Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Go To

  • Accidental Innuendo: At the beginning of the (short but existent) Forced Tutorial, a guard approaches and tells you, "This is where you get off. Come with me."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: A big part of Morrowind's appeal. There's lots of debate (In-Universe and out) about how responsible Dagoth Ur was for his crimes, about the Tribunal gods, and about who of them murdered Nerevar. The debates rage on to this very day. For additional information, see the series' Alternative Character Interpretation page.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alt Itis: Unsurprisingly common with all of the character creation and gameplay build options available. Creating one character capable of completing everything in the game is quite challenging, and, due to only being able to join one Great House, technically impossible. Expect to see players with multiple save files. This trend is usually called "Restartitus" on the official forums.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Crazy Awesome: Divayth Fyr is considered this by most Morrowind fans, due to him being a 4,000 year old wizard, collector of Dwemer artifacts, and slightly crazy genius who surrounds himself with opposite-sex clone wife/daughters, diseased zombie-esque maniacs and the last living dwarf. He would even become the unofficial mascot of the Elder Scrolls lore community for a time.
  • Default Setting Syndrome: According to available statistics, the most popular race for the Player Character happens to be Dunmer, which is both the native race of Morrowind, the race pre-selected when you enter the character creation screen, and the race most heavily used in marketing for the game.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Goblins, which are relatively weak mooks in all other Elder Scrolls games, are formidable damage sponges in the Tribunal expansion, having high strength, lots of health, the ability to block hits with shields, and sometimes healing potions which they drink mid-battle. Often, they spawn with the Goblin Club, a crude wood and stone club which is actually the hardest-hitting blunt weapon in the game, better than even Daedric maces, and can kill high-level characters in about three hits.
    • Daedroths have a ranged Poison-spell attack and dish out hard physical hits in close combat. They are one of the more dreaded Daedric foes to run into.
    • Dremora Lords have a ranged Fireball-spell attack and hit hard with Ebony or Daedric weapons. They also look identical to standard Dremora until they raise their hands to cast said Fireballs.
    • Advertisement:
    • Greater Bonewalkers are an mid-tier Undead enemy, but aren't particularly difficult in a straight fight. What makes them "Demonic," however, is their That One Attack - a "Damage Strength" spell. Unlike a "Drained" attribute, a "Damaged" attribute won't heal on its own, forcing you to use a restorative item or find a Temple/Imperial Cult shrine. It is incredibly frustrating to encounter a Greater Bonewalker only to have him damage your Strength so much that you have to drop half your inventory (as Strength dictates your carrying capacity) and flee back to civilization to heal. Fortunately, there are Intervention spells that transport you 99% of the way towards the healing altar, but then you still need to manually return to the same point in the dungeon.
    • Top-tier Dark Brotherhood assassins. They come in pair and attack with Adamantium (a high tier Fantasy Metal added by Tribunal) swords enchanted with Poison and Paralyze spells "on strike." Even if you're resistant or immune to Poison (which depending on your race, is easy to accomplish), the Paralysis effect can leave you as a sitting duck in the middle of battle with two strong foes, with your only hope being that their blades run out of enchantment before you die.
    • Riekling Raiders in the Bloodmoon expansion are incredibly dangerous opponents. Not only can they do large amounts of damage, but they also can reflect spells, regenerate, and attack in groups.
    • Werewolves, added in Bloodmoon, are tough enemies who hit like a truck and move really fast. Their claws can ignore armor and they can destroy shields in a single blow. Unfortunately, you will have to face dozens of them during the later portions of the Bloodmoon main quest. Should you become a werewolf hoping to harness this power for yourself, tough luck. A Player Character werewolf is much more of a Glass Cannon.
    • Ash Vampires can move really fast and do lots of damage both in melee and ranged. To make things worse, some of them can damage your attributes similar to the Greater Bonewalkers.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Almalexia. Not particularly surprising with her being a red-headed, gold-skinned, Stripperific literal goddess. Her appearance as a Quest Giver and one of the leaders of the Ebonheart Pact in Online has brought new growth for her in this regard.
    • Also Dagoth Ur, although at least he has a few valid justifications that make him more complex.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: See here.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • A loosely hinted-at in-game explanation for the lack of character schedules is that one of the early symptoms of the corpus disease is insomnia. This means that everyone on Vvardenfell is infected, and with Tribunal it's spread to the mainland (despite the travel ban) and with Bloodmoon it's already spread to Solstheim, so perhaps even Skyrim is endangered.
    • A bit of Fridge horror (but possibly satisfying considering he tried getting you killed) for King Helseth. Remember how all mention of him simply dropped off after Oblivion? In Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, it was noted that House Hlaalu was purged after the Oblivion Crisis because their Imperial supporters had bailed on them to protect Cyrodil during said crisis. King Helseth was in House Hlaalu, meaning he was most likely Unpersoned from Morrowind history (most likely after being executed).
  • Game-Breaker: See here.
  • Genius Bonus: The book "Ngasta! Kvata! Kvakis!" often confuses players by being complete gibberish. If you know Esperanto, it's a simple cipher with certain letter sequences swapped for others. Once deciphered, the text either breaks the fourth wall, or it's an ancient Sload necromage magazine article that highlights some of the issues between print and Internet-based magazine versions, like image copyrights. In fact the topics and mannerisms are written in a way very familiar for those who lived during the internet era of Bulletin Boards.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the game is generally well received in the Americas and Europe, it was very beloved in Japan. So much so that one of the most popular mods for the game is a Japanese translation. This is despite the game never getting an official release in Japan. Fortunately Bethesda paid attention and made a Japanese release of Oblivion.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Cliff Racers, perhaps the most annoying foes in video game history. They make an irritating sound, do little damage, make you flinch when they hit you, drop crappy loot, and come in flocks of three to ten. And once they see you, they won't stop following you unless they get stuck in a tree. They haven't figured out doorknobs, but if you go in a door with some following you, they'll be waiting for you when you come back out. And since they fly, they can swoop down to annoy you from any angle. And their hit detection leaves a lot to be desired. To make matters worse, they're also very capable of infecting the player with a disease. When Jiub shows up in later games, he's mentioned as having wiped out their entire population. Good riddance.
    • Slaughterfish are the watery equivalents: the player needs to barely dip their toe in the water, and it'll be snapped out by a ravenous hungry piranha. It is almost impossible to enter any river, lake, or sea, without the battle music starting and soon getting swarmed. Thankfully, much less of the game is spent in the waters, they die easier than cliff racers, and of course can't follow to the land, leading into them being rather overshadowed by their flying cousins - but in any other game, they would still be the worst enemy ever.
    • Thankfully, neither Cliff Racers nor Slaughterfish spawn anywhere near Solstheim (although a single cliff racer appears as a stuffed trophy in the Skaal village), making the Bloodmoon expansion a refreshing breather from the rest of the game. Of course, the expansion does have its own over-abundance of Wolves and Tusked Bristlebacks, but at least they're easier to pick off than the other two, if only because they neither fly nor swim.
    • Rats and Kwama foragers are very small and weak foes that don't pose much of a threat to a skilled adventurer. However they are very abundant around Vvardenfell which can make encountering these creatures feel like a chore.
    • The Bloodmoon expansion introduces Spriggans. While these creatures don't pose much of a threat towards a higher level character, what makes them annoying is that they need to be killed three times before they stay dead.
    • Some humanoid eschew weapons in favor of fighting you bare-handed. In Morrowind, unarmed combat doesn't immediately deal damage to your health, but to your fatigue bar. Once drained, you fall to the ground, at which point further attacks directly damage your health bar. This effectively means that a skilled unarmed duelist can stun-lock you in combat. Because having drained fatigue means you also have a vastly decreased chance of hitting your enemy, you can't fight back as effectively, and because running also requires fatigue, you can't easily run away, doubly so because fists have inexplicably high reach. This becomes less of a problem at higher levels, and players relying on magic should never have too many problems, but for a low-leveled character, unarmed enemies can be truly annoying foes.
  • Goddamned Boss: The final boss of the official plug-in Siege at Firemoth (Grurn) has 2000 hp with a regeneration effect. For comparison, the final boss of theTribunal is a legitimate Physical God with 3000 HP and Bloodmoon's is an aspect of a god with 2000 HP, and neither possesses regeneration. Grum's attacks aren't anything special, and if you have decent Resist Shock effects, he is almost incapable of harming you. That said, he still takes forever to kill.
  • Good Bad Bugs: See here.
  • Growing the Beard: While it traded away some of the size of the open world, Morrowind made it far more focused, giving it much greater content density, with defined geography and distinct towns/dungeons/villages (as opposed to the randomly-generated terrain and countless generic cities of Arena and Daggerfall) and characters that are fleshed out instead of being nameless masses like the first two titles. It also made the plot much more freeform compared to Arena and Daggerfall.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Once the player gets a decent amount of the Main Quest finished, Caius Cosades informs the player that he's been recalled to the Imperial City, and has to leave Morrowind. During this, he notes offhand that the days of the Empire are almost over, and that when the Emperor dies hell will break loose. Come Oblivion, Tamriel is invaded by the Legions of Hell after the Emperor is assassinated during the opening. And then come Skyrim, the Empire is revealed to be a decaying fraction of its former self, torn apart by Elven invasion and various provincial uprisings.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Between the sparsely populated environments, arid wastelands, limited transportation, massive insects, abandoned futuristic-looking facilities that are infested with centuries-old robots, and the many horribly mutated creatures encountered throughout the land, this game is practically a precursor to Bethesda's run on the Fallout series.
    • The more risque parts of The 36 Sermons of Vivec and The Real Barenziah become this with the Video Game Perversity Potential of Skyrim. Becomes an almost-prophetic Mind Screw if you consider the idea that Vivec may have been using the Construction Set from an in-universe perspective.
  • Idiot Plot: It is way too obvious during the main quest of Tribunal that Almalexia is becoming insane, yet the Player Character is supposedly clueless until The Reveal at the very end. Until then, you have no choice but to carry out all of her crazy commands if you want the game to progress. Granted, this can be subverted by just killing her on the spot, but only if you don't mind cutting the expansion's main questline very short.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The Ministry of Truth, formerly a rogue moon hurled at Vivec city by Sheogorath before it was hollowed out for use by the Tribunal Temple, is suspended over the city and only held in check by Vivec's divine power. As a result of the player's actions at the end of the main quest, Vivec's connection to his divine power source is severed. Confirmed in the later works The Infernal City and Skyrim, which reveal that the moon resumed its fall with its original momentum after Vivec disappears early in the 4th era, and other methods for keeping the moon in place fail. Much of Vvardenfell is destroyed and rendered inhospitable. Red Mountain then erupted, blanketing the rest of Morrowind in choking ash. Finally, sensing their long-time enemy's weakness, the Argonians invaded and drove the few remaining Dunmer out.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Prior to Oblivion coming out, it was Morrowind that was considered to be "the symbol of all the bad trends in the industry" by the Vocal Minority of "hardcore" fans. And mostly for the alleged reason of "dumbing down" for console players. Ironically since then, it is now considered the last good Elder Scrolls game by mostly the same crowd.
  • It Was His Sled: Is there anyone who doesn't know that the player is the reincarnation of Nerevar or that Almalexia turns out to be the Big Bad of Tribunal?
  • Jerkass Woobie: Vivec. He may be kind of a pervert, but he certainly didn't deserve to be raped by Molag Bal for 88 days straight.
  • Junk Rare:
    • There is only a single "muffin" on the entire island of Vvardenfell. It belongs to someone else, necessitating a crime (murder or pickpocketing) to acquire it. If you do, you'll quickly find that it has the exact same qualities of any bog-standard loaf of bread on the island, useless save for showing off in your stronghold.
    • Tribunal adds three artifacts with dubious enchantments that are primarily meant to be donated to the Mournhold Museum Of Artifacts, since you need to donate two items to progress with the main questline. These are The Robe of the Lich (which drains 600 health upon equipping it), The Mace of Slurring (which damages the target's Speechcraft), and the BiPolar Blade (which is enchanted to both rally and demoralize its target at the same time). While the enchantment is certainly "junky", the BiPolar Blade still has base damage on par with the game's other legendary two-handed swords, making it something of a Lethal Joke Item. Better still, it is acquired at the end of a Matchmaker Quest which requires no combat, allowing a low-level player to pick it up very early in the game. Compare that to some of the other legendary two-handed swords like Chrysamere and The Iceblade of the Monarch, which must be won from tough foes near the end of lengthy faction questlines.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Crassius Curio is the perverse yet charming Hlaalu councilor who stands out as being one of the few humans in power amongst the dunmer Great Houses. A skilled playwright known for writing bawdy performances, Crassius uses his reputation as a sex maniac to have his rivals underestimate him and give him opportunities to undermine the great corruption in House Hlaalu. He uses his "dumpling", the Nerevarine, as a spy to reveal a governor was stealing ebony from the mine in his city and have him arrested and then to extort and later kill a smuggler who was transporting Sixth House artifacts. Nevertheless pragmatic, Crassius was willing to accept bribes and order assassinations of rival House members to ensure his own powerbase if it ultimately ended the stranglehold the Camonna Tong had on the Hlaalu.
    • "Gentleman" Jim Stacey is the leader of the Morrowind Thieves' Guild and seeks to expands his organization's influence in a xenophobic nation. A charismatic and quick thinking master thief, he fights back against his criminal rivals the Camonna Tong and their Fighter's Guild puppets by cleansing the latter of its corrupt leadership. Using bribery and blackmail to turn a few leaders to his side, he eventually organizes the assassination of the Fighter's Guild leader to ensure to the Tong is too weak to further target his people. Outside of such dirty business, Stacey shows his softer side by reviving the Bal Molagmer order to aid the less fortunate in Vvardenfell, while also improving his guild's image in the eyes of the common people. Between stealing valuables for overtaxed peasants and giving them lands deeds to save their homes, he uncovers corruption in many of the higher echelons of dark elf society, and he ultimately retires content with the future of his guild ensured.
    • King Hlaalu Helseth is the cunning son of dark elf Queen Barenziah who always plotted to make a throne of his own. First using blackmail and subtle threats against his step sister Elysana in a failed bid for Wayrest, he and his mother returned to their homeland of Morrowind where Helseth poisoned his uncle and cousin to become king in Mournhold. A master manipulator, he used elaborate plots to rid his court of spies and assassins against key threats to solidify his position on the throne. Eventually sending the Dark Brotherhood against the Nerevarine, Helseth is confronted by them yet turns the hero to his side to root out plots against him in the Tribunal Temple and Dunmer nobility. Eventually growing suspicious of Almalexia herself, Helseth uses the Nerevarine to infiltrate her inner circle and eventually kill her to secure his imperial-backed throne as the sole power in Morrowind.
    • Master Aryon is the last truly sane Telvanni councilor who seeks to save his xenophobic and isolationist Great House from their own self destructive ways. Seeking to replace the self serving Archmagister, he grooms the Nerevarine to one day take the position by using them as his agent and guiding them into becoming a powerful sorcerer. In the meantime, Aryon secures his own position by gathering other mages as allies through skilled diplomacy or impromptu rescue and makes the Telvanni stronger by ordering the assassination of key targets in rival Great Houses and leveraging council support to turn Imperial laws to his advantage. Once his powerbase is secure, Aryon calls on the now magically skilled Nerevarine to challenge and replace the current Archmagister to finally have a leader who shares his values and secure the future of Great House Telvanni.
  • Memetic Molester: Crassius Curio. How he speaks, what he writes... Just everything about him screams this, really.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Game of the Year, All Years.
    • "We're watching you... scum."
    • Caius Cosades, the absolutely shredded, skooma addicted spymaster of the Blades
    • "Quickly, outlander, I don't have much time..."
    • This legendary copypasta.
    • Making music using Dagoth Ur's dialogue.
    • Variants of "Morrowind combat" whenever a character is shown repeatedly missing.
    • The 36 Lessons of Vivec debuted in Morrowind and feature the especially memorable line "Reach heaven by violence" repeated in several of the sermons; after being popularized as a reference as a recurring line in Kill Six Billion Demons, "Reach heaven through violence" has shown up in a lot of varied places.
  • Nightmare Retardant: After the parade of horrors that are the ash creatures (especially the Ascended Sleepers,) the Ash Vampires, Dagoth Ur's most powerful servants, look like very muscly guys with square ancient Persian beards wearing nothing but a tiny loincloth. Suffice to say, they're not very intimidating.
  • Nostalgia Filter: For much of the current Elder Scrolls fanbase, this was their first game in the series, and as such, it tends to be held up as the gold standard of the entire franchise. Roughly more than half of the criticisms leveled at Oblivion and Skyrim boil down to "Morrowind did it better."
  • Older Than They Think: While Morrowind greatly fleshed out the series' lore and differentiated it from other high fantasy settings in the popular consciousness, some of the "weird" elements of the setting go back to to Redguard (Michael Kirkbride's first game with the series) and a few even as far as Daggerfall.
  • Padding: Unless you mod or cheat to get around more quickly, you'll spend a lot of time walking. It doesn't help that the default walking speed is slower than an arthritic senior with a walker.
  • Quicksand Box: Vvardenfell is huge, and it takes almost 45 minutes to walk from one end to the other (and that's without stopping to explore along the way.) In the tutorial, you learn in five minutes how to use the controls before the game kicks you out of the door, hands you a couple of coins and basically says: "Here, this is the world. Have fun". You only get some vague directions on where to go for the next story mission. The game also doesn't do much hand-holding in your quest log, forcing you to remember people and places from quests you might have received weeks ago in real time.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Some fans see Dagoth Ur as a misunderstood good guy who just wants to free his people from the exploitative foreign Empire. It helps that a huge chunk of his Backstory is about how he was betrayed by his supposedly-good best friend. Mind you, this was after Dagoth decided he wanted to use the artifacts of doom he and Nerevar initially set out to destroy for personal power.
    • Rooting for Almalexia is a whole 'nother case. Rarer, but still happens.
  • Sacred Cow: Noting the It's Popular, Now It Sucks! example above, nowadays Morrowind is considered as this.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Nobody likes Cliff Racers. Bethesda responded to the hatred by having Jiub drive the whole species to extinction by the time of Oblivion.
    • Gaenor doesn't really have any fans, mainly because he'll end up hating you no matter how you deal with him, and because he'll later return with good gear and a high Luck attribute, making him extremely difficult to beat using regular combat methods.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: See here.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Polearms. Though fans have been lamenting about their loss (each game in the series that has followed does not include them), it's rare to find someone who actually uses them. A major factor is that they're two-handed weapons, meaning you cannot use a shield or light source in your off-hand, while doing damage on par with equivalent material one-handed weapons. Further, there are only two "spear" trainers in the entire game, which makes increasing the skill rather tedious. As in Real Life, their strength is in their superior reach, but this doesn't overcome their multiple weaknesses.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: By modern standards, it's hard to believe that Morrowind, with its obtuse quests, cumbersome map, lack of NPC AI, and Nintendo 64-era graphics, was cutting-edge at its time. This is especially common among fans of the series who started with Oblivion or Skyrim and then went back to try to play Morrowind. Most heard veterans of the series (particularly on the official forums) hyping the game up but were underwhelmed when they went back to play it in comparison to the newer games. Most of the complaints were toward the obtuse quests (Morrowind laughs at your desire for quest markers), dice-roll oriented combat system, and graphics which look rather outdated by the standards of not only later games, but even games that were already out at the time. Luckily, at least for those who complain about the combat and graphics, there are Game Mod solutions. (most notably, the Morroblivion total conversion makes the combat more like Oblivion's and the Morrowind Graphics Overhaul, with over a quarter of million downloads, which significantly improves the quality of the graphics.)
  • Signature Scene: Stepping off the boat at the very beginning of the game. It's a bright day where, unless you've dallied in the boat, the orchestral swell of the main theme hits as soon as you step outside adding to the "epic" feel. One of your first views, letting you know that this isn't going to be a run-of-the-mill Medieval European Fantasy like the previous two games, is the Silt Strider against the far bank of the river.
  • Special Effects Failure: On some ATI video cards, the sun is black instead of white. Fortunately, there's an easy fix.
  • Squick:
    • The silt strider is a gigantic arthropod used as a means of public transport throughout Vvardenfell. A bit odd so far, but not too out of place for the setting. However, in order to allow for passengers, cargo, and of course the driver, parts of the creature's shell are hollowed out. The driver then controls the strider by DIRECTLY MANIPULATING THE CREATURE'S INTERNAL ORGANS. Fortunately the silt strider doesn't seem to mind.
    • Everything dear old Uncle Crassius says, sweetie.
    • The condition that people born under the sign of The Atronach suffer from that makes it impossible to regenerate Magicka is called... Wombburn.
    • One of the practices that the Corpus beasts like to do is cut off pieces of their mutated skin and eat it. Due to their Healing Factor, it grows back quickly and even more mutated than before.
  • That One Attack: Greater Bonewalkers have an infuriating "damage attribute" spell. Note that says "damage" and not "drain." "Drained" attributes will go back to normal once the spell wears off. "Damaged" attributes will stick with you until you heal them with a temple blessing or potion. It's incredibly frustrating to encounter a Greater Bonewalker halfway through a difficult dungeon only to have him damage your strength attribute so much that you are forced to dump half your inventory (strength determines how much you can carry) in order to flee back to civilization to heal.
  • That One Boss:
    • Gaenor. He reflects almost all damage from magic spells and mundane weapons due to having an insanely high leveled Luck. And no, there is not a puzzle to get around it. You just have to have a hell of a lot of Hit Points while you pummel this heavily-armored highly-agile guy until he falls over and dies. He starts as an NPC, but if you speak to him for any reason, he'll eventually come back in ebony armor. Fortunately, he's easy to avoid if you know to do so. If you don't mind murder, you can also kill him immediately after your first conversation with him when he won't have these protections.
    • The final boss of the Imperial Legion questline counts as well, mainly because he uses both an Infinity +1 Sword and Infinity Plus One Armor. That you just delivered to him. Somewhat forgivable in that he is the highest ranking legion officer in Vvardenfell and isn't really malevolent in any way, but you still need to beat him if you want his title. This is justifiably considered by many to be the single toughest fight in the vanilla game.
    • Gedna Relvel from the Tribunal "Crimson Plague" side questline. What starts with killing some diseased rats and delivering a potion ends with you needing to defeat Gedna, a monstrously powerful lich. She's capable of flinging a very powerful area of effect spell, is immune or resistant to every from of Destruction magic, and quickly regenerates lost Health, Magicka, and Fatigue. Worse, she's supposed to have Health equal to 100x the player's current level, but due to a programming error, she has 800x that amount, making her virtually unkillable at higher levels. And what do you get for killing this notorious Damage-Sponge Boss? Her enchanted Robe of the Lich (which deals 600 damage to you as soon as you put it on) and a once-per-day spell that restores a small amount of Health, Fatigue, and cures Common Disease (which, if you've gotten far enough in the main game's main quest, you're immune to anyway.)
  • That One Disadvantage: "The Lord" Birthsign. It grants a healing spell which is outclassed by Hearth Heal, a spell you can get in character generation for free by having Restoration as a Major or Minor skill. (Failing that, it is also available for purchase from the only merchant in the First Town.) The tradeoff is doubling the fire damage you take. Other Birthsigns provide better skills and weaker penalties, making it suicidal to choose The Lord unless you're roleplaying.
  • That One Level:
    • About halfway through the main quest, you'll need to undergo "The Warrior's Test" which sends you to Kogoruhn, the ancient stronghold of Great House Dagoth (of which Big Bad Dagoth Ur was the leader). You will need to recover three specific items - two of the items are easily found in the domes on the roof. The third requires a trek through the multi-level dungeon and the extensive underground tunnels beneath, which are crawling with Dagoth Ur's Ash Creature minions, undead (including stat-damaging Greater Bonewalkers), and lesser Daedra. Even if you are able to complete it in one shot without having to backtrack to civilization to heal and restock, expect to spend at least an hour there.
    • The final quest for the Bloodmoon expansion involves you being taken into Mortrag Glacier to participate in Hircine's hunt. What makes this quest very difficult is that you will have to navigate a maze full of Werewolves that move quickly and hit like a truck. If you are not careful, you might have to face a group of them all at once. Although you have an NPC that may help you, he can still be overwhelmed and killed by them. Since you will be dragged into this area unwillingly, you may not have had time to prepare for this mission. Luckily the final bosses are a cakewalk compared to the onslaught of werewolves you faced in the maze.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Finding all of the "Threads of the Webspinner," 26 items in all. Of them, 17 are either on NPCs you are assigned to kill / their guards (or in one case, given to you) by the same quest giver, but a few require you to kill random peaceful NPCs that have no indication that they even have one of the items or NPCs in out-of-the-way dungeons that have no quest at all related to them. Your reward? A mixed Chameleon/Fortify Attack spell that never fails and uses less magicka than a custom spell with the same effects would cost. Not terrible, but not really worth the time and effort this quest entails. The kicker? Before Tribunal, the spell had a different effect and was the only source of the Fortify Skill effect, which gave the quest some significance.
    • Acquiring Eltonbrand. First, it requires you to acquire Goldbrand as part of an obscure quest that you are extremely unlikely to find on your own. (The one person in the game who tells you about it isn't exactly trustworthy and even then, his directions are bad, leading you to swimming around in the ocean further south than you need to.) Then, you get directions from Boethiah to find a sculptor to rebuild the shrine. If you manage to do that, then wait the two in-game weeks required for the statue to be built, you can finally claim Goldbrand. To upgrade it into Eltonbrand, you need to become a vampire (something most players of the game may not even realize is in the game for many, many hours) and perform a specific quest with a specific amount of gold in your inventory. THEN you get Eltonbrand. Complicated and near impossible to find on your own, but very worth it.
    • The Mournhold Museum of Artifacts. While filling it up is quite enjoyable and well worth it, finding all of the artifacts can not only take most of your playthrough, but some of them can be missed, including a shield you can only get as a vampire. Plus once you donate something, you'll have to steal it back if you ever want it back again.
    • Escorting Viatrix Petilia, an unpleasant lady outside of Ald'ruhn, to the shrine inside the Ghostgate within two days. What makes this quest frustrating is that she moves at a snail's pace and her AI is pretty bad. There are also cliff racers and other wildlife that can potentially kill her. With her rude attitude and cheap "tip" for helping her, it'll drive you crazy.
    • Completing "Silent Pilgrimage" properly. You have to go from Vivec to an isolated shrine west of Dagon Fel without talking to anyone, including for fast travel. Should you initiate the quest without any teleportation magic, it's a long walk from the bottom of the map to the top.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Sotha Sil. Despite being the third member of the Tribunal alongside Vivec and Almalexia, he gets very little character development in the game since he's already dead. He eventually received a major story role in The Elder Scrolls Online.
  • Ugly Cute: Scribs, which are baby kwama. They look like a mix between a pillbug and a chestburster from Alien, but they're still positively adorable. The fact that they're the most passive animals in the whole game, that they're no bigger than a Pomeranian, and they make the most innocent-sounding squeals when idle just makes you want to have one for a pet. And Bethesda must have been aware of this, since the Tribunal expansion actually lets you buy one while you're in Mournhold (even if you can't take it with you back to Vvardenfell), and they can also be purchased in The Elder Scrolls Online.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • In audio form. In various Sixth House enclaves, shrines, and lairs there's a set of bells that the player can ring. There's only half a note difference — instead of the intuitive whole note — so something sounds wrong and unsettling about the noise they produce.
    • Argonians and Khajiits walk like they broke their ankles. Everyone else walks like they have a stick up their ass (a pretty blazin' stick, though). Their jaws flap in a really weird way when they talk...
    • The Bull Netch can be this, once you realize they have faces!
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The Player Housing options available through the Great House sidequest lines are extremely popular, but still fall short for most players. Unsurprisingly, Game Mods expanding them and adding new player housing options have proven to be some of the most popular over the years. Later games in the series expanding upon player housing even more, though Bethesda has yet to truly sate the player hunger for them.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: