The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, often simplified to Daggerfall, is an action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Softworks. It is the second game of The Elder Scrolls series, and was released in 1996 for MS-DOS. Bethesda released a free full download of the game on their site in 2009 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Elder Scrolls series. Unlike the first game, Daggerfall's gameplay is limited to only two provinces, High Rock and Hammerfell, and not the whole continent of Tamriel.
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At the emperor of Tamriel's request, the player character travels to the city of Daggerfall in the Breton province High Rock as he has two important quest for the player: to free King Lysandus's ghost, and to take a letter to a Blades spy in Daggerfall's court in order to find out the location of the Mantella to resurrect the Numidium. The emperor wants the Numidium resurrected so that the Blades can rebuild it, but he cannot do this without Nulfaga's (who is the mother of King Lysandus) assistance, who knows the location of the Mantella herself.
The emperor's letter, which reveals that Nulfaga has knowledge of where the Mantella lies, falls into Gortwog's hands after it is accidentally passed to him somehow. Only an orc with no idea what the Mantella is, Gortwog gives the letter to the leader of the Necromancers, Mannimarco, nicknamed the "King of Worms". Meanwhile inside a tomb in High Rock, the Underking has been recovering from a battle where he destroyed the first Numidium after it was misused by Tiber Septim. The player must kill the person who murdered King Lysandus so his ghost may be put to rest and so the Mantella's power may be used again. In order to release the Mantella from its prison located in Aetherius, the totem of Tiber Septim must be stolen from King Gothyrd, who resides in Daggerfall.
Five different endings are possible in Daggerfall:
- The Underking absorbs the Mantella's power and passes into eternal rest if it is given to him by the player, causing a large magicka-free area to appear around him.
- Gortwog destroys the Bay Kings, rulers of provinces around the Iliac Bay, and Imperial forces if he accesses the Numidium. The Underking appears and wipes out the Numidium forever, and the kingdom of Orcs, Orsinium, is created by Gortwog.
- The first Numidium is reconstructed if the Blades get their hands on the Numidium, and they subsequently use it to kill the Bay Kings, reunite all provinces under the Empire, and destroy the orcs.
- If a Bay King gets the Numidium, he uses it to destroy all of the other kings shortly before the Underking destroys it.
- Mannimarco uses the Numidium to turn himself into a god if he reaches it.
There was one ending which was believed to be possible, but actually is not without the use of hacks. Although it was listed in The Daggerfall Chronicles, Daggerfall's official strategy guide created by Bethesda, as well as listed on the official Elder Scrolls website during its 10th anniversary, if the ending is accessed it is very buggy and unfinished. Some staff of Bethesda who were not part of the game's development team even thought it was a rumor at one time. The ending as is follows:
- If the player possesses the totem of Tiber Septim and uses the Mantella, the Numidium will kill them and the Imperial forces will be forced to destroy it.
- This ending is not available due to the fact that the totem must be given to a major power before being able to receive the Mantella.
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