Games from the Elder Scrolls series are known for their insane depth. There's enough content in these games to keep fans playing for a long time. In fact, it's no exaggeration to say that gamers can play them for years and still find content that they haven't discovered before. Needless to say, the amount of stuff in a typical The Elder Scrolls game is staggering. It just offers players so many options, from its varied quests and character customization to its enormously vast and captivating game world.
Some players find these games so enthralling that they basically shut themselves inside their rooms for an inconceivable amount of time! While this might sound like some boring reclusive gamer hermit kind of stuff, it actually isn't since there's almost never a dull moment in these games. Of course, spending that much time on a game should come with its own benefits, right? Well, it turns out that it does. Fortunately, fans can scour the game's files by using console commands and developer tools.
The game originally had a lot more to offer and it's a good thing hardcore fans found ways to unearth some precious relics. Some intrepid gamers actually found a plethora of unused content hidden inside the game's files. There's a boatload of deleted stuff including unused skills, new playable character races, fully-voiced characters, mysterious dialogue, and even full-blown quest lines! So strap on your Dragonborn helmet, put on your adventurer's garb and prepare to shout FUS ROH DAH as we bring you 25 epic things in The Elder Scrolls games that were lost but are eventually found.
25 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Boethia's Bidding Quest
The TES V: Skyrim quest “Boethia's Calling” supposedly had a follow-up mission called “Boethia's Bidding.” There are literally dozens of unused audio files for this mission which involves infiltrating the Blue Palace and assassinating Jarl Elisif herself! Players would first have to act as the Jarl's bodyguard before finally dispatching her for good.
However, there's a major problem that's preventing this mission from progressing. Jarl Elisif is marked as an essential NPC meaning she can't be eliminated permanently. Since that's the case then players are basically doomed to fail this mission before they've even started it.
24 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Windhelm Pit Arena
TES V: Skyrim had almost everything that its predecessor had. Except for one thing, it doesn't have an arena! The battle Colosseum played a vital role in the previous game. It would've made an impact in Skyrim too, if only it wasn't scrapped.
So much potential gone to waste.
The planned Windhelm Pit involved tons of missions including full-blown arena battles against varying combatants. There's even a unique NPC with loads of recorded dialogue named Huki Seven-Swords. This arena is just brimming with unused audio, character models and stages! It would've been epic to see it all come together.
23 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Unused Enemies
There are numerous deleted creatures in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind that didn't make it to the final game. Some of these unused monsters would've added more depth and perhaps even more quests. Files in the game suggest that there were supposed to be unique creatures found in the Sixth House location.
No spell could hide them from the ravenous fans though.
Dagoth Aladus, Dagoth Velos, and Dagoth Malan could've been unique bosses but they're nowhere to be found. There are even unique Guars and Scribs that were deleted. The only way players could see them is by using other means.
22 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Order Of The Lamp Faction
How strange would it have been to be in a faction that's tasked at protecting another faction that players could also become a part of? Well, that could've been the case with the TES II: Daggerfall faction known as Order Of The Lamp. Files hidden in the game indicates that players could've joined this group of Mage Guild protectors.
Players are required to have an upstanding reputation with the Mage Guild along with good combat skills to be able to join them. Unfortunately, text descriptions and unused in-game prompts are the only things that are left of this would-be faction.
21 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Dragon Character Skakmat
Dragons might have been more prevalent in the more recent games in the series but they were supposed to appear way earlier. TES II: Daggerfall supposedly had a dragon NPC called Skakmat. While Skakmat was indeed mentioned in the game, his actual presence wasn't exactly featured.
Digging through the game's files shows that Skakmat actually had an in-game portrait which also included textures for his supposed model. However, it's quite understandable why Skakmat didn't make it to the final game since the material involving him was very much still incomplete.
20 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Wings Of The Queen Of Bats Axe
Fans found a rather unique and wickedly awesome axe in TES III: Morrowind that's unlike any weapon in the game. The weapon, known as "Wings Of The Queen Of Bats," can only be obtained through the use of console commands. It's likely that it was supposed to be an obtainable treasure or perhaps as a weapon for a certain character.
An axe that befits a warlock more than a queen.
Regardless, its main function remains unclear. Why was something this epic even removed in the first place? A weapon that's this unique deserves its very own quest, at least.
19 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Alternate Vampire Race
In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, vampirism isn't exactly exclusive to a particular type of race. Almost every type of character race can contract it. However, there was supposed to be a completely separate vampire race that players could choose to start with.
The game's Construction Set tool reveals two test dummies that were supposedly part of the unreleased vampire race. These characters have pale skin and disturbingly red eyes. It would've been cool to actually start as a vampire complete with its perks and powers without actually having to go through the trouble of contracting vampirism.
18 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim College Of Winterhold Security Guards
The College Of Winterhold in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is certainly lacking security for a university that's filled with arcane artifacts and precious valuables. It's like inviting thieves to steal whatever they want. Some might argue that a school full of wizards doesn't even need security.
Who needs security when you have students that shoot fireballs?
However, it seems like this school's security exists after all. Sorcerers called College Guards actually exist in the game's files but were eventually removed. Perhaps it's because their presence in a university that's filled with powerful magic wielders seemed quite redundant.
17 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall A Test Of Determination Quest
Some quests were omitted from the game due to time constraints but there's a quest in TES II: Daggerfall that was left out simply because it was mislabeled. Players originally had to alter the game files themselves just to play a quest called “A Test Of Determination.” The quest itself involves defeating a Deadroth for the player's vampire clan.
For players who don't want to mess with the game's files, the mere act of triggering this quest could be an additional, and quite unnecessary, hassle to deal with. This just goes to show that one minor oversight can have adverse effects.
16 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Trick Shot Archery Skill
Guards in TES V: Skyrim are constantly complaining about taking an arrow in the knee but players know that an arrow barely scathes them. However, players could've been more efficient with a bow if only they could obtain an unused perk called Trick Shot. Players can basically disarm enemies just by using arrows with the help of this perk.
The guards might be tough and resilient but this skill could really give them something to complain about! It's a shame that it could only be obtained through the use of console commands.
15 The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim M'aiq The Liar's Home
Every fan knows the comical Khajiit known as M'aiq The Liar. M'aiq appears just about everywhere yet but nobody really knows where goes home to. A peculiar gray room with the area code name Elsweyr can be seen in TES V: Skyrim's game files.
This is supposedly the place where he stays whenever he's not running about spouting comedic nonsense. It makes sense since M'aiq is likely from Elsweyr. However, nobody expected such a big region to be something as tiny as a room! It would've been nice to crash by his place and become the one who annoys him for a change.
14 The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Haunting
The denizens of Skyrim were originally at risk of being haunted by the ghost of their relatives who've just passed away. No, this isn't a horror film. This was supposedly a quest event that was pulled out from TES V: Skyrim.
As if dragons weren't terrorizing enough already.
This occurrence can be seen in the game files as an unplayable event that goes by the name “WIKill02.” It's ironic since the victims will be haunted by the ghost of the relative that they mourned for. So much for being a friendly family member. Where's Casper when you need him?
13 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Animal Pelt Collector Quest
Slaying dragons in TES V: Skyrim is hard work, so why not try hunting regular animals for a change? Aela the Huntress would've sent players on a hunting mission. It involves collecting pelts from a variety of animals including bears, wolves, and sabre cats.
Aela herself even admits it's not “glamorous, heroic work” but players wouldn't turn down a lady in need, would they? Unused audio suggests that this would've been a repeatable radiant quest too and the game definitely needs more of those.
12 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Rogue Wizard Quest
What's stopping College Of Winterhold mages from using their powers on the hapless citizens of TES V: Skyrim? Rogue wizards would've terrorized various strongholds in Skyrim and the player was the only one who could've stopped them. It's a good thing the Dragonborn is no regular civilian.
What's not good is the removal of this radiant mission along with a handful of pre-recorded dialogue. Skyrim does feel a lot more peaceful without this sidequest around. Then again, it also feels a lot more empty without it as well.
11 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Supply Line Quest
A quest where players are tasked at delivering mead to taverns across Skyrim was supposed to add more variety to TES V: Skyrim's never-ending radiant quests. It was supposed to be given by mages Borvir and Rundi. The mage twins even have unused dialogue from the said quest such as “How's the meadery working out?” and “We could use a pair of good hands and a strong back.”
Too bad this quest isn't the only thing that was cut from the game. The lives of both mages were also cut and their lifeless bodies can still be found in the game.
10 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Missing Apprentices Quest
The deleted quest about delivering mead for wizard twins Rundi and Borvir was supposedly changed and moved to another quest. The problem is, it was moved to a quest that was also deleted! College of Winterhold conjurer Phinis Gestor would've asked players to search for missing mages.
Deleted dialogue indicates that both Rundi and Borvir were among these mages. They were described as “obsessed with mead” which basically confirms the information from the previously deleted quest. Now that both quests are deleted, players are left with two lifeless characters with no story to tell nor purpose aside from additional loot.
9 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Imperial Express Quest Line
The Black Horse Courier is the official news publication of Cyrodiil in TES IV: Oblivion. For a place that's supposed to be rife with juicy gossip, it sure is devoid of any interesting storylines. Of course, that wasn't originally the case.
An unused script known as “ImperialExpressScript” found through the Construction Set tool reveals what seems to be an unfinished quest. It involves delivering letters to various locations. While that sounds like a far cry from more heroic tasks like defeating evil overlords, it still would've been a breath of fresh air, apart from the usual monster slaying.
8 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Collecting The Edda Quest
It's quite strange how the quests in TES V: Skyrim's Bards College faction had little to with bards and poets. Instead of embarking on a journey involving poetry and art, players are given menial fetch quests. What's even more bizarre is the removal of a quest that would've been perfect for the faction.
What's a bard school without poetry?
This quest involves traveling across Skyrim in search of various bards. Unused dialogue recordings suggest that players were supposed to complete the Poetic Edda by gathering verses from these bards. Now that sounds like work that best suits a bard initiate!
7 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Lod's Lot Quest
TES V: Skyrim citizen Lod might appear as a regular blacksmith on the surface. However, a deleted quest suggests that he actually moonlights as a grave robber! Unused dialogue describes how Lod was supposed to give players a book that he stole from the deceased. It's likely that Lod will start selling more stolen stuff later on since he says “come back later and I'll have other stuff.”
However, players could also do the righteous thing and just tell Kust about Lod's mischievous activities. It looks like even in the fantasy world, crime still doesn't pay.
6 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Research Thief Quest
Fans know how much College of Winterhold mages Nirya and Faralda hate each other. It's quite evident that they're bitter rivals in TES V: Skyrim. Although some might not know that they were supposed to take their rivalry to another level!
Deleted dialogue speaks of Nirya's masterplan which involves having the Dragonborn steal Faralda's research notes for her. Players could either do that or just warn her rival Faralda instead. It's unclear what happens next. However, Faralda's unused dialogue line “I'll see to it this is taken care of” suggests a grim ending. The question is, for who?
5 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Unfinished Rescue Quest
Most NPCs in TES IV: Oblivion all have busy schedules and daily routines. Not the character named Jirolin Doran though, he lives a rather dull life. This is because Jirolin is supposed to be involved in a quest where he attempts to befriend ogres after discovering that he has ogre blood.
Ogres are friendly creatures but only when they're hungry.
Since the quest was removed from the game, Jirolin now spends his time doing literally nothing at all. Perhaps it's for the best, especially after considering how the ogres were supposedly planning to eat him during the quest.
4 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Runil's Dark Past Quest
An Elven priest in TES V: Skyrim named Runil was supposedly part of an unreleased quest. Runil used to be a feared battlemage who mercilessly destroyed villages for the Thalmor. Now that he lives a normal life in Falkreath, he's worried that his friends might uncover his dark past.
Multiple unused recordings suggest that players could've chosen to either keep or expose Runil's secret. If they choose to reveal his dark past, his friends will react in disgust. Of course, nobody will ever unearth his secret now that the quest is left unfinished.
3 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Trius' Trinket Quest
Some might be wondering why an unmarked location in TES V: Skyrim is called Trius' Camp. Who was this Trius fellow and what happened to him? Why is there a mysterious note beside what appears to be his remains?
A series of unused player dialogue could hold the key to unlocking this mystery. The dialogue text suggests that players would've embarked on a quest to retrieve a trinket from a sunken ship. This was supposed to be given by the actual unreleased NPC of Trius himself. Furthermore, he was going to reward players with a new spell too! Oh well.
2 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Narzulbur Chief Wife Replacement Quest
Players could only challenge Narzulbur orc Chief Mauhulakh to a duel in TES V: Skyrim. However, a number of recorded dialogue suggests that fighting isn't the only thing he does. Mauhulakh surprisingly had lines where he vented his frustration over outliving most of his wives.
More wives, more problems.
He wanted a wife that wouldn't expire any time soon. Players were supposed to look for his childhood sweetheart Uglarz and convince her to reunite with the chief. Unfortunately, the quest never materialized. It's a shame since there's even recorded dialogue of the events that would've taken place afterward.
1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Civil War Defeat Quest
The massive civil wars in TES V: Skyrim presented more rewards than risks since players basically won regardless of which side they picked. Although the wars were originally intended to be more complex and dynamic instead of being fixed and predictable. There was even a possibility to actually lose battles!
Unused files suggest that the defeated player would have to flee whenever they suffer a defeat. Losing Whiterun to the Stormcloaks also meant fleeing the city through its underground tunnels. Sounds familiar? That's because that's exactly how the previous game started. Oh, the irony!