Friday, November 27, 2015

Favorites - 14 Favorite Dragon Age Companions

Since I’ve gone through all of the Dragon Age games, it’s finally time to see  who are my 14 favorite companions. The series is pretty similar to the Mass Effect series in that the companions are usually one of the best parts of the game. I love the banter from all of the characters. Some of them even have some good personal missions that add a lot to their character and the game as a whole. Some are even some good companions to have in battle. These are just some of the traits I look for when choosing these favorites.

The only thing that kind of sucks is that you don’t get a lot of companions that stick around in the games. Since the lead character tends to change, you usually get stuck with new characters. Within the Mass Effect series, you’ll get holdovers like Garrus, Liara, and Tali along for the ride in all three games. You would even have former companions around in the trilogy somewhere.  If you’re wondering, Fenris won’t be on here. There’s only so much mercy I’ll give and I won’t give it to the mage-hating, mopey, depressing elf. I’m going with 14 since there are a lot of companions to choose from this time around.

14. Justice – Justice was pretty much the only companion from the Awakening expansion that was interesting. He’s a spirit from the Fade that ends up inhabiting the dead body of a Grey Warden. He helps you face the new Darkspawn threat in that expansion. He’s a lot like Cole from Inquisition (DAI) but less weird… to a point. It is a spirit from the Fade walking around in a dead body after all. He’s also a pretty adept warrior. He was cool for the short time I had him… then, DA2 came and did something with Justice and Anders (another interesting character) that was pretty messed up. Still, Justice was interesting.

13. Aveline – Aveline is a female warrior from Dragon Age 2 (DA2). She’s the first companion you run into that isn’t related to you. Throughout her time in Kirkwall she rises up in rank with the local guardsmen and helps you out as well. I liked her of the most part. She was a good fighter to have in the squad. She also had a nice and virtuous personality which clashed with most of the others like Isabella. One of my favorite missions from DA2 is where you basically have to help her get the hookup with one of the guardsmen. It’s pretty hilarious.

12. Isabella – Isabela is a female pirate you team up with in Dragon Age 2. She did have a small appearance in the first game where I had to play her in a game… which then glitched on me and looped for a bit. Yep, Dragon Age: Origins (DAO) has those glitches. Anyway, she wasn’t one of the best fighters on the team. She had nice moves, but they weren’t powerful moves. While she lacked in fighting prowess, he ruled in everything else. She had funny banter with everyone and I liked her part of the story. Besides, she was… what’s the word… ah, HOT! Don’t worry, the rest of this post isn’t going to be me saying all the women were HOT even though that might be true.

11. Wynne – Wynne is a mage from the Circle in Ferelden. She accompanies you in DAO after you help deal with some idiotic mages at the Circle. Wynne is pretty much the old, wise one of the group. She has advice on how to handle certain situations. She also tends to butt in on you whenever you’re in a relationship. She too has an interesting secret but I won’t spoil it here. Wynne isn’t a major powerhouse on the battlefield, but she does help out a lot with different spells. Unfortunately, you can’t romance her and that made me a little sad. I know she’s older but it still sucks. Overall, Wynne was cool.

10. Ogrhen – Oghren is a warrior dwarf who joins you in Orzamaar, the main Dwarven city. His ex-wife is Branka, a living Paragon and a crazy one at that when we see her later in the Deep Roads… the Deep Roads. Three words perfectly explain the Deep Roads: Long, arduous, and Broodmother! One sight of the Broodmother will make you want to beat that boss quick. Anyway, Ogrhen was cool. He could kick loads of Darkspawn and he was pretty funny. He’s also the only holdover companion in the Awakenings expansion which was nice. He may be a drunk, but he’s a good drunk. Besides, he voiced by Steve Blum (Wolverine)!

9. Iron Bull – Iron Bull is a qunari you team up with in Inquisition. He leads a group of mercenaries called the Chargers. He’s a little like Sten from the first game but much more interesting and less of a stick in the mud. He’s also one of the more powerful fighters on the team. He was one of my melee folk for a lot of battles. Through him, you learn about a lot more about Qunari culture here. It doesn’t get as much detail in the other games. His personal mission was also pretty interesting as a whole. Besides, he’s voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. who isn’t that cool to me unfortunately. Still, Iron Bull is a cool, funny dude.

8. Alistair – Alistair is the first companion you join up with in Origins. He’s also a fellow Grey Warden and the illegitimate son of a former king of Ferelden. A lot of his story is tied into the whole political landscape of the game. He’s also quite funny at times and isn’t a bore. Unfortunately, he’s not the best fighter to have on your squad. He’s also written as a bit thick-headed especially when regarding another potential companion, Loghain (yeah, I’ll get to him next). He also may make appearances in the later games if you play your cards right. Overall, Alistair was a nice brother-in-arms.

7. Lohgain – Remember when I said that something happens with Alistair? This is it. Oh yeah, “Spoilers” as River Song would say. You can actually have Loghain, the human villain of the DAO, join up with you towards the end. After you fight him, you can order him to be executed or he can join the Grey Wardens and your team. Of course, this gets Alistair to leave and that whole section left me befuddled in a sense. Shockingly, Loghain is actually pretty good as a fighter… Sorry, Alistair. Also, his conversations and overall arc in the game is pretty interesting. He may be a villain, but we find out why he made the decisions he made and that was pretty cool overall. I think he may have appearances in DA2 and DAI but I didn’t see him in my playthroughs.

6. Sera – Sera is another companion from Inquisition. She leads a band of rogues called the “Friends of Red Jenny.” Her character is a bit impulsive, arrogant, and sometimes unlikable. Shockingly, that’s what drew me to the character. While she has those odd qualities, she’s got good ones too. I did have the option is kicking her out, but I didn’t. She was fun and added a different dynamic to the overall team. She was also pretty useful with that bow and arrow.

5. Dorian – Dorian is a runaway mage from the Tentiver Imperium, a country where magic is used openly and rules in general. Unlike a lot of the magisters in the Imperium, Dorian is a bit different and I’m not talking about that the fact that he’s gay. It’s what his personal mission is about and it’s a good mission even though has a bit of a PSA feel to it. Dorian opposes all that the Imperium now stands for like the slavery, the warring, and the overall douchebaggery. He’s possibly the only nice magister I’ve ran into in the series. He’s funny, a bit insightful, and actually a pretty cool fighter. He has this teleportation move which is pretty cool. Overall, Dorian was fun.

4. Leliana – Leliana is a Chantry sister you take on the adventure. You eventually find out that she was once an Orlesian bard before her time in the Chantry. She was the one I ultimately romanced in DAO. She was nice, understanding, and good with a bow and arrow. I will say she wasn’t the best in terms of fighting (the mechanics didn’t help with archery), but she was really interesting. She does make later appearances in DA2 and DAI. She’s actually a part of your War Council in the Inquisition and it was pretty interesting seeing how her story plays out over the series.

3. Cassandra – Cassandra Pendaghast is a Lord Seeker you first see in DA2 as she interrogates Varric on the events of the game. You find out that she’s trying to find Hawke so he can help the Inquisition. Then in DAI, you literally fall out of the Fade and she gets you involved with the Inquisition. Cassandra was a cool companion. She was usually in the squad since she could kick some butt. While she did come off a little unlikable in DA2, she gets expanded on a lot in DAI. She’s fierce, loyal, speaks her mind, and is a bit of a romantic. I’d know about the last part since my character romances her in the game. Overall, Cassandra is one bad woman you don’t want to mess with… or do you?

2. Varric – Then, there’s Varric, the beardless dwarf rogue. Yes, there are beardless dwarfs but Varric makes it work. You’ll first team up with Varric in DA2 where he and his brother are planning an expedition into the Deep Roads. You’ll get to team up with him again in DAI since Cassandra had him around with the Inquisition. Varric is a cool dude. Not only is pretty useful with his crossbow, Bianca, the guy is a storyteller. He’s a guy who will stick through Hell with his friends in the second and third games even when his personal life gets affected. If that’s not a good companion, I don’t know what is.

1. Morrigan – Morrigan is the second companion you gain in DAO. She’s the daughter of Flemeth, a powerful and legendary witch. Morrigan is probably one of the more powerful characters in the game since her magic helps out a lot. While she can be a little unlikable at times, I really liked her character. If there was one person that could push your buttons, it would be her. She was funny and was one that really surprised me throughout the game especially at the end. She definitely surprised me in DAI where she plays a major role (non-playable unfortunately). She may not be the best person to hang with, but it’s awesome to have her on your side.

Well, those are my picks. I would have made the list a bit longer, but I’ll just stop here. Bioware rules when it comes to providing good companions in their games. The Dragon Age series is no exception. Hopefully, Bioware will continue to keep this in mind with their games. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to nurse a bruised leg. Moving hay can be tough especially if there are holes around. Peace, God Bless, and Happy belated Thanksgiving.

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