The one thing Morrowind had too much of was Morrowind, and now, thanks to CaffeineSnake over on NexusMods (opens in new tab), that problem is solved. First spotted (opens in new tab) by Elder Scrolls YouTuber Micky D (opens in new tab), Morrowind Removed gets rid of the island of Vvardenfell entirely, leaving just open ocean (and the island of Solstheim, if you've got Bloodmoon installed). To quote the mod's author, "Vvardenfell removed because y'all can't behave."
Fucking good pic.twitter.com/8VlSbynkMGFebruary 26, 2023
But it wasn't enough to just yuck it up at this meme mod and call it a day, I had to experience a Morrowind-free Morrowind. I had to feel it in my very bones. I just dropped the .esp into my Data Files folder like with any other mod and launched the retail version from GOG so I could use the character I made at the beginning of the pandemic.
"Unable to find Region 'DELETED REGION' in Load for Cell 'Wilderness'.
Continue running executable?"
Well, yeah dummy! Not being able to find DELETED REGION in load for cell Wilderness is the whole reason I'm here. Unfortunately clicking "Yes" would just make the same popup come back up. I initially hoped I could Cookie Clicker my way through this, maybe it was shuffling through a list of all these deleted cells? But no dice.
I couldn't figure out how to get Morrowind Removed working with the original game, not with disabling other mods or even messing with load orders in the positively ancient Morrowind Mod Manager (opens in new tab), but I was in luck—I also have the much-beloved OpenMW (opens in new tab) source port installed, and though I wouldn't get to see Morrowindless Morrowind with my million-hour Dark Elf Nightblade, I could still catch a glimpse with this lowbie Breton I rolled a year or so ago.
I was crestfallen at first—I loaded into the Balmora Mage's Guild without a hitch. What gives! There's still Morrowind here! But then it occurred to me that interior cells like this would likely remain, orphaned from the now-removed overworld, and I should see what happens on leaving the building.
I stepped out the front door and bam, there I was, trapped at the bottom of a vast and unfathomable ocean! I was so deep underwater that I ran out of breath meter and started taking damage before I reached the surface. The effect up top is suitably desolate and isolating, but if you swim for long enough, you'll reach Solstheim.
If you've ever wanted to experience Bethesda's 2002 classic sans Bethesda's 2002 classic, now's your chance. Morrowind Removed unfortunately still leaves in Bloodmoon and Tribunal's content, but you can thankfully take care of that with the Tribunal (opens in new tab) and Solstheim Erasers (opens in new tab), creating a sort of classic RPG sensory deprivation tank. Now to wait for the true slow-burn punchline of this mod: forgetting that I have it installed, getting a hankering for some Morrowind some months or years from now, and shocking myself with this stifling purgatory on firing it up.