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YMMV / Dragon Age: Origins Awakening

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The Architect brings the uncomfortable detail that Darkspawn are only Always Chaotic Evil because the taint doesn’t exactly give them a choice. Once awakened, they can be as morally varied as any other race (if with a somewhat higher predisposition towards insanity; being tainted and then awakened seems to be pretty hard on their mental stability). Following his argument, a good portion of the hordes slaughtered during every Blight could be perfectly decent people like the Messenger if they were just capable of choice, making them as much victims of the taint as anybody else. This is somewhat countered by the reminder of how the Darkspawn reproduce. Then again, we do not know how long do the Darkspawn live and whether the Architect would wish to create more. There's also the fact that despite the Messenger's attempts to help people post-story, he does spread the Blight sickness.
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    • The Mother implies that the Architect may not wish to free his brethren out of empathy for their situation, but simply because he does not wish to be alone, as the only sentient Darkspawn This is somewhat undercut by the knowledge you gain in II and Inquisition, which makes it clear that there are other sentient Darkspawn, and that there's a reason that they're sentient.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Sigrun is amazingly cheerful for someone from a caste called Legion of the Dead, and is promised to only pursue death for the rest of her life.
  • Author's Saving Throw: In the original game, Oghren was often neglected because he joined in Orzammar, the area that most players tackled last. Having him join near the beginning seems to be an attempt to address this.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Oghren. Many people who disliked him in Origins warmed up to Oghren after Awakening, because he showed much more responsibility both for himself and others, and because of his new-found family. On the other hand, a lot of people who liked him in Origins found his portrayal in Awakening to be disappointing, feeling like he had significantly less depth and served little more purpose than occasional comic relief (the "shleets" conversation, for example). There's also a large segment who are just mad that the game retcons Oghren's potential death in Origins.
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    • Velanna is an even bigger one. A large number of fans despise her for Jerkass tendencies, murdering a bunch of people with an incredibly flimsy motive, selfish reasons for wanting to become a Grey Warden, and overall shrill personality. Of course, a number of fans also love her for being one of the most developed characters in Awakening, along with her Hidden Depths and willingness to change her worldview if given sufficient reason.
  • Broken Base:
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  • Complete Monster: The Baroness of the Blackmarsh was a Vain Sorceress who murdered her subjects’ children to use their blood in rituals to keep herself young. When her subjects rebelled and burned her home down, the Baroness responded by killing her subjects and imprisoning their spirits in the Fade. Denied their eternal rest, the people of the Blackmarsh have their souls feasted on by the Baroness, now a Pride Demon, and are tormented by the demons prowling the spirit world. Should any person "die" they will only be revived back in the Fade for more misery. When confronted with her crimes, the Baroness brushes them off, saying that her subjects’ lives belong to her and are hers to do with as she pleases.
  • Cry for the Devil: Regarding the Mother, considering what we know about where Broodmothers come from.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Awakening has no romance options, even when playing as an Orlesian Warden. It didn't stop players from shipping their Warden (even an imported one) with companions who would theoretically qualify as one. note  Popular choices were Anders and Nathaniel, the former eventually becoming a romance option in Dragon Age II.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Anders telling Velanna that the chip on her shoulder has replaced her head is much less funny after what happens to him in Dragon Age II.
  • Game-Breaker: Has it's own page here.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • One bug in Awakening will allow you to max out your level before you even leave Vigil's Keep for the first time.
    • Another good bug in Awakening: In the City of Amaranthine, the smuggler leader quest line can provide infinite gold. Perform the first two tasks, but refuse the third. Every time you go back, he'll repeat the conversation, Including the part where he gives you 15 gold.
    • A bad bug as detailed on the main page: If you import to Dragon Age II, whether you save Vigil's Keep or not, anyone not with you to fight the final boss will be flagged as dead.
    • And then there's the bug where next to no DLC equipment will carry into this game - cue players having an Oh, Crap! reaction when the Warden charges into battle in naught but their underwear.
    • It has since been fixed (unless you're playing the Ultimate Edition), but until very recently, a bug existed on the "Legion of The Dead Heraldry," a mostly cosmetic, practically free bit of modification you can buy to put a different image on your shield. Instead of the normal +3 to all attributes given by other heraldic designs (which is a pretty hefty bonus for a cosmetic reward, all things considered), the bug caused the Legion of the Dead emblem to provide +20 to all attributes, easily making any shield to which it's applied by a far and wide margin the most obscenely powerful piece of gear in the game.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everything about Justice's conversations with Anders and Nathaniel.
    • A female character billed as a permanent party member turns out to be a Guest-Star Party Member. The same thing happened with Alisha, five years later.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Asking Anders if mages and the Chantry are all he talks about; this ended up being a criticism of his DAII attitude.
    • Similarly, one of the banters between him and Oghren has Oghren making fun of Anders' "delicate" nature, and finishing with "Oh no, big templar man. What are you going to do with that sword?" Given Anders' status as Ambiguously Bi in the sequel (and in fact confirmed bisexual by Word of God), his "Ew" reaction is even funnier. It also makes a lot of his dialogue look like posturing. Simultaneously Harsher in Hindsight, as the next game touches on the issue of sexual assault in the Circle.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: Many fans weren't happy at Awakening being priced just as high as the main game, when it can be beaten in twelve hours or so.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Velanna murders the humans who travel through the Wending Wood... because she believed humans were responsible for the death of many of her clan. The true murderers were the awakened darkspawn that serve the Architect - and Velanna's sister is now working with him. She had a big blowout with her Keeper about her methods, leading to her leaving the clan proper, and later learns that the Keeper has passed away without giving her a chance to make amends. She harbors resentment towards humans and lashes out at them... because of how she envies that the humans have their history and stories, while the Dalish have searched for the scraps of their tattered culture. When a pair of city elves approach her unbidden, she lashes out at them for treating her almost like a zoo specimen, then gives them a Dalish artifact (which, by nature, tend to be precious and hard to replace at best) to remind them of the culture they came from. Divisive she may be, Velanna is also in serious need of a hug. Just... mind your limbs if you try to offer her one.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Whichever character you recruit last (Sigrun, Velanna, Justice) will possibly run into this, despite that they are forced into the party during a certain point and are fortunately leveled. However, for some characters it can be avoided:
    • If you decide to do Kal'Hirol last, you nevertheless can easily pick Sigrun up first since she's basically waiting for you at the entrace of the area; and then postpone her quest until the end.
    • Velanna requires you to do parts of the Wendigwood questline first.
    • Justice joins your party only very late into the Blackmarsh quest and at that point you have no choice but to finish it.
    • Basically, if you want to maximize the time your party is complete, you're best off by picking up Sigrun first, then recruiting Velanna (but without entering the Silverite Mine), and then do the Blackmarsh quest so you get Justice.
  • Narm: Nathaniel's bard cry is akin to him stubbing his toe.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Not a character, but a place; the Deep Roads are only rivaled by the Fade in terms of how hated and loathed they are in Origins. Awakening, however, tweaks this by making them far more visually interesting (exploring the ruined city of Kal'Hirol) and using them to expand on Dwarven lore in an interesting and compelling way.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Mhari, who was built up as a main character by early promotional materials, even gaining her own character trailer. Yet she is Killed Off for Real within the first hour of the game specifically to show off how dangerous the Joining was. We have a character who (like Oghren) wants to be a Warden, and surely the job of a Warden would lead to some interesting reactions. Yet she is killed off within the first hour of the game. Many people believe she should of been given more time or even branching choices that would affect her fate rather than be cruelly killed before any significant character can be set up.
  • The Woobie:
    • Sigrun. She was a Casteless in Orzammar and forced to betray the trust of one of the few Merchant Caste dwarves who felt sympathy for the casteless and got them exiled and then joined the Legion of the Dead to make up for it. If you meet the dwarf Sigrun betrayed, she has some pretty harsh words for Sigrun.
    • Nathaniel Howe, as he's completely looked down upon by all of Fereldan for the actions of his father Rendon and his entire family is worth less then dirt, which affects him pretty badly to the point that he has no idea what to do with himself until the Warden-Commander recruits him. Thankfully the Warden-Commander can help him and reassure him that he's not responsible for his father's actions (And if the Warden-Commander's a Human Noble, end the Cycle of Revenge between the Couslands and Howes). Or make things even worse.


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