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"Men and women from every race; warriors and mages, barbarians and kings... the Grey Wardens sacrificed everything to stem the tide of darkness... and prevailed."—Duncan, Warden-Commander of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden

Dragon Age: Origins (previously known as Dragon Age) is a single-player third-person high-fantasy role-playing game developed by BioWare. The game was released on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 3, 2009 in North America, November 5, 2009 in Australia and November 6, 2009 in Europe. A digital download version for the Mac was also released on December 21, 2009.

Dragon Age: Origins is a single-player only game that BioWare co-CEO Ray Muzyka describes as a "spiritual successor" to the Baldur's Gate series, though it is not based on Dungeons & Dragons rules or the Forgotten Realms setting. It utilizes a new BioWare-developed engine named Eclipse. There is also a toolset for creation of fan-made content available for free download.

An expansion pack called Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening was released in March 2010 for all platforms. In 2011, a sequel, Dragon Age II, was released on March 8th and 11th in North America and Europe, respectively.

DAO Load Screen

Load screen from the PC version of Dragon Age: Origins, featuring several NPCs and enemies

Official description[]

You are a Grey Warden, one of the last of a legendary order of guardians. With the return of an ancient foe and the kingdom engulfed in civil war, you have been chosen by fate to unite the shattered lands and slay an archdemon once and for all. Start your adventure by picking your race as a Human, Elf, or Dwarf, then your class as a Warrior, Mage, or Rogue. Then after that, it is all up to you. The choices you make guide the path you take through the Ninth Age: The Dragon Age.


Main article: Storyline for Dragon Age: Origins

The player character, "the Warden", is a new Grey Warden recruit within the realm of Ferelden, and begins their journey to halt the inevitable Fifth Blight as one of the six origin stories. The origin chosen determines who the Warden is prior to the main events of the game's story. By the same measure, it also affects how NPCs (party and non-party) will react to the Warden. Elves, for example, are often viewed as second-class citizens. Facing unexpected betrayal at the hands of those who were supposed to be Ferelden's greatest defenders, the Warden must now utilize the old Grey Warden treaties to gather unlikely allies and build an army to face the Archdemon, an Old God manifested in the form of a powerful and terrifying dragon, now tainted by the darkspawn and risen from its prison beneath the surface to unleash the Blight in the turbulent history of Thedas. The Warden will also gather companions along the way who will support them on this onerous task. As one of the last Grey Wardens remaining within Ferelden, their actions over the course of one year—both indirectly and directly—will decide which factions align with the warden to halt the advance of the Archdemon and its darkspawn hordes, the fate of the world, as well as the fate of those met on your journey.


DAO Party Select

A Dwarf Warden and Companions

Major characters[]


Secondary characters[]


Main article: Controls (Origins)



Final box artwork

DA Early Build2

An extremely early concept of Dragon Age: Origins. Note the similarity to Ostagar[1]

DA Early Build

Another image from an extremely early concept of Dragon Age: Origins. Note the familiar circle at the character's feet[1]

DA Male

Concept art of a male character from an extremely early concept of Origins[2]

DA Female

Concept art of a female character from an extremely early concept of Origins[2]

DA Early Korcari Wilds

An early but much more recognizable build of Dragon Age: Origins[1]

Early DAO Image

A more familiar screenshot from an early build of Origins [3]

The designers incorporated origin stories for each race and some classes in the game. For example, a dwarf who is a member of the noble caste will begin the game as part of the royal family in one of the dwarven cities, while a dwarf commoner will begin on the streets of the city. Origin stories provide an introduction to the game world and hours of gameplay. People that the Warden meets during the origin story may reappear throughout the game, some of whom may be adversaries.

There is no tracking of alignment as in previous BioWare games, but the moral choices of the main character throughout the game will still affect the story. You may save the world whether you are good or evil, but the decisions that you make in the process will change the world around you, deciding who will become king, for example, and affecting nations and races and their places in the world. These decisions will also influence your companions, and could ultimately lead to a companion deciding to leave your party if they do not agree with your approach.

As with the Baldur's Gate series, players will be able to issue orders to NPCs in real time or while the game is paused, and queue up actions such as spells and special attacks.

Key features[]

  • Six unique origin stories, each with a story that affects the game as a whole: City Elf, Dalish Elf, Dwarf Commoner, Dwarf Noble, Human Noble, and Magi.
  • Three base classes to choose from: rogue, warrior or mage.
  • Three playable races: dwarf, human, and elf.
  • Four possible romantic interests, including both heterosexual and homosexual options for both sexes of Wardens.
  • Party-based gameplay with the player's character, plus up to three other characters chosen from a larger pool during the game.
  • Combat is real-time pause-and-play tactical. This means that you select an enemy to begin attacking automatically, and at any point can pause the game to select commands.
  • The camera provides an over-the-shoulder viewpoint when zoomed in, or an isometric-style viewpoint when zoomed out, although on the console editions, zooming, and therefore the isometric-style viewpoint, is unavailable.
  • Spell interactions (e.g. a blizzard spell can put out fires, and fire spells can ignite grease from a grease spell).
  • Depth-of-field effects which can be switched off via the options menu.


BioWare has released a regular edition of Dragon Age: Origins as well as special editions for collectors.

Downloadable content[]

Main article: Downloadable content (Origins)

Origins features several pieces of downloadable content to further the story told in Origins. These are:

System requirements[]

System PC Mac
Recommended Minimum (XP) Minimum (Vista) Minimum
OS Windows XP SP3 or Vista SP1 Windows XP SP3 Windows Vista SP1 OS X 10.6.2 Snow Leopard
CPU Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.4 GHz
or equivalent
Intel Core 2 @ 1.4 GHz
AMD X2 @ 1.8 GHz
Intel Core 2 @ 1.6 GHz
AMD X2 running @ 2.2GHZ
Intel Core 2 Duo
System RAM 2 GB (XP) or 4 GB (Vista) 1 GB 1.5 GB 2 GB
Graphics Card ATI Radeon HD 3850
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS
ATI Radeon X850
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
ATI Radeon X1550
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
ATI Radeon X1600
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 ¹
Graphics Memory 512 MB 128 MB 256 MB 256 MB
Hard Drive 20 GB 20 GB 20 GB 17 GB
Miscellaneous DVD ROM (physical copy) DVD ROM (physical copy) DVD ROM (physical copy) Digital download only

¹ This game will not run on the Intel GMA (950 or X3100) class of integrated video cards.


BioWare released a "developer-grade" toolset (the same one that they used to make Dragon Age: Origins) to allow modification and customization of the game and the creation of new and unique stand-alone games.


Dragon Age Game Box

Early box artwork

  • The developers have cited "realistic" fantasy fiction such as George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and fantasy paintings by artists such as Frank Frazetta as inspiration for the game.
  • Dragon Age: Origins is the first BioWare game developed for the PlayStation 3.
  • The music for Dragon Age: Origins was performed by the Seattle Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra.[4]
  • Dragon Age: Origins was originally to be titled "Chronicle," and to be narrated retroactively by an aged Morrigan.[5][6]
  • All companions from Dragon Age: Origins were at one point intended to appear in Dragon Age: Inquisition.[7]

See also[]



External links[]