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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Who is your fave EVIL companion in the Baldur's Gate series?

First, the poll: Who is your fave EVIL companion in the Baldur's Gate series? So, it's for BG, BG2, BG:EE, BG2:EE and SoD inclusive. I know Viconia and Sarevok can shift to non-evil, but they're of evil alignment through the vast majority of the Bhaalspawn saga.

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27 comments:

  1. David M.May 04, 2017

    With the notable exception of Coran's, it's amazing how good the BG1 portraits are! I especially like Montaron's.

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    1. BG1 paperdolls were great, too (left). I liked them better than the BG2 ones (right).

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    2. David M.May 05, 2017

      But... but they're exactly the same :(

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    3. David M.May 05, 2017

      The paperdolls! They're identical! Maybe it's just my Aurora-engine-and-up millennial brain, but they look the same! What am I missing?

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    4. Mmm.. maybe if I posted one with breasts... But srsly, it's no big deal. :P

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  2. The poll where Viconia will win even if she's not the best. Surely only Edwin has a chance to compete with her.

    Shar-Teel for me, even if her story is nothing much to write home about, her attitude is everything :)

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    1. I'll be surprised if Edwin doesn't take this out. It's not just that he's funny, but he's got the power-gaming appeal (underwhelming opposition school + bonus spells per lvl).

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    2. Edwin is not romanceable though (at least without mods), and BG2 is the game that made RPG romances a thing. He will have tough competition going up against the fanboys literally in love with Viconia. Despite her poor stats, powergamers have a reason to like her too, because she is the best evil cleric (on account of being the ONLY evil cleric) to fill the healer role in an evil party.

      Personally, when it comes to BG companions, I do not know how I can pick just one.

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    3. Shar-Teel. Part of me wishes her story was more developed but another part doesn't mind since it allows me to fill in the blanks my way.

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    4. I didn't like the addition of romances and extra banters/interjections in BG2.

      Imo, the original (non-EE) BG did it just right (no romances and minimal exchanges). Fallout and Jagged Alliance 2 are my ideal, too.

      I think Luke K. once mentioned that BioWare added romances because players requested them (and were also writing their own).

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    5. It is rather ironic how influential BG2 romances turned out to be, given that they seem to have been something of an afterthought on the part of the devs.

      I barely bothered with the romances myself until I had already played the game multiple times and was actively looking for ways to make run-throughs different, though I did like the somewhat expanded party banter and significant companion-focused sidequests BG2 introduced. I was probably helped in my initial indifference by the fact that dwarf, gnome and halfling PCs could not participate in the romances anyway without mods (not sure if that was changed by a patch at some point but I think it might have been).

      Since the romances did in fact make a big impression on people, though, they are bound to influence popularity polls.

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    6. It's a pity BG2 romances so heavily influenced BioWare's subsequent RPGs, imo. I think there is too much emphasis put on relationships in Mass Effect and Dragon Age, for example.

      For me, BG1 struck the right balance in regard to companion banter and sidequests. Fallout, Fallout 2 and Jagged Alliance also hit the sweetspot. otoh, Mask of the Betrayer and Planescape: Torment moved companions towards center-stage, but the characterizations, in-depth reactivity and writing quality justified it. MotB, especially; its companions permeate the gameworld and lore. So, they feel like they belong there and removing them would make large parts of it meaningless.

      But overall, I'd still rather the BG companion system to even the MotB/PS:T one, because I'm just not all that interested in companions outside of their stats, what they bring to the party in terms of tactics, and their basic personality and motives.

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  3. Edwin was the best! His quest in BG2 is really funny... before meeting him my favourite was Xzar, it's a pity what happens in BG2 because I found his dialogues hilarious, but I admit that I hated being forced to take Montaron too.

    Anyway Viconia is loved by everyone I know, so no surprise. I think this is mainly because she's romanceable and she's a drow (more or less the same appeal of Morrigan in DA:O).

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    1. Xzar and Monty were my fave duo, by far. This was back when BG didn't take itself so seriously! I remember Tiax was hugely popular back in the day, but I hardly see him mentioned these days. He makes an amusing appearance in both BG2 and SoD, wisely placed under lock and key. :P

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    2. Hm...maybe I'm probably racist but I never liked any of the gnome/halflings of BG/BG2 ^^'

      One character I liked a lot was Safana, ok she's CN in BG, but in BG2 she's totally evil!

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    3. Didn't like Coran/Safana quest. I had idealized BG1 Coran and that quest turned me right off.

      Gnomes tend to suck; it's true. The devs seem to fondly remember writing Jan's walls of text, but I never enjoyed them (I confess to not having read a good chunk of that waffle). The IWD2 version of Oswald Fiddlebender was quite tedious, too.

      I like Tommi Undergallows from the NWN OC (classic halfling). He's cheerful and fearless in combat. Total cliche, but it's well done and he never bored me.

      For me, worst companion in BG2 is Cernd. As dull as dishwater.

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    4. Well Jan was a decent character because a thief (not a useless dual class waste of levels like Nalia) is always useful, and I also liked his steampunk style.

      Worst companion? Hm Cernd but on par with Mazzy (only decent things are the dialogues with Valygar)... Nalia too is useful just because of her quests.

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    5. Cernd was terrible. The only thing unique about him is you discover he's a deadbeat dad.

      Oh yay.

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    6. Gnome NPCs are typically silly comic relief characters with lousy stats.

      When Tiax rules all, RPG players will finally be forced to take gnomes seriously.

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    7. Tiax would be so much more popular if he was recruitable early on in the campaign. This post contains all of the Tiax dialogue in BG and BG2. I thought his appearance in Spellhold was highly amusing.

      Eldoth hasn't received a single vote in 172. :(

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    8. Eldoth? Well I know that many people hate the bard class, but I don't know if this is the reason. I never used him. Nice portrait, by the way!

      At least Tiax is a cleric/thief... usually making a halfling/gnome fighter is a BAD idea.

      I'm impressed that Dorn Il-Khan did not get many votes, he's the typical cool bad guy that many players love, complete with romance, but probably being a recent addition of the Enhanced Edition he's not so popular.
      Well I admit I totally avoided him :)

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    9. Bardsong sucked ass in BG1, yeah. Other than the obvious Lore, I guess the advantage of Bards lies in their faster lvl progression, which means spells with lvl-based variables are stronger when cast by them (plus they reach one lvl higher than mages, under the BG1 cap, too.) But then, they don't reach fifth circle spells and have fewer spell slots than mages, who can also specialize in a school on top of that.

      On Eldoth: I guess most parties are formed by that time so it's easy to pass up on a Bard (unlike Coran, who is far more useful and found in the same forest).

      On Dorn: Never used him. I covered him in my Siege of Dragonspear walkthrough, though. He's better than Minsc, combat-wise. And yeah, can't imagine many people voting for any of the Beamdog companions over the classic ones.

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  4. i like cernd with shapeshifter rebalancing he is a force to be reckoned with.

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    1. Yep, that's a great mod that makes him a lot more effective in combat. It's currently part of my BG2 installation, along with Improved Shapeshifting.

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  5. AnonymousMay 08, 2017

    Viconia shifts to neutral, not good as stated at the beginning of the blog post

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    1. Ah, True Neutral. Thanks. Fixed.

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