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Caution: Minor Dragon Age: Origins spoilers ahead for one of the many endings!
I’ve so rarely been enraged by a videogame as I was near the end of Dragon Age: Origins. I was a good girl! I didn’t sleep with anyone else but Alistair (though Zev and Lelani were temptations). Hey, my boyfriend is probably going to be king so why blow it — I could be Queen!
I went the safe route and stayed faithful. I was sooo nice to him. I managed to get him made King, and then he gives this little speech about how he has to break up with me now that he’s going to be King. WHAT?! You bastard!
It’s funny. I can be betrayed and shot in the face in Modern Warfare 2. I can be killed, stabbed and flame toasted in games but being dumped is what really gets me all worked up, emotional and angry! My game ending sucked … it sucked big … it sucked royally!
But therein lies the difference between a videogame and a book. With a book, you get a crappy ending and that’s it, it’s all over. With a game, my first thought is check the Internet, then reload an earlier game save and try for a “happy” ending. I’m playing as a human female noble so according to the Internet (which never lies) my happy ending is there somewhere. Dammit, there must be some way I can be Queen, or at least get to keep my studly boyfriend. If he loved me he could at least offer to keep me on as a mistress!
I was so pissed off after I finished the entire game (and he didn’t change his mind about dumping me), that I’ve already gone back, betrayed him, had him killed, got Anora crowned Queen and replaced him with Loghain. Yes, it felt good! It’s ironic but I probably spent about 35 or 40 hours with my virtual man much longer than I’ve spent with some boyfriends in the past (if you add up all the actual hours) so I guess I can’t be surprised that after all the work I put in the relationship, I got mad when he dumped me.
This rarely happens in any other medium like books or movies. You rarely spend 35 or 40 hours on either, and it’s removed from you because you aren’t the one making choices. This is actually the true brilliance of Bioware — that they do make you care what happens to yourself and your party members because you (the gamer) are the one making the choices. While there is still a finite number of endings, I’m still surprised by the vast number of variables that Bioware has created. Your choices right from the beginning in terms of picking your gender and race — all the way through to your choices with your party members and plot events — will create quite a number of very different game endings.
Meh … maybe I’ll just play the whole game again as a guy and sleep with everything, and do evil deeds and maybe try to become King! Oh… and Alistair gets to play the whole game in his undies and look silly! Yeah, gaming is so totally different from movies and books — thank goodness!!
Revenge is sooo sweet!