Writer – Jim Zub
Art – Max Dunbar
Letters – Neil Uyetake
Colors – John-Paul Bove
Edits – John Barber
know I didn't buy it until after the sequel was out. And by that I don't mean
"Tales of the Sword Coast" expansion, either. I mean the actual real
deal with the Roman numeral after its title and everything.
yeah. I was an extreme latecomer to the game.
by "game" I mean Baldur's Gate, BioWare and Black Isle Studio's
darling. A top-down isometric role-playing puzzle and fighting game that became
40+ hours of my life (and I would gladly give it 40 more if the thrills were
the same). It was AD&D without the hassle of inviting people over or
cleaning up afterwards.
was fun. Immense fun.
was amazing. The game used a newly developed software called the Infinity
Engine to conduct battles. Fights took place in real time, with the player
being allowed to pause them at any moment and issue orders to individual party
members. Spell casting, ranged weapons, hand-to-hand melee…everything true to
the AD&D 2nd edition rule set running under an understandable
interface that made gameplay fantastically enjoyable.
since BioWare was the developer, the storyline of the game was hugely
involving. Set in TSR's Forgotten Realms campaign world, you traveled up and
down the Sword Coast around Baldur's gate, discovering the source of magic that
is making iron rot. In pursuing the solution to this Iron Crisis, you meet up
with up to 25 non-player characters from whom you can choose five to accompany
all those companions, none will catch your attention more than Minsc. Vaguely
Russian and obviously off his rocker, you meet Minsc early in Baldur's Gate.
He's a decent level Ranger who provides good muscle, a healthy tank for close
up fighting, handy with arrows as a ranged weapon, and LOTS of humorous
a 2001 interview, BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka stated that among the titles
the company had completed, Minsc was his favorite character.
sure you'll agree with him shortly.
you see, Legends of Baldur's Gate stars Minsc as it kicks off a new series of
adventures along the environs of the Sword Coast. And it all begins like this…
the better part of town, a young lady is being pursued by two demonish gargoyles.
We are just introduced to her, so what they seek from the girl is unknown.
a few moments of struggle in their first encounter, we note a few things. Firstly
that the girl is actually not human, but is instead a moon-elf. Next, she has
spunk and cunning, using her wits to get out of her pack and avoid being
captured. Third, the creatures do intend to capture her, as they appear more
interested in carrying her off than in slaying her on the spot. And lastly that
these are true gargoyles whose stone-like skin aren't easily penetrated.
also see that the book is fine with throwing levity our way, even in the middle
of the deadliest of confrontations. Good, because that is the only real way to
write a book with Minsc in it.
for Delina she happens upon two members of the Watch, the guards who patrol
Baldur's Gate's streets at night. Luckily for Delina…
not so luckily for the members of the Watch.
flight backs her into the tents of the town market, located in the middle of an
immense square several blocks wide. And at the center of that square is a
statue of Minsc, the hero of Baldur's Gate.
statue soon to be covered in the blood of innocent merchants, by the looks of
times call for desperate measures, so Delina falls back on her weapon of last
restort: wild magic. She looses her spell only to have it curve back on her and
hit the statue of Minsc.
this is where the fun REALLY starts!
bit of wild magic…
the statue to life.
with Boo! (Go for the eyes!)
Minsc gets better as a comic character than as a game NPC. Check this out:
a cry of "Evils prepare for the Losing!" Minsc is off like a shot,
swinging his sword (and missing), but still showing the amazing durability we all
loved him for in the game. He apparently doesn't realize that isn't Neera
behind him or else he wouldn't have so casually handed off Boo to just any old
like the "tank" we remember him as in Baldur's Gate the game, Minsc
wades right in and handles all the damage meted out. Of course it's only their
turn in the round because when Minsc gets his…
none to go!
their troubles don't end with evil stone demons this night. The Watch appears
and mistakes the blood on Delina's outfit from the guards as her doing. Minsc
is no help, but very entertaining as his dizzying perspective on all this is
is forced to Color Spray the guards and make off with Minsc, who has mistaken her
for Neera from the game.
like this one prove how well they've captured the goofy goodness of Minsc from
the game. He's the same addled person you would quest all over with for hours
on end while he threw out humorous quips. He is also the PERFECT character to
use in this storyline.
speaking of that, what IS this storyline, anyway?
A missing person's case. Those can be fun. Especially with the buddy cop
pairing we have in these two as our main characters. The only thing is, they
can't find Delina's brother from the inside of a Baldur's Gate jail cell. And
since they've lead themselves down this dead-end alleyway, it appears that's
only someone would rescue them…
The Calvary arrives in the form of these hooded guys who backstab the guards
from the shadows with their small daggers and short swords doing quadruple
damage and ….waaaaait just a minute. Those guys are…
that is where we leave off at the end of issue one. It is brief, but oh so
worth the admission price.
I want more. More of the story. More of that good old-school gameplay. More
AD&D. More Minsc.
I'm getting my copy too.