Forums: Index > Lore Discussion > DA2 Mage Hawke's Phantom Arms...?
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So, I watched the Dragon Age 2 Destiny Trailer, and played the Demo as a Mage... And noticed something peculiar.

Just what are those phantom arms that the Hawke character (it seems the trailer, and the fact that Hawke is related to the human warden mage, both point to the canonical hawke being a mage[too bad, Bethany has that magic bosom thing going]) uses when the character is cornered by the Qunari in Destiny Trailer, and is shown once again in the Demo, when Hawke slays the Ogre? In both occasions, you're shown the character ripping both enemies in half, no small feat for a puny mage...

Note: I did play with the warrior and the rogue... None of them perform that stunt.

- Selen, Wikia Visitor
I have just seen a YouTube video and the talent used for the hands is the fully upgraded prison break spell. This is the video
- Marquise, Wikia Visitor
Something struck me as odd about your post, Selen. You said that Hawke's relation to the Mage Warden pointed to Hawke being canonically mage. Well, the Mage Warden isn't canon. In fact, canon doesn't really exist in the Dragon Age games. Each player makes their own story. As to your original question, the phantom arms are a mage's killing blow against certain enemies. Remember though, canon doesn't exist in DA games. ChomskyDisciple 06:09, February 28, 2011 (UTC)

I was wondering this as well, and I posted a question like this on here, but I don't think I did it right.

I read in some preview that the "phantom arms"-move is the execution move for Crushing Prison (just like when a warrior or rogue jumps up and stabs an ogre in the heart and head). I can't confirm if that is correct or not though. - Kerethos (talk) 07:39, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

I suspect that it is some kind of special plot ability, like the "Blood" abilities from the Soldiers Peak DLC or Wynne's “spirit” ability. Something that probably won't be gained till later in the game I’m guessing after Hawk is announced Champion. Firetiger (talk) 07:49, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

Or more likely it's just a fancy cinematic finishing move for mages. I mean in that same cinematic if you're playing as a warrior or a rogue, they too do fancy stuff (though admittedly it's nowhere as cool as the mage's thing). IP no. (talk) 08:01, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

The thing warriors and rogues do is nowhere near as fancy as what the mage does, considering the finishing moves warriors and rogues perform on the Ogre are the exact same ones that they do in Origins. Weak Spot (talk) 11:10, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

You could argue that tackling (which is basically what the rogue and warrior do) an ogre is just as impressive as using magical demon(?) arms to rip one apart... Devmir (talk) 05:52, February 28, 2011 (UTC)

I think it's just to make up for the mages in the first game having no "awesome" finishing move. Plus, while the phantom arm thing is indeed awesome, the fact that warrior Hawke can slice off the entire top half of a hurlock with a blade I think is equally awesome. Rath101 (talk) 21:15, February 28, 2011 (UTC)

  @Rath101 Not as impressive as Archer Hawke exploding the limbs and head from a hurlock torso with a pinning shot!

Finishing moves really annoyed me in DA:O. I hope they only appear in cutscenes or after a boss fight, not while still in combat, or do not appear at all (when Varric isn't telling the 'legend'). For me they somehow took away the notion of me killing the boss/ogre/whatever and felt like one of my party members just saying "Meh, I'm getting tired of this, just gonna kill him now if thats alright with you.". Kalltu (talk) 21:43, February 28, 2011 (UTC)

Don't be ridiculous, there is canon in dragon age. The Blight was not stopped?... king Cailan didn't died?...The Warden was not rescued by Flemeth? The Warden was not recruited by Duncan?...The Archdemon was not killed?. There is canon but is vague, you decide how things happens.--SerSeploud (talk) 02:54, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

  • Yep. There is a canon storyline in DA, but it's very well blanketed under a slew of phantom choices. DAWUSS (talk) 03:06, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but you can not "journey" to become related to Hawke. There may be a canon journey, but there is no canon origin. As for the arms being a finishing move, I highly doubt it. Hawke in the Destiny Trailor used blood magic(the best kind there is) to summon those demon arms, and blood magic is going to be a specialization. Best case scenario, it's an actual move in the Blood magic tree. Worst case scenario, It's not in the actual game at all.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 03:34, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

Actually it appears that the move is not a blood mage ability, but a Crushing Prison. Balitant (talk) 03:37, March 1, 2011 (UTC)
I have just seen a YouTube video and the talent used for the hands is the fully upgraded prison break spell. This is the video
How so? I would honestly love to see a source.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 03:00, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Honestly, it seems strange for a Crushing Prison to rip something in half. I mean, wouldn't it "crush" the opponent? It could be one, and if so, very well. But I have a thought of the mage Hawke being able to summon a fade demon, almost akin to what Wynne and now Anders possess. His eyes glow red during the trailer right before he does this, but I don't know what this means. And the hands seem to reach from a tear in the veil.Morrigan's Man (talk) 08:03, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

It was confirmed by a dev that his eyes glowing red was blood magic.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 03:01, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

In the trailer it seems he does some blood magic just prior to using it. My guess is that it's got something to do with whatever Flemmeth needs done with that amulet. Warden-Commander Michael Cousland 11:33, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

If you watch the cinematic trailer more closely the 'demon arms' are hawke's own hands just enlarged, the demonic look of them comes from the cool clawed gauntlets he is wearing. I personally think that that perticular move will be a mage finishing move as, unless the mage in origin wielded a melee weapon they couldnt do those cool finishers. Arc Amell (talk) 14:06, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

I thought the same, once, and while the phantom arms seem to be wearing a look-alike of Hawke's own gauntlets, both demonic hands and encased in such gauntlets, while Hawke wears one gauntlet, only. It's also noteworthy to point that the hand in the gauntlet is the one Hawke uses to burn to Qunari, and it's also the hand used to inscribe something in his uncovered arm... Maybe it's a "demonic hand" (that sounds so awfully cheesy) sort of thing. On the Crushing Prison thing... Maybe that hypothesis does ring a bell, the demo Hawke possesses that spell... Although he doesn't perform anything like ritualistically carving runes, or go red-eyed. Hmmmm... Makes you wonder...

Also, while I tend to agree with the "no canon" statement, it seems Bioware is pushing for a Mage Male Hawke, that much is obvious to me. Consider that you have a lot of Hawke options and appearances, taking into account the options to change Hawke's sex and class, and perhaps facial appearance... Still, most promotion material depicts Hawke as a Male Mage. I don't know, it just seems weird that a female Hawke game cover won't be published, (I'd very much like to see one), and that no promotional material draws on the manyfold Hawke options...

- Selen, Wikia Visitor

I think he just uses Blood Control to BRUTALLY MURDER PEOPLE MUHAHAHA.I mean, Blood Control sort of drags people around,doesn't it? So it could drag'em apart, too.I think it's a Blood Mage finishing move, and Force Mages will send people off to space.--Lesk Amell (talk) 17:47, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

The strangest thing is that if you are a mage, your sister will die in the beginning. But your sister Bethany is all over the promos as well, and Carver is nowhere to be seen in the ads. I'm getting some mixed messages from Bioware here. "Your sister's gonna die, but not really!" And yes, I also agree with it being a blood mage ability possibility, or my theory of it being demonic possession/summoning.Morrigan's Man (talk) 17:52, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

Personally, I haven't seen any DA2 promotion material with Bethany, but I wouldn't doubt that she's being highlighted instead of Carver... After all, she Does have that magic bosom thing going...

- Selen, Wikia Visitor

@Demon / Demon arm thing...blood magic doesn't rely on demons so if he was using blood magic in the trailer (which is probably the case seeing as he cuts himself) then it isn't demon arms. Devmir (talk) 02:13, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

But blood magic is the main way of summoning demons. It's obviously not a finishing move of crushing prison, as that is described as Telekinetic magic, while demon arms tearing through rips in the fade while Hawke performs Blood magic, stresses how tenuous his position was when he cast the magic on the arishok. Those are demon arms my friends, for crushing prison summons no flames in it's activation.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 03:07, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Read the official description of blood mage my friend : "Many see it as the only form of magic that is truly free, because it’s tied to the physical, not favors to spirits or demons." Yes, in the first game you can learn blood magic from a demon, but its not reliant on demons to perform the magic. From the description I take it that a blood mage, especially Hawke as a blood mage, wouldn't lower him / herself to relying on demons to perform magic. I think that Hawke just used his blood to fuel a spell that let him reach through the fade to rip apart the quinari / ogre Devmir (talk) 03:27, March 2, 2011 (UTC)
Well, my friend, please read the codex on blood magic in this wiki. It's the main cataylst for summoning demons and tearing the fade. That quote meant that you're not using demon's or spirit's as cataylsts for your magic power, but your own body.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 03:56, March 2, 2011 (UTC)
Codex entry: Blood Magic: The Forbidden School only says that it can be used to sunder the veil not that it was the main catalyst. Refer to Veil & Codex Entry: Tears in the Veil, both seem to suggest that ANY kind of magic can be used to tear the veil along with massive amounts of death. Blood magic would seem to compound life & magic to make this process easier. Simply sundering the veil doesn't have to include the summoning of a demon. It is entirely possible that Hawke would use blood magic to sunder the veil & "reach" through the fade to rip apart his foe. See these pictures; (Sorry I forgot to shrink them, but they are small in size in any case)

1-Hawke's Gauntlet:

Dragon Age 2 Destiny Trailer. Hawke's Gauntlet

2-Gauntlet of hand coming through the veil:

Dragon Age 2 Destiny Trailer. Hawke's Gauntlet through fade

They are the same gauntlet.

3 & 4-Hawke's hands going through the veil

Dragon Age 2 Destiny Trailer. Hawke's Arms through Veil
Dragon Age 2 Destiny Trailer. Hawke's Arms through Veil 2

These show that it is Hawke's own hands, passing through a tear in the veil (provided by the blood magic), to rip the quinari apart. Not to mention that there hasn't been any other case where a demon only puts it's limbs into the physical world, for them its all (shades) or nothing (possession). Devmir (talk) 05:36, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Furthermore, has anyone heard anything on these blades staves? I'd enjoy those so much more than phantom arms. Thread derail, also. Sorry, but it must be asked!--Reese777 (talk) 05:48, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Staff of Parthalan is the bladed staff in the trailer, all the staffs seem to have some sort of blade on them I think. Devmir (talk) 05:53, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

If you look closely, I think you will find that the second flame hand does not have a gauntlet. It's really hard to tell because it's only on the screen for a moment.

Well then, if that hand is not wearing a gauntlet, then it is probably just Hawke using ALL of his remaining energy to rip apart the Qunari. It's just that during the demo, it seems like both hands were wearing gauntlets when he ripped the ogre apart, maybe to seem more uniform, or just one thing they left unfinished in the demo. Now that I see this that makes more sense, as Hawke does the motions of the hands. He doesn't just unzip the veil's trousers for the demon to pop out and do some violence, he actually reaches through the veil to shred the Qunari with augmented strength.Morrigan's Man (talk) 08:59, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Can I just point out that the bit that's not canon isn't the existence of the various people who can become the Hero of Fereldan, it's that they actually become the Warden. Duncan seems to be the pivotal character in the story. (talk) 09:28, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

What does that have to do with the phantom arms? Devmir (talk) 14:48, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

I shall call this move "Bigby's Rending Hands". SilverDragon28 (talk) 19:36, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Aren't we only assuming that the move from the demo and the move from the Destiny trailor is one in the same? It wouldn't be the first time 2 spells looked very similar. Evidence that they are different moves entirely come from Destiny Hawke tearing the Fade, and demo Hawke having phantom hands.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 21:31, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

Or Bioware's inability to replicate the effects we see in the trailer into the game itself. I am convinced though that it is Crushing prison, because it is the only spell that mage Hawke has in his spell list that makes sense (ie, the specialization that uses the mind). Balitant (talk) 22:06, March 2, 2011 (UTC)
Easy now. For all we know DA2 was far along enough that they couldn't implement a feature Blur put in CGI trailor. Bioware isn't always to blame man, even if they are easy. Seeing as there is no spell list for specializations yet, we can't be completely sure it has to be crushing prison, but I sincerely doubt it seeing as Crushing prison does internal damage while the CGI trailors litteraly ripped the arishock's arms off.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 22:13, March 2, 2011 (UTC)
Was not my intent to sound hostile or anything... Just saying that I have a belief that the mage arms are crushing prison Balitant (talk) 22:15, March 2, 2011 (UTC)
You can use crushing in the demo and its been in some gameplay footage before and it doesn't do anything like ripping apart an enemy. It is a Damage over Time spell for one thing. It would be cool if it was an actual blood magic spell but I think its only going to be a cinematic kill for important bosses like the arishock or the ogre. Just like most things we will just have to wait. Devmir (talk) 01:35, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

I know what Crushing Prison is. I've been saying that maybe those two spells aren't one in the same seeing as Crushing Prison is a telekinetic spell, but in the CGI trailor actual arms burst forth from the Fade and ripped the Arishok's arms off. It wouldn't be the first time 2 spells looked alot alike compared to the phantom "arms" in the demo.--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 02:07, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I don't want to sound mean or angry, but I need to spit this out. That is NOT Crushing Prison! A Crushing Prison does not look like you are being ripped in half by two arms! A Crushing Prison would imply Hawke maybe using the same hands but to crush his enemy into a pulp. Or maybe he uses his magic to summon a force field of sorts that collapses upon the enemy. Rip in half does not equal crush, and vice versa. In the very first look at DA2 in Game Informer it said Crushing Prison will be a finishing move, but it does not mean it's the same move we have seen in the trailer and that part of the demo. Sorry if I seemed rude, but crush and rip are two very different things.Morrigan's Man (talk) 07:59, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you--TheGreyestWarden (talk) 23:12, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

I don't know about you guys but while I was play DA2, I used crushing prison on the ogre the first time it appears (that is the time without either bethany or carver dying), it was like the finishing move and yes! i saw a cinematic cutscene of the phantom arms coming out of thin air, grabbing the ogre and tearing it apart. but however i tried to replicate it other enemies later on, like the second ogre appearance and even qunaris like tal vashoth but it didnt happen. but thinking about it again makes me wonder if its just a cinematic scene for this particular ogre, with or without crushing prison. Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 00:44, March 9, 2011 (UTC)foolie87

The only time I'd seen the arms tearing an enemy apart was in the "Destiny" trailer. Thus far, in-game, the similar attack I've seen actually crushes the enemy until they burst (watch the cutscene where the ogre is killed at the beginning of the game - the arms appear from either side of the ogre and press in on it until it explodes, and if one pays attention, mage Hawke is seen making a small, crushing gesture, as opposed to the wide, ripping gesture made in the trailer). Yoruichi's Paramour (talk) 16:03, March 9, 2011 (UTC)

The spell Hawke is using is the Crushing Prison. You perform this spell on the Ogre towards the beginning of the game (in the cutscene). They just gave it a cool cinematic for that cutscene (and trailers). You cannot replicate that specific move any other time in the game. You can perform this spell, but it won't be the same as the cutscene from the beginning. WhiteClaudia (talk) 02:10, January 11, 2014 (UTC)

That's not quite true, as you actually can perform the same effect later in the game. Any time you fight an ogre, in fact. If you cast Crushing Prison on the ogre and the crushing prison spell is specifically what deals the killing damage to it, then it will happen. If you cast the spell but then, say, Fenris deals the killing blow with his sword before the spell does it, then it won't happen. It has to be the spell dealing the damage that brings its health to zero. I've seen/done this myself many times on both the xbox and pc versions of the game. (talk) 03:27, January 11, 2014 (UTC)