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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

While you wait for Skywind and Skyblivion, you could be playing Skygerfall right now

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We recently got to see a full 20-minute quest walkthrough from Skywind, the mod recreating Morrowind in Skyrim. Earlier in the year, we saw four hours of Skyblivion, the mod recreating Oblivion in Skyrim, which is due out in 2025. But did you know about Skygerfall?

As the name suggests, Skygerfall is a recreation of Daggerfall, the second mainline Elder Scrolls RPG, which was originally released in 1996. Unlike the mods bringing back more recent games it’s been finalized, with a small patch earlier this year to fix some meshes bringing it up to version 1.10.

Skygerfall is a more modest mod than either Skywind or Skyblivion. It’s not aiming to bring the entirety of Daggerfall into Skyrim’s engine, just the main questline. Which is still significant—a 20-hour romp across the Iliac Bay, visiting its maziest dungeons on behalf of Emperor Uriel Septim VII. It takes in some deep Elder Scrolls lore, lets you meet characters like Sheogorath and Mannimarco, King of Worms, and has been fully voiced.

The reason to play Daggerfall wasn’t just its main questline, however. It was the kind of open world RPG where you’d get distracted by joining guilds, performing assassinations for the Dark Brotherhood, becoming a vampire, finding a cure for vampirism, working for the Temples and Witch Covens, meeting all the Daedric Princes, and generally sidequesting your way across Tamriel. If that’s the experience you’re after, Daggerfall Unity is available for free and moddable. We’ve got a guide to having the best Daggerfall experience today.

Skygerfall is more of an alternate start mod, the kind that gives your player-character a backstory before you begin yet another playthrough. It’s just one that happens to be set 200 years before Skyrim begins. When it ends, you can bring your loot and spells from Skygerfall into Skyrim, and that includes spells like Levitate, Unlock, Mark, and Recall, which the series abandoned along the way.

To play Skygerfall, you’ll need to download it for either Skyrim Special Edition or Skyrim vanilla. Make sure to disable any alternate start mods you’ve already installed, or grab an add-on from the files section for compatibility with Live Another Life or Realm of Lorkhan. There’s also an optional add-on to replace the map menu with one that looks like the paper-style map of High Rock and Hammerfell included with Daggerfall. 

You’ll also need to disable any body replacer mods, since Skygerfall’s armor isn’t compatible with them. Even with all that done, you may still run into some minor conflicts if you’ve got a heavy mod load. I seem to have invisible shins when wearing certain boots, and when I wield a battle staff it floats somewhere behind me.

One other thing you’ll probably need is the Daggerfall main quest walkthrough. Skygerfall is so true to the original that if you get stuck you’ll be able to rely on Daggerfall’s walkthrough to find your way through its dungeons full of empty rooms and random grizzly bears. Though you might want to refresh your memory of Skyrim console commands as well. 

Fortunately you can fast travel to locations you haven’t visited once you get quests to take you there, so you won’t have to jog all the way across the two provinces, which could take almost 70 hours to cross in Daggerfall.

Now, is someone out there working on Skyrena?

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