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What was your first time playing Baldur's Gate like?

Did you start from BG1 or was SoA or ToB your first exposure to the bhaalspawn saga? What class did you play? Who was in your first party? What do you remember about your initial impressions? Were you a D&D noob, or did you come from other forgotten realm computer games and/or PnP?

My first experience with the game was when I was in 7th grade shortly after Shadows of Amn was released in 2001. My friend's older brother blew through the game as he had played the first game and was eager for the second. My friend and I sat in the closet that his family computer was kept in and spent hours creating characters, playing through Irenicus' dungeon, and exploring Amn. I remember the quest arc through the slums district blowing me away the most. I was pretty much instantly sold and bought it at Wal-Mart for myself shortly after. I had had no prior experience with D&D and very little experience with computer games. In fact I think it was the first one I ever bought for myself.

My first character was a fighter/mage/thief because I had no idea what was powerful and figured that 3 classes is better than one. I absolutely loved pick pocketing everyone so most of my thief skills went to that. I didn't have any mind for tactics so all of my mage spells went to strait up damage spells, and most of the time I just ended up meleeing everything anyway. My first party was the first 5 good/neutral people I ran into so: Minsc, Jaheria, Arie, Anoman and Yoshimo. I remember getting pissed in Spellhold when Yoshimo betrayed me and getting Imoen back, severely underleveled. I ditched her as soon as possible and picked up Jan, who was still underleveled but a hilarious character to have around where as Imoen just seemed whiny. I didn't really get into the game play and mechanics until my second and third playthough, but I found the story and fights so engrossing and epic that it kept me going. I learned about cheat codes not far into my first playthough, (editing the .ini file made me feel kind of like a hacker) so I abused the hell out of them. I ctrl+J'd around all of the maps and spammed ctrl+R on my party though most fights (and still was not able to kill any of the dragons). Despite all of this noobishness I rushed home from school every day to play and have come back to the game and played BG1 - ToB+Ascension at least 6 times since then. I hope I never get tired of this series.

My friend and I found Suldanessellar hilarious because we pronounced it "Sold-in-a-cellar," and to this day we are still able to recite the opening lines of the torture scene and shadow thieves invasion in the beginning. " 'MORE. INTRUDERS. HAVE ENTERED. THE COMPLEX. MASTER.' 'They ACT sooner than we had anticipated...No matter, they will only prove a slight delay...' "

Also the manual for this game was amazing. I still read over it occasionally, mostly for nostalgia's sake.

BelgarathMTHsunset00SCARY_WIZARDJuliusBorisovCalmar
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Comments

  • MessiMessi Member Posts: 738
    Yea I loved the manuals for old games like BG, early Civ games, etc. Lot's of quality time spent in the loo with them!

    SCARY_WIZARD
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    I actually started the whole shebang with IWD, which I got bundled with my graphics card back then. Of course, I played through about half of the game with about a gazillion reloads before I realized that you could pause combat. Yay!

    After that I got myself the BG series; BG1 I played through once, then I started BG2 and never looked back. Since I had the IWD experience, I didn't find BG too hard, but the whole banter/romance/character development of BG2 just opened a whole new world.

    JuliusBorisov
  • AlexisisinneedAlexisisinneed Member Posts: 470
    I first played BG1 without tosc back when it first came out. My dad bought it for himself and I was like six or seven when I first attempt to play it. I remember I created a fighter class because I saw it at the top of the list and thought that it meant it was the best class. I also remember I had a constitution level of 10. I didn't get very far because I was never allowed to save my game. So yeah BG was a big part of my childhood. I remember watching my dad beat BG2. My dad had a such a hard time because he never understand the fact that you should use breach and detect invisibilities with Mages. Yet somehow he was still able to beat the game. When I was in highschool I played BG1 again and nearly beat it. I also played Bg2 but didn't get very far. But I loved it. The Baldur's gate series one the very few video game series in which I never get tired of.

    sunset00JuliusBorisov
  • TetraploidTetraploid Member Posts: 252
    I first played BG1, no TOTSC - a friend lent me the game. I must have gone through Candlekeep and the first couple of following areas 20 times with different characters, trying them all out, before eventually settling on a thief. To this day, I still favour thief/rogue type characters in pretty much everything from BG to Skyrim.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,780
    In short - first times are usually awkward and memorable.

    CutlassJacksunset00
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I have a strong non-play related memory from when ToB first came out. I just got it before 9/11 and hadn't installed it yet. Well I was working as an air traffic controller when the towers came down, after the airspace was sterilized (entire US) they sent us all home. We only had one person at a time working for the next week (to watch the empty airspace, and do the weather).
    Well that all meant I had a lot of unexpected time off at home to play ToB. I remember spending all day on 9/11 installing the game and playing around with it, with the news on in the background. Next day my computer died; I swear I was the only person out shopping on 9/12! But then it was a week of playing, with the news on in the back the whole time.
    VERY strong memory!

    sunset00JuliusBorisovWandering_Minstrel
  • stratosstratos Member Posts: 1
    I borrowed BG2:SoA from a friend and it was my first time playing a D&D game.
    It was also my most frustrating initial experience *ever*.
    I think I quit/uninstalled the game like 7 times before I could survive the initial dungeon.

    It was crazy... I mean, I just made it out of this little cage just to get killed by these 2 bat-like critters?
    I made a Sword Saint, a freaking sword super-master, and the dude can't hit a wall!!!
    He just keeps swinging and swinging and -maybe after 27 swings- he *might* hit something but then his damage is laughable. Nope. I need a mageling. A freaking sorcerer and *then* they'll see!!!

    So I restart the game after re-rolling a sorc, just to get killed again by the same freaking bats that just turned my kensai into puree. My powerful spells dont do shait and they take... a full day to reload?
    Stoopid game!!!

    Moving on, I discovered every single trap in the place by the simple procedure of stepping on it and dying.

    I finally made it through the initial rooms (still inside Irenicus dungeon-prison) just to have my sister, my beloved sis Imoen tell me that she had decided to continue alone. That it was safer for her to go alone in a hostile critter-infested dungeon and not under my brotherly protection. She walked away right after a minor incident with a lightning wand I just fired... I mean, who knew that bolt would bounce back and forth like 14 times??? Not me, for sure. Ungrateful b*tch...

    etc, etc. etc.

    The rest of my "initial Excperience" was pretty much like the description above: Lost and clueless.
    I finally got the hang of the game and I have played it more times than any other game I can think of -including several 'solo sorc' games playing at 'Insane' difficulty level.


    :)

    BelgarathMTHsunset00JuliusBorisov
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    I started with BG1 back when it was released. My first character was a mage but after dying constantly to wolves and everything else, i gave up on him when i reached level 2 and nothing changed. Then i made a fighter with focus on halberds and bows. The halberd was a silly pick back then and i didn't use it much, but the bow got me through the game.

    After that i went back to playing mage again, but i got 3 fighter levels before dual classing.

    BG1 -> TotSC -> IWD 1 -> BG 2 -> Torment -> IWD2. In that order.

    JuliusBorisov
  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    lots and lots of death in the nashkel mines :(

  • Night_WatchNight_Watch Member Posts: 514
    I was ten. This was my first tactical rpg. I had no idea what I was doing half the time. Each assassin I met outside of Candlekeep (FAI, Beregost, Nashkel) killed me a few of times, except for Nimbul, which was probably somewhere in the dozens.

    I gave up. Started playing Icewind Dale a year or two later. Figured out what the heck I was doing wrong and then went back to BG. Steamrolled through it until I met Davaeron (mage fights are no bueno) Had a lot of fun whooping doppleganger a$$ in that merchant compound. Got my a$$ whooped right back when I went to the Iron Throne.

    When I finally met Sarevok and his friends he handed my a$$ to me so many times I started to feel like one of Dr. Mephesto's twisted experiments. Finally killed him (after using so many monster summoning wands that my computer starting lagging.)

    For some reason I don't recall as much frustration in SoA and ToB. I think it may have been a combination of me being older, the higher levels providing stronger abilities, and the story (especially the interactions among the NPCs) made me focus less on combat and more on the epic of my protagonist (pretty sure I romanced Aerie and she made me a baby.)

    Haven't played a game since that challenges and frustrates me to that kind of level. I'm not sure I ever want to =p

    BelgarathMTHsunset00JuliusBorisov
  • fighter_mage_thieffighter_mage_thief Member Posts: 262
    edited October 2013
    When I first played BG, I was like, wow, killing these guards at Candlekeep sure can rack up the XP!

    Next thing I know I'm farming Firebead Elvenhair.

    SionIV
  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    I'm not proud of it, but when I first started playing BG1 I quickly realized I could fake a multiplayer game and make multiple characters, and also the export/import function. So, I repeatedly imported the same Half-Elf Fighter/Cleric and killed Firebead for XP and did the illusory combat training for gear. I did this until I was about level 3 in both classes and had an unseemly amount of gold.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,606
    I started on BG1 and thought it was amazing. But right from the start I played no re-loads - if my character dies I just have to start again from the beginning - so I started dozens of games before I got anywhere. I reckon I must have started a hundred games at least before I finally killed Sarevok.

  • Mrpenfold666Mrpenfold666 Member Posts: 428
    "What was your first time playing Baldur's Gate like?"

    I played a mage so.....short

    SionIVjackjack
  • rdarkenrdarken Member Posts: 660
    The first time I played, I had no idea what was going on. And my CDs were damaged, so every time I went east from the zone you meet Xzar and Monty, it locked up. I had to return it and get new CDs (which I still have somewhere).

    But I never beat it until EE.

  • zur312zur312 Member Posts: 1,366
    edited October 2013
    i can't remember much BUT


    BG1 jaheira + rooting every enemy + slings was my best strategy and i died a lot

    like a LOT ; D

    but after that i think i figuerd out that on multiplayer you can make your own party and with many trials i made pretty good one

    5fighter/8conjurer long sword
    5cleric/8conjurer long sword
    10thief halfling short sword/crossbow
    6fighter/8cleric melee
    8ranger 2handed/bow

    something like that and my strategy turned to drop fireballs everywhere unless it was sarevok and i would summon many monsters

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    First time was brutal, embarrassing and short. I didn't understand the rules or the distinction between arcane and divine spells, so kept being frustrated that mages couldn't heal. I think I nearly had the canon party by accident, but Minsc kept going hostile just as we got to the Gnoll Fortress as I got lost.

    The second playthrough I knew where I was going, went pure fighter and stomped, farmed and exploited everything I could.

    Since then I hope I've gained enough understanding and perspective to mellow a little.

  • ArcalianArcalian Member Posts: 357
    I was 25 in 1998, and something of a D and D nerd, so I had some idea of the game mechanics (many happy memories of me and my high school buddy playing the old SSI Gold Box D and D games.)

    I still nearly **** myself when "The Armored Figure" showed up right after we left Candlekeep. With Gorion dead I was like, ****, what do I do now?!" As a Gold Box vet, it bothered me at first that I didn't have a team of six all at once.

    Oh, I was an half-elven mage, my default "good" character (my avatar is a version of him that a friend on dA kindly did for me). I wound up with the "canon" party (I still hate Jaheira, and have used her as little as possible ever since).

    Tarnesh was tough, but what was really impossible was finding Dynaheir. Not the Gnoll Stronghold itself, but the hole she was in. First time I ever went online to look for help with a game. (I'm a spoilers-required kind of guy; I also check the back of a book first to make sure the good guy wins.)

    Greywolf was kinda tough; I kept wondering how BIG the Cloakwood was. That Sirene on the coast insta-killed me a few times until I figured it out. But the real trouble was the Doppelgangers in the Ducal Palace. Had to look that one up online, too.

    Once TOTSC came out, I avoided Durlag's Tower like the plague, and Werewolf Island was VERY VERY HARD.

    Then came the day when I tried playing evil for the first time. The first evil aligned Bhaalspawn dream shocked me, and when Edwin joined my party, I almost fell out of my chair; I thought he was just a quest giver! Playing evil made it a whole new game for me, and much more fun! I still like stories where the good guys win, but if I'm playing a game, I LOVE being the antihero/badass/Renegade.

    Sorry BG2 fans, but SOA isn't really a proper sequel to BG1. Oh, it's not bad; there's fun stuff in it, especially if you take Bodhi's side in the guild war. But it's Irenicus' story, not ours. BG1 and TOB are the story of the Bhaalspawn. SOA is just the Irenicus Interlude. TOB is the real sequel.

    BelgarathMTHsunset00JuliusBorisovWandering_Minstrel
  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    Arcalian said:


    Sorry BG2 fans, but SOA isn't really a proper sequel to BG1. Oh, it's not bad; there's fun stuff in it, especially if you take Bodhi's side in the guild war. But it's Irenicus' story, not ours. BG1 and TOB are the story of the Bhaalspawn. SOA is just the Irenicus Interlude. TOB is the real sequel.

    I'm inclined to disagree. Irenicus' backstory was key to establishing his character, but the story was just as illuminating for the Bhaalspawn. SoA is when you first find out that you are special and different from the other children of Bhaal.

    etagloc
  • MessiMessi Member Posts: 738

    Arcalian said:


    Sorry BG2 fans, but SOA isn't really a proper sequel to BG1. Oh, it's not bad; there's fun stuff in it, especially if you take Bodhi's side in the guild war. But it's Irenicus' story, not ours. BG1 and TOB are the story of the Bhaalspawn. SOA is just the Irenicus Interlude. TOB is the real sequel.

    I'm inclined to disagree. Irenicus' backstory was key to establishing his character, but the story was just as illuminating for the Bhaalspawn. SoA is when you first find out that you are special and different from the other children of Bhaal.
    Eh? How are you different from the others?

    Arcalian
  • SouldancertnSouldancertn Member Posts: 45
    A friend of mine let me borrow is CD's for Baldur's Gate while he was playing through SoA, so my first time playing was in early 2001. I had no idea what the game was about, or what to do, and I somehow navigated the character creation screen and wound up with a Bard proficient in halberds.
    Upon loading into Candlekeep (not understanding that was only one location among many), I used the hand drawn city map of Baldur's Gate itself that came with the game to find where I was. I couldn't for the life of me find where the Candlekeep Inn was among the other inns and shops and estates of Baldur's Gate. After a few minutes of frustration I tossed the map aside, which flipped over revealing the map of the Sword Coast. When I found Candlekeep on it, and saw the numerous other locations like Beregost and, of course, Baldur's Gate, I suddenly discovered the scope of the game I had just installed... The rest is history.

    alnairSCARY_WIZARD
  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    i bought & played Torment, first, as I was playing in a pnp Planescape campaign...
    bought BG1, made it through Candlekeep, watched Gorion get snuffed, & was myself snuffed by a Gibberling

  • XerxesVXerxesV Member Posts: 187
    A friend gave me two discs of BG1 when it first came out. I think they were a demo version that let you play through Nashkell. I played those maps until I knew every nook and cranny.

    Later he gave me copies of all five discs. I was shocked and thrilled to see how much gameplay there was. My favorite moments were mostly in cloak wood. When I got to the gates of the city my burned CD didn't work! I was furious enough to buy the full game at the store (my whole paycheck from burger king). All in all, it was the biggest gaming experience I've ever had.

    Incidentally, I made up for my software pirating by buying the BG games several times over.

    I have two 5 disk versions of BG (both unplayable now); one unusable TotSc disk, a worn out set of IWD and expansion, 3 sets of BG2 and two TOB, plus I rebought them all on GOG, and now from Beamdog. I feel like one of those Zelda fanboys who have copies of the same game for every release. Kinda pathetic, but cost saving in the end since BG takes up time I would spend on more expensive systems.

    SouldancertnlundgrnnJuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • SouldancertnSouldancertn Member Posts: 45
    XerxesV said:


    I have two 5 disk versions of BG (both unplayable now); one unusable TotSc disk, a worn out set of IWD and expansion, 3 sets of BG2 and two TOB, plus I rebought them all on GOG, and now from Beamdog. I feel like one of those Zelda fanboys who have copies of the same game for every release. Kinda pathetic, but cost saving in the end since BG takes up time I would spend on more expensive systems.

    I've also purchased the game several times. I still have the original 5 CDs somewhere but I bought the special bundle several years later that included a soundtrack CD. Then I purchased another boxed version because I had misplaced one of the CDs from that version (found it later). Then I bought it again off of GOG because I didn't want to fiddle with discs anymore... People like us are not only OCD, but responsible for keeping the gaming companies alive, haha...

    XerxesVBelgarathMTH
  • ArcalianArcalian Member Posts: 357

    Arcalian said:


    Sorry BG2 fans, but SOA isn't really a proper sequel to BG1. Oh, it's not bad; there's fun stuff in it, especially if you take Bodhi's side in the guild war. But it's Irenicus' story, not ours. BG1 and TOB are the story of the Bhaalspawn. SOA is just the Irenicus Interlude. TOB is the real sequel.

    I'm inclined to disagree. Irenicus' backstory was key to establishing his character, but the story was just as illuminating for the Bhaalspawn. SoA is when you first find out that you are special and different from the other children of Bhaal.
    You're different from other Bhaalspawn because you are the Player Character. All else is rationalization for that fact. I get that they didn't just want another Sarevok, but the story wound up being too much about *him*. Like a movie where the villain is more important than the hero.

  • artificial_sunlightartificial_sunlight Member Posts: 601
    I started BG because it was free with my dads computer, it was on DVD (amazing) and looked cool. I installed it (on a 10GB harddisk, dad not happy).
    Started, picked a fighter (could not read english very good). Clicked the sword icon moved to a guy with yellow robes. Click..... Best game-over movie ever!

    Few years later I have 264 FR books several copies of the game and disliked every other game because they are not as good a BG1-2

    BelgarathMTHSouldancertnjackjack
  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 505
    edited October 2013
    Messi said:

    Arcalian said:


    Sorry BG2 fans, but SOA isn't really a proper sequel to BG1. Oh, it's not bad; there's fun stuff in it, especially if you take Bodhi's side in the guild war. But it's Irenicus' story, not ours. BG1 and TOB are the story of the Bhaalspawn. SOA is just the Irenicus Interlude. TOB is the real sequel.

    I'm inclined to disagree. Irenicus' backstory was key to establishing his character, but the story was just as illuminating for the Bhaalspawn. SoA is when you first find out that you are special and different from the other children of Bhaal.
    Eh? How are you different from the others?
    "Your soul has taken form to guide from within! You are strange among your kin! But I sense it is weak and will not help you again!"

    BelgarathMTH
  • ZalsonZalson Member Posts: 103
    I remember being floored by the letter from Gorion in Candlekeep. That is a distinct and precious memory.

    And I also remember being unable to finish the fight with Sarevok. Had to give up for a few months; he was just too hard!

    Incidentally, my grades were wonderful at the time. You see, I'd rush home, do my homework, and then play Baldur's Gate all night long...

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