Like most of you, I learned from a young age that life is full of choices. Some choices are good, and some choices are bad. Case in point: once, when I was five years old, I thought it would be a good idea to take a pork chop away from a German Shepherd. I can tell you from first hand experience that this was not a good idea, and I still have the scar to prove it. This is just one example of a bad decision in my life that I now regret, and believe me there are many others (the time I ate the undercooked chicken, the time I bought my brother’s car, the time I dated my boss’s daughter, the time I dated my boss’s other daughter, etc., etc.). In Skyrim, like real life, you have to make choices. Some choices are good, and some choices are bad. For the sake of conversation, here are three bad choices I regret making in Skyrim:
- Buying a Horse. At the time, buying a horse really seemed like a good idea. I had just escaped my first dragon attack in Helgen Keep and hoofed it all the way to Whiterun. That’s quite a walk, and when I saw the Whiterun stables I just knew I had to have a horse. I chatted up the stable owner and like most of you, balked at the price (1,000 gold for a freaking horse!). Not to be discouraged, I worked my butt off — dungeon diving and questing for hours on end. Gold is really hard to come by in the early stages of Skyrim, and I was like a school kid cutting grass and walking dogs all summer to earn enough money to buy a new bike. Finally, I had enough scratch saved to get my horse. I put my money down and thought I was all set. Sheesh, what a mistake! What I didn’t know at the time was how lame a Skyrim horse is. Not only is the horse slow moving, I learned to my dismay that you can’t fight from the saddle. Heck, you can’t even talk from the saddle. I guess I can accept having to climb off my horse to fight a Frost Spider, but getting off to talk to a group of winos by the roadside getting wasted on mead? Come on, man! I don’t even ride my horse anymore, and wish I could get my 1,000 gold back.
- Picking a Fight With a Mastadon. The first time I saw a Skyrim mastadon I was in awe. At the time, I had just finished exploring a Dwemer ruin in the far north and was just kicking back in the frozen tundra, wandering around a bit and doing nothing particularly useful. All of a sudden, I see my first mastadon lumbering ever so slowly across the snow. Curious, I walked a little closer, being careful to keep a respectful distance. She was beautiful out there in the snow, a shambling hulk of hair and tusk that literally took my breath away. Then things got ugly. This tranquil moment was spoiled when I started thinking about profit. I assumed that an animal that big must worth its weight in gold, so in a bonehead move that would’ve made PETA shudder, I unslung my bow and started taking potshots at her hairy hide. This as you may guess was an extremely stupid thing to do. My arrows had the unique effect of turning this peaceful creature into a raving lunatic. It eerily reminded me of the time at Thanksgiving when I offhandedly mentioned to my sister that she was looking a little “chunky.” The mastadon (like my sister) went berserk and turned on me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that big move so fast (the mastadon — not my sister). Before I could run away screaming, the mastadon went MMA and trampled me to death. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a learning experience. Now when I see a mastadon I just tip my hat politely and stay the heck out of the way.
- Speaking with Idolaf Battle-Born. Every one has a friend they really don’t like — you know, the poser who’s always hanging around bragging about his car, girlfriend, whatever. Well in Skyrim, Idolaf Battle-Born is that friend. From the moment I met this guy he’s ticked me off. There I was, minding my own business in the Whiterun marketplace when Idolaf saunters over and starts asking me to choose sides between clan Battle-Born and clan Gray-Mane. This guy is real obnoxious and I’m like “Dude, I don’t care.” He keeps pestering me until I finally tell him “Battle-Born” just to get him off my back. Now the guy won’t leave me alone. In his deluded mind we’re BFF. Every time I run into him he’s going on about how we’re good friends and all that stuff. Good friends? The guy’s all talk. We never hang out together or do anything. If Idolaf is such a good friend, where was he when I was getting my butt kicked by the bandits over in Fort Greymoor? I’ll tell you where he was — he was in Whiterun bugging some other poor slob to pick sides in his personal grudge match with clan Gray-Mane. If I could do it all over again I’d tell him that Gray-Mane rules and Battle-Born sucks. I just wish he’d leave me alone and unfriend me on Facebook.
So how about it? Have you ever done anything stupid in Skyrim? Let’s hear about it!