Friday, February 24, 2017

Baldur's Gate - Inspiring Easter Eggs Since 1998

Go for the Easter eggs, Boo, GO FOR THE EASTER EGGS!
A video game Easter egg is a secret message or part of a game that’s been hidden from the player. They're often clever nods to other pieces of popular culture. 

Baldur's Gate titles not only contain many Easter eggs, but their characters, spoken lines, and items have found their way into other gamesHere are a few of our favorites. 

1. Dragon Age: Origins 

Where's my Nether Scroll? (Image: wikia)
Dragon Age: Origins is a spiritual successor to BioWare's previous Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights franchises, and a longtime favorite with the Beamdog team. 

In a Denerim tavern players can meet a red-robed woman named Edwina, a reference to Edwin Odesseiron and his gender transformation quest in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn.

In DA:O's Witch Hunt DLC, it's also possible to find "Does This Book Have Griffons in it?" a book that may be a shout out to Jan Jansen and his obsession with griffins.

2. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Jump on my sword while you can evil! I won't be as gentle. (Image: wikia)
Countless groups of bandits roam Cyrodiil in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It's common to hear them shout out "Jump on my sword while you can!" when attacking, a clear reference to one of Minsc's famous battle cries.

3. Mass Effect 2

Boo returns to space! (Image: wikia)
Another famous BioWare RPG, Mass Effect 2, has some of the most well-known Baldur's Gate Easter Eggs. Commander Shepard can purchase a Space Hamster pet in the Citadel station and later tell their new pet to "go for the eyes."

Also, Tali's combat drone is nicknamed Chiktikka vas Paus, a reference to Fastpaws, the raccoon companion of Baervan Wildwanderer, a deity worshiped by Aerie. Tali also sometimes exclaims, "Nothing's faster than Chiktikka vas Paus!" which which is very similar to Aerie's line, "Faster than Chiktikka Fastpaws!"

4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

When did Geralt visit Amn? (Image: wikia)
CD Projekt RED has many Baldur's Gate Easter eggs hidden in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, so we'll only mention a few.

During his adventures, Geralt can find a unique steel sword called Daystar, a reference to the sword guarded by a lich in Athkatla in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn.

Silver Pantaloons can be found in both Baldur's Gate and The Witcher 3. While not terribly useful to Geralt, players in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn should hold onto them to create the Big Metal Unit full plate armor in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal.

5. Pillars of Eternity

Boo says: Squeak! (Hello!)
For many, Obsidian Entertainment's Pillars of Eternity was a return to classic RPGs. No wonder there are Baldur's Gate Easter eggs in this game.

One of the most obvious is the Pillars of Eternity pre-order reward, an in-game Giant Miniature Space Piglet pet. 

Here's a trickier one: in Gilded Vale players can visit The Black Hound inn, a name that might be a reference to a cancelled Baldur's Gate 3 project.

6. Divinity: Original Sin

Now gathering party of two for venturing forth. Party of two, this is your final call.
Divinity: Original Sin by Larian Studios quotes one of Baldur's Gate's most famous phrases, "You must gather your party before venturing forth" when a split group tries to exit an area. 

7. Secrets of Grindea

Neeber, you're next! (Image: Reddit)
Secrets of Grindea, a fantasy Action RPG by Pixel Ferrets currently on Steam Early Access, has a fun Easter egg found by Baldur's Gate fan, Ivaar on the r/baldursgate subreddit. We guess they chose to throw more than stones at Noober. 

Join our Easter Egg hunt! Let us know about Baldur's Gate Easter eggs you've found in other games on our forums and in the comments below, or send us a tweet @Beamdoginc.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Familiar: Be my Boo - Valentine's Cards from the Community

Wise words from Minsc. Both are needed in any successful relationship.
Love is in the realms and well... sometimes telling that special someone what you feel just has to be done with a miniature giant space hamster.

Beamdog community member, Buttercheese, has put together a whole host of Valentine’s Day cards based off companions from the Baldur’s Gate games. Here are a few of our favorites for you to share.

High praise from a paladin of Helm!
Hexxat sends shivers down our spine.
You make us want to do backflips Aerie!
Lovely to hear Keldorn, but you might want to clean up a little first.
Good news Schael! According to Pat Benatar, absolutely.
We couldn't have said it better Wilson. Very touching.
Why thank you Jaheria!
Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for companions, but villains too!

We're starting to think you only like us for our divinity, Melissan.
We sure have a love/hate thing going on, don't we, Bodhi?
Want a few more options? Head to our forums to find a full selection of Buttercheese’s Baldur’s Gate Valentine’s Day cards. Be warned, a few are a little risqué!

Thanks Buttercheese! You’ll be seeing a Siege of Dragonspear t-shirt coming your way!

Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet @Beamdoginc. We’d love to be your valentine!

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Familiar: Excerpts From A Brand New Community Fan Magazine

Before Keith started working with Beamdog, he won a contest to create a character for Siege of Dragonspear. Daran Highhammer can be found at Coast Way Crossing.
Beamdog fans recently released their first issue in what they hope will be a long-running community magazine. 

In one of our favorite stories from this issue,  Deltago sheds light on the story behind Beamdog QA team member, Keith Marshall's "Elminster" nickname. Keith's been working with Beamdog for the last year and a half, but he's been a fan for much, much longer. He helped beta test Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition, was an alpha tester on Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, and built mods of his own. Since then, Keith's worked on Siege of Dragonspear, as well as enhanced editions patches.  

His love and passion for the infinity engine games is rooted in his childhood. His brother bought Baldur’s Gate shortly after it was released in 1998 and his favorite video game memory is beating Sarevok, the final boss.

But wait... there's more! 

Death knight summons, spell mods, and new shields! Oh my!
Like our fans, we LOVE mods. Chris “Semiticgod” Dix's review of Demivrgvs Spell Revisions and Item Revisions mods was a joy to read. 

According to Chris, few mods manage to add as much color to the game as Spell Revisions and Item Revisions. Fewer still manage to keep the game balanced in the process. Put together, these two mods are a comprehensive, finely-balanced overhaul of items and spells from Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition - adjusting the strong, empowering the weak, and most importantly, keeping the game complex and interesting.

We're not going to spoil the rest. Find the full interview with Keith page four of the as-yet-unnamed community magazine and then continue on to page six to get all the details on those mods, including install links. Enjoy!

Come join the fun on our forums and experience a whole new side of Baldur's Gate!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Collector's Edition Update 8

Hundreds of these are now at sea. 
Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Editions continue to find homes with happy fans all over the world. With each update, we’ve heard from excited EU and UK fans asking for arrival dates and we finally have more information to share. 

A ship loaded with Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Editions set sail from California on Feb 2nd. We anticipate it will not have to travel through a sunken sahuagin city, the Underdark, and the Drow outpost of Ust Natha. Instead, this cargo ship has an estimated London arrival date of Feb 28 and the SoD:CE’s will be delivered to our distributor shortly after. Around this time, all European and UK customers will be contacted through the email addresses provided at time of pre-order.

If your email address has changed since pre-ordering, please contact our support team at and we’ll be happy to help you out.

In case you haven't already heard, we're going to give all of SoD:CE buyers a free copy of our next game. You'll hear more about this after we announce it. As an extra thank-you we’ll also be releasing a special forum badge only available to those who endured the long wait. Soon, all you very patient people will have a brand new badge symbolizing strength, patience, and endurance to grace your forum profiles. Watch out for the Bound Hands of Ilmater badge in the weeks ahead!

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Familiar: Cool Screenshots. Great Rewards!

Don't go west. A grue will eat you.
Fans often post screenshots of their characters, in-game events, and fun banter in the Beamdog forums. We love it and want to see more! To encourage more great art, writing, and game screenshots, our community manager Julius Borisov, will occasionally be giving out t-shirts and other swag to active members of the community. Watch out for him on the forums! 

Here are a few of our favorite recent screenshots. Read on to find out which one won an exclusive T-shirt from Beamdog.

Athkatla under the winds of winter.

Trinit created a GUI mod for BG:EE and BGII:EE  using graphics from Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. Here's Korgan on the new background.

Sneaky, sneaky! Nothing like your own personal invisible wall.

Chimaera found a way to use an invisible familiar as a method to successfully solo Siege of Dragonspear.

That is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself, Kruin.

CrevsDaak, on his hundredth or so playthrough of Baldur's Gate II, realized this dialogue from Kruin was a reference to the Matrix.

Squint and you'll see the typo along the monument base.
Gunman made a rare discovery. On a map south from Beregost in Baldur's Gate, a stone obelisk misspells the town of Nashkel "NASHKELL." Gunman will receive a Baldur's Gate t-shirt from our Community Manager for his sharp eyes. Congratulations! 

Want to join in on the fun? Sign up for an account on the Beamdog forums!