Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 28

In the twenty-eight hour of Dragon Age: Origins, Y’ALL ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THIS TO ME. I AM NOT OKAY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Twenty-Eight

I admit that I haven’t played that many video games. I haven’t! So coming from this sort of background, I really don’t have much to compare this particular story in Dragon Age to aside from the first Silent Hill game, a few parts in the Fallout games, *that* twist in Uncharted, and the brain-melting conclusion to Bioshock. I tried playing Dead Island just after it came out, but there were a lot of elements of gameplay that were just too frustrating for me, and I never ended up finishing the game. (One day I might return to it!) So I am admittedly very ignorant when it comes to the intersection of horror in video games. I think what’s ultimately so upsetting and frightening about the entire Dead Trenches storyline is that it comes so far out of right field that you didn’t even know the game would go there. I DIDN’T KNOW, OKAY? Oh my god, this fucked me up.

Let’s first start out with all FIVE videos I made for this hour, four of which are courtesy of one of my editors, Ryan Lohner, who commissioned me to film my experience in the Dead Trenches.

Part I: Searching For Branka

The Dead Trenches: Part 1

The Dead Trenches: Part 2

The Dead Trenches: Part 3

The Dead Trenches: Part 4

As you probably have figured out, if you add up how long each of the videos are, it’s over an hour. I COULDN’T JUST STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF FIGHTING THE BROODMOTHER, OKAY. I’m all for cliffhangering myself for dramatic effect, but that is too much to ask for. You will not hold this against me.

See, I wanted to film my experience finding Branka because I figured the writers for this game were hiding something from me. I was chasing after her ghost as far as I was concerned. Every time I thought I was getting closer to her, I’d only find evidence of her past. When I ran into Kardol and the Legion of the Dead, I assumed that they would direct me to the right place, but there were just as clueless as I was. So what exactly did Branka find down here, and why did she not return? Did the Anvil of the Void do something to her? Why would she risk facing all of the darkspawn down here?

The pieces weren’t adding up, and I had a feeling it was because I didn’t have all the pieces.

Searching Ortan Thaig and the Dead Trenches was occasionally challenging, and it was fun switching off between Morrigan and Roslin frequently. I know I can depend on Roslin to use her assassin skills to manage a battle, so I kept controlling Morrigan, using the Virulent Walking Bomb (HHHHAAAAYYYY UPGRADE TO SKILLS) to keep the enemy under control. Plus, I was consistently surprised by the various creatures and enemies the game made me face. But what the fuck was going on? It wasn’t until I’d gone through nearly every tunnel and into every cavern that I began to hear a poem. Yeah, this seems like something I should run from. But that’s the brilliance of what happens here: you expect Branka, but are instead greeted with someone named Hespith. In fact, by the end of this hour of gameplay, I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN BRANKA. Where is she??? What is she doing?

I don’t know how anything in this game can upstage what Hespith reveals to me. Like, I thought Ruck’s sad journey was bad enough; I thought the Abominations in the Tower were enormously fucked up. Hell, pretty much every single one of the main stories has some awful twist to it. But here, Hespith and Branka’s friend and companion was tainted with darkspawn blood/tissue and mutated into a thing called a Broodmother. SHE TORE HER HUSBAND’S FACE OFF, ATE IT, AND THEN DRANK HIS BLOOD. This is THE WORST THING IN THE WHOLE GAME AND I MAY NEVER RECOVER. Oh my god, if this happened to Laryn, what could possibly have happened to Branka? It appears that Hespith commits suicide out of guilt, so Branka is the only one left.

Y’all, I was truly not prepared for this. I AM VERY UPSET. So enjoy the videos of me exponentially losing my shit, and you can thank Ryan Lohner for making this happen. I have no words left, it’s 11:50pm, and I’m going to have horrible nightmares about this shit. FUCK.

My Character Stats

Strength: 27+4
Dexterity: 25+8
Willpower: 21
Magic: 14
Cunning: 21
Constitution: 25

Heroic Stats

Kills: 541
Damage dealt: 115444
Friendly-fire damage: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 30
Hit rate: 86
Most powerful foe slain: Revenant
Injuries: 18

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