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The Elder Scrolls is a sandbox role-playing video game series developed by the American video game company Bethesda Softworks that takes place in the fantasy land of Nirn.
The first of the series, Elder Scrolls: Arena, was initially meant to be an arena based combat game but was turned into a role-playing game (RPG) during the course of its development. It was released in March of 1994 for the PC on the Microsoft DOS operating system and its sequel, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, was released on August 31st, 1996 for MS-DOS as well. Two spinoff games set in the Elder Scrolls universe were subsequently released: An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire on November 30th, 1997 and The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard on October 31st, 1998. The Windows version of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was released on May 1st, 2002 and has sold over 4 million copies and received 60 awards.The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released for both Windows and Xbox systems on March 20th, 2006 and has received a Metacritic score of 94 based on 54 critics as of November 16th, 2011.
The Elder Scrolls series incorporates nonlinear gameplay that gives the player the freedom to explore the game world at their own pace. Players are able to customize their charter’s race, appearance, special abilities and make their own ethical decisions. Mission quests and rewards can be received from various non-player characters (NPCs) that appear throughout the storyline. The games typically use a skill-based approach to leveling-up where a player must use a skill repeatedly in order to advance. Within the Elder Scrolls universe there are nine gods called “Divines” and each is a representation of a certain idea, trade or event. There are sixteen Daedric Princes and Daedra Lords who, unlike the Divines, have no problem meddling in the lives of mortals.
Each game typically begins with the player starting out as a prisoner who is either already sitting in a prison, or is being transported to a new location.
During these prisoner scenes, players are given the opportunity to customize their characters in various ways including their appearance, name and race. Once the player is released from captivity, the main quest line begins which the player is free to ignore.
Each game has a wide and diverse group of races one can choose from in the series, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and powers that vary per game. The 10 races include the High Elves (Altmer) of the Summerset Isles, the Dark Elves (Dunmer) of Morrowind, the Wood Elves (Bosmer) of Valenwood, the Orcs (Orsimer) of Orsinium near High Rock, the Bretons of High Rock, the Imperials of Cyrodiil, the Nords of Skyrim, the Redguards of Hammerfell, the Khajiit of Elsweyr and the Argonians of Black Marsh.
The Elder Scrolls Construction Sets
The Construction Sets for Morrowind and Oblivion allow players to expand their in-game worlds and experiences by modifying the game to the user’s liking. This includes being able to make new items, spells, NPCs, quests and fully customized graphics with a built-in 3D virtual art studio. Users are capable of creating mods for their own races, including the “Mog Mod” for Morrowind, created by Ian McConville on the PlanetElderScrolls website, which allows the player to play as the Moogle race from the Final Fantasy series.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released on November 11th, 2011 and sold 3.4 million copies with the first 48 hours according to MMOCrunch and reached 231,593 concurrent players using Steam’s digital distribution software on the first day according to PC Gamer. A “Hipstamatic Skyrim” Tumblr page with Instagram filtered screenshots from the game was created on November 25th and was subsequently mentioned in an article on the video game blog Kotaku. A Skyrim Quickmeme page has 286 submissions as of November 28th, 2011. Additional Skyrim related meme derivatives can be found on Memebase, FunnyJunk, Tumblr and Reddit.
“Stop Right There Criminal Scum”
“Stop right there criminal scum” is a catchphrase derived from the town guards response to witnessing the player commiting a crime in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It has inspired a number of video parodies and remixes, including a Skyrim mod that changes the audio played when performing a dragon shout.
The Adoring Fan is a character from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion who follows the player around if he becomes the Champion of the Arena. The player is often considered an annoying pest and has inspired the creation of videos where he is killed in various ways.
Fus Ro Dah
“Fus Ro Dah” are the words used in a dragon shout that summons a powerful force from the speaker’s throat in the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It has become the subject of several video parodies where the shout causes people to fall over or fly off mountain tops.
I Took an Arrow in the Knee
In Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, guards will sometimes say, “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.” when the player walks by. This phrase has been used as “I used to X, then I took an arrow to the knee.”