We are the Grey Wardens... Join us.
— Duncan, reciting one of the game's taglines.

Bioware's return to form after the Mass Effect series had changed their formula, Dragon Age: Origins is both a classic RPG and a spiritual successor to one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Baldur's Gate. Released on the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on November 3rd, 2009, Dragon Age, like all Bioware RPGs, takes place in a rich world full of life and details that even the most thorough of gamer might miss. The player will step into the role of a Grey Warden, a legendary warrior with enhanced abilities that can survive extended combat with the monsterous Darkspawn, and are the only ones who can stop them from destroying everything.

Players will create their character from one of three races and one of three classes- Human, Dwarf and Elf with Warrior, Mage or Rogue. Based on these choices, the player will then be allowed to select one of six "Origin stories". These stories will introduce the character, the class, their motivations and a number of unique loot and equipment for each, though there are some restrictions- all mages will take the same origin, regardless of any other factor, and no Dwarf can be a mage. That said, the origins are Human Noble (Human warriors or rogues), Magi (all mages), Dalish Elf (Elf warriors/rogues), City Elf (Elf warrior/rogues), Dwarf Commoner or Dwarf Noble (any Dwarf). These Origins determine a number of character relationships- the Human Noble has a hate-filled rivalry with Arl Howe after their story, while the mage Jowan from the Magi origin returns as a semi-important character during a story quest.


Dragon-age-origins-PC Combat

Isometric-view combat in the PC version.

Dragon Age: Origins was originally envisioned as a throwback to the classic era of PC WRPG gaming, and was initially conceptualized as a spiritual sequel to Bioware's cult classic Baldur's Gate series. Dragon Age Origins utilizes a new combat engine based around the one seen in their previous works such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but built from the ground up to be quicker and more responsive. The player can issue commands to party members or attack themselves in real time in the middle of combat, or they can chose to take a more strategic take on the action- pausing the game, queuing up numerous attacks, spells and abilities for each of their individual characters, allowing in-depth control over the party's battlefield tactics. Taking the callbacks even further, the PC version of the game can be scrolled out from the close-down perspective of the consoles version, allowing players to view the game world in classic Isometric form.

Players create a character from one of three possible races- Human, Dwarves or Elves, and one of three classes- Warrior, Rogue and Mage. These two factors determine which of the six predetermined "Origin stories", customized tutorial sequences that set up the player's journey and introduces them to the lore and the perspectives their people have on the world, the player can select. The Origin stories include Human Noble, Dwarf Noble, Dwarf Commoner, Dalish Elf, City Elf and Mage. Origin stories have lasting effects throughout the game- certain major NPCs such as the Mage Jowan or the traitorous Arl Rendon Howe appear in the main game as major characters, and their involvement in a character's origins radically change their interactions with the player throughout.

Dragon-age-origins-Consoles Combat

Party member Leliana in combat on the Console version.

The game uses the same basic party system seen in KOTOR, featuring the main character and any of three possible NPCs from a pool of selectable party members. Each party member has their own special skills, specializations and abilities that can be used, and offer distinctly different roles in combat- and can teach the player of the right class their skills under the right circumstances. There is no morality system in the world of Dragon Age, like in most other RPGs- there are only more "realistic" character reactions. Certain characters, such as Alistair, disapprove of malicious and self-serving acts, while characters such as Morrigan disapproves of any action that seems to show weakness or kindness. Other characters are less black and white- the Qunari Warrior Sten dislikes wasting time on side quests and helping random NPCs because he feels the Player is ignoring their duty to destroy the Darkspawn threat, while the Dwarf Oghren doesn't care one way or the other, approving of whatever gets him more alcohol and enemies to kill. This approval leads to complicated relationships throughout the party- characters who consider the Player their close friend fight better for them, gaining stat increases and gaining additional skills, while characters who often butt heads with the Warden and grow to dislike the player's company perform less effectively in combat, and may even leave the party in outrage, or if pushed far enough, openly attack the player and force them to kill the character in question. Each character has their own personal quest that is unlocked through dialogue and high approval, and serve as pivotal moments for the Player and that character's relationships. Some of these relationships can even turn romantic if the player chooses.


DAO Flemeth and Morrigan

The Warden-Recruits meet Flemeth and Morrigan in the Korcari Wilds.

While each of the six Orgins stories have a distinctly different approach and tale, they all end with the heroic leader of the Grey Wardens, Duncan recruiting the player into the Grey Wardens. Informing them of their duties along the way, the two journey to the ruins of an old fortress, Ostagar, where the current king of Ferelden, Cailan Theirin, is preparing to make a stand alongside the Wardens against their ancient foes, the Darkspawn. When the Darkspawn do come on the surface, they can only do so with the aid of an Archdemon, a corrupted Old God. The Archdemon will lead the horde across the world and destroy everything in an event called the Blight, if a Grey Warden isn't able to stop it. Also at the camp of Ostagar is Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir, the father-in-law to the king and leader of a back-up force of troops, vital to the battle plans. After meeting with the fellow Grey Warden candidates- Ser Jory and Daveth, and encountering the Grey Warden Alistair, the team must set out into the nearby Korcari Wilds, where they fight their way through numerous Darkspawn and wolves, before they can collect the Darkspawn blood needed for their Joining. They must also retrieve ancient Grey Warden documents, but the ruins where they were kept has long since fallen into ruin. Here they meet the mage, Morrigan, who claims that the building is no longer the Warden's, but that her mother Flemeth has kept them safe. After getting the documents back from Flemeth, they return to Ostagar, and begin the Joining. Daveth, first to drink, immediatly falls over dead, terrifying Ser Jory, who attempts to abandon the Wardens, but is silenced when Duncan stabs him through with his dagger. Finally the player drinks, and awakes later- a new Grey Warden.

DAO King Cailan Dies

King Cailan's death at Ostagar.

Preparing for the battle at Ostagar, the Warden and Alistair are given their specific orders. When Cailan's forces charge the Darkspawn Horde, Loghain's men will stay back untill the two Grey Wardens light a signal fire from the top of the Tower of Ishal, signalling the reinforcements to join the battle. When the two reach the tower however, they are greeted by a guard who informs them that Darkspawn have already attack the tower. The Warden rallied the guards and along with Alistair (and their dog if the player is a Human Noble), began fighting through wave after wave of Darkspawn. Finally, they reached the top of the tower, where the encountered an Ogre. The fearsome beast took on all of them at once, and was only slain due to their teamwork and strategy. With the Ogre dead, the Warden was finally able to light the beacon, but when the flame went up, Loghain ordered his troops to retreat, leaving the king and the Wardens to the mercy of the Darkspawn. Without their much needed aid, the forces of the King are easily overwhelmed. Cailan himself is grabbed in the massive hands of an ogre, who crushes the life out of him and throws him harshly to the ground. Horrified, Duncan draws his blades and attack the giant, bringing it to the ground, but losing his weapons in it's hide. As he recovers, he is attacked by a Hurlock Vanguard, who strikes a killing blow. Watching from the tower with disgust, Alistair and the Warden are quickly overwhelmed by Darkspawn forces, and pass out.

The two awake in Flemeth's hut, where Morrigan claims that her mother rescued the two as soon as they passed out. Flemeth reminds the Warden and Alistair that they need to form an army, using the treaties of the Grey Wardens to recruit from the dwarves, elves, men and mages to fight off the Blight, and orders them to take Morrigan with them. Meanwhile, Loghain returns to the seat of government in Ferelden, Denerim, where news of Ostagar is heard. Loghain claims that it was the Grey Wardens who killed the King, and that he is taking over for his fallen son-in-law. This causes a split amongst the nobles, some of which doubt the conveniant story, and wories are raised that this could cause a civil war in the middle of a Blight. While the politicianssquabble, the Warden and friends arrive at Lothering, a small town not far from the exit of the Kokari Wilds. As a border town, Lothering is both a hive of people trying to escape the blight from already fallen areas, and one of the first places on the list of locations to next be under siege. The Warden knowing they can't save the town, can convince as many people as possible to head to Denerim, while strengthening the local defenses. They also meet Leliana, an Orlesian Chantry lay-sister who spent time as a bard. She helps the Warden fight off a group of Loghain's men at the local tavern who were trying to collect the Tyrn's new bounty on any surviving Wardens, and then decides to join the party as a vision from the Maker told her she needed to stop the Blight. Outside the Tavern, they meet Sten, a mighty Qunari warrior who has been imprisoned for the murder of an innocent family, a crime he does not deny. The Warden can choose to convince the Chantry to let him come with them, or pick the lock to his cage. Either way, the Qunari will join when he learns that the Warden is fighting the Blight. As the new team leaves Lothering behind them, they also meet traveling merchants Bohdan and his..."slow" son,Sandal, who they rescue from a horde of Darkspawn, and choose to follow the party and sell wares to them in gratitude.

Note: The actual events of the game after this point are chosen by the player- this page will try to create an open-ended summary detailing all the paths available, but should not be considered the "proper" order in which these events transpire- that's in the hands of the player.

DAO The Fade

The Party is trapped in the nightmarish Fade.

When the Warden arrives at the Mage's Tower by Lake Calenhad, they see that it is in a state of utter chaos. A group of mages, lead by the ambitious Uldred, have turned to Blood Magic in hopes of overthrowing their fascist Templar overseers.Unfortunately, things seem to have gone horribly wrong, and many of these mages have already fallen victim to the possession of demons, attacking Mage and Templar alike. The Warden first meets with the elderly teacher, Wynne, a face remembered from the battle of Ostagar. Wynne has been using her magic to protect the younger students, but agrees to help the Warden try and retake the tower. She tells the Warden that they need to rescue First Enchanter Irving and his fellow elder mages, and can use the Litany of Adralla to stop Uldred's plans. After fighting through waves of demons, protecting innocent mages and trying (and failing) to save a Templar possessed by a Desire Demon, the Warden and company came upon the Sloth Demon. The Sloth Demon used it's powers to pull the Warden and each of the companions into The Fade, where they were shown their dream worlds, pacifying them. The Warden woke to find Duncan alive and well, revealing the war with the Darkspawn over, and won- but the Warden saw through the ruse and fought back, forcing the Sloth Demon to sick the false Grey Wardens on them. The Warden was triumphant, and began to explore around The Fade where they learned temporary shape-shifting and found the young mage Niall. Niall had previously attempted the same thing the Warden is now attempting, but has been the fodder for the Sloth Demon much longer, leaving him weak. He does tell the Warden how to succeed- scattered throughout The Fade are demons who serve a "lieutenant" type role to the Sloth Demon, and killing them will free their control on territories in the Fade. The Warden's time in the Fade was long, but they managed to slay each of the demons, and rescued each companion. Freed from it's tyranny, the Warden and company battled with the Sloth Demon and killed it, allowing them to return to the Tower. Niall was less fortunate, having been feasted on for so long by the Sloth Demon, his body was too damaged for him to return to it alive. He lived on in a sense, however- his dead body held the Litany of Adralla- which the Warden recovered.

DAO Uldred Boss

Morrigan and Sten fight Uldred.

With the one item that could save the First Enchanter in hand, the Warden pushed on through the tower, continuing the battle aganst more and more demons, mages and undead. As they neared the Harrowing Chambers, they came upon a magic barrier where the Templar Cullen was trapped within. The mages had put the barrier up, and tortured Cullen- turning him into a paranoid wreck with a hatred for all users of magic. When the Warden tried to reason with Cullen, he believed they were simply illusions sent to torment him- forcing the Warden into a rather long-winded attempt to calm him down. Once successful, Cullen delivered a warning and an ultimatum to the Warden- he revealed that Uldred was inside the Harrowing Chamber with all the remaining living mages whom he would force to either become Blood Mages, Abominations or both. He claims that all the mages within are a threat now, and should be wiped out to the last, forcing a choice on the Warden. If they agree with Cullen and slaughter the innocent mages then the Templar will be binded to the mages oath to the Wardens, and pledge troops to the Wardens cause, but Wynne will also need to be killed. If the player disagrees with Cullen, but is unable to protect the mages from Uldred, they will still bind he Templar to the Oath, but will keep Wynne. If the Warden disagrees with Cullen and saves the mages, then the Circle of Magi will see to it that they are ready to withhold their vows to the Wardens, and Wynne will accompany the Warden on their adventures, approving. Regardless of the decision made, the party will have to confront Uldred. When he sees the Warden invading his ceremony, he tries to convince them that he is in the right. Seeing the cause hopeless, he suddenly takes on the form of a Pride Demon, and attacks. As the Warden damages his health, he tries to turn the Circle Magi into reinforcements- requiring the Warden to use the Litany of Adralla to purify his dark magic and save the target. If the Warden fails in this, they are forced to kill one of the mages. After a long battle, Uldred is finally slain, and the Warden must discuss the matters of the Oaths to the Wardens held either by First Enchanter Irving, or Templar Cullen- a choice that will have lasting repercussions for all Thedas.

After the first of the "main quests" to be completed by the Warden, Loghain begins additional talks with Arl Rendon Howe. A large number of the politicians are refusing Teyrn Loghain's rule, and are rebeling- it seems that despite the Blight, there will still be a civil war after all. Loghain is also troubled by the news of one of the Grey Wardens having escaped Ostagar, but Howe assures him that everything is under control on that front- he has already hired an assassin from the Antivan Crows, Zevran Arainai. Zevran ambushes the Warden on The Long Road on the way to their next objective, attacking with a huge number of bandits and traps, but the Warden is unfazed and is able to cut down all of Zevran's back-up before bringing down Arainai himself. Before killing him, however, the Warden decides to hear him out, as Zevran reveals he wasn't exactly paid to keep silent. The assassin tells the Warden all about the Antivan Crows, Loghain's ploy to kill the Warden and other things, but then offers his services to the Wardens cause- revealing that the Crows would kill him for not completing the job anyway and that he never had that much loyalty from them. While Leliana approves of giving the elf assassin a second chance, Alistair is upset at the desperation of the recruitment- but the final choice is up to the Warden.

The Warden and party choose to go to Alistair's home, the town Redcliffe, where they hope Arl Eamon is willing to pledge his troops for the Wardens without a fight thanks to his realtionship with Alistair. Before they can enter the town, Alistair stops the Warden and reveals that he has been a bit misleading about his past- he's not just a bastard, but a royal bastard- his father was the king, but he was raised by Eamon and feels like the Arl is his real family. He confesses he didn't find it veryrelevantto the situation at hand, and that he didn't want to be treated differently because of it, an effect the fact has caused multiple times in the past. The Warden may point out that this technically makes Alistair the heir to the throne, as the fallen King Cailan Theirin was his brother, but the concept makes Alistair cringe. As they approach the town, they meet Tomas by the bridge, who warns them that the town is under attack. Some investigating later, including a reunion with Alistair's friend Bann Teagan, the team learn that the Arl is deathly sick, the town is under siege by an army of the undead every night and no word from the castle has been heard in days. The Warden quickly springs to work, rallying as many of the town as possible to lend a hand in the fighting, and with the combined power of the seasoned adventurers and the coordination of everyone working with the Militia, Redcliffe not only manages to survive the night, but is victorious over the undead warriors.

After the battle, the following morning, the Arlessa, Lady Isolde, was able to sneak out of the castle and come to talk to Teagan, revealing that the castle has fallen under an evil force, and specifically requests for the Bann to come with her back to the castle, alone. While he agrees to go with Isolde, he gives the Warden a secret path to sneak into the castle in order to regroup with him in case things go sour- a hidden path inside the Windmill on the outskirts of town that lead into the dungeons. When the party takes this path, they exit to find the mage Jowan trapped within. The blood mage (who the Warden might already know if they followed the Mage origin story) reveals that he was pretending to be a tutor for the Arl's young son, Connor, who has mystical talents but Isolde refused to let the Circle take him away from her. Using this position, Jowan poisoned Eamon, on orders from Loghain, whom had not been outed to Jowan as a traitor and that he promised to settle his trouble with the Circle of Magi. While Jowan claims to have had nothing to do with the undead, Isolde didn't believe him and had him tortured for information he didn't have. The Warden can then either free Jowan, who wants to do the right thing, kill the young mage, free him but tell him to run far away and never return or simply leave him in his cell. The Warden continued through the castle, fighting off hordes of undead before finally meeting with Teagan, who like Isolde, has become the simple puppet for a now possessed Connor. The Warden manages to break the curse on Teagan, but is confronted by a number of options on how to deal with the demon-controlled child.

Jowan, if saved but not banished, reveals that there is an advanced ritual that would allow a mage to enter The Fade and confront the demon controlling Connor, but with their current supplies at the castle it can only be done if someone gives their lives- a requirement Isolde tearfully agrees to do in order to save her son. However, if the Warden has already visited the Circle of Magi by this point, and did not side with the Templar, they can quickly set off for Lake Calenhad, where the can recruit First Enchanter Irving to aid in the resuce of the child. Either of these will allow the player to send someone into the Fade, where they must battle and kill the Desire Demon within...or make a deal with it, allowing it to stay for one of a few helpful options, including the Blood Magespecializationfor Mage characters. The Warden can also decide to kill Connor, an option which will have no alternatives if they already sacrificed the Circle of Magi in the tower and killed Jowan. Regardless of this choice, the undead siege is ended and, at the very least it appears, that Connor is no longer possessed. There is still the matter of curing Arl Eamon- which requires the recovery of the Urn of Sacred Ashes, a holy relic filled with the remains of Andraste herself.

DAO High Dragon Fight

Battling the High Dragon protecting The Sacred Ashes.

After much searching, the party is able to track to location of the ashes to another small town, hidden away up in the mountains, called Haven. It quickly becomes apparent that Haven's citizens are hiding a dark secret, which is confirmed when the Warden discovers evidence of bloody rituals, and a dead guard from Redcliffe. The villagers are revealed to be part of a violent cult, and the Warden is forced to cut most of them down in an effort to save the scholar, Brother Genitivi, who's research notes were what brought the Warden to Haven to begin with. After rescuing Genitivi, the Warden is forced to fight through a massive ruin on the snow-capped mountains, which leads to a final confrontation with the Cult's leader, Kolgrim. Kolgrim is fine with the Warden taking some of the ashes for Eamon, but asks that they then destroy the holy relic. If the Warden refuses, they must fight and kill Kolgrim and his men. Once outside, the Warden sees the mountain is guarded by a sleeping High Dragon. The Warden can decide whether or not to fight it, but the choice has major consequences for the epilogue involving the urn. Regardless, the Warden enters the chambers, and must pass through a series of tests, including a trial by fire, riddles and personal interrogation- before finally reaching the Urn of Sacred Ashes. The Warden takes their pinch to cure Eamon, but then decides what to do with the relic. If they poison the ashes as per Kolgrim's wishes, they will be forced to fight and kill Wynne and/or Leliana. Finally, the Warden must decide Genitivi's fate, as he wishes to make the Urn's location public. Killing the scholar, either to bury or protect the ashes, is met with with negative reaction but ensures the ashes are kept safe (or defiled). Allowing him to go will provide more major repercussions, which can also tie into the fate of the High Dragon. Either way, the Warden returns to Redcliffe victorious, and heals the Arl, who pledges Redcliffe's knights and militia to the cause of the Warden.

DAO Zathrian confronts Werewolves

Zathrian confronts the Lady of the Forest and the Werewolves.

The Warden and party also venture into the Brecilian Forest, home of the Dalish Elves- the seculded elf nomads who refuse to allow themselves to intermix with other cultures while hoping to regain their lost heritage. The Elves are wary to allow those not of their ranks to enter, but the treaties of the Grey Wardens force them to allow the party to enter their camp. Their leader, Zathrian, reveals that his people are unable to pledge their service in their current state- they are low in numbers and are weakened by an onslaught of Werewolf attacks, and he is forced to ask the Warden to resolve the problem by killing the Werewolf leader and ending their raids. The Warden ventures into the forest, hoping to confront the Werewolf leader, but after descending into the ruins that the Lycan have claimed as their homes, ? the Warden discovers that the Werewolf leader is actually a spirit named The Lady of the Forest, and she tells the Warden of how the Werewolves came to be. Long ago, Zathrian's children were brutally attacked and eventually killed by a group of humans, and in his rage the elf cast a spell on them that would make them into the beasts outside that they were on the inside, creating the Werewolf disease. After this revelation, Zathrian appears in person, having followed the Warden into the ruins to see the deed done. The Warden is forced to make a decision- either side with the Dalish and finish Zathrian's quest, killing the Spirit and the Werewolves with her, or the Warden is able to side with the Werewolves, killing Zathrian but is forced to then kill the Dalish Camp, but in turn the Werewolves pledge themselves to aid the Warden in the final battle against the Darkspawn to fulfill the Dalish's treaty in their place. With a high enough persuasion, the Warden is presented with a third option- forcing Zathrian to accept that the people responsible for the crimes against his family are long gone, and that the Werewolf disease is only harming innocents now, including his own people, and can get the Elf to sacrifice himself to remove the spell, returning the infected Dalish to their people, freeing the land of the disease and gaining the aid of the Dalish Elves for the battle.

Finally, The Warden travels to the Dwarf kingdom of Orzammar, where the stone halls are alight with political debate and tensions run thick. The Dwarves are ashamed to allow an outsider to see them in such a state, but they are unable to pledge aid to fulfill their long-vowed promises to the Wardens until a King is put on the throne to replace the late King Endrin Aeducan. Two Dwarves have managed to split the city nearly in two in their attempts to take the crown- Lord Harrowmont, a close friend to the late king and the one who was last with him when he died and claims that the wish of the king was to see Harrowmont take the throne, and Bhelen Aeducan, Endrin's youngest son (and if a Dwarf Noble, the younger brother of the Warden) and a cruel but effective man who argues that Harrowmont's claim has no authenticity or authority, and that he is rightful heir to the throne of Orzammar. The Warden has to take the side of one or the other, and raise them up through the political machinations of the Dwarf society in order to gain the military forces of the Dwarves. After enough campaigning, the Warden meets Oghren, a shamed dwarf berserker who has spent decades of his life as an alcoholic wreck after his wife, a Paragon named Branka, left him with her lesbian lover and their entire House to enter the Deep Roads in search of the legendary Anvil of the Void, used by the Paragon Caridin to craft Golems, which were vital to earlier Dwarven military efforts, but like so much of Dwarf culture was lost as the Darkspawn continued to take more and more of their territory.

DAO Cairidan Uses the Anvil

Caridin, making a crown, before sacrificing himself and the Anvil of the Void.

The Warden's chosen politician will decide that the only way to really win over the Assembly and ascend the throne is a vote of confidence from a Paragon, and the only Paragon that has any chance of still being alive today is Branka. The Warden recruits Oghren as a party member to finally descend into the Darkspawn infested Deep Roads and find her. After traveling through numerous ruins and lost Thaigs on the way through, the Warden and Party discover what had happened to Branka's House- she sacrificed them to the Darkspawn, allowing the women to be transformed into Broodmothers to create a constant supply of Darkspawn test subjects to run through the puzzle gauntlet that protected the Anvil of the Void. The Warden is forced to confront and kill the Broodmother, before turning to face the gauntlet and Branka. After solving a series of puzzles and challenges, the Warden is finally able to encounter the Anvil, guarded by Caridin himself, who was transformed into a Golem as punishment for refusing to use the process anymore, an act the Paragon had decided was inhumane and regretted allowing the kings of Orzammar to take advantage of the process. Caridin begs the Warden to destroy the Anvil to stop Branka from returning the cruel gift to the Dwarves, promising to pledge support for a king just the same as Branka, as he too is a paragon. If the player sides with Branka, they are forced to kill Caridin, and if present in the party, the DLC party member Shale as well. If the player sides with Caridin, they instead have to put down Branka. Either way, the chosen paragon will make an elaborate crown on the Anvil of the Void for the Warden to present to the King of their choosing, before either destroying the Anvil or preparing to put it into full production. Oghren will also become disgusted with his wife's actions, and join the party full time, no longer seeing a reason to remain in Orzammar.

With the Dwarven political strife ended, and all the various armies of Ferelden assembled under a single banner, the Warden returns to the capital city, Denerim, where Loghain awaits. Arl Eamon calls for a Landsmeet, to transfer power away from Loghain for all his crimes. When the Party arrives, Loghain becomes worried for his power, and nervous that his daughter speaking out against him could erode any support left for him, the Tyrn has his trusted supporter, and old enemy of a Human Noble Warden, Arl Rendon Howe kidnap Queen Anora and keep her in his castle until the completion of the Landsmeet. The Warden and party enter into the Howe's castle to save her, desperately needing her support. The Party is able to slay many of Howe's men, eventually killing Howe himself and meeting a captive member of the Grey Wardens from Orlais, Riordan. After breaking the Queen free and attempting to escape however, the Warden is arrested and held along with Alistair in the dungeons of Fort Drakon, forcing the other Party Members to assemble to rescue them.

After their rescue, the Landsmeet begins, and the Warden must throw as much evidence of Loghain's cruelty, incompetence and inability to protect Ferelden against the Darkspawn in order to turn the Nobles against him. After the completion of the Landsmeet, the Warden is able to confront and kill Loghain in single-combat, allowing one of the party members to fight in the Warden's stead, or take a third option presented by Riordan. The Warden reveals that the reason only a Warden can slay the Archdemon is because the Archdemon's spirit moves into the nearest vessle of Darkspawn Taint after death, allowing it to be "reborn" within another Darkspawn, but a Grey Warden possesses the taint due to the Joining, and is able to "absorb" the Archdemon in an act that kills both of them. Loghain can be forced to join the Grey Wardens and made to kill the Archdemon, causing his own death but is an act that causes Alistair to leave the party in rage forever. Whichever option the Warden chooses, the stage is set for the final battle. In the final night, Morrigan arrives and reveals an "out" for the Wardens- she is able to perform a ritual that would leave her pregnant with a Warden's child, which would absorb the taint itself and live. If the offer is accepted, Morrigan will continue to fight alongside the Warden until the final battle is over, before leaving to never be followed. If the offer is refused, Morrigan leaves before the final battle regardless of her personal standing with the Warden.

DAO Player Warden kills Archdemon

A Player Warden kills the Archdemon atop Fort Drakon.

The scouts of the assembled army are led to believe that the Darkspawn attack will happen in Redcliffe, but when the Warden and the force arrive there, they learn that they were wrong, and the Darkspawn launched a siege on Denerim instead. Riding back to find the city already overrun, the Warden leads the troops on the frontlines, cutting down dozens of Darkspawn as the Party began to march into the city. Riordan, meanwhile attempts to confront and kill the Archdemon personally- and while he is able to cripple the Darkspawn leader's wing and trap it on top of Fort Drakon, he is killed in the battle. After stopping the Darkspawn leadership and Vanguards throughout each major district of the city, the Warden and party make their way through the Fort, finally confronting the Archdemon on the roof, aided by the leaders of all the armies assembled by the Warden for the final battle as well as the ability to summon their troops. Eventually, the Warden is able to defeat the Archdemon, and is able to either sacrifice themselves to kill the Archdemon, sacrifice a party member to kill the Archdemon, or simply kill the monster free of worry because of the ritual, freeing Ferelden of the Darkspawn threat, and turning the tide of battle. Without the Archdemon, the Darkspawn Horde no longer had a voice to guide them, and became disorganized and easily defeated, winning the war.

With the battle over and the Darkspawn defeated, the people of Ferelden and the Warden's party either have a celebration with their leader, or a memorial service dedicated to the fallen hero, and an epilogue showing players the long-term effects all of their minor choices and actions would have on Thedas for centuries to come plays.


Dragon Age: Origins received overwhelmingly positive critical reception on it's release, with critics praising the game's classic style and storytelling. The game currently stands at a metacritic rating of 91, 87 and 86 for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions respectively, with critics believing that the higher graphical fidelity, the natural skill-mapping to the keyboard and the isometric view were all major bonuses that benefited the game, and that, true to it's nature, it was built for PC gaming first, and skimmed down slightly to run on consoles afterwards.

GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd, who awarded the game a 9.5/10 and an Editor's Choice award, described the game as "that kind of game, so rich and involving that you are powerless to resist its wiles and whims, so touching and triumphant that your mind and heart will be moved... Few games are this ambitious, and even fewer can mold these ambitions into such a complete and entertaining experience. You might spend 50 or more hours on your first play-though, but there are so many paths to follow, so many details to uncover, and so many ways to customize your party that you'll want to play again as soon as you finish the first time." These sentiments were echoed by VanOrd's colleagues at IGN (9/10), Giant Bomb (5/5), 1UP (A rating) and GamePro (5/5), all of whom praised the game's narrative and deep RPG mechanics.

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Science's awarded Dragon Age as the "Role-Playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year 2009". At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, Dragon Age: Origins received the Best PC Game and Best RPG awards. Dragon Age Origins was chosen as the PC Game of the Year, Best Xbox 360 RPG of the Year, Best Story of the Year, and Best PC Role-Playing Game of the Year by IGN. The game received Giant Bomb's Best PC Game of 2009 award. Dragon Age: Origins received the Game of the Year 2009 and RPG of the Year awards from U.S. PC Gamer. Dragon Age: Origins received the Game of the Year 2009 award from Spawn Kill. UFO Gamers awarded the game with both game of the year 2009 and best RPG of 2009 in its Golden Saucers Awards. Dragon Age: Origins received AbleGamers Foundation Most Accessibility Mainstream Game of 2009, making it the most accessible game for gamers with disabilities for 2009. Dragon Age: Origins received best rookie title of 2009 from the Swedish "Guldstickan" (The Golden Joystick). In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.

Collector's EditionEdit

Dragonage collectors

The Collector's Edition.

Dragon's Age: Origins received two separate Collector's Editions- one physical and one digital. The physical Collector's Edition included a steelbook case with unique cover art, a bonuse DVD featuring five "making of" documentaries and a full soundtrack, a cloth map of Ferelden, three exclusive in-game items: a dragonbone helmet named Beregen's Honor, a tome that gives +3 to all attributes named Grimoire of the Frozen Wastes and a powerful staff named Final Reason. Players were also given two exclusive items for Warhammer Online in the Collector's Edition- the Skaven Skin Cloak and the Adventurer's Handbook. A redeemable code came in every case allowing for the unlocking of The Stone Prisoner DLC and the Blood Dragon Armor for both Origins and the then upcoming Mass Effect 2- though these codes were included in all new retail copies of the game. The set was retailed at $74.99 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

The Digital Deluxe Edition of Dragon Age Origins lacked the physical goods, instead coming with the full game, a complete downloadable soundtrack, exclusive trailers and wallpapers, the three items Beregen's Honor, Grimoire of the Frozen Wastes and Final Reason, a single use code to unlock The Stone Prisoner DLC, a single use code to unlock the Warden's Keep DLC and a single use code to unlock the Blood Dragon Armor for Origins and Mass Effect 2. It was released for $50.00 on Steam and Direct2Drive.