(Madman Tonight is filmed in front of a live studio audience)
(Today we get a rare look at Madman97 and Dave in their relaxation state. The studio stage has been converted from a satanic sitting room where strange interviews of every sort have been conducted to a localized beach. Background is a painted blue sky shining under the sun while the clouds cast shadows on the rolling waves and artificial sand and our two hosts, laid back in white chairs with Hawaiian T's, khakis, and sunglasses. A radio plays the soft tunes of Charles Trenet beside the cooler of Beer and the Blood of Madman97's interns. Suddenly, Dave shuts it off)
Madman97: Hey, where'd the Frenchy go?
Dave (withdrawing a phone from his pocket): Received a buzz from advertisement. Our spies are circling in on a rumor that Skyrim Remastered will be announced tomorrow evening during Bethesda's E3 press release.
Madman97 (raising his sunglasses): Remastered Edition? I thought their PR and Marketing President shot it down. Can we get confirmation?
Dave: Says here a listing was leaked on Base.com, that it's supposed to be out this November in fact.
Madman97: Return to Skyrim?...With mods?! We could-We could have giant butts! Scant, sexy clothing! Hot bodies! And just think of what we could do with female characters too!
(Our host snaps his fingers, and the beach is swept away in a single nanosecond and replaced by the fancy-schmancy studio our viewers know and love. Free from the constraints of dorky summer themed clothing and back into his signature regalia, Madman97 (and Dave) pulls up his chair on each side of the 80x80 monitor positioned at the back wall for the audience.)
Madman97: How was I not aware of this sooner? I've been following the development of the Skywind mod for months. Imagine being actually able to play it on console! It'll be like another Elder Scrolls game, a fan spin-off! All those hours of content after the vanilla game! Safe to say we won't grow bored with it as quickly as last time. Who knows, perhaps a return to some Wabbajack Grinding?
Dave: Well, if this Remastered Edition turns out to be a farce--
Madman97: Then Bethesda shall find its employees TURNED INSIDE OUT!
Dave:--how will we satiate our Elder Scrolls need?
Madman97 (slumping back into his chair): Hmm...We've played Oblivion to death, we've played Skyrim to death, we don't really like Elder Scrolls Online, we don't play card games...besides Gwent, but that's beside the point. Perhaps those other weird spin-offs?
Madman97 (shaking his head): Once more, you're ignorance makes me want to vomit up the puppies I had for breakfast this morning. I'm talking WIERDER! Prepare the monitor; we have a professional call to make tonight on...
(Dave fumbles with the remote control and turns on the television)
Dave: Sh*t, was it HDMI?
Madman97: I think MAD.
(Dave clicks the MAD setting and the monitor lights up with a message: CALLING UAM. CALLING UAM.)
Dave: UAM, hmm? Haven't seen him in a while.
Madman97: Oh yes, Dave. Lord Uselesimo Argonius Magicus Esquire is the foremost authority on the various Elder Scrolls' spin-offs and exactly the right man to bring to the show after so long a break, especially when we need to decide how we will spend our time. He was also a very important figure moderator-wise in this wiki, which you'll soon see why. UAM, everyone, let's hear it for him!
(A garbling chubby-cheeked slug with ゆ carved into its Jabba-looking back appears on-screen to thunderous applause)
Madman97: UAM, my dear boy! Welcome! You have been summoned to grant me advice on a most urgent matter, but it would not be in good taste to demand such knowledge without first making your acquaintance with the audience. You are a storied user on this wiki, and this wiki shall remember if I have any say. I pride myself on my storytelling ability, but even I warp things around to make them cooler (namely my involvement in various events). I would have an honest truth from the source and the truth is already cool enough. Tell us how you came to be here and how you fell into the moderator business? What about after you took a hiatus from this Wiki? Where did you go and what did you do?
UAM: I originally joined in order to mess around. I had no intention of any serious effort, but I enjoyed the RPing aspect the wiki used to have. I spent a few months here just making random forum posts with very few mainspace edits. At one point someone made a consensus on whether to implement the new Wikia Chat feature, to supplement the IRC that we already had. I supported it, and threw my hat in to the ring to become a chat moderator. I was the first to do so and got a lot of support thanks to my activity on the forums, so I got the role. I moderated the chat for a while, there was a lot of drama and such, but it was a great experience.
Eventually though, I lost interest, people were leaving and I couldn't keep it going. I left for a while with short comebacks in between, nothing too dedicated though. I did however put a lot of effort in to the Shadowkey portion of the wiki after the hiatus, I did more mainspace work than ever, practically overhauling everything we had on the game with articles on all the weapons and armour. I'm one of very few people that can actually play the game, and the game itself does interest me, even if it isn't a great game.
Madman97: The first chat mod. Extraordinary. I remember my brief stint as a forum moderator like it was yesterday...
Dave: Actually it never happened, because you weren't supported enough.
On Various Spin-Offs
Madman97: Posh, they loved me! Too much! I had to let them down otherwise they would have been disappointed when I didn't fulfill their wild visions of my modding career. I'm a blogger, through and through, and some things never change. What about you, UAM? Some pretty big changes happened you left. We were quite sad to see you go. And now you're back. As much as this is delightful, may I ask why?
UAM: Occasionally I do miss the wiki, I check on new policies, new users that have made waves, and trying to find older users I lost contact with. While I do this, I continually add to Shadowkey articles, if I can be bothered.
Madman97: Eh, the more we know, the better. To be honest, I've never heard of Shadowkey
Dave: Weren't you just getting on me about ignorance?
Madman97 (in a huff): Ignorance is a matter of perspective, like people failing to see that a judge may not be able to do his job because of his Mexican heritage. Open your eyes, people! Trump 2016!...Sorry, what were we talking about? Shadowkey? What is that? What even is that? I'm confused. Help me.
UAM: Shadowkey is a game in the unpopular Travels spin-off series. While the other games were released on standard mobile phones, Shadowkey was released on the failed N-Gage console/phone hybrid, which is infamous for a lot poor quality games from more popular series. Shadowkey had the potential to be great, but it being on the N-Gage was a bad move. It controlled horrendously, had way too much fog, and the FPS was in the single digits for the most part. The game was released two days after the Nintendo DS, so interest in portable consoles had already been completely moved on to that. Despite it being a total failure, the game has a rich background and has a lot of lore that was totally unique to it. You can tell that if this game was released for the DS instead of the N-Gage, it could've been a classic. The amount of equipment, areas, characters, and content for a portable 3D game is astounding and way ahead of its time. The game is based around the concept of shadow magic, which is a topic in and of its own, and stopping it from being used for evil.
Madman97 (leaning back in his chair): Hmm...Fascinating. I've never thought of a portable Elder Scrolls game. Reminds me of the cancelled Oblivion PSP game leaks a few weeks back. Go on, UAM. Tell us more about the other spin-offs.
UAM: Dawnstar and Stormhold are very similar games, very basic dungeon crawlers which are fine for what they are: basic games you play on an old flip phone. They are very difficult to play these days, emulators are available but the game files aren't. I only found them on a Russian website that my computer said was filled with malware. They're decent games, but unlike Shadowkey they aren't ambitious or interesting.
Oblivion Mobile is probably the biggest black sheep of the Travels series, while the other three are first-person RPGs like mainline TES games, it is a top down RPG. It is essentially an adaptation of the mainline Oblivion game. I haven't actually played this one, but from what I've seen it reminds me of the cell phone adaptation of Modern Warfare 2, which I have played (it wasn't very good).
Dave (playing on his phone): I agree.
UAM: Battlespire is a very very odd game. Rather than being set in an open world with lots of NPCs, like mainline TES and Shadowkey, it is set in a more linear enemy filled world with a bigger orientation on combat and combat skills. Everything about it is extremely strange, from the odd areas to the odd dialogue. It's okay, don't expect hidden gem--it's hidden for a reason--but it's worth playing.
Redguard is probably the only TES spin-off that could be considered a hidden gem, but like all old PC games, it's a pain the ass to play. Redguard isn't an RPG, rather it's an action adventure game set in a pirate filled desert paradise, you play as a guy looking to save his sister. The game hasn't aged well, but if you can play Morrowind these days you can probably handle Redguard. And that's it for the old spin-offs.
Madman97 (counting them off with his fingers): Dawnstar, Stormhold, Oblivion Mobile, Battlespire, Shadowkey, and Redguard? Coupled with this Legends thing, seven spin offs I've never heard of? Well, besides Redguard.
UAM: The best is probably Redguard, but my personal favorite is Shadowkey. Like I said, Shadowkey is a bad game, absolutely terrible, but almost entirely because of hardware limitations. In terms of ambition, design, and story, Shadowkey trumps all of them. Redguard is a solid game, a really solid game, with a great world and great characters, but it doesn't really push any limits like Shadowkey does.
Madman97: Dave, are you taking notes?
Dave (still playing on his phone): ...............................Yeah.
Madman97: Well UAM, this is a very impressive amount of data you've given me on this subject, tantamount to the scholars of yore! Have you played them all?
UAM: I've only played Battlespire, Dawnstar and Stormhold a bit, but the only one I want to play more of out of those is Battlespire. Dawnstar and Stormhold are too basic to get any enjoyment out of. I haven't played Oblivion Mobile. While I want to give it a go, the game doesn't interest me as much as the others.
Dave: Spin-offs like these always interest me, good or bad, as they seem like a private club in and of themselves. Like, you gotta' be in the know, you know? Even if the know is sh*t, it's cool having this small compadre of games sitting on the sidelines in obscurity, the likes of which JonTron would review, and only we as Elder Scrolls die-hards know about them...
Madman97: Which is exactly why I am going to ruin the collectibles fun and tell the whole world in a blog! I love messing things up...And also spreading awareness. With E3 just a few hours away from dropping some surefire bombs, showing Bethesda that the fans are willing to wade through piece of garbage spin-offs just to get our Elder Scrolls fix. Perhaps it will zap them with realization that this is what we've been waiting for, and maybe, just maybe, they'll listen.
Dave: Probably not though.
Madman97: But until then, members of the audience! Have you any experience with the spin-off games? I plan on taking my research elsewhere to higher stations in hopes of spreading awareness of the Elder Scrolls franchise, ever single part of it, and this wiki in order to show my support as both a fan and journalist. Many thanks to UAM, and I will continue to see all of you in the coming months with more content (hopefully with a faster release date--Sorry about the wait. Months are coming and going for me). Until then, Stay Mad.