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- Many of the later entries have several dummied out and test areas that are accessible through console commands. These range from empty rooms to unused dungeons to areas with every item in the game. Several of these areas can get very... strange, such as a room with an NPC that grows when you try to talk to him, or another that turns into a staff when killed.
- Many installments also have numerous spells, effects or diseases that were removed, either for unintentionally breaking certain parts of the world or making things too easy for the player.
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- It's widely believed that the many outfits you can dress in were going to be used for the purpose of using different ones depending on the NPC to interact with them, but nothing comes of it in the release.
- There are some unused dialogue files that indicate you were supposed to be able to sleep with the prostitutes found in many of the inns. You can't.
- Various stores which were used as fronts for the Thieves Guild have a sign that looks like the store was to sell furniture. Thanks mostly to the incredible work by the Andyfall mod, the remnants of code used for a furniture purchasing system that was never completely implemented was uncovered.
- Containers are broken in the game. The player was originally intended to be able to casually store furniture on shelves and in chests, but that feature had to be removed due to problems.
- The Earth Wall spell (from Arena) was cut because of the technical difficulties of implementing user-made dungeon paths between the different dungeon sections in a 3D environment (Arena was a 2.5D game).
- A data file exists which consists entirely of various rhyming lines. The developers have revealed that originally, there was going to be a troubador who would compose poetry of your exploits.
- The game has much, much more extensive elevation data than what actually is used in-game. The land data was dummied out by some code keeping the game from reading it (although, this being Daggerfall, bugs can cause it be read), while the sea data apparently is used... it's just that outdoors underwater swimming was dummied out, so you can't actually see it.
- The Order of the Lamp (a knightly order dedicated to the Mages' Guild) was intended to be joinable (not only were there developer comments on it during the beta, but talking to local Order heads gives a dialogue using the standard model for joinable factions, explaining purpose and what they look for in recruits). It isn't.
- There were going to be full-grown dragons, fully rendered with polygons as opposed to sprites, and even though they were discussed in promotional material, they didn't show up in the "finished" game at all. However, a talk portrait of and NPC dragon by the name of Skakmat can be found in the game's files, as can textures that would have been on the dragons themselves.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- There is an alchemy ingredient called "bloat," which can be purchased from merchants or found in random crates. Where bloat comes from is never explained in-game - but the level editor reveals an unused "bloat spore" plant that was supposed to produce them, but was never placed in-game. Several mods out there deal with this, ranging from placing them in several swampy areas to working them into a House Telvanni quest line as being in a bloat mine.
- There is a fountain called the Pool of Forgetfulness. Players have frustratedly tried to get it to do something, but it apparently does nothing. Perhaps the developers simply forgot about it?
- To defeat the main villain, players need two special weapons called Sunder and Keening, which are being guarded by the villain's higher-ranked minions. Upon being given the quest to go get them, the player is warned to watch out for counterfeit versions of them, and data files of the game reveal a phony look-alike of Sunder and a voice file for the villain taunting you when you try to kill him with it. These never got included in-game.
- The idea was borrowed by a large fan mod that opens up a series of quests for the Sixth House, treating it like a guild, and building an alternate main quest. One new weapon is named as a prototype of Keening.
- "The Wings of the Queen of Bats", Morrowinds Infinity Plus One Axe, isn't actually in the game, but can be obtained through cheat codes or modding the game.
- There is an unused version of Azura's Star that can be used as a shuriken, but the final game replaces it with a Soul Gem.
- Several quests, in various states of completion, were blocked off and can't normally be accessed:
- One of them can partly break the Imperial Legion questline (you can't get the quest... but the dialogue for completing is in enough that you can get the completion dialogue in the right circumstances. Unfortunately, this makes the game think you are on that quest and so block off further quests from that quest-giver).
- There are two dummied out quests to assassinate Telvanni Councilor Neloth, one for the Morag Tong and one for Great House Telvanni itself. (Perhaps the devs already knew they wanted to bring him back, which they did in Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC as a major character.)
- Every skill in Morrowind has a corresponding 'Master Trainer', a character who can train up to the skill cap of 100... except for Medium Armor. There is an NPC, Cinia Urtius, that is set to be able to train it to 100, but she isn't placed anywhere in-game.
- Tribunal has a peculiar case with voiced greetings — the expansion adds a whole bunch of Dunmer and Imperial voiced greetings reacting to your shared faction membership and rank... but it only does for NPCs in Mournhold, the area added by Tribunal, and many of the joinable factions that have recorded voice greetings do not have any representation in Mournhold, meaning the greetings can never trigger.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- There was a massive amount of content cut from Oblivion, so much so that a mod, Oblivion Uncut, was released to address the sheer amount of unfinished, bugged and unused code lying around on-disc.
- The City of Sutch was removed prior to release, though it was referenced in pre-release maps and code references. In the final game, the only remnants left over are Fort Sutch and the unmarked Attack on Fort Sutch quest, which is a retooled version of a similar mission that was shown off at E3 prior to the game's release. Interestingly, several elements of the original E3 mission, including quest stages and several NPCs, were left on-disc and can be summoned through the console or mods.
- The Unmarked Cave (north of the Red Ring Road) has two sections that are normally-inaccessible, and would have been part of a miscellaneous quest concerning an individual named the "Black Queen". Using console commands or exploits to get into this area reveals that although the layout is finished, several enemies' behavior isn't programmed and at least one door won't unlock correctly. One of the editor IDs for a chest in this area indicates that it was intended to be part of a miscellaneous quest.
- Several elements on-disc indicate that there were plans to include some type of miscellaneous quest where you would deliver letters to cities throughout the gameworld. The only remnant of this is a new conversation topic ("Do you need couriers?") that is revealed when you first enter the area of the Imperial City where the Black Horse Courier offices are located.
- An NPC named Branwen is heard perpetually sparring with her Argonian partner Saliith outside in the Arena district in the final game. There's a note on the floor inside the Bloodworks near Owyn that indicates he is her father and she wants to become Champion in order to impress him, but there's never any further implementation of the quest. Like many others, some enterprising modder has finished it.
- The Dark Brotherhood had an NPC named Enrintar who had several minutes of dialogue, but was removed prior to release. Also, all of the Brotherhood members could venture out of the Sanctuary and have additional dialogue if spoken to while "undercover". The Uncut mod restores both of these instances.
- Jauffre had a large amount of content centered around him that was trimmed out prior to his release, including an actual full daily schedule prior to Weyoun Priory being attacked, additional encounters with Reynald Jemane (who would visit him to catch up several times a week because he was a surrogate father to the latter) and additional dialogue commenting on other members of the Priory.
- Lerexus Callidus (the Imperial guard stationed outside Leyawin who enlists the PC's help stopping the skooma trade in the city) originally had more to him, including a full schedule and a place where he would go to rest after the completion of the quest (the Imperial Villa, a location that was also cut). In the final product, he simply walks inside Leyawin Castle and vanishes for good.
- Not only was there much more idle dialogue for various NPC characters throughout the world, but many of them had additional dialogue for discovering corpses, seeing someone murdered in front of them and yielding when the player character attacks them. Several mods (including Uncut and Idle Dialogues) resotre this unused dialogue.
- There are unused code remnants referencing a cancelled DLC that would have added several holidays to the game like Morrowind, including Hearts' Day (a holiday referenced in Arena) and the New Life Festival. Visiting chapels and certain NPCs on these days would net the player unique dialogue and gift items. The Uncut mod restores these holidays.
- Shivering Isles has a large chunk of NPC dialogue that never plays, either due to not being implemented or bugged. These missing pieces of dialogue also reveal more information about several of the characters you meet.
- There's a reason why you can't just take off your shirt. Why? Because the female models have bare breasts with nipples — as revealed by an Oblivion mod that lets you take off your top clothes. (As with "Hot Coffee," this resulted in the ESRB altering the game's rating — as well as the ESRB having seen a pre-release build that didn't have some of the more intense violence, such as the mutilated corpses.)
- A platform-specific example — the Xbox 360 version of the game is missing a piece of music called Auriel's Ascension. The music is part of the game's "Explore" package, meaning it would play while you are out exploring the Cyrodiil countryside, however it only plays in the PC and PS3 versions of the game. The track is present however in all Game of the Year versions of the game.
- While Morrowind had the Levitation spell that allows you to fly around at will, Oblivion doesn't. The spell was cut from the game because of the ways cities are treated; Morrowind had them as permanent part of the game world, but Oblivion confines them to their own maps, accessible only through the doors, and the player isn't supposed to go outside in other ways. This is easily visible by using a cheat to fly outside the walls; the outer world is a sparse version of the original, with no content whatsoever aside from a few inert buildings.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Children killing was hinted to had been considered for inclusion, as there were death sounds recorded for children. Mods restore this concept.
- There were originally plans for an arena in Windhelm, which would feature various NPC's, a couple of quests and the opportunity to take part in gladiatorial matches. The area appears to have been cut fairly late in development, because numerous assets are still on the game disc, including NPC spectators, a female warrior who would give you a quest to kill Alain Dufont (who is a target of the Dark Brotherhood in the finished game), and two unused maps.
- Several unused quests, including one where the player could kill the Jarl of Solitude, Elisif, to appease Boethiah the Daedric Prince, several from the College of Winterhold (one of which had the player track down a rogue wizard), several miscellaneous quests and more. Some of these are restored by the aptly-named Cutting Room Floor mod.
- The Civil War had a lot of unused content, and was intended to be much more extensive than it was, with elements like sieges on Riften and Markarth, the ability to attack/defend any capital, encouraging soldiers to defect, recruiting giants, a resource system that was based on how many mines/settlements the various factions had captured and much more. Several mods (like Civil War Overhaul) restore the bulk of the deleted content. The fact that mods are specifically mentioned in the game files for the CW coding scripts lends credence to the suggestion that the expanded storyline was cut due to time constraints and left on the disc for enterprising modders to finish.
- In the base game, Dragons are mostly limited to using the Flame and Frost Breath shouts, and they simply roar instead of speaking the words associated with the shout (though the subtitles do show the words). The files exist to enable dragons to use basically every shout the player can, accompanied with the corresponding audio, but mods are needed to enable them.
- Noclip through the gates at the end of the playable area and continue going straight long enough, and you can find the entire land masses of Morrowind and Cyrodiil, albeit in scaled-down low-detail versions. They aren't used in any in-game events; plenty of conjecture has been written over why they're there, but nobody outside Bethesda knows for sure.