Thursday, July 18, 2024

Can You Be Gay in Dragon Age: Origins?

Ah, this old chestnut. Dragon Age: Origins released back in 2009 and renewed the thirst for top-down RPGs with gritty, dark fantasy, loveable but flawed characters, and a combat system that couldn’t be called anything but old school. The game also introduced something else that, depending on who you are, may have sparked a moment of surprise in you. Yes, we’re talking about Dragon Age: Origins and the very start of gay romance in BioWare’s fantasy series.

Despite the media fanfare at the time, Dragon Age: Origins wasn’t the first game that BioWare had included same-sex romance in. Far from it, actually. But hey, that answers your question right? Yes, you can be gay in Dragon Age: Origins, right? Well, yes. Yes you can.

But let us explain further. There are four romance options in Dragon Age: Origins – and a few other NPCs that you can kiss for a job well done and vice versa – with two being bisexual and two being straight. Are there any romance options like Dorian Pavus and Sera from Dragon Age: Inquisition that is solely dedicated to gay players? Well, due to some internal changes during the game’s development, the answer to that is no. There are only heterosexual and bisexual romance options which, by today’s standards, is a little silly.

The bisexual love interests are Zevran Arainai, an Assassin who is sent to kill you, and Leliana, a bard turned lay sister who, like Zevran, has quite a muddied past when it comes to old love interests – all of which are of the same-sex. While it would be easy to state that Zevran and Leliana fall into the same old stereotypes of ‘promiscuous, bisexual killer’ and leave it at that, only one love interest in the entire game can be considered ‘good aligned’ and neither Zevran nor Leliana are terrible people. Just people that had terrible things happen to them.

Outside of your romantic interests, you’re able to express your sexual preferences by going to the brothel in Denerim – allowing you to choose men, women, as well as a surprise (which ranges from transphobia to implied bestiality, yeah…) if you so desire. There are also NPCs which you can express attraction to, but some are limited to only being seduced by protagonists of the opposite sex. In some instances, you can even complain about how you’re being forced into a heteronormative life – namely in the Human Noble and City Elf origin stories – but that’s about it.

So, yes you can be gay in Dragon Age: Origins – but does it live up well to the standards of 2020? That’s up to you to decide.

The ‘Can You Be Gay’ guides are here to help you answer the most important question of all in video games. Check out the full series to look through which games you can and can’t be gay in.

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