I got tired of Oblivion and started reminiscing about the RPG’s I’ve played through the years. I decided I’d revisit the first “hardcore” RPG I played after I bought my computer in 1998 - good old Baldur’s Gate.
Now I know Baldur’s Gate II is superior and I’ll replay that too. But I really wanted to start at the beginning and work my way through. I was intrigued by the mods out there and decided I’d play BG1 using the EasyTutu mod. I don’t know where the name came from but Tutu is a somewhat arcane conversion of BG1 to play within the BG2 engine. I tried to make it work a year or so ago and borked it. Well now someone’s released EasyTutu and it’s about as damn simple as running an Installshield Wizard. I can play BG1 in 800x600 (or higher if I wanted) and I can use BG2 classes in BG1. It also supports all the other changes from the BG2 engine. There are also several other mods that can be added to BG1 - the ones I’m using are on the page I linked to. My favorite is the BG1NPC project which adds some BG2-style party banters and romances to BG1. They’ve done a really professional job.
And what can I say? I’m hooked all over again. I’m enjoying wandering around the towns. I always loved the music in Baldur’s Gate and hearing it again made my heart beat faster. I realize just how much I love the hand-painted scenery in Baldur’s Gate. I love the NPC’s - especially Minsc and Boo. When I finally heard Minsc shout “Go for the eyes Boo!” I started giggling like a schoolgirl. It’s just been too long since I played this.
Now I understand a lot of this is just nostalgia and some people feel the same way about Ultima VII or Betrayal at Krondor. But Baldur’s Gate was such a tour de force at the time. It and the games that followed pretty much ruled the world for awhile. They were single-player games (well mostly… the multi always seemed tacked on) as the industry was starting to shift to MMO’s. They were 2D games as the industry was shifting to 3D. And they were party-based RPG’s as the industry was shifting toward single-player, action-oriented RPG’s.
Baldur’s Gate isn’t perfect. There’s still too much wandering through the wilderness though being able to play it using the BG2 increased walking speed helps a lot. It never really allowed for truly evil player characters without some extremely heavy penalties. The best mage and cleric are evil to the bone and hate my goody-two-shoes fighter. The graphics are just a little blurry on my LCD with a native resolution of 1280x1024.
But it’s all good. I’m going to kick Sarevok’s ass once again. And I don’t even care that I must gather my party before venturing forth.