BioWare games give you the opportunity to find true friends, something that life so rarely offers. The Canadian video game developer is known far and wide for its ability to create rich, complex characters with whom the player can interact, become friends, and potentially fall in love. Assuming you don’t go full Chaotic Evil, your companions are drawn to you from the start, compelled to follow you on your quest to save the world.
The genius of BioWare fully reveals itself in roleplay. Based on your decisions in conversations or in quests, certain party members may take more of a liking to you than others, fostering friendships so strong and real that it actually hurts to leave them to do regular human things like eat or sleep.
Here’s a list of five beautiful, virtual people we met in BioWare games. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to bring ourselves NOT to befriend them, even if this is the fourth playthrough and we really wanted to see some different content. Nope. Not happening. These are our BioWare BFFs, and we will cherish the friendship bracelets forever.
(Warning: Spoilers abound.)
Garrus Vakarian | Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3
Of course, we have to start with Space Batman. Commander Shepard first meets Garrus in Mass Effect, and the good-natured, wise-cracking turian is one of two characters who remain your companion for all three games. After Shepard’s “death,” Garrus leaves C-Sec and follows in the Commander’s footsteps, leading a team and bringing justice to criminals on Omega, the galaxy’s outlaw outpost.
That moment in Mass Effect 2, seeing Garrus again, was like coming home for so many Shepards. After doubt from Kaidan/Ashley and doubt from yourself, you suddenly knew that everything would be okay because Garrus had your back and would always watch your six. After all, there’s no Shepard without Vakarian. (Cue ugly sobbing.)
Varric Tethras | Dragon Age II, Dragon Age: Inquisition
Forever doomed to remain non-romanceable, Varric’s heart was given long ago to Bianca, his crossbow—and also maybe definitely a lady dwarf. Despite his amorous unavailability, Varric becomes fast friends with a humorous Hawke in Dragon Age II, regaling everyone in the party with tall tales of heroism. He is your ultimate bro, exaggerating the truth for dramatic effect while knowing when it’s important to get serious and stand up for his friends.
For many, the reappearance of Hawke in Inquisition prompted dreams of your Champion and Varric reconnecting and getting drunk in Skyhold’s tavern. If Hawke met his/her end in the game, no one is more affected than Varric. We know that, through the sadness, he will never stop honoring his friend.
Cassandra Pentaghast | Dragon Age: Inquisition
Underneath Cassandra’s hard exterior lies a compassionate and romantic defender of the people, and one of the joys of Inquisition is gaining her trust. Devoted to doing the right thing, Cassandra puts massive amounts of pressure on herself to restore peace and order in difficult times. She may be pious and distrustful of magic, but she will never fault a mage for offering assistance when needed, and she recognizes the value of reform.
As her friend and confidant, you can take some of that burden off her shoulders and share responsibility. Being on equal footing with such a strong and steadfast individual only reinforces the character of your Inquisitor, and it allows you to get to know Cassandra as the unfailingly caring person that she is. We will always ensure that she gets the latest edition of Varric’s book, because the look of glee on her face never fails to warm our hearts.
Bastila Shan | Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Throughout the course of KotOR; Bastila is your mentor, your enemy, and your friend. Initially abrasive, she tries to maintain a professional relationship with you that slowly softens as the game progresses. With the shared visions, and especially after a certain revelation, you get the sense that your fate is inextricably tied to Bastila’s.
When Darth Malak turns her to the dark side, it’s extremely personal: this is the woman who has fought so hard for your shift to the light, and now she’s being manipulated by none other than your former apprentice who sought to destroy you. Helping her back to the light becomes part of your own journey as well. Canonically, man Revan and Bastila fall in love and presumably have lots of force-sensitive babies, but platonically she means a lot to us too.
Dorian Pavus | Dragon Age: Inquisition
The scion of the prominent Pavus family, Dorian is anything but a conventional mage from Tevinter. He is unabashedly confident, flirtatious, and (let’s face it) perfect. His personal quest is particularly special and emotional, thanks in part to the god-like voice acting of Ramon Tikaram, and many Inquisitors immediately jump to defend Dorian when his father questions his choice of romantic partners. Dorian’s homosexuality is an important part of who he is, but it doesn’t define his character.
Perhaps it’s due to his frankness with you, his first and only friend in this new territory, that we find ourselves so attached so quickly. But we don’t mind, and Dorian certainly doesn’t blame us for our good taste.
Honorable mention: David Anderson | Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3
While Anderson never becomes a member of your squad, he is always there for you, whether as a military leader, a councilor, or a father figure. Anderson is Shepard’s guardian angel, standing up against Udina and the rest of the Council on your behalf, and he remains with you until the very bitter end.
Who are your BioWare BFFs? Did any of them become more than friends? Start some juicy gossip in the comments section!
Feature Image Credit: BioWare/Electronic Arts
Image credit: BioWare/Electronic Arts, BioWare/LucasArts