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The Elder Scrolls II Released as Freeware
July 10, 2009 3:21 PM   Subscribe

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Released as Freeware. The download (Fileshack) requires DOSBox to run; the linked article includes instructions for running the game under DosBox. Also related are DaggerXL, a game engine being developed to update / enhance Daggerfall for modern systems, and The Daggerfall Workshop.
posted by Dark Messiah (32 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Son of a.... Here is the DaggerXL link.... :(
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:22 PM on July 10, 2009


Shit, there goes my week. I'm still trying to catch up on my Oblivion game too.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:33 PM on July 10, 2009


Thanks for this! I loved Morrowind. Wish I could play Oblivion but I'm stuck with a wimpy integrated graphics card, alas.
posted by pravit at 3:42 PM on July 10, 2009


Newbies be warned: Daggerfall is buggy as hell. It will crash regularly, sometimes corrupting your save game files in the process. Save often. Back up your saves. Keep incremental versions of those back ups. Keep duplicates offsite.

Damn but I love this game though. Morrowind and Oblivion are terrific fun, but neither of them had that certain something that Daggerfall did (I've never played Arena).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:44 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never played Daggerfall, although I heard that in some ways it was superior to Morrowind. I'll give it a try.
No source code, though?
posted by dunkadunc at 3:45 PM on July 10, 2009


Oh come on. You know, I'm hoping at some point to do some housework, read a book, and get some sleep.
posted by Flunkie at 3:48 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


My impression from having read about Daggerfall is that it lies somewhere halfway between Dwarf Fortress and Morrowind. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
posted by Nelson at 3:53 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Still need to finish Morrowind Oblivion Fallout 3 ah fuck it.
posted by naju at 3:53 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


No source code, though?

Long standing rumor on various TES forums has it that the source code was somehow lost or otherwise became irretrievable when Bethesda moved offices. I don't remember if that was ever confirmed by anyone at Beth though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:57 PM on July 10, 2009


>>> Wish I could play Oblivion but I'm stuck with a wimpy integrated graphics card, alas.

Then you need Oldblivion. Works like a champ.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:06 PM on July 10, 2009


Daggerfall was the first computer game that I really loved-it probably seems linear now, but at the time, the possibilities seemed endless (you could get bitten by a wereboar! and become a wereboar! and still keep on playing!)

There goes my weekend. . .
posted by dinty_moore at 4:09 PM on July 10, 2009


Thanks for the Oldblivion link! I got a surprisingly far way playing at one frame per second or so, hopefully it might play better with the integrated card now.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:13 PM on July 10, 2009


dunk, if you have a PCIe slot free, a $50 job would probably play Oblivion fine these days. Maybe not at full resolution, but it would almost certainly kick much ass compared with integrated graphics.
posted by Malor at 4:30 PM on July 10, 2009


Is this something I would have to have at least a 386 to understand?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:38 PM on July 10, 2009


Also, most of the locations in the game (the thousands of towns, cities, and dungeons) were randomly generated. This makes many, maybe most, of the dungeons full of places where you can get stuck forever.

Still a very amazing, ambitious game. I used to love getting my horsecart and climbing buildings with it. And all the useless language skills? Awesome.
posted by deafmute at 5:00 PM on July 10, 2009


Mirrored on my Dropbox, in case you don't want to put up with Bethesda's pipes or Fileshack's BS
posted by ConstantineXVI at 5:02 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


huh, under lenny it tells me that I have the wrong CD inserted.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:09 PM on July 10, 2009


Whoops, working with the FALL.EXE Z.CFG trick.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:13 PM on July 10, 2009


And all the useless language skills? Awesome.

I once experimented with a custom class of "Linguist," filling most of my leveling slots with languages. It did not go well. Though the languages aren't totally useless: if you train a language skill high enough, creatures whose language it is sometimes won't attack you.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:16 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, kinda. The interface is a bit broke. Killed by the bat.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:30 PM on July 10, 2009


Has this game aged well?
posted by peregrine81 at 5:41 PM on July 10, 2009


This, as I'm installing Oblivion on the desktop in the other room? That's creepy and awesome all at once.
posted by JaredSeth at 5:50 PM on July 10, 2009


This is such a bad game. Still, good to know it's out there for free now.
posted by voltairemodern at 5:56 PM on July 10, 2009


Released in '96. I would have thought the value to the company reached zero years ago.
posted by smackfu at 6:00 PM on July 10, 2009


Oblivion was certainly a step back from Morrowind in terms of gameplay, which I thought was an improvement on Daggerfall only in that it was marginally less buggy. Loved the style of Morrowind, though. Daggerfall was Vast.

Vast.

At the time, I think it came in a box that was larger than anything else on the shelves, or... ever yet, to make room for the discs and the manuals. The peripheral stuff in Morrowind didn't leave an impression with me, but the supplemental stuff that came with Oblivion was pretty classy.

However, a lot of the bugs came from the dynamically generated (random) game content. I remember* that I've tried finishing the game from fresh starts about 4 times over five years and never did end up finishing Daggerfall due to bugs. The closest I got was at the final quest but the tomb (? to raise Emperor Septum or something?) wouldn't open due to a bug.

Loved being able to climb just about any wall and the bazillion different guilds that you could join. Too bad the quests got repetitive really quick. It was fun taking out entire royal palaces all by one's lonesome and doing assassin's guild quests by breaking into someone's house while they're away, sleep, wake up and stab the mark who teleports in and doesn't seem to mind that you've been sleeping in their home.

Providing a reasonably easy to use editor for Morrowind and Oblivion was a major coup. There is an unbelievable amount of user-generated content (so much that, even with Sturgeon's Law, there's still a *ton* of really good stuff) out there, some quite sophisticated.

Daggerfall hasn't aged well, but then again, I've played the two Ultima Underworlds from start to finish a couple of years ago. Morrowind still looks reasonable, especially with some of the graphics enhancing mods.

*I also remember pissing my freshman roommate off playing Daggerfall, making "clip-clop" noises travelling across town on a horse until he yelled, "Get of your fucking high horse!" I also pissed in his shoes after passing out in my hamper in my closet one night because I dreamed that I had actually made it down the hall to the washroom and was aiming at the red urinal mat.
posted by porpoise at 7:14 PM on July 10, 2009


It's worth noting that procedural content doesn't necessarily mean bad or buggy content, but there's still a lot of work to be done in that direction.

Would a game like Star Control II or Starflight, or Elite, which use procedural generation to create an explorable galaxy, be considered bigger? Maybe, if just because you're talking about outer space. But as far as sheer explorable terrain goes, relative to the player's ability to explore it, Daggerfall, may well be the largest computer game ever made. The game has thousands of towns. Even MMORPGs wilt before its gigantic majesty.
posted by JHarris at 8:07 PM on July 10, 2009


I never got further than a quest or two into the main plot of Daggerfall. I always got distracted doing Mage Guild quests, or stealing lots of crap for the Thieves' Guild. You could always tell which building was which by the shape on the map. Man that game was stupid fun.
posted by graventy at 8:40 PM on July 10, 2009


I saw some mudcrabs down by the water, recently. I steered clear of them.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:55 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought Morrowind was great. Tried to play this a few years ago and just couldn't get past the graphics. But I also remember how "big" it felt when I played it on a friend's computer back in the 90's.

Oblivion pissed me off. They left out all the strange, uncanny art design of Morrowind and made every town look like a German folk village. OK plot, but not nearly as engrossing and somewhat disturbing as Morrowind was. (There was some evil temple in that one where you wander around these rooms with tables, and the CHAIRS ARE UPSIDE DOWN ON THE TABLES! Totally freaked me out for some reason.)
posted by bardic at 1:39 AM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oblivion pissed me off. They left out all the strange, uncanny art design of Morrowind and made every town look like a German folk village. OK plot, but not nearly as engrossing and somewhat disturbing as Morrowind was. (There was some evil temple in that one where you wander around these rooms with tables, and the CHAIRS ARE UPSIDE DOWN ON THE TABLES! Totally freaked me out for some reason.)

I know what you mean. I really liked the Roman Empire feel that you had in Morrowind. I´d really like to play Morrowind with the Oblivion engine. Hopefully they´ll increase the scope again for the next in the series.
posted by concrete at 9:27 AM on July 11, 2009


The thing about Morrowind is that there were at least three different major cultures involved, each with distinctive architecture. It really is an inspiration for game design, ranging from WoW to well, my own WiP. They managed to pack a hell of a lot in a small island, and

Now if only my laptop didn't have a buggy video card, I could install and play Daggerfall on the couch while next to me my wife plays Persona on the PS II. After al, the couple that plays video games together...probably stays up too late playing them together. And probably has less sex together. And get in trouble for falling asleep at work together....
posted by happyroach at 10:14 AM on July 11, 2009


I know what you mean. I really liked the Roman Empire feel that you had in Morrowind. I´d really like to play Morrowind with the Oblivion engine. Hopefully they´ll increase the scope again for the next in the series.

It was developed, then kinda nuked, but still around.

Part of what Bethesda was happy about with TESIV was procedural generation outside of towns. There's a difficulty in trying to make procedural towns, because while you might be able to get them to look ok, getting interesting quests and characters will be much harder. What I would love is importing something like Toady's dwarf fortress world gens into Oblivion.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:22 AM on July 11, 2009


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