Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ – Hour 9

In the ninth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, not one thing could have prepared me for Witherfang. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Nine


With the exception of the fight against Zathrian, nearly my entire hour was spent coping with the numerous plot twists regarding the werewolves that were attacking the Dalish clan. Yes, it is fun that I’m learning how to play this game. It is more fun that I am being handed one SHIT JUST GOT REAL moment after another. Truthfully, I’ve always been more fascinated by games that have a story attached to them. (The exception is Bejeweled Blitz. WHY DO I KEEP PLAYING YOU?) I haven’t even touched the main plot aside from the results of my expedition in the Brecilian Forest. FOR REAL, I HAVE DONE NOTHING WITH THE MAIN PLOT AND THIS GAME’S STORY IS STILL SPECTACULAR. I’m just so impressed, y’all!

I started up the game knowing that I’d entered the lair of the werewolves. After a few attacks that my party dealt with brilliantly, I was finally confronted by the gatekeeper: the “Lady” wanted to talk to me because she was certain I didn’t understand the situation. At this point, I was busy molding a headcanon for my character, which is half the fun of playing a RPG like this. Roslin is generally a totally asshole to everyone she meets, but once she’s comfortable with you, she’s more trusting. On top of that, I side with doing what I think is moral and right. I haven’t seen many chances to be downright evil in this game. Mostly, I can be mean or sassy, but I don’t think this is like the Fallout games. I can’t really choose to be evil. (Oh god, now I’m thinking about my second playthrough of Fallout 3 and the Tenpenny Tower mission. HAHAHA I WAS SUCH A HORRIBLE PERSON.) It seems you can build your character within the framework of a Grey Warden. That being said, it’s entirely possible that my actions and my origin class dictate that, so it’s not like I have the slightest clue what I’m talking about. (I’m totally fine with people telling me if this is an option of gameplay as long as it doesn’t spoil a future chance for me to choose good/evil or whatever.)

For now, I’m happy being one of the good guys. So it seemed relatively clear that I’d have to battle the werewolves and bring Witherwings’ heart to Zathrian. I wasn’t super bothered by this because the werewolves in this game look so fucking creepy.

AND THEN THIS LADY COMES OUT. WHO IS THE LADY OF THE FOREST? WHAT IS GOING ON? Why is she here? Why is she talking to me, and why is she in charge of all the werewolves? What does it me–


[head explosion]

Are… are you serious? HE LIED TO ME. THAT FUCKER LIED TO ME. In an instant, I decided to be more sympathetic to the werewolves and hear their side. What was once a clear-cut moral situation was muddied by this revelation.

Oh, wait, Zathrian did this because his children were murdered and raped by a group of humans who tormented the elven camp? OH. OH, WAIT. I AM AN ELF. I intimately know what this sort of oppression is like. I am instantly conflicted about this.

Oh, fuck. THE LADY OF THE FOREST IS WITHERFANG? THIS IS A JOKE, RIGHT? (For the record, when Zathrian revealed this, I totally made Roslin pretend like she knew along. Whatever, he lied to me first, so I feel no guilt over this.) And so I’m presented with an awful moral conundrum: do I help my elven brethren get justice for what was done to them many years ago, or do I take pity on the humans who have been made to suffer FOR A REALLY LONG TIME? Oh god, why is this game doing this to me? Even Zathrian himself brings up my innate understanding of human bigotry as an elf. Damn it, stop it! You’re making this harder!

Wait. Wait. Zathrian’s life is tied to the goddamn curse? HE’S KEEPING THE CURSE AROUND, THE VERY CURSE TORMENTING HIS OWN PEOPLE, BECAUSE IT MAKES HIM ESSENTIALLY IMMORTAL? Yeah, that was the moment when I was 100% done with Zathrian. It’s one thing to want justice; it’s another thing to want that at the expense of people you supposedly care about. So I chose to force Zathrian to remove the curse!

And I promptly got my ass kicked EIGHT TIMES IN A ROW. Oh my god, this was certainly the hardest part of the game so far, and I got really close to rage-quitting my hour. But I persevered. I had to constantly re-think my strategy, and it finally took me consistently switching characters to enact a brutal assault on Zathrian alone. I figured that if I depleted his powers, that would stop the Wild Sylvans from being totally dickheads to me and my party. And it worked! Well, it took half an hour for me to get to that point, but who’s counting? Actually… I am. Okay, so I’m not great at this game, but I’m learning! I didn’t do too bad, I think.

Through this, Zathrian lifted the curse, I got some sweet treasure on my way out of the ruins, the Dalish clan have agreed to honor the contract they had with the Grey Wardens, and everything rules. I traveled back to my base camp to sell some stuff and get Sandal to enchant my one-handed sword. IT NOW HAS +2 ELECTRICITY IT DOES SO MUCH DAMAGE. Oh, this is exciting!

What’s more exciting, though, is the fact that based off of the love Sten got in the comments last week, I’ve decided to swap him out with Adama and take him on my next mission with me. OFF TO FIND THE DWARVES, I SAY! Oh god, this game rules.

My Character Stats

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

Heroic Stats

Kills: 79
Damage Dealt: 12503
Friendly-fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 34
Contribution to party damage: 23
Hit rate: 85
Most powerful foe slain: Dragon
Injuries: 3
 (And for what it’s worth, I didn’t realize Roslin was injured until minute 30. She had a cracked skull for half an hour. Oops!) 

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