Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
|Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast|
|Publisher(s)||Black Isle Studios
|Distributor(s)||Wizards of the Coast|
|Release date(s)||April 30, 1999|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast is a role-playing video game in a high fantasy setting, developed by BioWare and published by Interplay in April 1999. Released as an expansion pack for the award winning Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast adds from 20 to 30 extra hours of gameplay to the original game. In addition, without directly impacting the main storyline, the expansion adds four new areas.
The gameplay of Tales of the Sword Coast remains fundamentally unchanged from that of Baldur's Gate. The game mechanics are the same, and the new game areas of the expansion are placed in the same world map as the original game. Only minor tweaks are present in the game, with the experience point cap being raised to 161,000, to allow the player to reach higher levels. The interface features a number of improvements, allowing for automatic stacking of identical items and the display of unidentified magical items with a blue tint. The abilities of the thief class are toned down. If the original game had already been finished, the expansion features of the option of loading a save game which places the player character (and party) in Ulgoth's Beard, a hub city for the expansion.
The new areas added to the Baldur's Gate game map include the small town Ulgoth's Beard, the Isle of Ice, and the ruins of Durlag's Tower. These areas provide additional side quests and exploration within the main story line. If installed during an ongoing Baldur's Gate game, Tales of the Sword Coast will seamlessly blend into the main story line.
Ulgoth's Beard is a small town with great adventuring possibilities. Outside the inn of Ulgoth's Beard stands a mage called Shandalar. Shandalar forciblly teleports the party to a desolate Ice Island, ordering the player to retrieve his cloak for him at the island. Player is forced to fight off other, already insane prisoners of the Island Dungeon in order to escape it.
At the docks of Ulgoth's Beard, the party encounters Mendas, who asks the party to accompany him in traveling the Trackless Sea. The ship is wrecked on a mysterious island, which player is set out to escape. There are people on the island who are suffering from the werewolf attacks. The player helps them defeat what turns out to be wolfwere, only to discover that the people they were helping were in fact werewolves. The player then fights through the island's Werewolf population, including the greatest of Werewolves, Loup Garou. Upon the return to Ulgoth's Beard, it is revealed that the men who sent player on journey are Loup Garou too, and they are about to avenge their brethren.
In the inn of Ulgoth's Beard, the dwarf Hurgan Stoneblade approaches the party, asking the player to find the Soultaker dagger at the bottom of the dungeons of Durlag's Tower. Several other characters implore the player to visit Durlag's Tower, including a mother looking for her missing son, and Ike who offers a guided tour of the dungeon complex. The Durlag's Tower proves to be a dangerous place full of traps, monsters and loot. There, the party has to defeat a powerful Demon Knight in order to complete the tasks.
The final task in the Ulgoth's Beard is to stop a cult that recaptured Soultaker dagger from summoning a demon from the Abyss. Arriving in the cult's hideout, the player party is, however, too late, and the only option left is to destroy already summoned demon, Aec' Letec.
Release and reception
Tales of the Sword Coast was released by Bioware, Black Isle Studios, and TSR in mid-1999. The expansion was critically well received. In the review from GameSpot, the game was found to feature "some occasionally frustrating battles, adds only minor gameplay enhancements, and takes a few additional liberties with AD&D rules," but the new areas and game content were found to be well-designed and interesting. Computer Games Magazine called it "a solid add-on to an excellent title", but complained that glitches occasionally caused the game to crash. Moby Games lists blurbs from a number of reviews, whose assessing of Tales of the Sword Coast ranges from 71 to 90 out of 100.
- "Fate of Civilization at State". Herald News (Joliet, Illinois). July 11, 1999. Retrieved November 14, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Oppegaard, Brett (September 26, 1999). "Baldur's Gate Gets Even Better". The Columbian (Vancouver, Washington). Retrieved November 14, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Desslock, Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, GameSpot, June 9, 1999.
- Walker, Mike (June 18, 1999). "Khalid and Jaheira's Excellent Adventure Part II". Computer Games Magazine. Archived from the original on December 23, 2002. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
- Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast at MobyGames
- Rausch, Allen (2004-08-18). "A History of D&D Video Games - Part IV". Game Spy. Retrieved November 17, 2012.