Starfield’s Apex Parrothawks Are Basically Morrowind’s Infamous Cliff Racers

Morrowind has flying enemies called cliff racers that hunt in packs and strike down at you like drones. There are so many of them that Bethesda wrote a meta-joke into the lore for Oblivion that Jiub had been sainted for driving them to extinction. Well, Nirn is only one planet. Starfield has 1,000… and they’re back.


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Cliff racers were infamous mostly because they were a pain in the neck to kill. Even with magic and ranged weapons, they hovered so far overhead and only occasionally dipped down to attack, often dealing huge damage while stunning you. “OOMPH, AGH, UUGH,” you cry out as your arms flail, helpless to fight back. Aiming at something that small that far away is a challenge, especially when there are so many of them at once, and it’s no different in Starfield for its apex parrothawk.

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The second you leave New Atlantis to explore Jemison, you’ll probably find them. I saw at least ten destroying the ecosystem, killing every single herbivore in sight. But when I tried to fight them, they hovered overhead and refused to come down. It felt like I was back in Morrowind, only with a much less volcanic atmosphere.

I’m not the only one to feel the pain of a thousand cliff racers nipping at my heels as I try to take in the relaxing air of the New Atlantis countryside. Over on the Steam forums, Knavenformed said, “The game has cliff racers, c’mon now. I thought there was something weird [with] how the bird enemies didn’t circle or swoop for a kill. They just come to hover over you and VTOL land on your ass, stunning you and letting you make one move before they move on […] These things are just cliff racers reskinned. It has been a whopping 21 years and we are still fighting cliff racers”.

Aikido replied, “It’s funny, I was just saying the game reminds me of Morrowind more than any other past Bethesda game, even visually and tonally. Which is a surprise, but (for me) not an unwelcome one. I loved Morrowind. And yes, the cliff racers were part of why. So were the robots, which to me are just guars. I swear some of the planetary areas look like the Grazelands of Vvardenfell.”

So, fair warning to the Morrowind fans out there, if you’re exploring in Starfield, you might be sent back 21 years to the terrors of the hostile Vvardenfell roads where packs of cliff racers would descend upon you like angry gamers thirsty for reviewer blood.

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