"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, head of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden
Dragon Age: Origins (previously known as Dragon Age) is a single-player third-person role-playing fantasy 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. The PS3 version was planned to be released later in November, but BioWare has said they have been able to get the PS3 version to "our high standard of quality". 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.
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 his or her 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.
- The Warden: The protagonist, and the newest recruit of Ferelden's Grey Wardens.
- Alistair: A former templar initiate who was recruited into the Grey Wardens not long before the protagonist.
- Morrigan: Known as a Witch of the Wilds, she is a shapeshifting apostate mage who lives in the Korcari Wilds.
- Dog: The default name of a loyal Mabari War Hound who is a lifelong companion of a Warden from the Human Noble Origin. Characters from other Origins will have the opportunity recruit a different Mabari hound encountered in Ostagar.
- Leliana: A bard and cloistered sister from Orlais who sought refuge in Lothering and its Chantry.
- Sten: A Qunari warrior of the Beresaad, the vanguard of the Qunari.
- Wynne: A senior enchanter in the Circle of Magi's tower, Kinloch Hold.
- Oghren: A disgraced warrior caste dwarf who has fallen into alcoholism.
- Zevran: An elven assassin and member of the notorious Antivan Crows.
- Shale: A deactivated war golem found in Honnleath.
- Loghain Mac Tir: The teyrn of Gwaren, leader of the army of Ferelden and chief advisor to King Cailan. He is a primary antagonist of Dragon Age: Origins.
- Queen Anora: The queen consort of King Cailan and daughter of Teyrn Loghain.
- Arl Eamon Guerrin: The Arl of Redcliffe and a major ally of Ferelden's Grey Wardens.
- Duncan: The Commander of the Grey in Ferelden. He recruits the protagonist to join the Wardens and serves as their mentor.
- King Cailan Theirin: The reigning King of Ferelden at the opening stages of the Fifth Blight.
- Flemeth: Morrigan's mother and the original "Witch of the Wilds". A notorious shapeshifting sorceress shrouded in myth and legend, she is said to be an immortal being of terrible power.
- Riordan: An Orlesian Grey Warden sent as an advance scout by the Order based in Orlais.
- Rendon Howe: The arl of Amaranthine and Loghain's right-hand man.
- Bann Teagan Guerrin: The bann of Rainsfere and Eamon's younger brother.
- Bodahn Feddic: A surface dwarf merchant who accompanies Ferelden's Grey Wardens in their quest.
- Sandal: Bodahn's adopted son and a rune savant.
- Brother Genitivi: A Chantry scholar and expert on the Urn of Sacred Ashes based in Denerim. His writings are quoted in numerous codex entries found throughout the game.
- Arlessa Isolde: Arl Eamon's Orlesian wife.
- Connor: The son of Arl Eamon and Arlessa Isolde.
- Prince Bhelen Aeducan: The third child of King Endrin Aeducan, member of the Council of Dwarves, and also younger brother to a Dwarf Noble Warden. He is one of two major contenders claiming the throne of Orzammar.
- Lord Pyral Harrowmont: A friend and confidant to King Endrin, the last king of Orzammar, and Bhelen's main rival to the throne.
- Branka: A contemporary Paragon from Orzammar and Oghren's estranged wife. She is searching for the long lost Anvil of the Void, a powerful artifact which can be used to create golems.
- First Enchanter Irving: The First Enchanter of Kinloch Hold.
- Knight-Commander Greagoir: The Knight-Commander of Ferelden's Templar Order, responsible for watching over the Circle of Magi based in Kinloch Hold.
- Zathrian: The Keeper of a clan of Dalish elves encamped in the outskirts of the Brecilian Forest.
- Lady of the Forest: A mysterious spirit leading the werewolves living in the Brecilian Forest.
- Cullen: A member of Ferelden's Templar Order.
- Jowan: A fugitive apostate and blood mage on the run from the templars.
- Ser Jory: A knight from Redcliffe and new recruit to the Grey Wardens.
- Daveth: A thief and new recruit to the Grey Wardens.
- See Controls for details.
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.
- 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 Origin, and Magi Origin.
- Three base classes to choose from: rogue, warrior or mage.
- Three playable races: dwarf, human, and elf.
- 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. What this means is 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.
- Regular Edition for the PC, XBox360 and the PlayStation 3
- Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition
- Dragon Age: Origins Digital Deluxe Edition
- Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition
- Main article: Downloadable content (Origins)
Origins features several pieces of downloadable content to further the story told in Origins. These are:
- A Tale of Orzammar
- Warden's Keep
- The Stone Prisoner
- Return to Ostagar
- The Darkspawn Chronicles
- Leliana's Song
- The Golems of Amgarrak
- Witch Hunt
System Specs (PC and Mac)
Windows XP Minimum Specifications
OS: Windows XP with SP3
CPU: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.4Ghz or greater
AMD X2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8Ghz or greater
RAM: 1GB or more
Video: ATI Radeon X850 128MB or greater
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT 128MB or greater
DVD ROM (Physical copy)
20 GB HD space
Windows Vista Minimum Specifications
OS: Windows Vista with SP1
CPU: Intel Core 2 (or equivalent) running at 1.6Ghz or greater
AMD X2 (or equivalent) running at 2.2GHZ or greater
RAM: 1.5 GB or more
Video: ATI Radeon X1550 256MB or greater
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB or greater
DVD ROM (Physical copy)
20 GB HD space
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4Ghz Processor or equivalent
RAM: 4 GB (Vista) or 2 GB (XP)
Video: ATI 3850 512 MB or greater
NVIDIA 8800GTS 512 MB or greater
DVD ROM (Physical copy)
20 GB HD space
Mac OS X Minimum Specifications
OS: Mac OS X 10.6.2 Snow Leopard or higher
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
RAM: 2 GB
Video: ATI X1600 or NVIDIA 7300 or higher. This game will NOT run on the Intel GMA (950 or X3100) class of integrated video cards.
Digital Download only
17 GB HD space
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.
- 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.