There’s a certain charm to old games that I love. Games today are so extensive and detailed. If I were to review, say, Dragon Age (and, believe me, I played a lot of DAO), I could confidently claim that, for each quest, I understood everything. I know all of the characters involved, what their level of involvement was, their motivations, hell, even some family history. If a detail isn’t covered in character interaction or battle, there are notes left behind or rumors around to securely fasten the loose ends.
While Baldur’s Gate has the beginning of these elements, it doesn’t feel whole compared to modern gaming standards. For some reason, I find this incompleteness charming. At least once each time I’m playing, I have to smile at some ridiculously incomplete thing that I just witnessed.
Today, I ran into a little cutie name Albert, who was roaming the wilderness without his parents. When I spoke to him, I learned that he was visiting family, and, unfamiliar with the area, his dog Rufie ran off. Now Albert’s out by himself looking for Rufie who is “just the cutest little thing.” Albert gives me Rufie’s favorite chew toy and sends me to find him.
After encountering a few Xvarts and sassy Amnish soldiers, I’m kind of concerned for Albert’s safety, especially when a wolf comes running at my party. I ready my sling and prepare to face him, but, once he gets to us, he just stands there growling. A little confused, I hover my mouse over the wolf, preparing to click for battle. No battle icon. No red circle. Just a talk option that results in more growling.
Sooooooo little Albert’s cute goggie is a wolf. Cause that’s normal.
I take Rufie back to Albert who exclaims, “RUFIE! Who’s a fuzzy Rufie? Whooooooo’s a fuzzy little guy?” and thanks me.
Cute, right? Of course it is! As I’m basking in the additional cuteness of my 1000 experience and finally leveling up, Albert says something not so cute. Not so normal.
“Time to go home Rufie. You’ll like the Nine Hells much better than these cold climes.”
Then, rather calmly, Albert triples in size, and two dimension doors open behind him. Rufie goes in the first, Albert the second.
No explanation. No note left behind. Nothing.
If such a thing were to occur in a modern game, there’d be that James Bond moment when the guy explains everything – all before making his great escape through the dimension doors.
As it stands, I have no idea who this guy was, and, once again, I have no idea what just happened. I think I like that.