on Jun 5, 2014
Am I going crazy? I have this vivid memory of going to see Paarthurnax and having him give me a little exposition that I was really enjoying, and instead of being able to ask him for more, I was railroaded into saying something like, “Whatever, I don’t care about any of this. Just tell me what I want to know.” Is that not in the game? Am I thinking of another scene?
Also, Josh was not pulling my leg. The voice of Paarthurnax is indeed Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario.
But I think the important thing is that Skyrim mostly abandons the multiple-choice dialog, and in scenes like this is really hurts. If you don’t care about lore or this is your tenth trip through the game, then it’s nice to just get your quest marker updated and be on your way. And if you’re a lore hound it’s great to be able to do a self-directed wiki-walk through the lore, picking topics and exploring what interests you. A linear conversation is miserable for both types of players. I think we get one multi-choice break at the end, but this conversation should have been much more compact, with more options early on.
Also, as great as Paarthurnax looks, this scene gets to be visually tiring kind of quickly. It’s not like a movie scene where we get exposition characters emote, change view, and the camera hops around to show us interesting things. What we have here is basically a mostly static image while Paarthurnax rambles on like he’s recording a his own podcast. (Paarthucast?)
Games shouldn’t try to be movies. But if you ARE going to try to be a movie, at least be an interesting one.