As a dedicated reader of readme files, I am delighted to learn of a Morrowind modder who added the family cat to comfort their children, who were afraid of mudcrabs. Stripes the cat arrives in Bethesda's fantasy RPG as a fierce protector to help fight those horrible creatures, and assure everyone that everything is okay. What a lovely little tale, and a lovely little cat. I downloaded the mod and took Stripes along on my own adventure, have a look.
Building on (and requiring) Emma's Companionable Cats, the Stripes the Cat mod lets you recruit a furry friend to follow and fight with you. And the readme file, oh gosh, the readme file is why I read readme files. Creator "NoUsernamesNotTaken" explains:
"I made this for my kids when they were little. They liked to play but were terrified of mudcrabs so I made them a companion protector based off the family cat.
"He was a stray cat that showed up one day and made himself at home. He would follow along side when ever we went for a walk with the kids or when walking the dog. The dog had to be on a leash, but not Stripes he faithfully walked right beside us every where we went. So this mod is actually realistic in that regard. And because he is a little furball he collects static electricity and will attack with shocking touch.
[. . .]
"Just like Emma's cats you can tell him to follow or stay through dialogue, but i also added spells you can cast on Stripes to make him to follow, stay, or play. This was much more fun and easier for my kids."
Wonderful. Perfect. I love it.
While NoUsernamesNotTaken released the mod this week as part of the Morrowind May Modathon, it sounds like they made it a while back. I've noticed quite a few people releasing older work lately, particularly Doom 2 mappers.
The creator of The Castle of Lunacy II explained in its readme file: "I created this map back in 1997 but for a lack of internet did not release it anywhere. So in 2021 I reworked the whole map, updated balance, aesthetics and mechanics."
Interment's creator also recently revisited, polished, and finished the map they had started in 1996, then abandoned, then picked back up in 1997, then abandoned again and released unfinished on their BBS and local FTP servers, then finally completed 25 years later.
And the creator of Blaze explained the history of their first map, made as a teenager in 2011. They're now sharing it more widely "for archival purposes" with a warning: "I don't expect anyone to get much enjoyment out of this unless you're into witnessing humble beginnings."
I like reading readme files. I do still keep my readme blog, readme.txt. Update frequency ebbs and flows but I'm still here, diligently following the instruction and sharing finds which interest me.
Ta to Tolomeo_R on Twitter for bringing Stripes the Cat to the world's attention.