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The legend of Baldur's Gate, the video game that revolutionized the role, died and resurrected among the dead



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-So you look Baldur's Gate Eh? – The wizard squinted his eyes and his face became a wrinkled mask between the threats and satisfaction while picking the adventurers gathered in front of him – too many young people! – Clacking – You are not prepared to receive this knowledge! –

-Pro games, magician! – The paladin seemed firm, but his colleagues noticed the tension in their tone of voice. It was not scary (the devotees of Gizmodo did not know about this feeling), but impatience. They had been traveling the coasts of the virals for months to find that damned necromancer and now it was not humorous to endure its sarcasm and its theater staged.

-The weather hurts-continued the Holy warrior in a more conciliatory tone -In a few hours the three moons will unite in the sky and will be 20 years after the creation of Baldur's Gate. We need to find it and understand why it is so important. The destination of video games depends on that-

-Ahhhh! Video games … – The wicked smiled smile vanished and her shoulders sank beneath the black robe as if the weight and guilt of centuries of riot had settled on them suddenly. He looked up, but his eyes were no longer fixed on the presents. His mind wandered for a very long time. "Okay," he finally said as he rose from his throne and advanced to large rooms for the room. In the middle of the way west door stopped and looked away to meet them there – What do you know about the three healers? – asked, and a ladino smiling from ear to ear came back to her face.

Illustration: Wizards of the Coast

The three healers who arrived from the north

Baldur's Gate It was not even said so when its creators began to forge it, he explained while guiding the adventurers for the endless corridors of his tower. Outside the rain was falling short and the moonlight full began to leak through the rows of pointed arches that flanked the corridor – He was saying Battleground: Infinity It was the project of three young Canadian doctors who joined in a so-called company Bioware. Nor was it, in fact, his first project. Before they had forged another quite remarkable game called Shattered Steel, But that one did not even talk about paper. It was a compendium of strategy similar to Mech Commander

-I do not understand how to interrupt the thief walking distracted while memorizing the windows with the best access to get stuck later on to a "party" – How could he then become such a valuable thing? –

The magician stopped abruptly and turned to the retinue who followed him. His eyes reflected the light of the torch, but a supernatural penance concealed the rest of his features – Do not you know? The three healers and their friends invoked the power of the sacred book of paper … Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition

The sacred book of paper

Time seemed to stop for a moment while a tomb silence fell on the group. AD & D … Thousands of young souls have fallen victim to the charm of that impious book created by Archbishop Zeb Cook in 1989. His name was only a whisper pronounced with reverence among scholars. That one was a tom (a set of them rather) that set the rules of millions of role games and defined up to the same reality. The power of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition He reigned without rival for decades until well into the year 2,000.

Photo: Carlos Zahumenszky / Gizmodo en Català

Satisfied with the revelation that had just dropped on the minds of its visitors, the magician resumed his way and his story.

Look, Bioware worked for a great commercial company called Interplay. When Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk, Augustine Yip and the other members of the group taught Battleground: Infinity To their bosses, they were astonished. The style of that game was very similar to that of A & D Second Edition. The circumstance occurred that, years before, Interplay I had purchased the AD & D license to another named company called Adventurers Strategic Simulations

-I mean, that Baldur's Gate Not even the first video game based on Dungeons & Dragons– meditated the priestess, who until then had maintained a cautious silence.

-But the mage replied – There have been many who have tried to bring the power of AD & D to video games. The first one was Pool of Radiance in 1988. The heroes of Strategic Simulations were able to forge a very competent saga of games, but the technology of the era was very limited and none of them managed to make all their complex rules of AD & D.

Another called company of adventurers Westwood He managed to create a fantastic called trilogy Eye of the Behold. Curse! I remember having spent whole nights drawing maps of those games to pencils, and checking wall after wall of labyrinths in search of secret corridors. They were dark times, and video games did not always receive the attention they deserved. Did you know that some unfortunate son of Calimport's hiene translated "Polearm" into Spanish as "Multiple Arms" in Eye of the Behold III? Multiple arms … what is j …-

-I do not want to seem disrespectful, magician, but we do not have time for this-he cut the paladin again -What do they have to see all these grimorios and witchcraft with Baldur's Gate? –

-Ah, young man impatient! It has to see everything. Adapting all the rules of AD & D to a video game was a colossal task. In SSI they became so obsessed with this that they ended up losing the judgment and creating such monstrosities Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, That's already a little bit like it Baldur's GateBut in many ways it was unplayable. Baldur's Gate It has the merit of being the first video game to fully master AD & D. rules. Armor, personage skills, spells, classes … Everything was there! but automated to perfection.

Not only did he adapt all the mechanics of AD & D. He also did it with a completely captivating story and a list of unforgettable secondary characters. There was a hunter in the game just as naughty as you, only that it was much more fun and went everywhere accompanied by a hamster-

Screenshot: Baldur's Gate (Imgur)

the descendants

With this last blow, the entourage arrived at the necromancer's lab. Dozens of ominous looking volumes and jars filled the walls. Dissected and strange animals, the use of artifacts only knew that individual, they placed here and there the endless rows of books.

The heroes took a seat around a huge oak table whose wood was black and full of strange symbols engraved on a knife. When sitting, the browser realized that the whole table. No, actually the whole room, it was a huge pentagram. Intricate lines drawn with salt and something that seemed dry blood traveled the ground under their feet. His sixth sense, sharpened for years living in the woods, he was screaming that he was running there, but they had accepted a search, and the pay was more than generous.

The wizard sat in a large leather armchair at the head of the table and his hands described a theatrical arch in the air. Five full beer jars suddenly appeared before the gathered there.

-The launch of Baldur's Gate in 1998 was a success comparable to what he had devil Two years before – the magician continued – Only in his debut, more than two million copies were sold, and this was the beginning of a legendary saga. In 1999 the expansion of the game came, Tales of the Sword Coast and only one year after its sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and its expansion Throne of Bhaal. Other hero companies like Black Isle they soon went to Bioware in search of that forbidden knowledge. The impeccable adaptation of the AD & D mechanics was used to forge other games that are now classic in their own right. The most prominent are Planescape: Torment (1999), Icewind Give it to her (2000), i Icewind Give It II (2002). There are even games inspired by Baldur's Gate that started as Kickstarter projects Pillars of Eternity

-The younger members of my brotherhood tell legends that there were two more games that were created for the console, replied the licking brivith – the cure mustache after a long sip in his beer mug

-I am right, my friend, the magician stood up and approached a wrought iron pedestal on which stood a black glass sphere. Gently picked up the sphere with both hands and he approached the table again. The object began to emerge a soft violet glow – They were called Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance i Dark Alliance II, i They were forged for use with two powerful relics called PS2 and Xbox. Although these two were not as intricate as their predecessor, I can personally confirm that they have one of the best cooperative modes on the console I have ever seen. Going forward … Approaching the voice of the necromancer had acquired a strange sinister tone – Check it out for yourself-

The wizard brought the sphere closer to the thief and he stared at her with nervous gesture. In the interior, snake swirls were snapped, but as his eyes fixed on them they were twisting and forming images. Some golden letters read "Memory Card Configuration" …

A spell to stop the time

One by one, the heroes joined in their seats to approach that fascinating sphere that rested on the table. While they watched, captivated, the images of Dark AllianceThe voice of the necromancer resonated hypnotic in the ears.

Baldur's Gate Not only did he adapt the rules of AD & D, he also introduced new features that until then were very rare in role-playing games. There were cycles of night and day, fog of war … The climate changed, and the heroes could run out – if they did not rest. All the player's actions were translated into a reputable system that affected the way in which the other characters in the world were dealing with you. However, one of the biggest hits of Baldur's Gate It's been the turn-by-turn combat and have popularized the real combat system with pause. During the battles, the game's characters acted on their own by a limited AI, but the player could change this at any time. The magician paused -Only he had to make a gesture …-

The wizard's fingers were stopped in the air on a keyboard in the table. His eyes crossed the present ones with a malignant brilliancy.

– TRAFFIC! – he swore the paladin …

Before anyone could do anything else, the magician's fingers hit the spacebar.

And the time stopped.

The city made with coffee beans

The air was railing and the lines that pierced the ground now burned with a bluish fire, but it was not hot and I did not listen to the slightest sound. The wizard lifted himself from his seat and separated a beer mug that was loosening in the air. His voice shrieked as if he were talking in an empty cathedral -I do not understand, he explained –Baldur's Gate he's dead This death for years. To get to him there is only one path – he began to make strange gestures in the air with his hands – You also have to die for yourself.

A wave of heat and a blazing white light wrapped everything around. So it seemed eternity later, the shine was reduced. The heroes were seated around a stone table in the middle of a garden. The air was warm and smelling of flowers. Regarding the sorcerer, I was comfortably rummaged in his chair. It looked different … younger and I watched them with funny expression.

The hunter was the first to break the silence, still dizzy – He heard the combat paused. Why the hell can not be limited to fighting in turns, like Final Fantasy VII? –

-What did you do? Damned necromancer-escaped the paladin

-It does not seem to be dead. Let him speak – he cut the priestess, resting one hand on the arm of the warrior, and preventing him from ending up the sword. "You do not have much time, magician. Speak now or I will be the one who ties these flowers with your blood-

-But, you're not dead, but you've been, like the game. he Baldur's Gate Original is injugable for almost any today. He died, to put it like that, but he was not long gone. Their own creators formed a newer company of smaller callers adventurers Beamdog with a simple goal: to return their creation to life. they called him Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and brings the original game and its expansions-

-What? You're saying … -make the thief

-Yes, you have had the game in hand all this time and you could have avoided accompanying me in this revival

-I think I'm going to vomit-say the paladin

-You have a sandwich here. As was saying In 2012, the necromantic efforts of Beamdog they gave their fruits and Baldur's Gate come back to life in Windows and iOS. Shortly after it came to MacOS, Android and Linux. It was not easy, did you know? All the original work was lost, and the same ones who had developed the game had to rebuild – doing reverse engineering and adapting it to current platforms. In the end, more than 90% of the game code was completely new.

Screenshot: Beamdog

On the way they met delirious challenges. The texture that forms the floor paving stones in the cities, for example, was made with a photo of coffee beans. In the original resolution it did not matter, but in the current equipment it was obvious that it was coffee. They had to make many graphs starting from scratch. However, they managed to resuscitate the game and even make an expansion: Siege of Dragonspear

epilogue

-What will the future bring to us? – asked the priestess as he finished settling Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition on your iPad.

-I kill them if the necromancer responded by completing the last touches to his post -On Friday. At the moment you should go to a tavern and ask for some rounds to celebrate. Today September 30, 2018, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the launch of one of the best role-playing games in history. It's also one that you can still enjoy in your modern devices. This is not something that happens every day –

-Doncs it's true-

-I do not tell you, someone has stolen your sweet bun, said a voice on the back.

-We started again, said the thief.

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