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Well, darnit!

I'm done. :(

Yes, done with Dragon Age: Origins Awakening.

Well, the first playthrough. There will be more, I'm sure, to see other possible ways things can go, and finish up the few quests I didn't complete this time, and alladat. Not sure if that will be before, after, or alongside returning to FFXIII.

I'll probably do a non-spoilery review on Monday, for my usual "thing," unless someone wants one sooner. For now, a few spoily bits... mostly going to jot down how things went this time, before I forget, and a few spoilery observations here and there.

This includes spoilers for how the very game itself ends in multiple ways, so don't go there if you don't already know/want to know! I realize no one's probably going to read it yet, but I want to get it down while it's fresh, and I'll probably link to it again later, as more people finish up.

Edit: After thinking, I figured I should probably put the endings and rest of the musings under separate spoiler sections, so that people who end the game one way and want to play again can read the latter if they want, without spoiling themselves for other possible ways things can go/results of choices.

The game very much felt Dragon Age Lite, as desdenova (I think) put it, and felt a bit... truncated at the end. I mean, all of a sudden *boom* I'm getting shuffled off to the end-game, which is pretty damn short, and barely even find out a lot of what's happening until the usual texty bits telling you What Happened Next at the end. "Usual" in this case meaning "the same thing they did in the main game."

Anyhow, FINALLY at the very end (in said text), I got SOME mention of Zevran, who my character had romanced! It says basically that she was only Commander of the Grey for a short time because the threat was over, blahbity blah, her talents were best used elsewhere or something, and then says that according to some, she went to Antiva, possibly in pursuit of Zevran. Some rumors said that they had some kind of huge showdown in the capital, while others said they took over the Crows together, and the teaser is that perhaps they're still adventuring together somewhere...

Which in a way PISSES ME OFF because there was a more distinct ending at the end of the main game, which said he went off to help her with the Wardens and stuff, which he totally didn't! Bah! It was hard enough to get the guy not to backstab me, at least give me my possibly-happy ending and don't send him off right away again!

And they STILL didn't mention my damn dog!

*ahem* *breathes deeply*

Anyhow, the rest of the ending stuff:

I saved Amaranthine, it got hit hard, but rebuilt within a year because everyone was all loving all over the Warden's saving the town itself, and sent supplies. Yay me! Vigil Keep got hit very hard, but there were some survivors, and the horde never got inside the keep itself because I kicked ass at upgrading it, and the walls and well-armored soldiers held. It was rebuilt (and rebuilt well) within like five years.

My party at the end was me (duh, a mage for the record), Nate, Sigurn and Justice. (And during the final fight, I wished I'd brought a second healer, sheesh).Nate and Justice both approved of being brought along. And I imagine Sigurn, but she was maxxed out, so I didn't see if she did. Anders approved of being left behind (although he might have changed his mind after seeing the huge horde on his doorstep)... the rest didn't approve or disapprove of staying.

I mention that to mention how things went for each:

Oghren fought at the gates of the keep and passed out from blood loss, waking up later to find out he was being called a hero. However I didn't finish his little character quest thingy this time, so he and Felsi and his kid ended up estranged after she finally gave up trying to get him to settle down/take anything seriously.

V.. other-elf-mage-chick (I barely used her and can't remember her name, sorry!) ended up being buried by rubble during the attack, but when they went to dig her out she had vanished, no body or anything, so... that's a bit of a question mark.

Anders was considered a hero because of using his magics to help devastate the horde during the attack, and it says that after a couple years the Circle asked him to come teach about.. something or other. The Darkspawn, or his experiences as a Warder, or something, and he said that his time with the Warders was over. And then he ended up returning shortly after, because the Warders were his companions, and it was his home. How very... domestic. (The ending made no mention of Ser Pounce-A-Lot! *sulk* Man, the animals got short-changed this time!)

As for those that came with me, Sigurn apparently couldn't settle down after the final showdown, and finally ended up disappearing, probably to go back to continue her sworn duties as a Legion of the Dead member or something (I forget what exactly it said, just that it was surprisingly unhappy, considering!) This may have been because I left the Architect alive right in front of her, which pissed her off.

Justice went off on his own, to right wrongs and seek out justice for a couple years, then showed up on his, uh, body's wife's doorstep, and when she answered just dropped dead with a smile, so that she had a body finally to mourn and bury. It says that whether the spirit itself still exists at all, in this realm or in the Fade, is unknown. (So another question mark. There was party talk though between him and Nate about whether he could take over another willing body, leaving his current one, which seemed to make him thoughtful, so...)

Nathaniel ended up doing good things to help clear his name, and finally after he saved the life of Fergus Cousland (Hi Fergus! I remember you!) after he was attacked by bandits, the Howe's got some land granted back to them, which Nate deeded to his sister's son, and he ended up with a statue of him in the front. Go Nate!

Some other little things I remember from the ending were that Alec (the peasant that I had to judge for stealing, and sent into the army) ended up becoming a sort of folk hero, a peasant-turned-warrior, and started some order of the army or something that was renowned for thousands or years or something. I forget the details, but good on him.

There were mutterings about a conspiracy against the Wardens, and rumors that it was put down forcefully, which, yeah, I ended up kinda slaughtering the conspirators on a farm where they were meeting, so I can see that.

I ended up letting the Architect live, as I'd mentioned, so there were apparently mutterings from the other Wardens about that, but none of them could find him, and the Deep Roads were a lot quieter than they'd been in memory so the mutterings eventually just kinda died down.

Oh yeah, and the farmlands were hit somewhat hard, but not as bad as they would have been had they not been protected. There were however multiple riots, some of which were put down brutally, because I basically bought them off with food when they protested before, and it made them think that protests/riots were the answers to all their problems or whatever. Oopsie!

I also decided to go off and save Amaranthine and let the Keep stand for itself, as you also probably already gathered.

And like I said, my main character just ended up being Commander for a short while (I don't think it specified how long), then went off to do other things. (It doesn't say she was deposed or anything, just hinted that things were quiet and she wasn't really needed.)

Now, that out of the way, some observations:

Aside from the game seeming like a very mini-Dragon-Age, it seemed rushed not only for the... abruptness of the ending, but also the bugs here and there. Bugs I remember noticing:

-The Dog's entry in the Codex. It has no name!

-The whole Amaranthine city battle seemed buggy here and there... guards standing around instead of running off or fighting, some enemies popping up and then not taking damage or moving... I ended up even having to restart it once.

-Some character reactions/dialogue after quests or other events. Like after I saved the one merchant and got her to the Keep, she introduced herself once and went off... then when I went inside and came back out, she was there and introduced herself again. I think I saw something like this a few other places as well.

-The status of King Alistair/Queen Anora in some cases. In this game, Alistair had become King and then died in battle, and Anora was later crowned. (Re-crowned?) So at the start Anora showed up as proper, but then later on someone referenced King Alistair in dialogue.

-Upon getting Sigurn in the party for the first time, I presented her with one gift that I figured she'd like. It immediately gave her +100 approval. I suspect this was a bug!

-Once I recruited Sigurn and got her back to the Keep, there was no chance for her Joining! Talking to the Zubeneschamali* only gave the option to go on to the end game stuff, or go do other things, and she never got an actual Joining like the others did, although she was treated as a Grey Warden in all the end-game stuff. So.

Anyhow, a few other comments about the game itself:

I was pleased at the variety and difficulty of puzzly type things that actually made one stop and think in this game. Maybe not a HUGE number, but for the size of the game, a fair amount. And I never even did finish the one with the flaming stones in the Winding Woods.

Generally liked the characters. Was disappointed though by no romance. (Although I guess it's possible that you could romance someone, but I didn't let the conversation go those routes, since she was being faithful to Zevran, who was apparently totally going back on his whole "helping-out-with-the-Wardens thing!) Was also disappointed by the lack of being able to talk to characters in-depth except for at a couple specific places. Loved the party banter though.

I adored Nathaniel, and kept him in my party almost all the time both Just Because, and for the lockpicking skills I quickly gave him. I liked Anders a lot, although I ended up not using him much once I started getting other characters, just because I already had a healer mage, plus wanted to see how some of the other characters interacted. Justice was... okay. Interesting, but stuffy. Sigurn was the last one I got, so I didn't get to see as much of her (that was one problem, the end-game came pretty much right after the last leg of questyness!), but I really enjoyed her while I had her. Who would have expected a Legion of the Dead member to be perky? Oghren was... Oghren, not someone I'd want to hang out with in real life but hilarious to watch, and the elf chick was obviously in the woods so long she got a stick firmly wedged up her butt. (Maybe she borrowed it from Garrus after he was done beating people with it?)

The Keep itself was okay, although it was a bit annoying that I'd have to create a party and step outside the main keep to do Runecrafting with Anders, then go back in and have Enchanting done. It was like the Warden's Peak add-on, but a little fleshier, and with a haunted basement, so cool. Like I said though, I would have preferred being able to actually talk to your party members! And having a little seclusion for some nookie-time, even if this character wouldn't have made use of it! I also would have liked something... more from the other two characters standing with the Zubeneschamali since they each had like one thing they wanted you to do, then just stood around the rest of the game looking dumb. Well, the army commander dude saw a bit more action, but not much.

And as I said, I was a bit disappointed by the scope of, well, everything. The main quest seemed too short, and the side-quests seemed like very mini-versions of the main game's. The character quests for instance were cakewalks - although my mage's initial reaction on hearing about Anders' request was basically "oh fuck me, not AGAIN!" I mean, you get a quest to recruit merchants for the Keep, and it's a whole... two people? Oooh, ah, don't strain yourself there, Commander! And like one special gift for each character. *sulk again*

But I guess when the main complaint about the game is that it didn't last long enough and I wanted more, and when I'm planning to turn around and play it again either right away or Verra Soon, I can't really say too much bad about it? (Well, except that I wish they'd done more bug-hunting!)

*Do I need to footnote this again? The seneschal!

I'd intended to keep that brief, but so much for that idea! Oh well, hopefully someone will at *some* point at least read it and comment. ;) Like I said, I'll probably re-link it later. Maybe with further observations, if I end up playing through as another character.


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(Deleted comment)
Mar. 19th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
Yay desdenova!

Anyhow yeah, I think you can already tell I pretty much agree with all this. Maybe I got a bit more enjoyment out of it - partly because I plan to replay it a bunch - but yeah, for something that cost about as much as a "real" game, it was rather short and buggy. :(

At the same time though, it has a bunch of the elements of Dragon Age, so that in itself is a Good Thing.

But yeah, here's hoping they'll maybe fix some of the bugs and *gasp* maybe even flesh out the game a bit more with downloads (except I expect the latter would cost even more money!)
Mar. 19th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
Already? Damn girl, do you ever sleep? :D
Mar. 19th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
Occasionally! And unfortunately, it's really not all that long. :(
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