Morrowind Still Outperforms Most Games, Even with Larry David and Doritos
I take stock of Vivec, the poet-god-king of Morrowind, as he finally succumbs to repeated firing from Samus Aran’s arm cannon. You’re in poor health, so you might be better off grabbing an Estus Flask right away. A few Cheetos would be a good idea. Ten minutes later, I walk into the “House of 1000 Scamps” and am met by so many gremlin-like creatures I cannot move. I’m not sure what to expect. Morrowindcrashes.
The Tribunal Code Patch is a mod for The Elder Scrolls III – Morrowind. This mod makes a huge difference to the game in many ways, both small and large. Some changes are obvious right away. I chose the “Blessing of Corporate” character perks. This gave me the guidance of a younger Todd Howard rather than an Elder Scrolls deity. Some are only obvious with time. For example, the fully-functional marijuana-smoking systems, characters from the original game given new roles, and the loot boxes containing items such as Warcraft III’s Frostmourne or Vash the Stampede’s trench coat from Trigun.
It’s great fun to wander the world and take in all of the chaos. It’s not clear if all the assets and systems were created by the mod’s creator, but it’s an impressive accomplishment nonetheless. Even more amazing is the fact that Morrowind still outperforms most video games, despite being loaded down with goblin food, Lightning McQueen of Cars, and a Larry David poster that takes you into a cursed dimension. Think.
Morrowind was the first game I ever played as a child. It required me to turn the settings down and use console commands to travel fast because the computer couldn’t render large outdoor scenes higher than a single-digit framerate. It was the first of its kind that I had ever seen. There was an enormous world to explore, complicated systems to master and exploit, as well as a story that used the “chosen” trope to tell a unique tale.
Morrowind is a world unlike any other fantasy game. Morrowind is more organic than Oblivion and Skyrim, which have a European fantasy aesthetic. Buildings and armor are made of bone and glass. Travel is done via giant insects, and the Dunmer is the dominant race. The world feels like an animated Rene Laloux film, even though it is not easy to comprehend. However, you will be drawn into its politics, societal intrigue, and the way they live.
It may be hard for those more familiar with games like Skyrim to return and enjoy Morrowind. Combat can be frustrating. Each attack is abstracted into random chances to hit instead of the physics-based simulations FPS games have taught players to expect. We’re not talking about a game that allows you to kill the god, kill the plot-critical NPC, and get drunk on fantasy PCP and booze while still completing the main objective.
If fantasy games appeal to you and you can handle the limitations of adventure games, you should play Morrowind. You don’t need the Tribunal Code Patch if you haven’t played it before. If you already have the mod, I recommend that you check it out or my YouTube playthrough. You can hear me talk about my experience with the mod on Channel F’s “Un Soupcon D’ouragan” podcast.