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The Best BioWare Characters

With our Dragon Age: Inquisition coverage in full swing, the time is ripe to celebrate the best BioWare characters. BioWare has provided us with many extraordinary party members over the years that making a list was no easy task. After debating internally and with my fellow staff members, it was decided that certain characters simply had to make the cut. Cast members are memorable for different reasons, whether we love them for their sarcasm, development, or merely because they're different from the standard video game archetype. For this list, I have some of the obvious choices and some neglected standouts.

Note: Characters are in no set order

HK-47 (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) 

While BioWare's games have always had comic-relief characters, none have come close to the simple wisdom and mean-spiritedness of HK-47.  While he hides under the guise of a protocol droid, this assassin has derision for every "meatbag" around him. Except for his master, of course. While most will remember him for his snide comments to those around him, HK-47 found simple joy in what he did: murdering meatbags or at least talking about killing them. 

Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect) 

He's one of the most appreciated party members for a reason: He's got the reach. Jokes aside, Garrus has enough charisma to top all the rest of the Mass Effect cast. His laid-back nature is calming, and his sarcasm brings some much-needed levity. On one hand, you have the tough-as-nails turian who likes to shoot bottles off the top of the Citadel. On the other, you have the caring guy who'd be right at your side should anything happen. Loyal to the very end, Garrus has catapulted to the bro of all bros.

Minsc (Baldur's Gate) 

If you played Baldur's Gate, one character stood out from the pack. You could call Minsc crazy; after all, he's been hit so many times on the head, he hardly makes sense as he consults Boo, his "miniature giant space hamster." Strangely enough, this is what makes you love him all the more. Minsc is also a good soul; he desires to be a hero so much that it's often funny how far he'll go, but you know his heart is always in the right place. His mind on the other hand...

Shale (Dragon Age: Origins) 

If you were Shale you'd hate pigeons, too. Shale was once a female dwarf, whose soul was transported to a golem by her own request to help defend the people during the First Blight. The only problem is that Shale can be activated and deactivated, and unfortunately, a mage found her deactivated and she was put under his control. He treated her like an experiment and paraded her around like a sideshow. Deactivated by the mage's wife after blaming her for his death, Shale stood for years awake, but unable to move. That's time for a lot of pigeons to use you as a resting ground, which explains her homicidal rage towards them. She may be made of rock, but getting her to look at herself as a person is a whole other story.

Varric Tethras (Dragon Age II) 

Who's got your back? This dwarf does. Varric, who has a story for every occasion, supported you every step of the way in Dragon Age II, whether he agreed or not. He may have a thing for blackmail and you never can be sure he's actually telling the truth, but like a true sidekick, he never lets you down. He'll always be there with a drink in hand and a crazy story to lighten the mood. Let's face it: When the world's fate is in your hands, a little humor never hurts.

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