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An Elder Scrolls Retrospective: Redguard

Redguard box.jpg

The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard arrived to stores in 1998 to slightly less than positive attention. Like Battlespire, Redguard sits as the lone entry of a failed spinoff series, and also like Battlespire, it introduced elements that have never reappeared in the series. Instead of letting players create their own hero, Redguard focuses on a redguard mercenary named Cyrus and his adventure to find his missing sister on the island of Stros M'Kai. Naturally, things don't go quite like he planned and political intrigue quickly overtakes his mission.

Redguard has a different feel from the typical Elder Scrolls game, from the mandatory third person perspective to the setting - 400 years before Arena. Combat required patience and strategy, mixing various attack styles with a painfully touchy aiming system. That means you should expect to miss and be killed...a lot. Certain historical figures appear to give veteran players squeals of delight (if you know who Clavicus Vile is, consider your self an Elder Scrolls guru). A showdown with a local noble and his dragon pet caps off the adventure, which actually manages to be about as epic as any dragon we're fighting today. Take that, Skyrim!

But that's about all there is to say for this entry. I wish I had more, but Redguard was really underwhelming in just about every category. Not that it was bad, it was just especially meh. Hmmm, well, it did bring the series into the third dimension, and I guess that will have to do for now. Sorry, Redguard.

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Bonus fun fact: Redguard marks the first appearance of the feline Khajiit most gamers are familiar with. Arena and Daggerfall featured the Khajiit as "tawny skinned" humans, but the physical appearance of the Khajiit actually depends on the phases of the moons at their birth. They can range from human-like to fierce jungle cats, the size of a house cat to over ten feet tall and weighing as much as fifty men! The more massive Khajiit actually serve as battle steeds in war.

Picture curtesy of Moby Games.

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