Tag Archives: Shale

Characters Done Well: Shale

11 Apr

First up in a series on well written and designed characters in video games (from a gender perspective):  Shale from Dragon Age: Origins.

[Spoilers Below]

Perhaps the most interesting recruitable party member from Dragon Age : Origins was, for me, the Dwarven war golem Shale. From a design perspective it is the most ‘different’ looking, or the most ‘monstrous’, which separates it from the mostly humanoid remainder of the party.  Shale also has fairly  interesting gameplay mechanics, being able to fill a wide variety of roles depending on talent specialisation.  Shale’s personal narrative was one of the more immediately engaging, and it’s dialogue was some of the more obviously humorous and least hammy.

Shale, as a character, also gently subverts audience preconceptions about gender, and delivers a satisfying ‘big reveal’ moment, that in many ways serves to highlight the audience’s internalised preconceptions about gender.

Shale, you see, is/was a woman.

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