In the twenty-sixth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I head to Orzammar with Shale, where I finally experience (some) of the Deep Roads. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.
I absolutely do not regret swapping out Shale for Alistair. Do I miss Alistair’s whining or his fights with Morrigan? Sure. They’re entertaining. But within thirty seconds of picking up Shale, they stomped on a chicken and shrugged at me, as if they meant to say, “Well, what am I supposed to do? I’m a golem.”
I didn’t think it was possible, but Shale is the sassiest, most sarcastic character in the entire game, and I am 100% positive of this. Their voice is scathing, and everything they say to me is dripping in wit and snark. I love Shale so much! They have no hope in me achieving my plan to defeat the darkspawn, yet they stick around purely because I’m interesting. Bless. They also were quite excited that I equipped them with fire crystals for their armor and weapons because they gave Shale a slimming effect. Seriously, how is this character so incredible???
Anyway, I spoke to Shale a couple of times during this hour, but for the most part, I was completely preoccupied by the Deep Roads. Well, there was yet another moment on the way back to Orzammar where my party was attacked by darkspawn. Y’ALL ARE SO MAD AT ME. Just wait until I destroy you at the end of this game, I swear. And I honestly think I’ll be able to do that because the group I’ve assembled is ridiculous. Right before I entered the mines, I gained a new companion: HELLO, OGHREN. He starts things off well by insulting me and my appearance before begging me to take him along. Oh, so that’s how you’re going to play this, right? So despite that he didn’t make a good first impression, I thought that it might be prudent to take a dwarf down into the mines. He seemed to know a lot about the Anvil of the Void, and apparently that’s related to golems. Wow, how stoked will Shale be? COMPLETELY STOKED is the right answer. Oh gosh, what if they find a golem friend to have a budding romance with? I approve already.
The Deep Roads are yet another part of this game that impresses me from a design perspective. The area is massive and looks nothing like any of the other levels. Molten lava flows underneath sandy colored bridges made of stone. The entire place is brightly lit, which makes it kind of creepy, too. I’m so used to dark corridors and things hiding in the shadows that I’m unnerved by the Deep Roads. I went to Aeducan Thaig first, and nearly got lost twice. Jesus, these maps are like labyrinths. Where’s David Bowie’s crotch? Am I going to have to fight that next? I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the boss at the end of this. I mean, seriously, in one of the chests, I found a bag of limbs. WHY IS THIS EVEN A THING THAT EXISTS IN THE FUCKING GAME??? I really don’t want to know what this is for, do I? OH GOD.
I was also rather ecstatic about my party during this entire hour. The combination of Shale and Oghren is UNBELIEVABLE. They could crush deepstalkers or Gemlocks with a SINGLE HIT. We absolutely fucking DECIMATED everything we came across. I also earned so much XP from disarming traps, which is fantastic. I’m almost to level 16 with Roslin! Morrigan leveled up to 15 AND NOW SHE HAS CRUSHING PRISON. I have wanted this since I was able to shapeshift into a mage during the Fade part of the Circle of Mages, AND NOW SHE HAS IT. Oh my god, do you realize how fun it is to be able to customize so many characters??? I’ve never played a game like this in my life. It’s brilliant!
My party then made its way to Caridin’s Cross, an epic roadway UNDERGROUND. I can’t get over how cool this is! I unfortunately didn’t get to explore all that much because I spent nearly 45 minutes exploring Aeducan Thaig, but I did manage to BEAT A REVENANT! WITHOUT DYING. IT TOOK LIKE 15 SECONDS. I AM SO PROUD OF MY PARTY. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. Oh my god, I remember the first time I conjured one up, and I thought it was the end of the world. Now, they ain’t shit, y’all.
I’m interested to find out exactly what this Anvil is and who Branka is as well. Onwards I go!
My Character Stats
Damage dealt: 97004
Friendly-fire damage dealt: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 32
Hit rate: 85
Most powerful foe slain: Revenant (FUCK YEAH, TAKE THAT.)
The only change to any approval numbers was to Shale, who gained +12 over three conversations. They like me.
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