Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Description official descriptions
Some time after the events described in Baldur's Gate, the protagonist and his friends Imoen, Minsc and Jaheira have been captured by an elven mage called Jon Irenicus. His intentions and connection to the heroes unknown, Irenicus conducts experiments on them, holding them in cages somewhere in his vast underground complex. During his absence, the heroes manage to escape, and soon find themselves in the city of Athkatla in the country of Amn, where they confront Irenicus. However, at that moment several wizards arrive and arrest both Irenicus and Imoen for unlicensed use of magic. The first task at hand is to raise the money needed to rescue Imoen, before facing Irenicus again and unraveling his true goals.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is a party-based role-playing game using the AD&D rules. The basic gameplay is similar to that of its predecessor: the player navigates a party of up to six active combatants over isometric environments, conversing with non-playable characters using branching dialogue, and fighting enemies in real-time, free-movement combat that can be paused to issue specific orders to the characters. World traveling now occurs by selecting locations on a map rather than exploring wilderness areas to reach the destination. However, the game world is larger than in the previous game, with more individual locations to visit and side quests to perform.
Being a direct sequel to Baldur's Gate, the game lets the player control stronger, higher-level characters from the onset. The main character can also be imported from the previous installment. Three new classes (sorcerer, monk, and barbarian) are available along with those that were present in the original game. Characters can also acquire specializations within most of the classes: a paladin, for instance, can become a dragon slayer or an inquisitor. Weapon proficiencies are more specific: for example, instead of just specializing in blades, the player can choose between proficiencies in long swords, two-handed swords, bastard swords, katanas and scimitars. There are many new types of weapons, armor, and magic spells in the sequel.
Sixteen characters may join the party during the course of the story. Each of them has his or her own motivations, sometimes conflicting with those of other characters. Scripted events and interaction with playable as well as non-playable characters have been noticeably increased in the sequel. The main character can also romance some of the companions by choosing appropriate behavior and dialogue lines. The game allows the player to make many moral decisions and pursue character-specific side quests unrelated to the main story. Many of the companions bring their own quests, and unique tasks are available for the main character depending on his or her class.
- Baldur's Gate 2: Тени Амна - Russian spelling
- 博德之门2：安姆的阴影 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 柏德之門II安姆疑雲 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- Baldur's Gate series
- Best of Infogrames / Atari releases
- Boss Fight Books games
- Dungeons & Dragons (D&D / AD&D) licensees
- Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Setting: Forgotten Realms
- Fantasy Creatures: Dragons
- Fantasy Creatures: Dwarves
- Fantasy Creatures: Elves
- Fantasy Creatures: Goblins
- Fantasy Creatures: Halflings / Hobbits
- Fantasy Creatures: Orcs
- Game Engine: Infinity Engine
- Gameplay feature: Auto-mapping
- Gameplay feature: Character development - Skill distribution
- Gameplay feature: Dating / Romance
- Gameplay feature: Importable characters
- Gameplay feature: Journal
- Gameplay feature: Paper doll inventory
- Gameplay feature: Pickpocketing
- Games made into books
- Physical Bonus Content: World Map
- White Label releases
Credits (Windows version)
384 People (376 developers, 8 thanks) · View all
|Dedicated to the memory of|
|Director of Writing and Design|
|Scripting and Data Entry|
|Original Baldur's Gate Game Design|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 93% (based on 74 ratings)
Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 282 ratings with 9 reviews)
The game took the elements of the original Baldur's Gate and made them better. The AI was improved so that when one member of your party is going to pick up treasure, other members will move out of his way. The 800x600 graphic size was a welcome improvement (though you can still play 640x480 if you wish). The ability to make notes in the journal was great for tracking important things like a specific place to return when a quest was completed. Also, now your party gets XP for doing things like picking locks and disarming traps. Conversations with NPCs are better done.
What I didn't like was the repetitive music. Don't get me wrong, the music sounds great. It's just that after a while I was sick of hearing it (but I'm always like that). Also it seems that the number of quests gets to be a bit much. Granted doing all these things build experience points but most of them have nothing to do with the main storyline. So at times I would feel like "Ugh! Another tedious quest to do but hey, it will gain me XP and maybe a higher reputation).
The Bottom Line
Basically this game picks up where Baldur's Gate ended and goes from there. There are all kinds of new monsters to challenge your party as you become more powerful. Plenty of new items, spells, etc. in this game. If you like RPG games or D&D, you'll really enjoy BG2.
Windows · by AstroNerdBoy (35) · 2002
Graphics went up to 800x600. Quests were easier to follow and track. You practically start out fighting. Some new character classes and abilities. You got to start out at a higher level, with more abilities to play with. The story was still engrossing, the music was still good, and there are still characters to pick up along the way - each with his/her own goals.
You get to play truly evil parties, and it isn't impossible! In fact, Vicconia actually likes you this way... .
The entire series seems to suffer from ADD (Attention Deficeit Disorder). You simply cannot complete one quest without being offered four or five more along the way.
Another thing this series of games suffers from is mage-overkill. At the end of every quest there's a spell caster with some spell which is going to make your life miserable.
I found the graphics to be distracting. They were sharper and clearer, but something about them just didn't work for me. Maybe it was too many of the same hue.
Magic items seemed to abound in this game. Arguably, that's the way it should be for higher-level games, but other than my party and the people we were trying to kill, everyone was low-level. If Bob the salesman had +4 armor and weapons, why wouldn't he be out adventuring?
The Bottom Line
Overall, it's a good game. It will probably go down as one of the greats, but for me, it was too much. Part of that may be because I played the original, then immediately started playing this one.
Still, it's challenging (in a good way), and the story is really good. Just stay away from some unnecessary side quests and you should be OK.
Windows · by Cyric (50) · 2001
Overall, it was pretty good. The story was interesting (until late in the game), and it wasn't full of annoying characters like KotOR was (except for Imoen). The "epic" nature of the game fit the fantasy setting and was likeable. The writing was well done, and I didn't feel the fourth wall was being broken anywhere. There's nothing to complain about the graphics/sound.
I question some design decisions, though:
- Combat was more about selecting the right equipment and skills and then pressing "play" (except for mages I guess). Meh.
- Though the selection of side quests early on was nice, once you get to chapter 3 or so everything starts getting railroaded. More variety toward the end of the game would have been nice. I no longer felt like I was really exploring, but was instead simply clicking on the next door in order to enter the next area. Another meh.
- There weren't a lot of dialogue options. You could be really good or totally evil. No gray area. Especially in the late game. The Hell trials were silly. Third meh.
- The dialogue options that were there were repetitive and mostly lead to the same conclusion. Shudder.
- The Elven city was lame. A small map with a few buildings. The monsters made for a fun battle, but there was nothing besides that. Yuck.
- I thought the battles were too repetitive. Mostly foot soldiers. Wack and repeat. I didn't encounter a lot of difficulty except in a few areas. Meh.
- I generally started loosing interest in the game once I exited the Underdark. The story just wasn't interesting enough to care about. Yuck.
The Bottom Line
So, four mehs, one shudder and two yucks. Not sure how this balances against the game's good points...
Overall, I'm looking forward to playing Throne of Bhaal. However, I don't see myself replaying SoA in the future. I didn't find it sufficiently enjoyable.
Windows · by SharkD (424) · 2009
1001 Video Games
Baldur's Gate II appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
In the German version the gore option is set to off by default and removed from the options menu. This results in missing blood and splatter effects.
- Ever wonder what happened to the kids from the animated Dungeons and Dragons television show? In the back of the Adventurer's Mart, there are two portraits on the wall of these "Adventures far from home" with rather snide descriptions and the speculation that they ended up in the belly of Tiamat.
- In the Rangers cabin in Umar hills, you can find a book labeled "The Umar Witch Project", which clearly is a joke referring to the famous Blair Witch Project movie.
- In the Bridge district of Athkatla, on the third floor of an inn in the western part, you can find a picture of Elvis on the wall!
In 2001, Baldur's Gate II won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
- Computer Gaming World
- April 2001 (Issue #201) – Role-Playing Game of the Year
- November 2003 (Issue #232) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue #100) - #89 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
- 2000 – RPG Game of the Year
- 2001 – #37 Top Game of All Time
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 02/2001 - Best RPG in 2000
- Issue 02/2001 - Best Gameworld in 2000
- PC Player (Germany)
- Issue 01/2001 - Best Game in 2000
- Issue 01/2001 - Best RPG in 2000
- Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
- 2001 - Gold Award
Related Sites +
Baldur's Gate Forum
The biggest German forum about <i>Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn</i> and other Infinity Engine games.
A site by Kevin Dorner of Bioware containing hundreds of unofficial bug fixes for both Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal that weren't corrected by any of the official patches.
Baldurs Gate Trilogy
A German Fansite - with tons of detailed informations, walkthrough, and many files, including the unofficial german text-patch
Gamasutra: The Anatomy of a Sequel
A post mortem article by <moby developer="Ray Muzyka">Ray Muzyka</moby> (May 2, 2001)
Hints for Baldur's Gate 2
These hints might help you solve the game.
Planet Baldur's Gate
Another Planet, this one covers Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate II and the Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. Files, forums, articles, help, walkthroughs, news, and links populate it. A typical Planet site.
Pocket Plane Group
Pocket Plane Group publishes a number of detailed mods for Baldur's Gate 2 and other Infinity Engine games. BG2 Mods include Kelsey NPC, Quest Pack, the BG1Tutu converter, Banter Packs, and Ashes of Embers.
Spellhold Studios (or SHS) is a community committed to creating mods for different CRPGs, especially Baldur's Gate II and other games using the Infinity Engine, but also Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic.
- MobyGames ID: 2465
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by -Chris.
Macintosh added by Kabushi.
Additional contributors: Dr. Elementary, PCGamer77, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, phlux, Corn Popper, JRK, FloodSpectre, Xoleras, Silverblade, Jason Compton, Klaster_1, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.
Game added October 1st, 2000. Last modified September 25th, 2023.