Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Thin Red Life Meter

-Me, watching this shitpile of an endgame.

Actually, I'm willing to bet Anders hasn't actually been chanting "this game is shit this game is shit this game is shit" for the past 45 hours.

Yeah, every mage in the world was basically on the edge of their seat waiting for you to do mage 9/11.

Does this mean we weren't having three-ways all those times? Because if so I'm really disappointed on being sold a false bill of goods.

Valerie longingly thinks back to her own missed opportunity to devastate Kirkwall at the Arishok's side.

Yeah, that'd be another whole quest to implement and let's face it, Bioware was really running out of ones and zeroes to program all those trash mobs at this point.

This is exactly how terrorism works irl and it is truly the most effective method of political change.

Oh man, this is a moral quandary Valerie's facing! time to consult the experts:

Unfortunately, there aren't any, so she decides to ask our dipshit buddies instead.

Thanks for the input, Fenris.

Thanks for the input, Merrill.


Anyway, Valerie realizes that if we get rid of Anders we lose the only mage in the party with any healing spells at all so-
Oh yeah, she also loses her only steady supply of dick, so that factored into the decision making process too.

Oh thank god, for a moment there I thought you were going to embrace pacificism and nonviolent resistance.

This is false.

Ah Bethany, funny how we always seem to run into each other when the city is being razed to the ground.

That's right, we've finally graduated from Escape from LA references to Escape from New York! Bioware's bringing out the big guns now!

Haha yeah, my mage sister who's been on the run from the templars since birth, really here to cheer them on.

Probably should have changed out of your Warden armor then, there might be a little backlash over this...

"I blamed you for keeping me alive instead of letting me die or turn into a darkspawn."

As a bonus, nothing about the gameplay experience has changed since act 1 anyway!

So we're heading to the gallows, when all of a sudden, we get distracted by the siren song of trash mobs.
Noice, Deus Ex reference. Goldmine.

Another mage pushed to deminic possession by templar brutality. When will this cycle of violence end?

Well, okay, but only because the game won't let me proceed until I do.

trash mob.

In a rare acknowledgment of in-game choices, the mage trash mob DOESN'T attack you this time around.
Then we get to the harbor, because actually letting you use in-game map to get to the gallows would be way too easy.
Plus, think of all the thrilling combat you'd miss!

And finally, we get another thrilling pre-rendered cutscene as our boat(???) approaches the gallows!

Yes, let's get this game over with quickly!

Is this it? Is this the final confrontation?

Oh man, it looks like it! Neither side's gonna back down!

There are two types of mages: house mages and field mages. I think it's clear who the house mage is here.

Again, the Kirkwall populace is a nonentity for this entire game.

I was hoping for an ending, period.

That was obvious like 30 hours ago.

I'm disappointed in myself too.

Alright, this is it. This is the final battle. Let's do this.



I don't know why we couldn't have the final boss battle right now and instead had to break the forward momentum of this sequence by introducing some forced retreat, but I guess that's why I'm not a big league Bioware game designer right now, and also why I can't get any grade-A Hepler-quality vagina.


  1. This is not really timely, but is Anders supposed to be handsome? He looks like a doughy lady soccer coach with a fake five o'clock shadow.

    1. He looks like a pedophile. Like, every time I look at him, I get "pedophile" vibes from him. I have no idea why. Perhaps he looks like the kind of guy who would stalk little children and stare at them from behind a corner or something.

  2. You guys weren't kidding. This shit just gets worse and worse.

  3. I think this has stopped being a spoiler now. So if you haven't guess your Friendship/Rivalries stop certain party members from jumping ship when Anders goes 9/11 on your ass. It's pretty clear who goes where but this is ultimately the only choice in the game.

    Killing them all (Sans exceptions)

    The first thing to do is to give Isabela to the Arishok, or leave her alive. She's the first one you can get rid of though. Secondly we have Fenris, who you can offer back to his master/rapist for a friendship boost with Anders. You do this because to kill everyone we have to side with the Templar's and Fenris will Auto-Join you in that case.

    So we side with the Templar's meaning Merril and (if she's alive) Isabela jump ship. And yes Anders will still try to get in the parties good graces if you side with the Templar's. Well you have a choice to stab him dead (not that this will make a difference since this whole thing is getting retconned) leaving you with the people who sided with you taking the Templar side.

    Aveline and Varric. And Varric is the only character who sticks with you on both sides.

    Also if you didn't get your sibling killed they come to your side now, so you can still have a party of 4 if you really want to. The games easy enough you never need a healer anyway.

    And that's how you kill most of your party in Dragon Age II.

    Again I haven't spoiled anything coming so this shouldn't be spoilers.

    1. It's not that simple; the game ensures that you have one companion of each class for the final battle so, if you side with the Templars, Hawke will somehow convince Merrill to join. Apparently, the only way to kill Merrill is by "rivalmancing" (man do I hate that word) Anders and asking him to help killing the mages, which he will if he's at 100% rivalry.

      I've learned of this the hard way, when I picked the Templars and Merrill stayed with me. If you google "kill merrill" you can find the BioWare Social thread where they say that's the only way to rid the world of her. What's fun is, I had already 100% friend'd Anders, and when you do that your friend/rival gauge can't be modified anymore so I was stuck with Merrill either way.

      It should be mentioned, however, that you can cutscene kill Anders and, if you do, a sappy slow down effect will play as a sad-looking Hawke tosses a knife at Anders's back with either a sad BGM, or none at all. It was so insultingly melodramatic that I reloaded, let him go and killed him later as a trash mob. Spoiler: if you go Templar, you can kill Anders trash mob-style.

    2. ""rivalmancing" (man do I hate that word) Anders and asking him to help killing the mages, which he will if he's at 100% rivalry."


      Does this make any extra sense in execution (ha ha, of course it doesn't, DA2, Bioware etc. etc.)? Anders has spend the whole game bitching and moaning and terrorisming over the mages' situation and you can persuade him to murder tham all if you have an antagonistic he trying to prove that he's a better mage-killer than you or something?

      I like the idea of there being benefits to developing a negative relationship with a character (rather than DA1 where you could and there was no reason not to get everyone to 100% friendship) but the implementation seems to be incredibly screwy. The characters' personalities having to bend themselves around the PC's decisions and do non-sensical things is NOT the way to do it.

    3. Apparently (and this is confirmed by the Dragon Age wiki), if you're friends/neutral with Anders, that was him bitching at the Templars the whole time; if you're rivals with him, however, that was Justice taking over his body.
      In fact, if you go the rival route with Anders it is Justice who bombs the Chantry, and Anders agrees to help the Templars to make up for it.
      ...hey, at least you can kill Merrill this way!

    4. Wow...

      Christ, that's actually dumber than the idea that he is trying to prove that he's a better mage-killer than you.

    5. Truly Jennifer Brandes Hepler is a master of believable characterization.