In fact, I've kind of ignored the main story that I'm supposed to be playing in the game, because I quickly learned that the side quests in the game are pretty much full of horror movie staples. Let's take a look at just how much horrory goodness is hidden inside this ginormous video game universe.
(I suppose some of the things I'm about to say could be considered SPOILERS, but I'll do my best to keep things vague for the sake of the folks who haven't experienced this addiction....errr, game....yet.)
After finding vampires, werewolves, invisibility and mummies throughout the game, I'll pretty shocked if I don't stumble upon a case of grave digging and a mad scientist trying to reanimate tissue any day now.
The first of these you'll probably encounter are the mummies, skeleton-looking fellas that the game calls "Dragur". You're gonna run into these guys ALL THE TIME during this game. Any time you walk into a cave or dungeon or whatever in the middle of Skyrim, you're gonna get draugred up. They come in lots of different shapes - some are Draugr Wights and some are Draugr Overlords and some are Restless Draugrs. I like to just call them all Ivan Draugr and laugh at them and say "I must break you" before I bash them into pieces with a warhammer.
I mentioned invisibility up there too, but - so far- there's no real Invisible Man story I've encountered. There are potions that can make your character invisible, but - like everything else - I mostly prefer smashing things with the last warhammer I found over being sneaky.
I've been a werewolf fan ever since I grew my first fur, so the first time I encountered a werewolf in Skyrim was one of the first moments I started screaming OMG and texting my gamer friends. It was part of one of the primary side quests in the game, and I thought I'd screwed up completely when the moment began. Turned out I was stuck in a cutscene - which can sometimes be a bad thing - but this one provided a wolfy reveal that had me fist-pumping and immediately canceling all plans so I could keep playing and see what happens next. (Ah, who am I kidding? I didn't have any plans, I'm a nerd who's blogging about Skyrim.
Eventually my miniature female character who specializes in two-handed weaponry was given a choice. To be a lycanthrope...or not to be a lycanthrope. I don't care if I no longer get a benefit from rest....I'm gonna be a freakin' werewolf. So now my character can turn into a wolfman any time my Magicka's strong enough. I still haven't figured out a time when I really need to use it - but it's incredibly awesome that it's there. Plus, considering my character's gender and choice of marriage partner, my game is actually a lesbian werewolf story. I'm sure that development would make plenty of sleazy Spanish and Italian horror filmmakers - and or equal rights activists - proud.
The quest I've experienced that was probably voted "Most Likely to be Seen on Primetime Network TV" by its graduating class happens in the town of Windhelm, where a killer has been taking out young women during the night. I kind of expected this to turn in to one of those vampire storylines, but the events that unfolded (including my investigation of the murder house that's pictured above) go in a different route.
TV crime aficionados may enjoy the CSI twists of this storyline, I was more concerned by its dark magic related aspects. (Oh, BTW, supernatural stuff and dark magic is pretty much all over this game. I don't get too far into it though, because - you guessed it - I just really like smashing stuff.) I've learned that the story has a few possible endings - and I'm betting I wasn't supposed to let the killer off his final victim in front of me and THEN deal with him - but it's a nice dark detective story in the middle of the otherwise fantasy-laden film.
|Speaking of supernatural stuff, I should have already mentioned that there are ghosts all over this game. So that's nice too.|
Even moreso than the werewolf reveal, a side quest entitled "The Mind of Madness" - which I conveniently found a couple days after a re-watch of John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness - had me picking my jaw up off the floor.
This is one of those points where I can't really go into too many details - because this odd little story line is one of the truly "figure it out as you go" moments I've found in the game (except for those awful puzzle traps that are in so many dungeons) - but this quest is basically going to take you out of the world you've spent the rest of the film in and drop you smack dab in the middle of a nightmare. We're not quite talking Silent Hill here, as the sequence is pretty tongue in cheek and features a voice actor who hams it up and sounds like a drunk Billy Connolly, but it's a rare devilish little twist. And you can't get out of it until you figure it out, which gives it the same vibe as the tale of Sutter Cane in Carpenter's film.
Like the folks who want to attack a dragon as a werewolf. Like me.