Sad day for romance in Baldur's Gate

Recent posts

Sad day for romance in Baldur's Gate

08.01.2015

For me, that is. Though some time ago I wrote on my Facebook that I wouldn't install it and play and just enjoy a bit of it in my imagination, that game is my special weakness, so I ended up installing it anyway, and then playing, just a little bit every now and then. I only made it through the Cloakwood mines recently, so that says a lot about the pace (for those who know the saga ;) ). Side note - praise be all of those geniuses working on the BiG World Project and BiG World setup. Wouldn't have the power to deal with multi-mod install without you, and I can't go back to vanilla anymore :)

But what gave me a sad is when I rescued Xan and started playing through his romance included in the wonderful BG1 NPC project. I picked that, because it carries on all the way to the end of ToB. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely not bashing the mod, or the author, or anything - it's done very nicely, it fits the character, I can't say a bad word about it.

Aside of the fact that it made me feel old. Or maybe too cynical, or whatever else, I don't know. But it lost me when it got, well, romantic.

I think that if I got my hands on it few years ago (I could, but it had no happy ending back then so I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole :D), I'd be absolutely delighted. But now, though I enjoyed the beginning of it, I got disheartened the further I went into it.

From the moment he was so gentle he wouldn't talk to my character when she told the team to go away and give them a moment of peace, through the time when he wouldn't sleep with her without a promise to bond forever, to the description of a moment that would make my younger self squeal and now made me flinch back - elves rising up in a lovely embrace surrounded by nature. I just... couldn't.

When I was younger I had loved elves oh so much. I remember fondly all the stories I had in my mind over the years, and the way I cared about my elven characters in games. I enjoyed that lovely, romantic to the extreme nature, it was what I'd be looking for. And now I can't stand it. Even with the 'drama/angst' surrounding Xan as a character (which is why I even tried that mod, I wouldn't want to play through anything without obstacles, boring), it's just... too sweet.

Which leaves me with question - am I old or am I cold? :D

LonelyPhilosopher
25-01-2015
Lonely and philosopher are both monikers that fit me quite well ;) (most of the time, anyway).

I'm glad you still believe that love and romance have value. If only more people believed in such things... ^_^ I sometimes miss enjoying the feeling of a simple and sweet romance, but I wouldn't rescind on my current state of mind if I were given a choice; I don't think someone can deeply value another person's happiness if they see relationships so simplistically, so black and white. Emotions are more like blue and orange than black and white. I have found that when someone tells their lover only what they want to hear, when they always put their lover's desires above their own, when they speak in forevers - in words with meanings unfathomable to beings like us, whose civilizations crumble in the time it takes for the universe to half-blink its starry eye - I have found that when someone does these things, their actions make neither person happy in the long run.

I actually much prefer what you describe enjoying in fiction! In real life, I wouldn't want a close friend, and so necessarily not a lover, who agreed with everything I said or did simply because I said or did that thing. What's interesting, though, is that if I were to clone myself and begin a relationship with that new person, even we wouldn't agree on everything. If all I did was agree with myself, then I wouldn't learn much at all. I wouldn't grow as a person. I question, I contemplate, I reflect, I consider different points of view and different filters for the same information, and so on and so on. Neither a person nor a relationship will grow and flourish if they flounder about in stagnant water... a pond may look pretty from afar, but when you dive in and explore it deeper, you're probably going to find muck. But, dive into a pool beneath a waterfall, which is receiving a steady influx of fresh water, and you'll find clarity; you'll be able to see; to swim; to feel comfortable; to enjoy yourself. All that said, I do value sweetness and cooperation in relationships a great deal ^_^

LOL! Sounds like Imoen! I never liked her much anyway; I usually take my time getting to spellhold :p Okay, okay, she isn't all bad, but she never struck a chord with me. Odd, since in reality I'm very close to both of my sisters and if one of them were taken by Irenicus the force behind my drive to save them would cause the stars themselves to tremble. I don't necessarily play "evil", but in actual D&D I tend to play slightly-insane characters. For some reason my personality fits with crazy old wizards. In any case, it's more like my main character finds the rest of them to be very amusing specimen for study - especially Tiax - but if they crossed his moral event horizon, they would know about it and he would stop them.

I adore Edwin xD I've never done his romance though! I imagine it's quite fun :D I went through a drow-obsessed phase too after reading around twenty R.A. Salvatore novels as a young teen/preteen. I was also a silly child. But, my literary tastes branched off from there to many other authors. (I started reading your book recently, actually, and I find it to be very interesting!)

I've been super busy lately, but if I get farther into my most recent BG playthrough, I'll be sure to drop in and let you know how it goes! :D
reply
Echo
25-01-2015
Fitting name you picked there to sign this comment with, I have to say :D

And yea, I sure still believe that love and romance have their values. And I can still enjoy them, but I just can’t enjoy things so simple and sweet anymore. Which is a shame, since I remember how much I used to love them and how much joy I got from them :)

I think that nowadays I put more value and feel more emotional attachment towards the relationships more complicated, that went through some disagreements and issues. And yet persevered. When two characters (because I’m talking fiction, I’m pretty sure in real life the sweeter the better :D) have different personalities, opinions, sensitivities, but love each other enough to fight through them, it means more than if they must both be sweet and same, when they have to do exactly what the other side expects them to, and behave in the expected way or it’s over. That’s no love. That’s even no real infatuation, is it?

I’ve played through Aerie romance and I remember liking it a lot, but I think today I’d rather just strangle her. But it still pales in comparison to perhaps the most pointless romance in Baldur’s Gate I’ve ever had installed – and that was Imoen. I remember it ending, after everything they’ve been through – yea, Gorion, Sarevok, whole BG1, Irenicus, then Spellhold, and get that: it ended because I picked some silly response in dialogue. It was something about ants. And Imoen be basically like, “wow, you’re crazy, I want none of this!” And goes away :D

I could never play with a whole evil party. I had Edwin with me (because his BG2 romance is just SO FUNNEH! And yea, you can say what you want and don’t have to be sickeningly sweet :) ), and I had Viconia before (because I used to be obsessed with Drows. Post-Drizzt syndrome haha. Oh, I was a silly child). But even Branwen with her neutral character ruffles my jiffies, so them evils are a no-go I fear.

Feel free to drop by when you’ve seen how Shar-teel goes and tell me about it. I’m curious :)
reply
LonelyPhilosopher
24-01-2015
My answer would be: you have more experience. Which I suppose means my answer is "old", but I would rather avoid the word; one can easily grow old without experiencing much of anything, and one can similarly experience much of the world without growing old. Perhaps an analogy: supernatural explanations of natural events might seem beautiful to one lacking a scientific philosophy, but this "beauty" easily becomes transient as you look beyond fantastical conjectures into deeper realities. As you realize that stars are not holes poked into a large black cloth, but rather massive balls of plasma recycling the cosmos in their violent throes of death. That you can look toward the sky and bear witness to the lives and deaths of millions of these cosmic travelers painted into temporary stasis on an atmospheric canvas. Instead of walking upon "earth", we walk upon a vibrating miasma of atoms; the shattered articulations of once-apotheosized orbs. That when we rest our hand upon a tree, we can feel the hum of a thousand tiny atomic universes beneath our finger tips.

As you realize that you don't need the "fluff" - the fantastical conjectures - you can look deeper into what is really there. Requiring the promise of an eternal bond before making love swiftly begins to look pallid in front of a more real, more experienced, promise. (Even in the realm of elves "eternity" is more than any reasonable mind would, or indeed could, promise in good faith). But, romance hasn't died; beauty hasn't faded; you've simply removed the mask it once wore for you. This isn't to say that the new view you have is any less transient given more experience and more data, but I personally find romance and relationships to transcend their past limitations when the absurd altruism, hollow oaths and sycophancy fall away.

On that note, I've also found myself recently having a distaste for romances in most video games, and while I have very fond memories of Aerie from when I first played the BG series, were I to play again I might find her idea of love to be... repellent. My most recent playthrough of Baldur's Gate consisted of Xzar (Monty met a most foul end "accidentally"), Quayle, Edwin, Tiax, and Shar-Teel. I'm playing with the BG1 NPC Project (which is FANTASTIC), but I haven't gotten far enough yet to experience much of Shar-Teel's dialogue or romance. While I'm not sure I would date anyone quite like Shar-Teel in reality, her character seems more "appealing" to me as a companion than someone like Aerie now. At the very least, you aren't alone in that perceptual shift ;)
reply