Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dragon Age II: "I Told You I'd Break Your Heart"

Mike's currently on his 18 hour plane trip which means that, by tonight, I can stop relying on DA2 for my daily dose of romance and drama.

There might be a few spoilers ahead.

I started my first play-through with a Rogue femHawke (femShep just sounds better doesn't it). As a direct consequence I lost Carver early on and was stuck with Bethany. I felt no connection to this thing whatsoever so I indulged my in-game mother and let her keep it while I went on to explore the bowels of the Earth with my friends. Upon my return I learned that it was recruited into the Circle of Magi and I would never see it again. 'Oh... Is that so?' was my reaction. I could've been more concerned, what with reports of mages being killed left and right just for leaving the toilet seat up. I wasn't though.

In all recent Bioware games, not counting mmos I guess, a special emphasis has been put into the relationships you develop with your party members or companions. Their lives influence the game and the way you percieve them affects your decisions towards them and the plot. The pinnacle of these relationships are love interests. Love Interests (LIs) in Dragon Age 2 are along the lines of "see something you like, take it", meaning, either be you boy or girl, you can romance practically anything.

Varric, the dwarf that's actually telling the story, is an exception. I believe this is due to the fact that dwarves are really picky with their relationships, what with dwarf sex being kind of awkward and reproduction rates being subpar. The fact that he needed to become an impartial part in the telling of the story and needed to remain free to be interrogated by the Seeker can also have something to do with it.

One other exception is Sebastian, the DLC Prince. You can only get down and dirty with him if you're a girl. I wanted to, at first. But him going on and on about the Maker and how cool the old bat running the Chantry was kind of put me off the whole thing.

So I did the second best thing and went for Anders. Anders is an apostate (rogue) mage that has very strong beliefs about how the world works. He doesn't like anything. Yes, that's pretty much it. Anders doesn't like the Circle of Mages, doesn't like the Chantry, doesn't like the Templars, doesn't like the whorehouse. What does Anders like? You, if you lead him on a bit. And kittens. He's a bit too whiny for me, a bit reminiscent of Carth only to the tenth degree. But I went for it. The voice acting wasn't half bad and I wasn't getting anywhere romancing Fenris and his sexy Balthier voice. It's like every single thing I did made him more of a rival.

I'll give Anders one thing though: he was always honest. From the beginning he told me "don't do this. I'll end up breaking your heart." Just another bad boy, trying to be cool and warning off the girl to spare her from a dizzying swirl of emotions. Yeah, not quite.

Anders did break my heart. I loved the moment when he said "I love you" and I replied with "Would you like a sandwich?" That really got us closer. But then he turned into a homicidal terrorist. He sat down, looked at me and said "I told you I'd break your heart." How right you were, Anders. How right you were.

And I did feel a bit heart broken. I had invested my time into liking this fictional character, feathery coat and all. I had asked his pixels to merge with my pixels, I had given him a virtual drawer in my virtual mansion and after all of this he still... stayed true to his ideals and wouldn't change, even for me. I might not have liked it but it was powerful. I literally stood up and yelled "NO! ANDERS, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!" I think that's all the person who wrote him can wish for, isn't it? That what they did had such an impact on me, even though I was well aware it was just a game.

Speaking of writing Anders, I found out that you can change his background by your own choice of gender. Meaning, as a girl, Anders told me he had never even considered love because it was just one other thing that the Templars could use to control him. As a maleHawke, Anders is all like "nah, bitch, I've tamed the one-eyed snake years ago. You Jelly?"

This time around I'm going as a Mage maleHawke and I'm going to try and romance Fenris. Which is a bit contradictory as he hates mages and I am one. It must be noted that you can have a romance with an ally wether they like you or not. Shocking, isn't it? Either you're friends or rivals a romance is possible, or so I have gathered. They'll be like "oh we don't always agree but I can't get you out of my head" and "Maker, I hate every single thing you do and stand for but damn you HAWT!"

I still got a bit more to say about this game before I'm done but the woman by the whiteboard is eyeing me menacingly as it is.

1 comment:

  1. THIS. I am very late to the party but I romanced Anders (mostly because I thought his tortured story was pretty overwrought and funny), but I actually warmed to him a lot and also yelled at the screen when he blew up the chantry. I let him go, but I dumped him. Totally heartbroken!