The Elder Scrolls

I’ve heard a lot about this saga, and yet none of it helps me put together a concise mental picture of it.

How good is it? What games should I play? Do I need to play them all? In a specific order? What’s it about anyway?

Enlighten me.

All I know is that its western in origin (Meaning no Cat-Girls or other anime sterotypes), and that Morrowind and Oblivion (i.e. #'s 3 & 4) are massive fairly open-ended games.

Also don’t buy the Shiny Horse Armor.

Four installments. Arena (no 1) is fairly old and freeware if you are interested. Daggerfall (2nd) was amazing when it came out but it was buggy as hell even after it was patched. My recommendation is to go with Morrowind or Oblivion.

These games are the exact opposite of a Final Fantasy. You can roam freely attacking guards or important persons because you don’t like their colour of choice and forgoing their quests. You can do guild business, create custom classes and your skills get better the more they used. The system can also easily get exploited, so I suggest you don’t do that.

Morrowind’s only deficiency IMO (yep, my pc can’t handle Oblivion) is that the dialogue isn’t too compelling and spicy. And beating the game didn’t seem as important when you could spend your time sniping animals in the woods.

If I were you I’d give 3&4 a try. And spam Bethesda’s inbox demanding a Fallout 3 now. I’d tell them the dialogues had better reflect the Fallout atmosphere. I don’t worry about the open-endedness of the game, it’ll be probably be even larger. They’d better not cancel the frigging thing again. In conclusion, buy Fallout 3. And Morrowind/Oblivion till that comes out.

Daggerfall is by the far the best, but it is more full of bugs than a motherfucking anthill. Seriously. It can be a bitch to get it working on newer computers, though. It’s really always been in my top three favourite games of all time, since it came out, and in terms of storyline and gameplay, I don’t think any of the series has been able to compare. That said, most of the rest of the series is amazing. Arena is a little weaker, but it was originally meant to be a hybrid of a Street-Fighter style fighting game and an FPS, so if the RPG elements and storyline seem kind of rushed, it is because they probably were. Morrowind was a massive letdown from Daggerfall for me. Partially because I hate what they did visually to the Argonians, partially because it’s not as open-ended and lost much of the realism (characters don’t just swear at you sometimes for no reason as real people are want to do if you ask them a question at the wrong time, shops never close, et ceteras), and really didn’t have as well-written a storyline. Also, you couldn’t choose to side with the King of Worms, fuck pretty much everybody else, at the end, if you wanted to. Oblivion improved on most of this, but I still can’t help but prefer Daggerfall. Oblivion’s sequences in its place of name (the Hell of the gameworld) are amazing and horrific, but they get repetetive. The storyline didn’t really appeal to me too much, although killing one of the villains before he was supposed to die, thereby turning him into a puddle of goo that just kept fighting in the cutscene where he dies, was satisfying. I’m more of a fan of Daggerfall’s clever intrigue than Oblivion’s “rush to save everything oh fuck holy shit oh fuck demons shit!” themes. Oblivion has great gameplay (although it lacks Daggerfall’s unbelievably fun sword combat system), and a decent storyline, but it’s not a masterpiece work of art like Daggerfall.
Just, for the love of anything you love, patch daggerfall before you ever play it.
The games are fairly detached in terms of storyline, the only ones that are connected are actually games not in the main elder scrolls series; Arena and Battlespire are tied together. Battlespire was a more FPS exploration, since the games were popular as action as well as RPGs. There was also a fun game called Redguard, which is by far the most blatantly political of the games, which had a very rich storyline and Adventure, instead of RPG, gameplay. I’d honestly reccomend Redgaurd over Morrowind, in terms of general games. I believe Bethesda has given up rights to Daggerfall, so it may be online for free. I know Arena is, and Battlespire and Redguard are not. Legally, anyhow.

Got killed by a door (in patched Daggerfall)?

Redguard is about pirates. This could be important to some people.

I once fell through the entire world. The clipping just stopped and fell to my death through the entirety of Daggerfall. I died when I hit the absolute lowest point at any dungeon in a game, although, since I was not in that dungeon, I fell most of the way through solid stone.