Should you ask BioWare’s John Epler about Dragon Age: Absolution, he singles out one facet of the Netflix animated spinoff as constructing towards the long-awaited fourth Dragon Age sport, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. And it’s not the stinger of the ultimate episode, when an previous foe thought useless made an surprising comeback.
As a substitute, Epler highlights the best way that the crew on Absolution was capable of delve into the fictional nation of Tevinter, a darkish empire supported by slavery and human sacrifice-fueled magic, and one which followers have anticipated to be the setting of Dreadwolf for the higher a part of a decade, ever for the reason that ultimate scene of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s ultimate DLC journey.
“An important factor for us was […] to be sure that we didn’t shrink back or gloss over the sins of Tevinter, particularly while you go to such an excessive nation,” Mairghread Scott, Absolution’s showrunner, informed Polygon.
It’s that unflinching look, Epler added, that “offers us with with alternatives, sooner or later, to go extra into these locations with a battle. What do individuals residing in there which can be truly genuinely good individuals, not simply individuals who see themselves nearly as good individuals, appear like?”
And if one factor was clear, when Polygon sat down with Scott and Epler by way of video to speak about Absolution, it was that to them, Tevinter wasn’t only a consortium of highly effective mage politicians, a selected sort of structure, or a location on a fantasy map. Tevinter was the chance to create fascinating, flawed, and maybe distressingly relatable characters.
[Ed. note: Some spoilers for Dragon Age: Absolution follow.]
Absolution boasts a quartet of Tevinter characters: the reluctantly heroic Miriam, a previously enslaved elf; her paramour, Hira, a mage who has turned her again on her nation; Tassia, a warrior who believes her function is to guard others in any respect prices; and the sequence’ essential villain, the magister Rezaren Ammosine.
Rezaren is a portrait in denial — the best way he sees it, he’s doing every thing he can to proper a improper, reunite his household, and resurrect his brother. The fact is that he won’t ever see his “siblings” as something aside from property, and he won’t ever relinquish the prevalence Tevinter affords him as a slave-owning, extremely ranked mage.
“We write very sympathetic villains, who’re primarily encouraging you to look away from their misdeeds,” Scott mentioned, “however in the end, it was actually essential for me to try to look them within the eye as a lot as we might. […] It’s very easy in a narrative like Dragon Age to gloss over a number of the evils of abuse, slavery, caste programs. I actually felt prefer it was essential that we take a look at these in a way as real looking as we might — or as respectful as we might; it’s arduous to say real looking in a fantasy setting.”
“A whole lot of the individuals residing inside [Tevinter] have tricked themselves or have satisfied themselves that, Nicely, that is simply the best way issues are,” Epler mentioned. “Rezaren is an individual who sees, Yeah, in fact, it’s unfair, in fact, however that is simply the world we’re in. It’s fascinating, as a result of in the end, I believe that’s the Tevinter perspective for lots of people. It additionally offers an fascinating capability to distinction that with people who find themselves in that society and perhaps don’t see issues the very same manner; they don’t simply settle for that that is the best way issues are.”
Gamers of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, to evaluate by the temporary teasers BioWare has launched, will probably be venturing to Tevinter to oppose Solas, a renegade mage and cult chief final seen rallying the downtrodden of the world to his trigger, however who secretly plots to tear actuality asunder. In different phrases, in basic Dragon Age style, it’s a fancy moral state of affairs that appears to be taking place in an much more morally advanced place.
For a twist, Polygon closed the chat with a easy query. From the sprawling solid of Dragon Age: Inquisition, why select Fairbanks (voiced by Matt Mercer), the Orlesian freedom fighter, because the present’s most distinguished ripped-from-the-games character? It seems, there was a easy reply. And, in response to Scott, it had nothing to do with “the sheer pleasure it’s to kill [Mercer] as many occasions as humanly attainable.”
“Look, I’ll be sincere, I actually couldn’t deliver myself to kill Harding,” Scott mentioned, referring to certainly one of Inquisition’s fan favourite (but not romantically obtainable to the participant) characters. “Like, No, I’m nonetheless hoping to romance her. […] We additionally wished to construct an actual sense of hazard for our characters. Having the chief of the workforce and the man who in concept deliberate most of this die actually early was a strategy to get the viewers to grasp that each one bets had been off the desk.”