The premise for The Elder Scrolls is already patently ridiculous. There's a lot of super dramatic tension between elves and humans, nobody knows where the Dwemer went, gods com and go as they please, and there's a race of living, sentient cats. The whole thing is begging to be made fun of, and not just from an outside perspective, but from people who love the mythos. I've spent a huge chunk of my life embroiled in the world of The Elder Scrolls and I can tell you, as a fan, the whole world is stupid. This isn't to say it isn't endlessly fun, it's just pointing out that a world where every wild animal tries to attack you, and every NPC only tells you about local gossip, is a flawed world.
Skyrim may be the worst offender in the series for silliness. Between people being openly terrified of dragons and yet plunging headfirst into a battle with one, or how every single guard has taken an arrow to the knee, there's a lot of elements within Skyrim that will leave you scratching your head. The internet has taken notice of these golden gems, and decided to comment on them the only way it knows how: with comics. A few artistically inclined individuals decided they have had enough of Skyrim's nonsense, and voiced their umbrages through the magic of comics and memes. So forget your alchemy skill tree, the real magic is when someone with a flare for the comical points out how dumb our favorite dragon-language-centric game can be.
Any comic that ends with a muscular, bearded Norseman in a horned helmet, giggling like a loon while wearing pink boxers is a comic that genuinely deserves a Pulitzer. Can we also take a minute to appreciate that he clearly stole celery, which is such a waste of this awesome glitch?
It actually took me a second read through (I can be a little slow) to realize the actual comedy of this comic comes from the fact that this guy clearly isn’t in Skyrim, he is just behaving like he does. The fact that the cashier is wearing a modern grocery store uniform, the presence of a cash register, the fact that the cashier clearly hasn’t fallen for the basket trick, the fact that those are clearly just groceries in a brown paper bag. Even the earlier mentioned pink underwear point to the fact that this is a person in our world who thinks that it functions like his favorite fantasy one.
The sneak skill has always been one of the most unrealistic, because it’s the one that should be the most easily mimicked in real life. Instead, in Skyrim, you can knock over 20,000 pots and people that you are attempting to assassinate will only slowly walk over to the sound, give the room a once over, before going back and giving up. Sometimes they will even see the corpse of a friend, but if you crouch behind a crate long enough, they give up and go back to life as normal. So unrealistic.
As this image points out, it might not be that realistic. As human beings, we are prone to having blind spots, both in our mentality and our literal sight. You can have six cops out to arrest someone, but nobody is going to think to look behind the chimney, that’s ridiculous. So maybe we should cut Skyrim a break for its’ sneak physics, and give this guy who’s hiding a round of applause. Unless he did something really awful to merit being pursued by police. Gosh, I hope that’s not the case.
When they built the Skyrim universe, the developers definitely foresaw that some of us would do some of the side missions well before the main mission. Still, you’d think there would be a system in place where a person rewarding you would be able to sense the worth of the thing that is already on you. I’m not even asking these NPC’s to know what you have in your inventory or at home, just that they could have a sight based system that lets them say “Yes, the armor I have is useless to you, but you have my thanks and some gold.”
From an immersion point of view, it is kind of funny to imagine that these characters who offer you trinkets that are clearly beneath you either think your armor is all for show, or they vastly overestimate the quality of their own armor. So at that point, the only course of action is to Google whether this person will be useful to you in the future, and if they aren’t, you shout them off a cliff.
The ability to marry people in Skyrim was huge for some players because it gave you the ability to romance characters you had actually established something of a bond with in the game. After marrying them, you could make your significant other stay in a house you bought or built, and they could start running a shop there while also tending to your kids. All this while you skipped out and went on more fantastic adventures.
You’d come home to unload loot, or maybe build new furniture for your family (you aren’t a complete monster.) Maybe you even took the time to talk to your spouse. Some players actually want to pretend to be keeping up a loving relationship. Most players just want to get their hands on some of that meager gold. What’s especially hilarious to me is that the gear the guy is wearing in the comic is so high level, there’s no way he even needed the paltry sum of 700 gold. He’s just a jerk.
I’m going to walk on eggshells with this one so as to not be insensitive or offend anyone. Jesus was kind of OP. His alchemy skill tree must have been through the roof with that whole “water into wine” thing he’s famous for. And what kind of sweet sandals must he have looted to be able to walk on water, that must be like a huge speed or dexterity boost! I imagine when he defeated Satan in the desert, he must have dropped some serious loot.
So yeah, Jesus was also known for being the healer on his team. Let’s say he comes across some NPCs with leprosy, blam, healed like it ain’t no thing. Your buddy Lazarus was defeated? That isn’t a problem, he’s back, good as new. Heck, Jesus even has some of that Legend of Zelda, fairy-in-a-bottle-in-your-inventory level restoration going, because even after he himself was killed, he came back with a full health bar.
There’s a lot to unpack here in this comic, so let’s dive right in. First, we have the dig at Square Enix, who admittedly has given fairly linear RPGs as of late. I was never a big fan of theirs to begin with, so I get this criticism.
Secondly, the crack at Nintendo’s attempts at RPG, which is actually more of just dead-end side quests that don’t effect the main storyline in any way. Zing.
Thirdly, and this one is my favorite, the blistering commentary on how all the choices you make in a Bioware RPG, be they good or evil, actually pretty much land you at the same outcome, which renders them pointless and unfulfilling.
Lastly, we come to Bethesda, who has had such a history of sprawling, morally ambiguous and distracting storylines, many of which will definitely effect, or at least intersect with, the main storyline. It’s kind of the reason these guys are the best at these kind of games.
Do some people actually go through this kind of struggle? I know that if I saw my 300+ lockpick count dwindle down to the double digits, I’d have to walk away. Or maybe drink like twenty lockpicking potions. Or better yet, look up online what kind of goodies are inside that chest, which isn’t really in the spirit of gaming, but hoarding that many lockpicks isn’t a realistic thing to do in the first place.
Yes, I have been disappointed at how difficult it can be to open some locks that hold nothing but some moldy bread or whatever, but then again, I literally save the game right before picking any lock, and if the loot inside is worthless, I reload that save. Again, not the spirit of gaming, but asking me to suspend my disbelief that someone would spend the resources on a master lock just to guard some unripe fruit is also a bit much.
Sometimes I wake up way before my alarm goes off, and when I’m unable to get to sleep, I pop in a game to maybe start the day off with a little excitement before the daily grind breaks me down into a boring, grey pile of sad flesh. This is never a good idea. As much as I hate being responsible, it is next to impossible to stop in the middle of the action just so you can drag your lazy bones on to the morning commute. Why would you sit next to someone who ate eggs for breakfast on a crowded train when you can be the world’s savior?
Can we also talk about the fact that he found a way to plug in his TV while on public transit? I can barely find somewhere to charge my phone without someone immediately tripping on the cable and then shooting me a dirty look.
I’ve definitely caught myself doing this, and I’m not happy with myself that I have. I’ll be totally blasé about some of the great scenery around me, and then I’ll get immersed in a game and totally lose my marbles. I guess it’s simply because some of the scenery that occurs in games like these can never be fully replicated in real life. This isn’t an excuse for this behavior though, we need to find the middle ground of being able to appreciate our realistic landscapes as much as our fictional ones.
On a somewhat related note, I actually found Skyrim to be one of the more underwhelming locales in the Elder Scrolls franchise. I think it was because, due to the frequent snow, you often lost sight of the sky, which was one of the most breathtaking aspects of Oblivion for me. Those strange constellations and huge moons really drove home that you are nowhere near the real world you actually inhabit.
It turns out that Skyrim was released way back in 2011. I know, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but maybe that’s because it pretty much comes out every year. After its’ initial release, there were three DLC’s added to it over the course of a few months, Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. Then, in 2013, they bundled all of those DLCs onto a single game and released the whole mess under the title Skyrim: Legendary Edition. That sated Bethesda for three years before they released a version onto next generation consoles called Skyrim: Special Edition. I’m seeing a theme here. And of course, you know that they actually rereleased the whole shebang again THIS year with versions for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR. This whole series of events has me kind of worried for the staff over there, like maybe they all got kidnapped and one guy is just releasing Skyrim over and over again so he can keep collecting all their cheques.
I will never tire of the internet’s ability to turn everything into a Star Wars meme. It’s almost as bad as the Supernatural side of Tumblr. There have been so many lines spoken in that franchise, with most of them being melodramatic, or completely unspeakable in most day-to-day conversations, but when you take something out of context and aim it a hyper-specific scenario, comedy magic is born. So when something as silly as a galaxy far, far away takes a jab at The Elder Scrolls, or more importantly, Bethesda’s somewhat shady business practices, things kind of meld together perfectly. What I find more endearing is that this line was pretty dumb to here in its’ original context. I’m glad this underdeveloped line can find more use making fun of an overdeveloped series of games. Let’s hope that someone can find a way to use some of Jar-Jar’s lines to point out how idiotic the Fallout games have become.
Much like Star Wars and Supernatural, the internet is awash with people taking frames of SpongeBob Squarepants and misusing them for their comedic needs. When a show that ridiculous has been running for eleven years, they’re going to pretty much cover every subject you will ever need. It also doesn’t hurt that I have never met a person that wasn’t hugely familiar with the show, both as a kid and as an adult.
The two dimensional character of Mr. Krabs simply loves money, and makes no effort to hide this greed from anyone around him. His pupils are used as dollar signs more often that they are used to gain sight. Bethesda, who hasn’t outright come out and said that they are making their business moves simply to gain some fat cash, behaves in much the same way. And Square Enix is across the road in the Chum Bucket, desperately trying to recreate the secret formula.
After you've spent a long enough time in Skyrim, the stuff that used to scare you becomes more of a nuisance. Even the dragons begin to seem laughably tame, and the only reason you even bother with them is for some of these sweet bones and scales you loot from their majestic corpses. After you become so godlike that you can blast fantastic beasts out of the sky, a pudgy guard with an arrow related limp is going to seem like when you see a toddler swear for the first time.
Some people, even when they wield this kind of power, choose to still maintain some kind of peaceful relationship with these mere mortals. They don’t break the laws, and if they do, they pay for them with a quick little trip to the local dungeon and a meager fine. I, on the other hand, go full General Zod and will genuinely exterminate a whole town of innocent people than ever pay for a crime. Those laws were written by humans, and they mean nothing to me.
How the heck is security going to let his weapon stash aboard the plane? People can't bring in a water bottle or nail clippers, but this dude is going to bring in 76 wheels of cheese and a warhammer. This is a joke that has been made before countless times. Not the airport security one, although that too has been played out to death (I’m a cheap imitation of an actual comedian.) No, the dumb trope about how huge your inventory is in these games. And it isn’t just Skyrim, it’s everything from Zelda to Call Of Duty to Castlevania.
Nobody wants to see someone with a huge bundle of nonsense strapped to their back, weighing them down. But nobody wants to have to choose between picking up a single dagger or throwing away some Nirnroot or a bee-in-a-jar. Yeah, I was obsessed with carrying those bugs in jars around with me. I was next to certain they would end up being useful. They weren’t, almost nothing in your inventory is ever useful.
I have no context for what is happening here. I’m next to certain that intoxication is involved, but don’t quote me on that, I’ve seen people do weird stuff like this while completely sober. There’s a lot of questions to be asked here, like why would he put on the pylon, he clearly can’t see anything? And where did he get that stop sign? Did he pull it up out of the ground, which is incredible, or did he just find it lying around, which is weird? Maybe he brought it from home, which is, of course, the strangest possibility of all.
Whatever perfect storm of insanity occurred to provide this golden piece of art, I will always appreciate that someone saw this fever dream image and decided to turn it into a Skyrim reference. Sometimes you combine two great things to make a perfect thing, like peanut butter and chocolate, or pylon helmets and stop sign swords.
This is another video game trope that has been played out countless times. It’s sort of on us as gamers for this kind of thing to rise in popularity. We demand more and more realism from our games, so simply running over a heart doesn’t cut it in a game where someone programmed in actual blood physics when you dismember people.
So what choice to programmers have when they need characters to recover their health? Eating stuff, of course. It’s the closest thing we have in real life to recovering lost health, mana or stamina. But you don’t do it mid-fight, you sit in bed sweating profusely while you drink copious amounts of soup while your body knits itself together. Otherwise you’d see a whole buffet table waiting in the corner of every UFC match, which now that I say it, would be a hilarious thing to watch. Can we work out the logistics of this?
Casual players have something over people dedicated to the integrity and immersion of a game. For them, there are no consequences. Whenever we, actual video game players, go on a berserk spree and just flat out end everything in sight, we will either reload from a previous save or go to jail. Then, if we killed someone of actual importance, we just got boned out of the ability to do some serious questing.
The inability to quest is not something a casual gamer, who is sitting down for maybe a half an hour of mayhem, has to worry about. As far as they are concerned, a quest in a series of digital future corpses wasting your time with pointless and endless words. This is aggravated all the more when an NPC will mention some sort of silly fantasy name like Aela The Huntress, which is already dumb sounding, but dumber when you have no frame of reference. So you cut that NPC in half.
There’s an old joke about how you can build 100 bridges without being called a bridge builder, but you do something unsavory to one sheep, and that’s what everyone will know you for. That logic holds true for real life for the most part, where we know more about villainous acts than we do about heroic ones. I bet all of you can list more famous serial killers than Nobel Prize Winners. It’s just the way our brains work.
The people of Skyrim are no exception. The barely know that the Armageddon is even about to happen, let alone that it was prevented. But one dragon attacks one town, and one prisoner escapes that attack, now that’s the kind of gossip they will even be hearing in Morrowind. Heck, even people that may have actually witnessed your incredible deeds will still be inclined to call you a sneakthief if they’ve ever heard you were known to pick a few pockets.
So this whole comic is a reference to the amazing cartoon series Llamas With Hats, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to drop everything and check it out. It’s one of the most ludicrously funny series of cartoons I’ve ever seen, and I was pretty much raised on cartoons. Paul’s complete inability to retain the information that Carl is a dangerous person who routinely does hideous things is half of the driving force of the show, coupled with Carl’s lack of genuine remorse.
If that sounds familiar, that’s the relationship most players have with the guards around Skyrim. You might have just crushed the spine of everyone in the village with a battle-axe, but if you run away or bribe someone or maybe just genuinely go to jail, you’ll be out soon and then the guards will act like they can’t quite put a finger on where they’ve seen your face before. Which angers you enough that you start the whole process again.
I’m going to take a second to not address the joke here, funny as it may be. I need to talk about two things that I have a huge problem that occur in this comic. Firstly, Link is talking, and that is so, so wrong. Secondly, Link wouldn’t call them chickens; they’re called Cuckoos, you illiterate video game people.
With that unpleasantness behind us, it is funny that someone thought to address the fact that in two separate, unrelated games, killing a chicken/cuckoo will land you in a world of hurt. In the Zelda franchise, if you stab and irritate a cuckoo enough, it will call in thousands of its’ friends to fill the sky with an aggressive vengeance. In Skyrim, if you kill a chicken, which is easy considering they are literally the weakest creatures in the game, the townsfolk will all become enraged and attempt to end you on sight.
Townsfolk do not like it when their animals are harmed. This is hard to avoid when you are throwing arrows around like they are candy. Let’s say one of your highly overpowered albeit errant arrows strikes a chicken, well you’ve just bought yourself a bloodmatch against a whole community. Literally everyone who considers themselves a member of that town will attempt to end your life, so you better get to running.
Well, actually, nobody ever said you have to take that onslaught lying down. You are the Dragonborn, after all, so who the heck do these people think they are? Much like young Anakin Skywalker did to the Tuskin Raiders, you are forced to show them that they are up against something far greater than themselves. And when the dust settles, and you look down at the decimation you have caused, well, let’s just hope that you managed to save the game before all this went down.
Ok, I’ll admit that was a lot of frames of buildup for very little pay off, but it’s a Rage Comic, that’s their whole claim to fame. But you have to admit, when we played Skyrim, we all abused the power that was given to us, especially that first shout. Fus-Ro-Dah. It just, like, pushes stuff, man. That’s it. Who would think that just a simple concept as being able to sweep a living creature off its’ feet and send it sprawling away into the night would be worth building a whole game around. And believe me, I have every confidence that some programmer showed a friend how funny it was when he shouted a goat off a cliff, and that friend got all serious, grabbed his face and said: “We have the next Elder Scrolls game.” It kind of explains why they haven’t had an original idea since that.
I feel really analyzed here. I mean, I’m technically writing an article that is comprised of nothing more than the memes other people have created. Does that make me a master pickpocket? I like to think so. The layers of what is happening in this joke are kind of baffling. It’s like the inception of meme stealing memes. Was this in itself a stolen meme by the time I came across it? The first person who made it, obviously didn’t steal something they created, but they were definitely speaking from experience, so they obviously have proficiency in stealing memes. But if they were so proficient at stealing memes, how did they manage to make a brand new one that ended up being featured? Is that the only way to gain the confidence and intellect needed to make memes, by stealing other people’s memes until you yourself become featured for stolen property, therefore making you able to create your own, which is then stolen?
What is it about all of the children in Skyrim being insufferable? I mean, sure, I find most kids insufferable most of the time, but I’m a bad person. But these kids, they go the extra mile to openly mock you, knowing you can do nothing in response. The game never allows you to harm children, and the children seem to be annoyingly aware of that fact, and will throw it in your face. If it wasn’t for this power dynamic, I can assure you, there would be a lot of children being shouted into the sides of houses at 500mph.
Are these lines supposed to be cute, like these little scamps are precocious or something? Well, I have news for you, Bethesda, people for the most part also hate precocious children. Think of Anakin in Episode 1, think of how well received that little jerk was. Yeah, most of the time, when kids are this level of brazen, it just comes of as either ignorant or bratty, neither of which are endearing.
Blacksmithing is an integral skill in Skyrim and you’ll have to craft a lot of things to even get a chance to get your hands on some of that sweet, sweet Dragon Armor. Truth be told, that workaround of creating billions of daggers to effortlessly up your skill tree is a special kind of brilliant (special in the sense that only you’d only attempt it if you hate immersion and are more obsessed with success than fun.)
Sadly, Skyrim has yet to include the ability to simply coat yourself with as many sharp objects as possible and fling yourself bodily at everyone, but we can always hope that will be included in the next, inevitable DLC. Until then we will just have to get scoliosis hunched over the forge like a common rube, toiling away to get what now seems like incredibly boring Dragon Armor. My digital life is empty now.
Yeah, this kind of thing always bugged me. Not only because it made your tough as nails character who just set a bear on fire with his words, but because this kind of thing was avoidable in previous games. In previous Elder Scrolls entries, there was something called the acrobatic skill. Jumping around a lot, or falling off things usually leveled this up. That’s basically all acrobats do anyways, right? So the higher your acrobatic skill got, the higher you could jump, but also the further you could fall. Falling was definitely a skill you could get better at, which is realistic, as you’ll see in literally any parkour video. But for whatever reason, Skyrim chose to do away with this mechanic. I admit, the skill tree in Skyrim is way more impressive and fleshed out, with lots of areas you can achieve mastery in, but come on, I can fall out of the third story window of a house an instantly die. If I wanted that, I have three story windows in my real life.
Skyrim definitely has some weird quirks in it. Almost anything made of organic matter is edible, and they always either give you a boost or poison you within an inch of your life. Actually, come to think of it, that is fairly accurate to real life, except with more things leaning towards the poison end of the spectrum in our world. Still, why would a Giant’s Toe give you any sort of boon, rather than just make you an outcast for having bad breath?
This is on the developers, really. I’m not in a world of living skeletons and crab monsters just to make friends. I will utilize anything and everything I have to gain an advantage over the forces of evil, or more likely, the forces that have better loot. So yes, I’m not above eating the still warm heart out of my enemies chest if it gives me the chance to gain their strength.