Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DA:O - Amusing Oddities 2

Later this week I'll have an update from Orzammar (Not all of Orzammar because it is one very long main quest) but today I present a mid-week edition of Amusing Oddities. Every once in a while I run across things in the game that are slightly befuddling or make me laugh. Below are a few from the Brecilian Forest's Elven Ruins.

Piles of Filth -These things are not restricted to the Elven Ruins, since just about everywhere Perra goes she discovers "piles of filth" or piles of other things that hide loot-able objects. I understand that these things are likely supposed to be piles of hay, straw, and maybe burlap (the large brown spaces) but why are the piles so regular looking? For something that supposedly piled up over time or was simply dumped somewhere you would think that it would be more irregularly fashioned. Instead it looks like the pile was shaped with care and then lovingly flattened to form a cushion shaped object. Even more confusing in nature is the origin of said hay/straw/burlap? The only time that the location of these piles made sense was when Perra saw them in Castle Redcliffe's basement. That whole area had been strewn with hay, so random piles made sense. Here, however, in the middle of an ancient elven ruin, a couple piles of filth are the only instances where one sees hay.

Moreover, the mere name pile of filth indicates that it is a trash heap of sorts where one dumps refuse. First of all, I'm not entirely certain that the werewolves are quite that sophisticated, but then again they did have piles of sacks and numerous crates laying about. I could be wrong in that assumption. Second of all, if the pile of filth is indeed a trash dump of sorts then why is it only represented by that? Why doesn't it also show a couple objects peeking out of it? The whole situation is rather perplexing.

Sarcophagi - Let me be clear, I'm not confused by the presence of sarcophagi in Dragon Age. Every self-respecting sword and sorcery RPG should have them. What is perplexing, however, is the lack of ghosts or avenging spirits guarding them. If you consider the sheer abundance of animated dead in this game (shambling skeletons, fanged skeletons, devouring skeletons, revenants, arcane horrors, and numerous fade demons) then why on earth is there no form of avenging dead protecting the sarcophagi? The first time I went to loot a sarcophagus, I saved the game first because I expected to be accosted by some vengeful spirit bent on protecting the skeleton inside and its burial artifacts. (Stealing from the dead! I have no shame.) Do know what happened when Perra opened the burial box? Nothing. That's right, nothing. Apparently in the world of Dragon Age: Origins it is normal for ruins to be scattered with skeletons that animate themselves and attack you. The same world, however, could care less about bodies that were actually buried with care.

I will take a moment to say that there is one sarcophagus guarded by a very very angry spirit, but this particular spirit isn't activated by you disturbing her place of rest. Instead she is already awake, visible from a distance, and her mortal body appears to have been placed in a wooden casket instead of a stone box. The grave was clearly disturbed prior to your arrival as the casket's lid has been knocked off and one can see the skeleton inside.

The Werewolves' Lair - This is not so much perplexing as it is amusing. I accepted the premise of watery portals (pool of water = door to another non-watery place) a very long time ago thanks to C.S. Lewis. Did you ever read that Magician's Nephew? In Nephew, Digory Kirke, Polly Plummer and Uncle Andrew use a series of pools within a magical forest to transport themselves to various places in the yet-to-be-created Narnia. For some reason, that is what this part of Dragon Age reminds me of.


  1. I love that book - I read the whole series through again a couple of years ago. Its truly epic.

  2. The Narnia books as a whole are first rate classics. While growing up, The Magician's Nephew was actually my least favorite in the series. The forest with pools of water made a big visual impact on me though. I went back a couple of years ago and reread the novels in chronological order (not the written order that my parent's set had been published in). It was then that I realized for the first time just what a fantastic novel "Nephew" really was.