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    Palantir of Sauron FAQ by ktwo

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 10/09/08 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King (Xbox)
    Walkthrough for "Palantir of Sauron"
    Version 1.0
    Copyright 2008 by ktwo
    E-mail: ktwo[at]graffiti.net
    
    Last updated : October 7:th 2008
    
    
    
    
    ***********
    * Content *
    ***********
    
    1. Introduction
    2. Version History
    3. Preparations
    4. General tips
    5. Walkthrough
    6. Ending
    7. Acknowledgements
    8. Copyright Info
    9. Feedback
    
    
    
    
    *******************
    * 1. Introduction *
    *******************
    
    Welcome to my walkthrough for the infamous level "Palantir of Sauron" (PoS) 
    from "Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King" to the Xbox. There seem to 
    be differences compared with versions to other platforms, but I could really 
    not tell as I have not played them. 
    
    As for many other games, I wanted to complete the game and get 100% before I 
    put it aside. While some of the normal levels are quite challenging, the PoS 
    take it one step further. You can no longer rely on just sweeping away with 
    monotonous attacks or good will/luck. You will need a good plan to stand a 
    chance. When searching the net for assistance, I was disappointed at the 
    result. The strategies I found worked very poorly for me or consisted of tips 
    like "use cheats to make it easier". Anyways, I came up with a few good 
    strategies during my attemps that will most certainly work for a casual 
    player. The strategies do not involve cheat codes.
    
    Since this is a walkthrough for the final level, it does not go into detail 
    about the story, basic gameplay, controls and such stuff. You will find 
    plenty of that in other guides on gamefaqs. This guide assumes you use 
    Gandalf (good luck if you plan to use someone else...).
    
    
    
    
    **********************
    * 2. Version History *
    **********************
    
    1.0 (2008-10-07) :
          The original version
    
    
    
    
    *******************
    * 3. Preparations *
    *******************
    
    Before you accept the challenge, there are three things you need to look into.
    
    First of all, you need to complete the normal levels (Crack of Doom is the 
    last normal level) and have Gandalf, Sam and Aragorn/Gimli/Legolas at least 
    at level 10. I must say that I'm not completely sure that no other 
    combinations work, but you need at least to reach level 10 with one character 
    from each path and complete all normal levels in order to open up PoS. If you 
    want to complete the game to 100%, you must also get through Palantir of 
    Saruman, but that one is not that hard.
    
    Second of all, you need to decide with which character you will challenge PoS. 
    This walkthrough assumes you choose Gandalf. There are several reasons for 
    this choice. All characters have crappy special abilites except Gandalf. 
    Getting you into perfect mode (Aragorn, ...) is of little use in PoS. 
    Gandalf's energy shield is extremely powerful though and can destroy shields 
    and armours. Also, Gandalf's projectiles are very powerful and do not stop 
    upon impact making multiple hits possible. They are quick to fire and are 
    extremely effective against trolls. Gandalf's charged fierce attack is also 
    better than the others, but is unlikely to be used here because it consumes 
    10 projectiles every time and takes too long to charge.
    
    Third of all, it's adviceable to take Gandalf to level 20. I haven't really 
    noticed a big difference from level 10, but it can hardly do any bad either 
    and it's quite fast anyway. If you by chance happen to miss some of the 
    upgrades, you'll get more than enough now to buy everything. Anyways, the 
    easiest way I found to level up is to redo the level "The Southern Gate" a 
    couple of times. There are hordes of normal enemies (no shielded or shooting 
    foes) so it's easy to get into perfect by just whacking away whenever there 
    is a group of enemies and score good points. You'll advance at least two 
    levels every time you redo the level.
    
    
    
    
    *******************
    * 4. General tips *
    *******************
    
    Here are the most important strategies for dispatching the different types 
    of enemies :
    
    - Against unshielded enemies, just whack away.
    
    - Against shooting enemies, move, shoot once or twice, parry, move back, shoot 
    once or twice, parry and so on. Try to keep your distance as much as possible.
    Don't try to kill them with your sword. They will back off while filling you
    with arrows, making it hard to get into striking range.
    
    - Against shielded enemies, let yourself get trapped against the border and 
    parry like crazy. Everytime you parry, you can use a bane (parry+R) on the 
    attacker. It's easy to do, elegant and gives you an instant kill ! Don't 
    complicate things by trying to smash the shields unnecessarily. It will only 
    result in you getting hurt.
    
    - Against champions, just whack away (Uruk-hai) or parry and do a fierce 
    attack (Easterlings) kind of like doing a bane (which does not work here).
    
    - Against trolls, use projectiles ! Gandalf's staff must have some special 
    anti-troll recipe, because they go down very quickly.
    
    - Against combinations of strong enemies, use Gandalf's magic shield (L+R). 
    At the waves where it's useful, you most certainly don't have the time to 
    wait for Gandalf to summon the shield before you get torn to pieces. The 
    trick is to launch the shield at the end of the previous wave ! When the last 
    enemy goes down, there is about five seconds until the animation for the next 
    wave begins, slowly count to four and then trigger the shield. Gandalf will 
    use the time of the animation to get the shield up. When you take control 
    again, just run around like crazy and create havoc as long as it lasts.
    
    - If you have difficulties reaching the later waves, but want to practice 
    them anyway, use the cheat codes. Don't settle for only completing with cheat 
    codes though. You made it this far, so I'm sure you can take the last step as 
    well.
    
    
    
    
    ******************
    * 5. Walkthrough *
    ******************
    
    Ok, so you unlocked PoS, levelled up Gandalf and hopefully chosen him for this 
    last task. The level is based on the same idea as Palantir of Saruman. You're 
    locked into an arena and have to make it through 20 waves of increasingly 
    difficult hordes of enemies. The waves are sort of grouped in themes of 2 or 
    3 waves :
    
    Wave 1-3 : Unshielded enemies
    Wave 4-6 : Archers
    Wave 7-9 : Shielded enemies
    Wave 10-11 : Unshielded enemies and archers
    Wave 12-13 : Shielded enemies and archers
    Wave 14-15 : Unshielded and shielded enemies and archers
    Wave 16-17 : Champions
    Wave 18-19 : Champions and troll
    Wave 20 : Champions, trolls and archers
    
    After each wave you get a red potion (health). On wave 5 you get two weapon 
    pick-ups (worth 20 projectiles each) and one more on wave 20. These upgrades 
    stay there as long as you don't pick them up. In the waves with archers, you 
    can gain more projectiles, but they will disappear if you don't pick them up 
    before the end of the wave. The same goes for the red potions dropped by 
    champions in the later waves (one potion for each champion).
    
    
    Wave 1
    ======
    
    Enemies : Orcs (unshielded)
    
    Strategy : Just whack away with speed attacks.
    
    
    Wave 2
    ======
    
    Enemies : Easterlings (unshielded)
    
    Strategy : Same as wave 1.
    
    
    Wave 3
    ======
    
    Enemies : Orcs (unshielded) and Easterlings (unshielded)
    
    Strategy : Same as wave 1 and 2. (enjoy it while it lasts, you wont have the 
    chance to carelessly whack away until wave 16 again)
    
    
    Wave 4
    ======
    
    Enemies : Orcs (archers)
    
    Strategy : When it begins, immediately fire of one or two projectiles from 
    Gandalf's staff. Then start to parry (X-button) like crazy. You'll deflect the 
    incoming wave of arrows. Then move to the side, fire another projectile, 
    parry, move back to the other side, fire a projectile, parry and so on. By 
    taking out one or two enemies at a time and keeping the distance, you should 
    be able to get through without energy loss. When there are only a few archers 
    left, you can take them down with your sword if you want to save shots. 
    However, I strongly advice not to take them heads on from start with your 
    sword only. The archers back off as you approach while continuing sending 
    arrows your way. Since you can't run and parry at the same time, it's hard 
    to get into range without taking several hits.
    
    
    Wave 5
    ======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (archers)
    
    Strategy : Same as wave 4.
    
    
    Wave 6
    ======
    
    Enemies : Orcs (archers) and Uruk-hai (archers)
    
    Strategy : By now, you'll likely start to run out of projectiles. Luckily, 
    there are two weapon refills here. It's good if you can get through only 
    picking up one of them. As for the strategy, do as in wave 4 and 5, only there 
    are more enemies now, so you don't have much time to fire of a shot before you 
    need to start parrying.
    
    
    Wave 7
    ======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (shielded)
    
    Strategy : Move to the side as much as possible (this will help you avoid 
    running into red potions unintentionally). When the first Uruk-hai is close, 
    stop and start parrying like a madman. Now, just use banes (parry+R) at one 
    enemy at a time until they're all gone ! Again, you'll get through without 
    taking any damage. When one or two enemies remain, you can go over to break 
    their shields and then speed attack them. The ones who suggest to break the 
    shields from start must be crazy though.
    
    
    Wave 8
    ======
    
    Enemies : Easterlings (shielded)
    
    Strategy : Same as wave 7. Just be careful when the enemies attack you. If 
    you try to initiate a bane and the enemy's attack wasn't parryied, you risk 
    getting hit. This risk is much higher with Easterlings than with Uruk-hais, 
    because many attacks don't connect. I usually look for a charging Easterling. 
    That attack always comes on your left side and it's an attack that always 
    connect. Thus it's easy to turn it into a bane.
    
    
    Wave 9
    ======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (shielded) and Easterlings (shielded)
    
    Strategy : Same as wave 7 and 8.
    
    
    Wave 10
    =======
    
    Enemies : Orcs (unshielded) and Uruk-hai (archers)
    
    Strategy : Now it starts to get a little bit complicated. The orcs will get 
    massively hit by their Uruk-hai colleagues, but it will only stop them 
    momentarily, not cause any damage. This can partly be exploited to your 
    advantage though. Hide behind a horde of orcs and they will take the wave of 
    arrows. Then try to hit some of the orcs, hide/parry the next wave of 
    arrows, hit some more orcs and so on. When all orcs are down, use the 
    strategy from wave 4 to 6. I don't think it's worth to try to take out the 
    archers first as that will for sure result in massive damage for our hero.
    
    
    Wave 11
    =======
    
    Enemies : Easterlings (unshielded) and Orcs (archers)
    
    Strategy : There are only a few archers and they are all standing right in 
    front of you in the middle. I suggest trying to shoot one archer when it 
    begins, then run to the opposite side of the arena along the border. You 
    should be able to reach there without being intercepted. The archers will 
    then have difficulties finding clear shots at you and you can easily dispose 
    of the Easterlings with normal speed attacks. Take out the archers when there 
    are no more Easterlings left.
    
    
    
    Wave 12
    =======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (shielded and archers)
    
    Strategy : The best plan I found is probably to quickly fire two shots and 
    then get trapped in a corner, far from the archers (the starting position is 
    actually pretty good). Take out the shielded Uruk-hais one by one with banes. 
    When they are all gone, take care of the archers. You can also start the wave 
    with a magic shield (see the tips section above) and try to take out the 
    archers in front of you. Be careful not to run too far, as you don't want to 
    loose the shield in the middle of the arena.
    
    
    Wave 13
    =======
    
    Enemies : Easterlings (shielded) and Orcs (archers)
    
    Strategy : I suggest arriving with the magic shield here (see tips section 
    above), run to the other end and take out as many archers as possible. There 
    will no doubt be some left, so fight your way through if you're close to some 
    remaining archer. Leave the rest. The reason for this is that the Easterlings 
    connect so seldom so it will be hard to find the right moment to do a bane. 
    It's hard to hear when you parry as the sound is just as likely to come from a 
    parryied arrow if there are many archers left. If you miss a bane (press R 
    without having parryied), you'll likely to get hit. Have patience and wait for 
    a charge attack (see wave 8) before doing the banes.
    
    
    Wave 14
    =======
    
    Enemies : Easterlings (unshielded), Uruk-hai (shielded) and 
    Orcs (archers)
    
    Strategy : Same as wave 12.
    
    
    Wave 15
    =======
    
    Enemies : Orcs (unshielded and archers) and Easterlings (shielded)
    
    Strategy : I definately recommend arriving with a magic shield here (see tips 
    section above). Your magic meter (or whatever it's called) should have been 
    refilled since wave 13, so it should be no problem launching it. Then it's 
    much like wave 13, just harder. Use the same strategy. Hopefully, you have 
    received some weapon drop on the last waves, so you arrive with 30 projectiles 
    for the toughest part that is to come...
    
    
    Wave 16
    =======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (champions)
    
    Strategy : Easy, just whack away. The Uruk-hai champioins are not protected so 
    just use speed attacks. Don't stop mashing the button though as you'll soon 
    get hit. Since you get a red potion for each slain enemy, you should leave 
    this wave with full energy.
    
    
    Wave 17
    =======
    
    Enemies : Easterlings (champions)
    
    Strategy : Much harder than the Uruk-hai, because the Easterling champions 
    are armoured (you need to break the armour with a fierce attack or projectile 
    before speed attacks affect them). Arrive with the magic shield on and try 
    to break as many armours you can while it lasts. When you loose the shield, 
    start speed attacking those who lost their armour. When you are about to hit 
    a combination (preferably swift justice), try to hit one of the armoured guys. 
    This will break his armour without exposing you to the same kind of risk as 
    the fierce attack exposes you to. If you get surrounded by only armoured 
    enemies, try parry+fierce attack (risky, because the others can hit you at 
    the same time) or simply use the speed attack while trying to move (you need 
    to keep jamming the button though). You will block their attacks (provided you 
    don't get someone in the back) and will eventually break free. Then try to 
    find an enemy without armour and go loose with speed attacks while trying to 
    break other armours in the vicinity. When you have only one enemy left, wait 
    for the magic meter to refill, so you can launch a magic shield in time for 
    the next wave.
    
    
    Wave 18
    =======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (champions), Easterlings (champions) and Troll
    
    Strategy : Immediately run towards the troll and fire of a few shots so it's 
    dead before the shield wears off. It's very annoying to have the troll 
    roaming around, so I seriously suggest you stick to this plan. The remaining 
    enemies are actually easier than the previous wave as you'll have more 
    unarmoured enemies to increase your chances of getting some powerful 
    combination (again, swift justice is your friend). Like in the last wave, be 
    sure to wait for the magic meter to refill and launch a magic shield in time 
    for the next wave.
    
    
    Wave 19
    =======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (champions), Easterlings (champions) and Troll
    
    Strategy : Exactly like wave 18, just harder. Use more of your shots when 
    protected by the shield as it causes good damage and can break the armour. 
    Needless to say that you should wait to kill the last enemy until you can 
    launch a magic shield for the last wave.
    
    
    Wave 20
    =======
    
    Enemies : Uruk-hai (champions), Easterlings (champions), Trolls (2)
    and Orcs (archers)
    
    Strategy : I really, really hope you timed the shield right at the end of the 
    last wave, so you can get off to a good start on the last wave. First take 
    down the trolls. Then concentrate on the archers. Shoot like a maniac as 
    long as you're protected by the shield. You get a weapon drop here, so there 
    should be plenty of projectiles to distribute. When the effect of the magic 
    shield has worn off, you're on your own... Hopefully, you made sure some of 
    the archers followed in the footsteps of the trolls. If not, well, parry and 
    then try to move to get some clean shots. This can be easier said than done 
    though, so make sure the time you're protected by the shield is well spent. 
    When the archers are down or can't shoot at you because of the center pillar, 
    dispatch of the champions like in previous waves. 
    
    
    
    
    
    *************
    * 6. Ending *
    *************
    
    Nothing happens when you reach 100%. No more features unlock and no 
    encouraging cutscene triggers. It would have been nice to have something more 
    for the effort than just 100% written on the save file.
    
    
    
    
    ***********************
    * 7. Acknowledgements *
    ***********************
    
    Thanks to CJayC and gamefaqs for hosting this walkthrough.
    
    
    
    
    *********************
    * 8. Copyright Info *
    *********************
    
    Please do not post this walkthrough on your web site without my permission. 
    If you ask kindly, you'll probably get my permission, but don't ask me to 
    sign up for something and don't bother to ask if your site requires other 
    users to sign in to get access to my guide. 
    This is supposed to be a free guide, so don't sell it. I don't mind if you 
    copy and paste this information for personal use, but if you want to use it 
    for any other purpose, you need to contact me first. You are under no 
    circumstances aloud to change any if its content. Thanks !
    
    Encryption seal : 
          [228 -313 416 -518 617 -717 824 -941 1053 -1150 1226 -1289 1342]
    
    This seal contains a secret message that proves I'm the rightful owner of 
    this document.
    
    
    
    
    ***************
    * 9. Feedback *
    ***************
    
    Do you have any feedback on this walkthrough ? Is there something I missed ? 
    You can contact me at ktwo[at]graffiti.net with feedback and questions.