Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 11

In the eleventh hour of Dragon Age: Origins, my party battles their way up to the fourth floor of the Circle of Magi tower, only to discover that THIS IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Eleven

You know, this game just provides you with so much information. Because of my familiarity with the Fallout games, I’m a big proponent of going into every room and opening every door because I can. That means my Codex is overflowing with secondary information about this fictional world. Generally, I read as much of it as I can, but it’s kind of a lot of work. Still, it’s how I was able to at least complete the first part of the Reaching side mission during this hour. That’s a start! Now I have to head down to the lower floor for something? IDEK? Apparently, there are ~rumblings~ happening down there.

Anyway, what I got out of this and other events during this hour of gameplay was that the game rewards you for paying attention. Even the smallest of actions can have repercussions for the story. If I hadn’t chosen to take Wynne along with me, would I have had the chance to talk to the Blood Mages who were trying to fight back against the Chantry? Probably not. I’d probably just have killed them all without a second thought. Even that story was ridiculously fascinating to me. The Blood Mages are trying to break through their own oppression using what devices they have at hand. In this case, it was blood magic, something that’s normally forbidden. And so I found myself having an argument with Morrigan, Wynne, and this Blood Mage about the tactics of fighting oppression, and this is in a goddamn video game.

And then I met a mage named Godwin who wanted to go back into the closet and I am not sorry that this joke just writes itself. IT’S RIGHT THERE I CAN’T HELP IT.

My perusing also located Flemeth’s grimoire! Now Morrigan basically loves me, and I can’t wait until this game allows me to swear off the main mission so she and I can go off and have femslash adventures all across Ferelden because why not?  Actually, I also want to do that because this game is creepy. Sure, there were these cool moments, but the game design for the Circle of Magi tower gets increasingly fucked up as I go to higher floors. I had to load my last save when I went into that room with the creepy demon who was basically possessing/controlling that Templar to give him true happiness. (OMG IT’S JASMINE.) What the fuck is that thing???? even worse, she absolutely slaughtered my party in fifteen seconds flat, so I thought, “YOU KNOW, I CAN SKIP FIGHTING HER.” So I did. I have no shame.

But beyond that, this setting is unbearably quiet. The Abominations hide in rooms, and there are grisly body parts stretched into elaborate designs all over the place. It’s like you’re traveling into the heart of something gross and disgusting. Even worse, I’m pretty sure that one room suggested that the Abominations were turning Tranquils into monsters. TRANQUILS! WHAT DID THEY EVER DO TO YOU? It’s just so interesting how this story unfolds. I mean, I thought the werewolf/Dalish story was so good that everything else would pale by comparison. But here I am, nowhere near the main plot, and I am having a blast. On top of that, Wynne is like… easily my favorite character all of a sudden? I had a moment on the third floor where I desperately wished the game would provide me the option to turn to her and marry her on the spot. A Roslin/Wynne relationship would be beautiful, yes? WHEN CAN I PROPOSE TO WYNNE?

So I got all the way up to the fourth floor relatively quickly. I think it only took me a half hour of searching the place for all the baddies to slay and to get as much junk as I could find. I courageously swept into that last room to face that final Abomination (OMG HE WAS HUGE), knowing that his little monologue to me was a precursor to our fight.

Wait why is everyone so sleepy.


what are you doing.

no, don’t fall asleep morrigan. wynne, stop it.


what the









Look, the entire Dalish storyline was utterly fantastic, so I don’t want this to be a criticism of it. It stands perfectly well on its own. It’s brilliant.

AND THIS UTTERLY KICKS THE PANTS OFF OF IT. Well, if a video game storyline could wear pants, you know. I only got about ten minutes in this supremely fucked up dream world, and in that time, I:

  • Fought fucked up things.


I only got far enough to open up the five main areas that surround the center, but by gods, I am going to destroy this place.

My Character Stats

Strength: 22
Dexterity: 20+1
Willpower: 15
Magic: 13
Cunning: 16
Constitution: 18

Heroic Stats

Kills: 114
Damage dealt: 17643
Friendly-fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 34
Contribution to party damage: 24
Hit rate: 84
Most powerful foe slain: Abomination
Injuries: 4

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76 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 11

  1. stumpoman says:

    YES! gur snqr (rot13'd because im not sure if its been mentioned in-game yet)

    vg trgf n ybg bs synx sebz gur pbzzhavgl ng ynetr ohg ubarfgyl, vgf bar bs zl snibevgr cnegf bs gur tnzr.

    • Herefox says:

      I love this part of the game too! Vg'f irel ybat naq vg gnxrf sberire, rfcrpvnyyl vs lbh'er gelvat gb trg nyy gur fgng obahfrf ohg vg'f irel pbby naq ngzbfcurevp. Nygubhtu nqzvggrqyl ba zl ercynlf V'ir hfrq n jnyx guebhtu gb nibvq nyy gur onpxgenpxvat V bevtvanyyl qvq…V guvax guvf cneg nybar gbbx zr 3-5 ubhef jung jvgu pbyyrpgvat nyy gur qvssrerag sbezf naq univat gb onpxgenpx gb cynprf jurer lbh arrqrq gurz.

    • Vg vf vaqragvsvrq nf gur snqr jurer Znex'f ng ohg V'z abg fher Znex unf pnhtug ba nf bs gur jevgvat bs guvf erivrj. V bcgrq gb whfg pnyy vg jung vg vf orpnhfr vg qbrf fnl vg vf gur snqr va tnzr naq orpnhfr Znex jvyy xabj ol abj nf fubhyq nalbar ryfr jub unf orra cynlrq guvf cneg. Ohg vg arire uhegf gb cynl vg fnsr.

    • Gillyweed says:

      Fnzr urer, V ybir vg! Fher vg pna qent n ovg, ohg gur fheerny rkcrevrapr naq frrvat gur Oynpx pvgl va gur qvfgnapr nyy gur gvzr, V whfg ybir vg. Frevbhfyl, vs jr qba'g trg na bcgvba gb ragre gur Oynpx pvgl va QN3, V'yy or znq nf uryy.
      Gur cbvag vf V ybir Snqr. Zl yrnfg snibhevgr cneg vf Bemnzzne orsber Qrrc Ebnqf, V ungr fvqvat jvgu gubfr gjb, naq gur cneg sebz zrrgvat Ehpx hagvy Oebbq Zbgure, fb cbvagyrffyl ybat naq V xrrc univat shyy vairagbel naq pna'g fryy nalguvat… V qba'g yvxr vg.

    • cat says:

      ZR GBB. V gubhtug V jnf gur bayl bar jub ybirq gur snqr, vg'f zl snibevgr ol n zvyr! V ybir gur funcrpunatvat rfcrpvnyyl; cynlvat nf qvssrerag perngherf V'q arire trg gb cynl va gur tnzr vf n sha oernx sebz orvat cynva byq zr. Vg'f yvxr gur funcrfuvsgvat fcrpvnyvmngvba jbhyq or vs vg qvqa'g fhpx!

    • Peter says:

      Lrnu V qba'g xabj nalguvat nobhg gur pbzzhavgl be vgf synx sbe gur snqr ohg yrg zr nqq zl ibvpr gb gubfr jub yvxr gur snqr! Vg'f n ornhgvshyyl qrfvtarq cvrpr bs gur tnzr, naq rira gubhtu vg qvq tb ba sbe n ybat gvzr, V qvqa'g ernyvmr V'q orra va gur Snqr sbe bire sbhe ubhef hagvy V jnf svanyyl qbar. Vg pbzcyrgryl bpphcvrq zl gvzr naq jnf nyjnlf rawblnoyr. Univat gb npdhver gur qvssrerag sbezf naq gura onpxgenpx gb tb gb inevbhf cynprf jnf terng, whfg yvxr bar tvnag chmmyr. Naq gur fgng obahfrf jrer bu-fb-fjrrg.

      • stumpoman says:

        abg vapyhqvat gur frk be ahqvgl zbqf, Fxvc gur Snqr vf gur ahzore 8 zbfg raqbefrq zbq ba qentba ntr arkhf

    • Inky says:

      I have mixed feelings about gur Snqr! V YBIR gur frggvat, gur funcr fuvsgvat, gur jrveq perngherf naq gur ybbxf vagb lbhe cnegl'f cflpur. Ohg V qb srry yvxr vg qentf ba jnnnnnl gbb ybat.

      I really like what they did in Dragon Age 2 with gur snqr, jurer lbhe cnegl trgf grzcgrq ol gur qrzbaf naq pna ghea ba lbh, naq lbh'er frrvat vagb obgu Sraevry'f urnq naq trggvat fbzr pbasyvpg jvgu lbhe cnegl, gbb. Vg vapyhqrq gur jrveq gevccl ngzbfcurer naq cflpubybtvpny fghss V yvxrq sebz Bevtva'f Snqr, ohg jnf birenyy dhvpxre naq unq yrff onpxgenpxvat, juvpu znqr vg zber sha sbe zr birenyy.

  2. It's strange that on my current playthrough I've somehow managed to find myself almost exactly where Mark is here (I'm a little bit deeper into the fade but I'll save my thoughts on that until tomorrow.)

    The circle tower isn't my favorite part of the game but I generally really like what happens there with this whole Templars/Mages/Chantry business. Good stuff.

  3. biblioteknician says:

    Oh goodness, I just played the Circle last night and I was hoping Mark would talk about that blood mage. I think I've only ever brought myself to kill her once. If the character is right I'm mean to her, but… Even before I played a blood mage, I felt too much sympathy for her. Bu zl tbq ubj V jvfu gur Wbjna dhrfg qvqa'g tyvgpu bhg ba gur 360 orpnhfr nsgre gur zntr bevtva V whfg jnag uvz gb unir avpr guvatf.

    And now Mark is in the Fade. Everyone's very favorite place ever! It is known! (Pna jr cyrnfr nyy trg gbtrgure naq nterr gung gur Grzcyne'f Avtugzner vf npghnyyl gur JBEFG CYNPR GB RIRE RKVG RIRE. Rira nsgre cynlvat guvf tnzr n zvyyvba gvzrf, gung bar fgvyy fraqf zr va nyy fbegf bs jebat qverpgvbaf naq lbh qba'g rira trg n funcrfuvsg bhg bs vg.)

    • Gillyweed says:

      LRF LRF LRF! V xrrc ragrevat gur jebat zbhfr ubyrf naq trggvat ybfg, vg erzvaqf zr bs Qvnoyb 2'f Gbzo bs Gny Enfun, V ungrq gung cneg fb zhpu.
      Zl snibhevgr va Snqr vf gur Oheavat gbjre, V ybir gung funcr.

    • etherealclarity says:

      This is my first playthrough and I just finished up with this section.

      Naq V zbfg qrsvavgryl tbg naablrq jvgu vg. Frcnengrq sebz zl pbzcnavbaf sbe 95% bs gur wbhearl, jnll gbb ybat, cyhf V xrcg univat gb HFR urnygu cbhygvprf ohg pbhyqa'g pbyyrpg nal gb ercynpr vg jvgu. V svanyyl whfg cvpxrq hc n jnyxguebhtu gb trg zr bire naq qbar jvgu vg nf dhvpxyl nf cbffvoyr fb V pbhyq tb onpx gb ebznapvat Nyvfgnve naq svtugvat jvgu zl jubyr cnegl.

      • stumpoman says:

        gurer ner bgure jnlf gb urny. ylevhz irvaf vs lbh nera'g n qjnes.
        fcvevg sbez unf ertrarengvba.
        gur tbyrz sbez pna or hfrq gb urny lbh raqyrffyl. vg tvirf lbh n gba bs rkgen urnygu. yrgf fnl lbh unir 140/200 urnygu orsber tbyrz sbez. vs lbh fjvgpu gb tbyrz vg jvyy whzc hc gb nebhaq qbhoyr be 280/400. gura jura lbh fjvgpu onpx gb abezny sbez gur tnzr guvaxf lbh unir 280/200 ohg vg whfg phgf bss gur 80 rkgen urnygu.
        zl crefbany snibevgr vf ehaavat njnl naq fgrnyguvat nf n zbhfr

      • JackoDaGreat says:

        Lrnu, orvat njnl sebz zl pbzcnavbaf jnf ol sne gur jbefg cneg. V zvffrq gurve onagre. Fb ybaryl…

    • klmnumbers says:

      nunu V jnagrq gb qvr gur svefg gvzr V cynlrq guebhtu gur Snqr. Nccneragyl gurer ner tnzr unpxf gung nyybj lbh gb whfg fgenvtug hc FXVC gur Snqr? Ohg ab bgure unpxf. unun

    • Inky says:

      Wbjna'f dhrfg vf obgpurq ba gur 360?! GUNG RKCYNVAF FB ZHPU! V nyjnlf sryg yvxr uvf cneg va gur tnzr sryg jrveqyl phg-bss. NETU. V'z fb tynq V unir gur CP irefvba abj!

      • biblioteknician says:

        V'z npghnyyl cerggl fher vg'f obgpurq ba nyy flfgrzf, ohg vs lbh unir gur CP irefvba lbh pna trg n cngpu gb znxr vg jbex. V jnf sehfgengrq naq jrag gb gur Jvxv, naq nccneragyl vs lbh serr Wbjna sebz uvf pryy naq gryy uvz gb eha, lbh qba'g jnag gb frr uvf snpr ntnva, n dhrfg jvyy or nqqrq gb gur punagre'f obneq. Ohg gurer'f fbzrguvat jebat jvgu gur jnl vg jnf cebtenzzrq naq vg qbrfa'g jbex jvgubhg gur cngpu. Juvpu jvyy sberire znxr zr fnq, orpnhfr V ubarfgyl qb unir fb zhpu pbzcnffvba sbe uvz. :(

    • Owl_In_Daylight says:

      The good thing about the PC version is the 'Skip the Fade' addon. I loved it the first time around, but it gets boring after the third time or so. I made sure I'd fully completed it the second time, and from then on, I just used the addon to get it over with xD The worst part was completing it with an archer *shudders*

      I think the rest of the classes can fare pretty well. A rogue just powers through like a boss, a mage/arcane warrior can heal and dish out powerful spells and a warrior has a crapton of HP. Poor archers get the short straw in this game becuse of the dex glitch. There was a hot patch, I think, but most people just went with maxing out the cunning stat and taking advantage of the rogue skill that lets you use it for damage calculation. It works really well, but not until you've gained a few levels, so up until 10ish, your poor archer is very easily killable. The first fight with Duncan and those two damn mages was seriously the hardest in the whole Fade :/

      [Post-Redcliffe and mage origin spoilers]

      N ybg bs crbcyr sryg Wbjna jnf sne zber qrirybcrq guna bgure frpbaqnel punenpgref sebz bevtva fgbevrf. Vg'f npghnyyl orpnhfr ng svefg, ur jnf fhccbfrq gb or erpehvgnoyr nsgre gur Erqpyvssr dhrfg. Ur jbhyq cebonoyl or gur bar gb haybpx gur oybbq zntr fcrpvnyvmngvba vafgrnq bs gur Snqr qrzba.

      Frevbhfyl, ubj njrfbzr jbhyq vg unir orra gb unir lbhe bgure cnegl zrzoref pbafgnagyl jnel bs uvz? V guvax Jlaar, Fgra naq Nyvfgnve jbhyq or gur jbefg. Yryvnan jbhqyq gel gb or pbzcnffvbangr naq cbbe Wbjna jbhyq cebonoyl guvax Zbeevtna zvtug or haqrefgnaqvat, naq gura jura ur gevrf gb fcrnx gb ure fur'q whfg tvir uvz gur qrngu tyner naq pnyy uvz jrnx naq juval.

      • biblioteknician says:

        But do you get all the stat bonuses if you skip the Fade? It's not my favorite by far but I still love coming out of it feeling like a total BAMF. (Though I can't imagine doing it as an archer. That sounds absolutely awful.)

        :( Abj V nz zber fnq guna rire gung zl bcgvbaf ner xvyy uvz, znxr uvz genadhvy, be frg uvz serr vagb n tnzr tyvgpu fb V arire urne sebz uvz ntnva. Gur vqrn bs orvat noyr gb oevat uvz jvgu zr naq unir uvz uryc fnir gur jbeyq vf nznmvat. Naq vg jbhyq unir znqr zl cbbe zntr fb zhpu unccvre.

        • Owl_In_Daylight says:

          Yep, you get everything. I was wary as well, so I did it once, covering absolutely everything and saved. Then went back, installed the addon, and once V jnf onpx va gur gbjre, compared the stats from both cases. It was all there :) The addon starts from the point where you beat Duncan and the two mages. The moment you touch the pedestal that normally transports you to Niall, you're done :)

          And yeah, the archer playthrough was absolutely horrible. I didn't have any good skills in using daggers, so I had to stay with my bow and get interrupted every time I got hit :/ It took a lot of reloads, potions and creative running patterns to get through a fight that my dagger-wielding rogue finished in like, a minute xD

          • Inky says:

            Oh man, I'm playing an archer right now… I better take Melee Archer.

          • Owl_In_Daylight says:

            Definitely. And make sure you pick up the talent that lets you use cunning for damage calculation; it didn't work as intended in the PC version with Dex and you lost a lot of damage.

            For the Fade part, get a few powerful health pots to survive the Duncan fight. If you use the addon to skip it, you're done, but if you play the whole thing through, you should be fine once you get your forms. Just go get Burning Man ASAP and you'll power through no problem.

  4. Gears says:

    I suppose you could say this was…. The Eleventh Hour?

  5. megotelek says:

    MOUSE FORM FUCK YEAH. Though, when I first played through this I got so confused by the labyrinth of rooms and tunnels and wait was I already here and I backtracked and circled around so many times…ugh.

    FB TYNQ V unir Fxvc gur Snqr sbe zl pheerag cynlguebhtu, tbg njnl sebz Qhapna naq erfphrq zl pbzcnavbaf, obbz obbz obbz qbar.

    Also, Sten is the BEST EVER, now that I have his approval up a bit more. I did Redcliffe after I was finished with the Circle and oebhtug Fgra naq Funyr jvgu zr naq BZT GUR FANEX. V'z fb unccl V tbg Funyr fb rneyl ba urer, gur bssunaq vafhygf gb rirelbar V gnyx gb vf nznmvat. Gubhtu, V pbhyq qb jvgubhg gur obbzvat sbbgfgrcf. Vf gurer n zbq gb trg evq bs gung rssrpg?

    Guvf gvzr, V unq qbar gur Pvepyr nyernql fb V jnf noyr gb tb onpx naq teno zntrf gb tb vagb gur Snqr fb V qvqa'g unir gb xvyy Pbaabe be Vfbyqr (V xvyyrq Wbjna va gur qhatrba ba Fgra'f nqivpr).

    V tbg guvf pbairefngvba jnyxvat qbja gb gur znva cneg bs Erqpyvssr ivyyntr.

    Jlaar: Funyr, jul qb lbh ersre gb zr nf gur “ryqre zntr?”
    Funyr: Pyrneyl orpnhfr vg vf checyr. Naq n ulran.
    Jlaar: Gura lbh fvzcyl jvfu gb or creirefr? Fheryl lbh ner orggre guna gung.
    Funyr: V unir sbhaq gung V nz nyybjrq cerpvbhf srj nzhfrzragf. Fvapr fb znal cersre gb pnyy zr “tbyrz,” V rawbl ersreevat gb gurz va n fvzvyne snfuvba.
    Jlaar: Bu, irel jryy. Ohg pbhyq lbh ng yrnfg hfr n qvssrerag nqwrpgvir? V qb abg jvfu zl ntr gb or zl qrsvavat punenpgrevfgvp.
    Funyr: Nf gur shffl zntr qrfverf.
    Jlaar: Bu, V tvir hc.

    I love that I can play the game through completely differently and get brand new story and dialogue options. It's SO FANTASTIC.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Frevbhfyl, jr arrq n snasvp jurer Funyr naq TYnQBF gnyx nobhg oveqf.

      • megotelek says:

        Ununun LRF. V onexrq bhg n ynhtu jura V gbbx Funyr bhg bs zl cnegl ng bar cbvag naq vg fnvq "Cvtrba penc!" (V qba'g xabj vs Funyr unf n traqre, ohg fvapr vg xrrcf ersreevat gb zr nf "vg", V guvax vg'f bxnl gb erghea gur snibe)

        • Rens says:

          Funyr vf (jnf?) n jbzna. Vg'f zragvbarq fbzrjurer qhevat gur rapbhagre jvgu gur qjneira fzvgu jungfvfanzr.

          … Bu tbq Urfcvgu. Znex vfa'g tbvat gb fyrrc sbe n JRRX nsgre ur svaqf bhg jung gung eulzr zrnaf…

  6. cat says:

    This is completely off topic as to where Mark is, but I'm dragging another character through the Brecilian forest right now and it struck me: for like 90% of the items looted in the game, I can see there's some kind of logic to them being where they are. Darkspawn carry darkspawn weapons and crap they've looted from humans, decaying corpses grow mushrooms (making that connection was a gross moment for me), everybody carries a bit of money. But why do I keep looting chain mail suits from bears? Why does the bear carry a suit of armor around with it? How? Is it carrying it around in its forepaws? Is it wearing a suit of chain mail?

    • megotelek says:

      Maybe it's like the original Little Red Riding Hood story and the bear swallowed a soldier and the body decomposed but the armor didn't?

      I could be thinking about this too much.

    • BornIn1142 says:

      Those bears were probably trying to defend themselves from jerk adventurers coming to invade their territory. :(

    • Tahaneira says:

      Oh it gets better. Deep Mushrooms have their special properties because they're one of the only organisms that has adapted to the Blight. That's right, every one of those mushrooms is tainted to the core. And the answer is obvious: the bear ate the chainmail. And the guy wearing it. Whole.

    • I think you need to accept the fact you just extracted that suit of armor from a bear's intestines. Likely you peeled it off a mostly digested corpse. I hope you washed it before you put it on or gave it to someone in your party.

      Good luck with that image :)

  7. Tahaneira says:

    Welcome to the Fade, Mark! We have bizarre statues, horrifying nightmares, and wonderfully fascinating landscapes, enjoy your stay! Vg'f tbvat gb or n ybat bar.

    Oh right, the desire demon/templar fight! That one was really hard. Fortunately, there's a simple way to beat it:

    1. Take your party, consisting of Wynne, Alistair/Sten, and Leliana (NO WE WILL NEVER LET THIS GO)
    2. Carefully position Alistair in front the Templar, Roslin in prime buttstabbing position, and place Leliana and Wynne on opposite sides of the room.
    3. Pause and go change the difficulty to easy.


    It's always intriguing to listen to the companions talk in this game. For instance, it's weird to listen to Alistair bear so much hatred for blood magic when normally he's so easygoing, and then you remember, oh, that's right, he was trained to be a templar, so no matter how little stock he puts in the more extreme messages of the Chant, he was still raised with the everyday message of 'blood magic is evil,' and that kind of repetition will sink in at least somewhat. For myself, I don't think blood magic is inherently evil any more than, say, the entropy class of magic, which can do some equally nasty things of it own. Especially when you consider that you don't have to sell your soul to a demon to learn it, it's just that that's one of the only possible ways to learn it outside of Tevinter, seeing as the Chantry has destroyed all the documentation of blood magic they can get their hands on.

    On that note, what did you do with the blood mage, Mark? Did you execute her or let her go free?

    I'm glad that you're loving Wynne as much as we are! What's not to love about a kind, caring, wise, sarcastic old lady who can kick massive amounts of ass?

    And HAHA THE FADE. It's one giant mindfuck from here on in, Mark, you are so not prepared.

    Quote of the Day:
    Alistair: You know, from what I remember from my days as a templar, locking the door and throwing away the key was definitely 'Plan B'.

  8. megotelek says:

    Also, in my current playthrough I'm having a really hard time deciding on party members because I want to bring Alistair, Sten and Funyr with me all the time but then I want to bring Wynne too as a healer…gah. I don't bring Leliana as much because I'm a rogue so I don't really need another in the party, but I talk to her all the time back at camp.

    Bu, fb V znantrq gb ebznapr ure gb gur cbvag jurer V xvffrq ure guvf gvzr, ohg gura V fperjrq vg hc naq syvegrq jvgu Nyvfgnve naq ur znqr zr pubbfr. Naq, jryy, V nz cynaavat gb zneel uvz naq or dhrra ng gur raq, fb V pubfr uvz. Arkg gvzr, Yryvnan!

  9. Ryan Lohner says:

    Yesterday was exceptionally busy, so I have no new spoilery stuff.

    I had no problem at all with that demon; maybe my guys were just more experienced at this point. And of course, I immediately started spamming the fuck out of Wynne as my White Mage. Suddenly I was taking all kinds of risks I never would have before, knowing she'd heal me before I got into trouble. Naturally, there are limits to how useful this is, but we're far from the point that I hit them.

    I let the blood mage go free, because I'm nice like that. Though I'm now glad I didn't have Alistair in my party; that would probably really have screwed up our relationship.

    • Gillyweed says:

      I must confess, I'm always using that trap cheat in Lothering to max out, mostly because I couldn't survive half the things without Morrigan's crushing prison, also shiny armors! I did it by the book the first time it must count for something, right?
      But I really feel sorry for that Templar, I hate the qrfver qrzbaf.

  10. wantthepharaohs says:

    Bu zl tbq, vs Znex vf guvf tebffrq bhg ol gur Pvepyr Gbjre gur oebbqzbgure vf tbvat gb znxr uvz syvc uvf fuvg. V NZ FB RKPVGRQ!

    • Peter says:

      V sbhtug gur oebbqzbgure ng yvxr 2 va gur zbeavat. Vg jnf fb hggreyl greevslvat.

    • accidentalbeard says:

      YES. V xarj jung jnf pbzvat guvf cynlguebhtu ohg gura BU FUVG V sbetbg whfg ubj ubeevslvat vg jnf. =( Nygubhtu rira perrcvre guna gur Oebbqzbgure, va zl bcvavba, vf cbbe Urfcvgu.

    • Inky says:

      Bu tbfu, gung cneg zvtug or zl snibevgr cneg va gur tnzr. Vg tbg n ERNYYL ivfpreny ernpgvba bhg bs zr. V ernyyl qba'g yvxr Oenaxn orpnhfr bs vg, gbb. :(

  11. Peter says:

    First Time Gameplay

    "V bayl tbg sne rabhtu gb bcra hc gur svir znva nernf gung fheebhaq gur pragre, ohg ol tbqf, V nz tbvat gb qrfgebl guvf cynpr."

    nunununununununununununun nsgre rvtug ubhef znlor. Nygubhtu gung'f abg gehr; ng gur engr Znex'f tbvat vg'yy or, yvxr, unys bs bar. Vf vg whfg zr, be vf Znex zbivat cerggl dhvpxyl guebhtu gur tnzr? V zrna, guvf vf zl svefg gvzr naq V'z abg qbar lrg, ohg V jrag onpx naq purpxrq, naq jura V jnf fgnegvat zl frpbaq znva dhrfg (nyfb gur Pvepyr), V jnf svsgrra ubhef va, abg gra.

    tehehe I love that the structure of video games means I can comment on things in rot13 on my first playthrough. Although it also means you get spoiled for things like Alistair being a prince, lol.

    ANYWAY THE CIRCLE OF MAGI. YES GOOD. It's so freaking scary, what with oh you know, all the demonic possession everywhere and strange demonic guts/growth/what is that stuff on the walls? I really believe that the interplay between the Chantry, the Magi, and the Templar was such a good choice in building this world. The potential for conflict between magic and religion is explored through a really neat, refreshing lense in DA:O. The whole fact that you're motivated by the Rite of Annulment, that you're supposed to be on a tight timeframe before Greagoir kills everyone, it's great… and I'm sure I would have loved the conversation Mark described with a blood mage about how to fight Chantry oppression. Because I don't remember ANY conversation like that. What? I did take Morrigan out of my party when I got Wynne – is that why?

    And speaking of Wynne – she's so awesome. I actually really prefer her to Morrigan, I think, and take Wynne in my party more often. Wynne may not be as snarky as Morrigan, but I seriously appreciate the fact that she's… got a more palatable sense of morality (c.f. what Mark was saying yesterday about Morrigan letting people die who disagree with her).

    And now Mark's in the Fade! I like the Fade rira vs vg gnxrf n ybat gvzr naq qbrfa'g znxr frafr gung gur urnygu cbhygvprf V hfrq jrer npghnyyl pbafhzrq. Dream worlds are a "yes good" thing for me. But more on that tomorrow, I suppose.

    In the meantime I finished the stuff with the dwarves, finally! (Orzammar spoilers) Xvyyrq Oenaxn orpnhfr boivbhf zbeny pubvpr vf boivbhf, ohg V yrg zl pbagebyyre fvg sbe nobhg bar zvahgr gb tvir gur vyyhfvba gung zl punenpgre unq gb znxr n gbhtu qrvpvfvba nobhg jurgure be abg ur jnagrq n tbyrz nezl. Vg jnf gbgnyyl whfg zl punenpgre… abg zr… ernyyl. JUL NER LBH YBBXVAT NG ZR YVXR GUNG?

    • ZeynepD says:

      I'm entirely with your nuns. Also, the Fade: Gur svefg naq ynfg gvzr V jrag naq ybbxrq ng na bayvar fgengrtl thvqr gb trg guebhtu nalguvat va guvf tnzr, naq V erterg abguvat.

      You've got a good point about the Wynne/Morrigan choice. Most of the time I prefer Wynne to be with me when I'm going to interact with people, because Morrigan… may creep one out, even when one makes allowances for her upbringing. But on the other hand, Morrigan's got awesome damage. But on the other other hand, Wynne heals people. Decisions, decisions!

    • Inky says:

      I really, really like Morrigan as a character but…yeah, I'd have to do some serious roleplaying to have my character agree with her on moral grounds. I really LIKE helping people, and having Morrigan gripe about it every time I do is sort of frustrating sometimes. (And obviously it's not just me, since "Morrigan Disapproves -15" became a meme.)

  12. accidentalbeard says:

    You know, my first time through this game I was excited to be *in* the Fade but I did feel like it bogged down a bit. But I hit the Fade last week and really enjoyed it this run-through. Maybe because this character is a mage? Maybe because I remembered not to eha QVERPGYL GUEBHTU gur sver, ercrngrqyl oheavat zlfrys gb qrngu? But I had a lot of fun sneaking around as a mouse and the layout made a lot more sense to me. Plus the *idea* of the Fade is really fascinating to me. (rot13 because it deals with some codex entries Mark may not have read, not sure if this is overkill): V ybbxrq sbe vg guvf gvzr naq gur Oynpx Pvgl ernyyl *vf* ivfvoyr jurerire V tb. Gung'f cerggl perrcl.

    My favorite part of the Fade is frrvat lbhe pbzcnavbaf' bja crefbany avtugznerf. V'z vagrerfgrq va frrvat jung Zbeevtna'f fprar vf yvxr fvapr V qvqa'g oevat ure nybat rvgure gvzr.

    And the initial scene in the Fade felt so sad to me – I'm chilling in Weisshaupt, everything's ok, and DUNCAN is there! Duncan! Yeah! And I know that he's not real but it's so sad to hear Duncan trying to reassure me that the Darkspawn are defeated, we're at peace, and I should just rest and be happy. My first game I played a Warden who really wanted to Do the Right Thing and Fix Problems but this Warden is pretty overwhelmed by the whole mess, and I think this scene in Weisshaupt was extremely tempting to just stay lost in, even once he knew it was a lie. Because he's so tired and overwhelmed by Wardening all over Ferelden, especially since Alistair's left all the decisions up to him, and he still has a long way to go. =(

  13. Andie says:

    Wait why is everyone so sleepy.


    what are you doing.

    no, don’t fall asleep morrigan. wynne, stop it.


    what the







    I love when things happen that break Mark's brain.

    That sounds like the sort of criterion you might find on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. That should probably worry me.

  14. BornIn1142 says:

    Just wondering… Can anyone here name any works of fiction with male desire demons or personifications of lust?

    • megotelek says:

      Hmm…Dresden Files comes to mind, with the White Court vampires (and Thomas, particularly), that feed on lust and seduce their victims. Of course, they're not purely male (there are male and female White Court vampires).

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      The novelization of the Star Wars game Shadows of the Empire has a rather…interesting scene where the villain uses his lust powers on Leia.

    • RadagastWiz says:

      There is the legend of the Incubus (male version of the Succubus), but that tends to picture the female as completely passive (or even asleep!) during the 'seduction'. Not sure if the term has been modernized or if there's a different name in use…

    • Lia says:

      Jean-Claude in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series.

    • Inky says:

      There's a Vocaloid song called "The Madness of Duke Venomania" about a guy who makes a deal with a devil to have the ability to lure women to his castle so he can seduce them and add them to his harem. It's part of a series of songs all themed around the seven deadly sins. (Just a warning, if you go looking for it on YouTube–some of the art in the music video is a liiiittle racy. Not to the point of being pornographic, but probably still NSFW.)

      The anime adaptation of Chrono Crusade also implies that the members of the Sinners all represent a certain deadly sin, and Aion accuses Chrono of being lustful, which would *maybe* imply that he's the one supposed to represent lust…but I don't know if that actually fits the character or not. It definitely doesn't fit in the manga the anime is based on.

      Oh, I dug around on TV Tropes and it said that in the video game Catherine (MAJOR SPOILERS, I should not have looked at the spoilers for this myself!) gur znva punenpgre pna ghea vagb na Vaphohf ng gur raq bs gur tnzr, qrcraqvat ba gur pubvprf lbh znxr.

      I think I'm going to stop digging around in TV Tropes for more examples, I can't resist highlighting spoiler text.

  15. TrampyMcBitca says:

    First Time Gameplay

    I just got out of the Fade, that was fun. My favourite parts were Tbyhz FZNFU! (V jvfu V pbhyq hfr gubfr sbezf bhgfvqr bs gur Snqr) naq Zbeevtna abg orvat gnxra va ol gur Snqr Fcvevg.

    I'm a female Dwarf noble. My group consists of Wynne, Morrigan and Leliana, just because I enjoy the company of women.

    I also like trying to open locked chests by myself, just because I like the way Leliana says, "Allow me, I can do that for you"

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      And then she CAN'T. Zevran does that too. One of the more annoying things about the game; they should only say that if they can actually do it!

      • TrampyMcBitca says:

        True. I chuckle though when she says that, saunters up and….can't open it. Oops, but at least I get to hear her say that line. :)

  16. mreeb says:

    I love, love, love, LOVE this part of the game. I'm a sucker for dream worlds, what can I say.

    I'm so pleased you love Wynne, I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

  17. ZeynepD says:

    First Time Playthrough, about 80 hours in

    In my playthrough, Alistair fell asleep first. Since that's a pretty obvious willpower check fail, I was, at the time, commenting "worst templar-trainee ever."

    I love Alistair, but that is still one of the things I am not willing to let him live down, like, ever.

    So… the Fade. The mouse form is indeed amazingly fun. And the statues are immensely creepy. And other things that I'd have to rot13 because they involve some of the other games in the confirmed list:

    The Fade reminded me strongly of fbzr bs gur chmmyr-ynlbhg nernf sebz Svany Snagnfl tnzrf, whfg orpnhfr lbh unir gb tb nebhaq naq tnva sbezf naq hfr gurz va n fcrpvsvp beqre qrcraqvat ba jung qbbe lbh'er gelvat gb cnff guebhtu/haybpx/jungrire, was I the only one?

  18. tethysdust says:

    I love everything about the Circle/Chantry lore and I love this section of the game. I mean, a lot of it is pretty awful, but in a very interesting way. I was really glad I chose mage for my character, because then I started off in that kind of lore. Also Wynne is a fantastic partner for my mage. She earthquakes at the same time as I fire-pillar, and everything in the room dies. Basically, every room I went into after I got Wynne, either she and I killed them together, or Leilana and Alistair desperately tried to kill the ones that survived before they killed me horribly. My character was probably the most frequent dead in my party and I don't even care because magic is amazing.

    Also, I just love Wynne. I think part of it might be because it doesn't seem like you see many elderly female characters in RPGs, and I think it's really great to recognize how cool and badass old ladies can be. :)

  19. Danielle says:

    Possibly a minority opinion, but I can't stand the Fade. I don't like being separated from my companions, and the whole thing just drags on for ages.

    • Inky says:

      You're not at all in a minority, there's a mod that allows you to skip that part entirely in the game and it's REALLY popular.

  20. biblioteknician says:

    Also: Listening to Florence + the Machine while killing darkspawn is an incredibly strange experience, and yet it works. (Unlike that time I tried listening to Bob Marley while playing Mass Effect.)

  21. AmaneSaiko says:

    Welcome to The Fade Mark, you are probably no way near prepared enough for this.

    I love the concept of The Fade… but my god I dread playing it every.time. it drags on a bit and I've already done it like… 10 times in the past… It might be because you have just walked a whole tower, dealing with demons and abominations, you finally get to the top and expect to be finished… and then NOOOOOOOOO you are NOT done yet.

    …. I have also been seriously contemplating what would happen if Mark did indeed destroy The Fade. This is going to keep me busy today >_>

  22. Drugar says:

    I love Wynne so much as an NPC. She's full of kind, calm wisdom, doesn't lose her temper and offers gentle advice. I heartily advise anyone to mine her conversation options in camp whenever possible (and gift her tons of stuff for Friendliness).

    Video games should have more elderly party members, I loved Keldorn in Baldur's Gate 2 as well. Where young NPC's are all rash and passionate and all about the action, the older ones seem a bit more relaxed and objective, which meshes with my own personality a lot more.

  23. Eliestav says:

    Was the templar/demon fight really that difficult? I thought it was a cinch compared to the revenant downstairs. I MUST FIGHT ALL THE REVENANTS, AND WHY THEY WONT DIE?

    Pheeragyl qbvat Fbyqvre'f xrrc juvpu xrrcf ohttvat bhg ba zr jura V gel gb pybfr gur irvy.

  24. sig says:

    write more! i want every last detail you can give us mark! i love these so i hang out for them and if they are to short i get sad :(

  25. Inky says:

    Every time I'm playing a game like Fallout 3 or Dragon Age where there's a lot of background text you can read, I always tell myself "This time, I'll do it! I'll read EVERY SINGLE PAGE of the Codex!!" (or every book I come across, etc). I then…I never do. I just hit this point where I actually want to play the game instead of reading about the game world. It must be even worse when you're on a time limit!

    What I should probably do is find a wiki that has the whole codex typed up somewhere, and set a goal of something like….five pages a day that I'll read and consume. That'd probably be less overwhelming.

    Also the characters you can't propose to are sometimes the ones I want to end up with. [Dragon Age 2 spoilers] INEEVP, JUL JBA'G LBH NPPRCG ZL YBIR SBE LBH??

    • Tahaneira says:

      He gets that a lot.

    • Owl_In_Daylight says:

      [Dragon Age 2 Spoilers]

      Htu, NZRA.

      V unq frevbhf vffhrf jvgu QN2 nf vg jnf naq gur punenpgref jrera'g urycvat. Naqref jnf abguvat yvxr uvf Njnxravat pbhagrecneg (jubz V'q ybirq), Sraevf jnf n jnyxvat rzb fgrerbglcr (frevbhfyl, Sraevf, ybbx ng lbhe unve, ybbx ng lbhe pubvprf), Zreevy jnf… phgr V thrff? Naq Vfnoryyn'f nggvghqr cvffrq zr gur uryy bss. They, lbh pnhfrq nyy guvf qnza gebhoyr jvgu gur Dhanev naq lbh qba'g rira unir gur qrprapl gb gryy zr gvyy gur irel ynfg zvahgr? Naq gura lbh orgenl zr ba gbc bs vg nyy? OHU-OLR. V qba'g unir zhpu bs na bcvavba ba Fronfgvna nf V tbg uvz jnl yngr vagb gur tnzr naq V qvqa'g obgure jvgu n frpbaq cynlguebhtu.


      V erzrzore cynlvat guvf tnzr naq zl oblsevraq pbzvat hc naq frrvat zr nyy cvffrq bss. Jura ur nfxrq jung jnf hc, V whfg fgnegrq entvat: "Gur avtugzner qvssvphygl FHPXF! Vg'f abg uneqre, lbh whfg trg ubeqrf bs rarzvrf snyyvat bss gur qnza FXL, pbzvat va raqyrff jnirf, naq V pna'g rira punatr zl cnegl'f pybgurf naq gur cynprf ner nyy ERCRNGNOYR. Gurer'f yvxr BAR qhatrba, BAR ornpu naq ybbx ng gur qnza vgrzf, gurl'er nyy fghss yvxr FJBEQ be FUVRYQ, jurer gur uryy ner gur perngvir anzrf, naq sbe erny, gur rarzvrf RKCYBQR jura lbh xvyy gurz, whfg tb FCYNG naq V ungr rirelbar, gurl'er nyy juval naq bayl Ineevp vf pbby naq V ungr guvf tnzr ;-;"

      Niryvar, jul jba'g lbh bssre ZR n qbjel bs tbngf naq jurng? ;-; Abg rira tbaan zragvba Ineevp naq uvf purfg unve, zna. Ubj pbby jbhyq vg unir orra sbe Unjxr'f ybir varerfg gb or gur bar aneengvat gur fgbel naq onfvpnyyl ylvat guebhtu uvf grrgu gb cebgrpg ure? Frevbhfl Ovbjner, abg pbby.

  26. The Real Lee says:

    I remember the fade. Love it. Really creepy, but in a good way. Mark, you may not be prepared, but you will enjoy it. Also, you will spend a long time in the fade, and you will get lost. I've played this part at least a dozen times, and I still get lost in it. Maybe that's just me having a bad sense of direction…

  27. rav3style says:

    Well you would have a lesbian partner if you had leiliana… You let her die sniff

  28. Owl_In_Daylight says:

    Can we talk battle strategies in the comments? Because I'm not entirely certain if some spells and spell combos consitute as spoilers (fvapr gur cynlre vf fhccbfrq gb rkcrevzrag gvyy gurl svaq juvpu fcryyf znxr pbzobf). Anyway, feel free to un-rot this if you think it's okay, there are no storyline spoilers, just battle tips.

    Gur qrzba-grzcyne svtug vf gbhtu, ohg jvgu n yvggyr PP (pebjq pbageby) vg'f irel qbnoyr. Lbh znva ceboyrz vf gur Snqr Qrzba orpnhfr fur pna vapncnpvgngr lbhe gnax be lbhe QCF naq gung'yy or n uhtr cnva va gur nff. Gur grzcyne uvgf irel uneq naq pna xabpx lbh qbja, ohg ur'f abg areyl nf qnatrebhf.

    Lbh pna rvgure xrrc gur Snqr Qrzba genccrq jvgu lbhe PP hagvy gur grzcyne vf qbja, be PP gur Grzcyne naq whfg ahxr gur qrzba orsber ur'f serr ntnva. PPf gung qb gur gevpx pna or pbar bs pbyq, gencf (sbe gur grzcyne), Pehfuvat cevfba (be gur bar gung pbzrf evtug orsber vg, pna'g erzrzore gur anzr, vg'f gur bar jurer gur'er vzcevfbarq ohg lbh pna'g uvg gurz). Fyrrc + atugzner zvtug nyfb jbex (abg fher, orpnhfr V arire unq rvgure guvf rneyl va gur tnzr).

    Va trareny, Pbar bs Pbyq vf irel birecbjrerq naq lbh fubhyq trg vg nf fbba nf lbh pna kQ Va pbzovangvba jvgu lbhe ohggfgnof, vg pna perngr gur funggrevat rssrpg va aba-ryvgrf naq aba-obffrf, naq onfvpnyyl vafgnxvyy naablvat rarzvrf. Crgevsl nyfb jbexf gur fnzr jnl, naq gung chapu guvatl va gur rnegu-onfrq gerr sbe zntrf pna gevttre gur funggre rssrpg nf jryy.

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