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Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance


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Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance (Games)
Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance (Games)
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Information about Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is an action role-playing game developed by Snowblind Studios for the PlayStation 2, and later for the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.

Gameplay

The battle system in the game is simplistic, but allows for customization. Character statistics at the game's beginning are preset, and the player may only customize his or her character's statistics through gaining experience points. Experience points are gained by winning battles, and at specific levels the character gains new ability points to spend on enhancements specific to the character class. The ability choices effect the fighting style of the character. The human archer, for example, can assign experience points to enchanting arrows rather than to strength, which results in a more powerful ranged attack.

Game play is linear, and any current quest must be completed successfully before the story proceeds. There are also relatively few non-player characters (NPCs), of which only those who are part of a quest or side-quest may be interacted with. Weapons, armor and items are only available for purchase from one location at a time in the current region, and are increasingly valuable later in the game.

Plot

The game begins with the player character's arrival in the city of Baldur's Gate whereupon he is attacked, robbed, and left for dead. He is brought to the Elfsong Tavern by guards to recover. There, the first hints about a great evil hiding in Baldur's Gate are revealed.

The player begins by clearing the tavern's cellar of rats and vermin, and later discovers a thieves' den in the sewers where it is learned that one of the guests at the inn has been captured by thieves. Delving further into the sewers, the player finds an entrance to the crypt of the local temple where the dead are being reanimated by a magic orb, which must be destroyed. The destruction of the orb leads to meeting Jherek, leader of the Harpers, who tells the player that the Thieves' Guild is only one "part of a greater whole", and the guild must be destroyed. The player then infiltrates the guild's secret lair, defeats Kharne (the leader of the thieves and associate of the Zhentarim who had ambushed the player at the start of the game) and meets Xantam, a beholder who reveals that he is controlling the thieves' guild on behalf of some greater power. After defeating Xantam, the player finds a portal which transports him away from Baldur's Gate.

The player is sent to the Sunset Mountains, where he faces the treacherous Wind's Walk, with yetis, ogres and gnolls. At the end of this mountain path, lies a Dwarven village. The dwarves have been driven from their mine by drow, and have sent a party to light a signal fire to request reinforcements, but that party has vanished. Torregir, a dwarf who is also a member of the Harpers, charges the player to scale Burning Eye Mountain to discover the fate of the signalling party, and to light the signal. The player finds that the dwarven signaling party was ambushed and scattered by Ciraxis, a powerful white dragon. The player is able to light the signaling fire and retrieve the key to the mine. The player enters the mine and engages the Drow forces therein. On the lowest level of the mine, he combats the valsharess, the drow queen, who again refers to herself as a servant of another power. The Drow queen's defeat leads the player to a cave in a nearby forest where he defeats Ciraxis, who had ambushed the dwarven signaling party. Ciraxis guards another portal which transports the player to the Marshes of Chelimber.

The hero emerges in a ruined sunken cathedral filled with undead, but is able to fight to the surface where he meets Sleyvas, a humanoid lizard who explains that the local lizard tribes are being controlled by an Onyx Tower that dominates the landscape. The tower has no visible entrance, but can be accessed via the water stair; a conduit to the elemental plane of water. The path to the water stair is blocked by the local lizard tribes, and only the defeat of their chieftain will cause the tribes to scatter. The player travels through the swamps and the remains of an ancient human castle to defeat the chieftan. He then fights through a temple filled with tauren, and at the end of the temple, lies the water stair. The player then travels to the Onyx Tower.

At the penultimate level of the tower, the player meets a number of ghosts of fallen soldiers who explain that their general, Eldrith, once served Baldur's Gate, and fought a crusade against dark forces who intended its destruction. Upon her defeat, she was betrayed by the elders of Baldur's Gate, who were angered by her defying their orders not to march. Furious, she rallied her unwilling soldiers to attack Baldur's Gate, but was fought back far to the Marshes of Chelimber and was killed. Her rage brought her back to life, caused the tower to come into being, and gave her the power to open portals between distant locations. Seeking revenge, she has orchestrated the attacks against Baldur's Gate and its allies, and created a dark alliance between the thieves' guild, mountain creatures, drow, and lizardmen.

The player learns that defeating Eldrith will destroy the tower and the portals, and will free the ghosts to pass to the afterlife, but will trap the player. The player proceeds to the roof to join combat with Eldrith. He finds Eldrith alone on the roof of the tower with another portal. She again reiterates her plans for the destruction of Baldur's Gate, and attacks the player. Eventually, the player defeats Eldrith, who repents for her rage. With the tower crumbling around him, the player has no choice but to enter the remaining portal.

In the final cutscene, Sleyvas' true motives are revealed: he has manipulated the player to defeat Eldrith so that he and his comrades can gain control of the tower. He also expects the hero to have died in the tower. The player emerges in an unknown forest surrounded by nightshades and nightwalkers, and the game concludes on this cliffhanger.

Reception

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance received generally favorable reviews; Metacritic has an average score of 87% based on 29 reviews for the PlayStation 2 version and the Xbox version received an average score of 83% based on 25 reviews. The only real criticism for the Xbox version is that little has been changed over the year[vague], but it still maintained excellent graphics and gameplay. It also supports 5.1 Dolby surround sound.

Source: en.wikipedia.org


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