A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV (Part 2)

So about a week back I posted at length about finally getting to play A King’s Tale, and how much fun it was. None of what I posted then is untrue, nor has my overall opinion of the game changed now that I’ve finished it.

But. This. Asshole.
This one right here.

I played A King’s Tale for about two hours today, and two thirds of that time was spent on this final battle against Ultros. I griped. I raged. I begged. He just wouldn’t die. Eventually, Brian overheard me yelling for chicken while trying to kill an Iron Giant and started to tease me in my stream’s chat, so I bullied him into helping me instead of cooking the actual chicken we’re having for dinner tonight. A few deaths later, and not even he could get it.

But the time that he played, while I was away from the controller, helped me. It wasn’t a zen… Good god, it was so far from a zen moment. I’m pretty sure I died a few more times after he handed the game back to me, but even then the game was different. Watching him didn’t really help, because he was going through all the same fails as I already had recognized myself. The frustration was gone, though, and that was enough.

And so, I killed that eight-legged little shit. Finally. If you wanna watch, you can always find the vid right here on Twitch or on YouTube.

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne – Chapters 1-3

Okay, so I picked up the book yesterday and got started on it.

The very first thing I noticed was how young Maric is–I didn’t realize before that he was only 18 in this book. Even in DA:O, if you just accept the default character meta profile (found in the toolset) and don’t make your own headcanons, the Warden’s 20, as is Alistair. It’s only two years, but it seems like a lifetime. Maybe the difference between Maric at 18 and Alistair at 20 has more to do with the way they were raised, rather than their actual age?

As a thought on the difference being the way they were raised, the only mention so far of Loghain’s age is his impression that Maric was about “[his] age, or perhaps younger.” Loghain’s led a hard life already, and wasn’t coddled the way Maric was. If Maric is at most a few years younger than Loghain (two or three years, maybe? I can’t load the toolset anymore to get his age as of the game’s start) then the environment would have to be the difference. It would also make sense comparing their ages in the book to Alistair’s age in DA:O: Maric is the youngest at the time of introduction, and had everything done for him. He had to work for nothing. Alistair’s 20, and while I doubt he literally slept with the dogs (except maybe if he was with them and fell asleep when very young) he still had a comfortable existence; even when he was sent to the Chantry at ten, he was fed and clothed and housed. Was he happy? No. But he had a better life than most, if not as good as what Maric lived as a child. Loghain, though, never had any benefits of nobility. His father was a freeholder, and then everything with the Orlesians happened and he and Gareth became homeless bandits. That would age a kid quickly, so even if Loghain were only Maric’s age, he would seem older than Maric or Alistair at Ostagar.

…Okay, wow. It took me 20 minutes, but I found MsBarrow’smonster timeline” again. She uses the toolset’s age for Loghain since that’s the only point of reference we’re given on him, and he’s a baby–only 16 at the opening of the book! (50 at the Battle of Ostagar). Granted, not everything in the toolset was up to date when it was released (Alistair’s age, for instance) but since it’s the only mention there is, it’s what we have to go with. So that puts even more emphasis on the idea that Loghain’s apparent age is influenced by his life, I guess; he’s two years younger than Maric but his first impression is still that he’s probably older.


What’s next? None of these are in so much detail as my age-related musings, but are other things I noticed:

  • Loghain’s gut is never wrong. He reminds himself of this fact constantly.
  • For later reference because I’ll probably need it: The book starts in the spring, and a cold one at that. Not sure if that means just that it’s cold because it’s very early spring, or if the cold is just lingering extra long.
  • Geography and travel times are a bit muddy, but that’s to be expected. I think I have the general direction of the bandit camp right (southeast of Lothering, and close enough to the town that its constable is the one responsible for the region) but the distances to the Southron Hills and the Wilds is a bit off. I don’t care how good Loghain is–he’s not going to get from the northwest edge of the Hills, through the Hinterlands, and into the edge of the Wilds in a day and a half.
  • I forgot the Sister in the camp is the same Ailis from the next book and from a few of the codexes in the game.
    • Also, Maric notes that Ailis’s robes are red, which matches the various designs in DA2 and Inquisition. So why were they changed in DA:O? I need to remember to grab a mod for my game with a red version of the robes for all the priests.
  • I’m really confused how Loghain knows what jasmine smells like. There’s no way it would thrive that far south, if it would even grow at all, and I doubt 16 year old Loghain’s been to the northern coast where it might grow (but even that’s not certain). I’ll have to assume it’s the example used just because it’s the fastest, most accurate way of describing the scent to us as readers.
  • I choose to believe that the Dalish clan is Sabrae, even though I don’t think which clan they are is ever mentioned. Maric and Loghain encountered them on the edge of the Hinterlands (somewhere southwest of the Brecilian Forest) and they specifically were aware of and obedient to Asha’bellenar, who lived nearby. Add to it Marethari’s history with Flemeth (who helped her with her vengeance after an Avaar attack) it’s all just convenient enough for me to go with this theory.
  • I really want to know what this is when they meet with Flemeth: “An instant later, something long and white slithered out from the shadows and snatched up the core. It was buried under the leaves, almost out of sight, but still Maric got the impression that it wasn’t a snake at all.” (Dumb bullet list preventing me from also block-quoting.)

Anyhow… I think that’s everything of note from the first three chapters? I had a few other notes, but after letting them settle a day they don’t seem as relevant or stand-out as these. I’ll go through a few more chapters soon and put up what I notice soon, though probably not before jumping over to FF or something briefly first.

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne

It just occurred to me, probably because I just posted about A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV, that 30 years seems like it might be a standard flashback or prequel time frame. Star Wars: Episode One does the roughly-30-years-thing, too. That’s not really relevant to any of what’s to come, just something I noticed as I was about to type out the first sentence of this post.

Anyway. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne. Takes place an ever-convenient 30-ish years before the opening of Dragon Age: Origins, the actual introduction many if not most of us at this point had to the series. Where each of the games in the series can more or less be experienced without the other installments first, this book needs Origins and vice-versa. I’d played both Origins and Awakening before reading either book, and without the game I wouldn’t have been able to place myself in the text as well as is really fair. But it works much the same the other way around: there is so much about the game that I didn’t really appreciate until reading this book well after the fact.

The book, of course, is all about how the then-exiled-Prince Maric reclaims Ferelden from Orlais. Going into my first read of the book, that’s literally all I had to go on. Looking back before starting my re-read, the biggest impression it left on me was my entire view of Loghain. From almost the first moment, he was actually relatable; completely unlike how he’s presented to us in the main game without any meta knowledge from this book or any other sources. We get to see him as a human, instead of the has-been Hero of River Dane of the game; it’s just one thing that could have/should have been part of the game itself, if not for pacing and resource budgets.

The second biggest thing I remember is being confused by the geography mentioned throughout. It doesn’t help that the map used in the book is an earlier version of Ferelden’s map, one that was changed before the final game was released. Even Redcliffe is in a different position than it is on the games’ maps. But between the book’s map’s differences and the book mentioning Very Important Events happening in places I’d never heard of, it was all very confusing. But in the time since I last read this I’ve done some tinkering with all the versions of all the maps that I think will help me out this time.

And so? Into the book I go. I don’t plan on pushing myself through this process at a rate that’s going to burn me out, so I only have the post formats I plan on using set up and not a schedule. Book posts, at least, will cover whatever meaningful chunks of content I’ve reached by the time of the post. That could be a chapter or chapters, it could be a day’s or week’s worth of reading, or it could be something else entirely. It’ll all depend on that moment. Game posts, later, I have a little more structure for, but as I said–that’s later.

A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV

I’m pretty sure most of us know of A King’s Tale already, since it was one of the pre-order bonuses for FFXV–in the U.S. it was the one for GameStop, unfortunately. I don’t like GameStop. So all I’ve had to content myself with was this trailer:

Now then, I’ve had plenty of time since November 29th (lol Squeenix pushed dates again, but what’s a two month delay after 10 years?) where I could have either watched a video of a playthrough, or even tried to Share Play it through a friend (something we’d discussed briefly but never got around to trying) but I didn’t really want to do either of those. I wanted to actually get my hands on the game.

And then? Then Squeenix announced the game would be out March 1st! For free! Until yesterday actually came around, I thought it would be as an add-on for those already with the game, at least in order to get it for free. But nope, everyone can get it for free, and everyone with even the slightest interest in FFXV and/or beat-em-ups really should.

It’s not long, so you don’t have to worry about some huge investment. I played an hour and a half last night (including not only dying a few times but also a few unfortunate distractions; without those the session would probably have been an hour, max), and I think I have one, maybe two maps left. Random YouTube video titles that I’ve seen imply that there might be multiple endings, but I don’t know about that myself and won’t for a while, since I’m only playing through it the once right now.

I’ll be back on Twitch for the second half of the game this afternoon or tonight, but if you want to see last night’s play, you can watch that here. Probably the best “bedtime story” Easter egg I’ve seen pretty much ever can be found near the end of last night’s vid; I don’t know if it triggers on any playthrough or only if you have a habit of dying like I do, but that one scene alone would have been enough for me to spend a few bucks on this quick little game if it wasn’t already free.

TL;DR: I didn’t think a beat-em-up, even an FF one, would be this much fun anymore. If I do have only two maps left, like I think I do, I’m going to be kind of sad that there’s not more to play.

Bren’s 2017 Dragon Age Re-Everything Official Introduction!

So there’s this thing I’ve been babbling about for a few months, you might have heard about it? You know, where I’m going to re-do everything Dragon Age? Turns out, that’s actually a thing after all, in spite of how much of a distraction Final Fantasy XV’s been the last few months.

Other than getting FFXV somewhat out of the way, I’ve been struggling with tweaking little things that I wanted just right before starting this. The worst of them was getting my reading set-up back, by which I mean my tablet functioning again with its Kindle app. In between struggling with that I’ve tested out the formats and such for these types of posts, so now that the tablet is fixed (as of about four hours ago) my wonderfully-intentioned, horribly-overwhelming dive back into Thedas’s questionable geography can begin.

First up: The Stolen Throne. I’ll introduce it properly in my next post, but chronologically, this novel is the first taste of Thedas in general, Ferelden specifically, and the Theirin bloodline very specifically that there is, so that’s where we’re starting: the middle of Ferelden and the middle of a war.

*Note: I’ll be posting links to each piece of media as I go along, as I have above. I don’t have any sort of affiliate status with Amazon or anyone else.

Final Fantasy: All The Bravest..?

I’ve “played” this “game” enough that I’ve apparently finished it with the fight against Ex-Death or Neo Ex-Death or whichever it was, but I still don’t get it.


(Pictured: Not Neo Ex-Death, cause I didn’t get a picture of him. Have a Tiamat instead.)

I mean, I understand how to play the game as the tutorial teaches you to. Tap a character, they hit enemy. Character gets hit, they’re out. Fine. But that’s… literally it? And once I ended up with more than maybe 5 characters (which happened really damned early) I wasn’t tapping characters anymore so much as just constantly swiping at my screen to make sure a character is attacking as soon as it was active again. And… that’s it. That’s the whole game.

And I played until the end, and I’m still not entirely sure why.

The game has premium characters and items and stuff. For you to buy. With money. Have people actually paid for them? Why? There’s no where in the game to take them. So far as I can tell, you don’t get extra levels for unlocking premium characters. And even if you did, it’s more than a little dumb.

Also, why in god’s name is there a social function? I barely want to type out this post admitting that I played this game through to the end. I’m only doing it because I’m that confused by the game and the fact that I continued to play it. I sure as hell didn’t want to brag about it while playing.

IDK. I’m not going to understand ATB. I’m just going to go back to Record Keeper. I’m currently on the last fight of Castle Fynn from FFII, which I guess is about a third through the currently-available Realm dungeons, and it’s keeping me far more entertained than most mobile games. And at least it is a game, especially compared to ATB.

Post-Birthday and Games

I thought I’d get back here sooner than this, but having four days off for my birthday actually turned into doing things instead of just being at home with time to spare. Not any sort of big things; just lunch out, going to the mall to get more Pop!s with a gift card and roaming town in general, then dinner out the day of. Then random errands and Cake Night the rest of the weekend. But still, more time out than home, which means more time not on FFXV than on it.

Right now? I’m trudging through all the hunts as of Chapter 3. Even though I know this time that if I leave and come back, they’ll be there when I do, I can’t help but to clear up as many of them as possible before moving on. That means doing everything available before entering the Leville and meeting Iris, otherwise Noct’s headaches will start and the Plot will be Advanced. Which I can’t let happen, because I’m doing hunts. I need to let Brian play some anyway, though, so maybe I’ll have him do that and put off some of my game for him to have time with it instead. I’ve been trying to find stuff like the Cosmogony books and other lore online that I can drip feed him as he goes without spoiling anything; that way when he gets to Those Parts of the Game, he’ll have some background for what the hell is going on. I was able to send him most of the “ancient” history stuff without worrying about spoilers. Two of the sections needed removing, but the rest was fine. He went through those, and I’m pretty sure he has questions but doesn’t know what to ask that I won’t freeze up on and accidentally spoil by how I do or don’t answer.

Another thing that can work out if I pass the game to Brian is starting on the DA Re-Everything. The first two parts of that are books so I won’t need the game room for it, and/or I can sit with Brian and read while he plays. And, if I decide to include Gleam’s comic, that’s a third part that I can do that isn’t a game. This is probably how I should and probably will work this project out, so now I just need to figure out what kind of post format to use for it and get started. I’m going to work on that, then get a start on The Stolen Throne.