Friday, May 20, 2011

The End of a Journey

Tonight, my friends, I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment, but also a small sadness.   I am filled with a mixture of emotions and it is difficult to put this into words, so here is a picture.

What is depicted there is the end credits of the Throne of Ball and in essence the Baldur's Gate Series.  I started at the first game and took my party through to very end of last expansion.  From level 1 to 37 the same team stuck together and pulled through till then end.  Minsc the berzerker, Mazzy Fenton The halfing with heart, Imeon the happy go lucky turned very troubled Bhaalspawn and Viscinia the drow priestess of a dark god.  Together we actually managed to conquer all: Sarevok, Bodhi, John Irenicus and -spoiler?- Melissan.

and countless dragon

All in all, I could not tell you how long I played these games, but on and off again over the course of years, I've finally managed to bring the series to a close.  Such good games, and they sure as hell don't pull any punches.  Every step was a tooth and nail fight.

Looking back on the series, the best game is clearly the first one.  It's basically an open world D&D rpg with up to 6 players.  Years and years ahead of it's time.  At the same time, I still feel that the entire series is western rpg perfection.  You always feel like your in a wondrously detailed setting and plays fitting tribute to it's roots and background without getting mired in it.  Nothing every feels contrived and I challenge anyone to find a plot hole.  It characters and motivations are believable and the entirety of the series feels like reading a really good book.

You never once feel like you've got a solid grounding either.  You're always on the tip of a wonderful iceberg of exploration.  I once entered a random basement only to discover the tomb of an elemental litch - who happened to have a torso made of gold.  What do you do with a torso made of gold?  I never managed to find out.

I really suggest people play those games if they haven't already.  Especially if you have recently been introduced to Bioware through Dragon Age or Mass Effect.  Dragon Age was a throwback to Baldur's gate, but it does not surpass it.

"Minsc and Boo Stand Ready"


P.S. Save the pantaloons.

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