Sometimes I worry that money can’t buy happiness.
Fortunately, right about then Steam has a sale.
Steam always helpfully e-mails me when games I want go on sale, which is usually ten minutes after I’ve already made another large purchasing decision. Like Fallout 4 last month … so even with the sale, it was probably not the best financial decision to get the entire Skyrim DLC, but I did anyway, because God bless dollar beer night at the casino.
You’d think, since I’ve already put over 300 hours into Skyrim, that I’d have bought the DLC long ago, but were two things holding me back:
- I thought you couldn’t bring Lydia with you in the DLC and
- I’m a cheapskate and they weren’t on sale.
Then I learned that not only can you take Lydia with you, but she proved so popular they added a whole bunch of snarky new dialogue specifically for her. Which is typical for me – when I guess wrong, I don’t do it halfway. That’s why they called me “Wrong Way Raymond” during my 10-minute high-school football career.
I was in the middle of Wymstooth’s boss fight when I was attacked by the cultists that start the Dragonborn DLC. Or at least, I think they attacked me; they may have just talked to me – I’m not really sure, ’cause there was lightning flying around and people were trying to stab me with stuff and also there was a dragon and it was dollar beer night at the casino, so everything was sort of fuzzy and lager-colored. Anyway, when all was said and done, I had no idea where the cultists went and no idea how to start the Dragonborn quest.
No worries; I’d heard a lot about Serana, so I decided I’d just start with Dawnguard.
Of course, it turns out that all of Lydia’s new dialogue is for Dragonborn. Sigh. See note, above, re: Wrong Way Raymond.
Well, most of her dialogue, anyway. Because when I asked her to trade items, I got:
wait … WTF?!?
That was the dialogue they needed to improve? Really, Bethesda? The line that made Lydia famous? You do realize we all love her because she don’t take sh^t, right? It’s the snark we love. I almost want to uninstall Dragonborn, just to get my old Liddie-Bug back. Especially ’cause I’m gonna need some snark if I have to deal with all this Dawnguard angst:
and those are the heroes! The actual vampires …
Meet Serana – or, as I call her, “Demon Queen of Angst.” You’d think she’d be happier to see me, given that she’s been imprisoned in that sarcophagus for like 10,000 years , but she’s just very, very upset because her dad, the mostest evillest …
I knew she sounded way too much like every single one of my ex-girlfriends. Really, Skyrim? Daddy issues? I play video games to escape reality, not to be reminded of dating in my twenties. And considering she’s a vampire, she’s been Forever 21 for, like, a gazillion years, which means enough shallow emotional trauma to make Stephanie Meyer hang up her pen.
OK, so anyway, her dad, Baron Harkonnen …
… sorry, little typo there; I mean Lord Harkon …
you ever notice how villains really go all in on the consonants? Harkon, Sauron, Harkonnen, Saruman, Voldemort, Vader. You never hear about villains named Jimmy or Jenny or Betsy the Flower Girl. It’s always some vaguely Germanic or Hungarian conglomeration of nasal stops. Maybe they’re not villains, they’re just angry ’cause their throats hurt.
Anyway, her dad, Lord Harkon (or, in the original German, Boopsy Thunderkissings) the mostest evillest and powerfullest dread vampire lord of them all, has a sinister plan to blot out the sun or something, and all hope is lost because he is pure unstoppable evil so that’s why she has to get all breathy and sigh like she just got stood up for the junior prom …
… I mentioned I killed a god, right? And not “Boopsy, Goddess of Flowers and Facial Tissues” either – I killed The World Eater, the Thing That Eats Gods. I’m sure your dad’s probably boss-fight material, but I murdered a deity. We can probably tone down the angst, here. There’s really no need to stand like this –
especially when you’re also going to refer to the Keepers of the Soul Cairn, ancient guardians who sound like the next best thing to Lovecraftian Old Ones, as “those keeper things.” That’s crossing the streams. You can’t simultaneously dismiss everything in Skyrim with an eye roll and a muttered “ugh. boooring,” and act all mopey about how terribly terribly doomed everything is. You can either be angsty or be meta, but doing both means you’re straying dangerously close to the dreaded Hot Topic line.
But to continue our story –
… apparently her mother also went into exile, and of course we have to find her, even though it’s dollar ale night at the Bannered Mare, because she has an Elder Scroll. She’s hanging out somewhere in The Soul Cairn, which looks like every 90’s horror fantasy game relived –
and I knew we were in for some serious trouble – ’cause if there’s one thing that will angst out an emo goth twentysomething more than fighting with her dad –