Game Play | Dragon Age: Origins | Denerim Market
Things take a turn for the worse this time around, although not for any story reasons - although it is something that could bring Elissa's journey to an untimely end. The first hint is that this post is about just Denerim's market and not the entire city - meaning the post about the mage tower is now banished to 2019.
The reason for this? That black background in the image up there isn't intended - that's the game seriously messing up. I played for quite a while before the game crashed to desktop with no warning and no error message - fortunately, I save often and should've lost a minute or two of play.
Except Origins crashed again - even faster this time. The next attempt? The game wouldn't even load. A few checks to make sure my PC wasn't messing up and it still wouldn't load. So I tried loading from where I had started the evening and the game seemed okay. Then it crashed again near the same point.
Now, there's no longer any support for an almost-decade old game, so it was a case of trying a couple of tips found via Google to get things working again and indeed the game did work - albeit with major texture issues that rendered half of the city pitch-black, and the other half a kaleidoscopic rainbow landscape.
The issue I have now is deciding how to proceed. Do I go ahead and play through the issues, grabbing the occasional screenshot that doesn't look absolutely terrible? Do I give up and simply try and go through the game on memory, which shouldn't be too bad because I've played this game a lot, but would lack a lot of detail?
Or should I just give up altogether and let Origins rest with the Maker, never to be touched again? Okay, it's definitely not going to be that last one, but I do think this post will be the last for Dragon Age: Origins in 2018 - meaning there will be no post on Sunday at all as I simply don't have the time to get anything new ready by then.
I'll try and fix the problems, and will push forward as best I can, but if it simply becomes too difficult to play, I might have to go over the events of the game from what I can remember doing in previous play-throughs. Then I'll pray to the Maker and hope that Awakening doesn't have the same problems.
As for Denerim's market, there's a lot of characters introduced that don't really do much more than introduce them here: Sergeant Kylon, in charge of keeping the peace; Herren and Wade, who have an unusual working relationship; or Master Ignacio, who has a strong link to a character yet to be introduced.
There's also a funny scene right near the entrance to the area with Sister Theohild, an older member of the Chantry whose hunger leads her to putting food into the Chant instead of the intended words. The resultant bickering with Mother Perpetua at her side is pretty silly for such a dark game.
For those who have played the other origins you can choose, you also get confirmation that the city elf story unfolded the same way, although it obviously didn't end happily without Duncan present and Arl Howe - now in control of Denerim as well as Elissa's home of Highever - purged the alienage where the elves live and have locked it off from the rest of the city.
There's also a way to short-cut to later content: Elissa and her team enter Brother Genitivi's house to find his assistant, Weylon, eager for news of the Brother and his search for the Urn of Sacred Ashes, telling the Grey Warden to head to an inn near Lake Calenhad.
You can do this, but Elissa is cunning enough to catch 'Weylon' in a lie, intimidating the man into revealing that he's playing a role and attacking the group. Brave, but stupid as four-on-one means the fight lasts seconds and lets Elissa explore the house uninterrupted.
The real Weylon is found, dead, in a back room along with a book noting that Brother Genitivi went to a place called Haven in the mountains to the west of Ferelden, along with another book about dragon cults - there's no hint of it yet, but the two are linked...