Archive for July, 2014

No Regularly Scheduled Posts This Week

07 Jul

My inconsistent it’s-done-when-it’s-done schedule of updating has worked out pretty well so far, but for this week, I’m going to have to go ahead and explicitly suspend it. My duties running PR for Unrest take up half my time and I need the rest for my wrists to recover. Until things plateau around Sunday, I’m not going to get the chance to knock anything out.

I will say after this week, I’ll finally have some stuff besides the (very fun to write) Elder Scrolls retrospective. I’ve been taking the time to get my thoughts straight on a few topics/do the legwork on a few others and I think it’s beginning to pay off.

I do have video knocking around that just needs an edit and an upload. If that pops up, it will be late Wednesday. Otherwise–see you guys next week!

-Ruts

 
 

The Altered Scrolls: Daggerfall (Part 3: Narrative, Sex, and Conclusion)

04 Jul

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Remember that pernicious notion that Elder Scrolls games all kick you off as a blank-slate prisoner with no preordained backstory or circumstances? Well, we’re zero for two on that. Arena established that you were one of the Emperor’s champions–specifically, the son of his captain of the guard–who was thrown into prison for posing a threat to Jagar Tharn’s clandestine coup. While that does technically include the prison angle, it sort of leaves out all the reasons people think the prison angle exists in the first place.

You’d think Daggerfall, which in many ways blazes trails for the TES franchise, would have a more hands-off approach. Nope; the game’s surprisingly even more specific. Daggerfall lays out more premises in its half-minute FMV intro than you can shake a dangle at.

According to the FMV, which establishes firstly that Uriel Septim is your bro and secondly that he looks nothing like he looked in the last game (stay tuned for the screenshot hoedown next Tuesday), you’re a trusted Imperial agent with a very specific, defined track record of service who’s been charged with putting to rest the ghost of King Lysandus and recovering a letter intended for the queen of Daggerfall. How do we get from there to prison? We don’t. The game starts with you shipwrecked in a…dungeon? Look, there’s a very specific reason why, and we are not going to get into it. Let’s just say most of the game is running errands for nobility and clearing out puzzle dungeons.

If this all sounds like a pretty standard high-fantasy pitch, you’d be surprised; shit turns cloak-and-dagger pretty much instantly. The game’s high fantasy trappings are wrapped up tight in a Game of Thrones thematic fabric, highlighted by the fact that the playable area of this game–the Iliac Bay–isn’t one placid nation, but a collection of tense, culturally opposed factions on the brink of war. The missions by and large involve nosing into the affairs of various royal families–peeking behind the scummy veil of propriety to uncover a cobwebbed heap of romantic intrigue, betrayal, conspiracy, murder, and naked women, like, seriously everywhere. No kidding.

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