It has been nearly two decades since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion first transported gamers to the stunning and dangerous realm of Tamriel’s Cyrodiil province. Upon its release in 2006, the sprawling open-world RPG was met with critical and commercial success thanks to its beautiful graphics, stirring score, expansive quests and freedom afforded to players.
However, in the 18 years since, Oblivion has taken on a new significance amongst gaming fans. Its awkward character animations, stilted NPC conversations and often comedic glitches have sparked memes and enduring affection from players looking to revisit the beloved title.
Oblivion’s Lasting Allure
For gamers in the mid 2000’s, Oblivion represented a massive leap forward in open-world freedom and immersion. The radiant AI allowed for unexpected interactions, while meticulously crafted hand-made dungeons promised danger and mystery for adventuresome heroes.
Beyond the much lauded graphics and gameplay, Oblivion focused heavily on worldbuilding and letting players forge their own paths. As the Hero of Kvatch, the protagonist tackles the oblivion crisis facing Cyrodiil in their own way, joining factions, exploring lands and taking enough side-quests to forget about the main story for dozens of hours.
It is this sense of limitless adventure that brings modern fans back over and over. With so much to see and do, no two playthroughs are exactly the same.
The Unintended Comedy of Oblivion’s Dated Design
While Oblivion represented a major step forward technologically from previous Elder Scrolls titles, aspects of its design have not aged particularly well. Stiff character animations, questionable AI behavior, wonky physics and glitches galore all betray Oblivion’s age in ways that fans have come to love.
Where Bethesda crafted an immersive world filled with upstanding heroic figures, fans now can’t help but laugh at the awkwardness of it all. Silly NPC greetings like “Stop right there criminal scum!” and the repeated utterances of “By Azura by Azura!” have reached meme status thanks to their unintentional hilarity.
Bizarre ragdoll physics, character spasms mid-conversation and clumsy animal AI all add to fans’ amusement when replaying this classic RPG.
|Classic Oblivion Memes
|Stop right there criminal scum!
| By Azura! |
| Horrible Animations | |
While fans can still appreciate Oblivion’s strengths, like its music and scenery even today, it is the silly legacy features that give the game lasting meme appeal and make players nostalgic to revisit Cyrodiil.
Oblivion Endures as Fans Mod the Elder Scrolls Classic
Thanks to Oblivion’s rich modding community, fans are still discovering new adventures in Cyrodiil 18 years later. Beyond graphical upgrades and quest additions, silly mods that crank Oblivion’s awkward charm to 11 are particularly popular. Mods may swap character models, apply wonky physics more broadly or overhaul animations for even more comedic NPC interactions.
This speaks to the adoration players still heap onto Oblivion, even today. For fans, Oblivion represents possibility – stumbling upon new quests, far-flung dungeons or hilarious character moments. Each modder and player shapes Cyrodiil a bit differently to their tastes, bolstered by a welcoming community still active nearly two decades later.
So in 2024, we raise a glass of Tamika’s West Weald Wine to Bethesda’s beloved and awkward 2006 RPG masterpiece. Through mods and memes, Oblivion endures as an open-world classic while embracing its silly legacy. We can’t wait to see what the fan community will come up with next. Here’s to another 18 years!
The Bottom Line
While Oblivion’s technical shortcomings have become more apparent as graphics and AI have advanced, nostalgic fans still flock to Cyrodiil for adventure, humor and the joy of modding. As one of gaming’s most influential open-world titles, Oblivion will likely continue delighting fans with its eccentric charm for years to come.
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