I am free…. but where am I?
What happened after Baldur’s Gate? After I stopped my “brother”?
And why am I sitting in this cavern, in some sort of underground fortress, with the corpse of an Ogre Mage mere feet from me?
This is what I remember and what I was told….
After years of absence, I returned to the Sword Coast Monday night. I purchased the Enhanced Edition (EE) of “Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn” and the expansion, “Throne of Bhaal”. I’m going to play through at least the Prologue, pointing out the pros, cons, and differences between the original version and the EE version… with a little bit of a twist.
Day 0, Hour 0
Darkness. Pain. Cold. Crimson.
These are the only constants. I wake up, there is pain, then there is darkness. The cold is there, in darkness and wakefulness.
“Crimson”? That was… is? my name.
Time is near meaningless in… wherever I am. I’m in a cage. There are other cages in the room but I can barely see them. The cycle continues…..
The new Baldur’s Gate 2 (“BG2EE”) starts with the option to start a game in the base game, the “Throne of Bhaal” expansion, or another fighting-pit-themed expansion (I do not remember the name). I picked the base game.
Right off the bat, BG2EE offers a new screen, showing all of the game difficulties; the “Story Mode”, “Insane”, and “Legacy of Bhaal” modes are new modes. I chose “Hard”:
Once a difficulty is selected, you can begin to create your character. Most of the screens are the same as the old version, with some cleaner graphics. You choose your gender (doesn’t affect stats, just certain reactions from NPCs), Race (same races as before: Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Gnome, Dwarf, Halfling, or Half-Orc), Sub-Race (Drow Elf or Gold Dwarf, for example; there are a few new sub-races, such as Sea Elves), Class and Kit, and Appearance and Voice. You also pick weapon proficiency, any special features for your Class (spells, Racial Enemy, etc.), and a name for your new character.
One difference that I liked is the “Total Roll” counter:
As you roll and reroll for the optimal number of points for your stats, the Total Roll now lets you know how many points you have. I like this feature; I can set a certain amount of points that I want for my character and keep rolling – without manually adding the totals – until I get to or over what I want!
Now that your character is complete – my character is “Crimson”, a Human Ranger (with the Archer kit), you are ready to begin the story!
“Wake up! Get up!”
I recognize that voice… is that Imoen??
So now I know what happened to us after we left Baldur’s Gate. That still leaves the question: where are we?
Minsc? Jaheria? They’re also here??
Another early feature that I like is the layout of the main screen:
I love that they’ve added a “Quick Save” button, plus moved the “World Map” button to the Top-Left. Everything is now pretty much on one side. Also, Journal entries now pop up at the top of the screen, in addition to appearing in the actual Journal. It saves me (and probably you) from opening the Journal as much.
Imoen escaped her cage, freed me, and knows that Jaheira and Minsc are here, imprisoned. I now have some direction: find and free my comrades, then escape this dungeon!
Part 2 will deal with the search for Jaheria and Minsc, and finding a way out of the dungeon. It should be posted in the next 2-3 days.