Prior to Skyrim
, my exposure to Bethesda games had been fairly minimal. The time investment needed to plunge deep into any of the prior Elder Scrolls
games, or Fallout 3
or New Vegas
, is something that'd eluded me up until a few weeks ago. Conscripted by a friend to drive him to the midnight release of Skyrim
at his local GameStop, my payment was to be the pleasure of borrowing the game for the weekend following, given that he had to work pretty much straight through to Monday. A fair enough trade, I agreed to play taxi, and come 9:00 PM Thursday night, we were off.
A reciept acquisition, trip to Taco Bell, in-line chat session and choose-your-own-adventure game (at the hands of the store's staff) later, we were back at his place so he could at least get a taste of the winterlands before I absconded with his precious disc. Another hour, and I scooted home, with the rest of the day off myself, and that Saturday's evening promising a bit more playtime before Sunday and Monday were likely to be a wash. Being the good friend I am, I made it a point to take nearly the exact opposite route my buddy'd traversed in his prelude, following Ralof the Stormcloak instead of some bastard Imperial, and leaning my Wood Elf towards magery as soon as possible.
Despite my lack of familiarity with Bethesda's back library, I was more than aware of their history of buggy products, and was pleasantly surprised by the complete lack of total game wig-outs I was experiencing. Paranoia still had me saving more often than may actually be healthy, but things were going pretty smoothly. I explored a bit, collected all the flowers ever, hooked some broad up with a spoony bard at the first inhabited town you encounter, and made my way to Whiterun to meet the wonderful Jarl of... Whiterun, I guess. We chatted about dragons and the realms and how the Empire sucked, and I was made welcome to check out Dragonsreach before too long. Not wanting to turn down such hospitality, I did exactly that, poking my nose into every room in the keep to see what was up.
And that's when the world collapsed. Literally.
As I made to enter one of the last few sleeping chambers I hadn't investigated yet, I got a bit impatient and tried to step through a doorway as the door inside it was still opening. Suddenly, I found myself transported into a new, rather beige dimension, hurtling through empty, tan space and suddenly wondering when my last autosave had registered. Regret set in as I realized just how much gameplay I might have to redo, given that I'm of the sort who likes to look at and talk to everything before moving on, when just as suddenly, I was back where I started. The jarlsman on guard duty made some smartass, but irrelevant remark, and I was standing on solid stone just outside the door-become-portal that'd launched me from the world I knew in the first place, as if nothing had ever happened.
To be safe, I saved manually before making another attempt to enter the room, and much to my relief, Skyrim's space/time continuum saw fit not to warp for me again. Following my little trip, I've not experienced any other glitches, but that was certainly one heck of a ride for someone who'd never experienced symptoms of the Bethesda curse before.
The moral of the story? Don't mess around with doors. Doors are dicks.
Dragonsreach aurora image by tekken360.
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