Gameover: Who Writes This Stuff Edition
The other night in Oblivion I sent my High Elf trekking across the landscape to try and find the hidden shrines to activate their corresponding shrines in Chorrol’s church with the help of the official guide book. I do like to walk instead of taking the old horse given to me and instead of fast-traveling because it lets me discover dungeons, other landmarks, and gather as many flowers and herbs as I can carry to make potions with later. I finally found one of the shrines, activated it, and then as I walked away, past a low rock wall, something caught my eye. I saw a quiver of shining, silver arrows on a small chest with a book resting beside the skeleton of a long-dead adventurer. A book?
Books are everywhere in Oblivion, and unlike the stack of books waiting to be read in my real-life home I open each and every one that I can pick up without being labeled a thief. They’re fun to read, well-written, and often illuminate chunks of backstory in the Oblivion universe that might at first seem to have no bearing on the game but later can tie in to something you see or do.
The writing makes me realize that someone on Bethesda’s staff, or several someones, spent quite a bit of time penning all of these volumes scattered throughout the game. You’ll find them just about anywhere, from the upper class homes and throne rooms all the way down to the deep dark dungeons. They’re not too big, coming in anywhere from 5 to 15 short pages, but they get the point across.
Some are adventure books, while others discuss the various skills one can master in the game and their importance. One of the most riveting books I’d ever found was one describing an old scholar helping a young scholar learn all about the types of vampires living all across Tamriel. The one I picked up beside the adventurer described the rules of a special magical hunt. Not the most interesting stuff but I held on to it nonetheless. Why? Because it’s actually worth a decent amount of coin to sell once I reach a city.
What did you play this weekend?