From Oblivion Mod Wiki
|Author:||Paul 'Simyaz' Thomson|
|Thread(s):||Bethesda Game Studios Forums, The Nexus Forums, Ei der Zeit-Forum (German)|
|Last Updated:||April 8th, 2009|
 The Companion
NPC Companion "Ruined-Tail" (Argonian Battlemage) who will follow you, fight, sneak, loot corpses and everything else you have come to expect from your Oblivion NPC companions.
 The Story
Ruined-Tail's Tale is a story-driven Companion-MOD featuring an Argonian Battlemage by the name of Ruined-Tail (or Ruin, for short). Throughout the course of your time together you will learn more about what drives Ruin and what haunts him, and through numerous multi-path conversations, complex scripted sequences, and challenging strategy-orientated encounters, you will play an integral part in shaping Ruined-Tail's Tale to its ultimate conclusion.
Ruined-Tail's Tale 3.0 has the following features:
- Companion "Ruined-Tail" (Ruin) - An Argonian Battlemage who will follow the you, and under your direction can be ordered to: Follow, Wait (at current location, or return to previously designated "Home" point), Ride Horses, Mark and Recall locations, be Summoned, and Adjust tactics (Aggressiveness, Combat styles, Following distance, etc.)
- Complex, multi-path storyline focusing on Ruined-Tail (and his relationship with the player), played out through immersive, detailed scripted sequences and events, and several thousand lines of dialogue.
- Companion development in the style of Westly Weimer's SolaMOD (for BG2) in which every conversation and your responses shapes Ruin's development, as well as his relationship with the player.
 The Plan
In my opinion, Oblivion is one of the most complete games ever, featuring some truly amazing visuals, interactive large-scale quests, a vast world to explore, and multiple path options to take. In fact, the only thing that I truly consider wrong with the game is how lonely it feels. From the outset, you really are the "one-man army," and even in the brief instances when you do side with an NPC for a quest or two you still know that you are in charge, and that in reality the NPC will be gone in a quest or two (Amusai).
My favourite RPG (and indeed, favourite game) of all time is Baldurs Gate 2, and for one simple reason: Depth of character. In BG2:SoA you are the hero, you are a demigod, yet despite this you depend on your companions, and serve as a teacher, friend and even father-figure to those in your party. They talk to each other, they get mixed up in past affairs, they go crazy and turn evil (at your manipulative advice) and some of them even share romances with you. In truth, the storytelling is what makes BG2:SoA unique.
With this in mind, I set about to make Oblivion the perfect game (in my opinion), by adding an NPC companion (only one at this point in time) who is more than just a henchman. He has a history (which his quest revolves around), he has questions for you -mostly along the lines of moral, philosophical and therapeutical-, he has flaws and can be a nuisance, yet he is still a loyal companion. He will respond to the things you say to him, and they in turn will shape his persona and eventually his status as a companion class. He is FLAWED, and that is what makes him a true character, and a story-driven companion.
When I began working on this, I knew what I wanted. I wanted to create an NPC companion with the depth and individuality of Solaufein in Westly Weimers SolaRomance mod for BG2:SoA (http://weidu.org/). I wanted an NPC who players could genuinely like, and I wanted one who did not need you to make his choices for him, but rather simply asked for the players advice. To some extent, the player was to be his conscience, providing moral suggestions without giving specific commands. Westly Weimer captures this perfectly in Solaufein, and used poetry, philosophical references and parables to develop the character into a companion that you genuinely feel for. He is UNIQUE, and DEEP, and will not be forgotten in my gaming history.
Thus we have Ruined-Tail (or Ruin for short.) Somewhat typically he has a dark past that he is tormented by, yet rather than come out and speak to the player directly he will ask subtle questions that tie together to form a coherent background. Your choices will make or break him (eventually) and whether or not you want to play a valiant Crusader, or a manipulative acolyte, Ruin will be YOUR companion, and no one elses.
The Demon that we fail to see is the Demon that lurks inside.
 The Revision
Ruined-Tail's Tale became a thorn in my side as time progressed. It was loved by so many (over 10,000 downloads and still counting) and yet it received so much criticism over such minor issues that eventually I gave up on it, and moved onto other things. I released The Butcher of Armindale as well as a few updates for that MOD, and more or less left Ruin to his own devices.
And yet, those on the ElderScrolls forums simply would not let me. A few individuals in particular were truly excellent at restoring my faith in both the Oblivion community, and in the Ruined-Tail MOD. Some of those that spring to mind are: Rychek444, Marac, Trent Reznor, Samurai121, Deepfreeze, Cornicer, Ivy, Shoran, Triangulo, Greyfox4000, AndyW, Wizard of Thay, and numerous others. Their persistence in promoting the MOD, and continuing to support my work -not to mention enduring my mounting anger every time I received a negative review- drew Ruin and his story out of the shadows of Abandonment, and back into the light once more.
Thus, update 1.0 has at last been completed. Which resolves all of the minor niggling issues with the MOD that I had simply decided to ignore, as well as further deepening the immersion of the MOD, and adding the TRUE ending to the story as I had always planned it to be.
"Do not stand at my grave and forever cry.
I am not there. I did not die..."
 Update Details
- Fixes a script-related bug that occurs occassionally during the sequence in Anvil.
- Fixes an Oblivion Engine bug that occurs for 1 in 5 players at the end of the MOD.
 3.0 update details
- Complete rebuild of RTT, from the ground up.
 Known bugs
- There are some weird pathing bugs that occur occasionally (especially if you are running along with high SPEED over a long distance. If Ruin runs too slow and gets left behind, when you zone-into another area or quicktravel he should come back.
- Final Encounter AI bug
- The Final encounter in Ruined-Tail's Tale (pre 1.0 addition) is occasionally bugged out by the way Oblivion handles AI that results in it being easier than it should be. Sometimes one or two of the enemies will simply vanish (counted as dead) due to an overburden on the pathing and AI handling system.
- Saved-Game Bug
- It would appear that the infamous save game bug from Morrowind is back, where saves performed at certain crucial parts of the game will bug out the rest of it (Making a relative quest impossible to complete.) My chief beta tester had only one instance of this happening (where he quicksaved in the middle of the final "showdown" in the MOD) and this resulted in an NPC who was alive when the game was saved, playing dead every time it was loaded. Extensive testing of this has revealed that it is NOT a bug induced my the MOD itself, but rather it seems to be a random "chance to happen" bug that could affect any and all MODs (and indeed the original game itself) regardless of whether or not your have The Ruined-Tail's Tale installed. This can be decreased massively if you DONOT use quick saves or auto saves of ANY kind, and instead use manual saves.
The WALKTHROUGH for this MOD can actually be found in-game when the MOD is running. Go to "First Edition" in the Market District of the Imperial City, and look atop the coffee table near the bookshelf. There you will find 3 versions of "The Argonian's Tail" which contain a WALKTHROUGH in Story-form. Bare in mind, each of the versions contains approximately 1/3 of the entire quest, so if you want to save yourself the trip back to First Edition, I'd suggest taking all of them at once.
Alternatively, an "out of game" walkthrough can be found in the Oblivion\data\Misc\ directory on your PC.
 Development Team
- Paul 'Simyaz' Thomson - Writer/scripter/creator/Voice Actor (Gloom and The Necromancer)
 Support Team
- AndyW - For his assistance with post this MOD, and The Butcher of Armindale -specifically providing me with the script to counter the "Bloating" problem known to happen in Reznod's Companion Share. Furthermore, it is his advanced CompanionShare script that has now replaced the former Reznod's CompanionShare.
- Dev_Akm - Assisted me with the Companionshare dependencies and has helped to promote this MOD in an invaluable way.
 Former Development Team
- Rychek444 - invaluable assistance with correcting the armour scripting bug, and going out of his way to arrange hosting for this MOD. Voice Acting for Twilight.
- Wizard of Thay - For his invaluable work in resolving the SwitchLever01 bug, as well as presenting numerous ideas to enrich this MOD (several of which I ended up using), not to mention his support for my work in general.
 Voice Acting Team
- Agro - Our current "voice" for Ruin (still a work-in-progress) for lending us his vocal talents to give Ruin life.
- PersianPaladin - Voice Acting for Shade.
- Wynne - Voice Acting for Midnight.
- Shido - Voice Acting for Adir and Olov Mraddeg
 Playtesting Team
 Credited work
- Robert Frost - Whose poetry is used in this MOD.
- William Shakespeare - A quote or two of his were also purloined.
- Melinda Sue Pacho - An excerpt from her poem "I did not die" was used in this ReadMe, and in the MOD itself.
Westly Weimer - Creater of the SOLAUFEIN MOD for BG2. The greatest RPG Modification ever created in my opinion. (Actually, two conversation topics with RUIN were taken directly from his MOD. Check out the masterpiece at Weidu.org)