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In Dragon Age, the horses lied to you

John Epler, the game’s creative director, has let the cat out of the bag by revealing that the game’s horses have been lying to us the whole time via the use of clever editing and perspective.

More and more interesting tidbits about the critically acclaimed action RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition have surfaced in the run-up to the release of Dragon Age 4. Epler revealed the unpleasant reality that running when mounted does not increase speed in a Twitter post.

In fact, “Frostbite couldn’t stream in levels quickly enough,” as Epler put it, the gaming engine BioWare used to create Dragon Age Inquisition. Because of this, the development team had to adjust the camera’s perspective and include speed lines whenever you accelerated your horse’s pace.

Broken engine

Not for the first time has Frostbite let down the development team. Kotaku claims that many developers found working with the engine to be a very frustrating experience. A former employee of BioWare commented, “Frostbite is basically an in-house engine with all the faults it entails—poorly it’s documented, hacked together, and so on,” referring to the engine’s lack of proper documentation and sloppy construction.

Frostbite was also utilised by BioWare in their asynchronous multiplayer role-playing game Anthem. This engine was capable of creating large, visually impressive environments, but it lacked the precision necessary to handle smaller elements. Many features were reduced because they were incompatible with the engine.

More untruths

Though I found the deception about the horses’ speeds to be particularly jarring, it wasn’t the only one in Dragon Age Inquisition. The plot of this role-playing game is a little convoluted, what with the renegade Magi, the civil war, and the space-warping rift that opens a portal between our world and the Fade, a realm where ghosts and devils reside. The scar on your protagonist’s hand is important since it’s the only thing that can seal the gaps.

This bright green stamp, as you would expect, instantly elevates your protagonist to the status of main character and thrusts them into the action. So it came as a bit of a shock to me when I saw that the marketing materials for Dragon Age Inquisition have been displaying this recognisable and potent symbol in the incorrect orientation. There is an inaccuracy in the posters where the Inquisitor’s green light is coming from his right hand, whereas in the game it comes from his left.

Though not as shocking as the revelation that my horse has been fibbing to me for years, I’ve always found this to be an odd blunder. Some have speculated that this was meant as a subtle reference to Link from The Legend of Zelda, who strikes a similar position, while others have pointed out that it may be difficult to identify right from left. Whatever the case may be, it’s humorous that the number of falsehoods and missteps in Dragon Age Inquisition seems to be growing.