Those Dragons Sure Are Ageing (Dragon Age Megathread)


Kreia is like, Morrigan’s cynical objectivist counterpart in KOTOR, right? Own them, never really played them much, but enough leftists on Twitter talk about how much of a pain she is that I recognize the name.


Kreia is an outright nihilist imo. She’s every cynical white male teen’s idea of a truth-teller but she works in KOTOR 2 for the most part because her character breaks the rules of the Star Wars universe. I… wouldn’t call her an objectivist. I don’t think she cares enough about how society is organised or individual liberty to be in any way Randian.


I think Kreia’s positions are of varying validity, ultimately. Aspects of her worldview - most notably, anything to do with ‘survival of the fittest’ and her social Darwinism with relation to broader society - are very clearly bullshit, and the game gives you the opportunity to call her out on it for the most part, but I don’t think her position is supposed to be entirely without merit.

Specifically, her thoughts on the Jedi/Sith duality, and the Force as a whole, are - at least, in my reading of the text - generally quite well supported. When you look at how corrupt, ineffectual and dogmatic the Jedi are so frequently depicted as being, Kreia’s position - that they either need complete reform, or to disappear entirely; it’s arguable that her ultimate goal with the Exile was to achieve exactly this - isn’t exactly lacking support. Equally, her position on the Sith - cruel zealots blinded by self-serving ideology with no particular worth to anyone - is borne out by both KotOR II itself and the Star Wars mythos as a whole.

Finally, I think her position on the Force itself, while undoubtedly fuelled by her own unwillingness to accept responsibility for her mistakes and failures - I believe she even acknowledges this in the final conversation between her and the Exile - is, at least if you accept her basic premise - that the Force does have a will, and influences events to further it - actually quite sensible. The idea of a measurable, sapient ‘Force’, that can bend probability and individual will to its design, genuinely is quite terrifying to me.

But then, I’ve always been a sucker for, ‘Fuck you, fate!’ stories…


This is very true and I think it says something very sad about both Games Discourse and writing in games in general that we’re still arguing about the concept of “correct diagnosis, wrong prescription” from a video game villain fourteen years after it came out.

Like, I’ve lost count of the number of people who seem to take Kreia at face value, because she’s the Wizened Mentor Character, and even after she is revealed as the villain and spends half the final boss fight telling you about it, it seems like a lot of people never re-examined the stuff she said before the “Big Reveal.”


This thread is relevant because I actually just started up a fresh DA:I playthrough. I have been trying to dive into the whole series starting with Origins, but I’ve wound up just going through the Keep site again (this time with a guide to all the DA:O and DA2 decisions open) and figuring out what my Warden and Hawke would have done. I really wanted to get into DA:O but I think it’s past my threshold for “ancient-feeling game that I just can’t feel a connection with.” (I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m playing the console version, as I’m guessing the PC version would be a little more tolerable in the look-and-feel department, but shrugs.)

DA:I was my first Dragon Age - I wanted something BioWare to fill the gap in my life between falling in love with the ME trilogy years after everyone else did when I returned to gaming, and the release of ME:A (which I still rather like a lot and think it got a super bum deal, though it’s far from perfect) - and even though I was kind of baffled at first I felt like I got caught up pretty nice between the game’s own story and a nice Kotaku guide I found. I treated it like a fantasy Mass Effect, though, and didn’t engage with some of its systems that much. Now, I know a lot more Dragon Age nerdery and I’m doing things like using the tactical camera and I’m excited to get back into things. Also playing as a mage for the first time - my original Inquisitor was a dual-dagger rogue.

As I try, and bounce off of, a lot of games I see talked about a lot by gaming writers and community folks I respect, I find that the ones I wind up loving are often ones that, like DA:I and the ME games, give me stretches of action broken up by calm, quiet times at a central hub full of people to talk to. I find I get worn out when a game wants me to be 100% “on” every moment I’m interacting with it. There’s something that really satisfies me about not always having to be fighting and being harmed and just being able to go stroll around a beautiful place and read things and talk to characters before getting back out there into it, and wandering around Haven and Skyhold and just existing really scratches that itch. (AC: Odyssey has also really engaged that section of my brain a lot recently, as that is similarly a huge game that has plenty of action but also plenty of that calmer, quieter, character-based storytelling that I just love.)


Absolutely. I played the PC version and I can’t imagine what playing a console version is like. Plus, Origins was supposed to be a big budget version of Bioware’s old isometric RPGs, so PC makes sense for Origins.


I can definitely say that playing the Xbox 360, totally vanilla version of DA:Origins on a One X/4K TV combo gives one an appreciation for the work PC modders do when they make high-res texture packs for old games, because yee-ouch. And the controller, er, controls, while not awful, definitely feel like they’re sub-optimal for the game.

If I ever wind up with a PC of any sort of gaming appropriateness again in the future I’ll probably try it again.


So here’s a question for y’all…I finally got around to finishing the main story in DA:I a number of months ago. I enjoyed my time with the game, but I was a bit burnt out on it. I started the first DLC, Jaws of Hakkon, but it just wasn’t quite grabbing me.

I know that the Trespasser DLC is mandatory stuff that I haven’t experienced yet, so my question is, are the other two DLCs worth my time before diving into Trespasser? Are there good story and character moments? Or should I go straight for the egg head?


I actually wrote up something a while ago that addresses your question! Basically, Hakkon is the most Inquisition-like of the three DLCs. If you’re into an Origins-like dungeon crawl (and like David Hayter’s voice), give The Descent a shot, although it’s not critical to the overall story. Trespasser, on the other hand, is much more akin to Inquisition’s story missions (particularly the one where you go to the Orlesian Palace) and is easily the best of the three. I’d absolurely recommend that one if you’re curious where DA4 could go narratively.


Thanks! I have all 3 DLC’s, and I’m thinking I’ll tackle at least Trespasser at some point soon. But given my limited game time and other games to play, I’m trying to figure out if the other two are worth the time. Based on that write-up, I may just jump into Trespasser, but keep a save so I can go back to the other two DLCs at a later time.


Both Jaws of Hakkon and The Descent are extremely lore-heavy DLC, and The Descent especially has pretty huge implications for the world as a whole. I would be surprised if they didn’t come back to this in DA4. If you love lore, you’ll love these DLC, but if you don’t really mind missing out/reading up on it without playing through dungeons with bullet-spongey enemies, then you can skip these two DLC imho.


You’re totally right, but I will say that I found the run of all 3 DLCs to be an incredible thematic arc towards the revelations at the end of Trespasser. Hakkon deals with the history of Thedas as we think we know it and sows doubt in our minds, The Descent blows the doors off some foundational lore of Dragon Age, and the Trespasser puts that all in context.


Boy, the Mage origin followed up by Ostagar sure does feel like it’s been engineered to bore you to death.


Hey, at least Ostagar isn’t in the fade.


Hey, I like the Fade!

The Circle section is probably the highlight of Origins for me (plus all those delicious, delicious perma-buffs).


Yeah… It’s like, the whole thing that makes her compelling - for real, KotOR II was a super formative game for me, and Kreia will always be one of my favourite characters as a result - is that she’s such a well-executed subversion of both the ‘wise old self-sacrificing mentor’ and the ‘mentor who was secretly evil all along!’ tropes, but so many people seem to, like, not get any of that? I dunno.

To echo what some other folks have been saying, I’d definitely recommend playing all three if you can stay interested! Lots of juicy lore, and Hakkon has a bunch of extra stuff involving my favourite minor side character in the game, Scout Harding…

… who should totally be a full party member in DA4, BioWare!!!


Seconding the Scout Harding love…she deserved a full on romance…


I’m throwing my hat in the “I like the Fade” camp. I’ll take a magic dreamscape where I can transform and be a cool fire person and a mouse and shit over like.

going to get some holy ashes.


I like the fade conceptually but in my first origins playthrough I needed two guides to get through it in the first place because I kept getting lost so my first contact with it thoroughly spoiled my opinion of the place :stuck_out_tongue:


As much as the fade can be a real chore, it pales in comparison to the deep roads underneath Orzammar…seriously, that section is utter garbage, and a primary reason I have little motivation to revisit Origins in the near future.