Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 35

In the thirty-fifth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I’m not quite as close to the end as I thought I was. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Thirty-Five

Reminder: Mark Plays (and this site ONLY) will be taking Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23rd off from posting. Given that I write my posts in advance, I’m honoring Thanksgiving because I need to write the following week’s posts now because I’ll be in Los Angeles for five days, and I’ll be nowhere near my Playstation 3. BINGE WRITING IS IN EFFECT. Again, this is only for this site. Mark Watches and Mark Reads will have normal posts going up since I can still do writing away from home.

Oh, I have a lot of work to do before the Landsmeet is even called! I honestly expected to go to Arl Eamon, make it through the Landsmeet in one go, and that was that. How unprepared I proved to be. 

Before I went to Castle Redcliffe to talk to Arl Eamon, I explored the streets of Denerim for more hooded couriers. I still don’t understand why I can’t go back in my own Alienage. I CAME FROM THERE. IT’S MY HOME. STOP OPPRESSING ME. So I went to The Pearl first. Aside from finding another hooded courier and a chest I wasn’t able to open during my initial visit, there wasn’t anything else here. The same thing happened during my visit to the Dark Alley and the Run-Down Backstreet. There wasn’t anything new in the Deserted Building, so I was stuck with just four couriers find. Where’s the fifth one? Gah, I bet I can’t find them until I discover more places in Denerim. BOO. I DON’T LIKE HAVING AN OUTSTANDING MISSION.

The time finally came to go back to Arl Eamon at Castle Redcliffe. He invited me back to Denerim, which made me laugh because I was just there, dude. Still, it was interesting to see that the troops were already preparing for battle.

And just minutes later, a drowned rat shows up. I mean Loghain. They’re basically one and the same. Actually, Arl Howe’s face is the most punchable face in the whole game. But still! Ugh, I hate both of these characters so much. Loghain turned against the Grey Wardens, betrayed the throne, and is now trying to act like the Landsmeet is an affront to Ferelden. SHUT UP. SHUT YOUR FACE UP. And then Roslin realizes that Arl Howe is the Arl from the beginning of the game, the one who attacked the Alienage. So it was remarkably satisfying to tell him, “I’m really going to enjoy cutting your throat.” I WILL. I WILL EXPERIENCE JOY.

It’s here that I get the set-up for the end of the game. Arl Eamon wants to put Alistair on the throne, but the Landsmeet isn’t an easy process, and he sends me out to gather nobles to Alistair’s side. On top of that, Erlina, a servant of Queen Anora, arrives to tell me that the Queen is being held captive by Arl Howe, who hopes to pin her death on Arl Eamon. IT’S TIME FOR ME TO BE A SUPERHERO.

Initially, though, I was confused about Arl Eamon’s estates. Why was Zevran here? OH! IT’S LIKE CAMP. THIS IS AWESOME! I then found the rooms with the rest of my companions. I was not at all surprised that Oghren was in the dining room all by himself. YOU’RE JUST WAITING TO EAT, AREN’T YOU?

I decided that I should set out to convince some nobels that Loghain was a dirty rat face and rescue the queen, so I headed outside the estate. It’s awesome that I can now access this part of Denerim! Can the Alienage be next? That would be awesome. For now, though, I was focused on getting to Arl Howe’s estate to try and rescue the queen. Easier said than done, though, because I was stopped on the way there. I didn’t expect this to happen on a map for a smaller city, so I was even more shocked when Taliesen of the Antivan Crows showed up to attack me and my party. Damn it, I guess Master Ignacio was right. The Crows don’t just forget a contract, no matter what you do for them. But WHAT THE FUCK, WHY IS ZEVRAN ATTACKING ME? Aren’t I your friend, dude??? What are you doing? After we easily took down the Crows, I found Zevran’s body, and THIS HAS TO BE A MISTAKE. Is he really dead??? Ugh, I can’t even find out until I go back to Arl Eamon’s place.

Nervous about what might happen by the end of this game, I followed Erlina past the chaotic crowd outside Arl Howe’s place. Was I at all surprised that Howe wasn’t paying workers? No. That’s what people with punchable faces do – they do things that deserve punches in the face. I had to leave Shale behind because Shale can’t wear the guard’s uniform (BIGOTRY), so I swapped her out with Wynne. It did make me chuckle that Erlina was so insistent on us being dead quiet and inconspicuous about sneaking around back in order to get in the estate, and THEN WE KILL A BUNCH OF DUDES IN A REAL LOUD FIGHT. WHOOPS. Thankfully, this isn’t like sneaking around in Fallout 3, where the slightest noise or action can trigger people’s attention to you.

Which proved to be a real benefit once I was inside the estate. Thankfully, we could all just walk past the guards and head straight to Anora’s room. Despite that there were a lot of books and chests along the way, I didn’t want to risk it and trigger an attack. However, Anora’s room was sealed by magic! Blast! Hey, I’ve got two mages with me, can’t they try a counter spell? No? BOOOO.

So then it was time to find the mage who cast the spell, and it was at this point that I had to remind myself what game I was playing. This is Dragon Age: Origins. There is always a plot twist. Things can always get worse. I started to speculate: perhaps Anora was now an Abomination. Or another Broodmother. Or something else. What is the super fucked up angle going to be? WHO KNOWS?

I initially thought that the man who killed a guard from inside his own goddamn cell was the twist, but it turned out to be Riordan, a Grey Warden who was at Alistair’s joining! Fantastic! That’s a good sign! But just like earlier parts of the game, my singular quest suddenly became THREE SIMULTANEOUS MISSIONS. Apparently, the stores of darkspawn/archdemon blood have been stolen, leaving Riordan and any other surviving Grey Wardens unable to recruit any more Grey Wardens. So now I have to deal with that, too!

Damn it, my own ran out just after this cutscene. Oh boy, what am I going to find down in the dungeons? THIS SHOULD BE FUN.

My Character Stats

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

Heroic Stats

Kills: 615
Damage dealt: 141816
Friendly-fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 29
Hit rate: 87
Most powerful foe slain: Revenant
Injuries: 23

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