Month: May 2014

Dragon Age Inquisition: Who Will Return?

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Companions from Past Dragon Age games are definitely going to return for Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s only a question of who.

In Dragon Age 2, every single romanceable character from Dragon Age: Origins reappears briefly save for Morrigan. By some chance, they all manage to meet Hawke. It would make sense if, by some chance, they all managed to meet The Inquisitor as well. This trend may carry over from the second game as well, having Merrill, Fenris, Isabella, and Anders appear as well.

Before I fully go into that, I want to talk about companions from DLC games. From Awakening, we have Velanna, Sigrun, and Nathaniel Howe. Having made a grey Warden related appearance in DA2, I think we can expect to see Nathaniel in some fashion again. Whether or not it’s in DA:I, well it won’t be a surprise if he’s there, but I’m not exactly expecting to see him. In most endings, Sigrun puts of death for a few decades. In most endings, Velanna’s future is left open. As possible Grey Wardens, I wouldn’t expect more than a Cameo from either of them.

I’m most interested in what’s going on with Ariane and Finn, the two who were with The Warden when Morrigan gave them the mysterious artifact in the Witch Hunt DLC. Their actual importance remains to be seen, but future appearances were hinted at it was heavily implied that Finn, a circle mage, never returned to the circle after those events. I want it to be more than his clear growing attachment to Ariane. As they were involved in what will probably prove to be a big part of the plot, I would say their appearance is at least somewhat likely. What do you think? Will Finn and Ariane ever make another appearance?

As for main companions, I would stamp all of the full romances as almost definitely, whereas the others are largely up in the air. Save for Wynne, who died saving her son’s girlfriend. I know. Right in the feels. Anyway.  The return of Varric, Leliana, and Morrigan has already been announced, and Cullen appears in the trailer (squee!). And we can’t even question the appearance of Sandal and Bodahn. Who else might we see?

Alistair

2j4378oAlistair first appeared as the main companion and a romance option for a female warden in DA:O. In most cases, Alistair became king and is thus an important political figure in Thedas. If he didn’t become kind, he remains in the Grey Wardens. Due to his part in the blight, he would be one of the leaders of the Wardens in Ferelden and thus be an important figure. Regardless of what happens in the first game (assuming you don’t let him kill the Archdemon) Alistair appears in DA2. These factors make me 100% positive Alistair will show up in Inquisition, likely in a larger capacity than in DA2. Alistair has been confirmed for DA:I. 

Zevran

Zevran_the_CrowZevran first appeared as a possible companion and romance in Origins. As long as Zevran doesn’t die, he gets his own side quest in DA2. Based on his history and his appearance in DA2, I think it’s safe to conclude that Zevran always manages to find trouble and Bioware is willing to place him in a game even if he’s totally irrelevant to the plot. This tells me that Zevran will probably return in some capacity for Inquisition. You’ll probably have a chance for a threesome, because that’s become an ongoing thing. Edit: It has been confirmed that Zevran won’t be making an appearance. That being said, the voice actor, John Curry, will be voicing a male inquisitor. 

Oghren

dao3We meet Oghren while attempting to get the the dwarven armies in DA:O. We see him again in Awakening, where he becomes a Grey Warden. We did not see Oghren in DA2, even when the Grey Wardens show up during the second act. That being said, he’s a popular character. In the first trailer for Inquisition, we see and grey Warden outpost being attacked. While the full involvement of the grey Wardens remain to be see, I would say at this point Oghren probably won’t appear in the game. However, I could see him appearing again in the fourth of fifth games of the series, depending on where they go with Inquisition.

Shale

Shale_faceShale is a Golem that can only be acquired using a DLC for Origins. She hasn’t appeared in any game since DA:O, but has continued to appear in the books. She was a major character in Asunder, making her part of a major plot point that happens just before the start of Inquisition. I would consider her return extremely unlikely, but I wouldn’t completely write it off just yet. Edit: Shale will not be returning for DA:I. 

Sten

stenSten is a qunari who appears in Origins as a possible companions. If he survives Origins, he eventually becomes the leader of his people. Due to the qunari involvement in DA2, and the fact that you can play as a qunari in Inquisition, I would say an appearance from Sten in definitely possible. I wouldn’t expect it, or consider it likely, but it’s definitely possible.

Anders

AnderseditedHe first appeared in Dragon Age: Awakening as a flouncy mage-turned-warden who had escaped from the circle several times. He appears again in DA2 – having totally lost his mind do to allowing Justice to possess him – as a playable companion and soap-opera romance option. It’s pretty much his fault when everything goes to shit at the end of DA2. And, if he was left alive, it would be interesting to see him during the war. I would consider his appearance extremely likely. His chance of dying in the second game kind of throws his chance of being a major character, but it is very likely that Vengeance would continue to use the body, and this may only affect the type of encounter you have with him. I would consider an appearance likely.

Isabella

IsabelaDAIIIsabella is first seen in the first game as a pirate hanging out in a brothel. If you talk to her right, you have the chance for a three way (or even a full out orgy). She is a playable companion and romance option in DA2. The role she had to play in the Qunari subplot in DA2 and the fact that she’s appeared in both of the main games makes her appearance very likely. The fact that you can enter into a three with (and Zevran) in both games makes her appearance even more likely. I don’t think Bioware is just ready to pass on this running gag. Regardless of whether she comes back for Hawke or not, Isabella has a history in the Dragon Age games of getting into trouble. Where there is trouble, I’m sure we’ll find her.

Merrill

Merrill_PortraitLike Isabella, Merrill has a solid history in the DA games. We first see her in the first game during the Dalish Elf origin story. She is not only a member of the Dalish Warden’s clan, but she becomes a temporary companion during the second half of the story. She appears again in DA2 as a mandatory character and possible romance option. Throughout the series, she has been heavily connected with the Eluvian, the mysterious plot point that just keeps coming back. The Eluvian is hugely relevant in both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, making it likely we’ll see it again in Inquisition. And, along with it, I’d say it’s likely Merrill will make an appearance. I would love to see her as a sort of guard, warning people away from the danger of the mirror.

Aveline

Av01She first appears as a mandatory companion on Dragon Age 2. At first, he story may not seem all that relevant to the story of Dragon Age as a whole. That’s because it’s her character that’s important. Aveline was a soldier in Ferelden, an officer at the battle of Ostagar. She survived and went on to become the captain of the Kirkwall guard. Aveline has conviction and skill. When she sees injustice, she does something about it. While the game takes place during a war, I would actually expect to see Aveline somewhere defending those who cannot defend themselves. I really think we’ll see her again, but I also really think her appearance will be brief.

Carver/Bethany

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The sibling of Hawke in DA2. Regardless of which one of them survives, I think the only chance Hawk jr. will return is with Hawke, or as a Warden. If Bethany was in the Circle or Carver was a Templar, they are instrumental in the start of the war and flee with Hawke. If they survive, I imagine any appearance from Hawke may spark a brief appearance from the Hawke sibling. I would also expect to see them in some capacity if they were made a grey Warden. I consider the appearance of the Hawke sibling to be very unlikely, but I wouldn’t totally write it off.

Fenris

Fenris_closeFenris first appears in DA2 as a possible companion and romance (being the only totally new character to be a full romance option). His story has a lot to do with mages, as he pretty much hates them. He can show compassion and even respect for those who have control, but that seems to be pretty uncommon in Thedas. Also, I need him to return. For the sake of hope (and I’m sure a myriad of actual logical reason) I really think we’ll be seeing Fenris in some capacity in Inquisition. If you did romance him, he’ll be where Hawke is. If you didn’t romance him, it would be really fun for me if he was still with Isabella. Anyway. We’ll see him again.

Hawke

I really think that Hawke will appear in Inquisition. Hawke was a the center of the conflict that started the war, and Cassandra was introduced as the Chantry Seeker trying to find them. On top of that, there is no possibility of Hawke’s death in DA2. Varric is telling the story of The champion 3 years after the fact, and since then there has not even been a solid rumor of Hawkes death or location. This is the kind of set up for a major appearance. Assuming Hawke doesn’t appear fighting in some capacity in the war, I imagine Hawke will return as a major player as Varric and Cassandra manage to find them. I would put Hawke’s appearance (and thus the appearance of whoever romance Hawke) as very likely.

The Warden

This is the one I’m really unsure about. Based on what we know about Inquisition so far, it doesn’t appear that the Wardens have very much to do with the plot. That being said, it did appear that the Seeker was looking for The Warden at the end of DA2. Based on the currently conflict, I would consider an appearance from the Warden as probably, but only in the fashion of a cameo. I think for a full appearance we would have to wait for a future game.

 

There you have it. My thoughts on who will appear for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Who do you think will return? Something to consider: It is highly possible that King Alistair may be calling on old friends and old heroes to help defend Ferelden. Who knows who he might call on?

For some more announcements and speculative thoughts on the latest installment of Dragon Age, check this out.

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Coming Soon: Dragon Age Inquisition

I cannot express to you in words how excited I am for this game. While linking a video of me squealing in joy might be entertaining, I’m really want to get through this post with as much dignity as possible. So I will simply tell you that I make some weird noises every time I watch this trailer.

If you know all about dragon age, skip here. For those of you not hip to DA, have a brief history: Dragon Age: Inquisition is the third installment in Bioware’s epic fantasy role play game known as Dragon Age. The series begins with Dragon Age: Origins, where you play as The Warden, a Grey Warden who must step up to defeat the blight marching across your home, Ferelden. The Warden Later becomes known as The Hero of Ferelden. In a DLC related to DA:O, you can important your character (or make a new one) and play as The Warden Commander. As The Warden Commander, you are trying to rebuild the Wardens while simultaneously dealing with post-blight Darkspawn activity and an intelligent Darkspawn (which is unheard of – they usually horde under the hive mind of a giant dragon). The second game, creatively titled Dragon Age 2, introduces a new character and looks deeper at a barley-mentioned plot point from the first game: the mages who are forced to live under the power of the Templars and the Chantry. And Mage that does not is illegal, an apostate mage. In the game, you play as Hawke, a human who flees from the blight of Ferelden to what used to be the slave center of the world: Kirkwall. Starting out poor, Hawke begins to rise in power and importance, eventually becoming known as the Champion of Kirkwall. And then being forced to a.) kill all the mages or b.) kill all the templars (but really the mages because bioware was having an off day). Basically, regardless of what happens at the end of this game the mages are no longer a part of the chantry and a world-wide civil war type deal is about to start.

AND THEN in between the end of the second game and the start of the third game there is a book wherein some mages rip the veil and unleash the fade (the land of dreams and demons) on to earth.

I know I said brief. But there is more than 25 hours to the main plot, with more than 50 hours of total content to each game. Brief is relative.

Anyway.

Dragon Age: Inquisition once again introduces a new character, known as The Inquisitor. The summary the website gives is:

A cataclysmic event plunges the land of Thedas into turmoil. Dragons darken the sky, casting a shadow over lands on the brink of chaos. Mages break into all-out war against the oppressive templars. Nations rise against one another. It falls to you and your allies to restore order as you lead the Inquisition and hunt down the agents of chaos.

According to a timeline posted on the main website, the game takes place around sometime after 9:40 Dragon, ten years after the start of DA:O and DA2, and three years after the events of DA2. The player will be working with a map four to five times the size of Ferelden. We know the character will be going to Orlais, Ferelden, The Free Marches, The Dales, and Nevarra.

Now, the Inquisitor, as seen in the trailer, is a person who walks out of the fade totally unharmed in a place where every other person was basically burned alive. The Inquisitor is the only person who seems to have the power to close tears in the veil. Like in the first game, you will be able to choose you race as well as you class. The classes are the same as always (rogue, mage, warrior) and it looks like, as in the last game, there is a special place in the plot for a mage Inquisitor. The races, however, are a bit different. In this game, you’ll have the option to play as a human, elf, dwarf, or quanari (sqee!). That’s right, people. We can play as a freakin quanari.

Da2_races

Those horns, though!

The player will have the ability to customize the character like never before, being able to chose armor even down to the color scheme. And, like in previous games, the character’s race and class will become a part of the story – determining their  history as well as how many of the characters respond to them and the types of choices they can make.

Bioware has also hinted that The Warden and Hawke may show up at some point in this game or in later games. I could understand if we didn’t see The Warden in this game – the Grey Wardens are always elusive. And while in the first trailer we witness the destruction of a Grey Warden outpost (and there was clearly something going on with the Wardens in the DA2) it would make sense if the Commander of the Grey never found the time to personally greet the inquisitor. However, it would be utter bullshit if Hawke did not make an appearance. Hawke is at the center of all this crap, and a huge part of the premise of the second game was that The Seeker – Cassandra – was looking for Hawke to try to put an end to the war before it began. Clearly, she failed. While Hawke might not hold public office or have any sort of position, s/he is instrumental to the start of the war, is always at the center when something goes wrong, and would naturally run into the Inquisitor. Hawke’s a meddler. It’s what they do.

Again, as in previous games, the inquisitor will find and recruit companions along the way. Bioware says there can be up to nine, but have only release he names of a few of them.

270px-VarricinquisitionAs expected, Varric will return as a companion (squee!). Along with all his wit and a phrase that I need on a T-shirt immediately:

“You might want to watch yourself. It’s raining demons out here.”

Varric first appeared in the second game as a dwarven bard Cassandra was dragging in for questioning in her search for The Champion. Varric is one who tells us the story that we play out in DA2 and is a main character throughout the game. He’s not romanceable, but remains loyal to Hawke even if you somehow manage to max out his rivalry.

cassandra-profile-260pxAlso returning, but new to the title of companion, is Cassandra. We first meet Cassandra at the start of the second game as she drags Varric in for questioning. The website gives her some history lacking from DA2:

Though of noble birth, Cassandra Pentaghast turned her back on a life of wealth and privilege to join the Seekers of Truth. The ancient order serves as a watchful eye over corruption and magical threats, granted ultimate authority in its investigations by the Chantry—or it did, prior to abandoning their duty in response to the mage rebellion. Cassandra did not join her brothers in this, instead remaining loyal to Divine Justinia and her efforts to restore order in the face of chaos. She is both pious and driven, the sword in the right hand of the Divine, seeking justice above all else.

I’m really excited to have Cassandra as a member of my party. She’s a total badass. I’m also excited for the return of Morrigan. She won’t be returning as a companion, but her appearance is especially significant considering the fact that her mother, Flemeth, has been trying to take over her body from some time now (and a brief appearance from Flemeth in DA2 tells us we aren’t sure if she’s succeeded) and because she disappeared without a trace at the end of DA:O. If you play the DLC Witch Hunt, she gives you a mysterious book which is probably what the Grey Wardens are acting on in DA2.

morrigan-profile-260pxThe website has this to say about Morrigan:

Whether the dark-haired sorceress seeks to influence the Imperial throne, or harbors more sinister motives, no-one knows for certain. This Witch of the Wilds arrived in Orlais rather suddenly three years ago as the newly-appointed “arcane advisor” to Empress Celene. In this role, Morrigan presents a source of information unfiltered by religious dogma, and satisfies Celene’s life-long curiosity about magic. However, whispers carry concern of Morrigan having Celene wrapped around her finger, teaching the Empress forbidden, dark arts in secret.

So, yeah.

Bioware has also announced four more of the nine companions to join the Inquisitor. None of whom have appeared in any of the early games, as far as we know.

Solas, an elvin apostate; Iron Bull, a one-eyed Tal-Vashoth mercenary; Sera, an elven archer; and Vivienne, an Orlesian mage and person enchanter and advisor to Empress Celene, she is not in favor of the mage rebellion. We have the most information on Vivienne, but the other characters already seem like they might be interesting. Especially considering they’re all going to be on different sides of the war and we’ve never had a Tal-Vashoth companion before.

Also appearing in the trailing, according to IBN, is Cullen (squee!) to serve as your military adviser, Leliana as you spy (squee!, a person who may or may not be Cole from Asunder (squee!), and a possible Tevinter Magister (which will be especially fun is Fenris shows up).

For a full assessment of past characters to appear in Inquisition, check this out.

Overall, from the trailer and the pictures on the website, the gameplay and the world look beautiful. I am really, really excited. It’s released October 7, 2014. And yes, I have already pre-ordered it.

What do you think about all this? Let me know in the comments below!

 

The Seattle Sound (2014)

The Seattle Sound is a documentary aimed at revealing a closer look into the lives of some of the street musicians and buskers of the Seattle Area, specifically Pike Place Market.

This is a wonderfully made documentary by two students, Ryan Lee and Heather Accord. The film focuses on musicians Piper Foulon, Gary Reid, and Emery Carl.

I find this very interesting. Not because I’ve never given this much thought – I usually stop to listen and I always give them spare cash if I have any. I find this interesting because I have never seen these people play before. It seems I’m always at Pike Place at the exact moment they aren’t playing. My sister actually went to school with Piper, and her family has a doughnut booth at the farmers market during the spring and summer. I find this interesting because this is my city and I really feel like I’ve missed something.

My main experience with buskers is what I affectionately refer to as the Piano Man. The Piano Man pulls a mini piano out to Pike Place and plays like a master. I remember once I sat for almost the full hour and listened to him play. I gave him some money, but I didn’t actually talk to him because I’m like that.

Anyway, take a look at this documentary. It’s well made, interesting, filled with great music, and it’s so, so, Seattle. Tell me what you think!