I was thinking the other day how it would have been like to have the Fade quest in Dragon Age: Inquisition be a little like in Origins, where you have to find your companions first before you can progress. The quest might have gotten too long and confusing probably, since so much else is happening: the wardens, Hawke, the Divine and what really happened at the Conclave, and so on. So at least we get to see the (arguably not very fitting in terms of worldbuilding) tombstones telling you about the companion’s worst fears, and as such I found that a really nice little easter egg that you can miss if you don’t look around a bit. And as a easter egg I think the tombstones are totally fine in my opinion. As a disclaimer though, Here Lies the Abyss was one of my favourite main quests in the whole DA series so far and I think it’s great the way it is, nicely balanced and engaging.
But I imagine, since the tombstones don’t really seem to fit (in a world were in the most common/ biggest religion people are usually burned after their death, rather than buried with a tombstone), that you could maybe see them as a placeholder for actual small ideas for sidequests that just didn’t fit in the whole story very well.
If you picture everything happening to the Inquisitor as if it happened in real life though, with no time limit and the typical restraints of a video game to make it enjoyable, the companions might get separated from each other at some point. Maybe either while entering the Fade or a little while after, either by accident or by the Nightmare’s hands. To face the Nightmare they have to reunite first. Since they enter the Fade differently though than in Origins, not through a demon-induced dream, but physically, they wouldn’t be caught in dreams in the same manner probably. Instead though, what if they were somehow still facing their worst nightmares - not necessarily even memories of the past or idealistic scenarios of the future like in Origins (e.g. how Alistair meets his sister or how your warden meets Duncan during a victory celebration because Ostagar never happened the way it actually did).
So maybe you’d meet a Dorian who couldn’t resist the temptation of power and became a corrupted magister, or Vivienne in beggars clothing having failed in all her endavours and having lost everything, or Blackwall who is more like the old Thom Rainier he used to be, ruthless and doing the most cruel things for money. Maybe you’d meet Solas, the last one to be barely alive after a cataclysmic event (>.>) realizing his mistakes and falling to his knees in despair.
I think it would have been a really great opportunity to add a little more companion-content, show some character development - and depending on where you are in the story in cases like Solas and Blackwall it might have given some more hints about how neither of them are who they pretend to be. Imagine the conversation with either of them after the Fade like “so, what was that about” and them somewhat struggling with an explanation.
I need to work this into a fic or something xD