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For the out-of-date beta-copy/sandbox this guide originated on, see User:Nehpys/Setting Up - The Older Scrolls: Arena.

This instructional guide is the first in a four-part series on how to install the older The Elder Scrolls series of games (referred to as "The Older Scrolls"), The Elder Scrolls: Arena, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, and An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire.

This article focuses on The Elder Scrolls: Arena, the 1994 action-adventure role-playing fantasy game created by Bethesda Softworks. For its sequel, see Setting Up - The Older Scrolls II: Daggerfall.


This guide is looked over by Nehpys regularly. New sections will be added, parts edited and shifted for maximum efficiency. A changelog will be kept at the bottom of the article, though not every change will be kept in-depth.


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"It is said that hope flies on death's wings. Prepare then, for as the Elder Scrolls foretold, it will be here your adventure begins..."
Arena's Introduction

The Elder Scrolls: Arena is a single-player role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Softworks on March 25, 1994. Arena is the first installment The Elder Scrolls action/adventure RPG fantasy video game series, taking place on an alien, fantasy continent known as Tamriel, "The Arena," through ten years of an event called the "Imperial Simulacrum."

Arena was one of the largest games created at the time of its release, if not the largest. In 2004, for Arena's tenth anniversary, Bethesda released the floppy disk version of Arena for free, which was downloadable from the official Arena website, ElderScrolls.Bethesda.net/en/Arena.


Disclaimer & Foreinformation

This guide is dedicated to instructing the user on how to set up The Elder Scrolls I: Arena on any PC by hand, through the floppy disk version of Arena that is released openly (for free) at ElderScrolls.Bethesda.net/en/Arena. This guide refers to installing the website-provided copy of Arena.

If you're copying files over from a transferred floppy disk or CD-ROM that's physically on-hand: some of this guide may not apply to you. You must adjust your strategy and method of installing to compensate for this guide's shortcomings for your procedure.


This guide does not apply to the "ArenaSetup.exe" found from the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages Project (UESP)/the WiWiLand French Wiki Setup page. The UESP setup is factually much simpler in comparison to hand-installing. Personally, I dislike it for various reasons, two of which:

  • It's Theoretically Pirating.
Bethesda originally made the floppy disk version of Arena free, not the CD-ROM one. While the argument (rightly) stands that Bethesda made Arena as a whole free, and not an individual version, it still doesn't feel right to me, and in my book still counts as pirating.
  • Disgusting Setup Result.
The output folder (where Arena is contained) is left as a gross mess of files that I'd rather not mess with, especially if some of the custom options are chosen.

Arena isn't difficult to install (compared to Daggerfall). The process is just time consuming during the user's first time doing it. Before we get into the installation, I wanted to discuss the differences of the two main Arena "versions:" the floppy disk and CD-ROM copies.

Part 0 - Version Differences

Arena has two main "versions" that defines which copy of the game you have, one being the original "floppy disk" version, and the other the re-released "CD-ROM" deluxe/updated version.

The differences between these two versions are minimal. The floppy disk version is the basic, (usually) 1.06 release of Arena, which is the latest patched floppy disk copy. This is also, very conveniently, the very copy that is released on Bethesda's site.

The CD-ROM version is the late-1994 re-release (version 1.07), which contains updated content not seen on the original 18-floppy-disk copy, which is but not limited to:

  1. Voice acting for Jagar Tharn, Ria Silmane and Emperor Uriel Septim VII.
  2. Removal of General Talin Warhaft from the ending (but not from the introduction).
  3. Remastered, but underwhelming 3D CGI ending cutscene.
  4. Updated minor graphics (shields, ect...).
  5. Removal of the Shift Gate copy-protection in the ending to the first quest, Escape From Prison.

The overall version doesn't matter in the end. The game still plays and runs the same, albeit it with some fixed (and newly added) bugs. Your experience won't be mind-blowing or life-changing due to your copy.

Part 1 - Extracting Arena

Installing Folder (SettingUpArena)

Be sure to set up a location for Arena to reside when installed!

First, you should download your copy of Arena from the Elder Scrolls site, located here. Clicking the button under the logo, titled "DOWNLOAD THE FULL GAME," will download the full game.

Once done so, the user will have a new file named "Arena106Setup.zip." This .ZIP file contains two things:

  1. An .EXE file containing the main assets for Arena ("Arena106.exe").
  2. A cheaply made setup guide ("Arena106 Setup.pdf").

The setup guide isn't necessary, so you can toss that away into your trash bin, unless you'd like to keep it for troubleshooting. Now, create a folder for the executable where you wish to install Arena. For example, I created my Arena directory in my C:\ folder, under the directory C:\DOS\TES1-ARENA-FLOPPY. Since you probably don't want your directory name as long as that, creating a simple directory under C:\DOS\Arena will work.

Installer (SettingUpArena)

The installer.

Now, put the executable in your newly made Arena folder (henceforth referred to as Arena install folder), and double-click it. This will activate the installer. In it, direct the "Destination folder" to your Arena install folder (the one where the installation executable rests), and select "Install" at the bottom right hand. When you click the install button, it will create a folder in C:\DOS\Arena (or whatever folder you selected), named "ARENA," and extract the files to that folder; which is exactly what we want.

The installer should automatically exit upon fully installing, and does so quickly. Inside your Arena install folder, there should be two things now: the "Arena106.exe" file, and a new folder named "ARENA."

Inside this "ARENA" folder is everything needed for Arena, all the text, locations, music and whatnot. Unless you really know what you're doing (which if you're using this guide is doubtful), don't touch anything and back out into the previous folder. You wouldn't be able to run Arena normally anyway; it's a 16-bit .exe that doesn't work on modern computers, but we'll deal with that in part three.

I usually create a new folder dedicated to storing the setup executable and other stuff for Arena, a general folder named "Utilities" (which usually lies next to the "ARENA" folder), but you can simply delete the executable.

Next, we must install DOSBox, a free DOS emulator to run Arena's 16-bit executable, "A.EXE."

Part 2 - Installing DOSBox

DOSBox.com (SettingUpArena)

DOSBox's site may look dated, but it's only a blast back to 2010.

DOSBox is a free DOS emulator, dedicated to running DOS executable games, programs and whatnot. Perfect for Arena.

First, go to DOSBox.com. The site is older, and was made for smaller windows so on your monitor it may be disproportionate—lots of empty space; this is normal. At the top right, select "Latest version: 0.74." This will bring you to the downloads page.

On the downloads page, look under "DOSBox (specific versions)." This is where you can download DOSBox 0.74, the latest version, for your PC. Since I'm a Windows purist user, I'd use Windows 0.74 Win32 installer.

The download link will direct you to a SourceForge page where you can download the installer. If the main downloads page isn't loading for you, a direct download link to the two major versions can be found here (though, if you can't load the page I doubt you'll have fun downloading the file):

Sadly, the original Linux .RPM file link was shut down. An alternative is found here, but the page I've found to be a tad more confusing. This file is in .DEB:

Along with the official releases, there are beta community builds named "SVN Builds" which can be pretty useful, some adding things like VSync to DOS, but those are unimportant right now. You can experiment when the guide is finished.

(For the rest of this guide, only the Windows version will be mentioned and used as examples. Mac and Linux users will have to adapt.)

DOSBox Installer (SettingUpArena)

"The illusion of choice is what guides us all..."

Once you have the file downloaded, select the installer and execute Order DOSBox-66. When installing, it'll ask you to select whether you wish to install the Core Files (unchangeable), and a Desktop Shortcut. The latter isn't needed for what we'll be doing here, but you can choose it if you wish.

At the last portion, the installer will ask you to install DOSBox to C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74. Do so. If you have a 32-bit system, then it should ask to install in C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.74. This is also nominal.

When you're finished, enter your DOSBox installation folder in your Program Files, and open up (if you closed it) the Arena install folder. This beckons the next part of our guide, activating DOSBox with Arena.

Part 3 - Configuring DOSBox and Arena

Arena Folder (SettingUpArena)

The main folder after we're done.

The method we're doing here is a tad more complex than how you'd generally get DOSBox to work. Unfortunately, most would install DOSBox and activate the shortcut. Then, they'd have to type in all the commands themselves (or use separate auto-launch config files), and deal with that mess. But our method is better, neater, and more ease-of-life.

First, in your Arena install folder make sure there are no loose files whatsoever. Keeping the folder clean is very helpful for the steps we're about to do.

Now, create a new text file in your Arena install folder.

Name this file whatever you'd like, but make sure it has no spaces in the name. Now, go to your DOSBox installation folder, and double-click the .BAT file named "DOSBox 0.74 Options." This will open the "dosbox-0.74.conf" file. When this configuration is opened, select everything inside (CTRL+A), copy everything inside (CTRL+C), and paste it into your newly created .TXT file in your Arena folder.

Now, in your new .TXT file, click "File" at the top left, "Save As...," then in the save as prompt, name the file anything. For example, I named mine "ARENA-FLOPP."

At the end of your new name, type ".conf," and in the bottom prompt, select "All Files" as your save type. Save it inside your Arena folder. Now you can delete your original .TXT.

Arena Configuration (SettingUpArena)

This isn't nearly as complex as you think it is.

Now, open up your new .CONF file as a text file. In here will be DOSBox's software configuration for Arena—essentially, what makes it work. I'll go over the most important settings for you to change from the defaults:

SDL

In the [SDL] (or [sdl]) header, change your defaults to match these:

fullscreen=false
fulldouble=false
fullresolution=desktop
windowresolution=original
output=ddraw
autolock=true
sensitivity=100
waitonerror=true
priority=highest,normal
mapperfile=mapper-0.74.map
usescancodes=true

Differences:

  • fullresolution=desktop from fullresolution=original insures that the game matches your monitor when in fullscreen; staying sharp instead of being forced downscale.
  • output= is subjective per computer, and is required to prevent freezing (in this case, not for all games).
    • If you're on Windows PC, change output=surface to output=ddraw (DirectDraw).
    • If you're on Macintosh OSX, change output=surface to output=openglnb (OpenGL, No BilinearFiltering).
    • If you're on Linux OS, I don't know so just do output=openglnb (OpenGL, No BilinearFiltering).
  • priority=highest,normal from priority=higher,normal sets Arena to be a very high priority for your computer. This isn't totally necessary.

DOSBOX

In the [DOSBOX] (or [dosbox]) header, change your defaults to match these:

language=
machine=svga_s3
captures=capture
memsize=32

There's really nothing that should be changed here, but I personally put memsize=16 to memsize=32, as Daggerfall and the other games need more.

RENDER

In the [RENDER] (or [render]) header, change your defaults to match these:

frameskip=0
aspect=true
scaler=normal3x

4:3! 4:3! 4:3! 4:3! *SCREECH*

This section is the jumbo one. Differences:

  • DOSBox really likes to struggle when being recorded sometimes. Change frameskip=0 to a certain value to skip frames if you're recording gameplay.
  • Change aspect=false to aspect=true. This forces the game to run in 4:3, as essentially all DOS games are meant to be played in (as 4:3 monitors were the only ones available at the time). Being in 4:3 prevents disgusting horizontal stretching of the in-game image, and is the standard for The Elder Scrolls Wiki's images for all Older Scrolls games.
  • Change scaler=normal2x to scaler=normal3x. This increases the size of the window so the game is easier to see, instead of being a tiny 300x200px window.

CPU

In the [CPU] (or [cpu]) header, change your defaults to match these:

core=dynamic
cputype=auto
cycles=max
cycleup=10
cycledown=20

This is what all Arena players really want to do. Differences:

  • Change core=auto to core=dynamic.
  • Change cycles=auto to cycles=max. This runs the game at the max cycle rate, which usually ends out in 75 FPS when recorded.
    • Really, you should change it to cycles=20000 for the "proper" experience, but I dislike the slowdown.

Warning! Using these settings will stop how slow Arena is and will allow you to use full draw distance without slowdowns. Sadly, using these settings will also speed up the world by an insane amount. NPCs will move very fast (and so will enemies!), and animations are very quick. In-game, you can use the plus (+) and minus (-) keys to speed up and slow down the world to your liking.


MIXER

Change nothing here.

MIDI

Change nothing here.

SBLASTER

Personally, I only change one thing here, and it's not important.

sbtype=sb16
sbbase=220
irq=7
dma=1
hdma=5
sbmixer=true
oplmode=opl3
oplemu=default
oplrate=44100

I change oplmode=opl3 out of nostalgia. You don't have to, it just provides the newest "Gold"-standard AdLib sounds.

GUS

Change nothing here.

SPEAKER

Change nothing here.

JOYSTICK

Change nothing here. You can't even use a joystick with Arena anyway...?

SERIAL

Change nothing here.

DOS

Change nothing here.

IPX

Change nothing here.

AUTOEXEC

This is where the fun begins.

Autoexec ("auto execute") is essentially the point of doing this part of the setup. When launching DOSBox with a .CONF file and an autoexec route, the prompt will automatically do commands so the user doesn't have to.

If you've been using the same route for the Arena installation folder, then set you Autoexec to this:

MOUNT C: C:\DOS\ARENA -freesize 1024
C:
CD\ARENA
INSTALL
EXIT

An explanation:

  • MOUNT C: C:\DOS\ARENA -freesize 1024 means that we are telling the program where our virtual C: drive is, and in this case it's in our Arena folder with an excess of a gigabyte of free space (which is wildly unnecessary for Arena, but I like the extra space for all my DOS games).
  • C: tells the prompt to switch the default mount (Z:) to C:.
  • CD\ARENA tells the prompt to go into the "ARENA" folder, inside our Arena install folder.
  • INSTALL tells the game to install, which is what we'll do after the next part.
  • EXIT tells the game to close the prompt when the game quits (which doesn't work for the main game [but does with the installer], so this line can be omitted).

When this is inputted, save (CTRL+S) the document, and go back into the Arena install folder.

Final Editing & Shortcut Creation

We're almost done with the folder editing of Arena. Now right click DOSBox.exe, and click "Create shortcut." Name the shortcut what you like, I usually name it "_Manual Startup." The underscore before "Manual" ensures the shortcut is at the top of the install folders. When you name it, place the shortcut inside your Arena folder.

Right click your shortcut, and click "Properties." Inside the new window, look at the "Target" box. This is where we will define special commands for Arena. Inside the Target box, make sure this is how it looks:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -conf ARENA-FLOPP.conf -noconsole -exit
(IF YOU HAVE A 32-bit SYSTEM, IT'LL LIKELY BE:
"C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -conf ARENA-FLOPP.conf -noconsole -exit)

And make sure the box beneath it, "Start in," is this (or wherever your Arena install directory is):

C:\DOS\Arena

  • Your C: directory can be modified as you need for the "Start in" box, but "Target" MUST direct to your DOSBox folder in Program Files!
  • Your -conf parameter is 100 percent necessary. Make sure to change the name to what your .CONF is!
  • -noconsole removes the annoying debug console. The console isn't needed anyway; DOSBox will already (uncontrollably) make an output .TXT file of what happens in the debug console after the game closes.
  • -exit is like the command we put in the .CONF file, it doesn't work for Arena but does for the installer. You can omit this.

Once this is done, you're now ready to finally setup Arena's settings, and finish installation to start playing.

Part 4 - SoundCard and Music Options

Arena Installer In-Folder (SettingUpArena)

Smells like 1993!

If you've done everything correctly, your "_Manual Startup" shortcut (or whatever you named it) should have the same icon as the DOSBox.exe's is. Once you've added "INSTALL" to your autoexec route, double click the startup shortcut, and wait for the installer to open up. Do not, whatsoever, touch "Make boot floppy" or "Install game."

The installer window should be a 640x400-sized window, that has lots of blue and white designs. You can only control the installer with your arrow keys, so use your "UP" arrow key, highlight "Configure game," and select it with "ENTER."

In the "Configure game" prompt, select "Select Sound Card," and choose "Sound Blaster or SB16 (or compatible)." The IO will automatically be set to 220, the IRQ to 7, and the DMA to 1. Don't worry about those values, those are normal and nominal.

After you've selected your SoundCard, you'll be forced back to the "Configure game" screen. Select "Select Music Card." This is where a matter of taste comes in.

The original Arena setup guide states that you use SoundBlaster as your music card, as well as your sound card. Doing this outputs AdLib-like music that's more electronic, with beeps, synthesized sounds and more nostalgic stuff that was common back in the 90s. Alternatively, you could use "General Midi or MPU-401," with the better sounding General Midi equivalent.

While I don't have samples and examples from the game, I do have a wonderful video here that contrasts the differences between AdLib/SB16 and GeneralMIDI. This comparison example was uploaded by two different users, StoanPhrogg in 2009, and jackoneill45 in 2010, and features a track from Daggerfall, "Track 15" or "Shedungent."

The SoundBlaster Upload:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vIeqK8J3bI

The GeneralMIDI Upload:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sbd7sVUq-8

Not all GeneralMIDI tracks will sound like this. Shedungent in Daggerfall was never meant to play outside of SoundBlaster, but the representation of the instruments should be well enough, and there are plenty of other comparisons if you need more.

Personally, I use "SoundBlaster or SB16 (or compatible)" on IO 330, IRQ 2, and DMA 1. Once you're done choosing your options, back out of the installer close it. If you left the "EXIT" line in your autoexec (or Target command box), the installer should automatically exit. If not, just type "EXIT" into the command prompt.


Warning! (1) Arena doesn't have the best SoundBlaster emulation. Essentially 95% of the tracks work perfectly in-game, but certain tracks will be buggy or bad-sounding, an example being the "snowing" song in a location that snows. The jingle bells in the background will be warped and "ting-y," and not nice to listen to. These errors are fixed when switching to GeneralMIDI, as that emulates actual instruments.


Warning! (2) Depending on your Music Card choice, certain songs may not play in-game. The real culprit of this is the dungeon ambiance. If you're using SoundBlaster, you'll likely get some good, synthesized that fits Arena's atmosphere well. But sadly none of the great GeneralMIDI music gets used with them. If you use GeneralMIDI, you get far more variation in some very good higher-quality choir and synthesizer ambiance for dungeon music, but you'll miss out on the classic synthesized sound and the SB16 tracks.


It's all left to personal taste. Now that configuration is finished, go into your .CONF file, and replace the "INSTALL" line on the [autoexec] section with "ARENA" (or "ARENA.BAT," no quotation marks or comma). This should launch Arena, which beckons the next and final section of this guide, the comprehensive mini-manual and epilogue dedicated to new players of Arena.

Part 5 - Epilogue

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"The best techniques are passed on by the survivors..."
Gaiden Shinji, Blademaster First Era, 947[src]
Autorun Menu (Arena)

As The Elder Scrolls Foretold...

Arena, in the main Elder Scrolls series (Elder Scrolls I - VI+), takes part in the earliest time period seen overall, starting at 3E 389. The story goes along ten years, and is about the Eternal Champion's journey during the Imperial Simulacrum.

The game itself is difficult to master; the controlling and action is odd and reminiscent of Ultima Underworld, and Bethesda Softworks' inspiration by it. The game is also unfriendly to more modern Elder Scrolls players, as Arena likes to go to a length to not "hold the player's hand" through the game.

I've split this part into various sub-sections. These sections I mark important for a new player (and even "experienced" players) to read through and learn. Many of these sub-sections are quoted from the manual, as I feel the manual explained it better than I could. Images are included, and if there are dedicated pages for certain sections (such as "Combat"), those are linked instead of a comprehensive section.

Manual

Main article: The Elder Scrolls: Arena Manual
Map of Tamriel (Arena)

Map of Tamriel.

Before playing Arena, as with every 90s-built game, it's important to study the manual. Two versions can be found on the internet, one on Bethesda's site here, and one here on RiotPixels.

The RiotPixels manual contains more, but seemingly extra pages, while the Bethesda copy is lacking. Sadly, the RiotPixels copy of the PDF has broken italicized text, making it very hard to read. The Bethesda manual is generally the copy to take.

Armor Rating

Understanding armor rating in Arena is key to the player's survival. Here is what the manual has to say about it:

"On this character sheet you will see numbers printed next to your body. These numbers represent your level of protection on various parts of your body.
Character Sheet (Arena Manual)

The aforementioned Character Sheet provided.

"Armor ratings range from +10 (unprotected) down through 0, to negative numbers which represent better and better protection. Basically, the lower your AR is, the better protected you are. Therefore a character with +10 rating is less protected than a character with +3 rating, and a character with a -4 rating is better protected than either of the above.
"The numbers on your figure are positioned to represent various parts of your body. They are arranged as follows, from top downward (we have put the armor piece that protects this area in parenthesis):"

Metal Types

Due to the different types of plate/metal armor in Arena, armor rating is affected by it. Since in-game the armor ratings can be confusing, along with the types, here is the manual's explanation of it with an image:

"Only plate armor and weapons can be made up of various metals, but these in turn affect their protection ability. These modifiers are:"
Armor Types (Arena)
"Therefore normal plate gauntlets will reduce the AR on your hands by 9. Assuming that unarmored you are a 10 AR (no AGI modifiers) this would mean your new AR is 1. In comparison, Ebony gauntlets will reduce the AR of your hands by 14, using the same example it would make them an AR of -4."

Combat

Main article: Combat (Arena)

Combat is far different than many modern games, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. To fight, take out your weapon, hold right-click, and move your mouse across the screen. Your weapon will swing in the direction you move your mouse. The linked page goes more in-depth about combating, the various items and ways to combat.

Controls

As said earlier, Arena is difficult to control. The control scheme is nothing close to modern games, and will take some practice to learn, which happens to be perfect for the first level!

The controls are listed here. Since it's highly recommended to use a combination of keyboard and mouse controls, and considering the fact that not all controls are listed in the manual, a comprehensive (and possibly incomplete) list of both control schemes can be found here.

For controls marked with an asterisk (*) see the bottom of the section.

Keyboard Controls

Action Keyboard Button
Movement (Body) Up Arrow (Forwards)
Down Arrow (Backwards)
CTRL+Left Arrow (Slide Left)
CTRL+Right Arrow (Slide Right)
Movement (Camera) Left Arrow (Left)
Right Arrow (Right)
Options Menu ESC (Escape)
Character Sheet F1
Damage Response F3
("Normal Roll", "Severe Roll", and "Cross Hatch")*
Toggle Prompt Pixelation F4
Compass Toggle F8
Draw/Sheath Weapon A
Cast Magic C
Jump J
Jump Forward (Standing) SHIFT+J
Logbook (Journal) L
Automap (Area) M
Continental Map SHIFT+M
Piffer (LockPick/Steal) P
Camp (Rest) R
Character Status S
Use Item U
Speed Up Game Plus (or =)
Slow Down Game Minus (or _)
Game Not Giving Artifact Quest (PAST LEVEL 5) ALT+F5
Reset Spell SHIFT+C

*These modes are for the on-screen damage response. Cross Hatch is no screen rolling (and just a red flash on screen), Severe Roll is a harder roll, and Normal Roll is the regular rolling.

Mouse Controls

Note, any control not listed here that's listed in keyboard controls has no mouse control variant.


Action Mouse Click
Movement (Body) Up-Screen Arrow (Forwards)
Down-Screen Arrow (Backwards)
Movement (Camera) Left-Screen Arrow (Left)
Right-Screen Arrow (Right)
Character Sheet Character Image (Bottom Left)
Draw/Sheath Weapon Crossed-Swords Icon (1st Row)
Cast Magic Yellow Star Icon (2nd Row)
Jump ***See Bottom***
Jump Forward (Standing) ***See Bottom***
Logbook (Journal) Parchment Icon (2nd Row)
Automap (Area) Map Icon (Left-Click)
(In Building/Village/Town/City-State/Dungeon)
Continental Map Map Icon (Right-Click)
(When Outside)
Piffer (LockPick/Steal) Hand-With-Coin Icon (1st Row)
Camp (Rest) Campfire Icon (2nd Row)
Character Status Caduceus (Rod of Hermes) Icon (1st Row)
Use Item Hand-With-Sword Icon (1st Row)

*Jumping With Mouse:

Sheath your weapon, then hold left-click, and press right-click.

*Lunging Forward With Mouse:

Sheath your weapon, put your mouse to the top of the screen, hold the Forward Arrow (left-click), and press right-click when moving forward.

Character Creation

Main article: Character Creation

Character Creation is very important, and can be game changing. Nordic Thieves might not do well in the world of Tamriel, but a Nordic Warrior will! Be sure to know the basics of how to make a well-rounded character (or just follow the meta of a 100 STR, AGL & END Redguard Knight).

Copy-Protection Passwords

On the copy-protected floppy disk version of Arena, during the end to the first quest, there is a copy-protection prompt asking for a price of a certain spell, legendary or mythical item. In your Arena directory, a passwords file can be found in the C:\DOS\Arena\ARENA\Docs\ directory, under "passwords.txt." The prices are also listed here:

Magical Spell/Item Price
Auriel's Bow 4487
Auriel's Shield 3275
Cause Disease 975
Chrysamere 4725
Cure Poison 350
Earth Wall 400
Ebony Blade 8125
Ebony Mail 2420
Far Silence 675
Fire Dart 375
Fireball 325
Firestorm 490
Force Bolt 1050
Force Wall 600
Free Action 260
God's Fire 3750
Heal 125
Heal True 445
Ice Bolt 367
Ice Storm 487
Invisibility 150
Levitate 50
Lifesteal 675
Light 120
Light Heal 70
Lightning 780
Lord's Mail 2075
Medusas' Gaze 840
Necromancer's Amulet 1825
Open 300
Orc Strength 125
Passwall 600
Pitfalls 600
Purify 2590
Resist Cold 300
Resist Fire 300
Resist Poison 550
Resist Shock 300
Ring of Khajiit 4490
Ring of Phynaster 1800
Sanctuary 300
Shalidor's Mirror 775
Shield 250
Shock 225
Silence 450
Spell Breaker 2230
Spell Drain (1st Type) 180
Spell Drain (2nd Type) 630
Spell Shield 400
Staff of Magnus 2525
Stamina 60
Strength Leech 225
Toxic Cloud 700
Troll's Blood 450
Volendrung 1620
Wanderlight 150
Warlock's Ring 2840
Wildfire 607
Witch's Curse 300
Wizard Lock 300
Wizard Rend 740
Wizard's Fire 187
Wyvern's Sting 525

Dates

Normally, a player wouldn't think about dates in Arena. Gameplay-wise they seem useless and really only for lore. Truthfully, events that are date-based like holidays are very important to the player for the bonuses they provide! Here are excerpts from the manual about dates in-general:

"The calendar of the world you are about to enter is organized into 360 days in a year. The year is displayed in the following manner. The Era in which you are adventuring is placed first, after which comes the actual year in the Era. Therefore, 3E 387 means, 3rd Era, 387th year. Each Era lasts for 1000 years.
"The way dates are displayed in the world are:
(day), (date) day of (month), (year) or,
Tirdas, 5th day of Hearthfire, 3E 389"

Days (In Order)

"Each week is 7 days, arranged thus:
  • Morndas (1st day)
  • Tirdas
  • Middas
  • Turdas
  • Fredas
  • Loredas
  • Sundas (7th day)"

Months (In Order)

There are 12 months, arranged thus:

  • Morning Star
  • Sun's Dawn
  • First Seed
  • Rain’s Hand
  • Second Seed
  • Mid Year
  • Sun's Height
  • Last Seed
  • Hearthfire
  • Frostfall
  • Sun's Dusk
  • Evening Star

Months (Prev. Weather)

And here, they are arranged by prevalent weather:

  • Winter
    • Sun's Dusk
    • Evening Star
    • Morning Star
  • Spring
    • Sun's Dawn
    • First Seed
    • Rain's Hand
  • Summer
    • Second Seed
    • Mid Year
    • Sun's Height
  • Fall
    • Last Seed
    • Hearthfire
    • Frostfall

Holidays

"Interspersed throughout the year are certain holidays which are celebrated by the people of the known world. It is on these days that you will be able to find special bargains on many different services. On some holidays such as the Warriors Festival all weapons are half price, on others such as Tales and Tallows you can find special prices at the Mages Guilds.
"The following is a complete list of the holidays celebrated. Smart planning can ensure your arrival at a particular town in time to take advantage of the festivities:"
  • New Life Festival (1st day of Morning Star)
  • South Winds Prayer (15th day of Morning Star)
  • Heart's Day (16th day of Sun's Dawn)
  • First Planting (7th day of First Seed)
  • Jester's Day (28th day of Rain's Hand)
  • Second Planting (7th day of Second Seed)
  • Mid Year Celebration (16th day of Mid Year)
  • Merchants Festival (10th day of Sun's Height)
  • Sun’s Rest (20th day of Sun's Height)
  • Harvest's End (27th day of Last Seed)
  • Tales and Tallows (3rd day of Hearthfire)
  • Witches Festival (13th day of Frostfall)
  • Emperor's Day (30th day of Frostfall)
  • Warriors Festival (20th day of Sun's Dusk)
  • North Winds Prayer (1st day of Evening Star)

Leveling Up

Leveling up in Arena isn't as easily traceable as in other Elder Scrolls games. It's a cumulative number of experience points that, when a certain value is reached, declares a level up. Each class has different values needed for leveling up.

From the author of the manual, here is what they have to say about it:

"As you adventure in the land, you will gain experience. At certain times when enough experience is gained, you will also gain a level. Gaining a level results in stat increases, health increases, and improved abilities. Just for a guide, we have included the experience necessary for each level."
Experience Tables (Arena Manual)

Weapon Usefulness

The section title is self-explanatory. No type of weapon is explained in-game, and the information displayed in Equipment Stores is less than helpful. The image below shows the information of every weapon base type.

Weapon Base Information (Arena Manual)

Final Remarks

Stonekeep Offices (Arena)

A typical dungeon in Arena, the royal offices of Stonekeep.

And as of now, this concludes setting up "The Older Scrolls: Arena." You've now fully setup Arena, and are ready to play! Be sure to listen to everyone in-game that talks to you, and to take notes on important information you think you may want to recall on!

If you're stuck on a certain section of Arena, don't fear! The quest pages for Arena on The Elder Scrolls Wiki are very comprehensive and filled with information! While some pages are still in-need of a redo and/or information addition, quite a few are finished as of now with walkthroughs and other such!


TESArenaLogo
Arena Main Quest
TESArenaLogo
Escape From PrisonStonekeepFang LairFortress of IceLabyrinthianSelene's WebElden GroveTemple of AgamanusHalls of ColossusTemple of the Mad GodCrystal TowerMines of KhurasCrypt of HeartsVaults of GeminMurkwoodBlack GateDagoth-UrImperial Palace



Changelog

10/3/18 - 5:56 PM

9/20/18 - 5:51 PM

  • Edited: Paragraph dealing with downloading Arena. Arena is now open to download again from the Elder Scrolls website!

7/28/18 - 6:51 PM

  • Added: MAIN template headers for applicable sections.
  • Edited: Heavy wording.
  • Edited: Many, many parts of the article.
  • Edited: Shifted many parts.

7/25/18 - 5:42 AM

  • Added: Minor parts to some text guides.
  • Edited: Lots of things. Shifted around sections, lots of spelling and flow corrections.

7/24/18 - 9:40 PM

  • Created: From User:Nehpys/Setting Up - The Older Scrolls: Arena.
  • Added: Sections (5: "Armor Rating," "Leveling Up," "Dates," "Weapon Usefulness," "Combat").
  • Added: Images (Sections: "Armor Rating," "Leveling Up,").
  • Added: Out-Of-Wiki linking in the SBLASTER section.