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Skyrim Climbing Guild (Spoiler-free!)
Posted on November 29, 2011 at 02:21

This isn't your average instalment of the Skyrim Shenanigans, but it should interest some of you, like those who actually have Skyrim, too :P

Basically, while trying to get out of map in Whiterun, I figured out a way to climb slanted surfaces you're not supposed to climb.

It's a bit complicated, but it roughly works like this:

1. Be in a first person mode, hide your weapons, and do not move your view.
2. You need be in a position on a slanted surface next to a solid object to your left/right (so that it's blocking your path left/right).
3. Position yourself (and pick the right view angle) so that if you hold Up and Left/Right at the same time, you will move towards the solid surface on your left/right (or rather, not move, because it will block your path), but if you let go of Left/Right (but still keep pressing Up!), you will move away from it and along the "highest climbable seam" of the surface you're on.
4. Keep pressing and releasing Left/Right while holding Up.
5. Watch the lower or upper edge of the screen. With every "bump", you should move up a tiny tiny bit. See if the textures around the edge of the screen indicate movement as time goes.
6. If the angle you're looking at doesn't work, look in a different direction.
7. Never stop pressing the Up key.

Alternatively, you can position yourself so that letting go of Left/Right will make you bump into the object while holding it will make you move away from it. It doesn't matter, really.

In either case, this is extremely slow and tedious. And you can't save - or, more accurately, if you save the game, you will lose some progress as letting go of Up will make you slide down again.

Still, the technique is useful if you pair it up with just running along the climbable surface and trying to find points where you can "naturally" climb a bit further up.

Now, for some actual buildering...

Whiterun Roofs

Climbing Whiterun roofs is easy, you only need to find a spot that lets you jump on them. By repeatedly moving on top of the wooden beam on the edge of the roof and then back to the tiles, you will propel yourself upwards, until you get to the top.

There was a vid on YT where someone climbed a roof and then jumped in some sequence to get underneath Whiterun, but I couldn't figure out the right spots. In any case, this gives you some nice views of the city.

Climbing the Dragonreach

Time to climb the Dragonreach, the palace in Whiterun.

This was my starting spot (the one that worked, anyway), the rocks on the right side of the building. The screenshot shows me trying to get beyond the rocks, but that didn't work. What you actually must do is find a way to get on the rocks. This is possible with some tricky jumps.

From the rocks, you can get on the roof. The roof is interesting, there seems to be a "seam" running across it that lets you move upwards if you keep running through it.

At the top.

With nowhere to go, I jumped down to a lower roof on the front side of Dragonreach, when... what the fuck, Vilkas?

For some reason, my companion got teleported to me. You can have some fun with that, like starting a conversation while sliding down and ending up talking to him while he's miles away from (and over) you.

But his presence is bad for climbing. I had to ditch him, because he kept blocking my path, and you can't actually use your companion as a solid surface to bounce yourself off from.

The front of Dragonreach.

...and to the other side we go.

From this side (but somehow not the other one, or maybe I didn't try hard enough), you can climb the roof of the structure beneath the balcony.

And get just underneath the balcony.

However, the game doesn't let you get on the balcony. There seems to be an invisible wall in front of it (the same one which prevents you from jumping down from it, I guess), so even if you manage to jump (which is normally impossible on slanted surfaces), you will jump over to the other side of the building and into some non-solid part of the building.

But, having already spent over an hour getting this far, I couldn't simply give up. Ultimately, I managed to transform into a werewolf in the right spot, which made me clip onto the balcony (werewolf transformation has a "positioning check" of sorts, since the werewolf model uses a different size).

Fuck yeah.

Now you can just casually walk up to the balcony door and visit the sleeping jarl. Unfortunately, the game doesn't include a script of the jarl totally freaking out when seeing someone come from the balcony - someone who never went out on the balcony in the first place...

This is the path I took:

The observant ones among you will probably notice that the time of the day in the screenshot keeps changing. This shows how long it actually took.


Other cities have different rooftops, it's hard to get on them, or they're simply horribly designed and include a random mash-up of non-solid objects and invisible walls, like Solitude:

So I thought that the trick was pretty useless, until I realised that it could be used to climb mountains as well.

Stay tuned for Skyrim Shenanigans 6... where I shall explore the Minus World that surrounds one of Skyrim's quest-specific areas. As soon as I find enough courage to get back to it, because I have a tendency to become freaked out when finding myself in an alien world where the familiar and the uncanny intertwine and geography, physics, and the lighting engine become extremely liberal...

Awesome. I love climbing stuff in games.
Posted by SMP November 29, 2011 2:31 - 3.5 years ago
| [#01]

Ohhhhhhhh fuck I wasted a lot of nauseating time trying to get around mountains in Oblivion doing that.
Posted by MMOnologueguy November 29, 2011 4:12 - 3.5 years ago
| [#02]

This is something that I enjoy doing in every adventure game I play.
It's easier to get stuck in a place in Fallout:New Vegas though.
Posted by JuurianChi November 29, 2011 6:47 - 3.5 years ago
| [#03]

I am counting even screenshots as spoilers until I actually play this game.
Posted by Toast November 29, 2011 8:14 - 3.5 years ago
| [#04]

Those are some rather impressive rotten wood textures, I admit.
Posted by CyrusRoberto November 29, 2011 15:48 - 3.5 years ago
| [#05]

Oh, I thought you were going to talk about the apparent lack of gravity on mountainsides, where you can strafe even on sheer cliffs until you find a small vertical boost.

This way is much more interesting, though.
Posted by Kilin November 29, 2011 16:31 - 3.5 years ago
| [#06]

Bethesda creations. Where you can spend an hour doing nothing but trying exploit glitches and still love the games after you're done.
Posted by LAR Games November 29, 2011 17:22 - 3.5 years ago
| [#07]

It's easier to get stuck in a place in Fallout:New Vegas though.


Oh, I thought you were going to talk about the apparent lack of gravity on mountainsides, where you can strafe even on sheer cliffs until you find a small vertical boost.

Well, that's a big part, too, but the trick comes in handy when you get to a point where you can't get any further.

Bethesda creations. Where you can spend an hour doing nothing but trying exploit glitches and still love the games after you're done.


I think I liked Oblivion more in this respect (but Oblivion was a much worse game overall), in that its character and object engine was coded in such a fashion that it let you clone yourself without any major issues even though that was probably totally unintended by the designers (it was just a result of a number of things you could do). Skyrim is more restrictive in terms of cutscene interactions and item scripts :(
Posted by Cesque November 29, 2011 18:08 - 3.5 years ago
| [#08]

My gripe is their saving system. When you play with multiple people on one computer, it's VERY easy to have a file overwritten. I didn't like that about Oblivion either.

Also the need to repeat all cutscenes and such, very annoying when I want to make a few new characters.
Posted by Kilin November 29, 2011 18:12 - 3.5 years ago
| [#09]

hey, I found a similar exploit thing. My one involves alternating the left and right arrow buttons, holding the forward button, wiggling the mouse left and right, and spamming the space bar. I can climb up almost vertical surfaces :D

it is very useful for climbing up mountains if you can't find/can't be bothered to find the correct path.
Posted by Moikle November 29, 2011 18:44 - 3.5 years ago
| [#10]

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