By Uhyeok Bang
Both the extended version of the movie the Lord of the Rings and the novel itself describe the atmosphere of the Green Dragon as bright and cheerful. Drinks, songs, dances and carefree discussions emphasize the optimistic nature of hobbits.
When we arrived at the Green Dragon in the LOTRO game many of us may have expected to see the same cheerful scene full of songs and dances. This was not the case, however, as the atmosphere in the game is not as cheerful as in the movie and doesn’t have as much discussion as in the novel. We see an empty bar with a few people sitting in the corners somewhat intimidated by the strangers. What has happened?
The reason for this emptiness, I think, is an emphasis on the first person experience in the game. In the LOTRO game everything revolves around us. We make decisions as what we will do and how the story will progress. If a person has chosen a path of hero, he will go along the same route as the main heroes of the novel did and complete all the quests he might face playing the game. If a person has chosen to create his own way like being a craftsman, he may not go through all the experiences the game provides and probably skip some of them. As a result, depending on personal preferences, players may not even visit the Green Dragon and just pass it.
I think there is also a practical reason for making the Green Dragon the way it appears in the LOTRO game. Many gamers simply will not pay attention to the mood of the bar and notice the difference between the game and the movie of the novel. They are too busy with the quests! If the majority of people will not even care about it, then why should the creators of the game spend extra time and memory on a hard disc to create a scene that will not be appreciated enough?
I still think that the Turbine Company has done an excellent job, even when they did not convey the mood of the Green Dragon as it appeared in the movie and the novel. After all, they make decisions of how the game should be, not us.