I was a late comer to the Elder Scrolls series, my first taste of Western RPG's was from Fallout 3 so naturally I took interest in Oblivion, sadly I was never able to get fully invested in it. But along came Skyrim and like every other WRPG lover I absolutely adored Skyrim and was finally fully on board with the Elder Scrolls series. But despite have only played one game out of the entire series I find myself hungry for a dramatic change for the next Elder Scrolls game.
The game is home to some of your typical fantasy settings, characters and creatures, this is in no way a bad thing and Skyrim makes sure to add its personal touch but I want them to really shake things up next time, with an ancient Asian influence.
Now I won't pretend I'm exceptionally knowledgeably at Japan's or China's history and this is coming from very limited rusty knowledge but I know what I'd like to see and will do my best to communicate that without coming off like a moron!
One common of China's landscape that we've most likely all seen is it's grand Rice Fields. Skyrim has it's fair share of farms around but nothing so grandiose or impressive, these fields conjure up some beautiful patterns and to me really screams something iconic from Asia. One thing that's essential when creating a world for a video game is making sure it's home to some unique and impressive locations and these rice fields would be perfect.
What about a bamboo forest? Again Bamboo is something that is heavily associated with Asia to me and would add a wonderful touch to a world from Bethesda. Running around in the busily grown forest with the sun peeking through the top! And of course the occasional unwelcome attack from a Panda, hey someone's got to replace those cave bears. But that doesn't mean we have to say goodbye to tree's all together, what about Japan's beautiful Cherry Blossoms? To have the wind gently howling with the sound of the tree's groaning and the beautiful view of bright pink petals dancing throughout the air.
What about China's wonderful mountains that are frequently photographed as being shrouded with clouds? Imagine running around down below only to look up and witness the wonderfully bizarrely shaped mountains with a heavy sea of clouds filling the sky. Things like this are the basics of what one may imagine when thinking of Japan's and China's landscapes and the thought of what Bethesda could do with these iconic landscapes and environments with their own personal touches sends nerdy chill down my spine.
That's enough about the scenery now more onto the bad ass stuff, and what's more bad ass than a japanese samurai?
One thing that I love about Skyrim is how each armour set has its own distinct look and style and remained expressive. Samurai armour also has its own distinct look and character to it. They're quite busy looking and some even seem to feature mask like plates with the helmets. They have an almost ferocious look to them with a heavy tough build, it's things like this that I think Bethesda would have a field day with! They aren't chained to the strict rules of reality and could take on a strong variety of designs for a Samurai's armour.
But we can even have an armour sets that are more low key, if you take a look at the sculptures of the Terracotta army
their armour appears to be rather simple. Perhaps they aren't an accurate depiction of the army back then but it's another design influence to consider. There's a whole wealth of history from these countries that Bethesda could dig into and produce some fantastic designs and imagery.
But hey what's even more bad ass than a cool looking set of armour? Weapons of course!
Going back to the subject of Samurai, there's one item we all can't envision them without, an iconic weapon that has to be included, I'm of course talking about the Katana! These are absolutely beautiful swords that would serve as a nice contrast to the heavy beefy swords we're use to wielding within Skyrim. Katana's for me come across as being more sleek and elegant than your typical sword and something that Bethesda could give some brilliant variations to.
But we also need the more diverse range of weaponry. We have things like Sai which could possibly replace your average dagger. To replace our bows we could be introduced to the crossbow or if you want to go the sneakier ninja like route we could even use throwing stars! But if we really want to shake things we can introduce weapons such as the Guan Dao
Weapons like this can help shake up combat once again and add a spark of life to it. I'm sure there's many other weapons I simply don't know about that Bethesda can find and really impress us with!
I loved the dragons in Skyrim and I don't want to see them going any time soon from the series. However the Chinese have an iconic design for dragons unlike the ones we see in Skyrim or other western media. Often being portrayed as more snake like in length, long whisker-like features on the face and the lack of wings. They still look like marvellous magical deadly creatures though with a strong palette of colours commonly featured within artwork.
I wish I knew more about China's and Japan's mythology but sadly I'm clueless but like many other cultures I'm such they have a rich deep history ripe for the picking for Bethesda. Hopefully I haven't come across too ignorant here and I don't just want influences from China and Japan alone, we have places like Thailand or South Korea I would love to know more about and I'm sure they also hold some spectacular ideas that would be perfect to include. In my mind I can perfectly envision what I'd love to see from all this but translating it to words is a difficult task but I hope I got my message across. I really want Bethesda to look into the history of these places and centre a game around it, the Elder Scrolls stamp isn't really necessary.
Bethesda are able to conjure up some of the most solid and atmospheric worlds I've had the pleasure to play in and I can only hope they one day bring even more diverse cultural influences towards their role playing games.
Thanks for reading this sloppy mess and maybe let me know what you'd like to see the next Elder Scrolls world shaped as?!