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Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins / Xbox 360
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editor score 8.5
user score 8.5
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Release Date

11/03/2009

Genre

Role-Playing

Fantasy

Themes

Fantasy

Developer

BioWare

Publisher

Electronic Arts

Overview

Dragon Age: Origins is BioWare's 2009 dark-fantasy action-RPG. It features tactical party-based combat that can be played from third person, or a more traditional, isometric top-down view. The game features BioWare's signature "Pause and Play" battle mechanics. For its elements, gameplay, and other reasons, Dragon Age: Origins is commonly referred to by BioWare as the spiritual successor to their revered classic roleplaying game, Baldur's Gate 2.

Technical

Built on BioWare's proprietary Eclipse engine, the game features similar "facial technology" to that used with the conversation system in Mass Effect. Bioware has made a toolset available for the creation of user content, much like it did for Neverwinter Nights. The toolset is available for free to registered users of the PC version of Dragon Age: Origins.

Origin Stories

One of the major features of the game are the Origin Stories. Players are able to choose and play his or her own "Origin Story," which is the lens through which the entire game is seen and portrayed. The way your character sees the world and how the world sees your character is affected by the Origin Story. For example, you may begin the game as a Dwarf Noble and be a part of the Royal Family of a Dwarven City, or you could be a Dwarf Commoner living in the city's streets. These Origin Stories provide an introduction to the game and also help determine the overall direction of the story throughout the game. Characters you meet during your Origin Story may reappear later on as either friends or enemies. Origin stories also provide the player with background information on the race they are playing. For example, when playing as an Elf, you will quickly realize the prejudice the people of Ferelden show towards your race. Executive Dan Tudge explained BioWare's perspective on the purpose of Origin stories, stating, "Really, the origin stories are more about your place and your perspective of how the world works."

Elf Origins

Dalish Elf

 

As one of the last "true elves," you were content to spend your life wandering with your clan... until a chance encounter with a relic of your people's past threatens to tear you away from everything you've known.

City Elf
The story of the city elf starts on a somewhat upbeat note. It’s a joyous day because there are not one, but two weddings going to be held that day, yours and Soris’. Both arranged, but important nonetheless, for the joining of these people ensures a strong continuation of the Elven bloodline. Or so you are told. Regardless of your sentiments towards this arrangement, today is the day that your life as a single man comes to an end.

Before you can get married to your betrothed, however, the festivities are rudely disturbed by Vaughan, the son of the Arl of Denerim. His interference does not last long, as Shianni sneaks up behind him and knocks him out with a wine bottle. Thinking that the day can now continue without further hindrance, the preparations for the wedding continue. But just as the wedding is about to truly start, Vaughan and his henchmen return.

At this point the experience differs slightly depending on whether you are playing a female or a male elf. If you are playing a male, you and Soris set out to rescue the women. When you get there, however, at least one of the women is killed, and Shianni has already been raped.

If you play as a female elf, you will get kidnapped along with the rest of the women. Just as you are about to be bound to be taken to Vaughan, Soris comes in and slides a sword to you. After slaying both guards, the rest plays out the same way as when playing a male elf.

When you return to the Alienage after successfully completing the rescue, the City Guards quickly catch wind of what went down at the estate and come looking for the ones responsible at the Alienage. You can either claim sole responsibility, or you can say that Soris helped you. Either way, your life is forfeit. But thankfully salvation comes thanks to Duncan, a Grey Warden who has been visiting the Alienage to look for a new recruit. He invokes the right of conscription and recruits you into the ranks of the Grey Wardens. Between the joining the Grey Wardens and facing your death sentence, you find little choice but to join Duncan and embark on your new life as a Grey Warden.

Dwarf Origins

Dwarf Commoner
The Dwarf Commoner story takes place in the Dust district of Orzammar, a section where the city's casteless are pretty much left to rot on their own. You start the game in service to Beraht, a dwarven crimelord who plans to marry your sister, Rica, to a dwarven noble. This act would elevate her and her family (Beraht of course considers himself 'family' in this case) above casteless status. Meanwhile, you are tasked to do his dirty work, which consists mainly of collecting on some debts and maybe cracking some skulls with your buddy Leske.

After doing said work, Beraht sends you to the Proving Grounds to rig the upcoming game by drugging one of the contestants. Whether you do this or not doesn't really matter since you invariably end up masquerading as one of the contestants. Of course you handily whoop all the other contestants but end up having to reveal yourself as a lowly 'brand' (a nickname for casteless, for they are all tattooed on the face). Chaos ensues and you and Leske are captured and end up in Beraht's dungeon, awaiting your fate. But as luck would have it, you escape.

After some dungeon crawling you finally confront Beraht and kill him and his lackeys. You step out victorious and are greeted by a crow of people, including some guards and man named Duncan, who insists on recruiting you for the Grey Wardens after being impressed by your skills at the Proving. With your sister's blessing, you head out of Orzammar and the real quest begins.

Dwarf Noble

The favored child of the Dwarven king, you proudly take up your first military command... only to learn that the deadly intrigues of dwarven politics and sibling rivalry pose an even greater danger than that faced on the battlefield. You are banished and must rely on your strength and cunning to get out of the mess your family has put you in.

Mage Origin

Mage

Born with an aptitude for Magick, considered a dangerous curse by most, you have spent most of your life sequestered in the remote tower of the Circle of Magi to be trained and contained under the close watch of the dreaded Templars. As the game begins, you face your final test before your ascent from apprenticeship to true Magedom: the Harrowing. You are instructed that you must enter the Fade, a parallel dimension from which a Mage draws his power to perform spells. It is revealed at this point that communing with the Fade is extremely dangerous as it is the domain of demons who are itching to posses an unsuspecting Mage and break out into the world of the living. Both First Enchanter Irving, the head of the Tower mages, and the Commander of the Templars in the tower, Gregoair, inform you of roughly what to expect from the test. You will enter the Fade, although your body will remain in the Tower, and will have to battle a demon. If you succeed you will have proved yourself safe from the denizens of the Fade who would try to hi-jack your body and be allowed to continue studying inside the tower. If you fail the Templars who are charged with protecting regular folk from any demons who manage to cross from the Fade, will kill you. Also take too long and the Templars will kill you. They're not big on taking chances.

 

Once you have entered the Fade the most harrowing thing you encounter are imprints of defeated demons named wisps. After wandering around in the Fade for a bit you encounter a talking mouse who claims to be another apprentice who took too long completing the Harrowing and no longer has a body to return to. While in the fade you may encounter a Sloth-Demon, a lethargic bear-like creature, and a spirit of Valour . The demon will pose three riddles to you and if he receives three correct answers he will teach Mouse to take the form of a bear. The Spirit of Valour will grant a weapon to any who best him in combat, or those who can persuade him to give it up.

 

Once prepared you approach the Rage Demon you have been tasked to fight. In the ensuing conversation it becomes apparent Mouse has betrayed you to the demon yet he will help you fight if he knows the form of the bear. Once the Rage demon has been defeated Mouse attempts to convince you that you could help him get back to the land of the living. At this point you must confront him, Mouse is your true test and if you manage to see through his lies he will reveal his true form, although the camera stays on your character, and threaten you.

 

The next scene sees your first awakening after the Harrowing. Your friend, Jowan, who is still an apprentice has been sent to find you for the First Enchanter. Before you leave though Jowan voices his fears over his own Harrowing or lack thereof and believes he may be made tranquil. The Rite of Tranquility is performed on those Mages deemed not powerful enough to go through the Harrowing yet cannot be left unchecked, these Mages have all of their emotions, and magical potential removed and are set to do menial tasks around the Tower. After reassuring, or not, Jowan you make your way to the First Enchanters office, here you are introduced to Duncan, a recruiter for the Grey Wardens. He tells you of the suspected Blight in Ferelden and says that you have been picked to become a Warden. The First Enchanter asks you to show Duncan to his quarters so that the two of you may get to know one another better. Once the mighty Grey Warden has been escorted through the tower the player runs into Jowan once more.

 

Jowan informs you that he has begun seeing someone, which is forbidden, a priestess named Lilly, which is even more forbidden. The young lovers inform you that the Circle of Mages believes that Jowan has been practicing Blood magic and plan to make him Tranquil. Jowan says that his slipping away to see Lily has been misconstrued and that now their only choice is to try and run away. However because the Chantry keep blood samples of every Mage they would be unable to get very far before the Templars tracked them down. They implore you to help them destroy Jowan's phylactery so that they are able to escape and live in peace.

 

At this point the story can go two ways. Either you can betray the trust of Jowan and Lilly and take their plans to First Enchanter Irving. He will tell you to go along with the plan and destroy the phylactery so that he can catch Lilly red-handed and make certain she is punished. He want's to get back at the Chantry any way he can. Or you may decide to take everything Jowan says at face value, more fool you, and help them any way. If you decide to inform on them then a few tasks must be completed before the phylactery can be destroyed. A Rod of Fire is needed from the store to break through the door to the phylactery chamber. however a signed note is needed from a Senior Enchanter before Owain, the Tranquil storekeeper will let you have it. So you must help out a fellow Mage in need to curry favor with her. She tells you spiders have gotten into the stockroom and asks you to help clear them out. Once this is completed she will happily sign your note and you can get your hands on a rod of fire.

 

In the Phylactery chamber things don't go exactly to plan. Using the Rod on the main door won't work due to magic dampening spells cast around he room. So you must take the long way round taking out animate suits of armour as you go.Eventually you reach the correct chamber and Jowan destroys his phylactery. at this point you can admit that you've betrayed him, or keep quiet until you run into Duncan, Greogair, Irving and a couple of guards. Once he sees he's in trouble Jowan cuts his hand and uses his blood to amplify his magical potential, he casts a spell throwing everyone before him to the ground and runs away. Lilly is dragged off by the guards and you are left feeling rather guilty and glad Duncan is about to take you away to join the Grey Wardens.

Human Origin

Human Noble

Born to wealth and power second only to royalty, you find your training in both diplomacy and war put to the test when your father's castle is betrayed from within on the very night your elder brother is to lead the family's forces to war. During this betrayal, you are charged with defending your family and home from certain destruction. The Human noble is the only class to begin the story with the Mabari Hound Companion.

Gameplay

Camera

The camera moves along what has been described as a "J-Axis," referring to the way the camera zooms out and then up, forming a path that roughly resembles a letter 'J.' At its closest (the neck of the J), the camera gives an over-the-shoulder third person view of the action. Zooming out from there, the camera backs away from the character of focus for a progressively wider view. On the PC version, there is one additional level of zoom (the hook of the J), in which the camera jumps high off the ground, assuming an approximation of an isometric view of the battlefield, reminiscent of the fixed isometric view of Infinity Engine games. In this pseudo-isometric view, the camera is not locked on to the currently selected character; instead, allowing free scrolling over the battlefield within a distance limit from the currently selected character.

Combat

Traditional Isometric Camera Perspective
Traditional Isometric Camera Perspective

The combat functions like a traditional tactical party-based RPG, such as Baldur's Gate. The player controls a party of four characters at one time out of a pool of many more recruited characters. Each character is fully controllable and customizable, no less than the player's own created character.

Dragon Age: Origins uses the same "wheel" system for console versions as Mass Effect. Using spells and skills together in combos is necessary for success. One example of spells being used in combination is the use of a Grease spell to create a pool of grease which can then be lit on fire by a well placed Fireball spell. Separately, the spells only have specific uses and are not extremely effective. However, when used together, they can set large areas on fire and do damage to several enemies rather than just one like a Fireball spell would normally. Dragon Age: Origins also features boss battles against powerful enemies, like Ogres, which tower over the player's own characters. The ogre has a variety of unique abilities like a boulder throw and a grab ability that picks up a party member and repeatedly punches him until the other party members managed to knock him free from the ogre's hands. The battle ends with a gruesome execution animation where a party member knocks the ogre down to deliver the final blow.

Races

Humans

Although the dominant race within Thedas, the human race is divided over many reasons such as regional borders, cultural issues and of course political greed and gains. Among the many nations, three major human nations stand out in Dragon Age lore.

King Cailan Theirin
King Cailan Theirin
  • Ferelden: A land of conflict and strife, the people of Ferelden are ones who value the strength of independence and the bond of loyalty. The Fereldens, in generations past, lived under theoppression of foreign rulers from Orlais. Having shed the three generations of tyrannical rule and restored the throne back to its rightful heirs - it now sees its current King, the young Cailan Theirin, march against the darkspawn at Ostagar.
  • Orlais: Regarded as one of the most powerful nations in Thedas, the courts of Orlais are a deadly place to be. While not as 'barbaric' as its Ferelden neighbors to the east, the weapons of the court were just as brutal with its political scandal, whispering gossip and shadowy intrigue - if you have power you would well play the game or lose or station, reputation or even life. Its current Empress, Celene I, attained her position through assassination of her uncle and outmaneuvering her older cousins to the throne. With her direction, the Orlesian people are experiencing a cultural renaissance through arts and scholarly learning.
  • Tevinter Imperium: The once powerful nation of Tevinter, once encompassed all of Thedas, led by a magocracy that looked to the Old Gods for their divinity. As told by the Chantry, their hubris against the Maker's will brought the Blight into existence. While the Blight was eventually defeated, the Tevinter Imperium was devastated and is now a shadow of its former glory. Tevinter is almost universally reviled by the other nations, having been the victim of most of the earlier Exalted Marches. The Imperium is engrossed in a ruthless war against the Qunari, losing their claims on northern islands. David Gaider has described the Tevinter Imperium like the Byzantine Empire.
Map of Thedas
Map of Thedas
  • The Anderfels: The Anderfels is a pummeled region, having suffered two blights it is mostly barren steppes and crowded by populations that live in constant fear of invasion. Being in the north of Thedas, and the location of Weisshaupt Fortress, the Grey Warden Headquarters, it is a nation of strong military tradition, where the Grey Wardens are vastly revered. However, the Anders are one of the poorer nations in Thedas, however some of the most dedicated followers of the Chantry. David Gaider, the head writer of Dragon Age, has described the Anderfels as beeing much like the Holy Roman Empire, if a tad on the Visigoth side.
  • Nevarra: Originally one of the larger states of the Free Marches, Nevarra has benefited from its wealth and position and has aggressively expanded over the last two centuries to become a rival of Orlais itself. The Nevarrans have always had a strong military tradition, and are renowned dragon hunters. Nevarra also contains one of the largest cities in all of Thedas, the prosperous city of Cumerblands, a natural source of trade. David Gaider has related Nevarra to Spain in many ways.
  • Antiva: Renowned for their traders and sailors, Antiva hugs the coasts and embraces the warm Northern climates. Valuing wealth above all else, Antiva's power resides in merchant-princes that prefer neutrality over war and the coin over the blade. Antiva is also renowned for the Antivan Crow's a powerful assassin organization that plays an important role in Antivan politics. David Gaider has compared Antiva to Italy.

Elves

One of the Dalish Elves
One of the Dalish Elves

The elven race have burdened a long history of strife, largely due to human conflict. The first conflict came in the form of the Tevinter Imperium invading the Elven homeland of Elvhenan, for perceived hostility. The result was a lasting effect of slavery of the elven people that is still practiced throughout the Tevinter. Later, the Elves claimed Dale as their homeland only to once again be subjected to aggression - this time by the Chantry. The reason for this invasion remains unclear and is hotly debated. Regardless, the Elves were again displaced. As a result, the Dalish Elf and Alienage Elf came to be in the lands of Ferelden. The Alienage Elves live among humans, but segregated to squalor-ridden small communities, living in the poorest of conditions. This is contrasted by the Dalish Elves, who choose to remain nomadic, no doubt to separate themselves from human contact. Elves throughout Thedas are viewed as second-class citizens and are looked down upon.

Dwarves

Most people on the surface think of dwarves and imagine greedy merchants or dour craftsmen, and certainly those are the faces most often seen by those of us who live under the Maker’s eye. But a journey to the thaig reveals a culture of nobility and of poverty, of proud warriors and of necessary brutality. Much as the heat of the forge strengthens the blade, the dwarves have been hardened by the constant threat of the darkspawn onslaught, forcing their warriors to excel or die, their craftsmen to create masterpieces of durability and style, and their nobles to engage in a deadly political game of intrigue that shames the goings on in the simpler courts of Ferelden. Everything done in Orzammar is done to fortify the remaining domains of the kingdom (of which there are, regrettably, few) against the relentless onslaught of the darkspawn.

Classes

The game features three base classes with four specialization packages, unlockable over the course of the game, for each class.

Warrior

Available to all races (Human, Elf, Dwarf), the Warrior class has the following unique talents as well as being able to access all four weapon talent categories.

Archery

Two-Handed Warriors focus on brute strength and pure offense
Two-Handed Warriors focus on brute strength and pure offense
  • Melee Archer, Aim, Defensive Fire, Master Archer
  • Pinning Shot, Crippling Shot, Critical Shot, Arrow of Slaying
  • Rapid Shot, Shattering Shot, Suppressing Fire, Scatter shot

Dual Weapons

  • Dual Weapons Training, Dual Weapon Finesse, Dual Weapon Expert, Dual Weapon Mastery
  • Double Strike, Riposte, Cripple, Punisher
  • Dual Weapon Sweep, Flurry, Momentum, Whirlwind

Sword and Shield

  • Shield Bash, Shield Pummel, Assault, Overpower
  • Shield Defense, Shield Balance, Shield Wall, Shield Expertise
  • Shield Block, Shield Cover, Shield Tactics, Shield Mastery

Two Handed

  • Pommel Strike, Indomitable, Stunning Blows, Critical Strike
  • Sunder Weapon, Shattering Blows, Sunder Armor, Destroyer
  • Mighty Blow, Powerful Swings, Two-Handed Strength, Two-Handed Sweep

Warrior Class Talents

  • Powerful, Threaten, Bravery, Death Blow
  • Precise Striking, Disengage, Taunt, Perfect Striking.

Specializations

  • Berserker - Added strength at the cost of finesse
  • Champion - Leadership, gains 'buffing' powers
  • Reavers - Trades health for damage
  • Templar - Anti-magic abilities

Rogue

Available to all races (Human, Elf, Dwarf), the Rogue class has the following unique talents along with two starting weapon talent categories.

Archery

  • Melee Archer, Aim, Defensive Fire, Master Archer
  • Pinning Shot, Crippling Shot, Critical Shot, Arrow of Slaying
  • Rapid Shot, Shattering Shot, Suppressing Fire, Scattershot

Dual Weapon

  • Dual Weapon Training, Dual Weapon Finesse, Dual Weapon Expert, Dual Weapon Mastery
  • Double Strike, Riposte, Cripple, Punisher
  • Dual Weapon Sweep, Flurry, Momentum, Whirlwind

Unique Rogue Talents

  • Dirty Fighting, Combat Movement, Coup De Grace, Feign Death
  • Below the Belt, Deadly Strike, Lethality, Evasion
  • Improved Lockpicking, Improved Disarm Trap, Master Lockpicking, Master Disarm Trap
  • Stealth, Stealthy Item Use, Combat Stealth, Master Stealth

Specializations

  • Assassin - Improves sneaking abilities
  • Bard - Gain party buff spells
  • Duelist - Greatly improves melee damage/fighting abilities
  • Ranger - Allows the rogue to summon a pet

Mage

Mages command a large array of powerful spells
Mages command a large array of powerful spells

Available to Human and Elf only, and offering only one possible origin story, mages have spells instead of talents.

Creation

  • Heal, Rejuvenation, Cure, Mass Rejuvenation
  • Heroic Offense, Heroic Aura, Heroic Defense, Haste
  • Glyph of Paralysis, Glyph of Warding, Glyph of Repulsion, Glyph of Neutralization
  • Spell Wisp, Grease, Spellbloom, Stinging Swarm

Entropy

  • Weakness, Paralyze, Miasma, Mass Paralysis
  • Vulnerability Hex, Affliction Hex, Misdirection Hex, Death Hex
  • Disorient, Horror, Sleep, Waking Nightmare
  • Drain Life, Death Magic, Curse of Mortality, Death Cloud

Primal

  • Flame Blast, Flaming Weapons, Fireball, Inferno
  • Rock Armor, Stonefist, Earthquake, Petrify
  • Winter's Grasp, Frost Weapons, Cone of Cold, Blizzard
  • Lightning, Shock, Tempest, Chain Lightning

Spirit

  • Spell Shield, Dispel Magic, Anti-Magic Ward, Anti-Magic Burst
  • Mana Drain, Mana Cleanse, Spell Might, Mana Clash
  • Walking Bomb, Death Syphon, Virulent Walking Bomb, Animate Dead
  • Mind Blast, Force Field, Telekinetic Weapons, Crushing Prison

Specializations

  • Arcane Warrior - Wear armor and wield weapons like a warrior, while gaining powerful combat buffs
  • Blood Magic - Can cast spells out of health rather than mana and turn opponents' blood against them
  • Shapeshifter - Transformation abilities that allow the mage to take various animal forms
  • Spirit Healer - Gain life-saving healing abilities

Skills

Also available to all classes are eight different skills. Each skill can be enhanced over four levels.

  • Coercion: This provides and improves the chances of success with intimidation and persuasion options during dialogue.
  • Combat Tactics: This skill allows more script options in the tactics system.
  • Combat Training: This skill unlocks more advanced combat-related talents.
  • Herbalism: This crafting skill allows a character to create salves and elixirs.
  • Poison-Making: This skill is for crafting poisons and extracts.
  • Stealing: This gives a character the ability to pickpocket NPCs.
  • Survival: This skill lets a character track enemies outside of visual range.
  • Trap-Making: Characters who have learned this skill can construct traps or lures from common components, so long as they also possess a plan to build the mechanism. The second and fourth rank of this skill also increase the range at which the character can detect enemy traps. Note that while all characters who have learned this skill can set traps, only rogues can disarm them. Components and plans may be bought from merchants, looted from defeated enemies, or found while exploring.

Darkspawn

Broodmother

Main Article: Broodmother
 
The grotesque Broodmother shows exactly what the taint of the Darkspawn is capable of when left to its own devices deep within the earth. Deep within the Dwarven tunnels of Ferelden, one would better meet his end at the end of steel rather than face down this horrific being.

Ogre

Main Article: Ogre

 
Ogres are massive, and tower over the battlefield. Their strength allows them to hurl rocks, and destroy buildings. When soldiers get close, they are no safer, as many a soldier has found their death at an Ogre's hands. This makes them the fiercest of all darkspawn, and when an Ogre howls into the night, you know you should hide. Ogres happen when Qunari are turned into darkspawn.

Hurlocks & Genlocks

Main Articles: Hurlocks & Genlocks

 
The Hurlock is the shocktroop of the darkspawn. They are the only known creature working for the darkspawn that can speak in human tongue. They adorn themselves in tattoos and often maraud in groups. They are also known to be able to cast spells. They are the result of humans being exposed to the taint.

Genlocks are short, more numerious cousin of the Hurlock. They are dwarves corrupted by the Blight.

Shriek

Main Article: Shriek

 
Silent and deadly, these skinny darkspawn hunt in small groups and stay hidden until they are already upon their targets. Born from corrupted elves, this rarer breed is often sent ahead of the bulk dark-spawn mass. It is said that many will hear the signature scream of the Shriek, but very few will live long enough to actually see one.

Demons

In general, spirits are not complex. Each one seizes upon a single facet of human experience: Rage, hunger, compassion, hope etc. This one idea becomes their identity. Demons are those spirits who identify themselves with darker human emotions and ideas.

Wisp Demon

Main Article: Wisp Demons

A Wisp summoned by a mage
A Wisp summoned by a mage
It is often forgotten that not all demons are such awe-inspiring beings. Some that break through the cracks in the Veil into our world are known as wisps, a sliver of a thought that once was. A wisp is a demon that has lost its power; either it has existed in our world for too long without finding a true host or it has been destroyed. What remains of its mind clings tightly to the one concept that created it—a hatred of all living things.

While its ability to target a living creature is limited these wisps often mindlessly attack when encountered in the Fade. In the living world, they often have been known to maliciously lure the living into dangerous areas, being mistaken for lanterns or other civilized light sources. This does, however, seem to be the very limit of their cunning.

Rage Demon - Render Rage Demon

Main Article: Rage Demon

 
The most common and weakest form of demon, they are much like perpetually boiling kettles, for they exist only to vent hatred. A thing of pure fire, its body seemingly made of amorphous lava and its eyes of two pinpricks of baleful light radiating from its core. The abilities of such a demon center on the fire it generates. It burns those who come near, and the most powerful of its kind are able to lash out with bolts of fire and even firestorms that can affect entire areas.

Fortunately, even powerful rage demons are less intelligent than most other varieties. Their tactics are simple: attack an enemy on sight with as much force as possible until it perishes. Some rage demons carry over their heat-based abilities into possessed hosts, but otherwise the true form is mostly seen outside of the Fade when it is specifically summoned by a mage to do his bidding.

Hunger Demon

Main Article: Hunger Demon
A bit higher in the hierarchy of demons, they do little, but eat or attempt to eat everything they encounter, including other demons (this is rarely successful due to being near the bottom of the food chain).

Sloth Demon

Main Article: Sloth Demon

These are the first intelligent creatures one typically finds in the Fade. They are dangerous only on those rare occasions that they are induced to get up and do harm. They are able to steal form and likeness, to mimic its opponents and know their deepest secrets. Sloth has no form or identity of its own. It is envy as much as sloth.

Sloth Demon - Mage Origin story
Sloth Demon - Mage Origin story
The sloth demon is not in and of itself, slothful. They cross the Veil and fight to possess creatures just not as much as other demons. Some are however slothful and knowingly cultivate such reputations (possibly due to ulterior motives). Demons of sloth are named so because this is the portion of the human psyche that they feed upon; doubt, apathy, and entropy. They seek to spread these things. The sloth demon hides in its forms, a master of shapes and disguises, and from its hiding place, it spreads its influence. A community afflicted by a demon of sloth could soon become a dilapidated pit where injustices are allowed to pass without comment, and none of the residents could be aware that such a change has even taken place. The sloth demon weakens, tires, and tears at the edges of consciousness and would much rather render its victim helpless than engage in a true conflict. Such creatures are best faced only with a great deal of will, and only with an eye to piercing their many disguises.

Although sloth demons are not high in the hierarchy of demons, some are powerful enough to bring creatures across the veil into the fade. They can trap many creatures in their own minds, lulled in blissful sloth.

Desire Demon

Main Article: Desire Demon

Desire Demon
Desire Demon
These are clever and far more powerful demons. They use all forms of bribery to induce mortals into their realms: Wealth, love, vengeance (whatever lies closest to your heart). Desire demons are not monsters, mindlessly driven by nature, but rather rational beings interested and intrigued by other beings. It mostly takes form of something resembling a female human, however is able to change its shape if it so desired.

Desire demons have long been known to twist the hearts of men. They lure them in through both their appearance and their crafty words. Offering anything in their power to get what they desire. Those who entertain such demons, can gain what they desire, but at a costly price.

Notable Desire demons
  • Kitty – First seen in the Stone Prisoner DLC

Pride Demon

Main Article: Pride Demon

One of the most powerful Demons yet encountered are the pride demons, perhaps because they, among all their kind, most resemble men. Although powerful, they can be summoned by a maleficar and they are bound to do his bidding.
Uldred in Pride Demon form
Uldred in Pride Demon form
Pride is powerful, and intelligent. When encountered in its true form, its most common attacks are bolts of fire and ice. Fire they will use to burn an opponent, and the magical flame will combust anything worn regardless of make. Ice they will use to freeze an opponent in place—be cautious, for they enjoy employing this against warriors in particular. More than one group of templar have made the mistake of attempting to overwhelm a pride demon and suffered the consequences. Having the aid of other mages is of little help, Pride demons can render themselves immune to magic for short times, and are adept at dispelling magic buffs that are on the player.

Archdemon

Main Article: Archdemon

Archdemon Urthemiel
Archdemon Urthemiel
The false dragon-gods of the Tevinter Imperium lie buried deep within the earth, where they have been imprisoned since the Maker cast them down. It is unknown what drives the Darkspawn to their relentless search for the sleeping old gods. Perhaps there is some remnant of desire for vengeance upon the ones who goaded the magisters to assault heaven. Whatever the reason when darkspawn find one of these ancient dragons, it is immediately afflicted by the taint. It awakens twisted and corrupted, and leads the darkspawn in a full-scale invasion of the land: A Blight.
Notable Arch Demons:
  • Dumat – When the first Blight began, many brave men and women threw themselves at Dumat, the first archdemon, trying to strike him down. No matter the number, no matter their strength he would always return. Some said this was proof of his divine power, however the Grey Wardens soon learned otherwise.

Darkspawn’s tainted blood bound them to the archdemon, and they could hear it, feel it, as it died and was born anew, its spirit drawn to possess the nearest tainted creature. The darkspawn were mindless, soulless, empty shells of flesh that could be formed and remade in the dragon’s image. However, a man’s soul was not so malleable. When a Gray Warden’s hand struck a fatal blow against Dumat, the old god’s spirit was drawn once again to the nearest tainted creature, not to a darkspawn but to the tainted man who had slain him. In that moment, the souls of both the Warden and the archdemon were utterly destroyed. And the dragon rose no more. The Blight was over.

  • Urthemiel – Once the Tevinter god of beauty, in ancient times Urthemiel was worshiped by musicians, artists, and poets. The Feast of Urthemiel was the largest celebration of the year, an event that lasted a full twelve days. Plays and entire symphonies were written in his honor. Now, he is a maddened husk of his former self, filled with nothing but a desire to destroy all life.

Dragons & other Creatures

  • Dragonling
  • Baby Dragons
  • Drake
  • Male Dragons
  • Dragon
  • Female Dragons

High Dragon

The Dragons once ruled the skies. Graceful, and magnificent, the people worshiped them, and their faces adorned statues and buildings. However, hunters drove them to extinction, killing them for their bones to use in enchantments. They were thought to be dead, however a High Dragon appeared out of the mountains and begun a rampage, and the people know that when a dragon begins a rampage it means it is about to lay eggs. Thus, the next age was named in their honor.

Animals

 
Mabari War Dog: In the Ferelden culture, nothing is more important than the dog, especially the Mabari. The Mabari descend from wolves who served under the legendary hero, Dane. The Mabari only chose their masters. Whoever, is seen accompanying a Mabari is instantly recognized as a person of worth. The Mabari are also an influential part in the Ferelden military strategy. The Mabari War Dog is a recruitable companion.

Undead

Abomination

Against an Abomination Demon
Against an Abomination Demon
Born from the union of a mage and a demon, the Abomination is a truly a horrific and powerful creature. Whether with a deal or by sheer force, once a mage is possessed by a demon, the demon may use all of the mage's innate ability - creating a devastating force. Because of this, the Chantry assigned it's military unit, the Templars, to hunt down apostate mages as well as watch over the Circle of Magi to quickly eliminate any demon possessions.

Werewolf

Silver bullets not included
Silver bullets not included

Werewolves in Ferelden lore, are believed to be wolves tainted by a Rage demon. They plague the countryside. Having huge strength and speed, these beasts were known for their ferocity. The great hero Dane, led a crusade to purge Werewolves from Ferelden once and for all.

Spirits

Not all spirits are Demons, some are benevolent creatures.

The Geography of Ferelden

The Map of Ferelden
The Map of Ferelden

Ferelden is a relatively small kingdom, divided in several main regions and surrounded by water to the North (the Waking Sea) and to the East (the Amaranthine Ocean). The Orlesian Empire is set to the West of Ferelden and the Free Marches are up to the North. To the South lie the Uncharted Territories.

Frostback Mountains

This cold region lies on the Western part of Ferelden, and spans all the way from the North to the South.

The following in-game locations can be found there.

Orzammar

  • Orzammar Commons
  • Dust Town
  • Diamond Quarter
  • Hall of Heroes

The Deep Roads

Beneath Ferelden lie the Deep Roads
Beneath Ferelden lie the Deep Roads
  • Aeducan Thaig
  • Caridin's Cross
  • Ortan Thaig
  • The Dead Trenches
  • Anvil of the Void

Village of Haven

Ruined Temple

  • The Dragon's Lair

Lake Calenhad

Right next to the Frostback Mountains (to its right) we can find Lake Calenhad. The proximity of water holds a couple of key locations to the game.

  • Redcliffe Village
  • Redcliffe Castle
  • Lake Calenhad Docks
  • The Circle Tower

The Hinterlands

These wastelands can be found between Lake Calenhad and the Korcari Wilds, but hold no key areas to the game.

The Bannorn

The Bannorn is a fertile land and it occupies the whole of the Northern-Center area of Ferelden. To the South of this big area lies its one and only main location.

  • Lothering

The Coastlands

The Coastlands point to the Waking Sea and Ferelden's capital city can be found in its North-Eastern area.

Denerim

  • Market District
The Capital City of Denerim
The Capital City of Denerim
  • Arl of Redcliffe's Estate
  • The Alienage
  • The Pearl
  • Arl Eamon's Estate
  • Arl of Denerim Estate
  • Royal Palace
  • Fort Drakon

Brecilian Forest

This area dominates the Eastern zone of Ferelden.

Brecilian Forest

  • Central Forest
  • Western Forest
  • Eastern Forest

Brecilian Ruins

  • The Elven Tombs
  • The Werewolf Lair

Southron Hills

Located between The Bannorn (to the North), the Brecilian Forest (to the East) and the Korcari Wilds (to the South), this area is mostly deserted, except for the Dalish Camp.

  • Brecilian Outskirts
  • Dalish Camp

Korcari Wilds

Mostly comprised of cold damp forests and swamps, the Korcari Wilds mark the border between Ferelden and the Uncharted Territories to the South.

  • Ostagar
  • Flemeth's Hut
  • Korcari Wilds

Main Characters & Voice Talents

The number of talking characters in Dragon Age: Origins is immense, so here's a list of the main characters and respective voice talents only:

Voice TalentMain Character
Steve Valentine Alistair
Peter Renaday Duncan
Kate Mulgrew Flemeth
Tim Curry Arl Rendon Howe
Corinne Kempa Leliana
Simon Templeman Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir
Claudia Black Morrigan
Steve Blum Oghren
Mark Hildreth Sten
Susan Boyd Wynne
Jon Curry Zevran Arainai
Peter Bramhill King Cailan Theirin
Emma Fielding The Lady of the Forest
Mika Simmons Queen Anora

Downloadable Content

Return to Ostagar
Return to Ostagar

There have been multiple DLC packs released for Dragon Age: Origins, some available at launch and others following the months since.

  • The Stone Prisoner - Adds a new character to the game called Shale (a stone Golem). This downloadable content is free for anyone who bought the game new and $15 for those who bought it used or rented it.
  • Warden's Keep - Adds a fortress for the Grey Warden to conquer, which includes new loot and a party storage chest
  • Blood Dragon Armor - Available to people who purchased the early copies of Dragon Age: Origins.
  • Return to Ostagar - Allows players to return to Ostagar and discover King Cailin's true fate.
  • Feastday Gifts - A collection of gift items intended to increase your party members' affinity for you. Part of an April Fools' Day promotion.
  • Feastday Pranks - A collection of gift items intended to decrease your party members' affinity for you. Part of an April Fools' Day promotion.
  • The Lucky Stone - A bonus item that adds 1 to every stat when equipped. Acquired by uploading a character using the character creator on the BioWare social site. The item can be used on consoles, but the character creator is available only on PC.
  • Darkspawn Chronicles - In this alternate canon downloadable content, the warden never survived the joining. You play as multiple darkspawn during the battle of Denerim. Darkspawn Chronicles places the player in the role of a Hurlock Vanguard, at the beginning of the siege of Denerim near the end of the Dragon Age: Origins game. The player is to lead the invasion, slaughtering all who should stand in your way.
  • Leliana's Song - A short prequel story detailing Leliana's life as a Bard Spy before she became a Lay Sister in Lothering.
  • Golems of Amgarrak - After receiving a letter from Jerrik Dace, requesting that the Warden come to Orzammar, to help Jerrik venture-forth into the Deep Roads in search of a missing dwarven expedition party including his younger brother. Face challenging encounters and puzzles that test the Warden's resolve, acquire new companions for this adventure to help you defeat a monstrous creature in this standalone adventure.
  • Witch Hunt - This DLC takes place a year after the events of Origins proper. The player is able to import an Origins or Awakening character or begin with a fresh high level hero. This DLC is heavy on the spoiler side as it details the events of Morrigan's departure after the joining ceremony and the slaying of the Archdemon. In this journey the party consists of your hero, a Circle Magi named Finn, a Dalish warrior named Ariane, and your furry companion. At the time of its launch, the chapter contains a rather large bug where Morrigan herself is confused as to what the Grey Warden decided in regards to the Joining Ritua