One of the cardinal rules of game design is that there should always be a rest, recuperate, save opportunity immediately before every boss fight and another one immediately after. I was somewhat pissed off when I finally reached the Landsmeet in Dragon Age to find this principle did not apply. It took me several tries to overcome Loghain and each time I had to endure a tedious re-run of the lead in. The biggest surprise happened when I finally did overcome him and was immediately propelled into a series of cut-scenes and dialog options.
I am still reeling from the fact that my hastily chosen choices resulted in my favourite companion deserting me forever! That ingrate. I had been cultivating his friendship all game and his approval rating was so high I thought I could surely talk him around but no chance - he was gone.
It was only after he had left that I realised he had walked off with a complete set of rare armour, and equipment. Irreplaceable stuff all of it. To think that I talked the Queen out of executing him.
I will admit that my first thought was to go back to a previous save game and tweak my choices (or at very least send him off in nothing but his underpants). Then I remembered that there is no save game between the boss fight and this decision. If I want to avoid the consequences then I need to go back before the fight undoing perhaps perhaps 30 minutes of game play all told.
So: Is this simply bad game design by Bioware or is it a brilliant way of forcing players to live with the consequences of their decisions?