You see a lot of wild stuff when a big part of your job is monitoring and investigating player behavior and feedback. Extreme horniness. Ridiculous challenges. A whole lot of angry gamers. I usually focus on new and topical releases, but some games just keep on giving, and Skyrim is one well that never seems to run dry. Case in point: a remarkably detailed and informative discussion about environmentally friendly ways to dispose of dead bodies via Skyrim's rivers, which I found so amusing that I wanted to highlight it here.
Earlier this month, Redditor Owls_owl asked the Skyrim hive mind a simple question: "Hypothetically speaking, if one were dumping bodies in the rivers, would there be a place they would collect?" In a comment, they clarified that "while I’m good with murdering and dumping bodies into rivers (technically shouting them into rivers, as I don’t know how to carry on xbox), I respect the land of my forebearers and want to ensure I don’t flood Tamriel."
It's tough being an environmentally conscious murderer and/or hitman in Tamriel, it seems. Fortunately, many Skyrim players were eager to share some curiously specific tips.
One of the top comments noted that dead fish often accumulate on riverbanks and proposed that these purely hypothetical dead bodies would probably do the same. DannyWinny suggested ditching corpses at the Sea of Ghosts by Castle Volkihar on the grounds that everyone will blame the local vampires even if a body is found. Or Ohio, per BeefChopJones.
Another user was quick to assure Owls_owl that most unique NPC corpses will eventually be teleported to a purgatory of sorts, presumably as a way to keep the game world clean and prevent memory issues, while others will despawn entirely. There are several old videos on how to access Skyrim's dead body cleanup cell. You know, if you're wondering.
That said, even if most dead bodies despawn naturally, some could still hang around and potentially wreak havoc on the ecosystem, and that's some corpses too many. Thankfully, someone who may or may not have sent many Tamriel citizens to sleep with the fishes chimed in with a more detailed breakdown.
"Let's say that the bodies don't despawn or teleport elsewhere, and let's say that they don't get hung up on a bank somewhere," wrote tavikravenfrost, obviously speaking hypothetically. "Bodies dumped into the Karth or Hjaal Rivers will flow into the Sea of Ghosts just past Solitude. Bodies dumped into the White or Darkwater Rivers will flow into the Sea of Ghosts near the border with Morrowind.
"A body dumped into the Treva River should flow into Lake Geir near Ivarstead before connecting to the Darkwater River," they continued, still speaking hypothetically, "but the Treva is flowing in the wrong direction into Lake Honrich. Bodies dumped into the Treva will collect in Lake Honrich. Looking at a detailed map of Skyrim, it doesn't seem to be an issue of the Treva having a separate watershed due to elevation differences around Lake Geir. I'm thinking that it was just an oversight during development."
Yeah, must've been an oversight in development. Let's go with that. Anyway, I'm glad we got this burning question answered.
"I have never felt so supported in a murder spree," Owls_owl said in a closing comment. "Thank you all for your advice and scientific analysis of body distribution through waterways. I now know how to carry bodies, kill fish, and drop hawks from the sky. You’re the best!"
This is what happens to players when Hitman dev IO Interactive's next game is several years away and Hitman 3 hasn't had a big content drop in a while.