In recognition of twenty years of The Elder Scrolls, let's bring UESP's blog into the Throwback Thursday trend with a reminiscing blog post about my first encounter with the Elder Scrolls series. I say Morrowind was my first experience with it, and in a sense it was. It's my first in-depth experience that got me into the series, but my very, very first time touching a TES game is what I'm talking about now.
Back in 2007 or 2008, I was hanging out with my friend at his house, and he had Oblivion on his laptop and was playing it when he offered to let me have a run at it. Where do I start? I guess from the beginning would be the most appropriate.
I remember the chills I got when Uriel's sorrowful face came up on the screen and he touched the glowing Amulet of Kingsand started his opening speech: I was born eighty-seven years ago… It was very awe-inspiring to see the gates to Oblivion opening and to see Daedric forces and siege engines marching towards the gateway to Tamriel. Then, the cut to Tamriel and the fly-over of Lake Rumare and the Imperial City and architecture not like anything I've seen before. The theme song was amazing at this point in the cutscene: It always gives me chills to hear that crescendo and then the break to silence.
Then, of course, character creation. With the exception of Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, I hadn’t had much experience with completely open games, and never with roleplaying games like TES. Honestly, it was a little intimidating to look at all these different buttons and choices with no idea how it would affect gameplay. There were so many strange races that were utterly alien to me to choose from, like the Argonians and Khajiit, to even various elves. I can’t remember exactly what I selected, but after a lot of “What do I choose?” and “You choose and do whatever you like” as a reply, I came up with something.
The very first thing I did was run around in my cell hitting the chains and tossing my dishes around. There weren’t many games at that time that I played that had detail such as that, and it was very much the most amusing thing I did that day, running around in the Imperial underground interacting with objects.
After listening to a certain charming Dark Elf and then escaping out the sewers after over an hour of looking at every nook and cranny I could reach, I was exposed to a a large lake and the most beautiful scenery ever. Most importantly, I was right next to this huge city or palace or fortress that I saw in the opening cutscene just before, and I set off up the hill to find a way to get inside and explore.
I can’t remember much else about that first hour or two playing Oblivion, and all things considered, it doesn’t matter. But, what’s always stuck with me was this initial overwhelming sense of curiosity (and in some instances fear) of what I could find and discover in this world I found myself in.
Happy Birthday to The Elder Scrolls, and thanks Bethesda for giving me one of my greatest passions and all the memories and experiences that came with the last half-decade of playing The Elder Scrolls!