Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age is a classical RPG developed by Bioware as the "Spiritual Successor" to their Baldur's Gate series. In it, you have hyper-violent combat in a mind-numbingly boring turn based format. Also, there's a brothel.

The logo is a smear of blood...So that tells you something

Just The Facts

  1. Dragon Age is a single player role playing game developed by Bioware and published by Electronic Arts. It received almost universal acclaim when released.
  2. The game allows you to pick from 6 Origins, which can vary from a Human Noble to a Dwarf Commoner. These Origins then greatly affect how people react to your character.
  3. The game also pokes fun at the retarded, implies bestiality, and allows you to sell the soul of a child in order to have sex with a purple pleasure demon.
  4. Enchantment!

Plot Summary

The game opens after you pick one of the six Origins for your character. These range from a Mage in a tower who can help his buddy get laid by a priest, to a Dwarven Noble who spends his days stabbing his brother in the back and boning dwarf whores.

It all comes back to dwarf midgets in the end...
It all comes down to sex with midgets...
Eventually though, you're kicked out of whatever city/tower/cave you grew up in and are recruited into the Grey Wardens. The Grey Wardens are a group of warriors whose sole purpose is to hang around waiting for orcs...sorry, Darkspawn to invade the world in an invasion called a Blight. Being a new recruit, Duncan, your mentor, takes you right to the frontlines at a battlefield called Ostagar. Because, taking untrained recruits and throwing them into battle is the best way to train them. Right?
Here in the Grey Wardens, we learn through experience
Grey Warden Internship
There, you meet Alistair, and two other Grey Warden Recruits that end up doing nothing. You also meet the King and his second in command, Loghain. They fight like an old couple, but it's okay because you can tell they really love each other. You also meet Morrigan and her mother Flemeth, two Witches of the Wild. And no, you can't bone them...yet.
Looking forward to some Witches Gone Wild...
Looking forward to the Witches Gone Wild Expansion though!
Your first mission as a Grey Warden is to go out into the wilds and find Darkspawn blood. Yes, Darkspawn blood. Around this time, any normal human/elf/dwarf would start questioning why the cult of blade wielding psychopathic killers would want you to get a vial of Darkspawn blood as your initiation ritual. But you go get the blood anyways cuz, hey, everybody was doing it and damn it you want to fit in!
Like all initiations, you'll wake up to everyone staring at you and a sore ass
This is not what you want to wake up to after an initiation....
Turns out that the blood you collected was for you to drink. Wait, what? Drink blood? What the hell!? What kind of crazy cult is this? I mean, I know it's supposed to be medieval times or something, but how can drinking blood of some malformed orc-like thing be good for you!? How does that turn you into some type of superhero!? Don't they know about AIDS!?
Okay, so it worked for Magic Johnson
Which leads to the question, is Magic Johnson a Grey Warden!?
Anyways, you drink the damn cup cuz the other option is getting stabbed in the chest by your crazy teacher, and are made a full-fledge Grey Warden. So what does the newest Grey Warden do? Do you lead the charge into the Darkspawn horde? Maybe train your own griffin?
Nope. They send you to light a tower. Succeeding in this is supposed to tell the King's second in command, Loghain, to charge to his rescue. Then this happens...

Yeah, a lot to absorb. Let's sum it up; guy with black hair betrayed your mentor and blondie, leaving you and your buddy Alistair as the last two Grey Wardens in the country. Luckily, your saved by Flemeth, the Witch you'd met earlier. For reasons unknown, she sends her daughter Morrigan along with you to help on your adventure. She also encourages you to find allies amongst the Dwarves, Mages, and Dalish Elves.
Along the way, you'll also have to help stop the raging civil war that that asshole Loghain started if you want help from the human kingdom. Which would be fine if Loghain didn't keep harassing you throughout the entire game. Seriously...He just killed your entire order and reduced your only other Gray Warden into a weepy little rag doll who spends the rest of the game as eye candy for female gamers (You can't deny it if it's true).
Enjoys kicking puppies and eating kittens
Typical Bioware Asshole...
Gradually though, the game continues in typical Bioware style. You visit a place, and be it elves, dwarfs, or mages, something is fucking with their ability to help you. Most of the time though, it can be summed up like this...
Evil Green Boob Spirit
Defeat Green Boob Demon
Evil Purple Boob Spirit
Defeat Purple Boob Demon...
A woman dwarf who constantly bitches at you
Defeat Woman with no boobs that bitches at you for half the level....
We here at Cracked don't mean to imply that Dragon Age made women the bane of its world's existence...so we won't.
Anyways, eventually, you manage to get enough people in the country to stop killing each other and join you to take on the Blight. But first, you need to go deal with that pesky Loghain.
Unfortunatley, Loghain's a seasoned general, whose daughter was married to the king before he went all Benedict Arnold on him. Where are you possibly going to find someone who can replace him? Where will you ever find someone who can claim a stronger connection to the throne than him...
Damn it!
Damn it...
Turns out, this guy is your only hope. The one with the heart on his dick. No, seriously. That's right, the little gay guy who's been following you since Ostagar. Alistair. Apparently it slipped his mind to mention that he was actually the bastard son of Maric, father of the former king. He must have been too busy constantly weeping about how his mentor was killed months ago.
Somehow, we thought this might have come up....
You'd think it'd have come up at some point...
So, with this genius heading up your little band of rebels, you go to the capital city of Denerim to confront Loghain. Sure. Why not? It's the perfect plan. Of course, it wouldn't be a Bioware game without choices. When the time comes to confront Loghain, you are forced to defeat him in a duel. When you do, he yields and hands over control of the country to you. Yay! Totally uncomplicated victory! Right? RIGHT!?
David Gaider laughs at your simplicity
David Gaider laughs at your simplicity!
Just as you're about to execute this asshole, who shows up but a senior Grey Warden named Riordan, who apparently showed up late for the whole dying in a wholesale slaughter thing. He suggests that they make Loghain a Grey Warden as there are so few of them anyways. Since drinking Darkspawn blood is mostly fatal (Told you!) it might have been as good as an execution anyways. If he lived though, they gained a new Grey Warden.
Good plan right!? We know! Win win for everyone! Wait...
GOD DAMN IT!
DAMN IT!!!
Alistair flips out when he hears this plan, reminding everyone that Loghain killed his mentor (for the billionth time), complaining that he doesn't want to be on the same team as Loghain, whining that Loghain hurt his feelings, yada yad yada. So now you have a choice. Do you pick the seasoned experienced general with years of combat experience to fight for you, or do you go with Alistair?
Guess which we picked?
Admittedly, this picture kinda made it a hard choice...
Admittedly, this snapshot of him made the choice harder...
Regardless of what you picked, afterwards you and whatever allies you have gather at a castle that seems to be as far away from the capital city Denerim as possible. This becomes a problem when the Darkspawn somehow sneak around you and attack Denerim. Apparently, somebody dropped the ball on that one.
It's decided that you and whatever allies you've managed to scrape together are to march to Denerim right away. More importantly, the leader of the Blight, the Archdemon, is apparently leading the attack. Knowing this, the Grey Warden Riordan approaches you and either Loghain or Alistair, and explains why Grey Wardens are needed to defeat Blights.
Turns out, the Archdemon will only die if it's killed by someone who's done the whole "shot of Darkspawn blood" thing. Otherwise, it just goes right on living, even if you cut of its head.
Memo to U.S Government- Research effect of drinking Cuban blood...
Memo to U.S Government- Look into drinking Cuban blood....
Of course, whoever kills the Archdemon then dies. And we're assuming that since their soul is destroyed, they don't go to whatever sex filled heaven Bioware's dreamed up for this world. Basically, your screwed in the only way Bioware hasn't let you screw your character so far.
Of course, who rides to the rescue then, but Morrigan. Remember that Witch that's been following you around this whole time for no apparent reason? Yeah, she shows up, waiting in your bedroom for you, not acting creepy at all. She makes an offer that might sound fucked up. But here her out...

Did you hear her out? Listen to her whole plan? Pause the video to stare at her cleavage for a minimum 1 minute? Good...
Jesus Christ! Anybody else feel a combination of horror and bat-shit crazy nausea when she said "A child shall be conceived"? So that leaves you with four choices-
1. Sleep with Morrigan and live (but possibly leave some demon monster in the world)
2.Convince Alistair to sleep with Morrigan and live (they despise each other)
3. Kill the Archdemon yourself and die
4. Have Alistair or Loghain kill the Archdemon and die, depriving the kingdom of its only capable leader
Another woman trying to trap a man with pregnancy...
Another woman trying to trap a man with pregnancy...
Again, regardless of your choice the Archdemon is slain, and the whole world rejoices. You're either treated to a heartfelt eulogy or throngs of cheering people calling you a hero. Yay. Oh boy. But I mean, come on! The only real choices are die or fuck up the world in the future! 'sigh' Oh well, at least we all got to sleep with a witch...right?
Like we said, it all comes back to boning whores....

Companions

As with all Bioware games, you have the opportunity to meet dozens of non-player characters throughout the game. Some of these will join your party, others will annoy you with their constant whining for help until you snap and stab them in the back of the head with a knife because DAMN IT! I DON'T WANT TO WALK ALL THE WALK A

ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE CIRCLE OF MAGI SO YOU CAN PICK UP SOME INAIN PACKAGE!

GAAGAHAGAHG! NO! I will not save your kitten!

In the end though, only a few of them will follow you around. These, as in most RPGs, are called Companions. Unlike in most games, Dragon Age gave companions an approval rating that replaced the morality system in most Bioware games. Depending on their approval of you, characters would either fight harder for you, or stabbing you in the back and taking a shit on your rotting corpse.

Obviously these guys are pretty important so here they are...

Alistair

Okay, we poked some fun at Alistair above, but it's not like he's completely useless. I mean, he's got a sword and armor, and despite the fact that he falls over crying ninety percent of the time shouldn't be a big problem. Right? I'm sure he wouldn't puss out on us when we need him most...

Alistair...naked...in prison...waiting to be rescued...

Morrigan

At first glance, Morrigan is your standard Bioware evil character. Massively inflated ego? Check. Irritating ability to home in on good decisions and immediately discard them as stupid? Check. Massive rack and cleavage that instantly restore male admiration of her? Double check!

As the story continues though, you eventually find that Morrigan's character's slightly more complicated than that. She's a survivor (which makes the lack of tribute videos of her to that song a miracle) and will do anything to advance her own power. This includes a time when in her own personal quest she sends you to go kill her own mother.

Disemboweled by Morrigan

Like we said, she's not totally straightforward, but that doesn't mean she's not evil. It's more like...now, instead of a full on orgasm every time she sees a puppy thrown into a woodchipper, she just gets a little wet.

Leliana

This is Leliana. And she hears voices...

Okay, maybe that's not fair. Leliana is a priest that joins your party soon after Morrigan. Except unlike most games where priests are the most useful character in the game, Leliana apparently skipped all the healing magic stuff to learn how to sing.

Yet more proof that singers are dangerous and need to be destroyed...

Leliana apparently was spoken to by the Maker (Dragon Ages "God") and was told to go help you on your quest. When hearing the story, most players consider making a smart ass comment to the little priest just so they can keep the amount of crazy on their party to a maximum two people.

But then they remember the ancient Tibetan quote handed down for generations..."If you can talk to it in a Bioware game, you can probably do it". So of course, you let her come along. Then you find out she's a lesbian. At this point, most players start aiming for the threesome with Morrigan...at which point they learn that Leliana, being the symbol of virtue and everything fuzzy, and Morrigan, being able to change into a spider (no, seriously) do not exactly get along.

Probably for the best since she still claims to speak to God....

Sten

Sten is probably best exemplified with a metaphor of a stream flowing down the river. If you try to go against the stream, you're just gonna lose and be pushed back down. If you try to flow with the stream, it will smash your head on some rocks and throw you down a water fall. If you try getting out, the water grabs you by your leg and beats you to death with a club it made by uprooting a tree.

Confused? Yeah, so were we. But it's really very simple; Sten will never like you.

See, Sten follows something called the Qun, which is a religion that seems to require you to be a colossal douche bag.

A Tom Cruise joke would be too easy...

Basically being nice to Sten will have him view you as a pussy, while being a dick to him will cause him to violently strangle you. When you first meet him, he's in a cage because, as he readily admits, he murdered a family of local farmers in a sociopathic rage. Of course. You then have the choice of leaving him there or adding him to your little group of misfit killers. Logic says let the guy rot for how irritating he is.

But maybe...maybe Sten simply wishes for you to be a good leader. Maybe, as a leader, you're meant to find a balance between heroic leadership and brutal determination that others will follow your orders. Perhaps then, Sten would not only follow you willingly, but respect and admire you as a person...

FUCK!

Zevran

Oh Dragon Age, your characters are so deep and complex! If only there was someone we could recruit who wouldn't constantly bitch and moan and try to kill us in a murderous rage...

This is Zevran, an assassin hired to kill you. He is also ironically the least annoying companion you can have. Unlike every other person you seem to meet, Good Old Zev is okay with everything from throwing money at homeless people too throwing the homeless people off cliffs just to watch them drown. He's basically a good representation of everything Bioware is; an amoral, bisexual whore machine. Oh? Did we mention he's bisexual? Well, don't worry. He makes it pretty obvious...

This was eight minutes after meeting him...

As mentioned above, Zevran is an assassin hired by Loghain to kill you. If you want, you can spare his life and just let him stab you in the back later. But then you'd have nothing to listen to but everyone else's bitching (a fate worse than death). The downside to Zevran? He's kinda that one gay guy at the bar. You know? THAT gay guy. He'll just kinda follow you around and make references to the two of you sleeping together until you finally just snap and bash his head in just to make him stop. If only there was a character that was never annoying and that you could just have a drink with....

Oghren

Oh, a drunk dwarf...never see any of those in literature and movies. Still, maybe this is the one! The guy to just chill and have a frosty ale with. Nobody's nagging you or whining that their village is on fire. Just you and Oghren...

Damn...

Oghren's a bit of a badass. He's what dwarves call, a "Berserker" and what we at Cracked call "Out of his Fucking Mind". He admits to fighting in a blind rage half the time and is actually rather funny. Until he pukes on your shoes. See, Oghren's a drunk, as mentioned above, and so suffers from the terrible disabilities drunks are plagued with. Like...

An inability to keep his mouth shut

Idiotic choices

Loss of respect from everyone around you

So maybe he's not the one to have tag along with you. Still, at least he's not constantly nagging you!

Wynne

Wynne is the one that will nag you about your shoes and socks not matching and your choice to sprinkle cocaine on your oatmeal instead of good old brown sugar. And if you complain that brown sugar is boring, she'll give you a lecture about "The good old days" until she dies. Which, luckily, seems to be right on the horizon with Wynne.

Okay Wynne, it's your turn to go stand in front of the dragon...

See, Wynnes apparently already dead, and her body is solely being sustained by the Spirit of Faith, which I guess is like her being a zombie. But she's a nice, big breasted zombie that will knit you a scarf if you complain that your neck is cold.

Shale

Shale dislikes birds. Which considering the rest of the dysfunctional cast of companions trying to stab, maim, or sodomize you, is actually pretty normal. He's also a giant stone golem, so we can forgive the bird thing. All and all, Shale's a pretty cool character who doesn't complain as long as you keep using him as a giant walking battering ram.

There's some vague convoluted plot involving Shales need to find his identity, but you can mostly just skip it and keep using him as a wall to hide behind. The only other thing worth noting is that Shale gets along well with Sten...which scares us at Cracked to no end.

Loghain

As we mentioned above, yes you can make the bad guy a companion. Which, considering his resume, makes sense. I mean, sure he killed your fellow Grey Wardens, but you barely knew them anyways. And Loghain is a general with years of experience and combat skill under his belt. You'd be insane to not take this guy along. He'd probably defeat the Blight, solve world hunger, all while training a litter kitten in his backpack.

Admittedly, they'd be kitten assassins...

But who does that? I mean, really, the guy has the management skill of George Bush (There. That's my Bush joke quota for the day). He failed to unite his nobles, apparently bombed at killing the Wardens, and was forced to sell a section of his people into slavery to pay for it all. Even an assassin hired to work for him ended up joining his enemies. But when the other option is Alistair...well, we went with Loghain

Mabari War Hound

Finally. The perfect companion. Not only does your trained mabari war hound not bark at you all day for every little sin, he is damn useful. Tell him to fetch and he'll take five minutes to root around the place looking for everything from dirty pantaloons to cake

Note: Don't confuse those two...

Finally, your war dogs approval will never go down. Ever. Never ever. This makes the Mabari the least judgmental of your companions, and a favorite for fat chicks. Seriously, you could do anything. Enslave a ring of innocent elves? Yep. Murder someone in their sleep to steal their gold? You betcha. You could even sodomize a kitten and the most annoying thing your dog would probably do is try to join in!

Sorry, but this is a Bioware game...