Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ – Hour 8

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.

Hour Eight

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

Strength: 21
Dexterity: 19+1
Willpower: 15
Magic: 13
Cunning: 16 -5
Constitution: 17

Heroic Stats

Kills: 72
Damage dealt: 11104
Friendly-fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 34
Contribution to party damage: 25
Hit rate: 85
Most powerful foe slain: Dragon (FUCK YEAH)

Mark Links Stuff

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115 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ – Hour 8

  1. misterbernie says:

    I would love to make a comment that's not an old joke by now


    as I read your review


    you are not prepared

  2. Can I say how refreshing it is to see someone reviewing video games with so much enthusiasm? I mean if you read video game reviews they are bit more… reserved and serious about it. Occasionally you read someone who is really excited about a game.

    Yeah I remember revenants being pretty soul crushing my first few plays through.

    So uh… DLC spoilers:
    Svavfurq Jvgpu Uhag. Vg jnf zbfgyl cerggl tbbq ohg nyfb nagv-pyvzngvp V gubhtug. V yvxrq vg zber guna Tbyrzf bs Nztneenx gubhtu. Evtug abj V'z cynlvat Yryvnan'f fbat naq zbfgyl rawblvat vg. V'z fhecevfrq gung Yryvnan jnf fb… onq.

    • Tahaneira says:

      Revenants. It isn't just that they're immune to most magic. It isn't just that they have insane health and armor ratings. It isn't just that they can yank your mage or archer directly in front of them from halfway across the map and kill them in two hits. It's…

      Actually, that pretty much is it. About the only thing the have in their favor is that they can't use more than a couple of spells. And they don't have Scattershot.

  3. cogsandcurls says:

    So Mark, what did you do with the Soul Gem?

    I'm also making sad faces at Roslin's cunning score. What on earth happened to give her that -5?

    • Gillyweed says:

      Some item he's using, I'm really worried, qba'g lbh arrq gb unir cerggl ovt phaavat yriry gb pbaivapr Mnguevna gb oernx gur phefr?

      • cogsandcurls says:

        Vs lbh qb gura V'ir orra ernyyl yhpxl: nyy zl Jneqraf unir svavfurq gur dhrfg gung jnl naq zl yngrfg tvey vf n gnpgyrff zntr jvgu ab Crefhnfvba obahfrf jungfbrire. Ohg V pbhyq or jebat – fur jbhyq unir tbg na vagragvbany phaavat obahf sbe tbvat guebhtu gur Snqr orsber trggvat gb guvf ovg, fb.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Missing Leliana. The game doesn't like that.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        The universe is rebelling at the absence of Leliana.

        This isn't gonna be something we're all letting go off quickly, is it?

        • megotelek says:

          Fb nsgre ur'f cnfg gur cbvag gung Ybgurevat vf qrfgeblrq, V'z guvaxvat jr unir n Yryvnan zrzbevny va gur pbzzragf. Lrf?

          • cogsandcurls says:

            V jbhyq or qbja sbe gung. Jr pna cynl ure fbat, fvapr gung ybiryl fprar gevttref nsgre gur Qnyvfu dhrfg naq Znex'f ABG TBVAT GB TRG VG ;_;

          • »Paula« says:

            Lrf, jr fubhyq gbgnyyl qb gung.

            Jung ernyyl xvaqn qvfnccbvagf zr vf gung Znex, rira gubhtu ur fnvq ur ybbbbirf rkcybevat NYY GUR ZNC, ur zvffrq Yryvynan. Ubj vf gung rira cbffvoyr? Ur cebonoyl nffhzrq ur pbhyq whfg pbzr onpx gb Ybgurevat yngre?

            Nyfb, vg frrzf ur'f cynlvat guvf tnzr fb snfg. V jnf abjurer arne jurer ur vf 7 ubhef vagb gur tnzr…

            Ynfg ohg abg yrnfg: V srne ur'f tbaan xvyy Mriena naq Jlaar, yvfrgvat gb Zbeevtna. V zrna, V qb yvxr Zbeevtna – ohg ZNA, fur pna or fb rssvat qvssvphyg!

          • cogsandcurls says:

            V fbeg bs fhfcrpg gung rira vs ur znantrq gb trg Jlaar gb pbzr naq qb gur Pvepyr Gbjre dhrfg, ur'f tbvat gb trg ure xvyyrq ol abg univat rabhtu flzcngul sbe gur zntrf qhevat gur Phyyra pbairefngvba. Sebz jung jr'ir urneq bs Ebfyva fb sne V qba'g guvax fur'f tbvat gb or vapyvarq gb npg punevgnoyl gbjneqf gurz! Naq lrnu, V guvax Mriena zvtug or sbe gur pubccvat oybpx gbb.

            Nf sbe Yryvnan…V nyzbfg zvffrq ure ba zl svefg eha gbb, gb or ubarfg. Gung vaa vf fyvtugyl bss gb gur fvqr bs gur znc naq vg'f cerggl rnfl gb zvff.

  4. Tahaneira says:

    Oh yeah, the ancient Arcane Warrior. I felt so sorry for him. He gives an example of the amazing world building this game has in the barely-remembered war against… something. Was it the darkspawn? Was it demons? Was it qunari or kossith? Or was it something completely different that we've never heard of? Will we ever find out? I don't know! But it's nice to speculate.

    Also yes, FUCK SPIDERS. Especially their Overwhelm ability. Apart from the Ogre's Pummel, it is THE WORST ability in the game. Jnvg hagvy ur ehaf vagb gung enaqbz rapbhagre gung syvatf uvz ntnvafg n cnpx bs jbyirf. Bu zna, jbyirf. Shpx jbyirf.

    So, let me get this straight. Every time you see something, something new, something you can interact with, and you have no idea what it is, you decide to go over and poke it?

    Congratualations, Mark! You are officially becoming an RPG gamer!


    Qrrc Ebnqf.

    Quote of the Day:
    Morrigan: And if you had not been recruited into the Wardens? What would have happened, instead?
    Alistair: I would have turned into a drooling lunatic, slaughtered the grand cleric and run through the streets of Denerim in my small clothes, I guess.
    Morrigan: Your self-awareness does you credit.
    Alistair: I thought you'd like that.

    • xyliane27 says:

      PUBEMNZZNE. HTU. Vg pbhyq unir orra fb nznmvat. Ohg gura vg'f gra ovyyvba lrnef bs ybat punzoref oebxra hc ol n srj frpgvbaf bs pbzcyrgryl ubeevslvat greebe.

      That said, nuns.

      • megotelek says:

        V pnzr gur pybfrfg V jvyy rire pbzr gb whfg nonaqbavat fvqr dhrfgf jura V jnf fybttvat guebhtu gurer. V whfg jnagrq vg gb or BIRE.

      • Gillyweed says:

        Fcvqref arne Ehpx'f pnir ner gur jbefg, V unir zber ceboyrzf jvgu gurz guna jvgu Qnexfcnja.
        Bu Ehpx, V jbaqre jung jvyy ur qb jvgu uvz. Va zl svefg cynlguebhtu V xvyyrq uvz orpnhfr Btuera gbyq zr gb, va gur frpbaq V yrsg uvz nybar ohg ur oernxf zl urneg ab znggre jung V qb.
        Gurer vf ab bgure tnzr gung'yy qrfgebl lbhe rzbgvbaf yvxr guvf bar… jryy rkprcg Znff Rssrpg 3 (zl Oyhr Ebfr bs Vyyvhz… ;_;)

    • NeonProdigy says:

      So, let me get this straight. Every time you see something, something new, something you can interact with, and you have no idea what it is, you decide to go over and poke it?

      Congratualations, Mark! You are officially becoming an RPG gamer!

      Hahaha, I know right? I'm so, so, proud of him…

    • V'z fhecevfrq ur fgnegrq qbvat gur gerngvrf guvf fbba. Ba zl svefg cynlguebhtu naq gur barf nsgre V nyjnlf qb Erqpyvssr svefg

  5. Peter says:

    First Time Gameplay

    Okay, so I guess I just can't stay away! I haven't been able to play for a couple of days, so I haven't made any progress on the main quest on which I'm working (Bemnzzne) so I still can't really comment on what Mark's doing.

    But I do have quick thoughts about something that was brought up yesterday – INVENTORY MANAGEMENT. IT SUCKS. I've currently bought two backpacks so I now have space for 90 items, but this just isn't enough, and I don't really know what to do! At first I was hesitant to give gifts away to party members, because I wasn't sure if I would need them more later (if I horribly offended a given party member, for instance) or if some gifts were better for certain characters that I may not have acquired yet (yvxr V unir n evat vafpevorq jvgu Qjneira eharf, naq V'z abg fher vs V jvyy riraghnyyl trg n qjneira punenpgre naq fubhyq fnir vg sbe uvz/ure, be vs V fubhyq whfg tvir vg abj gb Jlaar, jub nccneragyl yvxrf guvatf jvgu eharf).

    I'm also not sure about gemstones and such – do they have an actual purpose? If so, I haven't yet discovered it. Oops? Anyway, this means I've been hoarding a whole lot of stuff and my inventory is constantly full and I always have to sell things and STRESS because I keep finding good armor and then destroying it without seeing if it should go to one of my companions back in my camp. So this is frustrating.

    Also backpacks. It looks like there are five of them? Like I said, I've bought two (bar va gur pvepyr bs zntv naq bar sebz gur qjneirf va zl pnzc), but I can't find any more and I could really use some inventory space. Was there one in Lothering that I missed?

    • BornIn1142 says:

      I never figured out anything better to do with gemstones than to sell them.

      But there's no point in getting too stressed about hoarding all the items unless you really, really want to buy the most expensive things available. Just try to remember what quality items are made from what materials and destroy the beginner's stuff.

    • Gillyweed says:

      Gemstone spoilers, nothing to do with the quests but still: lbh ernyyl arrq gurz gb tvir gb gur nyyvrf fb lbh pna fryy gur fznyy barf, xrrc gur fnccuver naq fhpu. Lbh bayl arrq gurz va dhrfg lbh qb sbe gur veerthynef ohg V pna'g erzrzore juvpu barf.
      On my second playthrough I kept one garnet at all time because I remembered that I have to give it to some girl, and then realized that was a quest from Dungeon siege I played ages ago.

      • »Paula« says:

        Answer to gemstone spoilers:

        Jung qb gur nyyvrf npghnyyl qb jvgu gurz? V bayl erpragyl qvfpbirerq gung V pbhyq qbangr qvssrerag fghss gb rnpu tebhc bs nyyvrf, ohg V unira'g lrg svtherq bhg gur trzfgbar arrqvat.

        • Gillyweed says:

          Vg trgf lbh zber gebbcf r.t. lbh trg 10 jvgubhg vg, 40 jvgu vg. V'z znxvat hc ahzoref whfg gb or pyrne. V nyfb qba'g xabj ubj znal lbh arrq gb tvir gurz gb znk bhg gebhcrf, fb rirel gvzr V trg va pnzc V qbangr fbzr.

    • cat says:

      There are two backpacks actually in the camp at Ostagar, which I missed on my first two or three playthroughs on account of being a broke-ass commoner or mage, and which I think are completely lost if you don't buy them both then. One's in the quartermaster's main inventory, and one is in his "special goods" inventory.

      Also, gemstones, if you want to know: cerggl zhpu unir ab checbfr nf sne nf V xabj. Gurl rkvfg gb or fbyq sbe pnfu, zber be yrff, hayrff gurl'er znexrq nf n "tvsg" va checyr jevgvat, va juvpu pnfr lbh pna tvir gurz gb lbhe pbzcnavbaf.

    • mreeb says:

      I am learning that I'm pretty much alone in my love of inventory management. I dunno, I find it relaxing, I guess? That said, the low item limit is super annoying when out on quests, even with all the backpacks. Also, why is there not storage at camp?! It's annoying to haul the high-level DLC armour around from pretty much the beginning of the game until someone has high enough stats to use it. Gung'f bar bs zl snibhevgr nqqvgvbaf gb Njnxravatf naq QNVV, godu. But that aside, I really do enjoy it. Mass Effect game mechanic spoilers: V'z gur fnzr jnl nobhg cynarg fpnaavat. Cbffvoyl vg svyyf gur ibvq yrsg ol gur ynpx bs vairagbel znantrzrag naq jrncbaf/nezbhe phfgbzvmngvba va gur frpbaq tnzr sebz gur svefg.

    • Plactus says:

      Gemstone spoilers:

      Bar bs gur snibef sbe pregnva vagrerfgrq cnegvrf sebz gur onegraqre va Qrarevz erdhverf gra tneargf. Bgure guna gung, ab hfr nfvqr sebz fryyvat sbe tbyq gung V'z njner bs.

  6. xyliane27 says:

    Ur vf fb hacercnerq sbe gur oebbqzbgure.

    Gura ntnva, jub vf? /fuvire

  7. megotelek says:

    First Time Gameplay
    Oh god the Lair of the Werewolves. First of all, FUCK YOU SPIDERS. I hate spiders so very very much. SO MUCH. This was the point at which inventory management started to kill me, because I have to OPEN EVERYTHING and LOOT ALL THE CORPSES. I don't care that I have twenty squillion <Longbow (Elm)>'s, I must collect everything!

    Also, the Presence and the Gem! I learned the Arcane Warrior specialization and then released the spirit of the elven mage. I also liked the puzzle with the jug in the pool of water and the altar where you had to do certain things in a certain order to get the door to open.

    So I haven't progressed at all with my mage, because I decided to start a human noble rogue, cnegyl fb V pna or dhrra ng gur raq and partly so I can use the Phoenix Armory (seriously, you guys, I am so far down the mods rabbit hole it's not even funny. If there were detailed UI mods I might not even play the game for hours).

    So my new rogue is Regina Cousland, and I have to say, so far the human noble origin is my favorite. It's definitely the most immersive as far as the wider story and I get to have my mabari from the beginning! (This one's called Fluffy)

    [human noble origin story spoilers] Bu qrne tbq, vg jnf ubeevsvp! Bxnl, vg qvqa'g fgneg bhg gung jnl. V rkcyberq rirelguvat, gnyxrq gb rirelbar, xvaq bs oehfurq bss Qnveera jura zl zbgure jnf gelvat gb frg zr hc jvgu uvz ohg gura V syvegrq jvgu uvz va gur yvoenel naq tbg uvz gb nterr gb fcraq gur avtug jvgu zr. V gura sbhaq bhg V pbhyq nyfb syveg jvgu gur ryira ynqvrf-znvq ohg fvapr fur bireurneq zr syvegvat jvgu Qnveera fur jnf bssraqrq jura V gevrq gur fnzr zbirf ba ure. Fb gura, jr'er jbxra hc va gur zvqqyr bs gur avtug ol Ney Ubjr'f fbyqvref, gurl xvyy Qnveera, zl zbgure fubjf hc va onggyr nezbe (zbgure-qnhtugre grnz qrsraqvat gur ubzrfgrnq LRFFF), jr svaq gur obqvrf bs zl fvfgre-va-ynj naq ure yvggyr obl va zl oebgure'f ebbz (FREVBHFYL? FB NJSHY) naq gura V unir gb rfpncr jvgu Qhapna, nterr gb or n Terl Jneqra, naq yrnir zl zbgure oruvaq qrsraqvat zl qlvat sngure. Vg jnf ernyyl hetrag, naq rira gur njshy cnegf jrer qbar irel, irel jryy.

    I'm playing Regina so far a lot sassier than my mage, I figure she's been a bit spoiled and used to having her own way, and since her father indulges her she likes to push the line on things. I'm up to the Tower of Ishal now with her, so far I'm enjoying my dual-wielding roguishness and we'll see if I can keep it up! I think with her, as far as the order in which to recruit the allies, I'll do gur Pvepyr svefg nsgre Ybgurevat (orpnhfr JLAAR naq nyfb fb V pna hfr gur zntrf va gur pbasebagngvba jvgu Pbaabe naq znlor abg unir gb fnpevsvpr Vfbyqr), gura Erqpyvssr, gura gur ryirf naq ynfg gur qjneirf. Abj gung V'ir qbar nyy sbhe V unir n orggre rkcrpgngvba bs jung svgf jurer, V guvax.

  8. Ryan Lohner says:

    First Time Playthrough

    Hey everyone, I finally got to this story, so now I can actually talk about the stuff Mark's talking about again! And I imagine I had a much easier time of it than him, as my guys are so much more experienced (cyhf V trg gb ehguyrffyl fcnz Jlaar nf zl Juvgr Zntr). But oh, how I still freaked out when I saw the wild sylvans, and then the fucking spiders. I'm just like Ron Weasley; spiders are a big no no to me. Even the way the damn things DIE is creepy!

    Just like Kate Mulgrew, I instantly recognized Tim Russ' voice. Of course, given the kind of guy Zathrian is, it wasn't too much of a leap. I guess that flat, precise Vulcan diction is just the way he really talks. So, are any other Voyager cast members out there? I certainly hope Ethan Phillips got to play a sleazy merchant or something.

    Well, not only did I get to this mission, I beat it just in time to post this. So, spoilers start now. V vzntvar ur unq gb whfg tvir hc qhevat gung svefg onggyr va gur Ynve. Rira cynlvat fzneg naq fgnlvat va gur svefg ebbz fb gur erfg qvqa'g nggnpx, V unq n qrivy bs n gvzr jvgu gung. Vg'f gur tbqqnza znhyvat zbir gung qenvaf n pencgba bs urnygu jvgu ab punapr bs hfvat n cbhygvpr, naq rira Jlaar pbhyqa'g fgnl nyvir ybat rabhtu gb qb zhpu tbbq. V svanyyl orng gurz ol trggvat ubyq bs Funyr naq uvggvat gurz jvgu na rnegudhnxr.

    Fcrnxvat bs, Funyr vf fhpu n ornhgvshy guvat, naq vg cnvaf zr gb guvax Znex vf cebonoyl tbvat gb zvff uvz ragveryl. Naq vf vg jrveq gung V jnag gurer gb or pebffbire svp jvgu Cbegny whfg gb frr uvz naq TYnQBF obaqvat bire gurve ungerq bs oveqf? V vzntvar vg jbhyq raq jvgu "Ur fnlf jung jr'er nyy guvaxvat!"

    And now I sit back amused as the other newbies wonder why I'm talking about GLaDOS in the rot13.

    Oh, and one more thing: V vzzrqvngryl ybbxrq hc gur fbyhgvbaf gb gur oevqtr sebz gur Tnhagyrg naq gur oybpx chmmyr gb serr Xvggl, orpnhfr V unir nofbyhgryl ab vagrerfg va fghss yvxr gung. Whfg yrg zr frr zber bs gur fgbel, qnza vg!

    • BornIn1142 says:

      There's actually a certain regular cast member from TNG in the game that you've probably already met.

      One word: Oebppbyv.

      Also, according to IMDB, Dominic Keating was in the game as well, playing… "Mouse (voice) (uncredited)." I have no idea what the even refers to.

    • snapsnzips says:

      Actually, DA:O is pretty smart and autolevels the adventure stories based on your own level. That way you can do any of the main quests in any order, although I believe there's an unofficial order that is designed to be an easier intro if you're new. (Zntrf, Erqpyvssr, Fnperq Nfurf, Oerpvyvna sberfg, Bemnzzne). Mage Quest spoilers: V bsgra uvg gur zntrf gbjre svefg fb V pna trg nyy gur fgng obahfrf sebz gur Snqr.

      • Owl_In_Daylight says:

        V nyjnlf yrnir Erqpyvssr sbe ynfg. V xabj vg'f gur rnfvrfg bar ol sne, ohg gurzngvpnyyl, vg srryf orggre (gb zr) gb yrnir vg sbe gur raq, gura sbyybj vg hc jvgu gur Fnperq Nfurf dhrfg naq gura ng gur raq, jnxvat gur Ney naq tbvat gb Qrarevz.

        Gur jnl V abj qb vg vf: Ybgurevat (boivbhfyl), Funyr QYP Cg.1, Zntr Gbjre (fnzr ernfba lbh zragvbarq, cyhf Jlaar naq Mri), Jneqra'f Xrrc QYP, Bemnzzne (V qba'g yvxr yrnivat vg sbe ynfg orpnhfr V zvff bhg ba n ybg bs Btuera uvynevgl, cyhf, vg'f na NJRFBZR punyyratr ng n ybj yriry), Funyr QYP Cg.2 (gur Qrrc Ebnqf dhrfg), Oerpvyyvna Sbeerfg, Bfgntne QYP naq GURA Erqpyvssr.

        V nyfb bayl syvg va naq bhg bs Qrarevz jura arrqrq orpnhfr V yvxr gb cergraq Ybtunva vf ybbxvat sbe zr naq V tbggn farnx va naq bhg snfg hagvy V'z cercnerq. >____> V bayl ernyyl dhrfg gurer orsber gur Ynaqfzrrg, pbzcyrgr rirelguvat, gura qb gur Ney Ubjr fghss, gura Ynaqfzrrg nnnnaq gung'f vg.

    • Have you done the sidequest for that character who you were just talking about meeting GLaDOS yet? If not, don't mind this rot13 (it contains a major spoiler for it).

      Vs fb, V guvax lbh zrna ure orpnhfr Funyr vf srznyr.

    • Owl_In_Daylight says:

      I suppose this won't do much good now, but here goes (not a storyline spoiler, so highlight if you want to hear a small spell tip): Jrerjbyirf ner IREL fhfprcgvoyr gb gur Fyrrc fcryy. Cyhf, vs lbh pbhcyr vg jvgu Avtugzner, fbzrguvat irel vagrerfgvat unccraf… It might be useless right now, but it could be helpful for the future, if you plan on completing more than one playthrough.

  9. That whole imagined conversation reminds me of the latest episode of The Guild.

    [youtube wj2uKhzbCpg youtube]

  10. guest_age says:

    Ahhh you got to my favorite thing about this game: IT HAS LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Virtually every kind of mystical creature or horror movie monster I can think of is in this game. Giant spiders! Were wolves! Zombie skeletons! The list goes on and on.

    I also love that I've been trying to play about the same # of hours as you per day and I'm in an entirely different area doing entirely different quests and haven't so much as thought about heading to the Brecilian Forest yet. CHOICES. THIS GAME GIVES YOU TONS OF THEM. <3

  11. AzuraLuna says:

    DA:O + DLC spoilers: Vs Znex guvaxf gur ehvaf ner ovt naq perrcl, V jbaqre jung uvf vzcerffvba bs gur Qrrc Ebnqf jvyy or. Urfcvgu naq tbyrz pbafgehpgvba ner ubeevslvat.

    Awakening spoilers: V qvqa'g guvax gur Jvguresnat jrerjbyirf jrer nyy gung onq. Gur Oynpxznefu barf jrer fpnevre orpnhfr gurl yvxrq gb yrnc bhg bs abjurer.

    DA2 spoilers: SHPX TVNAG FCVQREF. V ungrq gurz va QN:B & Njnxravat, ohg gur uhtr ebbz svyyvat barf unq zl nenpuabcubovp frys juvzcrevat naq pelvat. Vg vf abg sha gb nggrzcg gb cynl gur tnzr jura lbh'er funxvat gbb onqyl gb chfu ohggbaf.

  12. stumpoman says:

    strategy and future encounters spoilers
    V qvrq fb znal gvzrf gb gur eriraragf hagvy v yrnearq gb fcernq bhg naq xvgr.. gurl ner npghnyyl fbzr bs zl snibevgr svtugf abj.

    • stumpoman says:

      plot spoilers
      Guvf vf zl svefg cynlguebhtu ba avtugzner qvssvphygl fb vg unf orra cerggl vagrafr. V whfg svavfurq orng gur fybgu qrzba naq nz irel jbeevrq nobhg hyqerq. Gurfr svtugf jrer uneq ba abezny…

      anyone else tried this?

  13. ZeynepD says:

    Arrrrrrrgh Revenants HATE

    Arrrrrrrrgh those spiders that fall on you from the ceiling and and and HATE

    (The joys of being an arachnophobic gamer, folks, let me tell you them.)

    Anyway, now that I can make complete sentences again:

    First Time Playthrough, about 60 hours in

    I did the quests so far in a completely different order, and as chance would have it, the Bracilian forest is the last place I have been to. I found this entire quest very worrying. I worried about what I would find in the woods; I worried about what I would find in the ruins, I worried about what I would find in the lair. And I got progressively and progressively more irritated at Zathrian—every werewolf I come across would tell me that they have regained sentience, and I go back and talk to him, and he's still RARRR NO THEY ARE ANIMALS KILL NO TALKING. Um. And I do want the Dalish in my side against the Blight, that's the whole point of the exercise, but on the other hand werewolves are thinking beings dude, so what am I going to do?

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Ever played Resident Evil?

      • ZeynepD says:

        No. Is this your gentle way of telling me to never even attempt it?

        (I mean, it's not like every fantasy-setting game that has anything that resembles a dungeon somewhere doesn't have them. I was an inveterate Diablo and Diablo 2 player, once. I occasionally play Torchlight now. I grit my teeth and kind of squint and carry on, and try to use cold damage as much as I can so that they freeze and shatter instead of creating immensely disturbing corpses. But it's one thing on my 14-inch laptop screen, quite another on my 42-inch TV. That demo video that comes on if you leave the Start screen of Dragon Age too long? Morrigan's sequence there? I hate you, game designers.)

        Mass Effect ROT13: Abj vzntvar ubj V unaqyrq gur enpuav.

  14. SpaceElves says:

    mark; everyone touches the vial. and than we all die to the revenent. I hat revanents.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      you've given me hope that i am not the worst game ever

      • EmberQuill says:

        Poking suspicious things is practically a rule of RPG gamers.

        Sometimes you get killed horribly, but sometimes you find interesting or useful things instead.

        • megotelek says:

          "Maybe THIS TIME it will be different! It'll be something awesome that I can either equip or sell for lots of go–"



        • kartikeya200 says:

          This. Pretty much, if you don't poke the curious object or enter the mysterious abandoned house or ask about things you're told not to ask about, you're doing RPGs wrong! Screw cats, curiosity killed the RPG player. Again, and again, and again…

        • affableevil says:

          yeah it really is just a staple of rpg logic


          • megotelek says:


            Is it a bad thing if I start seeing random inanimate objects in real life start sparkling like that out of the corner of my eye? It is, isn't it?

  15. theduck says:

    Ugh, the spiders. I swear, I almost quit the game the first time I ran into them. They are just… NOPE. Terrifying. (Gur barf va QN2 qvqa'g obgure zr ng nyy sbe fbzr ernfba, ohg gurfr barf ner whfg greevslvat.)

    This area of the game is pretty much the only one I don't like. Well, besides gur Snqr. V ungr gung cynpr jvgu n cnffvba.

  16. Mark Does Stuff says:

    For those who have played the full game, a preview of where I'm at for next week's posts:

    – "ercnverq" zl phaavat, tbg mnguevna gb yvsg phefr, rirelguvat vf ornhgvshy
    – geniry gb Pvepyr bs Zntv vfynaq guvatl
    – rirelguvat vf shpxrq hc
    – v cebcbfr zneevntr gb zbeevtna

    • Tahaneira says:

      A response:


      – SHPX L – jnvg, V gubhtu fur jnf fgenvtug?

      EDIT: Right ignore that last one apparently the mysteries of hyperbole are beyond my grasp

      • »Paula« says:

        Lbh guvax ur tbg Jlaar? V fgvyy qbhog vg vs ur gbbx Zbeevtna nybat. :/

        • megotelek says:

          RFCRPVNYYL vs ur ybirf ure fb zhpu ur jnagf gb zneel ure. V org ur yrgf nyy gur zntrf qvr. Juvpu…V pna frr gung orvat ceboyrzngvp va gur raq. Bu jnvg, qbrf gung whfg zrna lbh trg gur grzcyne nezl ol qrsnhyg?

    • misterbernie says:

      – v cebcbfr zneevntr gb zbeevtna
      gur nzbhagf bs fvqr rlr V tvir lbh

      • »Paula« says:

        V fhccbfr ur zrnag ur nf ZNEX cebcbfrf (be jbhyq ybir gb naljnl)? Pnhfr bgurejvfr, ubj gur uryy?

        • misterbernie says:

          V qba'g rira xabj, ohg vg'f whfg jrveq gb frr uvf ybir sbe n "jryy vs gur bccerffrq qba'g fgnaq hc gb gurve bccerffbef, gurl qrfreir gb or fynhtugrerq jubyrfnyr" punenpgre b_b

          • megotelek says:

            Lrnu, gung'f ernyyl zl vffhr jvgu vg gbb. Zbeevtna whfg pebffrf gur yvar orgjrra "fnffl" naq "urnegyrff" gbb zhpu sbe zr. Gubhtu, Znex qvq frrz gb rawbl ynhtuvat ng gur xvq nsgre gryyvat uvz nobhg uvf zbgure'f pbecfr va Ybgurevat? Znlor ur'f whfg ebyrcynlvat uvf punenpgre nf pbzcyrgryl urnegyrff.

    • cat says:

      – "ercnverq" zl phaavat, tbg mnguevna gb yvsg phefr, rirelguvat vf ornhgvshy

      V'Z FB UNCCL. ;_;

    • stefb4 says:

      omg Mark, you are writing in rot13 on your own site

      you know things

      how does it ~feel~

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Flailing. FLAILING.

    • baruchan says:

      "ercnverq" zl phaavat

      Gunax tbbqarff, orpnhfr V cnavpxrq jura V fnj gung lbhe ebthr bayl unf na ryrira Phaavat fgng, JUNG XVAQ BS EBTHR UNF NA RYRIRA PHAAVAT FGNG? Ubj ner gurl fhccbfrq gb ohggfgno crbcyr ba n erthyne onfvf gura?

  17. Bobbwin says:

    Oh I love Dragon Age: Origins! Good pick. Can't wait to see what unfolds.

  18. celestineangel1 says:

    Spiders…. ::shudders:: Gaaaaah… I do not like them, and the ones in this game (that I've run into in a completel different place because I'm playing a human mage) are terrifying.

  19. »Paula« says:

    I love your imaginary creator meeting! :D


  20. EmberQuill says:

    Spoilers for the Broken Circle quest: V jrag fgenvtug gb gur Pvepyr Gbjre nsgre yrnivat Ybgurevat. V jnf znxvat fhecevfvatyl tbbq gvzr pyvzovat gur gbjre qrfcvgr zl angheny graqrapl gb PYVPX RIRELGUVAT RIRELJURER NYY GUR GVZR. V jnf fhecevfrq, nf V erzrzorerq gur dhrfg orvat n jubyr ybg ybatre naq lrg V jnf nyzbfg gb gur gbc.

    Lrc, V gbgnyyl sbetbg nobhg gur Fybgu Qrzba gung fraqf lbh gb gur Snqr. Qnza. Gung'f jul guvf dhrfg frrzf gb ynfg sberire.

    • »Paula« says:

      Bu uryy lrnu! V gbbx zr cenpgvnpnyyl sberire gb svther bhg gung lbh unir gb haybpx pregnva guvatf va gung znmr ol fjvgpuvat funcrf naq fghss. V whfg jrag onpx naq sbegu naq onpx ntnva, orpbzvat zber naq zber sehfgengrq nyy gur gvzr. V rnfvyl fcrag svir ubhef va gung oybbql Snqr. :P

      • EmberQuill says:

        Rira gubhtu V'ir nyernql qbar guvf ba cerivbhf cynlguebhtuf, V fgvyy ungr vg. Gung yvggyr nqiragher va gur Snqr vf cbffvoyl zl yrnfg snibevgr cneg bs gur ragver tnzr, fbyryl orpnhfr bs ubj zvaqahzovatyl ybat vg vf.

    • Tahaneira says:

      V nz cebonoyl bar bs gur srj crbcyr jub qbrfa'g zvaq gur Snqr frdhrapr. Vs abguvat ryfr, V whfg yvxr ybbxvat nebhaq ng gur fprarel. Vg'f jrveq, V unir gb ybir vg. Gura ntnva, zbfg rirelbar jub jngpurf zr cynlf fnlf V unir gur cngvrapr bs n ebpx, fb V'z cebonoyl abg gur orfg crefba nfx nobhg gurfr guvatf.

      • Gillyweed says:

        V yvxr Snqr gbb. V ungr gubfr zbhfr ubyrf gubhtu V nyjnlf tb onpx gb jrer V jnf, ohg va gur raq orvat Tbyrz naq Fcvevg vf terng naq fbzrgvzrf V fcraq zvahgrf fvzcyl fgnevat ng gur Oynpx pvgl.
        Zl yrnfg snibhevgr vf nyy gur obevat guvatf V unir gb qb sbe Ouryra orsber tbvat gb gur Qrrc Ebnqf.

      • EmberQuill says:

        Jryy, V qb guvax gur Snqr frdhrapr vf sha. Naq gur bofgnpyrf gung erdhver lbh gb genafsbez ner n cerggl arng vqrn. Gur bayl guvat gung obguref zr vf ubj qnza ybat vg vf. Vg sryg yvxr V fcrag ntrf genccrq va gur Snqr. Jung'f jbefr vf gung, fvapr V unqa'g cynlrq QNB va fhpu n ybat gvzr, V'q gbgnyyl sbetbggra nobhg vg. Fb V gubhtug V jnf znxvat ernyyl tbbq gvzr naq jbhyq or qbar jvgu gur Pvepyr Gbjre snveyl dhvpxyl, bayl gb or qvfnccbvagrq jura V ena vagb gur Fybgu qrzba naq erzrzorerq gung fvqr-gevc vagb gur Snqr.

  21. Ryan Lohner says:

    Naq jung qb lbh xabj, gur irel qnl V znxr n yvggyr wbxr nobhg Rguna Cuvyyvcf ibvpvat n zrepunag, V npghnyyl eha vagb gung irel guvat va Bemnzne. Shaal byq jbeyq.

  22. AmaneSaiko says:

    And this is why I do not like to play melee characters in DA… FUCKING SPIDERS. I am severely arachnophobic so I just can't with the spiders. Ever. They run REALLY FUCKING FAST and then they JUMP ON YOU AND TEAR YOUR FACE OFF. Like seriously.. come on… stop using spiders in games to scare the shit out of me PLEASE! Everytime I play and there are spiders my Mum thinks I am dying because of how I am screaming and whimpering and sobbing and swearing.

    Oh Mark, there is not enough evil laughter in your hypothetical dev meeting. The Writers at least LIVE OFF OUR PAIN AND TEARS.

    Welcome to RPG gaming, where you need to touch everything to feel complete, and it sometimes backfires. Renevants are sort of not fun, mostly because of immunities, I hate immunities in the early game >_>

    • misterbernie says:

      I'm not really arachnophobic and find the spiders just u g h no go away, so I can't even begin to imagine how it must be for you D:

      • AmaneSaiko says:

        I don't even think there is a word to describe how it is for me haha. But they are pretty gross and horrifying. I have a sound clip somewhere of me (trying to) kill the Lothering spiders, a friend didn't believe how bad my fear was lol.
        Can't they find other animals to make bigger and stick in as mobs >_>

  23. @undefined says:

    I'm sorry if this has been answered before but does showing pictures with mod created armor count as spoilers?

  24. curagas says:

    Bu ab, gur Snqr dhrfg. QRSVAVGRYL ZL YRNFG SNIBHEVGR BS RIRELGUVAT RIRE. Npghnyyl, dhrfgvba: vf vg uneqre vs lbhe punenpgre vfa'g n zntr? Gubfr ylevhz irvaf be jungrire gurl jrer urycrq zr bhg n jubyr ohapu.

    V nz nyfb fb fnq gurer vf ab Yryvnan. Cyrnfr trg Jlaar naq Mriena va gur cnegl, Znex!! Zbeevtna vf n jubyr frevrf bs onq yvsr pubvprf, qrfcvgr ubj fnffl fur vf!

  25. Fb, unf Zbeevtna pnfg n fcryy ba Znex? V ybir ure nf n punenpgre ohg V arire gehfgrq ure. Fur'f na nzbeny ranoyre.

  26. ferafaces says:

    Omg yay. You are definitely not prepared, but YAY. God I love this game. :]

  27. Finally picked up the game again today and got a character I'd started but then abandoned at the start of Ostagar right through Lothering (and spent 2 hours in camp sorting out my strategy for the rest of the game and chatting to everyone).

    [DA:O & DA2 spoilers]: Vg'f shaal lbh fnl gung lbh cebcbfrq zneevntr gb Zbeevtna, orpnhfr V'z ebznapvat ure. Juvpu bs pbhefr lbh pna'g qb orpnhfr sbe fbzr ernfba Ovbjner qrpvqrq gung gurer'f ab jnl Zbeevtna pbhyq fjvat gung jnl (yhpxvyl, QN2 svkrf hc gur frkhnyvgl vzonynapr guvat dhvgr avpryl). Fb sne zl yvggyr Ebfgb Pnfgyrff (uhu, whfg ernyvfrq guvf vf gur bayl bevtva fgbel jvgubhg n fheanzr?) vf whfg syvegvat jvgu Zbeevtna naq Yvyvnan ohg qrcraqvat ba ubj guvatf tb ur'f cebonoyl tbvat gb pubbfr Zbeevtna (zbfgyl orpnhfr zl Uhzna Aboyr be zl Zntr ner cebonoyl tbvat gb ebznapr Yvy).

    So anyway, he's a Dwarf Commoner Rogue Archer named [Tortal character name spoiler: Ebfgb (frrzrq na nccebcevngr anzr sbe n ebthr)] with a heart of gold but a distaste for authority, nobility, tradition and orders and a preference for solving all his problems with violence. He idolized Duncan for being kind and fair and [Dwarf commoner origin spoiler: tvivat uvz na bccbeghavgl gb frr gur jbeyq orlbaq Bemnzne naq trg uvz bhg bs Qhfg Gbja] and he was very cut up when he died. He's still getting used to the whole Grey Warden thing but him and Ali are best bros forever through the bond of what they went through together even if he doesn't always agree with Ali (mostly on Templar/Mage issues). He's also quite fond of his Mabrai [another Tortal character name spoiler: Ghafgnyy (trg vg, pnhfr ur'f n Qbt)] and is flirting with both Lil and Morrigan any chance he gets. He finds Sten useful but kind of boring. Aaaand he's sick of everyone commenting about how he's a Dwarf. This is irrelevant people! He had to tell two separate people so far that not all Dwarves are merchants or smiths. [Reference to DA2: Abe ner gurl zntcvrf!]

  28. Passing by says:

    I finally caught up, somewhat, although I went to Redcliffe first.
    Now that I am slightly older, and mirginally wizer, combat comes a little easier to me.

    Also, it is an old joke, but Mark, you have never been more unprepared.

  29. caysie renee says:

    Okay this isn't a comment on the content of the review, but I just went to decode one of the comments in rot13 with this add-on and.

    Um. I'm pretty sure this isn't even a decoding option (as you can see I…checked.)

    <img src=""&gt;

    I'm sort of scared. Are the Mark Plays comments haunted???

  30. Owl_In_Daylight says:


    Well damn, this post would've been more fitting in your 1st hour of gameplay, but I gotta catch up. So… storytiemz? YES.

    Like you, RPGs always overwhelmed the hell out of me. I played strictly Adventures until I tried a demo of Final Fantasy 8 and kinda fell in love with it. It should be noted that the FF series is ridiculously easy (most of the times), or at least far less complicated than classic RPGs. So when a friend recommended I play Baldur's Gate II (which is often regarded as the best RPG ever), I was excited for about… 5 mins and then NOPED all over the place and quit.

    Fast forward to many years later. My boyfriend, a massive RPG fan, was talking to me about DA:O and he bought it and installed it on the PC, which made me really pissed off because my PC is ancient and had precious little space left on the HD. But I relented and let him play his 'stupid game,' with me occasionally sitting beside him to watch. At the time, he was doing his mandatory military service, so he only came home every few weeks or so, which made me hella lonely and as a result, I started playing DA:O to stave off the boredom.

    By his next visit, I was sleep-deprived and 3/4 done with the game.

    So yeah, I have DA:O to thank for properly introducing me to RPGs xD I think I finished the game… 4 times? And there's a fifth playthrough about half way done somewhere in my saved games. I tried all 6 origin stories out first to see which one I liked the best. I usually don't like playing humans in games, but the human noble origin really won me over.

    She was my 'main' character and a rogue (LOCKS EVERYWHERE!). And I say 'main' because I actually played this character to completion twice. 'Cause… you know… hadn't done everything the first time around, and it was all done in the WRONG ORDER (for my character that is, there's really no wrong order) because it had to be a PROPER STORY and stuff and I also HAD to have all the recipes and get to the max level and get all the skills for EVERYONE and build proper relations with the other characters because the first time around I was a wuss and was all "I WANT EVERYONE TO LOVE ME AND BE HAPPY FOREVER." And this is why no-one wants to play games with me :(

    Here be my reactions back when I first played through the parts you've so far covered:

    [Cutscene right after leaving Flemeth's with the mabari]

    [Morrigan and Alistair just won't shut up]
    "Are those two gonna hook up? Am I gonna have to listen to angsty, hot sex all night long in the camp? : / I hope they go to Morrigan's tent. Should be far enough."

    [Danyla's Quest]
    ALL THE CREYS. I dunno why, but that little subplot really affected me. Poor Danyla sounded in so much pain I could barely handle it.

    [Re: Spiders]

    I touched it, too, Mark. I touched it, too.

    P.S. The best mabari name I've ever heard of is Barkspawn.

    P.P.S. Rapunagzrag?

  31. The Real Lee says:

    I remember the first time I fought a Revenant, I had a dwarf commoner rogue, Alastair, Sten, and Morrigan. I died so quickly it was embarrassing. I tried again, and again. After lowering the difficulty to casual and trying again I fail. A few more tries later and I killed it. Damn that vial, just waiting to be touched. However, he did have nice stuff.

  32. GenGinger says:

    If any of you arachnophobes are playing on PC, there are several mods out there to change their appearance (check Dragon Age Nexus). These DAO spiders freak me out, and I don't have much pre-existing spider hatred. Well done developers, I guess.

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