Not to get anyone’s hopes up, but the next Fate post is like 75% done.
In the meantime, though, here’s some stuff. Fable series, Dragon Age series, and a book.
Dragon Age: Origins
So I ship me and Alistair really hard.
Anyway, Bioware’s been knocking it out of the park lately and I figured it was time to work my way through their library. I didn’t want to start with Mass Effect because everyone loves it and I’m a contrarian asshole I was in the mood for a good fantasy wRPG, so I started here.
I really, really enjoyed this game. It had an engaging story, a colorful, varied cast, a shit ton of choices and endings, and just about everything you could want from a wRPG. It treated women like people, and there were a lot of them, of all ages and creeds, everywhere. My only real complaint was the dimorphism in costumes, but even that wasn’t too too bad. They actually managed to make a woman dressing sexily be a character statement! The only other time I’ve seen that succeed was in Borderlands.
I think the most annoying thing– and this is a warning– is that after completing the main story you couldn’t go back and finish up side quests. It kind of makes sense narratively, but if I had known I would have gone and turned everything in before the final battle. I just assumed you could go back afterward. The reason they did it was because the endings were dependent on which quests you’d done, but I wish there had been a clearer warning.
Though TBH I still don’t understand why it was called “Dragon Age.”
Dragon Age II
We’re going to talk about Anders.
I think, narratively, the strength of this game was how it demonstrated how oppression can become cyclical. Mages are being driven to desperate, dangerous acts by the way society treats them, and then the dangerous things they do are justified to shorten the leash even further, making them more desperate. (I believe Orsino says this at some point.) I played as a mage, which I think ended up really affecting my perception of the story– me!Hawke had lived life as an apostate, but mostly free, and suddenly she’s seeing what it really means to be a mage in the rest of the world.
Bringing this back to Anders, it was exactly this desperation that led him to playing host to Justice in the first place, and the same that warped them into Vengeance. I think they did a really good job of taking Anders from who he was in Awakening through II and into someone who would do something that was essentially an act of terrorism. When he won’t look Hawke in the face and says there’s no longer any delineation between him and Justice, it’s obvious he’s no longer the person who babytalks kittens and uses a healing gift to treat the poor. There even seems to be a degree to which he knows that and wants to be punished for what he’s done. Adding in the romance angle, as I did, complicates him even more– it’s clear he loved Hawke, at one point (the same one where he was still putting out milk for kittens), but he ends up making her unknowingly complicit in the killing of everyone in the Chantry.
I think there would be a part of me!Hawke that would still think he could be saved, and spare him, and stay with him. And I think that’s a massive credit to the writers, because what he did was objectively terrible, but it was pitiful, too, and for me at least, it made me!Hawke want to help him even more than before… and want to help other mages who may be driven to that, which was probably Vengeance!Anders’ goal in the first place.
Basically I’m really excited for Inquisition.
Also they played Florence over the credits so it was like FEELS x a million because Florence <3333 she is my queen.
I have this weird, stems-from-my-OCD need to play all franchises, read all series in the order of release, and that was how I got to Fable I. I’d read that Fable II was really progressive on the women front, but the idea of picking up II before I made me twitch uncontrollably, so I downloaded the original.
It came out in 2004, and has some for-its-time issues like the lack of a female PC and now-overdone story, but overall it was a fun, different, interesting and just plain enjoyable game. And despite there not being a female PC, the game is overstocked with awesome women. Your rival is female, your dead mom is the badass parent who matters, your sister drives the entire story, and everyone is dressed like a normal person.
I would def get the all-in-one anniversary version that has the DLC, because a) the DLC is fun and b) you can really see how the devs responded to fan crit. The biggest problem with the story was how it just kind of stopped without offering resolutions for major characters, and the final boss battle was really random and anticlimactic. The DLC attempts to address both of these things with varying success, but I did appreciate the effort.
The game wasn’t particularly deep, but it was fun and unique, and some quality escapsim. Go play it!
This, on the other hand, was just an amazing game.
It’s really one of those instances where it’s hard to say much because it was just a lot of fun. I think the best thing, though, was the outfits. It’s so rare to be a girl and be able to play a game where you just feel like a complete fucking badass. I was shooting bandits with a beefed-up pistil in a men’s dress shirt and hiking slacks while I had a bow in my hair and I was fucking awesome.
I did every side quest, bought every property, and God dammit I got each gargoyle (seriously that was my favorite part). The world was big and ever-changing, the characters were deep and varied and I loved all of them for different reasons, and also wow does Reaver’s backstory demand fanfic.
I wish Gareth had gotten a little more exploration. We don’t really know much about Samarkand or how he came to Albion, and what we do know is pretty interesting. I thought the DLC was fun if a bit shallow, so I’d say getting the all-inclusive version is probably worth it.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Novel by Anne Bronte
I’m just going to pull a quote from her forward to the second edition and leave it here:
“As little, I should think, can it matter whether the writer so designated is a man, or a woman, as one or two of my critics profess to have discovered. I take the imputation in good part, as a compliment to the just delineation of my female characters; and though I am bound to attribute much of the severity of my censors to this suspicion, I make no effort to refute it, because, in my own mind, I am satisfied that if a book is a good one, it is so whatever the sex of the author may be. All novels are, or should be, written for both men and women to read, and I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be really disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man.”