Road to Skyrim – Morrowind

It is interesting to note that as The Elder Scrolls series continues on, the geography becomes that much more focused. Arena encompassed the whole of Tamriel, the main continent in The Elder Scrolls universe. However Daggerfall features only the provinces of Hammerfell and High Rock while the third game is set only in the eastern most province of Morrowind, home of the Dark Elves (AKA: Dunmer.)  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With more focus comes the ability to add that much more detail to the world at large.

I have a fond feelings for the third Elder Scrolls game.  Morrowind is the game that really brought me in to the series. At the time I first came across this product, I was living with my brother and helping him take care of his children. We had a PlayStation 2 but we aslo wanted an Xbox.   I, of course, looked for Role Playing Games for the Xbox and knew a few existed. As my brother and I were looking through Fry’s electronics for a Christmas present for the whole family, we decided on an Xbox and a few games to go with it.  One of the games he bought, to be my Christmas present, was TES: Morrowind – Game of the Year Edition. This included both the Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions. This game blew my mind a little when I first played it. The graphics weren’t the greatest, but the experience – even on something as common as a ‘game console’ – was like nothing else I had played.  It was open and immersive and let me do practically anything I wanted.   A few years later my brother bought me the PC version of the same game for helping him with another project. Very nice. This is the one Elder Scrolls game I  know much about even if I have yet to beat it. It has been a little over a year since I’ve touched the game as well. So let us see how it goes.

The game failed to start when I click on the icon. Not sure why – if I remember right I played around with some mods last time I messed with Morrowind. That was last year though, I haven’t touched the game since. Instead of figuring out what is going on I just uninstalled the game and reinstalled it. This took a moment but everything seemed to be starting and ran fine.

Now I’ll write things down as I experience them:

As I start this program I realize that this is the first ‘modern’ Elder Scrolls game. There is a launcher with a few different options, including a way to look at the data files installed. This is for Mod support, of course. Morrowind still has a large mod community behind it that is still pretty active. However I’m playing this game mod free at the moment, due to my issues with starting the game.

I hit play

Familiarity washes over me as I boot the game up. The Morrowind theme, the iconic song that is now as permanently attached to The Elder Scrolls series as the Overworld Theme is attached to the Zelda Series, is playing. The slightly sepia tinged visuals start as the Bethesda logo forms. The menu comes up and I select new. Text comes up – a prophecy and then a voice. The voice is female and says that I am a prisoner being transported to the east, to Morrowind. Images of Morrowind quickly are displayed and I wake up in the hold of a ship. No class choice, no race. Just standing there looking at a Dark Elf.

The Dark Elf asks for my name. I put in my standard ‘Marckus’ and move on.

Going through the boat, pop-ups inform me of the controls. They don’t activate until I am told what I should do. As I exit the boat, a man tells me they don’t know who I am. Here is where I pick my Race. I choose my usual pick of  Nord, since I like the whole viking vibe. There are a few options here: Face, hair and sex. I don’t stay long on this choice, since I won’t be seeing much of my own self in this game. I go inside a building where I register my class. I can either make a class, get a class chosen by me by answering list of questions or just pick a class. I choose Crusader. The census taker then asks me to confirm everything. I do and head out of the room.  I itch to steal everything that I see but I don’t…this time.

I find a knife to play with, a ring in a barrel, talk to a Roman legionary looking gentleman and am now out on the streets of Seyda Need, the starting town. Freedom! I talk to a few people, pick up a quest or two and generally look around.  It seems to be a swamp town with many of the Imperial Legion walking around.  I save my game, steal something and fight a soldier.  Dying, I decide to quit for the day.

This is a way to start a game – it pulls a person in. Explaining a little bit of a game but keeping much mystery for the journey ahead. No going through a vast sewer/dungeon/whatever. A short tutorial where a player can find items they need with a bit of exploration and then sends the player on his way, dropping him in a full town to explore. That is great.

Out of the three Elder Scrolls games I’ve played so far, this is by far the best starting area. I also notice a few things that have changed. No longer do you ‘swing’ the mouse for combat, it is just click the left button and go at it. I like this though some might have an issue. Magic is much easier to use as well with a simple R to ready it located right above the F key. There are items everywhere to pick up. A person could spend hours just stealing people blind. (I have had friends that did exactly that, to be honest.) This is a modern game. It is obvious the developers took a look at the last two games and made some changes.

Next week I will venture in to the newest game, Oblivion. A game I’ve owned for quite a while but I have yet to spend a large amount of time in it.  That is an issue I need to fix.

About Warren C. Bennett
Warren is the Senior Editor here on Anjel Syndicate. He has a love of gaming that is only surpassed by a love of writing and music. He has been writing since his freshman year in High School but has been a gamer since bell bottoms were high fashion.

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7 comments for “Road to Skyrim – Morrowind

  1. Louis
    07/01/2011 at 13:31

    I’ve been playing Morrowind for so long I’ve forgotten what it looks like without mods. Thanks for the pics! Now I can really appreciate the texture mods again :-)

  2. Darkelfguy
    07/01/2011 at 14:39

    Actually, those screens still have texture replacers in them. Notice the rugs in the first screen and the buildings in the third screen. Those are clearly from texture mods, the original vanilla Morrowind had much muddier textures than that. Trust me, I know, I still have a vanilla install that I play regularly, but even with muddy graphics it’s still an awesome game :)

  3. 07/01/2011 at 14:48

    @Louis, @DarkelfguyIf they do they were still installed when I reinstalled the game. I thought a mod or two might be active because it seemed like the game was a tad clearer then I remembered it being. Like I Said in the article, I had messed with Morrowind and mods last year. But I just reinstalled the game to the same folder. Interesting…

    • Paul
      07/02/2011 at 07:33

      That can happen with texture mods if you reinstall the game in the same folder as it was before and you didn’t delete all the mods tex files before the reinstall.

      • Warren C. Bennett
        07/02/2011 at 18:13

        Hm. Well I guess I’ll know that for the future :)

  4. Parker Davidson
    07/06/2011 at 19:30

    I am glad to see you actually put some time into these games. Tell me, what is the point of this project if you just jump into the game and die, then give up? This project seems pointless if you don’t play through the game and note all the different ways the games are made and how things are put together differently.

    • 07/06/2011 at 21:55

      Hey Parker,

      I’m playing through them all over the five month period leading up to Skyrim coming out. The first four articles is just me going through the starts of each game – I’ll be getting in to the meat of each one later. I actually am putting time into each game. They are big games and even the starting areas of each tend to be 30 minutes to a couple of hours of play time.

      The point of the project is to show a road map of where The Elder Scrolls has come from and where it is going in the next installment. As you pointed out, they are big games. I’ve already invested many hours of my life in to this and will invest many more before it is finally finished. I Hope you keep reading though – it is an interesting journey.

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