Every week, YouTuber Mitten Squad (opens in new tab) finds a way to complete a game in an unusual, improbable way, and this week it was Skyrim (opens in new tab)'s turn. He set out to beat the main quest using only a torch, and it turns out that it's not only possible but, with the right setup, it's actually fairly straightforward—it just takes a very long time.
It took a while for Mitten Squad to find a torch (he had to get himself arrested and thrown in the dungeon to do it), but from then on he could grind up his Block skill, which determines how much damage you deal with a torch power bash. At level 50, he grabbed the Deadly Bash perk, which made his attacks deal five times more damage, and then set to hunting dragons.
It was a slow process, because bashing drains your stamina, so he was constantly waiting for the bar to regenerate before he attacked, and only whittled a slither of health from his enemies with each bash. The turning point was soup: vegetable soup, specifically, which regenerates one point of both health and stamina every second for 12 whole minutes.
With a large batch of soup cooked and portioned in his pack, Mitten Squad was able to beat the toughest enemies in the game. Power bashing with the torch staggers enemies and only requires a single point of stamina, so after glugging the soup he was able to put his foes into an endless staggering loop, including dragons.
In a couple of instances, Skyrim forces you to damage an enemy in a specific way, such as with a shout, but I wouldn't consider them rule breaks because they're hard-wired into the game. He also used magic to heal himself and other shouts that didn't damage enemies, such as Dragonrend to keep dragons on the ground, letting him stagger them. I'm still mighty impressed with his patience—I can only imagine how long it must've taken to beat down enemies with the largest pools of health.
You can watch his full recap of the run in the video at the top of this post.
Thanks, Polygon (opens in new tab).