Bethesda’s Starfield has learned a lot from the studios’ decades of RPG development, especially its iconic 2011 fantasy game Skyrim. As many were expecting, Starfield doesn’t just homage Skyrim in its gameplay, but also in a slew of references.
As one fan has already discovered, NPCs in Starfield will reference The Elder Scrolls games while you’re out on your travels. Of course, this also means reciting the once internet-devouring meme that everyone has come to know.
Yep, that’s right. Skyrim’s inescapable “arrow to the knee” meme is referenced within Bethesda’s new sci-fi RPG, poking fun at the line that was parroted worldwide circa 2011, back when too-text, bottom-text memes were the height of humour. (How foolish we were.)
Speaking to NPCs in Starfield, you’ll be able to hear the line: “I used to be an explorer, too, but then I - No. Never mind. It’s a long story.” If you spent any time on the internet for the first half of the 2010s, you’ll know the original line was: “I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow to the knee.”
On the Starfield subreddit, fans rejoiced at the inclusion of the classic Starfield line. While the original meme was annoyingly unavoidable for a few years, it’s not become an endearing part of Bethesda’s history. If you don’t like it, cheer up, it’s not like someone stole your sweetroll. There’s also an Adoring Fan to cheer you up!
“There was a zero percent chance that wouldn't be referenced in this game,” one commenter said. “This just put a huge smile on my face,” said another.
This isn’t even the only reference to Skyrim’s unforgettable line either. As another user pointed out, one of Starfield’s skills allows you to specifically target weak points on an enemy. The artwork for this skill? An arrow to the knee.
With The Elder Scrolls VI currently years away, this might be the only Bethesda Game Studios content we see for the series until 2026. While Zenimax Online will still be creating Elder Scrolls Online content, the real Bethesda spirit rests in Starfield.
Starfield is currently available in early access for Xbox and PC deluxe edition owners. Normal players can play the game on September 6th.