Arachnophobes Rejoice: No Skyrim Spiders

By Jim Rossignol on November 14th, 2011 at 8:09 am.

Spider-bears!
I am posting this link almost purely for the benefit of RPS contributor Richard Cobbett, whose aversion to spiders in games is such that he’s forced to play Skyrim while dosed up with a medical team on standby, just in case his heart gives out. Sadly the mod is only a crude fix for now, and replaces spiders with awkward stuffed-looking bears. There’s a crab alternative if the bears look too stupid. (They do.)

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107 Comments »

  1. Squirrelfanatic says:

    ‘Pedobear’ was the first thought I had seeing this image. Which I am not sure is really an improvement over spiders.

    • Raniz says:

      I guess that depends on whether you’re a child or arachnophobic. If you’re both you should go with the crabs.

    • godgoo says:

      ‘Go with the crabs, my son’

    • Daniel Is I says:

      I’m arachnophobic and I think these bears are creepier than the spiders.

      Honestly, once I noticed where their eyes were or, rather, that they even HAD eyes, they became much less frightening.

    • ShineyBlueShoes says:

      Funny, I find spiders and insects in general even creepier once I’ve noticed the details.

  2. Lipwig says:

    now you’re just encouraging ursaphobia

    • thegooseking says:

      Arctophobia, I think. Phobias are usually named with Greek roots rather than Latin.

    • WMain00 says:

      Actually the correct term for a fear of bears is Melissophobia, but this has a slight inaccuracy as it refers to bees, rather bears, a translation error that has unfortunately stuck for countless years. Ursaphobia is probably the correct term to use, though Arctophobia also earns you 10 points!

      /QI off

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      AndrewC says:

      Pedantophobia

    • WMain00 says:

      I’ll have you know I looked all of that up and know absolutely nothing about it except “eek spiders!”

    • Apostropartheid says:

      Melissophobia presumably derives from somebody with bad Greek copying from a list and going one below (bear is close to bee). Arctophobia would be correct word, though neither appears to have true currency, presumably because phobias are irrational, and fear of bears is not.

    • thegooseking says:

      The only phobia with a Latin root I can think of off hand is aquaphobia. Sometimes people call it hydrophobia anyway, but hydrophobia is a symptom of rabies, not a fear of water.

    • sinister agent says:

      You’re all wrong. Melissophobia is fear of my mother-in-law, and it’s technically invalid, as no level of fear of her is irrational.

  3. Paul says:

    poor bears

  4. cupogoodness says:

    Want. Need. Wish they had this for Resident Evil 2, the first boss in Ocarina of Time, that big fucker in LIMBO, etc…

    Also I can’t stop picturing Frodo and Sam being chased around by a big Grizzly in Shelob’s lair.

    • Devrey says:

      The first boss in Ocarina of Time? How about the whole damn game being infested with spiders. I tried to overcome my arachnaphobia because I wanted to play OoT, but the spiders in that first dungeon that hang on a thread and start to rock back and forward after you’d hit them made me literally sick.

      And the house made entirely out of spiderwebs and spiders…. I haven’t seen it myself but heard about it. I stopped kidding myself and tossed the N64 cartridge out.

    • Ba5 says:

      You guys need to play EDF2017:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZEsEDy10_g

    • cupogoodness says:

      @Devrey I’m not nearly as bad off as you it sounds, I think I just hate really over-sized crawlers who have no business in that exoskeleton hopping about and devouring men.

      The gold skulltula house is scary until you get that giant’s wallet. ;) Plus it provides a reason to kill a lot of the bastards in the first place. However you’re right about the Deku tree. I shutter every time when those things fall out of nowhere and rattle in front of Link.

      @Ba5 NOPE NOPE NOPE.

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      BathroomCitizen says:

      EDF really looks like an hilarious game.

      I’m a sad panda-bear. I never had the console-toy to try it :(

    • Skabooga says:

      @Devry: I would almost pay money to watch you play certain sections of Penumbra: Overture. But that would be a bit too cruel to an arachnophobe, I think.

    • Razza353 says:

      I read this actually researching if there was a LIMBO mod. I couldn’t agree MORE.

      I bought LIMBO, friend told me about the spiders, I’m not even bothering installing. OoT well I started playing and freaked out with how the spiders curl up and die, I don’t care how old the game is they still look freaky spiders.

      As for Return of The King I watched that for the first time last week (long time I know I know it was amazing but) I couldn’t watch a single part of that part of the movie because my roommate came in because I was screaming while hiding my eyes, she had to tell me when it had passed because I was so terrified. Doesn’t matter that they’re on screen, still makes my skin crawl, still gives me night terrors. Honestly.

      Why can’t they give people an option for no spiders!? Makes me handicapped in terms of gameplay because I can’t play them! Funny looking bears or not, I’d take them any day over .. ugh… *shivers*

  5. Prime says:

    Nifty. Poor old Cobb-O.

    Those really do look like Pedobear.

  6. Lujo says:

    These bears are dancing the badger.

  7. Inglourious Badger says:

    But what do you find in their ‘bear sacs’? ‘Bear eggs’? Picnics? I’d laugh if it was a joke and when you kill the bears more spiders come out.

    Anyway, this reminds me, day off = more Skyrim!

    • gillesv says:

      “I’d laugh if it was a joke and when you kill the bears more spiders come out.”

      That would be the best arachnaphobe troll ever. Someone, make it happen!

    • sinister agent says:

      I concur. This cruelty caused me to make laughing noises with my face.

    • merc-ai says:

      Sir, you win an award for Best Evil Design idea of the day!

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    Seniath says:

    Bears!? You want to replace harmless spiders with those GODLESS KILLING MACHINES?

  9. Bremze says:

    Hey, where are the mods that make the whole map flat for acrophobes and makes all the dungeons into pretty meadows for claustrophobes?

    • Nim says:

      They’re on the way. It’s a bit more work to rework the terrain and caves than replacing character models and sounds.

    • Skabooga says:

      Having grown up under the wide open skies of Kansas, I will say that I have a bit of claustro-uncomfortableness, so being in dungeons or tight-corridored military installations in games makes me more uneasy than most. But overall, the sensation is enjoyable, as it only heightens the atmosphere the game is trying to attain.

  10. Drake Sigar says:

    The only spiders I’m afraid of are the ones in Dark Messiah because they jump. Oh, and the ones from Penumbra because it spun a story where a man was forced to eat nothing but spiders for months. And the ones from Resident Evil 2… Skyrim spiders I can handl- ah! Something’s crawling up my trouser leg!

    Nevermind, it’s just my ex.

    • Sic says:

      … PLODING SPIDER! RUN!

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      phuzz says:

      Look RPS, this is why we need a comment of the week prize, or if not prize, at least a mention once a week of the funniest, or most helpful comments.

      Sic here should win at least one internet.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Of just an upvote function, the votes for which should be called ‘internets’.

      And the highest rated comments in the sidebar, please. :)

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      BathroomCitizen says:

      I approve.

  11. adonf says:

    I don’t mind the spiders, but those dead guys in their crypts gave me nightmares. Can this mod be tweaked to replace the Draugr by Carebears?

  12. Davie says:

    I am not an arachnophobe, but Christ on a bicycle I can see why Skyrim spiders would give arachnophobes something to wake up screaming about. Those mandibles are entirely too large.

    Really, though, the mod should replace them with tentacle bears.

    • Faceless says:

      Really? Didn’t think twice on their appearance, beyond the fact that they are reminiscent of my favourite kind (that almost never bite humans) – jumping spiders.

    • pepper says:

      Awww, thats a cute spider Faceless!

    • Gundrea says:

      I want to mod the spiders to jump around as they shoot.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Jumping spiders are the only spiders I will willingly handle. It helps that they’re fairly cute-looking, but it helps much more that they don’t walk like spiders. They don’t have those spindly articulated legs and that crawling gait that gives me the shivers.

      Instead, they get about by lightning-fast small jumps—in fact, since I never see them moving between points, I’m convinced they actually move about by means of a blink spell.

    • Skabooga says:

      VelvetIronFistGlove, I think you have pinpointed why I’m cool with jumping spiders so much. Excellent analysis. That, and it looks like they are perpetually wearing large, bushy mustaches.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m not an arachnophobe, but I certainly find most spiders unsettling. It takes me a bit, but after the initial “Oh god, thing with too many legs!” reaction I find them extremely fascinating to watch. I’m on good terms with spiders, but quite wary of them and nervous when startled.

      But jumping spiders … something about the proportions of their mouth bits and eyes is utterly adorable to me. This is my favorite photo illustrating it: http://www.tulsamastergardeners.org/insects/jumpingspider.jpg

      … but I find it to be true in real life as well. They look like they have expressions! Like this one from a Wikipedia page on a certain species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mystaceus.jpg

      I hadn’t thought about the way they moved … but it is rather endearing in hindsight. :) Especially compared to more conventional spiders … even when I’m in “ooh, cool invertebrates!” mode I certainly register the way they move as creepy.

      I’m glad to find compatriots. A lot of my friends think something about me is broken when I insist these spiders are endearing. Of course … they could still be right. I blame growing up with this fellow: http://www.bbtoystore.com/mm5/beanies/hairy.jpg

      P.S. Flower spiders don’t give me the “oh god thing with too many legs” reaction, either. Even on surprise. I find them quite beautiful. http://www.dpughphoto.com/images/flower%20spider%20on%20sensitive%20brier%20riverbend%20park%2092409.JPG

  13. coldvvvave says:

    Skyrim has like the least offensive spiders ever, normally I’d totally freak out at the sight of a giant spider( I can’t even finish Limbo, as I saw one damn leg popping from the corner of the screen I just turned it off) but those Skyrim ones are almost cute. And I can burn them with flame based spells so I can’t even see anything.

    Hagravens, on the other hand, are terrible abd the noise they make is worst thing I heard since Half Life 2 Zombies( the bigger ones with poison spiders).

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      JB says:

      I actually completely avoided at least one of the houses on Highway 17 purely because I could hear one of those big fuckers breathing down in the cellar. Ugh.

    • Irregular Peanut says:

      I find the poison zombies in HL2 only a little unnerving. The fast zombies however scared the crap out of me (which may be worse since it is much more difficult to avoid one), the first time you saw one was like a nightmare come to life. Especially once when I shut the door on one and heard it move away, only for it to find another route and come up behind me; had to pause the game for a bit there.

      However that fear quickly went away after playing Garry’s Mod and subjecting countless fast zombies to all sorts of horrible traps for amusement.

    • tehfish says:

      I have an intense dislike of spiders, but i must admit it’s quite satisfying to burn them to a firery death. (and then burn the corpses again just to make sure)

      Always felt spiders deserve to die in a fire, thanks to Skyrim i can make this happen :D

    • jon_hill987 says:

      @tehfish: You don’t make spiders die a fiery death in real life?

      http://9gag.com/gag/559359

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      First time I managed to get through bastarding Ravenholm and I looked down the shaft to the cellar deep below, and how it was somehow… moving…

      Wept for an hour before even daring to try the next bit.

      Main reason I’m too scared to go mack to minecraft.

  14. Vitruality says:

    Given that the spiders in Skyrim spit poison, and given that they are a bit shorter than those bears look… where does the poison now shoot from? Because what I’m thinking is far more scary than the original spiders…

    • Viserion says:

      Wow…that IS scary… Now you made me an arctopoisonouspenisphobiac

    • Valvarexart says:

      What? They don’t puke up the poison…? Gods, people are perverted these days…

  15. faircall says:

    So they replaced the normal spiders with rock spiders?

  16. faceface says:

    I saw a spider the other day. Filthy creatures.

  17. Richard Cobbett says:

    Oddly, despite wishing Todd Howard to die in a fire, in practice I’m not having much problem with Skyrim’s spiders. There’s still a bit of a shudder when they appear, but they’re nowhere near as bad as, say, Dragon Age 2′s constant screen-bombing little bastards.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      You’re just saying that to try and hide the fact that we ALL KNOW YOUR WEAKNESS now! Mwuhahhahahah! You must do a Crapshoot every day of the week! Or else, SPIDERS!

    • The Mechanical Aggressor says:

      Although I’m not someone who would flee the room if I see a spider in real life, I have a severe dislike of giant spiders in games. However, spiders in games like Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights are much easier to deal with because the camera can be much further away. First Person games are the worst, which is why I couldn’t complete Dark Messiah. I find the third person camera in Skyrim helps a bit, as does burning the bastards with fire from a safe distance.

    • fwfulton says:

      I have to ask, what do you have against Todd Howard. In my opinion he has changed the gaming experience for the better. Also have only come across a handful of spiders so far (14 hrs played). Some times i have to just stand and look all around me some really incredible work going on here.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Annnnd because of you I googled huntsman spiders and now fear I will awaken with a giant arachnid laying eggs in my mouth, thank you.

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    Fitzmogwai says:

    only of interest if the bears run up to female npcs and then punch them in the head.

  19. BenMS says:

    I think I speak on behalf of all of my Australian brethren when I say: the spiders in Skyrim really aren’t *that* bad.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Oh mate, fair enough. I’ll never forget one of your brethen picking up a huntsman spider with his bare hand and chucking it out of the pick up truck we were riding in the back of. It looked like a fucking headcrab. Brrrrrr

    • Gooring says:

      And this is why I’m happy in a country were the cold keeps spiders to a size that (most of the time) won’t have me running away in terror.

  20. DickSocrates says:

    Hopefully there’s a mod to replace swords and axes too because I’m scared of sharp weapons and violence. A baguette would make a suitable replacement, or a strange looking bear.

  21. Kuroko says:

    Stupid arachnophobes, always taking all the spot lights, while nobody though about us entomophobes in Fallout 3, and that stupid V.A.T.S. that puts the cockroaches and flies right in our faces.

  22. The Pink Ninja says:

    You know I am someone who really struggle to play even mildyl scary things. It took me a couple of goes to get through Ravenholm, I had to look at the wall whenever Alma showed up in FEAR and I haven’t completed Doom 3 or Bioshock…

    But I never considered the possibility that people with arachnophobia would be scared by in game spiders.

    Just imagine how terrible it would be if you had Cacohydrophobia. There’d be no game you could play.

    Maybe you could replace the spiders with Beartato?

  23. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    I’m not sure how much help this will be to people afraid of spiders but this website: http://www.burkemuseum.org/spidermyth/ examines all sorts of myths and misconceptions about spiders and helped me to be a lot less afraid of them. However pictures of spiders are on every page so for people who are afraid of their appearance this wont help much.

    I was weird like that, I could look at pictures fine but if I saw them in real life I was worried, thanks to the site though now I am not afraid of them in real life either. It is weird to think mice and rats, which while a lot of people aren’t fans of are often considered cute, are much more of a problem for humans than spiders who in general are nothing but beneficial to have around.

    If you aren’t afraid of spiders then it really is well worth a read.

    • sinister agent says:

      Spiders are second only to ants in sheer fascinatingness as far as I’m concerned. Although spiders arguably win as they’re individuals, whereas ants are more interesting in groups. They’re also seriously badass. There’s a species of spider that, instead of spinning webs, uses its silk to make a bolas and tries to knock its food out of the air. If you can’t respect that, there’s something wrong with you.

      But then, there are species of ant that defend their nest by exploding. It’s a close call.

      Either way, arachnophobe or not, they’re both well worth reading about.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      high five

      Ants are indeed amazing creatures. I still remember the awe and fascination I felt when I learnt ants farm, both agriculture and raising livestock. Heck a couple of species even keep slaves because they don’t have their own workers. Oh and the little thing that in terms of biomass ants are the most successful creatures on the planet, even more so than humans.

    • Wubbles says:

      I don’t think anyone has ever measured success by biomass. That’s why we have Wii Fit.

  24. Archaon says:

    I just registered to say thanks! I was contemplating not playing Skyrim last night because of the spiders…

  25. Shazbut says:

    And still no-one has made a no headcrabs mod for Half Life! Am I completely alone in this?

  26. CaLe says:

    Is there a mod for those with social phobia so that they don’t have to talk to anyone in the game?

  27. Mordsung says:

    I find this kind of odd. Despite that I would consider myself an arachnophobe, and a general pussy when it comes to all forms of creepy and crawly things, I’ve never had the fear translate into a video-game.

    Though I do think my own “fear” is more one of revulsion/disgust. I find bugs and spiders dirty, like my body has some natural fear of disease and has connected disease to bugs.

    Since the bugs can’t actually touch me in a game, they don’t bother me.

    • sinister agent says:

      You’re probably not an arachnophobe then, strictly speaking. Irrational and extreme fear is the defining … thing. Of it. Man, my brain is completely broken today.

      But yeah, a lot of people get skittish or disgusted by spiders without being afraid of them, and certainly without the paralytic fear that arachnophobes get. I’m personally fascinated by spiders and think they’re great, and have no problem with them in the house etc. But I get a bit ‘argh’ if one runs across my bed, and if I walk into a cobweb I go frickin’ mental. I think quite a lot of people have a bit of revulsion like that.

    • Memph says:

      I would also consider myself arachnophobic, abeit to a lesser degree than some that may experience genuine terror; i do freeze up, jump, feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious with one in the room. If they stay reasonably still and i can glass -> window them it’s all good, but if they skitter about i’ll grab the nearest shoe, magazine or anything else capable of a clean wide-angled splatting and end that bastard. I may feel bad for my murderous actions, but the alternative being it reappearing from under my desk, pitching on my foot and causing me to inadvertantly flying knee-bash my desk clean into two splintered chunks, launching my monitor and only light-source into the air, an ash-tray into my face and steaming coffee onto my junk at 2am allows me to forgive myself.

      This doesn’t translate into games though. I can be scared witless of many things in games, but spiders don’t really rank above anything else that can kill me in-game. Sharks however…..

  28. Someblokius says:

    Why is one of the first mods always one to make the characters bear?

  29. Someblokius says:

    As a completely wussy arachnophobe I’m something of a connoisseur of being terrified of in-game spiders. The ones in Skyrim rate as mildly alarming in my terror-o-meter. The oblivion ones (think there were just those drider knockoff daedra things) made me really nervous, and the worst I’ve known are the ones in Dark Messiah – I have to mute the sound and sometimes look away when fighting those. I think it’s a combination of animations and sound rather than the visuals alone. The sound part is wierd as spiders aren’t exactly noisy creatures.
    Good that this mod is out though, there are people who find even a static picture of a spider unbearable (hoho).

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      The Minecraft ones scare the piss out of me.

      It’s the bouncing.

  30. Lost says:

    They want to hug me, how cute.

  31. Springy says:

    I’m actually not too bad with Skyrim’s spiders. They’re big enough that I don’t get the grimy feeling that there are things crawling over me when I fight them. It’s games with smaller arachnids that really make me squeal. I can’t get past the Trites in Doom 3, despite years of attempting. I just holler and switch the PC off. Call of Juarez, the cave at the very end? I had to cheat with infinite dynamite and literally blow the hell out of every square inch of that damn cave as I shifted forward.

  32. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    So I know there are infinite dragons in Skyrim, but are there infinite spiders as well? If so, is this mod not simply an attempt to portray Horace’s endless majesty inside Skyrim?

    Atlhough someone should still mod in an endless bear, that forever grows just past your LOD distance so that he never ends. Once you’ve met Horace in the woods, you are forever following his infinite presence wherever you turn.

  33. DeanLearner says:

    I’m alright with spiders in games, but the skull things in the crypt levels of RTCW freaked me out because they made the screen go blank briefly (well they did on my pc anyway)

    And I swear to god, one time when playing DOOM 3, a chair just flew at me across the room, I completely panicked in a way I’ve never panicked before.

    If they were to replace the spiders with chairs in skyrim, I’d have to think twice before playing it.

  34. Kleppy says:

    I don’t consider myself a manly man with a scrotum of cast iron, but seriously, gamers are a huge bunch of pussies. Do people who are so intimidated by spiders also never camp out, or come screaming inside the house and hide under a blanket whenever a tiny 8 legged creature walks across their front lawn?

  35. Generico says:

    I’m afraid of axe wielding undead, but you don’t see me replacing them with fluffy bunnies. They’re not real. How can anyone be that terrified by virtual spiders?

  36. stray says:

    I think this is a good mod despite how ridiculous it looks. People just can’t help their phobias and it would suck if that would stop them from enjoying a game they like and have been waiting forever for. It doesn’t really matter that the spiders aren’t even real either, I mean just seeing a picture can be really uncomfortable. I’m not even arachnophobic myself yet I still thought the Skyrim spiders were surprisingly gross (but fun to fight), so I think it’s only obvious that actual arachnophobes would have trouble with them.

    There’ll probably be a better option for this later anyway, but to be honest the bears look so funny I might try it out just for laughs.

  37. Scratch89 says:

    I’m having trouble getting the mod to work. I’ve downloaded the files but I don’t know what to do with them. Anyone care to help?

  38. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Actually, thinking about it now, I’m looking at the bears picture, and I know they’re really spiders. So now they’re bascially spiders in disguise.

    Which is clearly worse.

    So yeah, thanks for that.

  39. Basketballcop says:

    No Ben, no!

  40. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    I’m not arachnophobic enough that it bothers me in games, but I was playing Nehrim last night, and while climbing up the inside of a castle tower, there was one of that game’s rather large spiders on the landings above me trying to get at me. Something about it coming down at me, directly at my character’s upturned face, freaked me out by an order of magnitude more than they usually do.

  41. thelastdisciple says:

    I am ridiculously afraid of spiders in real life, in movies (Forest scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets i think it was? oh and definitely Lord of the Rings – Return of the King, i literally had to look away and plug my ears), in games and pictures, the only way they won’t bother me is if they are heavily cartoonized or far removed from reality like the mechanized ones in the original Doom games…those mostly ended up looking like just brains with multiple legs.

    The look of them, the sizes of them, the feel of them (i have not had any on me that were bigger than a penny per say but the feeling still near sent me into cardiac arrest) it all plays a role in why I fear them so much.

    Games these days are getting more and more realistic and with the animation and sound designs of some, the hissing, the pitter-pattering of all the legs is just unbearable. I tried a demo of LIMBO and almost crapped my pants just by the silhouette of ONE leg, I couldn’t finish playing Doom 3, i had to get someone else to play the cave scene in Call of Juarez 1.

    I’m sure there has been other games I have either gone without finishing or were unable to play entirely, which is really quite unfortunate.

    I always hate that my favorite genres of anything are Fantasy and Sci-Fi, absolutely the WORST for an Arachnophobe to be involved with.

    If killing bears helps me in playing this awesome game than i am all for it, THANKS!

    Also CRABS, Scorpions, Centipedes/Millipedes are no better!

  42. Zaboomafoozarg says:

    I have a powerful 3 step program to cure arachnophobia forever.

    1. Get.
    2. Over.
    3. It.

  43. Bogleech says:

    God, are people seriously this pathetic? Spiders are beautiful, fascinating, AWESOME and largely beneficial creatures. It’s frustrating enough that our culture perpetuates such an idiotic phobia in the first place (and yes, Arachnophobia is almost 100% cultural, not instinctual)….but BABYING people like this is going way too far. We’re talking about MONSTERS in an ADVENTURE GAME. You don’t want to get scared battling virtual giant spiders? Go play Bible Games.

    A majority of people might find spiders scary, but that just means a majority of people have a ridiculous, ridiculous mental problem.