Jason Tseng

Dragon Age: Origins - Humans Top and Elves Bottom

Filed By Jason Tseng | December 02, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Media
Tags: dragon age: origins, video games

So, I won't deny that a large part of Dragon Age: Origins' squee factor for me was the possibility of getting it on with hot elf assassin, Zevran. What can I say? I always had a thing for Legolas. (I'm also convinced Orlando Bloom only looks good with blond extensions.) While it would have been nice to do Alistair too have multiple male same-sex options, I was quite content with the opportunity to bed and wed the limber elven Lothario.

I had been working up to this achievement for quite some time; carefully selecting the adequate gifts to woo the object of my virtual affection. I even did some research on the correct conversations strings that would unlock the much anticipated man-on-man cut scene. So when I finally accrued enough affinity from Zevran to unlock the key conversation points that would get him into my tent (double entendre intended) I was surprised to discover that my elf mage PC had entirely different sex choreography scripted than the prior human/elf videos I had already seen online.

Here's how a human male interaction goes with Zevran. (**The following videos are possibly nsfw):

And here's how the elf-on-elf action unfolds:

Clearly, a production meeting occurred in the Dragon Age offices where it was decided that the PC humans and elves should occupy different sex roles regarding who takes it up the chimney sweep. I find it interesting that:

  • A) The designers thought it important enough to program two entirely different scenes for the different races

  • B) The smaller statured, slimmer elves are the default to bottom.

I wonder who pitches when Zevran beds a dwarf. I'm guessing the stolid, stone-loving, underground-dwelling race would be designed to also top, as most dwarves have enough body hair to send even the most prodigious Bears running. That being said, I find it fascinating to observe how sexual racism persists even the gaming world. While it is true, you can be a dark-skinned elf, just as easily as a light-skinned human... the notion that races generally fit into neat sexual archetypes still persists in the virtual world is interesting. It is reminiscent of how Asian men are assumed to be bottoms unless proven otherwise. Much in the same way that in Dragon Age, all bottoms are elves, but not all elves are bottoms (when bedding other elves). While I'll reserve myself from ringing the racism gong once again, I will say that I'd totally like to see Alistair bend over for Zevran.

originally posted on Scarlet Betch

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I think it's progressive enough that theres a gay sex scene in the first place! I could care less if whether you top or bottom is based on being a human or an elf!

On the racism side, I just about lost it when I was talking to the Dalish storyteller, and after he vented about the oppression humans have visited upon elves, my only responses were to say nothing or three variations on "it's not my fault!"

That's so weird that they'd make two gay sex scenes depending on your race. I guess they just want the gay boys to play it through at least twice.

i guess it worked. cuz i'm totally rolling a dwarven rogue just to see what happens between me and zevran! I'll keep you posted!

Well, I doubt they made two separate sex scenes, but probably equated male elf in this instance with the female character model, who would likely be in a similar position. This is even more problematic in terms of what it says about the intersection of race and gender.

as a programmer I have to say having that sort of "random" sequence is very difficult to program. You have to create a separate sequence for each cut-scene anyway, and it's all pre-rolled, there's nothing real-time aside from the actual rendering of the graphics. I'm guessing what happened was NOT some sort of board-room decision, but whoever was in charge of that part of the story-board made an executive decision, and because it's one of many, MANY cut-scenes in this particular game, it made it into the final game. Then again...

...sometimes, racism is purposefully built in to virtual worlds to better reflect the way we exist in reality. You'll notice that all the problems these worlds exhibit (I mean, you're staving off a freaking horde of demons) are intentional. Perhaps this was done on purpose for the sake of discussion?

I am loving this game. :) Many of the other characters have unclear or homosexual tendencies. Lots of the dialogue is neutral in both gender and sexuality.

or maybe the programmer is simply wanted the character to be versatile ;)

Of course, it was also fascinating that, when we had our wedding photo taken at LILY'S REVENGE, you said "Clearly, I'm the wife..."

Hmm; that came out all wrong and now I can't delete it.

I really loved this game - unfortunately I rushed to the end of the game and was too weak to beat the archdemon so I didn't get to see how my relationship with alistair worked out (Elf mage). boohoo

It is a good thing to have variety and new ideas. I own this game and I didn't know this scene was in the game.