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Elder Scrolls Memories: Morrowind - April 5, 2016

What is interesting about The Elder Scrolls was that even as Daggerfall was released, Morrowind and Oblivion had already been announced. To be honest, I never gave much though to Oblivion. I saw the name, but all I could think was that Morrowind was years away, so even thinking that Oblivion would ever be part of the series was way too far off to consider. Still, ever since Daggerfall I longed for Morrowind. As neat as Daggerfall was, there was no denying the problems with the game.

A foreboding world!
I pre-ordered the collector’s edition of Morrowind, and as soon as I got it I played it to death. I remember launching the game for the first time and hearing the title screen music. I just sat there looking at the title screen for a few minutes because the music was so good. It was a peaceful tune, yet noble, the music rang of great adventure, and also great tragedy. After starting the game, what I was happiest about was that you started your adventure as a prisoner aboard a ship, much as you began aboard a ship in Daggerfall. Some guy named Jiub began talking to me, and it was amazing, really talking, unlike Daggerfall where the only talking was the guards saying, Halt!. And of course it was fully 3D, and looked absolutely amazing. Well I went through the character creation process and soon found myself standing in the town of Seyda Neen. I did a quest there involving climbing on a lighthouse, and then I followed the directions given to me when I first arrived in the town. I was supposed to go to the town of Balmora. I was kind of disappointed that unlike, Daggerfall there was no option to fast travel there, but unlike Daggerfall there was actually stuff to see in the outside world, and not just a bunch of hills and the occasional dead tree. As I walked on the road to Balmora a man fell from the sky to his death. I found a note on his body, read it, and discovered that it was a very foolish guy. I collected the potions he had on his body and moved on.

I arrived in the town of Balmora. It was nothing like I expected. It was a bunch of sandstone buildings. I had expected more traditional European architecture, but it did not disappoint. There was this river running through town with the one pixel shader in the game, and it looked absolutely amazing. It was the most beautiful town I’d ever seen in a game, and it ran at a whopping fifteen frames per second. Morrowind was like that, it ran at a really low frame-rate in town, out of town was better, and indoors was actually about where it should have been. The game was so amazing that this wasn’t much of a distraction though.

I have fond memories of crossing this huge Dwarven bridge.
I still have fond memories of walking up the Foyada Mamaea for the first time, and discovering that ashland terrain. I remember the feeling as I walked in there. I was a little scared. This area felt much more rugged. I felt that death could come at any moment. It was a harsh environment. There were Dunmer tribes out there, living in the ash, truly rugged elves if ever I saw them. Morrowind was a very diverse nation. There were cities built into trees and mushrooms, there were ancient Dwarven ruins. I still have fond memories of discovering an ancient Dwarven bridge leading to some old ruins. I looked down from the bridge and wonder if there was any way to get to the road below. I’d have a lot of exploring to do. The ruins were equally amazing with all these signs of a civilizations long gone. Dwarves were my favorite. A race long gone, and yet, at one point you discover the last living dwarf, and all I could think was, that this man must be preserved, for an entire nation rests in his mind. Morrowind also featured Daedric Ruins. Purple in color, fear loomed from them. Exploring them was a joy. The best treasure was found there, but you could only carry so much of it back to town to sell.

As soon as the expansions for the game came out I bought them. Tribunal, I admit, was a disappointment at first. Most of the expansion took place in the sewers and I wanted more outdoor regions. But really, it had some good moments, my favorite being finding the corpse of Sotha Sil, a claimed god long dead despite many still worshiping him. Bloodmoon was the expansion I really liked. It added new outdoors areas and the medieval architecture I wanted.

Yes, Morrowind was a long time coming, but the wait was worth it. The joy to be found was immense. Morrowind is one of the best RPGs of all time.


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