The Trees Come Alive: DAO Awakening


Here’s a few recent Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening: The Subtitlier trailers to introduce new ingredients for the upcoming expansion. First up is Anders, Pyramid star and husband of Starbu… oh no wait. Anders the apostate mage, who can join your crew, with quite a few nice lines in his video. Then there’s Velanna, who apparently makes the trees come alive. Which is cool. It’s not explicitly stated that she’s a potential party member, but I’m guessing that’s the case. And finally there’s the Children, which is a strange word since giving it capital C suddenly makes it seem creepy and threatening.

Meet Anders:

Meet Velanna:

Would you like to babysit?

And meet the Children:

Which all looks fun.


  1. RiptoR says:

    Dragon Age Online? Oh, you truly disappoint me now, John…

    • John Walker says:

      It says nothing of the sort!

      And you messed up your bold tags, so who looks stupid now, eh? EH?

    • Malagate says:

      @Riptor, “o” words that are not “online” include: Origins, Original, Origami, Over, Overt, Ovaries, Ombudsman, Organism, Organic, Organ and Occular. Amongst others (such as “others”).

      All would have been just as valid a guess as “online”, accepting that you ignore John Walker writing “Dragon Age: Origins” in the first sentence of the article you are commenting on.

      For a few seconds I was hoping for Dragon Age in folded paper form, or indeed the financial investigations of Draconian Ombudsmen, but yae, John Walker illuminates all. The less said about “Dragon Age: Orgasm” the better though.

  2. Exonin says:

    If i’m not mistaken the music is from the battle for middle earth.

  3. Lilliput King says:

    Easy to forget just how bad Bioware is at making trailers.

    • skizelo says:

      Surprising given how much practice they have.

    • jalf says:

      Surprising? Think of how much practice they have at making bad trailers. They’re just sticking to what they know. ;)

    • Manley Pointer says:

      I keep telling myself “don’t worry, the trailers for DA:O were also this bad.”

  4. mrmud says:

    Ginormous gratuitous breasts, GO!

    • Rich says:

      Her neck is the only part of her body with any armour, which is made even more pointless by the exposed cleavage. Also, what’s that hoop for?

      I dunno, talk about form over function.

    • Rinox says:

      What I am most amazed it is at where a witch of the wild would learn breast implantation spells. I guess it’s at least consistent with lore that her apostate magics created these abominations.

    • Taillefer says:

      She’s representative of nature’s bosom. Obviously.

    • Rich says:

      Nature’s bosoms are fake? Awww man!

    • PHeMoX says:

      All breast implant magic jokes aside, nature’s breast CAN be quite perfect. Not every good looking pair of boobies must be fake!

      Having said that, why bother complaining, don’t they look good enough?

  5. Rich says:

    Is it me, or do those Children look like a nightmare version of the dog in the Churchill advert?

  6. Bobsy says:


    So Anders is the dry, sarky replacement for those of us who let Alistair die? Well, seems nice. Also good to have replacement mages, since that shitting bitchness Morrigan decided she’d bail on me right before the final battle.

    Interesting that it seems determined to give you a complete replacement set of party members. When last I left my heroes, DA had set up what would happen next pretty clearly – I was going for a wander with lovely Leliana and sultry Zehvran. Are either of them going to be in my party? I hope so. I did enjoy making smoochy-faces with Leliana.

    • Flameberge says:

      Yeah, I know what you mean. In my “epilogue” after the final battle, it did say I would be going a-wandering with the lovely Leliana. It would seem that without my controlling influence my character thought “sod this” and left her in some inn somewhere. It would be a shame for that to be the case, especially as I spent my 60hr game developing my relationships with my party, just for them all to disappear.

      And also, now I think about it, Velanna seems the character to fill the now-vacant “wearing inappropriate clothing” slot that Morrigan filled. Not quite on the same scale as Morrigan though.

    • Ian says:


      In a simialr vein, I’m hoping that if you let your character take the hit at the end you can play as Mr (or Mrs, of course) Orlesian Warden but in a world where all your stuff still happened.

    • Shadram says:

      They’ve hinted that some of your party members from the main game will return, but not said who. Zev and Leliana would be the most obvious. And I read an interview (on Eurogamer, I think) where one of the designers said that you might see some parallels between the new characters and the previous ones, but that they’ll ultimately surprise you by not being like them at all. Except now they won’t, because they already told us and now we expect it.

    • Bobsy says:

      The obvious choices would of course be any characters you’ve been able to get gooey with, so Alistair, Leliana and Zehvran, (but not Morrigan as I assume she just pisses right off no matter what you do, either before or after the battle. Bitch). We know that Alistair can return if he lived through the battle, but I’m unsure about the others. Fingers crossed. Zev was far too much fun to just throw away.

      On your own character, it takes continuity seriously. If you took the fall at the end and copped it, you have to make a new dude for Awakening. New Warden, presumably turning up from forn parts late to the party going “Oh, didja have a big battle ‘gainst the darksporn? Shame we all missed it. Buhhhhh.”

    • Jeremy says:

      If you haven’t played DA:Origins, then there are some fairly significant spoilers below, so be warned:

      The thing that sucks is I didn’t really like how my first character turned out. It all started out great, I was a noble man on a noble cause, joined the Wardens and thought only of justice and good. Then, slowly, I started getting involved in things I wasn’t proud of… killing a man there, not saving a woman there, the path of least resistance and pragmatism. Eventually, I even saved my own skin by conceiving an old god with a woman I despise and never trusted, the coward that I am. So, now I have to play through AGAIN and make the right choices (same as Mass Effect 2 really) and stay true to myself, except ME1 can be finished in a quick 15 – 20 hours whereas DA can be finished in a quick 80 hours. The problem is, if I’m a noble man, I’ll end up taking one for the team, which would be pointless since I would just start as an Orlesian Warden … so now what do I do? Force Ali to whore himself out or convince myself it really IS his responsibility to take one for the team? This is the only choice I’ve ever had to struggle with, and I feel like no matter what I do, by the end of the game I’ll find my conscience slightly sullied.

    • Ian says:

      @ Jeremy: Really, it doesn’t have to take 80 hours. :-P While I can see how people have spent that long in the game, my first playthrough was done in 56 and I suspect a lot of that could be shaved off too by clicking through the convos where I know what’s going to be said already. You’d only need to pay proper attention to the stuff you’ve not seen/heard thus far if you wanted, you wouldn’t need to re-read a load of codex/quest stuff, you’ll know how to finish a bunch of the fights quicker, etc. While it’ll still likely be longer than ME’s 15-20 hours it should still be doable in significantly less time than my 56, let alone 80.

      As for how to end the game…. well, that’s why I’m REALLY after some confirmation that I can start an Orlesian warden in the Thedas shaped by my character before he finished off the Archdemon. No other character will be my character (unless I go through the WHOLE game again, just to do everything exactly the same which is a waste of time) meaning if you can’t continue the “I sacrificed myself” saves I’m gonna have to reload the last fight and let Loghain take the hit.

    • Jugglenaut says:



      If you’re really looking for a noble way to keep your character alive, I suggest reconsidering having Loghain become a Grey Warden. At the end, he honestly feels that taking the hit at the end is the only way to make up for his sins. He’ll even turn down Morrigan’s plan unless you absolutely insist on it.

    • Jeremy says:

      Excellent! My moral conundrum is overturned!

    • Ian says:

      Oh I had (and will have, if I reload) the Loghain option. I just wanted the bastard to pay for it the hard way, rebuilding and then going to the Deep Roads.

      If forced to reload to the archdemon fight it’s Loghain I took with me so I’d be doing that.

  7. Lobotomist says:

    DAO was such a disappointment for me (cause i had really high hopes I guess)

    Still. As they say “In land of blind, one eyed man is the king”. I guess in times where there is no more good turn based strategic RPGs – DAO is the king…

    So bring on the expansion

  8. Jules says:

    Poor Anders. Guy got like two nice episodes and then spent two seasons spinelessly getting shafted by Starbuck at every, every opportunity until being unsatisfyingly hijacked into “the plan”. Oh, what were we talking about?

    • Rinox says:

      Anders got what he deserved for messing with my Starbuck!

      (and yes, I tend to fall for the crazies)

  9. Veldjes! says:

    So, DeadSpace Necromorphs actually had a children. We need dwarf-paladin named Isaac, apparently. And hey, Velanna looks hot!

  10. RiptoR says:

    @John: who says I messed them up? :-p

    Anyway, an edit-button would be welcome :-)

  11. Barry Shitpeas says:

    Is it me or Anders looks and sounds a bit too much like Alistair?

  12. Rinox says:

    Rinox the pragmatic dwarven commoner survived DA:O just fine and lifted up the dwarven people in the progress, but a friend of mine had his main give his life to destroy the archdemon. So…how will this work for him? New character? A ME2 deux ex machina?

    Because even though he loved DA:O he felt like ‘his’ story is done, and probably wouldn’t buy Awakenings. I can understand him (and all the others who died) in that.

    • Ian says:

      Yeah, that’s what I was saying above. I know you create a new warden from Orlais if you don’t hook it up to a previous save for whatever reason, and I can live with that provided it’s still in the Dragon Age world my original character left behind.
      EDIT: Just had another look on the Dragon Age forums and found somebody else asking this question, which I hadn’t previously. Seemingly the only thing that’d been said on this one way or the other is that they ran into some sort of technical problem when trying to keep a dead warden’s decisions. I don’t know enough about it to know if that sounds plausible.

      Neither thank or curse Nuffle. You’ll get punished either way.

    • Jeremy says:

      They better figure that out, because continuity, even of death, is way too important. They’ll piss off a lot of people if the death of their hero ultimately meant nothing.

  13. MrSafin says:

    Did anyone notice the “available in North Amercia” at the end of the Valenna trailer?

    That one rocked for me.

  14. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Never knew you were one to sing along with Julie Andrews, John.

    Also, knowing myself, I’ll probably get this regardless of how good it is..

  15. yonassassin says:

    Due to the pic and misreading the acronym, I thought this was a Dead or Alive game.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I thought this was about the AOC expansion. Took me a while to notice!

  16. MadMatty says:

    mmm just enjoying the headline picture, then getting on with it…

  17. Furniture Merchant says:

    The talking darkspawn will be a party member, the Legion, if you will, of Dragon Age.

  18. Jeremy says:

    The Children are my worst nightmare. Giant slugs squirming out of alien pods then turning into spiders as they eat people alive, that’s every scary thing in the universe in one creature.

  19. TCM says:


    The name of my first character, Human Male Warrior, is “Ander”.



    • Jeremy says:

      Seriously, I played a human noble and thought they had figured out some amazing way to have people speak your name, when I realized my own father’s name was Bryce. It sort of fit, being named after my father, but still.

    • James G says:

      I played through Baldurs’ Gate as Orion, ward of Gorion. It made the old guy seem a bit strange.

  20. Fumarole says:

    Those are large breasts? Clearly none of you live in California.

  21. Wednesday says:

    Why, why is Dragon Age’s voice acting so much worse than Mass Effects?

    • Serenegoose says:

      oh it’s not that bad! in some places it’s really good. I thought it was really weird how the dwarves were american though, and that at least one of the elves was Tuvok. We’re just spoiled with our voice acting. Mind, the voice acting in ME2 was phenomenal.

    • Wulf says:

      I thought the voice-acting in Dragon Age ranged from wooden to embarrassing, depending on the character and the situation, and it seemed to get worse as time went on. This is fascinating, because the voice-acting in Mass Effect 2 was admirable, and my ears quite appreciated the effort. What’s baffling is that both games are by the same developer.

    • Vinraith says:

      I thought the voice acting in DA was fine (particularly enjoyed Claudia Black and whoever voiced Alistair), but then again I think Bioware games would be better served to have less voice acting in general. When did people lose the ability to read? You can do so much more with text than you’ll ever have the time or resources to do with fully voiced dialogue, and half the time I just turn on subtitles and read through anyway, skipping ahead when I finish a line rather than waiting for it to be voiced.

  22. Dan says:

    I’m gutted Anders isn’t voiced by David Anders, of awesome baddie Sark in Alias fame.

    Also now showing in the latest season of 24 as a Russian.

  23. Klaus says:

    Damn it. I just realized I never finished Dragon Age. It’s really Mass Effect 2’s fault.

    Edit: You know, the Tower doesn’t look too bad what with all these crazy, allegedly murderous apostates running a muck. But ignoring that; who is going to be the bitch?

    I take it there will be no romancing the children.

  24. Stabby says:

    She has fucking enormous hands. They’re as big as her head!