The Beauty of The Elder Scrolls

The beginning of 2017 was filled with rumors and speculations about the next release of one of the most famous and successful video game series of all times: The Elder Scrolls (TES). First released in 1994 under the title The Elder Scrolls: Arena, the franchise has come to be known as an open-world action role-playing game. However, the series owes most of its fan base to its third installment, TES III: Morrowind. Most of the features as well as the lore started to form in that game and have since made every Elder Scrolls title a masterpiece of its kind.

So what is so special about the game? First of all, the game has, perhaps the richest lore in the history of video games. Starting to play the game, the player finds himself/herself in a fantasy world called Nirn, a planet in the Universe of Mundus. The lore of the game suggests a legend of the creation of the universe that is as fascinating as real-world stories of creation. There are four major continents on the planet, the biggest of which is Tamriel. It is also the continent where all of the games take place up to this day. It is divided into nine provinces, each with its own unique climate, history, and inhabitants. At the beginning of the game, the player chooses one of the ten playable races for their hero, that include different races of humans, elves, and other humanoid creatures. Each of these races has its special abilities, tradition, and appearance. Moreover, the game has over 4000 years of in-detail recorded history of the world. The player, however, learns about the history and legends from more than 1000 readable books (820 only in TES V: Skyrim) scattered all over Tamriel. Most of them can be found in the Imperial Library inside the Whitegold Tower of the Imperial City. white_gold_towerThese books also include captivating fiction and non-fiction literature: poems, sagas, books on alchemy, agriculture, etc. made by professionals in the Bethesda Softworks, the company that produces the series. The series include 24 made-up languages four of which are fully developed, although are very difficult to learn and have a rather small vocabulary.

The series is also considered a piece of art by its fandom. Not only is the size of the continent of Tamriel measured to be 918,000 mi2 which are equal to the size of Algeria, it also has a set detailed geography that remains unchanged from one game to the other (compared to 12,000,000 mi2 of the procedurally generated map in the First game that lacked detail.) This, however, does not mean that the size will remain the same. The masses speculate that in the next release the world will be 4 times bigger which would be bigger than Canada. But what makes this game a piece of art? Many gamers spend days merely on exploring the countryside or the cities in the game. They watch the sunset and beautiful sceneries that exist only in their imaginations. The gameplay includes the main story as well as side quests that, if printed as a fiction piece, might receive a critical acclaim similar to that of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The story includes a well-developed main protagonist who is usually a reincarnation of a legendary hero. For instance, the hero of the third game is the Nerevarine also known as the protector of Morrowind (one of the provinces of Tamriel.) He/she is the reincarnation of Indoril Nerevar, who is one of the characters in the mythology of the Bosmer or Dark Elves. The story is perhaps borrowed from the Scandinavian epos or the Poetic Edda. Using real-world stories is one way of making the lore as successful as it is. Finally, the gameplay is supported by a beautiful soundtrack that takes the player further into the fantasy world of Nirn.

With the last game released in 2011, the publishers of the game say that the sixth installment will be released nowhere in the near future, since humanity does not have the technologies to handle it. The fans, on the other hand, have taken over the internet to discuss The Elder Scrolls VI, its location, story, time period among other aspects of the game, but most importantly they hope that the qualities to which the game owes its greatness will be as breathtaking as they have always been.

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