Game Play | Dragon Age: Origins | The Korcari Wilds
This is going to be a shorter post than the others so far, with the Korcari Wilds serving as an extended tutorial area for the player to get to grips with controlling their group in combat, fighting off large numbers of wolves and Darkspawn.
Saying that, before the group encounters any of the latter, they run across a dying soldier whose scouting party was wiped out by the Darkspawn, which terrifies the panicky Jory. Alistair bandages the soldier up and he heads back to camp, although they will never learn his final fate.
Elissa leads the group through the Wilds, with the four fighters annihilating everything in their path and easily gathering more than enough Darkspawn blood Duncan requested for the Joining ritual once they return to the army camp.
The only real challenge the group faces is a Shade, summoned by sprinkling some ashes on a pile of stones and is the first 'boss'-level creature the game throws at you. But with three heavily-armoured warriors in Elissa, Alistair and Jory, it barely causes any damage at all before it is defeated.
Elissa and the others make it to the ruins where the Grey Warden treaties should be, but the chest has been smashed open and the papers gone. While searching for them, Morrigan arrives to mock their efforts, although allowing a small amount of respect for Elissa as another woman.
As a side-note, it's very easy to come across Dragon Age memes referring to swooping being bad or mentioning sneaky witch-thieves, both of which come from Alistair reacting to Morrigan here. It's not that the lines are bad, but they do sound a little out of place which is why there became so repeated.
Oh, and as one other side note to again reinforce my opinion that the nudity mod enhances the game: Morrigan's top leaves very little to the imagination and is clearly not wearing a bra. Yet, in the unmodded version of the game, she apparently puts one on to have sex - the mod just stops this minor bit of stupid prudishness from ever happening.
Mocking over, Morrigan takes the Grey Warden party to meet her mother, Flemeth (whose name should be pretty familiar by now), who matches her daughter in mocking the men, yet also gives Elissa more respect because of being a woman - it's something that I never noticed before, but I suppose it makes sense that two witches would be pro-woman.
Regardless of her opinion of the men, Flemeth returns the treaties to they Wardens and warns them that this Blight is even more dangerous than they can imagine, but is apparently amused that she cannot tell how Elissa's future will unfold - only that she will play an important role in the battles to come.
Both of the 'witches of the wilds' will become more important as the Dragon Age saga continues, so expect to see a lot more of them. In the mean time, the group have accomplished both of the goals set for them by Duncan and return to the camp, ready to undergo the Joining.
The Korcari Wilds is not that great of an area, but I can understand why it's set up the way it is - the whole area is a general introduction to how combat works in the game, and I remember it actually being pretty tricky the first time I played through it.
The highlight of the section is undoubtedly Flemeth though, with Kate Mulgrew (who you may know as Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager) sounding like she's having the time of her life with her performance. It really works, infusing this old woman with a hint of madness, while also knowing far, far more than she would ever willingly reveal.