How I Failed Skyrim in the First 5 Minutes

Good afternoon/evening/morning fellows. I don’t know what day or what time it is, I just know that my head has been crammed into the maw of Skyrim for several eternities and now that I can take a breather, I’d like to share my naive and frustrating Skyrim experience.

In the first couple of minutes of the game, after all the character customization and graphics fiddling was done, I can confidently state that Bethesda never planned for a player of my particular creativity. I followed the NPC into a nearby building where the dragon wrecked the stairwell, but instead of jumping after him, I decided to look around my menu map and “Fast Travel” to the town that I was already trying to flee. I mean, if you’re trying to escape someplace and they give you a warp option, what was the harm in trying it?

This sent me outside the gates, where I spent the next 20 minutes trying to find a way back in to Helgen to progress the story. It was rather ridiculous hearing the dragon rampage on loop behind the doors, but I was unable to do anything because
a) my hands were still bound,
b) there were no weapons/armor/items in my inventory
and c) the town was perfectly sealed to the outside world.

I climbed a mountain and tried to slide down into the town, and for a moment, I thought I was successful, but then I realized that I was trapped in an invisible trench with really high invisible walls. I had to “Fast Travel” back to Helgen gates several times to find a proper location for actually entering the town. Once I was in town, I noticed the quest marker was pointing me at the keep, so without much further ado, I raced through the double doors.

Alas, this was a big mistake, because the doors I entered were not re-openable. I was trapped in a barred tower (the wrong section of the keep) and because I was indoors, I could no longer “Fast Travel” anywhere. Fortunately, my last autosave was on top of the mountain, though inside the town would have been much better.

I was at a loss for what to do. People were shouting, fires were raging, and I had to find my original spawn location to progress the story. I tried a different door to the keep and finally stumbled into Hadvar, my NPC guide and timeloop liberator. If anything, this game shows me I am tenacious, if somewhat stupid. No more experimentation, then. I’ll stick to the guides.


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KT is an avid foodie/gamer/SFF reader with expertise in a variety of bizarre fields. Her love for technology, science, and internet media is only matched by her fondness for music, language and art. Karen is an aspiring writer with a meandering past. Her law and engineering books make wonderful counterweights to her fiction collections. She hopes to one day publish a novel, most likely in the young adult genre, but the future is an open book.

4 thoughts on “How I Failed Skyrim in the First 5 Minutes”

  1. I also forgot to add, this tends to happen with all RPG’s, their openness is their greatest strength/weakness. You can do anything you want, but that also leads to things like this. It happens all the time, you can do a quest… or not. You might talk to a guy who’ll say go and do this, and you’ve already done that! It might help if they closed off parts of the world until that quest opened up, but the open-ended gameplay has its own charm.

    1. May the gods have mercy the day an Elder Scrolls MMO emerges. Glitch-hunting has become the new meta-Skyrim game. I confess, without shame, that I am still playing the game 20 hours later.

  2. Lol.

    I must admit that I tend to stick out for introduction most of the time since it’s the most basic thing to do. Your out of the box action is something that I think even the playtest team did not anticipate.


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