In the Dragon Age DLC “The Golems of Amgarrak,” I should not be surprised by how disturbing this is. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age.
The Golems of Amgarrak
HADSHF;J HA AHASDFS A;D
CAN THE GENERAL THEME OF DRAGON AGE JUST BE “Everyone makes terrible choices for their own benefit that always backfire and created mutated terrors”? Because GOOD LORD. “The Golems of Amgarrak” essentially follows the same pattern as most of the main storylines of Dragon Age: you go on a journey with a specific purpose, there’s a ~mystery~, and then everything is fucked up forever. Hey, if something works, there’s no need to change it!
It was great to have a dwarf-centric DLC, especially one that was in Orzammar and dealt with golems. Plus, I really do love stories that are basically mystery missions where you have to go rescue people who ~never came back.~ So, the Alien movies and tons of science fiction films, you know? Jerrik Dace contacts Roslin to assist him in venturing to a place called Amgarrak to learn what Caridin was doing down there long ago and to find his brother Brogan. I AM DOWN. I even got to import my level 33 version of Roslin from Awakening!!! THIS RULES.
HELLO, SNUG. LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS.
I got the sense from the past DLC missions that this wouldn’t last more than a couple hours, but I was still surprised how weird this was in the very beginning. After defeating a very small group of darkspawn, shit got bizarre, y’all. There were all these blue chests scattered about that shimmered and were inaccessible. Then I spotted a few doors with this weird pink/purple hue to them, and none of this made any sense. And as I found more and more of Darion’s journals, I understood pretty much nothing. Why were there these ghastly representations of Brogan’s men? And was that skittering lizard thing that kept running away from us? Why were there so many mentions of lyrium? I HAD SO MANY QUESTIONS, and none of them were being answered! Then I came across this:
What the fuck is going on? How come we can see Brogan and hear him, but we can’t interact with him? Is this like those weird ghostly memories in other parts of Dragon Age? I thought this might be the case, but why were they blue?
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PHANTOMS AROUND????
A PILE. A LITERAL PILE OF CORPSES. WHAT DID THE DWARVES DO DOWN HERE, AND WHY DO I HAVE TO GO FIND OUT WHAT THIS ALL IS??? This seems so unfair!
IF I DO SOMETHING WITH THIS, IS PINHEAD GOING TO SHOW UP? This is some Hellraiser shit, I swear. So I decided WHAT THE HELL and went ahead and activated the switch. Instantly, my entire world was awash in that same bluish hue that was previously only surrounding certain doors and chest. Is this like a lyrium parallel universe or something???? Or is this some weird dimension in the Fade? I DON’T EVEN KNOW. But I guessed (correctly!) that this probably meant that all those chests and doors were now accessible in this realm. OKAY, THIS TOTALLY RULES. I traced my way backwards, fighting REVENANTS ARE YOU SERIOUS and these strange Lieutenants that were fairly tough if not for the fact that Roslin has the Unending Flurry skill, which is the GREATEST thing against big bosses because THE ATTACKS ONLY END WHEN ROSLIN RUNS OUT OF STAMINA. Oh my god, why wasn’t this available all the time? Not fair!
I also found Brogan, who was unfortunately suffering from the mental degradation that comes with exposure to high amounts of lyrium. Poor guy was fucked up. But he still joined my party! I also found a ton of enhancements for my Runic Golum. My god, that thing ruled. A golem who can essentially act like a mage? THIS IS SO RAD. Again, I ended up wanting them for an entire playthrough of Dragon Age. Well, not to replace Shale, though. Shale rules. I still think she’s my favorite companion in the whole series.
Anyway, it was around this time that I started hearing about the Harvester. Great, another ambiguous name meant to inspire fear in me! Well, it’s working. This was also when I got totally stuck for about ten minutes. I couldn’t figure out how to get into the next room, which was blocked by a purple barrier. Why was this one a different color? I actually discovered the answer to this entirely by accident when I tried to talk to Jerrik and mistakenly activated that lyrium switch a third time. Then this happened:
OH. OH MY GOD. Another dimension? Seriously, this DLC rules. After gaining access to the next section, fighting all kinds of spirits and golems, and (unfortunately) finding Darion’s body, the real reason Brogan never returned is revealed: Darion is fucked up. Well, Caridin was, too. My god, the Harvester is so awful. But even before I actually saw it, Jerrik was pretty upset that we’d have to destroy the Forge and with it, any more secrets that Caridin left behind. For real, do people in Ferelden just never learn that they shouldn’t experiment with powers greater than them? How many fucked up mutations or disasters am I going to have to fight?
I’d like to think that the Harvester is a reference to The Thing, because it sure looks like that monster and operates like it, too. Right?
Seriously. I doubt that the designers developed this in total ignorance to The Thing.
The Harvester had two “phases” that I had to beat: one in the body seen above, and then again when its head separated from its body. YEAH. Okay, no thank you. It wasn’t a challenging fight for a boss, but I blame that entirely on the fact that Roslin has the best set of skills and talents possible at this point for a Rogue. Sadly, the secrets of the Amgarrak are left behind when the place begins to cave in on itself. Though this isn’t before one whopper of a twist ending when I find out THE HARVESTER WASN’T ALONE.
PLEASE TELL ME THOSE THINGS WERE CRUSHED AND THAT I DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM IN DRAGON AGE II. Oh god.
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