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Evaluating Skyrim: An extremely shallow experience

Evaluating Skyrim: An extremely shallow experience
in the beginning the earth was dark humanity may have existed but was it truly alive and then the lord spread his arms and lo and behold humanity sparked to life in the year 2011 when

skyrim

kissed millions directly on the mouth maybe a little tongue was involved it's hard to recall exactly eight years of

skyrim

's reign has overseen humankind in a very fortuitous and bountiful direction and god saw to it that every one of his subjects had a copy on every available platform alright so
evaluating skyrim an extremely shallow experience
it's probably a little weird to fit this game into the was it as good as i remember category but i do actually kind of want to take a look at it that way i know the sixth installation is still a ways off but i'm pretty sure we're done receiving content updates for

skyrim

beyond modding the ever living hell out of the game in this video i'd like to take a look at the main quest line and all of the faction quest lines in

skyrim

and give my opinion on what was done really well and
what could have been done better i might come back and run through the dlcs and notable side quests of the game but i'm gonna leave most of that out for now i'll also mention that while i'm not gonna be modding the game i will be playing the special edition alright let's get into this thing god it's so nice to launch a bethesda game on steam and have it function without tweaking it why are we stopping oh boy so we start this whole thing off as a prisoner on a cart which is a
sequence that i've

experience

d because of this game far too many times in my life at this point you're told that you were caught trying to cross the border by the imperials who had locked it down in an attempt to capture the leader of a rebellious army that had cropped up to repel the imperial legion's forces in

skyrim

the deb stick a horse thief in the cart with you to help you come up with your own backstory for the character that you're playing as his existence in the cart
makes it seem like the legion were just rounding up whoever they caught breaking the law in any capacity it's not the most compelling logic but i guess it gets the job done were you trying to aid the stormcloaks and their rebellion or were you just in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of evidence actually points to the latter especially when you pick a nord you picked a bad time to come home to

skyrim

kinsmen despite your name not being on the list you're still set up to be
executed just for being with the company that you find yourself in i always found this sequence a bit odd because the imperials have finally captured this huge threat to the land and instead of serving him up first they choose to execute you after the first nameless soldier volunteers i suppose they couldn't expect anyone or anything to save ulfric stormcloak but why even take that risk it could have just as easily been an enemy raid instead of a dragon attack but yeah the big boy dragon
comes in to break up the execution and save you from your demise you take off through town and wind up facing the choice of running to safety with the imperial nord from earlier or the stormcloak nord i'm kind of at an impasse when it comes to choosing a side here because i've always been a nord first in every single elder scrolls game and was naturally drawn to the stormcloaks the first time because of this but it occurs to me now that after playing through the last two games
semi-recently and having never sided with the imperials in

skyrim

then i would actually like to side with the legion for this run so you run through the game's tutorial which brings you to blows with some roaming stormcloaks has you learn how to lockpick and sneak and you get a meet and greet with actual darth sidious when i finally reach the outside i'm pretty much free to go wherever i please i'm not as enamored by the environment as i was with other bethesda entries but the
starting area is pretty in its own way my first stop is picking out a guardian stone all right that's gonna take some getting used to interestingly enough hadvar mentions that his uncle could help me out and then notes that you two should split up after the big escape i'm unsure why he says we should split and then more or less leads me to the guardian stones and then to riverwood to meet his uncle maybe he just meant we should split up later i don't know anyways you meet his uncle
and he asks you to take the news to the yarl of whiterun apparently the yarl has stayed out of the conflict between the imperials and the rebels so far but it's clear that he's going to have to choose a side which is likely where you're going to come in i ran into my first set of speech options outside of whiterun when i had to convince a guard to let me into the city speech in this game is trash and that sucks for someone like me who loves to make super charismatic characters in
rpgs and try to talk my way out of stuff and the worst part about it is that i don't actually need a super complex system to make me happy with the way that speech works in a game i mean i enjoyed fallout 3s and that was a chance system that you could just save scum until you got it correct sure it's a bad system but i guess the idea of having a percentage chance to succeed a speech check was always fun for me

skyrim

's speech system gives you this huge skill tree to work with and
then just kind of rewards you with better prices at shops more or less there are five different levels of difficulty that require a base amount of speech points to succeed at and then that's the end of it you don't speak more eloquently you don't get tons of more dialogue options and the biggest you is the mere fact that the only very hard speech option in the unmodded vanilla game is being able to talk your way out of the college of winterhold entry test which isn't even that
difficult to begin with so raising speech to a certain degree or just having the right items or buffs is all you really need to get what you want in the game don't get me wrong i personally didn't enjoy the speech mini-game in oblivion after the 300th time but this was five and a half years before

skyrim

released i mean since then we've seen a pretty drastic improvement to the speech system in the likes of the fallout games especially in new vegas i realize that it's a different
set of teams but it really isn't that hard to look at a game and see things like specialized science or computer speech options and go oh yeah that's a good idea we should implement that i just really feel like

skyrim

is where we started to go backwards with the speech systems in bethesda games and fallout 4's abysmal dialogue choices really only exacerbated that sentiment for me at any rate on my way up to whiterun i ran into a few members of the companions this is going to be the
first big thing that we cover in this video as it's pretty quick to jump straight into their quest line i think the weird path that i took had the encounter outside of whiterun spawn a little quicker than usual because i didn't even get a chance to jump in and take a few whacks at the giant that the group was fighting here before they failed it without me i then got berated for being in the vicinity while they killed the thing and then was told to talk to the leader of their group in
whiterun if i wanted to join the companions are a group of very honorable warriors who relish a fierce battle more than anything and tend to take care of various threats and pests for coin they're basically the fighters guild of

skyrim

after witnessing a fistfight that went on for entirely too long no more i yield i yield i met with kodlak now i refer to them as the leader but you're told multiple times that the companions have no leaders i'd argue that anyone who's deferred to
as the person who allows a newcomer to join the ranks would be considered the leader even if that's not kodlak's official title so you get tested and then sent on an errand to meet the blacksmith and then shown to your room it all feels pretty natural and organic which is nice so i'm sent on my first quest to clear out bandits and it gives me the opportunity to level a few times

skyrim

's leveling system differs from its predecessor in a multitude of ways first off there are no
major or minor skills instead all skills are on an even playing field but you can only access the skill tree nodes if you've advanced enough of a skill to unlock them these nodes unlock perks which affect a variety of aspects in major and minor ways i actually enjoyed the basic idea of this system as i've always liked skill tree based systems i will say that not increasing individual attributes is a huge hit to any sort of major complexity in this system you instead get to increase your
stamina health or magicka with each level it's kind of a letdown because your build is only going to get so intricate in addition to this the skill trees are a bit simple it's not a major complaint but it would have been nice to see a bit more complexity with a few different trees for example the difference between the amount of things you can tweak with the various magic trees and the low amount of things that you can learn from melee trees are pretty drastic melee trees tend to give
you damage different weapon type specializations and then the same stuff that you got from leveling the skills in previous games like knockdowns or paralyzing strikes meanwhile something like the restoration tree allows you to absorb part of the magic that's been casted on you or damage undead with your restoration spells or save yourself from death once a day which are all pretty cool and different properties of that type of skill again i'm not super upset about the system i do enjoy it
to a degree it just would have been nice to maybe have some in-depth customization for one or two-handed weapons like parrying while dual wielding or unlocking weapon specific maneuvers or maybe even crazy like i don't know throwing your weapon for lots of damage of course all of this is answered with mods so that kind of blows but you know what can you do there are definitely other trees that i would tweak or improve but it's not something i want to spend a ton of time on in the video
another part of the level up system is the fact that it's a max heal in the middle of combat i guess you could just chug a bunch of potions and it's the same effect but i mean storing that level for a tough fight when i'm at low health to basically max heal my stamina and my health has saved me a few times i mean at least in like oblivion or morrowind you could only take so many potions at a time it was kind of balanced that way but in this it's just like it's just non-stop
heals it's crazy i don't it's it's the only way that you die in this game is through negligence the final part of the leveling system that i want to mention is the addition of legendary skills i actually thought that legendary skills were introduced as part of a dlc or with the introduction of the special edition but the mechanic actually came out in 2013 one and a half years later after the game's release but regardless the legendary skill system is basically a way to
radiant quest the game's skills on the surface the system looks a lot like prestige ranks and call of duty but it actually does serve a bit more of a purpose so basically when you make a skill legendary it reverts back to 15 and you get all of those skill points refunded this essentially allows you to re-earn those perks while still retaining the points that you hadn't them previously i'm not a huge fan of this system while it does give players the incentive to continue to play after
the game's previous level cap it's usually a really bad idea to make a combat skill legendary unless you want to really challenge yourself so for someone like me i'd make a skill like alchemy or pickpocket legendary so that i can throw those points into something that i care about but this would also require me grinding those skills all the way up to 100 in the first place which is absurd because i don't like using them the system is very crude and it almost seems like an
afterthought with its implementation i understand that it is a good system for people who just want to play their characters a certain way and not have to worry about stuff like grinding out the other armor skill tree that they don't want to use but it really doesn't seem like it would be hard to come up with some killer new perks that unlock when you grind a skill to legendary for the first time and then still make it so that you can reset a perk back to legendary a second time for
funsies if you really wanted to also on a completely unrelated note i don't know what kind of sadist you have to be to mine ore in this game but god damn it's slow and it gives me flashbacks of playing wow after clearing out the bandits and reporting back it's already time for your full initiation into the companions which seems very sudden you have to understand that i'm coming off of two prequels to the game that made you slay 25 rats 10 wolves 76 bandits and made you make sure
that every single member of the guild was spiritually and sexually satisfied before they gave you your costco membership so clearing out six bandits was kind of unexpected of course you can do a bunch more stuff if you feel the desire to before barking on your promotional journey which i guess is a nice balance for those who like the grind you're to retrieve a shard of a weapon that was wielded by the founder of the companions midway through the tomb cave crypt you get yourself trapped in a
cage and farcus gets surrounded by members of the silver hand i'm not really sure what they're about because farkas transforms into a goddamn werewolf and one shots all of them when you ask him hey what was that about he's like what oh that yeah yeah that's nothing that's nothing let's go kill some more dead things yeah all right man if you ever want to level really fast at the beginning of the game sneak into a crypt and attack one of these obviously alive undead while
they're still lying down it's like a sneak level every time and there's way too many of them to be considered fun after your indiana jones adventure you hike back to kodlak and crew and they induct you as a full-fledged member of the boys after this you basically goof off and do more tasks for whoever but if you're just trying to get to the good stuff all you really have to do is one more prerequisite mission for skewer and wish you blast a wizard off a tower and retrieve an
ordinary axe after doing this skewer wants you to meet him at night in the under forge it's here where the plot starts to pick up a bit and he tells you that kodlek wants to figure out how to reverse the whole werewolf thing ayla and skewer view this as absurd considering how much power and ferocity the form grants its user its very nature echoes what they feel the companions are all about well i want to become a werewolf which involves probably the most

skyrim

-esque sequence of events i
think i could possibly come up with seriously if you ever want to describe

skyrim

to someone who's never witnessed it before just show them this sequence of events after this i get a taste of what being a werewolf is like and how criminally underpowered i am compared to white run guards werewolf form is fun to mess around with but i couldn't help but notice how dated it looks in 2019 i mean don't get me wrong i really like sprinting around the landscape and pouncing on but the
animations in actual combat are very well they're very

skyrim

but as easy as it is to harp on an older game for dated interactions i have to say that tossing around people like ragdolls is

extremely

satisfying it's just not as easy to keep the momentum going around the tight indoor corners like you can in the more open and outside areas the combat

experience

is very different than say stepping back and taking shots as a ranged fighter or shrugging off blows in your heavy armor and
striking back with your big ass maul it's most akin to a light armor-wearing dual-wielding berserker type which just happens to be what i'm playing through this run as this makes the combat stilted towards a very kill or be killed attitude which has you tossing stronger enemies aside and feeding off the weaker ones for regen before they can get back up the worst part about the whole

experience

beyond being unarmored is the fact that you can't loot or pick locks or do any of the other
exploring type stuff that i love doing in the first half of these games and that makes sense because you're a werewolf but it does make me want to resist becoming one until i get to a big open room full of enemies rather than just wrecking the place from the beginning all that being said i honestly found myself almost never using the werewolf power after the first few times i guess i just didn't want to deal with being unarmored for that long although that is remedied a bit later after
you complete the companion quests with the introduction of a werewolf perk tree so you blast through the silverhand base only to find skyr has gotten himself killed ayla is understandably pissed and is now ready to launch a campaign against the silver hand to eradicate them once and for all with you at the helm ironically she mentions that skur should have never went alone without a shield brother and then she sends you off to dismantle a couple of silver hand operations by yourself the actual
journey to the set of locations is the more perilous part of these quests but the meat of them is actually very easy to run through quickly when you come back with some intel that you were sent to retrieve kodlak wants to talk to you he reveals that the curse of the werewolf was only set upon the companions a few hundred years ago whereas the guild is around five 000 years old when he was younger he seemed to be all for the idea of beast blood running through his veins but as he grew older he
realized that his soul would be sent to hearseen's hunting grounds to hunt prey for all of eternity kodlak felt that in his heart he was a true nord and as such he began to feel regret about this fate and would rather his soul be sent on to sovereign guard savangard oh to rest there instead so he figured out that this whole deal was made with a coven of witches to obtain this power and that killing the witches of that coven and bringing their heads would aid in the reversal of the curse i
kind of wish they would have done a little bit more with this quest as far as approaching the actual witches went i mean really you just kind of run in and you smoke the first witch and then you bounce i mean you can do the extras for bonus heads if you want but there's no dialogue at all i just kind of figured that maybe you'd get a chance to talk to the witches if they apparently were open enough for visitors to make a deal with them before it actually would have been kind of cool to
be able to take their side for some amount of power or items that were unique to them but they're just instantly hostile and you have to kill them either way the real interesting part of this quest comes when you return the silver hand has finally decided to retaliate for everything that you've been doing to them recently and it brought about kodlak's death this actually did make me a little bit sad because the poor guy was just trying to make it to sovereign garden his death and now
he's been condemned to a fate that he was working so hard to resist in addition to this the silver hand has stolen all of the fragments of wuthrad the ancient weapon that the companions had been working hard to restore well now it's full-blown revenge time and you're sent to annihilate the remaining silverhand forces and retrieve the fragments this is another chunk of the game that i wish would have been expanded on just a little bit more seeing as i really don't know anything
about the silver hand i know that they're just out to hunt like werewolves and probably vampires and they're just very generic kind of almost like dawnguard but you know with less story and maybe there is more to it if i were to like search for little books and objects and notes in the background but i mean as far as being integrated into the story you really don't know anything about the silver hand beyond oh they hunt the werewolves oh they're against the companions like i mean
just think about the fighters guild and oblivion and their rivals and how much story they gave them anyways when you return kodlek is sent off in a funeral pyre and the circle convenes beneath the forge to talk about what happened vilkas and farkas agreed that kodlek should have been able to undo the curse so that he could rest in savangard and ayla initially opposes them stating that the beast blood is a blessing not a curse she eventually agrees with them about kodlak deserving to rest the way
that he wanted to but states that there's no way to reverse the werewolf magic without the blade of wuthrod being intact well fortunately the smith of the skyforge has repaired it in the meantime with the help of you gathering the last fragment from cod black's room this whole situation bothers me quite a bit with just how

shallow

it is and that really sucks because there's a lot of potential here when you go to retrieve the last fragment kodlak's journal also sits in the same
location when you read it he mentions you by name telling of your exploits and potential and eventually how you're destined to take on the role of being harbinger from him i'm usually not one to complain about a lack of quests but it's not just a lack of quests this guy talks about me like he's really gotten to know me like i've performed these great feats for the companion single-handedly but that's just not true it's been a handful of quests and an even smaller
handful of ones that seem to have a large amount of significance and most of the time a shield brother was accompanying me on those bigger missions i just i don't feel like i've earned this title which is a really bizarre thing to say for someone as impatient as me but before being granted the actual title we gotta go save cod black's soul for cardlock for cardlock for cardlock for cardlock huh let me tell you hiking along the northern icy parts of

skyrim

really makes you appreciate
the environmental sound design in this game every little chunk of the environment has its own sounds assigned to it from its own ambient noise to footstep sounds to its own music and echoes it really does impress me i think now more than it ever has before it just sucks that a lot of the combat sounds are

extremely

lacking i think my mace almost always sounds like a sword rather than a blunt instrument especially when i hit something like a spider web and it makes a katana-esque noise at any
rate the final quest of the companions has you running through the tomb of isramor with the remaining three circle members two of them wind up hanging back so it's just you and ayla at the end it's here where you talk to kodlak's spirit and help him cure him of his lycanthropy by throwing a witch's head into the flames and fighting off his inner wolf spirit and then that's it you get named the harbinger of the companions which again feels very

shallow

compared to like finally
leading the fighters guild and oblivion all in all i wouldn't say the companions are a horrible guild i had fun with it in the short amount of time it took and being a werewolf was fun for a little while i just wish there had been a bit more meaningful moments and conversations before you suddenly get tossed into the role of being the leader i will say that the guild serves its purpose

extremely

well when it comes to showing a beginner a very large portion of

skyrim

quickly i mean all of the
map markers you see right now besides a couple are all a direct result of questing for the companions i think it's a good guild for someone just dipping their toes into the game but it lacks a lot of substance to be called anything beyond average at this point i'd like to jump to the next guild but i haven't actually activated the dragons yet and everyone knows that

skyrim

isn't

skyrim

without dragons so i gotta go talk to the yarl of whiterun to press the activate dragons button
and get this show on the road but first i gotta talk to this triangle i don't like farngar it always seems like his main focus is crossing his arms and his secondary focus is speaking yes i could use someone to fetch something for me he wants me to retrieve something called a dragonstone to help him with his research this is a really weird task all things considered i mean i come into this place going holy dude a dragon just decimated helgen and it looked like it was heading this way even
though it obviously wasn't because it would have beaten me here like 20 times before i got here on foot and the earl's like oh dude uh yeah we better get some people on this uh go talk to the court wizard and then foreign guard goes uh yeah i guess uh yeah i guess go get me this stone uh it'll help me know what a dragon is um yep get to it so you run off to the puzzle cavern to try to get to the bottom of this whole ordeal oh god what do i do holy oh oh thank god i was who's
gonna guess hawk man after the bandit gives you the golden claw willingly you take it on over to the next puzzle chamber and learn a dragon shout before grabbing the stone and scooting back to isosceles i don't know what's up with foreign guard that bothers me so much but it feels like someone directed the voice actor to sound as ridiculous as possible most of his lines seem like they were done in one take or something i i don't know yes yes don't worry although the chance to see
leaving dragging up close would be tremendously valuable now let me show you something else i found very intriguing but yeah as you return with the stone a guard comes running in to tell everyone that a dragon is circling one of the towers outside of town the aryl has you go with iroleth to do something about the situation but not before she gives a rousing speech to all four of whiterun's guards i hope that someday bethesda will go hey maybe we should have npcs steer clear of important
dialogue areas because being complimented by a random guard mid-conversation about a dragon attack really pulls me out of the mood you know i gotta say the concept of dragons has almost entirely lost its excitement for me back when the game came out the idea of these big things roaming around the world while i adventured was almost theatrical for me it was one of those things that really made me feel like i had entered a new era of gaming but since then the concept is so normal to me that i
don't really ever get super excited by the thought of random dragon encounters now all that being said when i initially fought this dragon for the first time in maybe i don't know five years it really did feel pretty goddamn close to those feelings that i had in 2011. there's a lot of this game that i am used to and there's a lot of things that have aged poorly but that initial excitement of a dragon swooping in and spewing fire from its mouth onto a town guard is like something
out of a fantasy novel i'm sure that i'll recline back into that unimpressed mode that i'm used to soon enough but for now this has got to be one of the top instances of me feeling really god damn cool in an elder scrolls game when the town guard surrounds me after i absorb this dragon soul and shout into the air i can't believe it you're dragonborn when you return to whiterun a noise can be heard in the distance all we ask upon returning to the yarl he appoints you as thane
of whiterun and lets you know that the noise outside was the graybeards shouting for you to come to them you're told to head there and meet with them but that's where we're going to put a bookmark on the main questline let's go do some cool ass dark brotherhood so joining the dark brotherhood is a lot more of a direct approach in

skyrim

rather than oblivion if you visit winterhold you might stumble upon the talk of this kid attempting to summon the dark brotherhood to kill
someone when you go to visit the home of this kid you get to witness some creepy children of the corn where this kid is chanting over a skeleton sweet mother sweet mother send your child unto me for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear it it might be his mom but he gets super excited when he sees you and explains that when his mom died he got sent to an orphanage in rifton the caretaker there is supposedly an awful person who he wants dead so now you get to decide if you
want to make that happen riften is a like of all the cities to not want to live in rifton is at the top of that list there's constant shakedowns talk of shady and some who named himself after a weapon tells you to leave yeah well i got news for you there's nothing to see here so it makes sense this caretaker is apparently the worst person ever and conveniently right as you walk in this old bagel is telling all the kids that they'll never be adopted or loved so you give her the old
razzle dazzle and she topples like glass joe and punch out until the day you come of age and get thrown into that wide horrible world now what do you all say in a moment that can only be described as sheer voice acting bliss the kids all shout and cheer and laugh and i imagine they're at least 15 percent less sad now so after reporting back to the kid who set this up i take the absolute fattest nap that i can and wake up in an abandoned shack that's how good that nap was it's here
where i'm confronted by one of the dark brotherhood members who commends me for my kill but explains that it was their kill that i stole so to make up for this i'm to kill one of these three captives the first one who has the title of fearless is ironically the most fearful he seems to be an honest sell sword who doesn't want to die the second one seems to be a very fearless mother of many children who just wants to get back home and feed them and doesn't care at all about dying
the third is an absolute who titles himself as the defiler of daughters and says that he'd tell his associates not to gut you in the streets if you didn't kill him i was actually super excited about this quest at first it's a pretty gruesome setup at first glance which is awesome but the fact that you can kill any combination of these people and astrid will just be satisfied it's i don't know it just feels like it was almost a great introduction but it just kind of fell flat
like why not have all three sound pretty innocent and make you do some kind of detective work or why not make it so that astrid tells you that you chose wrong with the first kill and then you have to kill another one and then the last one just to get across with the dark brotherhood embodies i don't know the alternative to this quest is killing astrid which leads you on a path to dismantling the dark brotherhood by killing everyone in the sanctuary which is also a very lackluster option
astrid does explain to you that all you simply needed to do was kill when ordered so i get what they were trying to drive at with this entire thing but it just feels like they squandered an opportunity here with this setup i don't know maybe that's just me i will say that it's nice to have dialogue for every possible combination of kills either way after this you're cordially invited to join the family in their sanctuary of course this was all just a clever ruse to blow out your
eardrums when you knock on the sanctuary door it's here in the sanctuary where you're told to introduce yourself to the other members of the family it's also here where we learn that the dark brotherhood is just a sitcom in this game okay wait here we go oh you're such a pretty little girl with the sweetie like it sweetie oh yes how about some chocolate oh yes please kind sir my mom and papa left me all alone and i'm so very yo jeez now talk about a really rocky start like
holy i mean there's no reason these guys can't get along and talk about stuff but wow it's just all very campy for a group of murderers and it's so perfectly convenient for them to have this big circle jerk right as you slide in for the first time like kramer man you guys are not gonna believe the murderer that i just did oh oh oh okay good good meeting so you get your first three contracts all at once and they're all really basic because it's just kind of the grunt work
that you got to put in it's what i expect at this point i really can't be too disappointed with it because the lack of it is what irked me about the companions but i do wonder why this dude literally pointed out that i must be a dark brotherhood member and then just went back to dipping his hands into the fire weird enter cicero cicero is the keeper for the dark brotherhood he apparently carts around the night mother's body to keep it safe i like cicero because his voice acting is
evaluating skyrim an extremely shallow experience
amazing oh what a kind and wise wizard you are sure to earn her lady's favor what i don't like is the very on the nose foreseeable twist where he talks under his breath about overthrowing astrid as the leader while he's 20 inches away from you oh yes mistress you're the boss for now another member of the family he also explains that the dark brotherhood is basically a husk of its former self there's no listener and there hasn't been for a while and apparently this
sanctuary is the last dark brotherhood base in the entire province so a lot has happened in the 200 years since oblivion that's when it felt like the dark brotherhood was

extremely

feared in every corner of the province but i imagine the lack of a listener would be a huge detriment to getting things done i mean at this point these guys are raising a fuss about a kid offering up silverware as payment so they've definitely seen better days man i just walked into this chamber to hear these
two talking to each other and i thought oh this is a decent interaction for idle chit-chat between two members then i went to use the enchantment table and i hear this dude say the exact same prompt worded the exact same way that the little girl just said to him to initiate the first conversation suicide mission aston said as much yet here you stand hail and hearty it was a suicide mission astrid said as much get here you stand tail and hearty are you kidding me bethesda i mean the introductory
bit where all the members are talking about random is it's whatever it's tacky but it serves a purpose to introduce the player to the gang to some degree but now you're telling me that you can come up with some other dialogue to give the player knowledge about how these family members operate you really thought that this was the best method of immersion into the game oh but it gets better when you turn in your contracts not only do you get made fun of for doing them because they
were so easy but you also get to hear a stupid joke about one of them of course she is i hear the mining business is

extremely

cutthroat and those hours i could do this all day what happened to this guild how did we go from this excellent now please accept this token from the dark brotherhood it is a virgin blade said this congratulations you slaughtered an emaciated beggar in cold blood anyways you get assigned a contract where you get to keep every part of the reward for yourself and are sent
off to markarth to talk to a woman who has recently performed the black sacrament she wants an ex-lover dead the guy is a leader of a banded group because of course he is but i have to give credit for them coming up with a feasible storyline for what happened this dude showed up at a funeral to take advantage of her in her grief and rob her and her family that she was visiting so now i'm off to get revenge for her that's kind of cool what sucks is that no matter what time of day it is
this guy is just watching his two friends around a campfire and they're tenderly staring back just super lazy i mean if you want me to fight the guy without sneak killing him can you just have him sleep in a cell that needs a specific key or something speaking of keys and lock picking i see no reason for the lock picking tree in this game i mean you can open any level of lock with level 15 lock picking and the only two perks i would be interested in are golden touch and treasure hunter what
a silly system anyways you bop on back to astrid to report the news and she tells you that she thinks that cicero is insane and has been conspiring against her with someone else some of these dialogue options that i can choose from are just dog honestly i don't want to be this erratic or this somber or this edgy but i have to pick one of them i really just missed some of the options that you got in morrowind or oblivion so this nutty broad wants me to lie inside the coffin of the night
mother with her corpse to spy on cicero and the person that he's talking to apparently brewing an invisibility potion would never work so we gotta hop in that coffin with the dead chick alrighty well as it turns out you're the big listening boy that the dark brotherhood has been craving this whole time the night mother gives you an order has you speak some password to cicero so that he knows and then astrid comes running in cicero's been talking to the night mother this entire time
and trying to overthrow astrid by the way but now he's just an excited lad the guy might sound like the little lad from the old starburst berries and cream commercials she has chosen you but the voice acting is really goddamn good for cicero i really can't help but get sucked into his absolute insanity so you feel an astrid about what just happened and she has this huge conflict where she's excited but she's also perplexed about you of all people being the new listener but then
ultimately decides that she doesn't want to be undermined so hastily so she has you do some side jobs while she thinks about how to proceed it's a measured response and i feel like i'd also question the newest member in the escaped circus clown's word so it's off to do two more contracts which are really easy and lack any real substance man remember the crazy that you'd have to do or like the unique ways to kill people in general that came with oblivion's dark
brotherhood contracts it's insane to me how cut and dry these quests are and the biggest thing that changes is how you get treated by the contract giver when you make it back astrid has made her decision and tells you to follow the night mother's orders to see where this is all leading so you trot off to a tomb where a particularly wealthy sounding individual is wringing his hands in anticipation and then he proposes to use several contracts which all lead up to the assassination of the
emperor of tamriel well now we're talking he gives you an amulet as payment as well one that he assures will pay for any and all expenses many times over and then he discusses with you how this set of missions will help shift political arrangements to be more in his party's favor he also mentions that this will more than likely help the dark brotherhood rise from the ashes of their former glory to make a swift and powerful return as something to be feared again well we definitely went
from generic to super compelling in no time flat after you give the amulet and the letter to astrid she says that the dark brotherhood is definitely going to take on this task the only thing that we need to do is get this amulet evaluated by a member of the thieves guild i was a bit afraid that i might upset some members if i just ran in there without being a member myself especially when all of these people with names attacked me when i entered the sewers but no one seemed to mind when i made
it to the real deal it's probably because they knew that there were people like this fella who set up all these bear traps to keep people away from his side of the room and then charge through the traps to swing at me so yeah apparently the amulet is from someone on the elder council and is worth a small fortune when you return to astrid she lets you know that you're going to be killing the overseer of the east empire trading company's operation in solitude not only that you'll
be killing her as the bride at her own wedding with a bonus if you do it while she's giving a speech and she's the emperor's cousin now this is the kind of i was hoping for i do have to wonder about the logistics of sending the only listener the guild has had for a long long time but hey i'm not the person driving the dark brotherhood into the ground oh and as a side note there's a handful of extra contracts that are optional in between these quests for those wanting to
overachieve they aren't particularly interesting or inventive but they're fun enough in their own way i guess i guess it'd be like if the thieves guild had side quests to rob certain shops in certain cities it's not anything new but it's fun in its own right i guess beyond this the only thing i really have to say about the contract quests is the fact that no matter how dangerous they get you always get a base amount of gold which seems ludicrous to me considering that killing
a homeless squatter and a wizard studying dwemer runes are essentially of the same importance i mean i get that i'm doing leftover contracts supposedly but you're really gonna play me like that it's just laughable when the very last contract mission is supposedly something of the utmost importance and danger which is killing a captain of a ship on her own ship so i waited until the dead of night and i very stealthily eased my way into the entrance of the ship around 3 am and oh
pardon pardon me i'm just gonna just gonna scooch on by here all right uh gonna grab a few ingots here and um i'm going to find whoever did this oh uh let me just um let me just uh excu excuse me uh enchilada go just gotta get out the door here friends thank you thank you uh yeah have a nice day all right let's cut to the real business here though this wasn't as exciting as i thought it would be i did manage to piss off all of solitude and then cheese it back to sanctuary the
reward for the assassination is the ability to summon lucian lachance's ghost to fight alongside you which is really cool but it's also kind of weird i mean the poor guy was murdered by the rest of the black hand for something that he didn't do i guess his soul was captured at the same time i don't know what i do know is that that feeling of oh hell yeah lucian his back and he speaks to you and he tells you about his time and that's great that feeling wears off fast because
this dude non-stop talks stalking your prey planting false evidence destroying an innocent man i'm i'm trying to stalk someone here can you shut up for a moment please thank you so the next mission is to implicate the commander of the emperor's guard son as someone trying to assassinate the emperor basically the goal here is to mentally break the commander which i like the idea of a lot but the absolute circus of gymnastics that i have to dance through beforehand are absolutely
insane so the son has to talk to his pops before he gets moving but when i get close enough to hear the conversation one of the solitude guards runs up and sniffs me out no matter if i'm invisible and i have my silent boots on or anything like that so i figure i'll pay my fine and then come back after getting crated off to solitude except that i have a lot of stolen on me so i decide to start the conversation between the father and the son grab the guard's attention and run halfway
across

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before i can rest i figure i'll murder him in white run since i'm the fan there so i wait a whole 24 hours and then check the map and he hasn't moved so i go to whiterun to drop off all of the stolen in my house except some of my gold and lockpicks are stolen who knows how much so i guess i'll just throw it all into the chest and they'll automatically sort out right you're out of your mind if you think that so i throw all but 1 000-ish gold into the chest
so that i can pay the fine and then i throw a handful of picks into the first chest and then i push another fistful into the end table then i shove a cup full into the dresser then i slide another bucket full into some other object until i find the single lockpick that was stolen well that wasn't worth it at all so i'm good to go stolen goods are hidden away time to go turn myself in so i travel back to the town where the commander and his son are talking and there is no guard to be
seen i listen to the conversation and the sun gets moving and that's it what the hell man also just listen to the sheer clown fiesta of noise pollution in this game where is that lazy man destroying an innocent man's reputation truly you're going to try and sell me something well i ain't interested sometimes less is more todd so you kill the guy and plant the evidence and hoof it back to sanctuary where cicero has apparently gone berserk and tried to kill astrid he took off into
the woods and astrid's husband went after him you're told to figure out what his motivations might have been by reading his journals and then go after him now this is where things get really fascinating so cicero seems to have been a pretty normal but dedicated member of the dark brotherhood he started his service more than 12 years ago at some point he started to keep a journal speaking of the diminishing influence of the brotherhood in tamriel listing the remaining sanctuaries and
talking about the politics and dangers around them well after one sanctuary gets ransacked another gets closed down shortly after and the remaining two are the one that you're at right now and the one that was in chaden hall during the raids the last listener was killed and the night mother's body was recovered by someone else cicero was made the new keeper of the night mother which is a role that wasn't traditionally necessary until now this meant that cicero could no longer take on
contracts which he was very saddened by his final contract involved the murder of a jester one that laughed at first and then cried and begged for his life as he was tortured and then finally laughed until he died this murder left a profound effect on cicero's psyche as he was more or less sentenced to cleaning and oiling the corpse of the night mother along with exterminating any bugs and whatnot as the years went on with no new listener cicero's mental state deteriorated more and more
to a state of insanity first he had one of the four remaining members of the chaden hall branch kill another one who falsely stated themselves as the new listener but didn't know the password then one of the last three died to abandon it by this point cicero had started to lose his mind embracing the laughter that he remembered the jester had spouted before death the second to last member told cicero that he was leaving to find food and then never came back so cicero sat in the shaden hall
sanctuary for eight years before finally moving with the night mother's corpse northward but he didn't go to astrid's sanctuary traditionally the listener is the one who hears black sacraments being performed through the night mother but since there hasn't been one the members of the family have taken it upon themselves to spread out and do their best to hear of sacraments being performed cicero finds this to be against the laws of the brotherhood and instead hides away in the
abandoned dawn star sanctuary of course after a while the silence of the night mother again drives him out of dawn star and to the last sanctuary where he planned to teach astrid a lesson i liked reading this set of journals a lot i'm unsure if i was fascinated more with reading the matthew belmont journal in oblivion or these ones but i can say for sure that i really enjoyed delving into cicero's descent into madness so you tell all of this to astrid who sends you off with shadow mirror
to go settle this once and for all chasing down and killing the jester is a bit tough but when you finally get to him he pleads for his life commanding you to tell astrid that he's dead and leaving him be if you go through with this he can eventually become a follower but his gear is just honestly too good to leave him with and so and cicero as much as it seems like he was just an insane dude he was actually probably the most dedicated to the laws of the dark brotherhood more so than anyone
else astrid certainly doesn't seem to believe that the night mother is a real force or enough of one to command everyone else over her rule but with all this said and done it's time to continue with the assassination plot i'm to kill a very high profile and prestigious chef steal his papers saying that he can enter the keep where the emperor is staying and take the chef's place that's um it's not a particularly unique storyline but you know whatever i imagine i'll be
poisoning the king i wonder if someone else will taste it for poison first but before that happens we gotta find out who the gourmet chef really is this old balding scrotum says that he found a cookbook that was signed to some other chef and that i'm supposed to go to that chef to interrogate him about the gourmet's identity thanks old timer you really do a lot of good work around here don't you so you slap this guy around until he gives up the info and then you slap him one more
time and heck off to where the real gourmet is after tossing his body into this wine barrel thing you report back to the old man who goes i heard a certain orc has gone missing um wasn't the whole point of interrogating the first dude wasn't wasn't that to get him to tell me the identity of the real guy how does this old sag know that the orc that went missing was the gourmet doesn't that kind of ruin the element of surprise if he can gather that just a missing orc just one
missing orc in the entirety of

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was the gourmet from the information out there i don't know it just feels like anybody could do that now then i'm given a poison to throw into the emperor's meal and i guess he's supposed to die fast wow these fellas at the brotherhood are really banking on no one else eating or tasting this meal before it goes to the emperor huh it's a good thing that no one is on high alert at all from any other closely related recent assassinations boy
with leadership like this it's really no wonder that the dark brotherhood is a thriving community of feared assassins even today after all this i go to solitude and immediately remember that i'm wanted for the high profile murder of the cousin of the emperor so i drop my stolen and pay the paltry 1000 gold sum and then i turn around and report to the commander who's stationed eight feet away stating i am the gourmet all while wearing a jester's outfit where's my i know
it's i know they're around here somewhere where are my awards i gotta ship the rest of the writing awards to the bethesda offices right now after putting on your chef's hat you can tell this chick who looks like she's wearing an apron and nothing else whatever the hell silly you want to put into this broth and she'll just do it everyone knows that when you cook you never taste the final product to make sure that it turned out right you never taste it to see if it needs more
salt or pepper or anything like that no so she packs it up and ships it directly to the emperor's open hole so you get introduced and then the emperor takes a big sippy and then biffs it right then and there you get blamed but so does that other poor woman whoops so you blast past them and onto the bridge and here's where the big boy plot twist happens so apparently someone from the dark brotherhood sold you out and told the commander ahead of time uh hey there's a there's a guy
coming to poison the emperor via food also i'm from the dark brotherhood if you could just leave us alone since i told you all this that would be great just uh don't come uh don't come near uh it's kind of it's like a little west of falkreath uh southwest of the tower actually here you got a map here let me let me just let me just circle that for you real quick i'll show you where not to go please don't come right here please thank you the dark brotherhood in

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is really just a circus man i honestly almost want to see it burn to the ground at this point because there really is no reason at all for the person who betrayed you and the rest of the family to do what they did for the reason of preservation this whole thing was orchestrated to basically drum up business again and create this reign of fear but someone had a really big think and they concluded hey you know what i should offer up the first listener in the last i don't know 12 or 13 years
and also this guy knows where the sanctuary is now brilliant i just like that the commander comes slow clapping around the corner and goes hahaha you just killed a decoy buddy if you knew i was coming to poison the emperor why didn't you just make the other chef an undercover guard who arrests me when i add the poison you just really didn't like that decoy at all did you after eluding the ever stoic guard and hoofing it back to the sanctuary you find it under siege by lots of the
emperor's guard you save nazir and attempt to escape until the night mother calls out to you and tells you to hop inside her sleep cabinet so after taking a nap with evening mommy you wake up to the voice of nazir and of course the child who survives because you can't kill children in

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without mods turns out the big dumb idiot was astrid which honestly isn't too surprising given how poorly things have been going for the past however many years since she's been in charge she
tells you that she understands the error of her ways and that she just didn't want to submit to the old rules i guess the motivation makes sense but this was probably the dumbest move i've seen all game by someone either way you give her a stab and then nm says okay but really you gotta kill the emperor man fella we are three people strong right now but yeah okay let's do it so i ran over to solitude again took out a few guards and the commander and then dove into the water and swam
up to the ship where the emperor was on board i have to admit emperor titus mead ii is probably one of the most baller people i've met in this game the dude's a lot like uriel septim in that he accepts his death but then he wants you to blow out the guy who set this whole thing in motion after you collect your payment then he turns around and looks out the window presenting his back for me to kill him what a legend i couldn't help but eviscerate the guy who paid me to do this the
emperor just exudes that amount of charisma so i grabbed my 20 000 gold reward talked to nazir who tells me that i could probably renovate this place if i wanted to which has me running back to the thieves guild to do so it's actually an excellent segue into another guild as the dark brotherhood wraps up by giving out radiant quest contracts from here on out i'd say overall i'm not thrilled by the dark brotherhood in

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i mean don't get me wrong i did have fun i mean
you're assassinating people and you get to approach them the way that you want a lot of the time but the overall plot wasn't super compelling by any means cicero's whole part of the story was by far the most interesting which sucks because the third act of killing an emperor should be a lot more fun than the second act of killing a court jester i would rate it above the companion simply due to the sheer amount of substance and the slightly more compelling plot line but i think that
it falls very flat of oblivion's dark brotherhood questline oh hello god ray how are you today is is there something you're trying to show me oh just this patch of ground well okay thank you so ripton is home of the thieves guild as mentioned before ironically the guard out front mentions that they think that they control the city but they're really just nothing but a bunch of low-life thugs meanwhile the guard across from her tries to shake you down for money to let you into the
city so it's not like the rift and guard is uh the most noble bunch i said before it was a pretty decent segue to be around the ragged flagon but no one will actually talk to you about joining the guild you've got to get that going up top in riften's town square we meet this lad here who has sniffed out how fat my pockets are after the big dark brotherhood score he asks if i want to make some more coin and then has me grab a ring from one vendor's stall and plant it on another
vendor this is a cool little test of sorts but i always felt like the whole idea of make this guy look like he stole from this other guy can only really work if you put it inside the other guy's house or like stall or something if you just throw it in his pocket how's someone gonna find it i guess you're just kind of banking on the first dude going empty your pockets after this whole ordeal you're invited down to the rat way to see if you can make it past the already dead
security big boy brinyoff is impressed by the display of corpse trampling and assigns you the mission of shaking down some people who owe the guild some money this involves walking up to them demanding payment and beating them down if they don't pay i've already told that buffoon that i'm not paying you people a single coin come on give it your best shot come on he's not so tough it's you please don't hurt me please there's no need for that here message understood
here i even have the payment after delivering some streets uh injustice i guess i go back down and get introduced to the main man in charge he looks me up and down and tells me to go burn down some beehives how irresponsible save the bees brinyoff reacts by putting his hands on his cheeks and going isn't that the thing that the other long time thieves guild recruit completely failed oh my god and mean man mercer goes well if he can't do it then what's the point of him being here i
don't know why don't you ask the chick who failed this thing in the first place but yeah this is also a fun quest you get to burn down some hives and then steal some guarded stuff at the bottom of a mansion i feel like i did it in the wrong order but whatever apparently the thieves guild is also down on its luck i guess

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's really good at suppressing its criminal elements or something though i guess the dark brotherhood lost its influence everywhere so maybe it's just a
coincidence but either way the result is that the guild really cares more than ever about keeping its clients one of which wants to see you immediately after you're done destroying all of that beautiful honey maven blackbriar is a big shot in rifton one who claims to have the guards in her pocket and the yarl's ear she also has a tremendous stick up her ass she wants you to get to the bottom of how one of her competitors got their meadery up and running so quickly she's probably one
of the more insufferable people in the game that i've met so far as she claims that she'll sick the dark brotherhood on you if you mess up which is amusing to say the least so here's the plan i stroll up to the rival meetery and offer my services as an exterminator for the rat issue that they've been having i take care of the rats and poison the mead supply just in time for a tasting that the captain of white runs guard is going to be attending the meadery will shut down after
that eliminating one of maven's competitors of course there's more than just skeevers down here in the underbelly of hunting brew there's also spiders eating the skeevers and a homeless level 900 wizard that can decimate me in two shots truly the greatest household pest of all but but no really the journal of this dude tells you that he escaped from prison 10 years ago and planned on enacting his revenge on the mages guild in winterhold by basically creating a skaven army underneath
the hunting brew meadery and unleashing it upon whiterun and then winterhold holy this is a good quest i honestly have no complaints the fact that they could have just left it at rat extermination and chill but decided to throw this lunatic down here with his alchemy lab is an excellent way to take a quest to the next level so you poison the water hole attend the tasting and watch the owner get carted out now in both this quest and the previous one a symbol which no one can identify keeps
cropping up in important documents this symbol is the mark of a person actively working against the thieves guild to cause strife with one of their remaining clients maven blackbriar at this point though this mystery person slipped up and we find out that one of their contacts is a guy who works for the thieves guild out of the east empire trading company so after paying off my many debts to solitude's people again i'm gonna grab a case of rare wine to bribe this guy who's giving up
who this mystery person is well the wine is just just like right there at the front of the castle which tells me that this is not over surely enough the argonian tells me that he knows nothing concrete finishes his big glass of nothing and then walks out so i give chase but slowly slow chase well for a moment i guess i hate following people in these games they always move so goddamn slowly so i just waited it out and fortunately my guy was still at the front of the building when i got to it i
was a bit put off by some random creature charging towards me at a breakneck pace but fortunately for me it was just tutorial thanks tutorial goat so this guy leads me back to the secret part of the trading company and i have to wade past all of these dopey bandits eventually i make it to the end and the scaly fella gives up the information stating that it was some person named carlia she apparently killed the last guild master of the thieves guild and is now after the current one usually when
someone is this hell-bent on destroying a guild it doesn't tend to come out of just suddenly being righteous or something like that but whatever i guess so you make it back to mercer with the intel and he figures out where carliah is based off of it so you meet him outside of this place and you and him start going through this crypt i hate when it's supposed to be like a super stealth mission and it just turns into a debacle almost immediately for the entirety hey don't let her know
we're coming be super quiet and watch out for these traps ahead and then it just turns into screaming and fighting dead dudes neat old mercer here seems to be ridiculous at picking locks every unpickable lock is just nothing but easy for him apparently so you make it down to the innermost part of this area and immediately get shot with some kind of poison that knocks you down and paralyzes you here's where the thieves guild big boy twist comes in so turns out mercer is the one who killed
off the old leader and carliah was that guy's lover their methods clashed which caused the death of gallus and the framing of carliah after mercer stabs you you pass out and carlia has nursed you back to health she tells you well not all is lost i found this old journal from gallus but it's in some kind of crazy language i don't know man jeez and then my guy goes uh what if you um what if you got it translated and she goes that's it wow good thing you retrieved me from that crypt
that one was a real thinker translating the journal is a bit of a conundrum though it's written in falmer the ancient language of the now blind monstrosities which roam the dwemer depths they're actually kind of interesting to read up on because they used to be known as snow elves until they were driven underground by the nords then they were betrayed by the dwarves and cursed to be the way that they are now but their language is ancient and only known by a handful of people the main
source of translation is a researcher in markharth one that's been slaving over his research and translation for years he's understandably stubborn about simply handing over all of the research to you so it's time to steal it this involves running through a dwemer museum and getting to a wizard tower at the end in the center of the tower is this lunatic's research carved into a big ass slab in the center of the room so you have to charcoal and paper it and then run back to
winterhold the newly translated journal reveals that mercer had been stealing large sums of cash from the guild to finance his own personal vices i never understood this one because everyone mentions that the guild has been down on its luck and how it might be a curse but it's just this dude stealing all of the earnings for himself do these guys think that the thousands of gold that they've been earning just keeps evaporating in the vault i just i wonder what kind of explanation
they've been offered over the years as to where the money's gone beyond this revelation though is the fact that mercer has desecrated a very important shrine to the goddess nocturnal you see historically a small sect of the elite thieves guild members in

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have apparently been dedicating themselves to the protection of the shrines of nocturnal the daedric prince of night and darkness also known as lady luck mercer gallus and carliah were all part of this group known as the
evaluating skyrim an extremely shallow experience
nightingales it's unclear at this point in the questline what will happen with this new splinter of information but i guess it's semi-interesting i'm actually just kind of impressed with the guild's quests overall so far but i guess i have to say it just doesn't quite feel like the thieves guild you know like it's one of the more compelling guild stories don't get me wrong but it doesn't seem to harbor any grand heists yet where you steal some really cool stuff of
large monetary value like the notes were valuable but used to translate the meatery was valuable but i guess it doesn't feel like a thieves guild thing felt more like a fighter's guild thing the other quest seemed to be all about gathering information or sending messages or getting revenge i guess we'll see maybe i'm just getting ahead of myself so all of the pieces are in place for this big confrontation how would you expect this whole thing to go down maybe they draw on carliah
and attack her before she can even speak maybe the guild's surprised that you're even alive because mercer told you that he was gonna tell them that you're dead maybe they just don't believe that gallus was the one who wrote the journal that it's a fake maybe daenerys targaryen doesn't throw away all of her character progression in one episode nope we walk in they believe everything mercer isn't there he's cleaned out the vault which they check now and has taken
off i mean maybe he was just paranoid but he seemed super confident that he would have no issue getting to carliah eventually and that he killed you maybe you should have chopped off your head i just why would he not be at the ragged flagon i don't know maybe he heard of your escapade with the falmer notes but it's not as if i sold the notes i just made a copy of them and escaped but he's gone and i guess he's wiped out the supposedly impenetrable vault one that needs two members
with two keys to unlock it so now i have to go to his looney tunes manor in riften where there's a fun house maze of traps and misdirection at the end of the tunnel lies mercer's plans to go after one last big score before presumably hanging up his hat and lying low forever the heist is one that gallus was working on for a long time just to add insult to injury when faced with this information carliah comes up with the idea of making you and brynjolfin to nightingales as well which
involves you getting some sweet looking armor probably honestly my favorite look in the game as far as light armor goes then you gotta listen to cortana for a while while she bathes you in her bluish purple light and ta-da you're a nightingale and what's more guess what you're the guild leader now yay i'm so bored right now i i don't know that the whole nocturnal thing does not interest me at all i guess because there's no like there's no godliness to it yeah the
armor is rad but like then it's just her going uh congrats you're a nightingale go on protect the shrines then you get carlia telling you that the guild's luck is so bad because of what mercer did to nocturnal i guess the guy stole the skeleton key a daedric artifact that unlocks any skeleton anywhere it's how he got through all of those different really tough to breach doors with no issue because they were all really just skeletons disguised as security yeah i don't know
this guild started really strong for me and it's just kind of floundering now and i hate to admit it but i miss having all of those extra little titles that come with pushing on through a guild the companions and the dark brotherhood both lacked it in a major way beyond the final titles like listener and harbinger and now you're suddenly the leader of the thieves guild after a handful of missions no footpad to prowler to shadowfoot or anything like that and it's not as if these ranks
just don't exist i mean rinyolf mentions a few times that he thought that nightingales were used as boogeymen to scare footpads into doing the right thing so it kinda makes no sense that they just don't exist in the

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guild all right let's wrap this thing up so you run off to the big indiana jones ruins to laura croft your way through the crypts of old doom there's dwemer there's falmer there's falmers using dwemer it's just a mess and it's huge and i
think you're supposed to really take your time and kind of sneak up on your prey and use the shadows to your advantage take on a little chunk of falmer at a time but that's if you're a kevin me being the bruce that i am i ran my ass to the whole room while chugging potions oh god they follow me well too late to think about that now i gotta keep running thank god there's only like lockpick gates and not actual puzzles or i'd really be having a tough go at this right now when
i make it to the end mercer's just getting done prying off the second eye there's a big showdown and the fella goes down faster than any of the hordes of falmer that i just tore through that's honestly about the ending that i figured that i would get with this guild but wait there's more i gotta return this really useful item back to the daedric prince of hide and go seek because when i think of the final two thieves guild quests i think killing hordes of monsters and one guy and
then unstealing an item the twilight sepulcher is home to the spirits of nightingales who swore to protect it meaning that the spirit of gallus is actually here and he talks you through everything that happened he's he's a bit smaller than i thought he would be he explains the whole luck thing as nocturnal's influence she basically exudes luck to those who worship her so like a lock pick breaking or the moon suddenly peeking through the clouds to reveal thieves doesn't happen
nearly as frequently i think this big temple was supposed to be like a maze of puzzles i even got a handy decoding book to explain each chamber to me which was really unnecessary i think even children can manage to figure out oh the light hurts me i think the only thing that threw me off was the pit at the end because

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taught me early on that toddling off of a three-foot cliff would shatter my spine into dust but turns out it was all good to jump down this one so you wait a few moments at
the bottom of this chamber before realizing that there's a skeleton down here with you and since you have the skeleton key you can unlock it and fall through to the chamber below when you return the key nocturnal appears to let you know that she's not going to be nice to you just because you did what you were supposed to do she then gives you a very stern hand job in the form of a once a day superpower of your choice you get such flavors as cherry water and bath salts i went with water
because being see-through is a great way to not be seen after this gallus and carliah are reunited the lovers at last meeting and gallus celebrates this event by lovingly jogging within five feet of carliah that's just true love folks then he tells her that as soon as she dies they can be ghosts together and then bids her farewell if you've done all of the main stuff for the guild all that remains are the side jobs the side jobs are absolutely ass i mean don't get me wrong it has you
doing a lot of those thieves guilty type stuff that i said was missing before but it's just a smattering of uninspired radiant quests and to unlock the real stuff you have to do five radiant quests per town so when you do five small jobs and say solitude you then get to do the special job that seems a lot more like a proper thieves guild quest captain vault is a shore right now and i want the authorities waiting for him when he gets back now get going i don't want to see your face until
the job's done then you get to repeat all of the small time again which includes the likes of stealing a bunch of stuff from a place pickpocketing an item off of someone stealing a particular item from a home or business planting a stolen item in another person's house or forging numbers and ledgers the last one is by far the easiest job but it's so ridiculously boring and tedious to go to a town waltz in change the numbers walk back out travel to the guild go to the ragged flagging
and do it all over again 20 times and if you get unlucky enough to get a rift in quest it doesn't count towards anything but the most annoying thing of all is that if you get two or three of these special jobs done in these cities you have to hope for rng to continue to give you the correct radiant quests for the last city if not you gotta either go do that extra quest or tell delvin that you don't want the quest after all and re-roll over and over again until you get your last city
covered what an absolute dog system why would you lock all of your special missions which are honestly just average thieves guild quests behind a slew of radiant quests i wasn't even gonna do these but i thought i'd give it a shot and see if anything fun shook loose and nothing did or at least nothing worth going through all that trouble over the end result for all of this running around is a shop opening up for each city down in the ragged flagon they all sell weaponry and armors
besides the poison potion guy even though you were nominated for the title of the thieves guild master through the main chunk of the story you have to do all of this little side to officially get the title and then the ceremony is well it's uneventful but you get a cool set of armor and some other neat trinkets i just i don't know man i'm just majorly let down by this guild at this point i guess i just don't understand the lack of parallel between the oblivion's thieves
guild and

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s and i know at this point it's like how many times are you gonna mention oblivion but i just why is it so hard to outdo a game that came out five years earlier it doesn't make any sense oblivion's guild took care of its beggars it gave back to the needy and they were generally prankster-esque robin hood types they got guards reassigned who were giving them trouble they reigned in freelance thebes and they pulled off some amazingly high profile heists and they also
did a pretty good job at weaving in a kickass story to tell along the way hell i'd say morrowind did a good job at conveying that feeling too

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starts off with some pretty interesting stuff but always has you working against this mysterious force until the big twist is revealed and then that's kind of where the intrigue dies the big showdown isn't some grandiose heist where the stakes are intense like stealing an elder scroll it's taking out another thief who is mean to a
goddess then you return the stolen item and get a spiffy new power and that's it this really could have been the questline of a brand new guild called the nightingales and it would have had just as much impact and then they just shove all of the stuff i would expect of the thieves guild into these special side jobs they can only be unlocked by mushing your face into todd howard's oh well let's just move on to the mages guild before i get sad so the mages guild or the college of
winterhold as it's called in this game and the winterhold area in general is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing and impressive to look at areas in the entire game at least in my opinion it's a daunting fortress of a college across a man-made bridge over a steep valley of ice and snow but to gain entry into this noble institution you actually have to take a test of sorts this is completely different from oblivion and it's actually a positive change in my eyes when she
said that i needed to take a test to get in i expected two things one that if i tried to cross the bridge into the college's threshold without passing the test that something bad would happen to me and two that i honestly wouldn't be able to pass it because my grades here are tumultuous at best but it actually isn't much of a test you just need to cast a firebolt spell and i guess it's random which spell you get but you just have to cast whatever spell you get at the ground here
she even sells you one which is nice i can't complain about the simplicity of the test because it's still a realistic way to separate someone with some property of magic to them and town guard bob whose best magic trick is fitting a whole keg of meat inside him when he has time off and i would definitely be hooped if they were looking for people with above d grade averages after this you meet the glorious leader who welcomes you to the college with some introductory robes and has you
follow her around to be shown to your quarters and the like the whole thing has a very real life university kind of vibe except that she goes on to tell you that they've had to increase security recently because nords have been trying to dismantle the college or something and then right after she says this these guys just poof into existence we're here to teach you a lesson never should have come here apparently this was not supposed to happen because the tour guide here is broken
afterwards and she keeps telling you that you can talk to her when the tour is finished whenever you approach so i had to reload to do this over again and she walks at the speed of two snails pushing three snails eventually you're told to attend your first lecture class thing which has you talking to this fella about safety and with great power comes great accidentally killing yourself if you're not careful these guys are all sitting here going come on teach we can totally do cool magic
tricks let us enter our names into the triwizard tournament and i'm just sitting here thinking about my low magic scores and whether or not zebras see in color or black and white then i'm picked as a test subject for the ward spell which would be a sweet spell if i didn't run out of dick after three seconds of casting then the professor excitedly claps his hands and says hey guys why do cool wizard when this game has 400 nordic runes to trample through and so i ride off to class on
my death horse upon arriving you get sent further into the tomb to find little trinkets that are lying around the last one is an amulet which sets off a trap to cage you in when you equip it the air around where you grabbed it from starts going nuts and when you try to cast a spell it destroys the structure which has sealed off an entire network to the tomb just to talk you through the logistics of this real quick so someone forever ago set up this amulet to seal its user inside if they take it
and if the user couldn't figure out that they have to blast the stone that the amulet was lying on i assume they die or they have to put it back or something yeah that seems like a good system so anyways you go into a chamber with the old man where you promptly go on a mushroom trip the apparition in front of you tells you that you set off a chain of events and that he was slash is from the psijic order and that only you could face the danger ahead you tell the old man who didn't see
anything and he goes danger that makes no sense at all and then like 40 skeletons come shambling out of their sarcophagi the professor here goes from hey make sure that you put safety above all else to yeah i'm gonna hang back here and uh study this stuff you you go out ahead that bastard completely cheesed it out of the room after i left man let me tell you my favorite thing about

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it doesn't matter what guild you're a part of or what set of quests you're on or anything
like that you're always going to find yourself in a nordic rune eventually you know it really ties everything together and nothing screams mage's guild like going through what feels like the same ancient tomb with the same skeletons and coffins and the same lame rotating block puzzles except with the added bonus of a big mage orb at the end of it so what do we really learn here 1. the psijic order was or is a powerful ancient order of mages that were responsible for a lot of advancements
in magic knowledge and two big mage ball make a big mystery i'm sent back to show and tell about the big mage ball and the archmage says fine but you know now you gotta go research it go ask the bookman below to give you smart books about the topic alright people welcome back to design that quest that's right everyone the game show where the contestants get to be a writer at bethesda for a day and design that quest the rules are simple all you have to do is design a quest so that it fits
into

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in the best way possible but be careful too much innovation and it might be better suited to morrowind or oblivion alright now let's see how our first contestant of the day does option a urag is particularly grumpy today he has the books but he wants you to explore the magical menagerie filled with unique and mystical amalgamations below the college's grounds for a rare substance to make a potion with option b burak has the books but he has a lot of work to clear out first go
retrieve three overdue books from other apprentices a plot twist though the last book student is missing fortunately the books that is rude but when you go to grab it you get pulled into a fictional story realm and need to escape option c a guy stole the books and gave them to a rival sorcerer faction looks like the contestant is looking at option c but wait oh no what's this the contestant is locked in option b that's way too much innovation how did he not realize well you truly hate to
see it but better luck next time contestant so yeah you go kick the asses of every mage at this weird offshoot of a school i just wish it didn't look like every other tower type thing in this game i mean it's supposed to be a rival school right sure they're a bit lacking in morals what with locking up all of these wolves and vampires and the human who brought the books there but they have what appears to be training halls and classes with instructors and the whole place looks like a
big dumb dungeon that would fit in with the brotherhood and thieves quests i don't know this didn't even have to be particularly innovative from an objective perspective but it could have at least made the effort of constructing a setting that looked something like it would actually rival the college of winterhold oh well one of the books you retrieve mentions sarthal by name and explains that it was the first city that the nord settled in

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it was burnt to the ground by the snow
elves which became the falmer and the nords retaliated by wiping out the snow elves and driving the remaining ones underground the book then speculates that something of great power and mystery was found and sealed under sarthal and the elves attacked because they wanted it upon returning to the college the first thing to note is the relocation of the big ass mage ball which is now hanging out in one of the rooms you return the books and report back to old man winter who asks you about the one
that you read he starts going on about the symbols on this big magic ball and how it exudes a powerful amount of magicka when suddenly this walking bag of jaundice comes in and interrupts him he asks why someone from the psijic order is here asking for me specifically i'm like aren't you just an advisor dude and he's like uh yeah but still come with me so i follow volcano down and sure enough the guy's just hanging out with the archmage on approach the world goes gray again and
everyone disappears apparently this is something that he can do to have a private conversation which is actually cool he tells you that his order watches over everything magic related and noted that the object that we found called the eye of magnus is

extremely

dangerous and might be used for the wrong reasons if left unchecked and finally he directs you to someone named the auger of dunlain who is supposed to be somewhere here on the college grounds i asked the old man about him and he says
that he's located beneath the college in a semi-dangerous stretch i asked the guy to tell me more about the auger and he's like well he was before my time but he was super brilliant and focused maybe even too focused and then the accident happened what what accident there is no option to ask what accident even though it's very obvious that any person anywhere would ask that i guess my character zoned out so it's down to midden which sounds pretty intimidating but the place you
gotta get to takes like two minutes when you get to the door a voice goes you can't come this way it's useless and then you wait four seconds and he goes god damn you're persistent alright come on in the auger is actually a big bunch of swirling light and he answers your questions like god and futurama but not before telling you that it's too late this is a really stupid way of trying to create a sense of defeat that isn't there the auger tells you multiple times that
it's too late that everything set into motion can't be reversed and that there's not much to be done then he tells you what you can do about all this okay so the eye of magnus apparently needs a staff to utilize it properly and prevent it from being super destructive the staff of magnus is supposed to be a powerful staff of old as the archmage mentions when you return moses also lets you know that volcano visited earlier with a bunch of aggressive questions so that's fun when you
return to the archmage she gives you a big round of applause for being the best apprentice ever this would be the part of the mages guild where i get a new title but as mentioned before we're done with those apparently in elder scrolls but what

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does make sure is that you get some kind of physical item it doesn't matter if this quest took me a grand total of seven minutes four and a half of which was listening to people talk i have to get something for my troubles or how else am i
gonna be entertained todd anyways you inquire about this staff and this lady says that a group from cyrodiil called the synod was after it they're portrayed as a very self-important group that's hell-bent on the gathering of powerful knowledge and artifacts it's odd because mirabelle here tells you that she would rather them not be collecting such dangerous objects but i guess she wasn't concerned enough to organize any sort of group to maybe go along and stop these guys from
obtaining the staff of magnus by any means i guess it's fortunate that i came along and she remembered which runes they were headed off to when you arrive at the dwemer rune there's a guy who's almost dead who gives you instructions to go to the oculri whatever that is so you get to the center of this tootsie pop and the guy goes what'd you do with my colleague and i go yeah he's dead and he goes damn must have been the falmer it's a weird 180 on that suspicion but hey
we'll take it this fella starts going on and on about how this whole thing was his idea and how brilliant he is and all that stuff then he leads you to this big ass room with this big ass spherical astrolabe thing in the center i slapped the buttons for a while before going alright what am i missing and then he explained to me that i need to use cold and insulted the college again for being inferior to the synod i'd say that i'm offended but i literally did not know a cold spell so
yeah anyways i get this thing going and the guy starts losing his after a projection of

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appears apparently it was supposed to show the entire continent of tamriel and light up places of important magical artifacts but it stopped in

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because of the eye of magnus he accuses you of being some kind of slick undercover agent attempting to stop him from completing his work which doesn't make any sense in the slightest because i retrieved the focusing crystal for him and did all of
the work he then starts going off about how this is better than he ever could have hoped for because now he's going to report to the rest of the synod in cyrodiil about this so-called scheme that the college is involved in so the dude's kind of nuts he also goes oh yeah the staff you're looking for is probably in the labyrinthian not that that matters after i report this alrighty buddy see ya on my way out mirage man makes a mini message telling me to march to the mages effectively
halting my retrieval of the big important staff well turns out avocado has really done it this time and the lad has decided that the best course of action is to zap the big beef and ball at the center of the hall so you bust in on him and he doesn't say much besides oh my wa and then makes the archmage part of the school's foundation the other girl from before goes hey hey get up i need you on your feet what are you doing my feet were never anywhere but on so i run outside and yeah this
guy's not going anywhere he's so rooted into the ground that it's like trying to loot a tree at this point so i have to go protect the town now because father time would much rather water the archmage than be useful in this game i slay the hell out of these magic worms and loot their bodies for some big boy soul gems and then report back to temporary argonian sits on ground to ask her what the hell she's doing she goes hey dude you gotta get that staff we'll sit here and be
useless i mean we're gonna stop guantanamo from expanding the planetarium when you tell her that the staff is in the labyrinthian she goes what the archmage gave me this item from that place and told me i would know what to do with it when the time came wow all right let's break down why this is storytelling the archmage might have been one of the most clueless higher ups i have ever seen in any of these games and the guy was literally the leader of the college when you ask him about
the auger earlier he goes that old myth what tall tales has grandpa been telling you today and then when you return to him to tell him that you spoke to the auger he goes oh yeah sweet man really cool when you tell him hey we found a big ball in sarthal he goes huh weird uh go look it up in the library a member of the psijic order visits after so many years of being shut away asks for me and then goes well there must have been some kind of mistake after he was done talking to me even arpeggio
shows some initiative here by going okay buddy that makes zero sense why did you really come here while the archmage goes oh dear i i hope we haven't offended him savos aaron was a dink and to sit here and give him this post-mortem significance like he had some kind of explosive epiphany and gave mirabelle an amulet that's going to help me now is just ludicrous given how he's behaved at every opportunity so it's off to pan's labyrinth the location that i am 100 sure will be
awful before i even get to it who knows what we could find and what if what if there are things guarding this place against six college trained mages i think we'll be fine we barely made it out alive you want to go back in might as well go forward we can still do this are we so yeah this whole place is about what i expected apparently savos was here before with a bunch of friends and they all died and he kept going come on guys we can make it meanwhile this disembodied voice is taunting
you first mistaking you for savos and then realizing that maybe savo sent you the most innovative part of this labyrinth are the frozen and flamey doors and they aren't really awe-inspiring to say the least it's kind of just another nordic rune which really sucks i mean the twilight sepulcher at least had the common courtesy to come up with some interesting room ideas the last room has these two wizards making a big forcefield seal thing on the main mean boy and apparently savos left
them there to die while promising to seal away the place forever and he did with this plank of wood afterwards you play peek-a-boo with the assassin that was sent by baklava while he was still controlling the big ball apparently and then you get back to the college where the big ward field has multiplied in size you use the staff on it run in and deal with the big evil dude once and for all he's invincible at first but you use the staff on the thing and it becomes the opposite of invincible
the dude from the psijic order comes in and goes we knew you could do it you know what you deserve to run this school so congratulations archmage what i don't think you get to choose this buddy this is like a police officer coming into a restaurant having really good service and going you know what you should be manager congrats on your promotion but apparently gandalf agrees and pronounces you archmage and that's the entire plotline for this guild i am starting to physically ache from
these guild stories of course there are side quests which include such thrilling entertainment as finding books finding an alembic finding some writings and finding a better game to play but we're gonna skip those i'd say the most interesting quests in this guild actually stem from the ritual spells which are available when your magic related skills hit level 90. all of the quests reward you with some very powerful spells and range from relatively interesting to pretty fun my personal
favorite is the conjuration ritual which has you taming an unbound remora i guess all in all i'd have to place the college over the mages guild of oblivion i just i i didn't like oblivion's iteration of the guild at all but i did enjoy the plot of the college of fraction more i don't know man all of the entertainment in

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seems to be

extremely

surface level and that's just it i'm having a lot of fun still just playing the game because i'm still running around
and exploring and leveling and crafting and fighting and gaining powers and glory it's all very much a non-stop dopamine rush and that's only exacerbated by the non-stop rewards for doing every single little type of quest in this game and even if you get bored of that hey there's mods but if you dive any deeper than the surface for the most part you're not going to find a lot of fulfillment sure there's chunks of fun story elements and there's some cool ideas and a
handful of characters and settings that really hold my interest for more than a few moments but for the vast majority of the time it's just non-stop

shallow

that really feels like a husk of the series and not the meat of it and that's why a lot of people like me got sick of dragons or make fun of the introduction or laugh about the near-non-existent puzzles because despite the lack of plot elements and quest depth the game is still fun to play and fun to mod and fun to pick back up
after some time has passed but if you're expecting much more than the thrill of grinding through a dungeon getting a new shiny or a power and then leaving through the shortcut that connects back to the entrance you're only going to be satisfied maybe 10 of the time all right let's get to the war stuff so like i said before i'm siding with the imperials the set of quests that you get when joining them over the stormcloaks is more or less the same but with a slightly different
flavor the big difference is the philosophy you're fighting for and the characters that you interact with the legion seems to consist of two main players at first general tullius and leggett ricka rick is a battle-hardened nord who is

extremely

knowledgeable about the racist traditions myths legends and emotions talia's tends to disregard or berate a lot of the stuff that she tells him as silly superstitions fairy tales and general nonsense but he always seems to take what she says into
consideration when he's done giving her for it my first mission to prove my worth is to clear a fort of brigands that doesn't take too much effort obviously and i trot my way back to castle dower in solitude to officially become a member of the imperial legion and immediately get thrown back into the fray on a mission to recover the jagged crown supposedly a crown crafted from ancient dragon teeth and bone this legendary item is a great show of power to the nord population in

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if
we don't recover it and it falls into the hands of ulfric stormcloak it'll be a huge blow to the legion's popularity for those undecided so we all meet outside this rune and charge into it taking on the stormcloaks that have littered the place i think the most fun way to play this quest is to sneak ahead and try to kill everything before the legionnaires can run into the obvious ambushes i guess it's not really friendly to the surely epic dialogue that they wrote for rika here
when she reveals that she's actually a single mother who lost her husband and had her son crippled at the end of a step you're out of your mind if you think they wrote any sort of compelling character in this game you run through this rune that literally has the default set of check marks for a nordic rune but with the added bonus of stormcloaks i just hate fighting with other people on my side because i always hit them by accident so you snag the crown push the wooden plank out of the
way of the exit and hand the power hat off to the general who commends you on your work and gives you a message to deliver to yarl balgruff and whiterun apparently the stormcloaks are going to attack the city and the good yarl has been refusing the help of the legion time to see if we can actually convince him otherwise well it doesn't take too much convincing as the yarl is pissed about ulfric being so indirect and has me carry his axe to him as a final point either you're with me or
you're against me so this is one of the parts of

skyrim

that i actually love listening to balgruff talked to his people about the country and what ulfric has done to it and then listening to ulfric talk about why he fights and what he's fighting for is a captivating

experience

ulfric stormcloak is an

extremely

charismatic man and he speaks extraordinarily well about what he fights for it's hard to not be swayed when he speaks of returning to his country after fighting for the empire
and seeing how weak and impoverished

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's become under its rule but realistically that's just part of being a nation and

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trying to emancipate itself is only going to do more harm than good to its people at least that's how i feel and that's how a lot of other nords feel i just love the politics in this game and it's a shame how they're padded by

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dungeons and

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animations and

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puzzles i just wish there was more love put into this game like it
has something to prove it's a huge game but just think about it there's five years between oblivion's release in

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s that really is not a lot of time to create something as huge as

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and then polish it to a perfect sheen that is until you look at a game like the witcher 3 which came out four years after

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and the witcher 2. it's really hard to forgive a lot of the immersion ruining interruptions like some random steward talking to you when you're listening to
the plot or watching ulfric do these weird ballerina twirls before finally sitting in his seat in the exact same position that balgrif does it's lazy it takes some of my favorite moments and makes me lose focus on them and it's hard to stomach with other developers stepping up to the plate and doing something massive but with love i mean imagine being able to outright kill ulfric stormcloak right now yes i completely ruin this set of quests if i do this i get that but why can't i
ruin them for myself you have a game series that at its core is made for safe scrubbing and reloading and trying again there is no game over there's reload the last save morrowind understood this when you could kill one of the most integral people and an actual deity lord vivec the game even tells you that the world is doomed if you do this even though it technically isn't and that's all there is to it i guess i just don't feel that spirit living on in this game at any rate sorry
to go off on a tangent there ulfric acknowledges your bravery for arriving alone and delivering another nord's axe to him ultimately though he sends you a way to take it back to balgruff and lets you know that his troops will be marching on white runs sooner than i think well turns out that this means like right when i get back as the yarl and an imperial commander discuss tactics one of the scouts finally blurts out that these stormcloaks are about to descend on the city right now which
means it's time to fight it out i actually tried to have a bit of fun with the fighting which i kind of did to a degree being untethered as a werewolf and mulling people is really cool but it also destroys the part where you have to return to hear the yarl's victory speech because everyone freaks out when they see a werewolf despite werewolf hq being based in the city walls it's not really a huge deal though to me because i already skipped the pre-game speech you know the one alright
men people are burning alive and our city walls are literally under siege but i need to tell you how important this fight is for the empire that speech it's alright though todd floated a dragon my way immediately after the battle so i did that instead of speeches just wish that being a werewolf against a dragon wasn't literally the worst thing ever when you report back to general tullius he gives you the first and maybe the only official middle ground title of the whole game and it
doesn't even sound like it's a real thing then he sends you off with rika to reclaim the pale from the stormcloaks this is the meat of the war as far as questing goes you go to a new region complete a precursory mission and then take a major fort when you return you get a new rank i know it's gonna sound weird but i kind of like it that's not to say i'd be satisfied doing much more than what's required but i like watching the map change from blue to red and the feeling of
accomplishment that comes particularly with the quest where you intercept the orders and forge the new ones it's kind of the best of both worlds from sneaking around and picking pockets to a giant battle that has you slaying a ton of men it's weird because when i slay a wolf or a bear or a daedra or a dragon i don't feel particularly powerful just feels kind of like another day at the office i feel like a video game character especially when the entire town including meemaw from down
the street comes running out to throw fists at dragons but there's something more grounded about going into a battle with maybe 8 or so men against 40ish opponents and just letting loose and feeling like a killing machine i guess i feel like a video game character here too but it feels better it's hard to explain i guess maybe it's just a personal preference eventually you make it to the rank of legit as well and the final assault is planned out while i enjoyed these quests for what
they were seeing rika at every single camp and hadvar at two of the sneaky missions kind of just deflated the excitement a bit it just feels like they could have had a lot of different people or like a couple different leggets involved in these quests instead of the entire operation seemingly hinging on three or so people the final assault takes place at windhelm where general tullius and nine entire men are waiting to advance on the city you march in and take on less people than there were
manning the forts and then make it to alfreck it's bittersweet to hear ulfric stormcloak give such a powerful statement about him belonging to

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and how the empire has failed the nation but it's not bittersweet because i have to execute him it's bittersweet because the sheer loss of potential here is staggering i get that it was 2011 but i refused to believe a game that has dragons fly in and attack whole towns which fight back cannot handle a larger amount of men fighting at
the same time you don't have to have literally hundreds fighting at once but can you at least line up a bunch on the bridge and outside of the bridge to windhelm can actually killing the emperor of tamriel as a dark brotherhood assassin have an effect on this war can being the master of the thieves guild affect the quest where you need to prove that the yarl of rifton has ties to the thieves guild can there be more decisions that affect any other major plot element in general it's really
upsetting honestly and to call any of these quests or this game so far a labor of love is just insanity alright let's finish this video up with the main quest and pray for the best so the last thing we did was recover the dragonstone and kill a dragon now it's time to pay a visit to the graybeards up on this godforsaken mountain to see what they want when i arrive they teach me the second part of a shout have me practice it and then give me a new one then they want me to retrieve the
ancient horn of their founder which involves you guessed it an old nordic rune what i can say about this one is that it's one of the more interesting layouts for a tomb and you can tell that it was a little more thought out plus since you had to get a shout to get this tomb pointed out to you they can even toss in a puzzle that utilizes the whirlwind sprint to progress when you get to the horn there there is no horn there's just a sticky note that says ha ha come to the sin so i head to
this inn and the innkeeper meets with me and gives me the horn i'd criticize the method here but i guess i actually can't fault her for doing this the way that she did she then explains that she's from some sort of group that historically has sought out and destroyed dragons and they're at odds with the thalmor she tells you that the dragonborn is the ultimate killing weapon and that dragons aren't just repopulating they're rising from the dead this lady is the one that
had farngar searching for the dragonstone which is a map that somehow shows where the dragon burial sites are using this tool delphine has figured out the pattern of dragon rebirth and can now accurately tell where a dragon will rise from its grave but she doesn't trust you yet despite giving little to no reason for you to trust her her reasoning for me trusting her is that she gave me the horn which is a reason to trust someone it'd be like if i did the whole crown retrieval thing for
the imperials and then brought it to the stormcloaks instead those guys wouldn't possibly trust me if i did that oh wait so yeah i guess i'm teaming up with this secret agent and we're off to a dragon that's supposed to pop fresh out of the oven to slay it but before that she has to change clothing right in front of you oh god oh she's gonna do it she's gonna strip right in front of me oh dude when you arrive at the area the dragon is supposed to be climbing out from
this lady tells you that the dragon is attacking a dragon it's attacking she then leads you up directly to the dragon which is understandable the best way to avoid a tornado is to run directly at it in a display of dominance turns out that this big ass dragon in the sky speaks at a normal volume and is great at talking dirt into shooting out bones i think the bones were forming a dragon but i'm not entirely sure about that might have been a field mouse we don't know delphine sprints
over to watch me gobble up my dragon load and then starts clapping her hands about me being a wheeled wagon born then she spills the bean and tells me that she's a member of the blades apparently every single faction in this game has fallen from grace because even these fellers have been bumbling around for the last 200 years in the hopes that a dragonborn would appear again after the last of the septums fell the most interesting part about this information that delphine gives you is the
fact that she believes that the thalmor the empire's enemy in the great war were the ones who set the revival of dragons into motion which is a hell of a way to attack a nation if you really think about it but of course this is just speculation at the moment to get proof i'm to infiltrate the embassy of the thalmor here in

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i should return this horn here first though all right so the plan is to get into this thalmor ass party at the embassy and then sneak around and do some cool
hood rat to do this i have to give this guy my essential stuff that i'll need you know stuff like weapons sneaking gear maybe a few potions for good measure but nothing too excessive so after getting that sorted out i give the rest of my to delphine who gives me my party clothes and some of her bath water in exchange i don't know what that's about my lateness is due more to getting lost on the way up this god's forsaken mountain than any desire to actually arrive late i prefer
to arrive early often the day before the party so as not to miss out on any of the drinking that is the most boring thing i have ever heard in my entire life fortunately my guy makes up for it by causing a scene for me when i ask him to and immediately becoming my boy for the rest of his short life i like this quest it actually gives me a very faint murder mansion vibe from oblivion obviously there aren't a ton of parallels but it just kind of feels like the stakes are really high and that
you can't afford to fail i may be a bit overqualified for the job but that's alright after grabbing some information a prisoner starts getting tortured by a guard and an interrogator i intervene and the guy actually has dialogue for if i've been around the thieves guild which is a goddamn todd miss day miracle after this my cover is somehow blown and they take old mort here hostage for a handful of seconds before they die the guy goes well i hope it was worth it because now i'm
gonna be hunted for the rest of my life they gave this guy a totally decent background story before this and they just piss it away his whole family was wiped out by the thalmor and he decided to work in the embassy as a spy to get back at them one day that's a great reason to help this operation out and then he's going to be mad at me for quote-unquote blowing it what else were you gonna do buddy this was the end game so turns out the dude that these guys found was an archivist for the
blades when the great war ended a peace treaty was signed it sounds like the empire was on the verge of collapse before this so as part of the peace treaty they gave the thalmor the rights to hunt down every last talos worshiper especially the blades the history of the way that the thalmor and more specifically the aldmeri dominion came to be is actually fascinating this latest instance of them becoming a threat to the empire is actually the third time the dominions rose in power it seemed to
crop up overnight a legion of elves who believed that they were the rightful rulers of tamriel they took advantage of the empire's weakened state following the oblivion crisis and began to form a strong resistance much like the nords of

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although

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's nords only had an interest in their own country not any other these elves took the somerset isles after proclaiming it was them who protected them the most during the oblivion crisis and soon after they overthrew the valonwood
government elsewhere's conquest came later growing the dominion even further tensions eventually reached a boiling point when the dominion invaded hammerfell and then cyrodiil sacking the imperial city titus mead ii fell back to

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where he plotted his counter-attack after this a tremendous battle took place which the imperials won reclaiming cyrodiil this was when the treaty was signed banning all talos worship and driving out the blades now there's way more to this and i love
reading about it and maybe i'm just the type of person that's really receptive to that kind of lore but i feel like there's an amazing story to be told here that wouldn't be lost on the average person playing through an elder scrolls game if it was just presented properly what i'm trying to say is why am i reading up on this stuff on the internet and being absolutely enthralled by it but then in the same exact game that this stuff stems from i'm dealing with like oh the
old archbage got blown away by a big fat gust of wind and died i guess you're the new one now i don't know anyways i guess the eld murray dominion doesn't have anything to do with the return of dragons and this guy that i'm supposed to be finding in riften is a huge expert on them he's also a total nut job who has locked himself in the rat way behind twenty thousand locks he lets you in at the mention of delphine and then goes on about the world being doomed due to the fact
that there is no dragonborn he tells you that the dragon who's raising the dead's name is alduin and that his return has been expected by prophecies for a long time when you meet up with delphine he shows you the location of something known as alduween's wall an ancient wall of knowledge about alduin everyone then meets up at i have legitimately never seen a game become more and more broken as time has gone on i like i just can't believe it anyways you make it past the
precursory puzzles to get to the sky haven temple where aspirin tells you about what these ancient carvings mean he notes that a specific shout was likely used to defeat alduin to which your character brings up the grey beards as an option delphine doesn't like them stating that they have all of this power but are afraid to use it to help i have to say that a lot of the main story stuff has some pretty cool looking areas and fun stuff to watch open and unlock and shift the lead up to the
temple and the actual temple itself are nice to look at and definitely unique it just sucks that most of the other stuff in this game is just very uninspired and samey so you pop back up the mountain to the old fellas and you ask the greybeard in command if he can teach you the shout that will take down alduin he goes what who taught you this the blades the blades i'm not gonna teach you maybe the world should just end you're not on the path of wisdom anymore all right buddy yes of
course the wisest action is letting the world end how could i have been so ignorant the guy's associate reminds him that he's being a big meanie head and they all teach you the word to shout away the weather and tell you to meet their leader parthenax now parthernax is at the very top of the mountain the worst part about this ordeal is the fact that you can't just be blown away like mario in snowman's land it's just an invisible wall actually now the the worst part about this
is the fact that this is supposed to be a super perilous journey and there's just like trolls and mountain goats hanging out up here anyways after being sat on by daddy parth you clap your hands on your cheeks and go oh my god yo a dragon and he's like yep check this out after you spit the spiciest meatball at him he continues to switch between italian and english before taking a seat and giving you the real answers now parth here loves to talk to people mostly about philosophical he
asks your reasoning for wanting to stop eldoween and reflects on those who don't want to stop the world from ending and those who do then he tells you that he doesn't know the dragon wren shout which defeated halloween because a dragon's mind simply can't comprehend it but what he does tell you is that the shout didn't kill alduin it just weakened him enough so so that an elder scroll could be used to fling him further in time to this era tearing a hole open in this way has
created a wound that with the help of an elder scroll could be used to exploit it to travel backwards in time and learn the dragon wrench out straight from the source usually gets pretty complicated with time travel antics but this seems pretty straightforward at least so far so now we got to get our hands on an elder scroll which is described by parth as a fragment of existence something that's always there but always isn't there at the same time we humans actually have a very specific
explanation of what elder scrolls actually are a get out of jail free card for plot development parth concludes this discussion by telling you that he was one of the few dragons who opposed alduin's tyranny way back when that he was the one who taught the first three humans how to shout and that the dragon run shout makes the normally immortal dragons mortal it's all a lot to take in but it is all somewhat interesting some more than others you conclude by realizing that the best person
to ask of the elder scrolls would be at the college the orcish librarian from before lets you know just how stupid you are for asking about the elder scrolls and goes on about them being all possible futures and all possible pasts all truths and all falsehoods they're like the matter of the universe incomprehensible yet filled with knowledge most people who view them go blind or mad or both so yeah they're basically the perfect way to fix something that the writers wrote as irreparable
but the most important part about this whole thing is that one of the world's foremost knowledge sources on elder scrolls was last seen scoping out a dwemer rune a few years back you meet up with this crazy old guy who's stationed far up north and i think that he tells you that if you get something for him he'll help you out with the elder scroll i'm not entirely sure about this one it's kind of hard to comprehend him the way to this guy's hideout is probably some of my
favorite scenery in the game but weirdly enough there's also another

extremely

cool landscape that's part of this quest because you can tell that the devs actually cared about the design of this dwemer rune yes it has dwemer spiders and it has the spheres and it even has falmer further down but the layout is really well done and engaging which is nothing like the thieves guild take on it where they went uh yeah you're three people here's a hundred enemies in a big open space this
part here reminds me of the descent down to the dukes dear freya in dark souls 2. well actually i guess it came out before that so weirdly enough i guess this part of brightstone cove seldora reminds me of

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and then this whole thing opens up into this very morrowind-esque open cave it looks really cool and it just hurts me even more to think that i went through all of this other in the game and didn't

experience

anything else unique like this beyond the twilight sepulcher i mean do
you know how many times i just wanted to walk off the beaten path away from the pointy compass arrow i would struggle to count three times this whole area has me wanting to see what's in its corners and what secrets it hides unfortunately it's still

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so i know better than to push it but man everything about this is really cool including the big spherical dwarven technology at the end i mean yes i've seen something similar in the college questline yes it isn't a particularly
challenging puzzle by any means but it's really cool to see this big thing spin around and calibrate and unlock and then just imagine these ancient dwarves of old constructing and using it to house an elder scroll i'm infinitely more amused than i ever thought i'd be by a quest at this stage of the game so all that's left to do at this point is to read the elder scroll the time wound and figure out the shout to defeat alduin it kind of sucks that elder scrolls games don't
really have cut scenes at key moments like these morrowind and oblivion both tried at the beginning and the end but

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doesn't even make that attempt even though they could really benefit from it so we watched these three nords taking on a bunch of dragons until eventually alduin lands and gobbles up one of them like a snack with two c's the remaining two decide to use the elder scroll on the dragon as a last resort and i learned the dragon run shout and managed to not turn into
daredevil when i return to the present time alduin's there and he's steaming mad you shout him down and scoop some of his scaly bits off and that's it it's a pretty lame ending to

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and it sucks that they introduce this big threat and they don't really oh uh i guess i can't hurt him when he monologues and he's gone huh i guess it would have been super anticlimactic if i just outright killed him there but uh it's kind of weird that the fella was just able to
sit there and i wasn't able to hurt him anymore again cut scenes so the next step of the plan is to try to convince one of eldoween's allies to betray him by giving up a weakness or just helping us in general in order to do this we need to use dragon's reach which is the palace and white run that was specifically built to hold a dragon prisoner there's some really weird back and forth with this quest mainly when you go to the yarl of whiterun and you go uh hey can i use your
castle to lure a dragon here and he goes what a dragon in my castle and i go ah let me slap this amulet on real quick yeah dragon and he goes oh oh fam all right yeah that's what this thing was built for how you gonna get it here by the way and i go oh yeah that uh that seems important i i mean uh i know a guy and then i run back to daddy parth and ask him and he's like oh yeah i was just thinking about that that's a really tough one oh wait you can just call his name like but
louder that's it just you know like his like just just tilt your head up and then just say his name but like loudly why didn't he just tell me that before i left so i call his name and he comes flying in to get his kicked in in slo-mo then he scoots in for a big old slappy of the chains on his neck when questioned he mentions that alduin went back to sovereign guard to eat the souls of dead people there's an entrance that only a dragon can reach so the deal is that i never ending
story this guy and we ride in and hopefully infiltrate heaven not exactly what i was expecting but hey that's actually not a bad story so far surprisingly before you can get to heaven though you have to go through an excess of puzzle chambers this means spinning stones picking up claws and fighting skeletons not particularly enticing but par for the course when you make it to the sovereign guard portal a dragon priest goes and removes the magic stick you beat him up and take back his stick
and then go straight to jesus's doorstep this place is really damn cool looking as alduin hunts and consumes the lost souls of war between the imperials and stormcloaks kodlak and ulfric are both here as well and they reflect on their wrongdoings as the great dragon sweeps the sky eventually you make it to shores hall where an absolute wall of meat greets you as the bridge keeper i feel like i'm 5 foot 11 next to this load truly a fate worse than these lost spirits i take him on in a
very brief combat before he lets me into the hall this hall is filled with heroes and legends of old many of which you hear from the nords in the living realm isgrimore himself greets you and directs you to the three heroes of the past who banished alduin to the future they unite with you and you shout the mist away and slay alduin once and for all this was a very cool ending for

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which is not something i actually thought i'd find myself saying but i have to admit the main questline is
probably one of the best and most well-written ones of the entire game in my eyes you watch as the scourge melts away as all frick and kodlak make it past the mist as the heroes stand triumphantly then you're given a shout to call a hero of times past from sovereign guard to fight alongside you and you find yourself back at the throat of the world surrounded by dragons they shout for the defeat of alduin who parthernax explains was still his brother in the end even if he did stray from the
right path then he flies off to try and sway the former followers of alduin to follow him instead there's a lot of little things to wrap up if i choose to from talking to the greybeards to the blades to the dragon who brought you to sovereign garden the first place but this is really it for

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if this were a true was blank as good as i remember video the answer would be a resounding now but like i said before i did have fun i liked the leveling i liked fighting things i liked collecting
and finding new but

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's biggest and brightest point is the fact that mods exist for it that people can fix the things that were wrong and add new fun to do i never felt this way about oblivion or morrowind and of course they have a ton of mods too but the writing was just leagues better at almost every turn it really makes me feel like

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was the beginning of mediocrity for bethesda even though it sold so well i could play these older prequels and be enamored by the stories that
they told all day every day the only thing i really wanted was better graphics with

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i want better writing and i know that bethesda can do it because i can read the history of different empires and be thrilled i want more compelling characters i know bethesda can do that because i've been wrapped up in older characters like dagother or shiogoroth and newer characters like poor sweet cicero i want more interesting dungeons and i know bethesda can make those too because they have
literally done it in the exact same game that i'm complaining about right now the fact is that morrowind had fantastic writing and combat

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has pretty good combat and writing for the most part oblivion was the bridge that connected these two and if bethesda keeps going down this path i'd tell you to look forward to elder scrolls 6 looking fantastic on the surface and feeling like fallout 4 when you try to delve any deeper but if i'm gonna be completely honest i'm unsure if
i want to keep pressing on with another

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video i know that i still have the dawn guard to do and i'm sure that there's a handful of side quests that might be worth doing but it's hard man it's a weird reality when i realized that i decimated this game's achievements on xbox in 2011 and then i never touched it again unless it was to mod it on pc and for some reason after all this time i had it in my mind that

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was just a great game and while it wasn't bad per
se it's nowhere near great either i really do hope that bethesda can find the same love for its series that people who grew up with it have for the older entries until then i think i'll just stick to mods or maybe just the older games thanks for watching for those wondering about new vegas trust me i'm gonna smother it but in a few videos until then i'm gonna take some time to breathe and pump out some smaller things that i've been thinking about first and then i'll hit
it hard after that oh and for you weebs out there i got an affiliate link with japan code supply that you can use if you want 5 000 yen's worth of sweet sweet japanese gift cards i don't know how much 5000 yen is that much beyond that i have a twitch where i babble about nonsense in real time every couple of weeks i have a twitter where i say hey new video and and not much more but hey sometimes you might get lucky and i have a discord where people yell at each other and talk about pets
and anime and video games and it's kind of like hell but it's like a good hell then that's about it have a good one and merry christmas