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Emergent gameplay and Horn the Stinger

Content of the article: "Emergent gameplay and Horn the Stinger"

This is a story from Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor which I just finished

Hork started his career as a pretty unremarkable orc. He was one of those javelin chucking skirmisher types that harass you while you are busy in melee. Well, he got a lucky shot in one time and killed me, and earning a promotion to captain in the process. For those not in the know, the game features a dynamic enemy system where the orcs can gain promotions in Sauron’s army, level up, feud with each other, and more.

To get a visual on Hork, he’s short and scrawny with a bit of a hunch, and pretty pale. He doesn’t fight fair; he chucks his javelins from afar and when you get close he switches to a dagger or shiv.

Feeling vengeful, I hunt him down and kill him. Easy. To my surprise later, he ambushed me and had some gnarly scar across his eye from where I slashed him last time. He gets the better of me and kills me again, getting more powerful in the process. Ok bitch, it’s on. I track him down again and this time I murder him and I think he got munched on by a worg. Well, he ambushed me again later and I set his ass on fire. This goes back and fourth until our last meeting just before the final boss when he has a burlap bag with holes cut out of it over his head to hide his hideously burned face. He’s soooooo tough, and he wrecks me, and honestly, I thought I was done with ol’ Hork the Stinger. Bastard killed me about 4 or 5 times.

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Well, then I decided to play the sequel. Sometime in the first act you have to put on a show for a bunch of orcs in an arena. They send out challengers and to be honest, the first two or three were pathetically easy. But the grand champion? Fuckin’ Hork, burlap bag over the head and everything, tough as ever and immune to basically everything. And he remembered me and gave a speech about how he missed gutting me back in the first game. After a tough fight, I cleave him in half. I imagine he’ll be gone for good now, considering he’s only a torso, but honestly, I hope he comes back. He’s by far the toughest and most persistent enemy I’ve had in a game to date. To me, Sauron and his armies of darkness ain’t got shit on Hork; he’s the true villain for me and I’m going to miss him.

Bravo Hork, I’ll miss you you miserable, crispy bastard.


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