I only recently did a post about what I was playing recently but this weekend (while trying to unwind and de-stress) I had a novel experience.
If you’ve never played Baldur’s Gate then you probably don’t know that in the game you assemble a party as you wander about and you can change party members as you go (though to be honest once I pick a team I pretty much stick with them – mostly because I get attached and also because I like how their stories play out). Yes, as you meander about your missions certain events trigger dialogue between either yourself and your party members or between different party members and depending on a few factors (whether you are good, neutral or evil, your current reputation status, and whether you reply correctly or callously to their dialogue) the stories will go in different directions.
As a teen, I always played a chaotic good character. It meant I mostly had a good reputation but could sometimes just take the violent is better approach to the whole situation as long as morally I had the high ground. That meant I tended to choose characters for my party that were either good or neutral to varying degrees.
As an adult, and wanting more of a challenge from a game I’ve played many times through, I decided to see if I could maintain a neutral status throughout the game and have been picking both good and evil characters for my party. This resulted in a few unexpected and never seen before developments.
Firstly, I had a character leave my party. He just upped and left when we got to the end of his storyline. That’s never happened to me before as usually my character ends up in a semi-romance with the guy and he follows me around the entire country-side. But no, he has a little temper tantrum and storms off the screen and suddenly my character can’t move because she’s carrying literally his entire inventory (including a shield that he is the only one who can use and you can’t even sell the thing).
I’d always strived to placate party members before when tensions arose and I’d never actually had the experience of a party member deserting. Being ditched by an NPC actually kind of hurts, as ridiculous as that might sound.
The second thing that happened was two of my party members got into a fight and one of them literally killed the other before turning and politely asking if I wanted to continue travelling together. Um…
One of my party members was just turned into pixellated chunks of debris on the ground of the dungeon I was exploring and the person responsible wants to know if we are going to continue travelling together. And here’s the thing. I could have said no. But then I was going to be two party members short and stuck in a dungeon. As it is, I’m going to have to very carefully back-track and recruit someone new who hopefully won’t try to kill the rest of my party before I can progress.
So while I’m finding the difficulty of Baldur’s Gate nowhere near what I remember having managed to even kill the Shadow Dragon without particular difficulty, it turns out that not being a goody-two-shoes or worrying about my party composition does actually hinder progress quite significantly. I can’t wait to see what happens as I progress the story with the rest of the crazy loons I’ve recruited into the party this time.
Thanks for reading.
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