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A warning against having one's cake and eating it in Dragon Age: Origins

Anyone who has played Dragon Age: Origins (console version) for any reasonable length of time should only be all too aware of the numerous and usually inconsequential glitches in the game. These include NPCs floating up in the air, entire tracks of conversations simply mimed, and game freezing. Up until this evening, the worst glitch I encountered was during the Slot daemon's induced dream sequence, causing me to turn off my Xbox 360 and reload an earlier save. Luckily, I am an absolute wimp so I frequently save the game before entering a new area allowing me to recover with minimal gameplay lost.

I am on my second playthrough of Mass Effect, and my save count is embarrassingly high. Something like 350-ish, I believe. I am just glad that Dragon Age doesn't keep a tally of your saves.

However, I was unfortunately caught out by a game-breaking glitch that doesn't present itself until further down the quest line; this meant that even though I frequently saved, the mistake/glitch was done and I was simply heading towards an proverbial brick wall.

I am referring to, after a few google searches, the somewhat infamous 'Orzammar Glitch'.

[Spoilers lie ahead]

Now, I've never been a fan of the self-imposed inevitable extinction that so called 'elder races' seem to suffer in almost every fantasy yarn that includes Dwarves and Elves. They're always dying out due to their own cultural or technological nihilism that stops them from adapting to an ever-changing world; this leaves any potential human protagonists in said fantasy yarn as the target or some resentment, and fear. And, of course, the hero to save such pitiful races. Anyway. In Dragonage, upon discovering the great Dwarven hold of Orzammar I learned that the poor stunties are lacking in a King and one more political hissy-fit away from a civil war. My arrival was nice timing, eh?

After interrogating (and pick-pocketing as I did so, naturally) a few NPCs, I learned of an pretender to the throne called Prince Bhelen. Despite some mucky business with his brother, he was hailed as something of a revisionist; he wanted to expand the interaction that the Dwarfs had with the outside world through trade and treaties. "Brilliant!" I thought, this guy is going to get put in charge by my hand. The trouble started when I realised that I could play both sides; also doing the dirty work for Bhelen's rival, Lord Harrowmont.

I got greedy (I was playing Rogue!). I did one quest for Bhelen's guys (distributing some questionable documents) and some more for Harrowmount's cronies (competing in a gladiatorial arena), content in the assumed knowledge that the game must force me to choose at some point who I would definitely back. When the time had come, I sought out Bhelen's representative Vartag Gavorn to initiate the second tier of quest tasks. After berating me for representing his rival in The Proving arena, I managed to convince the poor sod that my actions had only been to deceive Harrowmount into trusting me. Hah hah, I am so clever and tricksy.

I didn't do it for the extra EXP at all.


Approving of my machevalian activities, he proposed continuing the fašade and ascertain what it was that Harrowmount intended for me next. Harrowmount was nowhere to be found and, alas, I was rumbled immediately upon talking to Harrowmount's representative in the Dwarven pub. With a slight shrug, I returned to Vartag to tell him the regrettable news but to move the quest on anyway. I guess I had messed up a potential storyline bonus, but ah well. Little did I know that I had just entered a perpetual quest task that was incapable to be completed. Vartag wants me to speak to Harrowmount, but Harrowmount's representative knows I have betrayed them and won't engage in any conversation. Nothing I have done has resolved this loop, and nothing I have read online has enlightened me to anyone else managing either.


- There is a glitch with the 'Betrayed From Within' and 'A Prince's Favor: The First Task' quests in Orzammar.

- If you attempt to play both sides for either fun or the EXP, you run the risk of never being able to satisfy both and therefore never progressing the quest.

- Just pick one faction to back from the beginning, and don't be a greedy git like myself. Pick to distribute the letters (Bhelen), or fight in the arena (Harrowmount).

Unfortunately for myself, my previous save that would set me back before this quest was initiated is some way back in the game meaning that I have lost a fair few hours of play due to this glitch. Ah well. Hopefully this quest-loop will be patched up in some foreseeable future. I wouldn't want any other player to experience it in the meantime, however.
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About Major Tomone of us since 8:22 PM on 12.17.2009

According to Uncyclopedia:

Major Tom was almost the first astronaut, or Rocket Man, to land on the moon. He and his copilot, Ziggy Stardust, were beaten by astronauts from the Duchy of Grand Fenwick by less than a minute. The resulting humiliation for his home country, the United States of America, led President John F. Kennedy to fake his own death.

The tragedy was compounded on his return to space for another attempt at a Moon visit, when his Apollo capsule was lost in space. His last words were "Ground Control, we have a problem." Though his spaceship still seemed to know which way to go, he never broadcast again.

Just in case he lives, however, perhaps out of some remorse for depriving him of his triumph, Grand Duchess Gloriana XII paid for the construction of an antenna that to this day broadcasts on loop, "Ground control to Major Tom: Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong. Can you hear me Major Tom?" It is on the same band as several rock stations, and in appropriate atmospheric conditions sometimes will be picked up by a radio tuned to them instead of the actual music broadcast, causing much confusion.

For example, the true lyrics to a song by David Bowie, written after a prophetic dream, warning us of the approach of a space oddity that will destroy the Earth as soon as 2024, have never been heard, and we are all probably going to die as a result. When asked for a comment, Bowie angrily claimed, "We know Major Tom's a junkie." However there is no proof to support his allegation.


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