Skyrim NPCs range from completely empty-headed to unexpectedly brilliant in the base game, although a variety of mods are dedicated to making their AI intelligence more predictable. Everything goes out the window when glitches enter the equation, however, as one player discovered when they were forced into an unsettling chase scene.
Redditor 8_bit_guy shared a short 14-second-long video of a Skyrim player being chased by bugged NPCs. It's easy to tell that the NPCs in question are malfunctioning because they all appear to be stuck in a variant of the T-pose. This results in them standing motionless with their arms raised just above their sides while gliding after the player, who is fleeing in first-person mode. Combined with a timely shout of "There's no escape," the footage feels uncannily like a low-budget horror movie.
In the clip, the player is chased by the NPCs inside a dimly-lit building. They retreat backward at an increasingly quick pace while the frozen NPCs pursue them with equally frozen weapons. Finally, the player scampers down a hallway and positions themselves behind what appears to be a staircase. The NPCs loiter around for a while, but are unable to reach the player and may not be fully aware of their location. Eventually, the crowd of NPCs heads off through a nearby doorway, their models still completely immobile and staring directly at the Skyrim player's hiding spot.
As of writing, it appears that other Skyrim fans find this clip pretty funny. One user joked that the player was being haunted by "the T-pose of terror," while a second compared the video to the intentionally poorly animated survival horror game Baldi's Basics. Several other players noted that it looks like the player ran afoul of a FNIS error, possibly as a result of the mods the player was using. A third user shared a short horror story of their own where they caught their in-game mannequins moving around, seemingly due to the mannequins being frozen NPC models. Reportedly, glitches can occasionally cause the mannequins to unfreeze and begin following standard NPC movement patterns.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.