Before I play Dragon Age Inquisition, I am first replaying through the entire Dragon Age series. Trying to do everything…. every subquest. Every DLC. Everything.
So first up: Dragon Age Origins. I must have played this game a dozen times. It’s one of the best games that I’ve ever played. It is the closest that I’ve seen to the Dungeons and Dragons experience. This game, along with Jade Empire, made me into a BioWare fanboy. So replaying this game is a nice treat.
Still Finding Something New
After all this time, Dragon Age Origins continues to surprise me. The game is incredibly rich with details. I never realized how much details until this replay. For example…
Anora. In all of my playthroughs, she always sided against her father. Every single one. She comes in and speaks out against him, talking about how she was imprisoned by him/Howe and her dad needs to step down. But in this playthrough, it was different.
She came in after I called out Loghain. Rather than siding with the Warden, she backed up her father. She claimed the Warden was lying and that Loghain was the one who could protect the throne from the Darkspawn. It was such a perfect betrayal. I knew she was dangerous, but she manipulated her father as well as the entire situation to make a play for the throne. A battle broke out between various lords. It ended only when a member of the Chantry called for peace. Loghain and the Warden then dueled. And yeah, the Warden won.
Anora’s reaction was priceless. She was shocked and horrified, wanting to see mercy for her father. Of course, the Warden would have none of it at that point and had Alistair cut Loghain’s head off. She was sprayed with her father’s blood. If that wasn’t shocking enough, she suddenly made one final push for the throne. Alistair didn’t realize how screwed he would have been if she got the throne. It was obvious she wanted both Alistair and the Warden dead…..
Or Wade in Dragon Age: Awakenings. To be honest, I never bothered with his inane requests for materials to make weapons or armor. But on a whim, I decided to go forward with him working with a dragon bone to make a sword. And what I got….
The sword is called ‘Vigilance.’ It’s a pretty good sword, all things considered. But what surprised me wasn’t the quality of the sword, but how it came up during the epilogue. The sword became something of a legend, first being stolen from the Warden before being passed from person to person. It made sense! A great sword would become legendary after being used by a legendary hero.
Alistair Might Be A Jerk….
Anyone who played the Darkspawn Chronicles knows what I mean. But for those who haven’t… did you know Alistair sided with the werewolves and convinced them to slaughter the Dalish? I didn’t until I saw the werewolves attacking the Darkspawn. Unless he had a remarkably different experience than the Warden did (and I assume he didn’t), the only way the werewolves would be there at Denerim would be if they killed off the Dalish. That means… Alistair encouraged the werewolves to seek revenge. Seriously! Alistair is supposed to be a nice guy. But without the Warden there to balance him out, he goes off the deep end and has hundreds of innocent elves killed in probably truly horrific ways.
On top of that, there were Golems there at Denerim. The only way that happens (in the normal playthrough) is if the Warden sides with Branka. So, that would mean Alistair sided with Branka and gave the dwarves the technology to enslave souls! He gets nice new steel golems to beat darkspawn to death with.
That’s cold Alistair. That’s damn cold…..
The Game Is Not Dark
A lot of death and tragedy occurred in this game. Lothering was destroyed. Thousands were slaughtered by the darkspawn and the civil war. On top of that, it was possible for the player to contribute to this death. The Warden could encourage the werewolves to kill off all the elves. He could get Bhelen, a kinslayer, on the Orzammar throne. He could allow a child to remain possessed for the sake of easy power, or to get laid by a desire demon. This game really should have been dark…
But it wasn’t. And I have a suspicion why. Every part of the game ended on an upbeat, or even optimistic, note as the Warden secured support for the game’s clear-cut antagonist: The Archdemon.
Every advancement in the game was framed within the context of defeating the Big Bad. So no matter what horrible thing the Warden may do, it is passable because it is for the ultimate good. So every section tends to end on an upbeat note.
Every character has really funny moments. The added humor lightens the mood. A lot. This is something that the other Dragon Ages are missing, while this has it in spades.
Ser Pounce-A-Lot was the greatest hero in the history of video games. If anyone could have defeated the Archdemon, it would have been that cute kitty.
Dragon Age: Origins is Awesome
I love this game. From the beginning to the end, it is fun. Sure, the gameplay is a touch dated when compared to the sequels. But this game is so much fun. Great story. Fun dialogues. Incredible music. And man, the characters are memorable!