Sunday, July 13, 2014

Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall #3 - Dreamcatcher

 Featuring boobies. Yum.

 Got the Daedric Claymore I wanted, so now I'm set for a weapon for the rest of the game. Might see if I can spawn some Daedric armor too. I saw a helm and breastplate earlier but couldn't afford them. Yargh. The BP is especially rare. I like the red color of this sword, and look forward to using it.

This surly fellow seems unfriendly. I'm just trying to ask for directions!

No idea why the bank shows up in the location list three times, unless there are three banks in this one hamlet. This bank is like the Starbucks of Daggerfall!

It's worth noting that if you ask someone for directions to a place and they give you directions (aka, tell you to go northwest, rather than saying they have no idea), asking that person repeatedly will result in them simply marking it on your map for you. A sweet protip. Wonder if this was also the case in Arena, where I spent half the game trying to find places in the oversized towns.

I manage to farm a mountain of gold by taking out huge loans (in the form of letters of credit) in the independent banks of faraway cities and then depositing them all in the Bank of Daggerfall. No idea how this is permitted, and I'm almost certain it's going to bite me in the ass at some point.

Weirdly enough, my Mysticism isn't raising like my other spell-skills. There are six altogether and all of them are in the 40-50 range except Mysticism. I can only conclude that the training spells don't actually raise Mysticism the way they're supposed to for some reason. I'll probably need to spam Silence on enemies in order to actually raise this skill.

One super-effective method I've found for leveling up extremely quickly is to go to the Fighter's Guild and train in your main melee skills (in my case, Critical Strike and Long Blade). You can train a skill once every 12 hours. The kicker is that you can rest in a Fighter's Guild, unlike the rest of a given town. As a result, you can train a melee skill, run through the three training spells and deplete your mana, sleep for 12 hours un-disturbed, and repeat. If you're lucky you'll raise five of the six spell types (sans Mysticism, I guess) plus the melee skill that you trained, once you wake up from your nap. Every three or so times you do this you'll probably go up a level. Which comes out to about a level every couple minutes, which is just insane. You actually have to curb yourself so as to not abuse it and turn the game into godmode.

Note: Skills can only be raised to 100; at that point they're considered maxed-out. Once all 12 of your chosen skills are at 100, I presume that means you can't gain levels anymore. Levels are awarded after a certain, unknown number of skill raises.

Level 13 now. Going to stop training and just level naturally from here on out. Next two level-ups will go to topping out Agi and Luck, then the rest will go to Endurance, Speed, Will, and Persuasion in that order.

It's a wet day in Wayrest, the next place I need to go to. For the most part, the main quest only revolves around three cities: Daggerfall, Wayrest, and Sentinel. The other 5,000 cities are just sorta...there. Course, I might be wrong, but that's the way it looks at this stage.

One of the cool things about this game is that there are an abundance of books to find and read. They have fiction (or non-fiction?) about the world of Tamriel. Most of the time they're really interesting reads. Lengthy ones, too. This one in particular is TWENTY-FIVE PAGES. Sorta reminds me of Lost Odyssey.

Moving on, the princess wants to talk to our hero, who has apparently made a name for himself by working out diligently in the gym.

Gotta say, I'm really enjoying the three-dimensionality of these graphics. It looks so much better than Arena, as well it should. Speaking of looking good, I wonder if Princess Morgiah is going to be hawt.

...yep, pretty much. Whatta minx.

She needs a manservant, and Gazpacho is up for the task.

I have to deliver a letter to a King of Worms and his lich minions, who lurk in a nearby crypt and see it as an honor (for the human) for them to kill humans, even if they like said human. Great.

Turns out Scourg Barrow isn't anywhere near Wayrest. It's found in the mountain range in the southeast part of the map. Find is ABSOLUTELY your best friend in this game; the first couple times I traveled I was moving the mouse over little dots trying to find the right one. It was appalling. With Find, you can instantly jump to any place that you know the name of. As long as you can spell.

Scourg Barrow itself is a low-level dungeon full of undead. The entrance is in the middle tomb on the left side of the room.

At the bottom of the dungeon is a room full of high-level liches and their dancing strippers. It's like Fangtasia from True Blood, except it's in the bottom of a dungeon.

The head honcho here is the King of Worms. He gives me a note to bring back to the princess...if his minions let me leave. I immediately cast Recall and warp back to Wayrest. No backtracking for me, especially with all this talk about death.

After finishing that quest, I head to Sentinel for the next quest, given by the prince of Sentinel. This place is a considerably different climate from Wayrest and Daggerfall.

But wait! A zombie attacks me while I'm walking around, and it turns out the zombie was sent by the King of Worms. Most NPCs would just send a courier to hand me a letter, but not this guy. Holy crap.

He may be fine with me killing his minions, but once again they leave me alone when I show up. He wants me to infiltrate the crypts of Castle Sentinel, find a specific soul, trap it in a beetle, and bring it back to him. Okay then.

Castle Sentinel is pretty awesome-looking. I still need to talk to the prince, but I'll deal with the Lich's Soul quest first.

One of the noblemen in Castle Sentinel has this young lady waiting for him in the other room. Well, we know what they're up to.

This crypt has a bunch of levers that are out of reach, forcing me to look up for the first time in the game. At least you CAN look up in this one; Arena was a mess when you'd have to click something just above or just below your designated sight-lines. The problem is that the cursor turns into a movement arrow rather than an interaction-crosshair when it's anywhere except a specific box in the middle of the screen. Lame design, to say the least.

This dungeon is very long and very complex, the first such place in this game. I'm pretty sure that Lich's Soul is a second, maybe even third-tier quest in the main story. Not a problem since I'm so powerful at this point. There seem to be five or so tiers of quests, with about 15 quests altogether, in the main story.

I find the Lich. FINALLY, a boss fight! Liches are known for their power in these games.

...and it proceeds to instantly die. It shot a highly-damaging fireball at me and that was it. Did I reflect the spell somehow? Not sure what the deal is here.

I return the Lich's Soul to the King of Worms, who I'm really starting to wish had a different lair than the bottom of this dungeon. Another main quest chapter down. Finishing this one gets me a magical pair of pants. Not sure what they do exactly, but now I seem to have a permanent "Fortify" buff.

At last, I go talk to the Prince of Sentinel. He wants me to help the kingdom deal with some problems that are plaguing it, but before he'll give me information about those problems, I have to find out what happened to his older brother.

Think about how generous this guy is. If I do a quest for him, he'll give me information on a quest I can do for him. And he can't even be bothered to stand up, apparently.

At this point I have to go around talking to townspeople to try and get information on Flort, the missing brother. It's all very random and takes quite a few townspeople to get the needed information.

Eventually, someone walks up to you and hands you a note. This seems to be how nearly all of the quests in this game start. Reminds me of Fallout 3 and how a lot of the major quests in that game start with you picking up an identified radio signal from somewhere.

The person who sent the letter is in a nearby inn...and isn't this woman. There's a definite lack of clothes on the women in Daggerfall, and presumably they're prostitutes in these cases. You can tell because they always hang out next to beds in secluded rooms. Women encountered outside in this game generally dress very differently/modestly. It's realistic for the era, at least.

I find the source of the letter, and it's some bratty teenage guy. He gives me the info on the lost brother, and we're off.

The Fortress of Fhojum looms. I like that fast traveling to a dungeon doesn't just drop you into the dungeon like in Arena. Nope, you appear outside of it and can roam around the exterior. Makes the world seem bigger and more interesting.

This is a fairly quick dungeon compared to the previous one that I did. It's notable for having a pool of water at one point, a rare sighting in dungeons. You can give yourself a perk at character creation that makes you regenerate faster in water, but the complete rarity of water in dungeons makes that perk nearly useless.

I seem to be collecting a lot of buff icons at this point. I find a note written by the missing brother, morbidly-labeled "Death Certificate".

The actual note is fairly long and fairly well-written. Here it is:

23 Morning Star 3E 400
Two days I was sealed within this crypt without food or
water. I do not know whether hunger or poor health or
one of the creatures who share this dank hole with me
will kill me first -- I only know that I will soon be
dead, and not even my bones with remain. My hope is that
in the years that come, this letter will be read and the
sad story of (prince's name), Prince of Sentinel will be told.
I am fifteen years old at the time of this writing, and
have been plagued with bad health for most of my life,
to the frustration of my hearty parents. The finest
healers and apothecaries in western Tamriel have labored
over my every cough and fever, but while they could save
my life time and time again, they could not improve my
sickly constitution. In retrospect, I received little
real affection from the king and queen, embarrassed as
they were about begetting such a cripple as the heir of
the kingdom. I cannot say I missed the love; I received
much attention from the doctors, priests, and herbalists
constantly at court. Certainly I was not to be the sort
of warrior that King Cameron was, but one of my dearest
friends, a priest of Stendarr said that I might be the
first scholar-king in the history of Sentinel.
My younger sister Aubk-i was the true favorite of my
parents: athletic, beautiful, and charming. It is hard to
think of an uncomplimentary word for her. I am resigned
to my imminent death, and yet, I would like to see her
once again. For six years, Aubk-i and I were the only
children of Sentinel. Eight years ago, the queen had a
boy child and named him Greklith, after the ancient
Redguard word for Strong King. Few speak that tongue
any longer, but all the scholars and nobles of Hammerfell
understood. And Greklith is a strong boy indeed -- I have
never so much as seen him cough. The Queen's next child,
born only a year after Greklith, had an even more ominous
birthname -- Lhotun. Second Boy. Perhaps had I been less
sheltered, more suspicious by nature, I might have read
into these nominations. Lhotun and Greklith are common
enough names in our family, I reasoned. Now I know that
even then, I was disinherited -- even if it was
not official yet.
For several months before Lhotun's birth and over three
years afterward, I was in the throes of a very serious
fever. The doctors despaired of me, but somehow and very,
very gradually, I recovered. For the first time, and the
last, I read an expression on my father, the King's face
that was not indifference. It was disgust.
That was a fortnight ago. Three nights ago, I was seized
by men I had never seen while I was having a walk. My
nursemaid stood by watching placidly as I was gagged
and tied and thrown roughly into a sack. I do not know
how long they rode with me, but I was eventually left
here. When I finally freed myself from my bonds, I found
that I was alone. My wanders have gotten me nowhere.
This place is filled with undead creatures that prevent
me from finding any exit.
I have no hope left, but no fear either. A few regrets.
Perhaps had I studied magic instead of history and
science I could free myself of this place. One of my
tutors told the story of the Underking, how he had
placed his lifeforce in the body of a powerful being
and had thus conquered all Tamriel long, long ago.
Had I only had the strength of a more powerful body
like that.
But I did not study magic. I studied history, so I
leave this letter -- not to avenge myself, but as
an historic document.

I return to the prince and let him know about his ill-fated brother. Looks like I'm headed to the Isle of Balfiera next to find this Medora.

Got a magic wand from that idea what it does or how to use it, as of yet. So far, the main quest is surprisingly deep and interesting. That's it for today.


  1. I'm curious, when Gazpacho has that helmet on, is his face icon in the menu also covered by the helmet?

  2. His face shows the helmet in the equipment/inventory screen, but not on the main screen menu (the one that's always there). So nope, you're constantly looking at Gazpacho's face in all of its uncovered glory.

  3. I love Gazpacho's face in the first picture as he stares at the woman.

  4. Quite a bit of fanservice in this game.
    The tragedy of Prince Flort really is miserable though.
    So you're running around helping all these powerful dudes.
    Good to see you solve how to be good at this. Feels like you've already got the hang of it.