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Gate - The RPG That Resurrected The Genre
most of you have heard about Baldur's Gate by now since the game has been
released more than two years ago (if you haven't, read about it below)
but you might not be aware of exactly how big its impact on the whole
computer role playing genre was.
was perfect- at the time it hit the store shelves good CRPGs (computer
role-playing games) were rare to say the least and the situation
didn't seem to be improving in any way. Black Isle's Fallout was
a great success but the fact that it was set in a post-nuclear world
might not have been appealing to the audience used to the »swords
& sorcery« type of RPGs, no matter how good a game it was. Blizzard's
Diablo was another example- it was a great action-packed game but
could be called a quasi-role playing game at best. You could say
that hard-core AD&D fans were waiting for a game that would
restore the genre's former glory and make RPGs popular again and
in the opinion of many, only a good AD&D based game could do
Baldur's Gate comes in. It is a classical role playing game set in the
Forgotten Realms (Sword Coast to be exact). The game uses second edition
AD&D rules with minor modifications for the sake of gameplay but is
-all in all- as true to the ruleset as possible.
probably one of the reasons for its huge success, since at the time there
weren't many good RPGs set in the Forgotten Realms to choose from (at
least not new ones) and the fans were probably fed up with Gold Box hits
that kept appearing in new collections but failed to deliver anything
new for the gamer (unless he/she played the games again for the sake of
people who created Baldur's Gate for Interplay) however, have made the
game a very different experience for the gamer used to the old SSI's first-person
RPGs like Bard's Tale and Pool of Radiance. Probably the biggest difference
from the »oldies« is that now you can also play with your friends over
a LAN or over the Internet and journey through the exciting areas of the
game together, help each other out fighting monsters and solving quests
or (if this is your cup of tea) kill them when they least expect it, but
this strategy won't make you very popular among the players who don't
share your way of looking at things (remember Diablo?).
Gate has won many awards (from Best RPG of the year to Game of the Year).
Great graphics, a huge world and hours of play set a new level for RPG
gaming which other companies have been striving to achieve ever since.
Game in Brief - What You can Look Forward to with Baldur's Gate
is fast paced: action is always happening in the battles. Seen from above
in an isometric view, spell casters fire off fireballs with impressive
smoke and thunderous explosions, generating real-time lighting effects
across the ground and eliciting screams from injured characters.
arrows that streak to their targets with a solid "thunk." Fighters race
to the front lines and hew their way into the foe with their actual weapons
and armor visibly donned by the characters on-screen. Thieves creep in
the shadows and emerge to strike from behind.
is more faithful to AD&D than any other computer game before it. All
facets of the original rules are there: the weapon damage, speed factors
for various weapons and spells, and the effects of character ability scores
on behavior; charisma will affect how characters in the party behave to
the leader as well as morale in combat and interactions with other characters.
and characters are fully rendered bitmaps which accurately represent the
armor and equipment carried by each. The monsters will be as frightful
as in any of Geiger's or Brom's works - they will inspire terror in the
player (and his party!).
is witty and humorous. The characters in the party have believable, consistent
personalities and will interact with each other. They critique the leader's
actions, comment on the scenery, pick fights with each other, make passes
at members of the opposite sex, and add to a character's understanding
of the game story and world.
combat is finished and the booty is collected, the characters traverse
a beautiful landscape, fully rendered in 16-bit color - no tiling done
here. As time passes, day turns into night and the area visible becomes
the dark blue of night - unless members of the character's party have
infravision (which shows enemies and key items as red) or if a light source
mountains, lakes and streams are all beautifully rendered. Cities are
equally impressive. Every building is modeled and rendered in fine detail.
There are taverns, temples, houses, stores and fortresses. The alleys
in the seedier parts of town are dens of intrigue - dimly lit, with thieves
wandering around waylaying unsuspecting travelers, and clandestine deals
being made in the dark passages.
Short Story Synopsis
story takes place in TSR's best-selling FORGOTTEN REALMS. The western
shore along the Sea of Swords contains a multitude of ecologies and terrain
including mountains, forests, swamps, marshes, plains, cities, and ruins.
Collectively called the Sword Coast, it attracts adventurers and evil
alike, and provides the backdrop for this epic adventure. The region encompassed
by this game is roughly bordered to the South by the Cloud Peaks, the
East by the Wood of Sharp Teeth, the West by the Sea of Swords, and the
North by Baldur's Gate (the largest and most affluent city in the region).
threatens to overwhelm the Sword Coast. The state of Amn is under siege
to the south, the High Moor is being overrun in the north, and the region
around Baldur's Gate is in turmoil. In an area known for its ample resources,
a crippling shortage is slowly developing for the metal that is used throughout
the Realms for everything from swords to forks - iron. When iron ore reaching
the region is smelted, the resulting wares are plagued with brittleness
such that they crack and break with little more than normal use.
What's worse, trading caravans coming from all directions into Baldur's
Gate are under constant attack from bandits and cutthroats who loot not
for gold and gems (although they often take those too), but for iron.
The armed factions in Baldur's Gate can scarcely keep themselves equipped
and the commoners are suffering all the more. Without iron they cannot
mend their tools or purchase plows - and everyone knows that if they cannot
farm or craft, they will starve come winter. Some blame Amn for the chaos,
others the trading cartels, and still others suspect even the Dukes of
Baldur's Gate. Yet, this contagion may be an early omen of some greater
player begins the game with one character. This character can be generated
using any of the races, classes, and alignments allowed by ADVANCED DUNGEONS
AND DRAGONS®. Up to five other adventurers may join the central character
as the epic quest proceeds. The player starts in the glorious castle of
Candlekeep, an orphan seeking self-knowledge. Although once a solid coastal
fortress, Candlekeep is now a great library filled with endless dusty
tomes and recluse sages. The player is led out of the keep by a mentor
into the wilds of the Sword Coast, and the adventure begins...
200 MMX or faster
or Window®98 with DirectX 5 or higher
certified sound card
certified video card with at least 2 MB of video RAM
certified video card with at least 4 MB of video RAM
and TCP/IP LAN, or Modem TCP/IP Internet Connection
and serial (null modem) connections