Todd Howard Once Got Into a "Screaming Match" About How High a Werewolf Could Jump in The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind

Todd Howard Once Got Into a "Screaming Match" About How High a Werewolf Could Jump in The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind

Every little detail matters when you're designing The Elder Scrolls.

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind is considered one of the great western RPGs, thanks to its carefully crafted design and expansive world building. The level of attention to detail Bethesda paid to Morrowind is revealed in a newly published oral history, where it was revealed that the team even fought over how high werewolves could jump.

The Elder Scrolls series turned 25 this year, and people are celebrating by revisiting classic Elder Scrolls games. Bethesda is offering The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind for free for a limited time, and there's an extensive oral history about the 2002 RPG up now on Polygon. While fans should read it just for the excellent history of the game, others might want to just read about how Todd Howard and quest designer Mark Nelson got into a shouting match over how high werewolves could jump.

In a segment of the oral history when the Morrowind team was discussing Todd Howard's role in development, writer and quest designer Mark Nelson revealed, "Todd and I once got into a 45-minute-long screaming match about how high werewolves should jump."

Howard also recalled the incident, saying, "It was a very heated discussion. It's just funny when you leave work thinking, 'Why didn't this person understand why I think werewolves should jump this high versus this high? And you take that outside the office, and people look at you like, 'What are you even talking about?'"

Nelson says it may have been the only argument he's ever won with Howard, which would mean that the height the werewolves jump in Morrowind is what Nelson suggested.

Howard served as project leader on Morrowind while veteran game designer Ken Rolston served as lead designer. The Morrowind team describes Howard and Rolston's approach to game design as very different, with Rolston focusing more on world-building and Howard focusing more on game design.

PR and marketing director Pete Hines described Howard and Rolston's interactions like, "this older wizened guy who had been making games forever, and then Todd, who really had visions for how he wanted to push and evolve video games to be kind of more than they were."

The end result is one of the best RPGs of all time. We consider it the 11th best RPG ever and praised its depth and sheer nerdiness. Meanwhile Bethesda is way in the future now, working on The Elder Scrolls 6 for next-gen. You can read our Everything We Know About Elders Scrolls 6 guide for our full coverage.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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