Mar 3, 2011

Let's Play Baldur's Gate - Part 9: "Demonic Spiders"

Let's see what I've accomplished so far: I was taken from my isolated home fortress life of constantly running errands by my stepfather Gorion, who got killed 10 minutes into the game, like a good RPG father should, picked up a bunch of shady characters to travel with, was attacked repeatedly by bounty hunters, killed a two timing bard chick, putting another bard out of a job, saved an idiot apprentice/talking chicken from a lifetime of pecking at things, went and solved an iron crisis caused by the laziness of Amnish Guard, killed everything southwest of Beregost, rescued a witch, murdered a Red Mage of Thay, killed a druid and wiped out a camp of mercenaries. And now I'm heading to Cloakwood to kill bandits some more, and neither of these actions help me to find who is responsible for killing my stepfather and hiring assassins to kill me.

Not that I'm complaining, all this mass murder is bringing me tons of experience points and money.
We need to go to Cloakwood to try and find the mysterious Tazok, who is supposedly behind the increased bandit attacks, iron shortage and the dramatically increased number of kicked puppies in the region. I should get to it before I get sidetracked by minor quests again, but first I need to check out The Big Chest in The Big Boss Tent we've just cleared. Since Imoen is the only thief in the party, I send her to open The Chest, whereupon she gets annihilated by a bolt of lightning. So there ARE trapped chests in this game! My character carefully steps over the pile of ash that used to be his childhood friend and opens up The Chest, revealing 2000 gold and a bunch of scrolls and correspondence papers. He takes one of the letters and suddenly realizes that it's Chapter Five already:

RIP Hobgoblin #63, Hobgoblin #91 and the gnoll twins #53 and #70...
Neither the Chapter Five narration nor the letters give us any new locations, but the correspondence mentions the names of Tazok's Iron Throne higher ups - Davaeorn and Sarevok. This isn't much but hey, it's hard to top 2000 gold pieces. After the usual resurrection and shopping, we set out towards Cloakwood, where - guess what? - we get bogged down with other peoples problems again.

Some noble looking guy called Aldeth Sashenstar tells us about a bunch of "savages" who attacked him and his friends in their hunting lodge, and even killed one of them. I agree to help them out and we wait near the campfire for a while when, big surprise, some druids show up. It turns out that, since in a conflict between druids and nobles druids always have to be in the right, the hunters killed one of the druids and... long story short: we kill our original employer.

The thankful druids tell us that the Iron Throne base is in the northwestern part of Cloakwood and that it's build on an ancient dwarven iron mine. Wait a second, didn't one of those letters talk about "decreased iron shipments"? The puzzle is starting to come together.

We move northwest and find ourselves in a lovely forest. Some guy we meet gives us a sidequest to go find his brother who went dungeoncrawling in a spider cave.

The whole area is crawling with spiders and it's a pain in the ass to clear. First you have the spiders: fast hitting, tough, venomous AND sometimes teleporting. As if that wasn't enough, some bright level designer decided to make the area more "realistic" and set up cobwebs everywhere - in the form of "webbing area" traps. They are everywhere and if your party gets caught in one it's instant paralyze for the entire party for at least 5 turns, all the while being munched on by poisonous spiders, so you might as well load the game. So I have to get caught in one, load, send the main tank (which happens to be my PC) into the trap alone, get webbed and hope that the party will be able to kill the attacking spiders from distance before the poison effect ticks my character's health down to zero, try to heal/antidote him while still in the web trap and than wait for 2 minutes for the trap to disappear, because it stays on even after the fight is over.

Ironically, the area itself is quite beautiful.
I have to forget about saving the boy from the cave and try to save myself, taking about 2 hours to clear this single goddamn zone and move north!

All of a sudden, I'm really starting to dislike druids.


Gooring said...

I recently decided that I'd once and for all play through BG 1 & 2 and what has so far come closest to stopping me was this part. Both being arachnophobic and having to deal the damn traps almost pushed me over the edge. Luckily it got a lot better once I'd made it through and eventually reached BG proper.

Keep up the good work on the LP!

Someone said...

I kinda had the same problem. After the spider woods I got so sick of the game that I've stopped playing it and started writing this LP. All this time I've been "catching it up" with the actual gameplay stage I'm on (which is right after the spider forest).