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September 1st, 2011

Duncan - Dragon Age: Origins

I think I’ve played Dragon Age: Origins through at least a couple dozen times if not more, still haven’t earned all the achievements yet, but that’s mainly due to laziness on my part. One constant in the game is that no matter which origin story you choose be it a human noble betrayed by a family friend, a Dalish elf tainted by an ancient magic, a mage trying to help a friend, a dwarf betrayed by your younger brother, or the other two, you always meet Duncan.

Duncan is the head of the Grey Wardens, an ancient order pledged to stop the Darkspawn from destroying all of Thedas, for the country of Fereldan. He recruits your player character into the order during the origin of your character and it is through you that you meet King Cailin, his advisor Loghain, and another Warden by name of Alistair. Duncan, unfortunately, does not play a role in a bulk of the game after those meetings.

I got into playing Dragon Age: Origins late and before I knew what “downloadable content” was. That aside, Duncan really struck me as a character. You could tell there was a history to this man and not all of it was filled with rainbows and butterflies. When I learned there were to be action figures made from this game, I was elated. Sadly, I couldn’t find them anywhere and online prices were not reasonable. I turned to my local comic book store and they were able to order them for me. When they arrived, Duncan was not among them. I kept looking online and a few months later found myself in a city south of mine and in a comic book store. There he was, oh happy day! I bought him, brought him home, opened him up, placed his accessories in his hands, and his right hand broke clean off. Again, I was Warden-less.

Recently, Entertainment Earth had a sale and Duncan was one of the items for sale. He arrived not too long ago and I’ve had no problems since. Thank the Maker! He is an excellent specimen of DC Direct product. As with the other Dragon Age: Origins figures, Duncan is based off of the artwork done for the game so he doesn’t exactly match his on-screen appearance. That aside, he is remarkably rich in detail. His head is sculpted with a look of determination, for his mission is dire. His beard is well-kempt and his hair tied into a ponytail that dances just below the base of his neck. I don’t know the exact term for them, but the lines and swirls in his armor are amazing. His kama, I believe that’s the right word for it, is equally well executed with two belts and a pouch strapped to his outer right thigh. There are regal swooshes, for lack of a better word, that wrap around from the front to the back, where the kama is slit to allow him to move his legs freely (were this made out of fabric and not vinyl). Duncan has ball-hinge joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, and knees and swivel joints at the wrists, waist, and hips. Unfortunately, due to the design, anything below the waist is rendered moot since the kama restricts movement considerably.

Duncan comes with two accessories. The first is his long sword, though in the game he was seen using two blades, one sword and one dagger. From hilt to tip it stands about 2/3 Duncan’s height and is molded in light gray plastic with black paint washed over the hilt and handle to give it an aged, worn look. He also comes with the Joining Chalice, which is part of the ritual your character takes part in to become a Grey Warden. If you have the Return to Ostagar DLC, you find it and can give it as a gift to Alistair. The chalice is molded in a silvery plastic with a wash over it to make it look ancient. It is lines on the outside with two rings of pictographs. If they tell a story, I don’t know what it is, but it gives the piece a nice look. Both the sword and chalice have pegs that can plug into the insides of Duncan’s hands so he can hold them better. I caution you with this. I was attempting to secure the chalice into his right hand when the hand snapped off. DC Direct figures are not known for their durability as they’re not really designed as toys first. Just be careful is all I’m saying.

I’m glad I have a non-broken Duncan. It’s been far too long and overdue and also completes my Dragon Age: Origins collection since it doesn’t seem like they’ll be making any more figures. That’s a shame because there are a lot of great characters from that game and its sequels that would look great in plastic.