Burning Embers: The Games That We’re Thankful For
Oh Morrowind, Oh Morrowind, oh how I love thee Oh…wait that’s a Christmas tune. Does thanksgiving have any tunes? I don’t think so…But that’s not the point! The topic at hand is my favorite game of all time: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I could really wager that this game rivals even Skyrim, almost.
When I was just a youngin, about oh 15 years old I was turned on to Morrowind by a good buddy of mine who lived in our neighborhood. I would come over to his house and watch him play for hours, or he would watch me play the game for hours. We would discuss the various things happening in the game or trade tips on how to do something. It was all good and fun. One day he actually got a better copy, his old one kept freezing periodically (not as much as Skyrim has been freezing on me mind you), and he gave me the old copy. I could not have been more happy that day.
Good gravy I have put hundreds of hours into that game. I remember my first time playing through it at my friends house. I chose an argonian, and failed miserably. Later on I chose better and was waltzing around Morrowind happily as a Dunmer (Dark Elf). I can’t quite recall the exact details of every adventure but I do recall some things. I would always join up with the Mages guild, Fighters guild, and the Thieves guild every time. I would always complete the Guild of Mages and Thieves guild quests but I don’t think I’ve ever completed the Fighters guild quests, or maybe I did once. I did complete the Temple quest line once or twice and received the all mighty Ebony Mail and I took back the items they had me go and fetch once I was Patriarch. I was always a hoarder in that game, wanting everything shiny that wasn’t common. Then there was the Morag Tong. I had no idea you could join them until it was pointed out to me. I completed that quest line but didn’t know you couldn’t do anymore of the sanguine items quest line after you became the leader.
Then there was the walking. In my day we didn’t have fast travel! Nope! We had to walk across the island of Vvardenfell, with bad directions, in the dust storms, and fighting off cliff racers! Oh the cliff racers, those things are annoying as F*CK. I would always joke with my friend that I wished they had a “destroy all cliff racers” spell just so I could get rid of the annoying pests. Let’s get back to going around Vvardenfell. It wasn’t that bad walking around, however some times it was. I’ve had multiple cliff racers attacking me at once. I’m sure I had some sort of overkill spell at one time just to get rid of them before they got to me. That was not all of it though. NPCs gave terrible directions, and I mean terrible. They would rarely mark places on your map, and even then they would rarely rarely mark where you needed to go on your map. I remember the second person you had to go to for quests in the Mages Guild in Balmora. She sent you on a wild goose chase. I followed her directions to a ‘T’ and still didn’t find my way until I discovered that where she was leading me was the wrong way. I eventually found my way to Sulipund and that other place.
The copy that I played and still have was the Game of the Year Edition. This included both both the Bloodmoon and Tribunal expansion packs along with the main game. Oh em gee. I touted around with Hopesfire all day and night. ALL DAY AND NIGHT. That thing was my baby and the Daedra were my b*tches. I remember traversing the sewers, twice for quests from the main storyline of Tribunal. The first time was to defeat some big bad trolls and some altmer (High Elves) and the other was to escort this dude to cleanse a shrine. The latter was…interesting to say the least. I had to protect that guy from all sorts of assaults, but luckily you could make him wait while you cleared out a room. If you engaged in battle while away from him he wouldn’t come charging in to fight with you, unlike a certain Elder Scrolls game with followers (SKYRIMCOUGHCOUGH). The rewards you reaped from the quest line were so sweet. Trueflame, Hopesfire, and that ring that teleported you to Mournhold or Vivec (you could go to Sotha Sil’s clockwork palace but what’s there for you?) and you could summon that fabricant thingyjig.
Then there was Bloodmoon. Not only could you earn the right to own two houses on two different sides of the island, but you could even turn into a werewolf. There were two paths in this expansion when you got far enough into the main quest. You could either cure yourself of becoming a werewolf OR you could wait for the disease to take hold and turn into a werewolf and server the Daedric Prince Hircine. At first I chose the righteous path and gained Hircine’s ring which gave you the ability to turn into a werewolf at any time of your choosing. Eventually I took the other path and it was interesting to say the least. You couldn’t do much in your werewolf state except slash with your claws. I didn’t like this because I liked my swords and spells but it was good to be able to experience both sides of the story. Then there was the blue dev ring of viewing that you could retrieve if you didn’t chose the werewolf path. Hidden inside a stuffed cliff racer, you could use the ring to view the werewolf cutscenes. The best part? THE STUFFED CLIFF RACER! Oh yes!
I could go on and on for a few more paragraphs about Morrowind but I won’t bore you any longer. To this very day I still enjoy playing this game with a passion. I really hope that one day Bethesda remasters the game with better graphics and all the neat features of the latest elder scrolls game at the time. Many thanks to you Bethesda for creating this game and continuing with the Elder Scrolls Series.
I did enjoy Morrowind, but overall that game was just too much for me. There was one quest where you had to find this one person hiding somewhere in the biggest goddamn city in the game (the one set up like a matrix),which took me hours to do. And then right after that I agreed to transport this slave or something to some dude. The dumbass kept fighting every single person in a 10 mile radius, and when I finally got her where she needed to go, the damn house was locked! And it stayed locked every day for something like two weeks. I wasn’t skilled in lockpicking, so I spent every dime I had leveling my character up in lockpicking just to complete this quest, but it still wasn’t enough. At that point, I switched over to Oblivion.
Wow, I was lockpicking at every chance I got. There were plenty of locked chests strewn throughout the world. Either that or I used my open all spell which opened any lock in Vvardenfell that could be opened with a spell or lockpick.
I think the thing for me was that I grew up on console games, and even then stayed away from most RPGs. Not intentionally, but nevertheless. And PC games tend to be much more.. deep than console games are (yes, I am fully aware that this game was released on Xbox). So to go from games with the ‘Go to point A, go to point B’ structure to a game like Morrowind was, well, daunting (to say the least). Having played both Oblivion and Skyrim and gotten a feel for how they play, I’m sure I could go back and take on Morrowind. But that requires that I stop playing Skyrim, which I just can’t force myself to do!