My last save before I initiated the final mission in Dragon Age: Inquisition clocked in at over 99 hours. I imagine by the end, I was at about 100. I likely could have beaten it sooner, but I found myself getting constantly lost–in a good way–in exploration of all the different areas, completing side quests without even trying. “Oh, there’s another rift… Guess I’ll just close that while I’m here.”
It’s safe to say that this game has consumed my life for the past few weeks. Any time I was not at work or forced to socialize, I was glued to my computer playing. “Just one more side quest before bed… I gotta give that old lady in Redcliffe Village the ring I found…” And any time I wasn’t playing, I was thinking about playing. The Dragon Age world is enormous. Actually enormous is an understatement. When it first came out, I remember several articles released telling people they needed to get out of the Hinterlands already because there is so much more to do! Well, whatever, I like the Hinterlands, it’s all pretty and green with little Nugs running around and there aren’t any scary giants. There is, however, a dragon that will burn you the moment you come out of this one cave. I think it got everyone I’ve talked to. Surprise! You’re on fire!
Warning: Mega spoilers beyond this point as I’ve included all the decisions I made in the game! Maker’s breath! This is insanely long.
After I spent a good couple of hours creating my Inquisitor, she turned out to be a very pretty Dalish elf warrior. As I am forever reeling from the effects of DAII, the first major decision I made was to side with the mages. It’s really hard to trust templars after the end of DAII. Granted, it’s hard to trust mages given what Anders did too, but I have my personal biases.
After I got out of the Hinterlands and made it to Skyhold, the game really took off. Varric brings you his favorite person: Hawke! Cue me spending another hour re-creating my Hawke from DAII. I tried to give her some more scars, changed her hair up a bit. I basically tried to imagine her hardened from more battles, even if Kirkwall was mostly saved. And she tells me I need to go meet with Alistair!
Given that I let him continue to be a Grey Warden, I got to meet him and fight alongside him for “Here Lies the Abyss” so that was cool. But those of you who did this mission…you see how this was actually a terrible decision all along. To get out of the Fade, the evil game makes you choose between leaving Alistair or Hawke behind. I just stared at my screen for a long time.
Ultimately, I left Alistair in the Fade. I know, I’m terrible. But I’m still very attached to my Hawke. And I figured that Alistair survived the Fade on his own before, what’s to say he won’t find a way out this time! Leaving the random Grey Warden behind would have been far easier. Sigh. But, ultimately, I’m okay with my choice because I know from others who left Hawke behind that it absolutely destroys Varric. I can’t hurt him!
The next major mission I faced was the ball in Orlais! It was so silly to see my advisers all fancy and dressed up. And given that I was a Dalish elf, my “Court Approval” points started out pretty low. I hear it’s even harder if you’re a Qunari or a mage. Or both! But I really enjoyed that mission, especially meeting up with our old friend Morrigan in her pretty gown! Wooo! In the end, I exiled the elf chick, executed Gaspard, and solidified the empress’s reign.
And obviously, the best part of the ball was the final scene where Cullen asked me to dance. Oh yes, I romanced Cullen all throughout and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. He started out all stuttery and awkward whenever I would flirt with him. Early on in the flirting, I asked him if templars had to take a vow of chastity and his extremely awkward responses were hilarious. Basically we smooched a lot on the battlements, he took me on a date to a swamp, and, as I told my friends, we took the train to Bone City. Awww yeah.
The next major quest was all about Morrigan and elves and, for me, Samson. It was hard to play as someone who has never met Morrigan before. I found myself agreeing with her and trusting her pretty implicitly, despite my Inquisitor having no clue who she was. Oops. I’m a little disappointed I never got the chance to tell her that her Baby Daddy was lost in the Fade. I would have been interested in her reaction to that. Anyway, this was perhaps the most annoying quest because of the “ritual” I had to perform in the elven temple. It’s the only time I rage quit the game at 2AM because I just couldn’t figure it out. I figured it out the next day, of course, and had Morrigan drink from the Well of Sorrows.
The final fight against Corypheus was actually really easy for me. I was level 20 (so higher than I needed to be) and my sword was pretty baller. I just used my “tornado” move over and over again and it worked pretty well. The post-apocalypse party was also pretty lackluster. Everyone seemed pretty complacent. The poker game was way more lively and fun! But at least I took Cullen back to my room, ayyyyy!
The post-credit scene is really the topper on the ending’s cake. Solas is revealed to be the Dread Wolf (and basically the cause of the entire game’s mess because he seems to have trusted Corypheus) and meets up with Flemeth, who we previously learned is apparently the elven god Mythal. And this is where it gets confusing. I interpreted this final scene as Flemeth taking over Solas’s body because she was unable to take over Morrigan’s or her son’s. She also says “I’m sorry” right before it happens, even though she has nothing to be sorry about…and Solas seems very vulnerable at this point given his failures. But the other interpretation is Solas sucking energy out of her and killing her. That his vulnerability was merely a trick to steal her power. Considering the history behind the Dread Wolf, it’s entirely plausible that he killed Flemeth. I SO don’t want her to be dead. I have this image of her showing up in Skyhold and wreaking some havoc as Solas. But I think either option could work at this point because we don’t have a clear answer. That’s what DLCs are for!
What I really want is a Citadel-esque DLC. We got the poker game with naked scampering Cullen–and that killed me! But I want more like those. It’s just nice when everyone gets together and out of the doom-and-gloom element. These characters are all so fascinating and even more so when thrown together in a room with alcohol. Heh.
Until DLCs come out, I still have a zillion more side quests to keep me busy! Shards, mosaic pieces, random acts of kindness… I foresee many more hours of gameplay in my future. And I’m A-OKAY with that!
- Leliana: I enjoyed being able to spend some more time with her since I didn’t use her much in my Origins playthrough. Except I think she ended up being a little…unstable by the end. I’m not sure if supporting her as the new Divine was the right choice. But my favorite thing was reading about her pet Nug Schmooples!
- Josephine: I love Josie! She is gorgeous, but also a little silly. I would love to get to know her better. I might even romance her next time around because she’s so cute.
- Cullen: I think my feelings about him are pretty obvious. Let’s not look at photos of him from Origins/DAII because he has clearly upgraded his attractiveness. Haha. Just lose the silly feathers, Curly.
- Cassandra: I was not a huge fan of Cassandra at first because she comes off as so severe. And anyone that’s mean to Varric goes on my shit list. But she ended up becoming one of my favorites throughout the game. Her little “secret” was hilarious and showed how silly she really is. She and my Inquisitor became BFFs.
- Varric: Varric is the bomb, obviously. Need I say more?
- Dorian: Sassy mage Dorian is probably my favorite new character. I always had him in my party because his banter was excellent. And I appreciated his not-so-subtle flirting. “I sure enjoy watching you walk away.” Ha. I might make a male Inquisitor just to romance him!
- Sera: She was pretty hilarious, although sometimes I felt overwhelmed by her. And I wasn’t a fan of her anti-elfyness since I was all about my Dalishness, but oh well. We got along just fine. I wouldn’t let her prank my bf Cullen, but we got Josie! Her nicknames for Coryphenus/Coryfishes/etc were great too.
- Iron Bull: Bull! My entire plan was to romance Iron Bull from the start for hilarity sake, but then Cullen happened. Either way, Bull is an awesome character (plus FPJ voices him!). His loyalty mission was really depressing though. I took a chance and didn’t save his team because I thought maybe they could save themselves (it said “maybe” in the options, dammit!), but nope. But Bull and I had some good bonding time after that.
- Blackwall: He came across as the Sean Bean character to me. He seemed so depressed and foreboding. Might as well have been saying “Winter is Coming.” Instead we got, “Would have liked to have been there…” Jeez, sorry, man. And when you find out what he’s truly about? Wow. That threw me for such a loop. Ultimately, I freed him and had him continue working for the Inquisition.
- Vivienne: I had been looking forward to getting Vivienne since her character design was gorgeous. Buuuut every time I talked to her, I could never make her happy. It became exhausting to try to please her or even get a “slightly approves.”
- Cole: He is so creepy. I really didn’t like talking to him at first, but once I made him a little bit human, he was much more bearable. Still reminds me of a rejected member of One Direction though.
- Solas: I really disliked Solas from the beginning, mainly because he looks a lot like Voldemort. I just can’t understand the appeal of romancing him (no offense!). Whenever we had a conversation, all he ever did was disapprove and fight me on everything. I am so jealous I never got the option to hit him like some other people did. Now, of course, after the ending I wish I had him in my party more so I could be more attuned to all the strange clues… But I still don’t like him!
Thanks for reading if you made it through! Now I’m off to collect shards for the next 100 hours…