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‘The Faces Of Skyrim’ Showcases Tamriel’s Most Beautiful Portraiture

It’s almost hard to believe that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is over three years old already. It still appears on Steam’s top 10 most played games list and modders continue to make the game more beautiful.

Andy Cull shared with us his work curating some of the most beautiful images taken from the snowy wilds of Skyrim. Cull tells us that all of the images have been taken directly from the game with no touch-up work in Photoshop or other image editing program. There are two galleries of character portraits featuring many (but not all, sorry Khajiit and Argonian fans) of the different races of Tamriel. 

In addition, Cull has assembled a gallery of Skyrim landscapes, featuring snowy mountainsides, hazy forests, and craggy ruins. A separate gallery houses images of Skyrim's gorgeous vistas.

You can see the Faces of Skyrim galleries here and here. For the Dawn’s Beauty landscapes (the Aldmeris name for Tamriel), visit this page.

For those interested in beautifying their Skyrim adventure, there are a number of options available. The Steam Workshop includes a number of different mods to tweak and enhance the experience.

For those looking for something a bit more technical, last year I spent a weekend going through a process called the Skyrim Total Enhancement Project (STEP). This includes dozens of mods that change visuals, sounds, textures, and menu elements.

While my results aren’t quite as striking as what Cull has assembled, the visuals are still a big improvement from what the game manages on its own. You can read up on STEP on the group’s website.

[Images: Rahna by Dovahqueen (top), TESV 2014-05-25 20-49-22-78 by Wanako Works (middle), Heading in by Pangaliosr (bottom)]

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‘Fry Scores’ Is A Gaming Cook Book Of Digital Delights From Skyrim, Zelda, And More

We have come a long way since we first ate fresh fruit in Pac-Man and found pork chops hidden in the walls of Dracula’s castle. Today, writer and photographer Holly Green released her cook book of gaming-inspired recipes called Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide to Video Game Grub, and we had a chance to catch up with her to talk about the project.

Green tells us that the project has been over two years in the making. “I started the book at my last publication following an article I'd written about food in video games, and the idea took off from there,” she says.

The book is designed to provide accessible recipes that have a touchstone in gaming. ”Choosing the recipes was one of the more difficult parts of the process, as I wanted to present a practical list of dishes that could be eaten any day of the week,” she explains. “I noticed that a lot of video game food blogs updated infrequently and featured items that were either difficult to make or didn't hold general interest. I wanted to bring together a full list of recipes that would include cuisine staples and cover a basic level of culinary instruction.”

Fry Scores features a number of original recipes pulled from games in which their mention and inclusion is used as simple set dressing. Green makes these items, like Skyrim’s Apple Cabbage Stew and Cook Cook’s Fiend Stew from Fallout: New Vegas, the centerpiece instead of the background.

Green shared one of her recipes from the book, an original creation fashioned after Yeto’s Soup from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. In the game, Yeto prepares three different versions based on the quality of ingredients. The final one, Superb Soup, includes Ordon Goat Cheese in addition to the Ordon Pumpkin, and Reekfish included in the previous iterations.

Click to enlarge.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 lb. sockeye salmon
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 16 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. white pepper
  • dill for garnish

The most important part of this dish is the quality of the ingredients. Choose a quality cut of sockeye salmon and a pure goat cheese that crumbles easily. For this recipe, a bourbon infused goat cheese was used, enhancing the soup with a light smoky flavor. If you cannot find a smoky goat cheese, a shot of bourbon can be added to the finished soup base.

The first step is to create a cream-goat cheese base. This is achieved by slowly blending the two over a low heat. Crumble the goat cheese into small chunks, then place in 2 quart saucepan over LOW heat. Slowly add cream, tablespoon by tablespoon, blending into the cheese with a fork or large wooden spoon. Continue until full 16 oz has been completely added. Once all the cheese has melted, the resulting liquid will be thick.

Add to it two bay leaves, paprika, salt, and white pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, then add pumpkin puree by the tablespoon while stirring constantly. Once all pumpkin puree has been added, cover mixture and let simmer.

Next broil the salmon. Since salmon is thin it does not require a lot of heat. Once it is fully cooked it will separate easily from the skin. Place the salmon on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil.

Broil on the LOW setting for about fifteen minutes or until flesh has turned light pink, then switch to HIGH. Cook an additional six to eight minutes, monitoring carefully until the edges of the salmon are caramelized and appear crispy, then remove from the oven and cool completely.

When ready to serve, spoon hot pumpkin soup into a bowl, then place slices of cooked salmon on top. Garnish with dill, rainbow pepper corn, and smoked paprika.


Click to enlarge.

In addition to unique creations like Yeto’s Soup, Green’s book also includes clever twists on more common creations. “For recipes like grilled cheese, putting my own signature spin on it was a challenge,” Green tells us. “But it was also a major concern of mine, as some of the dishes were classic to the point of being universally known.”

Included in Fry Scores are recipes for French Toast (The Sims 3), Pork Katsu (Cooking Mama), and Red Curry (the Kirby series). “The idea was to not use too many convoluted or expensive ingredients, and just present simple food done well,” Green explains. “In fact with one recipe there was almost no creative leeway: Key lime pie, which requires a very specific ratio of egg to juice to condensed milk in order to cook properly and thus cannot be made any differently.  For that one, I offer a spin on the crust, suggesting flaked coconut mixed in with the graham cracker crumbs.”

Alongside each recipe is original photography. “That was probably the most time consuming part of the process,” she recounts. “Food photography, like many things, can easily be picked up through basic observation, but I had to reshoot many of the recipes as my skills improved over the past two years. I spent a lot of time looking at photos from a variety of artists and determined what it was I liked about each of them, then set out to incorporate those into my work. Good artistry often starts with mimicry, and from Flickr photographers and Martha Stewart magazines I learned the importance of color, texture, depth of field, and natural lighting.”

You can see some of Green’s photography above. The book is available now via iTunes and iBooks on Macs and iDevices. Additional formats will be available in the future.

As for “DLC” for Fry Scores, Green has thoughts about what’s next. “I would like to do a video game cocktail book but sadly there are few cocktails actually featured in video games (I would also never want to step all over the great stuff that The Drunken Moogle is doing),” she says. “One plan is to do a supplemental instruction guide on how to make homebrew beer, with a guest authorship from video games' biggest craft beer enthusiast/homebrewer Kinsey Burke. I'm also open to the idea of a future update with additional recipes, relying on suggestions from readers, but I would like to finish my next book, a history of gin, before I revisit Fry Scores.”

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Sir Daniel Fortesque lives agains with Skyrim MediEvil mod

Remakes and remasters seem to be all the rage these days, what with games like The Last of Us Remastered recently released and Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire on the horizon. But those are official efforts with big-name companies like Naughty Dog…
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Skyrim Mod Brings First-Person MediEvil Game To Life

MediEvil: Hero of Gallowmere is a Skyrim mod that recreates the first four levels from the 1998 PlayStation title, MediEvil.

You can check out a trailer for the mod (which is still in development) below, with Sir Daniel Fortesque taking out some enemies from the first-person perspective and doing a little bit of platforming. You can find out more about the mod and keep up with its progress by heading to The Nexus Forums.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

We featured MediEvil on an episode of Replay back in 2012. You can check it out by heading here.

[Source: The Nexus Forums, KorinOo on YouTube, via Kotaku]

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This Skyrim Nightingale statue has 100 points in Awesome

Say what you will about the Daedric Princes of The Elder Scrolls games, but some of them have a keen eye for fashion. Case in point: Nocturnal, lady of night and darkness, clads her servants – the Nightingales – in the kind of outfit we imagine…
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A bevy of Xbox sales this week: Titanfall $20 off, Skyrim, Portal 2

Don’t wait for some “big” sale, or even a “huge” or “blowout” sale – the Xbox 360 Ultimate Games Sale runs throughout July, offering up to 75 percent off on a lineup of Xbox 360 games, on sale on a daily and weekly basis. Up for grabs this week is…
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New trailer for Morrowind Skyrim conversion reveals public developer alpha coming soon

As an RPG fan, there are a lot of games I am looking forward to in the coming year, like Dragon Age Inquisition and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. However, there is one game that I am particularly interested in that isn’t being produced by a development company, nor being boxed and shipped or offering special bonuses for pre-ordering.

Skywind Concept logo - courtesy of TESRenewal.com

Skywind Concept logo – courtesy of TESRenewal.com

Skywind, the Morrowind-Skyrim conversion being developed by the TESRenewal Project. The latest trailer ‘Renewal’ teases update 0.9.4 by showing off some beautiful landscaping and interior work done thus far. The ending, however, lets us in on the possibility that there will be a soon to release public developer alpha coming soon, but fails to tell us what the heck that means.

Sounds to be a more technical alpha than what most of us may be used to, but it’s hard to say at this point. All we can do is wait and see… and hope for a summer of Skywind.


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Xbox 360 Ultimate Sale continues with FIFA 14, Skyrim, Dead Island: Riptide

It’s day 3 of the Xbox 360 Ultimate Game Sale, and that means seven more discounts vying to divorce hard-earned cash from bank accounts. The big name games include FIFA 14, Skyrim, and Dead Island: Riptide, but the biggest discount of the day goes to…
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BioShock Infinite and Skyrim, Borderlands 2 and Dishonored retail bundles out today

Bethesda has launched a pair of multiplatform retail bundles collecting many of its best-reviewed games from recent years, including BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.

Bethesda’s first “Award Winning Games” bundle…
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2K And Bethesda Partner For Discounted Borderlands, BioShock, Skyrim, And Dishonored Bundles

2K And Bethesda are partnering up to bundle some of its best games from the last few years together at a discounted price.

There are two bundles. One collects The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and BioShock Infinite in one package, the other gathers Borderlands 2 and Dishonored. The bundles will both be available on February 11 in Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 flavors, each for for $ 29.99. The bundles will only be available in North America, and will not include any of the DLC that released for the games.

To commemorate the bundles (which happen to be releasing on Valentine's day), 2K has posted a love letter written by Claptrap about his love for Dishonored, detailing some of his favorite moments from the game. You can read the letter here.

 

Our Take
There's really no reason not to recommend any of these games. If you missed some or all of these, It's unlikley you'll be disappointed in grabbing either of these bundles.

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