Baldur's Gate

aka: Battleground Infinity, Bode zhi Men, Forgotten Realms: Iron Throne, Puerta de Baldur, Wrota Baldura
Moby ID: 712
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

Candlekeep is an ancient fortress situated on the rural Sword Coast. Recently, inexplicable events have been plaguing this quiet place, which has long become a large library where men of wisdom and knowledge can study in peace. Unknown mercenaries try to enter the walls of Candlekeep, interested in a seemingly ordinary and unimportant young person - an orphan who was taken in by the mage Gorion and treated by him as his own child. One night, Gorion decides to leave Candlekeep and take his adopted child to a safe place. However, as they leave the fortress, they are ambushed by a group of assassins. The orphan manages to escape, but Gorion dies in battle.

The gates of Candlekeep are locked, because its inhabitants are afraid to attract to themselves the wrath of the mysterious attackers. Only Imoen, another child who was brought up by Gorion and has been like a sister to the protagonist, is willing to share the uncertain future. The two have nothing, no place to call their home, only a wide hostile world in front of them. A long and perilous journey begins there.

Baldur's Gate is a role-playing game that uses the rule set of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D). Set in the universe of Forgotten Realms, the game is the first part of the saga that lets the player explore various towns, wilderness areas and dungeons, undertake many side quests, and find companions for the long journey. The player creates the hero(ine) by selecting his or her class, choosing between fighter, thief, mage, priest, ranger, and druid (including sub-classes, dual- and multi-class characters); alignment (Good-Evil and Lawful-Chaotic axis), and weapon proficiencies. The 2nd edition AD&D rules are applied in the game during combat, character leveling, class restrictions, etc.

Up to six player-controlled characters can participate in combat. Battles occur in the same environment as exploration, and flow in real time, though the player is able to pause combat at any time to issue precise commands to any of the characters. Once the game is unpaused, the characters repeat the last action selected by the player until it is changed or becomes impossible to execute. Characters can freely move during battles; party formation and positioning in combat play a significant role.


  • Ворота Бальдура - Russian spelling
  • 博德之门 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 柏德之門 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

375 People (324 developers, 51 thanks) · View all



Average score: 90% (based on 55 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 292 ratings with 17 reviews)

A Good AD&D Computer Game

The Good
I'd been waiting for a good D&D game since the old "gold box" SSI games. Baldur's Gate delivered by making a pretty good campaign-adventure to play here (the expansion pack made it sweeter). I really liked how you are able to learn the controls and play of the game (which is all in real time) while in a relatively safe environment (the initial town).

The Bad
I didn't like some of the NPC's in the game but that's just personal taste. Also, I found that by the time I got my party powerful enough to enter the city of Baldur's Gate, I lost interest in the game. I've talked to a few others who said the same thing. I don't know why this happened unless I just got old. : )

The Bottom Line
Bottom line: this is a good D&D computer game using 2nd Edition rules.

Windows · by AstroNerdBoy (35) · 2001

A true gem, but it still has its detractors

The Good
Baldur's Gate nailed one thing perfectly: the atmosphere of the game world. There's just so much to see and do as you trek across the wilds of Faerun, and there are dozens of quaint little inns to visit across an assortment of villages and towns. Every NPC that will join your team has a neat little backstory, and they will complain if your virtuous behaviour or lack thereof conflicts with their morals.

Every yard of every zone you can travel in seems hand-painted, and some corners of the world are so cozy you almost wish you could crawl inside the game world. Many an inn had that effect on me, as the glow of the roaring fire lit the common room while a bard played a lively melody, and Dwarvish ale flowed liberally from the taps.

One of my favorite features in Baldur's Gate are the hand-drawn character portraits. Some of your female companions are just plain hot, and I find myself gravitating towards an all-girl party just for that reason. But, many of the male characters are stalwart foot soldiers, so there's still plenty of room for them too.

Plotting is done with a light touch, as you're never required to do anything in particular to advance the plot, until you are good and ready to do so. Which is nice, because open-world design has got the be the peak experience of gaming. You can travel the land wherever your heart desires, and you will come across all sorts of strange beasts and commoners in need of protection from such creatures.

Leveling is a slow affair, which makes it all the more rewarding when you finally do hit level two, which could take a few days. The assortment of classes you can choose from is excellent, and every character feels unique in the abilities and proficiencies.

The Bad
However, the bread and butter of gameplay, combat, can be rather tedious at times. Unless you spend a great deal of effort leveling up your characters well ahead of where you need to be, each battle spells potential ruin for your party.

A critical hit to a character may bring them under -9 hit points, causing them to explode in a shower of giblets. That character can never be restored. This is avoided by putting the game difficulty down a notch where death in this manner cannot occur.

If you try and sleep in the wild, half the time you will be ambushed, and as likely as not one of your mages will be targeted, killed in one hit, forcing your to re-load.

Re-loading wouldn't be such a chore but for a minor issue. Whenever you do so, the music restarts from the beginning, which may become wearying to your ears very quickly.

Essentially, all this forces you to be extremely careful, never letting your weaker characters get jumped, and healing anyone who takes so much as a scratch of damage. This really interrupts the flow of the game, and if you aren't completely won over by the good aspects of Baldur's Gate, you may be turned off entirely.

However, there is another approach that is slightly less harrowing. If you are willing to admit when you are outmatched, you can simply forgo exploring an area until you are really ready. There will always be an abundance of areas that are fairly straightforward for whatever level you happen to be.

The Bottom Line
Baldur's Gate stands as a landmark achievement in video gaming, and remains one of the strongest role-playing titles ever released on the PC. It made its mark just as 2D game environments were on their last legs, and as a result its hand-drawn style is as much an artistic achievement as a technical triumph, thanks to the quality of visual elements, as well as the lush orchestral score.

Windows · by Chris Wright (85) · 2015

I really wanted to like this game. I really did. But I don't.

The Good
I remember when this game first came out. After viewing either the trailer or a demo (can't remember which), I knew that it was my destiny to one day play this game. At the time, I was freshly out of college and delightfully unemployed... thus, no way I could shell out the cash for such a game. Fast forward a few years, and I was able to locate the game at the local used bookstore for about $10. Imagine my delight!

This game looks great. The graphics are very well done, and still hold up today (2006). The game is set in a very detailed world, and the environment is very rich. Sound is also nice, though the random comments from your teammates get a bit boring and repetitive after a while.

I was a paper & pencil AD&D player right around the time they released the 2nd edition rules, and I always got excited when "official" AD&D games were to be released, since I felt as though I had a good feel for them. However...

The Bad
... The game (and, in fact, most AD&D games that I've played, going all the way back to the Gold Box series) is very focused on the rules. And, quite frankly, I think that the P&P ruleset is just too cumbersome for a computer RPG. If you have never read a D&D/AD&D rulebook in your life, you will have something of an awkward learning curve. It can take some time to get a feel for how to generate a decent character and how to balance the party... and nobody likes having to keep starting the game over to re-do the character generation.

Another thing that annoys me more than a little is the walking around. The game world is, as I mentioned, fairly large and detailed. However, once you are in a location (town, dungeon, etc...), there doesn't seem to be any sort of quick way to get from one end of the map to the other. You just click where you want your characters to go, and then they walk there. Pretty standard, except they don't really walk fast. So walking around a town ends up being a series of click, wait, click, wait, click, wait... Or, you can move the map around and click directly on the location you want to walk to. Then you have a reeeeeally long wait while your party walks there. I'm honestly not sure which way is less annoying.

My biggest gripe about the game, though, is that it seemed to get way too hard way too fast. In fact, it was because of this that I never got very far into it. The old meet-an-NPC-who-has-been-hired-by-a-mysterious-force-to-kill-you routine gets old, particularly when the NPCs seem to be either much higher in level -- or at least, much more familiar with all the AD&D rules and the combat system in the game. Near the beginning, I often found that while I was struggling to remember how to tell my party members to move around and do different things, I got more or less wiped out in a couple rounds of combat. I do tend to prefer a turn-based or phase-based combat system, so the pseudo-real-time setup in this game was too much for me to manage on top of everything else. (That's not necessarily a fault of the game, it's probably just that my brain doesn't jive with it.)

There is a difficulty setting, which I left right in the middle (I recall the game telling me that making it easier causes the characters to gain less experience points from fights... so it takes longer to level up). It is my opinion that someone who has never played an AD&D game before should be able to read through the rulebook, start playing at the standard difficulty level, and still have a fair chance at not having to save and restore each time combat starts.

The Bottom Line
Overall, I'm disappointed in the game. I know that it got great reviews everywhere so my first instinct was to convince myself that I wasn't giving the game a fair shake, and that I just needed to get used to it. However, the more I played, the more annoyed I got -- until I finally just stopped playing. Maybe one day I'll give it another chance, but for now it's just getting dusty on my shelf.

Windows · by Mirrorshades2k (274) · 2006

[ View all 17 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Remake Patrick Bregger (290571) Jun 6th, 2013


Cancelled Dreamcast and PlayStation ports

A Playstation 5-disc version was revealed to be in the works by Interplay on October 25, 1999. It was to be ported by UK developer Runecraft but on March 29, 2000 it was put "on hold" and never saw the light of day. Howewer, years later a nearly finished and working prototype was found and "leaked" to the net by an anonymous collector.

A Dreamcast port was also in the works during that time, but was dropped by SEGA for an unspecified reason in 2000.

Drizzt Do'Urden

Though he appears only once in the game, the legendary Drizzt Do'Urden makes a brief but sweet (and rewarding) guest appearance in a certain part of the game. Drizzt is a very famous D&D character that sprung from the Dark Elf Trilogy of forgotten realms-based novels by R.A. Salvatore.

German version

In the German version all blood and splatter animations were removed.


Visit the cemetery in one of the towns, and you'll be able to read many funny inscriptions on the graves. An example: "Here lies an atheist, all dressed up, and no place to go".

Narrator (Spoiler!)

The same person voices Sarevok (the hero's main adversary) and the narrator in the game. This might be a coincidence, but in Icewind Dale, another AD&D game by Black Isle, the ultimate evil and narrator are done by the same person again, and in that game it's a plot point.


Wizards of the Coast published a novelization of this game in 1999, written by Forgotten Realms series editor Philip Athans.


A fan-made remake called Baldur's Gate Reloaded was released as mod for Neverwinter Nights 2 in June 2013.


In 1999, Baldur's Gate has 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 1999 (Issue #177) – Best RPG of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #36 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #31 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Origin
    • 1998 - Best Role-Playing Computer Game
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #9 in the "Magazine's Readers All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • April 2005 - #11 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2000 - Best RPG in 1999
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1999 – Best Isometric RPG in 1998
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland<
    • 1999 - Gold Award

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Chris Martin, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Scaryfun, Unicorn Lynx and Xoleras

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Related Sites +

  • Baldurdash
    A site by Kevin Dorner of Bioware containing unofficial bug fixes for both Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast that weren't corrected by any of the official patches.
  • Baldurs Gate Trilogy
    A German Fansite - containing detailed item, spell, monster, and NPC descriptions (with stats), and others
  • Mike's Baldur's Gate pages
    A great Baldur's Gate resource site. Maps, weapons/armor, potions, spells, walkthroughs and much more.
  • Planet Baldur's Gate
    Everything about the Baldur's Gate serie, also including other games from the same publisher.
  • Pocket Plane Group
    Pocket Plane Group publishes a number of detailed mods for Baldur's Gate and other Infinity Engine games. BG1 projects include the BG1Tutu engine converter and the Indira NPC for BG1Tutu.

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by faceless.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Rantanplan, a2136*tds354o12ng, JRK, Alaka, FloodSpectre, Xoleras, jean-louis, Jason Compton, Virgil, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Dimi Morabito.

Game added January 9th, 2000. Last modified November 24th, 2023.