Evolution of a Gamer, Part 4: Dragon Age and the Origins of a Fantasy Series
Once upon a time, I believed hack-and-slash was the only reason to own a fantasy video game. My intentions were good, I swear. I wanted to rid the kingdom of demons, blood mages, vampires, werewolves, and the other nasty things that go bump in the night.
I asked for Dragon Age: Origins for Christmas the year it came out. I grew tired of waiting for Diablo III, and I honestly thought DAO would support my cravings for hack and slash. Which it does, but that’s not all.
When we first started playing, Lemur tried it out first, and I watched him play. Lemur kept the Antivan assassin alive, but he didn’t want him in the party. Zevran did try to kill him, after all.
“Yeah, but he’s so cute though…” said my inner Slim Shady.
So when I played, I adopted Zevran into my party, and I talked to him as often as the game allowed. “Wait a minute. Is that pretty blond elf flirting with me?” I wondered. I’m always a dude, in case you haven’t noticed. (Well, unless I can be Milena. Then, I’m always Milena.) I had not yet read the Wiki on DAO, so I had no idea. NO IDEA.
Yes. Yes, that pretty blond elf was flirting with me.
By comparison, Kratos does some off-camera smexy, but there’s no finesse, no flirting, and again with the fucking joystick…. In DAO, Not only can you flirt with Zevran, and many of the characters in the game, regardless of character gender, you can bed him, and win his heart (and his earring).
Did my series start out as fan fiction? Maybe. The magic is different (Zev doesn’t have any magic, for starters) and the characters are different. Zev is an Antivan assassin trying to buy out his contract. My elven assassin is 400+ years old and is carrying the spirit of his dead king. He’s waiting for a sign from the old gods to return the king to his body. Unbeknownst to him, this leads to the start of the apocalypse.
The similarities: my characters are elves, and like DAO, they are short, not tall like Tolkien’s. One of them happens to be blond and tattooed. The main character looks just like my amber-eyed DAO character. The human cast: there’s a lovable oaf like Alistair, a witch like Morrigan, and an elder mage like Wynne. There’s a commander like Duncan. There’s a King, who happens to be the Alistair character’s half-brother. (Inner groan. This sounds like fan fiction, when I put it like this.) There might be a diablo-like creature who was my answer to the Quinari. Oh. And the dog. They named the dog Wicked, because Ferex is just as much Ron Weasley as he is Alistair.
Yes, this all sounds very similar, but the characters are different. Or so I’d like to think. I also like to think my evil badass is even more badass than Lilith and her dragon. He’s super creepy, and even when he’s dead, he’s not really dead.
The true test will be hashed out with betas who know enough about DAO to tell me, “That’ll never fly,” or, “Stick to contemporary romance.” Won’t you be my beta? Hit me up in the comments if you’re interested.