I’ve been alive for 25 years. And in those 25 years, there’s only been one game that I’ve purchased more than three times. That game is Oblivion. Skyrim was an incredible game too, though. So I decided to pick up the remastered version on my Xbox One.
Since jumping back in, I’ve remembered all of the wonderful things I’d forgotten about Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls Universe. The Lore. The monsters. The characters. The weapons and the setting. All of it combining to create a fantastic role playing experience. But there were a few very special things that I remember about that game. Those hidden secrets that lie in wait, ready to be discovered. So, in the spirit of sharing, here are five of my favorites.
Despite my best efforts in the Elder Scrolls games, I always end up becoming an archer. I’ll have the intention to be a two-handed brawler, or a powerful mage. But, inevitably, I always go back to the trusty bow. So, when the eventuality occurs, one of the best things to do is find yourself an infinite supply of arrows.
It’s easy to do. All you need is one high-quality arrow, and a knack for pick-pocketing. Find an NPC who’s practicing their archery skills, sneak up behind them and pickpocket all of their arrows. Place one decent arrow in their inventory, and then back away and wait. The NPC will continue their target practice, but will fire your high-quality arrows instead. They’ll never run out – so it’s an easy way to grab yourself some decent ammunition for your trusty bow!
Text based adventuring in Skyrim
The world of Skyrim is rife with adventure. There are new discoveries at every turn. But sometimes exploring an expansive game-world can become tiresome. What if you wanted your character to relax and take a load off? Well, thanks to the book ‘Kolb and the Dragon’, you can! Or, more accurately, your character can.
In some strange form of video-game inception, you can sit in your chair playing an adventure game whilst your in-game character sits in a chair playing an adventure game. Kolb and the Dragon is a classic ‘choose your own adventure’ book, like the best Goosebumps titles. Read the text and at the end of the page you get to pick a path. Keep playing until you get a favorable ending (which isn’t easy).
The Ebony Warrior
Sadly, I never reached level 80 on Skyrim (though I one day plan to, in the remastered version). If, like me, you never reached that milestone, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing who or what the Ebony Warrior is. Upon reaching level 80, you’ll be greeted by an NPC clad entirely in Ebony armor. They’ll challenge you to a duel, to the death, and give you a location for where the showdown will go down.
The Ebony Warrior is, supposedly, the toughest enemy in the game – so if you’re going to face them, prepare well. Their weapons and armor is enchanted, with a number of resistances in effect. They can even use a couple of the Dragon Shouts – so be warned, they won’t go down easily. If you do beat them, though, you’ll be plentifully rewarded! I always dreamed of reaching level 80, and being greeted by this awesome foe. Fingers crossed I can get past 73 this time round!
The invisible chest
What’s better than a visible chest? AN INVISIBLE CHEST! Wait. Is that better? In general, the answer would probably be no. But in this case, the answer is a resounding yes. Once you’ve discovered Dawnstar, you can find this invisible chest by following this guide. The chest itself belongs to nearby merchants, and it’s possible to access the chest and steal their inventory. The chest is then restocked, after a while, and you can do it all over again.
It could be seen as a bit of a game breaker, as you can technically create yourself a bit of a racket. All you’d need to do is buy an expensive item from them, then break into the chest and steal your money back. Still, it’s good to know that it’s there… should you ever need it.
Skyrim’s ‘insects in glass jars’ conspiracy
If, like me, you’ve spent way more time than humanly acceptable playing Skyrim. You’ll probably have stumbled across a few glass jars with insects trapped inside. At first, I shrugged it off as just a random decorative item. But after finding a couple of them, I decided to give it a Google. What I uncovered was astonishing.
As it turns out, the community have created a whole conspiracy around these jars. Each jar has a rune inscribed on the lid and when translated into English, they relate to areas within Skyrim. It gets creepier, though, and you can catch up on the full apocalyptic conspiracy, if you want. When quizzed on the insects, Bethesda have kept shtum. So there’s definitely something to it – even if it isn’t quite as epic as us fans might theory. Me? I wonder if it’s an Easter-egg that could hint at the premise for the next Elder Scrolls game (minus Online, of course).
So there are my five favorite secrets within Skyrim. But what Skyrim secrets do you have? Let me know in the comments below!