[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/DragonAge http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/logo_bioware_dragon.jpg]]]]

->''"[=BioWare=] is like the master of making you feel like the game revolves around the choices you make."''
-->-- '''[[https://youtu.be/YDl2sgDlM8s?t=14 Jeremy Jahns]]''', reviewing ''VideoGame/MassEffect1''

[=BioWare=] is a Canadian video game developer based in Edmonton, Alberta. They are known for developing {{Western RPG}}s. Formed in 1995 by three doctors, [[ArtifactTitle hence the name "BioWare"]], their first products were patient simulation software. Initially they produced {{licensed game}}s but they've been creating their own universes since 2005.

Let's just say that some of their [=RPGs=] have developed a reputation for being the video game equivalent of {{door stopper}}s, in the best sense of that term. You play a [=BioWare=] game ''because'' of the dialogue trees, the hours spent on developing side characters, understanding the world, and reading the Codex. The writing tends to be of good quality too, reinforcing how you play a [=BioWare=] game for the story, not for the gameplay.

However, over the years, they have become fairly controversial, starting with ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', which got criticized for its obviously rushed development. but especially since the infamous ending of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. They are still liked well enough, but not as universally as before.

[=BioWare=] is part of Creator/ElectronicArts. For a while, a number of other EA studios were also under the [=BioWare=] label. Mythic Entertainment, Victory Games, and EA 2D (incorporating [[VideoGame/SuperheroCity KlickNation]]) have all been considered part of [=BioWare=] at some point. However, those studios have mainly been spun off again (or closed) since then, leaving just the "core" [=BioWare=] (meaning the original Edmonton studio, an online-focused studio in Austin, and an offshoot in Montreal). [=BioWare=] has been split from EA Games [[http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/36385/Major_Executive_Label_Shifts_At_Electronic_Arts.php into their own label]], meaning that they have their own advertising staff.

Compare and contrast Creator/ObsidianEntertainment, with whom [=BioWare=] has a surprisingly fond relationship. Both companies had close links to Creator/{{Interplay|Entertainment}} and both specialize in story-driven Western-style [=RPGs=], but, [[http://www.mobygames.com/featured_article/feature,31/section,219/ as one commentator put it]], "Bioware is epic conflict spiced with personal, while Obsidian is personal conflict spiced with epic."

In spite of the [[NamesTheSame names being similar enough]], [=BioWare=] does not own the ''Franchise/BioShock'' franchise.
!!Games developed by [=BioWare=]:

* ''VideoGame/ShatteredSteel'' (1996)
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' (1998)
** ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGateTalesOfTheSwordCoast Tales of the Sword Coast]]'', expansion (1999)
* ''VideoGame/MDK2'' (2000)
* ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGateII Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn]]'' (2000)
** ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGateIIThroneOfBhaal Throne of Bhaal]]'', expansion (2001)
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' (2002)
** ''Shadow of Undrentide'', expansion (2003)
** ''Hordes of the Underdark'', expansion (2003)
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' (2003)
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' (2005)
* ''{{VideoGame/Mass Effect|1}}'' (2007)
* ''[[VideoGame/SonicChronicles Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood]]'' (2008)
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' (2009)
** ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'', expansion (2010)
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' (2010)
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' (2011)
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' (2011)
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' (2012)
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' (2014)
* ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'' (2017)
* ''VideoGame/{{Anthem 2018}}'' (2019)[[/index]]

!!Franchise summary pages:
* [[Franchise/BaldursGate Baldur's Gate series]] (from 1998 to 2001 under [=BioWare=]; onward under different developers)
* [[Franchise/MassEffect Mass Effect series]] (from 2007 onward)
* [[Franchise/DragonAge Dragon Age series]] (from 2009 onward)

!!Cancelled works:
* ''VideoGame/ShadowRealms''
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer2013'' [[note]]Victory Games, the [=EA=]-owned studio which worked on the Command & Conquer reboot, was rebranded [=BioWare=] Victory part way through development (although it had moved back to its original brand by the time the game got cancelled).[[/note]]
[=BioWare=] [=RPGs=] are sometimes called a genre itself. While it's not exactly true, their [=RPGs=] are indeed unique. They have a number of persistent tropes that move from game to game, and only setting is changed.

This being said, worldwide popularity, influence and acclaiming of [=BioWare=] games once again proves to the world the fact which is well-known in our community: TropesAreTools.
!!List of tropes persistent in [=BioWare=] [=RPGs=]:
* ActionGirl: The majority of the recruitable female characters.
* {{Adorkable}}: At least one or more recruitable party member will qualify, particularly the Betties in the BettyAndVeronica entry below.
* AllThereInTheManual: The ''Mass Effect'' and ''Dragon Age'' series, plus ''The Old Republic'', have an in-game Codex providing background information on characters, locations, species, organizations and technology encountered.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Often subverted. Drow, krogan, geth, qunari and many other examples come to mind. They even manage to make [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Sith]] look reasonable. Played straight in other works.
* AntiHero: There's nothing stopping players from taking this route if they wish.
* AntiGrinding: This doesn't mean there isn't pointless combat (far from it), just that it has no reward and appears in fixed places.
* AntiVillain: A good amount of their humanoid villains, such as Saren Arterius, the Illusive Man, Loghain Mac Tir and Meredith Stannard, certainly qualify.
* {{Astroturfing}}: An employee of [=BioWare=] [[http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/15/dragon-age-ii-metacritic-user-reviews-padded-by-bioware-employees/ went]] to the ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' Metacritic page and gave the game a 10. While this ''isn't'' an example of astroturfing (EA described it as the equivalent of voting for yourself in an election), it did inspire a case of ''astroturfing astroturfing'', where fans of ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'' went on ''The Witcher 2'''s Metacritic page, gave the game of zero, and [[PaperThinDisguise pretended to be]] [=BioWare=] employees.
* BadassGay: There's a ''reason'' [=BioWare=] has an LGBTFanbase, and it comes in the form of usually having at least one badass bisexual or gay character in their games. ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' even included a badass transgender character.
* BattleCouple: The PC and his/her love interest.
* BiTheWay: ''Knights of the Old Republic'' included a lesbian love interest, which reportedly didn't sit so well with Creator/LucasArts. Since then, all games included at least one bisexual love interest of either sex that are open to same sex relationships. True to the trope, this is never treated as something unusual by the games, mostly because their "bisexual" characters have ''nothing'' changed by the PC's sex.
* BettyAndVeronica: If a [=BioWare=] game includes more than one female NPC who can be romanced, it's a safe bet that one of them will be a cute, innocent GirlNextDoor while the other will be a more exotic, seductive FemmeFatale.
** Aerie and Viconia in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate2''.
** Dawn Star and Silk Fox in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''.
** Liara and Ashley in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' and ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect3 3]]''. Notably, both can be interpreted as either the Betty ''or'' Veronica in the first game, since Liara is an exotic [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe blue space babe]] and Ashley is a boring human, but Liara is much more mild-mannered and shy whereas Ashley is loud, brash, and very aggressive. Of course, after [[spoiler: Liara becomes the Shadow Broker]] her Veronica stats go up, whereas Ashley stays pretty much the same throughout the series.
** Tali and Miranda (or Jack) in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' adds Samantha Traynor to Liara for the GayOption.
** Leliana and Morrigan in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' are somewhat of a subversion - Leliana (the Betty) turns out to have been a spy and master seductress in her past, while Morrigan (the Veronica) is possibly the most innocent of the party members when you think about it. She owes much of her aloofness and StrawNihilist / TheSocialDarwinist tendencies to [[FreudianExcuse her mother]], who viewed men as tools at best [[spoiler:and was grooming Morrigan to be a vessel for her soul]].
** Perhaps the most blatant example of this trope is Merrill and Isabela in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. Merrill is an innocent, cute, {{adorkable}} elf mage. While Isabela is a dusky, buxom, promiscuous pirate girl who [[PantyShot doesn't wear pants]].
** Josephine (a graceful, pacifist Antivan ambassador) and Cassandra (a practical, spiritual, and intimidating-looking Seeker who is second in command to the former Divine) in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' as the straight options for males. Lesbians still have Josephine as the Betty with Sera (a crude, playful, hot-headed roguish elf) replacing Cassandra as the Veronica.
*** ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'' has both a Betty and Veronica along with a ThirdLoveInterest for both straight males and lesbians. Your idealistic second in command whose stuck between two cultures Cora is the Betty for straight males and the soft spoken logical religious scientist Suvi would also be a Betty but only for lesbians. Meanwhile, both sexual orientations have the hyperactive devil may care asari archeologists Peebee as the Veronica and an option who has aspects of both sides, the roguish yet compassionate turian smuggler Vetra.
** True to [=BioWare=]'s commitment to inclusivity, there's also male examples found throughout their games:
*** Alistair, a shy virginal templar, and Zevran, a hypersexual assassin, in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' gives us Sebastian, a a devout Chantry rogue, vs. Anders, fiery apostate mage rebel, and Fenris, broody {{Animesque}} ex-slave elf-warrior. The [[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition third game]] tops it off with Cullen (mild-mannered ex-templar) and Solas (a soft-spoken apostate mage and scholar) as the Bettys to the Veronicas Iron Bull (a Qunari ben-hassrath and all-but-said [[CasualKink BDSM]] practitioner) and [[GayOption Dorian]] (a vain Tevinter mage necromancer) with Blackwall (a [[spoiler:not]] Grey Warden [[spoiler:with a dark past]]) smacked in the middle.
*** The ''Franchise/MassEffect'' franchise, taken as a whole, has Kaidan, Jacob Taylor, and [[GayOption Steve Cortez]] as Bettys up against [[InterspeciesRomance Thane and Garrus]] as the Veronicas.
*** [[VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda The fourth game]] gives a much better example for one game. Liam, surprisingly despite his hotheadedness, is a Betty due to his honest desire to make sure that everyone feels comfortable as well as [[GayOption Gil]], who would love to settle down and have kids one day. Straight females and gay males have Reyes, a shady smuggler who helps out Ryder for his own reasons, as your Veronica. Jaal is smacked right in the middle for his very open behavior, especially once a patch made him a bisexual option.
* BloodKnight: At least one recruitable ([[VideoGame/JadeEmpire The Black Whirwind]], [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Canderous Ordo]], [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins Oghren]], [[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition Iron Bull]], [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 Wrex]] and [[VideoGame/MassEffect2 Grunt]]).
* BlueIsHeroic / RedIsViolent: In their games with a set KarmaMeter, party members tending more to the "good" alignments often use blue backgrounds and more amoral or TokenEvilTeammate characters will be depicted with red backgrounds. The PlayerCharacter starts with a gray background that becomes darker blue or red depending on the player's alignment choices.
* BoisterousBruiser: Often the same character as the BloodKnight, but not always.
* ButThouMust: There is a lot of dialogue in Bioware's games where all the "options" given are basically minor variations on the same response. Perhaps the most egregious case is in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', where Shepard speaks the exact same line regardless of the option you pick in one of the early conversations with the Council.
* CardCarryingVillain: Although there's nothing stopping you from playing a VillainProtagonist, you should be aware that, unlike the good dialogue options, most of the evil ones simply boil down to "{{Jerkass}} [[EvilIsPetty who does things]] ForTheEvulz."
** Of course, some of those options exist in these games, but ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', and sometimes ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' avert this. ''Dragon Age: Origins'' is particularly good at it, due to a lack of KarmaMeter. You can come up with a good, rational reason to do just about every evil thing. To the point where one can measure the development of [=BioWare=]'s storytelling and karma meter use in their ability to challenge the player with hard choices. The ''Dragon Age: Origins'' expac in particular has a choice which seems to have no "correct" answer and likewise the conclusion of Legion's loyalty mission in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' gives you a truly difficult decision to make with no correct answer (though one is considered paragon and the other renegade).
** Their more recent titles generally seem to have abandoned this trope. Renegades in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' are impatient with politics, love fighting, and are more cynical, but they're not really evil. Later entries in the [[VideoGame/DragonAgeII Dragon]] [[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition Age]] series have continued Origins' approach.
* CharacterDevelopment: A ''lot'' in most, if not all of their games.
** Most background characters, many of who aren't related to quests or the plot, receive some serious fleshing out as well, such as in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' where you learn why some of your crew mates are xenophobic and can help them work on overcoming it, or get drunk with Dr. Chakwas and learn why she chose to work with Cerberus. Even your often doomed GuestStarPartyMember shows character development prior to or post-death if you talk to or about them. Cullen in ''Franchise/DragonAge'' is a particularly notable example of the former point, appearing for only about five minutes at the most in the original game, but still getting one of the most extensive character arcs in the entire series, and still never being a party member.
* CompanionSpecificSidequest: This tradition goes all the way to the original ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', where, for instance, Minsc joined your party on the condition that you help him rescue Dynaheir from a fortress full of gnolls and would leave after a while if you didn't keep that promise. This design paradigm reached its pinnacle in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', which consisted almost exclusively of companion-specific missions.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Their later work tends towards this. Despite sharing somewhat similar design styles, uniformly excellent writing and a signature character style, ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' and ''Franchise/MassEffect'' might have been made by different companies. If one takes the Dark Side path through ''KOTOR'', there's a definite trend, the difference being that ''KOTOR'' leaves the option to the player.
* DarkIsNotEvil: A frequent theme, although games like ''KOTOR'' play this trope straight.
* DeadpanSnarker: Seems to be the prime tenet of [=BioWare=] games. At most, two or three companions won't tend towards snarkiness.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Mostly of common character archetypes or plots.
* DialogueTree: This is the reason why [=BioWare=] games are considered doorstoppers. Dialogues are plentiful.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu / DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu - You will be doing this ''frequently.''. Gods, wanna-be gods, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, {{Humanoid Abomination}}s, Sith ghosts, Darkspawn, Old Gods, Reapers... yes, even if you're playing a regular {{Muggle}} Smuggler, you're going to be busting more supernatural terrors than [[{{Franchise/Ghostbusters}} Peter Venkman]].
* DysfunctionJunction: We call this "a player party." Part of the PC's job in any [=BioWare=] game is to manage their party members' various personal issues.
* EnemyMine: The main protagonists of several games can be played with this motivation.
** The Dalish Warden in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' can state their sole reason to defeat the Blight is to save their own people.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' Commander Shepard is forced to work with the Illusive Man to stop the Collectors.
** After the Makeb arc in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', there are a surprising amount of times the Empire and Republic have to put their war on hold because there's something even ''worse'' that's hitting them both (The Dread Masters, [[spoiler: Revan]], and the now-former Sith Emperor). The Sith Warrior also has a few moments in which they can temporarily ally with Republic forces for their own goals.
* EvilIsPetty: Inevitably, being evil in a [=BioWare=] game will mean "be a rude, selfish jerk".
** ''Franchise/DragonAge'' is a bit better about this, what with the lack of a KarmaMeter, but gaining the approval of "evil" party members will take you down the path to jerkassery nonetheless.
** Becomes a DeconstructedTrope by ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'', which was developed by Creator/ObsidianEntertainment. Choosing what in a Bioware game would be the "dark side" option gets you yelled at by Kreia for being a [[StupidEvil thuggish twat]] who is [[ChaoticStupid making things worse for no reason]], and provides fodder for a ''brutal'' ReasonYouSuckSpeech. And Kreia is a [[spoiler: Lord of the Sith]], for pete's sake.
** Renegade Shepard has generally been the victim of inconsistent characterization throughout the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series. While s/he generally acts like an ignorant thug, there are some moments at which s/he seems like TheChessmaker, like [[spoiler: at the end of [=ME1=], in which s/he and Udina orchestrate the rise of a [[TheEmpire Human Led Council]] to replace the one Shepard left to die, securing humanity's position as the galaxy's dominant race.]] Or in [[spoiler: the genophage arc of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', during which Renegade!Shepard dupes the Krogan into thinking the genophage has been cured when it actually hasn't, and informs the Salarians of this deception, securing both their aid and that of the Krogan.]]
* {{Expy}}:
** [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Bastila Shan]] is quite similar to [[VideoGame/NeverwinterNights Lady Aribeth]], although with an indoor voice and a measurable IQ.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' has quite a few similarities with the ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' series. Subverted with ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' however, which signaled the franchise growing into its own.
*** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' had even more, with its entire party and story layout following many of the same beats as KOTOR, though it frequently shook things up as well.
* FeministFantasy: [=BioWare=] has repeatedly shown a commitment to portraying women in a very positive way in their video games. {{Fanservice}} still exists in some of the female characters, but they're still ''characters'' rather than objects, and there's also plenty of [[MrFanservice sexy male characters]] for anybody who bats for that team. ''Franchise/MassEffect'' and ''Franchise/DragonAge'' are probably the best examples. Both have female fighters everywhere, militaries with GenderIsNoObject policies, women with incredible amounts of political and economical power (''Dragon Age'' actually has a FantasyCounterpartCulture version of the Catholic Church that is run [[PersecutionFlip exclusively by women]]), and a roughly equal ratio of female to male characters in the PC's squad.
* FlavorText: Weapons usually have a description, as do other items (planets in ''Franchise/MassEffect'', for instance, have up to three or four paragraphs of description, even if you aren't supposed to stay more than ten minutes on them).
* FighterMageThief: Averted only in ''D&D''-based games. ''Mass Effect'' represents this trope with Combat/Biotics/Tech.
* {{Filler}}: Most of the minigames may qualify.
* GayOption: Arguably the TropeCodifier in western role-playing games.
* GenkiGirl: One of the romanceable females will usually be this.
* GoingThroughTheMotions: Bioware is known for reusing animations in all of their games, so it's common to see characters in different series do the same gestures, such as pointing aggressively at you or folding their arms while slumping back.
* GoodFeelsGood: Being a NiceGuy in their games can make you feel all kinds of awesome. Being a bad guy often leads to a feeling you need a hot shower and scrub-down with a wire brush.
* GoodIsNotNice[=/=]GoodIsNotSoft: Often entirely up to the player, but ''Mass Effect'' and ''Dragon Age'' allow a lot of freedom with this trope. Paragon Shepard in particular is regarded as a standout example of the latter.
* HideYourGays: Proceeds pretty well from being played straight, to being completely averted.
** ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' had it vetoed by Creator/LucasArts, though a ''very'' subtle female-only romance arc with Juhani [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar managed to sneak in anyway.]]
** ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' included gay romance options for male and female player-characters, but hides any same-sex ''kissing'' behind a FadeToBlack, unless you apply a patch to the PC version of the game.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' had gay romances scripted and voiced but removed at the last moment, although with some fiddling it's possible to mod them back in--if you're willing to play as a default Shepard, overlook your LI very occasionally referring to you by the wrong pronoun, briefly hearing Shepard's opposite sex voice in a single cutscene and the obligatory sex scene obviously being... not quite right. Nevertheless, the romance will be perfectly imported to Mass Effect 2 and 3, with Shepard and the LI acting as if they were lovers all along.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' finally gave equal amounts of options, regardless of gender (outside of one character).
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' is their first game to feature romance options that exclusive to the same gender.
** ''[[VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic The Old Republic]]'' has this trope coming back into play now, with similar flashpoints as ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' had, namely some people complaining that it lacks a same-sex romance option, and others railing against the ''possibility'' of such an option in their MMO. Starting from the Makeb arc, bisexual love interests are introduced but nothing serious until the ''Knights of the Fallen Empire'' expansion. Also during this expansion there are people can hit on regardless of gender.
** Fully averted in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', where the game features ''all four'' letters of GLBT. Not only are there gay male, lesbian, and bisexual love interests, there are also four openly bisexual/lesbian NPC's: Leliana, Dagna, Empress Celene, and Briala (the latter two are [[Literature/TheMaskedEmpire former lovers]] who can be reunited depending on your actions), and one of your Inquisition allies, Crem, is a transman. As for queer men, if your Inquisitor doesn't romance Dorian or the Iron Bull, the two will fall in love with each other and will discuss their relationship from time to time. In other words, there is no avoiding queer themes whatsoever in this game.
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: A running ''theme.'' ''Franchise/BaldursGate''? You're the bastard offspring of the God of Murder, with most of your "siblings" out to kill you. Their Star Wars games? Let's see, amnesiac Sith Lord in their first one (who ends up with a massive ShootTheShaggyDog). And the MMO has eight paths where you're probably going to end up watching friends die, watching worlds get destroyed, and SadisticChoice is standard operating procedure. It gets ''worse'' during the Outlander arc. ''Franchise/MassEffect''? Yeah, Shepherd is a tired psychological wreck by the third game [[spoiler: and most of the endings end with him/her dead]]. ''Franchise/DragonAge''? Yeah, can't even ''earn'' a Happy Ending there.
* KarmaMeter: There's usually one of some degree. [=BioWare=] used a standard Good vs Evil meter for all d20 games (all of them are licensed). Thus, ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' and ''Franchise/MassEffect'' are criticized for narrowing moral conflicts down to two choices -- heal the kitten vs. kill the kitten, despite [[VideoGame/JadeEmpire Open Palm vs. Closed Fist]] is more like Altruist vs. SocialDarwinist, and [[Franchise/MassEffect Paragon vs. Renegade]] are more like Idealism Versus Cynicism, Paragon sometimes even acts exactly like a Closed Fist adept would. Thus, there's no KarmaMeter at all in ''Franchise/DragonAge'', which was replaced by RelationshipValues. In general, the PC's good/evil actions is reflected by which characters relationship values will build up the fastest. For example, choosing the heroic and unambiguously "good" choice will lead like-minded, good-aligned characters to approve of your actions, making it easier to build camaraderie, loyalty, romance, etc. with them by opening new dialogue options and plot elements while simultaneously leading the more morally ambiguous members of your group to disapprove, which leads them to shun any efforts of building relationships with them by limiting said choices and quite possibly making them dislike you altogether. So the karmic dichotomy still stands, but only on the characters' front. You can just leave them behind while being morally questionable without repercussion, aside from one flagrant defilement of a major religious figure's remains. ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' builds on this further by hiding the exact numbers for the RelationshipValues and by making it so more choices affect the opinions of party members who aren't present.
* LightIsNotGood: Plenty of examples, especially when a ChurchMilitant is involved.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: Commonly found in their games, but as computers got faster, this became less of an issue.
* LoveRedeems: If your love interest has an evil alignment (or a love interest that ''switches'' to the evil alignment), expect this to hit them full force, although in Morrigan's case, [[spoiler: the effect isn't seen until two games down the line. By ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', she's softened not directly because of her relationship with the Warden, but because of her love for her son.]]
* LoyaltyMission: ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' is the TropeNamer, but this kind of side quest also came up in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate2'' and ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''.
* MrFanservice: At least one romancable.
* MultipleEndings: Slowly evolved over the games they made.
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' finished with the ''Throne of Bhaal'' expansion which offered the player character a choice between finishing as a Good God/Evil God/Staying Mortal. Outlined with text epilogues.
** ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' had different endings based on your Karma Meter, the romantic relationships between yourself and your followers and their Karma meters as well. It also had hidden pasts for two characters resulting in about three or four different endings per follower on top of the three main endings for your own alignment (Good/Evil/Dead/In Love With Hero/Secret Past/Secret past and In love with Hero/Evil with a secret past whilst in love with the hero... and you get the idea). These epilogues were only played after the main ending cutscene, however, which was chosen from 3 possibilities depending on whether the main character was good/evil/an idiot.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' had genuinely different ending choices that would change who died and lived (including the Warden) and the fates of various characters over the course of the game were spelled out by epilogue text-cards.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'''s ''lack'' of this trope was a major part of the fandom's bitter response to it, though [[AuthorsSavingThrow the Extended Cut DLC helped differentiate the endings, while adding one wildly different ending which amounts to a]] DownerEnding.
* MythologyGag:
** Boo, the Miniature Giant Space Hamster, makes appearances in the ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' series. You can buy a space hamster with a knowing smile in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''.
** Chiktikka Fastpaws is a raccoon sidekick of a god that Aerie of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' invokes by saying, "faster than Chiktikka Fastpaws!" Chik'tikka vas Paus is Tali of ''Mass Effect'''s combat drone. She'll shout "Nothing's faster than Chik'tikka vas Paus!" during combat. She'll also shout "Go for the optics, go for the optics!", which is a reference to the aforementioned Boo and the shout his owner Minsc will say.
** "How's a [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins dwa]][[Creator/MarkMeer rf]] get named [[Franchise/MassEffect Shepard]]?"
** Really, every [=BioWare=] games after the early ones with nothing to call to has at least one company MythologyGag in it.
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'': "Lord Foreshadow", who was heading to Neverwinter. He reappears as an EasterEgg in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Trailers for [=BioWare=] games tend to be... misleading. They rarely lie outright, by they tend to give the wrong impression. For example, trailers for ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' made Legion out to be a stone cold murderous assassin with an interest in psychological warfare, when in the game itself, [[PronounTrouble he/it/they]] are really [[spoiler: an adorkably idealistic Shepard fanboy who wants to help the Geth]]. And if you just went by the advertising, you'd think that the conflict with the Arishok and [[spoiler:Isabela's potential untrustworthiness]] was the entire focus of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' instead of just the second act.
* TheNotLoveInterest: With RelationshipValues becoming a major selling point with the party members in various of their games, it comes as no surprised that some of the most popular characters in their games ''aren't'' romanceable.
* OldSaveBonus: Started with ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' where a character imported from the first game could have better stats and some items that could be use to forge new gear. Taken UpToEleven during the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series where an imported character would carry over a huge number of decisions from the first game that would majorly impact the second (and a number of minor impacts too). Expect this to go even further in the third game.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' indeed has a ball with this in one sidequest, calling back to several minor events from the first game. What do [[NoodleImplements a bunch of ancient Asari writings, a technology license, being owed a favor from a scientist and being nice to your insane fanboy]], have to do with ''anything'' that might help Shepard save the galaxy? Who knows? But somehow, in the space of 2 minutes, they all get combined in the most awesome way possible.
* OptionalPartyMember: Despite the fact each of them gets truckloads of CharacterDevelopment and enough dialogue to fill a novel, only about two of your party members will actually be important to the plot. Generally a male and female lead, who will probably love interests.
** Not so in Dragon Age II, where almost every cast member has a main plot role, even the optional party members such as Isabela.
** ''Mass Effect 3'', while you start out with James and either Ashley or Kaiden, it turns out that Liara and EDI become much more major characters. And only Javik is optional in ''Mass Effect 3'', unless Tali or Garrus died in ''Mass Effect 2''.
* OptionalSexualEncounter: Played straight with ''Baldur's Gate II'' and ''Neverwinter Nights'', but tends to be subverted in many of their other games by having lasting, serious consequences for the player's actions. ''Mass Effect,'' ''Dragon Age,'' and ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' do both, with optional encounters early in the game and serious romantic interests later.
* PlanetOfHats: Generally averts this in their games, taking stereotype races or cultures and deconstructing them. Most notably averted in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series.
* PreClimaxClimax: In ''Jade Empire'' and ''Mass Effect''. Potentially one in ''Dragon Age''.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: [=BioWare=] games are quite famous for this. Even their less acclaimed games are still noted for their extremely diverse and odd character groupings. ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' is likely their most famous example.
* {{Reconstruction}}: While there are {{Deconstruction}}s in it, ''Franchise/MassEffect'' is generally seen as a Reconstruction of the sci-fi genre.
** ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' is an interesting case as it's a reconstruction of ''Franchise/StarWars'' after Obsidian's sequel to their ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' was a DeconstructorFleet that gleefully tore into everything from the Force to RPG mechanics themselves.
* {{Railroading}}: There's usually a point around the end of the second/beginning of the third act of a Bioware game where you have to make a major choice, usually picking between NPC factions or a particular SadisticChoice that dictates the rest of the plot (the Sith or the Jedi in ''[[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic KOTOR]]'', the Mages or the Templars in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', etc.). The player may attempt to find a [[TakeAThirdOption reasonable compromise]], but these are either [[IgnoredEpiphany ignored]] or [[HandWave handwaved]] by the characters in the game, as a wink at the player that this would probably be a workable solution if you were dealing with rational actors.
* RescueIntroduction: [=BioWare=] likes this trope for party members:
** ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Ashley, Liara and Tali from the first game. Archangel/Garrus, [[spoiler: Legion]], Tali ([[BadassInDistress again]]. [[UpToEleven Twice]]), arguably Jack and Grunt from the second game. In retrospect, [[spoiler: Wilson is a subversion, since he's the one who coordinated an attack on the facility on behalf of the Shadow Broker.]] An awful lot of people meet Shepard and the crew as they come in during a BigDamnHeroes moment as well.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'': Hawke for Flemeth, and then more conventionally: Sten, Shale and arguably Wynne (if you didn't pick the mage background).
** The ''Awakening'' expansion has Anders, Oghren, Sigrun and Justice all traditionally rescued, while Velanna subverts this because the Warden was actually rescuing trade caravans ''from'' her. Likewise, Nathaniel is first encountered in the dungeons after being captured during an attempt to ''murder'' the Warden.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Hawke and family meet Aveline by saving her and her husband from darkspawn. Flemeth again introduces herself after rescuing Hawke and company from darkspawn.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' flips it around if you choose to recruit the Templars, with Cole saving the Herald, but also does things more conventionally with the Herald finding Varric and Solas in the middle of a battle with demons.
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGate2'': Branwen, Dynaheir, Viconia, Yeslick and Xan in the first game; Aerie, Cernd, Haer'Dalis, Viconia (again!), Mazzy and arguably Minsc and Jaheira in the sequel.
** ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' has you rescuing Bastila (or as she'll insist, her rescuing you) from the Black Vulkars. Carth's the one who pulled you from the escape pod wreck and nursed you back to health. And not only do you rescue Juhani from her self-imposed exile in the grove, but [[spoiler: as Revan, you also rescued her from slavery]].
* RomanceSidequest: Basically a trademark of [=BioWare=] games. Starting with a minor sidequest in the ''Tales of the Sword Coast'' expansion to ''Baldur's Gate'' and implemented as a major feature in ''Baldur's Gate 2'', after which it became a staple of their games.
* RunningGag: Many of their games feature a GuestStarPartyMember at the beginning [[spoiler:who'll inevitably end up dying, usually at the conclusion of the first quest]].
** The use of imported saves in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' allowed for jokes that spanned all 3 games and were based totally on your actions.
* SacrificialLamb: Don't get attached to your initial squadmates too quickly, since one of them is gonna bite the dust early on.
* SlidingScaleOfLinearityVersusOpenness: Mostly type V, but [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins some]] [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic are]] more of a Type IV.
* SociopathicHero: At least one will be a possible party member, if not the player themselves.
* StrictlyFormula: [=BioWare=] games follow a [[http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/4475/bwcliches.png characteristic pattern]].
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' intentionally averted the formula, instead opting for a DashedPlotLine with a ThreeActStructure. [[BrokenBase The reaction was decidedly mixed]], which serves to demonstrate why exactly this trope exists.
* TheEndIsNigh:
** [=BioWare=] just ''loves'' doomsayers. From Manuel in ''{{VideoGame/Mass Effect|1}}'' to some crazy old kook in ''[[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic KOTOR]]''...
** The Doomsday Prophet on Omega in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' says this verbatim.
** The titular city is full of them in VideoGame/NeverwinterNights. Some even say this verbatim.
* {{Troperiffic}}: Dear God yes. A notable example being the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series which after only two games, three books and two comic series, has over thirty pages on this site. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3's'' main page had a good 150 tropes on it before it was even ''released.''
* TrueCompanions: Usually what the party becomes by the end of the game, though certain members will always despise each others.
* {{Tsundere}}: One of the romanceable females will often be this.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: Invoked early, often, and ''hard.'' Many a Dark Side / Renegade / Closed Fist action has been thwarted because the dog has been so well-developed you can't bear to go through with kicking it.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' can be completed in a few hours by just sticking to the main quests. Doing so results in all of your crew dying horribly so most players (unless they're ''trying'' for the bad ending) spend hours carefully upgrading the ship and completing squad members' loyalty missions.
** Same with ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where rushing through the game can result in major galactic devastation.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Of course, if you ''can'' go through with kicking that dog, it's never in small measures.
* VillainProtagonist: If you decide to be a bad guy. In most games, however, you can't be a fully-fledged evil-doer. You gotta ''try'' and save the world.
* WesternRPG: With two and a half (that would be ''SW:TOR'') exceptions, all games developed by the studio belong to this genre, earning them the reputation of major [[TropeCodifier Genre Codifiers]] and [[GenrePopularizer Popularizers]]. On the other hand, the writers like PlayingWithTropes from other genres, particularly the EasternRPG, to mix up the classic recipes.
* WorldOfSnark: The writers admit to being fond of Creator/JossWhedon, and it shows. Your crew rarely passes up a shot to make a smart-ass comment, and your PlayerCharacter can be a full-blown {{Troll}}, even on the "good" path.
** Special mention goes to ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' on this front with just about every dialogue choice having a snarky option. Pick enough of them and Hawke's incidental dialogue (battle cries, comments outside of normal dialogue scenes, etc) will simply ooze with snarkiness.