Streamer lets viewers add custom voice lines to Skyrim NPCs, immediately realises their mistake: 'I formally apologise and regret my life choices'

An orc stares blankly at an open book, realising his mistake, in Skyrim.
(Image credit: Bethesda)

AI has had a pretty controversial role across the gaming industry as of the past couple of years including—but certainly not limited to—designing NPCs. Recently, Ubisoft debuted uncanny AI-powered "neo NPCs", and to say I'm sceptical of the tech's actual uses is an understatement. Streamer Blurbs, however, has finally gotten me on board with at least one: letting his chat inject the most cursed custom voice lines into the denizens of Skyrim like a bunch of smutty skinwalkers. 

"In around three hours from this post I will be debuting what is, without a doubt, the best thing I've ever concocted," Blurbs writes on Twitter, like Daedelus showing a pair of wax wings to his son. 

"So—here's what we've done," Blurbs proceeds to state on the mod's inaugural stream. "I have never made a game mod before. I've ventured into the modding universe [where] chat can live-voice NPCs. It's gonna go horribly." Strolling into Riverwood, here's the first five custom lines he encounters:

  1. "You smell like bad cheese … I think it's your feet."
  2. "Whatchu talkin' about, Willis?"
  3. The entire "tragedy of Darth Plaugeis the wise" speech from Star Wars. This causes Blurbs to kill said NPC with his mind, hurl him in the river, and temporarily ban his creator.
  4. "So no bazookas for us?" Followed by: "Oh no. Please don't drown me." Blurbs proceeds to drown them.
  5. "I'm going to follow you and watch you and worship the ground you walk on."

So, pretty great right out the gate.

The mod works as follows: Any subscriber or VIP to his Twitch channel can create a 300-character message, then give said message a gender and a tone of voice before pressing enter. If the NPC's parent is also active in the chat, they can send further messages into the vessel of their choosing by nattering as normal. As things progressed, things grew rapidly more… upsetting, as a couple of clips shared by Blurbs on Twitter show:

"I formally apologise and regret my life choices," Blurbs says, like Prometheus probably did when he was being bound with chains and staring down the barrel of a liver-hungry eagle. Don't give fire to Twitch chat. It's a bad idea.

Honestly, the entire thing is exceptional—and while Blurbs probably has moderators watching his chat, the "live conversation" option shows a great deal of trust in his viewership. Heaps of trust. Perhaps, arguably, too much trust. 

Regrettably (or, perhaps, fortunately) Blurbs revealed in DMs with Kotaku that it's unlikely the mod itself will be gracing the likes of Nexus any time soon. "So it's not a normal 'mod' really … It's multiple programs running all together for this to work. I honestly doubt I'd be able to package it as [an] all-in-one mod and release it publicly." 

Blurbs promised, however, that he'll post a video to his YouTube channel which will explain how he pulled it off—allowing his fellow content creators to, with a bit of elbow grease, become psychically flashbanged with knowledge of the, ahem, self-care habits of Skyrim's bandits, via a cruel and capricious chat.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.