An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Bethesda Softworks, set in the world of The Elder Scrolls.

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire
Elder Scrolls Legend Battlespire cover.png
North American cover art
Developer(s)Bethesda Softworks
Publisher(s)Bethesda Softworks
Designer(s)Daniel Greenberg
Richard Guy
Julian Lefay
SeriesThe Elder Scrolls
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer


Unlike other The Elder Scrolls games, Battlespire lacks a rest feature. Throughout the game there are no merchants to buy items from, and consequently, there aren't any gold pieces to find. Enemies do not reset when the player leaves the area and they are also not randomized as they were in Arena and Daggerfall.

Bethesda introduced a multiplayer feature that included a cooperative mode to follow the single-player storyline online as well as a team-based versus mode to fight using all the same strategies from the single-player. This was done through the multiplayer network; the now-defunct GameSpy. Though no longer supported by Mplayer/GameSpy Arcade, one can still play through the Kali multiplayer network client, which supports and works with all the features in the game.


In Battlespire (named so after the training facility for battlemages), the player takes the role of an apprentice who, on the day of his final test, discovers that an army of Daedra led by Mehrunes Dagon has invaded and killed nearly everyone. On top of that, his partner is being held captive by Mehrunes Dagon himself. Over the course of seven levels, the player must travel through various realms of Oblivion to reach Mehrunes Dagon, defeat him and escape back to Tamriel.


Following the release of Daggerfall, work began on three separate projects all at once: Battlespire, Redguard, and Morrowind. Battlespire, originally titled Dungeon of Daggerfall: Battlespire, was the first of the three to be released,[2] on December 2, 1997.

Originally designed as an expansion pack for Daggerfall, Battlespire focuses on what Bethesda called "the best part of Daggerfall": dungeon crawling. Battlespire has a smaller scope than Daggerfall and prioritizes level design. Until The Elder Scrolls Online, it was the only game in the series to have deathmatch or multiplayer support. When Morrowind's scope turned out to be too difficult to implement, it was put on hold, and its staff were moved to work on Battlespire and Redguard. Battlespire was repackaged as a stand-alone game and sold as An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire.[2]

Julian LeFay opted to use sprites for the enemies because he preferred the high level of detail possible with sprites over the blocky polygonal models of the time.[3]


According to Stephan Janicki of Computer Gaming World, Battlespire and the related title The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard were both "commercial failures."[11]

Next Generation reviewed the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Battlespire is a step in the right direction. While it might not be revolutionary, it is a solid release that should provide hours of dungeon-crawling fun. We anxiously await the next installment."[6]

Reviewers seemed unimpressed as a whole with Desslock of GameSpot noting that, compared against Daggerfall, "Battlespire's less expansive scope, hack-and-slash gameplay, and technical problems ultimately provide a role-playing experience that is only occasionally satisfying."[12]


  1. ^ Staff (December 2, 1997). "Now Shipping". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on February 18, 1998. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
    "Now Shipping: Bethesda's Elder Scrolls: Battlespire..."
  2. ^ a b "Battlespire - Behind the Scenes". The Elder Scrolls 10th Anniversary. Bethesda Softworks. 2004. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2007.
  3. ^ "NG Alphas: Battlespire". Next Generation. No. 34. Imagine Media. October 1997. pp. 124–5.
  4. ^ "An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Scorpia (May 1998). "Battle Weary". Computer Gaming World (166): 166, 168.
  6. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 41. Imagine Media. May 1998. p. 112.
  7. ^ Saltzman, Marc (April 1998). "Battlespire". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on March 3, 2000. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Anderson, Chris. "Battlespire". PC Zone. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  9. ^ Ricketts, Ed. "Uninspired". PC Gamer UK. Archived from the original on May 22, 2002. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  10. ^ Olafson, Peter (February 9, 1998). "Battlespire". PC Games. Archived from the original on September 21, 1999. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Janicki, Stephan (February 2001). "Inside Adventure; Bethesda's Piratey Gamble". Computer Gaming World (199): 127.
  12. ^ Desslock. An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire Review Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Gamespot, 1998. Retrieved May 6, 2011.

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