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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.


Baldur's Gate Windows Main menu
Baldur's Gate Windows Our story begins here outside an inn in the scholarly town of Candlekeep
Baldur's Gate Windows Not every character is impressed by your feats. The owners of this house kicked me out after I broke in. I guess it's understandable
Baldur's Gate Windows Thankfully all I have to fight are baby wyvern

Promo Images

Baldur's Gate Screenshot Every unique character in the game is first concepted and then modeled. Shown below are a few early concepts.
Baldur's Gate Screenshot Sample buildings -- each building in the game is researched and concepted before modeling is started.
Baldur's Gate Screenshot These shots are of the front section of the main castle in the city of Baldur's Gate.
Baldur's Gate Screenshot Sample buildings -- each building in the game is researched and concepted before modeling is started.


Alternate Titles

  • "柏德之門" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "博德之门" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Ворота Бальдура" -- Russian spelling
  • "Wrota Baldura" -- Polish title
  • "Puerta de Baldur" -- Spanish title
  • "Forgotten Realms : Iron Throne" -- Early working title
  • "Bode zhi Men" -- Chinese title
  • "Battleground Infinity" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Yes, my omnipresent authority figure! Windows Unicorn Lynx (181722)
A dense, masterful fantasy world, but not for everybody Windows jTrippy (63)
Excellent standard setting RPG game for years and years to follow! Windows OlSkool_Gamer (102)
6 Years On, Baldur's Gate Is Still An Absolute Classic Windows Zsolt Pardi (59)
A true gem, but it still has its detractors Windows Chris Wright (105)
Excellent game based on 2nd edition rules Windows Cyric (50)
A fantastic adaption of the AD&D world. Windows faceless (445)
Despite the hate from the hardcore community this is great rpg. Windows Zovni (10646)
A groundbreaking RPG Windows Christopher Sutler (7)
Despite a few irritating flaws, a fun adaptation of pen and paper AD&D Windows Entorphane (375)

Critic Reviews

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Windows Jan 23, 1999 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Game Over Online Windows Jan 15, 1999 93 out of 100 93
GameBoomers Windows 2004 91 out of 100 91
CD-Action Windows Feb, 1999 9 out of 10 90
Svenska PC Gamer Windows Jan, 1999 90 out of 100 90 Windows Jan 01, 1999 18 out of 20 90
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jan, 1999 89 out of 100 89
PC Joker Windows Jan, 1999 85 out of 100 85
AppleLinks.Com Macintosh Sep 18, 2000 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 Macintosh Dec, 2001 4 out of 5 80


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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

Related Web 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.)
Contributed to by Kabushi (214992) and faceless (445)