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).