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Game Play | Dragon Age: Origins | Denerim Backstreets

No, that's not Sten posing with the bad guys - he's actually just off-screen behind Elissa

Picking up where we left off, with everything we could do in the Denerim market area checked off for now (check the Denerim Market post in the related posts section on the right for more details), it's time to explore the dark underbelly of Ferelden's capital city and hope that the game doesn't break down again...

The Pearl

On the way to the brothel, Elissa and co are ambushed in back alley en route by bandits, but they're dispatched very quickly.

Finally making it to the Pearl, no sooner have they stepped inside when they get to see a woman called Isabela make short work of a group of ruffians - we'll come back to her later, both in this game and the full sequel. Elissa follows her lead, quickly taking care of the White Falcon mercenaries Kylon asked us to handle back in the market and intimidating them into scurrying out.

The Falcons assume your confidence is because you're working for Arl Howe - which must rile Elissa no end considering he was responsible for the destruction of her family and their home back in her origin story. Another neat little addition adding to the story by choosing the Human Noble beginning.

As for what else happens here, a man called Sal the Grinder is panicking over the corpse of someone he killed, only calming once Elissa assumes responsibility for taking care of disposing of the remains. The Warden and her group also take care of a group of Howe's actual forces (top image) - they claim they're elite, but they go down pretty quickly anyway.

Oh, and Elissa takes the opportunity to have sex with two of the Pearl's workers, both of whom claim it's their first time. Number of women Elissa has now slept with: 3.

Dirty Back Alley

Leaving the Pearl, Elissa meets Kylon in a back alley en route to the named Dirty Back Alley, but they're attacked by are attacked by Cristof and the White Falcons, angered at being chased out of the Pearl - Elissa and her group team with Kylon and the guards to take down the mercenaries, with Kylon paying the Warden for her help and offering more work if she wants it.

From there, it's on to the Dirty Back Alley, where a gang leader and their thugs are disposed of, a quaint hovel that we can't enter - yet - another wife of a member of the Blackstone Irregulars to be informed of her husband's death in service and the door of a blood mage's relative to be marked.

Dark Alley

Next, it's on to the next location and another gang leader with their own set of thugs to be taken care of, with another door of a blood mage's relative to be marked. Easy peasy.

Rundown Back Street

Onto the last location and, yep, another gang leader and their thugs to be disposed of with ease - although it is concerning how much damage Sten is taking, with Elissa apparently proving not quite as much of a target for enemies just yet when compared to the giant Qunari member of the team.

There's also another hovel here, which we can enter this time. Inside is another deserter from the Blackstone Irregulars who is taken care of in short order, leaving the group to inspect the nude corpse of Ser Friden laying outside - while Elissa's experiences in the brothel had involved nudity, they were in a sexual context so my brain didn't really register the memory of having the nudity mod installed - having a naked man dead in the dirt with his privates facing the sky? Yeah, that'll do the trick.

Deserted Building (revealed)

Searching Ser Friden's body led to Elissa finding a journal that told of a secret underground blood mage base, which is now marked on the city map as a location to access. Heading there, the group slaughter their way through a legion of rogues, mercenaries, mages and traps while trying to ignore the altars and demonic statues dotted throughout.

With everything taken care of in Denerim's backstreets (for now), Elissa leads her group out of the city and on to their next location. Where will that be? Well, considering how easily everyone apart from Elissa seems to get hurt, it's high time we recruited a healer - and also time to praise another mod for making Dragon Age: Origins better than it was on release.

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