Critical Miss: Dragon Age: Destiny

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KeyMaster45:
You can't call it retcon if there were multiple paths to take. I played through the game and didn't kill Leliana at the ashes part, if you chose to, well that was your choice. I don't see why people are up in arms over it, just frigging deal with it. Just cause you chose to kill her doesn't mean other people chose to as well.

I suppose the flip side to this is they could have just chosen not to include her at all and everyone would have been happy. Of course they could have also chosen to not include Zevran (the elf rogue dude I don't remember his name) which if you remember you had an option to kill him as well.

TL;DR: Tough titty, deal with it. It's not retcon.

It is retcon, because she always turns up even if you did kill her and import her. If they did what they had done in Mass Effect 2 and had her alive if she survived, and replaced by someone else if she didn't then there wouldn't be an issue.

BiscuitTrouser:

Drakulea:
Wait, so Leliana shows up even if you killed her in the imported Dragon Age Origins save?

Talk about sloppy work.

I know right? Like once, it battle, some darkspawn totally killed Justice in Awakening with a combination of immolation, cutting, acid, biting, poison and ice and anders just used his REVIVE spell to bring him back. It was really weird, and it only happened a total of 200 times so it made the occurance very out of the ordinary. Sloppy work bioware. Sloppy work.

Then i murdered some ex priestess in front of a very holy icon near some priests with the power to revive and she DIDNT DIE! THE OUTRAGE! Bioware just CANT decide how their universe functions.

Madara XIII:
She's had worse /sarcasm

She has... she died under the effects of fire, acid, lightning, ice biting, mauling, crushing and being eaten like a bazillion times when i played on the hardest mode. And then wayne revived her.

They don't die, that's why. They get knocked unconscious, as unrealistic as that is, they are never supposed to actually be killed in combat.

rsvp42:

Woodsey:
Hey, I agreed with you mostly. I liked the game, but the seeming lack of consequences is quite shocking. I mean, there are major decisions in DA2 alone that don't affect anything, and then they're introducing the implementation of save files that are retconned anyway.

Wait... what? This is news to me. I finished DA2 a couple nights ago and it seemed like there some pretty significant choices that affected what characters survived, ran off, etc. Hell, I even got crap from Aveline for selling her husband's shield. I dunno, seemed like there were a decent number of big choices.

Also, I had no clue Leliana could be killed in Origins. Then again, I rarely used her after I got Wynne. I needed those extra heals.

Try playing it the other way around from what you did before, and watch how it ends in exactly the same way.

The game is pretty good overall, but the "choices" are an absolute joke.

Legion:
Try playing it the other way around from what you did before, and watch how it ends in exactly the same way.

The game is pretty good overall, but the "choices" are an absolute joke.

Well I suspected as much...

Plenty of other smaller choices throughout as well. Some people you let live show up later, etc. I wouldn't say there's a lot of big choices, but an okay amount and for at least the first go, they cover up stuff well enough that it doesn't scream "this will happen either way!" At least until the end.

rsvp42:

The main issue is that Bioware seem to pride themselves on the ability to make choices in their games, if they didn't then it wouldn't be so much of an issue. The same reason people disliked being rail-roaded into working for Cerberus in Mass Effect 2, despite paragon Shepards being very much against the organisation.

As for my reply to the spoilers:

Like I said, still a very good game, it was just rushed out, it would have benefited greatly from another 6-12 months work, and it wouldn't have received the angry reception if they had chosen to delay it.

ecoho:
ok there are a few things that need to be addressd.
1. in any game of that many choices there is always a "cannon" story which the developers agree on.
2.this is not even a real retcon. the decapitation animation is random for all enimies so she could have been rezed or saved by the ashes.
3.in the case of zevren hes and elf they do funky things............

in the long run they told you what they take as cannon (theyve said that the shepard thats cannon is male already btw) and people got butthurt cause in a small amount of play throughs they killed her.(a little more people killed zevren but like i said elves are weird like that)

1. That'd be true if they weren't also acting like your choices mattered. They put in a save import feature and made a big ****ing deal about how choices from the first game impact events in this one. People are not disappointed that there's a set cannon in and of itself, but that there is and they acted like there wasn't going to be one (and implemented a save game import system that totally ignores some pretty significant details, leaving your game "half imported," so to speak). People are rightly annoyed that they were pretending their game does something to a degree that it really doesn't. Sure, it recognizes SOME choices, but what's the point when it also ignores some pretty huge ones? It ends up coming off like they're trying to trick the player, which honestly I think they were.

2. Being "rezed" in DA only works (with the revive spell, anyway) if you're "unconscious," not dead. If your whole party falls in battle, you DIE, because there's nobody there to revive you and you bleed out or the enemies finish the job. Given that the only people there beside your party are the cultists, I don't think anyone is bringing Leliana back. Saying "the Ashes did it" could MAYBE work, but this is the sort of thing that they'd have had her mention if they'd thought of it. The evidence suggests, instead, that they just didn't care that some players killed her, and decided to disregard that choice because they didn't have time to write around it. (Really, putting a generic NPC in her place would have solved the issue, no big deal).

3. Elves don't do "funky things" unless they explicitly make mention of it happening. Nobody in the series has ever said "sometimes elves just magically come back to life," hence elves can't just magically come back to life. The whole issue here is that they haven't bothered to even TRY to explain these things, which means that they're just, as you noted, sticking to one established cannon where neither character died. In which case, the problem isn't that they're doing that, but that they did it and pretended they weren't.

...well here's to hoping that previously choices made actually matter in ME3

I never knew you could kill Leliana off in DAO. I'm not sure why you would want to.. she is a lil' hottie!

And apparently I must be getting my time line confused here. For some reason I thought DA2 was more of a prequel to DAO. But apparently I am very much mistaken there. I guess I will find out whenever I get around to play that thing.

Why not Leliana too?

Of course, acknowledging that plot point might put a damper on some of the rage focused on Leliana, eh?

The reason it probably shouldn't have been overlooked in this one and changed is that the character would be wildly different personality wise (I imagine) if she had been brought back from the dead versus just living to that point in the story.

Or at least that is how I saw it. That and obviously dropping a plot point they included before.

Sir John the Net Knight:
Edit: Scratch that joke, it'll scare children...

Actually, I just dun wanna get banned for NSFW jokes.

Instead, I'll ask if this now makes Suchong a miniature giant space hamster fancy rat.

Wabblefish:
Nice comic I guess but it seems a little harsh lol, it was only one retcon and this is just more ammuninition for the old school Rpg mega fanboys to use.

Well, actually it's not only one retcon. This is just one of the most popular ones, because it's well known. See, a lot of people wound up killing Leliana on "evil" playthroughs, and it was also something that typically occured in the process of unlocking the Reaver specialization since she was a mainstay of a lot of people's parties. Pretty much any character you could have killed in the first game has been retconned back to life. Zevran, Justice, and others.

On top of this Anders was clearly not gay in "Awakenings" despite the jokes about what ear his earring was in.

In short, it's a matter of there being a complete lack of consistincy, and honestly I think it was done out of sloppiness more than anything personally.

As far as David Gaider goes, perhaps I'm not getting a joke, but honestly he's been getting pretty solidly curb stomped. I suppose a lot of people with the right (or should I say left) politics cheered for his pro-gay declarations, but it's important to note that the gays themselves have been upset by the portrayals in the game. On top of this, when I heard about these occurances here on The Esacapist I went to the forums to check out the threads and comment only to find them locked.

To put it bluntly, despite him trying to turn it into a political statement and get the left wing user base behind him, I think in the end the way the homosexuality was done in "Dragon Age II" was like so much in the game, simply a matter of sloppy game design. It was easier to make ever character bi-sexual than to work out which characters went which way (so to speak). Just as it was easier to throw waves of spawning opponents at the player than to carefully balance out each encounter tactically so you could actually do things like use choke points and tanking and the like, and just as it was easier to keep re-using the same maps again and again, AND just as it was easier to resurrect Dragon Age: Origins characters that should be dead rather than creating a new character or sequence of events to replace their involvement if they weren't around.

So basically, the guy showed up and tossed off a response or two, and there were some comments after that, but then we had the threads locked. He's not successfully "fighting the universe", it's pretty much like it is every time a dev responds. If you look past any political kudos you might want to give him, it's actually pretty sad overall, esecially seeing as I don't even think he really deserves them since I don't think there was any carefully conceived statement intended in the game to be honest.

I'll also point something else out, even if you forgive them not being able to actually fulfill the ambitions of the series by going so far as to create alternative characters to replace the fallen, they didn't even go so far as to alter lines of dialogue to reflect what surviving characters would have been liable to think. To use Leliana as an example, her specific desicians as "Agent Nightengale" and attitudes make no sense if she was in a romance with a Gray Warden who was a mage.

Honestly, it was a quick, sloppy cash in, and I think they wanted to toss out as many referances to the first game as possible and assumed fanboys would just mindlessly embrace it. The "everyone is bi-sexual" thing is not only an easy way out, but also gives Bioware something politically correct to trot out... Bioware made some comments a whiole back that there would be no gay or bi-sexual characters/romances in the upcoming "Old Republic". I think that was here on The Escapist, and was never changed. That irritated some people, and honestly I think they are willing to take whatever PC-cred they can get at the moment, and will have this to point to when inevitably someone makes complaints about "Old Republic Online".

hitheremynameisbob:

ecoho:
ok there are a few things that need to be addressd.
1. in any game of that many choices there is always a "cannon" story which the developers agree on.
2.this is not even a real retcon. the decapitation animation is random for all enimies so she could have been rezed or saved by the ashes.
3.in the case of zevren hes and elf they do funky things............

in the long run they told you what they take as cannon (theyve said that the shepard thats cannon is male already btw) and people got butthurt cause in a small amount of play throughs they killed her.(a little more people killed zevren but like i said elves are weird like that)

1. That'd be true if they weren't also acting like your choices mattered. They put in a save import feature and made a big ****ing deal about how choices from the first game impact events in this one. People are not disappointed that there's a set cannon in and of itself, but that there is and they acted like there wasn't going to be one (and implemented a save game import system that totally ignores some pretty significant details, leaving your game "half imported," so to speak). People are rightly annoyed that they were pretending their game does something to a degree that it really doesn't. Sure, it recognizes SOME choices, but what's the point when it also ignores some pretty huge ones? It ends up coming off like they're trying to trick the player, which honestly I think they were.

2. Being "rezed" in DA only works (with the revive spell, anyway) if you're "unconscious," not dead. If your whole party falls in battle, you DIE, because there's nobody there to revive you and you bleed out or the enemies finish the job. Given that the only people there beside your party are the cultists, I don't think anyone is bringing Leliana back. Saying "the Ashes did it" could MAYBE work, but this is the sort of thing that they'd have had her mention if they'd thought of it. The evidence suggests, instead, that they just didn't care that some players killed her, and decided to disregard that choice because they didn't have time to write around it. (Really, putting a generic NPC in her place would have solved the issue, no big deal).

3. Elves don't do "funky things" unless they explicitly make mention of it happening. Nobody in the series has ever said "sometimes elves just magically come back to life," hence elves can't just magically come back to life. The whole issue here is that they haven't bothered to even TRY to explain these things, which means that they're just, as you noted, sticking to one established cannon where neither character died. In which case, the problem isn't that they're doing that, but that they did it and pretended they weren't.

your answer to number 2 is a bit far fetched seeing how if thats the case whos to say she wasnt just knocked out?(as the decapitation is random it doesnt count as a real death)

they went with what they considered cannon and seeing as you dont play the warden in the second game there realy no need for the explanation right then.(theyll probily have some kind statment going out that sounds less like a fuck you that explains why shes alive)

in the case of zevren......ok you got me there he should of had a wrex thing but like i said elves are weird they have many gods who knowsmaybe the dred wolf saved him:)

could they of handled this better? hell yeah but it is their right to deside whats cannon.

BTW: in the case of choices im betting that they are going the mass effect route there were they hint at some in 2 but you dont see anything major till 3. Im ok with that but then i like long running fantisy books:)

Grey Carter:

The illustrious Tycho over at Penny Arcade described Gaider as a "King" and honestly, that sounds right. The man is an inspiration. Next time someone posts a not-quite-as-clever little comment about Erin having sideburns I may just abandon my angry stoicism and instead just pick them up and throw them out a window.

Wait, so Erin doesn't have sideburns?? How is that possible, those are totally sideburns dood! Don't try that retcon that stuff on us! We deserve an explanation! :P

Wolfbane_Daoine:

Grey Carter:

The illustrious Tycho over at Penny Arcade described Gaider as a "King" and honestly, that sounds right. The man is an inspiration. Next time someone posts a not-quite-as-clever little comment about Erin having sideburns I may just abandon my angry stoicism and instead just pick them up and throw them out a window.

Wait, so Erin doesn't have sideburns?? How is that possible, those are totally sideburns dood! Don't try that retcon that stuff on us! We deserve an explanation! :P

I can and will throw you out of a window.

Grey Carter:

I can and will throw you out of a window.

If you must. It was too good an opportunity to pass up though. ^_^
-Retcon 2011!

Really, I played through DA:O in a completely honorable fashion (Much to Morrigan's displeasure) and there wasn't a single retcon in the sequel for me.

Zevran didn't betray me, because I was a massive dick-tease to him.
Leliana and Wynne remained loyal because I used Andraste's ashes to cure Connor of Redcliff. (Much to Teeeeeeagan's relief.)
Morrigan has remained loyal, namely because I boinked her and then me and her kind of took a fancy to each other. (Though me and her had one last fling before smacking the ever-loving crap out of the Archdemon.)

Fact: Dragon Age Origins was geared up to be a self contained history, with a beginning, middle and an end, all of which we saw in both game and expansion pack.

Come sequel time, which is not really a sequel but a game set up in the same world, they went for an overarching story arc that actually is a bit of a distance from the here's evil, now slay dragon bits of the first one. To make that work, certain elements got the "canon" brand, and only the choices that don't interfere with that canon get to pass.

Not perfect, but past bioware games are filled with such incongruences (Kotor 1 allows you to be female and go all out evil, but the canon is still you're a goody two shoes male), and it's accepted.

Take for example the mass Effect world. Once the trilogy has ended, and they keep publishing books, and other games with no direct relation to Shepard, there *WILL* be a canon story as well.

At some point, the story you're playing will have some conflicts with the story the writers want. Imagine a game about the Rachni in the future never being allowed to happen because of the events in ME1. Ideally and in the broad context of the worlds the writers will have to create better work arounds, but we're still playing Bioware's tale, and they decide their plot points. I'm personally intrigued enough by Leliana's appearance in DA2 that I am willing to overlook that some gamers went deicidal in Origins.

z3rostr1fe:

But... I need a healer! :(
I guess i'll be off packing up some pots then instead...

Or then you could just do as she wants.. not a big deal.

rsvp42:

Plenty of other smaller choices throughout as well. Some people you let live show up later, etc. I wouldn't say there's a lot of big choices, but an okay amount and for at least the first go, they cover up stuff well enough that it doesn't scream "this will happen either way!" At least until the end.

This.

And frankly with the kind of events they tell us about in the game, they'd have to have two editions of the expansion/sequel whatever to carry it through. This way

Frankly, I prefer to not so much have the choice to a) kill world b) save world, but rather allowing the protagonist to choose a side on a situation that is partly out of his/her control.

grimner:
(Kotor 1 allows you to be female and go all out evil, but the canon is still you're a goody two shoes male), and it's accepted.

There is one thing here that I need to comment on. This has always been the status quo with Star Wars licensed games. The canon ending for multiple choice games is ALWAYS canon in the Expanded Universe. Bioware has less say in this because the way Star Wars is set up, there needs to be an established timeline.

Lucasarts has been very stingy lately in how much freedom gamers can get. It always needs to be the lightside option that is canon, because the dark side option almost always ends with a major film character being killed, or the whole galaxy being fucked up.

Mass Effect and Dragon Age are independent universes, where the appeal is making that universe built out of the player's decisions. Unlike Star Wars games, they are not constrained by an established canon system. That is why having decisions made for you are always a bit more annoying than if they are made in Star Wars.

Just coming from an EU buff.

Sir John the Net Knight:
I told people before, recapitation is just one of Leliana's many, many super powers. Like captivation, arrow splitting and seducing elven girls.

It is kind of funny that I've never heard anyone call out dragon age on the arrow splitting. Especially since freakin' everyone can do it by the end. So annoying!

grimner:
At some point, the story you're playing will have some conflicts with the story the writers want...Ideally and in the broad context of the worlds the writers will have to create better work arounds, but we're still playing Bioware's tale, and they decide their plot points.

Then isn't claiming and/or boasting to give the player a choice disingenuous?

erztez:

Wabblefish:
Nice comic I guess but it seems a little harsh lol, it was only one retcon and this is just more ammuninition for the old school Rpg mega fanboys to use.

Trust me...it wasn't just the one.
The game basically ignores EVERYTHING you did in DA:O, which would be fine by me if they didn't put in a save import feature.
What's the point of doing THAT if you just ignore all the data?

It buggs when it comes to saves that have awakening/witch hunt/golems events. Eventually they'll fix those that are indeed errors. I played with only a save containing the end of origins and never met Zevran(he turned on me eventually in DAO)in DA2.

As for Flemeth I guess people understood the amulet was part of her essence in case you killed her in DAO. While Leliana(only a moster would kill her anyway)and Anders are key elements to DA2 plot so I guess that's what gavin was talking about ignoring some origins posible choice. Beside this 2 NPC everything should follow what happened in Origins and when it's not it's just bugs.

I hope they'll take less time to to fully patch the game and not do as origins where the game was finally working as it should by the time Awakening came out with patch 1.4.

Belzera:
Haha, I didn't kill her in my DA:O game, but I did kill Zevran.... now how the frak did he give my Hawke this shiny awesome weapon as a ghost?

Not sure if you've been told this, and I do apologize if you have been, but the thing with Zevran is that the choice being transferred over is corrupt or something and just says he's alive.

Apparently, he's supposed to be canonically dead if the Dragon Age 2 wikia is correct.

Sucal:
It was the ashes. The magical ashes of Joan of Arc Andraste magically reanimated her corpse. (It can't be sillier then a pinch of the ashes being able to cure a magical disease.)

but sir, they're ANDRASTE's ashes, not just ANY ashes. if they can fix squirrel aids, what in the world CAN'T they fix?

A wi

AnonymouZero:

Sucal:
It was the ashes. The magical ashes of Joan of Arc Andraste magically reanimated her corpse. (It can't be sillier then a pinch of the ashes being able to cure a magical disease.)

but sir, they're ANDRASTE's ashes, not just ANY ashes. if they can fix squirrel aids, what in the world CAN'T they fix?

Except it gets even more jarring when you actually defile the ashes, since that's the instance where Leliana possibly turns on you, when you attempt to defile the holy ashes.

I think she's a witch.

BURN HER!!!!! BURN THE WITCH!!!!

Grey Carter:

The illustrious Tycho over at Penny Arcade described Gaider as a "King" and honestly, that sounds right. The man is an inspiration. Next time someone posts a not-quite-as-clever little comment about Erin having sideburns I may just abandon my angry stoicism and instead just pick them up and throw them out a window.

I for one applaud dragon age for picking elements that are canon and saying "that's just the way it goes". Then again, they didn't step on my toes so maybe I'm biased. They let Leiliana live and killed Flemeth, like I did so cheers all around I get to feel like I did things the right way. I know a lot of people will hate the dis-connect between games but sometimes a developer has to say "Sorry if you were a homicidal maniac that killed everyone, that didn't leave us a lot to work with". I've seen a lot of sequels with mushy, watery plots simply because they were afraid to commit to one interpretation of events. "And then the hero... he did... something. And woah. The thing he did. I can't tell you about it here. But... WOW. And the way it changed things. Totally. We won't go there, but hey. It's something alright."

I suppose people are expecting the levels of choice they got in Mass Effect. However mass effect one was written pretty smartly in that the variation of plot integral choices was actually pretty restricted. Dragon Age allowed you to piddle away your whole party on various quests, either through murder or abandonment and ultimately the story could vary wildly. They made a lot of mistakes before in regards to sequels. But maybe that game wasn't written with sequels in mind. Deciding the canon for people is the only way to correct those mistakes and still have a cohesive storyline.

Soviet Heavy:

grimner:
(Kotor 1 allows you to be female and go all out evil, but the canon is still you're a goody two shoes male), and it's accepted.

There is one thing here that I need to comment on. This has always been the status quo with Star Wars licensed games. The canon ending for multiple choice games is ALWAYS canon in the Expanded Universe. Bioware has less say in this because the way Star Wars is set up, there needs to be an established timeline.

Lucasarts has been very stingy lately in how much freedom gamers can get. It always needs to be the lightside option that is canon, because the dark side option almost always ends with a major film character being killed, or the whole galaxy being fucked up.

Mass Effect and Dragon Age are independent universes, where the appeal is making that universe built out of the player's decisions. Unlike Star Wars games, they are not constrained by an established canon system. That is why having decisions made for you are always a bit more annoying than if they are made in Star Wars.

Just coming from an EU buff.

Yes, but this is the other side of extended worlds. Even if your playthroughs shape the world in the particular game, as a general franchise, the creators of the game will need to establish some canons. Notwithstanding the fact that there will eventually show up new games systems and that those games systems may, or may not allow for saves (speking of consoles, here), there will always be times when some decisions are taken from you. I am thinking, for example, about the Architect from Dragon Age, which will no doubt show up sometime, somewhere, in book, game, whatever format; or the rachni species; or the Geth which may or may not be reprogramed. All I am saying is, at some point the branching out of all those decisions might grow to be so complex the programmers might have to resort to make different games for the different outcomes.

Fronzel:

grimner:
At some point, the story you're playing will have some conflicts with the story the writers want...Ideally and in the broad context of the worlds the writers will have to create better work arounds, but we're still playing Bioware's tale, and they decide their plot points.

Then isn't claiming and/or boasting to give the player a choice disingenuous?

Admittedly a bit. But in order to avoid having to make totally different games to accomodate the choices (which we can agree is not really all that cost effective), the type of choices given are for the most part, "irrelevant" to the main story arc and the best way to avoid them is, for example, recurring to those comic books used for the PS3 mass effect. But we're talking franchises that transcend games and also are turned into books, and who knows what else, if it turns a profit. In terms of the main trilogy it makes sense that we, for example terminate the Rachni and that has an effect for ME2 and 3, we get our satisfaction within that storyline. But, if the writers decide that this or that plot point calls for the rachni, they might be brought back.

Grey Carter:

But I LIKE Erin's side-burns :D ...her new botox job is also looking pretty good :)

They'll probably introduce a plot twist in DA3 resolving these gaping holes, whether they planned them all along or are just covering their asses.

Dudes kinda full of crap though and constantly contridicts himself. I mean he has some valid points at times, but this guy does tend to contridct a lot of comments made last year to do with DA.

You killed Leliana! But . . but . . . she was a hot French bisexual redhead! Why you you kill that? Oh sure, she was a religious nut, that sure did seem to come into play with all of the killing and fraking she did.

She was awesome, you deserve to have your story rewritten if you killed her!

Perhaps I'm a bit too passionate about this . . . oh well.

There's an option that you'd end the game without companions - how's that for a sequal XD

Sucal:
It was the ashes. The magical ashes of Joan of Arc Andraste magically reanimated her corpse. (It can't be sillier then a pinch of the ashes being able to cure a magical disease.)

the reason Leliana wouldn't give her the ashes was because Erin Cousland wanted to defile them, so that wouldn't work. although it is a nice idea.

but yeah they should have had a save import option that would still make you play Hawke, but the shit you did in DA:O and DAO:A would MATTER.

EDIT: I hope we get a choice whether we play as Hawke or the Warden in DA 3, and then have whoever you DIDN'T choose as an NPC who went off to do something important and only turned up occasionally to help and/or give quests or something.

also that all surviving companions would come back, and the ability to take four or five companions with you, and all of them during important quests...

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