Dragon Age 2 - Ending? Thoughts/Discussion

I played the first Dragon Age on PC and loved the hell out of it. I’d held off on the second one since it didn’t seem to get great reviews, and most people said it was worse than the first. But I found it second hand really cheap for Xbox360 and said what the hell, I’ll give it a go.

Just finished it now - and what is up with the ending? I actually really enjoyed the game, finished it in 4 days worth of playing. (Side note: I was wary about playing it on console after the PC. I played a mage in the first one and you really needed all the keymappings and quickslots so I didn’t know how well that would translate. As it happened, I didn’t need to worry, played a rogue this time and the fewer buttons suffice . Plus you get to look badass jumping around the battlefield with your two daggers :slight_smile: )

But the ending, oh god the ending. It’s like the whole time you’ve been building up to an overreaching plot arc, and it just stops before you get there. Beat the Qunari great - go to Act 3, the tensions between mages and templars finally come to a head, big fight off, and then nothing? It basically just trails off - it’s like a trailer for the sequel or something.

And why did the head of the circle have to turn into a demon - it just seemed to cheapen the choice you made? I’m sure it’s the same if you sided with the Templars, nope, no noble goals, turns out the commander’s just gone mad

Anyway, I know the games been out a while now, but just wondering what other peoples reactions were?

And side note - I will totally buy Dragon Age 3 if it comes out, these are the only games in a long while that I’ve gotten completely sucked into and played til the end :slight_smile:

I liked the game more than most seemed to once I got used to the differences but there were things that irked me about the ending:

  1. The item in your spoiler seemed cheap and lazy. Given the choices I made it should not have happened. If they wanted me to have that fight, they should have come up with an alternate way.

  2. I was pissed that the end game started because I happened to go to a certain location. I was going there to turn in a quest and was not ready to end but there it was.

Oh don’t get me wrong - I finished it and enjoyed doing it. I just wish that the ending had had more, I dunno, oomph I guess?

And it annoyed me how simplistic a lot of the choices were. In DA:O, when you have to choose whether to kill a boy to save him from a demon, or run to the mages circle and hope you get back before the demon takes over, it was a difficult choice. (for me anyway).

In this one, everything was too pat.

Meredith can’t be a misguided person trying to do good, she has to be completely insane. If you have to kill a mage, don’t worry, they’ll accept a demon in to them and you won’t have to feel at all conflicted

I’m assuming they had to have essentially the same plot result regardless of your choices; the only difference is whether you get credit or blame for it, and who’s more pissed at you. Still, after the item in your first spoiler, I wanted to switch sides.

That being said, after reading certain notes around Kirkwall, I think they need to never build a Circle tower there again.

I think it was the Gang of Three who were making notes about really weird things happening, evidence of very powerful magical stuff. It was sounding like the Tevinter mages and maybe someone else really fucked the place up with regards to magic.

Do we need spoilers still? I think since it says ending in the the title, people can assume.

Anyway, another thing that annoyed me was the lyrium idol - what happened to it? Is it going to make another appearance or was it destroyed when Meredith’s sword shattered?

I thought it was funny/stupid that even if you came upon a group of templars fighting an abomination, the templars would still be hostile. No banding together against the greater threat. I guess I miss games where there were more shades of grey.

One of the last quest I did just before the end game was to save the career of my friend in the city watch. Then very quickly after, her career was forfeit anyway, because the entire city of Kirkwall went irrecoverably to hell, and anybody who worked with you was doomed to exile.

That coincidence of making-and-ruining Aveline’s career in quick succession really only illuminates a general problem with the ending – that it was abrupt, and it made everything else you had done meaningless. You spent an entire game accomplishing what turned out to be pointless, coming down to only a single moral dilemma that really made no difference at all.

Yes, there was direct foreshadowing in the form of the interrogation of Varric, but really the ending was the logical and thematic culmination of a completely different set of circumstances than the one we actually played through. Rather than lend credibility to the ending, the frame story is tainted by association with it – it was tacked on to make the tacked on ending seem less tacked-on, but the illusion failed.

It really bugged me I had to let Anders live. He was my dedicated healer mage and I wouldn’t have survived the final battle without him. I really wish there’d have been a way to kill him afterwards. Maybe order Fenris to cut Ander’s head off if he survived or something. Seriously, what an asshole. There was no way his actions were justified.

This sums up how I felt after the game, and it was a huge difference to the first game where you did a lot of different things and most of them had at least two ways of doing them. I’d go so far as to call it the worst ending of any computer game I’ve actually finished, though part of it is the stark, unflattering contrast to DA:O.

Not only that, but he’s the ONLY healer, unless you make the main character a healer. Fuck him though, I just used more potions. :slight_smile:

Can’t Bethany be a healer? I forget. If you aren’t a mage, and you bring her and Anders to the Deep Roads, and push Anders to find the Wardens so you can get them to take her, she can come back at the end and help you out. That pretty much means you have to be playing a tank to save your sis, though.

And yeah, fuck Anders. I executed him myself in my first playthrough, and I plan on doing it again with my mage.

Oh, and while I’m at it? The most appealing male romanceable character is in DLC (Sebastian) and you don’t even get to be intimate with him. Not even if you romance him as a rival, as far as I can tell. The most appealing party member, Varric, can’t be romanced. (He’s right, it’s the chest hair.)

Not really. The character’s sibling is actually the worst possible character, because they only get access to the basic talent trees. All of the other characters get access to basic talents AND special talents. Bethany can only really get one healing spell, the same one that any mage can get.

Doesn’t the Spirit Healer tree unlock for her when you get her back?

Edit: Nope, I’m on crack, it doesn’t appear to. Maybe there’s a mod out there.

Alternate method: Tell mom you’re not taking her along, so she gets captured by the templars and taken off to the Circle. She proceeds to resent you for leaving her behind to be captured, but you can get her back at the end if you side with the mages.

Yep, cheerfully killed Anders. Would have done it earlier if I could.

And yeah, the two romanceable male characters were pretty dire. Given the choice between whiny loser and angry emo I went with angry emo, simply because I wanted to slap Anders stupid face most of the time.

To all the people saying ‘Fuck Anders’…

You guys do get that mages have been basically enslaved for a thousand years, and that Kirkwall is about the worst place in the entirety of Thedas to be a mage during the game’s timeframe?

That the templars have all the power, the Viscount is a puppet, and that the Grand Cleric won’t even step in to remove corrupt ones that outright break Chantry law, ones who rape, abuse, and Tranquilize mages illegally?

And that Anders tried for almost ten years to make a difference before doing what he did?

You don’t have to like him, obviously, but you could at least try to understand the circumstances behind his actions beyond summing him up as a ‘whiny loser’.

The Mage-Templar war is going to be a major plot point of the next game and the novel that’s coming up in December, so his actions are a pretty big deal.

Ok, he’s been promoted to whiny fail loser.

Yes, I know Thedas world lore. I know mages get the short end of the stick - but considering how often they seem to turn to demons, I think there’s some need for the Circle. (cf: Arl Eamon’s boy gets scared for his daddy, dreams about someone who offers to help him - tada, demon running amok in Redcliffe Castle.)

Fuck Anders. He’s a terrorist, killed the last remaining ally he could have in the Chantry, and did this even in the face of my not-mage Hawke being nice to him, standing up for him to the Templars, and siding with the mages at the end. Fuck First Enchanter Orsino too, while I’m at it. Dude pops into Mega-Abomination mode when I agree to help him, just because he throws an angst fit about the Templars fighting back.

What he did being inexplicably murder just enough Templar’s to provoke all out war, but not enough to actually give the mages a chance. Good move Anders.

And Orsino too - wait until we’ve defeated the first wave of attackers, then go all out abomination and attack your own allies. Genius!

‘Need for the Circle’ and ‘Need for the Circle in its current state’ are two vastly different things.

In the context of Dragon Age 2, The vast majority of times that mages turn to demons is when they’re backed into a corner without much choice to otherwise defend themselves. You know, when someone is going to kill them or otherwise drag them back to the Gallows to live out the rest of their life in a glorified prison, where they’re not allowed to have families or lives of their own? Where, in Kirkwall, the threat of Tranquility is pretty much held over them constantly, at the mercy of whatever corrupt templars feel like abusing them? There are exceptions, but they’re not the majority.

The laws that exist to provide the tiniest bit of protection are being rampantly ignored, and the one person with the power to do something about it - The Grand Cleric - does nothing but sit on her hands.

I’d fight back, too.

In Orsino’s case, he knows he’s screwed and has no chance of getting out alive. So, he tries to take as many templars down as he can, and tells the mages to flee out and spread the word about what’s happened. He decided to go down with the ship. I don’t necessarily agree with the choice, but I see why he did it.

Meredith was crazy before the Lyrium Idol made her completely bugfuck insane. All it did was act as a catalyst. Way back in Act 1 there were already templars and regular townfolk alike that were concerned with her behavior. She had basically already taken over the city at that point. Over 7 years, it just got worse.

Wow, someone is Missing The Point.

The whole point was to provoke the templars into outright war, because nothing short of that was going to change anything.

A possible ally? Are you kidding? Elthina was never going to do anything. She’s the one who let the situation get that bad in the first place. She refused to pick a side, left corrupt templars in positions of power, and let Meredith basically destroy Kirkwall from the inside out. She refused to flee when told her own safety was in danger, and refused to believe that the Divine in Orlais would ever intervene because she wasn’t doing her job properly.

She knew about the ‘Tranquil Solution’ proposed by Alrik and left him in his position. How the hell do you justify that? He outright broke Chantry law, and if the Grand Cleric won’t even uphold the laws that exist, you really think she would have done anything else to help?

There’s a letter you can loot early on in act 1 from the Tranquility quest when you first get Anders, when you find his friend Karl was turned Tranquil. It’s against Chantry Law to make amage tranquil once they pass their Harrowing, and Alrik ordered it on Karl anyway, to bait Anders into showing himself. And when the officers he ordered to do it balked, he threatened them. And Elthina kept him in power.

The mages don’t have a chance? Why? Meredith was pushing for the Rite of Annulment before Anders pulled his stunt, and she would have eventually gotten her way, because of how much power she had, even if Elthina shot it down the first go-round. At that point there was no stopping Meredith, thanks to the corruption from the idol amplifying her craziness by an order of about a zillion.

What Anders did was take all the blame for initiating the war onto himself, and was willing to give up his life for it. He wasn’t a circle mage, the circle mages had absolutely nothing to do with his actions. But he knew his stunt would push Meredith into declaring complete **genocide **on a sect of people who didn’t even do anything, that would prove how completely hopeless and corrupt Kirkwall was at that point.

And it meant that the mages would no longer have any reason not to give their all into fighting back against the templars. They had nothing left to lose. Without that push, it would have stagnated again, and nothing would have changed.

Was what Anders did right? Hell, no. Innocent people died. Do I agree with the choice? Not necessarily. Do I think the circumstances left everyone completely fucked and he did what he thought was the best he possibly could? Yeah, I do.

But let’s just cry terrorist and leave it at that. Clearly that’s all it boils down to.

Other than that, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

I actually agree, on some level, with Anders. I’d have liked some opportunity to be involved in the decision, though, and not just have it forced down on me.

However, after DA:O, I am of the strong opinion that this is just a bridge game, to get to the “real” plot of the third game. And that’s why it’s so railroaded - they needed a specific result to make the third game what they wanted.

I may be proved wrong, of course, and in that case I will bitch, but for now I’m holding off judgement. I don’t think they did it as smoothly as Mass Effect or even Assassin’s Creed II (two of my favorite games) but I can see why they did it.

When the creators came up with going forward, they had to come up with a plot. Blight? Naw, we defeated the Archdemon. They could have come up with some kind of plot of permanently stopping the Blights, but instead they decided to address something right there in their story - the plight of the mages. They did it ham-fistedly, but DA:O was really quite good and nuanced, so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that the final game in the sequel will be something like DA:O - only they needed to get us all on the right road first.

But Orsino pissed me the fuck off, too. What are you doing? Only hurting your allies. They could have easily come up with an alternative for that.