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Retro Game Walkthroughs For
"The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion"
(Xbox 360)

This game is also available on PC and PS3.

Retro Game Walkthroughs for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360)
Submitted By: Hannard
A brief guide to The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
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Introduction:

Like other games in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion is a pretty open game, at least it is once you get out of the initial dungeon you're in. You can follow the main quest, join a faction, or just wander around the landscape as you please. Naturally you're going to run into a few monsters, but by and large the game automatically adjusts the types of monsters you encounter to correspond to how much experience your character has, so you do at least have a fighting chance of survival. Oh, and there are no cliff-racers. Thank god.

In The Beginning/Character Generation:

The first level of the game, set in the dungeon where you're imprisoned, is pretty easy to beat, essentially being a tutorial level. It is, unfortunately, unskippable. Mainly because this is where you choose your character's attributes and skills. You get to choose your character's race, star sign, class and so forth. You can also create a custom class if you like, though selecting a certain class doesn't mean you're stuck with using a certain set of skills. A warrior can still use magic, it's just going to be harder for him or her to learn and make progress in than a mage style character. If you're just getting into the game, Spellsword is a good character to start with since you get a decent balance of magic and bottom-kicking skills.

Skills/Levelling Up:

Each character has a number of primary skills, the actual skills you get depending up on the choices you make during the first level of the game. To level up you have to advance these skills individually, till the bar on your skill status screen is all red. To advance skills you have to use them. Block, for example, will go up a tiny bit whenever you manage to stop an opponent smacking you in the face. Destruction, on the other hand, will advance when you use a magic spell from that school. Once you've advanced your skills enough, the game will tell you you should rest and meditate. Just using the 'wait' option won't work, though. You have to actually find a bed, either in an inn or somewhere else, and sleep. Then you'll be given three points to spend on your character's attributes such as endurance, luck and so forth, all of which are fairly self explanatory.

Equipment:

You can get your hands on a whole variety of weapons and items. Some can be bought from shops, while others can be found on the bodies of your fallen foes. It's always worth seeing just what an opponent's carrying - the higher the level you are, the cooler the equipment they'll be carrying is. Don't bother grabbing everything a enemy has, since you have a limited carrying capacity (though if you want to haul loads of stuff you can buy a feather potion). It's usually worth taking half-decent weapons, since if your weapon becomes unusuable you can just dump your old one and use the one you picked up instead of repairing it. And lockpicks are both light and useful so always grab them. But only take really heavy stuff if it's worth a fair amount of money or if you're using it to replace one of your own items.

Enemies/Fighting:

If you've got some half-decent combat skills then you'll want to get up close and personal with your foes. Honorable combat involves blocking your opponent's strikes, then hitting back with your weapon. Unhonourable combat involves running around the opponent circle strafing, killing them by taking nary a hit. Circle strafing, for those who don't know the term, means you keep your vision focused on the opponent, but move around them always facing them. The AI can't seem to cope with rapid movement like this and so you can hit them before they can turn around to face you. Easy peasy.
Long ranged combat, on the other hand, is a bit more tricky. You can try hitting your opponents with a magic spell or arrow for as much damage as you can, but they'll pretty much wise up and start coming after you so backpedalling fast is the order of the day. Fire off all your spells, run around till your spell energy recharges, and then fire again. Unfortunately, running away isn't always an option, at least against human opponents, since they'll follow you through doors and into the outside world.
You'll end up fighting against a variety of foes ranging from rats all the way up to extra-dimensional creatures. Some fire projectiles and should be dealt with up close. The higher level you are, the more powerful the creatures you face become. Which is mildly disappointing since you're unlikely to get the shock of finding yourself completely out of your depth. Be wary if you end up fighting anyone who uses their bare hands. While they may not do as much physical damage as someone with a sword, every hit will drain your fatigue bar - if it gets completely drained, you'll fall to the floor, giving them the chance to lay into you repeatedly.

Getting Around/Lay of the land:

You can wander around the whole of the game's lands on foot, though it'll take you a long time. Even on a horse - which can be purchased or acquired at various stables - it'll take you quite a few hours to cross the map. Instead, the game employs a fast travel system. Any location you've been to already can be visited immediately, as long as you're outdoors and not being attacked by an enemy. The catch is that you have to have been to the location and seen it with your own eyes. Just having it marked on your map isn't enough. So if you want to get to a particular dungeon, you can fast travel to a nearby location you've been to already and then walk or ride to the dungeon, at which point you can fast travel to it later if need be.
The one exception to the fast travel rule is the game's cities. There are about five cities which can be visited at any time. There are also a number of smaller villages scattered around the land, but they aren't on the map so you'll have to discover them for yourself. Feel free to explore any of the dungeons you come across - don't worry about accidentally killing anyone important to a quest since the games designers have

Quests and Factions

While the characters in Oblivion are a little more interesting than those in Morrowind, a great proportion of the quests in Morrowind are pretty dull, entailing finding a particular character, going down to a dungeon to get an item for them, bringing it back to them and so forth, including the main storyline quests. Not that you need to follow the main storyline, of course, you can get quests by talking to various people, or you can join up with the Mages Guild, the Fighters Guild, the Thieves Guild or the Assasins Guild (known as the Dark Brotherhood). The first two organisations have offices in each town so you can just wander in and ask about joining. The latter two, on the other hand, are more secretive and you'll be only invited to join if you spend time in prison for stealing an item or murder someone, respectively.
The Thieves Guild quests involve, unsurprisingly enough, stealing items from various locations via the gift of stealth - see below for more details, which is certainly more entertaining than wandering around dungeons. However, the Dark Brotherhood quests are even better than that - you get to assassinate a number of people, and there's even one superb task in which you're locked in a house with six other people who must all be dispatched, without anyone discovering that you're the murderer. Classic.
None of the standard quests are likely to present you with any real difficulty. The only ones you might get a bit lost on are the Oblivion gate quests where you have to shut down a gate to another dimension. If you do, just try backtracking, remembering that the item you'll likely need to make your way back and forth between several towers, moving ever upwards as you go till you're at your goal. And if you can't find a quest item in a dungeon, make sure you're in the right dungeon - just because someone says a dungeon is north-west of a particular location, it doesn't mean that the first dungeon you come across is the right one. Always check the name of the dungeon against the name recorded in your quest log.

Sneaking and Stealing

The stealth system in Oblivion isn't quite as complex as that found in Thief, but it works reasonably well. Put yourself in sneak mode - on the 360 you click down the left thumb stick - and you'll see an eye appear. Try to stay in the shadows and if the eye is dimmer than usual you probably won't be seen. You can also backstab enemies if you're sneaking, causing them more damage than if you faced them head on. Sneak mode is also used when you're looking to steal an item from a store, house or person. You'll know straight away if you've got away with stealing an item from a person or an open shop since they'll scream blue murder if they notice you. However, it's less obvious in shops and houses, at least if they're closed.
If a shop or house is closed, use a lockpick to break in - you have to push the tumblers up till they stay still for just a second, then hit the 'A' button or the PC equivalent, then repeat for the other tumblers. The higher your lockpick skill, the longer the tumblers will stay up and the easier it'll be. Once you're inside a building you can steal to your heart's content. It's best to stay in sneak mode to maximize your chances of getting caught. The one catch, apart from getting nicked, that is, is that you can't steal the goods the shopkeeper offers to sell you. For some reason, the goods to be found on a shopkeeper's shelves don't correspond with those in his sales inventory, so some goods you'll just have to buy.


Stealing/Crime and Punishment.

If you steal, you may well get caught. Not least because even if you've been quiet as a mouse, there's still the chance that a guard will burst into a house you're robbing, even if you weren't seen entering. I'm not sure why this happens, but it's a cause for concern because if you're caught then you can either fight, go to jail, or pay a fine. Going to jail means you'll lose some points off your statistics. Fighting means every guard in that town will now try to kill you. And paying a fine means parting with some of your hard earned cash, though if you're with the Thieves Guild, you can pay half of the fine to them and they'll clear the bounty on your head.


The Children of the Night/Diseases

You may at some point get infected with a disease of some kind, or have a spell cast on you which will lower your stats. These can be dealt with by praying at a temple. Of course, there's one infection you may not want to get rid of, which is vampirism. This disease, called 'poryphiric haemophilia' by the game will give your stats a boost when you first get it, and can be caught by fighting a vampire, or by speaking to the vampire in the Dark Brotherhood's sanctuary, and will result in you being turned after three days. If you're a vampire you don't need to feed to survive. In fact, the longer you go without feeding, the more powerful you become and the more cool vampire powers you get. The catch is, as you move further towards becoming an ubervamp, you gain a vulnerability to sunlight and will also be shunned by most characters. Your vamp strength maxes out on the fourth day that passes without you feeding. If you feed - which you can do by standing near a sleeping character and picking 'feed' - you lose most of your vampire bonuses, but you are now no longer shunned by the populace of the world.

Handy Hints - That's pretty much all for now, but here are a few last handy hints to help you on your way.

If you want to defeat the champion of the Imperial Arena with ease, do the quest he offers you and he'll let you kill him with no resistance.

You can steal from shops without getting caught by going upstairs during opening hours, and waiting till the shopkeeper comes to see what you're up to. Then charge downstairs before he can follow and grab some items off the counter. You can do this as many times as you want.

Remember, to level up, you need to sleep in a bed, just waiting around won't do.

If you're a vampire and want to feed on someone without having to break into a house, find one of the sleeping beggars at night and then feed on them. They don't die, so you can repeat the pattern whenever you need another meal.

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