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Skyrim Stories: 'Toying with Frost Trolls'

In a new edition of our ongoing feature "Skyrim Stories," Xav's hero Dekkard finds a way to trick a Frost Troll, but gets too cocky.


Something special happens when you completely learn a game's systems, and its limitations. Your imagination goes wild, and you can exploit the mechanics. Last night in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I attempted to achieve a goal that should be out of my current character's reach. Last night, I went troll hunting.

Heeding the call of the Greybeards, my character Dekkard ventured out toward the logging town of Ivarstead. Beyond the Seven Thousand Steps to the Throat of the World, Ivarstead is the doorway to High Hrothgar, where the ancient order of Greybeards call home.

Dekkard's journey began from the snowy, Nordic sanctuary of Windhelm. Inching on Ivarstead, I noticed a red blip on my navigation bar; an enemy was nearby. But this situation was different from others. I could hear the snarl of a beast in my midst, but no beast was seen. The pattering about was filled with rage and sounded desperate for blood; it could see me but I was blind to its position.

Rather than follow the path toward the beast, I climbed the side of a rocky hill. The world was dark, snow was falling vigorously. Went I neared the top of a rock wall I inched forward, only to peek toward the noise. As if perfectly timed, a large Frost Troll raised its arms and shrieked in my face.

The Frost Troll's arms swung wildly toward me, but I was just out of reach. I equipped my trusty flame spell and began to drench the beast in fire. As it attempted to inch toward me I used my first Dragon Shout, "Unrelenting Force," to push it away. It wasn't until the troll started to run backwards through the path that I avoided that I realized it was unable to attack me from my current position. It was looking for a way to solve its problem, and it was nearing a solution. I jumped forward onto the ridge it was standing on, forcing it to retrace its steps back toward me. As it approached, I inched backwards and fell onto my safe perch.

Very little space separated my safety zone and the Frost Troll's attack. Clearly, the beast's programming wouldn't allow it to venture off the side of the mountain to my position, hence its constant backtracking to kill me. As it would leave to find me, I would jump forward, forcing it back. I toyed with it like this for minutes, chipping away its health. I was nearing the end of my battle, when I got cocky.

Attempting to find the safe zone netted me a few scrapes; I'd be too far out and the beast's arm would land a strike. Though I could have taken time to heal with potions or magic, the troll's health was nearing its last sliver. One one final shot seemed to be the difference between the adversary's life or death, I jumped forward to land a vicious finishing move. In one swift motion, the troll rocked its arms forward, depleting the half-full health bar I had and bouncing me off and down the side of the mountain. In that overall situation I realized, as smart as I was for "breaking" the game to benefit me... I knew exactly how to act like an idiot to balance the scales.

Smarts may have been the accelerator for the battle, but my cockiness was certainly the emergency brake.

Game Stories is a new, ongoing feature where editors from Shacknews regale you with their adventures from the latest video game worlds. Skyrim Stories will continue, but anecdotes from other games are planned as well.

Xav de Matos was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 17, 2011 3:00 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Skyrim Stories: 'Toying with Frost Trolls'.

    In a new edition of our ongoing feature "Skyrim Stories," Xav's hero Dekkard finds a way to trick a Frost Troll, but gets too cocky.

    • reply
      November 17, 2011 4:12 PM

      I did a similar thing with a mammoth & giant just now. I jumped up on a rock where neither of them could reach me. But instead of just standing there and taking a beating from my flames and arrows without being able to hit me they were sensible enough to lose interest and wander away out of range. (Well done the Bethesda for that). I had to keep getting down off the rock to tempt them back and quickly jumping back onto it as they lumbered back towards me. It was pretty heart-stopping when the flaky jump mechanic made wouldn't let me get back onto the rock as they thudded up behind me. Managed to kill the mammoth to get his tusk, then ran away from the giant.

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        November 17, 2011 10:43 PM

        Those giants do not mess around.

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          November 18, 2011 12:18 AM

          No they certainly don't I watched one wipe out a dragon and a frost troll earlier.

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        November 17, 2011 11:11 PM

        why IS the jumping so shitty?

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          November 18, 2011 12:34 AM

          It was pretty floaty in oblivion too.

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            November 18, 2011 4:00 AM

            I kind of miss being able to jack acrobatics up to some crazy number via console commands or using the scrolls in Morrowind you find on that guy that falls from the sky near Seyda Neen.

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              November 18, 2011 6:47 AM

              That + boots of blinding speed + feather fall potion = Jump across the entire Island.

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              November 18, 2011 7:28 AM

              I've seen someone finish the game in a few minutes using that (I think that was the method, at least).

          • Ebu legacy 10 years
            November 18, 2011 7:36 AM

            Nowhere near as bad as this, though

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        November 18, 2011 12:36 AM

        I killed my first mammoth by walking up behind him and whipping him in the ass with my frost enchanted sword. I think I was able to keep making him change directions to the "shorter" turn direction, not alloying him to turn around.

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          November 21, 2011 7:26 AM

          Maybe he liked it in the butt

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      November 17, 2011 10:45 PM


      I was brawling (non-lethal fight) with a dude for a quest when a fucking dragon shows up. Starts breathing fire, kill villagers and generally being a dick. I'm shooting the dragon with arrows and fireballs when I realize the stupid fucker from before IS STILL BOXING ME. I attack him, the town turns on me, and then I have guards and a dragon trying to kill me.

      All because of fisticuffs.

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        November 17, 2011 11:12 PM

        cuffs cuffs.

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        November 18, 2011 12:02 AM

        My most amusing moment was when I was fighting a dragon near some trees and found a spot where I could hide behind a tree to avoid his breath attack and he would never charge at me. So I kept using the tree to block his breath and would pop out and shoot arrows. Lydia of course goes charging in and eats dragon breath and goes into her kneeling mode of defeat pretty quickly but whatever I don't need her to deal with this. So 5 minutes later, thanks to my terrible archery skill, it finally dies. I walk over and loot the dragon and then look in the bushes next to it. Lydia was lying there dead full of arrows. Oops.

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        November 18, 2011 1:25 AM

        When a dragon shows up, it's time to stop the boxing match for later.

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        November 18, 2011 2:50 AM

        fast traveled to a fort and a dragon appeared and killed all the bandits for me but then instead of running inside i stayed outside and he turned on me -_-

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          November 18, 2011 4:03 AM

          My experience with winterhold was constantly walking out of a hall at the college just in time to watch a dragon drop into the courtyard in front of me out of nowhere. No build up of it flying around just boom plops down and starts shooting flames at me. I killed several of them before I even got halfway through the mage's quest line that town was filling up with skeletons.

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        November 18, 2011 6:03 AM

        Ai needs a dragon detector.

        Here, I'll provide the code.

        If see dragon, run like hell.

        Else, continue.

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          November 18, 2011 6:49 AM

          That should be for the average towny, gaurds and otherwise beefy NPCs should instantly attack the dragon.

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            November 18, 2011 6:53 AM

            I admit, I got upset when I arrived in a town and a dragon was attacking and it killed a named NPC. I was all, "GTFO you whore! You're gonna die! Let the un-named guards kill it!" Nope. The dragon actually picked up the NPC in its FUCKING JAWS and threw her into a stone wall. She died. I hope she wasn't part of a quest :(

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              November 18, 2011 6:54 AM

              Console commands are your friend?

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                November 18, 2011 6:58 AM

                Not gonna do it, man. The game world decided she had to die....She was probably cheating on someone anyway.

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                  November 18, 2011 7:01 AM

                  Yeah, probably. And once you get to level fuckyoutrollsyougotoheaven you can bring her back, find out who she cheated on, and kill her again for sport.

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            November 18, 2011 8:58 AM

            I think most townies do that. I know I've seen women and children running away from the area.

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        November 18, 2011 6:53 AM

        I loaded up my game the day before yesterday and my guy had an arrow sticking out of his side, like I got shot. It wasn't that big a deal except it was stuck on my guy for two days. You could take all his armor off and he still had it sticking out of his side. Last night it just disappeared for some reason.

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          November 18, 2011 8:22 AM

          lol, had the same thing happen but straight out of the top of my head. I was really bummed when it disappeared.

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            November 18, 2011 9:00 AM

            Lydia had an ice shard sticking out of her face for a while last night. Every time I looked at her, it would be there, then fade away.

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        November 18, 2011 8:54 AM

        I like when things just "fall out of the sky". Like last night, i'm walking towards Markarth, and suddenly these elven soldiers fall out of the sky into the path. Skyrim Skydiving accident? I dont know or care. I just looted their fine elven armor and went about my business as if nothing happend.

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        November 18, 2011 8:57 AM

        I ended up in a brawl while wearing the ebony mail you get from Boethiah's quest and it killed my opponent with its deadly shadow aura. oops!

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