It is no secret that Baldur’s Gate and its sequel might be one of the greatest adaptations of DnD to the world of video games of all time, (barring Planescape: Torment). I grew up playing the shit out of it and loving it to bits. The Forgotten Realms have never seemed so wonderous or exciting as they did in Black Isle/Bioware’s game. In many ways, for good or for ill, it left its mark on the world of western rpgs and even today its legacy lives on in the form of Pillars of Eternity, a game I should probably play. The promise of a new expansion (after 17 years?!?) should fill one with joy. Unfortunately, even the Forgotten Realms have now become a battlefield in the Culture War ™, the never ending quest to shove sick and delusional progressivist/feminist message fiction down everyone’s throat until they puke rainbows and shit diversity.
This shit is getting tiresome. Is there no IP left fallow? Anyway, it is time to half-heartedly do the obligatory virtue-signal song and dance routine before we continue.
Blah blah blah Don’t have a problem with LGBTWSPQA blah blah blah shitting on a legacy blah blah just want to play Baldurs Gate blah blah don’t care blah blah fuck you disgusting soc jus losers blah blah.
The company Beamdog had one goal, to re-master BG and make an expansion that was pleasing and in the spirit of the original if it wanted to appeal to the fans of the original game, and in the process, make money. Unfortunately, Beamdog also mistakenly thought it had a second goal, which was to educate us about our biases and virtue signal to progressive game outlets, who by sheer coincidence happen to be alienating a large part of their audience with their constant culture war gibberish. The end result is one of the lead writers of the new Siege of Dragonspear expansion doing the historical revisionist jingo, leading to a shitstorm of epic proportions.
The crossed wires result in seemingly contradictory statements. Where first we get to read shit like this and feel a small measure of confidence and elation at a new Baldur’s Gate:
The goal was to make it all feel seamless, as though this expansion was dug up from a tomb of video game relics dating back all the way to the ancient 1990s. The writing style, the tone, the voice acting—everything had to be on point. That’s where spending years remaking the original games paid dividends. They even got people like Jennifer Hale and Jim Cummings to reprise roles they feared they’d forgotten.
See? A measure of veneration is neccesary when making a belated sequel to an original much beloved franchise. This is an entirely appropriate attitude. Getting the original voice actors is a great move. And then we are hit by the ice-cold bucket of diahrea. Oh dears.
“If there was something for the original Baldur’s Gate that just doesn’t mesh for modern day gamers like the sexism, [we tried to address that],” said writer Amber Scott. “In the original there’s a lot of jokes at women’s expense. Or if not a lot, there’s a couple, like Safana was just a sex object in BG 1, and Jaheira was the nagging wife and that was played for comedy. We were able to say, ‘No, that’s not really the kind of story we want to make.’ In Siege of Dragonspear, Safana gets her own little storyline, she got a way better personality upgrade. If people don’t like that, then too bad.”
“I got to write a little tender, romance-y side quest for Khalid and Jaheira where you could learn a little bit about how their marriage works and how they really feel about each other.”
There’s also four new companions, one of whom is gay, one of whom is bisexual. There’s even a monster companion, a throwback to a Baldur’s Gate II easter egg. But it’s not just about representation for representation’s sake. Beamdog wanted to give players options.
You will note the ‘modern day gamers’ remark, which implies that most modern day audiences would in fact be put off by this crass and outrageous sexism that must have slipped under the radar when we were young. Little did we know our beloved games were cobbled together by vile misogynist pigs. Fortunately, with the appointment of the new Gender-Commisar, history may be rewritten so we have always been at war with Oceania.
The jaheira and khalid side-quest shit, other then seeming tiresome and trite, strikes me as entirely unnecessary.If we had actually played the original game through a non creepo-feminist loon lens, we would have seen the tragic death of Khalid at the beginning of BG 2 and the griefstruck Jaheera, telling us all we really needed to know. That Jaheera would eventually, through a personal quest and numerous multiple choice dialogue options, manage to cope with the loss of her husband and fall to the sweet hoots and growls of my 14-year old alter ego Arthari Ghastkill, Human Paladin (stats Str 18/98 Dex 19 Con 18 Int 4 Wis 16 Cha 18) was nothing less then fitting.
As is only predictable, the talentless harpy who could not resist besmirching the men that raised the titanic bulwarks upon which she seeks to perch a lice-ridden tent and call it a fortress grotesquely overstretched, going so far as to co-opt beloved brain-damaged warrior and fanatical cricetaphile Minsk to take an ill-conceived stab at the
members of the target audience mysoginist hordes of Gamergate (or so the fucking reviews say, I will not be finding out since I will not be playing this). All of which, would probably have been forgiven, had the game been the best Baldur’s Gate ever. It was not.
What always strikes me as amusing is that the first impulse of the progressive is to consider its beliefs the norm, therefore any resistance to its co-option of a medium to spread its belief, which to it is more beautiful then the finest art, can only be an act of pure and unadulterated evil and hatred. In reality the breakdown is probably very simple.
1% SOC JUS LOONS. MOAR DIVERSITY
2-10% ANTI-SOC JUS. FUCK OFF SOC JUS
89-97% FUCK YOU I WANT TO PLAY A FUCKING GAME
And say it ain’t so. People play games for entertainment. Elfgames are elfgames, and the only quality of merit is their elfgameness. I don’t care if your elfgame promotes same-sex marriage, nazism, pedophilia, zoroastranism, phrenology, tantric sex, 127 genders, figure-skating or Nascar racing, as long as it is a good game, that is all that matters. If a game is diverse or inclusive is less important to me then an index, good art, or spelling. No one cares.
The rest, as they say, is the sound of reality happening (note that reality might have unhappened as I have heard some reports of negative reviews being deleted. Good luck with that guys, maybe make a better game next time?). Alienating an audience that has already tasted the bitter fruits of the Progressive Fruit Tree (hah hah I said fruit) is not a sound buisness decision and will likely seriously hurt the chances of a BG III ever happening. A shame? Perhaps, but I would not be alone in saying that I would prefer a nonexistant BG III over a terrible BG III.
Some voices will cry that the negative reviews are nothing but a fake backlash from trolls, but in the end, this does not matter even if this was accurate and there were no other complaints about bugs, nonfunctioning multiplayer or atrocious writing. The entire review system has been made murky and unreliable, aggrevated by a clarion call for positive reviews by Beamdog’s CEO on the game forums:
Hi everyone. I usually spend most of my time lurking here, but I’d like to ask a favour. It appears that having a transgendered cleric and a joke line by Minsc has greatly offended the sensibilities of some people. This has spurred these people into action, causing them to decide this is the worst game of all time and give it a zero review score on Steam, GoG and meta critic. Now, I’d like to ask for that favour. If you are playing the game and having a good time, please consider posting a positive review to balance out the loud minority which is currently painting a dark picture for new players.
Does not at all reek of desperation or tinfoil hats.
The unwanted and unasked for inclusion of progressive horseshit in old classics is a strange, 1st world evil, and it needs to stop. Nothing prevents people from creating new IP with a progressive message. If it is good and not ham-fisted, if it is made with entertainment as the highest aspiration and quality as the highest goal, people will buy it. I don’t get the problem. Not everything needs to be progressive, in the same way not everything needs to be stauchly christian or conservative or liberal. The beauty of a free market is that we can have all these things side by side, and to each his own.
Taking an old classic, hollowing it out and using it as a vehicle for ham-fisted marxist propaganda and culture warring is low and crass. And alienation of the target audience is nothing less then the inevitable result.
Baldur’s Gate may become another casualty in the never ending Culture War. These are the tales of such times. Forget the promise of live-and-let-live and openness of mind, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark present there is only war. There is no peace among the elfgames, only an eternity of shitposting and doxing and the laughter of Cultural Karl Marx.