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-> ''"They have taken you from the Imperial City's prison, first by carriage and now by boat, to the east; to Morrowind. Fear not, for I am watchful. You have been chosen."''
-->-- '''Azura''', from the introduction

''The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind'' is [[NeverTrustATitle the fifth videogame]] in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series by [[{{Creator/Bethesda}} Bethesda Softworks]], released in 2002. Like the other games in the "core" series (i.e. the ones with numbers in their names), it is a massive, [[WideOpenSandbox free-form]] {{RPG}}.

''Morrowind'' was the first ''Elder Scrolls'' game to be released on a console (specifically, the {{Xbox}}) -- in fact, it was the first major WesternRPG to get a MultiPlatform release in a long while. As such, it also marked a major shift in game play and design philosophy. Gone were ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'''s [[RandomlyGeneratedLevels nigh-infinite]], [[ProceduralGeneration procedurally generated worlds]], replaced with carefully hand-crafted environments that, while smaller than their predecessors, were designed to invoke [[SceneryPorn awe]] and still be far larger than most video games. The combat system is radically different from the rest of the series: while it is still real-time, character stats play a far larger role than player skill compared to the rest of the series. Like the other games, however, ''Morrowind'' puts a huge emphasis on the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfSidequests numerous side quests]], to the degree where they are a major aspect of the game, and are neatly tied into the main story.

The story is set 10 years after the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', on the far eastern frontier of the Tamrielic Empire. The player character is a [[YouAllMeetInACell convict]] and an [[ParentalAbandonment orphan]] in the Imperial City dungeons. For unknown reasons, [[TheEmperor Emperor]] Uriel Septim VII personally orders that you be released early on the condition that you be shipped to the backwater province of Morrowind (more specifically, the even more backwater district of Vvardenfell, until very recently closed off to all foreigners on religious grounds) and meet with an agent of his named [[TheSpymaster Caius Cosades]]. However, upon being released, you are perfectly free to say "screw that" and explore Vvardenfell at your own pace. If you choose to accept the mission given to you, however, you are launched into a labyrinthine plot involving an AncientConspiracy, prophecies, lost prophecies, false prophecies, reincarnation, [[PhysicalGod gods]], backroom politics, gang wars, TheCorruption, and lots and lots of walking. Seriously, you spend a good half of the game just walking around. Not that it isn't [[SceneryPorn a pleasant and interesting walk]].

Two expansion packs were later released for PC:

* ''Tribunal'': Following an assassination attempt against the PlayerCharacter, you are directed to Morrowind's capital city of Mournhold to investigate. From there, you become embroiled in the power struggle between the Tribunal deity Almalexia and the King of Morrowind, Hlaalu Helseth. [[DifficultySpike It's noticeably more challenging]] than the original game, and intended for mid-to-high level characters. Unlike the rest of the game, you are restricted to only one part of the stated-to-be massive city and the sewers/ruins [[UndergroundLevel beneath it]].
* ''Bloodmoon'': The expansion adds the island of Solstheim, a grim [[GrimUpNorth frozen tundra]] with a very different atmosphere than the main game. Upon arriving, you find effectively two main quests to complete. The first begins when you sign on to help an [[BadassArmy Imperial Legion]] captain with some odd jobs around his fort. It quickly escalates into a simple-but-dramatic plot about rescuing him from the [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame Most Dangerous Game]] -- by taking part in it yourself. The second involves helping the new Imperial mining colony of Raven Rock grow from absolutely nothing into a flourishing frontier settlement, with plenty of moral dilemmas along the way.

In 2003, the GameOfTheYearEdition was released for both {{XBox}} and PC. It includes all of the patches, DLC, and both expansions.

Despite its venerable age, ''Morrowind'' remains a classic and boasts a large player base to this day. It marked the point where [[TheVerse Tamriel]] ceased to be a standard MedievalEuropeanFantasy setting and became a truly unique ConstructedWorld with highly memorable cultures, history, creatures, landscapes, mythopoeia, and characters. As its [[Gush/VideoGamesAToF gushing]] fans will tell you, ''Morrowind'' does imitate the works of Creator/JRRTolkien, but in a much different way than most fantasy worlds do--by putting the same amount of thought and detail into its universe, rather than just borrowing ideas from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings.'' And even less-enthused observers have to admit that ''Morrowind'' has probably had the greatest overall influence on the direction of WesternRPG output since ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'' - near-as-dammit every WRPG since has been influenced by ''Morrowind''.

''Morrowind'' also features a large modding community which continues to churn out [[GameMod Game Mods]] to this day. One of the most prominent is ''VideoGame/TamrielRebuilt'', which seeks to add a lore-accurate representation of the rest of mainland Morrowind to the game's world. (Tropes specific to ''Tamriel Rebuilt'' should go there.)

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!!This video game provides examples of:

* Morrowind/TropesAToC
* Morrowind/TropesDToL
* Morrowind/TropesMToR
* Morrowind/TropesSToZ

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