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This game cheats--and encourages you to do so.

GammaPhaseGammaPhase Member Posts: 27
Yes, old game is old. I'm betting this has come up before, but I feel like ranting. So I shall do so.

We enter a few areas to the west/south of Beregost, looking for half-ogres and bandits--since we now have a ranger named Kivan who is looking for bandits and we promised to help, and a guy at one of the taverns mentioned the half-ogres and asked us to hunt them down.

Being a Lawful Stupid Paladin, I heartily agree to hunt them down and smite them with my 2-hander.

We come across what looks like a scantily clad female just standing there. Being the friendly, helpful types we are, we walk up to have a chat and see if she needs help.

You are dead if you talk to her.

Dead.

There is no warning about this possibility, there is no combat you can win to get out of it. In fact, no matter what you pick in the conversation, she kisses you and you get the game over hand rising up into the air to smack you in the face.

After several reloads testing this, I even detected evil on her in case that was a possible warning. No surprise here: she doesn't even show up as evil.

Bioware. What the hell, guys? Let's look at this like a multiple choice question for fun.

1. It's game over if you talk to a woman standing in the woods. What lesson did you learn, oh omnipresent authority figure?

A. Never talk to anyone else in the game. Might as well stop playing right now.
B. Save before every single conversation. I don't think that's happening.
C. Die and reload many, many times until you're sick of doing it.
D. Cheat your levels or something so you can still complete the game without worrying about this crap.

I figured that was so incredibly stupid, that at least the game would let you leave the area to explore other areas. If you continue walking south--guess what? No matter how slowly you walk, you will run into either ANOTHER killer dryad/nymp/whatever they are (these don't talk, they just target your character and kill you in 1-2 hits), or a nice clump of enemies that will quickly give you a game over screen.

The only way out of this area (since you can't fast travel unless you walk off the edge of the map) is to backtrack to where you entered. There might be another way out if you want to bother walking around and reloading all the time to find it.

Time for another multiple choice question!

2. It's game over if you just explore the world, since none of it is blocked off and there is no warning whatsoever that "they will kill you dead" enemies are present. What did you learn, slave driver?

A. Quick save after literally walking every few steps on the map. This means: Mouse click, Q, mouse click, Q, every few seconds, for the rest of the game.
B. Stop exploring completely, which means you'll never finish the game. Play something else.
C. Die. Reload. Repeat this until you've had enough.
D. Cheat so you can continue playing and retain sanity.

I'm no stranger to difficulty, in fact I like it. I've used mods in other games to make things harder. But this isn't an issue with difficulty--you're being actively punished for talking to people and exploring the map. I call that cheating.

The game cheats. So I'm going to as well.

What's the other option: sit there with a walkthrough? That's not playing the game, that's watching a "let's play" except you're doing all the work with no accomplishment. What else... read up on a wiki or something about the dangers of each area? Not much better than using a guide.

There you go: A completely pointless rant on a game that's now.. 22 years old or so. Released in 1998! The late 90's, right before we panicked about Y2K. Remember that?

SirBatinceFenrirWolfganger

Comments

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,218
    Welcome to old school D&D. ;) If it helps, it was like this in PnP modules too. The classic "Tomb of Horrors" had LOTS of these "You do X? OK, you're dead now." actions that basically existed only to give sadistic DMs like me plenty of giggle opportunities at watching players die over and over.

    It may not be for your tastes, and that's OK. I think it probably would appeal to the type of gamer who enjoys games like Dark Souls though; it's a throw-back to an era of brutally hard and unforgiving games until you finally learn the system and how to make it work for you.

    That said, "Save early, save often, and save in multiple slots" are wise words that you should always heed in RPGs, no matter the developer or genre. ;)

    StummvonBordwehrdunbarFenrirWolfganger
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,930
    edited December 2020
    That encounter is also only game-over if your Charname is the one initiating conversation. In this case, since you were playing a paladin with high charisma it was probably inevitable that he/she would be in the top slot. If you were playing a low charisma dwarf, however, one of your companions would probably have been the initiator and they would have suffered the consequences without necessitating a reload...

    Post edited by Balrog99 on
    FenrirWolfganger
  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,635
    edited December 2020
    GammaPhase wrote: »
    Yes, old game is old. I'm betting this has come up before, but I feel like ranting. So I shall do so.

    We enter a few areas to the west/south of Beregost, looking for half-ogres and bandits--since we now have a ranger named Kivan who is looking for bandits and we promised to help, and a guy at one of the taverns mentioned the half-ogres and asked us to hunt them down.

    Being a Lawful Stupid Paladin, I heartily agree to hunt them down and smite them with my 2-hander.

    We come across what looks like a scantily clad female just standing there. Being the friendly, helpful types we are, we walk up to have a chat and see if she needs help.

    You are dead if you talk to her.

    Dead.

    There is no warning about this possibility, there is no combat you can win to get out of it. In fact, no matter what you pick in the conversation, she kisses you and you get the game over hand rising up into the air to smack you in the face.

    After several reloads testing this, I even detected evil on her in case that was a possible warning. No surprise here: she doesn't even show up as evil.

    Bioware. What the hell, guys? Let's look at this like a multiple choice question for fun.

    1. It's game over if you talk to a woman standing in the woods. What lesson did you learn, oh omnipresent authority figure?

    A. Never talk to anyone else in the game. Might as well stop playing right now.
    B. Save before every single conversation. I don't think that's happening.
    C. Die and reload many, many times until you're sick of doing it.
    D. Cheat your levels or something so you can still complete the game without worrying about this crap.

    I figured that was so incredibly stupid, that at least the game would let you leave the area to explore other areas. If you continue walking south--guess what? No matter how slowly you walk, you will run into either ANOTHER killer dryad/nymp/whatever they are (these don't talk, they just target your character and kill you in 1-2 hits), or a nice clump of enemies that will quickly give you a game over screen.

    The only way out of this area (since you can't fast travel unless you walk off the edge of the map) is to backtrack to where you entered. There might be another way out if you want to bother walking around and reloading all the time to find it.

    Time for another multiple choice question!

    2. It's game over if you just explore the world, since none of it is blocked off and there is no warning whatsoever that "they will kill you dead" enemies are present. What did you learn, slave driver?

    A. Quick save after literally walking every few steps on the map. This means: Mouse click, Q, mouse click, Q, every few seconds, for the rest of the game.
    B. Stop exploring completely, which means you'll never finish the game. Play something else.
    C. Die. Reload. Repeat this until you've had enough.
    D. Cheat so you can continue playing and retain sanity.

    I'm no stranger to difficulty, in fact I like it. I've used mods in other games to make things harder. But this isn't an issue with difficulty--you're being actively punished for talking to people and exploring the map. I call that cheating.

    The game cheats. So I'm going to as well.

    What's the other option: sit there with a walkthrough? That's not playing the game, that's watching a "let's play" except you're doing all the work with no accomplishment. What else... read up on a wiki or something about the dangers of each area? Not much better than using a guide.

    There you go: A completely pointless rant on a game that's now.. 22 years old or so. Released in 1998! The late 90's, right before we panicked about Y2K. Remember that?

    You must either be talking about the original game or an earlier version of the Enhanced Edition. The 2.5 patch fixed it so that Shoal the Nereid's kiss isn't insta death any longer. It only
    knocks you unconscious and leaves you with 1 HP.
    I think there's even a saving throw now, though I'm not 100% sure.
    If you continue with that encounter, you will also know why she isn't evil.

    Besides, you grew up in sheltered Candlekeep. If Tarnesh hasn't taught you to be wary of strangers, she definitely does :wink:

    StummvonBordwehrFenrirWolfganger
  • GammaPhaseGammaPhase Member Posts: 27
    edited December 2020
    Ah. Yes, I'm talking about the actual game by Bioware / Black Isle, I thought the 1998 comment would have made that clear. I wouldn't have posted here, but all the other forums from that era are gone or dead. If there's a category for the original and I posted in the wrong section, please move the thread!

    I'll have to look a little more closely for these warnings being mentioned. If it's the only save or die in the game, then maybe it's not too harsh.

    But yes. AD&D rules don't translate well into game engines. 4 hitpoints for a Mage! Sneeze at him and the guy's down for the count. Meanwhile, if you start as your standard fighter, you can probably take a few sneezes and an elbow. The reason this kind of tomfoolery is alright at the table is you had a DM (if he wasn't chaotic evil himself) who could cushion the blow by fudging a roll here and there, or give you a direct warning that a choice could be fatal.

    This was true since the days of SSI and the gold box series.

    I'm not sure about save early, save often, and save in multiple slots.

    How about: cheat early, cheat often, and cheat in multiple ways!

    :D

    FenrirWolfganger
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,928
    I'm not sure cheating is necessarily the answer. By the time you know how to cheat properly you're also much more aware of the difficulties and pitfalls in the game and can avoid them just using different tactics :p.

    ArviaBlackravenSkatanFenrirWolfganger
  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,635
    Also, stealth, scouting, and going another way when you're level 2 and spot ogre berserker from a distance...

    BlackravenBalrog99monicoFenrirWolfganger
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,597
    edited December 2020
    On one hand I agree with the OP in that the original version of that encounter wasn't well thought out (especially as many newcomers to the game would likely have made their characters the 'leader' of the party).
    On the other hand however, the game is a learning curve and if the Tarnesh encounter at the FAI hasn't taught you to save before every encounter then.......

    Generally speaking I think BG1 in particular shows up the big problem of trying to adapt the tabletop game to video, namely (as has been mentioned earlier) the lack of a DM (sadistic or otherwise).

    StummvonBordwehrFenrirWolfganger
  • GammaPhaseGammaPhase Member Posts: 27
    edited December 2020
    Tarnesh encounter.

    Hang on, are you talking about the guy that ambushes you on the stairs at the Friendly Arms? That was over in, what was it, two rounds or something. The town guard and my Paladin hurt him pretty bad, he never stood a chance. If I recall we sent his chunks flying all over the place before he did anything. No reloading there. Was that supposed to be a tough fight?

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 789
    GammaPhase wrote: »
    Tarnesh encounter.

    Hang on, are you talking about the guy that ambushes you on the stairs at the Friendly Arms? That was over in, what was it, two rounds or something. The town guard and my Paladin hurt him pretty bad, he never stood a chance. If I recall we sent his chunks flying all over the place before he did anything. No reloading there. Was that supposed to be a tough fight?

    The town guard didn't start helping out until the EEs. It used to just be the party vs Tarnesh. This fight is traditionally hellish for Gorion's Ward if they're not a Warrior.

    BlackravenThacoBellStummvonBordwehrFenrirWolfganger
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,468
    edited December 2020
    GammaPhase wrote: »
    Tarnesh encounter.

    Hang on, are you talking about the guy that ambushes you on the stairs at the Friendly Arms? That was over in, what was it, two rounds or something. The town guard and my Paladin hurt him pretty bad, he never stood a chance. If I recall we sent his chunks flying all over the place before he did anything. No reloading there. Was that supposed to be a tough fight?

    Yes, it's very tough for an unprepared party. A coin flip really. Tarnesh can cast Mirror Image, making it harder to hit him, and a single of his three magic missile spells can kill most level 1 characters. He can also cast Horror, which can affect your entire party if they approach the entrance together. Of course you can cast Remove Fear in advance (cleric spell) if you have it, but that would be the same kind of metagaming required to deal with Shoal the Nereid that you seem to be unfond of. Unless you previously scouted him I guess. It may be that your character and the guard managed to interrupt some of Tarnesh's spells, but considering the low casting times of those spells, yes, you were lucky in accomplishing that.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehrSkatanFenrirWolfganger
  • GammaPhaseGammaPhase Member Posts: 27
    edited December 2020
    Pokota wrote: »
    The town guard didn't start helping out until the EEs

    I swear the guard stood right next to me and swung his sword. Perhaps I just imagined it then, I don't have the enhanced version of either game. Guess I must have gotten lucky with a critical hit or something, right after the conversation he exploded in chunks. That part I do remember clearly.

    I thought for sure there would be more attacks in the inn or something. I was worried about losing Imoen so I had her stay well back while I walked around all the NPC's to see if they'd attack.

    Forgot about something else I noticed. Tried resting outside while traveling, and we got ambushed something like 6 times in a row. It was ridiculous. So that was either bad luck or the random encounter rates are a little on the high side.



  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,028
    edited December 2020
    Since this is a forum about BGEE, not Baldur's Gate in general, it might be helpful for you to add a line at the beginning of your post clarifying you are talking about the original version of the game, just to make sure no one gets confused about that. Mainly because Beamdog has addressed some of the things you mention and I would hate to see someone shy away from BGEE for an issue that's now been patched.

    Post edited by jsaving on
    ThacoBellFenrirWolfganger
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,218
    I'm pretty sure that the FAI guards always assisted you against Tarnesh, even back in the vanilla games, BUT they might not necessarily be in RANGE of the fight (and thus don't come to your aid) when Tarnesh starts his conversation. This is actually what happened to me during my nostalgia replay of BG:EE. It just so happened that the guards wandered off in the opposite direction when Tarnesh came up to me, and me, Imoen and Montaron couldn't take off his Mirror Images in time before his Magic Missile ended me. One reload later, and I waited until the FAI guards wandered back in range before triggering the dialogue, and the two extra guards made all the difference.

    BlackravendunbarZest001FenrirWolfganger
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,616
    I think the main reason most new players destroy Tarnesh nowadays and don't know he used to be a boss, is the most unfortunate nerfing of the Mirror Image spell. Tarnesh instant casts this via script at the beginning of the fight. In the original game, you could not hit Tarnesh without hitting *all* the Mirror Images first. This usually allowed him to get his Horror cast most of the time. Unless a very unlikely save was made by Charname, the next thing coming out was Magic Missiles and a game over screen.

    Mirror Image was supposed to be a very powerful mage defense. Now it's quite weak, I would say next to useless. The game rolls a chance for the actual mage to be hit, which happens a very high percentage of the time, interrupting spells, especially when there are multiple attackers.

    ThacoBellFenrirWolfganger
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 789
    edited December 2020
    Mirror Image is a 2nd circle spell, it shouldn't be a "very powerful mage defense," and in any case "the game rolls a chance for the actual mage to be hit" is truer to P&P rules anyway.

    Yes, it was nerfed. Yes, it was also necessary.

    StummvonBordwehrsarevok57FenrirWolfganger
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 177
    Welcome to D&D kid... Here’s a fresh stack of character sheets for ya!

    ThacoBellPaladinsareLG9FenrirWolfganger
  • TaylanTaylan Member Posts: 72
    GammaPhase wrote: »
    B. Save before every single conversation. I don't think that's happening.

    Umm, yes??
    A. Quick save after literally walking every few steps on the map. This means: Mouse click, Q, mouse click, Q, every few seconds, for the rest of the game.

    Also yes?? xD

    I unironically do both. But then I'm a freak who suffers from major video-game-related FOMO and pretty much always save/reload a few times when taking up a conversation so I can decide which conversational route I "set in stone" in my play-through.

    I also don't like losing health in stupid situations that I could have avoided, because I don't like abusing the 8-hour rest by doing it after every two encounters, so... I abuse the load/save instead. :P

    I guess I prefer to use the meta-game to perfect the in-universe events, as I find that more immersive. I should try one of those no-reload runs one day though.

    FenrirWolfganger
  • DavePetersDavePeters Member Posts: 9
    I mean, it's not like no-reload is something that a first time player should be doing. Even like the Play It Hardcore people don't recommend that. No reload is for like "I've beaten this game six times and want to challenge myself in a different way than mucking with the difficulty slider". And to accomplish a no-reload run you absolutely have to cheese encounters. You have to know where the dangerous ones are, skirt around them to get enough XP and consumables then go to those encounters and still pray that you don't get a run of bad luck. It's an amazing experience, if a little tense at times.

    ConjurerDragonFenrirWolfganger
  • fnnskllrvr74fnnskllrvr74 Member Posts: 5
    GammaPhase wrote: »
    A. Quick save after literally walking every few steps on the map. This means: Mouse click, Q, mouse click,

    This is literally how I play through all the IE games.

  • FenrirWolfgangerFenrirWolfganger Member Posts: 11
    Since 98 I think I only completed BG once and BG2 not even once but the Wilderness exploring, I've spent many happy months doing that with different characters. After about ten year gap recently found Beamdog's BG and Tarnesh killed me first go. So did the Vampire Wolves, Oger Droth, Ogre Khar??? I love the wilderness.

    sarevok57
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