I've played through BG1 more times than I can remember. I've only played through BG2 5 or so times. I don't know why but I just like the freedom of BG1, the large open areas. I've come to love BG2 recently though, I love the rich and dense areas. They may not be vast and open but they are chalk full of story and flavor. I think I was intimidated by how much there was to do.
I usually play though with the core party for BG2 (Jaheira, Minsc, Imoen) and pick up the first NPCs I run into after that (usually Aerie and Nalia). Recently I've been playing around with different NPCs, plus I wanted to try out the EE NPCs.
I picked up Jan Jansen. Jan is a great NPC abilitywise. His Thief levels keep increasing so you can have him do more than just pick locks and find traps, plus those crossbow bolts he makes are great and he starts with great equipment. I didn't much care for his personality. Those long, made up stories that go nowhere and barely have anything to do what is going on with the party. I figured he was just a goofy character with no depth, a Minsc that isn't charming with nothing more to him...by Bhaal, I was so wrong.
I was surprised when we started his personal quest. He immediately dropped the goofy facade and a real character came pouring out. I really felt sorry for him. I felt his pain in losing the girl he loved so much because he couldn't give her all the things she wanted and deserved. I felt his anger for that bastard who raised his hand to his own daughter.
I finished the quest and cured the poor girl who was on her death bed. I think 'She is going to realize the mistake she made in going for financial security rather than love' and then the game punched me in the gut so freaking hard that it still hurts. Of course, we all know what happens next. She f*cking goes back to that piece of garbage! And what's worse, Jan can't convince her what an epically terrible decision she's making. He can't do anything to stop her. All he is left with is keeping tabs on his former love and her daughter and hoping he will be there quick enough to help next time. But we all know he won't be. We know that bastard is going to go back to his old ways and we know he is going to go too far and we know that we can't do anything about it!!
Never in a video game, with the exception of The Last of Us, have I felt something so deeply. It has been 3 days since I've played through that quest and I still think about it and I still get emotional about it! How in the nine hells do you do this to me Bioware?! How do you rip my soul out with freaking text and sprites?!
Am I just a big baby? I still get a little misty when I'm talking with Jaheira about how she misses Khalid and struggles with her feelings for me. Did anybody else feel the same way I do? Regardless, there is no question in my mind that this is one of the best video games in the history of ever.