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Which game had the better portraits? - Edwin, Imoen, Jaheira, Minsc & Boo and Viconia



  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,353
    In a strict portrait vs. portrait battle, I like:
    BG1: Jaheira
    BG2: Everyone Else

    but it's more complicated than that actually, because I like elements of each portrait that I would rather see fused together, a case in point being the BG1 Viconia-as-an-actual-drow alt portrait, which is what I wish her portrait had been for both BG1 and BG2. I actually dislike the Viconia portrait for BG2 a lot, it doesn't feel like Viconia to me...but it's a drow, and I'll take that over whatever was going on hair and skin-wise in the BG1 portrait, which was always among my least favourite BG1 portraits (leaving Viconia with "among my least fave portraits" status in both games lol)

    so to break it down a bit by character
    Edwin: I like literally everything about the BG2 one MUCH better except one thing! I wish we were at the same distance from his face as we were in BG1, I don't like how we zoomed in to see how his hair has grown in the time between, I enjoy seeing all these changes, and wish BG1 had all the piercings and the BG2 circlet from the start (since it does seem very Edwin to me for some reason for him to have a nose piercing with a chain lmao) but as long as BG2 was going to add in all these elements it's almost like they felt they needed to show us REAL CLOSE and it's too close for comfort for me for some reason, the pose and distance in BG1 seem more character appropriate, more aloof and less intimate, I like that for Edwin. Oh, and I guess I sort of like the background of Edwin's BG1 better than BG2, but backgrounds aren't usually something I care about all that much. I also like the trim on his robe in BG1 more, but I also like the idea he's had to get a new robe between games so it's on the level of the background change for me.

    Imoen: I basically just wish they'd kept Imoen's facial structure, size/shape of nose and hair colour the same. Other than that, the BG2 portrait is way better IMHO, better background (not that I care, but it's true now that I'm noticing backgrounds after doing Edwin's comparison lol), her outfit is better, her hairstyle is better, her expression fits "I've matured and got a little more serious"...although the BG1 expression has always struck me as very "I'm just leavin' Candlekeep with ya!" and I do adore it for that, I just wish she'd had the outfit from the BG2 one in the BG1 portrait it feels more "adventuring thief on the go" and she is one of those from the very first time she pops into your party, leather armor equipped and all! But yeah, she seems so...gaunt in the BG2 one, and it's all in the facial structure changing, she looks like Imoen's cousin, not Imoen (especially when you focus on the nose difference).

    Jaheira: BG2 Jaheira is a trainwreck to me except for one thing: they emphasize the elven ears and I like that! But the pose is weird, her skin looks almost sallow by comparison, and worst of all the face looks nothing like her BG1 face for no discernible reason! One can discern the reason for Viconia (altho I think it's wrong-headed, since they just had to make the skin/hair into the black/white drow combo and retain the facial features/structure in a different pose) but there's just no reason to have made such drastic changes when they could've just highlighted the ears! Maybe the hairstyle change wouldn't have seemed off-putting on BG1 Jaheria's face but since I associate it with this bizarre 180 from BG1 Jaheira I just find myself vastly preferring the wild tousle of BG1 over the "I accessorize my hair" of just doesn't feel like it fits personality-wise, she seems like she wakes up in nature, brushes off some dirt and leaves and moves into her day with that BG1 hair as-is and would be grumpy to have to do any more...but again I'm willing to consider it would look awesome on BG1 Jaheira's face and hair colour, I just can't picture it. The armor is more of a personal pet peeve of putting a Druid in metal armor...I know she can technically wear it, and it's not very efficient of me to put her in enchanted studded leather in my playthroughs, but I just can't bear to put a druid in metal. Especially one who talks about very small, sparsely populated towns as places over which it would've been better to let the land grow wild. She's so anti-civ I just can't picture her visiting a blacksmith! But that last bit's just a personal thing, I'm sure tons of people who plop her in heavy armour loved to see that change in the portrait to reflect how they equip her.

    Minsc and Boo: Ok, basically, these are the only two where both are perfect. Nothing about either one rubs me the wrong way. BG2's background is better, sure, but like I said I don't care about backgrounds really. The one thing that makes me pick BG2 over BG1 is that for me as a youngin' playing BG1, and eventually BG1 and ToSC endlessly and then finding out BG2 was coming out, I was basically most excited to have Minsc in my party again (this was before I even thought that they might not let you port over your party, so I was double-overjoyed that the "canon party" was my first playthrough/fave save's party, even if I was distraught over the loss of Dynaheir and Khalid it gave narrative impact that I'll never forget to the beginning of BG2...but I digress) and one thing that I remember distinctly about playing BG2 was seeing Boo looking right at me. I will always, always cherish the intimacy of BG1's portrait, them looking at one another like the true team they have always been and always will be, but I gotta say I remember almost tearing up as a kid seeing Minsc and Boo's united steady gaze at me, their biggest fan (ok I'm exaggerating, I'm sure there are bigger Minsc/Boo fans than me out there but I'm not exaggerating about getting misty-eyed with excitement to see Boo's face instead of the back of his little head), so I have zero things to complain about with either portrait. BG1's portrait is PERFECT for BG1, and BG2's portrait is PERFECT for BG2. No question in my mind. I just prefer BG2 because of that memory in particular (and also being so happy it wasn't ruined like Jaheira's or...iffyish like Imoen's).

    Viconia: Even when I did evil playthroughs back in the day I never kept Viconia around in any of my Vile Half Dozens so I never had that big of an attachment to her. But part of the reason for that, tbqh, was encountering her in BG1 and looking at her portrait like " a drow?" and in BG2 when I saw how it was a drow...but like...not Viconia's personality at all, and looking like (as @SharGuidesMyHand put it earlier in the thread) "a nymph mage not a drow cleric" I was like " Viconia?" lmao so I mean I've already said scattered throughout this post what I don't like about BG1 and BG2 Viconia at this point. A forward-facing face pose for BG2 would've been fine, but get across her personality! That is some other drow mage lady, I don't know who she is, where is Viconia?! But I still prefer actually seeing a Drow over whatever purple hair dye/skin bleach program Viconia was doing to hide from the Flaming Fist in BG1 lol (even if the facial expression in BG1 does pretty perfectly encapsulate who Viconia is IMHO)
  • EscarcheEscarche Member Posts: 61
    Edwin and Minsc are great either way, I just love Imoen's portrait from Baldur's Gate 1 and Jaheira/Viconia from the sequel.
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,300
    They're all amazing in their own way, but since we're comparing them ...

    BG1 Edwin , Jaheira and Minsc are better because their portraits already show the NPC's personality. Edwin is a serious , antisocial wizard , Jaheira is a headstrong fighter , Minsc is a strong guy talking to a hamster ... so well illustrated!

    Imoen: BG2 Imoen is way better , it is so amazing that her portrait shows a beautiful young girl with perhaps a "dark side" . It is just amazing.
    On the other hand, I never change her portrait in BG1 because it actually shows a cheerful teenager, pretty much what she is at the beginning.

    Viconia: BG1 Viconia's portrait shows an evil drow priestess, but very little of Viconia herself . She is more of a misterious elf hiding under her hood rather than a proud drow holding a mace.
    I must say that BG2 Viconia nailed it, a strong hooded elven female , tremendously beautiful and misterious.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,861
    I much prefer the BG1 portraits to the ones in BG2. But I generally don't use either of them. I replace them all with portraits from IWD. There are pretty good match ups for everyone except Imoen. I've never yet managed to find a portrait of Imoen that seems to go with her voice (I guess what I really need is an IWD-style portrait of Melissa Disney).
  • Raistlin82Raistlin82 Member Posts: 256
    Edwin - This is the best way to do it: young and more mature. Both nice, but the 2nd has more personality.
    Minsc - They're basically two pictures from the same photoshoot, but the 1st one was botched.
    Viconia - The 1st one is just wrong... inappropriately ugly, wrong skin tone, wrong race.
    Imoen - In theory they could be the same person. The 2nd one is more "lived" and less "pampered". Better.
    Jaheira - The 1st one, while pretty, is just too generic. The 2nd one has A LOT more personality.
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 476
    Best portraits for me are:

    BG1: Jaheira
    BG2 Edwin, Minsc & Imoen
    SoD: Viconia

    With Viconia I prefer the BG2 over BG1 but she looks a little too human imo. SoD did a pretty good job at elvenizing her a little.
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 957
    edited October 2016
    BG1 is superior: Edwin and Jaheira (hate those BG2 braids)
    BG2 is superior: Minsc (see Boo! Run, Boo, run!) and Viconia (when I first played BG1, I didn't even know that was supposed to be a Drow).
    Imoen undergoes enough of a shift from BG1 to the start of BG2 with torture and all that I feel her pic for each game is appropriate for that game.

    That said, I personally don't use either. Looking at my notes, I use 'Plasmocat's BG1 portraits in BG2 style' for a base for all 5 of them, because I like how much sharper the images look, and then I've modified Jaheira to have a more copper colored hair than brown. I use the same portraits for Edwin, Minsc, and Jaheira for both games.

    In BG1 for Viconia, I use Yasraena's portrait for a base and modified the armor. Moving to BG2 I used Yasraena and so Viconia went back to an unaltered Plasmocat pic.

    In BG2, I used Enkida's portrait pack to GET RID OF ALL THOSE BRAIDS AND FLUFFY BITS TIED UP IN THEIR HAIR on Aerie, Mazzy, Nalia, Imoen, and also use it for Sarevok, Cernd, Yoshimo, and Anomen. I still didn't like Imoen's portrait in either Plasmocat's, Enkida's, or vanilla version, and never found a pic I like till I found a random one of a leather wearing woman in what looks like a swamp, did some cropping, and use that.

    Also, I replaced Haer'Dalis and Korgan's pics from Plasmocat's pack (with Eldoth and Kagain's pics), and wouldn't mind replacing more, now that I think about it. I really like the portraits for their sharpness.

    I use default for anyone not mentioned, except Neera, which is another random one-off pic I found while trolling for red-haired elf mage pics.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    BG1: Edwin, Minsc, and Jaheira.
    BG2: Imoen and Viconia
  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    ...however Viconia's SoD portrait is the best of all of them. She's a babe.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,903
    Siege of Dragonspear did great with both Viconia and Imoen. They saw the problems and addressed them perfectly.
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    edited October 2016
    BG1: Jaheira
    BG2: Edwin, Viconia and Imoen

    Minsc's is more or less equal to me. I find SoD Imoen better than BG1 Imoen but worse than BG2. SoD Viconia is the worst of the three as far as I'm concerned.
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 476
    Best Edwin Portrait:

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,666
    with imoen i like all three portraits as they show progression of her character. i like viconia's sod more then the other 2. and the rest i like the bg2 ones

    but from now on i'm just using this

    as it makes everyone have a consistent portrait in all three games. to bad the viconia hooded one is not that great so i'm stuck using the default.

  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 476
    Those portraits are awesome right up until Sarevok at which point I became confused, he already has a portrait O.o a portrait that is far more befitting to boot.

    Still, very nice mod.
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,666
    she wanted them to have the same art style.
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 476
    True, it's actually not a bad portrait tbf.
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,790
    As for me, the only portrait I prefer in BG1 is Edwin's. BG2 looks just silly in comparison.

    Jaheira's BG1 portrait embraces her druidic nature more, while her BG2 portrait embraces her warrior class better. I mainly used Jaheira as a warrior with druidic spells for supporting the group, so I like BG2 portrait more overall.

    Viconia has undergone cosmetic surgery between two games. Speeking of between, I think her SoD portrait is the best and the most accurate for a Drow. But betweeen BG 1 and BG2, I like BG2 one more. It's much more pleasant to look at.

    Minsc for me was close call, but I prefer BG2 portrait, simply because Boo is potrayed better in it.

    And Imoen. Her BG2 portrait seems less generic than her BG1 one.
  • dibdib Member Posts: 384
    I really like the SoD version of Viconia's portrait, and I've never even played SoD.
  • sazziesazzie Member Posts: 103
    personally i like all the BG1 ones apart from viconia more.

    i like viconias BG2 better as she looks more like a drow and in the first portrait i dont like the way her body is positioned.

    edwin looks more fierce and has the 'dont f*** with me' expression
    imoen looks better too
    jaheria is completely different - and i dont like it
    minsc looks more focused on boo although his BG2 portrait has a new scar so maybe he took another blow to the head
  • PteranPteran Member Posts: 388
    Edwin - both are good, but I'm accustomed to BG2. I don't know that I've used Edwin in BG1 beyond one playthrough.

    Imoen - BG2 by far

    Jaheira - BG1 for sure

    Minsc - Same as Edwin

    Viconia - BG2, but I wish her skin was more black than that weird bluish. BG1 isn't even dark skinned, so is she even Drow? I like using that picture for my own characters though. Also am I the only one that thought Vicky had a mix of white and blonde hair?? It wasn't until SoD came out that I realized it's a hood......
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