Good Old Games Adds Baldur’s Gate II

By John Walker on November 15th, 2010 at 1:29 pm.

The untweaked version looks a tad dated. But can be improved.

As expected, Good Old Games have added to their catalogue Baldur’s Gate II. Which means they’ve now got a pretty definitive collection of BioWare and their spin-off’s RPGs from the turn of the century. It’s the Complete version, which comes with the main game, Shadows of Amn, and the add-on pack, Throne of Baal. At over 200 hours long, it’s probably the best ratio of game for money you’ll find, even though GoG have put it at their higher price of $10. There’s a bunch of goodies in there too, art work and the soundtrack, along with the manuals and the map. So, there it is. Baldur’s Gate I and II, Icewind Dale I and II, Neverwinter Nights, and PlaneScape: Torment, all in one place, preserved. Phew.

(Don’t forget to check out the Gibberlings BG2 fixpack, the BG2 Tweakpack and their widescreen mod, along with a bunch of other extras including new characters, before playing.)

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128 Comments »

  1. Kaira- says:

    YESS. Oh wait, no! I just remembered that I have a bleepton of work overdue, and you just have to go and tempt me to buy it.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Best game of all time? Only speaking for myself, but it’s definitely up there.

    • MrMud says:

      best game ever made

    • Jockie says:

      Certainly up there for me.

      Worth bearing in mind you can grab the whole of the BG series for just shy of a tenner if you’re willing to put up with those age old relics of a forgotten past known as ‘DVDs’.

    • rei says:

      Not as good as the first one as far as I’m concerned, but not many people agree. BG II marks the moment when they decided that on-rails, tightly controlled, linear experiences are better than RPGs that give you true freedom to explore, the latter of which is the most important thing for me. Still a great game, though.

      I stopped playing when the game decided that even though I was clever enough to get my hands on Drizzt’s swords, they’ll just keep spamming me with a wizard that teleports to me and won’t let me continue the game until I hand them over. What an amazingly cheap thing to put in.

    • MrMud says:

      @rei
      “Not as good as the first one as far as I’m concerned, but not many people agree. BG II marks the moment when they decided that on-rails, tightly controlled, linear experiences are better than RPGs that give you true freedom to explore, the latter of which is the most important thing for me. Still a great game, though.”

      What? Act 2 is incredibly open.

    • KilgoreTrout XL says:

      Yup. My favorite game of all time.

    • rei says:

      @MrMud Turns out we have vastly differing ideas of openness. Frankly I have no idea what you’re referring to when you say ‘Act 2′ since I last played the game when it was new, but being able to freely move around sub-zones doesn’t equal free exploration. You have to go where the game wants you to go and if you feel like going back to an earlier area you’re out of luck. Like I tried to make clear I’m well aware that most people aren’t bothered by being corralled in like that, but it makes me feel like I’m just along for the ride.

    • jeremypeel says:

      @rei

      I know what you mean, and in that respect I prefer the entirely open exploration (between tons of areas, at least) of BG1 and Fallout to that of BG2.

      As far as Bioware are concerned though, BG2 is when they found their perfect balance of (frankly, still absolutely huge) exploration and extreme detail. They still tend to follow the same structural formula today.

    • Wooly says:

      @Rei: For a taste of true linearity, you really should play JRPG’s– those would give you a hemorrhage if you dislike BG2 for being too linear!

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      oceanclub says:

      “orth bearing in mind you can grab the whole of the BG series for just shy of a tenner if you’re willing to put up with those age old relics of a forgotten past known as ‘DVDs’.”

      I bought the relatively recent 4-in-1 Baldur’s Gate compilation set on DVD but had problems installing it; looking for non-existent CDs, etc. So gog.com might be the most painless way to buy.

      (I now have Baldur’s Gate 2 on _three_ formats – original CDs which I bought from eBay, the aforementioned recent compilation, and now buying on gog.com – and still haven’t gotten past the first few hours. Ironic.)

      P.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @rei

      What game were you playing?

    • rei says:

      @lilliput Baldur’s Gate II, which is the topic of this here discussion. You should pay attention to what’s going on instead of expecting people to just explain things to you.

    • Isaac says:

      Was that a failed Save vs. Sarcasm roll?

    • rei says:

      I’m afraid yours might have been :(

    • Nick says:

      My favourite anyway.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @Rei

      Oh. Fair enough then.

      No, wait – Act 2 was pretty much “you need to raise 20k gold to hire this guy! Go!” It was a pretty great way to introduce sandbox gaming without chucking story out the window, I thought, and it was also by far the largest part of the game.

      You’re entitled to draw your own conclusions, but not remembering the biggest part of the game doesn’t do much to convince me they’re justified.

    • Nick says:

      Chapter 2 and again you can finish off stuff you missed in the same area (plus some new stuff) in Chapter 6 (er, I think it was 6).

    • rei says:

      @ lilliput: Remembering ‘Act 2′ and remembering which part of the game is designated ‘Act 2′ are two different things, which I’m sure you can appreciate since—as Nick pointed out—they’re called Chapters and not Acts. Should that reflect on whether your opinion of the game is valid or not as well, then?

      Did you ever actually play the first BG? I should think what I was saying would be fairly clear to anyone who did, but the distinction I was trying to make was between the one large map in the first game where most of the game took place, with locations you could choose to visit and revisit or not visit in any order you felt like, as opposed to the ordered sequence of locations that you were shuttled between in the second one. I didn’t enjoy that as much; many others enjoyed it more. Both I should think are valid opinions that spring from appreciation of different elements in RPGs, but if you want to perceive that your favorite game has been slighted when someone else feels that they weren’t perfect then that’s your internet man’s prerogative.

    • rei says:

      Spam-o-tron malfunction, nothing to see here.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “they’re called Chapters and not Acts. Should that reflect on whether your opinion of the game is valid or not as well, then?”

      Hah.

      Seriously, though, I’m not sure what you’re on, but it bothers me. BG2 had a worldmap. The only sections you couldn’t travel around as you wished were the opening and the endgame. You were ‘shuttled’ once for the endgame. And of course I’ve played BG1. I don’t really have any preference, as it happens. I’m just a little stunned by an argument that seems to have nothing to do with the game in hand.

  3. Simon Dufour says:

    Damn.. I should buy it. I should actually buy them all but nwn diamond which I already have.

  4. Catshade says:

    Nobody ever remembers The Temple of Elemental Evil :(

    • cs says:

      I remember it. I just bought it from GOG because I really wanted a tactical, turn-based RPG on the desktop after playing Disgaea to death on the DS.

      And, since I’ve never played tabletop D&D, I’m a bit lost. More than a bit actually. I’m sure the game makes perfect sense to someone who was immersed in D&D 3.5, but for someone who’s just used to the conventions of Western & Japanese RPG video games, it’s all a bit bewildering.

    • Jockie says:

      ToEE has a very steep learning curve, but it’s fine once you get to grips with it. The first level or 2 are not exactly beginner friendly though. Make sure to grab the circle of eight fixpack if you give it another shot, it fixes the numerous bugs in the game.

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      phlebas says:

      I found ToEE in a charity shop on Saturday. Anyone want to tell me what patches I need?

    • Demon Beaver says:

      You can also try learning the D20 system: http://www.d20srd.org/
      I know it’s all cool to hate on D&D, but I got many good years of satisfying gaming out of it…

    • squareking says:

      edit: I failed even with the revamped reply system. :(

    • squareking says:

      @Catshade ToEE has the coolest-looking system ever, but I can’t get it nor the Co8 patch to play nice on my laptop. :(

    • Arglebargle says:

      No, CS, it is not just you. The old D&D rules were horribly haphazard and murky, and not that well balanced either.

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    drewski says:

    I must get around to playing this some day.

  6. Bossman says:

    Baldur’s Gate 2 was such a great game. It’s a shame that nobody does these party-based RPGs anymore. In all the recent RPGs you are either alone against the world or you get a whooping 2 useless henchmen with you.

    • Alistair says:

      River of Time is supposed to exist in English in Europe somewhere, so there will be another party-based RPG emerging shortly. I quite liked the demo I played in German.

    • Paul B says:

      Dragon’s Age had three companions but, I agree, it’s not the same as BG I, II or Icewind Dale. I think it’s more difficult to have bigger parties now because of the time you’d need to write & record voice work for every party combination. Back then, you only had to be concerned with the written text, and a tiny bit of recorded dialogue.

      I’d also check out NWN2 add-on, Storm of Zehir. If I recall correctly you could have a maximum party of six adventurers, and it was also quite a good game if memory serves me.

  7. malkav11 says:

    I really recommend against using any content mods with the possible exception of the fan-made NPCs. The fix and tweakpacks, widescreen resolution mod, and so on are all definitely worthwhile, but things like the Darkest Day are awful and will insert a whole lot of poorly written, poorly designed wankery into your otherwise excellent game.

    Also: if you have any interest in playing the first Baldur’s Gate (and there’s no real need to, you’re not missing -that- much), you want a copy of Baldur’s Gate II from somewhere and either the BGTutu or BGTrilogy mods first, to port it into the BGII engine. Makes life a whole lot nicer.

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      Harlander says:

      Is “the first BG is kinda poor” a commonly-held opinion?

      I know I couldn’t get all that far through it due to the annoyingly hard wilderness combats which I for some reason felt compelled to seek out despite hating every moment

    • jeremypeel says:

      No, it is not a commonly-held opinion.

      Well. People will reply to this and express their lack of love for it, but I suspect that relatively small percentage has more to do with RPS’ massive readership than anything else.

      Even I can admit it has some terrific difficulty spikes for beginners, and might be a little too loosely-structured for modern standards. But it’s one of the greatest RPGs of all time, and my second favourite game ever.

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      Dolphan says:

      It doesn’t get the worship that BG2 gets, but I don’t think many people would call it poor. It was seen as single-handedly revitalising PC RPGs at the time, and it’s still pretty damn good compared to a lot of stuff out there. It could be pretty brutally unforgiving though, especially early on if you were a weak class (level 1 mage with up to 4 hitpoints and unable to wear armour in a game where you get a game over if your protagonist dies is a bit of a classic) or, y’know, walked off in the wrong direction.

    • Skurmedel says:

      I prefer BG1 but maybe because I’ve not played as much BG2… I don’t know. I feel it’s almost meaningless to debate whichever is better, because both are really really good.

    • Rane2k says:

      +1 for BG1 being good.

      I think everyone interested in the series should play both + expansions, sequentially.

    • Langman says:

      BG1 is so close to BG2 in terms of quality, it’s almost not worth separating them. With effectively the exact same engine and gameplay dynamics, they’re both just two parts of the same game anyway.

      BG2 probably is the stronger if I *had* to choose one due to a slightly higher quality of dialogue/quests, but there’s not much in it at all. Play BG1 first if you haven’t played any of them before.

    • Nick says:

      I like the first one a lot, personally. I would only use the rules tweaks/fixes on a first playthrough, no additional NPCs. Probably unfinished business too actually, as its more of a restored quest thing and integrates well. I would never, ever ever use The Darkest Day. Ever.

    • malkav11 says:

      Baldur’s Gate II is the classic. I wouldn’t say Baldur’s Gate 1 is -bad-, exactly. Once you move it into the substantially superior version of the engine used in the sequel, several of the worst elements of the original game are eliminated, leaving only the horror that is low level D&D combat with game over on protagonist death. But it’s just not nearly as good as its sequel. The world is sparsely populated with encounters of any actual substance; mostly you’ll encounter a great many wandering wolves and tasloi and similar low level chaff. The NPCs that can join your party are numerous but have little depth, backstory or personality (with a few exceptions that are nonetheless much better handled in BG2) and interact with one another or your dialogues minimally. I also find low levels pretty dull in D&D, while I know some people actively prefer them. BG2 is a substantially more focused experience with a much stronger central plot, while BG1 involves a lot more self-directed wandering (BG2′s second and sixth acts do give you a great deal of freedom to do your own thing, but not to quite the same extent).

    • fuggles says:

      But if you don’t play BG1, how do you get the bronze pantaloons?

    • malkav11 says:

      By playing Throne of Bhaal. You get the gold ones in BG1.

      Also, you can just spawn them with a console command.

  8. CFKane says:

    Anyone who plays BG2 with Throne of Bhaal needs to play the Ascension Mod. It was written by David Gaider (one of the game’s writers, if I remember correctly) and implements a more complete (and more difficult) ending to ToB. Having played the games through both ways, I would never go back to the original.

    It is available at: http://weidu.org/asc.html

    • jeremypeel says:

      How have I never heard of this? Wow, thanks a lot. The last few days have been rather good for discovering mods and that.

      On a not-really-related note, does anyone know what became of Chris Avellone’s The Black Hound?

    • Mman says:

      I’d recommend against Ascension, at least if you want to play without having the cheese the hell out of it; “more difficult” is a bit of an understatement, the final encounters are so utterly ridiculous I recall I made my already near-max party (that could handle the standard ending fine) near-invincible to get through it and STILL finished with about half my parties health lost in the fight.

      I pretty much installed it right before the end, so maybe the new story additions and branches earlier help a lot with making the end easier… But I’ve read some stuff that suggests that isn’t the case.

  9. pakoito says:

    Lucky me I bought the AD&D pack with almost all those games (NWN1+exp, ID1+2+exp, BG1+2+exp) for 35 quids a couple of years ago.

  10. frags says:

    Finally! The world can end now.

    • Simon Dufour says:

      well.. let me play it first!

    • MarkSide says:

      Seconded! Some of us have only just started on these games, and, man, they seem pretty good. Like I totally just met this guy who actually talks to – get this – a hamster!?!!

      Unfortunately, once you get past the clunkiness of olden times (although it has to be said the inventory menu is much better than Mass Effect 1′s), the adventures of Eric McSwordy are dangerously addictive.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Not until I get to play Portal 2, it better not.

  11. John K. says:

    I wonder if Bioware can be convinced to track down Minsc’s voice dude and convince him to do a sound bite just for this.

    Minsc and Boo are now in Good Old Games, go for the eye’s Boo, go for the eyes! Argghh!

    Ahh.. they don’t make them the same anymore do they. Sniff. I miss Boo.

    Just a thought.

    • Tom says:

      Well he still does voice work, if I’m not mistaken it was him playing both the bad guy and native co-op partner in Lara Croft: Guardian of Light.

    • Tom says:

      Oh damn he was also in Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, and most other things ever: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0191906/

    • Matt says:

      Yep. In fact, his voice is so distinctive, I recall hearing his work on an episode of Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon series.

  12. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    I liked Icewind Dale a lot more than Baldur’s Gate because it didn’t feature Imoen. Such an annoying character.

    I found this on Wikipedia just now: “Her character was a late addition to fill a non-psychotic-thief gap in the early levels. We had no recording budget left, so I assembled her lines by editing voice-over left from a scrapped demo. The original character was a guard named Pique. That’s why she has no standalone confrontations / interactions with other party members. “

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      (To be fair, before that one comes up, she was a lot more bearable in the sequel.)

    • Simon Dufour says:

      What I dislike about Ice Wind Dale is that there’s character histories at all. You make you full squad of 6 characters and jump in. No banters, no inner turmoil, etc.

      It felt empty to me, especially since a lot of the DnD universe is about inner-team social interactions.

    • Fumarole says:

      I was rather disappointed when Imoen returned for the second game after she was turned to stone and then blown apart by a fireball in the first game during my recent playthrough. And this was with the BiG world mod that combined the two games into one. Oh well.

    • TheApologist says:

      +1 for Ice Wind Dale.

      Agree totally – I much preferred the totally customisable party approach. Great fun.

    • Nick says:

      I always liked Imoen =(

    • sredni says:

      Did you know you can customise your party completely from the beginning?

      I haven’t played in a few years, but I think you have to start a multiplayer game, and then you just make characters for each of the slots and assign them all to player control. You don’t get the inter-character discussions, but you also don’t have to worry about managing alignment and party balance, since you can set alignment and choose whichever classes you like. I wouldn’t have played through a second time if hadn’t been able to play with a completely customisable group.

      (Having serious difficulty with comment system here)

  13. pakoito says:

    I confess that even though I own it I can’t quite get hooked to it, or even get past the pre 2000 UI and control scheme.

    • Will Tomas says:

      I agree, sadly. I love Morrowind/Oblivion and while I like some of the ideas in BG2 I never really got into these games, even at the time. They lack immersiveness for me, because of the isometric look, and the control scheme. My feeling at the time they came out was that they were better fantasy stories in novels than in the games, and I don’t want to slog through days of unexciting combat to read it. I’ll definitely give Planescape a go, but I never felt part of the world, I felt like I was observing it (as in a management game) and so the story never clicked for me.

    • airtekh says:

      I had this exact same mentality when I started Planescape: Torment about two weeks ago.

      I found it really hard to start, even after getting all the mods sorted. I discovered that once you are a few hours in, the game really takes hold and the interface becomes second nature.

      I think it’s just a case of slogging through the opening hours until you are used to the game; after that, you can start enjoying it.

    • cw8 says:

      For me it’s the opposite. I never got immersed in Bethesda game because they were not in the isometric view. I’m pretty ok with that, but I just can’t get immersed with the quests in their RPGs and especially their mindless hack-and-slash combat. Boycotted Fallout 3 as well.

      Luckily I found Fallout: NV to be damn epic thanks to Obsidian.

    • cw8 says:

      For me it’s the opposite. I never got into Bethesda type of RPGs because of the FP view. I’m pretty ok wih FP views but it was mainly the quests and storyline that didn’t exactly draw me in. And the combat was mindless hack-and-slash which was boring to me. Boycotted Fallout 3 as well.

      Luckily Fallout: New Vegas was epic.

  14. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    The game that defined my teenager-hood.

    I pity anyone who can’t get through.

  15. airtekh says:

    Question for BG2 fans: How does the game compare to Planescape: Torment? (or, indeed, can it be compared?)

    I’m currently playing P:T for the first time, and I’m quite liking it. BG2 is the other 2D RPG that I hear a lot of people mention among the best PC games ever.

    • pakoito says:

      Less dialogue, more chopchop. Or more likely more balance between both.

      Also, a barbarian with a mouse and a funny voice, or something like that.

    • Simon says:

      I consider BG2 to be better than PS:T, but in a different way. PS:T felt more personal, it’s the story of the Nameless One, and there was a bigger emphasis on dialogue and using your wits/intelligence. BG2 is more epic, fate-of-the-world stuff and there are plenty of situations that you can’t talk your way out of like you could in PS:T. That said, however, being smart about things -is- an option a lot of the time and there’s plenty of well-written (and well-voiced) dialogue. And some quite clever (for the time) puzzles.

    • Simon says:

      Addendum: I highly recommend playing them both, as well as BG1 for the necessary backstory and emotional investment into the characters.

    • Jad says:

      Planescape is more out there and daring, BG2 is more conventional but really really well done. A possible analogy would be an innovative, experimental art film to a more straight-forward classic like Casablanca or something.

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      Dolphan says:

      I suspect which you prefer says something profound about what you want from games, although I’m not quite sure what. I love BG2 and rank it among my favourites of all time, but PS:T stands on its own special pedestal looking down on the rest of gaming (accompanied by maybe World of Goo and Deus Ex at most).

    • Trayder says:

      Baldur’s Gate is your classic fantasy setting, so it’s not so amazing and unique as Planescape is in both story and setting but still really well done.

      When you look at the combat on the other hand, Baldur’s gate has the best battles in any RPG ever, massive, challenging and with interesting enemies. It’s got it all, Planescape on the other hand has cranium rats and not much else.

  16. TransientResponse says:

    Now all they have left is System Shock 2, Thief I & II and Deus Ex.
    The list is then complete, there is no other goal to achieve, no wish left unfulfilled; and Alexander wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.

    • Nadir says:

      Nah, they’ve still got Lucasarts’ old stuff to grab the rights to sometime… and let’s not forget id software…

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Or all the stuff for which EA holds the rights.

      EDIT: We may now edit our comments!!! Woot!!! Now my all my future incoherence will just be the result of my inability to think or write coherently.

    • Fumarole says:

      You forgot TIE Fighter on that list.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    Do any mods make the game strategicaly interesting? That was my only complaint. Properly specified you could complete the whole game solo just stabbing everything in the face. Except that red dragon, i needed to cast a really low level ‘spell immunity’ and then feeble mind him. Killed him without him even reacting though.

    • Icarus says:

      Helio, I’m not sure about making the whole game more difficult, but the Ascension mod for Throne of Bhaal is highly spoken of.

    • MrMud says:

      Could always try it without spending 20 minutes rerolling your stats (thats not a complaint, I do it as well).

    • fca says:

      To make the battles more tactical, try the Sword Coast Stratagems mods. Makes it a lot harder, but also more believable IMO. Enemies now try to counter many known “cheese” tactics, make use of potions, more generally, just do what you would do in their situation. No more kiting from just outside their visibility range and so on.

    • Nick says:

      There are mods that remove the ability to cheese things, yes, but really you only have yourself to blame for powergaming and cheese tactics.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Its not just cheese, its the useless classes, the enemy who will be immune to ‘x’ or the rest to get spells, you can’t rest because ‘an enemy is near’ but you can’t escape, so you drink a load of potions and come back at a higher level with better allies.

      Its skills having seeming arbitary restrictions on combination which allow obscene things but bar the obvious.

      I guess i just want a coherent combat system ala final fantasy tactics, kings bounty or hell, morrowind, which turned its many rules into laws of physics.

  18. Simon says:

    Except for MechWarrior 2 and 3.

  19. Brumisator says:

    Heh heh heh, I have a friend who stands on principle and refuses to buy anything from GOG since they pulled that silly publicity stunt.

    Sucker…

  20. sfury says:

    SOLD!

    edit: Ooh, check out the fancy new Ajax edit function! :}

  21. Wooly says:

    Gonna plug one of my personal favorite Dragon Age mods here:

    http://www.dragonagenexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=1836

    Baldur’s Gate 2 Redux remakes the first 2 hours of BG2. Needs more coverage! The makers seem a bit crazy in their desire to recreate the ENTIRE game in Dragon Age, but more power too them I guess?

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      Okami says:

      Why would anyone ever try to do that?

      Dragon Age is an astonishingly ugly game -especially when compared to the really beautiful 2d art of Baldur’s Gate and the DA rules system has been streamlined so much that the only thing that keeps me from calling it dumbed down is my intense dislike for the phrase “dumbing down”.

      I’d much rather play through the original again.

  22. Nick says:

    I second the chap above – one of my favourite games. Also well worth picking up Baldur’s Gate 1 (and its expansion, Tales of the Sword Coast) – although it plays like a dog these days, playing it in the BG2 engine makes it brilliant. I did this using the ‘BGtutu’ mod:

    http://www.pocketplane.net/mambo/index.php?option=content&task=blogcategory&id=143&Itemid=98

    You can play the whole thing (BG1, TotSC, BG2, Throne of Bhaal) through with the same character. Ignore the naysayers above, you can start off BG1 with a puny sorcerer character, spend the first half of the game running away from everyone, then come back and kick their arses when you’ve got some decent spells. Incidentally, sorcerer (rather than magic user) is definitely the way to go.

    The fact that some of the wilderness fights were really tough was, I thought, one of the best things about the game. You didn’t have to explore – and it was dangerous to do so. This feeling was entirely missing from Oblivion with its auto-leveling difficulty.

  23. Markachy says:

    I’ve got the original discs of BG2/TOB and of Planescape, so this doesn’t really affect me, but I have to say I tried to replay it 6 months ago and just couldn’t. Its quite hard to go back to old, frankly rubbish interfaces and rules, I found it too frustrating.

    And this is coming from a guy who played, loved and completed BG1 and 2 and addons back in the day a few times each. I didn’t have the same problem in Planescape because it’s so much less reliant on combat than the BGs.

    The resolution upping patches make such a difference mind you, the games can look seriously pretty, like paintings.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Have to agree. The combination of a cranky and aged interface, with old haphazard D&D rules just kills it for me every time I try. I just deleted BG2 and NWN2 from my system. Can’t bring myself to take Plansecape Torment off, but it’s a chore to deal with the GUI.

  24. Mana_Garmr says:

    Baldur’s Gate II always makes me sad because whenever I open the box for my ToB disk I see an add for “Torn” which Black Isle were never able to make. Plus the “import your character into the upcoming NWN” load-screen comments they decided against.

    That said, brilliant game. Still have my original version, but I’m tempted to start re-purchasing my old games to avoid the multi-CD installation malarkey.

  25. Patrick says:

    The game is much improved by the mentioned mods, but for the love of god, skip the fan-made characters.

    That is all.

  26. oatish says:

    I GOG’d BG1 so this gives me plenty of motivation to continue. Shit, I rolled a 94 on my third try so I should get going.

    The brutality of the wilderness is really what has captivated me in the early game. The sense of danger and loss gives exploration a whole lot more meaning and adds a sense of reality to the world. The world doesn’t care your player one at the earlier levels.

  27. sneetch says:

    I’d just like to say: damn you to hell, kobold infested mine!

    • Iain says:

      If you hated the kobold infested mine, lord help you when you go exploring the coast and bump into the coven of sirens that can mind-control or charm your entire party and get them to kill each other…

      Oh, and the spiders. FEAR THE SPIDERS.

  28. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    I sympathise with the “can’t go back to old interfaces” people – I think sprite-based fixed-viewpoint isometric RPGs are my least favourite genre; but, goddamit, I’m going to _force_ myself to finally bloody play BG2 and PS:T.

    P.

  29. Conor says:

    Intrigued. Very Intrigued. Very very intrigued. Goodbye, money. Hello, game. Let’s get to know each other.

  30. arccos says:

    With all these old games that are often tough to set up, have really great and useful mods that improve the game, and can be hard to find legally (thanks, GOG!), it seems like there would be/should be a website that collects information on these games and suggests how to set them up and play.

    Anyone found a site like that anywhere? I can usually only find haphazard information spread around a forums about single games.

    If not, maybe I found my new project.

  31. dethtoll says:

    I thought the site was called GOOD Old Games.

    Oh yeah, I went there.

  32. Optimaximal says:

    So, there it is. Baldur’s Gate I and II, Icewind Dale I and II, Neverwinter Nights, and PlaneScape: Torment, all in one place, preserved. Phew.

    Well, until they pull another marketing stunt and close the site…

    Yep, I said it!

  33. Eddy9000 says:

    What, are we going to have a Baldurs Gate post without a good old fashioned quote off?

    “Evil ’round every corner. Careful not to step in any!”

  34. Pockets says:

    I never could get into BG2 properly, originally – the first I loved but the second just seemed too big to keep the focus on the main story and with the old “get a good 8hrs for more spells” system it got frankly ridiculous with the urgency it tried to put into things when about years were meant to have gone by before I’d even been able to get started on the plot. Its got more depth and more breadth than the first and is incredibly impressive in pretty much every way, but that urgency thing just bugged me terribly.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Quick question to Baldur’s Gate vets. Is the game amenable to being played in short chunks over a long period of time. I usually find it unsatisfying playing RPGs in little chunks and have to be really gripped to be able to play them in that style (witness my abandonment of a recent restarting of Planescape due to the rather tiresome first few hours and my current consideration of abandoning my first playthrough of KotOR a mere hour or so after actually becoming a jedi).

    Is Baldur’s gate going to agree with me or am I best putting it off until I have time for a concerted sit down at it?

    • Nick says:

      Well, there is a failry comprehensive journal that you can use to remind yourself what you are doing (and every so often it has some rather amusing writing) and there are plenty of short chunks of game, little areas, mini storylines that you can do in one go. Personally if I start playing it I find it hard to stop.

  36. Deuteronomy says:

    Ahh, the perfect game for my new Slate 500 . . . What? It’s not available? *shakes fist at stupid HP*

  37. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    Anyone fancy a delicious goodberry?

  38. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    My favourite game, ‘cos I’m in it! Someone let me out of this cage.

  39. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    My favouritest game, ‘cos I’m in it! Can someone let me out of this cage?

  40. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    ignore

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      Sorry, ignore all these obviously. I was trying to work out why the system thought I was spam.

  41. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    Ignore.

    P.

  42. bill says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that (unless you played them back in the days when they were cutting edge) 2D RPGs are just really hard to get into.

    Recently tried Fallout (gave up at junktown), Planescape (got bored in the horribly dull Morgue) and Baldurs;s Gate 2. I’m still persevering with BG2, and after forcing myself to keep playing for long enough i think i’m finally getting into it.

    This seems to be the reverse of all 3D RPGs, where I get absorbed in the world, characters and exploration immediately, but often lose interest before the end. But there’s something about “being there” which makes the world much more immersive – rather than looking at a pretty picture from a great height with some tiny sprites on it.
    I mean, i can tell they’ve put a lot of effort into making cool characters (Minsc in particular, though having not played BG1 means i’m missing some attachment), but small sprites and portraits just aren’t the same – it’s basically just voice acting. (but at least BG2 seems better than Fallout1 and it’s undefined characters and the dumb skull from planescape).

    I wonder, if i keep persevering, if i’ll find that the endings are inverted too – the 2D nature of such RPGs meaning that my imagination (once it finally gets engaged) will make the endings much more epic and involving than 3D RPGs.
    I guess I should reload that BG2 save from before when my team decided to slaughter all the kids in the town for no obvious reason, destroy MY reputation, and then leave me in disgust. I kinda gave up after that…

    • Vinraith says:

      There’s certainly a barrier to entry for almost any retro game, simply because there’s no “wow factor” to the graphics and technology anymore, you have to push past the visuals rather than being drawn in by them in most cases. In fairness, though, both Fallout and Planescape have very slow starts, especially Planescape.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Seems like your running into the basic formula for modern vs. early games: superior writing and story with lower end visuals, making a large part of the player experience cognitive – versus superior graphics and visual immersion with shallow writing and characters that leave very little to the imagination.

  43. Premium User Badge

    Thermal Ions says:

    I know I’ve got the discs somewhere here, but tempted to pick it up just to have the confidence that it’ll work on Windows 7 without the possibility of having to muck around to get it to do so. I never finished it back in the day, but do recall enjoying it at the time.

  44. suibhne says:

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say that, as good as BG’s and BG2′s soundtracks are, Inon Zur’s score for the Throne of Bhaal expansion remains one of the best videogame soundtracks I’ve heard. It’s like he’s channeling Basil Pouledoris’s score for Conan.