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Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast

video game

Publisher Interplay Entertainment and developer BioWare released Baldur's Gate in 1998. Released during a period of stagnation in the computer role-playing game (RPG) industry, Baldur's Gate sparked a revolution in RPGs that is still felt to this day. The innovative features introduced by Baldur's Gate and its sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, remain staples in today's most popular RPGs. The scope and depth of the Baldur's Gate franchise was unprecedented. The original Baldur's Gate includes five CDs of content totaling over 200 hours of gameplay. The gameworld of the Forgotten Realms is expansive and portrayed through hand-painted landscapes and state-of-the-art graphics. Players explore towns, dungeons, forests, castle ruins, and mines, interacting with many non-playable characters (NPC) along the way. The NPCs of Baldur's Gate were themselves revolutionary. In previous RPGs the player created a 5 or 6 character party by building each member from scratch. In Baldur's Gate the player creates one playable character (PC) and recruits party members from NPCs that they meet throughout their journey. These characters have their own back stories, agendas and quests that influence the development of the game. They have consistent and unique personalities. Party members will comment on the scenery, get into heated arguments with each other, critique the player's decisions, and they may even choose to leave the party if insulted by the PC. The appeal of these interesting and oftentimes humorous characters influenced later RPGs to imitate the model, including the highly popular Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Baldur's Gate also popularized the pausible real-time style of play. Gameplay occurs in real-time but can be paused to permit turn-based play during combat. This offers more tactical options as players may analyze their possible actions before giving commands. The entire game is available in multiplayer, an innovation for computer RPGs. Baldur's Gate kick-started the modern RPG genre and its subsequent installments and expansion packs continued to introduce innovations that influenced the development of the genre. The original saga inspired the development of the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance duo released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles. The Baldur's Gate franchise continues to captivate gamers with enhanced editions of Baldur's Gate I and II released as recently as 2012. The model for some of today's most popular RPGs, Baldur's Gate holds an important place in the history of electronic games.

  • Material: printed paper | plastic
  • Origin: USA
  • Object ID: 109.11181
  • Credit Line: Gift of Warren Buckleitner
Creative Commons License