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Dragon Age is one of my favourite series and I've sunk hundreds of hours into Thedas, dabbling in political intrigue and making my characters as pretty as possible. As it transpires, the original concept for the games didn't even have dragons.
Whatever next? Pokémon without pocket monsters? Fast & Furious without lean mean automobiles? Halo without that chap in the big green suit? You see, dragons are integral to the world of Thedas. The history is split into Ages and is currently set in the Dragon Age. The beasts were as common as bees across the realms however their numbers were depleted until they were just a legend. At the end of the Blessed Age, Divine Faustine II (a Divine is kind of like a Pope) named the new Age after the sightings of two dragons and she believed the reemergence of these creatures would incur chaos after the comparative peace of the Blessed Age.
BioWare has its nose to the grindstone developing the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles, so check out a behind-the-scenes look at Dragon Age 4 below.
If you've played a Dragon Age game, you'd know that ol' Faustine II was right on the money. Dragon Age Origins sees the Fifth Blight corrupt the lands, Dragon Age II was about the explosive Kirkwall Rebellion and Dragon Age Inquisition introduces us to actual elven gods who are still kicking it thousands of years after they were thought to have disappeared.
So, the reveal that Dragon Age got its name from a random generator that BioWare thought up is... odd to me. "There were some ideas but nothing concrete, so it was decided that one of the coders would make a quick random name generator," said Ian Stubbington, lead environmental artist on Dragon Age Origins, in an interview with The Gamer.
"They knocked something together and added a whole bunch of fantasy words to the list," continued Stubbington. "It was fired up and produced some names and the one that got the final vote by the team at the time was of course 'Dragon Age.' David Gaider (lead writer) responded [with] something like, 'Hmm, we better add some dragons to the story then...'"
"Originally Dragon Age was a fantasy world that was kind of... past its 'high fantasy' stage," added Gaider. "Magic was on the decline and dragons had been hunted to extinction. The big story in Dragon Age: Origins was not only that the darkspawn were returning but that this was the unexpected return of a fantastical past the setting had thought it'd left behind."
So, that concept did make it into the final iteration of the story, but Gaider clarified that it took time for him to warm up to Dragon Age. "So suddenly we had dragons returning to the world, the Archdemon changed into a dragon, and - best of all - I created a calendar system with named 'ages' so that the current age could be, you guessed it, the Dragon Age," he explained.
"All to make the name of the game look very deliberate and tied into the rest, though in this case it was very much the tail wagging the dog. I probably sound like I was unhappy about that - I was, for a while, but, in the end, I got used to the idea," concluded the writer. "Dragons were also damn fun to fight."
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