As the title suggests, I’m an individual that is often fashionably late, at least by my application of the term. Events, parties, movies, dinner, work…and games. Last week I noticed Skyrim (for Xbox…I love PC gaming, but no time for it) hit $40 so snagged a copy. In very karmic fashion Amazon Prime 2-day shipping was also fashionably late NOT arriving Friday for my scheduled evening of dragon pouncing, but Monday instead. Though time was limited I couldn’t just not play…so I inserted the disc and…well, nothing.
Nothing. A black screen that lasted for just about…yes, ever. Always. Until it stopped and I was informed the disc to be unreadable. Someone really didn’t want me to get to this dragon party. Not to be thwarted, I quickly borrowed a copy from a friend explaining the obstacles being thrown in my path, and play I finally did. Don’t worry, a new copy is being swiftly sent from Amazon.
I’ve been playing single player games with a close female friend lately, lets call her Lala. It started with L.A. Noire, acting as my partner cracking cases which ended up being a wonderful enhancement of the game for me, so I suggested she help me put my character together to face this brutal medieval world with. There was no doubt I was to be a Cat Person (I don’t know the actual race name, and I prefer Cat Person). Initially my intent was to create “Catlock” since I’ve been researching Matlock for a Fringe Theatre script, but I began to doubt the availability of a cheap suits in the game. After deciding on all the physical features of my cute lady cat, we began quite a long argument on what the name should be.
Lala sternly informed me, after many suggestions, that I was not allowed to name Cat after food items or objects I could see around the room. I’m sure you can sense my exasperation at such absurdly limiting criteria, but I had decided to brought her into my single player world, so I must accept the good with the bad. Finally we landed on the fact that all my previous (real) cats had ‘M’ names…Monet, Mojito…you know, I think I WILL name my next cat Matlock. Anyway, the lovely name Moira came up, and suddenly the tension flowed out of the room. Phew! Of course you need a surname as well, but Lala was much more flexible here. We laughed at a number of ridiculous ideas until I landed on “Fuzzypaw”, which she immediately shortened to “Fuzzpaw” and suddenly we were done. It was time to venture into the unknown with Lady Cat Person Moira Fuzzpaw!
When it comes to games as open as Skyrim I have a particular approach to how I play my characters. I establish from the start a number of preferences and beliefs of the character to give them immediate direction and personality, but I like to leave room for the world to decide “what I really want to be when I grow up”. Moira finds casting magic absolutely distasteful, though wiggle room for enchanted items. Hand weapons are also a turn-off, except for a bow. She prefers to feel your face as she smacks you upside the head with her paw. As for loyalty, we’ll see how she’s treated!
Another habit of mine in open games is that as soon as I’m given free reign, I run the opposite direction of whatever I was told I should go do. Or at least straight into the woods so I can run into a pack of wolves that scared the crap out of me, but my flailing paws managed to do quick work to them anyway. My first real taste of adventure! No one coddling me or telling me what to do.
Lala and I decided to follow a road we came upon. After a few diversions trying to hunt elk with my bow, we came upon a farm where a small group were fighting a giant! I immediately rushed in to help, but fashionably late as usual the giant fell to the ground as soon as I arrived. My memory for detail is poor but this is the conversation I remember:
Mean Lady: Thanks sooo much for the help. *snort*
Moira Fuzzpaw (me): I did the best I could!
Mean Lady: Really? Wow, you suck.
Moira Fuzzpaw: *sigh* Who are you guys?
Mean Lady: The Companions idiot. We fix problems for money.
Moira Fuzzpaw: Like prostitutes?
Mean Lady: …
Moira Fuzzpaw: Can I join your club?
Mean Lady: YOU?!? You think you can be one of US?!? Anyway, go talk to this old dude. He’s a good judge of character. Good luck!
Moira Fuzzpaw: *gives the middle claw and walks away*
I was not a happy kitty. I wanted to help and they threw it in my face. I fumed and walked away toward the town, hoping to find an Inn since it was getting quite dark. I was confronted with a couple guards at a giant gate stating I wasn’t allowed entry because they heard about some stupid dragon…I’m not sure what that has to do with anything considering they can, you know, FLY, but I told him “I know about dragons!” and the morons prompting let me in.
After some wandering I found the Inn, bought a drink, jumped on a table pushing all items off (I’m a cat), and talked to an angry woman in the corner who got kicked out of the Companions. We had a great chat about what douches they are (she accidentally killed some boy…it happens!), and she really wanted to get out some aggression so I offered to box her a bit in the bar. “No weapons, no magic” she stated, which fit me perfectly. I smacked her around a bit, then helped her back up. A small pile of gold was handed to me and my first real in-game friendship was forged. I asked her to join me, and that we’d start off in the morning.