Oblivion Player Discovers Secret Race War Mechanic Nearly Twenty Years Later

Oblivion Player Discovers Secret Race War Mechanic Nearly Twenty Years Later
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


7th Dec 2022 10:33

A YouTuber made a recent video that fully details a secret race war mechanic from The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, leading to players to finally understand the mechanic nearly twenty years later. 

Race War Mechanic Discovered in Oblivion Nearly Twenty Years Later 

The video from Rimmy Downunder, titled "Oblivion's Incredible Hidden Mechanic", details a secret and largely unknown mechanic where players can begin race wars between the various Goblin tribes dotted around Cyrodil.

While some players claimed to have discovered the feature near Oblivion's original release, it doesn't seem to have been fully documented and explained until the video.  In the video, Rimmy highlights various online threads and comments discussing the feature.

Along with the official Oblivion strategy guide, which also briefly mentions it as a hidden quest. Many of the discussions of it online were plagued with misunderstandings, with some claiming it wasn't a real feature at all, some claiming it was part of cut content, and others saying it was an unofficial mod.

Essentially, the mechanic was so hidden that most players never came across it, and for those who did, they didn't have the information to replicate it. 

How Does The Goblin Race War Mechanic Work?

How Does The Goblin Race War Mechanic Work?
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In Oblivion's world map, there are seven Goblin tribes hidden away from the world in caves, all of which have their own hierarchical societies. At the top of this hierarchy is the Goblin Shaman, followed by a War Chief, and then the rest of the Goblin-kind.

Each of the Goblin tribes has a special totem they protect in their cave, and this is the key to starting a war, as if you steal this and place it in a different Goblin cave, both factions will begin warring. However, because you need to keep the Goblin Shaman alive while stealing the totem to activate a war, most players never discovered the mechanic.

From here is where things get hazy, as the mechanic is clearly in a semi-broken state, and it can stop working outright.  Essentially, in the background while you're still exploring Oblivion, the Goblin tribe whose totem was stolen will venture to the cave with their totem is located, fighting the warring tribe and collecting their totem.

They will then return it to their base to protect it and return to normalcy. Sometimes they won't manage to make their way to an opposing tribe's cave, which is where the feature breaks and requires a mod to properly fix.  While we still thought Skyrim had plenty left to discover, it turns out Oblivion has as much depth when it comes to hidden features and secret mechanics. Who knows what someone will find next.

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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