Gaming Graveyard’s co-founders had their first disagreement earlier this week. Luckily it was over Google Chat, so no fists flew.
As per usual, Stylist messaged me about changes to the site. Rather nonchalantly, he said that he updated the Current Game page, so I head over to take a look. What I found was a long explanation on how to cheat in Baldur’s Gate.
I do not cheat in games. I remember cheating exactly twice since my hands picked up an Atari joystick as a child. 1. God Mode in Wolfenstein 3D, because that’s what you did to have a good time. It was more a type of gameplay than a cheat. 2. No Clipping in Half-Life to avoid the tentacles on the surface. After moving on to the next section, I felt I didn’t earn it, so I loaded an old save and, hours later, completed it honestly.
I’ve only recently acquiesced to using walkthroughs, and, even then, only in dire or utterly boring (who puts in a game and says, “I’m going to go collect 100 hidden flags?”) situations. The funny thing is, the last time I saw Stylist, I mentioned that I had a map walkthrough for Baldur’s Gate, because the map doesn’t mark the inns or stores. I’m pretty sure he called me a cheater.
The fact that anyone would openly seek cheats blows my mind. I want to play the game, hard parts and all. Baldur’s Gate especially has some mad street cred for difficulty, in my opinion. And I want that cred.
Stylist, however, didn’t think it was that big of a deal. That’s when it hit me: people cheat at video games. People cheat at video games and think it’s absolutely fine. I’ve known Stylist for almost ten years, and I never would have pegged him as a cheater. And, I realize as I’m chatting with him, that he’s not. People use cheats the same way I use a walkthrough; they just need some help.
Realizing this, I agreed to try the cheats (mainly because one involved killer chickens) and post about it. I can’t say I’m a changed monster (I didn’t save any instance where I used a cheat), but it was entertaining.
First, Stylist’s helpful cheat guide:
HALP!! I’M STUCK WHAT DO I DO!?
In the Spartan tradition of old school RPG’s, you can indeed screw yourself. Modern games do everything they can to make sure that however you build your character, it will at least be viable enough to finish the game. Not so in Baldur’s Gate. You can get yourself in unwinnable situations. So what to do?
First, try a few times. Try a lot of times. The nature of the game mechanics is based off of table top Dungeons and Dragons, i.e. dice rolls. You could just be getting bad rolls. Keep playing and the rolls will eventually be in your favor. You could also try repositioning your party. Baldur’s Gate is quite robust in tactics as you can pause the game and think about exactly where you want you mage to stand and what spells to cast. Try different weapons. Go to town and buy extra health potions. And so on.
However, if none of this works and you are about to toss the whole mess out the window because you’re stuck, don’t worry. You can call in the big guns. Shamelessly taken from IGN:
Use any text editor (Notepad for example) and open the file Baldur.ini in your Baldur’s Gate directory. Add the line Cheats=1 under the [Game Options] entry then save the file and run the game.
Once in the game, hit Ctrl-Tab to bring up the console in which you type the cheats. Ctrl-Tab will also close this console. Type in the cheats exactly as they appear below and hit the Enter key to activate.
The list of cheats are as follows:
- Cheats:Hans() — If you get stuck somehow this moves your characters to a free, adjacent area.
- Cheats:ExploreArea() — Marks the entire area as explored
- Cheats:TheGreatGonzo() — Summons 10 killer chickens who defend you at all cost.
- Cheats:CowKill() — Creates a CowKill spell if you’re near a cow.
- Cheats:CriticalItems() — Spawns all the game critical items
- Cheats:DrizztAttacks() — Creates a hostile Drizzt
- Cheats:DrizztDefends() — Creates a friendly Drizzt
- Cheats:FirstAid() — Creates 5 healing potions, 5 neutralize poison potions and 1 stone to flesh scroll.
- Cheats:Midas() — Gives you 500 gold.
- CLUAConsole:CreateCreature(“xxx”) — Summons a creature or NPC, where “xxx” is the name of any creature in the game.
- CLUAConsole:SetCurrentXP(###) — Sets your experience to ###.
I do all of the prep and jump into my most recent save, where I’m very, very stuck. During my first run, I enter this area, and a bard/merchant sings a song about how I’m going to die. Then he tells me to buys some stuff – he’ll collect it off my dead body later. I do some shopping and move on.
Two battle horrors stroll up to my wall of tanks (Whiney Fighter, Hamster Lover, and Evil Dwarf) and, approximately 8.7 seconds later, they’re on the ground.
I’ve tried this battle many, many times, and I can’t even get one of these guys down. So, I call on the chickens.
It turns out that the chickens don’t follow you, so I approach the horrors and call upon them again.
8.7 seconds later:
Okay, that’s adorable, but it’s definitely not working. Let’s try Drizzt.
Not only did Drizzt take this guy down after two swings, but 4000 experience? 4000? Am I reading that right? I am totally not supposed to be here. About ten minutes later, I find a walkthrough that concurs.
I don’t want to turn this into a family sitcom, but I think the moral here is that keeping an open mind is good, but sometimes you’re just in the wrong place. If Baldur’s Gate is hurting you, you’re not supposed to be there or you’re doing it wrong.
But, if you want some help, this post exists.