Bethesda Softworks, 2002
Windows 和 Xbox
Bethesda Softworks, 2002
Windows and Xbox
当我第一次踏足维瓦克城（ViviecCity）时，那段让人晕头转向又惊叹不已的经历让我属实难忘。《上古卷轴（The Elder Scrolls）》对于大大小小的细节的苛求已经到了登峰造极的地步。
维瓦克就像是一个复杂的赛博朋克（Cyberpunk）城市景观，但是这个景观是通过架空的中世纪灰色砂岩建筑呈现的。八座悬空的石金字塔组成了城市的八个区域。由贡多拉（gondolas） 和桥梁组成的网络将其彼此之间的陆地部分以及大陆连接起来。每个区域都有四个可以探索的内部结构，其中包含无以计数的商铺和住宅，里面住着几百个各有名字的 NPC 所有。
他们都各不相同，都有着属于自己的财产、个性、工作、爱去的地点和住所，这些东西都给予了每个 NPC 属于自己的小故事。支撑这个虚拟社会的虚拟经济体系在此体现的淋漓尽致——他们的房子、生意、食物种植用的农场以及排泄废物用的下水道，每个细节都被做了出来。行政事务区、图书馆、国库和办公室也设立在了喧闹的酒馆和阴森的魔法商店旁边的空间。
My first trip to Vivec City was an unforgettable hour of confusion and awe. The Elder Scrolls' cavalier attention to detail, both large and small, reached an apex there.
Vivec is like a cramped cyberpunk cityscape, but it's presented inside the brown sandstone of medieval fantasy. Eight floating stone pyramids comprise the city's eight districts, with a network of gondolas and bridges connecting them to each other and the mainland. Each district has four explorable interior levels each, containing innumerable businesses and residences that house hundreds of named NPCs.
They all have their own inventories, their own dispositions, jobs, haunts and hangouts that combine to give each NPC their own personal little story. The fictional economy that supports these fictional lives is on full display – their houses, their businesses, the farms that grow their food and the sewers that funnel away their waste are not spared any detail. Administrative businesses, libraries, treasuries and offices take up space next to the rowdy taverns and ghastly magic shops.
你可以知悉附近的飞龙（Netch）牧场如何将飞龙皮革做成飞龙盔甲的全过程，而这样的事情只不过是边角料罢了。大概有 200 多本书可供阅读（好吧，并不是真正的书，因为其内容只不过寥寥几段文字矣，但是其依旧很惊艳了），从世界历史到现议会高层名录，这些书都会详尽记载。
以游戏中的交通方式为例。你可以使用瓦登费尔的各种公共交通系统而非点击地图快速旅行（在《晨风》之前和之后的《上古卷轴》系列作品都是这么做的）岛上的居民都使用动物坐骑 、渡船和魔法传送阵（Magic Teleporter）四处旅行。所以在游戏前期你也会需要用到这些设施。
Vvardenfell, the massive island you explore in Morrowind, is one of the few sandbox maps that feels like it was built without any intention to turn it into a game, as if it was designed and mapped to serve the lore more than playability. As far as the player's lofty quests are concerned, all those administrative details behind Vivec City's economy aren't relevant.
You can learn all about the process of how the nearby Netch farms churn out Netch leather which turns into Netch armour, and it's only flavour text. There are almost two hundred different books to read (well, not really books so much as they are a few paragraphs, but still) that document everything from the world's history to directories of the council members that currently lead its political parties.
All this detail doesn't really make or break the game, mechanically speaking. It's just there. It's flavour text the player can skip. But what this massive amount of detail does do well (and indeed, its very purpose in the game) is to reify Vvardenfell as a world that is almost as complicated, ancient and dynamic as our own.
Look at how the game handles transportation, for example. Instead of pointing and clicking on a map screen to fast-travel (like in the TES games before and after Morrowind) you use Vvardenfell's public transit system instead. The people of this island use animal mounts, ferry boats, and magic teleporter booths to travel around. So, during the early game you use those facilities too.
Critics during the game's launch rightfully bemoaned Morrowind's slow walking speed and constricting fast-travel system, but those caveats serve as build-up for a divine pay-off later on. They build anticipation for a revelatory moment that the player may not experience for tens or perhaps hundreds of hours later. Until then, Morrowind is a slow-burning game.
4 译者注：《晨风》中你唯一可以乘坐的动物是跳蚤大巴（Silt Strider），并不像是《晨风》之前和之后的作品一样可以有自己的坐骑。