I had taken great care to screenshot all the different loading screen illustrations I encountered, and was going to post those — I’ve always loved them anyway, and the Morrowind ones are gorgeous. But it turns out the screenshot button doesn’t work on those anymore, alas. So while I gather them the long slow way over time, you’ll have to settle for these. I’ll provide only minimal context, so as to avoid spoilers.
Spoilers for ESO, I mean. Spoilers for Morrowind the original? That’s on you. It’s 2017.
Ceiling mosaic in Vivec.
Vivec City is really lovely at night. Lamps everywhere.
Looking down on town, Red Mountain in the background.
Our boy with the bedazzled loincloth.
Set before the events of Morrowind, Vivec City is still under construction here. Construction materials, quests and laborers are everywhere, and in addition to providing a convenient crafting hub that would have been hampered by a canton were it located in a finished one (I’m sorry, I know, I never really liked the original city much…the cantons always looked like yellowed teeth to me! and you couldn’t get anywhere), the work-in-progress nature of the city makes it seem much, much more alive than it did in Morrowind proper.
Balmora. Something else that strikes you is the pronunciation. Words that for so long were rendered only in text are now fully voiced and…wow, was I wrong, thirteen years ago, on how to pronounce Balmora. (Bahhhlm’ra, not bal-MORE-uh!) Or Gnisis! Nye-siss? Pssh! I thought it was Niss-iss all these years. Ald’ruhn? Think Buzz. Not Al-Droon, as I always thought of it.
Suran! And that quest bang you see right there is for my favorite quest line I’ve encountered so far. Short, sweet, tidy and full of feels. Plus it helps that the questgiver himself is rather, ah, winsome:
Daedric ruins! Those of you who really missed those funky shapes, you get them back now. I always hated Daedric ruins (sorry Austin!) because they were dark, creepy, and I died a lot. But that brings up an important point:
Forget dark and creepy, Morrowind is gorgeous. Even the ash is less morose this time around. As someone who trudged only unwilling into the Ashlands the first time (though not for lack of fondness of the Ashlanders, who are awesome), I can honestly say it’s almost pretty this take. Not, apparently, enough for me to have taken a screenshot, but still.
Also, the House of Earthly Delights is still there in Suran! It’s an inglorious admission but this is the first thing I remember obsessing over in Morrowind. I was still in what for me is that golden window when you first start a game and don’t know the rules or boundaries. Could I free these women? Join them? Befriend them? Start a rival brothel? I had no idea, because I didn’t know how open “open world” was. I had been prescribed Morrowind in the back of an English class while describing what I wanted from my ideal game. “Yeah that already exists. You can play it right now.” So I did. And while the answers to all the above questions were no, no, and no, a.) I didn’t know that yet, b.) it seemed within the realm of the possible still, and c.) there were always mods.
Oh, the Morrowind mods.
Yeah, no pretty scenery here, I just thought this was great.
Wait till you hear this guy though.