As I was making an Elven warrior angry the other day by trying to (as she put it) steal things from her treasure chest, I reflected upon how awesome the social interactions are in this game. Fable was always really great for this in how it affected your character’s standing, but I like the dialogue that you get between characters on Dragon Age. There are much deeper choices that let you react with certain tones. I find it hard to take any route other than the one where I am literally the best person I can possibly be. I don’t like being a jerk to people, even in video games. But what I think is great; whether it’s intentional or not, is that you can say or do totally the wrong thing without meaning to. I’m not even halfway through the game yet, but I wanted to indicate where I was with my relationships between my party members.
(minor spoilers ahead)
Alistair: Alistair is the buddy you get from the beginning. He’s your Grey Warden ally and a warrior class. I like having Alistair around but have absolutely no interest in creating anything more than a friendship with him for my current character. The choices I’ve made so far have fallen under his approval so we have a relatively good relationship but I refuse to waste gifts on him. (I’ve only given him a locket that was character specific.)
Blade (my dog): Yes, I named my dog Blade after the great Wesley Snipes. Blade loves you and is loyal right away no matter when you acquire him. Luckily, I encountered him at the beginning of my origin story when he was hunting rats in the kitchen and terrorizing the cook. Despite the fact that his rating is maxed out, I enjoy giving him treats like bones and gifts that are specific to him. This is primarly for two reasons: a) his gifts really can’t go to anyone else and b) hearing him bark with approval. Most would say Blade is a hella ugly dog but I think he’s cute and enjoy his company. Plus, he has a mean growl.
Morrigan: Oh, Morrigan – you temptress. I first encountered Morrigan in the Kocari Wilds on my quest to become a Grey Warden. She is a mage class (but not exactly…). What drew me to this character was her spunk. She was all sassy but I treated her with respect. Once she was added to my party, I immediately started talking to her and taking an interested and friendly tone. After overwhelming her with gifts, her status changed to warm. At this point, I could do much else to increase my standing with her and realized just how hard it was to get people to like you in this game. For the time being, I’ve given up on Morrigan for reasons which we’ll get into later.
Sten: I kind of hate Sten. He’s a big ol jerk. I don’t think he likes me either as the choices I make never sit well with him. He’s always disapproving and telling me how women can’t be warriors. You can suck it, Sten. The only reason I’m keeping him around is because he’s crazy strong and an excellent warrior class to have on the team. Despite his incredibly annoying attitude and personality, his help is nice. Besides, I totally rescued him.
Leliana: I was totally focused on Morrigan until I encountered this lady in Lothering. Leliana is a rogue and a tough cookie formerly from the Chantry – she almost always approves of the decisions I make. The turning point between Morrigan and this character came when I approached her at the camp. We started chatting and as I gained a little more approval, Leliana commented that she liked my character’s hair. In that moment, I realized this would be easier. I had barely been trying to forge some relationship there and boom, doors opened. She made the choice perfectly clear – plus I was tired of wasting money and time on Morrigan. I recently gave Leliana literally every new gift I found. She talks about the stars, I give her the skyball. She talks about shoes, I buy her shoes. IT’S LIKE REAL LIFE. Except I’m way too cheap to actually buy my (potential) significant other the gifts they want. Sad. Currently, I’ve hit a brick wall on this path – I haven’t had a lot of new decisions to make and I’ve run out of things to talk about. We’ll see what happens as I get farther through the game.
Wynne: I don’t have much to say about Wynne except she’s one of my favorite people to have around since she heals the crap out of everyone. She’s saved my hide more than once. Plus, she’s a super nice old lady.
Zevran: I see the appeal in Zevran but I think he’s kind of boring. I have no desire to chat with him and I rarely ever use him since the rogue I primarly use is Leliana. Since I never use him he never approves or disapproves so there’s not much else to say here especially since I acquired him so recently.
Overall, I want to comment that I love that this game features more than one same-sex pairing option. It’s actually the main reason I ever checked out Dragon Age in the first place. I can list on one hand games that feature any kind of romance between characters of the same sex and it’s so refreshing to see a game that delves into this (especially an award winning RPG). It’s exciting to have all these pairing options and I’m actually looking forward to playing through as a dude and trying some of the other ones out. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and if I’ve had to buy 500 gazillion more pairs of shoes.
Who were your favorite pairings on Dragon Age? Who were your default group members? Who do you think was the easiest to pair with? Hardest?
All images are from the Dragon Age Wiki: http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Companions