Taste The Beast
As time progressed my life seemed to be changing rapidly. I finally graduated Middle School and was getting ready to head out for High School, and I hit puberty…Fun stuff… But the biggest change came when my dad announced that we would be moving from the quaint little town we lived in in Oregon all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada.
This was a rough time in my life, I didn’t want to move or leave all my friends behind but it was something that was going to happen whether I liked it or not so I just rolled with it. Several months after moving to Vegas we had a massive thunderstorm. Having the kind of luck I have the storm caused a power surge completely frying my computer’s power supply leaving me without the life juice that was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
I went well over a week without being able to use my computer and let me tell you that it was a very unpleasant week for sure. Eventually my dad did buy me a new power supply and I got my computer up and running, this new power supply was quite a bit better than my old one and I actually had the headroom to upgrade my computer some more. (I didn’t have the money of course.) A couple of months after I got my PC back up and running my dad decided to build himself an entire new computer, we’re talking top of the line parts. (For the time.) he didn’t skimp on anything I would estimate he spent at least $1200 on this PC and this meant that I would get all his hand-me-downs. (Yippee!)
My computer was now running a Pentium 4 at a whopping 3.0ghz WITH Hyper Threading along with 1gb of DDR2 Memory and an 256mb ATI Radeon x850 Pro Video Card, my computer was so ready for another round of Oblivion (as was I.) With my new super computer I launched Oblivion, immediately went into the settings and maxed everything out. Once I started the game it was like seeing it all over for the first time again, the graphics looked like they were suppose to, the character textures were so sharp, the landscape looked so real, heck even the food looked good enough to eat (Disclaimer: Please do not attempt to eat the virtual food in real life.)
Everything about Oblivion was better, even though I had done all of these quests before they seemed fresh and new to me again. I vowed that this would be my definitive playthrough, I would accomplish EVERYTHING that can be done in Oblivion.I started by rolling a Redguard with a custom built class (with Oblivion I loved to really mix stealth with strength traits.) My Redguard emerged from the Imperial City Sewers as the most awesome Oblivion character you’ve ever seen, (think if Sammy L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman had a super awesome love child.) His name was Zian and he was here to totally kick arse and take names.
After I had taken care of the entire main story line (I won’t give any details that may spoil it for those who haven’t played it, but if you haven’t…SERIOUSLY GO BUY IT.) I moved onto taking out all of the faction quests, I started with the Fighters Guild which went great until I was asked to destroy this stupid tree that produces mind-altering substances…I seriously couldn’t figure out how to destroy this tree, looking back at it now I am kind of disappointed in myself for not figuring it out sooner. (For those who don’t know, you just pick up a log and jam it into the gears of the preservation system….)
Once I had flown through the entire set of Fighters guild quests I moved onto the Thieves Guild. Now I enjoyed the Thieves Guild in Morrowind it was a lot of fun but, the Thieves Guild quest line in Oblivion is 100 times better. When the Grey Fox was revealed I was genuinely surprised by the outcome, and the reward after finishing the Thieves Guild mission chain was totally worth it. Again I will not spoil this for those people who are waiting for their copy of Oblivion from Amazon…
Now with those two out of the way I was ready to move onto one of the most immersive quest chains in all of gaming history, the Dark Brotherhood. This is hands down one of the greatest gaming experiences I have encountered in my life up to this point. I don’t know where to even start when it comes to the Dark Brotherhood chain.. I guess starting with the fact that even finding the Dark Brotherhood is a challenge all in itself. (Hint: Kill an innocent.) I mistakenly killed a guard at the Imperial Palace after he got upset at me for stealing some loot out of the back storage room. (Seriously dude it was covered in dust, nobody wanted it.) The next time I slept in a bed I was greeted by the man with the baritone voice, better known as Lucien Lachance.
Lucien told me that I had the blood of an innocent on my hands and he was willing to give me a trial run to join the Dark Brotherhood. He told me to go kill some dude in some random inn. I hesitated for a minute before agreeing. As I made my way down to the aforementioned inn I contemplated it what it was I was about to do, what did this guy do, was he an evil man, what if he had a family that loved him? These were all things I had to weigh in my mind and make the decision on whether or not to kill him. As I rolled up to the inn the wind and rain were pouring down on me, I rushed in the door as quick as possible to save myself from the cold embrace of the darkness that lay awaiting me outside. Once inside I was greeted by a very friendly barkeep who asked me if I needed anything. I told him that I would love a room, to which he agreed after the set price had been payed. As I made my way down the hall I saw that there was one door that I could hear noise on the other side. As I silently pulled out my lock picks and went to work on the door I felt this sudden urge to quit and run away, I mean was I really going to kill this man, was I really a cold-blooded killer?
After all the pins in the lock had been released I slowly opened the door to which revealed an older man sleeping on a bed, as I crept up to him as silent as a mouse I decided to check him for anything of value. My hand slowly worked its way into his pocket to reveal that he had nothing of any relevance but once I had done this he didn’t take to kindly of it popping out of the bed screaming all sorts of profanities at me, I was startled by his sudden hostility and instantly unsheathed my blade and struck this man down. Drown by the sorrow of what I had just done I crawled up into the bed this man had just occupied and fell fast asleep, his dead corpse lying idly nearby on the cold floorboards. Right as I got into a deep sleep I was awoken by a noise, startled I jumped out of bed only to be greeted by Lucien once again. He told me that I had passed my test with flying colors and was cordially invited to join the Dark Brotherhood. Feeling the guilt of what I had done, but also realizing it could not be undone I accepted his offer with little hesitation. This would be the start of something beautiful.
That’s how you join the Dark Brotherhood. Thinking back on it now still gives me goose bumps, the excitement you feel through the entire Dark Brotherhood quest line is something that is hard to top in video games. Once I had beaten all the quests in the Dark Brotherhood and every random little quest I could find. (Dreamscape anyone?) I felt for sure there was nothing else that Oblivion could offer me at the time, that is until I was ready to start a THIRD playthrough. I was wrong…
In Darkness The Prince of Madness was awaiting me…