Any informed discussion about most reputable and respected video game developers and publishers has to include a few names. Nintendo is an obvious choice, Valve has produced only quality (fittingly, it lacks quantity), and EA has produced incredible games, but also does/has done things to alienate many groups in the gaming community. More choices include Ubisoft, Blizzard, Naughty Dog, Rockstar, and if you hear the word Activision, you know you're talking to a Call of Duty fanboy and should politely end the conversation.
But any decent list of game companies has to include Bethesda. Publisher Bethesda Softworks has an impressive list of games and franchises, including Doom, Dishonored, and Wolfenstein, just to name a small few. Many games Bethesda has produced have been developed by their various studios, but few fans will argue that the best of the franchises under the Bethesda Softworks banner are any other than the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
These two outstanding franchises share some significant similarities such as each game involving a vast, intricate map with a role-playing adventure style of gameplay. The worlds, plot, and certain gameplay mechanics could not be more different, however. TES has brought us some of the most prolific fantasy gaming we could ever have asked for, while Fallout has brought us to a world somewhat like our own, but set in a post-apocalyptic-retro-alternative history in which North America was annihilated. Both settings make for amazing experiences and the franchises are similar, and it can be difficult to choose one over the other. But here are 25 memes about these two franchises to help determine which one reigns supreme.
25 Do One Thing...And Do It Well
We will most certainly keep coming back to this idea of video game logic, because no matter how much we love TES and Fallout, both franchises are chock-full of logical flaws. Practice certainly does make perfect and brewing the same potion 500 times can help one to level up quickly. In much the same way, building hundreds of daggers in Skyrim can help a player boost their Smithing level. This is a great example of how video games are nothing like real life and one any fan of Bethesda games can laugh it. Imagine spending 10,000 hours building simple tables and then calling yourself a master carpenter, or learning to inflate car tires and then calling yourself a mechanic. If only that were the case, we'd all live in luxury!
24 Sometimes True...Sometimes Not
The point being made in this meme is something the fans can definitely debate. Looking at the gaming industry as a whole, there are definitely companies out there who are far more guilty of "doing the bare minimum" and then getting absurd amounts of money because they know their loyal fans will buy anything. Two that come to mind immediately are Activision and EA. But with regard to Bethesda, the games are generally high quality, but some fans are right to complain that each new game (which generally takes a number of years) doesn't have enough new content to offer when compared to the previous. It also hits close to home when we've been waiting for so long for another The Elder Scrolls game.
23 Man, That Protagonist Sure Is Elusive
On one hand, we love the ability to fire an arrow and then quickly get behind something so that nobody can see who made the shot. It is also pretty funny to watch the hapless guards with arrows sticking out of their backs walk around aimlessly trying to find your character. While it is in no way close to realistic, we enjoy the stealth aspect, which we enjoy quite a bit in Elder Scrolls games but far less in Fallout unless one is using a suppressor, which is somewhat rare, at least early in the games. But we'll never stop chuckling at the fact that a guard can take an arrow to the back and then stop his search when he doesn't find the culprit.
22 Just A Shame
Fallout 4 was wildly successful and offered some new gameplay mechanics, and a new, interesting story in a spectacular post-apocalypse Boston. Many fans will still say that Fallout 3 or New Vegas stand as their favorites in the series, but no matter how much people complained about Fallout 4 (bugs, less-than-seamless combat, not quite top of the pile 2015 graphics, so on), the vast majority considered it a welcome addition to this beloved franchise. But in comparison to the DLC we got with Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Fallout 4's additional content was atrocious. The Elder Scrolls games have had consistently quality DLC/expansion packs, and so did Fallout except for the very disappointing showing for Fallout 4.
21 Not Entirely Wrong
While there were some enchantments that could be made to the weapons of Skyrim, Fallout 4's weapon modification system was outstanding compared to most of the other we have seen, regardless of gaming franchise. It was an exciting edition and allowed for an even more immersive experience for the player. At the same time, however, there were some weapons in the game that had no purpose being modded with anything and at times we felt like we were putting the equivalent of a muzzle brake on a pea-shooter or in this case a scope on a spray bottle. The meme captures that Fallout ethos perfectly — after all, we've all been there.
20 There's An Adjustment Period
This meme, like quite few others I have included on this list, doesn't really pit the two franchises against each other, but rather celebrates their differences, poking fun at how a Bethesda fan who plays both will need some adjustment time when moving from the bow and arrow/sword/magic style of combat in Elder Scrolls games compared to the mostly ranged projectile combat in Fallout. It is interesting that despite many aspects of these games being so similar, combat is so drastically different in terms of how the player has to go about it. Does the adjustment period take long? Of course not, but it certainly is a headache to deal with.
19 Hold On Guys, I'm Hungry
Here is a brief conversation that must be had regarding the healing systems in these two Bethesda franchises. What makes less sense, pulling out a Pip Boy in the middle of combat and then selecting a stimpak or meal to consume, and then getting back to the bad guys, or pulling open your backpack in the middle of a scrap and downing 42 potatoes and six cheese wheels? Either way, we love it and the video game logic is strong with this ludicrous aspect of Bethesda gameplay. Are we complaining? Not really, but the comic certainly makes a very valid point about how absurd healing mid-combat is. Sure it's unrelatistic, but it's a video game and they all have their quirks and charms.
18 Seriously Fallout, Get A Grip
In The Elder Scrolls, whether you want to open a door or some other kind of locked box, you'll have the same kind of lockpick to use. It makes sense. Tamriel has simple mechanical locks. Fallout, being based partially in the future, has much more variety in the types of doors and locks that must be opened, but despite there being a complex door that looks like it would be controlled by a computer somewhere nearby, we whip out the same screwdriver/bobby pin set and start the same task as we would if it was a locked wooden shack. This is another cute example of video games going off-the-rails a bit. This example of Fallout logic makes us want another so here goes...
17 Fallout Logic FTW
This is a four-for-one meme and just touches on a few aspects of how ludicrous the world of Fallout is. We actually completely get the point made in the bottom right. The children in these games are invincible...probably for good reason. Some people complain about not being able to whack kids in Fallout and TES games.
Sometimes you shoot an enemy in the leg, arm or head and they just explode, thanks to the Bloody Mess perk. The holy water one is kind of funny, but not really an example of Fallout logic, but the top left is our favorite. While there are coins (Septims) in Elder Scrolls games that are presumably made of some sort of valuable physical commodity (gold?), the use of bottlecaps is an extreme example of fiat currency. Either way, the economic systems in both franchises are comically unrealistic.
16 This Is Heartbreaking
We found this somewhat less frequent in the Fallout games, but they are not innocent of this painful, devastating event. It seemed like half the time when there was a hard or very hard there would usually be some pathetic excuse for loot inside, like a potato, or a couple of coins and some bonemeal. Breaking one or two lockpicks wasn't a huge deal, but getting up to five or ten, and then convincing yourself that you need to unlock the darn thing to not make those lockpicks a complete waste is an aggravating experience, but it is just part of the game, but still opening a chest and seeing nothing more than some useless items rather than a pile of coins and a new weapon was damn frustrating.
15 Ghouls < Draugrs
While the meme is damn hilarious, let's talk about what feral Ghouls really are. Contrary to what some might think, they are not technically zombies, in the sense of being somehow undead. They are very much alive, but have gone completely insane and no longer have the capacity for rational thought; rather being controlled by the animal-instinct part of the brain. They are absurdly easy to defeat.
Draugrs on the other hand, are based on Norse mythology and not only carry weapons and armor, but also have shout capabilities. Draugrs beat feral Ghouls every day of the week.
14 Main Quests Last, Next Question, Please
The question is, why would you? Anyone who has played a role-playing game before knows that completion has nothing to do with the main quest, and that while the main plotline should be amazing and give you a reason to keep playing, you miss out on a lot of exciting, funny, interesting quests if you ignore the secondary objective and quests. Not to mention that completing these is often the best way to find certain items and gear, not to mention leveling and growing your character and your understanding of the game. If you're even thinking about completing main quests before the side quests, you're doing gaming wrong. Your priorities are bad and you should feel bad.
13 Not Going To Happen
That is a dangerous idea. Hopefully, for anyone out there who has ever wanted to 100 one of these games, it is impossible for some of them. Skyrim for instance, had radiant quests that just regenerate after a certain amount of time, and therefore it is no possible to actually complete the game and have nothing left to do. But if the intention is to do every main and side quest in a TES or Fallout game, along with unlocking every perk, leveling up everything to its max, owning all weapons, homes, etc (you get the idea) some people estimate that is may take 400-500 hours just for a single game. This would take 16-20 full days. If you're trying to 100% any of the recent Fallout or Elder Scrolls titles, you're gonna have a bad time...
12 Gotta Love Those Tunes
Don't get us wrong, we have nothing bad to say about the music in Elder Scrolls titles. Industry musical icon Jeremy Soule did a great job on Morrowind and Oblivion but metaphorically knocked the soundtrack for Skyrim out of the park. With that being said, however, Fallout's consistent use of catchy mid-1900s songs makes for a unique playing experience. There is a soothing but also exciting feeling attached to laying waste to the Boomers airfield in New Vegas while hearing "as I go ridin' merrily along *jingle jangle*" or wandering through the wasteland, blasting mutant creatures and bandits alike to the tun of "Wanderer" in Fallout 4. It's one of those great RPG moments you carry with you into your day-to-day life — who can stop singing?
11 The Greedy Ones...
Why does Activision (Infinity Ward and Treyarch) just put out the same game with a new skin every year? See above meme. Why does EA do what EA does all the time? See above meme. Bethesda isn't quite as shameless as the other two companies we just mentioned (who are definitely two of the worst offenders) but they are continuing to make money off a 2011 game by packaging the DLC's along with the game (Legendary Edition), updating graphics (Special Edition) and of course there is the VR version. Do the games look great? Is it convenient to have the DLC's already included? Yes to both. But does it warrant paying full price for a new game? It shouldn't... But as long as people keep spending their hard earned cash on more versions, no one is going to stop.
10 Damn Post-Apocalyptic Insects
This could not be more true and hilarious. You can catch insects in Skyrim and they can be used for potions or for food. Some are dangerous, but the insects that we encounter in the Fallout games are more dangerous and cause more of a headache. While the meme references Fallout 4 specifically, we consider the Cazadores in New Vegas to have been the most nightmarish among the insects in the franchise. Mutated Fallout bugs are fast, many have a poison capability, and they generally move side to side while approaching the player, making them a small, airborne moving target that can turn a saunter through the wasteland into a frustrating, controller-throwing experience. Still, we wouldn't trade out time with them, it's just another part of the classic series', respectively.
9 VATS Is Too Awesome
Even if you play on an easier difficulty, a Frost Troll can easily lay waste to an inexperienced player. We strongly question whether having the ability to go into a system like V.A.T.S would make any difference in Tamriel, but much like many players like to do to Deathclaws, we're fans of the idea of being able to quickly target the leg of a frost troll for instance, to disable or at least slow the damn thing down. But this goes back to a point we made earlier, if you've recently made the switch from Fallout to an Elder Scrolls game it can be hard to stop hitting the button to enter V.A.T.S. which can get very frustrating when you suddenly encounter a strong enemy.
8 Nice Logic, No Logic
No meme-related article about video games can be written without a few instances of "video game logic". Like "wiping blood out of one's eyes" to recover health in many Call of Duty (and other FPS) games, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls have no shortage of their own logical failures. One of the funniest occurs in Fallout games when the protagonist is equipped with an energy weapon. Defeating an enemy with this kind of power can often turn them into a pile of unrecognizable ashes, but much to our excitement and surprise, that enemy with the impressive gun that just got vaporized can still be searched and the weapon is still intact.
7 Who Has The Time for This?
The settlement building mini-game (if we can call it that) in Fallout 4 was a pretty cool concept, and many people with a great deal of skill, evidently some artistic flair, and of course some time on their hands made some very impressive settlements. These people deserve kudos and we have to imagine that there is a possibility that some young person who picked up this game might one day venture into the real world of architecture and build something absurdly cool. But the meme is true: for most of us, a few barricades, a turret here and there and maybe a shack with some beds scattered throughout is the best we can offer our poor settlers.
6 Vault Dweller Or Tony Stark?
We've given the Fallout franchise a hard time in this article (and will continue to do so, while we also sing praises when they are due) but we have to admit that regardless of which game or franchise we are discussing, Bethesda does try to offer some new experiences with every new title while keeping what we loved about the previous ones. Allowing players to build, maintain and customize our power armor in Fallout 4 was a great addition to the game and we'd be lying if we walked into a room filled with modified power armor and didn't feel a bit like Iron Man. And, of course,
5 Preston...Give Me A Minute
Remember what we said about the settlement building system? It was interesting but when there is a wasteland out there to explore, who really has the time to pay attention to this kind of thing? We feel the same way about protecting these settlements. It was kind of exciting the first couple of times, showing up to a settlement and helping the locals fight off a Deathclaw, but when it became a regular occurrence, the novelty quickly wore off. It almost makes us think of another game that had a nasty tendency to HEY COUSIN, LET'S GO BOWLING! Yes, Preston Garvey is basically Roman Bellic but with a better voice and a nice rifle.
4 Not The Worst Theory Out There...
We mentioned earlier that the settings of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls are quite significantly different. In Tamriel we have various non-human races and several regions, all with their own distinct creatures, environments, and cultures. In the Wasteland we have mutated animals, mutated humans, ghouls, and relatively unaffected survivors of the nuclear war.
In Fallout 4 players encountered an Easter egg that made it seem as though perhaps these two worlds actually exist in the same universe. On the Prydwen, the Brotherhood of Steel's airship, the player can find an "experimental plant" which has healing properties and only grows near water. This sounds exactly like Nirnroot from The Elder Scrolls. Is this enough to expect a crossover game? Good God, we hope not. But it is interesting to note that this would imply that Fallout came first and TES exists in the future.
3 Pretty Much
We mentioned this before but it is worth coming back to. We have to imagine that there are people out there who have paid three times for this game: once for the original, once again for the 2016 remastered version, and more recently around the end of 2017 for the VR Nintendo Switch game. We get it, the game was amazing, it sounded good, looked good, had good combat, some exciting characters and of course, an overall memorable experience that kept people playing for hundreds of hours. But at this point, between the first release, the Legendary, Remastered, and most recent VR edition, Bethesda are not just beating a dead horse but are no basically making ground horse meat out of it's decaying body (sorry for the vulgar imagery).
2 Those Tripwires...Every Time
This is an unfortunate experience that is shared by both of these franchises. It has happened to all of us at least once: you're on a quest, hacking/shooting your way through draugrs/bandits or ghouls/super mutants etc and you come to a locked door. You pick the lock and in your excitement you dart through the opening, only to hear that distinct sound of a tripwire. Whether it is some large object that drops on you, a couple of grenades or just a mine, it can break limps or end your player. As frustrating as it is, this is an important element of the Bethesda experience, there's a big, intricate world out there, make sure you pay attention and don't just float through the games.
1 I have To Catch The Dragon!
Think back to when you first heard about Skyrim, virtually all of the promotional material looked like it was going to be a dragon-packed, mess of an adventure. Playing through the game, however, it quickly becomes clear that dragon encounters are the exception to the rule in Skyrim, as opposed to the norm.
For those who don't recognize the lower image, it is from the show South Park, and character Randy Marsh is playing an addictive "Hero" game, after becoming discouraged from playing Guitar Hero. The game, is just a never-ending quest to chase a pink dragon, but as they say in the show, you never actually catch the dragon. For South Park fans who are also gamers, Skyrim felt almost exactly like this.