Losing an allied orc captain in Middle-earth: Shadow of War can be difficult, as players build a bond with them. Resurrection is possible for a cost.
By Eric Savage
Published Nov 09, 2020
Middle-earth: Shadow of War has been making news recently because its predecessor Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will have its servers closed on December 31, 2020. This is sad news?because it means that among other things, the Nemesis Forge, which allowed players to transfer their greatest ally and greatest enemy from the first to the second game will no longer function.
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In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor nuisance. Players will encounter so many more orcs in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and the orc captains have more variety and more options than in the previous game. Like before through what is known as the Nemesis System, players can either fight against or befriend orcs. Well, less “befriend” and more “brand them, break their will, and force them to serve the Bright Lord.” Same difference.
One of the strong components of the Nemesis System is that it creates memorable orcs. The abilities of orc captains are procedurally generated, so some end up being unique, especially if the player has a history with them.
Here’s an example: say the player is killed by an orc grunt while traversing the world. Death may not be permanent for the player, but the orc gets promoted to a captain with unique abilities, a name, and a personality (with voice lines). This orc is so happy with his victory, that he picks up a lute and starts singing, becoming known throughout the land as Ogg the Bard. The player can face off against Ogg again, and here they have a choice: do they make Ogg a hated enemy, or do they try to make him into an unwitting ally through possession?
Perhaps the player manages to defeat Ogg by burning him to death. Maybe this is the end for the bard, or maybe he was not actually dead. Instead, he returns with horrible scars and a whole lot more anger.
Or maybe the player decides to make the orc captain an ally. They spend time and in-game currency leveling up the orc, giving it new abilities, bodyguards, a mount, etc.? There is no greater tragedy than when their favored captain falls in battle. It is a time of war, and death is inevitable, but what if there were a way to bring orcs back to life?
As it turns out, there is! Although “bringing them back to life” is not the right phrase because they are not living, but rather undead. As the player progresses through the game, at a certain point in the story they will gain the ability to raise the dead. This works for grunts, but after progressing through the rounds and defeating a Champion in the fight pits of Minas Morgul, players unlock an upgrade called Undying Loyalty. This allows them to raise fallen orc captains, either from in the game or through the Army roster screen.
There is a cost for raising orcs from the dead. Captains brought back to life by the Undying Loyalty ability lose five levels and cannot gain any new levels. They are also vulnerable to fire, and have a slightly different appearance as well, seeing as they are now zombie orcs. Their personality changes as well. Poor Ogg the Bard no longer has such a lovely singing voice after his death, but at least he can still fight.
NEXT: How Shadow of War Breaks Tolkien’s Middle-Earth Lore
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is available now on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
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About The Author
(94 Articles Published)
Eric Savage is a writer, editor, and a strong supporter of the Oxford comma. He is fortunate enough to have traveled extensively during his life, providing him with unique experiences and viewpoints. His hobbies include tabletop gaming (especially when it comes to painting miniatures), PC gaming, sci-fi, and fantasy. He lives in the U.S.
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