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Skyrim: The Zombie Torturer

Part 2 of 3-part wibbling

Featured post I wasn't allowed to resurrect this guy, actually. Dammit!

Last week, I played three hours of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, at my leisure and free to go and do whatever I could. I’m telling a series of anecdotes based on what I saw and did; here’s the first and below is the second. If you have a deep-seated fondness towards the undead, don’t read on.

Thwack!
Thud!
‘Heheheheheheheh.’
Swoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

Thwack!
Thud!
‘Heheheheheheheh.’
Swoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

Thwack!
Thud!
‘Hehehehe-‘

“Excuse me, has something gone wrong with the game?” said the nice man from Bethesda, probably trying to suppress a snigger about how pathetically I’d jumped when he’d tapped me on the shoulder.
“He- What? Oh, no, no, it’s all running fine. I was just, uh, torturing this zombie. Sorry.”
“Oh, I thought perhaps you’d encountered a bug.”
“No, just, uh, yeah.”
“Well, let me know if there’s any kind of problem.”
“I will, thanks!”

Swoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.
Thwack!
Thud!

Heh. I have a favourite spell in Skyrim, and that is the raise zombie spell. Fell a foe (bosses apparently excluded) and you can spend a good chunk of your mana resurrecting it as a shambling slave who fights for you. I’d successfully experimented with wolves and bandits already, but while exploring a dungeon inhabited by the magically-animated spirits of long-dead Nord warriors (known officially as Draugr), I had an idea. What if I resurrected a zombie as a zombie? A meta-zombie, if you will.

I was slightly worried it would cause reality to fold in on itself, but in fact it worked out rather well. The Draugr were presenting me with rather a stiff challenge, as I’d poured most of my upgrade points into crafting and being able to run for longer, so being able to turn one of their number against the rest got me out of a lot of trouble. My own personal, unprotesting meatshield. I found a particularly hardy and well-armoured one that could also cast some sort of life-draining magic and kept it by my side (or, rather, at my front, taking all the blows meant for me), and dungeon life was good. I had a protector, doing all the hard work for me, and because he was technically already dead before I got to him, there was none of that icky morality stuff to worry about.

Then I walked into the trap. Thwack! The man-sized, spike-fitted gate slammed into me, leaving me barely clinging to life. Panicked, I ran forwards and away, retreating to a dark corner to cast a Heal spell and work out what I’d done wrong.

Aha – a subtle tile on the floor had activated it. Should have known better. I’ll definitely spot the next one. Time to move on – Thwack! Thud! Ah yes, my zombie. Well, my ex-zombie. Well, my re-ex-zombie. Swoooooooooooooosh, and he was resurrected anew. Come on then you, let’s get out of here. Thwack! Thud! Hmm. That’s the thing about zombies, isn’t it? Not big on the whole learning thing. How ever was I going to guide him around the side of that trigger tile? Let’s try this again, maybe he’ll work it out this time.

Swoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.
Thwack!
Thud!

Aaargh! Still, this is pretty funny. Look at the way he slams a couple of metres backwards, falls over like a boneless puppet then gets up and immediately tries it again, the poor dear. He just doesn’t know any better. Here I am, Mr Zombie! Here I am! Just walk right over to me! It’ll be fine this time, just fine.

Thwack!
Thud!
‘Heheheheheheheh.’
Swoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

Ooh, and all that sustained Conjuration has made me level up too. What shall I spend my points and perks on? Well, magicka and conjuration, obviously. Cheaper zombies that last longer: that’s the stuff.

Thwack!
Thud!
‘Heh.’
Swoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

OK, I am becoming slightly annoyed now. You’re not going to make it past this, are you? I’m going to be all on my own in this deep, dark, dungeon because you’re too goddamned stupid to stand a foot to the left. Or a foot to the right. Really, either would do – just don’t walk down the bloody middle of the path because Thwack!.

Oh come on, it’s really not hard. What if I try and toast your left side with a fireball spell so you move over? Oh, no, great, you’re dead again. For heaven’s sakes. Zombies! Can’t live with ’em, can only just about live thanks to stealth and cowardice without them. Onwards, I suppose. I’ll find another bloody zombie, then. Maybe this one will have more than half a braincell.

One more time for luck, though.
Thwack!
Thud!

Silence.

Aw. I miss him.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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