18 years on, The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion's unmatched comedic timing is still enough to go viral

A man in armour snarls at the camera in The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Oblivion isn't many people's favourite Elder Scrolls game—that title usually goes to either its predecessor or successor—but it's unquestionably the funniest. Yes, Morrowind had The Lusty Argonian Maid and Skyrim sent you to the Moon every time a giant took a swing at you, but Oblivion's technology and acting combined in perfect alchemy to produce effortless comedy entirely without trying.

It's so good, in fact, that clips of the game's unintentional comic genius have gone viral on Twitter over the past few days, after a tweet from New Blood's Dave Oshry called attention to an accidentally hilarious Vinesauce video (posted by another Twitter user, NotRollingTim) of the game's Whodunit quest, in which the paranoid Neville absolutely annihilates Nels the Naughty with a blast of lightning. 

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Well, that just got the ball rolling, and soon enough a whole section of Twitter was awash in everyone's favourite clips of one of the most beautifully jank games ever put to market. There's the wood elf knight uttering a calm "Farewell," as a dungeon trap propels him towards a nest of spikes on the ceiling. There's the snow perverts. There's the man who is suddenly pulled into six different dimensions mid-conversation. This game has it all, and don't worry, I'll post them below.

But I admit, the clips got me thinking. For as much as we grouse about Bethesda's more recent games not feeling remarkably different—in technology and structure—from the template set by Oblivion, I do feel like you encounter far less of this stuff in the modern era than we did back in 2006.

On the one hand, I suppose that's a good thing. The games are less likely to shake themselves apart than they once were, but I have to admit some nostalgic part of me misses the charming brittleness of these older games. This stuff is absolutely wonderful, and besides, it's not like Bethesda games don't have bugs in them anymore, it just feels like the bugs they have are less likely to send a man to meet his god halfway through a chat about mudcrabs. Or maybe I'm playing wrong.

Whatever the case may be, here are a few of my absolute favourite clips that people have posted so far, and you can find many more in the quote tweets for Oshry's original post. Oblivion, don't listen to what they say, you're absolutely beautiful to me. 

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Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.