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Tell your first stories from playing BG1 in the 90s.

SamuelVargSamuelVarg Member Posts: 595
If you, like me, still play BG1 (and 2) but was a fan even in the good old days: Please tell your stories on what you thought, what you did, did you make any goofy mistakes? etc.

I can start with a small anecdote and then put more stories in the comment section.

I have been a table top board game and role player from about 10 years of age. When I was around 12 or 13 and playing the Swedish version of D&D (Drakar och Demoner) I created a elven warrior named "Lorion" and he was my favorite character for a long time. When Baldur's Gate came out I bought it, put in the first of the five CD ROMs and created my first character. An elven warrior (ranger?) and I named him: Lorion.

The game starts and it is stated that "your foster father Gorion has raised you...". I was like: Holy cow this game is advanced! It takes my written name and reforms it for my foster fathers name and the narrator actually reads it out!



  • SamuelVargSamuelVarg Member Posts: 595
    I also remember my PC at the time couldn't handle this advanced game and it crashed from time to time. So I still have the "I need to quick save every 5 minute"-nerve.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 967
    Told this a few times before on the same forum, but never mind that. I started as a Mage (as always) named after myself and being familiar with D&D and the old Goldbox games I did decently in the beginning since I was aware that the Sleep spell is the best low level spell around.

    However, after reaching about Level 5 I was overly focused on Fireball which was the "I win" button in Goldbox for that level range since you tended to fight to a large number of medium-strength enemies and due to being turn-based you were able to target it very exactly.

    So in this level range I started to struggle quite a bit, I remember having difficulties with both the bandit camp and Davaeorn. Not making good use of consumables did not help. I remember those battles being frustrating enough that I accepted a perma-death or two in those combats. Anyway, I pretty much ran the standard party with Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid and Minsc. Xzar, Montaron and Dynaheir all got chunked at some point. I do not recall who my final party member was. Definitely not Branwen, I did not learn that you could restore her until a later playthrough.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,725
    I still have my original install discs and manuals but I do not have the box...I think. It may be in a box in the garage but I am not going to look for it any time soon. I learned fairly quickly that in old school vanilla Animate Dead + Invisibility = instant win for 95% of the game since creatures in the fog of war didn't fight back--it took my skeletons an hour and a half of real time to kill Shandalar.

    My introduction to scripts happened when, very late in the game, my characters were wanted by the Flaming Fist and got spotted. Each Flaming Fist started running a script which summoned a Flaming Fist and by the time the computer crashed there was an army of Flaming Fists surrounding my characters.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    edited June 4
    I have the original American box (damaged) with the 5 CDs, map and Volo's Guide and one mint condition box from the UK that I bought a few years ago as decoration in my library (it doesn't contain Volo's Guide, just the map).

    The complete French version (for reasons already mentioned) in a huge box. Google Baldur's Gate La Saga. It's pretty awesome, too bad it's in French.

    And then I have copied CDs. Many, many copies...

    Oh, and a DVD collection. Lame plastic box, not like the epic shit we had back in our day.

  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 163
    I suffered my typical bout of restartitis before settling in on a female human cleric who I subsequently imported into BG2 as a cleric of Talos. Even though my PC was evil, I didn't need another cleric. Thus, I completely missed out on Viconia and her overall excellence.

  • DeucetipherDeucetipher Member Posts: 521
    I remember getting a demo disk before the game came out and playing it relentlessly. Back then, it was pretty common for gaming magazines to ship with demo disks. My brother and I were 11 and 12 years old, respectively, and we obsessed hard over the demo (which only went as far as the FAI). I remember being crushed that ajantis was not in fact next to the coast way sign in the actual game, once I got the actual game (for christmas, I believe).

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,953
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    My first character was a human fighter. The first thing I did in the game was have him attack Phlydia, who then killed him.

    Didn't even have the decency to get her the book first. For shame! :)

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,953
    edited June 19
    When I played it in the 90's I used to make a lot of Bards. I think it was because they could get to a higher level than most other spellcasters (tied with druids). I didn't have totsc so getting to level 8 was the max you could go (max 7 for mages). You eventually could get a decent amount of the spellcasting of a mage without as much of the risk of a mage (the ring of wizardry near the friendly arm inn was not available in certain version numbers of the game... including the one I happened to use). Plus you didn't have to worry about opposing schools and had more weapon proficiencies than mages. So it was a nice mix of everything.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 524
    Some people have mentioned Baldur's Gate being their entry into D&D. For me, as a long-time D&D player whose cousins got me started on 1E ("Back in my day, Elves and Dwarves didn't have classes! They WERE their own classes!"), I of course bought BG and loved it, but the amusing story from me is that I wound up using the BG manuals as quick references for spell data since they were a lot lighter and easier to pass around to my fellow players at the table whenever they needed to look up the range of Lightning Bolt or something similar. :)

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    Zaxares wrote: »
    Some people have mentioned Baldur's Gate being their entry into D&D. For me, as a long-time D&D player whose cousins got me started on 1E ("Back in my day, Elves and Dwarves didn't have classes! They WERE their own classes!"), I of course bought BG and loved it, but the amusing story from me is that I wound up using the BG manuals as quick references for spell data since they were a lot lighter and easier to pass around to my fellow players at the table whenever they needed to look up the range of Lightning Bolt or something similar. :)

    That manual also had a spiral binding like a steno pad, so you could open it to the spells section and flip it back to back such that it stayed open with the page you wanted on top semi-permanently. I spent many hours studying it. Those were the days. :)

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 302
    I didn’t realise how much better multi and dual classes were and ran a single class generalist mage through the whole saga. I felt I had meticulously planned my character and then got killed by the bloke outside the Friendly Arm. I wanted to use Khalid and Jaheira thoroughout the whole game as my foster father’s friends and Harpers (I still own every paperback of the Harpers series of novels) and was bemused when Jaheira started moaning and whining when I hit 20 rep. I booted her and was annoyed to later find out that she was back in BG2

  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 7
    Like summer 99 I think I played it every day, and periodically revisited every other summer ever since.

    Probably spent more time hunting down portraits and rolling new characters than I did actually playing but I know it was into the hundreds of hours that summer, after I brought it back on a random bargain buy from the Fry's in santa clara. Ended up being my favorite PC game ever haha.

    First play as human cleric, then probably every race as pure class of varying sorts, before eventually going back to an OP Priest type, Human Druid dual classed from Fighter, as the most badass character for the time that you could build, and TOSC gave the scimitar to boot like the next year.

    Once I realized how the level cap worked and how powerful humans can become dual classed, that was like all the later run throughs. The way 2nd edition was set up basically any human caster that duals from pretty much anything else will end up more powerful than the pure class priest or mage. Wherever the experience cap cut off for the high level mages and priests, if there is a gap to fill out there, then a dual classed character was like destined to end up being total power. Pretty much just an uber single class Mage or Cleric or Druid, but with some side highlights for the early game, and that gap when the first class is inactive. Druid especially was monster, because they had the craziest summons and the highest level spells for the game, so it was sort of like trying to pull you there (throwing Jaheira at you right out the gate too, and tempting you to get Khalid off'd via some very neutral actions, so you could step into the wild tank role) have an excuse to ramble around every corner or every area looking for animals to charm and whatnot haha. Then they bring in Faldorn right before the mines, just to ice it when you see the thunderbolts and lightning crash. That was the most memorable go, with the most hours put in before heading off to school the next year.

    I also remember how exciting it was to go multi-player, because you also could trick out even more there. Like doing the dirty run to kill Mulahey for the thousandth time, and then realizing it was possible to save the game after the mines and bring a player in. It was like they set it up as a time sink for character creation just brilliantly.

    You could make the fun run from Candlekeep to the Cloakwood mines, trying to avoid as many encounters as possible. Grab every npc you could along the way before they auto leveled up too high, and deposit them all back to like Beragost or Nashkel. Make the save...

    Then import any new character you wanted to make, for the sandbox playthrough after the main line to Baldurs Gate is opened, and you wouldn't have to do the prologue over and over and over anymore hehe. That was epic!

    I think they really designed it well, because with Korax's basilisks and the Ankhegs you could get anyone up to speed pretty quickly. Switch party alignments or solo around, with a ton of stuff to do off the main linear arch to Sarevok. But yeah the War Priest and Battle Mage rocked it ridiculously in the first game, all set up with the rings and the tomes to just be ubernaughts hehe. Those were the best times

    But this game is still great. I'm glad its possible to play it without having to jump through all the downloads and set up like the TUTU reruns I made a few years back, though I enjoyed modding it, I like the convenience of something standard that everyone is running. Some stuff I still wish got enhanced though.

    May seem minor, but aesthetically so much hinges on the custom portrait that I wish more control of the visual avatar could be built in. Like the stuff that is available in editors but within the main game (to choose between the various base models for class for example, if you want to look like the hooded rogue, mage, priest or warrior for the avatar.) Another aesthetic thing would be things like the available helmet/shield/armor colors for normal equipment or the trim on robes using more of the available colors. The helm/shield/robe colors especially were pretty limited OOB, even though there was a good variety of different types that might have offered more color. I feel like those are the sort of enhancements that I am still interested in seeing, stuff that more control over the aesthetics and esp the avatar, because a lot of the game just comes down character creation.

    Same deal with NPCs, if you want to use a custom portrait for the companions it would be nice to have some avatar control built in, to change things like hair color or skin tone, the same way it can be customized for the protagonist. One way to make a new play through feel new, is to give the main players a new look for that run, which you can do with portraits, but then you still end up stuck with pink hair or whatever hehe. Anyhow, more like that would be nice.

    Post edited by Black_Elk on
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    @Black_Elk , I'm pretty sure you can use Keeper to change hair and skin color on all the avatars in your saved game. You can change their racial build, too. So, for example, if you wanted Jaheira to use the large human female avatar, or for Imoen to use the more slender female elf avatar, you could do those things.

  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 7
    Yeah for sure, I used to use shadowkeeper for TUTU, which was very cool especially when you wanted to have a mage robe appearance or hooded appearance for multi/dual characters. I suppose I was thinking something more built-in via the customization tab as the sort of enhancements I'm interested in. New original content is cool and all, and I like that the class kits are rounded out in the BG1 game, so you have more examples among companions for BG2 style possibilities. But sometimes I honestly would rather just have some shields with a green dot instead of a red one. Or some helmets with different color plumes. Or mage robes with some different trim colors to cover the rest of the rainbow other than red/orange/gold etc hehe. Stuff that probably would take up less dev zots than new voice acting or art assets for new quests and such, but which does still end up adding to replay value. In the same way that having a custom portrait allows unsung countless hours of replay just on the simple effect of changing your look along the sidebar, the avatar too is a big part of enhancing the feel for replay, since those options are pretty easy. Certain companions already make use of tweaks to bring them in line with the BG2 feel, like getting rid of Misc's white hair from the OG hehe. I dig stuff like that. But still wish they'd toss a green adventurer's robe out there, or a purple helmet or whatever as well.

    I think you could do a lot with normal weapons/armors or enchanted capped at lower levels like +1-2, to offer more aesthetic varieties and it would enhance the enhanced feel, without upending the sense of nostalgia in the way that adding other changes might. Companion weapon proficiency is another one where changes where introduced, and can sometimes feel limiting, compared to the original scheme when the proficiencies were more generalist categories (sans fighting styles) and which encouraged a bit more variety in what you could arm. Especially with weapons breaking and the like. But obviously they want to bring it more in line with the later installments. Still I think you could do a bit of throwback to that, just by having more colorful aesthetic options for the regular or low lvl enchanted equipment. Dyes ala NWN might be pushing it too far, since there is something about aesthetic progression that matches overall lvl progression in BG which I like, but would be cool to see more minor enhancements that like to go along with more control over companions appearances/customization. Not sure if they will still be doing patches, but if they are porting to consoles I think stuff like that would be fun to bring into it.

  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,989
    My first game I rolled up a paladin, was joined by Imoen, and we (somehow) defeated the first encounter at the Friendly Arm Inn. Jaheira and Khalid joined us, and we headed south. Khalid died south of Beregost, so we're carrying him along. At Nashkul, I talk to a big warrior type, figuring we could use the help. I politely refuse to help at the moment and Minsc goes berserk. Jaheira is chunked, Imoen dies, and I kill him with 2hp left. Obviously, I need to rest at that Inn near the city entrance ...

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited August 6
    I bought the game in the fall of 1998 mostly out of boredom. I was 12, I was an avid PC gamer, and I had run out of games to play. Happened at the local PC parts and games store (back when brick and mortar was still a thing) and, while my dad shopped for whatever hardware he needed, I checked a small pamphlet detailing the most recent gaming arrivals. It spoke highly of Baldur’s Gate so I asked my father to buy it.

    I had never played a RPG to that day, nor had I had any exposure to AD&D beyond knowing it existed—but I liked fantasy as a concept.

    I installed it and rolled my first character—unsurprisingly a male human fighter. Played it for a bit in Candlekeep and felt slightly disappointed, but I didn’t want to say that to my father after he’d bought it for me, so when he asked, I told him it was good.

    Then I kept playing and got seriously hooked and holy shite was it the greatest game ever. I sucked at it, of course; I would use cheat codes to summon hordes of Drizzt to fight for me whenever I couldn’t win with auto-attacks. But boy did I like everything about it. When I found out Sarevok was my character’s brother, it was a very impactful narrative moment.

    TotSC left me utterly unimpressed as I just wasn’t equipped to understand and appreciate the gem that was Durlag’s Tower, but I was obsessed with Dradeel’s blue fireball. I even tried writing an email to BioWare to ask to make it available to player characters XD

    I eagerly awaited SoA and pre-ordered it as soon as it was possible. When it was delayed, I cancelled my pre-order and just elected to buy it at the local store downtown. The day it released I went to the store where they had a pile of BGII boxes about as tall as I was. I didn’t even have to ask for it; as soon as I entered the store, the owner made toward the pile and picked one up, knowing far too well what I had come for.

    I was incredibly excited to play and spent the best part of that fall/winter doing so. Wait, Imoen’s my sister? Another impactful moment, further heightened by the disappointment that I couldn’t romance her XD

    My first SoA character was a male human berserker that used Keldorn’s portrait (of course I had no idea who Keldorn even was when I chose it.)

    Post edited by AndreaColombo on
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,673
    I carefully choose class, being new to D&D (having never played PnP); a thief. I choose elf, since elves were cool I thought at the time. I took my time to very carefully choose the colors (black main with yellow minor). I started the game, the excitement was soaring! Bought a short bow, cause my friend said thieves should use bows. I went up the stairs, picked open a lock and stole some valuables - Cool start, thieving is fun! Guards were summoned, I attacked! Haha, my shortbow will pierce the hearts of you all!

    The guards of Candlekeep beat my char to death with sticks. End of story.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 524
    edited July 24
    Skatan wrote: »
    The guards of Candlekeep beat my char to death with sticks. End of story.

    I think that in my case, I foolishly tried Magic Missile-ing Gorion on a "Hurhur, let's see what you're made of, DAD!" 15 year-old's bravado.

    Gorion: Casts Lightning Bolt
    Charname: Death

    Daaamn, you don't mess around when it comes to disciplining your kids, Gorion. XD

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited July 24
    Ah, to cast Magic Missile for the first time, and feel the disappointment at seeing but one measly missile firing. I was like, “But when other Mages cast it it’s five missiles!”

    Only later would I read the damn description....

    Post edited by AndreaColombo on
  • SandkatzeSandkatze Member Posts: 34
    edited August 6
    Only later would I read the damn description....

    Yeah, manuals are for pus*** - What do you mean my dwarfen fighter is shit? he's charismatic (16), intelligent (18) and has got wisdom (18). sure he's a little bit soft on strength (9) dexterity (3) and constitution (12) but hey, you can't have it all...

    so yeah, manuals are for p*****

    my 1st char, no knowledge of D&D / AD&D or fantasy for that regard. i was 15 and somehow hooked on mario brothers and tetris <.<

    got through candlekeep, met Imoen and died several times on the map where she became my companion, which, at that time, ruined the game entirely for me.

    6 years later, Magic the Gathering got me curios and a year later i tried Baldur's Gate again. This time i knew, manuals are there for a reason, descriptions are there for a reason, so i searched through my stuff but as fate would have it, i got no actual time or the mood to play it for fun due to family matters, so no progress at all.

    Now I'm 35 and here i am. i've got the time and a full installation of the game which i found on an old hard drive and even some of the discs but no manuals what so ever.

    After these years and after i read enough through forums and whatnot, now i know, the person was right.

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