Path of the Grey Warden 8: Gruesome Golems

So it looks like rambling about my progress through Dragon Age Origins turned into a thing I’m sticking with, surprisingly. Check out the rest of my babble-through series here:

Oh Maker, this DLC… what is it with dwarves and creepy-freaking storylines? Anyway, Golems of Amgarrak takes place in an abandoned Deep Roads thaig after the events of the main game/Awakening. As usual, you have the awesome option to import your Grey Warden. I really feel like Grey Warden Ellen and I have been through so much together! This will also be the final leg of her massive journey – always a bittersweet moment when a big quest finally ends… sniffs.

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I won’t go into much detail outside of my spoiler area, but I will say this DLC very heavy on the Resident Evil-ish themes.

A dwarf named Jerrik Dace writes your mighty Warden-Commander a letter, pleading for your discreet help with an issue. His brother went missing while trying to find Amgarrak (hence the DLC name). Apparently, some intense research went down in there, and the dwarves are trying to uncover the secrets to restore their former glory… Yep, that never turns out good for ANYONE, EVER!

So, just how bad did it get? Well… let’s start from the beginning.

MAJOR FREAKING SPOILER WARNING!!! Cease reading immediately if you plan on playing this glorious game someday.

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Wait… your bro is named Brogan… ahahahaha (sorry)

After the intro scene where Jerrik narrates his letter to me, I find myself walking in some Deep Roads tunnels with the worried dwarf. Warden-Commander Ellen is always willing to help people! He explains the need for secrecy – House Dace are the only ones in Orzammar who know where Amgarrak is, and he wants to keep it that way. His bro’s expedition of 20 men just disappeared without a trace, and we’re gonna go find them. Jerrik is a typical rogue class, but with the added new ability of having a pet – his adorably massive Bronto named Snug… d’aww! This really reminds me of the Hunter class in World of Warcraft (I can never go back to that game).

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I found Snug got in my way a lot in narrow areas. But other than that, he was pretty cool! Snug’s Codex entry says Jerrik rescued him from darkspawn and they formed a close bond. Aw!

Further in, we make our way passed some darkspawn minions and find that a weird cloud of black mist is blocking the way. Then we find one of Caridin’s dormant Golems, but this one has been heavily modified, seemingly part of the research being done in Amgarrak. Jerrik suggests we go find its control rod, which I do. It zaps to life and I have my next companion. This Golem really is the jack of all magical trades! Throughout the game you can find research notes to upgrade its abilities (Lightning spells and healing stuff were by far my favourites). There’s an achievement for finding them all and I got it! Yay me.

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Phantom darkspawn things?? What in the name of Andraste is going on here?

The mist seems to clear with my Golem buddy by my side. Further in, we discover some odd darkspawn entities. They are all blue and ghostly, seemingly out of phase with the world I’m in (Metroid Prime 2 Echoes immediately came to mind). We follow them as they run off (unware of us), come across a horribly maimed corpse, and then are attacked by a wave of lil’ Stalkers. Jerrik doesn’t know what the hell is going on here, but he suspects the research that was done in Amgarrak is the root cause. As we make our way to the abandoned thaig, Jerrik says he felt something brush passed him… creepy.

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And then we go all Resident Evil…

We make our way inside the thaig proper. It was cool to learn that Amgarrak is an old dwarven word for victory (thanks loading screen). There is some sort of magical barrier blocking us from the core of the place. Also, a really creepy little monster thingy skitters across the first area. I only caught a glimpse of it, but it looks sort of like a greyish scorpion/spider-like creature. I’m horrible at describing things… Anyway, we discover a trail of blood and gore in the room as well, suggesting this little creature isn’t friendly. I fear for Jerrik’s bro…

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Good news! Brogan isn’t dead… but, what is he?

Continuing along (fearfully), we find Brogan! Or rather, a ghostly out of phase version of Brogan (but not a maimed corpse so phew). Brogan doesn’t seem to be aware of our presence. He’s rambling about pitter-pattering and whispering shadows. Creepy. Anywho, Jerrik thinks this is a “surfacer curse” but is overall glad his bro is alive-ish. I choose the option to assure him we’ll get to the bottom of this. Onward we go! Further into the madness of this Metroid Prime/Resident Evil crossover adventure…

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So, that creature skitters across the screen again. Thanks to the combined magic of the pause button and zoom out overheard feature, I’m able to get a screenshot of it (it’s in the top right corner). Its name is The Harvester. Creepy.

In the next room, we find a journal on the ground next to a skeleton. It mentions how lyrium streams are diverted with switches to change the environment. Lyrium in an unstable, dangerous, and super-magical substance in Thedas (now I’m making a connection between it and the Phazon from Metroid Prime). That must have something to do with the out of phase-ness going on here! I catch another glimpse of the creepy critter, fight some red coloured out of phase warriors, try not to step in more piles of gore (remains of the 20-man expedition I take it… ugh), and stumble upon one of these lyrium switch things.

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When I step on the switch, the spiky blue ball thing spins around and…
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Whoa, I’m in the land of blue! Wait… Brogan was blue, wasn’t he? Hm.
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I backtrack to Brogan (killing monsters in this phase along the way), and am pleased to find we’re on his plane of existence now.

Brogan is terrified for his life, but manages to get some words out. Everyone else in his expedition is dead (I noticed the word harvested was in bold letters… hint hint?). He was hiding here and says we need to stop “it” and find Darion, the expedition’s researcher (that journal I found earlier was by Darion). Brogan is suffering from severe PTSD (in my unqualified opinion), but Jerrik says his bro’s sword arm is still good. Skittish Brogan joins the party proper, and we set off to get to the bottom of everything.

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Brogan entertained us with stories about how everyone else was brutally murdered as we went along our merry way… *shudders*

Okay, I’ll be honest, 90% of my time in this DLC was spent running around, hitting different coloured lyrium switches to put things into different phases, backtracking, battling Golems & misc. creepy things, and also praying I didn’t see The Harvester again. I’m better at bashing monsters than using my brain, but I’m proud to say figured it all out. I’ll spare you the details about all this though. Sufficive to say, it felt a lot like a Metroid game in this sense too.

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No, Jerrik! No amount of anything is worth setting that creature loose on the world.

Eventually, we found Darion’s last journal near his corpse. It explained the following juicy plot details:

  • The researchers of Amgarrak created The Harvester. Realizing it was a horrific mistake, they abandoned the thaig and sealed their abomination here.
  • Darion says his expedition’s foolish greed led them here, and now they are trapped with the monster.
  • Darion warns the research, the creature, and the corrupt magic in this place all needs to be destroyed. Jerrik doesn’t want to destroy it after all they went through to get it, but Brogan insists it really does need to be obliterated (I concur).

The creature is likely in the sealed forge area, and I have to use my tiny brain to figure out a 4 lyrium switch puzzle to open the door. I don’t really want to face this thing, but alas, it needs to be vanquished. Off I go, into the creepy-freaking forge area.

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Hey there, little terror! Aw, you don’t look so tough.
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HOLY MAKER!! Was Amgarrak an affiliate agency of the Umbrella Corporation?? Is Albert Wesker in here somewhere?? Answer me, game!!

And so, the final fight of this DLC went down. The brave Warden-Commander Ellen, an advanced Golem, the mentally shattered Brogan, Snug the Bronto, and best bro Jerrik all battled the terrifying creation. Basically, I bashed it as hard as I could, and then chased down the crawly head thingy when it separated from the main mass of flesh known as The Harvester. Fun and disgusting! It wasn’t Broodmother/the Mother level of creepy, but pretty damn close. Once it’s dead, our heroes vacate the premises, post-haste (after convincing Jerrik to just let the freaking research go and destroy this place… it’s not worth it). Just before the credits roll, the most horrific cliffhanger I’ve ever seen plays…

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An army of… little crawling Harvester heads… pour out of the forge area, and presumably out into the world. YIKES!!

THE FREAKING END!! Maker help us all.

So yes, that DLC was pretty intense. I really hope I don’t encounter more Harvester creatures in Inquisition… but I have a feeling I will. Oh and – [BIG SPOILER FOR DRAGON AGE II] I just realized Orsino turns into a Harvester creature during the last battle in Kirkwall, doesn’t he? Hm. Blood magic and dwarven research connected, somehow? [END BIG SPOILER]

This concludes Grey Warden Ellen’s epic journey! Wow, what a ride. I will be doing one last progress post about the 5 other Grey Warden origin stories before my final review of the game. Then I’ll start babbling about Ellen Hawke! Sorry… you can go ahead and unfollow me now. 😦

Thanks for reading!

11 thoughts on “Path of the Grey Warden 8: Gruesome Golems

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed Dragon Age: Origns and all of its DLC and expansion. I completely understand how you feel, having spent so much time with your character it is a bittersweet moment when you finish the game. On a positive note, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Dragon Age 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is why I’m glad I got the PC version. I’ve limited my obsessive collecting of achievements to PS Platinum Trophies, haha. I’m still mad there’s one stupid multiplayer trophy preventing me from Platinum-ing Assassin’s Creed Unity… sigh. *goes off on unrelated rant*

      That ending… just…. yup 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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