The Yu Gi Oh! The long-standing appeal of the collectible card game is due in…
come in Dragon Age II, I knew which character I wanted to end up with in a relationship. This character was funny, attractive, and seemed like the kind of person I looked up to. She had even made a short but impactful appearance in the previous game in the series, Dragon Age: Origins, who told me she had good stamina on the show. Not only that, but I planned to play a thief, and since she was a mage, I could keep her in my party all the time without sacrificing party composition. Her name is Merrill and she was, in short, perfect for me.
And yet I ended up with Isabela.
Let me explain. Funnily enough, I’ve played through the current three main lines dragon age titles in reverse order, starting with getting your hands on a copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition before going to II then ending – for now – with Origins. This was accompanied by a variety of strange experiences, including the dread of seeing a character again, but before he had gone through much of his character growth or even before he became a prominent figure, though this was mostly limited to people who were still in plain sight. I mean, honestly, it took me a long time and a good chunk of wiki research to even remember that I saw Alistair as a king in Inquisition already when I got to his first appearance in Origins. However, even for characters that I hadn’t seen much in my time with Inquisition before playing the previous games, I still had a way of knowing who the main players were and I even thought I had figured out who I was going to fall in love with when I got access to those previous titles. I speak, of course, of the Tapestry in Dragon Age Dungeon.
Honestly, I messed up my first time playing Inquisition, having forgotten to complete the tapestry to set up the world of dragon age how I wanted. Although there are a few options in the game, the only way to decide what previous player characters had done was through the tapestry. I played for a good few hours, collecting items and completing quests, when suddenly I learned details about previous games. At that point, I realized that even though I had imported my Tapestry as I should, I had accidentally left most of the details with the default options in place. I stopped dead, logged back into the site, and went through every little node on the site.
I hadn’t played yet II Where Origins, so I mostly went with what sounded best based on my limited knowledge. I marked all quests as complete and whenever there was an option to kill someone or let them live, I chose the latter option. On reflection, this might not have been the best idea in some cases, but it was fine with me. Then I came to the option of who my previous heroes would have had a romance with. I wanted the previous two leads to be female and their lovers to be female as well, which narrowed my options a bit. Leliana won by default for Origins (good that she too didn’t really work out on my first real game – I’m bad at picking partners), when I had two real options for II: Merrill, a cute elven mage, and Isabela, a fierce pirate. They both looked like they could be fun partners, but, for reasons I’ve already explained, I chose Merrill.
Fast forward to my first time playing II, I knew I wanted to try and play consistently with what I had selected in Keep’s Tapestry. It meant being a diplomat, siding with the mages, and most importantly, falling in love with Merrill. Luckily, she was everything I hoped she would be, and more! I’m always a sucker for storylines where beings or abilities thought to be pure evil turn out, in fact, to be much more complicated, so Merrill’s use of blood magic and his interest in demons definitely piqued my interest. Overall she was nice, kind and extremely helpful in all my fights. Uniquely, I rarely felt like I had to choose the best options for her, with my own personal choices naturally matching her tastes.
Yet when I walked into the local tavern, The Hanged Man, Isabela was there. His quests were fun, his dialogue lively, and his face beautifully lively. Every time she flirted with me, I fell more and more in love with the pirate. She was constantly in my party – even if it meant I had two melee rogues at the same time – and I loved watching her sneak across the battlefield.
Over time, I drifted away from Merrill. We still clicked really well, but she seemed more like a good friend than a romantic interest. However, Isabela was different. She felt like someone I could easily be friends with, yes, but something inside her just spoke to me. His endless well of confidence was certainly a driving force on that front, but there was something else as well.
In particular, what stood out to me was how she brought out the more sarcastic attitude in my character. Isabela tended to endorse these dialogue choices alongside my typical “kind and fair person” perspective, so I changed the way my character acted. I certainly know that while I always liked to be diplomatic and nice, many of the neutral and fun options were often the most entertaining and, generally indulging in that less serious side of my character, even the more enjoyable choices had always that tinge of humor. . At first I was afraid to let go of my cuteness, but instead I just added that sarcasm and witty side. I found myself liking my character more and becoming more comfortable making jokes about situations. In some ways, that comfort even extended outside of the game. I had always been kind of a prankster, and now I found myself more and more confident in my sense of humor and personality.
So instead of just being an appealing video game character, Isabela turned out to have me reconsidering my character, improving it to a point where I had so much more fun playing, even when the hacker wasn’t actually on screen. In some ways, I even felt like a better version of myself in real life. I’ll admit it was still a rather formative time in my life (although who’s to say his formative years are really ending?), so I can’t stand up and give a fictional thief all the credit, but I also can’t how she made me feel.
Eventually I got to Act 2 and ended up with Isabela. With the time I’d spent flirting with her, my decision had already been made, but the situation still stuck with me. The hacker stole my heart, showed me a more fun way to play the game, and turned this title into one of my favorite RPGs. Even now I feel a little bad for Merrill, but at least in Dragon Age IIshe’s the pirate woman for me.