Monday, April 17, 2006

Fun with Oblivion

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.


k o w said...

I was riding Patches the Wonder Horse yesterday down a path north of Choral when a mountain lion decided to feast on his right hind leg. So I hop off and start attacking said mountain lion when all of a sudden Patches takes off like he just got diarrhea. The cat follows right after as do I but even my 74 in speed isn't enough to keep up. Saddened by the loss of patches I decide to head to Weyman Priory after finishing up the cave in front of me. Well upon my return to the Priory I see Patches waiting for me in the stables.


k o w said...

Oh yeah let's do Tetris this week.

Greg said...

I've been trying to split my time evenly between Oblivion, and... life. Right now, life is winning, mostly because of three things I like to call job, wife, and sleep. But next week, wife is gone for four days, and I expect to get at least 24 hours of gaming in.

I just did a big chunk of the actual main plotline at Kvatch this weekend. If you haven't, I suggest going and trying it out - very cool.

suburbanjoe said...

Keg, thanks for the tip. I'll head back to the Priory. And yes, let's try and do Tetris. I'll see if I can figure out how to add you.

Greg, I hear ya. My wife is traveling next week for 3 days so I'm hoping to get more time in. I did the Kvatch stuff, broke the siege and all that, but haven't done more once leaving the Cloud Temple place. The Kvatch part was very cool, thanks for the recommendation.

k o w said...

Kvatch doesn't end with just closing the gate. Believe me....

suburbanjoe said...

I closed the gate, broke the siege and found the dead councilman in the castle. There's more to Kvatch than that?

Anonymous said...

Hey fellow Oblivion adventurer. Just a small Tip on getting that sword of yours. Not sure what level you were, but If you go to the market district I found a shop that sells the Staff of Destruction. No matter how you get it, it will make Umbra a cake walk. You know those little murder holes you walk past in the dungeon shes in, you should be able to crouch and shoot her with the staff. This will cause her to run up the stairs and come at you down that LONG NARROW HALLWAY where you can easily shoot her tons of time before she even gets to you (cause the hall is too narrow to dodge) when she does get to you, the sword will be too broken for her to use and it will dissappear into her inventory. Now she only has her fists to fight with, Proceed in laying the smack down with a longsword or whatever your preference (she wont be a pushover even without the sword, but easier.) Also be sure to do the Nocturne quest, it will get you the skeleton key (unbreakable lock pick) but if you are a mage type that has lock spells you wont need it, but for the meelee type its a huge time saver. cool blog, cya.

OblivionMan101 said...

I've spent 120+ hrs in the game and have finished pretty much everything you can do in the game and somethings your not... hehe

Ricomu said...

Ahhh... oblivion can't quite get enough. Level 34 and still kicking. Well i got a small story if u don't mind. I found a unicorn. Yes awesome a unicorn (l8r i found i had 2 kill it :( )
Ne way we were on our way 2 the imperial city when i got off and the horse went on a killing rampage.What the hell!!! killed some inocent people and then a guard but i think it tried 2 run into the city bcuz it got stuck on a gate. stupid, stupid. An archer trying to avenge the death of his comrade started pelting it with arrows. I was a bit scared of the guard so i let thing unfold. The unicorn took about 30 arrows in the behind while i cracked up at this strange happening. So i loaded l8r when i did the quest in which i must kill my beloved unicorn i found that he had jumped off a cliff and killed himself much to my dismay. Ow well his death was inevitable.

Presto said...

Well, the other day, I was riding Shadowmere, and I accidentally attacked him (or her) with my sword. He started to run off like he was late or he had diarrhea, and I tried to follow him. He ended up riding across the border, so I lost him. When I fast traveled to a city, Shadowmere was there, but every time I got near him, he freakin ran again! It finally stopped after a couple of days

suburbanjoe said...


He'll do that. I've accidentally smacked him on a number of occasions and he's tried to run away. If you learn any of the various heal other spells, you can heal him and he'll stick with you. If he ever does leave for good, you can find him at the place where he was first given to you.

Hero of Kvatch said...

Great writeup. Write more! Oh, and about the unicorn - it doesn't like drawn weapons. Thank the Nine the stupid thing finally wandered off - was tired of wondering if I'd be attacked by my own mount every time I dismounted to attack a baddie guarding an Oblivion Gate. (Thought it was funny to see it take down Martin from behind at the Priory earlier, though - guess he didn't run fast enough and he was between me, my drawn sword, and the nag! Ha! But anyone have advice on how NOT to murder a guard that comes through the Gate with you at Bruma? They seem to be pretty suicidal, jumping between me and my target.