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A Skyrim player has murdered every last nord, elf and beast in the game

A woman stands in a field of bodies on a grey road
(Image credit: Bethesda)
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How do you say you're finished with a game? Do you park your character somewhere nice before logging off for good? Or do you follow Skyrim (opens in new tab) player Jaeinskyrim's lead by murdering every living thing in the fantasy realm until there's nothing left but a chill breeze?

Almost every living thing, at least. We'll get to that.

As spotted by PCGamesN (opens in new tab), redditor Jaeinskyrim this week achieved their dream of removing Skyrim of life (opens in new tab). The player systematically cut down NPCs from every village, town, city and outpost, as well as any wandering deer or wolf pack. All in all, they slaughtered 2,201 humanoid NPCs and 2,400 creatures, a total tally of 4,601 kills.

Of course, Skyrim doesn't just let you empty a country off the jump. Mods (Jae cites Kill Em All & Death Awaits Us All) let you circumvent 'essential' NPCs, but generic characters like guards and bandits may respawn after a few in-game days. 

There was, however, one named foe Jae couldn't kill. Having cut down the Greybeards before learning clear skies, they couldn't make it to Paarthurnax at the top of the world. While cheats would let them make the trip, Jae ultimately decided against it.

"Paarthurnax deserved better than that. He lives. However, He does leave me alone."

Judging from their reddit history (which appear to be written in-character as the player's, err, wife?), the process seems to have taken a month to complete. In more wholesome Elder Scrolls news, you can now mod in Skyrim gran Shirley Curry (opens in new tab) as a companion, ahead of her official cameo in The Elder Scrolls 6 (opens in new tab).

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.