Okay, I know I picked out the Baldur’s Gate II box…since that’s the only one I have…but I figured I’d better start with the first game.
Hope you’re sitting comfortably. For this is the ballad of Jimmy.
Jimmy was always a rogueish type. Her light-fingered qualities earned her a reputation in her hometown, and merchants were wary to lock up their goods at sight of her.
Of course, most of the time, they never even saw her as she slipped in and out of the shadows.
As a young half-elf, she began to learn the way of the blade. Her skills were…well, they weren’t exactly winning her any awards, that’s for sure. She also spent some time playing around with a bow and arrow, but she could rarely make her mark given she was always distracted by shiny things.
In short, she had a decent future ahead of her.
One morning, her mentor, Gorion, shoved a pile of gold coins in her hand and told her to get packing – they were going on holiday! At least, that’s what she thought she heard in her bleary-eyed and blearier-eared state of partial wakefulness. She popped over to the tavern and, for the first time in her life, bought something with good, honest coin.
Instead of getting her things together as requested, though, she got distracted once again by the promise of cash money. Specifically, someone in the town had lost yet another book somewhere in the cow pen. After trying to beat the information out of the locals, she started her journey to find…whatever it was. Some bodice-ripper or other tacky romance pulp, she suspected. It was nestled amongst the haybales in the cattle pen, but it took another couple of encounters with the townsfolk to actually find the thing.
It seemed like everyone’s hands were on her time that morning. Some dwarf needed his store clearing of vermin – and his cats, the uppity jerks, just sat around and watched. Another cabbage of a man asked her to find a scroll he’d lent out. Who did he think she was, his personal servant? As far as she was concerned, that scroll was long gone. She was off on holiday, for crying out loud!
At last, she’d pulled herself together and was ready to embark. Gorion mumbled some words about being in Great Danger™ and that they must make haste.
One trudge through the woods, comin’ right up. Jimmy started to question the nature of this holiday. They’d been away to the Forest of Dean once, which she contended had been a good place to practice climbing and staying out of sight – but at least they got there by horseback.
Suddenly, out of the woods came some rough-looking folk. They said something about taking her away, telling Gorion he wouldn’t be hurt if he handed over “his ward”.
It was a messy debate, with a whole load of spellcasting and a load more rude words. It was pretty spectacular up until Gorion met the receiving end of a longsword.
Jimmy was left alone to trudge through the woods. She’d been told to head north towards an inn – presumably this was the B n’ B he’d booked for them. After a little while, she found she was being followed by a few ruffians, but they apparently didn’t mean any harm – just here for the company. Together, they forged their way up towards the Friendly Arm in the vain hope that someone would tell her just what was going on around here.
And then she got eaten by a wolf and the game ended.
Verdict: it’ll probably take a few goes to get into. Just like every other late 90s CRPG…