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Blood Moon Rising

March 19, 2012

I like werewolves.

I always thought they were pretty damn cool, and kicked ass. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across many good werewolf movies (except maybe Dog Soldiers, that was pretty good), and finding them in other forms of media besides books are pretty rare.

For awhile, I looked for video games that allowed some sort of shapeshifting. Yeah, there are few like that, but there’s nothing more recent (I mean after Morrowind) that actually includes changing into a wolf.

Then I heard they were to be included into Skyrim.

I then immediately decided on my first playthrough, I was going to become a werewolf as soon as possible.

These are my thoughts on the werewolf gameplay in Skyrim. Minor spoilers from here on for the Companions questline.

The Companions

Three on one? That hardly seems fair. Then again, the three of them probably still couldn't amass the weight of the giant.

While on the way to Whiterun, like most people I saw the fight between the giant and the Companions. Unsure of what was going on, I inched closer and hid myself, with my bow ready. I wasn’t too sure if they were bandits or not, you never know, maybe the giant was actually helping me out. But, nope, once I realized the people there were friendly, it was too late, they had taken out the giant without my help. In total, this took about maybe 10-15 seconds, so I didn’t really have a lot of time to think about it.

When I got closer, hoping to loot whatever the giant had, Aela came up to me.

Aela: “A true warrior would have reveled in the glory of battle.”

Well excuse me!

Ria: “Hey, you should join the Companions!!”

Me: “Hell yeah!!”

After getting the information on how to join, I sprinted up to Whiterun and went straight to Jorrvaskr.

Me: “YO, KODLAK. CAN I BECOME A COMPANION?”

Vilkas: “NO.”

Kodlak: “Okay.”

XD

Kodlak: “…But only if you can stand your own against Vilkas.”

I look at Vilkas. Yeah…sure…piece of…uh, cake.

(I made the mistake of not buying equipment before arriving, except what kind of weapons and shitty armor I made when Adrianne taught me how to smith).

Turns out, it actually was kind of fun sparring against Vilkas, and it wasn’t actually difficult at all. But, I think it was supposed to be kind of easy, so…

And then the horrible mission with Farkas began.

Now, on Adept, it wasn’t too ridiculously difficult. At least, I don’t remember it being annoying. But when I played on Master again later in a different playthrough…SAVE ME FARKAS!! GODDAMN DRAUGR!!

Speaking of saving, when I got stuck in that room rather comically (I have the tendency to push and pull every lever I come across in case it does something super awesome…or kills me), when the Silver Hand surrounded Farkas I actually freaked out a bit. I thought he was a cool character already, he was nice, plus he had a really kind of sexy voice. So I wasn’t too sure if I’d have to avenge him or something. But nope, Farkas turned into a werewolf and ate everybody. Yay.

Then he pranced away and let me out. He came back as a human.

“Sorry. Did I scare you?”

HELL NO. DO IT AGAIN!! 😀

After the fight with 50 draugr at the same time, we returned and completed the mission. For awhile, I started wondering when I’ll become a werewolf.

My question did not go unanswered for long.

When Skjor invited me to the Underforge I knew what was coming. I practically skipped in, excited as hell. He said some shit I don’t remember, I drank the magically appearing werewolf blood and waited.

Oh, hey there, Aela. You look...erm, a bit different today...

Nothing happened.

I drank it again.

WEREWOLF TIME!!

Now, I know a lot of you decided to exit the Underforge and terrorize all of Whiterun, but I noticed a pathway in the Underforge leading back, and I dropped down just outside of the city. Once I got my bearings, I took off like a shot, and spotted an elk. I chased it down and relentlessly killed it.

Then I blacked out.

(I felt a little bad after…shhhh!)

I awoke to Aela explaining things to me and how the first transformation was the most…intense. No kidding.

Then we went to go kill the Silver Hand.

To be honest, it’s kind of easy when you’re a  lower level, the fear shout works on pretty much everything, so I just tossed them like ragdolls when they went to go hide in the corner. It was almost a little too easy.

Too bad Skjor died…I thought he was pretty cool, but it didn’t really leave that much of an impact on me as I didn’t really bother to take the time to get to know him.

Since I completed the Companions’ questline pretty soon after I actually got the game…the rest of the details of the other quests are kind of lost on me since it’s been a long while since I finished it.

HUGE SPOILERS HUGE SPOILERS HUGE SPOILERS HUGE SPOILERS HUGE SPOILERS HUGE SPOILERS

Ill Meet By Moonlight

Sup.

This isn’t exactly part of the main questline for the Companions, but it tied in well. I actually just happened onto this mission by mistake…I was trying to adventure to all of the nine holds, and Falkreath was one of the few I was missing. So, after heading there I passed through the cemetery, and overheard how someone’s daughter was killed by some man-beast. Immediately interested, I went to the jail and discovered Sinding, the cursed and uncontrollable shifting werewolf.

…I actually took an immediate liking to him. Mainly because I’ve only seen a fellow werewolf twice before (one was in a cage in one of the Silver Hand’s hideouts…but I couldn’t lockpick the door to let him out because I actually ran out of lockpicks trying).

Anyway, he told me about Hircine’s ring and all that crap and how he failed to kill the white stag, gave me the cursed piece of jewelry, and when I turned to go on the hunt for the white stag I heard him roar and turned around, only to actually MISS his escape. Damn it.

Why didn't you just do that werewolf ninja shit before, dude?

Catching the stag wasn’t too hard, actually. I turned into a werewolf for that, it just felt more like a hunt that way. Damn though, he was fast. I actually managed to get him on a cliff before I ragdoll’d him and he fell to his death. Yay!! It made it a bit too easy, though…

I didn’t really expect the dead ghost stag to turn into Hircine, though. That kind of surprised me a bit. I thought it would have been more like it was just a summon or conjured creation by him or something.

Then he told me he wanted me to kill Sinding for his treachery. Um, what? Hircine told me if I didn’t want to join the hunt he’d find others who would. Curious regardless, I went to Bloated Man’s Grotto where Sinding was hiding out.

I found a dying hunter Khajiit warning me that Sinding would not be an easy opponent to beat. Greeeeaaat…

Also, as soon as the hunter died I looked his corpse. I’m so respectful. 🙂

I turned into a werewolf, curious for a wolf vs. wolf showdown. As I took off, Sinding suddenly stopped me and spoke to me on top of a cliff, the full red moon behind him.

Sinding: “I know I’m dangerous and I can’t join society again. But I don’t want to die. Will you help me kill these hunters?”

FUCK YES, YOU ARE MY WEREWOLF BROTHERKIN. LET US TAKE DOWN THESE PATHETIC NORMAL HUNTERS!!

…Shit was dead easy.

After Sinding thanked me, I left the cave and Hircine gave me the purified ring. Yay!! 😀

/totally abuses werewolf power.

😀

(Also…how come Sinding stays as a werewolf forever? Is it because he’s still cursed, or what…?)

(And then somehow he ended up back in jail. I mean, really, Sinding? Haven’t you learned your lesson/escaped the first time? Can’t you just do it again or did they make that werewolf proof now?)

The Cure

When Kodlak sent me out to gather the fragments of Wuuthrad and those nasty witch heads I wasn’t exactly surprised. The late Skjor had mentioned right before I turned into a werewolf that Kodlak thought their lycanthropy as more of a curse, than a gift.

Me and…I can’t remember if it was Farkas? Or someone else completely…headed out, got the pieces…

…Only to return to find Kodlak had been killed by the Silver Hand.

NOOOOOO!!!! D:

Rest in piece, boss. 😥

The funeral made me sad, but I thought it was fitting to hold it at the Skyforge. Afterwords, it was time to go kick some ass, and try to finish what Kodlak wanted…to rid himself of the wolf’s curse.

…Now…the tomb of Ysgramor sucked. It was full of ghosts (bleh), spiders (bleh…although Farkas being a chicken was kinda cute! :P) and draugr (urgh!!)…I like how it was only me left by the time I approached Kodlak’s spirit.

Also killing the spirit wolf was mega easy…almost TOO easy.

…And I think that was the end. I was named Harbinger, for some reason (hahaha…), and the Companions were restored, and Kodlak was finally at peace. Yaaaay!!

…Until Farkas and Vilkas bugged me to cure them, too.

Shit.

Closing Thoughts

Being a werewolf is great…up until level 25, that is. I’ll explain why:

-The default fear shout was now too weak.

-It took me forever to get the totems of Hircine (I’m still missing one).

-Detect life shout wasn’t particularly useful shout, either. Mainly because all the enemies would hear/see me and find me, so it was kind of useless…werewolves aren’t known exactly for their stealth…

-The third shout with the two wolf spirits to aid you were kind of cool…but again, too weak. They were down in one hit from a draugr. Too bad you can’t switch between shouts in werewolf form.

-The final shout, the stronger fear one, I’m hoping would actually prove useful. I kind of exploited it around mages the first time around with the lower shout, it stopped them from attacking me, so I could just ragdoll them to hell.

…Then eat them to restore my health. …What? It isn’t cannibalism, technically…since I’m not a human at the time. 😀

While I used to be a werewolf all the time, now, hardly ever. It’s just too annoying, and weak…I only use it to travel faster, now.

The Good:

-Quick speed
-Powerful attacks
-Boost to health
-Ridiculously fast stamina regeneration speed.
-Ragdoll enemies
-Feeding to restore health
-Looks badass
-Immunity to diseases

The Bad:

-No way to heal yourself besides feeding on humans
-Once-per-day allowance (until the Ring of Hircine is obtained)
-Short default werewolf time
-Transformation sequence leaves you vulnerable
-No character menu
-No way to end werewolf time other than to wait
-Can’t interact with objects
-No resting bonuses (honestly, I didn’t really notice it…)
-Too vulnerable at higher levels
-Everyone besides your follower attacks you on sight

The Ugly:

-Forced third person (I actually don’t mind this too much, but I can see how it annoys some people…)
-It sounds like there’s something breathing BEHIND me everytime I run. I actually got confused once and thought something was chasing me…-__-;;
-UN-EQUIPS ALL YOUR SHIT. EVERYTHING. Especially annoying with Hircine’s ring. Not only do you have to equip it, you also have to hotkey it in the magic menu to use it. Urgh. Fast transformation is NOT fast…

ALSO, WHERE THE HELL ARE THE WILD WEREWOLVES? I WANT TO HAVE AN EPIC BATTLE OF TEETH AND CLAWS, DAMN IT. I HAVEN’T SEEN ONE ROAMING AROUND THE PROVINCE YET.

Overall though, I had a lot of fun with it. It’s kind of exciting and fun to wreck havoc as a monster. XD I think Bethesda did a good job with it. So, kudos to them.

Though…if you’re a mage, I’d definitely recommend NOT becoming a werewolf. You’ll die. A lot. Really easily.

Well, that’s it. Happy hunting!!

Rawr!

😀

Image credits: UESP Wiki, The Elder Scrolls Wiki

(NOTE: I’ll also probably be editing this post constantly for the next few days, so bear with me…I’m just trying to make it a little more readable and a little less random!) 

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