Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third main game in BioWare's Dragon Age series, features a wide-array of characters.
The player fills the role of "the Inquisitor", leader of the re-established Theodosian "Inquisition", setting out to stop the demons that that have invaded the world of Thedas. The Inquisitor, whose race and gender is chosen by the player, can be accompanied by several "companions", or party members, who also join the Inquisition. Several characters, such as Morrigan and Leliana, return from previous games in the series, and two companions—Varric and Cassandra—both appeared in the second game (Varric being the only returning companion). Nine companions appear in all: Cassandra, Varric, Vivienne, Sera, Iron Bull, Solas, Blackwall, Dorian, and Cole.
Concept and creation
The creation process for Inquisition 's characters each began with a concept artist, who was supplied with a very short blurb by the writers, rather than being written in advance. This was done in order to keep the concept artists from always having to "play catch-up" and make the process more collaborative. For Inquisition, they wanted the characters to be more recognizable, and BioWare stated they preferred "realistic" characters over "the embodiment of perfection". In deciding the cast for their games, Mike Laidlaw commented that BioWare looks at its major themes, and uses the party members to help pose "high-level questions" to the player and allow them to humanise issues. BioWare tries to create a party dynamic. Mark Darrah, the game's executive producer, noted that generally they tried to balance the characters between the classes, genders, romance options, and other things.
Several characters from previous Dragon Age games return in Inquisition. It was important that any returning characters made sense. Darrah commented that they were unlikely to reuse any previous romance options as companions due to the "baggage" that comes with them, though they could appear in cameos. He gave one reason that a character might return is an incomplete arc, pointing to Isabela's return in Dragon Age II.
The characters were made before deciding who the romance options will be, and how many options there are; this is in order to ensure the characters are built-up and "real" first. The developers try to balanced making the romances nuanced while not spending too much time developing "essentially optional" content. The romances in Inquisition tried to explore new ground rather than repeat narratives seen in earlier romances. Unlike previous games, Inquisition is said to favour event-driven content over approval ratings. Romances can vary between falling for heated rival or "fooling around with a friend", depending on the player's choices, in addition to the more traditional route of falling in love. The sex scenes in Inquisition are intended to be more "mature and tasteful", with cinematic director Jonathan Perry noting that controversy wasn't just a matter of concern, but also a limit on budget and the expense of animation fidelity. The developers wanted to focus not on the sex itself, but rather on that it was "the culmination of spending a lot of time with a character and getting to know them".
Unlike the previous Dragon Age games, no DLC companion is planned for the game. Creative director Mike Laidlaw commented how due to the nature of their companions part of the DLC companion had to be on the disc, and some controversy was caused by players believing they were paying for companions they already owned. Inquisitionfeatures nine companions in all.
To help cosplayers, fan-artists, and others, BioWare is releasing character reference kits that detail their costumes. The first one released was Morrigan.
- Voiced by: Harry Hadden-Paton and Alix Wilton Regan (British accents); Jon Curry and Sumalee Montano (American accents)
The player character of the game, the Inquisitor is the sole survivor when a Fade tear erupts over a peace meeting between leaders of the Chantry and the mage rebellion. After this event, the character is placed head of the new Inquisition, and tasked with stopping the Fade tears and investigating their source. The Inquisitor is customisable, with the player given the choice over their gender, class (mage, rogue or warrior), race, and voice set. Most of their responses are controlled by the player through a dialogue wheel.
The Inquisitor has two different voices for each gender, with the choice between either a British or an American accent. Alix Wilton Regan, provider of the Inquisitor's British female accent, believed there should be a sense of "strength, authority" to the Inquisitor, and so used a more "chesty" voice instead of more high and in the throat. Regan has said she is proud to be voicing a female protagonist for BioWare, focusing on the importance of inclusion.With the Dragon Age series, developers wished to focus more on the world than build an arc around a single protagonist.Mark Darrah noted how Hawke, the protagonist of Dragon Age II, was "really a leaf in the wind", and contrasted them against the Inquisitor, acting on the world instead of reacting to the world "pushing down on you". Although BioWare originally stated that the Inquisitor would be human-only, it was later announced that the ability to choose your race, an option available in Origins, would return. In addition to being able to be a human, dwarf or elf, Inquisition also introduces the option for the player to make their Inquisitor a "Qunari", a large horned race. The developers wanted there to be some sort of significant impact to your choice of player, both from characters and the storyline.
IGN's Mitch Dyer called the ability to play as a Qunari one of the "6 most exceptional things" he'd seen in Inquisition, also taking interest in the ability to play as a female Qunari partly due to it being their first appearance. Matt Bertz of Game Informer was also glad to be able to play as a Qunari, believing "[t]he more playable races, the better in my mind". Also writing for Game Informer, Kimberley Wallace called the player's "reach" as Inquisitor one of Inquisition 's "striking features", saying "Your character has so much power over where the story goes and how events will play out, and part of the fun is deciding what type of leader you want to be."