Go For The Eyes! Minsc And Boo Coming To Neverwinter

“Go for the eyes, Boo!” That’s a quote from Baldur’s Gate. One of the characters says it when attacking enemies. His name is Minsc, and he is a silly man with a pet hamster named Boo. The joke is that he’s telling his hamster to attack, but it’s just a hamster – and he thinks it’s a “miniature giant space hamster” too!

If you enjoyed my dry retelling even though I’m just grasping at someone else’s lightning, if you still feeling a twinge of nostalgia at the mention of characters you once adored, hey, you might be into the news that Minsc and Boo are coming to free-to-play D&D MMO Neverwinter [official site].

It won’t be the same, you know. They won’t be the same. The world has moved on. You’re grown. You’ve changed. The writers are different. You’ve… aged. But that’s okay, isn’t it? We can enjoy them in a new way. We can still enjoy our memories and how they shape our view of the present. As long as we don’t delude ourselves and drone on about the golden years, blinding ourselves to the different wonders around us today, a little nostalgia can be a delight. But we can’t go back. We can never go back.

Here’s Neverwinter designer Simon Lucas explaining what you’ll be able to get up to with Minsc and Boo when Neverwinter’s ‘Elemental Evil’ module launches on March 17:

“The story opens with the players meeting the Archdruid Morningdawn in Protector’s Enclave. He has been escorted to the city bearing a precious package—the Tree of Elemental Balance. His escort on this important trek was the famous ranger, Minsc. As always, Minsc is accompanied by his faithful companion, Boo. Thus introduced to the pair, players get to adventure alongside them and investigate the rise of Elemental Evil.

“Throughout their adventures together, players can expect a healthy dose of Minsc’s irrepressible and enthusiastic optimism. Minsc persistently encourages players to take the fight to the enemy, placing armored boots on elemental backsides with righteous fury.

“As the story unfolds, the heroes discover the extent of the danger and must save Neverwinter from destruction. Through this quest line Minsc and Boo fight alongside the heroes, providing information and assistance in Minsc’s own, inimitable style. GO FOR THE EYES, BOO!”

We can never go back.


  1. Minsc_N_Boo says:

    Ah we are all heroes. You and Boo and I. Hamsters and Rangers everywhere…… *Rejoice*

    • Tuor says:

      Magic is impressive, but now Minsc leads! Swords for everyone!

      • Ansob says:


        • OrangyTang says:

          You must gather your party before venturing forth.
          You must gather your party before venturing forth.
          You must gather your party before venturing forth.
          You must gather your party before venturing forth.
          You must gather your party before venturing forth.
          You must gather your party before venturing forth.

          • Prosopon says:

            Minsc will lead with Blade and Boot. Boo will cover the details. [*squeak!!*]

          • amcathlan says:

            Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!

        • All is Well says:

          There be safety in numbers… and I am two or three at least!

    • jeeger says:

      That goofy grin though. That is not the Minsc I remember.

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      gsvelto says:

      Butt-kicking for goodness!

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Ahh, what the hell. Right-o, Minsc! Our deeds will ring in the evil ears we box and label ‘do not open til mid-winter fest!’

      • Nibblet says:

        Now you are speaking the language of Minsc! Next we must get you a hamster! Or an iceweasel… Whatever your tastes.

    • welverin says:

      If that’s an misquote of what I think it is, it leads to my favorite line in the entire game, and possibly any game ever.

      Minsc – We do good things here! All will remember the heroes that are Minsc and Boo and you!
      Response 2 – Right you are Minsc. Only good things will come from the examples we set.
      Minsc – Yes! Lead evil by example, and one day we need no longer put the boots to those that stray off the path of goodness into the muck and bile of villainy and track great bloody footprints across our lily white tiles! Boo will have clean wood shavings you evil bastards!
      You – Ooooh kaaaay

      While I’m at it, here are the other two possibilities:
      Minsc – We do good things here! All will remember the heroes that are Minsc and Boo and you!
      Response 1 – Minsc, we’ll not make friends with you boasting about what heroes we are.
      Minsc – Good has no need of a low profile! There is no shame in boasting if one follows through, and I am not about to keep my voice low! Perhaps Boo will, but not I!

      Minsc – We do good things here! All will remember the heroes that are Minsc and Boo and you!
      Response 3 – Er, yes. Now let’s get going before we draw a crowd. No need to flaunt our deeds.
      Minsc – Nonsense! All enjoy the sight of heroes. We’ll be the talk of the town for days! Wave to the nice people, Boo. Wave to the nice hamster, people. WAVE!

  2. Arglebargle says:

    Sadly, I was too late for Baldur’s Gate. Tried it within the last 3 or 4 years, and the Neolithic UI, combined with haphazard and murky D&D rules were just too much. Just bad timing….

    • Continuity says:

      Yeah you had to be there at the time really, Baldurs gate was like the first infinity engine style RPG and it was a revelation at the time, looking back the game has plenty of quirks and flaws but at the time there was simply nothing in the same league as it.

    • Cinek says:

      I got the same problem with Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri – I played it back in a day and absolutely loved, but in last year I made 2 attempts to re-play it and… it’s UI is godawful to the point where I consider this game unplayable for anyone who isn’t stuck back in the late 90s.

      • melancholicthug says:

        Really? I installed it a few months back and i fell right into it, like an old, comfy couch. It was as glorious as i remembered. So far, my ally Deirdre and me (Morgan) couldn’t crack the “fortress Yang” that the bastard built up in one of the continents while we staged an anfibious Marine assault, complete with Chaos Penetrator support and AAA Chaos Cruise shore bombardment to soften up targets. We gained a foothold and began to make progress inland, but got overwhelmed by his counteroffensive with a huge air force leading the way to hordes of infantry and rovers.

        YMMV, i guess…

    • hantheman says:


      Baldur’s Gate II is still by far the most complete game of all time. Depth of story and combat. Accessible yet deep. And awesome looking. (especially with mods)

      • ansionnach says:

        Agreed. There’s a lot more depth to the story and characters and the combat is still great. I’d say that games I consider “better” (say Planescape Torment and Ultima VII) have obvious deficiencies in the combat area, although since those games aren’t so much about that it isn’t a big deal.

        Different genres, but I’d throw Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Monkey Island 2 and Ultima Underworld onto the fire as other rare examples of complete games. Fate of Atlantis is so great!

      • Zekiel says:

        BG2 is my favourite game of all time but I don’t think you can call it very accessible, particularly in today’s day and age. Thac0 is not intuitive (even if its not as complicated as people sometimes make out). What spells are needed to deal with what spell protections is fabulously complicated (and really should have had some sort of dedicated summary in the manual, if not the game itself).

        I tried re-playing BG2 about 4-5 years ago (having played it three times when it came out) and gave up half way through. The problem is that you end up with too many options by about half-way through (level 13-14 and above) and it all just got a bit much for me.

        It’s still the greatest game of all time though.

        • ansionnach says:

          I’d say that considering how much AD&D Baldur’s Gate does, that makes it far more accessible than you’d have thought possible without dumbing it down. I came to the game completely cold, with little idea of what to expect but found it surprisingly accessible after reading the manual. Two of my sisters and one of my female cousins (who never even plays games) got well into it. Only one of them even looked at the manual. It’s still the case that games like this require a little effort, especially to begin with, but are more rewarding than the mindless follow-the-yellow-brick-road congratulate-athons that pass for games these days! Considering what it offers I would say BG is accessible.

          People often knock THAC0… and it is no longer with us… but I don’t see how it’s unintuitive. Pretty much everything in an RPG like this is based on some sort of calculation, even if we can’t see them. All you really need to understand is that you want it as low as possible, right?

          • Continuity says:

            Yep, to anyone with even a passing knowledge of AD&D Baldurs gate was very easy to pick up, its essentially a slightly modified 2ED rule set. Honestly I think 2ED is is one of the simplest and easiest AD&D rulesets to pick up, I mean once you understand THAC0 which isn’t exactly rocket science you’re 70% of the way there.

            (BTW for those who don’t know THAC0 – Throw to hit armour class zero, is the value on a D20 that someone (or a monster) has to throw to hit someone with an armour class of zero, if their armour class isn’t zero then you just modify the throw in the appropriate direction, so if your THAC0 is 10 and you’re attacking something with an AC of 5, you just subtract that 5 from your THAC0 and the throw you need to hit is 5 on a D20, if you had a +2 sword then you would need 3 to hit. Similarly if their AC is -5 then you would need 15 to hit, 13 with the sword.)
            There are also some other rules that act to modify your throw, e.g. different types of armour give you different bonuses (positive or negative) against certain damage types, so for e.g. chainmail has an AC bonus of x, but vs a bashing weapon like a club it provides less AC bonus, and against a slashing weapon like a longsword it provides more AC bonus, and of course there is the fact that a natural 20 on the die is a critical success (always hits, and causes critical damage per your weapon) and a natural 1 always fails.

    • frightlever says:

      Can’t remember the UI being that bad (though perhaps that’s the point) and there were keyboard shortcuts for just about everything.

      Anyone, do the extended editions “fix” the UI?

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Yeah, the interface isn’t pretty but it’s perfectly functional. I seriously do not know why people complain about it so much. It’s bunch of big icons that tell you what they do when you hover over them — how much more hand-holding can possibly be needed?

        • ansionnach says:

          Perhaps a big green arrow over every party member’s head… and a pat on your own cranium on completion of each and every task, no matter how menial? Even better if one of the original development team goes over to your parents’ house while you’re playing to hold your hand and intermittently utter: “It’s okay, I’m here for you – we’re going to get through this!”.

        • Continuity says:

          The inventory management often gets a lot of stick and its not a system you would see in modern AAA game design, I don’t have any problem with it myself but I have seen game devs criticise it when talking about BG. To be fair I think game devs are often blinded by current paradigms to the extent that they’re just incapable of judging fairly what’s good or bad.

          • ansionnach says:

            I suppose sometimes when you want to give a character something that should stack with something they already have but their inventory is full, it doesn’t accept the item (is that right?). Then you’ve got to drop something, give them the potion or whatever and pick it up again. Does feel a bit unwieldy in ways, but I don’t think any other Bioware games have done much better without dumbing it down. NWN’s was possibly more annoying with all the sub-screens and added complication of item size and shape; don’t think an AD&D game would be right with KotOR2’s endless inventory; the first Mass Effect was largely about inventory management of junk items… and so was DA2 and KotOR to an extent… do any Bioware games have inventories any more? May be less of a pain but I don’t see it as a good solution to unless it suits the game (ME2, I think). Personally, I like the Ultima VII, VIII and Underworld approach: make a game that’s about more than hoarding stuff and selling everything that isn’t nailed down. There are so many items in those games, and you can carry so little, that you learn to leave things where they are unless you really do need them. If you walk into a house there’ll be loads of plates, cups, cutlery, candlesticks, everyday domestic items… and if there is something you want you can’t just take it without sparking social outrage. Yes, perhaps the best solution to inventory management is to have a reasonably complicated one, but set it in a world that kills hoarders and min-maxers on sight! Baldur’s Gate had a lot of loot. If I played it again, I’d ignore all normal weapons past a point (yes I picked up and sold everything!).

          • Continuity says:

            I think its more how the inventories are managed, so for example in Pillars of eternity you can see the inventories of your whole party on one screen and drag and drop from one to the other, in BG you have to keep flicking from one person the next to find items. It also, to my memory, didn’t provide any sorting or filtering options, or any junk handling. In general I think BG’s main flaws come from a too faithful translation of DnD rules and paradigms, which is fine if you’re a hardcore AD&Der but to the average gamer it can all seem clunky and arcane.

    • ansionnach says:

      I’d say that with patience the game is as good as it ever was provided you can be a bit understanding of the interface. Even back at the time of release the graphics were dated and it wasn’t on par with the Ultima games when it came to realising a consistent world and challenging you on a philosophical level. It was simple and straightforward and let you be a hero who could save the land (or take a modicum of power for yourself), something that Bioware seems to have forgotten about in some of its later games. What it did really well (and it had a lot of complexity here) was the rules, especially around combat. I’m not sure there was another real-time RPG before it that let you have so much control over combat involving an entire party. This was a weakness of Ultima VII, which had useless combat as it was the series’ first move to real-time and they were experimenting. I find that over the duration of a long RPG, turn-based combat really drags, especially during the also-ran encounters. This is why I think Baldur’s Gate’s hybrid system really worked. Perhaps the appetite for Pillars of Eternity is in some way connected with the fact that more modern RPGs have completely eschewed detailed strategic combat in real-time with large parties. Since the infinity engine games there’s been… Dragon Age: Origins and not a lot else. Mainstream gaming has been too keen to dumb down controls through the filter of the gamepad since the advent of the first XBox and the result is bland, samey gameplay. Baldur’s Gate’s interface could be improved, and could well have been better at the time of release, but some things are complicated because they are complicated. As long as the interface maintains a relatively linear relationship with the game’s complexity, surely that’s good enough? Of course everyone has their own preferences but mine is that I have more to do than run around pressing an action button and occasionally being woken up by that vibratey technology in gamepads that was obviously designed to do just this!

      I’m constantly baffled by the level of criticism that some interfaces get. Grim Fandango’s controls are an example. Could be a bit odd at times but I found that you quickly got used to the fact that Manny would bounce off walls. Was better than the alternative (that he get stuck in them). I also find that character-relative controls are more logical… and to people complaining about the nimbleness of the characters, it isn’t exactly an FPS or platform game. Not suggesting that anyone here is doing this but I find interface complaints when games don’t use the WASD keys or have game pad support even more bizarre, especially when the point is that this is some sort of standard that everyone is supposed to conform to. So many games had vastly different interfaces back in the day. Some were so bad that it detracted a lot from the proceedings but once they were okay and didn’t get in the way that was good enough for me. Fair enough if the game is an FPS. It would want to have a very good reason to ditch WASD. Hope that the new Underworld game keeps the old mouse controls as an option as I found that Looking Glass games after the first System Shock suffered from a lack of immersion because you had to switch between interacting and shooting mode. The new Underworld isn’t an FPS either, and just like the original games, the mouse interface should be good enough for a real-time RPG where you’re more often interacting than fighting! Sure The Stygian Abyss had a very similar keyboard layout to WASD years before it emerged…

      • Continuity says:

        “Even back at the time of release the graphics were dated”


        • Hex says:

          I dunno, Star Craft, Half-Life, and Thief: The Dark Project, all came out the same year as Baldur’s Gate, and are all prettier than BG, I’d say.

          The previous year you had X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Riven, Hexen II….

          I mean, I dunno how fair it is to compare some of those to something like Baldur’s Gate, but you can’t really argue that BG’s graphics were good when it came out….

          • Continuity says:

            Thief looked terrible, and Starcraft wasn’t pretty it was functional cartoony, Half life was fine but at the time no 3d game look even remotely as nice as the 2d contemporary 2d stuff they just didn’t have the GPU power to render the necessary number of polygons.
            I think you have some rose tinted spectacles going on here, google a Thief dark project youtube clip then tell me how great it looks.

          • ansionnach says:

            The point of contention is whether BG had dated graphics at the time of release. Regardless of what you think Thief looked like, BG was a 2D game in a time when Return to Krondor, Quest for Glory V and King’s Quest VIII went to their deaths in 3D. Final Fantasy VII was also ported to PC. In previous years Daggerfall, various Lands of Lores, Realms of Arkanias, Krondor/Antaras… and very notably Ultima Underworlds all the way back to 1992 were signalling an increasing shift to 3D.

            Perhaps a better example graphics-wise than Thief was Half-Life, which looked a lot nicer. Thief was always looked like it was missing a few polygons. Baldur’s Gate probably looks better than some of its classmates now but I was too busy playing Mysteries of the Sith and games that took advantage of my 3dfx card to take notice of BG until I got it cheap a couple of years later. I do think it’s fair to compare it with games from outside its genre as the RPG had suffered a dip in popularity and a lot of people played what was new, cool and interesting rather than confining themselves to a particular genre. Baldur’s Gate was a more traditional RPG done really well and much more accessibly with great real-time combat. Perhaps the kind of thing we’d all be rushing out to kick start today in the name of nostalgia. In a lot of ways it is quite similar to Dark Sun: Shattered Lands and Wake of the Ravager from 1993 and 1994 (but with much improved graphics).

          • Hex says:

            Yes, Thief: The Dark Project looks terrible. I still think it looks better than Baldur’s Gate.

          • Continuity says:

            Well I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Was BG dated at release in the fact that it was 2d isometric and the big shift to 3D was well underway? yes, were those 2D isometric graphics actually bad in any way? no absolutely not, and did the shitty low polygon 3D that existed at the time, even in Half Life, look better than the pre-rendered art of BG? Not for my money.

          • ansionnach says:

            Fair enough. Don’t think they looked bad.

        • ansionnach says:

          Fallout looked dated when it came out too but that was more of a low-budget game. Really dislike when I see somebody who wasn’t there dream up some reality that it was representative of games from its time… but that’s hopefully not something similar to what’s happening here, right? Perhaps it would have been difficult to do Baldur’s Gate in 3D back then but maybe it could have been a case of that or nothing if a publisher like Interplay didn’t believe in a 2D RPG. I certainly thought the graphics were unimpressive and I don’t think many connected with reality would have thought they were remotely close to cutting-edge. Fantasy RPGs had been off the menu for a bit so there was quite an appetite for another. Think I still read PC Gamer at the time and their score was fair enough (my memory is of it being in the 80s). Beyond the graphics it was hardly revolutionary, and as I said I found it disappointing in many ways coming from Ultima VII. The world was so static. Once you got into it, the combat, questing and adventure were great fun. Think they managed to make the AD&D rules less complex but it certainly helped to read the manual beforehand.

  3. Anthile says:

    Pretty impressive, considering that he should be about 150 years old by the time of the Neverwinter game.

  4. Stimpack says:

    Is Neverwinter still just a simplistic action RPG with D&D haphazardly plastered on top of it? or has it changed dramatically?

    Though I will say that the quest editior, or whatever they called it, had much more depth than I expected.

    • frightlever says:

      They scrapped a lot of their original design vision shortly after launch and now it’s much truer to AD&D, on the negative side you can only play every other Thursday evening until Gerry gets his shifts changed.

      • TomxJ says:

        … and you won’t have have a full part part because Ellie has lost her character sheet and Rob is playing Vampire with Toby now.

      • Stimpack says:

        Ah, I’ll never forget Gerry.

    • EkoAzarak says:

      Yes, its still very much a cheesy action mindless slaughter game. Its pretty much Diablo 3 in 3D but with a horrible fixed camera. Neverwinter MMO is the furthest thing from a D&D experience as i could imagine.

    • defunct says:

      I was wondering this, as well. It was horrible when it first came out and I left shortly thereafter. I stayed around as long as I did because of nostalgia. None of the comments I see here make me believe it’s now better.

      The original game that Minsc came from required a brain. A bit of thinking. People actually complain about how inaccessible it is now! (just read some of the comments here!) And now he’s coming to a action rpg that requires little to no thought. It makes me a bit sad how far gaming has devolved, for the sake of a buck.

      • Stimpack says:

        I wasn’t expecting things to change much, and it looks like they haven’t. It is rather perplexing to see a character like Minsc and Boo being added to a game that could not be more to the opposite. I had hoped that if someone higher up over there had reverence for Baldur’s Gate, that maybe they’d have been able to lean more in that direction. As it stands, this just confuses me.

  5. Blackrook says:

    Love this character and dialog.
    It only really came second in my book to the voiceover in Full Throttle.
    “Not with my box of bunnies”

  6. Muzman says:

    That guy’s right arm connects to his body somewhere in his arm pit.
    It could be severe dislocation injury, but I suspect it’s a combination of drawing muscles that outsize with single plate armor that goes around your neck like that presents a problem, where raising your arm thus would jam your collar into your jaw bone every time. So a certain “joint flexibility” gets drawn in.

    This is why I’d probably just draw Octodad in different historical fantasy settings.

    Anyway, just stood out to me.

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      phuzz says:

      Huh, you’ll be saying there’s no such thing as miniature space hamsters next.

    • Jamrock says:

      That’s a well developed triceps. Probably you don’t even have one on you. Puny human!

    • Buuurr says:

      Sounds like someone has muscle envy. Rage more skinny nerd! *flexes*

  7. ansionnach says:

    Don’t want to be all doom and gloom but whoever’s doing this should really look up some videos of Freia and the Jedi Exile’s walk-on parts in The Old Republic. At least from the quote above it seems that this incarnation is in some way derivative of the original… which would be an improvement!

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    Bluerps says:

    Ooooh. THAT Neverwinter. I read something about “Minsc and Boo come to Neverwinter!” in passing, on another page, and I was very confused. I thought they meant Neverwinter Nights 2 – but that is almost ten years old, so that made no sense.

    But yes. The Neverwinter MMO exists.

  9. bit.bat says:

    I was very late to the party and did not play all the way through Baldur’s Gate but I remember meeting Minsc and Boo and then ignoring a request he had (to save someone I think) thinking I could do it later. If you leave it too long he just leaves you which, playing the game with modern RPG expectations, was unfathomable to my mind but its a pretty brave game design decision thinking back to it now.

  10. Phenomen says:

    Why the hell he carry quiver? Minsc never used bow. Also that grin – wtf? He was always stone calm.

    • Volcanu says:

      Re. the quiver -well he was a Ranger, and if memory serves he started with ++ proficiency in Bows, so he was more than capable of using a bow if you wanted him to.

      That is a particularly asinine grin though…

    • EhexT says:

      He’s a Ranger – Neverwinter Rangers are melee/ranged hybrids.

    • Buuurr says:

      This might explain it a little for you.

      Game information




      Neutral Good (Baldur’s Gate), Chaotic Good (Baldur’s Gate II)

      Forgotten Realms

      I think it says there that he is a ranger. I could be wrong but I was pretty sure rangers used bows in FR settings. I could be wrong. I doubt it though.

    • Zekiel says:

      Honestly, I never understood WHY Minsc was a ranger. He should have been a fighter or (in BG2) a Barbarian. What were the defining characteristics of rangers? They could sneak (in light armour). They could dual wield unusually well. They could cast spells (at high levels). None of those things were appropriate for Minsc!

      Admittedly two of them weren’t actually relevant in the game which introduced him, but still. Always baffled me.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        That was the whole point of Minscs character; he was someone who was meant to creep around in light armour with finesse weapons but who wore plate steel, used a huge sword and bellowed battle crys in combat. It might have been influenced by the h-h-head injury.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          Despite being a two-handed swordsman, BG2 Minsc starts with maxed proficiency in longbow, but none in two-handed weapon style.

          Minscs’s favored enemy in BG1? Golem.
          Minscs’s favored enemy in BG2? Vampire.
          Number of times that any other ranger can change their favored enemy, either in tabletop or Baldur’s Gate: 0.

          “I turned around to shield Boo, and I lost my spell. I am NOT sorry.”
          Despite having insufficient wisdom, and despite generally having no reason to do so, Minsc can cast divine spells.

          “Ooo, squirrels! Boo, throw nuts!”
          Despite being a ranger who observes such creatures all the time, Minsc absolutely loses his shit when he sees small woodland creatures.

          If Minsc’s square peg doesn’t fit into canon’s round hole, it’s because you’re not smiling hard enough.

          • Jip says:

            Your nerdiness deserves a +1 of whatever the current nerd appreciation currency is these days, so, err, have a +1 nerd coin. If I had more to spare, you could have those too..

  11. Chaz says:

    My hamster used to bite me. Basil, he was a right bastard.

  12. Tiltowait says:

    You need Jan Jansen in you party if you have Minsc. Jan was always playing jokes on Minsc and stealing his hamster.

    • melancholicthug says:

      I never carried Jan along in my playthroughs. The whole “no fireballs” thing was just too much for me.