In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player takes on the role of a legendary dragonborn, and part of your arsenal of tools to rid the land of the returned winged menace Alduin is something called dragon shouts, detailed by the folks at Game Informer.
Dragon shouts are rare, known only to a few people outside of the dragonborn, and are essentially super powerful magic battle cries, performed by speaking the ancient language of the dragons. These will supplement your combat and magic spells, making you ever more a force to be reckoned with. This “arcane knowledge” “launched the last line of emperors,” and is enacted by defeating one of the menacing dragons and absorbing its soul, then searching out sites within the world to find the appropriate runes, which you must decipher to learn a new shout.
“To be trained in the art of the dragon shouts, also called the Voice, dragonborn individuals travel to Skyrim in order to climb a great mountain called the Throat of the World. At its peak they reach High Hrothgar, where an ancient sect of powerful Voice users named the Greybeards train them in their art.”
Bethesda’s Todd Howard says, “There are three words for each shout, and there are three levels to them. The amount of time you hold down the shout button is how many words come out. It becomes a bit of a collection mechanic – to collect all the words.”
Lots of work, but the pay-off is ultimate power. Skyrim contains over 20 unique shouts to master, granting abilities like an “invisible push of staggering power”, slowing down time, performing a stealth charge, and even a power that can summon a dragon to your aid.
Check out the full feature, including how Bethesda created the dragon language and its ancient alphabet, as well as a few new pieces of concept art.