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Dead Imoen?

ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
So, its pretty common knowledge that Bioware originally planned for Imoen to die in Spellhold, but reversed the decision because she was so popular with players. As much as I lover her as an npc, I'm wondering how that event might have changed the tone of the rest of the game. How would her death affect charname, or any returning npcs from BG1? Does anyone know if any mods exist that kill Imoen in Spellhold?

ilduderino

Comments

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 736
    edited July 2019
    Great question!

    I feel that there is a lack of thief types in BG2 as it was expected that most parties take Imoen and so that role is filled by Yoshimo and then her.

    One consequence may have been to have had more thief npcs in the game (whether returning from BG or new), I also suspect Yoshimo would have lived, as his death conveniently makes room for her. Or maybe Tiax could be saved to fill the slot (not much help for the good npcs)?! Or some other inmate or even Saemon becomes joinable if you have no thief?

    If they had put in other thief options, I would have loved a cleric or fighter ready to dual as a thief or more thief multiclasses (as I find Jan aggravating).

    That said, Bioware didn’t seem bothered by the lack of a good cleric until you reach Cloakwood Mines and so maybe you would have been expected to roll without a serviceable thief if you hadn’t brought one.

    Edit: I think it would also have made a more typical revenge narrative if she had been killed off.

    In terms of returning npcs, it would likely have tipped Minsc even further over the edge. I never saw Jaheira, Viconia or Edwin as being particularly attached to her (though Jaheira would certainly be affected by this).

    It would have been very interesting if the tree of life section would have provided a way to restore her so she could be a returning npc in ToB. Or she could be raised like Sarevok. Both options might have neatly resolved the issue of her being Bhaalspawn, as she would be back but without that essence.

    I’m afraid I don’t know of any mods that help. I assume this would work well with a way to save Yoshimo, otherwise you would need to have a PC thief, Jan or Nalia (if desperate).

    Post edited by ilduderino on
    ThacoBell
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 736
    I guess it would also hugely increase charname’s guilt at spending so long on the rescue.

    A fun twist may have been to kill her off if you spend too long in Athkatla doing side quests 🤣

    Adam_en_tium
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,878
    I coded such a mod. *Calls summon @subtledoctor *

    ThacoBell
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 907
    It feels like the post-Spellhold dream with "Imoen" goading you into becoming the slayer was written with the original story in mind. With her almost mocking you for being too late and everything.

    The very first time I played the game, I got that dream in the City of caverns, right after I had been told that the Underdark was the only way to go. It just felt like the story was about to take a really bad and dark turn. And Imoen's death would go pretty well together with that.

    Because Irenicus has drained you in this weird asylum. You're losing control of the slayer form. Your companions feel uneasy around you. And now dream-Imoen tells you to abandon those companions as you go into the freaking Underdark.

    Add the death of the real Imoen to that, Charname's only real connection with their innocence and early life, and you got a recipe for a pretty dark story with isolation, descent into madness and the whole thing. Maybe a bit too depressing?

    ThacoBellmegamike15
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited July 2019
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    leeuxtypo_tillyThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @subtledoctor @jastey Interesintg. Does killing Imoen have any changes story wise later on? Or is it just a small "Imoen is dead, move along" kind of deal?

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,582
    it had to have been very last minute as the dreams have alot of ' imoen is gonna die.' foreshadowing that don't pay off.

    ElysianEchoesJoenSoThacoBell
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,208
    Perhaps my bias for Imoen is showing through here, but I'd have hated it if there was absolutely no way to save Imoen. :P I wouldn't be averse to the POSSIBILITY of her dying, but it should be based on the player's own actions (i.e. they were mean and nasty to Imoen in the past, so she had no real hope that you would be coming to help, or you took far too long to effect the rescue and it's too late when you finally arrive). I detest games where outcomes are fixed regardless of player agency or intervention.

    Permidion_Stark
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,582
    yeah l always considered imoen just as important to the story as charname. going through the imoen romance mod just helped reinforce this opinion. i don't see her ever leaving my party.

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    Charname needs more angst. I wish they'd left her dead, if that was the original intention.

    I've read that in the first game, she was piecemealed together last minute with some few leftover voice acting tracks. She was never meant to exist.

    Then, maybe to give her more value, the writers may have intended her to die in spellhold, as others here have suggested, in BG2. She doesn't.

    IMO, in both cases, the character has been stripped of most of her meaningful value. I've never managed to keep her in my party for an entire game.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,582
    and then we go into tob and all her banters don't fire because of a typo

    imoen had a hard life most of her actual content is in fan made mods.

    ThacoBellPermidion_Stark
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,878
    We have a saying for this: Nothing holds longer than an improvised arrangement.

    @megamike15 Indeed. And still she's the most joyful one of the NPCs out there. Well, maybe except Alora.

    ThacoBellPermidion_Stark
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,208
    We never do learn what happens to Alora post-BG1, do we? I miss that little hyperactive ball of happiness. XD

    Permidion_Stark
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @Zaxares I'm a huge Imoen fan myself, I'm just curious about exploring how her abscense would affect the story.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,208
    It would probably a lot darker/grimmer, as ElysianEchoes suggested. Imoen pretty much plays the role of the player's "better side", constantly encouraging them to do the right thing and finding joy in the lighter side of life. She serves as reinforcement for Good characters, encouragement for Neutral characters, and maybe even as a tether for Evil characters, the last thing keeping them from really falling headlong into outright cruelty and depravity (well, if they keep her in the party, that is). I think that in an alternate timeline where Imoen dies, it would be a constant source of guilt for Good/Neutral PCs, and depending on what role an Evil PC had in her death, it might have been a scene that served to really solidify the moment where the player realizes that there is no redemption for their character.

    ElysianEchoesThacoBellmegamike15Permidion_Stark
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @Zaxares Now we really need a mod that fully explores this.

    megamike15
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,582
    yeah imoen is the morality chain that keeps charname from turning evil. and if she was not around your romance also has that role.

    ThacoBell
  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 154
    edited September 2020
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    @Zaxares Now we really need a mod that fully explores this.

    I propose this alternative (maybe if you take too long in getting to the asylum): the player finds Imoen in her cell as always, but now she's silent instead of delirious. Charname can't make her speak no matter what he/she says to her. Then Irenicus comes in and seizes the party and everything proceeds as in vanilla.
    Once in the maze, Imoen is NOT there. Nowhere to be found. What happened to her? What's going on?

    The level is explored as usual. The player will later find her in the second level, in the room where Bodhi is supposed to ambush the party. Charname tries to talk to her, he/she is so relieved to have found her. But Imoen is strange, she's still silent, she's so passive, her face emotionless and pale, her body unresponsive... and cold. Uncannily cold. Keldorn, veteran paladin of a thousand battles, senses that there is something wrong in her and warns Charname to stand back and be careful. Jaheira, proud druid and long time companion, sensing the same unnatural presence, realizes what's happened and stifles her words in tears.
    That cannot be, it must not be. It's a lie, another trick by Irenicus, or an illusion emanated by the asylum to test inmates. Where is the lever to pull?

    An eldritch laughter echoes the room. Enters Bodhi from the shadows, eager to torment everybody with the terrible, ghastly truth. Imoen has been dead since before Charname met her in the asylum. Charname was too late, nothing could be done: her soul being missing for too much time, she had no more strength nor will to avoid decaying and relinquishing this world. But before her ultimate deliverance from all the pain and torment she suffered, Bodhi thought that she could still serve one last purpose. What remains of her mortal coil is now a soulless corpse, devoid of life and free will, but devoted to her mistress who controls her like a puppet. She's become a vampire. Bodhi is empowered by her soul, excited by the idea of Charname realizing such horror, delighted by the sight of pain on his/her face. One last spit to all the people who loved Imoen, torturing them before killing them. Or maybe, could they be bosten the number of thralls for the guild? So amusing and alluring to wonder if they would act better as expendable pawns or cattle. What do you think Imoen, should we simply slay your former friends once and for all, or turn them like you? Yes mistress, they would be a fine addition. Oh, I waited for you so long, will you now join me forever, dear brother?

    Bodhi is ruthless and merciless, a violent force to be reckoned with, even more now that the stolen soul of a demigod roars inside her body thanks to the ritual. Yet, she did only one, fatal mistake: underestimate what could a Bhaalspawn do, in what he/she could turn into, when filled by angst, grief, hatred and thirst for revenge.
    Anger overwhelmes Charname, who feels his/her control slipping as the evil beckons him/her. A light column sparkles in the room. A creature of pure death and darkest shadow emerges with only one goal.

    Post edited by _Connacht_ on
    Zaxaresithildurnew
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 922
    The whole story of Imoen is absurd. Particularly the fact that they dualed her just so that she could be hoovered off to Spellhold. Once her death was scrapped, they should have handled it the way Imoen 4 Ever does - it would have made vastly more sense and allowed her to remain a thief if you wanted. As much as I love BG2, I have always thought that was dumb and screwed up the pacing of the story.

    Which is why I like aspects of your idea. I do think that if you take too long to get to Spellhold, there should be consequences. Perhaps warning dreams every few weeks that remind you not to "prepare" too long. Then, if you ignore them, something like what you describe happens instead.

    Too much in these games is fixed, and it matters little how quickly you handle them, or in some cases, how you handle them. I wish more mods addressed these issues - much like the way Kaishas Gan's final encounter was modded in BG1/ToSC.

    That said, I doubt I ever play BG2 again without I4E installed. It made the game vastly more enjoyable to not have an hourglass hanging over the party's heads.

    AciferjasteyPermidion_Stark
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,582
    edited September 2020
    her dying originally is why nalia exists. she was meant to be imoen's replacement class wise.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Ugh, no timers. Timers are one of game design's biggest sins.

    megamike15ilduderinoRik_Kirtaniya
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 736
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Ugh, no timers. Timers are one of game design's biggest sins.

    I always wondered how Anomen’s father’s servant knew we were in Umar Hills

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 922
    edited September 2020
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Ugh, no timers. Timers are one of game design's biggest sins.

    It depends on the situation. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't. Not every quest will make sense if you can spend years doing it, while others aren't going anywhere.

    Take the poisoning of the party in BG1 by Marek and Lothander. That is a situation where time is of the essence. Similarly the infection with lycanthropy on the island is one where time should be of the essence.

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 652
    Timers help create stakes in my opinion. Although in contrast I never felt pressure to get Imoen. Not until chapter 3, when you know via the cutscene between chapters that she's in trouble.

    megamike15
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,582
    yeah chapter 2 makes it clear she is fine for the time being. jheria herself even says we should prepare before going after her so i was never in a rush.

    ThacoBell
  • JarveyJarvey Member Posts: 30
    BG2's story makes more sense with the idea that Imoen would have died in Spellhold, but I can see why BioWare thought twice about it. Her death would have the first third of the main plot seem irrelevant, and I suspect that the rest of the story wasn't meant to be different for it either. How you, the player, felt about it could have nudged you to roleplay as angry and vengeful, but the events and dialogues, etc would not have changed to reflect that. As much as I hate to bring up the dreaded novelizations, I think the ToB novel had something close to the intent with BG2's Imoen: She dies and Charname has no choice but to move on and accept that. I'm willing to believe it, given that the ToB novel was written by a BioWare writer and there's a dialogue in BG2 with Jaheira about accepting loss that feels like it was written with Imoen's death in mind.

    There's lots of potential in a mod that can fully explore this idea. If it was going it be made it should be fully committed to her death and its effects - no timers or anything like that determining her survival. Imagine a good Charname snapping and having their party members begging them to not be consumed by loss as they sink further into darkness. Perhaps Charnames could be haunted by a dream Imoen who taunts them for failing, asking if they cared about her at all. You could even extend this into ToB by, say, having to choose between resurrecting Imoen or Sarevok.

    megamike15Permidion_StarkThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    edited September 2020
    @Maurvir I disagree so very much. I don't care if it makes sense, I want it to be fun. I like to play at my own pace, and being forced to hurry outside of like, a chase sequence in an action game, is not fun.

    @Jarvey That's an excellent idea.

    Rik_Kirtaniya
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 496
    +1 to self-paced playing.

    Initially, I was confused as to why Imoen in BG2 changed classes and looked so very different. I also learned that erasing magic missile from her spellbook doesn't change the cutscenes.

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