Monday, February 25, 2008

If I'm not back by morning....

So yesterday I continued my descent into rampant nerdism by loading up The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion onto the PC for a bit of a hack and a bit of a slash.

Now I have been formally warned by my brother that, prior to starting this game, I should offer my Better Half (affectionately referred to as The Samazon around these parts) and other relatives and loved ones a courteous "goodbye" as I shan't be seeing them again for a few months and / or years.

And that's without even considering the expansion packs.

Now Oblivion, for those that don't know, is a "fantasy-based role-playing adventure game".

Translation: It's a game where nerds get to escape reality for days at a time by becoming Knights and Warriors and Wizards and $hit like that, and wandering around fantasy-land killing zombies, orcs, skeletons etc and the rest of the time trying to get their nerdy freak on with Elf-chicks.

Addendum: Said nerds are then completely and utterly surprised by the fact that, when they return to the Real Actual World, nobody else gives a remote f*ck that their alter-ego, Zalgoth the Unrepentant Masturbator, is now a Level 37 Black Elf Mage with the ability to cast "Balls of Itchiness" on any opponent (= loss of 15 health points for 30 seconds).

Apparently what separates this nerd-orgy-cum-game from others of the ilk is that this one is vast and open-ended, featuring an entire fantasy world to explore. That and the fact the artificial intelligence that runs the computer-controlled characters in-game is supposedly super-duper-sophisticated and stuff - something to do with the fact they each have their own individual schedules within the game, so they will, unaffected by your main character, attend to their own day by travelling, eating, sleeping and probably taking a $hit for all I know. Or care.

All I know is you can ride a horse, which to you and I would sound like a perfectly reasonable thing to do but represents an innovation in these sorts of games that sent nerd game-players into paroxysms of delight, apparently.

Of course, what I do know is that it took only a matter of minutes into my first playing of the game for something stupid to happen. Pretty much par for the course.

I wandered into a fighting Arena whilst exploring (and after trying to chat-up a few elf-chicks - failing miserably after discovering the conversation option "Try Pick Up Line" wasn't available) and was greeted by a fruity looking Elf wimp at the entry / exit.

This immediately tempted me to whip out my two-handed giant motherf*cking sword (no innuendo intended) but, having been warned by the instruction manual that random and wanton acts of murder would be punished by the law, I decided against it.

Gritting my teeth I returned my giant motherf*cking sword to my scabbard, ignored the fruity Elf wimp's attempts at conversation and continued exploring (i.e generally barging in on people and poking around like a nosy f*ck who can't mind his own business).

After exploring pretty much all the locations I could at the Arena, I returned to the exit and discovered the fruity Elf wimp locked in mortal combat with several town guards. About 4 that I could see, with more milling around outside.

And the little wimp assessed the situation quickly and decided upon an appropriate course of action in a flash: make like a squealing, mincing little Frenchman and run like it's 1940!!

Of course I followed to see what would happen and was happy to see him run down by about 15 town guards, whereupon the local constabulary did their very best to keep public order by hacking him to bits.

Quite what it was in his Artificial Intelligence program that prompted this I could not say - had the little fellow flashed his hairless girlish Elf-balls in public? Pilfered a Potion of Ring-Tickling from Ye Olde Potion Shoppe? Skipped on paying the G&S Tax on his A$$less Leather Chaps?

Sadly I shall never know.

In my attempt to play the helpful citizen I joined with the Town Guards and got in a few good overhand sword-chops on the little scamp, only to be arrested myself.

Where, I ask you, is the f*cken justice?

Strangely, after paying the fine and being released from the jailhouse, I wandered back to the Arena and, lo and behold, the fruity little Elf wimp is there once more as though nothing at all untoward happened.

"What, that business about the overhand chops and the guards and the flashing the hairless, girlish Elf-balls? Oh, 'twas nothing, really. Carry on, chaps and all that! It's all so yesterday, don't you know eh what. So, what can I do for you?"

Apparently I have about 199 game-hours of this to go.