Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to Daggerfall

If you asked most people what is the best Elder Scrolls game, they would probably say Morrowind. Well they are right, it is pretty much the best one. But the title of most ambitious Elder Scrolls game belongs to Daggerfall. This game came out on PC in 1996, and it blew my fucking mind.

Why, you ask? Well for starters, the game world is twice the size of Great Britain, measuring 487,000 square km. It features 15,000 towns and 750,000 NPC characters. How does that float your boat? For comparison, Morrowind's world was 26 square km and Oblivion's was 41. Woah.

It also had an awesome system where you could create your own spells and enchantments with different effects. You could buy your own house, a horse, a wagon, a freaking boat. You could join guilds, temples, summon monsters and even transform into a wereboar. It even had pixellated tits. Truly a masterwork of the 90's.

It was pretty easy to break the game in some ways though. Like loitering in a shop until it closed, then robbing the place because the shopkeeper left with you still inside. There were also banks that you could borrow money from. I'd just borrow the maximum amount of money in one town, then never return there again. Suckers! Most of the time though I'd just be a dick to the townspeople until the guards showed up to kill me, then I'd get on my enchanted flying horse and laugh as I flew into the sunset. I had way more fun being a jerk in this than any GTA game.

Was there a story in Daggerfall? Probably. I have no idea. Who wants to read reams of text when you can fight skeletons and light people on fire. Which reminds me, the manual that came with this game was like a fucking phone book. It was chock full of maps and stat charts for different stuff. I'd like to go back and try to play this game the right way some day, but something tells me it would end up like it always does. With a large naked man running around bludgeoning people with an enchanted flail.

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