Terry Pratchett, best known as the well-loved and prolific writer of the Discworld novels, has always been full of surprises. But even after his sad passing in 2015, he still manages to find different ways to keep his fans on their toes. This time it’s because of Pratchett’s love for another fantasy universe: that of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls, particularly Oblivion and Skyrim.
Not only was Pratchett an avid fan of the two games, but he also wrote mods for them too. This discovery was found out by David Oneacre, an animator based in Boston. Oneacre noticed a transcript of cut content from an interview Pratchett gave on The Author Hour radio program back in 2009, where he was then asked by the host what his favorite video game was.
His answer was Oblivion. However, while the vanilla game was beautiful and inspiring by itself, Pratchett found himself drawn to something else entirely. In the transcript, he says, “what is so magnificent, and this warms my soul, is the concept of games modding.” And indeed Pratchett tried his hand at modding himself, running his own little vineyard and walking around Oblivion in cheese boots.
But what he loved most of all was the dedication modders had in improving the world for not just themselves, but other players too. He states, “I just enjoy the fact in this world that is rather controlled by commerce, there is this inner world of people giving up their time and effort to perfect some little detail about a computer game for the delectation of others.”
Pratchett’s love for modding didn’t stop there. There’s one thing to play the mods that people have created, but contributing to a mod yourself with your own writing is entirely something else. Pratchett found time to write over 100 lines for a companion mod in Oblivion for a character named Vilja, a Nord alchemist. What’s more, Pratchett even wrote a version for Skyrim, where Vilja’s great-great-granddaughter is the companion.
To say he loved the Elder Scrolls series may be putting it mildly. Even with his passing, we feel more than a little happy to know that Pratchett’s influence can still be found in the most remarkable of places.