Dragon Age II

Dragon Age 2 is real, Poweteers, just as real as Santa Claus, only REALER. And given hints in GameInformer’s website, it seems that a few of my well-placed hunches about any potential sequels may yet pan out! Come with us as we analyze the news coming from BioWare.

I recently got the itch to revisit Ferelden, steadily working on two new playhtroughs with different origins than my first, and also picked up the Awakening expansion pack to take my first character — a city elf named Jool — for another turn (despite that she died at the end of her campaign).

In preparing to recover the Ashes of Andraste and brave the Gauntlet once more with Human noble Elissa, I decided to read up on a little history in the Codex entries. I still wasn’t done reading hours later, and it has spurred an obessive information-gathering hunt that has lasted most of the week. BioWare put a lot of thought into the backstory of the Dragon Age world — not just the “present-day” state of realms unexplored and only spoken of by the game’s many characters, but also a deep, rich thousands-year history full of political intrigue, holy wars, and ruminations on other lands beyond Thedas. It is in this backstory that I think we can find clues to BioWare’s intentions about its sequel, and its eventual trilogy. What fortune that they announced the sequel this week!



You’ll note that “Origins” is no longer part of the title. Perhaps part of the reason is there is only one origin now, a human refugee named Hawke. You can still choose your gender (and presumably your class: Mage, Rogue, or Warrior) as before, but this time you’re stuck with a character that many have likened to Commander Shepard and his/her pre-defined backstory and personality — for good or for ill.

This begs certain questions. Does Hawke have any connection to the characters from the first game? One < a href="http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/3052334/1" target="_blank">Dragon Age forums poster surmises Hawke could be Morrigan’s adult demon baby, but not everyone chose that route. Would BioWare really enforce that decision on us? Also, “refugee” from where? Other sites have intimated that Hawke escaped Ferelden from the Blight, but there’s no evidence from the press release to support that just yet. If it’s from a Blight, is it the one from the first game, or a new one (which, as you shall see, we should expect will occur in the sequel)? Or did the Qunari invade Ferelden, as Sten intimated they might?



Ferelden, the setting of the first game, is just one of many nations on the not-yet-fully-explored continent of Thedas. Many other countries are mentioned by other characters (Orlais, Antiva, Par Vollen, the Anderfels, and Rivain just to name a few); In fact, most of your party members from Origins hail from these distant lands. In reading up on them in the Codex entries, I realized that BioWare had a pretty clever “out” that could both keep intact all the nuances of your decisions in your Origins playthrough, yet avoid the pitfalls and forced decisions that Mass Effect 2 required: Dragon Age 2 should take place in another country.

The press release admits as much, and having Hawke as a (presumed) refugee of Ferelden gives the player a direct link to the land of Ferelden, and a reason to learn about its history. Will this history include the exploits (and their long-term consequences) of your Origins character? Since the results of your Origins decision tree only have to be presented in text, it’s entirely possible to revel in your past glories while simultaneously have little direct effect on events of the sequel. You’ll also get to see directly and interact with lands and peoples only mentioned in the first game.

So just where has Hawke ended up? There are many possibilities. Leiliana’s homeland of Orlais lies to the immediate West, across the mountains from Orzammar. The Free Marches and Antiva lie to the North across the Waking Sea. But I’m pulling for what’s left of the Tevinter Imperium, to the northwest. It would give you another perspective on the world: they have their own Chantry (think East Orthodox Church versus Roman Catholic), they distrust much of the rest of the world, and most of the five Blights have centered around there.

Ah yes, the Blights…


This is more diffcult to predict. While the first four Blights took place about 200 years apart and lasted decades each, the Fifth Blight of Dragon Age occurred 400 years after the previous one, and was over in under a year — before it could truly take root. The history of the Blights also ties each to one of seven Old Gods, corrupted by the Darkspawn as they search beneath the earth for where they still slumber. With five down and two to go, it is entirely reasonable that each Dragon Age game in a supposed trilogy will center around a Blight, and the defeat of their respective Archdemons. But when, exactly?

Given the developments of Awakenings, the Sixth Blight may occur much sooner than any other. Also, given that the sequel still appears to be called “Dragon Age”, it’s possible the final events will take place near or at the final year of the “Dragon Age” in 9:99 Dragon — putting it at most about 70 years after the events of the first game. Even more enticing is that the game will span a ten year period, with a chance to “make your mark” on history. Does that mean in Dragon Age III we’ll be looking at 10:1 Hawke?


The press release speaks of Hawke’s “Rise to Power”, but what is the backdrop? Did Hawke truly escape a Qunari invasion of Ferelden? Is another Blight on the horizon? It’s probably no accident that Blights follow or precede major events in Thedas history, and with only two left to go the Darkspawn don’t have much time left to shape world events!

Dragon Age II Game Informer Cover What else will we see? What events will carry over, assuming you’re able to import your previous game’s save at all? Is Morrigan still around? Did Flemeth take her body? CAN such a big decision even have an impact on a sequel (and if not this one, then the next one)? Tell us your thoughts and predictions!