God is Real and it Wants us Dead: The Religious Terror of Bioware’s Biggest Games (originally posted at Polygon, 12/12/2014)
By Tauriq Moosa
OPINION text didn’t translate from copy-pasta on original article.
Games are often better at conveying horror than most other mediums, due to our direct and real-time responses.
This year, we’ve experienced the constant dread of Alien: Isolation and the grotesque physicality of The Evil Within. Overlooked, however, is the cosmic horror in BioWare games.
“We impose order on the chaos of organic life. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.” These are the words of Sovereign, the first Reaper you encounter in Mass Effect. At this point, you discover that all life has been essentially created and guided by these godlike creatures. Now the Reapers are coming to end what they created.
The entire Mass Effect trilogy is preparing for war against beings who are more powerful than anything in existence because they, essentially, created existence.
Here, all of life is told their creator wishes it to end. This isn’t nihilism written in the stars, it’s death row on a cosmic scale as everything marches towards the gallows. To fight seems futile; as Harbinger puts it in Mass Effect 2, creation seems to be “dust struggling against cosmic winds.” The entirety of existence is little more than the ant farm for uncaring gods.
BioWare’s love of cosmic animosity toward creation found a new twist in Dragon Age as well.
(originally posted on tumblr by w4rgoddess, 1/20/2015)
I just finished my second playthrough of DA:I. Yeah, despite all my complaining, I enjoyed the game enough to put in another 100+ hours, but that’s also because I’m a raging completist and Ineeded to finish all those damned quests, however boring. So I did. Go, me.
In the process I accidentally made Vivienne the new Divine. I say “accidentally” because I’ve so far managed to avoid most real spoilers for this game, and I didn’t realize this was even an option. I turned down the chance to support Cassandra for variety’s sake (I made her Divine in my first outing); I was going to make Leliana the Divine in this game just to see if it made a difference in anything. But clearly I did something wrong in how I played Leliana, and at the end of her personal quest she was all, “I’ll improve the Chantry by killing anyone who gets in my way, mwahaha,” which left me all D:, so I didn’t support her either. I tried to go back to Cassandra but the option never came up again. And suddenly Vivienne was on everybody’s lips. I kind of laughed and thought, “Yeah, right”, but then the endgame coda started to roll and… yep, Vivienne was the new Divine.
Thank you for wandering by this little blog. Sorry for the quiet but your metacritiquer works in higher ed and the beginning of term means not a lot of free time 😦
But there are posts in the can that need a little editing and then they can fly free. So far, I’ve got some brewing on:
Ser Delwin Barris
Vivienne De Fer
- Cassandra as WOC? Yes/No (a follow up from a tumblr post I did on this topic)
- The whole issue with lack of POC hair options in Inquisition (by request)
- Slavery, Tevinter and why it seems to be a non-issue for Dorian
- Why are are the brown folks seemingly from Antiva? (more on prior games, not so much DAI)
- Fandoms insistence on whitewashing, prettifying and otherwise changing characters to suit their whims
Other topics you want to see covered? Just drop me a line at the email address over in the right or leave a comment here. The aim is 1-3 posts per week, pending my free time to write.
Thank you for reading!
This bullshit…no, really that was some bullshit. I flailed at bossuary about this already but goddamn I’m still salty about this.
Ok when we met Mother Giselle, I thought cool, a Chantry mother that was going to see through all the bullshit and not protect the status quo, especially regarding the dialog you get when you pick mage/Dalish/Qunari specific answers when you first encounter her.
Then we get to Dorian’s quest…and it really bugs me that she shifts into this version of “black people are religious and homophobic”. Her motivations seem to stem from concern over who the Inquisitor’s association with Dorian will be perceived by those who come in contact with the Inquisition.
I also don’t buy that Dorian’s father/his agent contacted her. It just seems really out there, like why would someone from a country where the Divine in Orlais and the Chantry is held in disdain, contact a Mother in that same organization? Regardless of whether the Chantry has disavowed the Inquisition as heretical?
How would he even know she’s there and what level of access she has to the Inquisitor or to Dorian? Why would she even consider the request?
It’s from 3:00 – 6:00 in this clip (starts at 2:55) where we see Dorian confront her after the mission to see his father. It’s the whole BUT TEVINTER and the assumption they are involved (even if you aren’t trying to/have started a romance with Dorian) that gets me annoyed.
Also the refusal to repeat the rumors, it just…I don’t know it bugs me. Like she’s the walking archetype of nosy old black woman. I know, she’s supposedly doing things for the right reason, Dorian even says as much but why would she even stick her nose in the Inquisitor’s business like that?
It seems like Leliana, Cullen or even Josie might be better suited to address these rumors with the Inquisitor rather than a Chantry mother that doesn’t seem to do much after Haven but wander around the garden in Skyhold and give you updates.
There’s no real fall out from this action, and it just seems like it was stuck in because hey why not, rather than having an advisor be the one contacted since they are publicly known as part of the Inquisition.
So that’s why Mother Giselle bugs me in DA:I.