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TES IV: Oblivion Easter Eggs and Cut Content Thread
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has many references to literature, pop-culture, and folk stories as well as a plethora of cut content. I will discuss and back it up here. 

The quest, "A Shadow Over Hackdirt" appears to be a reference to the H.P. Lovecraft story, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth". The Lovecraft story tells of an investigator who travels to the town of Innsmouth, only to find it in shambles with few residents about. The town is controlled by a cult of undersea creatures known as The Deep Ones. In Oblivion, the main character travels to the dilapidated town of Hackdirt in search of a lost citizen of Chorrol, and finds a town in shambles with few residents. The main character soon learns that the town is controlled by a cult underground known as The Brethren, with a book existing in the town entitled "The Bible of the Deep Ones". In addition, the Brethren feature large eyes unlike typical NPCs within the game, this may be in reference to Lovecraft's depiction of the residents of the town, "bulgy starey eyes". 

Shadow Over Innsmouth
[Image: 600px-OB-npc-Hackdirt_Brother_92c5a.jpg]

During Vaermina's Daedric quest, you are tasked with stealing an orb from an Altmer mage. Within his chambers, notes are scattered across the room with mad ramblings including the notes, "The horror! The horror!" and, "I shall lie here in the dark waiting for death." This is a reference to the novel "Heart of Darkness", where each note is a quote from the book itself.

Heart of Darkness
The Notes

Amantius Allectus' Diary, stolen during "May The Best Thief Win" may be a reference to the movie and musical, "Little Shop of Horrors". The diary notes Allectus' cultivation of plants that feed off of blood- he begins by feeding them cat and rat blood, but once he accidentally cuts himself on the plant, they begin craving human blood, which he then feeds them. In "Little Shop", the main character Seymour cares for a blood-thirsty plant who, once accidentally cutting himself on it, begins to feed it his own blood. 

Amantius Allectus' Diary
Little Shop Scene

The quest, "The Forlorn Watchman" features many references to the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty", which was based on the real-life event based on the ship of the same name. In the quest, the player must release a man's soul by releasing his body from shackles within a ship. Aboard the ship the player discovers the mutiny upon the ship, led by a man named Gable the Traitor against their captain, Captain Laughton. In the 1935 movie, the captain is played by Charles Laughton and the "traitor" is played by Clark Gable.

The Forlorn Watchman
"Mutiny" Cast
Log of the Emma May

The Dark Brotherhood member "Antoinetta Marie" is an obvious reference to French Queen Marie Antoinette. 
Antoinetta Marie

Castle Skingrad seems to be modeled after Bran Castle, the castle famous for housing Dracula. In Oblivion, Castle Skingrad is home to Count Hassildor, a reclusive vampire who is featured in quest revolving around vampirism.
[Image: Bran_castle-600x400.jpg?x91599][Image: 799px-OB-place-Castle_Skingrad.jpg]

A city named "Sutch" was cut from the final game. The only remnants are the existence of a "Fort Sutch" in the final game. Sutch is mentioned in lore throughout the series, and the E3 2005 demo of Oblivion featured Sutch on the world map.
[Image: kLzvQxjksjbQljugNUqxBsoyEur2UcbNSVe4QamG...90-h603-no]

There exists an icon for the Dark Brotherhood rank of "Executioner", but the game forgoes it, promoting the player from "Assassin" to "Silencer".
[Image: OB-icon-Dark_Brotherhood-Executioner.png]

Icons exist for the Mythic Dawn Armor, but it cannot be worn as the items are classified as "bound items" and not equippable gear. 
[Image: ESIV_Mythicdawnhelmet.png][Image: ESIV_Mythicdawnm.png]

Icons exist for the Imperial Watch Armor, although there is no way to obtain it in-game (apart from the shield).
[Image: ESIV_ImperialWatchCuirass.png]

City-Swimmer incorrectly addresses herself as a "he" when referring to herself.
[Image: PUDqy1mpIoMSyCKFbGhaZS1NK4dx0KMMr-vDS-tj...b89411aa06]

There exists a single female Dremora within the game. She has no voice files and if charmed, displays the text "I have no greeting text". (I will try to get an image of the dialogue)
[Image: 600px-OB-NPC-Dremora_Markynaz_Missile.jpg]

The arenas went through multiple stages of development, with only one existing in the final game, in the Imperial City. Originally, there were arenas in each town, with dialogue for each arena's gatekeepers. When only one arena was in the game, it was planned to be in Chorrol, with Hundolin, the Arena gatekeeper, originally residing in Chorrol, and the Arena's parts having the prefix "Chorrol". Supposedly the Bruma arena was shown in the E3 2005 trailer and the Cheydinhal one was shown in The Making of Oblivion documentary (which is over 40 minutes long I will look later for this).
Cut Gatekeeper Dialogue

Lots of cut and unfinished content exists surrounding Skooma. The Skooma addicts faction, the Skooma dealers, the Skooma trade, and the Skooma drinking action itself are all unfinished. The animation is the only one of its kind- not stopping when the player renters dialogue with a character performing the animation, and it even distorts the face of the character talking. This video below is great and I will dissect it later:
Skooma In Oblivion

There was originally a "Nobility" faction, where you would climb the ranks of nobility to reach the rank "Duke of Colovia". This was allegedly stated in a fan interview with Todd Howard. 

That's all for now, I'll update it as things progress. Sorry if the formatting is weird/broken, I've been gone from here for a long time. A recent playthrough of Oblivion due to quarantine has led me to fact-hunting again.
Thanked by: ZpaceJ0ck0
I found a great YouTube channel called Publick Gamer who has a full playlist of videos that deal with removed Oblivion content, as well as them re-implementing these removed features into the final game to show how they would have worked. I will be dissecting as many of these videos as I can here to provide information for cut Oblivion content. Go and give them a like or subscription if you can, they've contributed a lot.

There is unused barter dialogue in the game's files that would have been used by merchants if they disliked you. This would have rendered the player unable to barter with them or receive repairs, as the merchant would refuse service. In the video, the merchant says "No service for the likes of you. Take a hike." 

Horse merchants have unused horse-merchant-specific dialogue that was cut. These lines are never used as you don't purchase horses through a barter menu like traditional items. The lines are "Need a new mount?" and "Looking to buy a horse? I have some fine animals for sale."
Cut Barter Dialogue

There is unused dialogue for Elven, Nord, Breton, and Redguard city guards that go unused due to all city guards being Imperials. 
Nord and Redguard Guards
Elven Guards
Breton Guards

There are unused lockpicking animations for NPCs that would have been used when NPCs lockpick locked chests or doors. This is a rare occurrence in-game and when it happens, the NPCs simply use the "activate" animation. There exists animations for locked chests on the ground as well as doors. 
Unused Lockpicking Animations

Unused NPC lines state that Velwyn Benirus could have died at some point, in association with the Benirus Manor quest.
Velwyn Benirus Death Lines

There exists dialogue and coding for an unused "Statlilia Stables" horse merchant that would have resided in the Imperial City. 
Statlilia Stables Dialogue

In "The Siren's Deception", the player would have only been fought by 2 of the women in Gweden Farm, with the third, Faustina, fleeing to the basement. There, the player would have had multiple dialogue options with her, and ultimately been able to spare her. In the final game, you must fight all 3 women, and the basement is inaccessible. These lines were found in the German version of the game.
The Sirens Deception Early
Thanked by: ZpaceJ0ck0
The player was originally supposed to receive a note from Lucien Lachance, instead of him appearing after you sleep. You were also supposed to access his hideout in Fort Farragut much earlier than in the final game (you are tasked with finding his hideout much later in the questline). The note reads, "You sleep rather soundly for a cold-blooded killer. That's good. You'll need a clear conscience for what I'd like to propose. For there is much I can offer you. The taking of a life has its own pleasures, of course, but the taking of a life for the Dark Brotherhood is an act worthy of immeasurable reward.
If you're intrigued, and I suspect you are, come visit me at the ruins of Fort Farragut. If you survive the descent down to the bottom level where I reside, I'll know you're capable of all the Dark Brotherhood has to offer." 

It appears that handbills and couriers were meant to be much more prominent, as handbills for may businesses in the game appear in the files, but go unused. Handbills even exist for temples in the game. 

An unused Hood of the Apprentice exists, most likely given to the player alongside the Robes of the Apprentice when accepted into the Arcane University.
[Image: OB-icon-clothing-GreyRobeHood.png]

An unused King of Worms Hood exists, and was most likely meant to be worn by Mannimarco.
[Image: OB-icon-clothing-KingOfWormsHood.png]

An unused "Lock" spell exists in the files (as well as Easy Lock and Average Lock), but it goes unused in the final game. It would have locked containers and doors. The files include several warnings which read "DO NOT USE". "Lock" existed as a spell in TES III: Morrowind.

An unused "Darkness" spell exists in the files, but ultimately goes unused. It acts oppositely to the "Light" spells in the game, making an area darker (most likely to make it easier to sneak and remain undetected). Similar to the unused "Lock" spell it contains many "DO NOT USE" warnings. 

There's a disease in-game called "Ticklebritch" that typically goes unused in normal gameplay, but the DLC Mehrune's Razor provides a singular way to contract it. If the player picks up a certain hoe in Sundercliff Mines, they will contract the disease. Given that the only way to contract this disease is through picking up a hoe, this is likely a joke by developers alluding to STDs. 

An unused disease named "Elytra Hatchling Disease" exists, but goes entirely unused. 

Game files suggest certain abilities were meant to be connected to the Dark Brotherhood questline, but go unused. An ability named "Night Mother's Blessing" would have increased Blade, Sneak, Security, Marksman, and Acrobatics by 2. A Chameleon ability with the ID name "DarkNightMotherFade" also exists, suggesting a connection to the guild.

The game files reveal that High Elves were originally supposed to be 50 points vulnerable to Fire, Frost, Shock, and Magic. In the final game, they only have a 25 points vulnerability, with no general vulnerability to Magic.

An unused ability named "Shadowmere's Invisibility" exists, but was scrapped. It was most likely to be used to turn the mount, Shadowmere, invisible. However, if activated, it provides a low-level Chameleon effect, rather than full invisibility. 

Thanked by: ZpaceJ0ck0

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