be one Elder Scrolls game means the game must be an open-ended experience, and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is certainly the norm rather than the exception. The possibilities to take down enemies, solve problems and complete missions are almost endless due to the player’s ability to find his own ways to navigate Skyrim†
This leads to crazy or interesting player experiences, such as a player avoiding every dragon and screaming inside Skyrim, making each playthrough a unique experience. The uniqueness of each playthrough in turn inspires replayability as different builds, choices, and factors make playthroughs more satisfying for players.
Another phenomenon that enables new playthroughs is the induction of restriction; in other words, when players decide to limit themselves with rules that make play through more challenging. This is probably most often seen in FromSoftware games, but is certainly possible in other games, especially Skyrim with added mods. Recently, however, a player showed how creative one can be without any tweaks, by posting a clip of their level 1 playthrough and their incredibly unique and hilarious Mercer Frey kill.
Reddit user walter-fring captured their very fast-paced battle against the traitor of Skyrim‘s mysterious Thieves Guild. Inside, they quickly grabbed Mercer using the Vampiric Grip spell and tossed him around like a rag doll in the air. Then they threw Mercer high and fired the Wabbajack (a staff that transforms the target) and hit him before hitting the ground. Upon impact, Mercer turned into a sweet roll of all things, which Walter-Fring promptly picked up, found in their inventory, and devoured like some sort of mad wizard-cannibal.
To be fair, the argument can be made that since Mercer was a sweet potato, it wasn’t cannibalism. However, Mercer’s soul was trapped in this new doughy prison, and so Walter-fring literally ate Mercer. Many Reddit users were more upset by the fact that Walter-Fring ate the Mercer scroll after it fell into the disgusting water at their feet. In the end, no one really cared about Mercer Frey’s death as he is a hated character who Skyrim‘s Thieves Guild often looks silly.
Walter-fring’s clip is a perfect encapsulation of Skyrim‘s openness; using a level 1 character they used an exploit to cast Vampiric Grip so they could launch Mercer Frey and shoot him with the Wabbajack to turn him into a sweet role. This alone would have been enough to set the playthrough apart, but Walter-Fring then picking up the sweet bun and devouring it was the icing on the cake, so to speak.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
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