Dragon Age II Finale: Asunder/The Road to Hell

By the time we found Evelina, she had turned into an abomination. After the obligatory battle, Hawke comforted Walter and cricket and gave them some sovereigns. Walter siad he would buy food for some of the other kids…

A funny glitch left Fenris standing on Hawke’s head!

I like finding funny glitches, but I don’t find them very often.

When Aveline told Fenris about what happened to slavers that he gave her a tip about, he said, “You always know how to make me smile, Aveline.

Emile was supposed to be at the Hanged Man. His mother reeled at the thought of him wasting away in that place. “Oh, but that place is so filthy!”

Varric had fun imitating her line.

At the Hanged Man, Emile pleaded his innocence, claiming that he only told women that he was a blood mage to seem dangerous and suave.

Someone pretending to be a blood mage to pick up chicks. The mind boggles.

His attempts to hit on Hawke were so painful that Varric pleaded, “Can I kill him yet? He’s hurting me.”

Anders passed it off as Emile being sheltered at the Circle for 20 years.

This was funny. Emile insisted on having just one night with a woman named Nella who fell for his charms before he turned himself in.

He said that he wouldn’t tell Hawke how it went, only to say that it was totally worth it. “Well, back to the Templars.”

Huon killed his wife to get more power, but we killed him in return.

Anders blamed Meredith for what happened to Huon and Evelina, but Meredith wanted nothing of it and dismissed us.

Huon killed his wife of his own volition.

She’s so absolute.

Anders’ attitude took a turn for the worse after meeting with her ladyship. Varric kept trying to cheer him up, to no avail. Varric joked that he was really talking to Justice, not Anders, and he asked Anders to come out and play. Anders didn’t respond.

Overheard at the Hanged Man: “The ale here isn’t any good anymore!”

It was never good.”

[beat]

Well, maybe I’m less drunk nowadays.” Good!

Haunted”: Varric tried to sell off Bartrand’s old estate, but it was too haunted. We went in to investigate, and it was obvious that something paranormal was up. A pot flung itself at Hawke’s head.

Eventually, an Ethereal Golem attacked us with several Shades in tow. And what was left behind? A piece of Bartrand’s idol! Varric decided to keep it because he thinks it could help his brother. Anders was dead-set against keeping it, but Varric told him it wasn’t his decision.

Meredith almost seemed suspicious that Emile turned himself in without incident.

Tragedy strikes in the Merrill companion quest “Pride’s End”. She returned to Sundermount to speak with the demon that gave her the ability to use blood magic in order to repair the mirror. But when she reaches the idol containing the demon, she couldn’t sense its presence.

Keeper Maretheri arrived to explain that she foresaw Merrill’s last-ditch effort. Maretheri allowed the demon to bond with her. If she died, so too would the demon. A Pride Demon, the strongest of all.

After the demon is defeated, Maretheri thanked Merrill, but the Keeper did not die with the demon. Merrill bravely stabbed her former mistress and mourned her passing.

It got worse outside of the cave. Several of the Dalish arrive, asking about where Maretheri was. They did not react well to the truth. Hawke stood up for Merrill, provoking an attack from the rest of the elves.

When you work your way back to the camp, everyone attacks you on sight. Yes, you have to slaughter Merrill’s entire village. Fun times.

If you brought Fenris along on this quest, he expresses regret that Maretheri sacrificed herself for Merrill’s sake.

And that’s the end of that quest.

This was another blow dealt to me over the course of the game. I can accept that Hawke and Merrill became rivals. I can even accept that she knew blood magic, to an extent. But the fact that she was desperate enough to use it, leading to an escalating disaster, breaking her heart, getting her village killed, and being rivals with Hawke is too much. There’s no happy ending here.

After finishing “Pride’s End”, I bailed on the game until May 2012 when I started the last main quest of the game, “The Last Straw”.

A few notes before recapping “The Last Straw”:

  1. I found a Tevinter blade for Fenris called the Blade of Mercy. He appreciated the irony. The blade itself looked sweet.
  2. Hawke told the Templars to reinstate a rogue Templar named Samson. He later proves a thorn in the side of the Inqusition.

In “The Last Straw”, Hawke received a letter from Orsino asking for support for the mages. Meredith wanted to search the Circle tower and incarcerate all of the mages because she believed that Orsino harbored those practicing blood magic.

Meredith and Orsino were arguing in Lowtown. When Orsino threatened to take the matter to the Kirkwall Chantry’s Grand Cleric Elthina (the woman that Anders called a doddering old fool), but then Anders said that she could not help them anymore.

This was the moment where Anders became a terrorist. He blows up the Chantry, killing everyone inside, Elthina. Not only does the explosion trigger the mage rebellion and spark the Mage/Templar War, it also rains deadly debris down upon half of Kirkwall.

Meredith invoked the Right of Annulment – the right to kill all of the mages in a Circle- upon the mages of the Circle in Kirkwall, even though they were not involved with Anders’ terrorist acts.

I decided to side with the mages. Not all of my friends agreed, but none of them abandoned me. That means a lot.

Once a battle between mages and Templars is over, Meredith and Orsino leaves Hawke to deal with Anders themselves. Ilyria did not kill him, even though he wanted to die so that his victims would get justice.

The party went through to Lowtown, where they fought Shades, a Pride Demon, Templars, and a blood mage. The blood mage really threw me for a loop at the very last stage of the game. I decided to lower the difficulty to… sigh… Casual just so I could get through it.

Originally, I just whined a lot about the final difficulty spike.


Unlocked Legendary and Specialized.

I realized that I had Specialization points just lying around. I used them on Force Mage and Spirit Healer. Yay!

Unlocked Romantic.

I see that Sandal killed a bunch of demons by himself again. :3

Irregardless of who you side with, you have to kill both Orsino and Meredith. You battle Orsino first in the Gallows. He uses blood magic to turn himself into a hideous monster called a Harvester.

The Harvester

As for Meredith? Well, she bought the red lyrium idol from Bartrand. It corrupted her mind, causing her to clamp down harder on the mages of Kirkwall. She crafted a pure lyrium blade from the idol, leading me to comment…

Meredith brandishing her lyrium blade

Holy crap! Meredith has Soul Edge!

Despite the misgivings of a fellow Templar named Cullen, Meredith orders Hawke’s execution. Once you kill Meredith, the red lyrium infects her body and turns her into a statue.

Meredith petrified

Unlocked Conquerer, Champion of Kirkwall, and Epic.

In the present, Varric told Cassandra that Cullen let Hawke leave Kirkwall with Anders. Varric claimed that he fell out of contact with his other companions as well as Hawke, and that he did not know where she was…

Cassandra finished her interrogation of Varric, so she let him go.

But in the end, not much was resolved. The future of Thedas was uncertain yet again. Mages all over the Empire of Orlais and the Kingdom of Ferelden rebelled, and the Templars broke away from the Chantry to fight them. The Seekers were supposed to keep the Templars in line…

Cassandra was also the Right Hand of the Divine, Justinia V. After Cassandra let Varric go, she met with the Left Hand of the Divine – Leliana. They agreed to attempt to search for either Hawke or the Hero of Ferelden in an attempt to stop the mage rebellion…

Why didn’t Florence + the Machine play? The credits were even more boring without music. Guess that’s what I get for buying a used copy.

Why didn’t I get to save any completion data? Maybe it just didn’t make a big deal out of it, but without that data, I can’t import it into DAIII.

That ending definitely wasn’t as good as DA:O‘s. Where my individual epilogues at?

I think that the flaws of this game can be blamed on its short dev cycle.

It’s definitely not as improved a sequel as Mass Effect 2, but the gameplay is a little better. For one, it no longer feels quite as difficult as DA:O could be.

I recently learned that the console version of DA:O was set to Easy by default. I have lost all confidence in myself as a gamer. ;-;

The animations are cooler, and the abilities were better explained.

Next time, can we please do something more interesting than the Templars vs. mages?

I generally liked all of the characters this time, but I don’t think that I liked any of them as much as Alistair, Leliana, or Sten.

I dunno how they’re gonna tie everyone together for DAIII.

 

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