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Video Game / Divine Divinity

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Divine Divinity is a 2002 role-playing game for the PC, developed by Belgian developer Larian Studios.

Set in the Standard Fantasy Setting of Rivellon, Divine Divinity follows a very similar gameplay style and graphical style to the popular Diablo, but mixes in Baldur's Gate-style dialog tree conversations with humorous, sometimes lampshade-hanging dialog. The game has a linear main plot, but exposes you to a well-sized Wide Open Sandbox full of little side-quests and secrets to find in the wilderness.

Divine Divinity was well-received at the time, but ultimately forgotten about, though two sequels were released. Thanks to digital re-releases on and Steam, the game and its sequels have slowly gained more appreciation.

The Divinity series consists of following games:

Chronologically, the games occur in following order:

  1. Dragon Commander (dating uncertain, but many thousands of years before everything else)
  2. Original Sin (1222 years before DD)
  3. Divine Divinity
  4. Beyond Divinity (20 years after DD)
  5. Original Sin II (24 years after DD)
  6. Fallen Heroes (at some point after D:OS2 but presumably before D2)
  7. Divinity II (82 years after DD)

That said, Larian's writers have never been sticklers for continuity, so most games a) can be played standalone without knowing the plots of the previous games and b) liberally apply Retcon to the events of previous installments for dramatic effect.


This game contains examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Subverted with the teleporter pyramid stones. Set one where you want, for example a bed, and carry the other around. You can teleport around whenever you want.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Big Bad is dead, but he managed to complete the ritual, so the Lord of Chaos has returned as a child. Attempts of the hero to raise him properly would fail.
  • Bare Your Mid Riff: The female warrior's model.
  • Big Bad: The Demon Of Lies AKA Duke Janus.
  • Bittersweet Ending / Downer Ending: Sure, The Demon of Lies is dead, but his ritual is performed, and Lord of Chaos has returned as a child. Though the hero will try to bring raise him as a good man, he will fail.
  • Brick Joke: Near the beginning in Aleroth, you open the catacombs by magically launching a sealing statue into the sky. Later, on several instances in other places people will remark about the "mysterious flying man". Finally, in the ending cutscene, it drops out of the sky. At this point you'll probably have forgotten about it and it comes as a complete surprise.
  • Bonus Boss: Shrimpo (a giant hermit crab) who is also very fast and a Damage-Sponge Boss.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Cosmos the talking cat.
  • The Chosen One: You are The Marked One, who is the only one who can stand up to the forces of evil. However, there are two other Marked Ones, and they are just as likely to be the ones to fight the battle. Until they're both killed off. Guess it's up to you after all. There is also The Divine One, an even more important title, which Duke Janus claims. No, that's you too.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: One of the loading screen tips tells you to kill Otho's pigs because "he really likes that." He doesn't. If you kill the pigs, he'll retaliate immediately, and likely incinerate you in an instant. As self-aware as ever, another loading screen will say: "Don't believe everything you read."
  • Contemptible Cover: The cover features a goddess that is seen in-game for all but 20 seconds in the intro. Intros often being skipped, many never see her.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Later in Divinity II, its revealed that the canon version of the Divine One is a paladin named Lucian.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletal mooks are a fairly common enemy, especially in the catacombs which is typically the first dungeon most players tackle. A couple of them throw shade on the inherent silliness and impossibility of the trope, which causes them to collapse in a Puff of Logic.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Divine Divinity. Even mocked in this article about the 50 most ridiculous game titles ever.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: A loading screen will warn you to not pirate the game, or else it will blow up your system. Also see Blatant Lies.
  • Domino Mask: The female survivor wears one when not wearing a helmet.
  • Dungeon Bypass: It's possible to skip close to the end of the Catacombs just by warping to the teleporting pyramid using the one that you're given earlier by Lanilor. It's not recommended though, because the pyramid happens to be smack dab in the middle of a lot of enemies that are pretty high level for that stage of the game.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The skills in the Path of the Divine aren't available until you reach the final area. They're very powerful, and the game encourages you to invest in them by giving you a lot of levels and skill points even at such a late stage.
  • An Economy Is You
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: They typically do not get along and are on the verge of war before the player can step in and resolve the conflict.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Warrior-Mage-Survivor (a rogue/ranger hybrid). Although all classes could learn all skills, this determined to what degree their stats affected their health, mana, damage, accuracy and evasion. Increasing the agility of a survivor grants a large boost to accuracy and agility, for example, while increasing strength only has a small effect on the melee damage of the mage.
  • A God Am I: Duke Janus.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Early in the game, you suffer a major reputation loss for failing to protect Duke Janus from orc assassins.
  • Hide Your Children / Infant Immortality: Both averted.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Holy Weapon and the Dragon Armor.
  • In the Hood: The male Survivor always has a hood up when he's not wearing a helmet.
  • Ironic Echo: The child who leads Wouter to his death tells him "Money is money, sucker!", which is repeated by the Dragon Rider who recruited him when he is double-crossed.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Thoroughly averted. The game is littered with realistic junk and books about all sorts of topics. Also many, many NPC characters can be asked, helped or killed without much plot-relevance.
  • Lizard Folk: They're mostly antagonistic and are found mainly in the sewers and the dark forest. However, the first one you're likely to meet is quite friendly.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Not all magic, but the very start of the game sees Source magic stop working. This is particularly troubling to the healers of Aleroth who use it extensively. It's only temporary (as Original Sin II shows) but seems to be gone again by Ego Draconis.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Just about every Orc in the game is hostile, with the exception their Council representative, Kroxy. Same for the Lizard Folk; Goemoe is the only friendly one you'll encounter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At the end of the game, instead of killing the newly born Antichrist while he's still a baby, the Hero instead adopts the kid and tries to raise him as a good guy. As the sequels show, that didn't exactly work out so well.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted. Heroic deeds improve your reputation plus you can give shop keepers more money so they like you more and give you even higher discounts. You can ALSO kill them just fine (it's possible the guards will try to stab you then, however).
  • One-Winged Angel: Duke Janus
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Stout angry vikings who hate elves, swing axes, and hoard gold. They also find the human practice of shaving facial hair to be strange and confusing.
    • The hoarding of gold is averted a bit. The Dwarves like their wealth, but the main reason they keep all their gold locked away because none of the other races understand monetary inflation. Letting them into the Dwarven treasuries wouldn't make everyone rich, it would just devalue gold to the point of worthlessness.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: They lean more towards Blizzard Orcs.
  • Pixel Hunt: Several items can be found just lying around on the floor, and sometimes even behind bushes, rocks, etc. This includes items like keys.
  • Point Build System
  • Protagonist Without a Past: Your character just sort of woke up in village somewhere.
  • Puff of Logic: While exploring the Aleroth catacombs, the player character comes across two skeletons having a conversation. One of them is in the middle of explaining that they don't have to eat because they have no stomach, and so the other responds by saying that they shouldn't be able to talk because they have no vocal cords. The first one agrees and adds that they shouldn't be able to hold themselves together because they don't have any muscle or skin. The other one says that it's best they don't get into thinking about their existence because he doesn't want to fall apart because of it, but it's already too late by then and they quickly collapse.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: The Orcs don't consider their young ones mature, until their first kill.
  • Real-Time with Pause
  • Royal Brat: Duke Janus.
  • Schmuck Bait: The self-aware writing lends itself to this. Basically, if something explicitly tells you not to do something, doing that thing will tend to have some consequences.
    • Jake's grave in the Aleroth cemetery says he doesn't want flowers, especially not from his wife. If you drag the flowers from his wife's grave on to his, he comes back as a zombie and attacks you for disregarding his wishes.
    • Every single post marking the ancient battlefield tells you not to touch the stone in the middle. Touching the stone will have the player slowly read aloud the engraved words, along with one last warning not to touch it... while an army of skeletons appears behind them.
  • Scotireland: Joris, the third Marked One, has a Scottish accent for some of his lines and an Irish accent for others.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with the Divine One adopting the baby that the Demon of Lies turned into. This sets the stage for the stories of Beyond Divinity and Divinity II: Ego Draconis.
  • Socketed Equipment: The Charm System is basically this with a different name. Also a Game-Breaker when you only use the golden charms, which boost your stats through the stratosphere.
  • Spoiled Brat: Duke Janus. One entry in the Player Character 's diary mention him as such and God is it true.
  • Shout-Out: Several of these crop up in the game, including a tombstone in a graveyard that reads Polgara the Mage and a magic shop owner named Kistandatilus.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: While on first glance it's a Cliché Storm, the game proves itself to be rather self aware on many occasions.
  • Stripperiffic: The female survivor and warrior. The wizard is a bit more modest, but her robe is still quite short. Downplayed when wearing armor and greaves, which (mostly) cover you.
  • This Loser Is You The character screen (where you level and stats are displayed) makes it quite clear that you suck at early levels.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Averted with the Freeze spell, which works at pretty much any enemy except two or three types, and the final boss is not immune to it, either.
    • Polymorph. It's supposed to have a short duration, yet it doesn't run out. Ever. And on at least one boss, if you use it on them, they'll actually show up in a later cutscene, still polymorphed.
  • The Vamp: Josephina who is also much more powerful then the other members of the Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: A vampire that has been plaguing Rivertown sleeps in a coffin hidden in a cave behind a locked grate.
  • Warp Whistle: Two teleporter pyramid stones. You can drop one on the ground and carry another with you to enable instant recall to a location, or set down the second stone to make a two-way portal.


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