Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Aesthetic Appreciation of BG2 - Part IV

   A e s t h e t i c  A p p r e c i a t i o n  o f  B G 2   
   P a r t  I V :  T h r o n e  o f  B h a a l   

• Part I: Districts of Athkatla • Part II: Outskirts & Towns • Part III:  Far-flung Regions • Part IV: Throne of Bhaal • Part V: The Tower versus The Keep.

   T h r o n e  o f  B h a a l — W o r l d  M a p   

The Throne of Bhaal expansion adds in Watcher's Keep to the Shadows of Amn world map, and also adds a separate map for its campaign, which I think is too small.

   G r o v e  o f  t h e  A n c i e n t s   

This is where the party finds themselves transported after SoA Hell. Visually, there is nothing special about this map; it could have come straight out of BG1. We fight our first Bhaalspawn here, the faceroll known as Illasera.

   P o c k e t  P l a n e   

This is more like it. The Pocket Plane acts as a hub for the expansion campaign. Party members can be recruited here, including Sarevok. Crafting is done through the imp, Cespenar. The PP is similar to SoA Hell in that several challenges need to be completed in order to progress to the Throne for the final battle. 

   S a r a d u s h   

A pretty small but atmospheric hub that is being besieged by Yaga-shura from beyond its walls. It's pretty cool how the catapults lob firebombs over the walls. You can actually farm giants by shooting back over the walls, too. The party needs to gain access to Gromnir by fighting their way through vamps and other nasties that are clogging up its underground sectors.

   Y a g a - S h u r a  C a m p   

The muddied moat looks better in this map (more reflective). It's another minor AR but the two-stage battle against the fire giants is not. This is one of my fave stages for battle when it's been thugged out with SCS/Ascension.

   F o r e s t  o f  M i r   

I think that, from an aesthetic PoV, these swamps represent one of the best maps in the game. 

   F i r e  G i a n t  C o u n t r y   

The fiery approach to Yaga-Shura's stronghold. Love the Robert E. Howard inspired visuals and music.

   A m k e t h r a n   

Another underwhelming ToB hub from a game-play standpoint, but the desert setting is a welcome change. It's a pity that deserts aren't featured very much in the Baldur's Gate series. That's Balthasar's fortress in the northwest. From here we gain access to Sendai, Draconis and Abazigal as well.

   E y r i e  o f  D r a c o n i s   

The stage for one of the toughest Bhaalspawn battles. 

   T h e  T h r o n e   


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