Monday, April 2, 2012

What I learned from playing Skyrim

It's easy to rule the world when everyone else is too lazy.

Your character is the obligatory 'chosen one', wandering around, saving the universe, blah blah blah.  Upon reaching each new location, talking to the NPC (non player characters, for those who don't game) open up all kinds of new quests.  Some are exploration, some to find a mythical item, the usual.

So you tromp out to the far reaches of the known world in search of whatever it was for whoever needs it, and it occurred to me - any one of these characters could go out and do the same thing, find their own damn missing harp/shield/cereal bowl, and gain the powers and riches associated with whatever it is.

So why don't they?

Most of the characters have a pretty believable backstory, so they own a business/have a family/new obligations so they can't go gallivanting all over creation.  But others?  The only good reason I can see that they haven't gone off to find item x their damn selves, is that they're just too lazy.

Kinda reminds me of real life.  'I would/could do x, but I have (insert excuse here).'

Travelling merchants are often idiots.  

Wander around enough, and you'll find tons of destroyed carts and dead people near giants' lairs, in underground tunnels full of monsters - and an obligatory diary saying basically, 'we thought this would be a shortcut'.

Life lesson:  that 'shortcut' might not be such a good idea.

Vacation spots are not always as described in the brochure.

Likewise, you can find families and adventurers dead at the mouths of caves and stuff, with the convenient diary hinting at what you're in for.

One such place was marked on my map as 'Bottomless Pit of Shadows'.  There were (gasp!) monsters inside.

What were they thinking!?

All I can imagine is this couple in Essex:

'Ooh, 'Enry!' (Yes, I'm picturing one of the Pythons in drag.) 'Look what just came in the post! 'Miserable Pit of Unrelenting Doom!'

Noncommittal grunting, from the late middle aged man reading his paper in a horridly upholstered easy chair.

'Doesn't that just sound lovely?  'Aving a special right now!  Two for one 'oliday package, free hour in the torture room/spa!'


'We haven't gone on 'oliday since 'Mount Decrepit of Insuffrable Damnation' with Alice and Roger.  Remember those slide shows?  A pity about the Ice Toothed Hellhound, though...'


The other one was a great piece of storytelling, and pretty heart wrenching.  (Spoilers!)

There's a lighthouse that looks like the wrong side of a Saw movie inside.  When you follow the story, a family moved there, only to be kidnapped and butchered by the monsters in the basement.

Life lessons:  Names mean something, and always get a neutral party to appraise real estate.

There is one other smart adventurer in the whole game.  He has no name, and you meet him once.

I can't remember the name of the place I found him.  He greets you near the entrance to yet another cave and says something to the effect:

'Watch out, dude.  I'm a pretty hardcore adventurer, but it's harsh in there.  I can take spiders like the best of em, but FIRE BREATHING spiders?  Screw that, I'm out.'

life lesson:  Forewarned is forearmed.  Don't ignore good advice.  Or be ready to stick your head in a bucket when a spider sets it on fire.

No comments:

Post a Comment