When You Make a Mistake You Just Can’t Fix

I was having a pleasant little conversation with the boy in a moment of sanity as he explained how scared he was. He begged me to help, to get rid of the demon, to save his father, and I assured him that I had a plan that would keep everyone safe and rid him of the evil that so plagued him. He pleaded for me to leave before the demon repossessed him but, curious, I ventured towards the bedroom where his father was being held. The boy cried out for me to get away, and I was about to turn back when he suddenly screamed and mutated into a big, disgusting demon lady! I ripped off my headphones with horror, staring mortified at my confused sister before launching into battle against the repulsive demon in a fight I really didn’t want…

***

I started playing the old Dragon Age: Origins a little while back. It’s a single-player RPG that is extremely story-based, where there’s a conversation every five minutes with dialogue choices that can influence your course of action or your relationship with other characters. I love the choices and the very distinct outcomes they each have, and am very impressed with the story so far. But after the whole demon thing I described above happened… I’ve had a hard time going back to the game.

See, I came to a castle where the little boy, Connor, was possessed by a demon that kept killing people and I had to find a way to get it out of him. I had three choices: 1) kill Connor and the demon, 2) kill his mother and use blood magic to exorcise the demon, or 3) use the help of the mages to use good magic to exorcise the demon. I didn’t want anybody to die, so I agreed to go recruit the mages’ help. But before I left the castle, I wanted to go upstairs to talk  to Connor. The conversation went well enough until I tried to go into his sick father’s bedroom.

The demon inside Connor completely freaked out. It burst out of him, this ugly, almost-naked thing, and attacked me before I even knew what was happening. I ripped off the headphones, terrified of what I was watching and hearing, and gave my sister a look of sheer horror. She had no idea what was going on but I couldn’t explain–I had to kill this disgusting demon, and when the deed was done, Connor was weak, in pain, and near death.

Heh heh… oops.

That was when his mother came running in, and man, did the voice actress (Louiza Patikas) just break my heart. The emotion, the complete despair and anguish ripping through her voice was phenomenal. As she proceeded to kill her own son to put him out of his misery, sobbing all the while, I had a moment of what did I just do…?

I felt horrible. I hadn’t meant to kill Connor, and I especially didn’t want his mother to be the one who had to finish it, but I made one silly little slip-up, just because I was curious, and ended up destroying this poor family. And then, to make matters worse, Alistair, one of the characters on my team, tore into me afterwards, telling me how awful I was and making me feel even more horrible. I was so stunned and overwhelmed by what had happened, I felt personally affected by it, even though it was just a game.

Now, I could’ve easily gone back to the last save and replayed the whole thing all over again, to make sure Connor stayed alive, but in the end I decided not to. As upset as my mistake made me, I found there was something very right about it. It was a reminder that there are mistakes in real life that have horrible consequences and can’t be undone. And isn’t the point of an adventure like Dragon Age to take you into the story, make you a part of it? What good would it do if you could just erase your mistakes when you can’t do that in real life? We can only try our hardest, maintain the best of intentions, and weather out the storm, hopefully avoiding grave mistakes along the way.

It’s just another way that adventures like that can mimic the experiences we have every day of our lives. As much as the game has hurt me, I admire it all the more, for having the guts to commit to something as influential as that, and for being a powerful example of how thin the line between good and evil really is.

Have you ever made a (hopefully mild) mistake you couldn’t undo?

May you never commit a mistake so grave, whether purposely or accidentally.

-Alex

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10 thoughts on “When You Make a Mistake You Just Can’t Fix

  1. Oh my goodness. I LOVE DRAGON AGE. I used to play that game aaaaaall the time. Addicted, I was. So, I completely get what you’re saying here about Conner. Hahaha, it is quite horrific if you slip up there. It’s not funny, though. I’m merely laughing because I can so identify with where you’re coming from. Awful.
    I used to hate it SO MUCH when Alistair berates you for your decisions. I always found him THE WORST. It’s just the way he does it, don’t you think? You can actually FEEL the disappointment smack you in the face. And he always makes it so darn obvious if he’s annoyed with you, and, being the generally benign fellow he is, it just makes it a billion times worse when he’s off with you. But whiny as he can be, I always liked Alistair as a character. Bless him. Such a noble spirit.

    There are plenty more possible ‘mistakes’ to be made further down the line in that game, just so you know ;)

    I want to play Dragon Age again now. Aaaaggghhh. Oh, such fond memories.

    Who/what are you playing as, by the way? I wanna know your backstory :P

    • In fact, I’ve just remembered: You think this Conner situation is bad? YOU WAIT, Alex. You wait. Mentally prepare yourself now… :|

      • Nooooooooooo! Why would you tell me this?!?!?! Now I REALLY don’t want to play anymore D: I don’t think my fragile nerves can handle it!!

        *breathe in, breathe out* I’m okay, really.

        Oh, but I have to play again :P It’s so good, I can’t help but keep playing, even if my heart will eventually be stomped on all over again :( Ugh, yes! He’s absolutely unbearable when he’s chewing your head off for something you’ve done, but I just want to please him all the time. Because, as you say, he’s such a noble guy. I think Morigen’s my favourite, though. Even if I am afraid her shirt’s just going to… fall off… Like really, you fight in that thing? If that’s what you want…

        Hm, I’m playing as a city elf, grew up in the alienage. When the game starts, I’m at my wedding, yay! (not really), which is a weird double wedding with my cousin. And my betrothed is quite dull, but then humans bust in and try to steal me and a bunch of other women, so I need to kill a bunch of ’em, which gets me in trouble of course. Then my only way out of it is to become a Grey Warden. And now I’ve gone and killed a little boy :(

        • Hahaha, I sincerely apologise. But at least you’ve had some warning….. right?

          It’s an amazing game. Beyond words. (I am laughing so much at this comment). Yeah right, I was like that too – always wanting to please him. I used to take it so darn personal as well. I was like, ALISTAIR WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH. Especially when I played as a male human one time. He literally hated me so much and I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND, and then when I tried to make things better, IT MADE IT EVEN WORSE. Oh, how it wounded me. Tragic. I was kind of expecting him to just turn around and whack me in the face. I am almost certain that Alistair cannot hate your character as much as he hated mine that time. You know when you’re in the camp, and you approach them, and they greet you differently depending on the relationship you have with them? I got this once (obviously differing slightly depending on what I said back to him): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wYAS-4O-P8

          If you don’t get that, Alex, I can assure you Alistair does not hate you.

          Brutal.

          And the worst thing about it was I wasn’t even trying to piss him off. At all. I genuinely do not understand why he hated me so much that time. I have no idea what I did that offended him so much. *sobs in corner*

          Morrigan often got on my wick, actually, but she is still a good character. Cut-throat honesty with her ;) I very often used to make a point of trying to annoy her on purpose, actually. Angry Morrigan made me laugh. Ha, but yeah, her top. I mean come on girl, you might as well not be wearing one at all.

          Ahh yeah, the city elf beginning story was a bit.. unpleasant, I suppose. As is the Dalish one. Well, they all are, actually. Not happy beginnings for the lot of them ;)

          Haha, this killing Conner situation is clearly keeping you up at night. It’s okay, Alex, you’ll get through this. Be strong.

          I cannot tell you how much I am pining over this game now. I WANT TO PLAY IT AGAIN D: :(

          • Whoa… haha, he really did hate you! What is his problem, anyways? Like, dude, we’re in the middle of a Blight with nobles literally stabbing each other in the back and demons running all over the place, SORRY I CAN’T BE PERFECT AND NOT KILL ANYBODY WHILE I’M SAVING THE WORLD. I keep trying to bribe him with gifts like wine and ale, because maybe he’ll like me better when he’s drunk?? But it doesn’t work so now he’s not in my party anymore >:/ He got replaced with Zevran, so THERE ALISTAIR. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

            Aw, you tried your best! He’s just a big meanie, that’s all. *pats back consolingly*

            Haha, Morrigan… I’m afraid to piss her off, to be honest, but I can imagine that would be fun :D

            Ahhh, come to my house and you can play it with me and we can ride the emotional roller coaster together :P

          • Haha, TELL ME ABOUT IT! Jeez, some people. I mean, it’s not like he’s mister ‘I’m-so-bloody-perfect’ anyway. Hahaha, I see the logic behind that ploy, but Alistair doesn’t really like gifts like that :P He appreciates heartfelt gifts, ’cause he’s a big softy, and gifts that are more ornate and metal-based. That’s something I learnt over the trillion hours I spent playing the game. So, the tip if there if you’d life to take it ;)

            Oh blimey, Zevran. He’s so unbelievably annoying. Cannot be dealing with him. He kinda means well, though, I guess, so I can’t moan too much. But I will, all the same :P Hahaha, bloody Alistair. I hope he’s happy indeed. It’s even funnier how he’s the only character who cannot leave the party (like, completely), because he’s so vital to the storyline. The others, if they hate you enough, just walk away and don’t come back. I annoyed Morrigan so much that she threatened to leave my party for good, so I decided to hold back on that front for a while and make amends on our fragile companionship. She did not leave, all was well ;)

            It’s so fun winding up Morrigan, honestly, but you do need nerves of steel ;) She’s so vicious, isn’t she.

            Haha, that sounds like a plan! If ever I’m in your area, Alex, we’ll know what to do.

          • Ooh, thanks for the tip on the gifts! I’ll bear it in mind the next time I need to bribe him to like me, hehe :D

            Ah, I don’t mind Zevran ’cause like you say, he means well. Sten on the other hand, aggh I would punch him if he wasn’t so darn tall! He bothers me so much, I can’t stand to take him anywhere. Haha, sucks to be Alistair then!! Ee, walking on thin ice there with Morrigan, eh? I’m glad she didn’t leave you ;) She’s vicious indeed! It’s good to have her as an ally, that’s for sure!

            Yep, we can totally geek out over it and obsess about all the mouthy characters :P

          • No problem ;) I hope the bribing goes well.

            Ugh, Sten. He has serious issues. I could never stand to talk to him either. I just gave up. What I thought was a nice, civil conversation, then led to a -10 dislike or something ridiculous. I was like.. ? But whatever. He’s a strange one. Quite useful, though, ’cause he’s so strong, so he’ handy to have around.

            Total geeks *snorts and readjusts glasses*

          • Ugh, I so need to play again! I got derailed… I don’t even remember what it was that stopped me, but for some reason I did and I haven’t played in a while. This must be remedied!

            Yeah… I can’t figure him out so I just don’t care. I gave him some dumb butterfly sword or something (which made him hate me) and condemned him to life evermore in the party camp. I hope he enjoys it there.

            Oh yes! *polishes extensive encyclopaedia collection and math trophies and stuff*

          • Oh no! It must be remedied indeed! Though, I guess there’s all the time in world for such things, really.

            Hahahahahaha, oh wow that made me laugh. ‘..condemned him to life evermore in the party camp.’ I know the feeling. That is exactly what I did with him. Some people just need to be shown who’s boss, right ;)

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