Recycled characters you see in every BioWare game

Before you get started with this article, we’d like to begin with a very sincere, simple statement: we love BioWare a whole squishy huggy bunch. Their narratives are usually awesome and we’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours playing their games.

That said… with the recent release of Dragon Age 2, it dawned on us how many similarities there are in their recent games. It’s gotten to a point where we can immediately recognize an NPC archetype after only spending a couple minutes with the new character; we took some time to jot down a detailed guide of each of these copy-paste characters so you’ll know precisely how to act the moment they open their easily written mouths.

The Awkward Hottie

Examples: Liara T’soni (Mass Effect), Merrill (Dragon Age 2), Mission Vao (KOTOR)

The Awkward Hottie is typically blue a naïve beauty who doesn’t truly understand how harsh the world/universe can be. While she is most definitely an expert in whatever her occupation involves, whether it be studying the history of a long dead alien civilization or harnessing the power of Blood Magic for good, she turns into an absolute mess when placed in social settings and needs a big strong man (or woman) to lean on. Likewise, she’s a very “glass half full” sort of person so she’ll totally bang you if you pick all of the nice dialogue options.

The Aggressive Psychotic

Examples: Black Whirlwind (Jade Empire), Grunt (Mass Effect 2), Canderous Ordo (KOTOR)

The Aggressive Psychotic is truly a complicated sort. Born from a warrior culture, this guy lives for the fight. Might makes right, only the strong survive, et cetera so on and so forth. Engaging this character in any type of dialogue will always end with him inferring that you’re a massively inadequate pussy. Likewise, he’ll make it perfectly clear that if you ever get in his way, he will cut you. With his face.

The Honor-bound Psychotic

Examples: Sten (Dragon Age: Origins), Thane Krios (Mass Effect 2), Sagacious Zu (Jade Empire)

The Honor-bound Psychotic is typically either a religious zealot or assassin for hire. This guy differs from the Aggressive Psychotic in that he adheres to a special code that dictates his murder frenzies. Also, his sense of humor sucks. While your Aggressive Psychotic drops witty one-liners in the heat of battle, the Honor-bound Psychotic approaches everything from combating hordes of Darkspawn to pouring a cup of tea with nothing but grim determination.

The Pile of Grey Sludge (aka The Male Support Character)

Examples: Kaiden Alenko (Mass Effect), Jacob Taylor (Mass Effect 2), Carver (Dragon Age 2)

The Pile of Grey Sludge is the most boring character in your entire party. This guy is kind-hearted, generic to the extreme and doesn’t do anything that would distinguish him from any other Pile of Grey Sludge. Speaking with him is utterly pointless, as he won’t have anything even remotely interesting to say. Ironically enough, he’s usually a romantic option for female players.

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  • CewDaGuy - June 14, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    You forgot the Good-Guy soldier type Carth Onasi Alistair Garrus Vakarian
  • echo-frnka - July 10, 2013 12:45 p.m.

  • AdumbroDeus - August 29, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Errr, legion may be a robot but he's not even remotely similar as a character to shale and hk-47. He's not snarky or smugly superior which are their core characterizations.
  • Sealingsword - May 25, 2011 2:42 a.m.

    The walking pair of breasts- Isabela (DA2) Miranda (ME2) Ashley (ME) Bastilla (KotOR) Handmaiden (KotOR2) This character is nothing but, literally, a walking pair of double E's that the average male will try to engage in a hamfisted sexual scene. If you do not you're either someone boring or not a adolescent male. Usually has "ROMANCE ME" plastered on the forehead.
  • echo-frnka - July 10, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Excuse me I am an adolescent male not boring and in no way attracted to polygon women BYE
  • lootgoon - May 24, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    The Awkward Hottie - Emoen (Baldur's Gate)
  • sonyajeb - May 11, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Did you even play some of these games? You have Mission Vao (KotOR) listed as a "hottie" that'll "totally bang you" but she's FOURTEEN. Just a kid. And there is definitely no banging. You have Carver Hawke (DA2) listed as male support, who's "usually a romantic option for female players," but he was the main character's BROTHER. Hence the same last name: Hawke. And you have Jolee Bindo (KotOR) listed as the useless mentor who gets killed off early, but he in fact is a party member throughout most of the game who will use his lightsaber to kick your enemies' butts! Does Bioware use a lot of common character archetypes? Sure. But then again, so do almost every story/movie/game in existence. So I don't really get the issue. As long as they're done well (which I believe is true in most cases with Bioware, though there are exceptions, nobody's perfect), I don't really see the problem.
  • Dicrostonyx - May 10, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    I'll put aside the fact that BioWare's characters are all basically standard science fiction and fantasy stereotypes which are standard for a reason, to whit that these tropes resonate with readers, because honestly this article doesn't make me think that you want a reasoned discussion about literature so much as page hits. I think the more pressing question is whether you actually played Knights of the Old Republic at all, and if so, were you aware that Mission Vao was a fourteen year old orphan (with no in game romance options) when you referred to her as an awkward hottie who would "totally bang you" ?
  • FamousAnonymous - May 6, 2011 2:42 a.m.

    Aren't they making TWO space MMO's?! I'm all for going green, but it really cheapens the experience.
  • tai0316 - May 6, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    First off, Bioware owns me for the rest of my life. I agree, killing Kaiden was awesome, he was so dull and just plain filler. Thane Krios had me from the moment I saw him snap somone's neck. I was actually thinking that his counterpart is Fenris in Dragon Age 2. I felt the same way about Fenris when I saw him crush a guys heart inside his chest. Just me?
  • Time4Tiddy - May 6, 2011 1:29 a.m.

    I would love to have seen this go even further back, for example, Aerie in Baldur's Gate is practically Liara, Jaheira is essentially Morrigan, Neeshka in NWN is Mission Vaio, Anomen or Casavir could easily be Kaiden. Bishop was the psychotic. Basically in every category I was remembering who would have filled that role from NWN or Baldur's Gate.
  • mhendon - May 5, 2011 4:56 a.m.

    This article was mostly dead on...which is sad, but there were two things that came to mind. 1st, Legion has nothing against humans. He just doesn't quite understand them, but that doesn't translate into disdain at all. Second, Sten and Thane are not psychotic. They're completely in control. Also, Sten is hilarious, just in a fantastically deadpan way. I mean, he was DA:O's obligatory Portal reference. Anyhow, good article. I can't fault Bioware for sticking to what works...wish they would do that more often, actually.
  • 2cute2Bcruel - May 4, 2011 10:10 p.m.

    This list is so true it's painful. Well, let's see: Kaidan is really, really boring. I even prefer Jacob over him, despite your saying that he's in the same category as Kaidan. I wish Garrus were a romance option in the first game instead. I disapprove of Morrigan's disapproving goth ass; I'd take Jack's sadistic badassery over her any day. I guess it says something about me and these games that two of my favorite Dragon Age: Origins characters aren't actually on this list... although Alistair is kind of like Garrus and Tali is a bit like Leliana.
  • KrazyGamer - May 4, 2011 9:58 p.m.

  • DryvBy - May 4, 2011 9:25 p.m.

    After Dragon Bore, I decided to not waste any more money on their games. The game was not fun until the very end.
  • Chewrocka - May 4, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    A someone who loves bioware these are all true, I think you could have probably found more if anything...
  • vic88 - May 4, 2011 6:07 p.m.

    holy crap how didn't I notice this before in every bioware game, perhaps i was enjoying them to much to see it
  • bonerachieved - May 4, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    haha this is a great article. After playing many of these games it just didn't occur to me to till now how similar everything is.
  • JizzStr8InUrHeart - May 4, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    U guys forgot those damn spiders... Baldur's gate 1: Many spider infested forest and clock-wood has a spider-lady boss caracter Baldur's gate 2: there is a spider den and some kind of spider lady again, for no apparent reason, under the cemetery. Dragon age: spiders are everywhere and consist on one of the most common enemies in the game. Dragon age 2: spiders are back and now the most common ennemy, including way too many giant "mother-spiders" mini-bosses... Mass effect: these is a race of spider-like insectoids, who, without any subtelity are called "Rachni".. I mean come on....what's with the fucking spiders Bioware ? what's with the spider lady
  • FauxFurry - May 4, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Comparing Legion to HK-47 or Shale just because they happen to all be humanoid constructs just isn't remotely fair. Curiosity does not equal Contempt. That's stretching things quite a bit, something that none of them can do, not having skin or muscles and all of that dross. Part of the Recalcitrant Shrew entry doesn't quite cover all of the examples evenly, either, with Jade Fox wearing some of the most clothing of any party member (much more than Sagacious Zhu whose place on the list is also a little questionable).