Seeing how I've been playing nothing but Oblivion, I thought I'd spin some tales from my adventures. Thrilling, I know. Before I do though, I'd like to take a moment to talk about Tetris DS. The Easter Bunny was kind enough to drop off a copy yesterday (Thanks Easter Bunny! Bawk bawk!) and I played a little last night before being chastised by the wife for not paying attention to The Sopranos. It's amazing that they managed to take Tetris, which was perfectly addicting on its own, and craft multiple amazingly addicting game modes out of it. The combination of Tetris and classic Nintendo themes just rounds out the package. If you like Tetris, it's a no brainer. This week also sees the Japan favorite Brain Age drop for the DS. Fending off Alzheimers has never been so much fun!
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, onward, to Oblivion!
Sir Arcur Ran Away, Away, Bravely Ran Away
So I had heard about this super cool sword you can get early in the game that does copious amount of damage, plus lets you trap souls (soul trapping is necessary if you don't want to pay the outrageous prices for third party magical weapon recharging). The sword is also a quest item for a quest which is known to be broken, and getting it ahead of time is a valid workaround. Having already been through one broken quest, a positively unpleasant experience, I figured I'd get the sword ahead of time, ravage the countryside with it and just give it up when the time came. The problem is that, like most good weapons, the present owner rarely gives it up without a fight, or at the very least, some harsh language. This particular sword owner was no different and I read many the stories about how hard it is to fight her.
Not being one to expend any extra effort if I don't have to, I made my way to the dungeon, found said warrior and after being told to leave, I scoped the place out until I found a perch suitable for my particular brand of cowardice. All my leaping around the countryside like a spring rabbit has given me the ability to scale the greatest of heights, which then allows me to pelt my enemies with arrows while they flail away at the base of my hunting stand, poweless to stand against me. I did the same in this case, but either this chick had like a hojillion hit points or she kept running behind a column to heal herself because I put close to 75 arrows in her and she wasn't anywhere near dead. On to plan B.
Plan B made use of the facts that a) enemies will chase you through doors, b) I had a horse and c) I was a short ride from Imperial City which is positively bristling with legion soldiers, none of whom would be down with this chick pounding on me with her sword, even if I did start the fight. Again I made it down to the dungeon, again she told me to leave, only this time I then smacked her in the face. It was actually kind of funny. I guess you had to be there. I then proceeded to run like a scared child out to my horse and rode with haste to the city. After a few moments, I realized she wasn't chasing me any more, looked back and she was fighting a boar. A boar! Then, once done, she began trudging back to her dungeon. Come on! I dismounted, tagged her with an arrow and the chase was back on. As we approached the city, I could hear the clanking of her armor behind me, behind me, behind me, alongside me, in front of me, what the hell? Apparantly, not wanting to tussle with the guards, she put on a burst of speed, out ran me and my horse, hooked a quick left at the city gate and took off for the surrounding lake. That chick could move. I quickly lost sight of her as she presumably sprinted back to her home. OK, plan C.
Plan C involved everything in plan B, only this time, I'd repeatedly stop to let her whack me with her sword. Actually, I let her whack my horse with her sword, but as the horse seemed to heal without benefit of medical attention, it seemed OK with it. After several minuted of ride-whack-ow-ride-whack-ow, I managed to lead her right into the city. As luck would have it the guard's first and second in command were present. As they're important quest dudes, they can't die, so they quickly dispatched her. The other random guards didn't have the same quest protection, but they died protecting their city from the homicidal maniac that I led to their gates. I'm sure their families are proud. Once she was dead, I looted her body, as well as the bodies of the dead guards and sold off the armor and all weapons but the cool ass sword. Mission accomplished and all it took was some effort and some extra carrots for Ol' Paint. Actually there's no way to give the horse carrots. I just didn't want you to think that the only thing I gave my horse was gaping leg wounds.
For Want of a Horse
No, I also give my horse the sweet release of death. Actually I have no idea where my horse is. I head about this necklace that increases the skill that governs swordplay and my sources had told me that said necklace was in a cave very close to my present location. As my sources all existed on the internet, I should have known that they would be positively wrong in the wrongest sense of the word. When I arrived to said cave I was accosted by this wood nymph kind of chick who likes to conjure bears to do her dirty work for her. Usually, in this case, the best thing to do is ignore the bear and take her down as the bear will dissappear once she's gone. The problem here was that the bear was trying to eat my horse, so while I was taking the chick down, my horse got fed up and ran off. Either that or it died. I'm not really sure. All I know is that I couldn't find it once the nymph had been dispatched. Lovely.
I head into the cave, fight through the entire thing and no necklace. I found some cool stuff, sure, but I don't need the cash that comes with selling good loot, I need a necklace that makes me better at slicing and dicing. Earlier in the game, I had helped out some merchants and exposed a corrupt guard who had been shaking them all down. Apparantly he got out of jail and tracked me down, because as I entered one room and was beset by a minotaur and a will-o-the-wisp, this guy showed up and started attacking me. I believe my exact words were, "Now? You're doing this now?!" Here's something you may not know. Minotaurs and will-o-the-wisps will attack adventuring treasure hunters on site, but will have no problem with vengeance fueled ex-cons. I managed to lead them all into this one huge room where I backpedaled around a big central pit and alternated between hitting them with my sword and shooting them with arrows. It was all very surreal.
Once I realized that the necklace was nowhere to be found, I decided to head to a nearby inn and return some notes to a researcher who had lost them in the cave. I figured that I should at least get something out of this whole debacle. Upon arriving I was immediately taken into custody by a guard and fined 1000 bucks, for what I don't know. 1000 bucks! I don't know if it was for killing the ex-con or letting my horse die or what. All I know is that this little trip cost me 1000 bucks in fines as well as a horse, the replacement cost of which will probably be about 5 grand. Plus, I had to pay to get my weapons and armor repaired, which cost about 4 grand. All in all, I think I made 1000 bucks off of the loot, which puts me 9 grand in the hole. Thank you internet! I can do without a horse, but it makes finding places on the map a lot easier, especially if the places you find are besieged by baddies that you don't feel like fighting. I can usually just run away from them and they leave me alone. Stupid nonexistant necklace.
Grand Theft Oblivion
Even though I rolled an evil player, I find that I'll pretty much do anything for anyone, even if it's a good deed. I haven't joined the Fighter's Guild as that appears to be a bastion of goody-too-shoes ness and I don't swing that way. About 90% of my time is spent breaking into people's homes and stealing things as well as doing quests that have me assassinating people, so even if I wanted to be good, there's too much fun to be had by being bad. That being said, I try not to outright murder people if there's no reason to, as it only brings the law down on me and that's bad for business. However, on occasion, I'll make an exception. As part of a different quest, I had to travel to this guy's house and get a staff back from him. Even when I used my magical wiles to charm him into the stratosphere, the best I could do is get him to sell me the staff for 200 bucks. I must have pissed the guy off somehow because he called the guards on me and I had to pay another fine and all of my stolen stuff was confiscated, including some stuff that I had pilfered for the purpose of some quests down the line. At this point, I vowed that once I wrapped up my current quest (no killing allowed during Thieves Guild quests) I am going to go back to this guy's house and take him out. Him and his very unpleasant wife too. If they call the guards on me, I'll promptly pay the fine and then head back to the house to finish the job. I don't think that the game has anything like restraining orders, so let them try and stop me. Besides, I'm the Arena Grand Champion. I go where I want and do what I want. Plus, that dude owes me 200 bucks and I mean to collect.
I have a line on some interesting quests including one about a haunted beach and one about a shrine that nets you a staff that will change your non-human enemy into a randomly picked creature for 30 seconds. It may not make the fight any less difficult but it will certainly make it more interesting. I keep telling myself to wrap up what I'm doing before taking on new work, but then someone is telling me about some ghostly fort and I'm all like "yeah, I'll do that". I've put over 30 hours into the game and I've just barely started the main quest. Where those 30 hours have gone, I have no idea. I do know that I haven't played a game in a very long time that make it so easy to have fun just exploring around. If they could somehow make the level loading times disappear, you'd have the perfect experience.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to talk to a guy about a horse.