Wight Lord: A large Undead Swordsman who can summon his lesser kin to fight for him. He is not extremely tough, but the process Bilbo has to go through to get to him is very health draining.

*Spider Sisters: 3 Huge spiders. In addition to being very powerful, they are also accompanied by huge hordes of small spiders. Each one can be defeated in a different way, and the first one is poisonous.

Unfightable Enemies

These are enemies that Bilbo can't fight. Bilbo must simply avoid being detected by them. Avoiding being seen by enemies, on the whole, significantly harder than fighting them. He cannot run into enemies, or they will get him.

*Three Trolls: These are three hungry mountain trolls named Bert, Tom, and William. They appear in "Roast Mutton". Bert is the hardest to avoid since he walks around everywhere. Bilbo doesn't have the ring yet, so unfortunately he must hide, dash, or both.

*Goblin Guards: These guards are guarding Balfor, the dwarf in "Riddles in the Dark". They are too strong for Bilbo to fight, so he must dodge them. However, there is an exception. In "The Clouds Burst" and "A Warm Welcome" Bilbo becomes strong enough to fight them.

*Mirkwood Elves: These aren't really Bilbo's sworn enemies, they just capture anyone who wanders in their realm without leave, in this case, the dwarves and Bilbo. But Bilbo is the sneaky one, and he must wear the ring almost the whole level ("Barrels Out of Bond") when he is close to them. The Elves are Bilbo's friends in "The Clouds Burst".

*Thieves and Goblins: They are trying to take over Lake-town. They have also stolen all the weapons in town. It is Bilbo's job in "A Warm Welcome" to thwart the thieves' and goblins' plans. At the end of the level, Bilbo must steal back Bard's black arrow and to do this he must avoid being detected by them. This part is challenging, especially if the player wants to get all the coins and courage points.

*Smaug: The biggest, most important enemy. First he sleeps on his bed of gold coins and Bilbo must simply stay as quiet as possible. Then Smaug is awake and Bilbo must wear the ring and dodge behind pillars. Then Smaug is breathing fire at Bilbo and he must simply dash behind pillars.

*Stone-Giants: They don't require sneaking past, but throw rocks at Bilbo, which is relatively simple by itself, but there are creatures to fight and lots of pits that make it difficult to avoid the stones.

*Bolg: The goblin king, son and successor of Azog, who was killed by Dáin Ironfoot. He leads the attack against the alliance of Dwarves, Elves, and Men at the Battle of Five Armies. He was killed by Beorn, the shapeshifter and his army of goblins and wargs were utterly defeated. Bilbo gets a good sweeping view of him during the process of helping Beorn.

Sources and References

*Rotten Tomatoes

See also

*"The Hobbit"
*"The Hobbit" – 1982 video game

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