The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Samantha Webb)

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind might have come out 17 years ago, but it is still lauded as one of PC gaming s greats. Set on the island of Vvardenfell, players were able to create their own character and could choose whether to take on the mantle of the Nerevarine, saving the island from deadly blight storms and false gods. Or just spend hours exploring the world and visiting the numerous factions, guilds, houses, towns and clans, talking to the hundreds of NPCs going about their daily lives, waiting for you to help them with their troubles.

These NPCs are remembered fondly even today, but I feel that some of them were just not done justice in the original game. Here, then, is a list of nine characters from Morrowind (and its two expansions) that deserve their own spin-off games.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition

An ambitious Morrowind mod has issued a beefy new update.

Rebirth is a complete overhaul of Bethesda's role-playing masterpiece, and changes the game significantly.

The mod, which launched in 2011, adds new areas, new items, new weapons and armour, and, generally, makes the island of Vvardenfell a wonderful new experience for fans.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition

"You can hear the words, so run away

"Come Hortator, unfold into a clear unknown,

"Stay quiet until you've slept in the yesterday,

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Find the story so far here.>

I’ve been in Vvardenfell for so long now, traipsing across its eerie volcanic plains, over its majestic fungal plateaus and through its singular bone cities.

A dream life, really, but the senses can only experience so much wonder before wonder becomes ordinary.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Morrowind, the third and greatest instalment in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, has been back in the news this week. It was briefly free to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, and then made a brief return to Steam’s top sellers, thanks to discounts and coverage. Which is lovely: it shows its age in many, many painful ways, but its imagination, ambition and wonderfully weird visual design to this day makes Oblivion and Skyrim seem so terribly ordinary.

Gun it up today, for the very first time, and you’ll think me completely mad to say that, however. It’s basically a world of fog and people who look like they were whittled from fallen branches. But, thanks to 17 years of mods, it now only takes a couple of installations and a tiny amount of work to make it stunning in the ways that most count. If you’re about to play, quickly do these things first.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

To celebrate a quarter-century of Elves, Daedra and cat-people with bafflingly complex lore, Bethesda are giving away The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind today (March 25th) only, so snap it up quickly here. You’ll need a Bethesda.net account and their launcher to grab the game, too. A bit of a hassle, but you’re getting a sprawling adventure through a deeply alien corner of Tamriel, filled with giant insects, inscrutable demigods and enough Cliff Racers to drive any adventurer to distraction. If you’ve never played what many consider the best Elder Scrolls game, now’s the time.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition

Update: Some users were apparently having issues with logging into the website and/or redeeming the free Morrowind code. Those problems appear to have been resolved, and Bethesda has extended the free offer through the weekend.

Orginal story:

The Elder Scrolls: Arena is 25 years old today, and to celebrate the big birthday Bethesda is giving away The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. Just pop over to bethesda.net, log in to the site (or sign up if you need to) and then—wait!—do not hit the "Redeem Now" button yet!

I know, that seems like the obvious thing to do but first you want to take note of, or perhaps even select and copy, the "TES25TH-MORROWIND" code, without the quotes. Now hit the redemption button, put the code into the field, click where you're told, and the game will be added to your account, accessible through the Bethesda launcher.   

The previous Elder Scrolls games, Arena and Daggerfall, are also free (and have been for awhile now), but Morrowind is the one that put the series, and Bethesda, on the map. It's big, bold, and beautiful, unconstrained by the bug-ridden wonkery of the games that came before it or the comfortable conventions of the ones that followed, and it is free. Today only, though, so get on with it. 

This is not the only thing Bethesda is doing to mark the 25th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls: There's also a free-play event coming this weekend to The Elder Scrolls Online, some anniversary loot in The Elder Scrolls Legends card game, and new in-game content for The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. 

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition

UPDATE 26/03/2019: As you may have observed from the comments on this article, Bethesda's Morrowind giveaway didn't exactly go to plan. Users reported several problems with claiming a free copy of the game, including difficulties logging into Bethesda.net and problems with the code system. You may have seen the memes.

In any case, Bethesda acknowledged and eventually resolved the technical problems and has now extended the period for claiming a copy. If you missed out on the first round, you have from now until the end of Sunday 31st March to bag Morrowind for free.

The technical issues have been frustrating, but when all's said and dunmer, at least we (eventually) got a free game.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

“2002’s Morrowind is the best Elder Scrolls!” or so the popular refrain goes. Popular if you’re as old as I am, at least. I agree, obviously I agree.

But I’m also wrong.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition

After writing about the latest update for the excellent Morrowind: Rebirth mod yesterday, the allure of the best Elder Scrolls game was strong. But I can’t just reinstall Morrowind; at the very least I need to spend a couple of days finding more mods, like Morrowind Enhanced Textures. It might not have a flashy name, but it sure is pretty. 

HD texture mods often look strange and out of place, especially in older games like Morrowind, but this appears to be one of the exceptions. Don’t expect it to suddenly look as good as new, but there are places where it looks not far off Skyrim. The character models still look goofy as heck, but that’s The Elder Scrolls for you. 

The technique used to enhance the textures is called Enhanced Super-Resolution Generative Adversarial Networks (ESRGAN), and gosh people need to do a better job of naming things. It’s an AI upscaling method that generates realistic textures without the artifacts that you get from plain old Super-Resolution Generative Adversarial Networks.

Modder DassiD says they made several passes with the tool and upscaled the textures by four times Morrowind’s original resolution. They’ve included some comparison screenshots on Nexus, where you can also download the mod. It looks impressive, though it’s worth noting that a few other mods have been used in the screenshots to make them look even lovelier. 

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