Wasn’t expecting that
My husband surprised me with Skyrim for my birthday. I’d been laying on heavy hints, such as price checking the game online every time he came home (he’s on the road most of the time for his job), leaving doodles on my desk about how I wanted the game, … And, of course, just flat-out telling him how much I wanted the game. Still, I was surprised to receive it as two weeks ago he came home with a very nice brand new mixer to replace my retarded one and told me ‘happy birthday!’ A couple of days ago he left a Lotro card on my desk and again said ‘happy birthday!’, so I thought my gifts were done. Whee!
But that’s not what this post is about. Directly, anyway. Skyrim is my first foray into the world of Elder Scrolls. I’d heard from many that I didn’t need to play the first four to get into Skyrim so I was excited to give it a try. The intro? Wow. (Spoiler alert? Are there folks like me who didn’t get this game when it released and don’t know much about it? If so, it’s not just me!!! Consider yourself warned.) When it told me to name my prisoner it didn’t click with me that I was the prisoner. I mean, I got it but I didn’t get it get it. (There was narration at the beginning of the game but I had to mute my tv to take a ‘my computer needs help’ phone call so I could have missed important information there.) When the big dude with the axe beheaded the first prisoner I thought that was harsh. When I realized that was my character moving to the box so she could be beheaded as well, I jumped a little. It made me wonder if I’ve ever played a game where I didn’t start out with conviction befitting a hero, knowing that I was there exactly to save the world from certain destruction. Other than Mario Kart, I’m not sure. I wasn’t expecting to start the game ‘on the wrong foot’ so-to-speak.
I followed an Imperial Soldier to his uncle’s house in Riverwood and after listening to them talk a bit, helped myself to everything that wasn’t cemented in place. The uncle had said to take whatever I needed, within reason of course, and I did. But then I got to thinking about his views on the war and the stories he told me and, well, I felt bad for taking all of his gold. And bread. And his shoes. I don’t know why I took the shoes as I have better boots equipped, but they’re in my inventory. A funny … when I first sat down at the table I noticed I could steal a pot of some sort off the table so I did. Then I held my breath and waited for them to yell and scream at me to get out. Didn’t happen, though. Talk about accommodating!
I’ve been thinking about the “surprise emotions” I’ve felt when playing other games. LotRO springs to mind immediately. I distinctly remember feeling bad after having to help kill Amdir. The old starter area for Men and Hobbits had a different take to them. Amdir, who you met first, was the one who risked life and limb to rescue you, only to be poisoned with the Morgul blade. The Men intro to the Epic line had you chasing Amdir, desperately trying to save him. When you reached the end of Amdir, it felt like you failed him. Least, it did for me. Then there’s the end of Volume 1 of the Epics. Made me cry as did one of the story arcs in Echos of the Dead (volume 3 epic?)
Speaking of surprise emotion, the first Mario game had me in screaming fits trying to kill Bowser in one of his dungeons where you had to keep jumping to dodge the fire bullets (and let’s not forget about those darn hammers! UGH!). That drove me freaking BATTY! I also yell at my tv when watching football games and in the interest of full disclosure, my neighbors heard me when the Packers took my Bears out of Superbowl contention last season.
Still, having grown up playing games like Monopoly and Operation, I’d have never thought playing a game could bring me to emotion, especially to tears as some have. I haven’t even made it to Whiterun (I believe that’s where I was told to go) yet and Skyrim’s already surprised me twice with emotions. I hope that’s a good sign for things to come as, although I’ll deny it fiercely, I love surprises. Excited to see what’s next!