Skyrim EP39: Ist Der Head Zer Poppins

By Shamus
on May 30, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

135 comments


Link (YouTube)

For those of you who don’t speak Germish, the episode title is roughly translated as, “My goodness, I seem to have unexpectedly removed this person’s head in a humorous manner!” (Germish is a very compact language.)

Also, the “Me go too far” stuff Mumbles and I were doing is a reference to this classic comic.

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!2015There are 135 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. krellen says:

    One thing I still don’t get about Skyrim: why horse? Horses always seemed silly and pointless to me. They were hard to steer and not faster enough to justify the bother. I just ran everywhere because I had like 500 Stamina.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Once youre on the horse, you can fast travel no matter how weighed down.

      • Shamus says:

        I did not know this.

        I still don’t think horses are worth it, but that’s pretty nice.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          Agreed about it not being worth it. I just try to get Summon Arvak as soon as possible.

          • Michael says:

            Yeah, Arvak is probably the single best thing about Dawnguard. Though, I am a sucker for the Vampire Lord.

            For reference, (and possibly Shamus (in case no one’s explained about Arvak before)): Dawnguard offers a quest reward spell about 1/3 of the way in. It gives you a conjuration spell that will summon a flaming skeletal horse. It’s only got a 60 second spawn time, so that, on it’s own isn’t great… except for how the game handles Arvak.

            While you’re ridding him, he can’t despawn. His timer will lock at ~1 second remaining. But, if you dismount (after his summon has expired) he’ll instantly despawn.

            This means three things:

            One, he’ll never run off and attack enemies (except in a rare case where you summon him near enemies.)

            Two, if he dies, it doesn’t really matter, because you can just summon him again.

            Three, if you summon and mount him, you can fast travel while over-encumbered.

        • It would if you could use ’em like a goddamn horse and PACK SHIT ON THEM! Course, that would require proper AI design implementation.

          • Michael says:

            I still love Two Worlds’ legged chests. On the other hand, I almost never switched horses in that game because you can get one of the highest carry capacity horses very early on.

    • Hydralysk says:

      Maybe it’s not the use Bethesda intended, but I used horses mainly to bypass mountains. Skyrim’s horses can walk their way up sheer cliff faces like a damn mountain goat. Made reaching Azura’s shrine a hell of a lot easier.

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah. Horses are faster than a player on foot, but the only time you’re on foot is when you’re going somewhere way out in the wilderness where you haven’t filled in any map markers yet. If you take into account the time you spend finding your horse, chasing it down, and dragging it out of fights, and dealing with all the Leroy Jenkins bullshit it inflicts on you, it’s actually a massive waste of time.

      And if you’re somehow compelled to fight every damn mudcrab and wolf between point A and point B (like SOME people I could mention) then it’s an obnoxious, stupid, expensive, griefing waste of time.

      • James says:

        or your playing with an enforced no quick travel rule.

        then horses are like real horses just for travel and sacrificing to the alter of Bethesda game AI

        Also didn’t Kaiden die because he blocked a door? (He did, but was later resurrected) can this be a thing, NPC blocks doorway, NPC gets murder-killed because of it, ‘cus it also happened in Dishonored.

      • Raygereio says:

        the only time you’re on foot is when you’re going somewhere way out in the wilderness where you haven’t filled in any map markers yet

        Some people are weird and don’t use quicktravel. I haven’t used it in any of the Bethesda-Gamebryo games, or Skyrim.

        As with most things in Skyrim though, the horses do need mods to make them less stupid and annoying. You can add behaviour where horses will flee from battle and path towards you afterwards, for example.

      • Trix2000 says:

        They actually added in mounted combat at some point, so you don’t have to dismount to fight things. Surprised the hell out of me when I found out I could draw my weapon on a horse.

        • BeardedDork says:

          Is that In the base game now? I know one of my Mods lets me do that among other things.

          • IFS says:

            Yeah, still no mounted shouting or spellcasting though and none of the melee weapons have enough reach to really make mounted combat enjoyable. Bows do work ok though, so mounted archery is the way to go if you don’t want to dismount.

    • Henson says:

      It’s interesting: in one of Bethesda’s interviews, they mention that they were working during development on giving horses packs so that you could have them carry your stuff. They decided not to include them because they felt it would give horses too much emphasis. Like, they realized that the horses aren’t that important, so they intentionally kept them a side thing.

      Sometimes I can’t tell if Bethesda knows what they’re doing or not.

      • Neruz says:

        It varies; some of the people at Bethesda clearly not only know what they’re doing but are aware of the stereotypes of their parent company. Others though, well there’s always at least one.

    • Joseph says:

      As with seemingly everything in Skyrim, there are mods that can dramatically improve horses. Simply making them a little faster and non-aggressive makes them much more attractive. Once you get into the entirely new features (talking to NPCs while mounted, leading a horse around without actually riding it, etc.) it becomes hard to imagine going back to vanilla horses. At least for people like me who refuse to use fast travel on principle.

      • Tizzy says:

        Of course, the real question is why do you even need a mod for that? Horses shipped without mounted combat, and that makes sense because you need a bunch of extra animations and probably more combat code to make it work. But mounted conversation? Leading the horse? It should be both clearly useful and easy to implement.

        As far as the no fast travel goes, I eventually had to give up. When so many quests have you run around the whole place back and forth all the time, for seemingly no good reason, I said OK, devs, you win… Makes me sad though. Extremely immersion-breaking.

    • Ciennas says:

      My horse story. I bought him from the stable, and was using him because he made fast travel take less time (or at least I thought.)

      Then, outside of the frozen Dwemer Ruins that had crazed survivors, I dismounted…

      And watched my horse fly off into the horizon in a slight arc without moving.

      It wasn’t mods or anything, since I only have an xbox copy.

      I just… I really couldn’t continue playing after that. I had to go do something else for the day, because I couldn’t top that.

    • djshire says:

      Well, it does fit Josh’s play style as he does tend to….horse around.

  2. cavalier says:

    And Mumbles loses her wrestling cred: Cesaro is Swiss. It’s an integral part of his persona.

  3. Wide And Nerdy says:

    OMG The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future. Thank you Chris. I’d forgotten. That needs to be a mod. He’d be a nice alternative to Maiq the liar.

    “I thought I killed you.”
    “Thats what you think you remembered in the past but now in the future the past has occurred.”
    “You know we don’t celebrate Christmas right?”
    “Of course I . . . I’LL BE BACK AT CHRISTMAS TOMORROW”
    “Wait, I meant we never celebrate Christmas. I don’t know how I even know about that holiday.”
    “That is another incredibly long story THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO . . . “

  4. Chris is but a padawan in comparison to the master of Germish, Sid Caesar.

    No, not Sid KAI-SARRR, shut up.

  5. Oh, jeeze, this mine.

    I think that guy is the resolution to a quest (probably involving the mine), but that same dragon killed him in my playthrough before I could turn it in. The ONE quest NPC that was mortal, and it had to be him.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Just to give you an idea of what you’re (not really) missing: the detailed walkthrough of this quest on the UESP wiki somehow stretches to three short paragraphs. Much of that is about the location, so I reckon I could edit it down to give almost as detailed a walkthrough consisting of a map and a total of nine words.

      I always remember this quest as it was the first time I was named in someone’s will – and of course I hadn’t registered who “Filnjar” was or why he would be leaving me money. The dragon took him out less than a minute after I’d handed the quest in, so we didn’t really get much quality-time together, all told.

      (He got the legal paperwork sorted pretty swiftly, though. Maybe he uses the same lawyer as Thonar Silver-Blood, or possibly just behind me on the road there came a ragged troupe of wandering Notaries Public.)

      • MichaelGC says:

        Actually I can give you five of the nine words without spoiling anything. These would be:

        ENTER MINE and RETURN TO QUESTDUDE.

        I’d be prepared to bet that anyone reading this can guess at least two or three* of the remaining four words.

        *It’d depend on getting the ‘THE’ – oops, spoiler alert.

  6. Let’s see, you have a cat in a chef’s outfit, Swedish jokes, and no one went to this guy?. I am disappoint (oh, and turn on subtitles if you watch that, trust me)

    Also, I had a horse once. For about 5 minutes, then I said screw it and have spent countless hours on foot. One of these days I hope to find the run via stamina key (seriously, I have no idea which key it is, I should probably stop this rebinding to esdf madness)

  7. Mintskittle says:

    When Josh said the dragon had the power to “stick me in the soil,” my first thought was of DBZ Abridged Revenge of Cooler.

    “I’ma plant me a DUMBASS TREE!”

  8. Gruhunchously says:

    So…are New Vegas comparisons officially part of the drinking game? Because they should be.

  9. Mumbles, how did mentioning “Imagine Dragons” not happen? Are they too mainstream? :)

  10. Bryan says:

    “He speaks every language except Hungarian”

    That has to be because his hovercraft is full of eels…

  11. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Hrm… Ya’ll siding with the Greybeards will cause me consternation -because I was heading that direction in my playthrough, and to this point I’ve been doing a lot of the opposite of Spoiler Warning.

    Meh. C’est la vie.

    What’s this light mod? Giant shafts of light sounds cool. Actually, after this playthrough, I’m thinking of adding some mods. Frostfall, Need Food Drink Sleep. What are other good ones?

    • nerdpride says:

      Don’t you think if you side with the Imperial Legion that you’d go with the Blades too? Maybe? If someone were playing the game still and not sick of it anyway. I don’t know what’s going to happen having only played Morrowind.

      • krellen says:

        I can’t imagine siding with the Blades, because Paarthunax is cool and the death penalty is lame.

        • I was kind of ticked off that I couldn’t persuade the Blades that Paarthurnax was cool and he should live, or some other resolution. I mean it would’ve been a great place to use Speech, but noooo.

          If they wanted to prove the Blades right (or make this whole thing have some sense of finality), they should’ve made it possible to say, “hey, come and meet the dragon, you’ll see he’s not what you think he is.”

          Then, depending on your actions or some other factor, either they have a peaceful meeting and depart without hostility, or they try to use the meetup to kill each other.

          Either one is better than just having the Blades sitting in their cave, refusing to talk to you.

          • hborrgg says:

            Or better yet if you could just order them to deal with your decision. What with the dragonborn being the rightful leader of the blades and all.

          • Adam says:

            That’s what that quest would be if Obsidian wrote it.

            Or, that’s how it would eventually be, after six official patches, three unofficial patches, and a mod. (that makes all women topless, for some reason.)

            • Tizzy says:

              To add insult to injury, I get the feeling that the writers always try to suggest that you made the “wrong” choice, whatever you do. I am a big fan of the notion of unintended consequences, but it’s best saved for special occasions, it gets really old really quickly if used all the time.

              • Michael says:

                I blame The Witcher. It honestly handles it really well. You’re presented with a choice, and six hours down the line you finally see the consequence for your decision, and you get both a benefit and a penalty for either choice. Again, The Witcher actually does this well…

                But… then we have Bethesda (and others) trying to imitate that, and we get Catch 22s of stupid. Where every choice is the wrong one instead of simply being a decision.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Please.

            We’re talking about committed enemies of dragons. Their lives are dedicated to this purpose. You could no more convince them to give this up than you could persuade the Dawnguard to peacefully coexist with Vampires or the Rebel Alliance to join the Empire. The Dragonborn is not in charge of the Blades, Delphine is. She is the ranking Grandmaster. They are charged with protecting and guiding you, not serving you.

            And if you asked the Blades to come with you to meet Paarthurnax in hopes of winning them over, they’d agree and use the opportunity to attack Paarthurnax. It would likely result in their deaths sure but that’s what they’d do. And Arngeir would have some choice words for you for naively leading sworn dragonslayers into Paarthurnax’s sanctuary.

            I’m not saying I like the Blades or that I want to kill Paarthurnax but I’ve heard this argument before where you should supposedly be able to persuade them (and there is a mod that does just that) but it doesn’t hold up.

            • MichaelGC says:

              The Dawnguard like to pretend they’re these fanatical anti-vampire hardliners, but as soon as one pretty vampire shows up without an appointment they go all weak at-the-knees! Oh, sure, they might act all gruff & grudging, but let’s just say that getting them to let her stick around is not going to require a difficult Persuasion check…

              Feeble jokes aside, I think the thing with the suboptimal possibilities for a Paarthingy/Blades meeting is not that they wouldn’t be suboptimal (I agree that they probably would be), but just that it would be fun and/or interesting to see those possibilities play out – especially with the player having caused it all to happen.

              I’d certainly be prepared to pay for DLC wherein Paarthingy roasts the Blades to a blackened crisp…

            • newdarkcloud says:

              Of course, as MichealGC mentioned, the Dawnguard seemed very quick to bring a vampire into their ranks when Selena shows up.

              Yeah, they distrust her. However, they don’t lay a finger on her at all and even agree to a truce at the end of the questline.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                They needed her because she knew had information about what Harkon was up to. By the time the Blades lay down their ultimatum, they don’t need Paarthurnax. Besides, Isran doesn’t know anything about Serana other than that she’s a vampire. The Blades know about what Paarthurnax has done.

                Besides, Isran comes off as a bit more pragmatic than the Blades. He accepts that the occasional vampiric transformation is an occupational hazard of being a vampire hunter and he’ll let you get it fixed. But again, there are limits, he won’t simply let you operate as a vampire even if having the powers would be useful in the endeavor.

            • Tizzy says:

              I’m new to Tamriel. Talking about the Blades as sworn enemies of dragons: is this something that was consistently in the lore, or is it something that the writers pulled out of their ass, because players in Elder Scrolls games have to be involved with the Blades somehow?

              • Sleeping Dragon says:

                They weren’t really, primarily because earlier games didn’t really feature dragons (I can’t vouch for Arena and I’m about 90% sure for Daggerfall). (Spoiler for previous games)The only case that I’m aware of before Skyrim was the avatar of Akatosh in Oblivion, and refering to Akatosh as dragon, for example in the context of “dragon break”, which was part of the reason why this game’s plot rubbed me a little wrong way from the start, it felt a little too much like falling back to the most basic fantasy tropes, even if they do try to tie it into the greater lore.

              • Michael says:

                More or less. As Sleeping Dragon mentioned, this is the first time we’ve really had dragons in an Elder Scrolls game.

                Delphine actually breaks out the line, “not many people remember this, but”, which is code for, “hold your nose, I’m about to pull this plot thread from someplace the sun don’t shine…”

                It makes even less sense, because the Blades were founded by Akaviri warriors who swore themselves to the Tiber Septum. So, the closest they ever were to dragon hunters would be… in looking for a dragonborn?

                The stuff about the dragonborn is also new… ish. The Septums were described as dragonborn in the previous games, but that was always presented as more of a lineage thing, and not an actual set of superpowers. I think there’s even a random one off line about how people had forgotten that the dragonborn could slurp down dragons’ souls, or that this was even remotely important.

                Yeah, the whole plotline snaps harder on the retcon train than Fallout 3’s GECK abuse.

            • Given that their whole raison d’être is pretty much a retcon anyway, making them such absolutists and allying with someone who has a dragon soul in the first place seems awfully short-sighted and lazy from a writing perspective. It’s just one more “pick one, doesn’t matter, characterization is for other people, move along” ending.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                Gamers have such a hard time accepting things they can’t change. I think we need more situations like this where players are forced to choose and can’t have everything they want.

                Its believable writing.

          • Ranneko says:

            My approach to the Blades Parthanaax problem was to just walk away whenever they tried to raise the subject. I loved that I could do that in Skyrim, just walk out of conversations.

        • IFS says:

          The stupidest thing for me about the quest is that they won’t let you rebuild the blades unless you kill Paarthunax. Apparently they’d rather let their entire organization fade from history rather than let the dragonborn go ‘no this one dragon is cool’.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I found Shamus’ post on his own mod-list a very useful starting point:

      http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=22155

      Best to scroll down to Josh’s clarification in the comments where he links to the lighting mod in question.

  12. Zerotime says:

    There’s a quest in the Borderlands 2 DLC Assault on Dragon Keep where the solution to a puzzle can literally just be punching it until it breaks (though you miss out on a dice chest if you do that).

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Do it in another….window?What?There are people there that still use windows instead of tabs for browsing?Amazing!

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Josh,are you using the default controls,or did you map left hand to LMB and right hand to RMB?

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I love video game torches.Imagine if you could light stuff on fire with a torch like that in real life.

  16. JackTheStripper says:

    Josh, using the first restoration spell ends up giving you a lot more HP in the end versus the instant heal restoration spell you’ve been using (in other words, the instant heal spell gives you less HP for the MP spent in exchange for making the healing immediate), so if you got a little more time to recuperate during a fight, using the first restoration spell with both hands is better.

    I just thought mentioning this was important since you won’t always have enough tomatoes and cabbages to heal up during long fights.

    • Matt Downie says:

      If only there were something more effective than cabbages for healing. But no, there’s no way a character with nothing more than 9500 gold pieces and a ton of alchemical ingredients could ever get hold of an item like that, some kind ‘magic’ potion…

  17. Thomas says:

    You guys were complaining, but the fight with the Frost Dragon was fun. Especially when the foresworn got involved. I love watching NPCs interact with one another, it was one of the reasons I love inFamous 2

  18. Nytzschy says:

    I think that we, as a community of watchers, need fan art of this scene:

    http://puu.sh/98PuW/fa319ce668.png

  19. hborrgg says:

    So, the part coming where Delphine wants you to kill Paarthurnax. Even if you don’t plan to follow through I seem to remember that if you go tell him “Hey, the blades want me to kill you” he says something along the lines of “well, I can see why they would want that” and then offers some much stronger arguments for killing him than Delphine ever gave before making counterpoints and trying to convince you not to kill him. It’s all really good.

    • aldowyn says:

      that’s because paarthurnax is infinitely cooler than Delphine

    • Grudgeal says:

      One advantage to finishing the Civil War prior to that quest is that the peace summit is cancelled. This means Delphine will ask you to do it while she’s exploring the outdoors garden of the blades hideout.

      Nothing says “no, thank you, I don’t want to do this stupid quest” quite like a fusrodah and a few hundred feet of being dropped off a cliff. Too bad she’s Essential.

  20. bucaneer says:

    A guy explains the plot by interpreting pictures on a wall? Yeah, I remember that quest. http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/5803/screenshot347.png

  21. Raunomies says:

    Ha! I remembered that caveman comic from some episode of DX:HR season and now finally got to read it.

  22. thebob288 says:

    I know you never played dawnguard shamus but as part of the dawnguard questline you can get a spell called summon arvak. Arvak is a skeleton ghost horse that can be summoned just like any other conjuration spell any where because hes a summon he doesn’t cost you money and hes immortal (he actually can die but you just re-summon him) so everytime I play skyrim arvak is my go to mount also “Though this spell summons Arvak for 60 seconds, as long he is ridden, he will not dissipate.” So you don’t just fall off when the time expires :)

  23. Shamus I see from the Twitter feed on the side here that you went for Wolfenstein, as far as story goes and characters it’s the better choice.

    Watchdogs has a better plot and setting but the plot fizzles out halfway through which is a shame as the Snowden leaks make Watchdogs seem likke a documentary at some points.

    BTW! If I where to describe the new Wolfenstein it’s that it is not like the Wolfenstein you remember. It basically feels like a Captain America game but with some other character instead of Captain America.

    I’m kinda hoping this ends up in Spoiler Warning as it’s not overly long and it does have lots of interesting design and choices ad characters to talk about and also a few “issue” to discuss. Then again, there’s a lot of “big” games still to come in 2014.

  24. Jabrwock says:

    “My goodness, I seem to have unexpectedly removed this person’s head in a humorous manner!”

    I was waiting for that to happen, ever since Josh picked the “25% chance to decapitate” perk last episode.

    Now we just need the “Bloody Mess” perk to go with the “Wacky Skyrim Wasteland” perk the game gave Josh, and we’re all set.

  25. Mumbles says:

    i fucked up so hard. i called cesaro swedish when he is the SWISS SUPERMAN DUH KELLY GAWD. im sorry spoiler warning fans. i dont deserve the wrassles no mo

  26. Paul Spooner says:

    At 1:05, I would guess (judging from the tail and hooves we can see sticking out) that not only has the horse clipped into the terrain, but it’s pointed straight down, standing on its nose.

    “Well Marbled” should be on Campsters Patreon page.

    Pickaxe chopping through the door, so awesome! I’d love if we could get Minecraft and Skyrim together at some point.

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