Official Baldur’s Gate Comic Goes For Your Eyes

By Alec Meer on July 18th, 2014 at 9:37 am.

Rumour, speculation and occasional over-optimistic announcements still swirl around a possible Baldur’s Gate III, but the indefinite wait for a follow-up to the beloved series of Bioware RPGs has now yielded one strange fruit. Comics company IDW – who specialise in licensed fare such as Transformers, Ghostbusters and Star Trek – are publishing an official Dungeons & Dragons comic called Legends of Baldur’s Gate. And just look who it stars – ageing RPG gonks’ favourite big-hearted warrior-dunce Minsc, together of course with Boo, his occasionally uncomfortably concealed hamster of dubious mysticism.

Official solicitation for the series:

Evil, meet my sword! Sword, meet evil! Generations have passed since the original Heroes of Baldur’s Gate saved the city and the Realms. Now a new threat rises and an unlikely group of misfits are thrust into adventure with MINSC, the legendary Ranger do-gooder with a heart of gold, brain of lead, and hamster of pronounced wisdom.

Minsc was the ur-Bioware-Companion, the template from which the likes of Canderous Ordo and Urdnot Wrex from formed. The idea of having him back, in some form, is lovely, though I do fear the joke wearing thin if he goes centre-stage – either from too many hamster puns or because there’s a need to add incongruous complexity to him. Also, um, hamsters only live a couple of years. That’s going to present narrative issues, right? Oh right, miniature giant space hamster. Yeah. Of course. Totally. That changes everything.

Sounds as though ole’ Minsc has been plucked out his usual timeline in order to justify being around for the events of the comic, according to an interview with write Jim Zub:

“He’s this slightly foolish ranger who is very heroic and very courageous and dives into trouble before considering the ramifications. He’s a character that has built a cult following over the years since the video game, until we came up with an ingenious way to be able to bring him into the present, 100 years forward from the events of the video game, and have him join our group. In this case, if you’ve played the video games, you’ll get something really cool out of it, you’ll be really thrilled to see this old fan-favorite, but if you’ve never read the stories or played the video games before, you can just jump in and this character is quite appealing and straightforward and you’ll understand what he’s about right from the get-go.”

Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate, written by Jim Zub and pencilled by Max Dunbar, is out in October. It’s part of the D&D 40th anniversary celebrations (which include a new edition of the RPG rules).

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52 Comments »

  1. gschmidl says:

    BG3 already exists, it’s just called Divinity: Original Sin.

    • XhomeB says:

      Don’t insult D:OS. It has much more in common with Ultima (the world design, freedom) and Temple of Elemental Evil (AWESOME combat system). Plus, the choices in D:OS actually matter and have consequences.

      • gritz says:

        People keep saying this and it’s just not true. D:OS is nothing like Ultima. World interactivity pales in comparison to even Elder Scrolls games. D:OS’s needlessly complex character optimzation, combat strategy and randomized loot grinding are the antithesis of every Ultima game I’ve ever played. Don’t even get me started on paper rock scissors conversations.

        D:OS is a good RPG, but I wish people would stop saying it’s the new Ultima. It’s its own thing. I think it’s very fair to compare it to BG, definitely moreso than every Ultima game ever made.

        • Sian says:

          Character customisation can’t be too complex, where I’m concerned.

          I lie, of course. The Dark Eye system was (and, from what I’ve seen in Blackguards, still is) too complex. But D:OS ain’t. There are not that many skills, the usual amount of attributes and relatively few traits. There’s one more slot for equipment than usual, but I haven’t found anything to put there yet, and even then, that’s not really complex.

    • Oasx says:

      It is just a shame that the game is turn based, instead of real time with pause.

      • derbefrier says:

        real time with pause sucks turn based rules!

        • stkaye says:

          Both systems have the very desirable quality of allowing people as much time as they need to carefully consider their options so as to come up with effective strategies and efficiently organise their actions. For example, if this was a real-time-with-pause internet, you could’ve really taken your time and come up with a much better argument on turn-based combat’s behalf than you actually did.

          • Sian says:

            Comments do have a pause function, though. It’s not like this modern real-time speaking face to face stuff at all, because you can stop typing whenever you want and have a think. Only after you click on “Opinion, away!” are you fully committed to your verbal strategery.

        • ssh83 says:

          Turn based are great for people who can only think of strategy in simplistic discrete unit of time. Real time with pause are better for people who want the maximum complexity and challenge. Beat Dragon Age 2 on nightmare mode without using consumable and we’ll talk.

          • Sian says:

            I highly disagree. In a RTWP, if you see an enemy wind up for something, you can pause and plan your moves. In TB combat, you have to plan ahead for that attack to come, because once it’s the enemy’s turn, there’s no way to stop him.

            I’m not against RTWP – both it and TB have advantages and drawbacks – but you can’t dismiss turn-based combats with that simplistic and generalising an argument.

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Speaking of which, who actually owns the BG3 intellectual property? BG3 The Black Hound was about 75% complete when cancelled, right? Why does no-one finish it?

    • ssh83 says:

      I lol-ed. original sin is a fine game, but we shall see in time if it is worthy of “BG3.” people have called many games “BG3,” and many of them end up fading away in history.

  2. Ghoulie says:

    I found Minsc funny when I first played BG when I was young.
    These days I find him grating and one-note.

    • uriel222 says:

      Bro, do you even nostalgia?

    • Zekiel says:

      I liked Minsc, but I never really saw why everyone fixated on him. I thought Edwin and Jan (and indeed Xzar from BG1) were funnier.

  3. iniudan says:

    What are you talking about, I don’t see any mysticism in Boo, he’s a miniature giant space hamster after all, so an alien.

    • frightlever says:

      You can have both, eg the Cthulhu mythos stories.

      • iniudan says:

        True, but not it apply in the case of Boo, after all Boo been more then a ordinary hamster as most chance of been only a psychoses from a hit to the head.

        But been D&D he could also easily be a hamster possessed by an extra-planar entity and who only communicate with Minsc.

    • Tacroy says:

      I don’t know if people realize this or not, but giant space hamsters are a for real actual part of the canon of Baldur’s Gate – it’s Faerun + some Spelljammer supplements (you can kill a Spelljammer ship captain in Ust Natha).

  4. frightlever says:

    I’ll pick up the TPB, but I won’t be expecting much from Jim Zub,

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Seems like a bit of a cash grab. I mean, yeah, we all love Minsc and Boo, but… can’t we invent new characters that we can also love?

    • Turkey says:

      If you want new characters, you should support creator-owned comics. There’s no incentive for a creator to invent a new D&D licensed character since he or she won’t retain any ownership over it.

  6. Tei says:

    The way I imagine Minsc, he is a bit “special”.

    Imagine a big men in front of a keyboard saying this:
    This is silly! Buttons are not how one escapes dungeons! I would smash the button and rain beatings liberally down on the wizard for playing such a trick!

    He is a honest berseker. Act first, ask question later.

    So is like Forest Gump with a rage problem that is sort of very skilled and powerfull with a 2H.

    The dude on the draw on the top have a rogue-ish smiley. So thats not minsc. Mincs will never smiley like that, except if he see somebody head roll doing something funny, and Boo comment on it.

  7. ChromeBallz says:

    Only interested in this comic if Minsc is wielding Lilarcor.

    Good times in BG2 that, good times.

    • Niko says:

      Ah, Lilarcor, the name that’s hard for infants, Japanese people, and me, to pronounce properly.

  8. cylentstorm says:

    Go for the eyes, Boo, THE EYES!! *Squeak!*

    Don’t be hatin’ on Minsc. He was one of the most memorable characters in the series. Simple, yes–but consistent and dependable in both battle and role as comic relief. Dunno how the comic will turn out, but hey–it’s an interesting experiment.

    Oh, and yes, there is nothing quite like running through a den of stinking evil with a brain-addled berserker and his miniature giant space hamster as he hacks through beasties with a smartass and very vocal sentient sword. Bring on the cheese.

    • Saul says:

      Minsc and Boo are literally the ONLY characters I remember from the BG series (and I really enjoyed the games, although I thought the second overstayed its welcome).

      Wizards of the Coast are making a lot of right moves with the new edition of D&D. I for one welcome back this lovable oaf and his rodent with open arms.

      • Jeremy says:

        I also remember Jahara… who really brought the fun factor down about 27 notches. I mean, she had a rough go of things, no doubt about that, but she was seriously morbid.

        • BooleanBob says:

          Jaheira has the single best put-down in the game, though. Just keep her and the bardy off-planer in the party long enough for him to try one of his chat-up lines on her.

      • Dezmiatu says:

        You are but grease stains on the wheel of time compared to Tiax!

        First playthrough of BG1, Minsc went berserk on me because I wouldn’t drop everything to save the mage. Never liked him ever since.

        • Horg says:

          ”I will join with you, complete stranger, and fight your enemies without question for as long as I am needed. Without pay. On one condition, we must take a day out to save my traveling companion who was captured by a trivial band of Gnolls.”

          ”Welcome aboard, Minsc!”

          10 days later……

          ”So, er, can we do that saving now? It’s been over a week already”

          ”No.”

          Yeah i’d go beserk on your ass as well.

  9. P.Funk says:

    Nothing sadder to me than having nostalgia pimped out for new content. Adding to Minsc only taints the memory. He is complete. Its misadventure to explore the character, if you can call him that, outside of his appropriate context, ie. my memory playing a particular game far in the past.

    I prefer homage to derivative nostalgia personally. Homage doens’t mean another berzerker with a hamster either.

    • solidsquid says:

      Dunno, he could conceivably start the Way of the Blessed Hamster, where young barbarians learn to temper their rage into a weapon and listen to the wisdom of their rodent companions. It’d be a bit of a farcical story line, but not entirely impossible in the setting

  10. SkittleDiddler says:

    Why is that fool in the picture trying to cut his own head off?

    • Arglebargle says:

      Sadly, many artists have no conception of combat or weapon useage, or personal safety therein. They operate on some addled ‘It looks cool’ plan, and even in that they are often mistaken.

  11. Myrdinn says:

    I think it would’ve be more interesting if they explored the story of Minsc before Daenerys was kidnapped. She specifically mentions in her post-rescue conversation that Minsc got ‘hit on the head ‘ and has been acting funny ever since. Always have I wondered how he would have behaved without this incident.

    • Saul says:

      This is going to be set a hundred years after the BG games, in the current Forgotten Realms continuum. Somehow.

      But D&D is all about “somehow”!

    • gulag says:

      The thing I loved about the rescue Daenerys mission was that if you left it long enough eventually Minsc would lose his temper and start clobbering you. Lets just say I started to pay a lot more attention to what my party members were saying after that ass-whooping.

      “Minsc leads now! Swords for everyone!”

      • Horg says:

        ”Daenerys”

        Good god, it’s spreading faster than we can contain it! At this rate The Forgotten Realms and Westeros will have merged completely before book 6 is published!

    • Wulfram says:

      Daenerys? I didn’t realise Minsc served the Targaryens?

      (Dynaheir)

    • Anthile says:

      M+L=J. It is known.

  12. Tayh says:

    I was so excited to see a comic about Minsc and Boo, but you people kind of killed my buzz with all your logic and legitimate criticism.
    Thanks. :/

    • Saul says:

      Don’t let them get you down! I barely remember a thing about the characters other than a few of Minsc’s lines that were amusing. They’re already one-dimensional to me, and I’m still loving it!

  13. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    Minsc is a Ranger-dunce!

  14. rusty5pork says:

    I just can’t think of a better writer for a comic about Minsc than Jim Zub.

    If you want to know why, go read Skullkickers.

  15. WiggumEsquilax says:

    Boo, go for their Wallets!

  16. MacTheGeek says:

    I can’t wait for the miniseries where Minsc and Boo cross paths with Groo and Rufferto.

  17. JFS says:

    Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!