In Dragon Age: Inquisition, there are multiple instances where the developers have included in-jokes. This article contains detailed information regarding these Easter eggs.
Video games Edit
- During an argument between Dorian and Mother Giselle, she will say "Your glib tongue does you no credit." This appears to reference the argument between Alistair and the Circle mage in Ostagar where the mage says "Your glibness does you no credit." In both instances the conversations occur between a mage and someone affiliated with the Chantry. The same line can also appear during a conversation between Cassandra and Dorian.
- Out in the Western Approach there is a ladder that you can put a landmark near. When the landmark is claimed, further observation reveals that, scratched into the ladder is a message reading, "Can I get you a ladder to get off my back?" This is very similar to what a violent Warden sometimes says when selected or told to perform commands.
- When meeting with Bull's Chargers, talking to Stitches will have Iron Bull comment that he makes a fantastic healing potion that tastes terrible. Stitches will reply, "That's because it's a poultice, ser. You're not supposed to drink it." This is a nod to the Health Poultice from the first game, which uses the same drinking animation as any Herbalism product.
- Sera can tell the Inquisitor that she used to play with a Small Painted Box as a child, which was given to the Friends of Red Jenny by the Hero of Ferelden during the Fifth Blight 
- As in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, cheese wheels can be found scattered throughout various locations, some in quite unusual places. There is even a cheese shield known as Wedge of Destiny that can be found hidden in Crestwood.
- During exploration of the Hinterlands, Blackwall may warn the party not to eat the cheese in Redcliffe tavern. This is a reference to graffiti found in the tavern during the Warden's travels.
- In the Western Approach the inquisitor can loot the Amulet Kitty's Collar from Macrinus in the Griffon Wing Keep. The description mentions that these amulets were popular in Honnleath and that there is orange fur caught in the buckle, referring to Kitty. As well that spirits whisper a memory of a little girl, most likely being Amalia.
- During banter between Varric and Dorian about the former's previous encounter with Corypheus, Varric mentions that he didn't "have tea and crumpets" with Corypheus, and describes him as saying, "Argh, I'm a darkspawn!" This is a possible call-back to Sigrun's line at the end of Last of the Legion, where, if you tell her you previously met the Architect, she will reply, "What's a meeting with a darkspawn like? 'Hello, I'm a darkspawn! Would you like some tea?'"
- This comment by Varric is also similar to what a sarcastic Hawke says when first approaching the Sabrae clan. Hawke will say that they are not expecting them to all have tea and crumpets together.
- When asking Harding what's new, she might say that Varric stopped by and told her a story about copper marigolds. This refers to when, in an attempt to court Donnic, Aveline Vallen has Hawke bring him copper marigolds.
- If you talk to Dorian after completing Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts, he will ask if you tried the ham, which he heard tasted of despair. This is a reference to Mark of the Assassin; at several points people will talk about how the ham "tastes of despair". Varric also mentions this ham in banter with Blackwall.
- The codices for Varric's book "Hard in Hightown" make obvious references to Dragon Age II companions, mainly Aveline, Merrill and Isabela.
- The woman on the cover of "Swords and Shields", gifted to Cassandra, looks exactly like Aveline.
- Lady Mantillon mentions that one of her late husbands died at Chateau Haine, which is a reference to dialogue between Hawke and a guard during Duke Prosper's party.
- During Red Water, in the upper loot room on the way to a red lyrium node, you can find the three pirate statues Paisley Pete, Knife-Eared Jan and Left-Hand Rawley from Pirates and their Curses, one of which is in the Captain Morgan's pose.
- In the Western Approach, near the Giant's Staircase, there's a tower on which these three pirates can be found once again; this time in miniature form. (See also further below, Gulliver's Travels.)
Jade Empire Edit
- In some dialogue, Cole will make many references to other media, most of which are spoilers. One reference Cole makes is when he says, "He teaches them to fight with a secret flaw, part of a glorious strategy." This refers to Master Li and his plan in Jade Empire.
- During banter between Cole and Solas, they may speak of a war in the fade fought in the mind of a child, a reference to the companion Wild Flower and the spirits vying for dominance within her mind.
- Upon completeing the Sharing the Artifacts of Tyrda Bright-Axe war table operation in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, the player will recieve a mace called The Jade Ham, a reference to the ham makeshift weapon. The desciption also contains numerous refereces to the characters of Jade Empire.
- In the Still Ruins, there are silver incense burners that have the same design as the focus and chi recovery shrines in Jade Empire.
Knights of the Old Republic Edit
- Cole has dialogue in which he says, "He was their enemy the whole time, but she made him forget, so he could change." This is a reference to another BioWare game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, when the player character, Darth Revan, had their memory erased by Bastila Shan so that Revan would aid the Jedi Order against Darth Malak, also because she believed Revan could be changed from their evil ways.
- Two nobles at the Winter Palace can be heard discussing the rules to 'Towers of Hanoi', a famous board game which BioWare used in Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect on Noveria and which also appeared briefly in the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC, while a version of it appears in The Descent DLC.
The Legend of Zelda Edit
- The merchant in the Hissing Wastes has a shield, a key, and a candle upon his table. In The Legend of Zelda, certain merchants' inventories consisted of the Magical Shield, extra Small Keys, and the Candle, which were displayed in the same order.
Mass Effect Edit
- During Promise of Destruction in the Castle of Caer Oswin, in the corridor where you meet Cassandra's apprentice, go to the eastern end of the hall, and there is a krogan head mounted on a wall.
- Another krogan headmount can be found in Duke Bastien De Glislain's estate in Vivienne's personal quest, but only with the use of DAI Cinematic Tools (free-roaming camera).
- And yet another krogan head in the trophy room of the Winter Palace.
- In the Multiplayer Map: Orlesian Chateau there is a trophy room. Mounted above two animals on a wall is another krogan head.
- In the Winter Palace, Grand Duke Gaspard's trophy room has a krogan head in it as well.
- While in the War Room, Cullen may make a comment about leaving to "calibrate" the trebuchets. Leliana will say, "Again?", and Josephine will complain that Cullen is always doing this. Similarly, in the Mass Effect series, Garrus Vakarian often talks about how he needs to make calibrations, which characters will occasionally comment on.
- Party banter between Varric and Sera includes a conversation in which Varric talks about "reach and flexibility". This references a dialogue which Commander Shepard can have with Garrus in Mass Effect 2: "I had reach, but she had flexibility."
- Cole may say, "An old name burns inside armor that shouldn't fit, lit by faces of children he couldn't save." This may refer to Shepard's dreams in Mass Effect 3. He may also be talking about Blackwall, whose old name (Rainier) is hidden inside the persona of Gordon Blackwall, and who is tormented by the memory of the children he and his men killed in the Callier assassination.
- The Enchanter's Seat resembles Mass Effect's mass relay.
- In the song "The Dawn Will Come," the second verse potentially alludes to Commander Shepard, with the lyrics of "the shepherd's lost / And his home is far / Keep to the stars / The dawn will come."
- If Dorian is in the party when the Descent begins, he complains about how slow the elevator is moving and suggests adding music, a reference to Mass Effect 1's infamous elevators and their muzak.
- Cole may say, "He died in the darkness so a blue rose could bloom." This is a reference to Charr, who died in the dark caves to fight for his wife, who he once referred to as the "Blue Rose of Illium", and their unborn child.
- Cole may say, "It always had a soul. The question is the answer." This is a reference to Legion's quote, "Does this unit have a soul?"
- Cole may say, "The cow sometimes takes your gold." This a reference to the Shifty Looking Cow found on Ontarom, which will steal the player's credits.
Plants vs. Zombies Edit
- South of Crestwood, on Linden Farm, a row of giant flowers can be found against a wall, each in their own column. In several of the columns, corpses can be found on the ground.
- Next to this is a book with a codex entry titled "Plants vs. Corpses", an obvious nod to the game. The battle is called the Battle of Pauper's Cap (a play on the developer and publisher's name, "PopCap"). Aside from the combat between plants and the undead, the combat tactics are like that in the game. The person recounting the story, Daveth the Mad, stated that he wanted bacon for lunch, and refused to take a pot off of his head. In Plants vs. Zombies, the protagonist's neighbour is called Crazy Dave; he wears a pot on his head, and he likes bacon. The codex references several additional PopCap games: Bejeweled and Bookworm ("While the demon saw the perfect host in this bejeweled bookworm, Helianthus was not without defenses of her own.") and PvZ: Garden Warfare ("The resulting garden warfare saw corpses armored with buckets and doors as makeshift helmets and shields battling possessed fruits and vegetables who spat seeds, constructed makeshift fortifications, and even chomped entire corpses whole.")
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater Edit
- The codex entry Confessions of a Lyrium Addict refers to the title of Thomas De Quincey's famous work Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
Gulliver's Travels Edit
- In the Western Approach, east of the Craggy Ridge Camp and above the Astrarium cave, you'll find a small ruin. At the top, next to the West Hill Brandy bottle, are two skeletons surrounded by cheese wheels. Positioned on top of the cheeses are several sculptures of mini-people, who appear to be working. One skeleton appears to have died while being tied down. This may be a reference to Gulliver's Travels. (See also further up, the last note under Dragon Age II.)
Fight Club Edit
- Cole might say, "There is no other man. He becomes the other man to do the things he can't." In Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk, the unnamed main character has a split personality named Tyler Durden who was his outlet to do all the things he himself could never do. It is revealed at the end of the novel that the narrator was Durden all along.
The King in Yellow Edit
- In the codex entry A Compendium of Orlesian Theater, the play The Setting of the Light is a reference to the short story collection The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, which features a fictional play also called The King in Yellow as a recurring element. The Setting of the Light takes place in the city of Demhe which becomes one of Thedas's two moons, and an excerpt mentions the characters Callista and Camallia. The play The King in Yellow takes place in the similarly otherworldly city of Carcosa, and an excerpt mentions the characters Cassilda and Camilla. In the story "The Repairer of Reputations" within the collection, a passage describing the play's plot also refers to "the cloudy depths of Demhe". Both plays are said to cause madness and despair.
Moby Dick Edit
- The quest name Call Me Imshael, is a reference to a quotation from literary classic Moby-Dick, by Herman Meville. In the very first sentence of chapter one, the narrator introduces himself, saying the famous line "Call me Ishmael." This is also how he introduces himself in The Masked Empire, saying "please, call me Imshael."
The Haunting of Hill House Edit
- The Chateau d'Onterre in Emerald Graves echoes Shirley Jackson's "Hill House", from the novel "The Haunting of Hill House". Both properties have been the home of very rich families who were doomed either by their own greed or by unseen forces, and those who enter them are harassed by the supernatural. When the Inquisitor enters the Chateau for the first time with Cole as a companion, the boy will say "It knows we're here" when the candles first light themselves, which is a direct quote from the novel, where the main character, Eleanor Vance, tells another character "It knows we're here" during one of the hauntings.
- To further the Chateau's connection to Hill House, a diary, belonging to the quest Motherly Encouragement, can be found near its gates. The young woman who owned it had a difficult relationship with her ailing mother, who she cared for. The woman fell to her death in a mysterious fashion, seemingly influenced by a dark entity who took her deceased mother's place. In Hill House, Eleanor Vance also has a difficult relationship with her mother (who she had to take care of), and is driven to suicide by either the house's wicked influence or by her own volition, dying right outside the property.
The Castle of Otranto Edit
- Josephine, if Romanced, will be betrothed to a 'Lord of Otranto', a well known place and castle that serves as the scene for the story The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole.
The Water Margins (Outlaws of the Marsh) Edit
- The name of Iron Bull is probably a veiled reference to Li Kui. Black Whirlwind (see Jade Empire) is another nickname of the character Li Kui – a murderous, rude bandit who becomes one of the 108 heroes of Liang Shan Marsh. He is also known as Tie Niu (铁牛) the "Iron Ox" (or Iron Bull, because Chinese is ambiguous about bovines). Not only is it a Water Margins reference but a Jade Empire reference as well.
A Confederacy of Dunces Edit
- While wandering around the Forbidden Oasis, Dorian may say, "Do they have sand worms here? Giant sand worms? No?" which is a reference to the native annelids of the desert planet of Arrakis.
Film and television Edit
Citizen Kane Edit
- Cole might say, "It wasn't from a flower. He rode it in the snow." In Citizen Kane, Kane rides a sled named "Rosebud" in the snow. Obviously the sled, Rosebud, is not a flower.
The Court Jester Edit
- When asked about rumors, Cabot in Skyhold may mention kicking someone out for requesting a "Dragon Flagon". This is a reference to the Danny Kaye movie The Court Jester, where, right before the joust, Danny Kaye's character, Hubert Hawkins, attempts to remember that, "The pellet with the poison is in the flagon with the dragon and the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true."
The Empire Strikes Back Edit
- Cole might say, "He didn't kill his father. He was his father." In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader asks Luke if Obi-Wan ever told him what happened to his father. Luke replies, "He told me enough! He told me you killed him!" In response, Vader says, "No, I am your father."
- During banter between Blackwall and Sera, Sera asks if all Grey Wardens have beards, to which Blackwall replies that he stole all the beards and their power, and that "There can be only one." This is a reference to the film Highlander, where, when one of the immortals kills another, they absorb their power, until only one of them remains, leading to the iconic line, "There can be only one."
The Lord of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring Edit
- When approaching a broken bridge in the Northern Exalted Plains, after unlocking the operation to rebuild it, Varric will say "Before anybody suggests, no, nobody's throwing me across.", a nod to Gimli's line in the LotR movie version, "Nobody tosses a dwarf!" in Moria. This line is not in the book.
- Cole will sometime say to the inquisitor "Never trust half an elf" as a nod to the famous Gimli line "Never trust an elf"
- The quest They Shall Not Pass is a nod to Gandalf the Grey's famous line, "You Shall Not Pass!".
Mad Max: Fury Road Edit
- The description of one of the Inquisitor's alternate Skyhold wardrobe options (which was added by Patch 10 released in September 2015), "Immortal," reads "Be observed: standing at the portals to the fade, glittering and silver." This is a reference to the War Boys' cry of "Witness me!" in the film, as well as a nod to their belief in riding in glory, "shiny and chrome," to the gates of Valhalla. The name of the outfit also references Immortan Joe, the leader of the Cult of V8 the War Boys subscribe to.
Masters of the Universe Edit
- When asking Cabot about rumors, one of his replies is, "They have gathered and are prepared to march on Chateau Crane Du Gris." Chateau Crane Du Gris is French for "Castle Skull of Gray" or Castle Grayskull in the Masters of the Universe universe.
Mean Girls Edit
- Storvacker's codex entry is a reference to Regina George's introduction.
Monty Python's Flying Circus Edit
- After capturing Griffon's Keep, on the top floor behind the stairs is a formation of soldiers. The commander asks, "What are the chief weapons of the inquisition?" to which a soldier replies, "Surprise, Ser!", The commander then asks, "What else?" to which another soldier replies, "Fear!" This is a reference to the famous Monty Python sketch, The Spanish Inquisition.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Edit
- In the Hinterlands, exists a cave called "Smugglers Cave". A striking feature of the cave is that a number of skeletons and corpses litters the opening while a solitary nug resides within. This is a reference to a scene in "Monty Python and The Holy Grail" where King Arthur and his Knights tries to enter a cave guarded by the dreaded "Rabbit of Caerbannog" who is capable of beheading a fully armored knight.
- During Jaws of Hakkon, after thawing the wall, the guards will continuously say out lines, with one of them being "Your mother was a nug, and you father smelled of Elfroot!". This is a reference to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", where a French soldier taunts King Arthur and his men with the phrase "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!"
- The mission report for Hard in Hightown: A Worthy Dwarf says Worthy the Dwarf's statement upon being arrested was "I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling Inquisitors!" This is a reference to Scooby-Doo villains' famous line: "I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"
Seven Samurai Edit
- When asked to tell an interesting story about Bull's Chargers, Cremisius Aclassi may mention the time that he, Iron Bull, and five other Chargers defended a village from fifty bandits. Afterwards, the villagers paid the Chargers for their services with bags of rice. This references the plot of the film Seven Samurai.
The Sixth Sense Edit
- Cole might say, "He was dead the whole time, he didn't know." This is the ending plot twist of the film The Sixth Sense. In addition, the movie centers around this man mentoring a young child named Cole, who has the ability to see ghosts.
Snow White and the Seven DwarfsEdit
- The quest Bring Me the Heart of Snow White is a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, when the Evil Queen demands that the huntsman bring her Snow White's heart.
- There is an option to give Vivienne another, normal wyvern's heart. This is likely referencing when the huntsman does not kill Snow White, and instead kills a boar, takes its heart, and brings it to the Queen, claiming that it is Snow White's.
Soylent Green Edit
- Cole might say, "They don't know, but it's made of people." At the end of the movie, Soylent Green, when Detective Thorn is speaking to Hatcher about how the truth must be revealed, Hatcher asks what the truth Thorn is referring to is. Thorn responds, "It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people."
This Is Spinal Tap Edit
- Zither mentions that his drummer died in the explosion which created The Breach at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. This is a reference to the series of bizarre deaths which ended the lives of semi-fictional spoof musical group Spinal Tap's drummers, two of which were (fictionally) said to have died of 'spontaneous human combustion' when they exploded on stage.
The Simpsons Edit
- One of the bottles found in Crestwood has the description "Tastes Like Burning." This is a reference to The Simpsons' episode when Ralph Wiggum says "They taste like burning."
- In the Western Approach, the codex entry The Gate Guardians speaks of a Tevinter artist's encounter with a golem that inspired his sculptures. This hold multiple references to Transformers, with phrases like "no more than met the eye" (a series tagline is "More than meets the eye"), "deceptive icon" (Decepticon), "Though my position was hardly optimal (primal magic burned a few feet from my face)" (Optimus Prime), "a voice to make the sky quake and the stars scream" (Skyquake and Starscream are Decepticons), and "the blood of the earth was the energy on which it survived" (Energon, the Transformers main food source).
- At Skyhold, you can manage to fall through the floor and appear in a cavernous room under the Skyhold houses with creepy music playing. In it is what appears to be a pie in a top hat. This was shown in a video on YouTube, in which BioWare designers Jason Hill and Graham Kelly eventually commented on the video. Kelly dubbed it "The Lord of the Pies", though both he and Hill admitted that they didn't expect anyone to find it.
- In Skyhold's treasure vault, on the pile of gold there's a top hat similar to the one mentioned above. It may also be a reference to Scrooge McDuck and his signature dive into money.
- In the Western Approach, an unobtainable floating sparkling golden chalice can be seen through a crack in the canyon wall north of the Astrarium at Echoback Fort. This is possibly a reference to the Holy Grail of Arthurian Lore.
- In the Emerald Graves, just north of Gracevine Camp, a gap in the rock face can be followed to a small cave with a large number of Bear heads nailed to a wall all together.
- The mission A Spirit in the Lake, which tasks the player with placing a blood lotus in a basket at Lake Luthias near the Upper Lake camp in the Hinterlands, is in reference to Arthurian legend "Excalibur", and how King Arthur acquired the famous sword.
- In a cave in Emprise Du Lion a strange, glowing pyramid can be found. On the "ceiling" of the cave several bodies are dangling down, partially consumed.
- A man spawning at random locations at Skyhold will offer "the Quizquistion." He will ask the Inquisitor questions about the Dragon Age lore. He spawns randomly throughout Skyhold and, as a reward for finding him and answering his questions correctly three times, he will gift the Inquisitor with a big spoon-shaped two-handed maul.
- In the Emerald Graves there is a Logging Stand positioned next to a Fade Rift. If you read the note sitting on a bench at this logging stand you will be treated to a Dragon Age variant of "There once was a Man from Nantucket."
- The quest Where the Druffalo Roam is likely a reference to the song "Home on the Range", in which the first line is, "Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam".
- There was also "Where the Buffalo roam", a movie about Hunter S. Thompson starring Bill Murray.
- Cole may say this to Sera in one of their banters: "Before the door is opened, they could let the cat out and it would always be alive." This is a reference to Schrödinger's cat.
- The description for the shield Schaefer's Rampart is a reference to the San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan, who is known as the "Big Fundamental" and whose personal motto is the nursery rhyme "Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest / Until your Good is Better, and your Better is your Best." He is an avid video-game player.
- In the Emerald Graves, just southwest of the Dragon nest there is a crevasse filled with bones, on an outcropping above there is a disproportionately large human skeleton with an equally large wooden hammer and sack surrounded by normal human skulls. The sack contains a variety of crafting materials.
- The quest Wyrm Hole is a reference to the hypothetical topographical feature known as a Wormhole.
- When playing Wicked Grace, Cole describes a card featuring a man with both a crown and a sword on his head, but "the head wanted neither". This fits the real world playing card the King of Hearts, known as the "Suicide King."
- At Skyhold in the building containing the quartermaster, there is a note titled "Pamphlet: Lift Your Voices!" that refers to the Inquisition's glee club and lists the songs that members should practice, several of which refer to popular music; "Twinkling Lucia of the heavens", seems to refer to The Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. "Circle of Flame", is likely Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire", "I Shall Prevail", is probably, "I Will Survive".
- In Val Royeaux, off to the far left of the plaza when you first enter the area, you will find a wooden gallows. A note on the gallows pays homage to the song "Gallows Pole", a traditional folksong popularized by Odetta Holmes.
- In Emprise Du Lion, there is a series of small bodies of water in between the second and third dragon nests that has an arm coming out of the water holding a sword. This is a reference to the story of the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend.
- When reading excerpts from Varric Tethras's book regarding the Inquisition, Cassandra quotes Solas remarking to a Red Templar, "Better to fade out, than burn away." This phrase is an inversion of a lyric from Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black), by Neil Young. The original lyric is (in)famous for being quoted by musician Kurt Cobain in his suicide note.
- This could also be a reference to the band Def Leppard's song "Rock of Ages".
- In the Old Temple, there is a niche in the west wall of the entry area that contains a partially melted snowman and some playing cards.
- In the Village of Crestwood, behind a building is a skeleton playing cards next to an enormous wheel of cheese.
- We learn in the Emerald Graves that Fairbanks's real identity is the nobleman Evariste Lemarque, described by Clara as a good man who cares about the suffering of the common people. In 1832, the death of General Jean Maximilien Lamarque, who was born of a powerful and influential family but championed human rights and freedom, became the tipping point of the infamous June Rebellion, which was depicted in the novel and musical Les Misérables. Also, his contemporary, mathematician Évariste Galois, was also involved in revolutionary activity in this timeframe, and it was General Lamarque's death that halted an uprising at the time of Galois's funeral.
- "Let them eat steak" is inscribed on the Pride of Nalthur mug. This is a reference to the famous, fictitious quote attributed to Marie Antoinette.
- Many of the icons for ZITHER!'s spells and abilities are references to famous musical album covers. This includes album covers such as Abbey Road by musical group 'The Beatles', Nirvana's album In Utero, American Idiot by the band Green Day, Random Access Memories by musical group 'Daft Punk', Pink Floyd's album art for Wish You Were Here, Franz Ferdinand's cover for You Could Have It So Much Better, Aladdin Sane by musical artist 'David Bowie', Queen II by musical group 'Queen', Arcade Fire's album Neon Bible, Appetite for Destruction by musical group 'Guns N' Roses', the image of Icarus as depicted for the musical artists 'Led Zeppelin', and Loverboy's album art for Get Lucky.
- ↑ During the quest Friends of Red Jenny.
- ↑ The BioWare Forum
- ↑ DA: Inquisition. Party banter [Varric & Sera]
- ↑  Reddit
- ↑ Dragon Age: Inquisition - Plants vs. Zombies Easter Egg
- ↑ Dragon Age: Inquisition. Nug with a top hat/Lord of the Pies easter egg.
- ↑ Image retrieved on reddit
- ↑ The BioWare Forum pages on archive.org
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