Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 19

In the nineteenth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, this is so much more fucked up than I anticipated AND THERE IS VIDEO EVIDENCE OF IT THIS TIME AROUND. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Nineteen


Oh lord, Haven, you are so terribly messed up. Like, this is a stunning commentary on giving one’s self over to the power offered by a cult, as well as a fascinating chance to test the resolve of your party. I want to replay this game with a billion other characters just to see how they react to what Kolgrim offers. I decided that I wanted to try out another fight with Father Kolgrim before going the route of ash desecration. I will be smart about this, I told myself. Just take the mages out and you’ll have no problem.

Easier said than done. Observe my glorious and truly pathetic attempt to take down Kolgrim:

Clearly, I am the best at this game.

So I gave in. I had to. My party wasn’t strong enough or leveled up to where I wanted them to be. (OH GOD, I NEED MORRIGAN TO HAVE CRUSHING PRISON ASAP PLEASE.) Plus, I figured that the game wouldn’t force you to put blood in the ashes; for the most part, this game is all about choice. That choice heavily factors into the story you get as well. But even as I started to go down the path of agreeing to help Kolgrim, both Wynne and Alistair were having NONE OF IT. And I agree with them personally, despite that I made Roslin be more pragmatic. We couldn’t fight these assholes, so we had to trick them into letting us in with a false promise.

Roslin is being very rogue-like here, and while I do enjoy making her companions approve of her, my own personal meta/headcanon takes precedent. As I’ve said before, it’s just so goddamn fun to build your character this way. I know a lot of you approach the game in the same way, and I can finally say that I understand you. This game is so fun when you create a person’s entire behavioral system, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was followed Kolgrim to the Mountaintop, where I tried to betray him extremely early, and I quickly learned that this was an awful, awful idea. Why on earth did I think that fighting him before was terrible, yet doing it five seconds later is suddenly a stunning bit of brilliance? I don’t know what I was thinking, and I permit you to laugh at me. So, after accepting Kolgrim’s offer and getting the blessing of a dragon OH THAT’S RIGHT THESE PEOPLE WORSHIP DRAGON’S AS SOME WEIRD SUBSTITUTE/GO-BETWEEN FOR ANDRASTE. Oh god, what the hell is going on? Do these people seriously think that’s what dragons are? Or, rather, these dragons??? Eager to figure out what the fuck was going on, I headed into the Gauntlet. I am pretty sure that despite being a fairly ignorant video game player, I am well aware that entering a room called “The Gauntlet” is basically asking for trouble. Great, what was I going to face here?

(Note: This video is an experimentation with a voiceover instead of a picture-in-picture.)

NONE OF THIS IS WHAT I EXPECTED. First of all, the Guardian wasn’t evil, which was the first sign that Kolgrim and his followers were full of shit. Wait, what am I saying? This was the BILLIONTH sign that something was deeply wrong with all of them. And then the Guardian started asking really personal questions. Holy shit, is this the Gauntlet? Well, I’m uncomfortable right now. How the fuck do you know about Shianni WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? Oh my god, he really does get straight to the goddamn point, doesn’t he? I think Wynne’s response to his questioning was my favorite, both because she called him out for his shitty way of asking leading questions and because she was so honest. Wynne, for real, when is our wedding ceremony?

Morrigan’s getting on my last nerve, but lord, she’s really happy with me. This whole mission is like her favorite thing I’ve ever done. And you know, as an atheist myself, I do love subversive takedowns of religion, but Morrigan’s dedication to being totally amoral about this isn’t my favorite thing in the world. I was glad the Guardian simply let her go past so we could get started.

As you can see, I was shocked by this line of questioning, and then I was UTTERLY STOKED to answer some riddles. Well, I wouldn’t exactly call some of those things riddles. Perhaps I’m just being bigoty because I clearly couldn’t figure out the first few. But I think I got half of them! YES!

I didn’t film the bridge part because… well, I may have taken a long time. Like, a really long time. Like HALF AN HOUR TO FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS OF THAT FUCKING PUZZLE. I spent most of the time thinking that if I aligned all four of them perfectly, then it would appear as a solid and then EVERYONE WINS. It wasn’t until I realized that only three solid pieces could appear at a time that I came to the conclusion that one character had to walk across the bridge. WHOOPS. Then I messed it up once when I accidentally had the wrong character get off their block and then LOOK OKAY. I EVENTUALLY FIGURED IT OUT. That’s all that matters! Apparently, I can beat Portal 2 rooms in five minutes, but this one simple puzzle nearly ruined me.

(Note: This video is an experimentation with a voiceover instead of a picture-in-picture.)

Actually, that’s a lie. See, Shianni appears next, confuses me, and then I reach what will probably be the most difficult thing this game will ever give me: I had to fight myself.

Fuck this. Fuck it forever, and may I never have to do it again forever and ever and ever. I died thirty-seven times before I came up with a solution. I went over my allotted hour, and I was so mad and frustrated that I refused to stop. I was going to break my own rule purely out of spite. No matter what technique I tried, I got slaughtered on a level I still can’t even comprehend. Did those mage-ghosts of Wynne and Morrigan have unlimited mana? How were they able to cast spells so fast??? And how come Alistair was all of a sudden the tank I wanted him to be?

So I say this with absolutely no shame: I changed the difficulty to Casual just to make it past this part.

I truly don’t care. I refuse to let a massively complex and challenging part of the game ruin this for me. This is new to me, I’m not that good, and by gods, I wanted to see how Haven ended. Everyone wins this way.

Truthfully, they did! I beat the weird dopplegangers in less than 30 seconds. I felt satisfied. I immediately changed the difficulty back to normal once I passed this and saved the game, and then I faced my final challenge: nudity.

Well, partial nudity. I love that when Roslin takes off her clothes, she’s stained with the blood of her enemies. I’ve heard that’s good for your skin. Anyway, how pleasant is the end of Haven??? No big boss battles or anything! Of course, I didn’t pour blood into the ashes because fuck that. And when Kolgrim angrily confronted me outside the temple, I simple cut him down. Wow, he’s not so hard to beat when he doesn’t have the worst mages ever surrounding him, right?

All in all, this was a goddamn treat, despite that I nearly rage-quit at one point. I WILL NOT LET THIS GAME RUIN ME.

So!!! I can now take VIDEO COMMISSIONS for this game and any other game that I can play on the PS3! You can purchase a video for only $25 in my store, and once I get a receipt that you’ve bought a video, I will email you to ask what you want. Now, I realize that this site brings with it a precarious situation. Some games, like this one, don’t have defined levels, so it won’t be easy to tell me what you want filmed without spoiling me. In the case of Dragon Age, you can tell me the name of any DLC you want me to film. If it’s a specific part I’ll have to complete, try to be vague? Hahaha, this is absurd, I KNOW, but I promise it’ll work out! For example, you could say that you want me to film my final confrontation in Haven, or the Proving in Orzammar, which are all things that don’t spoil me simply by saying the name because WHAT DO THOSE MEAN. Make sense? Awesome!

If you are worried that I’ve gotten to a part already (since I write posts 4-5 days in advance), feel free to email me at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail to ask me where I am! ONWARDS TO VICTORY!

I have also compiled all my Mark Plays videos (including the Portal 2 ones) into one playlist, so all future Mark Plays videos will go there!

My Character Stats

So, in the midst of making five videos, I FORGOT TO TAKE A SCREENSHOT OF MY STATS. Oh gosh, I’m sorry, y’all, but have five videos instead??? ILU.

Mark Links Stuff

– You can follow me on Twitter for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
– You should read this very important post about supporting Mark Does Stuff!
– I have just released Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for $4.99!
– I’ve started reading The Shoebox Project for Mark Reads, the first fanfic “series” I’ve ever covered! Join me!

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