Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 32

In the thirty-second hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I clean up Denerim and learn why the Antivan Crows sent Zevran after me in the first place. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Thirty-Two

The depth of this game will always astound me. It’s been at least two weeks since I last wrote about the Antivan Crows or spoke about the blood mages in the Deserted Building in Denerim. Yet because Dragon Age allows you to discover this story in whatever order and way that you want, I get to decide how it’s told. I mean, hell, isn’t that one of the best things imaginable? You get to decide how much of the story you get. I choose to interact with characters often, but I’m not one to sit and read all the Codex updates that I get. For some players, that is your thing, and it gives you a deeper understanding of this world. And you can certainly play the game without doing anything but the major Blight missions, too, and that story will be different than mine.

THAT IS JUST SO AWESOME TO ME. I really do want to wrap up as much as I can before I do the Landsmeet only because… well, this is it. This is the only time I can play this game truly unspoiled, and while I’m sure I’ll discover plenty of other rad things with a different origin story, it’s never going to be like the first time. So I want to experience as much of this as possible! Anyway, here’s what I got done this hour:

  • I hadn’t left Orzammar yet when I realized that one of the Trial of Crows contracts was in the Royal Palace. Did you know I had never once been inside the Palace??? OH SHIT, MORE FUN STUFF TO DISCOVER. OFF TO MURDER AMBASSADOR GAINLEY!
  • Hahaha, you bet I activated that Revenant, and you bet my party slaughtered the fuck out of him. I can’t believe there was a time when Revenants were the most difficult enemies in the game.
  • Ran into someone named Vartag in the palace, who called upon his fellow Bhelen followers to try and kill me. DUDE, YOU ARE LITERALLY IN THE PALACE OF THE NEW KING, DON’T YOU THINK THIS IS RATHER TERRIBLE OF AN IDEA? Oh wait, you can’t, you’re dead.
  • All right, time to return to Denerim. Why can’t I go back in the Alienage??? Still? Ugh, there better be a reason for this.
  • OH SHIT, STOPPED ON THE WAY TO DENERIM AND FOUGHT DOUBLE OGRES. There’s a double rainbow joke in there somewhere, but I’m too lazy to make it.
  • Gave Sister Justine some scrolls I found. She was stoked, but got mad when I asked for money. For real? I died like thirty times since I got those scrolls. I WORKED HARD FOR YOUR MONEY.
  • Oh yes, gave Wade some more dragon scales CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HE MAKES FOR ME NEXT.
  • Okay, went to visit Master Ignacio, having killed Gainley. I was excited to see what he’d give me for completing all my tasks, but then he tells me he has one more: stop a ransom swap organize by Arl Howe. All right, that shouldn’t be too hard, right? Kill a few dudes, get some treasure and shit, and be on my way.
  • NOPE. NOPE. Holy fuck, why are Arl Howe’s men so fucking difficult to kill? After dying four times, I gave up and reduced the difficulty to Casual. I care not about my pride. I wanted to get the hell out of this place and move on. That made it somewhat easier, but half my party STILL died. Jesus. It’s so strange when the game becomes so challenging this quickly!
  • Before I headed back to the main part of Denerim, I thought it would be wise to visit that Deserted Building I passed up weeks ago because it was too hard to beat. My party was much stronger, so I figured we’d make a clean sweep of the place. AND I WAS ACTUALLY RIGHT! I noticed that most of the corpses of those I killed hours upon hours before were still laying around. That’s kind of fascinating to me, that there’s a history to the various places I’ve visited that’s permanent. So I breezed right through this, killing all the blood mages, including Luther. TAKE THAT. I RULE, YOU DROOL.
  • I returned to Master Ignacio to receive my reward and ask him what the fuck was up with that bizarre ransom hand-off. He was fairly tight-lipped until I convinced him to open up, and I’m glad I did. The Antivan Crows initially supported Loghain, and that’s why they took a contract out on me. Unfortunately, once they realized how awesome I was, they couldn’t cancel it. Ignacio explains that it’s a cultural standard that the Antivan Crows follow through with every contract, no exceptions. And while that certainly sucks, I’m stoked that the game provides me with a context for Zevran’s behavior.
  • God, I want to do a playthrough with a mage and have Zevran be my rogue. THIS WOULD RULE.

For the next hour, I’m heading out to the Brecilian Forests to wrap up a few missions, and then it’s time to go to Redcliffe. Oh god, IT IS ENDING.

My Character Stats

Strength: 27+6
Dexterity: 26+12
Willpower: 22+2
Magic: 14+2
Cunning: 24+7
Constitution: 26+2

Heroic Stats

Kills: 602
Damage dealt: 136453
Friendly fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 29
Hit rate: 87
Most powerful foe slain: Revenant
Injuries: 21

Mark Links Stuff

– You can follow me on Twitter for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
– Mark Plays video commissions are only $25! You can provide me with map locations or directions of what you want to see me do as long as you don’t spoil plot points for me!
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– 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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29 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 32

  1. ensignkt says:

    "Jul pna’g V tb onpx va gur Nyvrantr??? Fgvyy? Htu, gurer orggre or n ernfba sbe guvf."

    V znl unir ynhturq nybhq rivyyl ng guvf.

  2. cckerberos says:

    Ur unfa'g npghnyyl tbggra n qentba fpnyr lrg, evtug? Whfg qenxr fpnyrf?

  3. Ryan Lohner says:

    Yeah, one of my few real problems with this game is the random spikes in difficulty. Even playing on casual the whole way through, there were several spots that I could only get through by cooking up a fuckton of lesser health potions and setting everyone to take one when they dropped past 50%. Of course, I wasn't nearly as thorough as this, so my party was probably pretty below what it should have been at any point.

    • You basically have to play through at least once to learn all the hard spots and plan to keep them later in your play. I mean not that you SHOULD have to but basically if you want to avoid those spike's that's the way to do it. Otherwise you just have to bash your head against the wall until something works.

  4. BornIn1142 says:

    I noticed that most of the corpses of those I killed hours upon hours before were still laying around.

    The game seems sort of inconsistent about which corpses stick around, which ones decompose and which ones just disappear.

    • accidentalbeard says:

      DA2 spoilers: Gur zbfg nzhfvat/ovmneer rknzcyr bs guvf, V guvax, vf Sraevf' znafvba. Qhqr xvyyf bss n ohapu bs rarzvrf va gurer naq yrnirf gur pbecfrf gb ebg ba gur sybbe sbe jung, GRA lrnef? V qba'g xabj vs vg'f whfg n qrfvta birefvtug be n pbzzragnel ba Sraevf' jvar-obggyr-fznfuvat jnlf, ohg vg'f fgenatr rvgure jnl.

      • Sybylla says:

        I can't remember the name of it, unfortunately, but I read a fanfic that made some very amusing use of that little quirk.

  5. accidentalbeard says:

    I want to do a playthrough with a mage and have Zevran be my rogue.

    That's what I did this time, and it was pretty great. Zevran always has an entertaining comment to add to any conversation.
    Also, I want to point this out because I find it hilarious – when you ask Zevran why you should spare his life, one of the skills he lists is lockpicking. You know how many levels of lockpicking he comes with? ZERO. Way to bluff, dude. But once I got that skill leveled up I could bring him along and enjoy his company.

    Companion spoilers: Vf Znex tbvat gb zvff *nyy* gur pbzcnavba dhrfgf? V ernyvmr gurl nera'g erdhverq gb pbzcyrgr gur tnzr, ohg gurl nqq fb zhpu gb lbhe haqrefgnaqvat bs gur punenpgref. V qvqa'g rira gevttre Jlaar'f dhrfg ba zl ynfg eha guebhtu gur tnzr naq gevttrerq vg ol nppvqrag whfg nsgre gur Ynaqfzrrg. V'z fb tynq V tbg gb frr gung vffhr erfbyirq sbe ure. Pbzcnavba dhrfgf ner fbzr bs zl snibevgr cnegf bs gur QN tnzrf; V'ir whfg haybpxrq n srj va Njnxravatf gung V'z rkpvgrq gb erfbyir.

    • BornIn1142 says:

      Yes, that seems to be rather unfortunate. Fbzr bs gur guvatf ur'f zvffvat pbhyq unir na rssrpg ba gur bhgpbzr bs gur raqtnzr nf jryy. Ur'yy arire trg gur punapr gb uneqra Nyvfgnve, jvyy ur?

      • Eliestav says:

        What seems to be the most shocking to me is that he isn't in a romance with anyone considering how many of those I fall into by accident.

      • ferafaces says:

        V qvqa'g rira xabj vg jnf na bcgvba hagvy zl 3eq cynlguebhtu. V whfg ybirq uvz fb zhpu V jnagrq gb or uvf dhrra sberire. </3

        V qvq gur Zbeevtna'f onol guvat gur 2aq gvzr guebhtu. Juvpu jnf perrcl naq njrfbzr ng gur fnzr gvzr.

    • Herefox says:

      Ur'f tbggra Zbeevtna'f ohg V'z abg fher vs ur'yy qb vg be abg.

    • stumpoman says:

      jryy vg qvq gnxr uvz gur infg znwbevgl bs gur tnzr gb svaq bhg gung lbh pna gnyx gb pbzcnavbaf. V qba'g xabj vs gurer jvyy or rabhtu gvzr yngre gb gevttre nyy bs gurz be vs ur rira jvyy gnyx gb gurz va gur pnzc ntnva

      • elenuial says:

        From the perspective of the game, that doesn't matter. It's just whether he takes the time to do it before a certain point.

    • JackoDaGreat says:

      Znlor jr pna pbaivapr uvz gb qb "Znex Er-cynlf Qentba Ntr". Nygubhtu ur cebonoyl unf rabhtu ba uvf cyngr.

  6. guest_age says:

    I highly recommend playing as a mage and having Zevran be your rogue. Granted, I'm biased because that is how I almost always play, but still! :-D

  7. Peter says:

    YBY lrf, gurer'f n ernfba lbh pna'g tb gb gur Nyvrantr, Znex.

    I never agreed to go on missions for the Antivan crows, so I completely missed those bits of dialogue. It is so interesting (and so well-designed) that you can experience the game so diversely based upon what you choose to do with your character.

    Nyfb, Znex vf fgvyy cynaavat gb gb gur Jneqraf' Xrrc naq Bfgntne QYP'f, evtug?

  8. cogsandcurls says:

    Guvf vf znxvat zr rire fb fnq. Vg'f zber be yrff varivgnoyr gung Mriena'f tbvat gb fvqr jvgu Gnyvfvra, vfa'g vg? V zrna, Ebfyva unfa'g rknpgyl obaqrq uneq jvgu uvz.

    Mri :( V ubcr Znex fgvpx gb uvf thaf naq ernyyl QBRF qb n Mri-pragevp cynlguebhtu, rira nsgre orvat orgenlrq ol uvz gur svefg gvzr.

  9. Passing by says:

    Mark's remark (totally not intentional, I swear) on Dragon Age's optional depth in its story reminded me of what Yahtzee said about Unys-Yvsr. (Rot13'd due to it being in the confirmed list). Though, in that case it's more a matter of whether the player is willing to immerse themselves and listen to all the back-ground dialogue, rather than seek out optional encounters.

  10. ferafaces says:

    I love how you haven't even finished yet and you're looking forward to the next playthrough. I did the same thing with DA2. I reallyreally wanted a mage until I played one, then I hated it.

    • elenuial says:

      In my case, I hated switching to Morrigan and Wynne, but once I built my own mage from scratch, I really enjoyed it. I think adding each spell myself and playing with it for a while before getting the next one helped in my case.

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