Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happily Ever After, or Ultimate Noble Sacrifice?

I just finished the most amazing, epic, fantastic game ever, Dragon Age Origins, and I am still reeling from the awesomeness of it all. It wasn't the graphics that grabbed me, or the fighting or the leveling system. It was the characters. And the story.

Rarely can I say that the game's plot was what I truly enjoyed, but Dragon Age pulled it off flawlessly. The story was better than a lot of novels I've read, and that is saying something. The ending was truly climactic, and I might've teared up once or twice when it all came to a close.

Here's the thing that got me thinking though. In Dragon Age, you have the option for several endings, depending on your character and the choices you make throughout. In my storyline, the heroine came to fall deeply in love with one of the other characters, a knight named Alistair. Without being too spoilery, at the climax of the game, you had to make a choice: to slay the Ultimate Big Bad, one of you had to die. OR, you could choose to cast a ritual that would spare both your lives, but could have possible reprecussions for the land in the distant future.

So ... what would you choose? What would you prefer the story ending to be? Happy Ever After, or Ultimate Noble Sacrifice? I must say, even though I chose to enact the ritual and get the ending that left us both alive, I prefer the bittersweet, Ultimate Sacrifce ending, in movies, games, and books. The main character doesn't have to die for me to be happy, not at all. Nor do the lovers have to be forever separated. But they should have to give up SOMETHING for their story to end. If they sacrifice nothing, then nothing is all they end up with. And the story feels cheaper, contrived somehow.

For me, I find that if a book can make me cry, then the author has done their job well. Even if I'm sobbing my eyes out over the tradegy, I still feel it has come to its intended conclusion. Like it couldn't be any other way.

Also, I think I am completly in love with Alistair. I mean, come on, how can you turn down a handsome knight who's willing to die for you? *Swoon*


  1. I would normally choose Happily Ever After every time, but in this case it's a tough call.

    I love that you're in love with a video game character.. hehe

  2. I want an ending that fits the story. I dont always need a happy ending to love the book. Sometimes I want a sacrifice sometimes i want happy happy, and sometimes you get something in between; all depends on the book.

  3. Ok you are the second person who has said Dragon Age is an amazing game, and now I am starting to believe it. I've recently gotten back into playing video games and have been searching for an interesting one to play and now I think I will have to try this one now. Glad you enjoyed the game. :-) What's next on the gaming agenda?

  4. I think it depends on the story. Like in Harry Potter...I liked that ending. But Twilight? I mean, someone should've died! I do agree with what you said. They don't have to die or be separated forever, but they should have to sacrifice something. It shouldn't be all flowers and jellybeans!

  5. NotNessie: Ha! I have several video game crushes. Alistair has moved to the top of the list, though, right alonside Squall Leonhart and Cloud Strife.

    Stacey: I agree. The ending should fit the book. I guess if the story has been mostly happy, then a tragic ending might seem out of place. Good call.

    Chelle: It was fantastically amazing! Next up (after I go through the other storylines) is Assassins Creed 2.

    Book Addict Girl: Flowers and jellybeans, lol! Exactly.

  6. I personally think the ending depends entirely on the story. If the author is building up/foreshadowing a certain ending, then it should end that way instead of turning a complete 180, because often the 180 feels untrue to the story. That said, I don't always expect fiction/stories to mirror life, as I read books for escapism not because I need reality shoved in my face. However, I'd rather have an ending where I can nod in agreement and say yeah that makes sense, rather than something that leaves me incredulous shaking my head going WTF, i.e. an ending where the character realizes the entire story was just a dream. That's messed up.

  7. I prefer the Ultimate Noble Sacrifice in my books and movies, but a Happily Ever After in my own life. Totally selfish, but there you go. *L*

    Agree with April that an ending that doesn't fit or was just a dream is messed up. I lose respect for the author and probably won't give them another chance because it feels like a betrayal. Does that make sense?

    So cool that the game had such a deep impact on you! Will have to check it out. Enjoy Assassins Creed 2!

  8. Not sure which ending I prefer; it really depends on the story. I love HEA but sometimes they are a bit contrived.

    My husband is playing that game and loves it. I'd play it if I was coordinated enough to actually get far in a video game, but I'm not :P

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