Lovers and madmen – Julie Plays Dragon Age 2 Pt. 8
It’s done. Done and over with. And I scroll through my screenshots and get even a little teary-eyed. After all, Adriene got to me. Well, it’s Hawke, what did I expect? Always and forever one of my absolute favourite characters.
The last act always feels kind of rushed and is indeed much shorter than the other two. We get to help every companion, have some awesome conversations but to be honest, everything basically just leads straight to the main conflict. We rush through the quests and the in-game tension keeps up building. I (and Adriene) feel sort of exhausted and just want IT (whatever it is) to be over. And just before the end, we go Darkspawn hunting. To find one of the Magisters that supposedly brought the Blight to the earth. (Which I doubt for he says that the Golden City was already black when they found it.)
The Legacy DLC is my absolute favourite DLC. It’s exciting, story-driven and in parts difficult, with lots of lore and bits and pieces – and not least preparing the setup for Dragon Age Inquisition.
It even gives sort of an answer to one of the most problematic things in DA2: the fact that basically EVERY rogue mage you meet is a blood mage. Which is just plain stupid – and feels like a meek try of the producers to insert some kind of “grey” morality in the game when there is none to be had.
Seriously, there is just no excuse for what the templars in DA2 do to the mages. The conversations you overhear, you have, the bits and pieces you collect – if you pay some kind of attention to them, there is no way one could support the templars ingame. Not in the end. The mages in DA2 are regularly raped, imprisoned, made tranquil without reason, tortured or just directly killed and nobody is doing anything to help them. When Hawke tries to talk to Elthina to do something, she just says that the Chantry cannot take sides. (Bullshit. Seriously, Anders’ deed in the end is bad but I’m not losing any tears over Elthina. Cruel, indifferent woman.)
But apart from establishing that Corypheus’ evil influence corrupts everyone in Kirkwall after a time, it gives some backstory to Hawke’s family which makes it especially beautiful to play with Hawke’s sibling. While Bethany was kind of cold in Mark of the Assassin, there is only closeness, memories, intense conversations and love between the two sisters in Legacy. It really reconciled me with Bethany. And for my OT3 headcanon, bringing Isabela and Fenris was the best ever. Throughout my playthrough, the game trolled my headcanon, I’m not even kidding you! Unfortunately I don’t have a screenshot to prove it but there were several points where I pricked up my ears.
Doing the DLC just before the endgame is my personal favourite moment. It sort of wraps up the family story and it gives you these beautiful moments with Hawke’s sibling and mother.
And then it begins. The big, horrible ending. Anders’ “BOOM” and the following devastation of Kirkwall.
Despite not really condonding the brutal act that killed so many innocents (and yes, we’re talking innocents here, not only Chantry folk but orphans, doctors, bystanders), Adriene can understand where Anders is coming from and does majorly support his goal. The explosion comes at the “best” moment, when Meredith threatens Orsino and calls for the Annulment of the Circle – which means killing every single mage in the Gallows, from the youngest to the oldest. Yes, we’re talking innocents again. How could Adriene support this? It would mean killing her sister and everyone she tried to save throughout the years. Using a neat little mod we skip Sebastian’s tantrum where he threatens to eliminate the whole of Kirkwall if we don’t kill Anders (who of course leaves Kirkwall after everything so why would Sebastian kill innocents? Ugh.) and take everyone through the city to the Gallows to stop the templars from killing everyone and where Meredith claims dominance over the city and everyone within. It becomes quite clear that she has lost her mind.
We stand with Orsino who has lost all hope, leading to an oh-so-stupid scene where he transforms into a slow, basically powerless meatball by using blood magic which you can thankfully skip via a mod. Seriously, that is one major problem within all games: why would everyone fear blood magic so much when all it does is transform you into something less powerfull and which you can basically just shoot from afar? Tsk.
Anyway, after fighting to the courtyard, Meredith’s madness becomes so obviously clear even to her loyal (and very mage-hating) second-in-command, Cullen, who outright refuses to kill the Champion and everyone else. At which point Meredith uses the red lyrium idol she had forged into a sword to wake the statues throughout the courtyard to fight for her.
I had long turned the difficulty up to Hard and for the first time I learned to actually use and love the potions and poisons and grenades in Dragon Age 2. Seriously, it’s so much fun! This was one fight where I was particularly thankful for Maker’s Mercy (awakens fallen companions) and various poisons and grenades. As a rogue, Adriene does no area damage, so grenades are really cool – and I took over Anders quite a few times for I really am best when I’m playing a mage. Same went for Bethany during Legacy. Thanks to these little tricks, the fight was a challenge but totally doable and pretty fun. In the end, Meredith transformed into a burnt-out lyrium statue and that was that.
Had she not already been completely fed up with everything, this would’ve been the point when Adriene decided to just leave it all behind. She did not even say one word to Cullen who just out his sword away and let them all go.
And that was it. Adriene went home and said good bye to Bodhan and Sandal and Orana, hugged Aveline and Donnic and Varric (who decided to stay), promised Gamlen and Charade to write (but not to visit) and then she left with Isabela, Anders, Fenris, Merrill, Bethany and Sebastian. Sebastian left for Starkhaven shortly afterwards to take the throne and takes Bethany with him (♥). Merrill accompanied the rest for a while before going back to Kirkwall and taking everyone who was willing from the Alienage to form a new clan. I like to think they built a village somewhere reclusive and got help from Fian and Zevran when they needed it. Isabela and Fenris stayed with Hawke of course and when they parted from Anders who went to join the mage rebellion, it was in friendship.
Adriene, Isabela and Fenris decide to have some time for themselves and travel to Rivain and from there to who knows. Until they hear about a Darkspawn magister named Corypheus…