Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin

Talking to Felicia Day on the new Dragon Age II expansion

11:00 AM on 09.27.2011 // Lori Navarro

It all started with a lot of grunting, grunting that's reminiscent of a women's tennis match. But before the grunting, there was an ambush. Hawke, Fenris, Varric, and Isabela find themselves in another fix, surrounded by assassins in the middle of an Orlesian stronghold.

Out of nowhere, a dagger hits one of the assassins square in the chest. Apparently, a mysterious stranger was watching from the roof, because all good character intros start from the roof. There's no other way but down -- the stranger alights and kills the next poor fellow, then another. Does a lot of acrobatics. Grunts. Jumps. Slashes. Grunts again. Flips. Kills. Scores.

This is how new companion Tallis introduces herself -- by slicing her way through Orlesian assassins with effervescent grace and style. Exclusive to the new Mark of the Assassin downloadable content, she is the focal point of this sidestory in Hawke's life -- one that involves a deadly heist in the dangerous, aristocratic world of Orlais.

In addition to checking out the new features, I also had the chance to talk to Internet celebrity Felicia Day, who is responsible for Tallis' creation.

Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release: October 11, 2011

In this newest chapter in the life of the Champion of Kirkwall, the Elven assassin Tallis enlists Hawke's help to steal a relic from an Orlesian estate -- a plotline that has drawn many comparisons with the Kasumi DLC of Mass Effect 2.

With this DLC come new side quests, enemies, character interactions, items, and lore. The DLC is also playable anytime within the original game after the prologue. In the Dragon Age chronology, it's set right after its companion web series, Dragon Age: Redemption, which should be released around the same time. This time around, the game will be greatly expanding upon the Qunari and Orlesian cultures. Since we're not in Ferelden anymore, Mark of the Assassin also offers brand new environments for those of you who are still taking digs at DAII's recycled sets.

Tallis is based on her namesake from Dragon Age: Redemption, a short web series written by and starring Felicia Day . According to Day, there is a lot of continuity between what occurs in the show and in the game. For starters, the costume that was used by Day in Redemption is also used in Mark of the Assassin, as well as the weapons, fighting style, music, and facets of the character's personality. As a Dragon Age aficionado herself, she said that seeing her and her work used for the game was probably "he most awesome thing" that has ever happened to her.

Alabaster-skinned and red-headed, videogame Tallis is the spitting image of Day, though maybe BioWare took artistic license with certain physical elements. Slight of built and pointy of ears, she is Elvish as well. Having not been raised in Ferelden, one cannot exactly put her in the category of city elf or Dalish -- "She is a unique elf," said Day. When she created this character for Redemption, she wanted to "emulate the depth of character and humor" of the companions in the Dragon Age series as well as make her "grounded in reality." As for Tallis in the game, she is said to be have been partly written by seasoned BioWare writer David Gaider, so expect a couple of good lines from her as well.

Tallis is also a pretty pixie dream girl, and Day seemed to agree, as she selects the dialogue option to flirt with the character that is based on her. That's right, Tallis can be flirted with, which is good news for a certain fanboy segment of the gaming world. As with the other companions, Hawke's relationship with her is based on the player's choices -- you can try to empathize with her, piss her off, or see if you can go second base.

Based on her flips, you might have guessed that this character is yet another rogue, with daggers as her weapon of choice, whether thrown from afar or stabbed straight in the gut. With this ability to switch between melee and ranged combat, she is said to be a cross between Varric and Isabela. She comes with unique abilities as well -- with her infiltrator skill tree, she has a tendency to deliver massive criticals and maintain stealth.

During my hands-on time with Mark of the Assassin (and my first time with a non-PC version of Dragon Age, by the way), I was able to very briefly use her character. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to explore her skill tree as much as I'd have liked. However, I felt that the switch from melee to ranged and vice versa was very seamless and natural for this character. You can be standing a few feet from the enemy and throw blades at him, or you can shift right next to an enemy and stab him in the back. This is a character who can be extremely mobile and flexible and is definitely suitable for fast-paced gameplay.

I was able to play the first part of the game, during which Tallis helps Hawke locate a wyvern for an Orlesian hunting party. The wyvern is a never-before-encountered creature in Dragon Age. It's a cousin of the dragon, though it looks more like a cross between a Komodo dragon and a dragonfly, if that makes sense. Blue-scaled, bug-eyed, and yellow-tinged, wyverns are fearsome creatures that have equally fearsome breaths. They release debilitating toxins that could heavily damage your party's HP. Luckily for me, I previewed the game in casual mode, so the damage was hardly felt. Also new to the list of monsters are ghasts -- creatures that are easy to defeat individually but are very dangerous once they swarm you.

While her infiltrator abilities have potential, Tallis herself seems to add very little personality to the group. She's another rogue, another smart-ass, one-liner character, and between her, Varric, Anders, and sarcastic Hawke, you can imagine why Fenris is so pissed off. Also, Felicia Day may be a charmer in real life, but I find that this doesn't always translate to her voice acting. I don't exactly know how she wants Tallis to behave -- badass, sarcastic, quirky, all at once? Nevertheless, I have always found her to sound wooden, unconvincing, and lacking in depth, even during her stint as Veronica in Fallout: New Vegas, and the same goes for this new character.

Still, a lot can be said for her enthusiasm, especially in a certain scene where she tries to summon the wyvern. Not to spoil anything too much, but she is good at making really ungodly animal noises -- and I'm not even talking about the grunting anymore.

In any case, Mark of the Assassin seems to be worthy of a look, especially if you are interested in the pretensions and politics of the Orlesian nobility and also the worldview of the Qunari. The game also promises new ways to use stealth in the Dragon Age world, and while I wasn't able to experience this for myself, I'd be interested to see how they can make more more use of this skill in both the combat and non-combat sense.

Photo Gallery: (3 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Lori Navarro,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

I Haz Kickstarter!

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

Insidia REVIEW - A whole dark, gloomy, and kinda creepy world to explore

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Parismio avatarParismio
Went snowboarding for the first time in years. Crashed a lot, many times into trees. All that training in FF7 didnt do squat!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
If I were to get Age of Empires II HD to play with you all, do you all have the DLC?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I am relieved to know Creed is a Rocky spin-off and not a feature-length documentary about the band.
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
the worst thing about that jesssica jones program is i keep getting "basketball jones" stuck in my head
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Been playing Gears of War 3's campaign on Xbox One. Looks great on there, and Sam's voice actor is Chloe's voice actor in Uncharted 2/3. Hell yeah!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -