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Daggerfall Unity renovates Bethesda's 1996 RPG with all mod cons

I never played The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. How could I? I was two years old, geez, give me a break. No, my Elder Scrolls journey started with Oblivion. My experience is forever tied to Wes Johnson’s goofy barks and that video where the guy goes “Have you heard of the high elves?”

Still, Daggerfall is a tantalising mystery. It’s a 62,0000-square mile colossus that’s almost unrecognisable as an Elder Scrolls game. I’ll probably give it a dive, too, now that a long-running replacement engine is almost complete.

With this week’s addition of soul-bound enchantments and some classic quest fixes, Daggerfall Unity has reached alpha status. That means you should be able to play through the entire game, beginning to end, with all the features of the 1996 original working as intended. There’s still a way to go before 1.0, mind, and you can keep up with progress through a handy little development roadmap.

Being 23 years old, Daggerfall’s a bit of a bastard to run today. Besides simply just making it easier to load up, Daggerfall Unity adds nifty little luxuries like widescreen support and high-resolution textures, but you can always leave those be and play it in 4:3 as Todd intended. It’s also a helluva lot more moddable, bringing Daggerfall in line with its younger siblings. I, for one, can’t wait for the mandatory hot bod mods to undergo a crunchy 1996 makeover.

Daggerfall Unity is the work of Gavin “Interkarma” Clayton (no relation) and an army of collaborators. He’s been tinkering with Daggerfall for over a decade, but this Unity lark started in 2015 with Daggerfall Tools for Unity, a tool for banging Bethesda’s assets into the 3D engine.

As Daggerfall Unity prepares to wrap up, Clayton teased news of a new project. Rather than picking up another old gem, his next game will be “original and a bit personal”. More on that’s to be expected nearer the end of the year.

You’ll need a copy of the original Daggerfall to get started with Daggerfall Unity. Fortunately, it only costs a whopping zero pounds these days, and Clayton even provides a tidy little list of distributors on his site.

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Natalie Clayton

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Frequent news rascal and giant robot enthusiast.

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