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File:Elder Scrolls - Arena 001 7168.png

"The best techniques are passed down by the survivors."
Gaiden Shinji

The first video game in The Elder Scrolls series, released for DOS in 1994. Originally, it was going to be an Action Game with RPG Elements, about gladiatorial combat. However, as development went on, the RPG elements grew more and more, until the arenas themselves were cut out altogether (they are still mentioned in some Dummied Out narration, though.)

The player takes on the role of a member of the Imperial Court of Tamriel. In the opening Cutscene The Emperor is trapped in another dimension by his most trusted courtier, the battlemage Jagar Tharn. The evil Tharn then uses magic to disguise himself as the emperor and take his place.

However, he is noticed by both the player character and the lesser sorceress Ria Silmane. Silmane threatens to reveal Tharn's new identity, so Tharn kills her and throws the player into the Imperial dungeons.

However, Silmane appears to the player in his/her dreams, and guides him/her to reassemble the Staff of Chaos, a weapon capable of defeating Tharn and rescuing the emperor, but which Tharn has broken into eight pieces and scattered across the Empire.

That's right, there are no arenas in this game. At all. However, as if to make up for that, this game is huge. There really is an entire life-sized continent (4000x3000 square miles - three times larger than Europe!) to wander around in, with hundreds of settlements and thousands of NPCs.

The game has been released as a freeware download by Bethesda as part of their commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of the inception of The Elder Scrolls. Get it here.

Tropes used in The Elder Scrolls Arena include:

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