When I started Chapter 2 I tried to think of gimmicks that would make it more interesting. Not that Baldur’s Gate needs a gimmick, but I wanted to try something a little different. I thought about soloing it, being an anti-social dick to everyone and just go it alone. That was appealing, but one of the strengths of this game is the breadth of interaction with your party members and other non-player characters. Doing a solo run the first time playing would skip much of the game for me. Instead, I settled on a simple rule that wouldn’t deprive me of too much gameplay, yet add an interesting wrinkle and a sense of risk while I play, the Drago Rule.
Simply put, when someone dies they stay dead. No resurrection spells. No dragging dead bodies through town and getting ripped off by greedy priests. If someone (other that myself) gets eaten by a Gnoll or shived by
Drizet Drzzzit Drizzt himself, that’s a bummer but they aren’t coming back.
This is tough for me as a gamer. I’m generally a bit of a min/maxer. I will agonize over which class skill to take or piece of equipment to use because I want my character to be as power as possible. So it’s hard for me to let a party member die knowing I may be losing a valuable skill or the upcoming boss fight will be harder. But that’s how it goes.
After a harrowing journey from Beregost, we make it to the mining town, Nashkel. The band has had a rough trip and the first building we see is an Inn, so we enter. Big mistake. Three steps through the door another assassin (seriously, this game loves its assassins) is on us. There are six of us be we’re injured from the journey and out of spells and potions, so it’s a bit of a clumsy brawl. In the end, the assassin is beaten to death with pool cues and bar stools, but not before tragedy strikes.
That’s right, our lovely half-elf druid, Jaheira, bit it. Oops. Her husband, Khalid, is inconsolable. Now, I’m not an evil guy (just chaotic neutral) so I want to make him feel better. He’s a goodie-goodie, so booze is out of the question. Instead he gets a root beer float. In a town like this the “ice-cream” is likely just chilled curdled goat milk, but Khalid’s intelligence is only 12 so he probably doesn’t know what ice cream is. Khalid is STILL being a baby so we head across town to the carnival.
Along the way, we meet tiamonster’s boyfriend, Minsc. This guy is a hot mess. He’s a ranger without a bow and carries a pet hamster with him everywhere he goes. Being a dutiful chaotic neutral player, I accept his bugfuck insane ass into the band. After all, the hamster could be the star of our opening act, Xzar’s Undead Woodland Creature Theatre Troop.
At the carnival, we gamble and drink so much I forget to take screenshots. Moving along.
It’s time to finally get to the bottom of the iron mine problem and we leave under cover of darkness. The southern road we are repeatedly pestered with questions and game-stopping dialogue boxes by Noober (see what they did there? wakka wakka wakka). One thing led to another, and, well, this happened:
We make it to the mines the next morning. The miners are all in a huff about demons in the dark, but we don’t care we got nukes, we got knives, sharp sticks…
Turns out the mine is full of Kobolds, little lizard men. We descend three levels, slaughtering Kobolds as we go. Things go smoothly. Until we meet the Commando Kobolds. Kobolds try so hard and it’s adorable they have commandos. Then they start shooting flaming arrows at us.
Remember, the Drago Rule is in effect, so we run for our lives. Going back isn’t an option, so we regroup in a mine shaft. Bum-rushing them isn’t an option because their arrows hit too hard and somebody would definitely die in the charge. So we bust out the bows and engage in quasi-guerilla warfare, sniping at each other throughout the mines for days (seriously, resting is the only way to regain health and each rest is eight hours). By the second day we’ve killed all the Kobolds except for one group holding a narrow bridge. We can’t get close enough to kill them without taking major damage and certain death. Stalemate. We camp one last time to regain health and decide who to sacrifice on the bridge.
That night, Gorion appears to me in a dream and says some words I don’t pay attention to but the important thing is I wake up knowing the Minor Healing spell.
Time to smash some Kobolds in the face. I give Khalid the best shield we have and send his ass across that bridge. We follow behind and keep him alive with my new healing spell. We make quick work of the Kobolds and descend to the final level.
We find Molahey, an Orc who’s proclaimed himself King of the Kobolds. He asks for mercy, but I tell him to forget it. Not because of a sense of justice or for loot, but dammit I want to be king of those adorable Kobolds.
Molahey is a tough sumbitch and has a legion of Kobolds and skeletons helping him so the fight is brutal. I send Khalid and his shield to hold the door against the Kobolds and everyone else tries to burn Molahey down as fast as possible. The Attack Lute is jammed on while Xzar nukes away with his spells. The Undead Woodland Creature Theatre Troop nibbles away. Molahey finally succumbs, but not before Khalid is overwhelmed.
We mop up the skeletons but it’s too late. Khalid is dead. Off to wherever Elves go, with Jaheira. Goodnight, whiny goodie-goodie prince. I don the Kobold crown only to realize my new subjects are also all dead. I pull out Sad Lute and play a dirge for Khalid and my crushed dreams of royalty. However, around the corner in a cave, we find this foppish fellow:
He’s got a magic sword, that’s enough for me. Welcome to the band!
We gather our things and leave the mines, and chapter 2, behind.