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Fridge / The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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Fridge Brilliance

  • Umaril the Unfeathered has spiky-looking things coming out of his shoulders, which are almost certainly unfeathered wings. But the name itself is reminiscent of The Unfettered, and it does make a certain sort of sense, considering the sort of things he's guilty of by the end of the questline.
  • The idea of male and females having varied stats is for many blatant sexism, but note that the Imperials, apparently a more civilised people have less disparity between the two. Likely, the stats reflect how the people are raised. Men raised to be stronger, etc.
    • It also may have to do with the fact men and women are in fact biologically different.
      • Exactly, there ARE real-life differences between men and women that would reflect in the attributes of a character. For instance, it is an established fact that as a whole, men are stronger than women (+10 to strength). Women at the same time, typically have an easier time compared to men at carrying a light load for a long time, and have a higher pain tolerance (+10 to Endurance). This would reflect biology in real life and your base stats from your choice of race and gender in Oblivion. How you're raised and how you grow would be the same as how you level up and what your class is in Oblivion, and just like Oblivion, you can have a person who has a biological tendency away from one "attribute" and still be above and beyond many people who have a biological tendency toward that attribute. For example, if you looked for it, you could find a woman who is much stronger than a man and you can find a high elf who has a higher strength stat than a nord; it's just not as common.
  • The logo of the game becomes especially appropriate if you know the Daedric alphabet. At first, you might assume that it's supposed to be a stylised Oblivion Gate, but that particular symbol happens to be the Daedric rune corresponding to the Latin letter O. Now, name a word that starts with O.
    • Some editions of the box actually have the same cover as the Mysterium Xarxes, the book that the Religion of Evil uses to open a portal to "Paradise".
  • The Artificial Atmospheric Actions and inherent Weirdness Censor in Shivering Isles actually looks a lot more... justified given that everyone in there is insane.
  • At first it feels like PC's actions were... underappreciated. After all, the PC is The Hero, so where's the glory? Well, the PC is not The Hero, he/she is The Lancer to Martin. Which is actually refreshing, considering how we play prophecised heroes before and after.
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  • Incidentally, the Emperor prophetically referring to Martin as 'the Sun' becomes a lot more fitting after Skyrim reveals that Martin was technically a Dragonborn, and thus an aspect of Akatosh, who is also known as Auri-El, the Sun-God.
  • Sheogorath, the Lord of Madness, has his realm destroyed at the end of every era. Then he rebuilds it, again and again, hoping for a different result. This might be familiar to some as the definition of insanity as apocryphally attributed to Einstein.
    • Also counts foreshadowing moment if you finish the Shivering Isles before the main game itself since the era ends when Martin dies.
  • Quill-Weave writing her book on there being no magic in the doomstones (when really it's hinted that only certain people like the Champion can use them) perfectly explains what would otherwise be a lot of Fridge Logic - why everyone with common sense wouldn't be camped around the doomstones and picking up free bound armour.
  • How come merchants in this game is more tolerant to Skooma sellers than in the previous game where only the Khajit will deal with you. Let's see...
    • Imperial City have at least one Bosmer Merchant who was already doing shady business dealings. No doubt he would buy it off you to get an edge on your competitors. And the other is a pawnbroker.
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    • Chorrol's general merchant's an Argonian.
    • Cheydinhal's general merchant is part of a street gang, no doubt she would be glad to buy Skooma from you to supply the gang.
    • Bravil's general merchant already has a Skooma dealer
    • Anvil's general merchant works at the docks, no doubt there is a market for dock workers looking for certain goods.
    • Bruma's general merchants are lower class and a minority amongst the Nord population, no doubt they would buy Skooma to get used to living here.
    • Skingrad's general merchant is an upper class citizen with a well regarded reputation, with his kind of money. Buying Skooma is pretty much a way to express class.
    • Leyawiin is Khajit central, plenty of moon sugar to go around.
  • During the Knights of the Nine quests, despite all of the Knights always speaking reverently of Pelinal Whitestrake as some kind of 'Knight in Shining Armor', a few in-game sources (as well as more included in Skyrim) reveal that Pelinal was actually a Batshit Crazy Maniac. Seems rather fitting that his reincarnation (you) would go on to become the Daedric god of Madness.
  • Mankar Camoran, The Dragon to Mehrunes Dagon, is voiced by Terence Stamp. Lynda Carter voices the female Nords/Orcs in the game, and this includes your own character, if you choose to be a female of either race. In other words, this game makes it possible to have Wonder Woman fight General Zod. For bonus points, make your character a female Nord with light skin, long black hair, blue eyes, and give her Golden Saint armor.
  • Haskill is completely normal and deadpan compared to the rest of the residents of Shivering Isles yet he is second in command to The Mad God, something no sane person would ever do which in a way, proves his insanity.
  • Oblivion has a very small voice cast and at least a thousand characters to voice. The voice actors also tend to use the same voice type for all their characters with no variation. At first it may seem lazy, but it actually allows the generic dialogue to circulate better, and thus create a wide variety of things a character could say at any time. Compare this to later Bethesda games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, which have a larger voice cast that actually put some effort into making their voices distinct per character, but the dialogue tends to get repetitive very quickly.
  • One detail about Mankar Camoran's paradise that is very easy to miss is the fact that the sun never changes from being in the state of sunrise. Now remind yourself what the followers of Mehrunes Dagon call themselves.
  • To progress the main quest, at one time you need to get blood from a Daedra, which you get by dismantling one of the Daedric artifacts. If you finished the Shivering Isles questline before this point, the Player Character has become one of them (Sheoggorath), yet there is no dialog option to suggest Martin to use the Hero of Kvatch's blood for the ritual. While many players pointed it as pure Gameplay and Story Segregation, this actually makes sense In-Universe: the Hero of Kvatch probably assumed that telling the other they were one of the Daedra (i.e. the highest ranking demon lords in the Elder Scrolls' mythology), especially during a crisis involving another Daedra, would pass for either a poorly timed attempt at humor, or just madness (either way, nobody would believe them).

Fridge Horror

  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, when you first join the Dark Brotherhood, you can talk to your new "family members" to get tips for your first contract. One of them, a large, friendly Orc named Gogron, will happily recount the time he "had a contract to kill a little Nord girl at her birthday party." He ends the story with a wistful chuckle and a comment that "she won't be seeing age six." Now, that's pretty horrifying on its own. The Fridge Horror kicks in when you realize he said he had a contract to kill her. Meaning someone had to deliberately arrange for the murder of a five year old girl.
    • Even more horrifying. The person who arranged the contract was probably the relative of a child that girl didn't invite over to the party. (Like the child came home crying because she wasn't invited to the party, relative (who probably wasn't all that sane to begin with) got pissed and arranged to have that girl killed as payback.)
      • A step further: to put a contract on somebody, you have to assemble a complete human skeleton and perform a dark ritual. Generally, this is achieved by robbing graves.
      • What makes more sense is that the contractor wanted the girl dead because of inheritance or ascendancy issues. It's easier to believe that an older step-sibling or bastard didn't want to lose their right to their parents' estate when they died. Granted, any reason to want a five-year-old girl dead is horrifying enough, but I doubt it had to do with another little kid having tears over not being invited to a party. Then again, people have gotten killed over much less.
    • The Dark Brotherhood get even worse if you're familiar with Elder Scrolls backstory. It's bad enough that they willingly commit murder to appease a God of Evil...except Sithis isn't even a God of Evil. Sithis actually refers to the void - they're talking about killing people in the name of a non-sentient absence of being. If they weren't past the Moral Event Horizon already, they certainly are now.
    • If you think The Dark Brotherhood is the most horrifying faction in Oblivion you should perhaps take a closer look at the Imperial City Arena. Consider this: every arena match is to the death, and barring special circumstance the people you fight are the same rank as you, meaning they have killed the same number of people. 22 victories is needed to become grand champion, so the bodycount goes: 22 exponentiated by 2 equals 484. That's right, nearly five hundred corpses paves the path of a Grand Champion.
      • Why anyone would even consider signing up for this glorified slaughter is a mystery, the pay is insultingly small.
      • Small math fix (which makes it even more unsettling): the bodycount is not 22^2, it's 2^22 (each additional level doubles the number of competitors). Thus, for one to rise to the title of a Grand Champion, over 4 million people must die.
      • Not that it matters at those numbers, but add at least five more bodies to the Champion's tally alone. Just off the top of my head, I remember three matches where they sent more than one person against the PC (the three argonian POW's, the two elf-sisters and the penultimate battle against the Yellow Team Champion and two supports). Ouch.
      • Dips straight into Fridge Logic territory when you consider how many deaths a year's worth of matches would imply. The logical answer would be that, like the historical Roman Gladiator Games, fights aren't supposed to always end in fatalities. Of course, gameplay offers no good way to subdue an enemy non-lethally or force them to yield, hence all fights are to the death.
    • Also in Oblivion, joining the Mage Guild requires you to visit all seven branches of the guild across Cyrodiil and earn a recommendation from each local guildmaster, usually by performing some minor service. However, in Cheyindal, things get a little weird: first, the PC overheards snippets of conversation mentioning how odd the water tastes; then, Guildmaster Falcar gives you the job of retrieving a magic ring from the bottom of the nearby well; then, you're told by one of the other local mages that Vidkun,the last prospective guild-member who was given this job, has mysteriously vanished. Finally, you enter the well yourself, and find Vidkun's drowned corpse sunken deep in the reservoir; apparently, the ring is enchanted to weigh down the wearer to the point of immobility. Fridge Horror A: the whole mission was an attempt to murder you and Make It Look Like an Accident. Fridge Horror B: the locals have been drinking water laced with Vidkun's decaying flesh.
    • Numerous upper-class houses in the game have mounted minotaur heads on the walls - in fact, in one of the Dark Brotherhood quests, you have to rig one to drop on its owner as he sits under it. However, the upgraded version of the minotaur enemy is called "Minotaur Lord", implying that minotaurs have some form of organisation. So, "respectable" people in Cyrodiil display the heads of sentient beings on their walls?
      • Which ignores the sheer number of non-sentient animals that get some form of rank address, like the Ogre "Caveboss" or "Chieftan;" there's no reason that alone indicates they're sentient. And even if they are, sentient/=/ non-hostile. The Orcs spent the first game of the franchise being unreasoning barbarians fit only for slaughter until Gortwog started to lead them out of the wilderness. From the behavior of all Minotaurs in game, there's no reason to believe they've *ever* tried to avoid attacking the sentients on sight and often without provocation, ergo making it unavoidable. And once you've killed the-by all accounts rampaging and wild- beast, why not mount it?
      • Ogres are known to be sentient if not very bright having language and religion, and if you kill a man in self defense and then cut his head off and mount it on your wall thats still pretty fucked up
  • You can tell Falanu Hlaalu what the fine for necrophilia is in Cyrodiil, which implies you know what it is. You also start the game in prison...
    • Of course you know what the fine for necrophilia is. You were in prison, you'd pick up on what the fines are for the crimes they put people in for after a while.
      • It's very doubtful that necrophilia is such a common occurence in Cyrodiil that the PC would see someone brought in for it after a day or so in jail. Especially as Cyrodiil as a whole doesn't have even a quarter the population a modern city does.
      • Cyrodiil's population in-game is not the population of Cyrodiil lore-wise. It's representative, like the size of the map — and if there's any prison where you would have a fair chance of seeing someone brought in for necrophilia it'd be the main prison of the largest city on the continent.
  • Every game in the TES series is essentially about an inbound cataclysm that's averted by a champion with the help of the gods. These same gods are setting things in motion by allowing a prisoner to escape and eventually become a hero by saving the world. Let's think about this for a moment though : where does the Prisoner come from ? In every single game, no one really knows what the Prisoner is doing here, why they came to be in the first place, and why exactly they are getting released. In morrowind you just wake up on a boat and Jiub just assumes you were there for a while, in Oblivion you appear in a cell that the guards were very clearly ordered to keep empty, and in Skyrim you are caught crossing the border for no reason. In every case, you are not even considered a bad person : you have no criminal record and people won't hold a grudge against you whatsoever. So chances are the Prisoner is either created entirely by the gods and dropped off where they need a pawn to be... or you are just a poor person who had nothing to do with what's going on and who got possessed by the gods and blacked out for several days or even weeks until you are right where the Nine wanted you to be. It gets even creepier when you realize that the gods will allow anything to happen as long as it forwards their plan : in Oblivion, your final goal is to essentially allow Akatosh to come back and defeat Mehrunes Dagon. In order to accomplish this, the gods allowed the Daedra to destroy the entire city of Kvatch, just so the player-character can find Martin Septim. Speaking of which, the poor guy gets obliterated into non-existence so akatosh can come back and beat Mehrunes Dagon, effectively fixing the issue of Oblivion gates opening everywhere... and allowing the Aldmeri Dominion to walk in and almost destroy the Empire not that long after. That's a lot of sacrifice and side-effects just to beat a single Daedric Prince, the gods aren't really that good at what they do.
    • Every single game isn't true. Arena establishes why you are in prison (Jagar Tharn arranged it, because you were a courtier in the Imperial court on the trail of him having usurped the Emperor) and how you got out (the small anti-Tharn conspiracy arranged it to give you the chance to stop him), Daggerfall doesn't have you in prison in the first place (you were sent by the Emperor because you'd gained his trust, and then got shipwrecked), and while Morrowind doesn't say how or why you got imprisoned in the first place, it does in fact spell out (if you know where to look for it) where you were before the boat (in the Imperial City's prison, after which you were sent first by carriage then by boat towards Vvardenfell. It's right there in the intro!), and why you are being released (Emperor's orders. He pays attention to prophecies, and you bear the mark of potentially being able to fulfil the Nerevarine prophecy). Morrowind also does heavily imply the involvement of a god in the arrangement of the events of the game... specifically, Azura, one of the Daedric Princes.

Fridge Logic

  • How are Argonians driven crazy by Hist Sap in the Fighter's Guild questline? According to the lore, they're immune.
    • Supposedly the tree the sap was taken from was "sick", and by extension the sap itself was plain bad. It might also explain the names of the two Argonians that tend to the tree; Sings-Like-Thunder and Hears-Voices-In-The-Air. One NPC expresses his surprise at the end of the related quest if the PC is an Argonian that was driven mad by the Hist sap, which he or she will be.
      • You'd make a fitting champion for Sheogorath, then.
  • If necromancy is legal in Cyrodiil, only banned by the Mages' Guild, aren't many of the anti-necromancer quests basically murder?
    • The enemy necromancers you see, the guys with the red skull-and-crossbones on their robes who are referred to simply as "Necromancer" when you select them, are the Order of the Black Worm, Mannimarco's followers. Presumably there are good-natured law-abiding necromancers elsewhere in Cyrodiil, you just don't deal with them in any quests.
      • Falanu Hlaalu is heavily implied to be one.
      • Falanu is not implied to be a necromancer, she's implied to be a necrophiliac.
    • Baeralorn, the court mage of Anvil, is canonically a necromancer. He's just far more subdued about it and distances himself from the Guild to avoid persecution
    • Kalthar is strongly implied to have formerly practiced necromancy, but gave up the practice in hopes of rising through the guild ranks.
    • What I always wanted to know is why you can openly buy necromantic spells from guild mages.
      • Because they aren't necromancy. As with most of the other conjuration spells, you're summoning the undead creatures from somewhere else, possibly from another dimension, but you aren't reanimating them.
    • Necromancy isn't illegal anymore than owning a sword is illegal. But twatting innocents on the road with a sword and taking their money is kind of illegal, and so is killing people and raising their corpses as minions. A necromancer who murders people is still a murderer.
  • How are ships supposed to sail up the Niben to Bravil/Imperial City? Leyawiin blocks the opening into the sea.
    • When it's high tide?
      • That'd have to be a really high tide. New-Atlantis style.
    • Space compression. Oblivion has 16 square miles instead of 75,000. That river would be much wider otherwise.
  • Did the Blades really plan to escape the assassination plot on the Emperor by escorting him through the city, across the Imperial City Isle, into the prison's cells, and through a maze of goblin-infested tunnels to a sewer exit that opens marginally closer to the edge of the island than the prison itself?
    • Sounds to me like Refuge in Audacity, and moving openly through the city would open the Emperor up to being bow-sniped from a rooftop somewhere. In the tunnels, they only got to him because they went all crazy with a Zerg Rush.
      • Also they may have been planning to either hide out down there until the assasins had been flushed out and eliminated, or else there was another route not open to you that went much further away from the city, remember the exit you actually take was a secret passage the guards weren't aware of.
  • The Emperor has lost his three legitimate sons. Terrible, but according to the lore, his three sons were in their 50s, and all were unmarried and childless. Why in the world wouldn't they have gotten married and had kids by then?
    • Possibly their children/spouses got murdered as well? I appreciate this is stretching it a bit.
    • The Mythic Dawn would likely have been setting this one up for a while now. You don't just casually stroll into the Palace and kick the Emperor's face in. Stealing an Elder Scroll, that's another story. We're never told the circumstances of the assassinations, either-it's plausible that the Emperor's sons were all out for various reasons-celebrations, business, what have you-and were easy pickings. The Emperor, however, would have been in the Palace, which is how the Blades got to him first. Notice how in the opening, the female Blade Captain mentions a messenger. Coulda been a guy with 100 Athletics running clear across town screaming "THE EMPEROR'S HEIRS ARE UNDER ATTACK!"
    • Also, considering the time delay I just introduced, it's likely that the messenger got their first because the Mythic Dawn were...staying behind to finish the job.
  • The Imperial Simulacrum and associated fallout, of course. Remember, for at least a decade all three sons were held prisoner by Jagar Tharn's forces (who was actually working with Mehrunes Dagon, who apparently keeps his options open when it comes to destroying the Empire). I'd venture it took maybe a few more years to find out and free the heirs from Tharn's loyal forces. And even then for the rest of their lives Enman, Ebel and Geldall were dogged by rumors of not actually being the real deals, of being doppelgangers placed there by Tharn. And them being Princes of the Empire, they couldn't exactly marry anyone, the marriage had to be of royal stock (and more specifically, the Elder Council being what it was, human royal stock). And how many rulers would be willing to marry their daughters to not only an evil psycho, but an evil psycho who wasn't even a legitimate member of the Imperial family? I mean, yes, 'marry this brutally insane freak who happens to be the Emperor's son for the good of our family' is one thing in a feudal society, but if you can't guarantee he isn't the real deal and there's a significant chance a bloodthirsty mob will break down the door and murder everyone? Just too risky.
  • Being born under the sign of the Apprentice adds 100 magicka points in exchange for 100% weakness to magic. You can practice spellcasting very quickly by casting cheap on-self spells, there is no faster way to do it. This means that people born under the Apprentice are the best at practicing spellcasting - the sign of the Atronarch adds 150 but makes you unable to regenerate magicka making practicing by casting spells endlessly unfeasible.


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