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Apart from the obvious, that a German team created this masterpiece and it`s in German, there is a very Germanic feel to this game that puts it far above any other RPG. First, the general theme running through the storyline concerning predestination versus free will, with Fate thrown into the mix reminds me strongly of Wagnerian opera, especially the monumental four-opera cycle, "Der Ring des Nibelungen." I can almost hear the "Ride Of The Valkryies" thundering through some of the grander scenes, while Kim`s unspoken love for the player`s character could be considered to be along the lines of "Tannhäuser."
Also, the works and ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche seem to be woven into the tale. Nietzsche spoke of "the death of God", (the Light-Born), the "will to power", (an ordinary man willing to fight the Gods), and the "Übermensch", or "Over-Human", (NOT Superman as many have thought). Over-Human here referring to the Shadow-God that *SPOILER* the player eventually becomes.
On a totally different note, the architecture and landscape are quintessentially Germanic. The overall Gothic feel to the structures, the houses, etc. seem to come right out of the German heartland, while the landscapes feel more European, mountainous and diverse than Oblivion ever did. (Of course, it`s called Bethesda because they are in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, which is pretty much what the majority of Oblivion looks like). So, am I full of crap, or does any of this make sense?
UPDATE: Just finished the game. 137 hours of gameplay and still did not do some of the major sidequests.
- SPOILER* Immediately after the final epic showdown, I was in a quiet conversation on a hilltop as the sun was starting its descent into twilight. Feeling a sense of ease and achievement, I walked home to my castle, had a bath, put on my Darlan royal livery and ate. As I ate, I remembered Sam Gamgee coming home after he saw Frodo off at The Grey Havens and realized I had just taken part in an epic adventure ever as great as Tolkien`s. And was happy.