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Trivia / The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

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  • Breakthrough Hit: Morrowind was the first mainstream hit for Bethesda Softworks.
  • Cult Classic: Although a hit when it was first released, Morrowind was eventually eclipsed by its sequels in popular eyes (arriving at Stage 6a of the Fandom Life Cycle). Nonetheless, it is still actively played and modded by a fiercely dedicated and very militant fandom core to this day.
  • God Does Not Own This World:
    • Julian LeFay, who had played a big part in creating The Elder Scroll series and had spearheaded the development of both The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, as well as the spin-off Battlespire, was not picked as a part of the initial development team for the game, something that evidently disappointed him greatly and, combined with concerns over the company's changing culture, prompted him to resign from Bethesda, citing Creative Differences. At the personal request of Christopher Weaver, the founder of Bethesda and his personal friend, LeFay eventually did some consulting work on the game, but it was only tangential and he has not been involved with any Elder Scroll title since.
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    • Downplayed with Ted Peterson, who was the main writer and designer on Arena and Daggerfall. While he still contributed quite a bit of writing to the game, he was not chosen as a staff writer, but was rather hired on as a subcontractor as he had left Bethesda after the release of Daggerfall.
  • Genre Popularizer: When it was released, Morrowind was one of the first major Western RPGs to receive a Multi-Platform release, bringing it to console as well as PC. This helped to bring the genre to a much wider audience after decades of being a mostly PC exclusive.
  • Image Source: The netch give us Living Gasbag.
  • Killer App: This game was one for the Xbox for those fans who didn't buy one for Halo, being one of the first then-modern Western RPGs available on a console.
  • Multi-Platform: For both Xbox and PC, making it the first game in the series to be multi-platform. This allowed the game to get into the hands of a wider audience, helping make it a Breakthrough Hit for Bethesda and introduce a massive Newbie Boom.
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  • Newbie Boom: The six-year gap between Daggerfall and Morrowind meant that Morrowind was the first game in The Elder Scrolls series for many fans. Morrowind was both a critical and commercial success, as well as one of the first major Western RPGs to be released on consoles, establishing the fanbase that would go on to make Oblivion and Skyrim even bigger hits.
  • Schedule Slip: A letter packaged with The Elder Scrolls Legends: Battlespire promises Morrowind will be released around late 1998.
  • Sequel Gap: The six-year gap between Daggerfall and Morrowind has been the longest between games in the main series to date. (Though by now the gap between Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls VI is going to be even wider.)
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There were supposedly a number of ways to join Dagoth Ur and/or the Sixth House, most of which were debunked rather quickly. As you can see in the below entry, this one was almost a real part of the game...
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The blight was to originally be an expanding threat, and Dagoth Ur was originally to be joinable. Technical limitations axed the former, and time limitations axed the latter.
    • In very early planning, the game was called Tribunal and would have taken place in the Summerset Isles, homeland of the Altmer. Some preliminary artwork including cover art were produced in 1996 after Daggerfall's completion.
    • Original plans for the game had it taking place within the entire province of Morrowind, rather than just the island of Vvardenfell. The decision to also release the game for Xbox purportedly was the main reason for this, as the console probably couldn't have rendered that large a world. Notably, the ambitious mod project Tamriel Rebuilt is an attempt at actually realising this idea.
    • There were plans for the game to feature every major Great House in Morrowind involved in a Mêlée à Trois against each other, with the Player Character eventually being asked to put an end to the conflict by allying with one of the houses and bring it to victory over the others. This idea would be scrapped in the early development phase.
    • There were originally plans for not one, but two quests to kill Neloth (one from House Telvanni and the other being a Grandmaster Writ from the Morag Tong). Given that both appear to have gotten rather far along, it seems that he was given a reprieve, as opposed to having said quests cut for time.
  • Word of God: Or Word of Dante/Word of Saint Paul, depending on how "canon" you consider the works to be. Some of the game developers have posted "obscure texts" on the official forums regarding a number of in-game topics and characters. They are generally regarded by the fandom as canon. Michael Kirkbride, in particular, wrote a number of them which fill in gaps around The Tribunal, Vivec, and the Dwemer. (Kirkbride is also the author of many of the in-game books, including most-famously the 36 Lessons of Vivec series.)


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