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Skyrim - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Boogie2988
 
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Concept art of multiple cities feature amphitheaters, as seen in the Anvil, Chorrol, and Skingrad concept art. These amphitheaters are nowhere to be seen in the final game.
Contributed by ClaudX
Concept art of Anvil reveal some slight differences from the original design. Originally, the port was connected inside the city walls, the lighthouse was accessed via a paved path, and the bay was much larger. In the final game, the port and lighthouse are located outside of the city walls, in a separate cell, the lighthouse has no paved path leading to it, and the bay is much smaller.
Contributed by ClaudX
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Concept art reveals a vastly different design for the city of Leyawiin than in the final game. The Niben river would have flown through the city, splitting it into 3 different sections, with 2 outer sections on land, and the third section, an island in the Niben River, connected via bridges.
Contributed by ClaudX
Upon first entering the Market District, a notice will appear on the screen reading "New Topic: Do you need couriers?". However, this topic cannot be discussed with any NPCs. This may be a leftover from a scrapped quest or questline in which the player would deliver letters to NPCs. The string of text's file name is "ImpExWork", with "ImpExDeliveredLetter" and "ImpExGiveLetter" also existing in the game's files.
Contributed by ClaudX
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.
Contributed by ClaudX
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.
Contributed by ClaudX
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.
Contributed by ClaudX
Originally, Velwyn Benirus was to die at some point during the Benirus Manor quest. Unused NPC lines exist saying, "I heard that Velwyn Benirus was killed. The manor claims another victim."
Contributed by ClaudX
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 on the first floor with no option to spare any of them. These lines were found in the German version of the game.
Contributed by ClaudX
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.
Contributed by ClaudX
There is unused dialogue for Elven, Nord, Breton, and Redguard city guards that go unused due to all city guards being Imperials. The only exception to this being quest specific NPCs who are city guards of a race other than Imperial.
Contributed by ClaudX
Horses were originally meant to be purchased through an in-game menu like other items in the game. In the final game, they are purchase through dialogue options. There exist unused lines for these purchases, "Need a new mount?" and "Looking to buy a horse? I have some fine animals for sale."
Contributed by ClaudX
There is unused dialogue showing that merchants would refuse services to the player if their disposition was too low. These lines include "No service for the likes of you. Take a hike."
Contributed by ClaudX
The Dark Brotherhood member "Antoinetta Marie" is an obvious reference to French Queen Marie Antoinette.
Contributed by ClaudX
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Every city was originally planned to have an Arena. Unused lines exist for the gatekeepers of each city arena, as well as Bruma's Arena being shown in the E3 2001 trailer. The final game uses what was originally the Chorrol Arena as the Imperial City Arena.
Contributed by ClaudX
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The "skooma drinking" animation in the final game is buggy and functions incorrectly. When a character is displaying the animation, their mouth clips through their head, and unlike any other animation in the game, they do not stop the animation when entering dialogue with the player.
Contributed by ClaudX
According to a fan interview conducted with Todd Howard, a "Nobility" faction was originally present in the game and would have focused on the dealings of The Elder Council. According to Howard, "You made your way up and became "The Duke of Colovia" and sat on the Elder Council. The only remnant of that questline is the dead Duke in Castle Kvatch, which was to be the beginning of that line."
Contributed by ClaudX
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.
Contributed by ClaudX
Unused voice lines for NPCs exist mentioning "Hearts Day" and "New Life Festival". These are both holidays that existed in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It's possible Bethesda meant for the holiday system and these specific holidays to return in Oblivion, before being cut. Additionally, Pete Hines mentions in an interview that these holidays were to be present in an unreleased DLC.
Contributed by ClaudX
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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. The architecture is clearly similar, especially the spires of the castle, and is sits atop a hill outside of the city.
Contributed by ClaudX
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City-Swimmer incorrectly addresses herself as a "he" when referring to herself.
Contributed by ClaudX
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Icons exist for the Imperial Watch Armor, although there is no way to obtain it in-game (apart from the shield).
Contributed by ClaudX
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Icons exist for the Mythic Dawn Armor, but it cannot be worn as the items are classified as "bound items" and not equippable gear.
Contributed by ClaudX
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There exists an icon for the Dark Brotherhood rank of "Executioner", but the game forgoes it, promoting the player from "Assassin" to "Silencer".
Contributed by ClaudX
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.
Contributed by ClaudX
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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.
Contributed by ClaudX
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 on 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.
Contributed by ClaudX
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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. The town is controlled by a cult of undersea creatures known as The Deep Ones. In Oblivion, the player 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 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".
Contributed by ClaudX
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The posters for The Arena in the Imperial City are a reference to the first Elder Scrolls Game.
Contributed by Pogue-Mahone
The 2005 E3 demo video showcased a new system called "Radiant AI", which gave them general goals to achieve, how the goals were to be achieved was totally up on the NPC and the environment they were in.

This, however, presented problems when it was first implemented, as there were no "rules" for the NPCs to follow, only goals. This would cause many problems for the player including quest-lines being broken. Some examples are an unseen NPC going around town, buying up all the armor from the town stores, and another was an NPC important for the Dark Brotherhood questline would end up being found dead, as he was also a Skooma dealer and was killed by other NPCs needing the Skooma. As a result, many of the behaviors of the RAI had to be toned down significantly in the final release.
Contributed by G-Haven
The NPC 'Jakben, Earl of Imbel' found in the Imperial City is actually an anagram of "Jack be nimble", from an old mid-19th century English nursery rhyme about a boy named Jack who would jump over candle sticks. He also owns a pair of unique boots important to the Thieves Guild questline which boosts the wearer's acrobatics skill by 50 points, allowing them to jump much higher than before. The name of the item, the "Boots of Springheel Jak", is itself a reference to a character from English folklore.
Contributed by G-Haven
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In the Spanish translation, the translation team mistook the verb "to train" (to work to improve skills) with the noun "train" (the means of transport), leading to the sentence "¡No hablar, no hablar! ¡Solo tren!" with "train" being the means of transport instead of the verb "entrenar".
Contributed by Gallego13
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A PSP version was planned for release around April 2007. According to Official PlayStation Magazine, it lacked the free-roaming game-play the games usually had, and felt more like a "dungeon romp."
Contributed by DeerBoarDude
Oblivion's main theme is used in a North Korean propaganda video.
Contributed by Ghost
In Oblivion, you can find a journal called "Macabre Manifest" which belonged to a grave robber. It includes:

Oford Gabings - Anvil

Travel Cloak with Silver and Green Leaf Fastener
Enchanted Shortsword with Inlaid Writing
Gold Ring with Inscription (Cursed?)
Leather Bound Travel Journal

This person is obviously a reference to Frodo Baggins (Oford Gabings is an anagram for Frodo Baggins, which further cements this reference) from Lord of the Rings. Upon completing the quest you receive a ring which looks very similar to the "Ring of Power".
Contributed by Skarro
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The statue in Chorrol in front of the south gate is a rendition of the Pietà, one of Michelangelo's finest works.
Contributed by FUS RO DAH
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There is a small bridge just past the Mouth of the Panther, east-southeast of Bravil. Underneath you will find the remains of a Dead Troll. Reminiscent of the children's fairy tale "Billy Goats Gruff", you will find A Poorly Scrawled Note on the body, explaining its failure as a bridge troll

Mee wurst troll evurr
nobuddy pay brijj tole
me nott sceary enuf
mee gett drunc an kil sellf
troll droun
Contributed by FUS RO DAH
Certain shops in the Imperial City are named after restaurants in Maryland, home of Bethesda Softworks. Amongst such are The Main Ingredient and Three Brothers.
Contributed by FUS RO DAH
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As a reference to Julius Caesar, Emporer Uriel Septim spouts numerous quotes from the play itself in the final moments before his death.
Contributed by RayMonkay
In the final Thieve's Guild quest, you're tasked with a seemingly dangerous escape in which the game recommends you equip the Boots of Springheel Jak (enchanted boots provided by the quest that add 50 to your acrobatics). Doing so will protect you from the fall due to a scripted event but the boots are destroyed in the process. However, should your actual acrobatics skill be high enough and/or you have sufficient health, the fall is easily survived without them and you can keep them permanently if you don't equip them before you jump.
Contributed by Petie