Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 43 – The Battle of Denerim

In the forty-third hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I DID IT!!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Forty-Three

I truly am in awe of this game. The final battle of the entire game wasn’t easy – and as you’ll see, it was an incredibly close call – but it was so goddamn entertaining. I was scared there for a moment that I’d have to repeat the battle with the archdemon over and over again, leading me to feel frustrated with the game, but in reality, I’m glad this was so difficult. You’re facing a massive darkspawn force, and the makers of this game took this seriously. I should feel overwhelmed. It shouldn’t be easy. Because of this, they truly made this feel like the war they’d been hinting at.

Oh god, I did so much. Once I got to the Palace District, I really felt like my party was on the same wavelength. We were slaughtering darkspawn in the most efficient way possible while staying alive. Over the course of this hour, I killed nearly 100 enemies. IN AN HOUR! That’s incredible, y’all. And I didn’t even kill the bulk of them. That’s how chaotic this was.

Also, this was looming in the distance:


No, he’s not, but let’s just talk about Fort Drakon, which should be renamed “Fort Dead Bodies Everywhere.”

what the

how can there be so many


Now you’re just being ridiculous for the sake of it. While this was distracting, it didn’t make me nervous. You know what did? THE GIANT FUCKING MAP OF FORT DRAKON.

Y’all know that I love exploring every room possible. This place was the worst for someone like me. I’d turn down a hallway and there would be four doors in a row. I had to mentally keep track of where I’d been, and then the game would throw another set of rooms on top of that. Guess what made it worse? Chests everywhere full of health poultices and lyrium potions and such. Oh. Oh, great. So something must be up ahead that’s totally awful and terrible, right? I assumed as much because at one point, I found Sandal. By himself. Covered in blood. Without Bodahn. What the fuck, WHERE IS BODAHN??? Of course, Sandal can only say, “Enchantment? Enchantment!” He didn’t help at all. Oh god, I hope Bodahn is still alive somewhere.

So, the moment finally came when I realized I’d explored every room on the second floor of Fort Drakon. One last door remained, and it was to the roof. Shit. I gave my party one final examination, making sure their tactics would be more effective against a single, giant enemy, and I took them up to the roof.

Shit. Shit. There it is. The Archdemon. I was fairly smart and economical for the first five minutes or so, switching between characters to keep their health up and using Morrigan at a distance. And then I must have pissed off the Archdemon because:

Yeah, it took Morrigan and Shale out in less than thirty seconds. With only 45 health poultices left, I decided to play it safe with Alistair and Roslin. And I was doing rather well, switching between the two of them, circling them around so they could buttstab the dragon, and then THE WORST THING EVER HAPPENED: an unbelievable horde of darkspawn and shrieks was set upon me. It seemed that no matter how many I beat, there were another ten or twenty closing in on us.

Easy to beat, yes, but time consuming and overwhelming. They’d swarm Alistair and I, and then that fucking coward Archdemon would sit on its perch and rain down… whatever that weird purple spell was. UGH. I went through ten health poultices just to keep the two of them alive! But I was determined to do this without dying once.

As you can see, Roslin finally kicked the bucket when the Archdemon was nearly dead. Here’s the real fun part: at that point, I’d used thirty health poultices to keep them alive. I had three left, and I chose to sacrifice Roslin rather than waste them. Alistair was a fantastic brick and could withstand far more attacks than she could, so I took a risk letting her die. So, with those three health poultices left, I went to work. It was agonizing. I was so terrified that this game of numbers wasn’t going to go in my favor. The Archdemon didn’t have much health, but after using those last three poultices, I had to hope I could use Alistair to beat this massive dragon before it beat me. When that finally happened, I – actually, hell, just look at this:

See how much health Alistair has? That’s all he had left when he finally jumped on the Archdemon’s back. I was fully convinced that I’d lost, that I’d have to do the entire thing over. Even worse, my hour time went off, and I was furious that I was going to have to split this goddamn fight over two posts. But Alistair, that glorious son of a bumblebee, he came through at the end, incapacitating the Archdemon, and allowing Roslin to run in murder that dragon’s face. She jumped into the air and sliced down the length of its neck, sending a bolt of powerful magic into the air:

and Alistair and Morrigan turned to stare at one another in shock.

As Morrigan promised, Roslin did not perish during this moment. Wherever that demon baby thing is, it took one for the team. I’m alive. Alistair is alive. Oh my god, WE FUCKING DID IT. WE DEFEATED THE ARCHDEMON.

The end sequence to this game is great because it’s not one giant cut sequence. There are still conversations to be had, well wishes to be given, and loving words from Alistair and Oghren and my lovely Wynne OH MY GOD.

First, though, I did ask for a boon from Alistair: I told him I wanted the elves in Denerim treated right for once. Bam, now I’m bann of the Alienage. But the more I thought about it, I realized that Roslin needed to do more than just be the bann. So I gave that power to Shianni as a reward for her bravery, and I told Alistair that I was sticking with the Grey Wardens. The darkspawn aren’t gone permanently, so I’ve got more work to do.

I spent some time saying goodbye to the party members left inside the hall at Redcliffe. All of them – even Sten!!! – had wonderful things to say to me. Oghren in particular even said he might be willing to go on another adventure with me. Once he sobered up, that is.

My hour had actually ran long ago, but fuck it. I wanted to get this all done in one review. The final cutscene is rather wordy, but I learned what happened to the rest of Ferelden in the wake of the defeat of the darkspawn. Man, poor King Harrowmont. Things didn’t turn out so good for him! Morrigan stuck to her word, and she disappeared. With a child. Oh god, what is that baby going to be like? But of all the panels, I liked this one the most:

It’s glad to be back, my fellow Grey Wardens.

Just a note about what order I’ll doing the remaining DLC: Witch Hunt, Leliana’s Song, The Darkspawn Chronicles, The Golems of Amgarrak, and then a full playthrough of Dragon Age: Awakenings. Oh god, I’M SO EXCITED.

My Character Stats

Strength: 28+6
Dexterity: 37+12
Willpower: 25+2
Magic: 14+2
Cunning: 24+2
Constitution: 29+2

Heroic Stats

Kills: 879
Damage dealt: 203188
Friendly-fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 29
Hit rate: 89
Most powerful foe slain: Arl Howe LOL
Injuries: 39

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