This is my first playthrough of BG 2, inspired by the master storyteller, 'Tord' of the Youtube Channel, 'mynameisnotlilly'. As a complete noober to Let's Plays and BG 2, my first few sessions were pretty shaky... cringe-worthy to be honest... but I have retained them for completeness' sake, and I promise that they do improve! lol
By 'improve' I mean that I begin to consistently voice conversations and try to provide some commentary, in addition I bought a microphone at some stage in the Planar Sphere, and more importantly, learnt to clean up the audio and improving video quality in the Underdark (yes, I know... slow learner). So at least for the latter half of SoA and the rest of ToB, I am reasonably happy with the quality of my 'efforts'.
However, as I was playing BG 2 for the first time, and playing blind, I was learning the game as I played, so I never really 'speed up', so it's not the most action-packed affair. I've also done minimal editing (so u avoid watching too much inventory management microgames) for completeness' sake, since I figure you can always skip parts you find boring anyway.
Like Tord, all my gameplay decisions are driven by roleplay choices, as opposed to metagame ones. And I tried to be faithful to my self-imposed restrictions like using scrolls beyond caster level, rest and accepting permanent death.
Anyways enough fluff, more details can be found in the description box below my videos, if anyone is interesting in checking out the learning process of a new player, from the dungeons beneath Waukeen's Promenade to the Throne of Bhaal.
1) First time I used Lightning... Pretty much never touched Lightning based spells again because: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/comment/452390
2) First time I used Fireball... I one-shot the party again. BUT... I was so impressed with the destructive potential of Fireball that I quickly tried to pack Dynaheir's spellbook with as many as I could. I don't think I used Minute Meteors until BG 2.
3) The "I WAS FRAMED!" moment following the death of the Iron Throne leadership. My law abiding Charname allowed himself to be taken in by the Flaming Fists. Following a brief spat with Angelo, he has Imoen executed. "WTF?!"
4) Karoug the cheesy Greater Wolfwere. Crazy regeneration, I didn't have a single silver weapon on me, and had yet to learn of the wonder that is Melf's Minute Meteors. This is the only encounter in the whole saga that forced me to check the internet for specific answers.
5) Aec'Letec: my favourite battle of BG 1. It was challenging for sure, but oh so epic! Especially the first time I killed him, and was about to celebrate, and then ... "oh crap..."
6) Beginning of SoA. "Dynaheir?! NOOOO!!!"... a few minutes later... "Khalid!?! NOOOO!!!"... a bit after that... "Imoen?!!? NOOOOO!!!". Charname was so shaken he turned from Lawful Good to Lawful Neutral.
7) Yoshimo's betrayal. I was caught totally unprepared. Yoshimo carried all the equipment I planned for Imoen. I swore revenge, and was SO pleased when it was achieved.
8) The Battle of Spellhold. Forget Irenicus, who is his jailer mage?! The bastard killed/petrified Jaheira, Aerie, Imoen and Minsc before Jin and Anomen took him down. This meant that I had to face Irenicus with only 2 battered party members still standing... and an army of psychos behind their backs. It was a miracle that didn't end up being a reload and is probably my most memorable battle of the entire saga, mostly because I totally did not expect to pull it off...
9) First encounter with a dragon. "OMG it's HUGE!"... Thankfully it was Adalon.
10) Aerie turned into a vampire! Another "NOOOOO!!!" moment. Tried desperately to Dispel, and avoid having to kill her. Then found the books that offered hope, and reluctantly had Jaheira carry out the act. Was SO relieved to find her body and SO relieved to have her restored.
11) First Demilich encounter. Stumbled into the one in Watcher's Keep, next to the Githyanki camp. Couldn't work out how to hurt it, and by the time Jin used Slayer form to bring it down, Aerie, Imoen, Minsc and Jaheira had been Imprisoned. I had no idea where to find Freedom Scrolls, and would spend the next few sessions trying desperately to find one in Watcher's Keep with a 'B team of Keldorn, Mazzy, Nalia and Valygar'. Eventually, with Keldorn also Imprisoned by Azamantes, I had to give up my 'blind playthrough' principles for the first time and ask for help.
12) Killing Demogorgon. Ok, it didn't technically happen, cos I chose to trap Demogorgon and the treacherous Vigil Knights in the Vault, but I decided to take on Demogorgon for fun. Pulling it off on the third attempt was a great feeling. "I beat Demogorgon, I must be good!" lol
13) Losing Anomen. Not always my favourite companion, but he sure was the strongest. I was starting to wonder if chunking/permanent death didn't happen in BG 2... and then poor Ano got hit by a ranged attack from Abazigal for 125(?!!) damage. Instantly turning him into a charred corpse beyond any healing or resurrection spells. That was a shocking moment for sure, and so close to the end, a sad end for a character who had come so far.
14) Melissan. WHAT. A. BATTLE.
Hmmm… this is already a wall of text, I might as well build it taller!
She sure doesn't give a shit about playing fair! On my first attempt, I stumbled in totally unprepared (I expected to have to battle through some minions before actually facing her in battle.) I confidently threw 4 spellbooks (Jin, Aerie, Imoen and Jaheira) at her in what I thought would be a devastating barrage of magical power. She laughed off Timestop, and somehow survived 4 or 5 Horrid Wiltings and Dragon's Breath. Swords eventually completed the job, but before I could celebrate, I realised to my dismay that this was only the first of 4 battles against Melissan, plus 3 groups of other guardians, AND there was no chance to rest. Having used most of the party's firepower already, they were overwhelmed in the second encounter against Melissan.
This time, I was well prepared. All the subtle utility spells went out of the spellbooks, and I packed as much firepower and magic penetration as I could, and prepared all the useful scrolls, ammo, potions etc that I've hoarded for the entire game until now.
Because I tried to conserve spells/resources the first encounter ended up being even more tricky than in the first attempt. Minsc got petrified and somebody else needed to be raised with Rod of Resurrection, but I got past it without using many spells.
Handled fairly easily by a stream of Earth Elemental summons from a Staff of Earth that I saved up until now, though Jaheira got level-drained, which cost me an Insect Plague and Deva.
Once more saving resources meant it took longer than I’d have liked, and Rod of Resurrection was needed for one or two again.
Ice Elementals: chewed through my Earth Elementals like paper, so the party had to get stuck in themselves, resulting in many injuries, but I had plenty of Health Potions, so it wasn’t too bad.
Melissan unloads all her cheese. She opens with a random attack that knocked my entire party unconscious (nothing I could do about positiong, of course), and disrupting all the spells I was about to throw at her. Then before the party recovered, she Timestopped. T_T
Having just about survived that opening onslaught, she teleports behind the big beam of Bhaalspawn essence (wasting more of my spells and making it hard to see what she’s doing) and then starts to summon an endless stream of Balors and Marileth Demons(!!?!!!?) Each time I take one down, another one is summoned immediately. She repeatedly restores her protections, heals herself at least once and mercilessly strips the party of buffs/protections.
Realising that it was hopeless to try to kill the tide of demons, and having already exhausted way more resources than I planned, including my best summons, I decided to ignore the demons and threw the party forwards to try to take Melissan down in combat. This is when Jaheira was hit with a vorpal weapon. I am not sure if it was Melissan or one of her demons. But after almost 240 hours in my company, from 0 xp to over 5M xp… Jaheira was gone! Permanently. T_T
What followed was a bit of a blur, and I was pretty demoralised, but I guess my plan worked. Two more companions fell in battle (not permanently), but Melissan retreated once more.
Fallen Solar and Co:
My party, battered and exhausted (literally all fatigued already), and (wo)man down, expected to find a third group of elementals, maybe Fire, or Earth… Seeing nightmarish Marileth Demons and a Fallen Solar, as well as an Alu-Fiend, emerge from the third Bhaal essence source was crippling news. Keldorn’s (replacement for the fallen Anomen) Dispel Magic thankfully could take down Marileth protections and somehow the party survived… well, with the help of Rod of Resurrection, again.
I expected this to be hardest stage, which is why I had saved all my Simulacrums, Horrid Wilting and Spell Triggers until now. I literally had only 4 summons left (including from equipment), mostly Aerial Servants and Skeleton Warriors, having used Devas and Juggernault Golem to survive the third stage. However, with 2 Imoens, Aeries and Jins ready to face Melissan, all hope was not lost!
The warriors, (Keldorn, Jin and Minsc) drank the last of the Strength Potions and Potions of Heroism that I had left, and with a prayer to Helm, the battle was joined. Melissan finally withered in the face of the full force of the party’s righteous fury, laying into her with The Answerer, Gram the Sword of Grief and Pison’s Blade, whilst a barrage of penetration Spell Triggers and Horrid Wilting rained down on her. In the end, the final stage was easier than I expected, but I am certainly not complaining! The whole battle took 2-3 hours, and if I fell at the final hurdle, I was not looking forward to doing it all again from the beginning.
And so Jin stood victorious as Solar explained his options. The power of godhood tempted him sorely. He had experienced the frustration and pain of powerlessness, as he was unable to protect those he cared for the most... Khalid, Dynaheir, Imoen, Aerie etc... He had sworn to become the most powerful being in the realms so that nobody can ever harm Imoen and Aerie again...
But accepting godhood meant leaving them behind, and a continued existence of constant strife, with more experienced, and possibly more powerful deities like Cyric, counted as his enemies. What good is power if obtaining it would rob him of what he was trying to save and protect in the first place? And could he really
control the essence of the Lord of Murder? Will such evil power rob him of whatever is left of his compassion, love and innocence? Will he become the very thing he had been fighting to prevent all long... the rise of a new Lord of Murder.
Thus, Jin looked upon Aerie, his beloved, her belly starting to swell with the growth of their baby boy, smiled, and asked Solar to remove the taint of Bhaal from him, and grant him the freedom to live out the rest of his mortal days with Aerie by his side.
Months later, Aerie would give birth to a baby boy, who she agreed to name Anomen, in honour of Jin's former companion, at times rival, and in the end, great friend. Years after that, a baby girl was born, who they named Jaheira, in memory of the fierce warrior-druid who was Jin's mentor, protector and counsel through his darkest hours, and who fought fearlessly by his side until the bitter end.
I wish Imoen and Minsc (and Boo!) also hung around with Charname in the future, but the epilogues clearly states that they didn't.