A couple of levels later and some judicious upgrading of equipment, and I was able to down OrcBoy on the first try! Not with a single blow, mind you, although at over 400 points (thanks to improved Slashing Weapons and Slam technique and getting a much-deserved critical) the first blow was a doozy. Guggle to zatch, baby, guggle to zatch! Too bad he was able to get up and walk away afterwards, but that’s cut scenes for you.

So of course, now I wonder if I would have been able to do it on the first go round if I had spent more time on improving Slash and Slam instead of Bind Wounds–I still don’t think I had a good enough weapon for it. There’s a big difference between a weapon with max damage 30 and max damage of 51. I’m sure that it’s possible in theory–or even in practice if you’re Doug–but whether I would have been capable of it, I don’t know.


I can’t beat the Orc Boss in the ruins beneath the forest with my Barbarian! After about a dozen frustrating attempts, I gave up and went back in time to try and level up some more. My Shadow Knight character managed it after about four tries–I don’t know whether it’s because the disease spell is just that effective, or whether I had lucked out in the armor and weapons the monsters dropped up to that point. Is there some trick that I’m missing? Because that stupid glowing blade of his that knocks you down, back ten feet, and whacks about 3/4 of your hp–even when you’re blocking–is ridiculous.

And up ’til that point, I thought that the Barbarian was just going to cleave the boss from his guggle to his zatch, since the the giant spiders that had been such a pain for the Shadow Knight were pretty easy for the Barbarian to wade through….stupid orc. I cleave him from his guggle to his zatch yet, just you wait!

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II

I’m having a groovy time with Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2, the sequel that I’ve been eagerly anticipating since 2001! It’s over a year late, I believe, but it rocks. All new classes (you can import your old characters, but they get captured in a cut-scene at the start and you have to unlock them later in the game): male human Barbarian, female half-elf Monk, male dwarven Rogue, female human Cleric, male elven Necromancer. Like BG:DA, while it’s a lot of fun solo, the real attraction is two-player cooperative mode.
I’ve played the first couple of levels as a duo, first with Jeff (he was Barbarian, I was Cleric) and then with Paul (he took the Monk and I was Cleric once again–just like real D&D, having a Cleric in the party is literally a life-saver). I also have played about six levels as the Monk, which I suspect is the toughest to play solo. I actually had to cheat a bit, by restarting the game at an earlier point and importing my later character in order to gather some more healing potions. Unlike the first game, there doesn’t seem to be any shop that you can visit in the first six levels, not even once you get to the city of Baldur’s Gate! Maybe it’s hidden, or you have to unlock it somehow, but being stuck with only the healing potions that you can scrounge off of fallen foes is too much of a limitation for my meager skills to overcome, at least as the Monk, since she has no healing magic and limited area-effect abilities (sweeping blow hits every enemy around you, but it takes a bunch of magic points and for maximum effect you have to let yourself be surrounded by enemies, which tends to mean taking a bunch of hits). Even so, I wasn’t able to clear the spider-breeding pits, which had presented no real obstacle to the Barbarian/Cleric team.