Skyrim mod adds Doctor Who's weeping angels in case you feel like wetting yourself

A statue of an angel with hands over her eyes
(Image credit: wSkeever x Kreiste)

If you're not familiar with Blink, it's the best episode of Doctor Who and maybe one of the best things ever broadcast on television. I guess the moon landing is probably up there too. Anyway, it's the episode with the weeping angels, which look like the kind of sad lady statues you see in graveyards only whenever you're not looking, they move. Hence the advice when dealing with the weeping angels: "Don't blink." They're terrifying.

Which is why I was hesitant to try Baba Yaga and the Labyrinth, a quest mod for Skyrim Special Edition by modders Kreiste and wSkeever. At least the angels are limited to a location this mod adds to Skyrim's worldspace, rather than roaming the countryside at random. I mean, I hope they are.

The mod begins with the bartender of The Bee and Barb in Riften handing me a note, which sends me off to find a wild witch who lives in a walking hut. This isn't Quest For Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero, so the hut's easy to gain entry to. It's also got some muscular wooden legs rather than the chicken legs Baba Yaga's home has in the original myths, but then this one doesn't belong to Baba Yaga. (Also it's using Skyrim's giant model.)

This hut's absent owner is a witch named Hagnes, and after some investigation I discover what she's been up to. Hagnes found a way to another dimension, a part of the Soul Cairn—the Oblivion realm you visit in the Dawnguard questline—and hasn't come back. A quick portal later and I follow, at which point it turns out the place Hagnes traveled to is a labyrinth with, yep, one of those creepy weeping angel statues in it.

Though the weeping angels here don't work exactly the same as the ones from Doctor Who, I still have to navigate this modest maze while trying not to let them out of my sight for fear they'll be standing right there the instant I turn around. Ignoring whatever's behind me to pick a lock becomes real stressful. Fortunately this isn't too maze-like a maze, which is good because I've abandoned at least one popular quest mod for having a tangle of samey corridors in it.

I find Hagnes at the center of the labyrinth, a word I use interchangeably with maze just to annoy the kind of people who insist there's a difference between the two. Now comes the fun part: finding our way back out together. Since I forgot to convince the maze designer's daughter to fall in love with me and bring a ball of thread, I just have to remember the way. That's surprisingly hard when I'm in a state of constant dread because there are more weeping angels now and they've got real aggressive.

Hagnes, by the way, is voiced by the ElevenLabs AI. Back when I first heard voice-acting generated by machine learning in a Skyrim it was impressive, but only capable of making a few seconds of dialogue at a time. It could sound fairly robotic too. Hagnes occasionally sounds a bit flat, but her performance is still better quality than you get in a lot of Skyrim mods.

Rescue complete, we return to Skyrim where Hagnes gives me a witches' outfit of my own as a reward, complete with floppy hat and cape. The Wild Witch Outfit is actually a separate mod by the same creators you'll need to install before installing Baba Yaga and the Labyrinth. There's a follow-up quest too, after which Hagnes will become available as a follower. The thing is, to do that quest I'd have to return to the labyrinth on my own, and you know what? I think I'll pass, actually. One time round the maze with the weeping angels was enough for me.

AI voice-acting has become pretty common in mods, whether it's helping Skyrim's NPCs say your name instead of calling you Dragonborn, expanding the dialogue of Brynjolf and other members of the Thieves Guild, or lending full voices to every NPC in Morrowind. It's one of the better uses for AI I've seen, because there are still plenty of opportunities for volunteer actors in mods like Warden of the Coast, which has over 9,000 lines of dialogue. This is augmenting rather than replacing, making it easier for modders who don't have expensive recording equipment and a gift for performance to let their creations speak.

Mods that use AI voices are already starting to appear in our updated lists of the best Skyrim mods and the best Skyrim Special Edition mods.

(Image credit: wSkeever x Kreiste)

(Image credit: wSkeever x Kreiste)

(Image credit: wSkeever x Kreiste)
Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.