Daily Archives: January 26, 2011

Sympathizing with mages since 1983

I completely forgot how long quests in Dragon Age: Origins are, especially “Broken Circle,” which is the one where our dashing Grey Warden has to go to the Circle of Magi and try to recruit the templars or the mages to help fight off the darkspawn. Blasted quest took my entire night, but at least I was successful:

Magic Sympathizer (20G): Sided with the mages in “Broken Circle”

During my first playthrough (and only complete one at this point), I sided with the templars, but always felt bad about that. They’re kind of racist jerks with puffed out chests and arrogance on their chins shining like stars. I had, however, already had some bad experiences with a former friend who went down the blood mage path, and decided that they–as well as all other mages–needed to be washed clean.

The most frustrating part of “Broken Circle” is that it is surprisingly longer than necessary. See, the first part of the quest has the Grey Warden going up the tower, killing darkspawn, abominations, and evil blood mages. Standard stuff. Kind of mindless. Eventually, you can recruit a new character named Wynne, which I did this time around. She’s a bit wrinkly and old, but has a good heart; I suspect I’ll never use her, mostly because she’s not a sex option. Booooooring. Anyways, eventually you’ll get to the tower’s top and find yourself ready to do battle with a giant sloth demon. Three, two, one…FIGHT!

Or rather, no, don’t fight. You deserve a rest. Go on, take a nap. The floor is nice and sticky. Let the scary demon sing you a soft lullaby. There, there…

Right, instead of fighting the sloth demon, you are put to sleep, only to wake up alone in the Fade. The Fade is a horrible, blurry place where dreamers go to be tortured and tormented. Along with the player. It’s dreary to look at, dreary to walk through, dreary to listen to. Alas, the Grey Warden won’t be escaping the Fade for some time. Here, we have to go back and forth between different island planes, collecting new forms to transform into that will allow us to access a closed off room or section. It’s repetitive, predictable, and, thanks to numerous loading screens, slow. The new magical forms are fun, especially turning into the Burning Man, but they are limited in what they can do, and it’s much easier to stay in Grey Warden form for battles. Once you’ve rescued all your companions, you can confront the sloth demon, but it’s more like six or seven demons in one. Yeah, that kind of boss battle.

Once you’re out of the Fade, you still have to go save the mages or destroy them. Here we get another boss battle. After that, the Grey Warden has to do some chatting before the quest can be considered complete.

So yeah, that’s like, two chunks too many for one quest. I guess the developers really wanted players that didn’t choose a mage class to experience the Fade; those sick, cruel bastards. I’m glad I actually did “Broken Circle” first during my second playthrough, as the others–“Nature of the Beast,” “The Urn of Sacred Ashes,” “A Paragon of Her Kind,” and “Anvil of the Void”–are not as lengthy. Or maybe they are. I can’t remember. There’s too much to remember about this game.

Up next for our dwarven Grey Warden is siding with the werewolves and, hopefully, having some good ol’ dwarf-on-woman sex with Leliana. I need to find some good shoes for her first.