Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Dragon Age Inquisition's Trans Character

Bioware's Dragon Age games are great opportunities for queer representation as they don't force you to stick to a heterosexual love story as many games do. In Inquisition you have even greater representation of sexuality with exclusively gay and lesbian romance options in addition to the usual straight and bisexual ones. Not only that but there are NPCs you interact with that add to the representation, from a scout who you can encourage to keep seducing female mages to much more plot relevant past relationships that I won't go into for spoiler reasons.

But beyond that Inquisition gets the distinction of having Bioware's first in game trans character, Cremisius Acclasi. Or Krem for short.


Krem is a trans man, assigned female at birth but identifies as male, or a Aqun-Athlok for you Qunari. He is Iron Bull's second-in-command for Bull's Chargers and gives us plenty of humorous scenes with his back and forth joking with Bull. While he isn't part of the Inquisitor's Inner Circle I feel he does get more screen time than many of the NPCs you have working for you.

The game does use some problematic language at times but I feel it is more to illustrate the setting and peoples ignorance. The game makes sure though in no uncertain terms that he IS a man and if you have a problem with that you can take it up with Iron Bull. It is representation that is good for cis players who are ignorant or bigoted on the subject and it gives trans people a rare positive game example.

Not The First In-Universe Trans Character

In Dragon Age Origins at The Pearl brothel there is the "Surprise Me" option which gets you a Dwarf in a dress as one of the options, a transmisogynistic joke. Dragon Age II had a character at The Blooming Rose, a brothel, named Serendipity. With the appearance of a female Elf, Serendipity had a male voice actor and came off as a transmisogynistic joke at the expense of trans women. David Gaider, lead writer for the Dragon Age series, later admitted the mistake and said that Serendipity was supposed to be a drag queen.

The comics introduced to us the first trans woman to the Dragon Age universe, Maevaris Tilani. Maevaris is a Magister in the Tevinter Imperium, but don't hold that against her. I haven't read the comics yet, just seen a few page, so I can't say too much about her but I don't care for the reveal when she was shown badly wounded and disrobed in the dungeon. I was hoping I would get to meet her in Inquisition but apparently due to development times, she was not included. You can help her out though in Tevinter through a few War Table missions, and I hope that perhaps we will see her in a DLC.


Missed Opportunity

Bioware games are big about letting you make your character your own, within the confines of the story. It isn't quite The Elder Scrolls where your character starts off as a complete blank slate aside from you are always a prisoner at the start, but you can decide what kind of person your hero is going to be based on the actions you take and who you romance. That is why I feel like Dragon Age Inquisition missed an opportunity that Krem gave them, allow you to make your character trans.


It really wouldn't even have required many changes. Either during your conversation with Bull's Chargers or with Krem, after it is confirmed Krem is trans, they could have added a special chat option to say something about how you are similar to Krem. You can make plenty of special chat options throughout the game in relation to your background and this really would have only required a couple of lines from your character, and a few lines of reaction from Krem and/or Iron Bull depending who you tell.

Really any character I create in an RPG is going to be a trans woman anyways, it just isn't going to be acknowledged anywhere outside my own headcanon. This would have given people a way to have it as a game option that is neither obtrusive nor to in your face for the majority of the players.


The Future!

Now that we have Krem I can but hope Bioware will keep moving forward with trans representation. Perhaps, however unlikely out of the many companions we are sure to get in Mass Effect 4 one of them will be a trans woman. A trans protagonist seems like a far off dream for a AAA game, in a culture that makes trans people, especially trans women, the butt of jokes instead, but perhaps we can slowly work our way there.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter