Beyond the Ice Wall – Julie Plays Inquisition Pt. 6
And here we are. After a month of barely being able to play due to a new job and then being ill (stupid flu that wrecks seemingly the whole country at the moment…) and then being sidetracked by creating a new character and revisiting an old character (meet Nadya Trevelyan and Teiya Adaar)…
… due to “I want to finally play the Blackwall Romance” and “uh, a Qunari romance with Iron Bull”, I now finally finished the Jaws of Hakkon. And what can I say?
I loved it. I liked it much more than Descent, to be honest. The things that stayed in my mind from Descent was that it was really pretty in parts and how I was disappointed by how unimaginative the Titan’s heart at the end was. I know the lore in Descent is incredible but somehow, Jaws of Hakkon got to me more, emotionally. The story of Ameridan and Telana and their companions, the way the Avaar are presented, the whole region… it’s wonderful. It drew me absolutely in, I loved the warmth of the light and the Frostback basin in general, the little bits of history scattered around. It was all in all a just such a beautiful DLC.
Of course there are always some things that are somewhat annoying. The breadcrumb trail of trail markers was a bit… I don’t know, with quests like these I always wonder how nobody else ever managed to do that. In 800 years, mind you. But well, that’s just the things that happen in video games, I guess, and in the end I didn’t mind them much.
Combat was somewhat strange. I expected more cold immune enemies and thus had equipped everyone with superb fire runes, but apart from the big boss fights, there was not much need for that. There was only one fight that completely overwhelmed me (in such a way that I changed the difficulty back from Hard to Casual after several tries because I got tired of it) and that was on the island where one finds the remains of Telana and talks to the spirit. The combination of mages and archers that managed to cut through Guard and the whole Lifebar with one shot(!) was something I didn’t manage to match for some reason. But everything afterwards didn’t really bother me.
Once I managed to come up to the Old Temple, I had to disable most hair / appearance meshes and mods. Until that point everything worked just fine but the Old Temple had some issue or other and froze in the loading screen. I suspect either the Blackwall or Sera appearance mesh, even though neither was in my party. But apart from that, I had no issues – and thankfully, the mod I used for Lyssa’s appearance worked as well.
Which was fortunate because I know it would’ve been cross had I not been able to play the part in the Old Temple with the way Lyssa normally looks. It would have kicked me out completely and that would’ve been a shame, especially since the conversation with Ameridan moved me to tears. The tidbits one found up to the point had already painted a wonderful picture of him and meeting him… ah. The way he welcomed you, understood you, thanked you… it was really moving. It might be something that is special to my headcanon or to playing as Lavellan here, though. Not only did he greet Lyssa as fellow elf AND Inquisitor, the things they (if only shortly) talked about concerning the relationship between elves and humans was heartbreaking. Just think about it: we know that Solas is old, very old, back from the days of Arlathan, when the elves were at the height of their might. Ameridan is 800 years old – from a time before the Dales were destroyed and the humans enslaved the elves. So he sort of bridges the span between Solas and Lavellan. Oh, the “what ifs” that come from that alone… Ameridan was a close friend of the first Orlesian emperor and the mission he was sent on was supposed to be a short one. After which he intended to go back and convince the Dalish to fight at the humans’s side against the Blight.
The whole history of the elves and Thedas itself could’ve changed if he had succeeded.
Like Varric said: “So, basically, the Jaws of Hakkon are responsible for the destruction of the Dales.”
Excuse me while I cry a bit.
There were several points in the DLC were I was close to tears. The conversation with Ameridan among it, then the memories that you can collect afterwards, the talk with the spirit who watched over Telana… It got to me. Also there is a conversation with Scout Harding (WHO I COULDN’T LOVE MORE IF I TRIED) at the end about not being seen as more than a person and at the same time not as a person at all, mirroring this bit of story I once wrote. It is the first time she calls the Inquisitor by name instead of “Your Worship”.
Sorry. Gonna cry some more.
Oh and did I mention there was a comment about Lavellan being obsessed with elfroot also completely matches my headcanon?
But there was also a lot of fun to have. The un”bear”able quests with Stovacker – who could resist making those jokes if only to annoy Cassandra? I certainly couldn’t *giggles*.
Next up: quickly killing Corypheus, again, and then on to Trespasser.