Oblivion Mod: Kumiko Manor

The noble Kumiko family have left Cyrodiil for Morrowind due to the recent events occurring within Cyrodiil. Their luxurious manor located on Topal bay must be sold. Flyers can be found in Leyawiin and the academician himself is at the estate awaiting for a buyer. If you are looking for a well-furnished home and if you have the gold, this manor can be yours for a “mere” seventy-five thousand gold.

Are you ready to ruuuumbleee?! No that sentence doesn’t seem right. Hm..oh! I meant to say: are you ready to read an extremely long  review that may not actually be a review!!!

The manor is located near Leyawiin towards the south-east. Exit from the city’s north-east gate and wander down the path, you will eventually see a cobblestone path that will look a bit out-of-place and certainly was not there before. Follow the new path, there will be no dangers to worry about till you pass Tidewater Cave entrance which is possibly guarded by either trolls or mudcrabs. Passing the cave, you will eventually be greeted by an island upon which the manor is built upon. It is not placed so far away from the city to be completely isolated but just far enough to provide privacy.

The manor is well protected from would-be thieves with its study walls and gate. Even acrobats will have trouble scaling the walls itself. Behind the house, you will be greeted with the manor’s background that has ample room for the following: the unique Alchemy Lab on its left with a unique set of apparati and enough storage space for your ingredient collection, a familiar alchemy chest (familiar if you happen to be the Arch-Mage), on the right towards the middle of the backyard you will the manor’s private alchemy garden and a small farm to provide food for daily consumption. To the right of the alchemy/farm area is a large stable to hold a couple of horses.

To the west of the island, there is a smaller island which holds a mage tower for your spell-making and enchanting experiments, complete with a library that boasts to hold every single book found in Cyrodiil and shelves filled with magical goodies. In front of the desk, you will notice a portal. Using the portal will transport the player to top of the tower, where the player will be greeted with a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. Near the mage’s tower there is a small lighthouse along with a small boat dock.

Now we are going to move into the prestigious manor itself. The first floor has several rooms dedicated to storage, a large dining hall able to hold numerous guests if you feel like hosting a dinner party. The first floor is also home to the shop of the manor’s resident merchant and finally, the basement which servers as the servants quarters.

On the second floor, you will find the armory and training facility. The armory has more than enough display cases and chests to display and contain all of your loot you have hoarded over your long glorious (or shady) career. A local smith from Leyawiin will swing by the manor every few days to resupply a chest with Daedric arrows. In the training room, there is a small sparring room to the right. Once you unlocked the other two doors, you can finally get a real workout. In the combat training room to the left, you can select the combat level and based on the level, a number of skeletons will attack you. Don’t worry too much about dying as the facility as a fail-safe mechanism to ensure you will survive. Going down into the trapdoor of the facility, you will be faced with an archery range that you never seen the likes of before. Six stations with stationary targets of varying distances, however the two middle stations will provide archers an extra challenge: they spawn moving targets. Each time you successfully complete your training sessions in either room will earn you training points, which can be redeemed into shiny gold septims.

Finally, we reach the final and third floor of the manor. On this floor you will find a beautifully furnished study (which is my favorite room of the entire manor), a cozy room designed to provide a private sanctuary to relax. Relax by the fire, paint a painting or read a book. There is also storage space in the study to display your prized possessions. Across the study is the master bedroom which holds a small number of display cases for personal items you don’t trust to be placed anywhere else. In one of the display cases, you will find one of the legendary weapons belonging to the Kumiko family is left behind. Above the bed on the windowsill holds two chests holding two sets of armor. Light and heavy armor set which cannot be found anywhere.

On the hill on the outside of Kumiko manor, you will find the family crypts. The crypt with an ominous red glow surround the door can only be entered if you are afflicted with a certain condition. That crypt has content specifically for individuals with the affliction only. Attempting to enter the crypt, you will be given a clue of how you can enter the crypt. While the other crypt cannot be entered till you get a quest. I will talk about that quest later on. When you do manage to enter the family crypts, be sure to have a look at the portraits because they are hilarious. I had a great time reading the description on the paintings.

During this play-through of this mod, I didn’t see the weapon that is mentioned to be left behind in one of the display cases. I might have missed it or its mysteriously gone missing from the display cases somehow. Once you get the house, you have to wait between 10-12 days before you will get the first quest. Not many people seem to realize that in order to get house servants mentioned, you need to do the first quest relating to the manor. The waiting part for the quest to trigger can be frustrating and annoying to some players. As for the two armor sets that you get. I am not sure about male characters but I am definitely not digging the bright purple leather armor for female characters at all. I do not know about other people but this person here does not approve at all. Also the heavy armor is just elven armor edited to be classified as heavy armor and different stats. Based on the description, I was under the impression that the armor would be unique or at least re-textured to really stand out from the vanilla game items as this mod does not add anything new to the world. I was sorely disappointed.

I did enjoy the first quest where you go into the well and wage a fight against the minotaurs that decided the manor’s well would be a great place to call home. It is unclear that you had to kill all the minotaurs that you could see before the doors unlocked. You could jump over the doors with a high acrobatic skill and it does not break the quest anyway. I did find a nifty ring and I really enjoyed the loot that you retrieve which is the Kumiko family heirlooms or artifacts. I don’t really remember but some of the enchantments on those items were just insane. Especially that feather potion that gave like 9,999999,999 points of feather was just ridiculously insane that I found it hilarious cause I’m weird like that. Has it been established that I am might be a few marbles short yet? No? Well it is now.

You can hire servants after one day of completing that quest. There is a second quest which you can get if you hired the guards to protect the manor. This quest is a bit longer than the first. A lot longer. Not to mention you will facing a lot of combat.

I had several issues with this second quest in particular. First one being the puzzle to open the door using the pull ropes. The only hint you are given if you have read the FAQ is that it is the tune of a popular science fiction movie. Not everyone is going to know the science-fiction movie or the tune. I did not and ended up guessing the order by pulling the ropes in a random order till I got it right. There has to be a more obvious clue to solve this first puzzle.

Another issue I encountered, which was actually the first time I encountered this issue playing this mod is that if your sword is over-powered like mine was, you could end up crashing your game when you try to kill the wraith of Bofgroth. This can be fixed by using a different weapon or using spells that are not too powerful to kill it. I think in the 3rd level of the tower, where there are a lot of traps in the room there are buttons that can be seen in certain traps, I am not sure if they were meant to do anything. One might be a trap actually cause I remember a dread zombie spawning and I had killed everything prior to pressing the two buttons. It is not clear whether there was a way to disable the gas surrounding the varla stone which holds the key to entering the next level. On that note, using the stone as a container to hold the key was a really neat idea. This is the only mod I have seen so far that has implemented that idea.

Now I cannot remember which  level this was on, it might be the second level. I particularly hated the letter puzzle where you had to run around the swinging blade halls to press buttons and get parchments with letters on it. You then have to guess the word in order to activate the cage that stands between you and the key to proceed to the next level. I can’t remember if I had a problem with this puzzle in my first time playing this mod but I definitely had trouble this time round, then again it has been over couple years since I last played this mod. Not everyone is going to guess that the key to solve the puzzle is a name of a sci-fi show.

this is my throne now

The biggest problem I had was in the fourth level. I just lost my patience on that level because you had to go on what felt like a goose chase, pressing buttons then scurrying around all over the level to find which wall was revealed to press that button and so forth. When you approach the gate that will eventually lead you to the final level, you find out that you need the key. I searched the entire level for the key and the FAQ tells you that the key is found on the body of the person you killed prior to approaching the gate but the key is not on the person’s body. This is where I ended up using the console to open the gate, then raged when I found out that the stone door needed another key. So I used the console for that as well.

The companion that you can get is able to swap between three combat styles which are: swordsman, marksman and spell-casting. If you ask her to be in “spell-slinging” mode, you can tell her to either use offensive magic or healing magic. She can wear any armor you give her, so you don’t have to endure seeing your companion running around in bright purple armor. She also uses three particular weapons consisting of: claymore, sword and bow and arrow. If you give the companion her ring, whenever you ride your horse she will summon her own horse to follow you on horseback.

Reading the forum for the mod on oblivion nexus, I noticed that a good majority of players had the same problem. Asking the maid or the butler to clean the room where you may have placed your own items or organized a particular room to suit yourself, only to find out that all your items are now missing. Just keep that in mind.

If you are going to download this mod, be sure to have your borders disabled. Otherwise you will never be able to exit the dungeon since the exit is outside of the border. I found the addition of coca-cola to the game. Found that funny and the new books that talk about how coca-cola came into existence in Oblivion.  Download the esteemed Kumiko Manor if you can handle the manor’s hefty price tag and going through the quests to reap all the benefits of the manor.

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