The Altered Scrolls, Part 5: Cloak and Fanservice

By Rutskarn Posted Friday Sep 4, 2015

Filed under: Elder Scrolls 64 comments

Daggerfall kicks off with a history lesson and follows it with an FMV. Modern sensibilities do not so much recoil as uncoil, but if you can bear it, you’ll learn two things pretty quickly: that Uriel Septim is a personal friend of yours…

...who looks nothing like he did in the last game, but never mind...
...who looks nothing like he did in the last game, but never mind...

…and you're a trusted Imperial agent with a very specific, defined track record of service. So far we’ve had two Elder Scrolls games and both have begun with the assumption that you’re a relatively senior imperial agent. The manual actually tells you what you did to win his esteem, but if you ignore this cursory storytelling–easy to do, even in the days when a manual was important–it almost seems as though you’re supposed to be playing the same character you did in the first game. Either way, taking only these games as precedent, one would not predict the Elder Scrolls series would become known for letting players determine their own backstory (which, as we’ll get into, was a pretty revolutionary idea for a CRPG).

You’re charged with putting to rest the ghost of King Lysandus and recovering a letter intended for the queen of Daggerfall. The game starts with you getting shipwrecked and ending up in a dungeon. This will set you up for the rest of the game’s story: political overtures and cloak-and-dagger aesthetics setting up series of elaborate puzzle dungeons.

The last of which is this dungeon, which is such an unspeakable all-gracious pain in the cripes that it replaced about 45% of my memories of the game.
The last of which is this dungeon, which is such an unspeakable all-gracious pain in the cripes that it replaced about 45% of my memories of the game.

Which is not to say the game’s theme is halfhearted. Far from it, actually: the game's high fantasy trappings are wrapped up tight in a Game of Thrones-styled thematic fabric, highlighted by the fact that the playable area of this gameâ€"the Iliac Bayâ€"isn't one placid nation, but a collection of tense, culturally opposed factions on the brink of war. The missions by and large involve nosing into the affairs of various royal families, peeking behind the scummy veil of propriety to uncover a cobwebbed heap of romantic intrigue, betrayal, conspiracy, murder, and naked women, like, seriously everywhere.

Which I feel the need to bring up, because it’s one of the game’s most discordant notes. It's a little hard to give credit to the game's ostensibly mature, post-heroic plot when it's presented alongside a buffet of bafflingly out-of-place nudity. Half of the women's outfits are minuscule or sexualized (and only the womens’ outfits) and there's nude sultry-lounging women just hanging out random establishments. Many of the enemies are also naked women or monsters that just so happen to look like posing, buxom naked women. There are temples full of naked women and witch covens full of naked women. Nude men? Virtually absent, and the curious choice of barbie-dolling everything below the waist means that men are conspicuously desexualized in a way that women aren't. I think there’s a couple musclebros in palaces, to be fair, but it’s vastly one way and it doesn’t feel even vaguely historically or setting appropriate.

Obviously there’s nothing wrong with nakedness. There’s nothing wrong with a fantasy setting where everyone’s nearly naked, particularly in settings like Dark Sun where it’s both thematically and logistically appropriate to be lightly dressed. There’s nothing wrong with games that feature exclusively naked breasts when it’s tonally appropriate or called for by the story. And, hell, there’s nothing wrong with erotic games. But Daggerfall doesn’t really fit any of those categories. It’s a standard medieval European setup EXCEPT there’s sexualized boobs happening in every other room. Even Game of Thrones, infamous for its habit of injecting nudity into any scene that’s going a bit too slowly, contextualizes the nakedness more–in this game it feels rather like they ran up against a sudden deadline and had to borrow sprites from Crafty One Studios next door. It all smacks of that tone-deaf, desensitized school of fantasy erotica that comes from authors who've spent their lives marinated in pandering cheesecake and naturally duplicate it unless they make a special effort not to. It's a role-playing game; clearly the female characters, monsters, and factions should be designed with titillation in mind, regardless of how well it fits in with the rest of the narrative. You know the trend.

I'm being harsh. The game's got plenty of decent, even cool female characters, and not all female characters have sexual elements to them. All the boobular stuff is ultimately ancillary and disposable; certainly no worse than many of its contemporaries. My strong negative reaction has less to do with its offensiveness in this game and more to do with the fact that as a fantasy and science fiction enthusiast, I've been swimming in this horseshit for so long my arms are getting numb.

Some of the dungeons are quite appealing-looking. By the way, while I'm looking up or down in most of these screenshots, don't get the idea that it is particularly easy or useful to do so--I just wanted these glamor shots to look good and suffered the appalling obnoxious mouselook function to do so. You will spent most of your time looking straight ahead.
Some of the dungeons are quite appealing-looking. By the way, while I'm looking up or down in most of these screenshots, don't get the idea that it is particularly easy or useful to do so--I just wanted these glamor shots to look good and suffered the appalling obnoxious mouselook function to do so. You will spent most of your time looking straight ahead.

Now, this is not to say that the presence of sex as a topic was unwelcome. Daggerfall did seem to be the only game in the franchise eager to acknowledge that such a thing as sexual congress exists. I can illustrate this perfectly with one example. One of the many in-game book series found in Daggerfall presents a frankly narrated, even explicitly erotic sexual encounter between one of its female characters, Queen Barenziah, and a common Khajiit thief. The sexual encounter is not crucial to either the book or the game's narrative, but does somewhat serve to characterize her and foreshadow some of her relationship decisions later in the (book) series, which, in turn, fleshes her out within the context of the game. So to recap: the game contains a narrated sex sceneâ€"even a raunchy, exhibitionist, risque oneâ€"but one that earns a place in the story.

The book series can be found in later games, but the offending passage is replaced with a tongue-in-cheek, in-universe notification of royal censorship. That's an understandable decision from the developers with regards to the next two games, Morrowind and Oblivion, which seemed to have generally been designed with a “T” rating in mind. But what about Skyrimâ€"a game which features graphic beheadings in the first few minutes?

I'm not saying the later games are totally sexless. All three include at least some risque content, usually as a borderline easter egg, but it's all cheesy innuendo and sitcom-styled hijinks played for laughs. None of it serves any real story purpose.

Daggerfall‘s a bit like the college student who eats nothing but candy for a week because he can. The other games are that kid grown into a middle-aged man who avoids gluten because he's heard some friends say it gave them problems and anyway you can't be too careful. I can’t help but feel a game with a little more maturity than Daggerfall and less inhibitions than, say, Oblivion could tell some good stories.

My tangential niggles aside, Daggerfall‘s story is actually pretty good. It's not as elaborate or interesting as the ones belonging to some of its descendants, but it's a fuckload more interesting than the execrable trope-a-dope bonanza in Arena. It even ends with a New Vegas style choice of who wins the war for the Iliac Bayâ€"a choice that's neatly negated by subsequent titles, but never mind that. It certainly held my attention.

For all the game's weaknesses, there are only two that when combined stay my hand from typing a recommendation: the inexcusably shonky controls that are by no means up to the job of piloting the dungeon environments…and the dungeon environments. Even granting that this at heart a dungeon crawling videogame, it could have been a lot worse.

As a final feature: when I originally wrote this series, I sat down for ten minutes to play from one of my saves. What follows is a summary of ten minutes of (mostly) non-combat gameplay. I’ll do a similar (brand new) summary next week of dungeon gameplay before opening up question-and-answer. Without further ado, I present an entirely unplanned and organic gameplay segment.

I'm out in the middle of nowhere, which is less than ideal. All the classic adventures of song and legend tend to transpire in places with things. So I move my cursor down to the bottom bar, to “transportation,” and select my sailing ship. I teleport to it instantly. It's a vast, expensive ship; the size and cost of the ship have thus far not proved relevant in any capacity, but there you go.

Now that I'm on my ship, I go to the map, select one of the provinces at random, then select one of the inns in the middle of nowhere at random. Traveling to it costs me 0 coinsâ€"the perks of having your own ship, I guess. Six hundred thousand gold well spent.

The inn's name on the map is…some auto-generated bullshit, honestly, I couldn't really tell you. I didn't check in the first place; there's no point in seeing what a place is called because the name is totally meaningless and you're probably never going to go back. Let's just call it The Monkey and Monkey Tavern. I arrive there to find there's actually two taverns in the small loaded area tile, neither of which are called the right name, and a couple of houses. The nearest tavern is about ten feet away, so I summon my horse, ride up to the front door, and unsummon my horse.

I enter to find a man kneeling permanently by the fire and a woman in a Ren Faire dress. I ask the man for directions to the building we're standing in, and he replies that it's to the east and south some. Then I ask him about current events. He says he's never heard of anyone by that name.

I ask the woman for news, and she drops several paragraphs of mathematical formula about how the game calculates strength damage.

I decide to rent a room to heal my wounds. The barkeep asks how many days I want it forâ€"just one, thanksâ€"and the game auto-haggles the price down to four gold coins. That's actually most of the gold I have on me; I have several million gold total, but the bulk of that is in the bank. I accept his deal, press the the “rest” and then “rest until healed” icons on my quickbar, and find myself teleported to my room to rest.

I wander into the hallway and open the door to the next room. Standing in it is a woman in a black bikini, high-heeled leather boots, and a thong. I shut the door to the next room.

I enter another room that's empty except for what genuinely looks like a half-open cardboard box. I click on the box, and the game informs me I'm stealing and asks if I want to continue. I do. The box contains a red cloak and a gold-spangled “formal brassiere,” which, needless to say, replaces my shirt when I equip it.

Immediately I hear shouts of “Halt! Halt!” Nobody could have possibly witnessed me taking from the chestâ€"but someone did anyway. Now the game is glitching out pretty bad and doors are opening for no reason, but I go out to meet the guards. They swing at me and the game asks if I'm resisting arrest. I decide not to.

On a separate screen, I am read my charges and asked if I'd like to plead guilty or not guilty. I choose not guilty. It asks if I'm going to debate or lie. I choose lie. I fail and my sentence is stretched from one day in jail to nine.

I'm released from jail and immediately spot an enemy on the horizonâ€"a random female rogue. She has her back to me, but I recognize the character modelâ€"it's the one with the hood running down to a sleeveless, wide-open vest. I get on my horse, ride towards her, attack with my battle axe, and am informed I've pulled off a sneak attack backstab.

I quit the game.


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64 thoughts on “The Altered Scrolls, Part 5: Cloak and Fanservice

  1. Galad says:



    Quite the feat, achieving a *sneak* attack while on horseback, swinging an axe.

    I tend to avoid those “pixelated old-graphics” games anyway. I’m pretty sure this kind of graphics are not good for my eyes, and as much as I’d like to not sound like a spoiled brat, there is such thing as ‘too ugly’. The only one I WILL eventually play with such graphics is Planescape:Torment, and I seem to recall mentions of a ‘better graphics’ mod for it.

    1. Mattias42 says:

      Planescape is actually still jaw-droppingly beautiful, just rather low-res.

      Well, by the game’s ‘rust, blood and bloody rust’ aesthetic at least. But jokes aside, you can tell how much effort went into the art on the game, and (IMO) it still looks stunning if you mod the resolution.

      Still, I think you can agree the above is a far cry from the Daggerfall’s ‘paper craft people.’

      1. Galad says:

        Just googled for tides of numenera and its release date is written as december 2015. So I have 3 months to play Planescape the First. I might still manage it given that I managed to beat the Witcher 2 for less than a week on easy, and literally finished it the night before Witcher 3 came out.

        1. Incunabulum says:

          FYI: Tides is *not* a sequel to Planescape, nor does it share the same setting.

          Its a ‘spiritual successor’ thing – but it takes place in its own unique setting that has no relation to or connection with Planescape.

        2. Thomas says:

          It’s release date is almost certainly not 2015, they went into the kickstarter explaining they didn’t know when the game would be finished and only gave a date because kickstarter asks for one. And then Wasteland 2 development slipped and so that pushed Tides even further back.

          They recently released their alpha, so my guess is Winter next year.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        For me it was the shift from gorgeously drawn baldurs gate 2 and planescape torment(and icewind dale to a lesser extent)to plastically looking neverwinter nights that first convinced me that your graphics needs good art way more than it needs MOAR PIXULZ.

        1. LCF says:

          I concur.
          Baldur was gorgeous.
          Years later, I got ma grabby mittens on Heroes 5.
          Such a beautiful cover! such small pictures of the game at the back of the box!
          No matter, let us play the Rightful Heir to Heroes 3.
          I was shocked, shocked and appaled – I say! – to be greeted with the demented spawn of low-res WoW and Final Fantasy Copyright Infringement Edition.
          The Castle faction had simians for peasants. Everything looked Warcraft 3 / cheap plastic.
          I made it through the Undead Campaign, then quit.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Ugh,heroes 5…At least 4,which was just as ugly,had some interesting ideas,great stories and an amazing map editor.The only good thing about h5 I can say is that at least its not h6.

    2. Matt Downie says:

      Ridiculous way to get a sneak attack. Everyone knows that in order to backstab someone, you have to bend your legs slightly as you move around, to make yourself invisible.

    3. Hal says:

      Maybe she was listening to ye olde iPod.

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Bah,thats nothing.Real rogues sneak attack using ballistae.

      1. Alex says:

        One of my D&D characters liked performing sneak attacks with Meteor Swarm – a spell with a 40 foot blast radius.

        1. Trix2000 says:

          To be fair, most people wouldn’t expect a rain of meteors.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            So you are saying that nobody expects the meteoric incursion?

    5. MrGuy says:

      I think it’s just straight-up surprise.

      I know if I saw someone on the street, and then they turned around and got a on a horse, and took out an axe, and started galloping after me, I certainly wouldn’t think “hey, that guy is trying to sneak up on me!”

    6. Otters34 says:

      That actually happens in A Storm of Swords. Of course, it’s helped that the axe-ee is suitably distracted by something horrible, but it’s still a sneak attack with an axe from horseback.

  2. Orillion says:

    I feel that the insane amount of boobage in Daggerfall is nicely balanced by the fact that we had penis physics in Skyrim mods before we had breast physics. Brought a tear* to my eye, it did.

    Really, though, I would like to see sex tackled maturely in an Elder Scrolls game. Daggerfall was half there–there’s a lot more bare-chested men than Ruts remembers (Hircine, at least two other Daedric princes, most of the Dibella temple worshippers, centaurs, the male warrior-type classed enemies)–but then you do have the random nude women in inappropriate places, the last indication that prostitution was supposed to not only be a thing in the game, but a faction you could join.

    *Accidentally wrote “teat” first, giggled, fixed it

  3. Da Mage says:

    In fact a feature that was cut from Daggerfall (cutting a feature… I know right) was that you could import your character (and even items) from Arena to continue playing. I would assume it was eventually cut as the leveling and RPG systems were simply too different, meaning you have to basically recreate your character anyway even if your did import them.

    See this extract from a 1996 FAQ: (it might be unofficial, but good luck finding news from that era).

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    and naked women, like, seriously everywhere.
    but it's vastly one way and it doesn't feel even vaguely historically or setting appropriate.

    So you are saying that its a ’90s era witcher game.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh god!Why did I open those pictures!The boobed litch!Its so stupid that it huuuurrrtsss!!

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      As a bit of trivia here is the same litch visibly, and appropriately, more desiccated. It’s interesting that they felt the need to give her that pair for the banner image…

    2. Gilfareth says:

      It’s interesting to me that the response from people entrenched in this sort of fantasy to out-of-place boobage and titillation is disgust, outrage, annoyance or some combination of the three. Speaking from the perspective of someone who’s only dabbled until recently in fantasy and sci-fi, I don’t find much of a problem with it. With the kind of people I hang out with, be-breasted liches, kobolds, argonians, catfolk, etc. are not just appreciated but are drawn and written pretty frequently.

      I dunno. I feel bad for perpetuating something that obviously bothers people trying not to have such a shallow face for their entertainment. I like the lichtits, but I feel guilty for liking it.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        But thats the thing about it:No thinking.When you arent thinking about it,its fine.Catfolk with only two boobs?Fine,whatever,cats have tits,they are mammals.2,8,same thing.

        Reptiles with tits?Eh,whatever,they evolved feathers,maybe they can evolve boobs.

        But a corpse with tits?You have to turn off your brain completely to not think how fucked up that is.Unless you are a necrophiliac,in which case you would be turned on by it.

        Yet this was commissioned for a d&d game,so the artist should know some d&d,and since its a professional work,they should at least think about it before dumping all over the paper(computer screen,whatever).Which makes it even worse,because liches arent just corpses,they are skeletons.So just bones,and maybe some loose flesh hanging here and there.And also voluptuous boobs I guess.Add to this that the fix is so easy:Liches are powerful spellcasters,so they are quite capable of having an illusion to make them look like whatever they like all the time.So either this is a necrophiliac lich who likes looking like a big boobed skeleton,or it was drawn by a necrophiliac artist.

        1. Felblood says:

          She actually does walk around dressed in an illusion of what she looked like in life.

          So, from an art direction perspective, the taxidermy boobs might just be there to keep her silhouette consistent.

          There’s a shot in the trailer where she drops her illusion an reveals her true form, which seems like it must have been on the forefront of everyone’s minds when designing her aesthetics.

          Good trailer shots are way more important than lore or narrative cohesion, right?

        2. Axehurdle says:

          That’s the thing though, you can’t get angry about how it doesn’t make sense because IT DOES make sense. If they want people to click on their banner ad anyway. They wouldn’t keep doing it if it didn’t work. A lot of people in the target demographic like looking at female breasts so if you include them on your ad anywhere you’ll get them to look at it longer. It just makes sense. Having said that I hate it and wish it would stop, in the name of good taste.

      2. Derek says:

        Don’t feel guilty about it. You have absolutely no responsibility towards people who dislike your taste in entertainment. If they don’t like it, they aren’t forced to play it.

        We understood this back in the ’90s, standing up against the PMRC and the Communications Decency Act and all the rest: if you don’t like it, don’t watch/read/listen to/play it. It’s baffling and sad that as a culture we’ve lost the ability to tolerate a diversity of tastes and opinions.

  6. Groboclown says:

    Morrowind kind of sort of acknowledged sex with that creepy guy, or is that more of a wink at the player? Is that even acknowledging that sex is a thing?

    1. Ahiya says:

      Oh, Morrowind was definitely not shy about acknowledging sex (it one-ups Daggerfall by having gay cross-species erotica). It just didn’t shove sex in your face. There’s the elvish equivalent of Vegas, slave girls, that guy who sexually harasses everyone which I thought was a nice touch, etc. It’s just not all-boobs-all-the-time.

      1. nerdpride says:

        I never did play through with Hlaau. I guess it wasn’t really much different from the other houses, but something about Hlaau seemed less fantastical. I had second thoughts about working with Mr. Curio a few times now.

        1. Orillion says:

          I liked Hlaalu best because they were the most practical. And Balmora is convenient, but mostly I liked that they realized that Redoran and Telvanni were fighting a losing battle over Vvardenfell and using the Empire against them was the sensible option.

  7. Neko says:

    Ahaha, the “Formal Brassiere”. So classy. Make sure you get the one with spikes on it if you’re going to the opera or a funeral.

  8. Retsam says:

    Did you just get thrown in jail for nine days for stealing women’s underwear? Yeah, I’d lie too, in that case.

  9. Hal says:

    I don’t know much about the sexualized/cheesecake fantasy era (of the 70s?), but I think it declined primarily for two reasons: The popularity of Tolkien (and derivative) fantasy, which was much tamer; and the (gradual) mainstreaming of the fantasy genre (thanks in no small part to family-friendly Tolkien works.)

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      That’s probably a big part of it. The modern adult fantasy genre doesn’t really begin until 1977, the year The Silmarillion (the first major work of Tolkien’s published posthumously) and The Sword of Shannara (the first major Tolkien-derivative work and the vanguard of Del Rey’s mission to create a market for adult fantasy fiction) were published. Before then, fantasy was either kid’s stuff (Narnia, Prydain, etc.) or sword-and-sorcery pulp stuff (Fritz Leiber, Conan stories and comics, Frazetta art, etc.).

      There’s also the factor of Dragonlance and late-1st/2nd edition Dungeons & Dragons art. The art styles of that period were dominated by Larry Elmore and his contemporaries: more photorealistic, a bit more grounded. They still had their share of beautiful young women, but the cheesecake was toned way down. This style of art was the face of fantasy fiction for much of the 80s and early 90s.

      It seemed to start creeping back around the launch of D&D 3rd edition, though. I wonder how much influence video games, manga/anime, and 90s comic books had on that.

      1. WaytoomanyUIDs says:

        Jack Vance, Philip José Farmer and Michael Moorcock might want to disagree with your dates there. All writing adult (not “adult”) fantasy in the 60’s

        1. Felblood says:

          He’s saying that Tolkienesque fantasy over-wrote the tropes that these guys had previously codified, resulting in our more “modern” visual language of fantasy.

      2. djw says:

        Surprisingly, if you read the Conan stories that Howard wrote (not the pastiche crap written after he died) you will find much less boobage described than you might expect. There is a bit of pandering, but for the most part Howard (and by extension his hero) was not very interested in sex. The drawings that accompany his stories were often fairly lurid damsels in distress, but that was fan service inserted by editors.

        1. Michael says:

          Surprisingly, Howard’s writing is amazing at a technical level. Reading it you can see why Conan became such an icon.

      3. djw says:

        The covers of the Dragonlance books still had plenty of boob plates, cleavage, short-short skirts, and women in backbreaking poses. It may have been restrained compared Boris Vallejo, but I was still careful not to let my teachers see the covers when I took them to school to read between classes.

    2. Mike S. says:

      And then there was John Boorman’s aborted adaptation of The Lord of The Rings for which he did a screenplay in 1970, which was very seventies and very weirdly sexualized, and would have killed Tolkien early if it had gone to completion.

  10. MichaelGC says:

    Do you eventually put King Lysandus to rest, and are there incremental steps to the putting of him to rest? Or does that all get lost in the general Elder Scrolls melee? – as is fairly standard for ES games, thinking about it!

    Well, I guess the next two have decently strong claims to having a plot worth the candle. (And I guess we’ll find out! :D) But if you asked me what the main plot of Skyrim was, then ignoring what I know from other sources I’d just have to mumble something about the horn of Jurgen Windcaller…

    Edit: Oops, questions next week, is it? I misread that bit! – ignore me; next week it is.

    1. Ahiya says:

      Morrowind’s plot was definitely memorable, with interesting characters and some nice twists. There’s a reason why people are still playing it despite the sometimes irritating interface and old graphics.

      Oblivion…honestly couldn’t tell you. I think there were demon gates?

      1. Hermocrates says:

        I find Morrowind way easier to get into than Oblivion, despite its archaic mechanics, and I have to give full credit to its main plot. Certainly, Oblivion’s painful level-scaling plays a part in driving me away, but I mostly just can’t seem to give two farts about its main plot either.

        Reading about Arena and Daggerfall, though . . . I don’t think any level of interesting plot or social commentary could get me past those mechanics.

        1. Da Mage says:

          Oblivion’s level scaling only puts people off AFTER they realise it’s there. For the first 20 levels of your playthrough you’ll be having fun…..then you realise the item and enemy scaling.

          1. Andrew_C says:

            You very quickly realise it’s there when you run into bandits on the roads in dwarven plate. And lets just try to pretend the bandits in deadric plate never happened

            1. Orillion says:

              For reference on how it’s “supposed” to be, in Morrowind there’s two suits of Daedric armour in the entire game, and I think only one copy of one of the pauldrons. One of the suits (the only one you’ll find without an absurd amount of exploration) is worn by a character that is literally stronger than any of the three gods you can kill during the course of the game.

              Partially this is due to the armour in question, of course, but the guy is also decked out in so much magicka that if he gets a chance to use it all you’re already dead.

              1. Michael says:

                Or you just keep casting decay armor on him until he tosses his gear, and then you pick pocket it off him, like a normal person.

              2. Matt Downie says:

                Oblivion is set during a Daedric invasion, so the raw materials for the armour would be increasingly common as you level up.

                1. Andrew_C says:

                  You still get bandits in deadric plates if you never bother to trigger the invasion (the way I normally play) and for some reason aren’t using a mod to change the way levelling and the levelled lists work, so that doesn’t really explain it.

    2. TMC_Sherpa says:

      Depends if you got the patch or not. On release? No because the script was busted. After the patch? Yup.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Heh – I guess that says a lot about the relative importance of the main plot! :D

        1. djw says:

          Its been a *really* long time since I played Daggerfall, but if I recall correctly putting Lysander to rest is a side trip from the main plot.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Coo. Is the main plot the queen’s letter? :D

            1. djw says:

              That is a step along the way, yes.

  11. TMC_Sherpa says:

    It came out the same year as Duke 3D and the original Tom Braider so boobs were kinda in at the time.

    1. Ahiya says:

      Yeah. I think people forget just how blatantly sexist and bad-at-people early games were.

      1. Couscous says:

        Wait, 1996 videogames are early videogames now?

        1. Alexander The 1st says:

          Early post-crash, yes – also early 3D games, which is the part that *really* sticks out.

      2. DHW says:

        That’s probably not the word you were looking for.

    2. Sartharina says:

      Fun fact about human anatomy: Women actually do have boobs. Some of us have quite large breasts, and it’s a pain in the ass to try to hide them (assuming I have some sort of obligation to do so in the first place). I’m sorry if that comes as a shock to you.

      1. TemporalMagnanimity says:

        I’d hate to Necro an old thread, but nobody here dislikes boobs because they are prudes. They dislike how women were presented as objects and were only present to titillate the male audience.

  12. Zaxares says:

    “Halt! Halthalt! Halt! Halt! Halthalthalt! Halt!”

    Ahh, the sweet music of more town guards than the town’s entire population chasing you. XD

  13. Simon Buchan says:

    I’m really sad that it looks like the XL engine project has stalled, he had a somewhat playable version of daggerfall going before deciding that hand decompiling the entire game was the way to go.

    Oh well, the dark forces implementation is still great.

  14. Blackbird71 says:

    Regarding the proliferation of female nudity in the game, I’ll first point out that there is an option to turn on a parental filter that removes this content (it puts underwear on your character “paper dolls”, and undressed NPCs were simply removed (temples of Dibella were rather sparsely populated with the filter on).

    But I do think that the developers either had some sort of obsession, or else an inside joke going on. Daggerfall was the first game where I learned to mod the game. I recall learning how to open up the game’s resource files, and I discovered that scattered in and among all of the textures and other images used for the game were a handful of very low-res images of naked women. These were not game resources or animated materials, they were actual photographs, like scans from a men’s magazine or some such. There was absolutely no reason for them to be mixed in and package with the game’s resource files, but there they were.

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