Saturday, 11 January 2014

Day 19: A terrible accident

I awake cold, confused and alone.  During the night, visions of flame and lightning flashed through my head, a voice called out offering me support and comfort from no identifiable source.

So the schizophrenia hasn't improved yet.  Very well.

I find myself dressed in rags and with a note in my hand.  As my eyes focus, I notice a man stood over me.  He asks my name.  I ask for assistance with defeating my old foe, the written word.  He reads the letter back to me:

"Hallo old friend!
So yeah, turns out that I thought I'd enabled cloud saving before I deleted Skyrim to make enough room on my hard drive to play some other games.  So I'm sorry, 169 hours of your exploits have been deleted.  Hope that's okay.

Your friend and manipulator,

This means very little to me.  I will return to Proudspire Manor immediately, gather my wits, seek out this "Sparky" and demand an explanation.


So yeah, that's my Skyrim save deleted.  So let's try something else.  Familiar but new.  Let's be racist and a public nuisance in Morrowind!

Oh GOD, what happened to your face?!

Is this what orcs looked like?  'cause it looks more like a goblin got smacked upside the head with the puberty stick and started working out.  I think I actually prefer this.

Humans look a bit weird in Morrowind.  Note the enlarged cranium.  I think they may all be psychic.  Not many people are talking to me in this world, they just throw text boxes at me so I guess they're projecting their dialogue directly into my brain.  Well, I guess that was pretty common before, all kinds of gods forced me to think thoughts that I didn't want to so why should anything have changed?

I took a shot of this guy because he has the most amazing hair.  And I grew up in the age of Pat Sharp's mullet, I can tell you all kinds of things about hairstyles.

This man shall henceforth be know as Rolando Macehead and he is my new best friend.

'kay, so we make a guy.  Right.  This is all... all numbers and words.  I'll be making another Sword and Board Nord Lord because I didn't like Skyrim's magic system much and don't want to partake too much of that poncy elf hand-light fighting this time around.

Wow, to say this was released in 2002 and the textures on the people look a bit dodgy, the actual world of Morrowind is super nice to look at.  It's giving me a little motion sickness and the world has a draw distance of like 30 centimeters but it's very pretty!

'kay, so apparently it's time to talk to the census man before I do anything else.  See, they do this so they can get you on their system and track you.  It's one of the ways that "the man" likes to suppress your individualism.  God damn it, I'm a free man!  I am not a number!  To hell with your questions, friendly and approachable census man, I forge my own path!  I'm gonna make the best class ever and nobody else will be able to take it!

YEAH!  And now I get to describe it.  Alrighty then.

Okay, done.  That looks basically perfect.  I specialise in stabbing things, making things and breaking into things with a minor in running the hell away from things I fail to stab or break into.  But not things I make.  Not unless I can enchant my swords to get up and run around the land on little legs, chopping things for me.

God, I hope that's an option.  It'd be like the Sorcerer's Apprentice but with more bloodshed.  And the Sorcerer wouldn't be able to stop me because even Yensid is pretty powerless when there's a claymore in his spine.

I need a star sign now?  Is... that relevant to basically anything?  We're not in the age of aquarius or whatever yet, I'm sure, so I can't don a peace medallion and use my star sign as a dating mechanism.  And I'm pretty sure that Dragonbjorn doesn't date people, anyway.  He just kinda... stares at them until they agree to do what he wants them to.

Let's just add sexual predator to the list of his crimes, then.  This is great!  I've just barely completed my registration with the empire and already I've discovered something horrible about Dragonbjorn!  And since he's just an extension of my own personality and the moral choices I decide to make during the course of play, I'm wondering if perhaps...

Let's just abandon that train of thought now.  I'm starting to feel a little dirty.

Let's go with the Lady, then. In Morrowind, Hephaestus can be a girl.  I was born under the sign of the maiden of stabbing things.

So things went well.  Discovered I could get skill points by jumping so now I'm going to look like a child who's been drinking from a flagon of e numbers.  I found an elf who was sad that his ring had been stolen.  "It's your own fault for being an elf" wasn't a dialogue choice so I gave him back his stupid ring.  I then found a man in the shop who told me to steal from said elf.  Naturally I did and his ring was in the hiding place.

This is the best game.

However, I'm just going to point something out.  If you're upset about the local militia rolling you for protection money and you want to hide your goods, do not hide them in a hollow stump in the middle of a very conspicuous swamp in the middle of a town with no other interesting features.  I mean, I was looking in that stump even before you'd hidden your lembas and watercress sandwiches there.  I'm surprised it wasn't full of poetry on the emotions of the trees and the beauty of the morning dew as it mingles with the tears you cry because the world doesn't understand what it means to be so unbelievably sensitive.

There was some money in there too.  Whatever.

So I took a taxi to a new place. I don't remember what it was called, but having a taxi is handy.

Except that in Morrowind, people use giant bugs as taxis which are driven by poking their internal organs until they go the way you want them to.

God, that's actually revolting.  And how did someone figure out that you can even do that?  I bet it was a dwarf.  They're into weird impractical things like this.  They're sort of sadistic too so I wouldn't be surprised.

Thought for the day
Having all the conversations be in text makes it much harder to skip the backstory.  That's good, I find all this "Our land was forged in the fires of war by Emperor Tiberius Septim the 17th, noble leader of the house of Septim, rulers of the hold of Blackfistendell" stuff a bit dry.  All the people seem to be saying the same thing a lot, though.

It's like they're robots or I'm in some kind of weird cultist commune.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Day 18: A lovely rest

How're you doing?  Good?  I hope so.  I am.

Apologies for the lack of updates, I've been caught in the jaws of Cookie Clicker.  And Minecraft.  Normal service will resume shortly but for now, have a mini update.

So, where were we.  I've no idea.  It's probably not that relevant in the grand scheme of things because I'm only very loosely aware of the plot at any given time.  I just follow quest markers until I get given swords or people tell me I did a good job.  It's like a behavioural psychology study, really.  You feed the Nord a piece of cheese whenever he does a good job and soon he'll just try to please you in the hopes of getting more cheese, regardless of whether he even wants any more cheese.

And by cheese, I mean swords.  But not always.  I mean, I don't mean that when I go to Burger King or whatever although I would enjoy ordering a Whopper with extra sword.

What game am I playing again?

Oh, right, I'm playing Bethesda's adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Here you can see that I've located the map room which is about to reveal to me the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.  Once we've got that, we're going to melt so many Nazis.


If DragonBjorn ever did get the Ark of the Covenant, I'm not sure what he's do.  Probably either put it in the bard's college behind a door with "Free lutes" written on it or else he'd look into it.  A daedric prince would probably tell him to and he'd do it.

'kay, so I need to pick up a magic razor.  Well, that's fine.  A razor can be a handy thing on the road and it looks kind of sharp. 

And now we're shaving a tree.  I remember that this was plot relevant, that I needed tree bark for whatever mystical dream quest that I was about to embark on but really, it seems like the easiest way would be just to cut the tree down and hope that carrying a log around would have the same effect.  I mean, my sword is super sharp.

I don't care that it'd kill the tree.  This is Skyrim.  All we have is trees, mountains and poverty.  Plus, I don't really like trees that much.  I mean, they're okay, they're better than flowers but I'm pretty sure that they could be replaced with some kind of oxygen factory arrangement and we'd be in much the same position as we are now, just with more room for... well, useful 

New quest: catch some butterflies.  Seriously.  DragonBjorn EATS butterflies, he has a chest full of them, why do I need more?  Why are these butterflies even special?  They're butterflies!  What could one butterfly do that another possibly couldn't?!  Are these those butterflies that flap their wings and cause tsunamis on the other side of the world?

God, I hope that's the case.  'cause if they are, I'm going to come back, collect 50 of them and become a supervillain.  People will have to pay me in beer, gold and comely maidens or I'll destroy their countries with lightning and fireballs.

Magical bark makes you glow and I will not hear any arguments to the contrary.  This makes perfect sense.


Oh, look, it's another one of those things that I can't read or I'll go blind, my eyes will fall out and I'll go mad.  Unless I'm part of the super secret priests club.

You know, it occurs that the moth priest may have only told us he was blind.  I think he's just trying to keep himself in a job and the whole blindness thing is just to reinforce his story.  I mean, this isn't so bad.  Glowy lines, weird symbols, it's kind of like if a spider psychologist created a Rorschach test.

Spider psychology is a very underappreciated medical field.  Those guy have issues too, y'know.

Yyyep, there's a whole lot of being blinded going on here.  I sure can feel myself going mad.

I'm going to kill every moth priest.  This is a scam and I need to make this right.  I'm doubting that the moth priests are priests at all.  I don't think they practice any kind of recognised religion at all.  They're like ye olde Scientologists, they have knowledge that you don't, they won't share because to have that knowledge would be "harmful" and they need a big pile of gold for the privilege.

Well, now my eyes are full of butterflies.  Which I can see.  Because nobody has ever been blinded by an Elder Scroll (TM).

Someone told me that nobody has been in this place for hundreds upon thousands of years or whatever.  Looks like elven technology hasn't advanced in the slightest since that time 'cause they left a lot of their crap in here.  They probably don't want to improve themselves.  After all, why do your own work when you can just have another race do it all while you sit back eating crumpets and drinking elderflower tea, discussing the finer points of philosophy and how all the other races are just so, so dirty and completely beneath you and your friends in your utopian society of art and culture and enlightenment.


Oh.  That vampire lady that's following me turned out to be the predator or something.

Knight-Paladin Gelebor.  What, could you not add "the fair and virtous" to the end of that, buddy?  I mean, you're a snow elf which is already a pretty la-de-da name for a race but I just don't think you're being ostentatious enough.

I know you're trying to help me but I hate you.  I hate you, I hate your poocrafting people, I hate everything you represent, everything you do and everyone you have loved or ever will love.  The rivers of Tamriel will run red with my rage, a rage that will not be silenced until I stand atop a pile of the bodies of every elf in this land.  This is my cause.  It is just, it is pure and it is most certainly justified.

Look at him.  Preening while the rest of his race are rolling around, blinded and gibbering in their own filth.  You see how much better he thinks he is than you?  He's never met you.  He's never met me.  He just knows he's better somehow.

Darkfall passage.  Yep, that sounds like it was meant to sound ominous.  Well, I never did forge Darkstab Soulsuck the ebony mancleaver, so I guess I could still name my house something grand and high-fantasy-relevant.

The Grimfrost Estate it is!

Yeah, nothing says "This is a dark place" like luminescent rocks.

Or giant glowing jellyfish mushrooms, those are good too.

I hate this part of the game so much.

Thought for the day:
I'm not a racist.  I'm not.  Really, I'm not.  I just hate the elves because they're demonstrably all bad people, even though I haven't met them all and Legolas seemed kind of okay.  Whatever.  Maybe he can live.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Day 17: Tierra de los muertos

I suppose after all that, I've resolved all the troubles of every person in this world.  Except for those people for whom I'm the direct cause of their troubles but we don't worry about those people so much.

We don't worry about them because they're all dead.

I've had a thing in my quest log now saying that I should join the Dawnguard so I figured I should check it out and justify my purchase of the DLC.  It'd be a shame not to.  Besides, since I installed this thing every town has been plagued with vampires, which is kind of like when you buy the pet expansion for the sims and suddenly a raccoon comes and knocks over your bins in the night.  Vampires are basically vermin.  Dragonbjorn has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to things like this, especially when there's a chance of some socially acceptable genocide.

So onward, to Fort Buffy!

Jesus, this place is nice!

I mean just look at it!  I want to side with these guys, they've got some cash!  I've bought the most expensive house in the world and this just makes it look like crap!

Now I had one big concern when I installed the DLC packs but these were quickly swept from my mind.  Rest assured, dear reader, that the Skyrim DLC has a WHOOOOLE lot more talking in it.  I think this is probably fine because while people talk about politics and the state of the country now that the vampires are here, I can leave Dragonbjorn staring into space while I have a few sweets or a beer.

The Dawnguard seems to consist initially of one very, very angry man.  He hates everybody but unlike Dragonbjorn, he's not enough of a go-getter to act on his emotions.  He just sits in his castle and shouts at people and I didn't care for him very much so I ignored his passive aggressive comments and looked around his castle for a while.  The grates in the above picture are interesting.  They lead to little pools of water which is very nice and relaxing until you realise that there isn't anywhere for the water to go.  It's just sat there.  Unless he's changing it every day, I daresay it reeks in there.  He doesn't look like the kind of man who does his own cleaning, either.  He looks like the kind of man who thinks that housework is beneath him but doesn't want to hire a cleaning staff because he has too much of a sense of entitlement to want to actually pay for something like that and so just sits in a growing pile of his own filth and blames everyone else until the council has to evict him and hire a team of guys to clean the place until it's inhabitable again and I BET HE'S AN ELF.

Well... at least the assassin horse isn't the most horrible thing in the world any more.  And I'm expected to kill these.

So I had to go to some place and investigate a ruin or something.  The details escape me but then, that's all we do here.  Investigate a ruin, kill everyone, take all the things, go home and add all the money to a big pile.  I mean, I'm dragonborn(TM) so I may as well act like a dragon.  So fine, I do the usual, kill the guys, pull all the levers and investigate the mysterious button.  Textbook stuff.

Oh shit.  Why is everything engulfed in purple balefire now?!  I am not taking responsibility for this!  It was so totally like this before I even got here.  Still, while I'm here, might as well push around the decorations because I sure as hell ain't going to leave until my quest objective is complete.

Now I'm not an expert but I'm cleeearly achieving something here.  There are things I can push and they get set on fire when I push them right.  I don't know why Nordic puzzles were design for ages 3 and up.

Welp, there was a lady in there.  And she's not dead so she doesn't need to breathe, eat or drink.  And she's been underground for years without getting rickets.

Yeah... this seems like somebody I should kill.

And she's carrying an elder scroll.  She is carrying literally the most important thing IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.  I don't understand why I didn't try to stab her.

She took me home to meet her dad.  Her dad turned into Khorne and then asked if I wanted to become some kind of monstrous demigod.  I politely declined because while I like killing people, drinking them is weird.  Eating them that one time was okay because it was a quest.  If I ever install Hearthfire and someone offers to give me 100 gold to eat my own child, I'll do it because it's a quest and you have to do quests.

So let's think this through:

  • She's a vampire
  • I kill vampires because it's funny
  • The entire point of this DLC is "annihilate or join the vampires"
  • Her dad is a demon of some sort and turns other people into demons
  • She's carrying an elder scroll

I'm that guy now!  That guy in the sci-fi movie who sees the xenomorph coming and tries to talk to it to further inter-species relations!  You know what happens to him?  BAM, alien foetus embedded in his brain!  It'll be like Darkseed but without the cool biomechanical body horror.

Man, I like the art style of Darkseed.  You should go look it up on youtube.  Seriously, just go and do it.  It's okay, I'm not going anywhere.

You done?  Good, isn't it?

Where were we?  Quests.  Yes.

The only time you don't do quests is if you have a branching path in a quest that opens up more quests but cuts off other quests.  Like the stormcloaks.  I can never become high grand wizard of the stormcloak rebellion because I decided to join the empire.

I brought some magic wolf stick to the companions and the nice lady started praying to it.  I can respect people's beliefs to a degree, sure, but...

Look dear, it's a stick.  It's a really old stick.  Maybe we should put it away now.

Kneel before DragonZod!

Then I realised that while she was praying, she wasn't touching the ground.  Either this is hilarious or she's like Dhalsim but I think that's not the case because she doesn't have like a 30ft reach with her arms and she can't use that yoga fire thing.

Seriously, yoga fire.  I've never associated yoga with fire.  It's such a quiet, calm thing.  Should have had Dhalsim use Zumba Fire or something because at least that'd kind of work.

Except that he's from India.  And comparing zumba to yoga is probably really disrespectful to people who use yoga for meditation.  I feel a little bad, now.

I'll just thing about how much I hate zumba.  That'll set things right.

Wow, Whiterun is super low-res from the outside.  I bet that's what happens when you load.  Everyone runs around scattering textures everywhere and puts back all those potion bottles and stuff that I left in there.

I thought I should fix my werewolf problem because I think lycanthropy is probably classed as an STD and I'd like to have sex with my imaginary wife at some point without her turning into a horrible slavering beast partway through.  I mean, I'm just not into that kind of thing.  So messy.  I summoned my wolf spirit for a fight.

It promptly ran away from me, rose into the air unexpectedly and suddenly remembered it was meant to be killing me before running up for a fight.

Yep.  Yep, that's Dragonbjorn's spirit alright.

What's this?  A subterranean forest, massive, ornate, golden art, horrendously complex locking mechanisms?  Gee, this must be dwarven!  And I got reminded partway through this quest that the dwemer are actually a race of elf!

That's why they're all idiots!

Sure glad I worked that one out, now my racism is totally justified.  It's always okay to be racist against elves.  And any peoples who we are on friendly terms with.  Like I think it's okay to insult people from Scotland and America because everyone seems to accept that it's okay for them to insult us too, so long as you're not malicious about it.

Hey, this thing's the Forgemaster?  I think I gave your fingers to an orc a little while back, dude.  They were gloves or something.  He seemed super happy that I found them.

I don't care if magic is dangerous, unstable, unpredictable or impractical.  It looks friggin' sweet.  I mean, what's more awesome, two guys on motorcycles having a chain fight or two wizards having a duel from atop the backs of gold and silver dragons over a ravine with two full moons in the background and maybe a wolf.  The wolf's wearing a chainmail bikini.

Fantasy art is pretty boss, too.  Especially ironic, overblown fantasy art.

The ranger man that I brought back to be part of the scooby gang took a nap.  I realised that he wasn't supporting his head on anything.  Either he's prayed to the wolf bone too or else he's going to have the mater and pater of stiff necks in the morning.

I accidentally bought a combat troll.  I couldn't work out what to do with it so I told it to piss off and it was quite okay with that.  It was actually sort of satisfying.

Oh, okay, so this is what's inside an elder scroll.  Yyyep.  Yep, that's a whole lot of nothing, huh?  Certainly don't see any words or coherent imagery in there.  All you people who read these things are just con artists, aren't you?  This thing looks like someone tried to write down the molecular structure of unobtainium or whatever.

You know what else I hate?  Avatar.  Hate it.  I was rooting for the humans halfway through.  "Hey, we'd like to give you school and education and civilisation and exposure to new cultures and stuff".  "NO, ALL WE NEED IS THE INTERNET TREE"

Bloody xenophobic cat arse...


The moth priest reads the vampire lady's elder scroll as the vampire lady carries her...

You didn't even give him the real scroll, did you?  I bet you wrote the one he's reading.  Wrote it so you could have a little laugh to yourself about how stupid we all are while you sleep upside down in your coffin tonight.  Gosh, I bet you'll be beside yourself.  I'm glad for you.  Really.  'cause I'm just going to go home and mingle with society and sleep with my wife while you have to stay here along 'cause you're a social pariah on account of how you eat people and you can't even mingle with your own race because you betrayed them to help the Dawnguard.

How's that feel?

It's okay though.  You can always go and mingle with the elves because they don't have any friends either.  You can spend your days making houses out of poo and having horrible demon elf babies.  Maybe when they're older I'll kill them and take their things.

Oh, sorry, I can't hear what's undoubtedly a scathing comeback because of how on fire you are.

She's a creepy lady, too.  She likes to bring everything I kill back to life.  I think she thinks she's helping but in reality, I just get confused as to where this one bandit came from and why he's literally begging me for death.  That's kind of nasty.  And what the hell are you hoping to achieve by resurrecting a crab?

Are you grinding your summoning magic or something?  'cause if you are, I'll stop giving you grief about this, I'm down with grinding.

Turns out that crossbow schematics are pretty much the same as elder scrolls.  This is further proof that elder scrolls are rubbish.  I've changed my mind, I don't care that she's carrying an elder scroll now.

Unless this is what a schematic looks like to Dragonbjorn because he's illiterate.  That would... Jesus, that'd actually be really clever.

It's hard to be afraid of a vampire's castle when you've apparently chosen the most gorgeous day in living memory to visit Skyrim.  It's like if you ran into Freddy Krueger in the produce aisle at Morrison's.  He's not going to do anything, he's just stocking up on lemons.  That's not scary at all.

'kay, so your mum built a Stargate in the floor.  Right.  Look, just because it looks magical doesn't mean that your mum didn't just build a silly circle into the floor and chant at it while burning incense in the hopes that she'd be taken to Hogwarts.

Oh, right.  Yeah, alright, she knew what she was doing.

Riiight.  So you want me to hand over my soul to you and step into the burning purple portal to hell in the floor.

Look lady, last time I tried this?  Not a good result.  I literally died (I assume) and went to heaven.  And this looks like a far less friendly portal.  So you actually want me to go in there so we can talk to your crackpot mother in the land of the dead.

She's in the land of the dead, love.  That means she's dead.  I do not want to go to the land of the dead because I've single-handedly made an awful lot of people dead.  They are unlikely to be friendly when I see them again.

Oh yeah, make it a quest.  Force me to go in.  Sure, because that's fair.

I will wear your bowels as a hat before this day is through my dear, don't you worry.


Grey fog everywhere!

Ghosts complaining that they're lonely everywhere!

Skeletons everywhere!

Soul plants everywhere!

You're laying it on a bit thick here guys, JUST SAYIN'.

This place actually wasn't so bad.  Interesting architecture.  In general though, it's boring as hell.

Black hole sun, won't you come and wash away the rain?

See?  Interesting architecture.  Not... fascinating, but interesting, sure.

Won't you cooome?

And it's full of giant laser crystals.  Crystals are cool.  Lasers are cool.  Laser crystals are inherently quite amazing.

He's made of smoke.  What's keeping the armour up?

Spoilers?  Magic.

Oh good, either the thing that killed Tasha Yarr came back or else we're about to indulge in a quick game of Super Dragonbjorn Sunshine.

I am a viking, wearing the bones of a dead dragon riding atop a rearing, skeletal horse with a mane of blue fire through the bleak landscape of limbo, using my dragonbone sword to slay jet black skeletons.

You will never be this metal.

For a lady who's thousands of years old, you're looking pretty well, Mrs. Vampire Lady's Mum.

By the way, your daughter?  Yeah, she's going to be dead soon.  You'd best be careful because I don't like the cut of your jib, either.

Another dragon skeleton.  I've since realised that dragonrend doesn't hurt bone dragons.  I guess it affects their muscles.  Skeletons don't have muscles, you see.

Oh, a set of doors hundreds of feet high in a land where the tallest person is only 6 feet or so?  I think the afterlife was built by the dwarves.



Aaand now the zombie dragon is in the real world.  This was either a really bad idea or the best idea and I'm genuinely not sure which.

Oh, come on.  You're not even blind, you're just buying time until you can make up some crap to read from one of your imaginary scrolls.

Look, I'll do it for you.  You can keep this:

"The scroll foretells of the coming of a giant of fire from the very bowels of Nirn.  You must travel to Ashenspire Peak and await a sign from Pyrolax, the fire goddess who will tell you how to avert the coming of the great immolator".

See?  Easy.

I don't like dogs, but huskies are the best things.  That's not my sneak indicator you can see.  That's Dragonbjorn's eyes widening in the face of the most adorable thing in Tam'riel.

A bandit chief, still running into battle even though she's been fully impaled by three icicle spears.  That's actually pretty badass.  Almost enough to allow her to live once she started begging for mercy.


Yeah, zombie dragons have that tiny second face but it's not as cute as regular dragon faces.  It's more... drippy and putrid.

Thought for the day: