- slide 1 of 6
Reaching the Tower
Well, our mission is pretty simple. For the record, I'm playing this one with a human noble warrior. The big difference is that I already have a Mabari Hound with me. Anyway, when you're ready to go, move on over to the bridge that you crossed when you first entered the camp. This should trigger the start of the big battle between the King's forces and the darkspawn.
We need to get across this bridge in order to reach the Tower of Ishal. So start moving. The darkspawn are hitting the bridge with catapults, so try to stay away from the right side. If you get knocked down, just wait a moment until your heroes get back up. Once you make it across, turn to the left to see a mage and a soldier running away from the tower. It seems like the plan is going awry. If you had talked to the guard at the tower earlier, he would have mentioned that they were exploring the lower levels. It seems like the darkspawn used them for a launching point. So we're in for a fight now.
The mage and the guard will join you. If you're a human noble, then the guard will run off, since you can only have 4 in the party and you already have a Mabari. The mage is quite powerful, so put him to good use. Just be careful when using flame blast. That can hurt you. Also, you might want to control him directly for the battles. He doesn't seem to use things like Paralyze often, so jump over to him and keep an eye on his attacks.
Charge into the courtyard with your little squad and join the fight. The guards in here are pretty much doomed, but if you manage to save a few, they should help take the courtyard. It's not a big deal though. The first group isn't anything special. Just cut through the genlocks and hurlocks. Then advance to the next bonfire and clear it out again. You can take a quick minute to let your party rejuvenate a bit.
The final spot is the area before the door. There's a few more hurlocks and one alpha hurlock. Focus on taking down the rest while one melee fighter keeps him distracted. Then gang up on him. With your squad ready, go through the doors to the Tower of Ishal.
- slide 2 of 6
Taking the Tower - First Floor
Now, if you're having a lot of trouble with this, you might want to look at your heroes. If you're fighters have been "killed" then they probably have an injury. It could be something pointless, like a hit to cunning on a warrior, or it could be a direct impact on attack speed. Curing this injury can make an absurd difference in the fight. If you don't have an injury kit, then you might just have to load an old save. Or you can set the difficulty down a level.
Regardless, get ready for a tough fight. Organize your party and then rush into the center room. There is a line of barricades in our way and there are traps lining the path. So expect to take some damage. You basically have to just charge right in if you want to survive, since the hurlock archers are very tough. They'll probably take about 10 points away with each hit. The best advice I can give is to have 2 of your melee fighters hit the 3 archers on the right. The other can just wander and attack while the mage dishes out general damage. Keep an eye on everyone's health and remember to bust out a healing potion if they're hurt. You should have plenty.
Gang up on the emissary in back to finish off the room. After that, go into the hallway and turn to the left. Whichver room you attack, the enemies from the other will come out and attack. It's easy to fight some hurlocks and handle a few wandering rogues than vice versa. So go to the left and enter the far end of the barracks. There's no trick to this, but just cut through them. Clear out both barracks and check the chests and crates. There is a fair bit of decent loot.
There's one more room down the line with a few more genlocks. Just gut them. Open the door at the top to get to the second floor.
- slide 3 of 6
- slide 4 of 6
Taking the Tower - Second Floor
The second floor is short and easy. Go ahead and open the door to the left up ahead. The hurlocks to the right will attack. Make your stand by the door and work through them. Don't go further into the main hall. Just clear these side rooms and get the loot from the chests. When you're done, go to the left and pop out. You should come out behind those ballista. You can use those to do some damage against the archers at the back. Just make sure you don't kill your allies.
Go forward and mop up the rest. Go forward to the staircase and clear out another few genlocks. Wait a moment to heal, and then go up to the third floor.
- slide 5 of 6
Taking the Tower - Third Floor
The third floor is fairly large. Clear out the first little arena, and then move on over to the kennels. Run past the few darkspawn in front and pull the cage release lever. The Mabari will rush out and do a whole lot of damage to the darkspawn around here. Push forward and open the door on the left. This should trigger the next big fight. There are 4 darkspawn in here, and another 2 groups of darkspawn will come from the rooms further down. The flame blast spell should do a ton of damage, since they'll bunch up by the doors.
Once you work through the rooms, loot everything and then go a bit futher. Clear another group of darkspawn by the staircase and loot the last group of chests. Go up the stairs for the big fight.
- slide 6 of 6
Taking the Tower - Fourth Floor
It seems like we've got a big boss fight to wrap things up. There's an ogre up here. So let's get started. This is one spot where a rogue will really shine, since Dirty Fighting will just about always stun the ogre. Shield Pummel works fairly well too. I saw about 50% success. When the fight starts, use the paralyze spell on the ogre. If this works, then you're off to a good start. Hammer away at him and then use shield pummel as soon as it recovers. Shield bash doesn't work, so don't bother. Focus on shield pummels and the paralyze spell. Also try to keep your mage away from the ogre, at least until you've knocked off half of his health. He really likes to attack the mage, so this is hard. Just try to keep him alive for awhile. After that, it's just a matter of dealing out damage and drinking health potions if you're hurt.
The only trick to note is that his grab attack can basically kill anyone outright. The only way to save the person is to use a stun or knock-down attack, such as Shield Bash. The Ogre will not be knocked down, but there is a good chance he'll drop his victim. Other than that, just keep at it and he'll die. Search the body for some very good loot. Then look at the beacon to light the fires and watch the scene. Wow, that totally wasn't foreshadowed.
Anyway, listen to Flemeth and Morrigan. It seems like we have a new party member. Be reasonable and you should gain a lot of approval with both of them. Move forward and hit the world map to travel to Lothering. That's our next stop.