How I Missed Out On Skyrim's Best Part (And Still Have Yet To Experience It)

Level 45. 58 hours. This is my Skyrim experience expressed in two lonely numbers. It also marks the point in time at which I discovered I'd unnecessarily gimped myself, denied myself one of the game's finest delights. I'd heard friends speak in reverent tones about a particular "power" and its hilarious, physics-perverting properties, while I stared, dumbfounded and confused. Were we playing the same game? Had I broken something and missed out on this most magical of abilities? As it turns out, no, it was nothing like this. I was, to put it simply, an idiot possessed.

Note: This post contains mild Skyrim spoilers!

Although I've yet to finish the game, I thoroughly enjoyed my 58 hours of robbing lower-level entities in Skyrim. Placing buckets on the heads of storekeepers and stealing all their wares. Abusing the "grab" action to walk expensive reagents, scrolls and silverware right out of a shop, before hiding behind a barrel and gleefully pocketing my illegitimate bounty.

I may have also completed a few quests and slain some dragons, but none of that compares to my career as the most light-fingered, pilfer-happy Dragonborn to ever walk the northern reaches of Tamriel.

I was the Breton from Bag End, the human-cum-hobbit. No object was too precious for me not to have a go at relieving its gilded owner of its burden.

So taken was I by my single-minded objective to cure Skyrim of its disease of affluence, to rid it of its pesky, shiny valuables, I totally, utterly and unconditionally missed the best part of the game, a part that, compared to my ever-growing inventory of gems, jewels and miscellaneous ingots, was solely my own, if rather intangible.

Somehow, I managed to knock over the quest that releases dragons upon the world, yet effortlessly bypassed the next mountain-themed sojourn in the chain. In hindsight, I was terrified of getting caught up in the main quest line, only to have the game end prematurely and so, from an early point, avoided anything remotely related to destinies, prophecies and dragons.

But anything worth more than a copper? Mine.

In terms of shouts, Ice Form had been my workhorse. Playing a Breton spellcaster, being able to freeze my opponents in place while I whittled away their health using a combination of mace torture and shocks of static electricity built up by my endless circling of their prostrate bodies was, as far as I was concerned, a top strategy.

So you can imagine my surprise — well, the surprise of my Skyrim-playing friends — when I mentioned how pathetic the supposedly mighty "Fus Ro Dah" was. Was I mad? Had I lost my marbles? Did I have a split-personality disorder I only revealed when alone or in the company of other hobbits?

It was none of these.

The conversation moves to the Dragon Rising quest line and again, my blank face is all I can contribute to the discussion. It is then (well, once I got back home) that I take a wander up ye-olde Seven Thousand Steps and discover, mournfully, what I've been missing out on.

(This itself is another story of one man's geas-like fascination with scaling impassable, almost vertical terrain when a steadily-sloping — if bear-filled — path awaits just metres away).

The absolute saddest chapter to this story, a personal shame if you will, is that in addition to having not seen the game through, I haven't mastered the full strength of Fus Ro Dah and can only appreciate its awesomeness vicariously through YouTube clips.

If there's a moral to this story, other than the wisdom of exposing a delicate aspect of one's gaming past that can now be toyed with by all and sundry, is that a great game can still be enjoyed even if you miss out on what is, arguably, its most delicious component.

To this day, I've never felt compelled to just do what is required to get Ro Dah'd up and scream my way to a good time, which is a testament to the excellent job Bethesda did crafting a world where even a low-life, thieving monster such as myself who takes unbridled pleasure in destroying honest, high-fantasy businesses can still have a whale of a time.

Gollum images: Movies Wallpapers


    It took you 58 hours of game play in two and half years of the game being out to get the Unrelenting Force shout?

    As Hank Hill would say,"That boy ain't right", and by 'boy', I mean you

      Technically, I still don't have it.

        Lol... Mate, you needed to go get those shouts. Its not just Fus Do Ra. Its also the others, the much more awesome shouts, that make the game amazing. You know those trapes that have the axes swinging across your path, and you have to get though them all to pull the cord and stop them? There is a shout for that, along with a LOT of other things.

      I can understand this. I was about 100 hours in before I fought the first dragon.

    I know someone who did everything, every sidequest, dungeon and achievement, before even fighting that first dragon.

    This sums up my thoughts on Skyrim perfectly.
    Having started the TES saga at Morrowind, I will avoid the main storyline for as long as possible, doing side quest after side quest, because once I've finished the main quests, for me the game has effectively come to an end.
    It might just be a psychological thing, but there's only so many times I can listen to the Night Mother after completing the main Dark Brotherhood story arc, and doing side quests after finishing the main storyline feels like I'm just looking for reasons to stay in Skyrim.
    I'm about to turn lvl 49 and I've only just gone up those stairs.
    No, I still didn't go in, I simply unlocked the location and fast travelled out to go kill some bandit leader innocuously sipping on some hot goat broth.

    I lay waste to bandit camps, am the scourge of outlaw fortifications and Thalmidor agents are viewed as prey to be hunted, yet can barely blow out a birthday candle with my Thu'um.

    TES is a love affair bordering upon obsession, and yet you could say I'm afraid of commitment by completing the main storyline.

    That's Elder Scrolls in a nutshell.
    In Oblivion I went a wandering immediately after exiting the sewer and only 80+ hours later, after completing every guild quest-line, becoming invincible and a lot of messing around, did I go to the church and kick off the main story.

      I actually think that's the beauty of these types of games. The fact that you do have the freedom to go ahead and do what you like without being beholden to a linear storyline. As long as it's programmed well enough and nothing can happen from doing so that is game breaking, it's great. My own Skyrim playthrough is still going and the last main quest I did was the mountain one mentioned here, I am doing far too much exploring and side quests to want to progress too far into it yet.

      I remember my Oblivion experience being the same. I had uncovered so much and completed so many quests before entering the first Oblivion gate.

    448 hours of Skyrim on Steam

    Have not finished the main quest line yet.... orz

    I really don't understand why everybody plays that way, avoiding the main quest and finishing all the other quest lines in some sort of order. I find much more enjoyment just wandering around the map completing whatever quests are in the area, fight a dragon or two on the way to assassinate a guy while looking for a specific thing to steal and escorting someone to a place. It also means I never need to use fast travel ever since I'm not in a rush to smash through a specific quest-line.

      I'm a little confused. You don't know why everyone avoids the main quest and does the side quests in some order when you yourself avoid the main quest and go wandering around, completing the side quests in some sort of order?

        I don't avoid any quest. My wandering includes doing main quest stuff.

    I wouldn't say you missed out on the "best part", not by a long shot.

    Uhh that's not possible considering one of the achievements is killing a dragon :P

    This is exactly my experience! I explored so much of the game, yet everytime someone would want to talk about how cool the dragonshouts were, I'd be all "lol I haven't done that bit yet".

    Best part about skyrim was 3 mates in one room with 3 big screen tv's having a few drinks smashing whiterun guards in the face doing what ever we wanted . Co-Op is needed for the next TES to make it the greatest game ever

      No thanks! TES is one of the only single player games we have left! If I want Co-Op I'll play TES:O

        What do you expect, he plays on console :P

          Got it on pc as well so yeah There's That, few mods And it's 100 times smoother compared to the awful ps3 version

      How did 3 guys get together to just play a single player game? Seems like today people really don't like going to LANs anymore.

        Because one had an xbox and doesn't play fps and kinda rich so has very nice games room lol

        Last edited 05/05/14 12:29 am

    There's a good reason to leave the main quest until last, most of the side quests are based on the idea that you are "new" or low level.

    In Skyrim I did a lot but didn't do the Companions quest line until after I had got Jack of avoiding the main quest and not knowing what happens.

    So having crossed over to Sovngard, the abode of the undead itself, faced and defeated the ancient source of evil, freed the whole land of the dragon scourge earning the respect of the passed ancient warriors of yore and assuring peace for millennia to come....I then had a bunch of small town amateurs that hang out in an upturned boat in Whiterun call me "welp" and demand I prove myself to them. Bitch please

      That's probably the worst thing of the whole TES experience: NPCs seem to be unaware of player's advancements. There are a couple of exceptions here and there, like guards randomly whispering "Psssst! Hail Sithis", or mage's guild members recognising guildmaster's status, but general idiocy of game characters is beyond comprehension.

    That's the beauty of TES games - You have absolute freedom to do or not to do whatever you feel like doing. Having a main quest is great, but not being forced to play it is even better!
    I had a blast questing for the thieves guild, stealing stuff, killing people for the Night Mother, or just go adventuring because I needed ores for my blacksmithing or even alchemy, stumble upon a bandit infested hideout and come back with even more loot than I could handle. Oh and the ores? Sell stuff, get out there again, this time trying to get some ores... oh, a dragon! Let's kill it! Damn, overburdened again. What did I come here for again? Who cares, got loot, gotta head back.

    Level 45. 58 hours. This is my Skyrim experience expressed in two lonely numbers.

    F*ckin' lightweight :P

    Last edited 05/05/14 9:51 am

    I think most true Elder Scrolls fans don't play the franchise for the main story anyways! Bethesda usually create so many compelling side stories that you could wander their world endlessly and never find everything that is on offer!

    Sky rim sucks, amalur forever!

      Kingdoms of Amalur was mediocre at best, and that's giving it credit.

    I've played Skyrim for about 280 hours on the 360 upon release and later got the game for PC on Steam and modded it to my liking (8GB Vengeance, 670 2GB, [email protected]) with texture mods, lighting, bells and whistles, etc. And then continued to play for 300 more hours and just started playing it again (It's a winter thing) and still see new things. Most of my time on the 360 was looking at load screens lol. I can safely say that shout isn't the "best" part of the game. There are a lot of cool things and jaw droppers. That shout is fun though.

      I've always gamed on consoles & it keeps me entertained & feel I get enough out of the experience that I've never invested in a proper gaming pc. Having said that, the load screens on this game are almost unbearable on PS3. Other than that skyrim is one of the best games I've ever come across. I'm fairly new to the RPG genre. Don't know why I thought they wouldn't interest me. A buddy told me to play a game called Alpha Protocol. Not great but it was fun. So I did the Mass Effect trilogy & loved it. I so wish I'd played other Elder Scroll games & if I ever actually complete all the quests in this game (I don't have OCD but can't leave a stone unturned in any game) I will jump on Amazon & find as many as I can & hope that playing skyrim 1st doesn't diminish the experience. Kinda got off topic here but, yes, to your point. The load screens are horrible.

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