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Dragon Age: Inquisition Diary 2: The State of the World State

Dragon Age: Inquisition Diary 2: The State of the World State

Dragon Age: Inquisition Diary 2: The State of the World State

Choice matters in the Dragon Age series, and in this Diary entry I look at the staggering degree to which Bioware allows you to make your game experiences your own.


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Dragon Age: Inquisition Diary 1, December 5th, 2014

One of the greatest things about the Dragon Age series is the way your choices matter. The games take place in a very unified stream of lore, and many characters repeat from one game to another. Many characters who don’t necessarily reappear get referred to, as do past events. This unity gives the whole Dragon Age saga shape, and greatly increases your investment in it. Adding to this unity is the fact that, if you choose, the subsequent games remember your earlier choices. As in Bioware’s other great RPG franchise, Mass Effect, the games allow you to make big choices that affect the story, and these choices carry over into the sequels.

I can’t really overstate how viscerally impactful this is. Example: Near the end of Dragon Age: Origins (the first game), there’s this big political summit and I decided who ended up on the throne. This choice of course affected the flavor of the rest of that game, but when I played the sequel, I imported my data from the first game so that same ruler was atop the throne in Dragon Age II. Same with letting characters die or not. Same with romances.

DAI Choices

Figure 1: Yep, you can import every choice you made in every one of these games.

There are some naysayers who claim that these choices aren’t all that meaningful; that Bioware still has to build ONE game, not fifty. And it’s true that the choices may not have enormous impact on the games’ stories on paper. However, I’ve found that even having a cameo by King Alistair near the end of Dragon Age II was absolutely thrilling for me. “Hey!,” I thought. “There’s my buddy Alistair, from the first game, who I made king!!”

However, with Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bioware knew they had a big problem. Many players would be experiencing the game on a next-gen console. If my last Dragon Age II game save is stuck on my old PS3 and I’m playing Inquisition on my shiny new PS4… how do I import my game choices?

I had worried about this, and was delighted at E3 this past June when Bioware told us they were working on a “web solution” to this problem.

The “web solution” they came up with was the rather magnificent Dragon Age Keep. Presented as a sort of tapestry of stylized tarot cards, the Keep allows you to re-create “The State of the World” with all of the choices you’ve made in previous Dragon Age games. Divided between the first game, the Awakening expansion, the second game, and all of the downloadable content for the games, it’s a stunningly comprehensive compendium of choice.

DAI Keep

Figure 2:  Just a small sample of the tapestry of choice that is The Dragon Age Keep.

Actually, when you think about it, if that’s all the Keep was, it would be impressive, as it stands as a testament to the staggering degree to which Bioware allows you to make your game experiences your own. But it’s even more impressive when you consider that you can recapture as many of these choices as you like to import into the new game.

And I mean all the choices. Evidently there are as many as three hundred choices that you can recapture if you wish. The system is flexible: It allows you to make as few or as many choices as you like. And of course, since this isn’t actually tied to any actual saved game files, if you wish you can make different choices this time around.

DAI Anders

Figure 3:  This is NOT the choice I made, by the way!

Note for those who are interested in following the above link to explore the Dragon Age Keep: You’re not allowed in without an Origin account. But trust me, it’s worth setting up a free account just to explore this very cool internet experience.

Up next: Importing my game choices turns into a temporary nightmare!

Also, be sure to join me as I stream Dragon Age on Twitch at

Ray Ivey

Ray Ivey

A gaming freakazoid, Ray enjoys games on all platforms. Also loves board games, mind games, and all puzzles. Co-wrote the Entertainment Tonight trivia game and designed puzzles for two Law & Order PC games. Also a movie freak, bookworm, and travel bug. Thinks games of all kinds are a highly underappreciated force for social good, not to mention mental and psychological health.   Ray's favorite adventures include the "Broken Sword" and "Journeyman Project" franchises, "The Dark Eye," "The Feeble Files," "Sanitarium," "Limbo," "Machinarium," "Riven," "The Neverhood," and "Azrael's Tear." His favorite non-adventures include the "Thief," "Uncharted," and "Ratchet & Clank" franchises, all of the Bioware RPGs, Skyrim, and Final Fantasy XII.   Ray writes about the movies for the Bryan/College Station Daily Eagle, which is the old-fashioned thing called a "newspaper." He's been on eight game shows. He's taught in seven countries and has visited twenty-one. His favorite classic movie star is Barbara Stanwyck and his favorite novel is "The Hotel New Hampshire" by John Irving.

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