Posts Tagged ‘Zevran’

Things that will piss us off if in Dragon Age 2

I’m very eagerly looking forward to March 8th.  Honestly, I’m counting the days.  That’s when my very favorite game developer ever, BioWare, puts out the sequel to one of my very favorite video games, Dragon Age.  That’s right folks, Dragon Age 2 comes out on March 8th.  Hopefully you got your preorder in before January 11th.

But I’ve got to say, there were a few things from Dragon Age that I’m hoping not to encounter in Dragon Age 2.  Things that were so horrific, annoying, frustrating, or just plain ridiculous, that I never want to see them again.  Please add anything I missed in the comments.

  1. The Fade.  Okay, okay, I can understand that it’s a very real part of the world, and while I’m sure it’s cool to develop and show, it’s awful.  In all the additional playthroughs of Dragon Age that I started, every single one is stopped in the Fade.  Why’s that?  It sucks.  There’s no possibility of tenting, or having help from your party members (until the HARD final battle), and the music!  That is the stuff of nightmares.  And Niall…drives me crazy.  I wish there was a slapping option built in the game just for him.

    The Fade

    This place is the stuff of nightmares. Literally.

  2. Isolde.  Enough said.  Watch this video and you’ll understand why.  If you watch this whole video without pausing it…and without running away screaming or sticking cotton balls in your ears so they don’t start bleeding, you deserve an achievement or trophy.
  3. Broodmothers.  Especially the ones in Awakening.  That was the easiest fight of my life.  Kind of a letdown after the ridiculously difficult battle in Dragon Age: Origins.  All I know is…I hate tentacles.  And Broodmothers.
  4. Any Rituals that Require my Lover to Sleep with Anyone Else.  ‘Nuff said.
  5. Zevran.  Sorry, Calamitybird, but I get seriously creeped out by him turning everything into a sexual innuendo.  Even if that’s what Wadoobie & I do on an hourly basis.  Maybe it’s the accent.
  6. Too Much Time Spent Underground. Yes, I found the dwarves missions fascinating, but still.  I felt like half my game was spent underground.  The political intrigue, the Deep Roads, Oghren’s wife, the golems…  I was dying for fresh air when I finally left that place.  I can’t imagine what it was like for those people who are claustrophobic.
  7. Inventory Management.  I’m a person who hoardes things.  My first entire playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins, I was incredibly frustrated that I had so much stuff, and so little space.  I hated selling things.  But I realized it was a necessity.  I particularly hated the Mage’s Tower because once you were in the Tower, you really couldn’t sell anything until you were completely done going through the Tower.  That drove me nuts.  And yes, I would walk all the way back through the Deep Roads just to sell things.
  8. Not Being Able to Talk to your Teammates Directly.  In Dragon Age: Awakening, you couldn’t start a conversation with your teammates directly.  That absolutely bothered me to no end.  I felt it limited what I could learn about my teammates.  Why don’t they want to talk to me, I would wonder.  Oh, I’ve gotta stand in front to a statue and be able to talk, or stare at a tree?  Interesting.  I mean, I like that it was creative and inventive, but I also want to talk to them normally as well.


    I'm getting the shivers just looking at him...

  9. Dogs at the Camp.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I think dogs are adorable.  But that damn Mabari Hound just kept barking away while I was trying to have a sexy conversation with Alistair.  Alistair would be saying something sweet, but all I could hear was “Woof, woof!!!”.
  10. People that Die Right After a Conversation.  This bugs the hell outta me.  I have healing potions, I have spells to heal, and yet, somehow, they die IMMEDIATELY after you end the conversation with them.  This one got me so mad, I wrote a whole post about it.

What would you hate to see in Dragon Age 2?


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Dragon Age: Origins – Rogue Love

A few quick things – Polish the Console moved to new hosting over the weekend!  You may see some new ads along the sidebar here at PtC.  And secondly, we have a guest blogger today!  After reading her comment in response to the Anders the A**hole post, I decided to take her up on her offer of writing a thesis on why she loved Zevran.  And now, Calamitybird’s post!


“Allow me to say this:  What we are doing here, stopping the Blight…I cannot think of anything I have ever done which is so worthy.  I intend to see this through to the end with you.” – Zevran Arainai


While Kat & Wadoobie retch, Calamitybird swoons.

Not a quote you’d attribute to Zevran? Unsurprising.  Little has brought girl gamers together quite so much in recent history as the shared love for Dragon Age and its dashing, British, wise-cracking hero Alistair.  Zevran arrives under deplorable circumstances, and easily makes a bad first impression.  The hate I see for Zevran in gaming forums is positively vitriolic.  I almost like it – I have a thing for underdogs, and admit I secretly enjoy feeling like I appreciate something others don’t ‘get’.  But when Kat offered me a chance to defend the honor of my sweet, pragmatic, oft-maligned Antivan hottie, I couldn’t resist the opportunity.

(Note:  Utterly spoilerrific in regards to Zevran’s history/dialogues.  If you still plan to give Zevran a chance on your own, set this aside for now.)

Sense of Humor: Yes, he has one.  Alistair tends to get the credit for this, and I understand why.  But the longer I played, the more I felt that Alistair’s humor was an old familiar I like to call the ‘Chandler’ variety (for those who remember “Friends”; otherwise think Xander from “Buffy”.  If you haven’t seen that either, what kind of geek ARE you?).  I began to see Alistair’s self-deprecating jokes as passive-aggressive and attempting to cover for a genuine lack of confidence and self-esteem.  Alistair gave me a ‘fishing’ feeling – he always needed me to validate him, to tell him what he thought and who he was and what to do.  And it got wearisome.  Man up, Alistair – I got over your type by the time I was 22.  Zevran admittedly doesn’t make with the charming zingers nearly as often, but jokes around often enough to show he does have a sense of humor, even about himself.  Given his cocky affect, the unflattering stories he chooses to tell about himself and his past adventures are unexpected, yet there is no awkwardness or fishing in the telling – he is simply comfortable pointing out his own mistakes and lucky escapes.

Zevran the Archer

Aren't elves always archers?

Hey, I Had A Hard Childhood Too:  With apologies to his fans, I got tired of Alistair’s daddy issues, which he seems to alternately attach to Eamon, Duncan, and Maric. He weaves tales of childhood abandonment and stepmom issues with a forced nonchalance that fails to hide his resentment.  And frankly?  He trailed off into near-tears over Duncan so many times that I was shocked when I discovered he’d only known Duncan for six months prior to Ostagar.  Even perhaps a little insulted, given that near as I could extrapolate from events, I’d been on the road with him playing therapist for at least twice as long by then and yet I doubted my demise would elicit the same epic moping.  Sure, Alistair had it tough.  But Zevran wins the Hard Childhood Contest hands down without a trace of the same bitterness.  Grudgingly raised by whores until he was barely old enough to be sold to murderers, then subjected to brutal and potentially fatal training (including, as the Warden witnesses in Zevran’s memories if he is brought into the Fade puzzle section, withstanding rack torture without crying out.  That’s fairly hardcore, I think.)   All of this he discusses unabashedly if asked, with a matter-of-fact perspective that acknowledges most of his peers had it worse, and that he appreciates life for the pleasures it does offer.

Easy Lover: I think this is where a lot of people get the impression of Zevran as being sleazy.  Folks, maybe I read too much Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson, but I just don’t get this.  Zevran is actually quite respectful when it comes to sex (hey, stop laughing!),  which to him is simply this:  a Maker-given, enjoyable act between consenting people, compatible with but not bound to love and monogamy.  He says what he means, plays no games and oversteps no bounds.  Early on he caught me off guard by calling me beautiful, and then asked if he shouldn’t.  I told him not to …and I never heard another word about it, though I retained the conversation option to flirt first if I wanted that track back.  That pattern is consistent:  Tell him to back off – no matter how far things have gone already – and he graciously does, though you may really hurt his feelings as evidenced by the approval ratings.  Give him a clear signal that you are receptive, and prepare to be frequently reminded that you are incredibly sexy, dangerous and desirable.  When I experimented with romancing him and Leliana at the same time, however, he put his foot down – which greatly surprised me until I heard his reasons.  Though he would never lay a claim upon the Warden, he explains, he realizes Leliana (or Alistair as the case may be) is a traditional romantic…and that if you are seeing both of them, it is definitely not with the other’s informed consent.  “I am many things…but I am no cheat,” he says.  “If whatever is between us cannot be honest, let it not be at all.”  My inner Heinlein applauded.

License to Kill: This is where arguments with my BFF got particularly heated: as far as she’s concerned, this is the Insta-Win button.  Zevran kills for a living = Zevran is Eeevyil = The End.  But he’s always been completely forthcoming about his background:  Purchased at the age of seven, trained to know only murder, and threatened with death should he ever consider leaving.  To him, this is How The World Is.  Dig at his motivations, and there are great conversations to be had – about the definition of an ‘innocent’, about whether a mark would have been killed with or without his personal involvement, about whether he would ever choose to live his life another way if he had a choice. Take an accusatory tone with him, and he will ask the Warden to examine her own soldier past and the merit of the lives she has taken.  It’s clear that he has considered the question, and has done his best to fashion a philosophy he can live with.

Further, gain his trust more fully and Zevran will finally tell the Warden of his last assignment before this:  Mistakenly believing a woman he loved had betrayed them, he allowed his partner to kill her, turning a deaf ear to her cries for mercy.  He brokenly acknowledges his behavior was “utterly cruel” and makes no attempt to justify himself.  He then tells you he no longer wanted to live after that, and in fact had grossly underbid the other Crows on this assignment precisely in order to “throw (him)self at the one of the fabled Grey Wardens”.  Okay, that bears repeating:  Fully capable of both love and self-examination, he essentially admits to remorse so deep that he tried to kill himself in “suicide by cop” style.  Whatever his past, the Zevran now traveling with the Warden could no longer live as the person he had been, found compassion where he expected none…and is open to the possibility of another way.   Does he still want to die?  “No,” he answers.  “What I want is to begin again.  Whatever it is I sought by leaving Antiva, I think I have found it.”

Zevran Sex Scene

Easy to bed for sure. For any gender.

Mind you, all of this requires a compassionate Warden to bring out; treat him badly and he’ll quickly revert to old ways. I’ve heard Zevran called “easiest to bed and hardest to love”, and indeed it was only over a few playthroughs that I drew out his entire story and even an eventual declaration of love and a proposal of sorts.  But in a game filled with moral ambiguity, shady pasts and opportunities for redemption, he’s definitely one of the more fascinating and rewarding characters to get to know.


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Dragon Age: Origins – St. Patrick's Day Party Shots

March 16th marks two of my favorites holidays: 1.) The release of the new Dragon Age:Origins – Awakening 2.) St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.  To commemorate this occasion we at Polish the Console have devised a series of shots for each party member in Dragon Age: Origins.

Dragon Age Origins Party Member MorriganMorrigan: Angry, Bitter, Dark

1/2 Black Velvet

1/2 Jagermeister

Morrigan is an angry bitch of a woman who doesn’t care who you are or what you do. Stay out of her way and don’t get involved. If you absolutely have to be ready for an experience that can only be best summed up with: alone, sore, and full of shame.

Dragon Age: Origins Party Member - AlistairAlistair: sweet, easy going down, but not easy to get with

3/4 shot Bacardi Rum

1 splash of Baileys Irish Cream

Little Bit O’ Honey

Alistair is a big softy. He’s not hard, but he does pack a bit of a bite. He’s easy on the eyes, and from what I’m told, on the taste buds

Dragon Age: Origins Party Member LelianaLeliana: Lame, tells long stories that go nowhere, relatively pointless

1/2 shot O’Douls

1/2 shot Sweet Vermouth

In some circles this is also known as the “Aspergers”. While Leliana can (from time to time) be somewhat interesting to have around, there is really little to no point to her presence. It’s essentially like doing a shot just for the bitter, boring, and uninspired flavor.

Dragon Age: Origins Part Member StenSten: Sour, Angry, and Hard Hitting

1/2 shot Jack Daniels

1/2 shot Bacardi 151

1/2 shot Apple Pucker

Yes that’s 1.5 shots. Sten is a big boy, get a small glass. Sten isn’t pleasant to have around. He is a large bitter giant who steals various confectionery treats from fat children. Once he starts swinging back up or get knocked down and knocked down hard.

Dragon Age Origins Party Member ZevranZevran: smells bad, he’s nasty, and he likes to sneak up from behind

Grape Jello Shots mixed with 1800

There is nothing that sneaks up on you quite like Jello shots. He may play all coy and innocent with a strange leather boot fetish but turn your back on him and he’s all over you. This goes for in the tent and outside of it. He’s an assassin. It’s what he does.

There are few things like an 1800 Jello shot that can do you in for the night once it hits you.

Dog: Panty Droppers. That’s what dogs are best at. ‘Nuff said.

Dragon Age Origins Party Member OghrenOghren: Short, dangerous, bitter, and angry

Killian’s Irish Red

Sour Mix

Shot of Whiskey

He’s a small fireball of bitter rage. Deep down he’s not so bad but my god can he do some damage when he wants to. You could see yourself having either a great time or a broken rib when you hang with Oghren.  You also may find yourself having a slew of barely coherent insults thrown your way.

Dragon Age: Origins Optional Party Member – Shale

Dragon Age Origins Optional Party Member Shale You’ve gotten every other party member, why not go for 100%. It’s time to get shale. Lets face it, after gathering and taking everything listed above you may be hurting a little. It’s time to fall over and take a big face full of sidewalk. Lets face it, that’s pretty much what shale is. One big walkin’ talkin’ sidewalk covered in semi precious gems.

Everyone have a happy St. Patrick’s Day. I challenge you to gather your own party and have yourself a little adventure to fight an archdemon of your own.

BTW, we here love new drink recipes. If you think you have a better one please let us know with the comment section.

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Mistaken Identity, Part 2: Ugly Cousins

Prompted by the Squall’s Dead post, Wadoobie and I were discussing some of the characters and finer points in Final Fantasy VIII.  Being that Dragon Age: Origins is one of our favorite games, we started comparing some of the features – let’s face it, we were talking about FF8’s lack of perving – and we stumbled upon an odd similarity involving two characters.

Make that multiple odd similarities.

Including being annoying, having face tattoos, being short, having blonde hair, orphans, names that start with ‘Z-E’…

Zell from Final Fantasy VIII

Can't you see Zell's pointy ears?

In case you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about Zell from FF8 and Zevran from DA.

We’re about 90% sure these guys are related.  It’s kinda hard not to see the resemblance once you realize it.  Just visualize with us for a minute:

Both of these slightly annoying, less than wonderful characters were orphaned.  Zell was later adopted by dear Ma Dincht, while Zevran was plucked up by the Antivan Crows, a warm and fuzzy group of assassins.  Coincidence?  I think not.  They share features, such as the blonde hair and face tattoo – and their tattoos are on the same side of their face.  This also points to some sort of shared blood.  Even their names are similar, starting with the same two letters.

You may be thinking, ‘This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!  Zell is human while Zevran is an elf.  How can they be related?’

Zevran from Dragon Age: Origins

Zevran dogs...

While that is a valid point, I would like to again highlight the fact that both characters are orphans.  Therefore, we don’t really know what lies in their past.  Perhaps Zevran and Zell are cousins, and their grandparents are humans, and one rebellious daughter decided to get freaky with an elf.  Or, perhaps Zevran is Zell’s grandpa?  With all the love children Zevran most likely created, it’s certainly possible.  Maybe we just don’t know that Zell has a little bit o’ elf in him.

And the last bit of obvious evidence…?  How about the fact that they both like hot dogs?  One literally, and one a little more…figuratively?

Don’t groan.  You know you think it’s hilarious.


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