The Elder Scrolls franchise has always been ambitious in terms of the size and scope of each individual game, as each world is filled with numerous quests that can be completed in a variety of different ways.
The developers of the Elder Scrolls games are as much a slave to the deadline as anyone else, which means that there are a lot of planned features that are never finished on time and are left in an incomplete state with the files of the game.
The fact that all of the Elder Scrolls games are playable on PCs has meant that these features are only buried long enough for the modders to find them. This means that a missing feature from an Elder Scrolls game tends to reappear at a later date in the form of a mod.
There have been some amazing features that were cut from the Elder Scrolls series, which really should have been included in the game through an official expansion or patch, yet the developers decided to leave some content out of their games for good.
We are here today to chronicle the lost content from the Elder Scrolls series that have been discovered by the fans - from the arena where the Dragonborn could have become a champion, to the expansive civil war that was cut for time.
Here are 20 Amazing Things Deleted From The Elder Scrolls Franchise (That Would Have Changed Everything)
20 A Combat Arena Was Cut From Skyrim
One of the most distracting sidequests in Oblivion was the arena, which gave a lot of new characters the chance to boost their abilities without having to venture into the wild.
Skyrim was also going to feature its own arena, in the form of the Pit in Windhelm city. The Pit would have been involved in a subplot where the main character was captured and forced to fight for their freedom, which involved battling several different opponents in succession.
There are several locations and NPCs designed for the Pit, but they exist in an incomplete state within the files of the game.
19 You Were Going To Be A Postman In Oblivion
One of the first locations you are likely to visit in Oblivion is the Market District in the Imperial City so that you can buy some equipment and spells before taking on any of the sidequests.
The Market District is home to the start of a questline involving couriers that never goes anywhere.
You were originally going to be able to take on the role of a courier/postman in Oblivion which would have involved traveling to every city in the world and delivering letters. This quest was never finished, yet the developers neglected to remove the early parts of it from the game before launch.
18 The NPCs In Skyrim Were Going To Mourn For Their Relatives
The NPCs in Skyrim have certain set behaviors which alter how they operate in the game world, which includes following a schedule at certain parts of the day. This means that you may not be able to find an NPC that you were expecting, as they have gone out for an evening walk.
One of the scrapped behaviors in Skyrim involves a mourning mechanic, which causes NPCs to enter a period of mourning when one of their relatives passes away. This condition will eventually fade away and they will return to their previous actions.
17 ...Those Same Relatives Could Return As Ghosts
The mourning mechanic was paired with another scrapped aspect of the game that involved ghosts haunting their loved ones.
It was originally going to be possible for the deceased relatives of NPCs who were in mourning to come back as ghosts and haunt them late at night. It's likely that you would have had to try and put the restless spirit back to sleep, like a fantasy version of one of the Ghostbusters.
The haunting was also set to be a limited time event and the ghost would fade away over time.
16 Vampires Were Going To Be A Default Race In Oblivion
It's possible to be transformed into a vampire in most of the Elder Scrolls games, which totally changes how you play the game, as you are limited in the hours of the day in which you can operate and have to regularly feed in order to survive.
It was originally going to be possible to play as a vampire in Oblivion from the very beginning, as there is data for a vampiric playable race within the files of the game. This means that you wouldn't have to wait until you were infected and could have started out as a blood-sucking creature of the night.
15 You Were Once Going To Hunt The Animals Of Skyrim For Their Pelts
The Companions are a warriors guild in Skyrim that many players will encounter at an early point in the game. It's possible to join the Companions and become a werewolf, which involves a lengthy questline and a lot of enemies chasing you with silver weapons.
There is a cut quest involving the Companions that would have involved hunting down animals in order to acquire their pelts, in a manner similar to what became standard in the Far Cry series.
14 Skakmat The Dragon Was Going To Appear In Daggerfall
In Daggerfall, the main character learns of a dragon named Skakmat, who is the familiar of Nulfaga. You never actually encounter Skakmat in the game, as Nulfaga left Skakmat behind when she fled to Shedungent. Skakmat would then try to prevent the Battle of Cryngaine Field using a magical fog, but he was unsuccessful.
You were originally going to encounter Skakmat in Daggerfall, as he has a portrait and incomplete character model within the files of the game. It's unknown why he was cut from the final product.
13 The Dark Brotherhood Quest In Skyrim Would Have Involved Harming A Friend
You don't have to play a good character in the Elder Scrolls games and are free to take part in all kinds of villainy. Those who are so inclined may join the Dark Brotherhood and take the lives of strangers in exchange for coin.
In order to join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim, the player needs to take on a quest that involves slaying a woman named Grelod the Kind, who is the cruel master of an orphanage.
The original quest to join the Dark Brotherhood involved befriending a Nord in Windhelm and then taking his life on behalf of the Brotherhood. This would mean having to betray one of your friends in order to take your first step down the path of darkness.
12 Morrowind Lost A Cool Axe Shaped Like A Bat
One of the common problems faced by RPG players is choosing items based on their function or their style. It can be hard to choose a dull looking sword over something that looks like a fiery lightsaber, but you might need the pluses provided by the lame looking weapon in order to succeed.
There is a weapon hidden in the files of Morrowind that would have left a lot of players choosing style over substance, as it resembled a bat made of metal.
The Wings of the Queen of Bats is a unique battle axe that cannot be acquired without hacking Morrowind. This axe looks like a giant bat and also packs a mean punch, due to the powerful wound enchantment it has placed on it.
11 Skyrim Almost Had A Spell That Would Let You Summon Dragon Priests
Conjuration is one of the major schools of magic in the Elder Scrolls series and its most popular use is for summoning supernatural allies to fight alongside you.
Skyrim was going to feature an Expert-level Conjuration spell that would allow you to summon a Spectral Dragon Priest into battle. It was going to be possible to summon two Spectral Dragon Priests at once if you had the Twin Souls perk.
A variation of this spell appears in the form of the enchantment placed on Konahrik's Mask, which has 3% chance of summoning a Spectral Dragon Priest whenever you are stuck and below 15% health.
10 Skyrim Almost Had An Archery Perk That Would Let You Disarm Enemies
Archery is a prized skill in several Elder Scrolls games, due to how often you face opponents in wide open areas. A spellcaster can also fight enemies at long range, but they can only use magic for so long before needing to down a potion, while an archer is free to keep firing all day.
There is an unused perk in Skyrim called Trick Shot that would have given you a 25% chance to disarm an opponent by firing an arrow at them. This perk was likely cut for being too good, as you could easily disable humanoid foes with a single attack.
9 Daggerfall Has A Cut Quest Involving The Vampire Cult Hunting A Daedra
It's possible to be infected with the vampirism disease in Daggerfall, but you must perish at the hands of an enemy before you can rise from the grave and stalk the night as an undead monstrosity.
Once you become a vampire, you will join up with one of the nine bloodlines that exist within the region and will be able to take on quests for them.
There is a vampire cult quest in Daggerfall that cannot be accessed, which would have involved facing a Daedra cult in a dungeon. The reason you can't access this quest is that it was misnamed within the files of the game, which means that its exclusion was an accident.
8 Morrowind Almost Featured A Slowing Disease
The average Elder Scrolls player generally doesn't worry too much about damage, due to the sheer amount of healing potions and restorations that you can find scattered around the game.
The one thing you have to watch out for is diseases and poisons, as they can be trickier to cure and can disable you in the heat of battle.
There was a disease cut from Morrowind that would have driven a lot of players crazy. This disease was called Dampworm and the infection would have been passed from Nix-Hounds.
Dampworm was a disease that drained your speed attribute, which would have been a major impediment to those without any means of curing disease to hand.
7 You Almost Had To Hunt A Mad Wizard In Skyrim
Those with the free time and patience can master every discipline in Skyrim, which means that you can become a great warrior, a skilled assassin, and a powerful mage over the course of a few weeks.
There are still a few solo mages who don't indulge in other skill sets and you would have been tasked with hunting one of them down.
There is an unfinished quest in Skyrim that would have involved you hunting down a High Elf wizard who had gone mad. This likely would have involved an exciting spell battle, but it was never fully implemented into the game.
6 There Is An Unfinished Guild In Daggerfall Called The Order Of The Lamp
It's possible to join several different factions, guilds, and orders in Daggerfall. The Order of the Lamp is not one of them.
The Order of the Lamp is a knightly order that is sworn to protect the Mage Guild. They have a strong presence throughout the world, yet you can't actually join them.
There were once plans for the player to be able to join the Order of the Lamp, as there are files within the game confirming that the welcoming conversation exists, but it was just never implemented.
5 You Were Almost A Delivery Man In Skyrim
You were deprived of being able to play as a courier in Oblivion, which would have given you an excuse to visit every city in the world.
Skyrim also has a cut quest that would have involved the player traveling the globe as a salesman, as you were originally going to be the Uber Eats of the realm.
There is a cut repeatable quest in Skyrim called Supply Line, which would have involved you working with a group of brothers as you delivered food and ale to all of the taverns in the realm. This quest was never finished and the brothers have already perished by the time you meet them in the retail version of the game.
4 Daggerfall Almost Had Some Hot Coffee Scenes
The content of Daggerfall was a lot more crazy than what appeared in the later games in the series, which may have had something to do with the fact that Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim were planned to appear on consoles, where the content rules are stricter.
The dialogue in Daggerfall was almost a lot more saucy, as there is a ton of cut text that sounds like something out of 50 Shades of Grey. This dialogue was all scrubbed from the game, despite the fact that they left in a lot of skin in the final version of the game.
3 Oblivion Almost Featured Stranger Character Models
Daggerfall got away with a lot of content that would land a game with a high age rating in the current era of gaming.
It seems that the developers yeared for the censorship-free days of Daggerfall when they were making Oblivion, as players discovered that there were anatomically correct models for the female characters that were just covered up with a single piece of cloth. It didn't take modders long to realize that it was easy to disable this flimsy covering and restore content to the game. The revelation of skin in Oblivion (along with some high levels of violence) caused the game to be rated again by the ESRB and forced a recall.
2 You Were Originally Going To Be Able Buy & Arrange Furniture In Daggerfall
If the Animal Crossing series has taught us anything, it's that buying furniture and having a discussion about where it should be placed in a room can just be as fun as hunting dragons.
It was once going to be possible for the player to customize their home in Daggerfall using a wide selection of furniture that could be placed at their leisure. There is a lot of data for different kinds of furniture within the files of Daggerfall, but they don't have any corresponding sprites to go with them, suggesting that this feature was cut early on, possibly due to all of the other content they were trying to cram into the game taking precedence.
1 The Civil War In Skyrim Was Going To Be Way More Impressive
It's telling that the developers of Skyrim left a note encouraging modders to fix up the Civil War that happens at the end of the game, as it shows how grand it was originally going to be.
There are files within Skyrim that suggest that the Civil War was going to be a much bigger affair, including the possibility of losing battles and being forced to flee from cities. You would also have to defend your army from rampaging giants in the region.
The sieges of each city were going to be a lot bigger and the final battle could have taken place anywhere, rather than either Solitude or Windhelm.