From now on until the day I get tired of it, the contents of this blog will be mostly about Dragon Age. Particularly Dragon Age: Inquisition. I’m trying to be a considerate Facebook friend to about 2,800+ people and I don’t want to spam my wall with DA:I rants.
Apparently, BioWare not only writes the most beautiful and complex narratives, they also include awesome romances in their games. They’re not an integral part of the gameplay but they’re great to have, if only to give more depth to the characters that you play. Like I always say, having a make out session in between blitzing red templars/Venatori/dragons/bandits/etc is always healthy. I have not played the first two games yet but Inquisition is probably the best game I have ever played in my entire godforsaken life so I assume that the first two are just as good.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Back to romances. The first character I played was a male elven mage. The guy was a mean killing machine and, as far as he was concerned, love was not even a part of the picture. He was more celibate than the average pope and devoted himself fully into the Inquisition. He even let Cassandra down hard and she was pretty awesome considering the available options.
In my third playthrough, I chose to be a female Inquisitor. I called her Ms. Sixpence because my endless tweaking produced a lookalike of Sixpence None the Richer’s Leigh Nash. This time, I decided to hook her up with Cullen because he’s cute and, um, really fit. For a fictional character.
I think the Cullen romance arc is wonderful. It had the loveliest cutscenes. There were a lot of adorkable “awww” moments that will make you *squee* and giggle. (Even male players say this.) Besides, who can resist an ex-templar with a severe Call-Me-Maybe syndrome that gets all shy and talks about the weather when you attempt to flirt? Cullen will quit lyrium for you, he’ll do a complete 180 and change his opinion of mages because he met you, he’ll even learn how to dance just for you. Cullen is also responsible, stable, devoted, and will give an emotional speech about how he’s afraid to lose you before throwing you into a ring with Corypheus and the Archdemon. But he’ll make up for it later by sneaking into your quarters in the finale and hugging you in your Inquisitor-sized balcony while you stare into the horizon. In short, Cullen is the guy you take home to meet your mom. He’s the one you marry and have extremely good-looking babies with.
And then there’s Solas. Solas is the rather shady elven apostate mage who joins your original party. He has a mysterious past and will rarely talk about himself. You know that he’s this powerful rift mage that walks in the Fade like a boss and has spirit BFFs. He’s not as in-your-face gorgeous like Cullen but he makes up for it by being the intelligent type.
When I heard that the character is also romanceable, I immediately made another profile with a new elven Inquisitor. I tried to make an Asian one, which was difficult considering that Bioware decided to ignore our part of the world. I only succeeded in making her look half-Asian.
I built her for one purpose only: to be Solas’ girlfriend. *snortfle* This doesn’t mean that she won’t be mean and dangerous like my other two but I heard that pursuing Solas was a difficult job in itself. I skipped a lot of the side quests and only did the important ones. Unlike other characters, flirting with Solas was not exciting. His answers were appreciative but still distant.
And then something changed. I bugged him so much that he agreed to talk more about his favorite subject: the Fade. In a dream, he took my Inquisitor to a lovely version of Haven in the Fade, made her feel special, and kissed her. (Insert butterflies here.) But he later apologized for being too forward and said that he just wanted to be colleagues. (Insert WTF.) He acts all proper and friendly until he asked her to help him out with a personal quest (All New, Faded for Her), which had a sucky ending and made him sink into such a deep depression that he left Skyhold for a while. He suddenly returned and had a meaningful conversation with the Inquisitor. He got all mushy and tried to break away AGAIN but my precious little half-Asian Inquisitor pulled him back. (Insert incredible make-out session.) He later promised to “think about it” and said “Ar lath ma, vhenan” (I love you, my heart) before leaving.
There’s a lull for a while but he still continued to call her vhenan every time they talked about important Inquisition stuff. Note that he has no repeatable make-out cutscenes like the others, which IMO increases the anticipation. Also, all the cutscenes are between GP to PG-13. Unlike explicit!Sera, boobies!Cassandra and naked!Cullen, there is no hint of nudity anywhere and Solas faithfully keeps his shirt on. (WTF BioWare!) However, he did mention that he and the Inquisitor do sleep together, which I guess is better than nothing.
Upon returning to Skyhold from the Temple of Mythal, Solas asked her out and took her to this super romantic date by a waterfall.
He held her hand, called her beautiful and said that she was the only one he cared for in a long time. The scene where he took off her vallaslin (face tattoo) with magic was seriously INTENSE. o_o I had goosebumps for days! @_@
This was followed by a kiss that was totes better than what Scarlett and Rhett could have ever imagined. He called her a rare and marvelous spirit …
… and then broke up with her HARDCORE.
He gave her false hope by saying “in another world” — further ensuring that she would pine after him for decades because he would be the one that got away. Then he left her there to shrivel up and DIE alone with no effing explanation!
THAT WAS WORSE THAN ANY BREAKUP I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED IN REAL LIFE.
Knowing what I know now after finishing the game, I completely understood his reasons. They really could never be. *sobs into pillow* But that does not make it right! My heart broke into a million tiny little pieces and not even half a box of caramel d’lites girl scout cookies could make me feel better. I HATE YOU, BIOWARE!!!! *shakes fist* *cries more*
But you know what, it was all worth it. Cullen was wonderful. But the Solas arc was EPIC and TRAGIC. I can see myself going back to previous saves and repeating the torture all over again. Gujab, BioWare.
Lastly, here’s an awesome graphic from Aidan Scanlan’s Twitter feed that explains this whole f*cked up situation. (Thanks, P, for sending this to me.)