Working off my first run-through (which, if you were interested, I wrote a day-by-day playthrough of here.)
In case you’re not interested in a day-by-day playthrough, I basically tried to do the diametric opposite the second time, so my first Inquisitor was a Human Warrior who sided with the Mages, kept the Wardens, sacrificed the Chargers, had Cole become more human, romanced Cullen, made Leliana Divine, and had Morrigan drink the water.
This time around, I also consulted a walkthrough in the interests of completion.
So of the initial “secret” quests, the only one I had missed entirely was the Harlequin tagging.
Those things were not only hard to sneak up on, but almost never showed up this time around, even though last time I remember seeing them *whomp* in and out all the time.
Oh Cole and Maryden! Well that’s maybe not quite as cute as the Zither scene, but they seem happy.
Wow, without the Chargers, there is literally nothing Bull has to say to you.
There continues to be a lot more PDA here than you’d expect at a religious conclave.
…Which is actually just fine, when it is the Inquisitor and Cullen getting married! Squee!
I feel like this Inquisitor, being a warrior and fairly well-connected, would be a little more aggressive and less placating than an elven mage.
Wow, there were like three whole eluvians I didn’t find last time (for the record, I found them this time without the walkthrough.)
The interaction with the old elven spirits doesn’t go half as well if you didn’t drink the water.
Cool, I got new armor. It’s for rogues, but it still fits for some reason?
I still don’t get how anyone affords the Clasping maw.
I guess I’m using the beehive on a stick–I wouldn’t want Cullen to think I’m scorning his dog’s gift.
Even though they seem to have patched some of the problems from the last time, this lag in the Deep Roads certainly didn’t go away.
I just timed it, and it takes about 50 seconds for her to loot something or climb up a ladder after the request.
Huh. I totally didn’t realize you could bust open some of these passages once you get the exploding anchor ability.
Gosh, this one veil fire puzzle has such tricky timing, I don’t think I would have ever gotten it without having read about it.
Josephine seems pretty upset about this council and the Inquisition, for having been roughly 1/4th of the Inquisition.
This Inquisitor is unimpressed with the squabbling that’s going on while her hand is catching fire.
Given that we’re implying that she’s going off to die, I feel like there should have been more with Cullen than a quick hug.
Oh wait, there were even more secret quests than this one walkthrough had!
For one of them, you had to find a piece of codex in the Deep Roads before you flooded everything. Well, I guess we’ll find out whether I did or not eventually.
I cannot find this underground vault at the Elven Ruins for anything.
Wait, I just found it. Hachi machi, but that’s a lot of money.
We can afford the Clasping Maw now!
But in a sad reveal, it’s a two-handed weapon, and we only trained one hand and shield. Womp womp.
I guess we could try to craft actual warrior armor with the new schematic we just found.
So it’s super good armor, but sadly an unattractive color. I guess we could give it to Iron Bull, since he’ll be coming along on most of these quests.
I must say, the new armor makes Bull look pretty svelte.
Oh, the fireworks thing was another game I missed first time around.
Actually, after about fifteen minutes, I’m pretty much missing it this time too.
I think you’re supposed to score 80 on it to get something decent, but the most I could manage was around 65 before I couldn’t take it anymore.
Ok, time for the Qunari gauntlet.
So this time around, we’ll try saving the dragon.
I’m not sure why we’re so charitable with this one, when we didn’t care about killing all those other ten, but maybe we mellowed.
Look Qunari girl, Bull’s not going to turn on me.
What did you call me Bull?
I can’t believe I just had to kill Bull.
I have to lie down now.
Ok, back now.
I think I’m ok.
But wow, this will not be my definitive playthrough of DAI.
Nice that they give you a chance to reform your team since I’m down a man now.
Plus the traitor took off with my newly-crafted armor!
Apparently still not over it.
I guess on the plus side, after Bull, Solas doesn’t really evoke that much of a sense of betrayal anymore.
I guess we did find all the codex, because we clued into the Fen’harel thing already.
So let’s reflect on Solas’ plan for a minute this time around.
The Evanuris did the unspeakable by killing Mythal, so Solas put up the veil to lock them away.
The veil ruined elven society by taking away their magic.
At that point, Solas got sad and went to take a nap for a couple millenia. (What?)
When he woke up, he decided to destroy the world by tearing down the veil, but for some reason, all his power was in an orb?
Too weak to open the orb, he does the next best thing, and gives it to a totally evil crazy powerful magical…thing?
His initial plan is for Corypheus to open the orb and get exploded, at which time he was going to take it and destroy the world, but he was foiled by Corypheus not going along with the plan and surviving.
You break the orb, so he drops you and the Inquisition like a hot potato and goes and kills Mythal for her godliness.
He kills her, even though this was the exact thing he screwed up everything in the first place for!
Solas, you are a bad planner.
This Inquisitor isn’t in love with you Solas. She’s gonna take you down if you mess with her.
Well thank goodness Corypheus didn’t think of this way of getting the anchor off you.
Although, if you think about it, Corypheus was the only thing that prevented Solas from killing everyone already with his orb and anchor.
Basically, Corypheus saved us all.
So this time around, I think the Inquisitor would keep the Inquisition around, because she’d want a big force to go after Solus and her arm.
That was not much of a heartwarming last scene with Cullen, BioWare.
At least the epilogue cards have slowed down.
Vivienne’s going against the Divine! More betrayal!
Ok, I thought about it some more, and I guess it’s logical that if you had Bull let his BFFs die, then you shouldn’t expect him to form an attachment to you, whom he’s known for a much shorter amount of time, that would overrule his dedication to the Qun.
It’s just the idea that the whole game revolves around our character that deceived us into thinking differently.
I think the only good thing was that this Inquisitor didn’t romance Bull, because that would have been the end if he’d slept with her for two years and then turned on her.
I still love Cassandra reading “This Shit Is Weird” so much.
Ok. Time for one last fling with the Inquisitor and her merry men.
“Enjoy time with them while you can,” translation: “We only added upfront dialogue.”
Wow, Bran changed a bit. The years haven’t been too kind to him.
Now we control the giant harbor net of Kirkwall. Well I’m sure that won’t come in handy one of these days.
I knew the Executors would be back! Hard in Hightown!
Oh man, all these books and letters are so great. I could read these all day.
OMG, it’s the collar from that spirit that possessed the cat in Shale’s village!
Ok, when Zither showed up for Maryden, I full on did the Home Alone hands-on-the-face reaction.
I have no idea what we were throwing at people with Sera.
Sera does what we’ve all wanted to do to Maryden sooner or later.
Well, Bull is as terse as always. Was Freddie busy the week they recorded this?
Hm. There seem to be a lot more couples getting busy here, than you’d expect at a religious conclave.
Why am I picking up all these dog bones?
Wow. Josephine treated us to the Orlesian equivalent to Noh drama.
Well Leliana appears to be back to her old self.
Fenris is the bartender in Hard in Hightown, and I just died.
Ok, I’m not so sure what the ham was for in spa day.
I feel like maybe BioWare needs a field trip to a spa.
Oh not just ham, but the sad banana-on-a-stick weapon.
Well Leliana appears to be kind of done.
Cullen found a dog!
Oh THAT’S why we were picking up the dog bones.
The dog brought us a…mace made out of a bee hive? That’s very thoughtful.
Chateau Haine got a new Duke!
I guess you can’t talk with Dorian much?
At least we got a letter from Alistair.
I love the descriptions of the random crap we find.
At least he didn’t bring Isolde again.
I would say however, if they had Alistair come, it would have been vapors time.
Oops, I think I’ve been running right over all these people soaking in the bath.
Oh we found Cassandra again.
Oh wow, she’s going to kill Varric.
You know, I really dote on Dorian, which is why I always think it’s odd that while he says we are ultimate BFFs, he never spoke to me after the first third of the game or so.
Well I guess social time is over.
Wow, Teagan turned into kind of an ass.
“We exiled the Grey Wardens!” Yeah, how’d that work out for you?
Also, is Teagan forgetting that Ferelden’s King and Queen are both Grey Wardens? No wonder you couldn’t have Alistair here, saying this.
And why is he saying Gaspard is on the throne? We’ve already read letters on how Celene and Briala are still ruling together.
I’m not getting this.
Maybe Teagan ended up having to spend way too much time with Isolde and he got all Ethan Frome’d.
Ok, wait a minute. We’re following a trail to find out where he came from. Why then would the blood stains go up to a dead end? Shouldn’t they just show where he came? It’s like we’re going the wrong direction.
Well maybe this is why Bull didn’t talk much before. They were saving his voice for the quest.
Ok, I’m not sure “shooting green fire” at the ancient mosaic is the same as “examine.”
Wow, these purple flames are kinda insta-death.
Well ok, now aren’t we glad I drank the well?
Yay–an antidote for the insta-death.
Kind of an unfortunate posture for this poor dead Qunari girl.
You know, I think it’s gonna be hard to fulfill this directive to make contact with the Qunari if we keep killing them.
Oh good. Some sort of puzzle with veil fire and a button.
Ha Ha. Got it.
Well I still don’t get what’s going on, but I guess we’re going back now.