25 Years of Baldur’s Gate

Baldur’s Gate was first released 25 years ago today, on 21st December 1998.

In the summer of 1999, it was a Saturday and I was incredibly bored out of my mind. I had some money saved up and having absolutely nothing else to do, I decided that I should go buy a new game for my computer. I took out my stacks of collected game magazines to flip through them for any highly rated games that I had not really paid attention to before. (We did not have internet yet back then.) And one game that stood out for having extremely high ratings in several magazines was Baldur’s Gate, which had come out half a year earlier. It was a fantasy game, and I didn’t play any fantasy games, and it was in the RPG section, and I’ve never actually read any of the articles in the RPG sections. Strategy, Action, Adventures, and Space Sims were the whole game world for me. But Baldur’s Gate was at the top of any recent release rankings and so I did give the reviews a read. I didn’t really understand what kind of game to expect from that, but the reviews were nothing but high praise. And I really was just looking for something to waste some money on and play for a week or so.

So I hopped on my bike right there and then to ride downtown and see of any of the stores had Baldur’s Gate. Grabbed it, got back home, and played it all weekend. At that point, I had read The Lord of the Rings once because it looked interesting on my parent’s bookshelves, and thought it was quite neat, but didn’t think anything more about it. Other than that, all my experience with fantasy had been children’s books and fairy tales, which our parents had read to us a lot. Somehow fantasy had been something that I knew existed but really didn’t care about the least bit. But Baldur’s Gate had me hooked immediately. It got me into playing a lot more fantasy games after that, and got me into picking up Dungeons & Dragons when the 3rd edition came out the next year. All my hobbies and all my creative work for the last 23 years arr because I was really bored that day and desperate for about anything that could keep me entertained for a few hours hopefully.

Since I have the rest of the year off from work, this is now a great time to attempt my probably tenth complete playthrough of the game.

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