Last Sunday afternoon, I devoted a few hours of my life to Dragon Age II. Unfortunately I was frequently interrupted by things that weren’t worthy of interrupting my first time with the game (example: I was barbequing hamburgers and all five patties literally, like, crumbled apart and fell onto the charcoals, which consequently caused a plume of hamburger smoke to engulf my entire apartment complex) but nevertheless, I was able to get a light grasp on the sequel to one of my favorite games.
Locating the save file I wanted to import into DA2 was like trying to find a needle in a haystack (seriously, I had racked up about 30 DA:O save files) and I spent several minutes eyeballing every single friggen’ save (I even loaded a few of them) to ensure I was importing the right one. Eventually I found the correct Witch Hunt save.
Soon after, I was prompted to select my gender and class. Cool beans. I selected a female human warrior (don’t act surprised. I eventually want to knock boots with Anders.) but what sucked was that I was immediately thrown into battle with some Darskpwan and an Ogre.
(BTW—This is all leading up to my first real “BWUH?” moment.)
The problem? I hadn’t been able to customize Hawke. During the battle, she looked like the “generic” female Hawke with her short, black hair, and with a streak of blood across her nose.
And because I thoroughly enjoy embracing the role of God, I was freaking out. I was thinking to myself, seriously? You can’t customize your character? THIS IS A BIOWARE GAME! Customizing my character had been one of the things I was looking forward to the most (it’s like playing with adult barbies),and I felt the sense of a boner-kill looming over the horizon.
In fact, I was so worried that I had missed the character customization screen (and that I would be stuck with a black butchy hairdo) that I restarted the game a few times, mid-battle, looking for a “customize” button I might have missed. Finally, I succumbed to the player’s guide. God bless it. I discovered that the option of customizing your character comes after you play the opening scene of the game.
Fueled by motivation, I restarted the game for the umpteenth time and finished the opening battle with my generic black-haired Hawke. The battle was simple enough, consisting of mostly Hurlocks, until a big ‘ol Ogre decides to join the rendezvous. He says “ohai” and, ultimately, you kick its ass. OK. Then, a dragon perching on a cliff overseeing the battlefield says “ohai”, and burns the surrounding Darkspawn to a crisp. Why, thank you Mr. (Miss?) Dragon.
After the battle had ended, I was rewarded with the option to customize my character. But wouldn’t it have made more sense to customize your character before the game even started…? At that point, I didn’t worry about it and shoved the thought to the back of my mind.
Now, life is good. I’ve got my smokin’ hot blonde Hawke chick trudgin’ around with her companions. I’m slaughtering Darkspawn left and right, kicking ass, taking no prisoners, until I found myself in that EXACT SAME battlefield as I was just in. Sure as shit, the Hurlocks come. Then Mr. Ogre makes a grand reappearance. But I was now fighting with my customized Hawke and my five companions. I slaughtered the Hurlocks and killed the Ogre.
Juuuust like the first time, the dragon swoops down and torches the remaining Darskpawn, saving the day. THEN, Miss Dragon decides to turn into a striking human-figure (I say human-figure because I’m convinced that this thing isn’t a human), ultimately revealing herself to be a shape shifter. She had this crazy white hairdo and piercing, yellow eyes.
Then she talked.
OMFG IT WAS FLEMMETH. I KNEW IT WAS HER. But she looked SO different, and immediately my mind was racing. So, Flemmeth truly didn’t look like a raggedy old woman in DA:O. She just took on that appearance. Not only that, but what’s up with her and saving important people from guaranteed death, anyway? Thanks to DA:O, I knew that she had recently saved my Wardens from the atop the tower in Ostagar.
I can’t remember the entire conversation, but at one point Hawke asked Flemmeth to accompany her and her companions to Kirkwall. Flemmeth coyly replied, “I have an appointment to keep.”
AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT APPOINTMENT IS, DON’T WE? Yeah. She’s going to talk to Elissa and Alistair (<3) and convince them to take Morrigan with them, so that Morrigan can eventually boink my Ferelden King and conceive a demon-god-baby thing. BAAAAAAH.
Ok, going back to the beginning of the game: When I found out my family was fleeing the destruction at Lothering I got a little giddy. After all, I was back in Ferelden, and thanks to DA:O, I knew exactly when this was occurring in terms of the historic timeline, and it made me happy. Also, I read the codex entry on Hawke and read that she and Carver fought at Ostagar. They both knew (and surprisingly, the player is told this in the intro) that Loghain deceived Cailan on the battlefield.
In terms of the DA:O storyline, the Battle of Ostagar recently ended, therefore Loghain has yet to spread rumors that the Grey Wardens were the ones who abandoned Cailain. I wonder if I’ll hear of those rumors during DA2, or if they’ll even come into play during this story. Either way, Hawke and Carver seemed convinced that it was Loghain’s wrongdoing. Atta’ kids.
First impressions of the characters:
Mother (Leandra): She seems fragile and helpless. Elissa’s mother in DA:O was so much more of a badass than Leandra. When the going got tough, she threw on her armor, equipped her sword, and killed a ton of men. Hawke’s mother just stands around looking old. Will she die? Probably. It could be the motivational, albeit stereotypical, factor that pushes Hawke to become the Champion.
Bethany (sister)- I like Bethany. According to our “Friend/Rival” meter, we have a good relationship. She’s a mage, which is always nice to have around, and she’s hot. She seems like a badass. I’m guessing she’s going to stick around during the story.
Carver (brother)- I was confused about who Carver was at first. I probably missed it in the codex or in an introduction, but I had no idea he was my brother. I knew we were more rivals than we were friends, but before I could really get a feel for the dude he was, uh, pummeled by an Ogre. Unfortunate, because I wanted to know more about him. He seemed like a character with a lot of angst and interesting backstory. According to the codex, he never knew where he fit in. Mariane was more focused and skilled, and Bethany was an apostate, and he was just…there. I actually was hoping he would be an early romance option LOL. But yeah, dude was my brother. Awkward.
Aveline (firecrotch with freckles): Y’know, I don’t care for Aveline. She seems like a boring character. No spunk. She seems like she can hold her own, don’t get me wrong, but that personality of hers is DULL. Or maybe I’m biased it’s because there are enough vaginas in my party already.
Ser Wesley (Templar): If Wesley were a Necromorph, he’d be in a lot of trouble. In any case, he succumbed to the Darkspawn infection and was killed by Aveline. WUSS.
And with that, I’ll cut this entry short. I proceeded a little further into the game, but this is pushing tl;dr status. I’ll get another update soon!