Skyrim owns you. It is, as they say, everywhere you are. I don’t usually make a lot of time to play games just for shits and giggles in the middle of the holiday season coverage rush, but my craving for nerdy fantasy epicness overruled my better senses. I pre-ordered Bethesda’s latest jaunt in the Elder Scrolls saga on a whim. It arrived. I set it aside for a few days. Then I cleared my schedule for 24 hours, cracked open the cellophane wrap, inserted the disc into my Xbox 360, and BOOM: nerdgasm. Wizards! Glowing axes! Melting people’s faces off with jets of flame from my hand! YES!
But for all its grand quests and diversions, one of the things that I’m enjoying the most about Skyrim is the all the weird WTF moments that pop-up during my travels. With such a vast open world to explore, I’m finding myself prone to wandering around and getting into trouble rather than sticking to the main story line for any length of time. Here’s a short and snappy chronicle of some of my random oddball experiences in the game presented in easily digestible list form.
Weird Things I’ve Done In Skyrim That Were F#*@ing Awesome (Volume 1)
1) Suicide Winter Pony Cliff Diving- Traveling around on foot is a bitch. It’s even worse before you realize there’s a RUN button (facepalm subtext: sometimes reading game manuals doesn’t suck). Getting a horse opened up the throttle on my desire to explore, so I immediately set out for far off destinations. The only problem? There was a goddamn mountain in my way. Ok, no biggie, up we go. Except the mountains in Skyrim are freaking HUGE. My four-legged companion was a real trooper. He didn’t hesitate or utter a whinny of discontent when I pointed him directly at the nearly vertical slope. We climbed. And climbed. And climbed. The climate grew snowier and more ominous as we ascended. And when my mount began glitching into the rocks and snow itself, I remember thinking: “this is not going to end well.”
I pushed onward until the game wouldn’t allow me to climb any further…and then I kept pushing. Stupidly. We slipped and started skittering back down over the rocks, trees, and debris until we hit a freefall. Then we hit the ground. I’m sure some wandering merchant will get a pretty penny off of grinding up our meaty mess to re-sell on the thriving food market. Horses and mountains don’t mix.
2) Creepy Voice Eaters– On the subject of climbing mountains, lets talk about Greybeards for a minute, shall we? Wizardly monks that live in total isolation are bound to be some strange dudes, but I was not expecting an old bearded robed guy to proposition me with a request to “taste” of my voice. I was half expecting them to throw off their cloaks and do this. Well, that or tell me my voice NEEDS MORE SWORD. Well met, Greybeards. Well met.
3) We Have Liftoff- There are many big, scary, dangerous things roaming about the land of Skyrim. Things you don’t want to bother with. Things that will f*** your world up. Things like, oh..let’s say GIANTS, for example. These guys look like regular humans from a distance, but instead of just getting bigger when you approach, they get WAY bigger. Then they come charging at you with treetrunk-size clubs. Yeah, it turns out you don’t need magic to fly in Skyrim. Avoid the giants, and for christsakes DON’T poke their wooly mammoths. They don’t like that.
4) Chug-a-lug- You can eat a lot of things in Skyrim. Butterflies, dead animals, artisan cheeses, dragon toenail clippings (ok, I made that one up…at least I think I did). There are also a lot of fine beverages to wash that junk down with. After amassing enough Nordic mead to open my own liquor store, I decided that lugging all that booze around was getting pretty heavy. In the spirit of “waste not, want not” I decided to put it to good use. To see what would happen, I rapidly downed 40+ flasks of the stuff over the course of a few seconds. My “stamina” shot through the roof, but nothing else seemed to happen. No blurry vision. No vomiting. No killer headaches. Those Nords are geniuses!