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.

10 responses to “Sympathizing with mages since 1983

  1. I can’t believe you’re writing about this because just last night, for the first time in OVER A YEAR, I put Dragon Age: Origins in my 360 again. Being just 12 hours into the game and at the first campsite opportunity, I decided to head off to the mage tower again. Did you just spoil the moral choice? lol, can’t wait to get back into this game.

    • That’s so crazy! I kind of decided, on a whim too, to put the game back in last night. As for spoiling the choice…nah. You’ll have plenty of dialogue choices to figure out how you want to go. As with many other choices in Dragon Age: Origins, nothing is crystal clear. Have fun 😀

  2. That’s exactly where I am in the game right now!
    This part is driving me crazy, in fact, every time I play now I put the controller down and don’t go back for another month or so.
    My biggest problem is that I have no heals on me, so it’s proving to be pretty much impossible.

  3. Spent two hours on this quest yesterday and I feel I’m actually close to finishing it, something like two or three of the “bosses” beat with four shapeshifting abilities. I had this surreal moment while playing that this area felt very… old school. It isn’t linear at all and it’s not obvious from the get go what you’re supposed to do. All you have is some down-and-out dude complaining about obstacles and such, and then you wander around a bit and it’s all like “wtf?” I like it, but this area is stretching out its welcome.

  4. Maybe I’m just playing wrong then…Should I be fighting all of these guys or is there a way out of it?
    Like I said I have no heals and I pretty much just fight the same guy 50 times over until I win then I move on to the next part.

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