Corpse Camping the Dragon – Timetravel for Dummies

I can’t believe it. Can you believe it? Is this another instalment of “Blaq cries about BioWare’s apparent lack of ability to make a decent RPG since Dragon Age: Origins”? It seems so. I bet you didn’t think there would be one and I have to admit that I didn’t either. I’m sure you know that I’m not that thrilled about DA2, which means you’ll fully understand why I lost most of my enthusiasm for the game when I saw that saving the city wasn’t the end of the storyline. It was hard to go back and finish the game when there are so many better ones that I could play. In addition, I’ve done the smart thing of replaying the large portion of the game with a rogue character (which pulled me in much more than the warrior, I have to admit), including most of the content I haven’t been through yet. You can imagine that replaying the already-stale content wasn’t a prospect I’d enjoy.

But damn it, I said I’d finish it and I will! If nothing else so I’ll be able to rant about it on the grounds of having played all of it. So here we go…

Warning: The following post is very likely to contain Dragon Age 2 (and possible Dragon Age: Origins) spoilers. Continue at your own risk.

In case your memory needs refreshing, this was the last part of the series from way back in July. In it I just finished saving the city from the Qunari invasion (who invaded on the grounds of “Your society is broken, we’ll fix it”). After which there was a transition into three years later where Meredith, the high commander of the templars has “temporarily” taken over the leadership of the city (the mayor guy was killed in the fighting). From there I’m thrown in the middle of a public argument between Meredit and Orsino, the grand enchanter.

Grand Cleric scolding the High Commander.Surprisingly, mages aren’t too happy about Meredith being in charge. Apparently they don’t like being treated like criminals. Ha! Should have thought of that before… erm… being born? They want me to choose sides. Of course I try to remain neutral, since none of the options are particularly evil. I’m leaning slightly towards mages, because while Meredith is in command of the templars and can do whatever she wants with the filthy magic users, they can frankly just blow everything up, should they choose to. Obviously, I don’t want to get blown up, so mages it is.

Doing Meredith's errands for her.

Despite this, Meredith asks for my help in tracking down three apostates. Apparently I am free to deal with them as I wish, which includes letting them go. She’s counting on the hero being sane enough to not just let everyone go, but I never claimed to be sane. She’ll regret having me do her dirty work. Unfortunately for me, the game was never designed to be a sodding RPG and doesn’t give you much of a choice. Two of the mages attack you and you have to kill them in order to progress the game. The last one is a harmless drunkard, but I let him go anyway in hopes to spite Meredith at least a tiny little bit. Really, it was just me desperately trying to be evil, I was grasping at straws with that guy.

Confronting one of the apostates.

There were plenty of side quests in this act, the more annoying of which was a Qunari guy wanting me to find Qunari swords for him. I spent far too much time looking for them until I simply decided to give up. It turns out you need to advance the story in order to find them. Figures.

Remember that quarry I was a partial owner of? Somehow it’s in trouble again, this time an unknown terror is terrorising the site. Because I’m a good little hero I go check it out. Turns out the problem was a simple pest infestation. With the pest being a huge freaking dragon. Killing it took me a couple of times because of the AI being retarded and the game not having a button for “stay the hell away/clump up” (it was almost like that Onyxia raid). But after carefully pausing every 5 seconds to reposition the party members (and rage about not having an isometric view each time) the dragon was dead. Long live the dragon! Oh wait…

The killing blow on a High Dragon.

I have to say that the fight itself was exciting, despite the interfaces’ shortcomings, and if there’s one thing DA2 has to be commended on, it’s the boss fights. Most of them have several phases, are fine tuned to the difficulty (on normal difficulty at least) and require quite a bit of strategy. More of this please.

When I returned back to Kirkwall the slave-driver informed me that I can have the bloody quarry (literally bloody). I have no idea about what to do with it, but you never look a gift horse in the mouth. Maybe I’ll turn it into an amusement park, Bloody Quarry sounds catchy.

Quarry owner despairing over a dragon.

The only survivor of the quarry massacre was a cart horse...

The creepy guy Anders also wanted me to help him create a potion that would separate him from Justice, which meant collecting crap through sewers and abandoned mines and distracting the head lady of the chantry while he snuck around the place. I’m convinced he defecated on the statue of Andraste, but I can’t be sure. Whatever the case, he came back all better and later changed into black robes. Holy Batman, who said that separating the two was a good idea?

One of the side quests had me looking for an old acquaintance, Zevran the Antivan Crow. They wanted me to capture him and bring him back for a reward. After rummaging through a cave in Sundermount I found the perverted elf and brought him back even though he warned me that it was all a trap. I couldn’t care less though, I either get paid or slaughter the lot, it makes no difference to me. They opted for the latter, the silly Antivans. It’s a shame that Zevran wasn’t more than a side quest NPC, he simply took off after the fact. I’d have loved to kill him like I did in DA:O. Oh wait…

Zevran trying to be humorous.

Damn elfs and their pretentiousness.

This isn’t the full breadth of uninvolving side quests DA2 has to offer though! But I’ll have to stop here, lest the scrolling wheels around the world die from being overtaxed. Be sure to check back in December for more Corpse Camping the Dragon.

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