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Trivia / Dragon Age II

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  • Absurdly Short Production Time: The game was developed and completed in only nine months. The short timeframe shows through in the game's quality such as repeated environments and assets, odd camera angles, and an underdeveloped 3rd act. It also had the shortest dev time in the Dragon Age series compared to Origins (7 years), Inquisition (4 years), and the ongoing Dreadwolf (7+ years).
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: In fanfiction and even on this very wiki, Varric's nickname for Fenris is often said to be "Broody", despite the fact that in the game, he refers to him once as the "broody elf", and otherwise just calls him "Elf."
  • Creator's Favorite: Many devs have mentioned enjoying working on this game the most since they were still riding high on the success of Dragon Age: Origins and (despite this game being rushed) the leadership and creative goals were most in sync, with everyone working together toward a common goal that turned out surprisingly well for how little time they were given.
    • The developers often gush on social media that Purple Hawke is their favorite personality, and often half-jokingly consider it the "correct" way to play.
  • Dummied Out: Vigilance, the Infinity +1 Sword from Awakening, is in the game files, but is unobtainable. This is funny, since the epilogue of Awakening states that the sword is continually being stolen and passing from one owner to another; maybe you can't obtain it in this game because someone stole it.
  • Executive Meddling: The game was rushed after the highly awaited and ambitious Star Wars MMO The Old Republic was unable to make it to its projected release in early-2011 and EA demanded a major title before the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2011.
  • I Knew It!: A few fans noticed that Qunari, other than Sten, likely possessed horns in Origins and guessed that this trait might turn up in future installments. Sure enough, the Qunari faction were redesigned with horned heads being the norm in the sequel. The hints came from a lone codex entry and the darkspawn Ogres (once you learn where they come from). Behind the scenes, Sten was originally supposed to be horned, but they proved problematic when mapping them to helmets, so he lost them.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The Signature Edition, which was only available for pre-order before a certain date.
  • One-Steve Limit: Ser Otto Alrik shares his name with Ser Otto, the blind Templar from Origins. The blind Ser Otto was an unambiguously good man, while the one in this game is unrepentantly evil; this is probably why the one in this game is always called Ser Alrik, and his first name is only found in a codex.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Isabela, who was voiced by Mika Simmons for her brief appearance in Origins, is voiced by Victoria Kruger here.
    • Merrill, who was previously voiced by Erin Matthews for the Dalish Warden's origin story in Origins, is voiced by Eve Myles here.
    • Anders, previously voiced by Cullen's VA, Greg Ellis, is voiced by Adam Howden here because unspecified "shenanigans" made it impossible to hire Ellis for such a large role.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: These were available and various, depending on where the game was pre-ordered. A later DLC allowed players to download all of them.
  • Similarly Named Works: The DLC The Exiled Prince shares its name with the second installment of the Dark Parables series of hidden object games. They were even released within ten days of each other in 2011.
  • Spared by the Cut: The game was originally supposed to conclude with an Expansion Pack called Exalted March, which was to set up the sequel Dragon Age: Inquisition. It was also meant to end with the death of fan-favourite Varric. When Exalted March was cancelled during pre-production, the developers were forced to rework most of their plans into Inquisition itself. This ended up changing the direction they took Varric's character and he ended up surviving.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Nicholas Boulton voices Male!Hawke, Malcolm Hawke in Legacy, Baron Arlange in Mark of the Assassin, and Xenon the Antiquarian.
    • A minor example, but as noted above, Sebastian is voiced by Alec Newman - who also voices Seneschal Bran. They can have a small interaction in Act 2 if Sebastian is in the party when Hawke speaks to Bran about the missing Qunari delegation.
  • Throw It In: The initial decision to have Leandra Hawke have the maiden name Amell was apparently made while having forgotten it's also the name of a human Mage Warden. Bioware apparently only noticed when fans pointed out the connection and decided to roll with it by making them cousins.
  • Troubled Production:
    • The above-mentioned Executive Meddling that saw Bioware being forced to make a full sequel within 18 months of the Origins launch, while continuing DLC support for Origins and Mass Effect 2, meant that this was inevitable. According to some sources, the game first underwent an incredibly rushed pre-production as Bioware quickly put a team together, after which it spent as little as 8-9 months in development. This is compared to Origins, which spent 18 months in pre-production and had a development cycle of about 5 years.
    • As part of a graphical overhaul due to Origins recieving a lot of flack for dated visuals, 2 was made on a modified version of the Eclipse Engine called Lycium. This required remaking all of the assets for this game, and by the time 2 came out, Lycium had become outdated graphically to the team's regret.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Dragon Age II was originally going to be a Gaiden Game called Dragon Age: Exodus, with the plot for what would later become Dragon Age: Inquisition being planned for Dragon Age II. Among other differences, Hawke was originally intended to be an NPC named Ulrich von Hawke who was a werewolf with a tendency for Licking the Blade, thus explaining the blood splatter on the default character appearance.
    • Anders wasn't the only candidate for the "renegade mage" role. David Gaider has said that Velanna was also considered in early development to potentially join Hawke's companions and serve as the new host for Justice.
    • The boss fight against Orsino was originally going to be exclusive to the Templar endgame. At the insistence of the powers that be, it was added to the mage endgame for the sake of another boss fight.
    • Ser-Pounce-A-Lot was going to still be around, walking around in Anders's clinic. However, he was cut since it would require making a new character model, and Anders's dialogue about the Wardens forcing him to give his pet away was added to explain his absence.
    • The Exiled Prince DLC was originally going to have Nathaniel Howe play a major role. While Nathaniel can still appear in the main game, he was cut from the DLC due to the possibility of his death in Awakening.
    • Much like how Origins has Awakening, Dragon Age II was going to have an expansion pack called Exalted March, but this was cancelled due to other projects, most notably adapting the Frostbite engine to work with RPGs in time for Inquisition. Some of the story elements were kept for Dragon Age: Inquisition instead.
    • There was meant to be a third post-release story DLC, but it was at first lumped with Exalted March, and then canceled altogether along with it. The basic storyline, however, has been worked into Inquisition.
    • Those who lamented the fact that Varric was not a romance option could be either cheered or further disappointed by the statement that an extra scene was proposed for the very end of the game. According to Word of God, they considered adding a scene after Cassandra releases Varric, in which he reunites with an unromanced Hawke and reassures her/him that while he did tell the Seeker the whole story, "I didn't tell her anything about us." The scene in question, however, was never actually crafted or voiced.
    • According to David Gaider's now-defunct Tumblr, the Coterie was meant to have its own Sidequest Sidestory, mostly tied to Varric's character arc, but was cut due to lack of time and funding.
    • The ending of the cancelled Exalted March would have resulted in the death of Varric. Obviously, with him as a returning party member in the sequel, this has been scrapped completely; considering his Breakout Character status, this is for the best.
      • Exalted March would have also given Hawke the option to marry their love interest. This may be a contributing factor to the existence of that option for a couple of the Inquisition love interests.
    • Check out some concept art here (the first part is Mass Effect - scroll down). Most of the cast are recognizable, but Merrill and Fenris "the widowmaker" had some drastically different looks. Some of the concept art can also be seen in the official strategy guide; interestingly, Bethany originally looked like a human Sera, complete with choppy blonde hair.
    • Hawke's story was originally planned to start earlier in Lothering, but a lack of time and resources to rebuild the village in-game forced them take the In Medias Res route.
    • The devs have said that, in hindsight, they would have changed Hawke's duel with the Arishok to the Act 3 climax instead of Act 2, so the game would end on a more triumphant note and make Hawke's famed accomplishments less of an Informed Attribute. In fact, one of the reasons the devs planned the Exalted March DLC (and possibly to make Hawke the protagonist of Inquisition) was to make Hawke's in-universe larger-than-life reputation seem a little more deserved, but II under-performing in sales caused them to scrap this.
    • David Gaider made a whole twitter thread full of things they would have done or almost did had they not been so strapped for time.
  • Word of Gay: The Viscount's son, Saemus, was given this treatment when the Bioware Forums were still active.
  • You Sound Familiar:
    • Gideon Emery voices Fenris and also Samson the ex-Templar.
    • Miranda Raison voices both Cassandra Pentaghast and Fenris's sister Varania.
    • Alec Newman voices Seneschal Bran, Sebastian Vael, and the male elf who stands guard at the entrance to the Dalish camp.
    • Nicholas Boulton voices Male!Hawke, Malcolm Hawke in Legacy, Baron Arlange in Mark of the Assassin and Xenon the Antiquarian in The Black Emporium.