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Friday, March 16, 2012

Baldur's Gate, Getting Hit by a Car and My Childhood

Yesterday, some interesting things happened.  The main one being the announcement of a Enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate I and II by a company called Overhaul Games.  I'm not going to go too much into what my thoughts are about the enhanced version today because today I just want to wax nostalgic about Baldur's Gate and how important it was to me in my formative years.  Oh yeah, and I got hit by a car while I was taking a walk.

Don't worry, it'll all tie together after the jump.

So up until yesterday, the website at the Baldur's Gate website showed the iconic skull and a collage of various PC and NPC portraits as the background.  Then about the beginning of the week, I believe, a timer appeared on the bottom of the screen.  It was counting what, we knew not.  We simply hoped and prayed for awesome.
This is how I pictured the awesome looking.
And so I sat and waited.  For two days, I left my web browser open to that website watching the timer tick its way down.  I awoke Thursday morning like it was Christmas...I ran down and saw the timer ticked away at 5 hours to go.  Five hours!  As I sat, playing Kings Quest II (Yeah, that's right.  I rock the old Sierra Point-and-Clicks.)  I remembered that I needed to go on a quest.  An epic quest of getting a money order!

Now, I had taken my car in that morning to get worked on, so I was going to have to walk.  I don't like walking.  In fact, it is pretty high up on my list of things that I would rather not do for extended periods of time (I have a weird hiking clause in that though...huh).  So, since I'm going to have to go on a walk, it's time to play my Ipod and go forth to the Albertson's that is like four or so blocks from my apartment.  All I can think as I'm walking is that I need to get there and back as quickly as possible because by this time it was around 10:45 or so and I didn't want to miss sitting at my computer at noon for the grand unveiling!

So I get to a four-way intersection, my goal in sight a block or two away.  I patiently wait for the lights to change, the little box across the way flashes green and shows me the little symbol for "Walk, dummy."  I take a step off of the curb and...well, a little old lady decides to take a right turn.  RIGHT INTO ME.

Oh, she's going to stop...right?  Right?  Oh shiiiiiiiii...*thump*
All of a sudden, I find myself at a key decision making instant.  I could either do nothing and let her car go over me (GAME OVER) or I could do something.  What that something was turned out to be jumping up onto the hood of her car and hanging on for dear life.  And she still didn't stop.  Seriously, I had to look up and make eye contact before she finally slowed down enough that I could roll off of her hood and manage to somehow stay on my feet.

To be fair, she was very nice about it.  She did stop and apologize and ask if I was okay.  Personally, I just couldn't stop laughing at the time because I thought it was hilarious for two reasons.

1).  I just was hit by a car and walked away from it.  I AM UNTO A GOD!

2).  Thank Shiva that I wasn't seriously injured so I can still make it home in time to watch the end of the countdown on the Baldur's Gate website.

I has them.
So I did manage to make it back home in time to see the timer finally tick down to 0.  Here it comes!  The reckoning!  The quickening!  Whatever glorious revelation that the website is wishing to impart to me is finally nigh!

Okay, I know I should have been expecting that the countless other nerds like myself who were waiting with baited breath would crash the website.  But...but...

Luckily, someone over at DnD Online Games was able to see it and posted up the short comic that beamdog had up on their website here.

Phew...okay.  Now, you may be wondering why I care so much about Baldur's Gate?  It's an older game that came out back in 1998 for Windows 95.  But, back then I didn't have much access to Dungeons and Dragons material.  I had a vague concept that there were games like that you could play, and had dabbled in board games that kind of replicated the feel of DnD, but had yet to taste the sweet fruit of role-playing.

I loved fantasy stuff though.  Recently, as I was watching "The Sword and the Sorcerer", my girlfriend asked me where I found this stuff.  By "this stuff" she meant fantasy movies.  I replied that I remember watching them when I was a kid.  I remember being fascinated by the cover of the VHS case (Oh yeah...remember those?) and wanting to see the movies play out.  It was one of those things that also developed from my love of reading.  Any book with dragons on the cover was kick-ass by my standards.  I adored fantasy literature and read it like crazy.

And one day, I can't even remember how or why, but my brother and I acquired a copy of Baldur's Gate.  AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!  Seriously, we had so much fun with that game.  We would create characters and parties and wander around the Sword Coast looking for adventure.  We had no idea what we were doing and made horrible stupid class choices.  But we didn't care because it was awesome.
Yeah, the graphics haven't exactly aged well...but at the time, they impressed us.  We just enjoyed playing it too much to care that the camera angle was kind of annoying at times.  And my brother and I played the hell out of that game and somehow still never managed to actually progress in the main storyline past getting to Candlekeep and meeting up with Khalid and Jaheira.  I can't actually tell you why we never progressed in the main story...possibly because we just got too wrapped up in exploring all the various areas and talking with various NPC's.

So there you have it.  Baldur's Gate is returning and honestly, I'm not too upset about that.  It looks like they will be keeping as true to the original as possible and hopefully it will be just as awesome as the original.  See you next week folks!

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