Tag Archives: Alistair

[Intimidate] You will simply love this post about intimidating in Dragon Age: Origins

I’ve been working very hard at Dragon Age: Origins recently. In fact, just the other night, Natia, our hard-as-nails dwarven Grey Warden, preserved the Anvil of the Void, sided with Bhelen to get the steel men on our side, and then had some decent sex with Leliana after listening to the bard prattle on and on for, lack of a better word, ages. That’s all well and good, but what I was more excited to see Natia accomplish was the following:

Menacing (20G): Succeeded at 10 difficult Intimidate attempts

See, Dragon Age: Origins is all about the dialogue options. That’s BioWare’s thingy. Mass Effect allowed you to go down the paragon or renegade path by choosing different ways to answer folks. The same thing exists in Ferelden. Characters can either be persuaded or intimidated, the former being the nicer route and the latter a little more direct and threatening. On my first playthrough, I went with the nice personality, and quickly got the persuasive Achievement. This time around, I knew I wanted to go after the intimidate one, and so I made sure to construct Natia in the right manner. The odd thing was that I’m positive I did well over 10 intimidate options before unlocking this Achievement, which leads me to believe that some are classified as more “difficult” than others.

And here’s where the problem sits: how does one know if it’s a difficult intimidate option or not?

I mean, the dialogue option that helped unlock Menacing was about forcing a scared little boy to give us a key to a treasure chest in his mother’s bedroom. Pretty sure the nicest, sweetest, kindest old man in Orlais could intimidate a youngling like that. However, it was a “difficult” attempt. Guess it has more to do with behind-the-scenes dice rolling than anything story-related, but still, I’d like to know a bit more before trying out anything. Fallout: New Vegas handled it decently if a bit perfunctory for its skill checks, and Dragon Age: Origins could do it in the same vein, with a percentage of success or a visible indication that there’s no way the option will work.

At least going forward on Natia’s quest to save Ferelden from the darkspawn, I won’t feel compelled to immediately select the intimidate option. Sure, I might…because roleplaying her as a cut-your-throat badass dwarf (with a hidden soft side) is a lot of fun. If only I could intimidate Alistair into getting down and funky with a dwarf; I think I missed my chance to woo him as he’s disapproved of a lot of group actions. Wah.

Some early impressions for Dragon Age: Origins

Just crossed the ten-hour mark for Dragon Age: Origins. In ten hours, as an elf mage, I’ve done very little. Conversely, I’ve experienced a lot. I’m currently mucking about in Redcliffe, on a quest to storm the town’s castle and find out what is happening with Arl Eamon. It’s definitely turning into a great game, and I know in my heart of hearts that I will love it immensely, but I can’t help and nitpick because some of the issues I’ve noticed should most definitely not be there in a game of this caliber.

Right. Onwards to lists of things…


  • The world. Amazingly detailed even if it is more or less a mesh of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. And I’ve only unlocked…14%. Love the treatment of elves, as well as the Circle of Magi and their emotionless servants. The Codex can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s worth scouring for sure.
  • The writing. It’s sort of BioWare’s thing.
  • So much to do, so many options. And most of the time you don’t get to pick them all or go back and try another, which makes perfect sense. Some games are just more forgiving than others; not this one; your actions are yours. And even if it didn’t have the different origin stories, Dragon Age: Origins has plenty of replay value. The dialogue options are great and varied, the structure of quests have multiple outcomes, and once you get to Lothering it becomes a sort of choose-your-own adventure; I most likely won’t go straight to Redcliffe with my next character.


  • The inventory menus. They are deep and fairly organized, but still a bit of work to get through. Especially when assigning spells to the controller’s face buttons. It can be clunky, but it might just take me some more time to get used to.
  • Combat tactics. Have not set any of these up, but I want to. The problem? The interface is not very clear.
  • Why can’t a mage unlock treasure chests? I should at least be able to cast a magic missile on it.


  • At least three times during a cutscene, a character has completely walked through another character. Not even in a fantasy world like Ferelden should that be possible.
  • Also a cutscene complaint: with friendly fire, I accidentally set Alistair on fire with a flame spell, and then we hopped into a cutscene where, limbs ablaze, Alistair stood calmly and spoke without any realization that that horrible burning smell was actually him.
  • My character, Carys, likes to wear an enchanter’s cowl. It helps with his magic and/or willpower (I can’t actually remember at this point). Anyways, he’s definitely wearing it when running around town or doing battle, but the moment we hop into a cutscene…he is not. Yet if I changed his staff or robes, that’s been updated. I don’t understand this.
  • Nineteen things happening all at once, all of them going by in a blur of swooshes. So, say you just talked to a dude. When the cutscene ends, you get a bunch of pop-up messages that say “New codex entry!” “New quest!” “Quest updated!” “Items received!” “Alistair approves (+3)!” “Morrigan disapproves (-7)!” And then it’s all gone before you even realized what happened.
  • And the graphics. Sometimes they are pretty, most of the time they are not. Thankfully, gameplay makes up for them each and every time. I’m just surprised it’s not as polished-looking as, say, Mass Effect 2, made by the very same company.

Either way, I’m itchin’ to play more.