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  • Adorkable:
    • In contrast with the more confident Warden and Hawke, the Inquisitor can be just as shy and uncertain as their Love Interest. It's particularly pronounced between a Female Inquisitor and Cullen, although almost every romance has such a moment.
    • Many players think Professor Bram cute as a button (the accent certainly doesn't hurt), and he has a tendency to crack terrible jokes and get way too engrossed in his reading. Being a genuinely Nice Guy also contributes to this.
    • Sun-Hair's codex entry is an unfinished letter where she struggles to find the right way to entice foreign merchants to buy the clan's goods, cutting off several times as she tries to find the most diplomatic way to advertise, until she gives up and makes a series of "angry sketches of axes".
    • When the typically cool, casual, and collected Krem tries his hand at courting Maryden in Trespasser, his subsequent crumble into awkwardness is equal parts endearing and hilarious. (But it works.)
    • Cullen is just as much this as he was in Origins. It's most evident in his romance sidequest; he often catches himself babbling or completely failing to be romantic.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Chancellor Roderick is a giant prick, and makes no effort to hide it, but it's a bit of a Tear Jerker when he dies following the battle of Haven. He redeems himself by showing the path to evacuate the civilians and in a later conversation, Dorian or Cole will remark that his last thoughts were how the Inquisitor restored his faith in the Maker.
    • Many fans disliked Fiona, but even they felt sorry for her when they saw what happened to her in the Bad Future. Even saving the mages evokes some sympathy for her, since if Alistair is king, the quest ends with her being estranged from her only child, without either of them getting the chance to know each other as mother and son. Alistair, as far as we're aware, doesn't even know that Fiona is his real mother. Alternately, you're forced to kill her if you side with the Templars.
  • Angst? What Angst?: There are multiple opportunities for a Dalish Inquisitor's clan to be wiped out in a chain of War Table missions. The Inquisitor doesn't appear to have any dialogue reflecting the loss of possibly all their family and childhood friends. This is somewhat rectified in companion reactions during the Trespasser DLC.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Dorian's personal quest was seen as just a Very Special Episode regarding homosexuality played painfully straight. Mind you, it isn't bad that it does so, but its very heady-handed in approach.
    • Iron Bull will lecture you about how you ought to think of Krem, his trans lieutenant, in a way that even the writers have admitted was a bit heavy-handed.
  • Ascended Fanon: For months after Inquisition's released, Solavellan fans speculated that Solas secretly watches Lavellan from afar in her dreams, due to wanting to be with her but unable. Trespasser confirmed he does just that, in the form of a wolf.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Trespasser addressed the infamous Ass Pull of Leliana still being alive in II and Inquisition even if the player killed her in Origins. If, and only if, Leliana was killed in Origins, than the one seen in the other two games was possibly not the real Leliana. It appears to have been a Fade Spirit, possibly empowered by lyrium, who broke through the Veil and impersonated her. This explanation fits quite nicely into the established canon thanks to Cole and the spirit of Justinia and possibly also of the Guardian of the Sacred Ashes.
    • Trespasser in general addressed a lot of complaints some people had in the base game. Most notably, your companions get some sort of character development (especially Sera, who matures and becomes more open minded towards the Dalishnote ), the Inquisitor has more dialogue that gives them more emotion and agency, Leliana's survival was explained as mentioned above, and some of your actions do have consequences. Specifically, there are consequences for what you chose regarding whether Iron Bull sided with the Qun, how Cullen dealt with his lyrium addiction, and whether you were friendly or antagonistic towards Solas.
  • Awesome Ego: If the player becomes a Knight Enchanter, they can gloat with Vivienne, who holds the same Prestige Class, about how they are the finest mages in Thedas. The length of the Knight Enchanter's entry on the series' Game-Breaker page makes it hard to argue with them.
  • Badass Decay: Giant Spiders get an In-Universe example since, now that the ones encountered are no longer tainted by the Blight, they are little more than threats; they don't even stalk the player anymore, and you have to actually go to where they hide to fight them instead. It's just too bad that the Inquisitor is an arachnophobe and Nightmare uses this to weaponise Spiders Are Scary.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Sera. Some players liked her trickster tendencies, carefree attitude, and support for the common people. Others were put off by her immaturity, complete lack of vision beyond "sticking it to the man," and antipathy toward anyone who doesn't fit into her personally approved categories. In fact, simply expressing doubt for her views can get an elven player character outright dumped immediately if they are pursuing a relationship with her.note  It doesn't help that it's ridiculously easy to get in arguments with her even if you're romancing her, not to mention accidentally trigger a breakup (luckily, you can backpedal before you actually end the romance)—this can make it difficult to feel like the PC, and by extension the player, has a good relationship with her, because the game at times practically shoves you into being rude to her. It seems the devs may have realized she would be this during development, as she is the sole party member that the Inquisitor can kick out of the Inquisition at any time, as all other optional party members will only leave if their approval drops too low or special events come up. There's even a special option to kick her out at the end of her personal quest if the player disagrees with how she handled it.
    • Vivienne. Some players liked her intelligence and reasoning, political skills, and quick wit. Others found her insufferably snobbish and upper-class, being completely disconnected from life outside of the privileged circles in which she moves, and resented the limited ability to counter her arguments in any meaningful way during conversation. It is also impossible to romance her, which contributes to her perception of aloofnessnote . It's exacerbated in the Trespasser epilogues, where if the Circle was dissolved under Leliana, Vivienne's the vehicle for bringing it back, and if she was made Divine herself then Cassandra eventually quits her service in disgust.
    • Blackwall. Some considered him admirable for trying so hard to atone for taking a bribe from a superior to coordinate the killing of a rival general and his family, and leaving his men to take the fall, while others thought he was beyond redemption, no matter what he does to atone himself. Before taking a side, bear in mind that when he went to stop Mornay's execution, he was greeted as a Warden; he could have invoked the Right of Conscriptionnote  and none would be the wiser. Instead, he chose to tell the truth.
      • There was also a not-insignificantly sized third faction who felt his arc is well-written, but they just find him too boring to care about.
    • Solas. Fans either loved his explanations and wisdom and thought he adds an interesting dynamic by being a love interest and the Dread Wolf, or they thought he's an arrogant racist who thinks he knows better and is trying to push his beliefs on others. The Trespasser DLC only divided fans further. It doesn't help that depending on your relationship with him, his positive or negative traits get more focus; i.e., if you are on bad terms with him, during Trespasser he's clearly contemptuous of you and doesn't disagree when you accuse him of seeing the modern races as little more than animals. But if you are on good terms, he clearly is uncomfortable and unhappy about his current plans and sincerely hopes you can eventually convince him of a better option before he's forced to go through with them.
      • There's also a third faction of fans who didn't necessarily dislike him, but felt like he was extremely overrated and they got tired of hearing about him.
      • The creators themselves are well aware of this fact, and acknowledged it while talking about the prospective fourth Dragon Age game.
    We want characters to either be loved or hated. One of the best examples of that is Solas. Half the community wants to kill him, half the people want to marry him, then another part want to do both.
    • Cullen. His fans were happy to see him back, that he can be romanced, and that he has been promoted to one of the main characters. His detractors claimed that he has no actual reason to be in the game and that he was a case of Pandering to the Base gone too far, his complicity with Meredith through most of the previous game was either insufficiently addressed or clumsily retconnednote , and his reformed attitude toward mages is an Informed Attribute given his furious reaction if you ally with them.note  Also, you can't really argue with him a lot of the time (although that's not limited to Cullen, to be fair; this is a noted problem with the game's dialogue).
    • Leliana, specifically how she had gone from a sweet, fun, Nun Too Holy Naughty Nun to suddenly becoming a ruthless spymaster. Some were fine with the change, some preferred her old self, and some were happy to slowly work away at her harsh exterior to find that the woman she used to be was still alive.
  • Broken Base: See here.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Anyone who played Origins will know that, at the very least, there's quite a bit that doesn't add up about Blackwall's story. The real twist is why.
  • Catharsis Factor: The "Sit in Judgment" scenes serve as this for handing down final justice on some of the game's villains, with Alexius, Lucius, Movran the Under, and especially Duchess Florianne being standouts and fan faves.
    • A minor one, but being able to punch Solas is this for players who weren't fond of his Fantastic Racism.
  • Cliché Storm: While it's always been contested how dark BioWare's "dark fantasy" RPG really is, Inquisition mostly did away with any trappings of marketing it as a dark fantasy, and instead played up elements like A Protagonist Shall Lead Them, The Chosen One, stopping The End of the World as We Know It at the hands of an Ancient Evil. While previous games could also be described with a similar amount of cliche, it wasn't until Inquisition that BioWare deliberately drew attention to them; this was likely in response to the consumer blacklash toward Dragon Age II, which advertised itself as a less-traditional RPG. The degree to which Inquisition plays with these elements as compared to the previous games is debated amongst fans.
  • Complete Monster: The Elder One, aka Corypheus, is an ambitious being that will stop at nothing in his quest to become a god. One of the seven Magisters of Tevinter who invaded the Golden City in a bid to usurp The Maker, Corypheus was corrupted into one of the original Darkspawn as a result and is inadvertently responsible for the Blights that constantly threaten to destroy Thedas. Having failed and been punished for his attempt to serve a god once, he has decided to become a god himself by physically entering the spirit world known as the Fade and conquering the Black City. In his mad bid for power, the Elder One tries to murder Divine Justinia; causes a Breach into the Fade to tear open in the sky which kills thousands and releases murderous demons into the world; tries to brainwash the mages to serve as his army; corrupts the Templars into insane monsters by feeding them Red Lyrium which is made from people he's captured; and attempts to massacre the Templars at Therinfal Redoubt who haven't converted to the Red, attacks Haven and attempts to kill everyone within, and tricks the Grey Wardens into doing Blood Magic and Human Sacrifice to summon a demon army for him to use to conquer the world. In the end, after his plans are thwarted one time too many, Corypheus reopens the Breach to lure the Inquisitor to him, willing to destroy the world out of spite in the process.
  • Contested Sequel: Averted at first, with the game widely being regarded as a Surprisingly Improved Sequel on its initial release and winning more than a few Game of the Year awards. However, opinions on the game have become more polarized in the years since, in no small part due to many seeing this as the starting point for many flaws that would break the back of Bioware's next two games — Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, which both ended up being critical and commercial failures that all but destroyed the developer's reputation by the end of the decade — and other RPGs in the following years having far surpassed what it brought to the table, making it seem like an awkward mixture of PS3/360 and PS4/Xbox One RPG conventions. At the very least, there's a minority that regards it as even worse than Dragon Age II. It's more notable since Dragon Age II had a mixed reception when it was first released, but over the years it became Vindicated by History.
  • Critical Backlash: Despite opinions having become more critical over the years for a variety of reasons, there are still many, many fans who consider Inquisition to be a more than enjoyable and overall fulfilling gaming experience or at the very least not a bad one and an improvement over Dragon Age II despite its flaws. For them and other defenders, the game makes up for its glaring shortcomings by having strong and nuanced characterization and character growth for its characters, overall great, smart writing and dialogue, and alot of fleshing out for the world of Thedas and its history, and actually improving and expanding on the gameplay and skill system from II.
  • Demonic Spiders: This game brings us several examples:
    • Despair Demons are powerful and obnoxious icy enemies with dangerous spells, including beams that can easily slow and kill a party member through multiple hits and ice mines than can appear under character randomly with little warning. They jump randomly across the battlefield, constantly setting up barriers every ten seconds or so, making it difficult to kill them. Unlike their fiery counterparts Rage demons, these things are actually immune to other ice attacks, meaning that a mage with an ice staff is left with limited options until the battle ends. They appear out of rifts in the first real area of the game, long before you're realistically powerful enough to defeat them.
      Poster: (on how the Despair Demons constantly twirl away) WHEE I'M A FUCKIN' DREIDEL BITCH!
      • Eventually most players get to the point that they aren't being outright killed by Despair Demons, due to the fact that with cold resistance, a talented mage/archer can pretty much interrupt their attacks or render them ineffectual - but then they become Goddamn Bats because of their ability to both slow you down and move like the aforementioned 'fucking dreidel', which always render them the last enemy standing being pursued by several angry warriors and rogues, until they inevitably fly away, and everyone has to start over on their pursuit.
    • Terror Demons are irritating foes that dive into the ground at random intervals to reappear directly under your characters, knocking them down and interrupting any spells or talents currently being used. After surfacing, they will launch an area of effect scream that both damages anyone nearby and has a chance of leaving them "panicked" and unable to be controlled for several seconds. This is often enough time for them to dive again to repeat the cycle. On their own, this is just mildly annoying, but they usually appear in pairs or with packs of other demons, including the above-mentioned Despair demons, making them a significant hassle even for higher leveled players.
    • In the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, the two rogue-based enemies (the Hakkonite Spy and Bowman) that you regularly meet can kill you in a single strike at harder difficulties, regardless of how much Guard and Barrier you put up.
    • Much like Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent has the Sha-Brytol Bolters, who can cause TPKs very quickly. Since they use what are basically lyrium infused machine guns, they can attack from long range, and are usually perched on high ledges, making it even harder to kill them. Also, they are surrounded by other fighters, several of whom can knock you down.
    • The "Walk Softly" trial turns enemy archers into this. "Walk Softly" gives various enemies extra abilities that they don't have in the main game. For archers, this means access to the powerful Leaping Shot ability. Even a tank can be one-shotted by this if the player isn't careful.
  • Designated Villain: In Trespasser, Arl Teagan, representing Ferelden, is clearly meant to be antagonistic and in the wrong in demanding the dismantling of the Inquisition - but it's kind of hard to view his abrasiveness towards the Inquisition too harshly when he is, in fact, completely right about everything. The Inquisition is occupying a Fereldan castle against the wishes of its government, and when questioned on this, two of the three possible responses are to tell him to fuck off, proving him right that the Inquisitor views their organization as being above the law. Moreover, the Inquisition is compromised by infiltration from the Qunari and by Solas, and the Orlesians are pretty open in regarding the Inquisition as a tool for their own purposes. Yes, he's not particularly deferential, but would any statesman be when their nation's sovereignty was so severely undermined?
    • This can vary depending on player choice. The Inquisitor can give the opinion that their work is done and they should hang up their swords before even meeting him, and he's much more cordial in that situation.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The final battle comes almost completely without build-up and is a very straightforward "Get Back Here!" Boss fight with no really interesting gimmicks to it. Adding to that, the final boss isn't very difficult, and instead of being a huge and epic siege or final battle, it's just your party vs the final boss and their Dragon.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: For an unrepentant warmonger who has as much contempt for elves as the rest of the Orlesian nobility and constantly rattles his saber for the purpose of invading Ferelden, Grand Duke Gaspard is surprisingly popular, likely because he poses as a complete straight shooter compared to the rest of the Orlesian nobility. His successful attempts to make peace with Ferelden in the epilogue also give him more character depth.
  • Ending Fatigue: A topic of frequent complaints among fans. After foiling the Big Bad's plan to use the Anchor to rip a hole into the Fade, then foiling his backup plan to conquer the world with an army of demons, then foiling his backup backup plan of absorbing the power of the Well of Sorrows, it's a little hard to feel overly worried when he launches his final plan of... trying a second time to carry out his initial plan, only this time with fewer resources at his disposal and with more powerful enemies opposing him. Even the characters point this out; the only justification they can think of is that his position will get even worse over time.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Despite being a relatively minor NPC, Krem has grown quite a sizable fanbase. Being the transgender face of the Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits Chargers helps. Being voiced by Jennifer Hale probably helps a little too.
    • Scout Harding is beloved by the fandom for being one of the few dwarves in the game, and being a badass archer with a dose of Deadpan Snarker, subtle Ship Tease, pleasant freckled looks, and overall light-hearted demeanor. That she shares her voice with Liara T'Soni may garner additional sympathy points from Mass Effect enthusiasts, depending on individual opinion about Liara. The fact that she isn't romanceable made her more popular, with requests to have her Promoted to Playable rather common. While she's still not romanceable, Harding does get a larger part in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, and the player gets the chance to talk to her outside of Skyhold for the first time. Trespasser can also, if the player flirted sufficiently with Harding and didn't romance anyone else, indicate that they did go on at least a date or two.
    • Minor character Ser Delrin Barris, a supporting character should the Inquisitor side with the Templars, has a rather large following. The fans enjoy his Knight in Shining Armor persona, his Go Through Me dare against corrupted Knight-Captain Denam, his The Men First attitude regarding his fellow Templars, and his Humble Hero reaction when you compliment him. Many fans wanted him to be a companion, a romance, or at least able to speak to you outside cutscenes; even players who complete "In Hushed Whispers" instead of "Champions of the Just" often wish there was a way to recruit him.
    • Knight-Captain Rylen has developed a strong fanbase, if the number of romance fics about him are any indication. Pretty impressive for a guy who spends almost the entire game out in the Western Approach and has limited interaction with the Inquisitor.
    • Movran the Under, the first prisoner likely to be judged by the player, is unexpectedly popular for a character with only a few minutes of screentime and little reference outside of his judgement scene. Presumably, this is because of how amusing said judgement scene is - his crime is throwing goats at your fortress.
    • ZITHER! was beloved the moment he was "announced" on April Fools' Day, and became one of the most popular multiplayer characters once the Dragonslayer DLC was released, thanks to his unique gameplay mechanics, versatility, and style.
    • The DLC The Descent was mostly divisive among the fans for a multitude of reasons, but almost everyone loved the husky-voiced, full-bearded, darkly teasing Lieutenant Renn, voiced by none other than David Hayter. Solid Snake as a dwarf makes a lot of gamers very happy.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Helping Briala at the Halamshiral Ball, as of Trespasser:
    • Reuniting Briala with Celene is treated as the in-universe Optimal Happy Ending, yet it glosses over how Celene had Briala's family murdered to gain the throne for herself, lied about it for years to keep Briala unwittingly as a lover, butchered and burned over three thousand elves alive in Halamshiral the same night that Gaspard mocked her in a play, and tried to have Briala arrested on trumped up charges to keep her under her thumb. Celene never gave a true apology, and is Easily Forgiven if the Inquisitor reunites them. Yet, Celene has shown time and again that she won't hesitate to personally screw over the elves or her lover to protect her own standing with nobles. Now that Thedas elves are joining the Qunari and Fen'Harel en masse, if the nobles discover this and turn hostile against elves, it's doubtful Celene will stand by Briala or the elves if doing so threatens her standing with racist human nobles. Understanding their personal history and Orlais's politics does a lot to soften this view and push this ending toward happiness: Celene in the books would have NEVER granted the elves their own land yet now she's completely and openly willing to name Briala Marquis of the Dales, a move that is political suicide for her should the the elves be vilified again. note  That said, in The Masked Empire she also helped elves get into the University of Orlais, but that didn't stop her from personally turning on them when court opinion of elves went south, so it's doubtful she'll stand by them when the going gets tough again.
    • Likewise, Briala ruling through Gaspard is treated as a victory for elves, but her power only lasts for as long as he's alive and she has blackmail material over him. The second he dies, loses power, or slips his leash, she loses all her political clout and she and her elves will be screwed.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The Inquisitor's story during the Wicked Grace game seems specifically tailored for this. It has an origin-specific premise and punchline conclusion... and the rest is "fill in the blank" with the only limitations being "super scandalous" and "a rabbit was involved". Let the imagination fly...
  • Fanon:
    • Since Word of God places Solas in his late forties, most fans have taken to some early concept art to explain how he looked when he was younger. Nearly all fan art depicting a younger Solas matches said concept art: tan/olive skin, shaved temples, long brown/black braids/dreads tied to the back of his head, tribal furs, and a smug smirk. (This is aided by Solas admitting in-universe to being "cocky and hotblooded" when he was younger.)
    • The fandom has agreed that that one male scout who seems to bear the brunt of Cullen's annoyance (particularly when he interrupts a tender moment between Cullen and his ladylove Inquisitor) is named Jim. He even has his own tag on AO3!
  • Franchise Original Sin: Technically more Developer Original Sin since there as yet hasn't been another entry in the series — a fourth game was announced under the title The Dread Wolf Rises in 2017, but has been stuck in Development Hell ever since — but many things that were later blamed for contributing to the critical and commercial failures of Bioware's next two games, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, namely vast but empty and mostly uninteresting open worlds, an excess of fetch quests, and dialogue options that end up proving largely irrelevant most of the time, got their start here. In this case these problems went largely overlooked because the rest of the game was — at first — seen as a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, but with Andromeda and especially Anthem getting outright negative receptions, it's caused many people to look back at this game with a far more critical eye.
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page.
  • Genius Bonus: The mental chess game Solas and The Iron Bull play is a copy of The Immortal Game.
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • The Red Templar archers can whittle down your tank's health surprisingly quickly while they engage the melee heavy hitters, easily causing Total Party Kill if you're not careful, despite their individual squishiness.
      • This is perhaps why the Jaws of Hakkon DLC gives all classes of Inquisitor the ability to create a short barrier against projectiles.
    • Wolves and hyenas are even more annoying. While relatively squishy, they are strong enough to whittle down a party in numbers, and you'll almost never see one alone. Worse, these beasts all have the "Perceptive" trait, meaning that if you get close to one, it and its entire group will attack at once. As they utterly infest every area they inhabit and move about maps randomly, you'll constantly have to deal with entire packs throwing themselves at you whenever you roam areas like the Exalted Plains or Western Approach. Did we mention that they just love to intrude if you happen to be fighting any other mobs nearby as well?
    • Bears sometimes attack in groups as well, especially in the southern part of the Hinterlands. And Maker forbid some bears should decide to join the fray when the party is fighting a rift... because they don't go after the demons.
    • The poisonous spiders fulfill this role in the Frostback Basin (accessible via the Jaws of Hakkon DLC), where they can be found in clusters of five or more every damn ten meters in the northern basin.
  • Good Bad Bug:
    • There were several, initially, which have since been fixed with patches. These included:
      • The Gold/Item Duplicate Trick from the previous games returned, and was not only much faster to execute than it was in Dragon Age II, but with the ability to duplicate with only one item instead of needing at least two.
      • For infinite influence points, all that was needed is Farris the Representative merchant in Skyhold, just outside of the stables. You could buy one of his books, then switch over to your "sell" tab and sell it back. Power and influence would be gained with each purchase, and no gold would be lost, provided Farris had the book when the merchant's window is closed. With 7000 gold for his most expensive books, this could be done really quickly.
      • In the village of Crestwood, there is a locked door with an Amulet of Power for your main character. You could loot only the amulet, then fast travel to Skyhold/somewhere else and then travel back and it would be still be there to loot. Similarly, next to Cole in Skyhold there's a chest containing an Amulet of Power and an upgraded hat for him, along with gold and a piece of random loot. As long as you left at least one item in the chest, you could keep looting amulets at many times as you want. This trick could be used with any Amulet of Power found in the game.
    • The ability to duplicate materials may have been lost, but the storage chest introduced a very similar glitch that allows the player to duplicate any weapon, armor, accessory, or upgrade they want. Place the desired item in the storage chest, and rapidly press the "withdraw" and "back" buttons at the same time. It sometimes doesn't work, but it should place the desired item back in your inventory while leaving a copy in the storage chest. Care should be taken when using the exploit on a PS4; doing it too fast has been known to cause crashes.
    • The Axe of the Dragon Hunter is normally not supposed to be able to have hilts or pommels added to it, and this is true with the version that can be bought in the base game. However, the developers forgot to add this restriction to the Schematic that can be bought in the Black Emporium. Having the enhanced stats of an unmodifiable weapon, while being modifiable, places a crafted Axe of the Dragon Hunter at a distinct advantage compared to other two-handed weapons.

    H-P 
  • Ham and Cheese: Corypheus is one of the least complicated villains in the series, but his hammy, over-the-top villainy is still a treat. It's a shame he only has a handful of scenes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Blackwall freaks out after Therinfal, and he says, "Of all things, a demon that wears someone else's face." The idea is certainly alarming on its own merits, but when you consider Blackwall's backstory, that's exactly how Blackwall sees himself.
    • Development-wise, the commercial and critical success of the game led to the leadership of Bioware to grow confident even though the game was developed on a rush (less than two years) with a game engine (DICE's Frostbite engine) that refused to work as Bioware intended, leading to many rushed changes mid-development, cut ideas and incomplete mechanics. However, the fact that the game was well-received (It won Game of the Year in 2014's The Game Awards) and sold extremely well led to Bioware's leadership to coin the term "Bioware Magic," due to the belief that nothing could go wrong if they put their "Magic" (read: sweat and tears) on a game. This mentality led to the Troubled Production of Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Freddie Prinze Jr. already had fans for his performances in Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars Rebels, but surprised many with his performance as Iron Bull.
    • The American Female voice actor - Sumalee Montano - was seen as turning in a dull performance compared to her British counterpart. Come Trespasser, she turns in a much more well received performance.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Depending on player choices in this game and in Dragon Age: Origins, it's possible to have Leliana become elected as Divine Victoria—meaning there's a Divine (pope) who's canonically had an orgy with a Grey Warden, a king (Alistair), a pirate (Isabela), and/or an assassin (Zevran).
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: And a very spoileriffic one at that. Fans of the Lavellan/Solas pairing like to refer to themselves as the Wolf Pack.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: The Inquisitor is this in-universe, during the Josephine romance arc. She can comment that several people are gossiping about her and the Inquisitor being together, and the Inquisitor asks who else the rumors say is with them. Josephine's response is: Cassandra, Leliana, Cullen, Dorian, Mother Giselle, Chancellor Roderick, several arls, some ladies of Orlais, and some guy named "Phillip" she's pretty sure doesn't exist.
  • Les Yay:
    • The Inquisition's minstrel composes a pretty badass song about Sera, of all people. It's the only song she writes about a companion. Sera (who is explicitly a lesbian) is confused and bewildered by this, and thinks the woman must be hitting on her - but nothing ever comes of it, which probably just confuses her more.
    • One sidequest in the Hinterlands has you save an Inquisition rogue from mages... turns out it was because one female member did not attack her and they ended up together. All the options lean towards keeping quiet about her getting into the pants of one of the warring factions, and she can even be recruited as an agent to seduce other mages into laying down their arms.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: While almost the entire fanbase agrees that Mythal did die at the end of Trespasser, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks she's actually been Killed Off for Real. It's not the first time she's been killed (potentially), and most fans agree that her character has been built up far too much with too many unanswered questions to be gone for good. The only question is when and where she'll be turning up again.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kind, helpful Solas is in actuality Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf of elven myth. Having once banished the tyrannical elven gods and raised the veil, Solas deeply regrets the damage this has done to the elven peoples and seeks to correct his actions. Manipulating the entire Inquisition and the Inquisitor against the evil sorcerer Corypheus, Solas conceals his own role in Corypheus's rise and when the battle is done drains the witch Flemeth of her powers, before helping thwart an invasion of the Qunari. Solas then reveals his plan is to tear down the veil itself, which will kill millions of innocents, even if he has no desire to do so. Seeing no other way, Solas accepts the Inquisitor will hunt him to kill him or show him a better way, stating he would cherish a chance to be proven wrong in his current course.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Since the introduction of Dorian, the increase of Tevinter-supporters has been significant. They conveniently choose to overlook the fact that Dorian himself tells the player that current things in Tevinter are not admirable and that a lot has to change.
    • Likewise, since the introduction of Dorian, some female fans have voiced the desire for a Straight or Bi Mod so their female Inquisitor can romance him... which once again overlooks the fact that Dorian's sidequest and the root of his issues stem from the fact that his sexuality is looked down upon and that people have tried to change him for it.
    • To a lesser extent, Sera has created a sizable fandom that hopes to play a city elf next game specifically to play an elf who rejects "elfy elves" and "elven glory," especially the Dread Wolf and his elven followers trying to tear down the Veil to restore Elvhenan and who likes humans. This ignores how:
      • a) The game makes it clear Sera is not a typical city elf. She rejects all elven culture, from alienages to aravels. The game also makes it clear her attitude is at least half due to Internalized Categorism brought on by humans.
      • b) Previous games and lore have made it clear that most city elves hate living under humans (see the City Elf Origin), and most city elves strive to retain their ancestral culture just as much as the Dalish (As several codexesshow), just with less success because they have humans breathing down their necks.
  • Moe: "Cole just needs a hug," according to several fans. He tries so hard to be helpful (even if he doesn't get it quite right) and is charming in his naivete about the world, provoking a Big Brother Instinct from fans and even some of the other characters.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Thom "Blackwall" Rainier regards his as twofold: ordering the murder of a nobleman's whole family and household, and abandoning his men to face punishment while he went into hiding under a false alibi as a Warden. It's up to the judgment of the player to decide whether This Is Unforgivable!, however.
  • Narm: See here.
  • Narm Charm:
  • Old Shame: In-universe. Gatsi, a dwarven stonemason, is also a stone sculptor from Orzammar. His masterpiece was a statue of a dwarven paragon. The problem? It was of Paragon Branka, who went stark raving mad. He voluntarily exiled himself in shame after that.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Movran the Under. He's the Avvar tribal chieftain and the father of the Hand of Korth, the barbarian who picked a fight with the Inquisition in the Fallow Mire. His retaliation for his son's death is to throw live goats at Skyhold (as in the building itself) via a catapult, and he spends his sole appearance in full Large Ham mode.
    • Command, a spirit you meet in the Ruins of Old Crestwood. She is just standing around haughtily, commanding inanimate objects to obey her. Like many spirits, she is interested in Thedas because it can't be bent to her will like the Fade can, but since she's Command, she refuses to be denied. The results are hilarious to behold.
    • The Bull's Chargers, except for Krem and Bull himself. They include a dwarf who is way too fond of explosives and a city elf who once slaughtered a bunch of humans and now expresses glee at being paid to kill humans. The one who stands out is Dalish, an exiled Dalish elf who is quite insistent that she is an "archer", not a mage; the glowing crystal on top of her "bow" is just an old elven aiming trick. You wouldn't understand. Patrick Weekes admitted that he was budgeted only one scene to make the player invested in the Chargers. Consensus is that he succeeded, since even the players who can bring themselves to let the Chargers die generally feel terrible about it.
    • For those who romance Josephine, Lord Otranto has proven immensely popular despite appearing just once. His skill at the duel, the way he trades quips with the Inquisitor, and the way he graciously lets Josephine out of their betrothal when he realizes the Inquisitor truly loves her have all endeared him to the fandom.
    • If the Inquisitor sides with the mages, Barris is only seen during Lord Seeker Lucius's appearance in Val Royeaux, where he comes across as an Only Sane Man. Many players wish he could be recruited even outside of siding with the Templars, as he's made such a favorable impression.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Some fans dissatisfied with the Krem/Cole choice for Maryden simply either ship both the boys with her at once, or have all three end up dating each other.
    • There are also some who do likewise for Dorian, the Iron Bull, and the Inquisitor.
  • Opinion Myopia: Years after its release, it started being used as a byword for universally hated games in some quarters, especially by disillusioned Bioware fans. The people saying this and the dedicated fanbase seem to be almost entirely unaware of each other.
  • Player Punch: You'd think you're in a boxing ring with the game, considering all the punches it throws your way.
    • For players who chose to keep Alistair a Warden, you get all the fun, snarky, badass glory of going on a mission with both him and Hawke... until the very end, where you have to choose to sacrifice one of them.
      • To a more minor extent, the other possible party member accompanying Hawke could be Stroud or Loghain, if Alistair didn't remain a Warden. Stroud isn't as major a character as either Alistair or Loghain, but if he saved Bethany/Carver in II, the choice of sacrificing him could still be upsetting. Likewise, if the player sympathized with Loghain's motives in Origins, it could be upsetting to possibly sacrifice him here.
    • If you allow her to drink from the Well of Sorrows, Morrigan is bound to Flemeth for eternity, forcibly transformed into a dragon, and then severely injured in the battle against Corypheus's dragon. Ouch.
    • For players who recruited Sebastian and kept Anders alive, you find out that Sebastian kept his promise of raising an army to invade Kirkwall. The player has a choice through war room operations to support Sebastian's annexing of Kirkwall or to support Aveline's struggle to repel his army. Even after Hawke leaves Kirkwall, their choices haunt the city.
    • Romancing Solas? Have fun with that permanent break-up at the end! Romancing Blackwall? Enjoy watching your lover reveal himself to be a man who ordered the murder of an entire family, abandoned his soldiers, and absolutely loathes himself for it! Both of these are even worse at the end of the Trespasser DLC.
    • Fans of the Dalish Elves will end up going through the wringer since the last Act of the game hammers home that everything they believe about their culture is Based on a Great Big Lie.
    • In Crestwood, the Inquisitor will encounter an elf named Jana who is being defended by some Grey Wardens. After the battle, she has a short conversation with the Inquisitor where she can be convinced to join the Wardens (as the player has not yet learned what happened to them). Jana appears again at Adamant Fortress and is murdered as a blood sacrifice right before the Inquisitor's eyes.
    • To those who have the Trespasser DLC, romanced Iron Bull, and convinced him to sacrifice the Chargers, he will turn on you near the end of the DLC with no way to convince him otherwise. Even with I Knew It! aside, it's still a shock that Love Redeems doesn't apply here.
    • Early in the game, you must decide whether to ally with the Templars or the mages. Choose the latter and have fun with the Player Curb-Stomp Battle you are subjected to: Bad Future does not even begin to describe what happens.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • "Adoribull" for fans of Dorian x Bull.
    • "Solavellan" for Solas x Lavellan (given that only a female elf can romance him).
    • "Pavellan" for Dorian x Male Lavellan (a rather popular pairing).
    • "Cullavellan" for Cullen x Lavellan, or "Cullevelyan" for Cullen x Trevelyan (since only females from those backgrounds can romance him).
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    Q-Z 
  • Quicksand Box: The game is more open than previous BioWare titles, a fact which plays on the expectations of players familiar with BioWare's standard game design. This results in players spending far too long in the first open area, the Hinterlands. It also doesn't help that one of the missions, which looks like it should be the final one based on the initially established conflict, actually kicks off the story proper. You can easily put 30 to 40 hours in before this point. Several game journalism outlets eventually ran articles urging players to leave the Hinterlands.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • The Fade. After having been one of the most derided areas in Origins for excessive length, lack of variety, and failing to add enough to the plot, it emerges as one of the best segments of Inquisition due to gorgeous visuals, perfect pacing, being a huge Wham Episode, and being just the right length to avoid feeling like a slog.
    • In a sense, to those who read The Calling, Fiona is this. Not many people enjoyed her hot-tempered attitude in the books; but this game has really made even those who knew her finally sympathize with her for being humbled about her decisions in the game going south, even with a good portion of them not being her fault, and being very reasonable to her fellow Circle mages. When she was unable to reconcile with her long-lost son Alistair, people really felt sorry for her.
    • The Trespasser DLC did this for Vivienne and particularly Sera, letting the former play Shipper on Deck and show great concern for the Inquisitor's health as the Anchor goes out of control and the latter showing a newfound maturity and a reforging of the Friends of Red Jenny.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Many conversations with Solas and Blackwall take on new meanings after learning that the former is an Elven God and the latter isn't a Grey Warden.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Requisition Officer - a female Inquisition soldier that can be found at all of your camps - doesn't get much love from the fandom, due to how she pesters you every time you arrive in a camp with much maligned Requisition Quests.
    • The Hart mounts. They're gorgeous, but the ungodly sound they make when you make them gallop...
    • Warden-Commander Clarel de Chanson is widely hated among the fans, due to her mindless acceptance of a Teventer magister who encourages her and her people to use blood magic. When she finally wises up, it's far too late to stop the Disaster Dominoes from tumbling down, and even her Redemption Equals Death moment casts the Inquisitor and their group into the Fade - where either Hawke or the Warden ally meet Uncertain Doom. Even her final appearance does nothing to elicit sympathy, considering the sheer idiocy with which she conducts her actions.
    • There are not many players who like Bianca Davri, given the way she appears to be attempting to continue to string her old boyfriend along even though she's married to someone else. This is only made worse by the fact that said old boyfriend is the wildly popular Varric, that being seen in her company has led to assassins being dispatched against him, and that she inadvertently gave Corypheus access to the Red Lyrium thaig, the location of which Varric trusted her to keep secret. Pulling a non-romantic If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... on the Inquisitor at the end of her quest led to grumbling that she's one to talk.
    • Bann (now Arl) Teagan seems to have worn out his welcome with the fan base thanks to him Taking a Level in Jerkass, while also being an Obstructive Bureaucrat and unnecessarily abrasive in his calls for the Inquisition to disband, not to mention being an apparent Ungrateful Bastard toward the Grey Wardens.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Prior to Patch 1.04, the fact that research materials (which can be turned in to give bonuses against various enemies) were kept in the "Valuables" category was quite frustrating.
    • When it comes to learning a specialization, you have to get the teachers from a war table mission. Not bad at all. The problem is that once you have them, you have to complete a Fetch Quest to get items to make something for them. You also need to kill unique enemies that are very hard to find and spawn in areas usually separated far from each other. It's boring and tedious. In addition, some of them are far more rare than others, such as the Essence Containment Apparatus or the Nevarran Skull; one could go the whole game without finding the three one needs. This is slightly mitigated by the discovery that, for all the specializations except Champion, you can take the Rare Stocks Perk and then simply buy all the quest items. Of course, that still requires you to take several perks to even reach the Rare Stocks.
    • And speaking of time-consuming, the War Table operations that don't consume Power take real time to complete. Some can be done in minutes, while others can take a whole day or more to finish. Oh, you'll just pick the fastest option? Not so fast! Which method you pick nets specific rewards and options, or open parts of the story you can't get otherwise, so choosing the fastest option is not always the best one. For a game that has already been accused of artificial padding, this is more fuel to the fire.
      • What's worse, they still require real time to complete even if the chosen advisor's suggestion is to do nothing, though at least it can be explained that the time is spent waiting for the events to play out to their conclusion.
    • In multiplayer, the bizarre inverse Level Scaling that causes all enemies to get stronger whenever someone goes down.
    • The fact that so many collectibles require extensive platforming to reach, when the controls are emphatically not designed with precision hopping in mind.
    • The game stops awarding XP for killing enemies once you are three or more levels higher than they are, meaning that it becomes increasingly more difficult to level up the stronger you get. While there is something of a logic to this, forcing you to complete the main quest without becoming ridiculously overpowered, it does somewhat lessen the charm of being able to continue the game after the final battle.
      • The Trials mode "Even Ground" can somewhat mitigate this issue, by making the enemies scale with the player's level. While this also means that even something as simple as harvesting leather for crafting may become a more drawn-out fight, it at least means the player doesn't have to worry about losing XP.
    • Requisition Quests force you to give up massive amounts of your resources for just one war table power. While this can be helpful in the very earliest parts of the game, said power can easily be acquired by doing the other side quests in the game and by recruiting agents, rendering the Requisition Officer a completely useless and annoying NPC.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Upon its release, it was widely praised by almost everyone for the story, characters, gameplay, and other such elements. As the years have gone on, the game has been looked back on by some critics and fans as being far less polished gameplay wise and being a pretty substandard story. For some, it's better than the second game, but it has been much more heavily criticized as years have gone on, thanks in large part to becoming the game that set many of the issues Bioware would experience going forward, something they also expressed. Nowadays, it's seen by its biggests detractors as one of the weaker narratives in their lineup, and for some, the weakest game in the series.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Since the launch of this game, Alistair/Cullen is popular in some shipping communities. This is despite the fact that both characters are straight and, while they may have met briefly as young Templar recruits in Ferelden, there's never been any in-universe indication of them knowing each other at all.note 
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The first few hours are mostly spent recruiting companions and grinding Power points in the Hinterlands (the most generic and uninteresting area) until you can unlock the Mage or Templar alliance mission. It isn't until after this that the villain reveals himself, the actual plot begins, and the game opens up. However, it allows the player to see how desperate the situation is and to forge minor details of your character's personality and backstory through dialogue.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Blackwall, as a character and especially as a romance, is generally agreed to be this. While he's presented as the main love interest in the game (since if you flirt with him even once, all other flirt paths will instantly cease), there's a not-insignificant number of players who feel his character is just too boring to really care about by the time of The Reveal (doesn't help that many feel his voice actor is just phoning it in), let alone romance. Additionally, since he is presented as being considerably older than most of the companions, a number of players are turned off on account of he reminds them too much of their real-life dad or grandpa. Aside from a small but dedicated fandom, he's generally dwarfed in popularity by The Iron Bull and especially Cullen and Solas as a Love Interest. (Just check out the numbers in any given Solavellan or Cullen private group compared to Blackwall's.)
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Fans who detest Fiona were more than pleased to see the amount of Humble Pie she had to eat during the game, up to and including possibly killing her if you side with the Templars. However, some of them felt bad for her when they saw her fate in Alexius's Bad Future, as mentioned in Alas, Poor Scrappy above.
    • Fans who hate Sebastian for being a Holier Than Thou Hypocrite (should they have chosen to spare Anders) will be pleased to see that they can completely rout his attempted annexation of Kirkwall.
  • That One Achievement: Getting the "Belle of the Ball" trophy requires you to get maximum approval of the Orlesian court during one of the main quests. It's easier said than done because it's a massive conglomeration of Guide Dang Its. Right from the start you're docked at least 10 points (out of 100, with a default starting value of 40) if your Inquisitor is not human or a mage. Additional points are obtained by tossing certain collectible coins in the fountain or collecting blackmail material for Leliana. A lot of the blackmail material can be found behind magically sealed doors that can be opened by Halla statues which can be found around the palace. There are, naturally, more doors than there are Halla statues to open them. Oh, and if you venture into any area of the Winter Palace that isn't dedicated to the party (which is where most of the coins, Halla statues, and blackmail information are found), you'll slowly lose points. And if you don't get to 100 approval before a certain point in the quest, you don't get the trophy.
  • That One Level:
    • The Forbidden Oasis - largely because, of all the various locales you can explore in the game, the Oasis relies the most on the game's much-maligned platforming. Most of the map is comprised of various plateaus that are only accessible through a labyrinthine network of tunnels, ladders, and hidden paths. Of course, since you have no idea where you're going when you first arrive in the Oasis, a lot your time will be spent exploring these passages to try and find the one (and only one) that leads to where you want to go. Eventually, after several sessions of trial and error, you'll end up memorizing the map and its shortcuts. Even worse are the Oculara shards, which are spread out in the most hard-to-reach areas of the Oasis. A lot of the shards are only accessible by making one-way drops to their locations on rocky outcroppings, and the only way to safely get back is to fast travel to one of only two camps in the Oasis and backtrack all the way to the next shard. Did we mention that the Oasis is crawling with hyper-aggressive hyenas who will go very far out of their way to attack your party and slow you down as much as possible? In addition, the area itself is a relatively low-level place, but the shards needed for the temple are found in places such as The Hissing Wastes and Emprise du Lion, the latter of which requires the killing of a level 20 high dragon to reach the Oculara.
      • What is also a bit of contention is the miner who appears in the area to give the player a quest to recover a ring for her. Simple, right? Well, except that the NPC wanders around the map, including into the tunnels which you open up! Also, there's a glitch where she'll disappear from the map, but this is easily fixed by exiting to Haven/Skyhold and returning.
      • For arachnophobes... why are you playing this? It's Spider Age: Webquisition. For arachnophobes it's very much this quest. You thought you saw a Spider Swarm looking for scouts in the Hissing Wastes. The one you fight in this cave absolutely dwarfs it. Some forty spiders. Corrupted spiders. Unique realistic spiders. They may not have Overwhelm anymore, but they try it anyway.
    • The Hissing Wastes. A big desert with no towns, no plot progression, and little variance in terrain. Aside from Fade Rifts and Elder One henchmen, there is only one common enemy (which is easy to aggro and slow you down since you have to cross a ridiculous amount of desert). The fact that the characters lampshade how much they hate the place doesn't make it much better. And if that isn't bad enough, the last stretch of the main subquest takes you into the territory of a sleeping dragon, who is easy to wake up by default. But hey, dig that view of the moon!
    • During the Battle of Haven, there's a section where you need to turn and prepare a catapult to turn the battle. The problem is that every time you even so much as touch the wheel, a few enemies will attack. Since combat removes your ability to turn it, you'll probably just keep going to finish it. Doing that results in another wave, the one that would come after that first wave, attacking too. Topping it all off, there is only one spot to resupply potions, so if you start it with a low amount, you have to suck it up and try. Then you have to fight a Boss in Mook Clothes while also being attacked by upwards of four enemies. It's ridiculously difficult at what could be called only a quarter of the game through.
    • The stretch leading up to Ataashi's chamber in the Trespasser DLC can be absolutely brutal, especially for an unprepared player, as it has you facing off against hordes of high-level Qunari warriors, each one of whom is tougher than several of the bosses faced during the course of the main campaign. The game does at least throw you a bone by giving you exploding barrels that can be used to severely hurt the Qunari, but good luck surviving long enough for your Anchor Blast to charge up enough to detonate them. Just to throw you further off-balance, there's also the potential Player Punch of Iron Bull betraying you.
    • The war table operation concerning Lavellan's clan, as mentioned elsewhere on this page, qualifies for this. You have to pick exactly the right advisor at every single step (and there are many steps) or the clan will be wiped out. Patrick Weekes actually apologized on Twitter when fans questioned them about this, explaining that it was not intended to be as difficult as it is. (When they wrote the chain of operations, the writers failed to realize just how tricky the technical side of it would be - and by the time they found out, it was too late to change anything.)
  • That One Sidequest:
    • In the Hinterlands, there's a sidequest that involves herding a lost druffalo back to the farm opposite where you claim your first mount. While you can get this quest as early as level 3, there's a Level 12 Beef Gate Rift between you and the druffalo. Get past that and you have to deal with the druffalo's Artificial Intelligence constantly stopping to eat grass before she's willing to continue following you. At least if you're able to reach Druffy before dealing with the Beef Gate, she can help you kill the demons it spawns, and she's invincible.
      • In the Exalted Plains, there's a similar sidequest requiring you to herd a Golden Halla to the nearby Dalish camp. What follows next is an ungodly annoying attempt to force the halla to the camp by chasing after her and cutting off her current running path over some extremely uneven terrain. The thing is wicked fast and pretty much impossible to catch on foot. Worse, if you try to catch her on foot, it's very easy to accidentally aggro your party members, who kill her; unlike Druffy, Hanal'ghilan is not invincible.note  This is the only part of the game where horseback riding is essentially required.
    • In the Hissing Wastes, the two main quests have you running around in a vast, empty desert going from one place to another with pretty much nothing to look at and only one NPC to encounter. The marquee quest (tomb raiding, in a nutshell) is a puzzle quest that requires you to first interpret sketch drawings of landmarks (with a prominent rock face as a reference point). Once you do find a tomb, you must then solve another minor "put this story in order" puzzle which summons demons every time you get it wrong; the stories are more or less poetic, so they're not too difficult if you can figure out the lyrical scheme, but it's also easy to light the wrong veilfire sconce by accident. No surprise that this is one of the most searched-for Inquisition topics on Google.
    • The specialization sidequests, required for your character to unlock their class specialization, can edge into this territory by way of 20 Bear Asses. For example, the Path of the Artificer for a Rogue Inquisitor requires you to collect 20 pieces of Obsidian and 3 Alpha Quillback spines. The Obsidian is only mildly annoying because it's not as common as, say, Iron, so you have to spend time running around hunting for it, but it's fairly plentiful in the Emprise du Lion and even parts of the Hinterlands. The Alpha Quillback spines, on the other hand, can be maddening. They only drop from Alpha Quillbacks, of which there are only three in the Western Approach. If you manage to find and kill all three, you still might not be done because they don't have a 100% drop rate, so you can spend hours running all over the map killing the bastards (along with the vanilla Quillbacks that always accompany them) and periodically using the fast travel function to reset before you get enough to complete the quest. Thankfully, this one has some built-in Anti-Frustration Features - if you can't find the required items, you may be able to purchase them from a shopkeeper. Of course, you still have to figure out which shopkeeper. And you must have invested enough Inquisition perk points in the right category for the items to even appear in that shopkeeper's inventory to begin with.
      • The Champion specialization for the Warrior is even worse in its way, because one of the components requires dueling other champions to steal their heraldry, which is something you can't buy. They're easy to find, if you know where to look (hint: they're all in the Exalted Plains), but they're spaced quite some distance apart; on the other hand, they're also guaranteed drops, meaning that you don't have to worry about the game not spawning them.
    • Gathering Oculara Shards comprises perhaps the most aggravating Collection Sidequest in the game. The only way to find them is to track them down with the Oculara posts scattered across most maps, which in itself isn't all that bad. However, when you reach a new Oculara, the shards it identifies are often located in areas you've already explored, forcing you into a lot of tedious backtracking. Most of these shards are then found in places that require extensive platforming to reach, something the game's not overly precise movement controls definitely aren't designed for. Why would you even bother with this, you ask? Because picking up enough shards unlocks a new region, the Forbidden Oasis. Sounds great, but the Oasis is one of the most frustrating regions in the game - refer to its entry under That One Level above for the details. And if you actually muster the patience to grind through the whole ordeal, you get to fight a bunch of standard demons and loot a handful of unique items that utterly fail to justify the amount of effort put into their acquisition. Players have found that the game becomes much more enjoyable if one ignores the Oculara completely.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Corypheus has an incredibly interesting and historically significant Backstory: he is one of the ancient Tevinter magisters who invaded the Golden City and created the darkspawn. Leaving aside entirely that understanding the Big Bad's character is an important part of a story, you'd think that pretty much everyone would at least be eager to mine him for information about the Golden City, the Maker, the darkspawn, the Old Gods, Tevinter history, and not least his own motives now that he's reawakened. But by the end of the game, you barely know more about any of these things than when you started, and Corypheus for his part restricts himself to fairly cliched Doom-On-You dialogue. Hell, he was more forthcoming in the five minutes allotted to him in a Dragon Age II DLC, for Andraste's sake.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • What happened to Bodahn and Sandal? Is Sandal a mage? What did he mean by "the magic will come back"? We might not find out for a while, due to neither of the dwarves appearing in the game.
    • The Breach, which was teased as constantly spreading across the skies and releasing demons, is temporarily stopped in the first mission, and closed for good in the third. At least, until the very last mission.
    • Many of the choices a player can make on the Dragon Age Keep are given major focus in terms of the special movie you can view, which made many of those moments seem like they were going to be imporant to the story, ranging from actions taken in Kirkwall, to if the Architect was spared. Very few of these choices are given any follow-up in game, or if they are, they appear as War Table missions with barely any plot or resolution to them. the Archeitect in particular stands out because, given who the Big Bad of this game is, it would be a good chance to have the character appear.
    • It's implied several times once you get Skyhold that you need to upgrade it and build up your allies to prepare for if the antagonists launch an attack on the location. Various characters make mention of the layout and potential defenses, your military strength is frequently mentioned in conversations across the fort, and after Have was attacked earlier in the story, it wouldn't be a stretch to think the game will have a big climatic battle at the fortress. Instead, the final battle is quick with no build-up, and doesn't take place anywhere near Skyhold. What upgrades you do make to the fortress are purely cosmetic and have absolutely no impact on any battles at all, and the fortress never even gets fully remodeled during the course of the game. This is especially jarring when you remember how in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, they did follow through on the premise of your base being attacked.
    • The Mage-Templar War is barely given detail and its outcome depends on who becomes Divine at the end. The commanders and battles are never described, most of their leadership gets unceremoniously killed off by the Breach, and no matter what, one side will be enslaved to the Elder One. The result is more of an afterthought, and after Haven, it loses all importance.
    • The end of "Here Lies the Abyss" can be considered this, because you have to make the difficult decision between choosing to sacrifice Hawke or a Grey Warden. The choice is difficult if the Warden is Alistair or Loghain; but a player who made Alistair king instead has Stroud take the role. Prior to that moment, Stroud only makes one or two appearances in Dragon Age II and two in Inquisition. There isn't as great an emotional bond as compared to Hawke, who is the player character from the previous game, so choosing which one to sacrifice is a complete no-brainer - thus robbing the scene of any emotional impact.
    • The Orlesian Civil War, despite being described as tearing the Empire apart, is barely seen outside the killing fields in the Exalted Plains, in quite literally the ass-end of Orlais. The outcome isn't decided by military victory, either, but rather by the Inquisitor - who isn't even from Orlais - acting as kingmaker.
      • The kingmaker scenario itself is also pretty underplayed, since you basically just show up to a party, meet every candidate vying for the throne (Gaspard, Celene, and Briala), talk to each of them for about 30 seconds, and then decide who rules the empire based on that 30-second meeting and any of the blackmail material you find on them during your explorations. You don't spend hours exploring Orlesian history and political struggles or getting to know all the parties involved the way, say, the Warden did for Orzammar or Ferelden back in Origins.
      • The whole plotline pretty much assumes you've read the spin-off novel The Masked Empire. As such, complex events and motivations are reduced to very simplistic summaries. However, this also brings contention from roleplay-focused players, who argue that even if they read the book and know what information it provides, the Inquisitor they're playing certainly didn't.
    • The War Table lends itself to this. Many of those missions could have been incredible quest arcs in their own right, and possibly better than some of the side quests we did get.
    • Trespasser begins with the Inquisitor being called before a council of representatives to answer for some of their more controversial actions during the main game and having to defend the need for the Inquisition's continued existence and support. However, there's only a single brief scene in which the Inquisitor actually answers any questions presented by the Exalted Council before they are called away to deal with a completely different problem. The rest of the hearing is handled off-screen by Josephine, leaving the Council to be little more than a device to force the Inquisition to downsize or disband at the end.
    • In terms of personal quests, Dorian's is regarded by a fair number of players as wasted because it focuses solely on the fact he is gay, with very little else to it besides that and the dynamics between him and his father. What made people like Dorian was that he was a likable Tevinter mage who went against the practices of his nation and wanted to not continue the stereotype presented to Thedas. Him being gay was a part of that, but not his sole defining character trait throughout the game, and it was possible to not even know he was gay until he admits it. However, his personal quest involves meeting with his father and revolves around the fact he is gay, and nothing more. Given how characters like Cassandra, Blackwall, Iron Bull, Cole, and Solas have character quests that can drastically change their ending or elements of your player characternote , Dorian's feels very weak because in the end, Dorian's ending is only different depending on how you talk to him outside of his character quest, with the quest itself not having much of a resolution, and he will still show up in Trespasser even if he decides not to remain with the Inquisition. The only resolution you get is convincing him to reconcile with his father or not to, which is very weak by comparison. While him telling off his dad for what he did is satisfying, Dorian's personal quest has almost no player involvement, feels very Anvilicious, and lacks any real interesting development for Dorian as a character.
    • Unlike the first game, there is no special dialogue or significant deviation with the romanceable companions among the different races of the Inquisitor, with the exceptions of Solas, Sera, and Cullen. The most notable example is the romance between a Dalish Inquisitor and Dorian, which has zero discussion regarding the slavery situation in Tevinter.
    • The Elven Inquisitor being Dalish-only felt like a missed opportunity for some players to explore how an elf raised in human society would feel being put in charge of them.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: The Necromancer specialization suffered from bugs that made two of its Damage Over Time abilities do less damage than intended, souring the specialization in some players' eyes. (These abilities were fixed in a patch.) Others swear by it as a Difficult, but Awesome specialization with a very useful Focus ability and a nigh-Game-Breaker in Simulacrum, even before the patch.
  • Ugly Cute: Cole is weird-looking (see Uncanny Valley), and being badly dressed and unhealthy-looking draws attention to his more prominent facial features and odd expressions; but they don't detract from his obvious earnestness, and he's sure got a pair of Puppy-Dog Eyes behind that hat hair of his. The Reveal of what he really is explains why he looks the way he does, since he's a spirit who adopted a human form based on that of a teenager who starved to death in a lightless cell - hence the scrawny body, pale skin, and not quite understanding how his own face works.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Cole lives here: he looks almost like a normal young human, but his eyes are feverish, and his speech is bizarrely lyrical and alliterative. He makes off-handed comments that hint at psychic abilities, describing Templars as "heavy with forgotten songs" and the Breach as "pulling, pushing out pain." He also can turn completely invisible at will, and you first meet him inside your own soul/mind if you meet with the Templars.
    • Some of the character animations can sink right here as it won't be a "complete" animation - such as only the mouth moving when laughing. A few of the close-ups during the Wicked Grace game are a prime example.
    • Playing on Nightmare mode (especially on PS3 or Xbox 360) seems to dramatically increase the chances of glitches in the game, particularly of the animated variety, which lends itself to some genuine hilarity. A few examples: Dorian's goatee tends to jump up onto his lower lip, spindleweed can be found growing in midair on the Storm Coast, and you can watch Josephine's chair slowly sink into the floor while she talks about her homeland of Antiva. It's even possible to stumble across refugees in the Hinterlands who are gathered around a campfire... in the middle of a river.
    • An In-Universe example has a journal talk about the Explosive Breeder tendencies of nugs, while also mentioning how the author could never eat one - due to the fact that they walk on four legs and have hands. Dorian also makes reference to it in some banter with Varric.
      Dorian: I had no idea nugs possess such creepy little feet. The stuff of nightmares.
  • Unexpected Character: Even besides his role as a April Fool's joke playable character, Zither cameos in Trespasser as a possible love interest of Maryden the bard. If Cole is a spirit and the Chargers are still alive, Cole will warn her away from him.
    • Corypheus's Archdemon. Seeing one outside of another Blight was not expected. Another clue to the fact that she isn't really an Archdemon.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The Mayor of Crestwood's actions during the Fifth Blight are portrayed in-game as monstrous and irredeemable, and the available judgments are all degrees of punitive (permanent exile, execution, giving him to Ferelden to be imprisoned for life or executed, or giving him to the Wardens, a dangerous option for a number of reasons). However, the refugees streaming into Crestwood were suffering from the Blight, which is always fatal (unless a Grey Warden intervenes) and extremely contagious. While it is all but confirmed in-game that untainted were caught in the flood that wiped out the infected, the mayor likely saved countless other lives by preventing a great many Blight-infected refugees from spreading the disease elsewhere. Even so, when the Inquisitor judges him, he/she acts as thought the mayor slaughtered refugees for no reason and the only option is to unambiguously condemn him. note 
  • Villain Decay: See Ending Fatigue. The Big Bad starts the game at the brink of victory, but then the Herald spends the entire game taking out one after another of his assets, making him look increasingly less threatening and more pathetic.
  • What an Idiot!: Most of the companions consider Erimond this, particularly after he starts mouthing off about how the Venatori believe they can use the Blight for their own ends.
    Erimond: The Blight is not unstoppable or uncontrollable. It is simply a tool.
    Varric: Someone's certainly a tool.
    Dorian: No, Livius. You are the tool.
  • What the Hell, Costuming Department?:
    • Oh Maker, Solas' hat at the Orlesian ball... Besides the design itself being atrocious, it keeps clipping through his face.
    • The Inquisition's red uniforms at the Orlesian ball are just incredibly unappealing. Everyone is wearing them, and it looks awful and unfitting, especially on the women. Many wished the ladies would get to wear a dress, and plenty of mods were made just for them to get much nicer ball gowns. It also simply doesn't make sense for characters like Dorian and Vivienne, who are supposed to be fashion forward. They would be the most likely to have their own outfits for such an event, and probably would've burned those uniforms after seeing them. The only ones who can sort of pull it off are Cullen, Blackwall, and Dorian, who all have a specific build. (And would still look better in just about anything else). It looks saggy and heavy on everyone else.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Inquisition seems to have done very well at winning back fans burned by the preceding game Dragon Age II. DAII was considered by many fans and detractors to be a disappointing follow-up for its uninteresting Cut-and-Paste Environments, inconsequential story, and lack of freedom. Inquisition tried to correct these issues by offering open settings, a better narrative, more impactful player actions, and a larger, better characterized cast, though how well it succeeded is up for debate. It also helped matters that EA gave BioWare an extension on game development, quelling fears that the game would be Christmas Rushed. If anything, the sales and reviews for Inquisition are just as good as those for Dragon Age: Origins, which is considered one of BioWare's greatest entries - and then it was awarded Game of the Year 2014.
  • The Woobie:
    • Leliana. Beyond the horrible events of Origins that could have happened to her, Inquisition hits her hard. First, Divine Justinia is killed at the Conclave; then she spends the entire game having a crisis of faith and has to deal with everything as it all gets worse, plus she's battling her own conflicting morality as a ruthless Spymaster and unsure of what to do with herself. Thankfully the Inquisitor can help her find some inner peace.
    • Alexius's son, Felix. He's a Nice Guy, despite being from Tevinter, who's suffering from the Blight and watching helplessly while his father destroys the world trying to save him. And in the Bad Future, he ends up as a ghoul. Even if he succeeds in helping the Inquisitor stop his father, he still dies from his Blight sickness upon returning home. At least he's Not Afraid to Die and is at peace with his fate.
    • Varric. His life is just a condensed ball of pure suck. But the best possible example of the trope is the moment you return from the Fade, if you chose Hawke to sacrifice him/herself. The look on his face, and the terrified way he says, "Where's Hawke...?" tells the whole story. When he breaks down later, you can even hug him.
    • A lot of Harding's dialogue is delivered as if she's tired, distracted, or stressednote . Combine this with her being incredibly nice and visually adorable, and she gets into woobie territory possibly without even having a reason to feel bad for her.
    • Minaeve, the Inquisition's Head Creature Researcher, was born to a Dalish clan, kicked out at the age of seven when her magic appeared, almost died of starvation in the woods, and almost was killed by a mob until rescued by a group of Templars who gave her shelter. She was then taken to a Circle where she could finally be safe... until she was thrown back into danger by the mage rebellion. By the time of the game, she has a very low view of herself and her skill as a mage, and seems to be working as a means to distract herself from it.
    • Hawke's status as one has actually gone up from the previous game. They've become considerably more tired and world-weary in the interim four years, blaming themselves entirely for what happened in Kirkwall and seeing themselves as a total failure. This possibly culminates in them sacrificing themselves in the Fade.
    • Your Trainer, the Rift Mage trainer. She was a member of the Mage Underground who willingly gave up her own sanity in order to learn enough about Rift Magic to train you. The process broke her mind, and the only thing she seems able to focus on is that she has to train you. It's the only purpose she has left; she no longer even knows her own name.
    • Dorian. He's part of a ancient and noble family in Tevinter and, due to tradition, he is expected to marry some random woman of a powerful family as part of his family's big plan to make the ultimate mage... but Dorian is gay and has no interest in that. His father then attempted a Blood Magic ritual so he could try and make Dorian straight, and it's implied it would likely have just turned Dorian into a drooling vegetable. Dorian ended up leaving home and running off to southern Thedas, and although he would like to be in a committed relationship, he refuses to get his hopes up.
    • Solas. Over the course of the game, his friend the Wisdom Spirit asks him for a Mercy Kill, he may be forced to leave his beloved to save her from whatever it is he has to do, and then after defeating Corypheus he leaves the Inquisition, home of the only non-spirit friends he has, because his veil-tearing orb is broken and his plans are falling apart, which culminates in him killing his oldest friend to try and right his wrongs.
    • Cole carries this status over from his debut in Asunder. His backstory from the novel is mentioned in the game - his hard life as a spirit who took the form of a young apostate mage who was captured by Templars and left to starve to death in a dungeon. During the game, it's obvious that he still feels anxiety in regards to letting people see and remember him, and he still feels ashamed and rejected by his last encounter with Rhys. Despite all of this, he tries desperately hard to help most everyone he encounters, feeling that he's happy as long as he's helping people. For this reason, fandom mostly sees him collectively as a baby brother; in-game, roughly half the companions see him this way too.
    • The Inquisitor, as shown in the Trespasser DLC. After two years, the stress of the Inquisition is really taking a toll on them. Their out-of-control mark is killing them, many people in Orlais and Ferelden no longer trust them, and now a Qunari army works against the entire south. By the end, their emotional and physical stress reaches the breaking point, potentially snapping into a tirade about "Why can't one thing in this fucking world stay fixed?" or tearfully admitting that they're afraid to die.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Solas, of all people. First, his plan to banish the Evanuris as punishment for murdering the only sane one among them by creating the Veil, while successful, brought millennia of misery to Thedas. Then his plan to fix his perceived mistake backfired too, when Corypheus almost doomed the world. Now he resolves to tear down the Veil no matter what, despite genuinely sympathizing with the people of Thedas and regretting the countless deaths his plan will cause.

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Age III Inquisition

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