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Forums - Gaming Discussion - The Dark Side of Skyrim

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As one of the greatest open-world games of all time, there was (and still are, for some of us) many reasons to enjoy exploring the lands of Skyrim and progressing through the story of several quests and side-quests. Star Wars influenced gameplay, such as the electric shocks and the "FUS RO DAH!"-shout, headshotting the wildlife 400 feet away with your bow, climbing mountains in search for Dragons, exploring caves hoping to find valuable treasures, stripping off hot bandits, and much, much more that I don't have room nor time to type. Everyone found their way of maximizing their enjoyment in this masterfully designed sandbox.

Now, what I am going to do is to ignore all that, because among this pile of awesomeness there was one thing that I found very repellent. Namely; the complete lack of morals.

First things first. Most of the time, the lack of morals only serve as a fun factor of the gameplay. You steal some food or valuables from others and get chased by the guards. Next time you put an axe through some civilans head, again to be chased by the guards. All in good fun. Some hours later you will get to trick a priest into getting sacrificed so that you can eat from his flesh, that way you will progress through the story and get rewarded with the ability of eating other humans...wait, WHAT THE FUCK?

A couple of things here. 1) Holy shit, I just ate a dude. 2) ...What is this feeling? Is it...guilt?...From a video game??? Yup, that must be the first time I experienced guilt in a video game. Pretty awesome... I guess?

I moved on, eventually almost forgetting all about it. It is kind of hard not to, given all the awesomeness being thrown at you while you play this game. Everything was fine.


- "You must kill the dragon on top of the hill."


- "WHAT??? But...that guy helped me... In fact, he betrayed Alduin a long time ago and shared some words of wisdom, making it possible for me to even slay Alduin in the first place. Why should I kill him?"


- "He has been very mean in the past, killing millions of people by Alduins side. He deserve to die."


- "Aww... I... I guess I can do it. As long as I get to make story progression."   (You guys know me, and how I always am the one to pick rehabilitation before punishment, so obviously this went straight against my morals.)


Eager to see more of the story unfold, I went to the top of the hill to talk to the dragon one last time to see if there was some sort of alternative story path to follow. Nope, instead I got this: "What is better - to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?" Well, fuck. That was the best possible counter-argument anyone could pull in that moment. Why would I kill him now that he is full of regret and even helped me slay Alduin?


I cut him once with my sword, no reaction. I cut him again, still no reaction. The third time he went airbound, defending himself from my blade of "justice". I don't usually get very emotional, especially not in video games, but this was actually a very painful experience.

It was done, but not only had I slayed the dragon: I had played long enough to see myself let go of all morals.



I had played long enough to see myself become the villain.

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Tagged. Will read later

Keep on scrollin'...

Moved to Gaming Discussion. General Discussion is for non-gaming stuff.

Yes, Skyrim could do with a healthy dose of morality and choices. You don't actually have to kill Paarthunax to complete the main quest, though. You just won't be allowed back into the Blades Temple until you have done so.

I suppose it's one of the disadvantages of having such an open sandbox. It's difficult to implement meaningful decisions that actually change the world, because the world is so huge and detailed to begin with.

(Former) Lead Moderator and (Eternal) VGC Detective

pezus said:
You either stop playing as a hero, or you play long enough to see yourself become the villain.

True story. Happened to me also. Went from Paragon to Renegade just like that. 

I always end up the opposite way...

I try to play a villain.... oddly start feeling guilty, and then play a good guy.

Of course i've always been overly anthromorphic when it comes to videogame characters. Often when playing a game with many characters/teams if i botch something for one character or team i feel the need to start over to "make it up to them" or do something else to do so, despite the fact that it's just one team i'm playing.

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Skyrim actions don't really have any consequences... not on your game avatar and not on you the player. You could kill every single thing you encounter ever and it still doesn't really matter.

If you want a game to challenge you on your actions, maybe you should try a game like Spec Ops - The Line.

If you want something a little less depressing, try the Walking Dead Episodic game series.

I tend to switch between the two. The good thing is you can keep your villainous side a secret from the good guilds and even your wife.

"What's that Aela? The store made money? Great! Can you cook me something... good good... I'll go out now and do that quest for you..."

*Starts assassination of random innocent for Dark Brotherhood*