I've made comments about the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate, stating it should have been entitled the "Enhanced" Edition. I'm not going to discuss what's wrong with the Enhanced Edition, nor will I provide a review. What I want to do is put forth a better use of the $20 that might have been spent on the Enhanced Edition.
Instead of buying BG:EE, get the D&D Anthology: The Master Collection. It's $20 bucks for the digital copies on Gamestopís website (Here: http://www.impulsedriven.com/products/ESD-IMP-W2574) and includes Baldurís Gate, Baldurís Gate Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldurís Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Baldurís Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Icewind Dale: Trials of Luremaster, Icewind Dale II, Planescape: Torment, and The Temple of Elemental Evil. Special thanks to Shawn Spear for pointing this out.
While the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate features new content -- only six hours worth, ontop of the original 30+ hour game -- you'll be able to get the other enhancements and fixes to the Anthology edition simply through use of mods like Tutu, Co8, and Gibberlings and you'll have hundreds of hours of other Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games to play. Youíll find it's a bigger bang for your buck and super easy to do!
In this first post, I'm going to cover how to install the modifications for the first Baldur's Gate and what suggested tweaks to install along with EasyTutu. This information is available elsewhere, but it takes a bit of searching and some of it is outdated or just plain wrong, so I thought Iíd just make it easier on those wishing to do it.
1) First Steps Make your purchase and download Baldurís Gate Complete and Baldurís Gate 2 Complete. Let both of the games install. Youíll then want to make sure they are patched to their latest versions. Baldurís Gate will be fully patched right out of the gate, but youíll need to get the patch for Baldurís Gate 2 from Sorcererís Net http://usoutpost31.com/easytutu/EasyTutu_ToB.zip. You have the expansion for Baldurís Gate 2, so download the Official Throne of Bhaal patch and install it.
Once youíve downloaded EasyTutu, create a new empty folder on your master drive called BG1Tutu (C:\BG1Tutu). Now, run the EasyTutu program. Youíll see that it asks for the location of your Baldurís Gate installation (C:\Program Files\Baldur's Gate) as well as for your installation location of Baldurís Gate 2 (C:\Program Files\Baldur's Gate II -- make sure it's the one with all the files and not the nearly empty SoA folder). When youíre sure youíve got the correct locations, click the start button.
After itís finished, youíll want to start the Degreenifier (http://usoutpost31.com/easytutu/EasyTutuDegreenifier-v4.exe) and install it before moving on. EasyTutu, for whatever reason, changes water to a sewage green colour if the 3D Acceleration is used. You can skip this step by simply not using 3D Acceleration (which is what I do). Please note that if youíre gonna do it, do it now. You canít install it after the next step. So be warned.
3) Modifications & Enhancements Our next step is installing all of those wonderful fixes and tweaks. Head over to Gibberlings and grab the Baldurís Gate II Tweaks http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2tweaks/index.php. Donít let the name fool you, itíll work on the first Baldurís Gate with EasyTutu. Drop the program into the EasyTutu directory we created earlier (C:\BG1Tutu), and fire it up.
Below Iíve included a quick reference guide as to what tweaks I would suggest that you install. These are my opinion only, so if you have any questions look at the included readme file. (Skip this list for the next step for wide screen modification).
Cosmetic Changes Remove Helmet Animations -- Do Not Install. The helms arenít that bad.
Imoen Avatar Change -- For BG2, suggested.
Nalia Avatar Change -- For BG2, suggested.
Viconia Skin Color Change -- Suggested.
Avatar Morphing Script -- Suggested.
Weapon Animation Tweaks -- Suggested.
Icewind Dale Casting Graphics (Andyr) -- Suggested.
Restore SoA Load Screen Logo -- For BG2, suggested.
Disable Portrait Icons Added by Equipped Items -- Not suggested.
Commoners Use Drab Colors -- Suggested.
Icon Improvements -- Suggested.
Change Avatar When Wearing Robes or Armor (Galactygon) -- Suggested.
Force All Dialogue to Pause -- Suggested.
Fix Boo's Squeak -- Not suggested. The original sound is a classic.
Content Tweaks More Interjections -- Suggested.
Alter HP Triggers for NPC Wounded Dialogues -- For BG2, suggested.
Reveal Wilderness Areas Before Chapter Six -- Not suggested.
Make Cloakwood Areas Available Before Completing the Bandit Camp -- Not suggested.
Improved Athkatlan City Guard (Andyr) -- For BG2, suggested.
Gradual Drow Item Disintegration -- For BG2, not suggested.
Breakable Nonmagical Armor, Helms, and Shields -- Not suggested.
Improved Kick-out Dialogues (Weimer) -- For multiplayer, suggested.
Add Bags of Holding -- Suggested.
Exotic Items Pack -- Suggested.
Reveal City Maps -- Highly suggested, makes navigation easier.
Add Map Notes -- Suggested.
Stores Sell Larger Stacks of Items -- Suggested, unless you like managing dart/arrow use.
Reputation Resets at Beginning of BG2 -- Does not apply to EasyTutu
Gems and Potions Require Identification -- Not suggested, unless you want more difficulty.
Shapeshifter Rebalancing (Weimer) -- Not suggested.
Multiple Strongholds (Sabre, Baldurdash, Weimer) -- For BG2, not suggested.
Bonus Merchants (Baldurdash, Weimer) -- For BG2, suggested.
Female Edwina (Davide Carte, Wendy Yung, Weimer) -- For BG2, not suggested.
Imoen ToB Dialogue Fix (JCompton) -- For BG2, suggested.
Romance Bug Fixes (Sabre, Richardson) -- For BG2, suggested.
Use BG Walking Speeds (BETA) -- For BG2, DO NOT use.
Allow Cromwell to Upgrade Watcher's Keep Items -- For BG2, Not Suggested.
Rule Changes Two-Handed Bastard Swords -- Not suggested.
Two-Handed Katanas -- Not suggested.
Universal Clubs -- Not suggested.
Description Updates for Universal Clubs Component -- Not suggested.
Weapon Styles for All -- Not suggested.
Delay High Level Abilities -- For BG2, not suggested.
Change Experience Point Cap -- Suggested. Remove the EXP cap.
Allow Stealth and Thieving Abilities in Heavy Armor per P&P -- Suggested.
Descriptions Updates for Stealth and Thieving Abilities in Heavy Armor Component -- Suggested.
Allow Arcane Spellcasting in Armor -- Suggested.
Descriptions Updates for Allow Arcane Spellcasting in Armor Component -- Suggested.
Expanded Dual-Class Options -- Not suggested.
Wear Multiple Protection Items -- Suggest, select P&P style.
Alter Weapon Proficiency System -- Not suggested.
Cast Spells from Scrolls (and Other Items) at Character Level -- Not suggested. Itís a nerf in BG and a cheat in BG2.
Shopkeepers Have Limited Identification Ability -- Not suggested.
Multi-Class Grand Mastery (Weimer) -- Not suggested.
True Grand Mastery (Schumacher, Weimer) -- Suggested.
Change Magically Created Weapons to Zero Weight -- Suggested.
Make +x/+y Weapons Consistent -- Suggested.
Description Updates for Make +x/+y Weapons Consistent Component -- Suggested.
Un-Nerfed THAC0 Table -- Not suggested (cheat).
Un-Nerfed Sorcerer Spell Progression Table -- Not suggested.
Alter Mage Spell Progression Table -- Not suggested.
Alter Bard Spell Progression Table -- Not suggested.
Alter Cleric Spell Progression Table -- Not suggested.
Alter Druid Spell and Level Progression Tables -- Not suggested.
Triple-Class HLA Tables -- Not suggested.
Add Save Penalties for Spells Cast by High-Level Casters -- Do Not Use.
Trap Cap Removal (Ardanis/GeN1e) -- Not suggested.
Remove Delay for Magical Traps (Ardanis/GeN1e) -- Suggested.
Remove Summoning Cap for Celestials (Ardanis/GeN1e) -- Not suggested.
Convenience Tweaks and/or Cheats Higher HP on Level Up -- Suggested, Max.
Maximum HP Creatures (the bigg) -- Suggested, Max.
Identify All Items -- Not suggested (Cheat)
Easy Spell Learning -- Suggested, but not required.
Bottomless Bags of Holding -- Not suggested (lag issues)
Remove Fatigue from Restoration Spells -- Not suggested
Shut Up "You Must Gather Your Party ..." (Weimer) -- Either way, it doesnít bother me.
Change Effect of Reputation on Store Prices -- Not suggested.
Unlimited Ammo Stacks -- Not suggested.
Unlimited Jewelry and Gem Stacks -- Not suggested.
Unlimited Potion Stacks -- Not suggested.
Unlimited Scroll Stacks -- Not Suggested.
Happy Patch -- Read carefully: Select the option that says NPCs ďget angry, but never leaveĒ ...or... simply do not install it, but be aware that party members may leave if you offend them by reputation (eg, too high for evil characters, too low for good)
NPCs Donít Fight -- Either way. If they get angry enough theyíll try to kill each other which can be entertaining for frustrating. Your call.
Neutral Characters Make Happy Comments at Mid-Range Reputation (Luiz) -- Suggested
No Traps or Locks (Weimer) -- Not suggested.
Faster Chapter 1&2 Cut-Scenes & Dreams (Karzak, Blucher, aVENGER, Weimer) -- For BG2 Not suggested
Invisible Cloak of Mirroring / Spell Trap (Weimer) -- For BG2, suggested.
Keep Drizzt's Loot, Disable Malchor Harpell (Weimer) -- For BG2, your choice.
No Drow Avatars on Party In Underdark (Weimer) -- For BG2, suggested.
Romance Cheats (Sabre, Richardson, Weimer) -- For BG2, not suggested.
Rest Anywhere (Japheth, Weimer) -- Not suggested.
Sellable Items (Icelus) -- Suggested.
Minimum Stats Cheat -- Not suggested.
Joinable NPC Tweaks Adjust Evil Joinable NPC Reactions -- Suggested
Improved Fate Spirit Summoning -- Suggested
ToB-Style NPCs -- Suggested.
Consistent Stats: Edwin -- Suggested, select BG2 stats.
Consistent Stats: Jaheira -- Suggested, select BG2 stats.
Change Jaheira to Neutral Good Alignment -- Suggested.
Consistent Stats: Minsc -- Suggested, select BG2 stats.
Consistent Stats: Viconia -- Suggested, select BG2 stats.
Make Khalid a Fighter-Mage (Domi) -- No.
Make Montaron an Assassin (Andyr) -- No.
Change Korgan to Neutral Evil Alignment -- Suggested.
Give Kagain A Legal Constitution Score of 19 -- Suggested.
4) Almost finished: Widescreen Mod Next you may want to install the Widescreen Mod. Youíll want to head back over to Gibberlings and click the download link for the file http://www.gibberlings3.net/widescreen/. Itís extremely easy as itís self-extracting. Simply follow the onscreen directions, remembering to use the C:\BG1Tutu location.
Here are some quick references for the X/Y from gog.com:
- CRT monitors (X/Y): 800/600, 1024/768, 1280/960, 1280/1024
- Widescreen monitors (X/Y): 1280/800, 1440/900, 1680/1050, 1920/1200
5) Increase the Font Size With higher resolutions comes the problem of reading the font. I have perfect vision, yet it can strain the eyes after a few hours of play. The fix for this is the Increased font mod. Download this file BG2-Bigger-Fonts.rar http://www.shsforums.net/index.php?app=core&module=attach§ion=attach&attach_id=23681 and extract it to your C:\BG1Tutu location. Follow the onscreen directions and youíre ready to roll. To play the game, simply run the baldur.exe in your BG1Tutu location and enjoy.
If you have any questions please, ask below. Iím going go over the modifications for the the other titles included in the Master Collection. Next up will be Baldur's Gate II.