Our quest to revisit Dragon Age in its entirety continues here, with Dragon Age 2.
Spoiler Ending Thoughts:
I have to say, this is one game, along with
KotOR: Sith Lords that really improved with repeated play. The repeated environments didn’t really bother me as much this time around, although the part where they would use the same map and then just randomly block off certain passageways after I walked all the way over to the entryway was kind of a bummer.
There is a
lot of talking in this one. More than I remembered. While I love the characters of DAO, I think your BFFs in DA2 are a little more fleshed out.
Alistair is still my overall favorite, but I find Isabella a more interesting character in DA2 than Leliana in DAO.
What I think is the main downside of the game, besides the reused areas, is the way the game eventually boxes you into doing missions that you know aren’t on the up-and-up.
I mean, if you really thought Anders was making you find him poop to free him from Justice, you possess a lot more hope than I did, at that point.
Plus, poor Trask–I still don’t know why we ended up killing all the templars and mages who actually wanted to work together for peace.
It took me until this time around to actually notice that Orsinio was in cahoots with Quentin, the crazy mother-killer. Given that, and his weird sudden turn to blood magic right after we killed all the templars, it’s no wonder Justinia didn’t send in the troops to rescue the downtrodden mages. He made them all seem wacked.
Out of all the followers, I think I found Merrill the least compelling. Her story was sort of a light analogue of Ander’s, where you ended up helping her do stuff that you were pretty sure wasn’t going to work out well in the end, but you did it anyway because otherwise there’s no game.
Both the DLC I thought were far better than any of DAO’s DLC, except Awakening, and maybe even that. They were visually great, and had interesting plotting and good variations on activities–it’s too bad that everyone I know was so burnt out on the whole game by the time they finished, that they never got around to them.
I’ll always be sad that they axed the third DLC, because I suspect we would have gotten more Fenris (HEART) but on the other hand, that probably means he would have met some horrible fate by the end of it.
Alright, off to DAI!
Ok. Time for The Last Straw.
Nothing like the Battling Bickersons to start off the day.
Anders, you goober.
Look Meredith. I’m not going to support a side that wants to kill my last sibling.
Just cool your jets Sebastian. You’re not helping.
Varric always did have the best grasp on any situation.
Sorry Anders. You’re a killer. And killers have to pay.
Wait, we were
at the Gallows. Why are we now trying to get to the Gallows through Lowtown? Varric is basically Max from “Sound of Music.”
I feel like everyone should have different conversational replies at this time. Merrill saying “it’s a pretty evening” while we’re fighting our way out of a burning Kirkwall doesn’t seem appropriate.
Well OK now you’re just being a jerk, Meredith.
Cullen? Did you have anything to say?
Last chance to talk! These are always heartbreaking.
Emile de Launcet is always totally nonplussed as long as he has the prospect of some action.
I’m glad at this last few moments, we were left a chest with a small, wet pouch of incense.
And a complex chest I can’t open.
I’m pretty sure Mom would not have enjoyed being here to see this, Bethany.
Alright Orsino. Lets get this show on the road.
Hm. Orsino seems a little depressed.
Bringing up Quentin’s research is not winning any points with me, Orsino.
Orsino, you goober.
Hm. I don’t see Isabela now that the fight is over.
Sebastian is still asking me if Anders ever told me what he wanted with the Chantry. I think he did. I think he told all of us, Sebastian.
Sandal. Because of course, Sandal.
Holy Moly, these fire traps startled me.
See Cullen? Was that so hard?
Sometimes, Meredith, you should just buy your swords off the rack.
Apparently red lyrium gives you the power of backflips.
Oh Isabela’s back. Glad you didn’t die!
I’m glad everyone else relaxed and put their weapons away while Meredith did another flip and landed with her sword in my head.
It’s like old home week.
Ooh. Not a good look for you, Meredith.
So… I guess we’ll just go, then.
Don’t listen to him, Cassandra! He does too know!
“Well it’s in the hands of The Maker now. Maybe we should hold a big summit meeting and invite every reasonable-minded person to Haven.”
Spoiler Thoughts (“Mark of the Assassin”):
Say, this wyvern is not doing me any favors.
Ok, managed to get him down with a handful of health to spare. On to the Chateau Haine!
I always like any mission that makes us change clothes.
Did…Did the Duke just say “BUT THE PRIZE…?”
…And Isolde. Made only slightly more bearable by her having to do the “WHO IS THEESE WOMAN, TEAGAN!” line again.
I’m not sure I would stock up on the Ham of Despair.
Isolde and Dulci de Launcet are two peas in a crappy pod.
Oh Leilana. She doesn’t seem so glad to see us, however.
Well, lets try sucking at stealth instead of combat for awhile.
I just think if you knock someone out, that should probably raise an alarm somewhere.
“HURRY, GET TO THE VAULT BEFORE THE DUKE’S MEN SPOT US!” ” Oh hey, Bethany would totes love this painting…”
Hurg. Standing-on-switches puzzles always thwart me.
I feel like I don’t even know who you are, Tallis.
Oh, I don’t think I knew you could go back into the castle, vs. just leaving straightaway.
Tallis requires a lot of help for someone with pretty vague explanations.
Well it can’t be right to leave Felicia Day.
You know, Tallis, we are killing a
lot of Qunari, for a group of people trying to save Qunari. I am still not totally clear on why Tallis’ friend decided to betray the Qunari.
I’ll say this for the Duke–nobody else in Thedas seems to have capitalized on the wyvern-bait-shotgun.
Ok I get it Tallis. There are innocent Qunari.
“I’m sure we’ll see Tallis again someday.” Don’t get your hopes up, Varric.
This quest always boggled me. As if Kirkwall didn’t have enough problems, now it seems like we’re systematically hunting down all the remaining reasonable mages and templars left, and killing them.
There’s not even any option to talk to them first. As soon as you clap eyes on them, it’s all “Kill Pussycat! Kill!”
Grace, you rat-bastard.
Trask needed to use his magic-sucking powers a little quicker there.
Thanks for showing up after the party’s over, Cullen.
I feel as though, if you reinstate Samson, a lot of subsequent events should go differently.
Little too late to be sorry now, Orsino.
“There’s this fantastic thing called ‘moving on.’ You should try it sometime.”
Isabela has no interest in indulging Anders.
Ok. Time for “Mark of the Assassin.”
You know, I have nothing against Felicia Day, but I always think these in-game representatives of real people come off weird.
Almost as if you’re playing something someone made for someone else as a gift.
Ok Anders. You are the
last one to talk about someone only offering help with a catch. I don’t know why it is, that I inevitably find the crucial part of a quest long before I find the guy who’s supposed to give me the quest.
This DLC really is pretty. I wish the main game had been as attractive.
There is approximately 100% more poop-related quests in DA2 as DAO.
Spoiler Thoughts (Legacy DLC:)
Oh look–a key blade…which is not apparently as good as the sword I was using…
Storage chest: I get the feeling this is last chance to stash.
I feel as though, if our Dad set it up so that some supreme evil is locked in here, and only we can unlock it, maybe we shouldn’t unlock it.
Surely it’d be worth it to try to find some other way out before releasing this ancient evil on the world.
…Or we could just follow the crazy tainted guy downstairs to free Corypheus.
“This is a strange business. I do not like it.” –Fenris, getting straight to the core of the apple.
When you start finding random health potions lying about in the street, is when you know you’re in a good part of town.
Ok, I get that we’re choosing to set free this awful thing to get out of this place, but remind me why we’re going to such lengths to free the random demons our Dad used his
own blood to trap? I don’t care what you get in return, there’s no way making sacrifices at Dumat’s altar is the good choice.
Varric isn’t much of a sentimentalist when it comes to his ancestors.
You know, I am not so sure Janeka is going to be able to bind and control Corypheus.
Wow, this Helm of the Fortress is the silliest helmet ever. You could barely get through a doorway with that on.
“Nothing personal, but you’re kind of crazy. And a bitch. Wait, I guess that was personal.”
I might not be playing the diplomatic Hawke.
Wow, Larius seems to have some hidden anger issues.
I am not a huge fan of plots where evil people tell you to do something/free something, and you go ahead and do it.
Larius and Hawke are having this whole conversation, and Corypheus is probably all “I’M RIGHT HERE.”
I don’t remember Corypheus sounding like this in DAI.
The quest description changes at this point to “Corypheus is free. Kill him.”
Oh, Bethany and Varric really did not dodge those rocks very well.
Ok Fenris. It’s just you and me.
You’re welcome for your freedom Larius…wait…
Oh hey Leandra.
No, it’s ok. I just…have something in my eye…SOB.
So I’m already anti-Meredith just from the point where she yells at Alistair.
One of my favorite things I discovered this playthrough is stopping to chat with Seneschal Bran every once in awhile. He is just so done with everything.
GAAH. I hate that sound the spiders make as they drop down. It always startles me.
Yes Fenris. I believe we all understand that you are not “pro” on Merrill summoning the demon.
In retrospect, maybe we should have been more suspicious that Merrill prays to Mythal at the same-looking shrine that we used to free Flemeth.
Merrill and her Keeper really should have sat down to talk more.
No one seems all that happy to see Merrill again.
Well look on the bright side Merrill. At least we didn’t have to kill your whole clan, like last time.
Ok, maybe it’s time to tackle Legacy: The DLC I bet sold a lot more copies after DAI came out.
You know Varric, I think Cassandra may be very interested in this expedition.
Hey, Bethany’s back.
Malvernis the Defiler has an orb. It seems like that might be important, someday…
Man, this is a lot of dwarves. The whole Carta must be here trying to kill me.
I hope we find an exit home sometime. My backpack is almost full of torn trousers and stale biscuits.
Oh, hey, an orb. You don’t think…
Pretty sure obelisks aren’t supposed to be pulsing.
Why would we activate something like this anyway?
Well hi Malvernis.
This is a considerable amount of defiling Malvernis is trying to accomplish. Like I think we might die.
Sorry Varric…Er…walk it off?
Well nice to know my assassination attempts are getting you back in touch with old friends, Varric.
Ok, that’s pretty personal, Varric.
Ugh. I can’t pick up anything more.
Oh, thank goodness. A magical Return to Kirkwall statue.
This is the least used Chanter’s Board ever.
I think these dwarves have cataracts.
Say, this Corypheus fellow seems like a troublemaker.
People can say what they like about Gamlen, but he certainly expresses more care for Hawke and Leandra than Leandra did for him or Hawke.
With all the money and acclaim Hawke has by now, you’d think she could help Gamlen out a little. At least get him a small place in Hightown or something.
Well, if we didn’t do anything else of real benefit in this town, we did get Gamlen and Charade together.
Oh Gamlen. Almost a nice moment.
Hey Zevran! Looks like you’ve had a little work done.
Oh, ok Fenris. Lets talk about it now, since you’ve had
three years to mull it over. You’re forgiven Fenris. Just…can you just do something about these bodies sometime?
And maybe get rid of some of that creepy art standing around? Danarius was a poor interior decorator.
I like how, no matter who you take on her mission with you, everyone wants to take a smack at Isabela.
For someone who later gets in trouble for not delivering a shipment of slaves, Isabela seems pretty ok with Castillon staying in business.
Wow, that guy that Varric decked six years ago still has a black eye. When Varric decks you, you stay decked.
Isabela finally said something so lurid to Aveline that even Anders was repulsed.
Man, we did a pretty piss-poor job of protecting Nyssa, like we promised.
Those are some lousy Templars if they couldn’t find the one escaped Mage that just left to hang out in bars and brothels, telling everyone who he was.
You know, Varric–rather than fight our way through a haunted house to get a cursed idol, maybe you could consider burning it to the ground first.
NO Varric. You cannot keep the crazy-making idol.
Yeah, this combination of Meredith, Orsino, and Elthina can only end well.
Nooooo Bodahn, don’t go! You’re the only sane one around here!
Is the “scary old lady” watching Sandal sleep, Flemeth?
Ok Fenris, I’ll go with you to meet your sister, but I don’t think this is going to turn out as well as you’d hope.
Ok, I hate to say “I told you so,” Fenris…
Leliana! All not-scary again!
Oh Sebastian. You might not want to swear Elthina’s safety to The Maker
too quickly. Ok Anders, I’ll help you look for poop, but I don’t think this is going turn out as well as
anybody hopes. Poor Feynriel. As if he didn’t have enough problems, now he’s got a stalker.
Hey, it’s Nathaniel again! Continuing your good relationship with Anders, I see.
Man, this mine is nothing but trouble.
Granted, we probably should have been suspicious when the mine was someplace called “The Bone Pit.”
Sure, I’ll distract the Grand Cleric while you do something you’re afraid to tell me in the Chantry, Anders. What could possibly go wrong?
Merrill: “They must think I’m a monster!” Fenris: “You
are a monster.” Not helping, Fenris.
I guess I could try bringing Gaspard along with me this time.
That was a lot of blood from the one vial. How many gallons did you take from Alessa?
Gaspard, you rat-bastard.
As irritating a mother as I found Leandra, her death does feel like one of the few quests that really has an impact on Hawke. Hawke just cannot catch a break.
Poor Seamus. Thedas just wasn’t ready.
Nothing you need after a hard day of watching Qunari sink an arrow into Patrice, than to come home and find Aveline and Isabella tearing up the place.
Oh now Bethany sounds like she blames me for Leandra’s death. The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.
Wow, I did everything possible in Act 2 to raise up Isabela’s friendship, and she
still didn’t come back. I can’t believe I’m going to have to practically start over if I want to keep her. Fine. Time to learn how cheat codes work.
Poor Arishok. You should just take the Tome and go.
Hard to believe Hawke can just shake off a couple impalements like that
Thanks for the Champion-ship Meredith. Don’t applaud, just throw money.
The years have apparently not been kind to Bartrand.
Yeah, cutting bits off your servants and making them eat each other is probably not the way to reduce turnover.
I feel like Varric would regret killing Bartrand. Off to the Home for Disturbed Lyrium-Addled Dwarves you go.
Oh hey, it’s Grace again in the Gallows, all bitter and angry that I didn’t give them food or something. Maybe blame your blood-mage boyfriend for your bad planning and leave me out of it.
I feel like maybe Donnic should have had a clue about Aveline a little earlier, but then again, perhaps that’s why they make a good pair.
Isabella has a lot to say about Aveline’s love life, but you can wind up with some rivalry points with her, even if you tell Aveline to listen to her. I guess she’s really not into monogamy.
While I think Merrill is misguided about delving into the whole
Eluvian thing, the Keeper seems a little harsh in making her out to be a scary bedtime story to the rest of the elves. These varterral are mystifying. They’re always supposed to be protecting the elves, and yet I have never met one that wasn’t as happy to chomp on an elf as anyone else.
Sure Merrill. Take the knife. What could possibly go wrong?
Ok Anders. I’ll help you find Sir Alrik. I just think this might not turn out as well as you’re hoping.
I hate to tell you “I told you so,” Anders…
Anders seems to think we stopped him from killing this poor traumatized Mage, but actually, it kind of looked like we were going to just sit there while he smited her.
Why does everyone run away from me after their personal quests?
Wow, the Golden Prince’s Rainment armor that Hawke is currently wearing, has got to be one of the most ridiculous-looking armors ever.
Oh Cullen. I know you’ve been through a lot, but you could really be coming down a little harder against the “tranquilize all mages” plan.
You too, Mother Elphina.
Patrice continues to be the worst.
Isabella, you are not helping the reputation of pirates.
Look Aveline, it doesn’t seem to be a good day to discuss taking the elves away from the Arishok.
Hm. I never got this dialogue with Ser Bran before. It’s nice he was kind of close to Seamus.
I like how, the closer we get to war with the Qunari, the more the load screens give you helpful advice like “FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, SAVE! SAVE AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!”
Hey, it’s Stroud. Making his usual 1 minute cameo appearance.
And enter Merideth. She seems awfully young-looking. Maybe it’s the red lyrium.
Ok, time to dance with the Arishok.
Wait, isn’t Isabella supposed to come back now
Err…Isabella, now would be a good time…
Oh, for the Love of Pete. Isabella’s
not coming back. I must not have gotten enough approval with her.
Enjoyable things courtesy of an enigmatic world.