In the eighth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, AHHHHHH JESUS WHAT IS THAT THING and WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING and OHHHHH MY GOD GET IT OFF ME. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.
I imagine it went down something like this.
A group of designers, engineers, artist, testers – whatever comprised this ragtag team of folks who created Dragon Age: Origins at Bioware – sat around a table. There are half empty cans of Coke and bottles of water spread liberally about, perhaps the crumbs of some past meal or snack are sprinkled on the floor under a seat, and everyone is eager to move past this creative block.
“What about wolves?” someone asks.
“Well, what about them?” replies someone else.
“A castle full of wolves? Yawn.”
A younger guy with uneven facial hair offers up another suggestion. “Well, we could bring back werewolves.”
“Seriously? Who thinks werewolves are scary anymore?”
“Well, we could make them huge, and they could talk in scary voices.”
“That’s an idea,” someone mutters, and they resume tapping their pen methodically on a notebook full of doodles.
“Spiders are pretty creepy,” another person offers.
“Especially if they’re poisonous,” someone offers.
“And if they can shoot paralyzing webs,” agrees someone else.
“And if they come from every which direction you can think of.”
“I think demon-possessed skeletons are scary,” says a young woman who has kept quiet for most of the meeting. “It would be even better if the ghost of some poor kid tricked everyone into standing in the exact spot for the worst ambush in the entire game.”
“What about a mage who’s actually dead, but somehow, he arises in the castle to attack you, and his long rage spells are all a billion times stronger than any of your attacks, and then when you do finally attack him for the first time, he activates a quarter billion of those demon-skeleton things to attack you, and they’re all going after you at once?”
“No, no, wait, I’ve got it,” says someone else. “What if” – they smile widely at this point – “what if there is a vial that breaks if you touch it, and we totally make the player curious enough to touch it, and then when they do, an extremely powerful mage bursts out of it, and he’s impervious to absolutely everything imaginable except some forms of magic, so he takes Morrigan out in the first ten seconds, and then it’s impossible to beat him unless you visited this place last, which most people won’t do?”
“I have the best idea,” says someone else. “What if we use all of these things at the same time without any sort of warning?”
They all murmur in agreement, smiling in acceptance. They are so satisfied with the answer that they all take the rest of the day off. They each sleep soundly that night with the knowledge that they will torture countless players with one goddamn map.
This is the only way that I can imagine this went down.
Y’all, the Ruins is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. It’s totally overwhelming, ridiculous, and bewildering. The game throws all these new creatures to battle, does so in a short span of time, and gives us a fully detailed and expansive setting in which it all happens. The halls of this place, despite being rather straightforward once you think about it, are a complex labyrinth of passages, rooms, open spaces, and stairwells. For someone like me who loves being able to explore large maps, this is a godsend. I FOUND SO MUCH STUFF IN ALL THE SMALL ROOMS. I earned enough XP to level all my characters up to Level 9, and that meant I got to give Roslin the COUP DE GRACE skill where she becomes an expert butt stabber. I refuse to let this joke die, especially since she can now deal BRUTAL BUTT DAMAGE after stunning an opponent. Morrigan’s skill set is also ridiculous, Adama has a badass collar, and Alastair is finally strong enough (and has a smarter set of tactics) to stop dying all of the time. We actually defeated that dragon without ANY OF THE PARTY DYING.
Then the Revenant utterly destroyed us like ten minutes later I’M SORRY, I COULDN’T HELP IT, I TOUCHED THE VIAL OKAY. STOP JUDGING ME.
I spent all of this hour just pushing forward. I only died against the Revenant, and I still didn’t finish exploring the place. It’s incredible! This building is unbelievably massive, and I managed to get to the Lair of the Werewolves just before my hour ran out. I spent the last few minutes organizing my party, making sure we all had good weapons and armor and the proper tactical strategy before I continued further into the lair. Christ, I genuinely have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m still curious to know if Danyla’s comment about the werewolves “overcoming” their curse has any truth. If that’s the case, do I still have to kill them? If I don’t, does that mean the Dalish elves won’t side with me in the war against the Blight? Gah, I AM SO NERVOUS ABOUT WHAT’S IN THE LAIR. Hundreds of werewolves, probably, but christ. I am not even close to advancing the main plot of this game, and I do not care. It’s still deeply entertaining. I mean, there was a whole side mission involving the Presence and his soul gem, and it was basically a nicer version of Voldemort and his horcruxes. Right? Bless this game so much. It’s an absolute blast.
My Character Stats
Cunning: 16 -5
Damage dealt: 11104
Greatest damage dealt: 34
Contribution to party damage: 25
Hit rate: 85
Most powerful foe slain: Dragon (FUCK YEAH)
Injuries: 2 (GODDAMN IT, ALASTAIR)
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