Apr 18, 2011

Let's Play Baldur's Gate - Part 17: "The Longest Journey"

While the Iron Throne representatives are, supposedly, scheming and plotting with representatives of an as-of-yet unknown third party in Candlekeep, I decide it's a good time to run some sidequests.

I'm not even doing it for the money, the state of party's purse/bank account pretty much allows us to buy anything we may ever want to buy. The logical next step would be having the financial security to buy everything we may want to buy, but we're not quite at this point yet. Still, I'm more worried about gaining levels. The last few bossfights we've had have proven to be extremely difficult and, while every battle in this game seems to have an equal chance of being a total pushover or completely steamrolling my merry band, I can't help but wonder if the problem lies in me not having done enough sidequests. Otherwise I would have never agreed for another quest about finding ogres in the woods while having only vaguest of directions to go on.

Anyway, now that we've heroically finished the non-task of threatening a bunch of fishermen and received an appropriate non-reward, it was time to go ogre-huntin' ...again.

This time, the logistical nightmare is excacerbated by the fact that we have no idea where the Wood of Sharp Teeth (which, supposedly, surrounds Baldur's Gate) actually is. We try going various directions from various starting points and end up fighting undead on some farmstead somewhere. I would say it's abandoned, but the cows and chickens are still around (with my luck, they may as well be the cause of the undead). We wander about for a while, until we finally find one of the farmers, who, like so many farmers before him, stands around taking in the fresh air, seemingly unaffected by the local zombie apocalypse.
In fantasy settings, farmers probably see shit more messed up that this.

He asks me to get rid of the zombies, of which he counted 20, for a rather insulting sum of 150 gold which, I'm pretty sure, won't even be enough to cover the spent arrows, but like I said, I'm doing this for the xp... and the people, I guess.

The group circles the map slaughtering the fickle undead, facing little resistance, aside from the very annoying "terrifying screams" of the shamblers being hit and going down, and, after a few trips through the fogs of war and back to the farmer, who somehow seems to know if some of the zombies are still out there despite being too terrified to go and whack them over the head himself, we get our "generous reward", increase it by whatever we can find in the farmer's chests and drawers, and spend another 30 minutes trying to find exactly where it is we are supposed to try to find the Ogres, to no avail, until I finally give up and go follow the goddamn plot. And they say Morrowind had bad directions!

Thankfully we know where Candlekeep is, and go there, stopping by the area where Gorion was assasinated back at the beggining. I visit the weird stone circles where he was ambushed and killed, shed a tear over my lost childhood and my mentor who is gone forever to a better world, and briefly ponder the futility of existence and the fact that to all things there must come an end, before my instincts finally give way and I dig into his corpse to take all his stuff.

Unfortunately, the killers weren't wasting their time either, as I find nothing but a scrap of paper.

Yeah, 'cause running around in a dark forest, with nothing but a bunch of level 5 spells and a teenager is a much sounder tactic than staying cooped up inside a well guarded  fortress. Great tactics, asshole.

The letter is written almost entirely in G-Man speak and therefore gives no answers to our questions, save for the reason Gorion decided to up and leave. It is also signed by an "E", which could only stand for Elminster, the weird old mage that has been stalking me.

We leave Gorion's corpse to rot (again), and try to get on with the main quest, but the game has different plans, as we come across a guy named Chase.

No! Don't jump!... leave your shoes first.
Chase wants to jump off a cliff and, while I couldn't care less, my alignment says I should at least try to dissuade him, and my adventurer's senses add that I won't be able to get any loot from his corpse if it ends up in the ocean, unless the Sea Goddess remembers about that little favor she ows me, which is unlikely.

I give him the usual "There is so much to live for" spiel, which seems to work, as he relates to me the storry of his sorrow before he walks away: he lost a diamond somewhere in these woods, and was so stricken by the loss he almost did what he almost did. Supressing the urge to finish what he started, I grumble at another no-reward quest and we hurry to Candlekeep (but then Xan gets tired again, so we have to take a nap - a very short one! - before continuing.

Finally we come to the keep's entrance. I can't wait to see all of the people that accompanied me in my childhood, and tell them that I'm a big shot adventurer with lots of money now, so they can stuff their fetchquests where the sun don't shine, but the cruel fate has other plans. The gatekeeper refuses to let us in, until we present him with a "tome of great value", and none of the three books I've been lugging around in my bag of holding seem to satisfy him.

I guess it's only appropriate that the settlement whose sole pastime and defining feature is running around and fetching crap for people would institute an entry requirement fetchquets.

I briefly consider killing the gatekeeper, but notice a small path leading away from the main gates and to the side, along the walls. Ah, it must be a hint that there is an alternate path! For smart people! Like me! I follow the path in my boots-of-speed, but find absolutely nothing. Alright, so the backdoor must be hidden. I give my rogue Imoen the boots and march her along the walls in "detect traps" mode. Nnnope!

Apparently the developers went through the trouble of faithfully recreating a very large chunk of a castle wall, and a cliff it is standing on, and shoving it all into ancient video memory, just so they could troll people like me.

Somehwere, a level designer is laughing his ass off. 

You want a book? I'll get you a goddamn book you bibliophile. I'll visit every erotic fiction department in every bookstore in the land and find something that will make the gooddess of fertillity, whatever-her-name-is herself, blush like a schoolgirl, and then I'll beat you over the head with it until you go blind, you sunovabitch. To Baldur's Gate!

I wish you could plant exploding vials into NPC pockets in this game...


Anonymous said...

I know what i am about to say is of the track;
But I would be really curious reading about how you would play Fallout 2. A game without the morals and ethics of the DnD Realm.

Someone said...

I don't see how it is "of the track", which is a very peculiar expression, if I may say so.

I wasn't really planning on doing Fallout 2 but now that I think of it, I never did play it through as a proper selfish bastard, so I guess it's possible for me to LP it somewhere down the line, when I finish Baldur's Gate five years from now.

Anonymous said...

No harm done! As English is not my mother tongue I consider it a success that the message was understood.