I haven’t done one of these in a while. In fact, the last time I recall writing one of these mini reviews was when I binge-watched the Clone Wars in the summer of 2015. Why write about each season when you can merge it all into one?
So, this article is about the little add-ons that Dragon Age: Origins give us. Some of them are connected to the original story, while some just offer a fun side mission to distract you for a little bit. That is the reason why I’m just doing little snippet thoughts about each of them, and there are seven of them, so let’s get this thing started!
The Stone Prisoner
Whenever I get a DLC that involves a recruitment, I complete it ASAP. Basically, this DLC is where you recruit the golem Shale and it is definitely worth your time. I had to help her former master (using the “she” pronoun for Shale because she was once a female dwarf who volunteered to become a golem if you didn’t know that) from a demon threat. Unfortunately I couldn’t save his daughter from possession. Other than that, I was surprised that Shale could talk for a golem, and she has great banter and has been greatly helpful for me for me on the battlefield, especially the Deep Roads. It seems the Dragon Age universe has creatures for everyone to like. You can also give her crystals that enhance her resistance and remarkable gemstones as gifts. Shale remains one of my favourite companions in this game and it would be sweet if we could find out if she really did return to her former self.
This DLC takes us to an abandoned fortress in hopes of uncovering more history of the Grey Wardens as well as helping Levi Dryden redeem his family name. Also, a very short adventure in my opinion, given that the person he hoped to find in his family was possessed by a demon, so I ended up killing her. There was also a mage in the castle Avernus who I spared, but it was a pain in the neck to get him to repair the tear in the Veil. I had to get Shale to actually hurl him closer to it to trigger the fight. Stupid game bugs, but hey, we reclaimed the keep in the end.
Return to Ostagar
Another story-linked DLC. Our first battle with the darkspawn takes place in the Ostagar fort and it has fallen. Now, it’s up to us to reclaim it. At the same time we have to look for personal belongings of King Cailan. I ended up finding his armor in a chest and I wanted to give it to Alistair but his strength level wasn’t high enough, so I gave it to Sten instead. I was appalled what the darkspawn did with Cailan’s body. I raged at the darkspawn with the balistas, trekked along, and then killed the ogre that killed Cailan. Ah sweet revenge and then we took Cailan’s body down and gave him the respect he deserved with a funeral pyre. Anora would be pleased if I was able to tell her that upon rescuing her.
I didn’t touch the rest of the DLC’s until after defeating the archdemon and this is the one I decided to do first at that time. We get to play as Leliana this time and play through her days before assisting my Warden against the Blight. Here, we get to learn of her betrayal that she suffered at the hands of her mentor. (I killed her mentor in the main campaign by the way). She was once just a bard until the documents she uncovered were revealed to possibly start a war between Ferelden and Orlais. This felt like the most lore-deep DLC of this game and actually, it’s supposed to be a prequel to the main story. But, we get to learn more about Leliana in this and how she got to where she is now. I didn’t like fighting Raleigh and seemed to have very limited amount of potions, but it was still fun to play.
A must play if you love Morrigan, also connected to the story only post-Blight this time. This linear quest was the first one I was given the opportunity to import my Warden since she survived the final battle in Denerim. I was pleased that I could reset her abilities and give her some that she never gained in the main story that proved to be useful. In this DLC, Morrigan has vanished after the Blight ended, even though if it weren’t for her, my Warden would not be alive. Here, is where we first hear about Eluvians and it’s mainly just researching and gathering materials to access one. This DLC is really more worth your time if you romance Morrigan because once you catch up with her, you can go through the Eluvian with her, I think. I couldn’t convince her to stay, but she’s always been the mysterious one.
The Golems of Amgarrak
In this DLC, we are called back to the Deep Roads by a dwarf named Jerrik who is searching for his brother Brogan who vanished looking for the long-lost thaig Amgarrak, said to be home to the secrets of golem construction. This was definitely the hardest DLC of the game with puzzles I had to solve to access new areas of the thaig, and not to mention the final boss the Harvester……ugh. I destroyed the forge and the Harvester, well let’s just say it kept bringing in the undead, and for some reason my companions fell down so fast that I was fighting it alone briefly until I could use my revive ability to bring back the runic golem. It was a long fight and tougher than the broodmother! At least we won it and the second stage of the battle was easier than the other. In the end though, there were more of those things and we can only guess what happens now.
The Darkspawn Chronicles
One that isn’t really connected to the story, but rather offers an alternate one if my Warden died earlier and the darkspawn stormed Denerim. We get to play as vanguard who answers directly to the archdemon and take control of other darkspawn to aid us. As we process, we get to kill the other companions and it’s not so tough as long as you swarm everyone. However, my only complaint is once we have to protect the archdemon at the top: its health is at less than 50% and I succeeded in bringing everyone down when I had my army split up and pick everyone off until Alistair was the only one left. It’s like Beast Mode in Gears of War. It can be fun to play as the bad guys too!
Yep, short but fun and challenging DLC’s this game had. Up next is Awakening, and this’ll be a whole new, and perhaps final, adventure for my Warden. We’ll see what it brings, because our journey isn’t over yet.