Skyrim’s Greatest Mystery Explored

By John Walker on December 10th, 2011 at 10:33 am.

This would be so much easier if I could draw wolf bodies.

What exactly is going on behind our backs in the lands of Skyrim? Eh? EH? The answer is below.

Yes, it's the oldest joke ever. But look at their smiles! It's worth it for their smiles.

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151 Comments »

  1. Lacessit says:

    That’s… Adorable?

  2. mod the world says:

    Not _everything_ Skyrim related is worth a post.

    • Jables says:

      Dude, I think he made it? At least, hovering over the title pic makes it look that way. ^^

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Posting to say that I’m not nearly quite as upset as some people about this (un)post.

    • Was Neurotic says:

      Go back to bed mod, you grumpy git. :P

    • skinlo says:

      Of course it is, its the new Minecraft!

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Yes, everything about Skyrim deserves a post. It’s RPS’ new slogan: “All Skyrim, All the time.”

      Or, alternatively, “PC Gaming since November 11, 2011″

      Were there games before Skyrim? It’s so difficult to remember now.

    • Unaco says:

      @Juan…

      Of course there were games before Skyrim. They just weren’t very good.

    • mod the world says:

      If it was made by John, then i would recommend getting some sidekick for the story and jokes. Like the two guys who made Asterix.

    • Wulf says:

      Well, I thought it was funny and adorable.

      Y’know mod, you’re not doing a hell of a lot for our image. Rest of the world: Honest, we’re not all like that. Really, we’re not.

      I mean, does it matter that it’s related to a specific game? It was a funny comic, of which there have been many. I’m particularly fond of this one, for example. I bet John would get a kick out of that, too. There really need to be more funny comics. What’s wrong with funny comics?

      Also, I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone read Prequel. It’s a bit sad in the beginning, but it picks up and really gets going after a bit, and the main character of it becomes terribly endearing. She has fan art all over the place. I’m a big fan of Asotil, too. He’s an okay guy.

      But yeah, there’s nothing at all wrong with this. We don’t always have to be stone-faced and serious.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I second Wulf’s Prequel recommendation. You have to stick with it past the downs, even when it seems like the author is a sadist. He’s not really! Honest! There’s some really bloody awesome flash stuff in there too every so often, including some kind of mini adventure game where you may talk to people, perform the dance of your people in front of a crowd of LITERALLY ONE, gather a full set of cutlery and get permanently barred from a tavern.

    • Ed123 says:

      If you babies think Rock Paper Shotgun is oversaturated with Skyrim coverage, I pray you never have to visit Kotaku.

    • psyk says:

      Are we not allowed to not like things the hive make now? I agree with mod and would go as far to add it’s shit on to what he said. Now I’m guessing it’s got something to do with animals containing gold etc when you kill them and to that I say they are wild animals that have a tendency to eat dead bodies thus obtaining gold etc.

      What the hell appears in the birds mouth

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      How is more content on this site a bad thing? It doesn’t matter if they post articles on how to microwave an egg sandwich you can easily skip over it and go to the posts you want to read.

    • Reynoldio says:

      Wot Big Daddy said. I like reading this guff, it makes me smile.

      Enjoy the next article!

  3. Valvarexart says:

    I think you were wondering why they have coins and jewellery when you loot them…

    Well, sorry to break your glass house, but…

    They EAT PEOPLE.

    • TonyB says:

      How much time do you have to spend gutting them in order to extract the contents of their stomach? Or do you just search their droppings and not bother killing them?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Bear in mind that Elder Scrolls protagonists can neatly skin the pelt off of a wolf instantly. Also eat a three-course meal in the middle of a fight.

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      @ Lionsphil: That’s because no adventurer would be caught dead without….
      Skin-it Bang!
      BANG! and the skin is gone.

    • povu says:

      @LionsPhil: Pun intended?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Are ursine I did that on purpose?

      (Yeah, alright, that was lousy.)

    • Soon says:

      Skyrim animals don’t eat anything. They’re all completely psychotic and kill everything they don’t like then casually walk around or have a little nap as if nothing happened, leaving the dead to rot.

      Edit: Oh, LionsPhil said it below.

    • Blackcompany says:

      So you’re saying there Artos in the bear’s stomach because they eat people. Guess that explains all that mystery stuff they Wolf down.
      .
      wow this is getting bad.

    • Wulf says:

      They don’t eat people though, that’s the thing. It’s the great conspiracy that involves underground Dwemer cloning facilities. If you put a wolf or a bear up against most NPCs, the wolf/bear is actually no match for them. I’ve run experiments in regards to this. Yet wolves and bears suicidally charge people, and they have weird things in their stomachs as we find when we examine their corpses.

      The only explanation for this is that the Dwemer construction facilities that put together these animals are actually getting a little on the old side, and the contractors who’re paid to maintain them are… well, no different than any other contractors. So you get all sorts of weird crap inside of their machinery. Furthermore, due to concerns regarding children, the Dwemer facilities now have their wolf and bear constructs carrying an extra pelt to dispense once they’ve been downed.

      This leads to the obvious conclusion: The entirety of Tamriel is actually a themepark world ran by the Dwemer. And the Dwemer ruins we see are actually old administration sites which have since been cleaned out of most of what was there. The staff is actually a ghost staff right now, barely keeping the place together, and every ‘grand scale adventure’ we have is just a glitch in the system.

      Alduin the World-Eater, for example, was only supposed to be a story but aging systems controlling the ongoing plot of the themepark world got a little confused about this and made him a real thing, so us–being part of the administration staff–had to go in and take care of that little glitch so that the themepark world would run properly. Apparently, the themepark itself was shut down a long time ago, hence no more new people coming in or out, so it’s just people living on it who actually believe it’s all real, when truly it’s an illusion.

      They’re actually on an old traveling themepark ship hurtling through space with no destination, and the ship is pretty much a massive biodome which doesn’t even have a properly Euclidean world in it, nor does it correctly obey the laws of gravity due to further glitches in the aging systems that run it. Eventually, the ship is going to decide to settle on a planet due to its increasing age and unreliability, and then the people within are going to have to face the reality behind the illusion.

      Undoubtedly, some of them will choose to remain behind, since Tamriel is the only home they’ve known. But it’ll become apparent to them just how obvious a themepark world it is at that point, just how many things that didn’t make sense that they hadn’t even really thought about due to psionic thought-lock processes being in place for their enjoyment. And it hadn’t even occurred to them that half of the population was made up of robots that were so broken that they generally repeat the same lines over and over. In fact, some of the AI tapes were damaged, so a number of people all share the same AI set, all the guards produced by the themepark ship all constantly talked about knee problems, for instance.

      Eventually, the people of the proud ship Tamriel may decide to fix it up and head back into space, forgetting that a real world existed outside of their ship in the first place, perhaps they may believe it’s better inside the ship than it is in the reality outside of it — what with all of its technologically -enabled magic, and its curative potions filled with nanites that can heal any ills. It’s pretty much a utopia in there by some standards, after all.

      AND I CAN KEEP GOING LIKE THIS.

      Yep, the great Tamriellan Conspiracy.

      This is why I just made it so that my wolves actually just run away instead of suicidally charging people, this stops me thinking about the obvious dwemer construction facilities deep underground that must obviously have to exist, and so on, and so on.

    • Ateius says:

      I would love to play a game with that plot. Like, actual intentional plot, not “ho ho meta-commentary on Elder Scrolls games”.

    • psyk says:

      No where is there a toilet
      No one shits or pisses
      The wells don’t work
      The water is clear at certain angles while part submerged
      AI gets stuck on stuff

      well this list could go on and on

    • JuJuCam says:

      I want to know who is maintaining all the lanterns and candles in the abandoned underground caves and dungeons.

      Also why do the blind Falmer even have bows, and how can they possibly use them effectively?

    • Wulf says:

      The dungeons actually use high-tech light fixtures, but they’re surrounded by perception filters to have the passers-by see them as lanterns, candles, and wall sconces (which dispense limited torches when activated). As for the Falmer? They have a highly developed sonar-like capability which allows them to get a 3D map of their surroundings.

    • Wulf says:

      Oh, I forgot this one!

      [ "No one shits or pisses" & "No where is there a toilet" ]

      This is because at birth everyone is fitted (via suppository) with a portable singularity generator that takes care of all hygiene needs. The themepark ship owners recognise that no one really wants to have to unstrap all of that metal armour in order to go to the loo, so they’ve opted to use technology that was before only used in military scenarios.

      Completely safe, they’ll assure you. And due what real people there are having these, and the actual robots themselves never needing to take care of such things, there’s no need for toilets. Sure, aesthetic toilets would have been a nice touch, but it was a planning oversight and they were 80% of the way into the construction of the themepark ship before it occurred to anyone, and they couldn’t budget in the inclusions of Ye Old Fantasy Outhouses, which would have set back the launch date of the ship by 4 stellar months (which is six earth months to us backward chronologically-challenged terrans).

      They couldn’t have that so they decided to simply forego the inclusions of outhouses. An upgrade may occur at a later point, but for now the management doesn’t believe that the lack of toilets detracts from the fun of the people on board.

      [ "The wells don’t work" ]

      This is because the wells are actually just aesthetic. The meals themselves are supplied via well-disguised matter replicators which the robots staffing the various stores and stalls have access to. All of this food and drink is officially sanctioned by Bob & Joe’s Spacefarer Catering Inc, who’ve been the number one Interstellar caterers since the later end of the 47th century. Their licensed and patented matter replicator patterns are second to none.

      “It really does taste like chicken!”

      [ "The water is clear at certain angles while part submerged" ]

      This is because the holographic technology being used has not been perfected yet. See, the water isn’t actually real, because if it was then someone may catch hypothermia, or worse, they may actually try to drink it. So the water itself is a clever mix of holography and gravitational fields and flow regulators. So if you jump into a stream you’re actually caught up in a gravitational wave which carries you along in a completely safe way to your destination.

      There are hiccups in the ancient systems, though. The waterfalls are supposed to have barriers in place. Some of these works and you will be safely brought to a halt before you go careering over the end, but some of them are malfunctioning and the flow regulators will launch you well over the end of the waterfall and into open air above the water below. You should still be safe, but management asks that you avoid leaping in random streams for the time being.

      Management apologises for using last generation holography for their waters and streams, and they also apologise for the lack of simulated shorelines, but they would like to assure everyone that they’re working on it.

      [ "AI gets stuck on stuff" ]

      The AI was acquired on budget based upon 33rd century animatronic technology. For the amount of animatronics necessary, this had to be done, otherwise the world would have been even more sparsely populated than it is and they’ve already received complaints that the population is too small currently. The original design of the ship had reduced city and town sizes in order to accommodate for the small population to provide the illusion of a highly populated world, but AI technology is expensive, and the amount of robots they can have running at any one time on 33rd century robotics technology is limited.

      Also, there were all manner of unexpected glitches with the technology, including corrupted AI tapes, thus meaning lost records. In an accident the AI records for the robots used as patrolmen were lost, an emergency patch was issued to use a generic AI tape for all of them. Management, of course, apologises for whatever inconvenience this may cause. And, in general, yes, 33rd century AI technology does have a habit of bumping into things. This is due to a lack of enhanced terrain perception hardware. They don’t quite filter the land around them properly, so sometimes they can become trapped upon a rock or even a wall that somehow their on board nanocameras did not detect.

      Rest assured that as soon as such an issue has been reported, maintenance will drop by to reposition the robots so that normal operations can be resumed. Management is working on some advanced pathing technologies based upon land topography which may allow robots to predict where obstacles might be so that issues with robots becoming caught upon the scenic landscape you’ve no doubt come to love will be less of an issue.

      (Too much fun with this, I am having.)

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      I had to explain that to my brother when he asked why a dragon was carrying a dwarven claymore. I said “Because he ate a dwarf obviously.”

  4. Out Reach says:

    But how do you explain them carrying forks?

    • Valvarexart says:

      They eat people. Take that how you will.

    • hunsnotdead says:

      I’m waiting for a level 10 silverware drop. ^.^

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’ll start worrying when they drop napkins.

      (Also, doesn’t Elder Scrolls wildlife just wander off from its kills, along with its suicidally insistent belief that big armoured dragonslayers are prey?)

    • Heliocentric says:

      They eat people using forks.
      Does that sentence mean the people using forks or were the animals? We will never know.

    • Unaco says:

      @Heliocentric,

      It’s actually very easy to figure out, due to the lack of the Oxford comma.

      “They eat people using forks” means that they eat people who are using forks… the people they eat use forks.

      “They eat people, using forks” would mean that they use forks to eat people… they make use of forks for the eating of the people.

      The comma is fantastic for dealing with these sorts of ambiguities.

    • nemryn says:

      Niantiore– the Daedric prince of video games, cutlery, and broken promises– put them there.

    • Wulf says:

      The reason why they carry forks is obvious. One of the contractors responsible for the wolf lines dropped his space-age fork into the machinery whilst he was eating one of his tasty, dispensed space-age meat pies. Of course! (See above.) It’s the only explanation that makes sense. When you try to rationalise Tamriel in any way, the whole themepark ship thing is all you can do with it. :P

      So I try not to think about it.

  5. Zepp says:

    Awesome! Great tribute to Skyrim, the pinnacle of computer gaming.

    • Gira says:

      Currently praying this is a troll.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Snow troll ? Or Cave troll ? You pray to Azura to grant you a good kill?
      So you can capture his greater soul? Or skin him for leather strips? Display his thrice-eyed skull on your shelf at breezehome? Use fire then, you know they regenerate otherwise.

      Oh great Skyrim, you’ve taught us so much !

    • Unaco says:

      There’s a book you need to read Gira… On the Killing of Trolls, or something.

      Be Prepared!

  6. HermitUK says:

    I found a couple of trolls beating each other up the other day. I assume a debate about theoretical physics between the pair had gotten out of hand.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      “Me think string-theory… only way to reconcile quantum mechancis and….. general relativity….grunt”

      “No, you stupidhead, string theory just fancy idea, provide no quantitive…experimental predictions. Me bash your head now.”

      Bash

      BASH

      etc…?

    • sinister agent says:

      Now I’ll be really disappointed if I never find the secret, vastly complex troll philosophy circuit in Skyrim. You dastard.

    • Wulf says:

      See, this is what happens when the Tamriel Themepark Ship gets its AI tapes mixed up. Same as what happened with all those poor guards. It likely found that the AI records of trolls were damaged and patched them up with what it felt was the nearest probable candidate: The AI tapes of quantum physicists meant for another themepark setting entirely.

      It makes perfect sense. Thus you have trolls who argue in tongues as dumbfounded onlookers gabble amongst themselves wondering what those trolls could possibly be saying.

  7. ado says:

    No moar Skyrim please. The damn thing has taken over internet! Fus doh fuck with an arrow in the knee already, ok?

    • Caleb367 says:

      You’re just angry that someome stole your sweetroll again.

    • greenbananas says:

      Dammit, ado, you made me shoot coffee from a nostril. Good grief, hadn’t laughed that hard in a while.

    • Unaco says:

      If you see a Skyrim story, you don’t need to click on it ado. The world won’t end if you don’t go into every Skyrim story and let us all know that you aren’t as enthusiastic about the game as everyone else seems to be, and everyone should cease with their enthusiasm. You can just move on.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      What’s the matter, can’t stand the sight of a funny Skyrim article?

    • sinister agent says:

      Got to say I’m with Unaco here. Yeah, there’s loads of Skyrim stuff, but it’s not like RPS is seldom updated. Just scroll past it. Surely everyone scrolls past 99% of the crap on here anyway, eh? EH?

      Merry christmas!

    • GHudston says:

      I used to post witty rebuttals, but then I took an arrow in the knee…

      What? Don’t look at me like that. I’m weak.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      I feel the same way about games like Modern Warfare. Except, you know, I just don’t read articles about it, rather than coming in and pointlessly bitching about it.

  8. Metonymy says:

    This is one of those jokes that’s so old, you stare at in confusion for a moment, wondering how long ago the original creators died of old age. With the original satirical meaning being slowly replaced with indifference, then casual acceptance by the new generation, then a brief bohemian phase with art collectors keeping jewelry-adorned stuffed animals, we now interact with a new breed of intellectuals arguing over which civilization truly created the “animals with human loot” religion, or if both mythos actually derived from a common historical event.

  9. NicoPonk says:

    I lack the words to express my gratitude for this great piece of investigative journalism.

  10. Enzo says:

    This is the best article on RPS.

  11. caddyB says:

    Screw the haters, I like it.

  12. John Walker says:

    Boy, you lot are dicks on a Saturday morning.

  13. Morph says:

    Well I thought it was funny. And cute.

  14. McDan says:

    Not only a journalist extraordinaire, but a veritable artist as well! This is great though, don’t be put off by the dicks John. I laughed so much I nearly threw up again.

    It was a rough night.

    But still. Excellent stuff.

  15. MuscleHorse says:

    This article is inaccurate. Both beasts would have an arrow through their necks before they would suspect any interloper.

  16. Burning Man says:

    If only they would talk to us instead. Sigh. We could have had many happy trading relationships.

  17. Itantor says:

    Now you’ve just made me want someone to mod in Horace to Skyrim.

  18. celozzip says:

    this new facebook design looks so much like rps.

  19. Gira says:

    This was pretty bad.

    Constructive criticism: humour would help!

  20. strangelingo says:

    That’s enough, Walker! Hand over your badge!

  21. Carra says:

    I’ve found plenty of gold on WoW animals. But I don’t think I found any in Skyrim, mostly wolves and bear pelts :)

    • Wulf says:

      The contractors who signed up for a 10 generation contract (so that their children would work in their place) on the grand Themepark Ship Tamriel must be doing a better job than usual, then. Or perhaps your corner of Tamriel is better maintained than mine. Perhaps the contractors who caretake our respective corners could meet up and have a bit of a chat? I think the ones responsible for my corner are a bit lazy, as I find this stuff on wolves and bears all the time.

  22. skinlo says:

    Drawing isn’t that bad actually. Better than I could do.

  23. Coins says:

    It’s a better drawing than what I can manage and funny to boot so I don’t really see the problem.

  24. bill says:

    The wolf’s not bad… but the punchline is pretty obvious. And I haven’t even played skyrim. More experience points needed to level up.

  25. Bungle says:

    This doesn’t count as one of your day’s articles, Mr. Walker! We still expect you to type something real for our amusement.

  26. faelnor says:

    1- author posts cute and sincere but not particularly funny or interesting material
    2- initial overly negative/annoyed/snarky reactions
    3- reasonable responses and/or moderate replies to the initial reactions
    5- author complains about the initial negative response
    6- wave of apologists start finding the material hilarious and bashing the first posters
    7- meta-analysts over-analyse the situation and complain that people are predictable

    Damn you people are predictable.

    • skinlo says:

      i c wat u did thar

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      8 – Commenters advise the analyst that what he has said is insightful and true and that they did spot this

      9 – Unfunny commenter adds this as a line to the original hypoithesis

      10 – Unfunny commenter gets coat

    • Gary W says:

      Can I be the nerdy manly technical guy who suggests surrounding the whole process in a loop, thereby summing up all of RPS’ existence?

    • Nick says:

      If its so predictable why did you post that after the fact?

      (also, I would disagree with your summary on a number of points and the last one should be miserable arse posts numbered list for no apparent reason other than to be snide)

  27. Tei says:

    I love this :3

    *highfive*

  28. deanimate says:

    I am a cat!

  29. adonf says:

    Don’t quit your day job just yet.

  30. Ultra Superior says:

    wrong post

  31. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Now I want to see John’s explanation for why deer in Ultima VII have five legs of venison after you kill them.

    • Wulf says:

      That’s obvious, of course! The construction factories of the Themepark Ship Britannia have had a bit of an AI hiccup, their records have been corrupted, and now they have the robodeer dispense five portions of edible goodness rather than four.

      It’s so obvious!

  32. S Jay says:

    Keep it on, RPS’ soul is about making fun of games while we have fun playing them. :)

  33. groghog says:

    Shadowmere always seems to enjoy nibbling any of his kills

  34. robotslave says:

    Could you do it again, but with the growling in the last one put into speech balloons?

    Speech balloons make it a bit easier for us to fix it up with MS Paint and better words.

  35. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Animals don’t smile. This comic is inaccurate.

  36. Balhazer says:

    John… what has the bird on its beak in last photo?. Candy??

    The first 2 pics doesnt have it, the third suddenly appear…

  37. Megadyptes says:

    eagerly awaiting the next skyrim article.

  38. MajorManiac says:

    Funny and cute. I like it.

    I would love to see the Animal Friend perk from Fallout 3 be added to Skyrim. Especially if higher levels allowed you to trade with them.

  39. daphne says:

    Based on the sheer amount of not-necessarily-newsworthy blog updates regarding it, I assert that Skyrim is the Minecraft of 2011, and as such the Game 24 of the advent calendar. Yo.

  40. mcnostril says:

    I just noticed the dragon.

  41. Davie says:

    John, I really think you should illustrate more articles. This is rather adorable.

  42. MythArcana says:

    I thought it was cute in a Far Side kind of way. C’mon guys…you have to admit that it was more fun than staring at that damned loading screen at Whiterun for 4 minutes *again*.

  43. Shooop says:

    I think The Bard’s Tale did this a just a tad better.

    http://bit.ly/upXDJW

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah. In that case the Themepark Ship had at frothingly mad administrator yelling at the ship’s occupants over a shipwide mic, pretending to be some sort of narrator. I’d really not like to spend too much time on that Themepark Ship, really. There are better ones out there, but they all seem to have gone wonky in some way or another.

  44. elnalter says:

    The beasts eat a person who was carrying that jewel or coin. Makes sense to me.

  45. Navagon says:

    Ignore the haters, John. I liked it. :)

  46. Skusey says:

    I like how you’ve drawn a flying carrot in the last scene, just to mock the bugginess of the game. Very clever. So subtle, yet so damning.

  47. leslaron says:

    This made me think of this old Gary Larson cartoon:

    http://i.imgur.com/wLz5p.gif

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