Saturday, 23 July 2016

Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Walkthrough - Part XVI

Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Walkthrough - Part XVI


(Continuing From: Siege of Dragonspear - Part XV)

   C H A P T E R  T H I R T E E N  


Chapter Thirteen does not strictly need a write-up since it mostly consists of a series of cutscenes and dialogue segments. But still, for the sake of my claim to completeness I am obliged to post the sixteenth and final part of my walkthrough. So here we go... the end of Siege of Dragonspear!

   B a l d u r ' s  G a t e — R e v i s i t e d   

A cutscene fires showing armed guards escorting you through the city streets, lined by jeering crowds.


   F l a m i n g  F i s t  H Q — T h e  T r i a l   

There is a cut to a hearing taking place on the streets outside the Flaming Fist H.Q. Evidence against Charname is heard from expedition members and Bence Duncan. In turn, evidence you are able to give in your defense depends on how you approached certain aspects of the campaign. I was able to give four of five pieces of evidence that related to my good deeds and heroism (the thread simply didn't present the fifth option after I gave the fourth, but it's no biggie).


Entar Silvershield (Skie's father) interrupts proceedings to accuse Charname of murder; after which, he is escorted to his estate.


Belt ends proceedings at this point, revealing to Charname that Skie's soul is trapped within an artifact known as the Soultaker dagger.


   F l a m i n g  F i s t  H Q — P r i s o n   
(AR BD:0104)

Charname is taken into custody and placed under lock and key. Corwin may visit you before the Hooded Man once again graces you with his presence...


Another cutscene fires showing Irenicus "slaying" Skie with Soultaker.


I thought this artifact was already broken in the climactic events of Tales of the Sword Coast (see here), but whatevs: I guess artifacts are not so rare, afterall...


Anyway, Irenicus commands you to awaken. For some reason it annoyed me that it is written and voiced as "awake", but I'm not sure if it really is incorrect grammar.
.

So, Charname did not murder Skie.

   F l e e i n g  B a l d u r ' s  G a t e   

How events unfold here depends on what happened during the trial. There are two variations.

Variation One: If you gave four pieces of evidence supportive of your good character then Duke Belt himself will spring you from the clink.


Then, one of his mercs will lead you down a trapdoor to the basement. Don't forget to grab your gear from one of the tables before you leave! Now, the merc will reveal a secret door in the basement leading to a passage that lets you bypass the sewers and exit the cavern to the forest. This exit is in the southwest (see map).


Variation Two: If you did NOT give evidence (or enough evidence) that supports your good character then a thief in the employ of Imoen will orchestrate a jailbreak.


You don't need to quaff the invisibility potion he gives you; what happens is, the other prisoners spot you and call out to the guards...


... but nothing comes of it because...


   H Q — B a s e m e n t   
(AR: BD0105)

Ok, grab your gear from the table and then drop down the trapdoor to the basement. Here the thief will reveal the same secret door to you.


Now you must fly solo through the sewer system!

   S e w e r s   
(AR: BD 6000)
.

Crap to kill: Green Slime x5 (65 XP ea), Carrion Crawler x3 (420 XP ea), Flaming Fist Mercenary x2 (420 XP ea). 

Quest: The Not So Great Escape. Head in a northeasterly direction from your starting point. A corpse in the northernmost point holds a Damp Note & Rusty Key (x=1960, y=250).

Next, head south to the waterfall where Duncan (and possibly Corwin) will catch up with you. A battlemage will throw up a ward to prevent you backtracking. Slay them if you wish but in order to escape you must jump from the top of the waterfall, down into the lake below! Wheeeeeeee!
Corwin (3,000 XP, default gear), Bence Duncan (1,400 XP, Bastard Sword +1, Ring of Protection +1, Large Shield +1, Full Plate Mail), Flaming Fist Mercenary x5 (1,400 XP), Flaming Fist Battlemage (2,000 XP).


At the foot of the waterfall you will find a stash holding potions and scrolls (x=4300, y=2888). This is what the Rusty Key opens. Completed Quest: The Not So Great Escape.

Ok, head west and take the exit to the forest!

   O u t l y i n g  F o r e s t   
(AR: BD6100)

As you emerge from the cave you will be spotted by childhood friend, Imoen! It may have just been my mood, but I got a bit of a lump in my throat when I saw Immy. It could be because I have foreknowledge of what happens to her in Shadows of Amn... plus, I did miss having her in the party during Siege. This final segment made me want to play the sequel immediately after Siege, too!


In the darkness of the night Imoen will lead you through the trees to the gathered canon party; i.e, the party that is assumed to have been with you at the time of your capture, and the ones who - with the exception of Khalid and Dynaheir - may be recruited in Chateau Irenicus, the first area of Shadows of Amn.
.
Anyway, after a short hike the party decides to rest...


Hey, do you feel a little... off? - Imoen.

The final cutscene fires showing the party being ambushed by thieves...
.
Your eyes burn as a thin acrid mist rises from the ground and envelopes you.
Your mind clouds... shadowed figures strike and fade away.
Your companions' cries echo in your skull, and the world around you fades to gray...


... And the credits roll...

***

So concludes this walkthrough! I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Thank you for all your kind comments over its course. You may like to check the previous Parts for the many updates I have made. I may post more updates in the future, too! In the meantime check out my BG2 walkthrough announcement and some of the other walkthroughs I have written. Cheers!

   C H A P T E R  T H I R T E E N — O v e r   
   S i e g e  o f  D r a g o n s p e a r O v e r   
   E N D  O F  W A L K T H R O U G H    

Just a couple of comments I left on the Beamdog forums as I wrote my walkthrough.

Comment 1. I couldn't help but criticize Siege's mini-hub quests in my walkthrough: they are pretty banal, with mostly token reactivity and flavor-based dialogue (i.e, fluff).

My expectations are not for Planescape: Torment, Arcanum or MotB level quest structure, but it would have been nice if Beamdog focused more on quality rather than quantity; i.e, make the quests a lil' more involved with more choices & consequences, aka reactivity. Add more lore to them, some dungeon exploration, some battles. That sort of thing.

For me, Bridgefort Besieged and especially the Dwarves of Dumathoin segments are the standouts of the campaign, thus far. I was really impressed by the latter, actually: a completely optional sidequest with solid encounter/dungeon design, documented lore to discover that hinted at what you're gonna face (the puzzle, the lich), a scrying pool that tapped into the plot with fully voiced vision cutscenes (again, optional - it's for players to discover), some nice touches like how the gems that adorned the phylacteries were transferred to your inventory when you shattered them; and finally, two solutions to the quest itself (binary in nature but at least it's there!) The post in which I covered this quest is the 2nd most popular in my walkthrough, and I think that's because the quest is pretty involved and thoughtful. The ppl who designed this quest deserve to be commended!

I wrote the dialogue and had a hand in molding the characters involved, but a lot of the heavy design lifting was done by Phil Daigle and a lot of the environment work was done by Lorne.

The entire dungeon was a late addition to the game, glad to hear of people enjoying it. - Andrew Foley of Beamdog.

Comment 2: Imo, its weakest parts were its dialogue, characterizations and storyline. I hope Beamdog gives Gaider free reign over these things in their next RPG, and I hope someone who wrote Irenicus and Dragon Age: Origins (Gaider) doesn't listen too much to people who were involved in or approved of the writing that Siege shipped with.

For me, Siege's strengths are area design, encounter design and AI - basically everything to do with combat (including itemization). The UI is commendable and the scripting, music and voice acting, too!

I've highlighted Siege's reactivity in the walkthrough. I think it's TOO token and flavor-based, but I'm grateful that it's at least THERE. See Swordflight, Mask of the Betrayer, Arcanum and Dragon Age: Origins for RPGs with reactivity that actually counts. In fact, they are exemplars for what RPGs should strive for, if you ask me.

The segments of Siege that I most enjoyed were the Dwarves of Dumathoin and Siege of Bridgefort. Very, very cool.

So yeah, overall I thought the campaign was solid and worth my time. It certainly does not deserve a 0/10 review bombing! But again, I just hope that Gaider takes the lead in the design of their next RPG and that the other people at Beamdog follow him, maybe giving some input here and there but that's it.

   T h e  F i n a l  W o r d   

So, how would I, a veteran of Baldur's Gate and the Infinity Engine, rate Beamdog's Siege of Dragonspear expansion interquel?

Well, aVENGER's combat encounter design, itemization drafting and waylay zones are exemplary. And the UI, OST and VOs are great, as is the writing of M'Khinn and Corwin. The Dwarves of Dumathoin and Bridgefort Besieged segments were also well-written and designed, and they would not have looked out of place in the original BG or IWD.

For the most part, the campaign was made with a love for and appreciation of the original Bhaalspawn Saga, though at times a lack of understanding and respect for the original campaign was evident (the Soultaker, the writing of certain companion personalities, the inappropriate tone and vocab employed in some instances). But Siege of Dragonspear is a highly polished and entertaining gaming experience that can compete with any current gen RPG for your time. Get it, play it, and I hope you enjoy it like I did.

So yeah, a solid 7.5/10

   E o P   

14 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 25, 2016

    Excellent walkthrough! Thanks for all the hard work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anon. I'm glad to finally be done with it!

      Delete
  2. AnonymousJuly 25, 2016

    I would like to add that there's some kind of goodbye speech from any romanceable npc. So far I've seen:

    - Corwin
    - Glint
    - Safana
    - Neera

    Maybe Dorn and Rasaad do have some banters too but I found them too annoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. GallowglassAugust 05, 2016

      In addition to the above, I recall a "romance goodbye speech" from Voghiln in a previous run.

      Delete
  3. AnonymousJuly 25, 2016

    Viconia has a goodbye speech as well. She runs away with M'Khiin when you're arrested, but will come visit you in jail.

    I believe there are also romance speeches when stepping into the portal to Avernus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M'Khiin did not consistently disband in my game. No biggie, though.

      Delete
    2. GallowglassAugust 05, 2016

      In my latest run (just completed), Viconia and M'Khiin were both in my party. Viconia disbanded when I was arrested, but M'Khiin did not. I re-played the same scene several times to check, and Viconia sometimes disbanded and sometimes didn't, but M'Khiin never did.

      I assume from this that there must be both a trigger factor (criterion unknown) to determine who might disband, and a random element to decide whether disbandment actually occurs.

      Delete
    3. Viconia disbanded when Duncan came, but did not make a visit to the lovely prison in Bally G.

      Delete
  4. AnonymousJuly 26, 2016

    It was a sufficient expansion overall, it did add some nice backstory to some npcs but the great downsides were the hub quests and the railroad experience.
    I also like to add that some "epic" battles like the bridge fort or the final assault were not so epic in my view, I felt disappointed. Maybe it's the engine limitation but still...
    I think that my expectations were high and the nostalgia may have a role in my review or it's just the last decade's trend on gaming industry to simplify the gameplay at the lowest (I still remember Falcon 4.0 and it's huge keyboard mapping and manual).

    Games once were harder to master but funnier when achieving that knowledge, some kind of nerd thing I guess.

    PS: it's a lame thing that any RPG so far rewards more the good approach than the evil one, that yourself can't be the greatest evil than the villain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought Dragon Age: Origins gave the player better Evil role-playing options than BG or BG2. Planescape: Torment, Mask of the Betrayer and Arcanum, too.

      For the ending to feel more epic Avernus needed to be teeming with devils and the areas needed to be much larger.

      The Aielund Saga has a more epic hell and its sieges are superior, too. It was made by just one person.

      Delete
  5. GallowglassAugust 05, 2016

    Pretty good walkthrough - excellent work for a blind run!

    As for the expansion itself ... overall I like it. It's a good solid play. There are some minor features which are inappropriate, and some quest structuring which is uninspired, and some writing which is out-of-character, but these issues don't substantially detract from a mostly satisfying and coherent explanation of how the protagonist got from the ending situation of BG1 to the opening situation of BG2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments, Gallowglass. The campaign is solid, yeah. And I'm sure Beamdog will do better with their next title, now that Gaider is onboard.

      Delete
  6. Great guide!

    Kinda dissapointed with the murder of Skie. Seems like it just gave more loose ends than it tied up. Maybe BG3-material that Beamdog will continue working on?

    ReplyDelete

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