Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter

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Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter
Icewind dale heart of winter box shot.jpg
Developer(s) Black Isle Studios
Publisher(s) Interplay Entertainment
Distributor(s) Wizards of the Coast
Series Icewind Dale
Engine Infinity Engine
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) 2001
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Distribution 1 CD-ROM, download

Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter is an official expansion pack to the role-playing video game Icewind Dale developed by Black Isle Studios. It introduced many changes and additions to the original game, and included an all-new campaign. A downloadable expansion pack to this add-on, titled Trials of the Luremaster, was released for free.

Features[edit]

Some notable changes include a much higher experience point cap, new magical items and spells, a special "Heart of Fury" difficulty setting for increased enemy power and higher experience point-gain, and a maximum resolution of 800x600.[1][2] The game is still based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition ruleset.

In order to access the new campaign, the player must either enter a previously locked door in the town of Kuldahar while possessing a party of characters level 9 or above or import the party after completing the main campaign, when the party is exported.

Plot[edit]

The player's characters are greeted by a barbarian shaman, Hjollder, who reveals that he has visions of a great conflict and that the party is the key to stopping it. The party journeys to Lonelywood, where they discover that a great barbarian force is gathering nearby, threatening to destroy the Ten Towns. The force is led by Wylfdene, a great barbarian warlord who is the reincarnation of the dead queen Icasaracht and is now eager to strike the Ten Towns in the name of Tempos.[1]

The party journeys to the camp and meets Wylfdene himself, the back-from-the-dead barbarian chief. Hjollder believes that something is wrong with him, and is exiled from the barbarian camp. The party finds exiled Hjollder in the barbarian burial grounds, plagued by undead and spirits. The party journeys to the Gloomfrost, where they find the Seer, an old woman with vast mystical powers. She reveals that it is the soul of great white wyrm, Icasaracht, who inhabits the body of Wylfdene and seeks to wage war.

After settling all their business in Lonelywood, the party returns to the barbarian camp, where the Seer herself approaches Wylfdene. She is killed by him, but is successful with exorcising the dragon spirit from his body. The last task of the player's party is to journey to the Sea of Moving Ice where Icasaracht's Citadel is located. There, they battle through her minions (including barbarians, trolls, sahuagins) and ultimately find the White Dragon Icasaracht herself. They kill her, but in order to destroy her soul, they also shattered the Soul Stone of Icasaracht, the very one that she intended to use to be immortal.

Trials of the Luremaster[edit]

Features[edit]

Trials of the Luremaster is a free, downloadable expansion pack to Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter. It was released by Black Isle Studios due to criticism that, on its own, Heart of Winter was too short. It contains a large dungeon-like location with several new areas to explore, and a handful of new enemies to combat and items to find. It also acts as the game's final patch, fixing a number of bugs and bringing the game's version number up to v1.42.

Plot[edit]

The player meets a mysterious halfling, Hobart Stubbletoes, who introduces himself in the Whistling Gallows Inn in Lonelywood. He seeks a party of stalwart heroes for a quest to a place of great wonder, with treasures beyond the imagination. Should the party accept, they will be transported to a new place, far from the icy terrain of the Dalelands, finding themselves within the walls of a ruined castle in an unfamiliar land, the Anauroch desert. The Castle itself is a place where a mad spirit of a bard named Luremaster is constantly challenging adventurers with many traps and monsters. The only way out of the place is to defeat all monsters, avoid traps, find good loot if possible, and defeat the Luremaster.

Reception[edit]

Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter received fairly positive reviews,[3] with multiple reviewers complimenting its new features and areas.[1][4][5] According to GameSpy, the writer suggests that "when the entire Icewind Dale saga is available at bargain prices, this expansion marks a fun portion of the entire game".[6]

Chris Glassel of the Dallas Morning News and Greg Kasavin of Computer Shopper magazine criticized the game for the length of its campaign, which was much shorter than the original.[2][4] Chris Chan of the New Strait Times called out a number of minor technical glitches, such as pathfinding problems and the occasional system lock up.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Chan, Chris (March 19, 2001). "Battle against blood-thirst barbarians and deadly giants". New Straits Times. Retrieved December 10, 2012.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Kasavin, Greg (June 1, 2001). "Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter: The Icemen Cometh Again". Computer Shopper. Retrieved December 10, 2012.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter". 
  4. ^ a b Glassel, Chris (April 3, 2001). "Electronic adventures: Video and computer game reviews". Dallas Morning News (Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service). Retrieved December 10, 2012.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  5. ^ Cappellini, Matt (May 31, 2001). "Sequel pumps up 'Icewind Dale'". The Herald-News (Joliet, Illinois). Retrieved December 10, 2012.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  6. ^ Rausch, Allen (2004-08-19). "A History of D&D Video Games - Part V". GameSpy. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]