Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dragon Age: Origins Chapter 1 - Chaotic Stupid is Always a Good Time

Yes, that's right - the next game is Dragon Age: Origins. For those of you who aren't aware, this is a BioWare game that came out in 2009 (and was IGN's 2009 Game of the Year, unsurprisingly). If you've never played a BioWare game before, it features a romance system as well as a good/evil system (although not as overtly good/evil as previous games of BioWare's, like KOTOR or the Baldur's Gate series). But, anyway. In this game, you play as a Grey Warden trying to save the kingdom of...well, screw it, let's just start the post. In this game, I'll be playing as what I like to call a "Chaotic Stupid" character who will always make the worst possible decision in everything he does, if not an outright crazy decision.

Also, I really do not like the new Blogger interface. Ugh.

Okay, anyway. First off I had to create my character. Meet everyone's favorite swordsman/ladykiller, Human Noble Lawrence "Larry" Cousland. Since this will be the fourth time I've played through the game, I decided to play as a guy this time just to change things up.

I hope that's the right size to be readable. I opted to give him the "Suave" voice option, because why not?

Okay, anyway. As a Human Noble, our friend Larry is a member of the powerful Cousland noble family of Ferelden.

As our story begins, the Couslands' older son Fergus is preparing to leave with his father and most of the family's soldiers to go fight darkspawn (this game's version of orcs, basically).

So, let's go see what's going on inside the keep, shall we?

I should mention that I forgot to turn the game's subtitles on before this intro, and I can't really remember what anyone was really talking about during this scene. Subtitles will eventually show up after someone talks if you wait long enough, so there are some in here, but the beginning part, far as I can remember, it's Duncan babbling on about the Blight and darkspawn and fulfilling your duty or something.

Time to meet Arl Howe, the game's resident douchebag! He's made even more douchey by the fact that he's voiced by Tim Curry. Supposedly, his troops are on the way to rendezvous with the Cousland soldiers so they can all go slaughter darkspawn together, but his troops have been "mysteriously" delayed. Suspicious.

And here's the Cousland family patriarch whose name I've forgotten. Now I think they were talking about how they weren't sure if the darkspawn invasion is a true Blight or not, since there's no archdemon. Wait, was that later in the story? Now I can't remember. Damn, where are my subtitles?

Ah, our intrepid hero enters the story. Arl Howe looks thrilled that the younger Cousland heir is a ginger.

Yay, subtitles! Let's go with a petulant "would-rather-be-out-hunting or banging the ladies" response.

After I was presumably reprimanded for acting like a spoiled brat, Duncan entered the scene! He's the head Grey Warden in Ferelden. Which means he's a Big Deal.

I'm forced to restrain myself from acting like a fool in front of such a Big Deal guy.

Oh, wait. That's insulting them. Dammit! Dad isn't happy.

Well, anyway, turns out the Grey Wardens are actually an order of warriors who, inexplicably enough, are essential tools in the fight against the darkspawn. Okay, cool.

Looks like Duncan forgave me. Oh, wait, he's here to recruit for the order? And he wants me to join? No thanks, bro.

Yes! Daddy will protect me! And I don't want to join your stupid order anyway.

So then Dad started talking to me about random stuff and then told me to go find my brother Fergus.

Right, because he and the arl have important things to discuss. Also, Arl Howe has a pretty daughter named Delilah that Larry would like to bone. Ahem, I mean marry.

Cool. Can you tell her to marry me?

Oh, come on. I'd make a great son-in-law.

Oh, fine. Can I just ravish her instead?

...oh. That sounds kind of ominous, actually. Well, let's move on.

So I wandered off to find my brother. But first, some guy in armor interrupted my wanderings with urgent news!

Aside from the fact that I apparently caught him mid-blink, this is indeed urgent...I guess. What's that damn dog gotten himself into this time? And why can't you take care of it yourself?

Oh. Well, fine. Let's go see what's going on.

Okay, well, let's go into the larder and see what's going on, you silly woman.

The dog is sneaking around and...he's found rats! Good thing two guys with swords are here to kill the rats. Did I mention they're giant rats?

Exactly, guy-with-a-sword-whose-name-I-can't-remember.

No, actually, but if he had, those rats were easily big enough to replace the roast. Mmm, rat for dinner!

Okay, well, back to what I was supposed to be doing, which was finding my brother. But while I was looking for him, I ran into my mom (the one on the left) and some other sycophants!

Oh, right. Dad's name is Bryce. I need to remember that.

Time to break out the sarcastic responses.

You said it, dog. Oh, yeah, I named the dog Fluffy.

So then Mom introduced me to the other lady, but I didn't catch her name.

Hahaha! I'm such a scamp.

And then her son joins in! Excellent. And who's that pretty little morsel standing behind him?

Oh, I see. She's the other lady's chambermaid. Well, the conversation ended after that, but I made a point of seeking out the lady's son and the chambermaid where they were hanging out in the library.

Indeed. Well, let's get down to business. I want to see you later.

Don't mind if I do. And call me Larry.

So, after that was all taken care of, I finally wandered up to my brother's room, where he, his wife and their son were waiting for me to show up.

Silly child! Swords aren't for kids!

Alas, Fergus's heart is heavy. Clearly he thinks something bad is going to happen. Ooh, foreshadowing.

And then I caught him mid-blink. Oops. I feel like there's going to be a pattern of this with this game. Oh well.

I don't remember what the exact conversation here was. But how do you know I don't already have a chick in my life, brother?

Touche. Well then, why don't you just get out of here?

But what's this? Our parents are walking into the room?

Hmm. I just noticed Bryce's shirt has a hole in the back of it. I'd expect better of the second most powerful noble in Ferelden.

Hah. I'm always the cynical one. And then they started talking about wenches and ale.

So then everyone looked all scandalized and Bryce had to fix the conversation.

HAHAHAH! Okay then. And after that illuminating was time for bed, and night fell.

All is quiet and peaceful at Cousland Castle...

But suddenly, something wakes us up! What could it be?? Fluffy is all upset, so the girl heads to the door to check it out...

...and suddenly gets shot in the throat by some bad guys out in the hall! Time to do battle! Fortunately, I had time to put all my clothes back on and grab a sword. Punching these guys to death would have taken way too long.

Wait a minute. Those are Howe's soldiers! Oh, the outrage! That bastard is going down! Or so says Mom, who just showed up wearing a bunch of armor. Well, I'm glad to see she's no shrinking violet.

Ooh, and she agrees with my character assessment of Arl Howe.

That's...actually kind of bloodthirsty. Oh well.

So we decided to fight our way out of the castle (and find Dad) but first we had to check on Fergus's family, with tragic results.

Arl Howe is such a jerk! He's totally going down.

After that horrifying discovery, Mom and I decided to fight our way down to the castle's main room and see if we could find Dad there. Along the way, we found a random servant practically pissing his pants with fear and got him to fight with us.

All he had was a dagger, but he seemed to be doing pretty well. And at last we made it to the...I guess you could call it some sort of throne room. But Dad wasn't there!

Afterward, it was time for a quick chat with the random knight guy who went with me to get the dog out of the larder.

Great. So, where's Dad?

...This castle isn't all that big. So the whole time we were looking for him, he was looking for us, but none of us managed to find each other? Okay then.

So we fought our way to the kitchen larder, where we found...

...Dad. Oh, that doesn't look good at all.

Since we're close to the servants' exit, Mom and I tried to convince him to flee, but he was having none of it, since he was, you know, bleeding out. But at least we tried. And then Duncan showed up!

Amusingly enough (or not...) Bryce's puddle of blood kept appearing and disappearing throughout this cutscene.

But Duncan, master bargainer that he is, wouldn't help us unless Bryce promised I'd join the Grey Wardens. Hey!

But I don't WANNA join the Grey Wardens!

Ugh...fine. I'm going to regret this, aren't I?

Whatever. Can we go yet?

I think Fergus will be okay. But we aren't really just going to leave Dad to bleed to death all by himself, are we?


Dad doesn't want you to stay either! Come with us so I don't have to become an orphan!

Alas, she can't be convinced. She said her place was with Bryce, at his side until death and beyond. How sweet.

And then Dad started writhing around in pain and it became clear that it was time for us to go.

How touching. But it really is time to go.

So we ran away down the corridor, and I took one last glance back at my soon-to-be-murdered parents...

Miraculously, we were somehow able to escape Howe's men without dying. Well, as the main characters, I guess we do have plot armor. of us does. Dun dun DUNNNNN!!!

And that's the end of today's post. Next time: Ostagar!

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