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Mod spotlight: Check the Bodies

inethineth Member Posts: 532
edited June 10 in BGII:EE Mods
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  • Mod authors: CBisson and King Diamond
  • First published: 2004? (not sure)
  • Adds content to: BG2 chapters 2 and 6 (in and around Athkatla).

Check the Bodies is a mega-mod from the early years of BG2 modding.

It suffers from the same problems as other mods of that category: Quantity over quality, a lack of polish and 'depth', and overpowered loot.

However, a lot of work clearly went into it, and it does add some interesting things. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but if you've run out of other BG2 content to explore and don't care much about game balance, maybe check it out...

It adds the following content:



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Hlondeth is a whole new city with three districts, about a seven day's march east of Athkatla (first accessible in chapter 2). The content density is much lower than in Athkatla, though: In total there are two quests, one puzzle, a few shops/inns/temples, and one (oversized and repetitive) dungeon – the rest is homes of no-name townspeople.

What you can do, though, is go through all the houses and loot all their shelves and chests, which (ridiculously) contain plenty of +3 magical weapons and armor. Even some barrels on the side of the road have good magical equipment!
(Of all the mods that add overpowered loot, this is one of the worst offenders because you don't need to fight or even enter any hostile area to get it, you could just travel to Hlondeth right after Irenicus' Dungeon and stock up!)

The area art is nice though (I don't recognize where it comes from), and the quests aren't half bad. I also liked the herbs (consumables with useful temporary effects) sold in one of the stores:
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To start:
  • Hlondeth is added to your world-map the first time you visit the City Gates district of Athkatla.
To start the quests in Hlondeth:
  • Close To Home:
    Talk to Valiant in his shop in Central Hlondeth.
  • Secession (a.k.a. Black Addar Stew):
    Talk to Rynn in Valiant's shop.

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The Academy of Kuldin is a large dungon (first accessible in chapter 2), which reuses the area backgrounds of IWD1's "Severed Hand" tower – but doesn't do them justice. It suffers from:
  • Repetitive monster placement. (Basically just 2 monster types carelessly copy & pasted all over the place, though which two types you get depends on your level.)
  • Absence of dialog, a story, or a fleshed-out backstory.

All in all, the original Severed Hand was a much better dungeon.

Nonetheless, I found my run through the Academy of Kuldin memorable, because an undedectable trap did something... unexpected and scary to my party, and instead of reloading I just went with it, and that ended up being a challenging new experience.

Another neat thing is that you can find IWD2 spell scrolls:
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Other loot includes lots of normal BG2 spell scrolls (including high-level ones), and +3 equipment.

To start:
  • "Academy of Kuldin" is added to your world-map (south of the Snowflake Mountains) the first time you visit the City Gates district of Athkatla.

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The Ancient Library is a secret and heavily-guarded underground library (first accessible in chapter 2), using area art from IWD2. If you enjoy fighting against many spellcasters in narrow corridors, this is for you!

The many, many books which can be looted from the shelves include lore books from the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games, humorous fan creations like "Fifty Ways To Kill Your Kangaxx", as well as tomes which give permanent or temporary bonuses. I liked the large variety of book icons used:
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Speaking of overpowered loot, the Drow equipment you pick up here doesn't disintegrate when you bring it back up to the surface of chapter 2.

To start:
  • Find the secret tunnel which leads from the surface of Amn to the underground library.
    Don't be afraid to get wet!
    Dive into the pool of water in the cave in Umar Hills; you'll land in a cave which connects to the library.

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This is billed as the "class super quests" in the mod's README, and is first accessible in chapter 6. There are different versions of the quest for different classes. You can only do one version, and you need a party member of the class in question (single-, dual- or multi-class) – but it doesn't have to be CHARNAME. (Note that the party member in question will get permanent bonuses as a reward.)

I did the Mage version, and found it pretty uninspired: Deliver this message, kill this generic baddie, forge this item, the end. It reused an area from BG1's "Durlag's Tower", and left some of the original content in there, which was weird. Also, the boss fight was bugged.

To start the quest:
  • Mage version:
    Talk to the three female Elven Mages near the bottom-left tent in the Underdark Exit outdoors area, using a Mage party-member.
  • Druid version:
    Travel to the "Druidic Circle" (a new area which appears on the world map north of Athkatla at the start of chapter 6), and talk to the Archdruid there using a Druid party-member.
  • Ranger version:
    Travel to the "Hunting Lodge" (a new area which appears on the world map near the Forest of Tethyr at the start of chapter 6), and talk to Crowley there using a Ranger party-member.
  • Barbarian version:
    Ask Captain Deudermont in the Docks district of Athkatla to take you to Rauthym Island, and talk to the leader there using a Barbarian party member.
  • Bard version:
    ??? (apparently starts in the Playhouse)

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Besides the above, Check the Bodies adds about twenty additional side-quests in and around Athkatla (most of them are accessible in chapter 2; some only in later chapters). They range from short encounters to quests that lead you to new areas. The quality also varies: Some are fun, others feel unfinished or just annoying.

To start the quests:
  • Chapter 2+:
    • Holly The Elf (a.k.a. Diuretic Elf) [multi item search quest]:
      Talk to Holly inside the Temple of Helm in the Temple district of Athkatla.
    • Feed The Birds [random encounter]:
      A grandmother and granddaughter apporoach you while you travel between districts of Athkatla.
    • Helping Melynda the Mute (a.k.a. Cowled Wizards Need Help) [quest]:
      Find a way to communicate with Melynda in the kitchen of the Copper Coronet in the Slums district of Athkatla (good path), or talk to the two Cowled Wizards standing outdoors in the Government district of Athkatla (evil path).
    • Got Ice [fetch quest]:
      Talk to Calbor inside Delosar's Inn in the Bridge district of Athkatla.
    • Assassination Attempt I & II [encounters]:
      Follow-up to "Got Ice", apparently (they didn't trigger for me).
    • The Maltese Artifact (a.k.a. Of Elves and Artifacts) [quest]:
      An elf woman approaches you in the Bridge district of Athkatla, and slips you a statuette.
      (Requires: At least one bard, sorcerer, or mage party member – single-, dual-, or multi-class – and CHARNAME must already have acquired a stronghold.)
    • An Unsanctioned Use of Magical Energy (a.k.a. More Cowl Tasks) [quest]:
      Talk to the Cowled Wizard who stands near Chief Inspector Brega inside the Council of Six Building (in the Government district of Athkatla).
    • The Marriage of Surayah:
      ???
    • Den of Nightly Brawls:
      ???
    • Ryberg and his Uncle (a.k.a. Lost Inheritance) [quest]:
      Ryberg approaches you outdoors in Athkatla.
      (Requires: Sorcerer or Mage CHARNAME of level 10+.)
    • The Subdual (a.k.a. Velvetfoot) [dragon duel]:
      Talk to the pirate in the City Gates district of Athkatla.
      (Requires: Fighter of level 10+, or other class of level 14+.)
    Chapter 3:
    • Captured! [rescue quest]:
      Shadow Thieves try to abduct CHARNAME in the Bridge district of Athkatla, during Bodhi's first task.
      (Requires: Siding with Bodhi.)
    Chapter 4:
    • Horton Spots A Who [multiple small tasks]:
      Talk to Wyrbrin Horton near the east end of the upper level of the Brynnlaw outdoors map, using a single-class Thief party member.
    Chapter 6:
    • The Company of Eight [dungeon crawl]:
      Paddy approaches you in the Forest of Tethyr.
    • Civil Disobedience [encounter]:
      Enter the Government district of Athkatla in chapter 6.
    • Death And Taxes:
      ???
    • The Master Vampire [quest]:
      Loot a letter from Bodhi's sarcophagus after killing her in chapter 6.

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Candlekeep Chores is an infamous optional component which causes CHARNAME, in Irenicus' Dungeon at the start of the game, to have a flashback to his or her earlier life in Candlekeep. You have to complete several days of boring chores, at the end of which CHARNAME gets some permanent bonuses.



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Don't install the version from the mod's official download page; instead, install Weigo's EE port.

Be sure to also install the BP-BGT Worldmap mod afterwards (before you start your new game), or else some areas added by Check the Bodies won't be accessible.



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Post edited by ineth on
leeuxAngulimalaOlvynChuruevildevil97StummvonBordwehr

Comments

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 2,879
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    Candlekeep Chores is an infamous optional component which causes CHARNAME, in Irenicus' Dungeon at the start of the game, to have a flashback to his or her earlier life in Candlekeep. You have to complete several days of boring chores, at the end of which CHARNAME gets some permanent bonuses.
    I still cannot believe some human being at some point in time created this component and thought it would be a good idea to add it into the game.

    leeuxmegamike15
  • inethineth Member Posts: 532
    CHARNAME having a flashback while being tortured by Irenicus, is not an inherently terrible idea.
    But yeah, the chores are... not fun.

    leeuxStummvonBordwehrFina92
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 611
    edited June 10
    ineth wrote: »
    CHARNAME having a flashback while being tortured by Irenicus, is not an inherently terrible idea.
    But yeah, the chores are... not fun.

    I remember in a BWS that you could convince Gorian that you didnt need to do the chores, but could still get the reward.

    I think another mod introduced that option.. and yes I always skipped the chores but got the rewards.

    Btw. Thank you for the spotlight. It brings back memories - besides from the many bugs in the install, all good ones

    Post edited by StummvonBordwehr on
  • AngulimalaAngulimala Member Posts: 13
    Thank you for this @ineth, currently working my way through a mega mod install and wondering what goes with what mod. Now I'm curious about what other mod highlights you've done.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 925
    I remember my first time through Kuldin too, that was kind've fun :).

    A bit overambitious on the whole though, with about 20% of the present scope and the better ideas concentrated and bugfixed it would be a worthy part of every install. Still, this was from the early days of modding after all.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • inethineth Member Posts: 532
    edited June 10
    Angulimala wrote: »
    Now I'm curious about what other mod highlights you've done.
    This is the first one. But I just posted a second one...
    (Not yet sure whether I'll do more of these.)

    I've also updated the top post to add more info on how to start the assorted side-quests.

    Angulimala
  • kiskikiski Member Posts: 29
    ineth wrote: »
    The area art is nice though (I don't recognize where it comes from)

    It came from my PC :wink: I made those custom areas for CBisson. But I believe I´m in Credit section, or at least I´ve been there before. It was my early work, my first tryings with 3ds Max :) Years passed since...

    Mantis37inethStummvonBordwehrIsewein
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