YouTube user WestSideLuigi is causing a bit of a stir online with his series about Felix the Peaceful Monk. That’s his Skyrim character, and if you haven’t heard, he’s a pacifist.
Felix will not kill. At all. Not even the undead. Turns out he’s not a true pacifist (in the sense that he’s TOTALLY FINE with bludgeoning the most persistent aggressors with a mace. It’s just to scare the little tykes away though, cruel to be kinder…), but killing is crossing the line, and he achieves this using a combination of well-planned magical skills, as you’ll have seen in the video.
This is all very well and good, but it got me thinking. For quite some time now, we’ve been seeing games that basically make the claim, however worded, that you’re able to ‘play it your way’. This goes back pretty far; for example Bethesda Softworks’ mind-blowing offering Morrowind (The Elder Scrolls III), not just one but two games before Skyrim in the Elder Scrolls series, includes the following in its box copy text;
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the most detailed game world ever created, where you can create and play any kind of character you can imagine.
For the budding pacifist player, this is pretty promising, but all too often in games that claim this kind of thing, what they really mean is;
You can create and play any kind of character you can imagine, as long as it’s capable of kicking/hacking/burning/shooting the crap out of at least 50% of the animate beings it encounters.
I reckon you could probably get away with it in the other Elder Scrolls games; they really do give you a lot of freedom. Enough freedom to survive in the inevitably aggressive worlds without retaliation. I don’t think you’d manage it in the recent Fallout games (especially not on Hardcore mode…), and you can forget about it in the Fable series, which forces you to dispatch quite a few living things. It might actually be quite fun to approach the Assassin’s Creed games with the goal of killing absolutely nobody except the targets required of you to progress the game. There’d be an awful lot of stealth skills involved!
My recommendations, to be selected based on the game at hand;
heavy armour, invisibility, jetpack