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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.

65 comments

  • BraveDave - May 3, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    Great article, it's true, Bioware really does like to keep the same ideas going over and over again. This can be traced all the way back to Baldur's Gate really. Ah, but Jolee was far from useless! I found him to to be the most versatile Jedi NPC in the whole game. And his sense of humor was well appreciated. :)
  • Gameguy94 - May 3, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    Cracked.com did a similar article, but both are equally entertaining.
  • Scoob - May 3, 2011 9:20 p.m.

    I'll take this line up of typical characters over the spunky wild haired teenagers that save the world that populates JRPGs.
  • Yaro - May 3, 2011 9:25 p.m.

    It's funny because it's true. I laughed so hard at the grey sludge entry. Couldn't agree more.
  • Bloodstorm - May 3, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    I'll give you most of it, but Thane was never a honor-bound psychotic. Honor-bound, yes, psychotic, no.
  • sleepyMexican45 - May 3, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    @Scoob - Yeh totally. Think about EVERY Bioware adventure game/RPG, then look at ALMOST THE ENTIRE BACK-CATOLOGUE OF WANK JRPGs. Mass Effect 3 will RULE.
  • Cosmis - May 3, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    I don't know if I'd classify Mission as naive, and I don't know if I'd say Jolee was useless. Good article all the same, though.
  • kyle94 - May 3, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't call Mission Vao a hottie. At most a cutie. Primarily because in KOTOR, she's 14...
  • Redeater - May 3, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    Why the fuck haven't they made a sequel to Jade Empire?? Unless they are to busy crapping out another Dragon Age Sequel.
  • loladi - May 3, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    nice article, needed a little more Carth, though. http://lovelyentropy.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/carth.jpg
  • Foerster - May 3, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    You notice the irony in basicly recycling a Cracked article about recycled characters? But yes, there are some character archetypes that Bioware loves to use. But it works in my opinion, as they add a new twist every time.
  • Letter11 - May 3, 2011 10:15 p.m.

    Heh, the Useless Mentor part made me think of Detective Murtaugh, that's what you were going for right? "I'm gettin' too old for this shit!"
  • inSovietRussiaDatesRecallBrettElston - May 3, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    kinda surprised not to see any mention of sonic: dark brotherhood characters considering that they fit into some of the archetypes that this article creates
  • n00b - May 3, 2011 10:38 p.m.

    hey guys!!! before you know it wrpgs will be stale morality systems are overrated Junction System FTW //ends ambiguous sarcasm
  • TheBear - May 3, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    Why wasn't Tali in the Awkward Hottie group? She fits way better than Liara. She became an information broker which probably requires some social skills.
  • Dreadnought - May 3, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    golem, robot, same thing. golems are just like ancient robots.
  • blitzpoisonpunk - May 3, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    So what you're saying is.......Bioware stick to a popular formula?! QUICK! Someone warn Shakespeare!
  • BladedFalcon - May 4, 2011 12:03 a.m.

    Uh... Now sure Thane Can be Compared to Sten or Sagacious Zu in any way. Sure, he has a moral code, but unlike the other two he DOES have a sense of humor, and more personality to boot. But the one that makes me scratch my head the most is the last one... Agreed,HK-47 and Shale have a similar attitude, specially displaying their disdain for humans, but Legion does not show this at all, heck, if anything, he treats humans with a bit of reverence at best, or indifference at worst, but never disdain.He never dishes any insults either and I don;t remember being it pretentious or even showing a clear joy for killing as the other two. Those kinds of trios make me wonder if you guys found only two of a kind, and tried to pair them up with someone who just happens to share the profession/Race, but isn't really the same.
  • Yeager1122 - May 4, 2011 12:15 a.m.

    Hey at least you get to kill kaiden boring bastard that he was easiest descion i ever made.
  • Tehk2 - May 4, 2011 12:19 a.m.

    Can someone explain to me why this article lifts huge chunks from an incredibly similar (and by incredibly similar, I mean almost virtually identical in FAR too many sections to be a coincidence) to a Cracked.com that was written months ago? http://www.cracked.com/funny-3872-bioware/ Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks a helluva lot like plagiarism.

Showing 1-20 of 65 comments

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