Way back when I was in school I once stole my now wife’s maths book and drew a map of Vvardenfell in it. That was lots of years ago but two things have resonated from that point. The first is my unhealthy love for Morrowind. I knew the map pretty much off by heart. I knew the names of the flowers for god’s sake. The second is that my wife must have been completely insane to marry someone who knows this stuff and is willing to catalogue it in her work book. That she had to hand in. And have graded.
I played Morrowind on the xbox back then, because I was stupid. PC gaming just wan’t my thing, but thankfully for some time now it has been, and since seeing a Mr Alec Meer start a run through it inspired me to, well…do the same. Just seeing the screenshots made something in the pit of my stomach yearn for the sweet embrace of Morrowind again and since I’ve not played in about 5 years I thought it was about time. A quick order from play.com later and I had the Game of the year edition shoved into my disk drive along with cries of “Morrowind? NOOOOO00000oooooo” coming from the other half – it was like signing temporary divorce papers.
Before I got stuck in again I though it would be best to do some serious prettification first – it was released in 2002 after all. I basically followed The Morrowind 2009 guide, ran into some problems, so then got this pack instead which worked wonderfully, then backed it up with a couple of grass and tree mods from that 2009 guide. It may be worth noting I wasn’t having any joy with the Graphics Extender mod out of that pack and had to get the latest version from the website which just worked. Also, make sure you read the readme for the MCA mod.
Eventually it was time to load the thing up properly. The title screen already imprinted on my memory faded in along with the sweet music. Oh the music. It entangled with my mind and surged feelings of muted glee through it, how could I have stayed away for so long? The score itself is fairly simple but every note has the same effect as a complete crescendo; you can’t help but want to consume it, to get wrapped up in it, to see the world it’s describing with it’s tones.
Enough gushing. This is serious business. Every Elder Scrolls game starts you off as a prisoner and this one is no different. I awaken on a boat, presumably shackled as I can’t move. A Dark Elf is standing in front of me, a co-prisoner I presume and asks my name (surely he knows it already?). Hmm. I need to get this right, it’s vital. My name is going to define my character after all; I mean, you can’t have an Assassin called Barry, nor can you have a Monk called Vlad. I settle for Dravir – it sounds dark and a bit elf like, which is fitting since I made him a dark elf when someone asks me what race I am. How they don’t know this when I’m standing right in front of their eyes is beyond me but there you go. Outside on the shore is lovely anyway, there is sunlight and waves lapping in behind me. Off to the side I can see a Silt Strider (more on these another time) and dense trees. Presently though there is paperwork to get through before my release. I go off into a customs office to register myself on the island or whatever and choose my character type as Assassin. It’s going to be stealth, light armour, bows and daggers from here on – I should have called myself Garrett. On the way out of the registration office I steal loads of stuff I find on some shelves and a table because that’s just the kind of guy I am, a thieving, (futuristic) murdering dark elf. Pockets loaded I chat to a guard captain, sign off of some paperwork and promise to deliver a package to a guy in Balmora, then I’m free as a bird. Vvardenfell, I’m coming.