The party gets together to fight Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds, in dragon form.

Original ‘Dragon Age’ Writer Wants an ‘Origins’ Remaster—but Do We?

Spoiler: This fan does!

“Remaster” this, “modern edition” that—everyone wants to revamp their favorite viddy games, especially the crusty ones from the 2000s! And it’s understandable why, since our faves from that era are modern enough to still be easily replayable, but the graphics and bugs can sometimes throw us off.

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One such game that fans have been wanting remastered for a long time is Dragon Age: Origins. Now, it would seem that the game’s original writer and creator, David Gaider, is pushing for this remaster, too:

This is especially meaningful considering Gaider doesn’t work for Dragon Age developer Bioware anymore, so this enthusiasm is truly coming from a place of love for his creation! And considering how well Origins still holds up, it’s not like he doesn’t have a point here. There’s still a really special element to Origins that I’ve seldom seen replicated in other RPGs. It has this grand, epic scope to it, yet the design and aesthetics of Ferelden are very dark and grounded. You, as the protagonist, know you have a lot to do before the End of the World, yet there’s no grandstanding in your journey—just a lot of trial and error. Love that.

But, speaking of protagonist, part of the reason people love Origins the most in the series is because of how you can build up your Grey Warden. With all the eponymous origins to choose from, as well as the honestly unmatched dialogue system, your Grey Warden ends up being this deeply personal character. I mean, my god, I don’t exactly “relate” to the Dalish Elf origin, but I can still only finish a game playing as a Dalish Elf, because that’s what my first Warden was. (And yes, I’m still sad about Tamlen. Don’t @ me.)

That kind of personalized spark is, and isn’t, as unique these days in gaming. Everyone tries to market their games as “roleplaying experiences where you can be ANYONE and do ANYTHING,” but seldom do these choices really add up to anything substantial. Just look at Pokemon Scarlet & Violeta game I actually liked, but—let’s be real—wasn’t exactly the roleplaying tour-de-force it was marketed as. Origins took the tasty roleplaying spices from its forebears (Baldur’s Gate, NWN, etc.) and expanded on them in a way that was exceptionally modern and inventive; its particular “feel” will therefore always be in a league of its own.

Lastly, of course, there are the graphics. Origins looks like ass, you guys; there’s no way around it. Gaider even admits it himself in the above tweet. There were simply too many limitations at the time to make the game look like it could have, to the point where I still can’t tell whether Alistair’s face looks passably human, or still veers into uncanny valley territory. Gaider expands upon this further regarding model rigs in particular:

Bearing ALL of this in mind … I personally think a remaster of the game would be absolutely brilliant, provided they don’t change core things about it (like the gameplay, which people still love dearly, or the overall plot structure). I happen to be a fan of nice graphics, so while Origins’ crust never bothered me that much, I’ve gotta admit, I love the game so much that I’d probably die on the spot seeing it in HD.

Plus, a remaster might bring along some changes that the original desperately needed, including expanded dialogue that they never got to implement (such as Morrigan’s “Dark Ritual” scene not being so … yucky), long overdue bug fixes (i.e. Alistair talking like he’s king when I specifically kept his ass off the throne), and simply improving janky parts (cough, the Fade, cough).

Now, of course, there are some people who don’t want to see this game remastered, and I completely understand why. Some remasters are toothless cash grabs that don’t really add anything to the experience, and often, graphics aren’t even that impressive in comparison. For instance, I’m currently playing the Life Is Strange Remastered Edition, and while it’s neat seeing my kids in HD, I’m not entirely convinced that the remaster adds anything of substance whatsoever.

Remasters often end up taking your money just to offer nostalgia with no bite, and I mean, it’s not like Origins is unplayable—as I said before, it holds up entirely well on its own, and mods have helped elevate its flavors even more. What’s more, the crust is part of the experience, right? Everyone’s weird potato faces and all the poorly rendered backgrounds are part of what make Origins what it is.

Ultimately though, if the devs are so excited about the possibility of a remaster, then that must mean that a remaster would provide an opportunity to make this game what they actually wanted it to be—all the bells and whistles, and then some. And when I say devs, plural, I also mean Mark Darrah, who spoke out about a remaster alongside Gaider:

If it isn’t obvious by now, I fall on the “hype” side of things, but what do you think? Share your thoughts down below. Let’s talk Dragon Age!

(featured image: Bioware)

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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).