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The player character’s name in ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ will differ by race

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts, used with permission

Fans of Bioware’s fantasy franchise will be able to customize the protagonist of Dragon Age: Inquisition by being given the choice to select a variety of options including class, race, and gender in order to truly make the character their own. While players will also be able to provide the Inquistor a first name, Dragon Age Creative Director Mike Laidlaw revealed on May 23 that the surname of the protagonist from the series’ third installment will be automatically assigned based upon a player’s choice of race.

The idea is that each of the various fantasy races that populate the world of Thedas each has its own culture and naming practices. By having a predefined last name for each race, the various non-player characters of Dragon Age: Inquisition will be able to address the main character directly in dialogue. For example, Bioware can’t have voice actors record lines for every possible name a player could end up giving the character. By having one name that the game gives to all players of a particular race, there can be voiced lines which directly address the protagonist.

The ability to choose a given name but not a last name for in-game characters has become standard in Bioware titles. This can be seen in past entries of the Dragon Age series as character’s surname was tied to their origin story. In Dragon Age II, fans lost the ability to select their race and took on the role of a member of the human Hawke family. Even other franchises from the developer used a similar mechanic such as the Mass Effect franchise which placed players in control of a Commander named Shepard.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is scheduled to release on Oct 7 when it will officially launch for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC. The game, like many upcoming Electronic Arts titles, is being developed using the Frostbite 3 engine.