first of all this is a random rant with no concrete conclusion as well as i'm quite poorly worded and am no good at properly articulating my thoughts coherently (also had one too many Cyrodiliic brandies) so please have patience reading this. As well as the mandatory English isn't my first language, sorry in advance for grammar and shit.
Recently played through Morrowind and just beat the oblivion main story line 5 minutes ago (Both for the first time) and it genuinely gave me a headache. not because of oblivion but the thought of what Skyrim could have been.
For some context for years Skyrim has been my favorite game of all time and despite what you're about to read it still is. Anyways about half a year ago or so the only device to game on i had access to was a prehistoric laptop that could barely run minesweeper so me being a HUGE Elder Scrolls lore enthusiast and my only exposure to it being Skyrim I noticed Morrowind in my library so i decided to give it a shot since i didn't have any other option. after 130 hours I came to the conclusion that it's probably the best game of the 21st century (my opinion of course). Not going to go into detail as to why i came to the conclusion as that's not the focus of this but it sparked something in me about the Elder Scrolls universe so my next step was to retrieve my brothers xbox 360 and order oblivion off ebay, which as i mentioned i finished 5 minutes ago. (only the main story line still got loads of content to get through)
Before having played either of these games i'd get really pissed off by the countless 'Skyrim bad Morrowind/Oblivion good' threads but now i can at least acknowledge and respect the place they come from. (Still annoying as fuck tho different people have different preferences get over it lol).
Mid post PS: really don't know where i'm going with this just need to type my thoughts out
Not taking into account gameplay, mechanics or side quests, solely the main story.
The bulk of what i'm upset over is how flat and irrelevant Skyrims 'conflict, journey, conclusion' arc is from a continuation of the fate of Tamriel perspective. It never occurred to me having only played Skyrim as i had nothing to compare it to but if you put it next to Morrowind/Oblivion it's proper shit
This next part will primarily taper to people who have played Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim or are At least adequately familiar with the respective story lines and outcomes. (Spoilers for each title ahead)
If we measure the Antagonists worth by the threat they posses to Tamriel then they're all big baddies, sure. Dagoth Urs sixth house take over Tamriel, Tamriels fucked. Mehrunes Dagon invades Tamriel, Tamriels fucked. Alduin eats? Tamriel, Tamriels fucked. All big bad meanies. Neat.
Now with that in mind imagine if the main antagonist of each game didn't start 'antagonisting'. Dagoth Ur stayed asleep. Mehrunes Dagon stayed in oblivion and Alduin never appeared.
If Dagoth Ur stayed asleep or whatever he was doing while he wasn't a threat, the Nerevarine wouldn't have sought out the heart of Lorkhan to kill him, therefore the tribunal would have kept their powers, therefore Vivec is still doing his thing, therefore the ministry of truth never crashes therefore the red year doesn't happen therefore the timeline of Tamriel is vastly different to what it is currently due to these events. Cool. (all speculation of course)
Now imagine if Mehrunes Dagon didn't attempt to take over Tamriel. Uriel Septim doesn't get clapped, therefore there are true Septim heirs to the empire, therefore the dragonfires don't go out, therefore the Empire is still ruled by true Septim blood, therefore the 3rd era never actually ends, therefore the timeline of Tamriel is vastly different to what it is currently due to these events. Cool. (all speculation of course)
Now if Alduin never reappeared then… umm…
Ulfric throws his tantrum and Delphine throws herself off a cliff.
All and all for the fate of Tamriel, fuck all changes (All speculation of course)
What made the previous antagonist so fucking great for me was the immense weight of the impact they had on Tamriel even if they didn't succeed. Multiplied tenfold by the moments before their demise. (you'll know exactly what i mean if you've played each game)
Dagoth Ur genuinely seeing you as a past friend, pouring his heart out, holding a conversation with you inviting you to rule by his side. Seeing himself as the betrayed hero doing what he believes to be the right thing as deluded as it is.
The (low res play-doh) expression on Martin Septims face as he realizes the sacrifice he must make to save Tamriel. Not looking for a way out but embracing what he must do as the Emperor, for his people, for all of Tamriel.
And of course how could we forget the 'Me bad, me very very big and bad' speech of Alduin as you click on him a few times while yelling fucking Latin or some shit at him till he fucking croaks.
I mean quote a single sentence Alduin says in that speech. How can you quote a dragon? What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive?
For years i was completely contempt with Skyrims ending only now realizing the sheer volumes of wasted potential when compared to it's predecessors
All that being said this rant was only directed at the main stories and I've got nothing but love for Skyrim and the endless hours of joy it has brought me 🙂
IF you've never played Morrowind or Oblivion I HIGHLY recommend you do. even if on the easiest difficulty settings purely for the sake of experiencing the story.
Watch the skies travelers.
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