This can be a cynical business, gamers, but every once in a while, a story comes along that warms our hearts. Yesterday, Bethesda revealed that after hearing the story of an elderly 86-year-old man who has played over 1,000 hours of Skyrim they decided to pay tribute to the superfan by putting him in the upcoming Elder Scrolls game as its one and only character.
If that news doesn’t brighten your day, we don’t know what will.
This sweet story began late last year when a video of elderly Oregon resident Herbert Pollack hacking through Hillgrund’s Tomb went viral on Twitter. Right away, Todd Howard and the rest of the Elder Scrolls team knew they wanted to do something nice as an appreciation for such a dedicated fan, and after getting in contact with his family, they settled on an amazing idea that was sure to delight: Every single character, from guards to dungeon bosses to the player themselves, will be modeled after and voiced by Pollack. How cool is that!
While secrecy around the next Elder Scrolls game means Bethesda can’t share all the details, we do know that Pollack has recorded over 5,000 lines of dialogue, including guard phrases like “Mind yourself citizen” that will be repeated hundreds of times throughout the game. In addition, the 10 playable races have been narrowed down to just ‘Herbert,’ whose appearance and stats will not be customizable in any way. This sounds like a Skyrim fan’s dream come true.
Not only is Herbert in every corner of the game but Bethesda has also made sure that the character is true to life. Both the player and every Herbert NPC will eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. in the local inn, always getting the same order of a turkey club and Diet Coke. The main quest will reportedly even mirror Herbert’s life, as most of the missions will send players off to fetch cholesterol medication while working towards the ultimate goal of getting your neighbor to cut down the tree that has repeatedly dropped branches on the bird feeder behind your farmhouse.
Though some gamers decry fan service like this, we here at OGN think this a sweet gesture that is sure to bring a ray of light into not only Herbert’s life but all of ours as well. Sure, we might miss High Elves, the Dark Brotherhood, or combat of any kind, but it’s all worth it to put a smile on an old man’s face.