The Elder Scrolls

I discovered the reason behind the almost 17 years old glitch, than not a lot of people know about. [TES III: Morrowind]

TheElderScrolls5 - I discovered the reason behind the almost 17 years old glitch, than not a lot of people know about. [TES III: Morrowind]

Before I start – all the clips you are going to see here are on moded game, yes. There is not many mods, and non of them should have anything with the glitch, but just in case I installed another Morrowind on my PC (so now I have Steam version – SV from now on, and physical version of the game – PV from now on) and I did my tests without any mods too and it's working same way, so it's not because of mods. I don't have recordings from PV because on stream I'm using SV but I can do some If you want.

So yesterday I was casually streaming some The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind when I got a pretty funny glitch. Some of you probably know it – it was nothing else that Fast Talking NPCs Glitch. I was just jumping around in Ald'ruhn in Manor District and then one of the guards started sound like Chipmunk Alvin. I stared to dig, test some other things (at the beginning I had few theories what's going on, but I overthrew them myself) and I'm 99,999% sure I know the reason behind this glitch. It's even more interesting, because from what I and my viewers found – nobody really knows the reason behind this glitch and there is a lot of theories, that now I can tell you – they are wrong, or at least those reasons are just the additions, not the main thing.

So fast forwarding in my experiments (they took me almost an hour, so I will not bore you with theories that were wrong) the reason behind this strange glitch around jumping and fast talking NPCs is… Speed. No, not your Speed attribute or speed set in game with player->setspeed. Speed of falling and your character gaining speed when it's falling down.

When you are falling down in the game you are gaining more and more speed. The longer you fall, the more speed you gain. That's why the most common way to get that glitch is by jumping on NPCs heads – because when you are on their heads, technically you are still falling down in terms of the game physics – you can see this clearly cause of the mid-air animation. And for some reason, your falling acceleration and speed affects audio of NPCs around you. And for god knows what reason – only audio. But in fact, it has nothing to do with performing a jump by the player itself. There are even easier ways to get that glitch going.

Reason behind "Fast talking NPCs" – This is a clip from my yesterdays stream, when I was able to easily prove my theory. Like you can see – I got myself stuck on the lines in Ald'ruhn. I don't even need to jump anymore – my character trying to get stable ground is jumping itself. There is a visible pattern on my screen when the character is performing that action – the longer I'm in the air, the screen is more shaky because of the gained speed, then I'm suddenly loosing all my speed, cause my character landed on the line for a second. And then we have a NPC coming closer to me. When I'm slow – his audio is slow, but just seconds later I'm much faster so his audio is much faster too. It's not a random thing, you can do this without problems yourself.

But there is even more. Because of that glitch, there is another audio glitch, that it's little harder to catch and I didn't find anything about it when looking for it in Google (maybe there is something on the 10th page, but I will be honest – I didn't look so far). It is "Fast talking NPCs" but they are talking slower glitch.

Physics is inexorable. When you are jumping up, there is a moment, when you unfortunately are going to slow down, just before you start falling down and gaining speed. And yes – that moment, when you slow down is changing NPCs audio too. It's harder to notice, because first – you need to be lucky enough, to jump close to the NPC and make them talk when you are not falling down yet and second – on male characters it's harder to hear it, cause their voice is low pitch already, so you need to do this close to female NPCs.


So, this is the secret of "Fast talking NPCs" glitch. Your falling speed, is affecting NPCs audio. It's working both ways – when you gain speed when falling, audio gains speed to, when you are loosing speed when finishing jumping, audio is loosing speed too.

That's the whole secret. But I have some more information about this for you, that maybe could even help to fix it in some mods.

  1. This thing is working also on unmoded version of the game. I have GOTY PV installed right now and I was able to perform the glitch even with new character that was a Dunmer Paladin.
  2. Because of the character I created for testing point 1. I can tell you Speed attribute or Athletics doesn't matter in performing that glitch. In fact, it is even easier to do this, cause the only thing you need to do is to get stuck on the NPC, what is easier than jumping on their heads.
  3. player->setspeed is not going to change anything. Because of this and point 2. I can assume, that your falling speed is another variable that is used only for physics engine of the game.
  4. Glitch exist even if game has only 30FPS. But it sounds like it's taking more time to speed up NPCs audio, what has some sense, cause as much as I know this games – physics depend on FPS value. So the more FPS you have, the faster you are going to gain broken audio.
  5. I just checked it out – If you will use Amulet of Slowfalling for example, it's slowing your falling down, so then you can't speed up the audio.
  6. It's not only working on human NPCs. Try to do this around Silt Strider. Have fun! 😀
  7. About Slit Strider. Not sure about what reach the glitch have. When I was standing on Tedryn Brenur head in Balmora, I heard that audio of the Slit Strider was faster too. But when I was in Seyda Neen pretty close to Teruise Girvayne's House Slit Strider audio was normal. That could be because it was no longer NPC's audio but just an ambient. Have no idea.
  8. Some people are saying that it's because of mods. Not really. If you have some mods, that are changing physics then that could be a reason. But you don't need mods to get this.
  9. About that part of the glitch: The sound of the player landing is also only heard when hitting the floor after sliding off the top of the NPC at will, which suggests it may be a possible method of rapidly training one's acrobatics skill (is it the length of a fall, or its duration which acts as an experience factor?). Yeah, you can train acrobatics skill that way, but I would not name it "rapidly". And apparently duration is the factor. Again, tested with character from point 1.
  10. Can that glitch be fixed? Have no idea, you would need to talk with someone, who know engine of this game better. I just posted it here in hope, that now, when we can understand the reason, there could be a way to fix it.
  11. This is more like interesting detail for people who never played this game or they were never thinking about it – why performing this glitch can't kill you? In a lot of old games (for example Jedi Outcast or BloodRayne 2) you are dying cause of falling not because of traveled distance when jumping, but because of how long you were falling. In BloodRayne 2 If you try to play game on something else than 30FPS you can break the physics on the first map in a way, that you can die being mid-air but not even being really high. In Morrowind, game recognizes the distance of falling. But what is even more interesting – it's looking like game is ignoring Z position of character in lots of other cases. Recently I installed Aesthesia Groundcover – grass mod and maybe this is because of the mod, not the game, but you can notice when using levitation the grass around your position is moving like you are walking in it, no matter of your Z position. But this one is just a curio.

I hope you like it and maybe someone is going to be able to fix it now. 😀

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