So, I decided to go on a journey of sorts after getting really sick of Monster Hunter. I decided to play the entire Elder Scrolls series, spinoffs included, in order with as few mods as possible. The first game up was obviously Arena, and it sure was an experience!
Here are some notes on what I think.
-There are a lot of really weird decisions made due to it having a weird development. It wasn't originally an RPG, but they added so many RPG elements to it that they just said "Fuck it!" and made Arena a full-on RPG and not a first-person fighting game. Pretty much none of the Elder Scrolls lore you know and love was in the first game. Daedra were called Demons, there are a bunch of churches that never make a return, the list goes on. Many people consider it to be non-canon because of this.
-There are a shitload of monsters that never made a return to the series. Lizardmen (Not Argonians), Golems, Goblins, Medusa, and a Dragon-man are some of them. People often cite this as a reason to skip Arena, saying it isn't cannon. While this is true in some parts, I think Arena's uniqueness is what makes me like it a lot.
-The Oghma Infinium is freaking broken. In Arena, you're only supposed to have one Daedra artifact per playthrough. However, since the Oghma Infinium is a usable item, it dissapears from your inventory, and you can get any Daedric artifact again…Including the Oghma Infinium. What this means is that you could get max stats before hitting the main quest if you got the Oghma Infinium over and over. I actually ended up doing this whenever the game got too hard.
-Khajiit and Argonians look completely different. Instead of being Cat-people or lizard-people, Khajiit and Argonians are just humans with lizard or cat-like features. Argonians are also mostly white, instead of green.
-One of my favorite things about this game is the paragraphs that display when you enter any building. Since the graphics couldn't be made that great, and since the devs really were inspired by DND, the game gives you little descriptive paragraphs on what the room feels like. Stuff like how it smells, the aura of the room, the noise, etc. It really gives the game a lot of charm, and it makes sense, since your imagination is more powerful than any computer.
-This game's controls are really freaking weird. Obviously, these were the days before Mouselook was the standard, but it's worth noting that some of the controls are weird even for their time. Jumping was bound to J, and jumping forward was Shift + J.
-The maps are all pretty much flat. While things can be higher or lower, there's only one plane of elevation, like Doom. It's weird when you think about it, since Ultima Underworld has a full-3d environments.
-I really like swinging the sword with the mouse. There's no reason to do it since you could just hold Mouse 2 and move the mouse in circles, but it's a nice little touch.
-I actually didn't beat it, but I got to the second-to-last dungeon. There are around 18 story dungeons, divided into 8 quests. The first half of a quest have you go to one dungeon to get a special item, while the second half has you going into another big dungeon to get a piece of the Staff of Chaos.
-One of my absolute favorite things is the riddles. In the game, the door to the important item is often guarded by a riddle. These riddles can be solved all with your own logic, but you can just look up the answers online if you can't solve them. I really felt accomplished every time I solved the riddle by myself.
Overall, I really liked this game. The reason I didn't finish it is because it actually got pretty boring in the end, as there's really nothing to spice things up. I hate when people say that a game's obsolete, but I see their case far more in this game than with other series, since this one has pretty much none of the series lore. In fact, it didn't really become the series we know and love until Daggerfall. I'm actually going to play Daggerfall and make another post when I finish the game, until then, tell me your thoughts!
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