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Lord of the rings movies influence gaming industry

In the gaming world of today, it’s hard to imagine an industry without role-playing (RPG), high fantasy games. In fact, the genre is a significant chunk of the niche market in the US and in Japan. But, did you know that were it not for the literary achievements of one person, we may never have seen games the likes of King’s Quest or even Final Fantasy? We all know about these popular video game franchise but this may not have been the case if it weren't for JRR Tolkien.

Although this may seem strange, consider this - gaming’s modern landscape would be nonsensical were it not for the influence of the auspicious author. Don't agree? Keep reading to see if we can change your mind:

RPG Development

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the Tolkien concept, one must learn the fundamentals (Pokies Pedia is a great place to start). In this instance, the working definition of RPG. As previously mentioned, it literally stands for role playing game. It refers to the type of game where the player takes over the role of a character and goes on a quest either alone or with a group.

In this genre, fantasy RPGS are the most popular. They have a huge and devoted fan base (just like Aristocrat pokies), many of which programmed some of the earliest video games. Due to their ability to see the potential in this new medium, many of these early programmers started to incorporate elements from board games ie tabletop RPGs.

The Connection to Tolkien

There are plenty of RPGs that are inspired by Tolkien's books, especially the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. But, his influence on the fantasy RPG isn’t direct.

The first game to be considered a fantasy RPG was Adventure, which debuted on the Atari 2600. Although in today's terms this game is crude, its programming and gameplay expanded the boundaries of what was expected of the video game industry in the late 70s.

It features castles, dragons, and a quest to save a kingdom. That is, it has all the basics that we would find in later RPGs of this kind. But, as innovative as it was, the template was the brainchild of several factors, it didn’t spring up from the imagination of programmer Warren Robinett. As with other creative breakthroughs, it was heavily influenced by insights gained from early text-based adventure games.

We said that to say this - Tolkien’s influence on RPGs is more evident the further you look back. For instance, the very first Final Fantasy (which was released back in the 1980s) offers a lot of obvious parallels to the literary master’s work - especially in terms of the story. For instance, this game had dwarves, humans, dragons, and orcs, just like Tolkien’s literary offerings. The difference is that the Final Fantasy games also added robots, mermaids, and other similar creatures.

Furthermore, Frodo and the Fellowship's quest to destroy the One Ring is quite similar to Final Fantasy’s main storyline. It focuses on The Four Light Warriors who are on a journey to destroy the abominations of Chaos and the Four Fiends.

Since that time, Tolkien’s influence has waned, especially since Final Fantasy own mythology has become more solidified. But, there's’ no denying that its earliest adaptations were inspired by the Lord of Rings.

The Bottom Line

Although many of the fantasy RPG games aren’t a carbon copy of JRR Tolkien's work, they still follow the basic outline. That is, a band of heroes traveling on a quest to destroy an ancient evil. Like it or not, it’s a concept that will likely always be a part of fantasy media.

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