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Brief Review & Queries involving plotlines *SPOILERS INC. Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights*

TethorilofLathanderTethorilofLathander Member Posts: 427
*STORYLINE SPOILERS*

First off, I just completed the game after gaming at least an hour each day, enthralled to advance through the story each time! :smiley:

I've been a huge Baldur's Gate fan for at least 10 years, having played all the originals, IWD series, NWN series and Dark Alliance series (with Demon Stone on my to-do list), though please note I have only played the original EE and not BG2EE. I didn't have many worries that the game wouldn't match up to the originals as there's ample room in material to do so. Overall I'm fairly impressed with the game. I enjoyed the larger scale battles with the coalition forces on your side, side quests, visiting Toril's historically rich areas, the connection between Belhifet's promise to return, Caelar Argent, Hephernaan and many other things. I had a few dislikes of the game (though they didn't include any of the 'popular' controversial moments). Most of the dislikes were fairly small that they didn't affect gameplay or the story, however I did notice that the game felt like a mish-mash of the Icewind Dale saga and the NWN (up to & including Hordes of the Underdark) saga, for better or worse.

Such examples included a heroic character (Caelar/Jerrod) leading a combined group of, usually squabbling (Humanoids such as orcs and orogs vs humans and dwarves/Warring Barbarian tribes), people to fight a spellcaster (Hephernaan/Erakon) who opens a portal to the hells. The lead female character with righteous purpose and a huge army (Caelar/Valsharess) are betrayed by a devil (Belhifet/Mephistopheles), even though they are bound to each other (Hephernaan being Caelar's right hand man/Mephistopheles being actually bound). Eventually the combatants (Crusaders & Coalition/Barbarians and Erakon's mercenaries) decide to fight together against the evil creatures and defeat them, with the heroic character (Caelar/Jerrod) sealing the portal and potentially killing themselves in the process (Jerrod going Han Solo/Caelar most likely soon to fight Belhifet's hordes alone).

I do have a few queries about certain plot lines that I didn't fully understand.

Sarevok's Sword - Is that referring to the sword we find in Baldur's Gate 2 or his secret sword in Cyric's Temple? I assume the former as it's mentioned it was last seen by the PC in Sarevok's grasp. If so, why are his followers trying to protect it? If I recall, it's a good sword but nothing incredible in BG2. Is this expanded upon in BG2EE or is it retrieved as more of a symbol for his people?

Hephernaan and Irenicus conversation - Hephernaan speaks about a group, whose name now escapes me (something beginning with A if I'm not mistaken). Is this group already known within the canon of the Forgotten Realms or created for SoD/Baldur's Gate saga? I've heard mention of it being the group we see at the end of Shadows of Amn, hooded figures discussing the fate of the Bhaalspawn.

Hephernaan's plans - When we meet (and battle) Hephernaan in Dragonspear Castle we find out his plans are more sinister than anyone could suspect. When we parley with Caelar and her commanders, we should be able to oust Hephernaan as a traitor to her cause, or at least highlight it to her, even if she dismisses it in her arrogant manner. I'm curious to know why this may not be an option, short of the game ending sooner.

Irenicus dream sequences - Again, trying to recover my distant memories of BG2 but didn't Irenicus' dream sequences only start once he and Bodhi had taken yours and Imoen's souls? Was he always able to do this and only decided to reveal it later in BG2? What magic is there available to do this? Is there mention of it within other Forgotten Realms tales?

Belhifet's Banishment - For those of you who haven't played Icewind Dale, do not read this part. Icewind Dale is set in 1271DR and by the end of the game he is banished for 100 years. Does this mean his plan was to have his armies attack Toril, somewhat leaderless, for 3 years before he could return? If his minions within Avernus are any standard of what his army is like, then I don't think Toril has anything to fear. Even the Crusader militia were stronger than them, so going up against armies from places such as Baldur's Gate, Waterdeep, Neverwinter, Luskan, Daggerford, Amn etc while without the main brain behind the plot is a little foolish of him.

Soultaker Dagger - Any idea how Irenicus got his hands on it? We're assuming at this point your PC has completed Tales of the Sword Coast but there's no mention of how he acquired it and why. Surely he couldn't have known Entar's daughter would join them? Sure, he could have had someone else murdered, but Skie was a particular blow to the PC and various elites in Baldur's Gate, so killing another may have had much less of a consequence for the character (in terms of her being quite defenceless, daughter of a Duke, your promise to the Duke). If I'm not mistaken, Belt asks about the dagger during the public shaming of your PC, but how could he have known about it? Did Skie get her hands on the dagger and inadvertently provide Irenicus with it? Was it Naaber? I bet it was Naaber...




How about now?



Now? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Also I have to mention, the music score to this game is PHENOMENAL!

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,629
    Sarevok's Sword - Is that referring to the sword we find in Baldur's Gate 2 or his secret sword in Cyric's Temple? I assume the former as it's mentioned it was last seen by the PC in Sarevok's grasp. If so, why are his followers trying to protect it? If I recall, it's a good sword but nothing incredible in BG2. Is this expanded upon in BG2EE or is it retrieved as more of a symbol for his people?


    it's meant to be the sword you get in bg2.

    Irenicus dream sequences - Again, trying to recover my distant memories of BG2 but didn't Irenicus' dream sequences only start once he and Bodhi had take yours and Imoen's souls? Was he always able to do this and only decided to reveal it later in BG2? What magic is there available to do this? Is there mention of it within other Forgotten Realms tales?


    this is a plothole as beamdog made the mistake most people make when first playing bg2.

    it's bhall's essence taking the form of irenicus.

    TethorilofLathanderKrotos


  • Irenicus dream sequences - Again, trying to recover my distant memories of BG2 but didn't Irenicus' dream sequences only start once he and Bodhi had take yours and Imoen's souls? Was he always able to do this and only decided to reveal it later in BG2? What magic is there available to do this? Is there mention of it within other Forgotten Realms tales?


    this is a plothole as beamdog made the mistake most people make when first playing bg2.

    it's bhall's essence taking the form of irenicus.
    Is that referenced in any of the games? I recall fighting a figure of Bhaal in Irenicus' Candlekeep dream sequence.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,629
    it's preety much implied when you ask him about the dreams when he has you captured in spell hold.

    he says something to he effect of . ' i don't know what you are talking about."

    TethorilofLathanderJustLeftKrotos
  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24

    it's preety much implied when you ask him about the dreams when he has you captured in spell hold.

    he says something to he effect of . ' i don't know what you are talking about."

    I never knew this, but it makes considerably more sense. I always wondered why the heck Irenicus wanted me to "accept the gifts offered to me" when he was just going to steal my soul for himself. What should he care what I do with it when he can do whatever he likes with it once he has it?

    TethorilofLathanderJustLeftKrotos
  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    For the most part I really enjoyed SoD, both the storyline and the writing but to echo one of the OPs points, not bring able to broach the subject of hephernan's treachery at the parley did stand out to me. You do get a line talking about the cabal of be necromancers under the castle but nothing more.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,736
    Hephernaan's plans - When we meet (and battle) Hephernaan in Dragonspear Castle we find out his plans are more sinister than anyone could suspect. When we parley with Caelar and her commanders, we should be able to oust Hephernaan as a traitor to her cause, or at least highlight it to her, even if she dismisses it in her arrogant manner. I'm curious to know why this may not be an option, short of the game ending sooner.

    If you've encountered Kherruin's cabal in underground city, you can mention it during parley. The reason it's not very extensive... well... by the time I felt something was amiss there and poked Phil about it, we've been already past the VA recording sessions, and all the dialogue in that particular scene had to be voiced. Fortunately, we've been doing re-voice for Bence and Heph at that moment, so I was told I could add extra dialogue as long as it would fit the existing material. Objections to player's complaints being limited to those two guys, there was quite a narrow space left for maneuver.
    Ironically, the two new lines I've added did not actually get voiced, so in a hindsight it probably would've been ok to add more without anyone complaining about silent lines in plot-critical scene.

    JuliusBorisov
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,797


    The lead female character with righteous purpose and a huge army (Caelar/Valsharess)...

    Last time I checked, the Valsharess was not righteous in the least.

  • @OlvynChuru Everyone is righteous in their own mind, even the bad people :smiley:

  • @AndrewFoley Thanks for the info! The Umbral Accord sounds like a fantastic idea, one I'd love to see in a future Icewind Dale game :) (though not in a "we will resurrect our leader"/Throne of Bhaal type deal)

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