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Sorry Cullen, Dr Wheel's got you beat - Tactical Ninja

Jan. 13th, 2015

10:10 am - Sorry Cullen, Dr Wheel's got you beat

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So the Cullen romance didn't really float my boat.


I mean yes, there were moments. I liked the way the first kiss happened, and I enjoyed that you actually got to spend time talking with him about stuff in various scenarios, even after you shag. That's new. And I liked the smirk.

But other than that I thought it was all a bit meh.

Thinking about it, and seeing how a lot of my friends responded to Cullen, I wonder if it's because my real life romance is actually quite a lot better. Including the surprises, the smirk, and the adorkableness. It's like, I can see why people think Cullen is sweet and lovely and compared with the tragic messes that were the male romances (and female ones if you're me) in DA2, definitely a much more positive experience. Cullen is *normal* and well-adjusted, and respects you and lets you know that you're important to him..

.. and that is all part of my day to day life, so having a fantasy romance that is like that is kind of like a 2-dimensional version of the same thing, without any for-real skintime.

To which I respond "Bring on the tragic fuckedupness."

Never thought I'd say that, given my history, but I realise that the thing about fantasy romances is that they allow you to explore things like tragic fuckedupness in relative safety. Sure, you have to choose whether or not to execute Anders after he engages in a major piece of insanity that forces you into a war, but it doesn't have any real life consequences. I spent a lot of time thinking and angsting and exploring my feelings over Anders and what happened there, but I didn't end up with PTSD from it, you know? And despite the hot mess it all turned into, it was a *surface* hot mess, designed for maximum drama, something I could keep external.

Essentially, the tragic romances in DA focus beautifully on the interesting feels, and manage to avoid the horrible realities that go with actually loving someone who's that messed up. So when I cried over Anders it felt good, and an enjoyable part of an exploratory experience. A real life romance even half as fucked up would tear out your soul and change its shape forever, and would be anything but enjoyable. I know that, and this knowledge makes it all the sweeter when I dive as deeply as I can into the maelstrom that is Anders/Justice/Hawke.

And a real life romance with someone who's beautiful, respectful and adorkable makes a fantasy one with Cullen seem, well.. very tame, is all.


I think Cullen's character development was really well done, and I appreciated his story and his role in the game and in my Inquisitor's life, but I spent the whole game lusting after Cassandra who I couldn't romance because she only likes men, and wishing Cole were an option because his weirdness is right up my fantasy romance alley.

But I'm contrary like that.

Comments:

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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Hahaha, I think that's why I love the Cullen romance. My husband is like that and I guess I just can relate and it makes me squee! I always like normal people, I don't know why.

Buuut, if Cole were romancable, I'd probably try it. Dorian is a good runner up, if I had played a male Inquisitor. But I like normal with a touch of slightly lyrium filled angst. I do wish it were a little more angst filled though. It didn't last too long.

Oh man, also, if you keep him on lyrium and make it so he hasn't dumped you (which is the 'take lyrium now, but we'll find another way after Corypehus' option), he's a little bit darker? I don't know, I dig it.

I just replayed it for the second time with Cullen (I couldn't bring myself to do anyone else). But man, I made all sorts of different decisions this 2nd time around and it really makes a difference!! Love love loved it.

I had romanced Anders, and he really made me mad. I then romanced Fenris, and he was waaay too angsty. I think I just can't handle too much angst. It just is too much for me. Haha.

Sorry, this is everywhere. I just let my brain go. But yeah, I really loved Inquisition all in all, and I was ready to hate it.
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Also, I feel like Inquisition is the first DA game where I basically liked all the people. No one pissed me off really bad or made me want to skip over them or whatever. And that's real good, since that was like a billion characters.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:23 pm (UTC)
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I liked how well balanced the combat styles were - it's the first DA game where I've felt like I could take any combination out in my party and enjoy using thier different styles instead of finding it hard to stay alive if I stepped out of the standard tank, healer, ranged, melee pattern.

I rolled a mage so I was able to take the Mage Apocalypse team of Kestrel, Dorian, Vivienne, and Solas out and about and it was awesome.
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
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I can totally see that. First time, I was just trying to figure things out. I was a warrior, sided with the Templars, whom I usually lean towards. I just like being a tank usually. But I found it really...dull. Almost too easy.

I was especially pissed when I found out, you get a whole extra Cullen quest when you side with the mages.

Second time, I was mage and it fit with Cullen really well because he has mage angst, is an ex-templar, etc. And of course, I sided with the mages. I feel like I got a lot more Cullen out of this 2nd round. But also, it just seemed more interesting and I really enjoyed the gameplay as a mage.

I ended up dropping a rogue. I did my Inky Mage, Dorian, Cass, and Iron Bull. I ran around horseless for a long time, trying to listen in on Iron Bull and Dorian because I heard they could get together at some point if you don't romance either of them. I didn't hear it though, unfortunately.

Also, because I sped through it the first time, I missed out on A LOT of cut scenes for Varric, Blackwall (like I never did his personal quest), Vivienne...who was pretty much my least favorite. I found her kind of dull.

Also, who ended up being your divine? I ended up getting Leliana. The first time I played, she was SO DEPRESSING because I made all the killing decisions. Second time, I tried being more peaceful and she was SO HAPPY and more like the Leliana I knew from DA:O.

Also, the Solas romance must be super super angsty because of all that leaving stuff. I liked Solas. He was a good mix of melancholy, wisdom, and dry humor. It wasn't overbearing and just the right amount.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
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I am frustrated because I really want to romance Cassandra but I hate playing blokes, and I think Solas would be an interesting romance but he only like Teh Elven Laydees, so I can't do them both on one playthrough. ;-/

I got Leliana too because I told her I'd support her. I managed to keep her from going insane and I really enjoyed what they did with her. Next to Cole, I think she was my favourite.

I didn't get the Iron Bull/Dorian stuff either but I didn't pair them that often so it's not really surprising. I might take them out on a cleanup mission just to see what happens.
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:42 pm (UTC)
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I supported Leliana the last time too, but then got Cass. Didn't like that because I wanted Cass to run around with me.

I didn't start liking Leliana until the 2nd playthrough. Now I really do like what they did. You should check out the darker option with her, it's kind of depressing though. You just feel wrong all the time. Haha.

At first Dorian and Iron Bull dislike each other and I never got passed that part, unfortunately.

Since I'm not likely to play again for awhile, I started watching all the other romances that someone played through and put up on the internet. Haha.

https://www.youtube.com/user/FluffyNinjaLlama/videos?sort=dd&view=0&shelf_id=0
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Also, I'm hoping they keep everyone for the DLC and not have new people. I mean, I figure they would...because at the end, everyone stresses that they're going to stay and hang around Skyhold...
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From:tatjna
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:47 pm (UTC)
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I am holding out for Bioware being the first developer to allow poly relationships. ;-)
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
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ALSO (sorry to be spamming), I went with Cole Spirit both times, and I'm really sad I did because apparently Human Cole has a happier ending. Can you tell, I'm all about happy endings. haha.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:46 pm (UTC)
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My Inquisitor is far too decent for her own good and thus she humanified Cole, which ended up IMO being kind of cheesy.

I think on my next playthrough I'll take the darker route because from the way you describe it I might enjoy that. ;-)

I'm really glad they didn't force Tallis on us for Inquisition but I'm afraid she'll show up in DLC with the Iron Bull connection.
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, my Inquisitor tried to stick with what she thought made people happiest. Not making Cole humaner is my one regret. I think I did pretty good in this 2nd playthrough. Hahaha. OH, also my Inquisitor also drank from the Well of Sorrows, instead of Morrigan. That was a slightly different ending too and not terrible. I liked it. Though everyone comments on how worried they are.

I haven't played any of the Dragon Age DLCs. I even own Awakening. I didn't play it because I was sad that my original party wasn't in it. Then Dragon Age II, I disliked so much, I just didn't bother. I will definitely be playing Inquisitions DLC's....especially if they keep most of the party picks, which I suspect they will....but maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up.

Also, thanks for talking DA with me. The only one I can talk about it with is Sam who only recently finished it, because no one else I know has played it or finished it.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
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Hahaha no worries. I'm having coffee with another diehard DA friend this afternoon. I love it. ;-)

You should give Awakening a go. It's only about a 14 hour commitment, and the new party members are actually pretty cool. You'll find out why everyone was so disappointed when Anders popped up in DA2 being all Justice-y and sad, and play the backstory to how all that came about. It's pretty cool.
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From:sight
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
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I am planning on re-playing Origins some time soon, I'll follow it up with Awakening. I was pretty upset with Anders in DA2 and I didn't even know him previously. Haha. Sam played it and he said that Anders was a pretty cool guy in Awakening. Sad. I'll give it a go!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 12th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Having known both Anders and Justice before DA2 gave me a lot more compassion for how things turned out later, just saying. ;-)
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