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Shadow of Mordor Mission/Unlock Trees


There is a lot of conflicting information about the mission tree in the game Shadow of Mordor online, and during a replay of the game I got interested in figuring out what the tree actually looked like. This small little project is the result! I've also done a tree for the Lord of the Hunt DLC, and may do The Bright Lord at some point, too.

I'm fond of using Graphviz for this kind of visualization, because it allows for simple and easy editing, and large changes can be made to a graph without having to worry about how to get everything arranged. The graphs generated can be subpar sometimes, but in general it does a great job. The downside to using Graphviz, of course, is that I don't have a lot of control as to how the graph is drawn, and minor changes in node definition ordering or node linkage can result in pretty big changes to the resulting image. Still, IMO the benefits are worth the drawbacks.

There's two versions of each file - one which has unlocks as separate nodes, and one which just includes what the missions unlock in with the mission node itself. I think the former is a little more obvious if you're just looking for the quickest path to a specific unlock, but the latter generates some nicer-looking graphs.

I'm putting this in the public domain, or more specifically the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal license.

In case anyone felt like doublechecking any of my work on this, I'm including a zipfile named with a few savegames in it. These were saved on the Linux version, from the GOTY edition which includes the various DLC. I'm actually not sure if the savegames are compatible between Windows/Mac/Linux, though I'd assume they are, or if the savegames would work if you load it on a game which doesn't have all the same DLC. For each file, it's the second save slot which contains the in-progress save; the first is still the savegame from my very first playthrough, where everything's done. Here's what you'll find in there:

  • GameData-01-levelled_before_any_missions.sav: No missions have been started, and I've gone through and completed all optional objectives that can be done from the start of the game, and levelled the character up to a pretty reasonable state. The first two tiers of powers are unlocked and all available powers within those tiers have been unlocked as well. I've got the DLC sword rune which provides access to Storm of Urfael, have purchased Flame of Azkar, and have unlocked a few tiers of health/arrows/focus/runeslots.
  • GameData-02-after_first_three_missions.sav: After the first three missions have been completed.
  • GameData-03-after_climbing_and_killed_warchiefs.sav: Completed Climbing the Ranks, and killed four non-storyline Warchiefs (but have not done the mission The Warchief)
  • GameData-04-after_monument_no_gollum_still.sav: Finished The Monument but have not done the Gollum quest Shattered Memories.
  • GameData-05-black_captain_available.sav: Finished the Gollum quests, and The Black Captain is available.

I didn't continue beyond that since the mission tree in the second half is a lot simpler.


The *.dot files are the master source for this. They're just text files - edit them at will. The syntax should be pretty easy to follow even if you're not familiar with it.

The shell script can be used to generate PNGs and SVGs, if you're on a system which has bash. Otherwise just use Graphviz's "dot" utility to generate them however you like. The script will also attempt to compress the PNG images a bit using OptiPNG.


It turns out that especially in the first half, the tree is rather complicated. Many missions require multiple prerequisites, which explains why many of the online resources about these missions don't agree with each other.

Specifically, the first three missions (The Slaver, The Spirit of Mordor, and An Interested Party) have to all be completed before more will unlock, and then there's other dependencies I haven't seen noted anywhere else online after that, too. Depending on the order that folks had done missions, it may have seemed like there was a more linear path, but in reality it's a pretty wide "web" of missions. The second half (in Nurn) is a bit more linear apart from the penultimate mission.

Other observations:

  1. I get the impression that originally they'd wanted to maybe force The Slaver as the first mission and only then unlock The Spirit of Mordor. The Slaver has a bit more in-game dialogue about using the wraith world to identify captains, etc, and then Spirit expands it a bit to be more explicit about exploiting weaknesses.

  2. Ghuls don't appear in-game until you've finished Shattered Memories, but the mission The Dark Monument involves Ghuls, and you can get there without ever finishing Shattered Memories. I bet that was intended to be a prerequisite and just never caught. Amusingly, Hunting Challenge 5 (kill eight Ghuls) remains "locked" (by saying "Complete More Main Missions to find out"), but can be completed anyway during Dark Monument, since you're killing Ghuls.

  3. A couple of the early missions unlock some enemy types, though it didn't seem worth it to mention it in the graph, given that the opening section is already rather messy-looking:

    • Spirit of Mordor unlocks Defenders
    • An Interested Party unlocks Hunters


Graphviz mission trees for Shadow of Mordor







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