I’ve now completed Dragon Age II for the second time and the whole ‘playing a bitch’ element was a lot more fun then being the nice guy. Although disappointingly, the ending was not as radically different as I would have liked, although there were certainly changes.
What I wanted to do with these play-throughs is show the complex spider-like way the plotlines can change with each and every choice. Unfortunately the game doesn’t play out that way, there are main events that are carved in stone, it’s just how you get to them or the smaller events, that change.
***As before, this has loads of spoilers, so don’t read if you don’t want to know ‘em.***
Right, let’s start with my companions
Anders requested that we went down to a secret tunnel in Darktown to investigate the possibility of a Templar conspiracy. As we reached the end of the tunnel, we came upon some Templars about to kill a young mage for leaving the Circle of Magi in order to speak to her family. The Justice Spirit inside of Anders rose up and with our help we destroyed all of the Templars. The Spirit then set upon the young mage, with similar claims of justice needing to be upheld. This time round I made no real attempt to stop Anders, and he killed the mage. When I next caught up with Anders he was racked with guilt over what he had done, I couldn’t kill him at this point but I made it clear he was no longer welcome with us and he left me as a companion.
Once again, Anders blew the Chantry up but this time there would be no clemency he apologised but I still slit his throat and there ended the story of Anders.
Fenris appears to be the Leliana of Dragon 2. No matter how hard I tried, I could never sleep with Leliana, and Fenris appears to be the same. Next time round I’ll try again of course.
Anyway, Fenris got word that his sister now works (rather than is a ‘slave of’) and wishes to meet him in the Hanged Man. His sister was there and she betrayed him to Danarius, his former master for her own freedom, which I suppose is quite a normal reaction. We fought and Denarius bit the large one, I had no intention of stopping Fenris from killing his sister Varania, the treacherous little wench. I doubt that all this was the right way to truly befriend Fenris but I am a mage so it was unlikely to happen anyway I guess.
I expected a lot more difference in Varric’s storyline as you would think that being the narrator would allow you a little bit more in the way of plot. It didn’t happen. This time around I killed Bertrand and after exorcising his former house, I forbade Varric to keep a piece of the idol. There were no changes as far as I could see to the story. So ultimately it doesn’t matter whether he lives or dies, except from a friendship/rivalry perspective of course.
Everything played out pretty much the same as it did in the first play-through. Even though, I didn’t help Merrill as much as I did. In fact she didn’t like me much at all, quite childish about it all really. Anyway, the main difference I noticed is that the further you push Merrill’s friend/rivalry bar into rivalry, the more confident she becomes. She doesn’t stutter as much, and she actually realises she is on her own (This is hinted at if you look at the Rivalry skill she has)
As before we ended up inside the cave at the top of Sundermount, and once again we had to kill Marethari in order to kill the demon. Upon exiting the cave, the elves were outside the cave only this time, I told them that Blood magic was responsible for her death, and they let me take Merrill away never to come back.
Isabela has probably the most surprising storyline. As mentioned in the first walkthrough, the relic she has been trying to find is exactly the same as they one she stole of the Qunari, which is exactly why the Qunari can’t leave…
Knowing all this, I made sure I kept Isabela close to me making sure that were as friendly as possible. So when it came to the point when we found the relic, I was more than a little shocked to see that Isabela had still legged it with the relic, it was just the note, which had become more apologetic, which had changed. Cursing my luck and regretting all the time I’d spent on her, I continued with the story and ultimately went to meet the Qunari who had now taken over the Viscounts building in Hightown. As we were getting into the conversation, Isabela, bursts through the doors and returns the relic. I knew she wouldn’t let me down. With the relic returned the Qunari could leave and not a single drop of blood spilt?
No, sorry. After returning the relic they demanded that Isabela goes with them as a slave. The only other way was a dual between me and The Leader of the Qunari; the price being Isabela. I tried the dual, and even on casual the leader is a difficult fight, and after 4 or 5 reloads, I had to try the third option, which started a fight between everyone, but this time around it was slightly easier as Isabela was fighting with us as well.
Another fairly disappointing storyline. After Carver joined the Templars I was hoping that either he would come back into the party or I would at least get to kill him. Neither of things happened. Carver appeared next to Meredith at various occasions and was visually a part of the story but he did not return as a companion. Of course, this may have been because I royally pissed him off when he actually was my companion.
Aveline’s potential was not truly met this time around. Although she still become a member of the guard and she still received complaints about her leadership. The only difference this time around as that she never got it on with Donnic. Unless, I’m missing something her whole character plot seems a little flat.
The Plot Elements that have differed (that I can remember anyway)
Deep roads expedition 2
Rather than an elf and dwarf who wanted me to find their sons in a deep roads expedition, this time I was asked me to find a relative of theirs who had gone down into the Deeproads. His name was Nathanial Howe, who I know now is one of your companions in Dragon Age: Awakening
I rescued him in the Deeproads, but this quest wasn’t as involved as the Dwarven brothers in play-through .
Of course, most of the differences must have been at the end; the final showdown so to speak. With the complete differences in play-style, the endings must have been radically different?
Nope, sorry. Then again, they have to keep things relatively the same in case there are sequels (like there’s any doubt). There’s still a fight between mages and Templars, Anders still blows up the Chantry, Orsino still uses blood magic to become a big multi-armed blob thing, and Meredith still goes crazy and tries to kill you under the influence of the Deeproads idol.
So what’s different?
Well for a start you fight mages rather than Templars, that’s kind of a given really. Which means that when you fight Orsino, you have Meredith and a few Templars fighting the battle with you. When I sided with the Mages, our party had to fight Orsino alone.
Also, when fighting Meredith at the end. That’s right she still turned on me, just because I was a mage she thought I might go and do something all Blood Magicky. Of course, I had specialised in Blood magic, so it was a fair assumption. In this fight, Nathanial Howe who I had rescued from the Deeproads joined in the fight. When I first played DA:II, I don’t remember there being any people helping us in that fight, and in that play-through I had rescued two Dwarven brothers who had tried to be a hero like me. When killing Meredith as a Templar supporter, you become ruler of Kirkwall, and everyone bows before you which is nice…. J
I’ve just picked up Dragon Age: Awakening, for around a tenner. So, I’m going to go back to Dragon Age: Origins and play a Dwarf warrior all the way through, then through Awakening and then finally at Dragon Age 2. I’ll try and do everything, that I didn’t do last time… play it differently.
I probably won’t do any walkthroughs for that as to be honest they are quite long-winded and I don’t think they give you a real flavour of the game. I will add more posts if there’s anything I find of note of course.
If you want to read the first half of this play-through, read my first playthrough, my reviews or even find the free demo. Check out the links below.
- Dragon Age II Choices – Play-through #2 (Geneva) – Part 1
- Dragon Age II Choices – Play-through #1 (Garrett)
- Dragon Age II – Full Game Review
- Dragon Age II – Demo Review
- Dragon Age II – Free Demo