20 February 2012

Playing Oblivion Day 2 part 3: Unrelated Cult

This is part of an ongoing series. If you want to start at the beginning, go here.

It's early 2012 and I'm playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Why? Because I (finally) can. Join me on my path to glory and the stabilization of the status quo in almost-Tolkien-land.

I press my horse onwards and leave the Imperial Capital behind in order to get some more adventuring done for the second time. Is there anything going to stop Martor from exploring new towns, finding ancient ruins, discovering new lands? Definitely not and the stupid localization won’t stop me from enjoying this game, even if it breaks in-game riddles (sometimes I wonder how these people make money with these sorts of translations. Strongly reminds me of the German version of Futurama where you could totally notice whenever the translators failed to understand a joke and pathetically failed at delivering any resemblance thereof or, worse, simply translated badly). So I decide to head towards a nearby city named Skingrad that Martor and Martin (what a duo) must have passed while fast-travelling to the Blades’ secret fortress but that I haven’t seen in-game yet.

I haven’t gone too far when I notice a path leading off the road. I get out of the saddle and decide to explore a bit – after all, that’s what I’m here for, right? I sneak through the bushes and spot some ruins (“Dungeon time!” My RPG-instinct chirps happily) and –to my terror- an imp stalking around said ruins. Luckily, monsters in Oblivion don’t have a very good sight-range so it hasn’t spotted me yet but Martor and I find the fact that these fiends from the plains of Oblivion are now roaming around here in the countryside rather distressing. After all, haven’t we fought our way to hell and back to close that gate? I spot another one and decide to do my old strategy of baiting them, one at a time, with arrows, dodging their fireballs until they charge and then cut them to pieces in close combat. Having a far superior weapon compared to my last conflict with the denizens of hell, the imps prove to be less of a problem than anticipated and a total of three of them, which were guarding the entrance of the ruins fall to Martors katana. Into the dungeon we go.

Upon entering the expected underground complex, Martor spots, separates and kills three more of the imp-creatures. They are much less dangerous now that the equipment is right. Sneaking further down, I hear human voices, going “Who's there?” or somesuch things. For a moment I'm fooled into believing that there are people down here who need rescue from the creatures of hell. Then I remember that I cannot even talk to bandits and that there are pretty much no neutral characters outside of cities and Inns in this world. Sneaking forwards I spot a man in black robes who, upon seeing me, conjures up another imp to attack me. “Kill the caster first!” says my RPG-instinct and Martor cuts him down without much trouble, upon which the imp disappears too. Well that was surprisingly easy. I look at the dead body. Is he with the order that is trying to kill the emperor? It doesn't seem so, after all, they were wearing red and turned into armored knight-things when fighting. Also I have never seen any actual demons in their company. As it would also be somewhat weird to stumble upon a bit of the main quest just off the road like this, I search the room and move deeper into the dungeon.

The dungeon is a typical ancient ruin from a greater time with glowing crystals lighting the vast chambers made from nicely chiseled stone. There are more cultists and imps roaming the place and it's obvious that the cultists have set up shop in here: There are alchemical apparati on the tables and mystical ingredients in the chests. The cultists and their demonic little pets aren't really a match for Martors brute force so one by one they die. The deepest recess of the place goes through a natural cave which ends up having an exit to the forest, not too far away from the regular ruins with the main entrance. Martor is heavy with loot but this time there is no turning back to the capital. If I'd go back there after every single dungeon I'd never get anywhere as, there seems to be one about every fifty meters along the road. It's nice that the game gives you a lot of content on the map but it's also irritating and a bit harmful for my suspension of disbelief. I ride on.

The next thing I notice is a winged little creature in the forest, a bit off the road. Assuming another daedric incursion into our world, I get off the horse, draw my bow and attack...

continued here

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