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About zixi

  1. I played ToB with WoP when you first released it. I'd started with SoA and played all the way through and I remember even now how much I loved it and I posted my enthusiasm to the forum. I thought the additions were excellent and I loved the reinstatement of the grove by K'aeloree (see I remembered!). So this is kind of an odd post of praise because I've just played ToB *without* Wheels... and I didn't start with SoA either. And I can assure you I missed the changes. The time in the grove seems odd without K's additions and it never really makes sense. Balthazar is irritating without the additional content; the dialogue effectively consists of: I'm going to kill you even if I don't think you're as bad as the others - so there... As for Melissan, even my credulity is stretched beyond breaking point in the original ToB, so again I liked the impact of Wheels. I've just started again with SoA and intend to play through ToB as well this time with the Wheels back on so I'll make a note of any issues but tbh I can't remember any last time round... I just remember being bowled over by it and I disagreed with you over the impact it had. I thought it made a very big difference to the feel of ToB. I truly hope that people *are* playing it - I'm sure they are - and either there are no bugs or we're all too engrossed to report them. BTW the only reason I didn't run it this time was because I wanted to play the Sarevok romance and having started with a clean install I was too impatient to put the Wheels back on! However, I'm glad I didn't because it really brought home to me that my enthusiasm last time round was spot on! Sorry for going on and on and on and for being a few months late!
  2. Hi you two - I shan't even begin to apologise for not being present... It's quite something isn't it? I have to drag myself out of a little castle I have there, kicking and screaming... Some really nice guy on one of the forums made a couple of dogs to go with the castle (I told him it just needed dogs to be perfect so he made them and wove them into the story) and I swear I forget which is RL, there or here... I know which I prefer... Arghhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooooooo. I come back every summer, clean BG and put a load of new stuff on as well as some old faves. No matter what has happened during the year rpg-wise, I always end up at SoA and since David et al did their 'makeover' to ToB, that too. I hope the proj surfaces. No matter how good the graphics and the latest engines, there is something timeless about BG; and SoA is my favourite, sans doute. Good holidays to you both!
  3. zixi

    New alternate portrait

    Yes, that's the kind of look I imagined. Thank you.
  4. Just a quick thank you for the guide. I've just got my first NPC into the game and I have to say I haven't had this much fun since I got my first LISP program to run... (or perhaps that ought to be stumble). It's a great guide... I think it will be some time before game makers hammer on my door demanding I work for them but your guide is great and I'm amused by my success so far! I haven't programmed in years - I just tell other people to write code (and fast!!) but the Guide is virtually idiot proof - or at least this idiot managed fine... I even had a bug to start with and I've really forgotten how much joy one feels when one finally fixes it... thank you for reminding me!
  5. Spoilers He won’t be the only person who hedges their bets on the god(s) and yes, that’s how I read the ‘marriage’ route and the ‘ascension’ route. You’ve reminded me of Eliot’s ‘Cocktail Party’ though of course cerebral verse drama like that isn’t popular now (it was never that popular in the first place). It always amused me the Celia’s path and her redemption was through being eaten alive by ants as a missionary and for Edward and Lavinia it’s to hold a cocktail party. I’ve only ever been to a couple of what could be called ‘cocktail parties’ and it’s tempting to think that Celia got off lightly… OK just a smidgen ironic I admit… But I have to say that I like the idea that his attitude at the end is partly down to having escaped retribution so frequently (Yes, I know 'The Good, the Bad' etc - it's one of the few films I've seen - I liked the music) and of course then there will be a mixture of ‘perhaps I’ll escape again’ and the sense that the bill has to be paid after all. In any case, as you’re the author I shan’t argue with you.
  6. spoilers That was my reading of his psychology certainly. I wonder if the ToB (ascension route) also implies finally a conscience which of course I’m not sure is present in SoA nor in the early parts of ToB. Perhaps like many people who convince themselves that their actions were justified he has a sneaking feeling they weren’t and his redemption is made via death. I don’t think he could do what Sarevok attempts to do. I’m not sure if Sarevok succeeds but I guess he has a go. I felt that the ‘cheerful’ acceptance of death was of someone who had finally been asked to pay the bill and had run out of excuses rather than someone who no longer had anything to live for. But maybe I’m bring cynical. I’m sure Cal can put the positive Angelo slant on it for me.
  7. Spoilers... I liked Angelo’s opinions of the other NPCs and I always predicted them accurately so they obviously fitted with my expectations of his psychology. I imagine that he wouldn’t feel the responsibility that <CHARNAME> feels because he doesn’t operate like that. I took it to mean that he was really sad about Yoshi since he isn’t the kind of person who seems to regret other people’s misfortunes much and I don’t know he’d show it even if he did. If you've seen the horrors he's seen, I suspect you become used to hiding how you feel as a coping strategy. TBH I don’t have problems with people who don’t show how they feel! I have more problems with people who cry over everything because I’m never sure how you work out what’s the most serious problem and where one should start to put it right. Stoicism I can understand and thus Angelo's (PC's ascension) ending of ToB is exactly what I’d expect of him. I felt pity there but at the same time he wouldn’t expect that because he works on the principle that unless you can change something there’s not much point in making a fuss. I admire that. Anyway, game is cleaned once more and I intend to try the Yoshi bit of ‘Remorse’. Still got ‘Edwin’ and ‘Xan’ installed though because Edwin makes me laugh and it’s such an easy romance for me to do ‘correctly’! I started a fresh game this time with a new PC – an archer and I must say it’s a lot easier to play than bard so I may put ‘Angelo’ back in later to follow the friendship route. I’m pretty certain that my PC could make a good friend to him!
  8. Isn't it interesting how immersed we become? I give them turns with me. Lots of spoilers ahoy for various mods and components in SoA and ToB Yoshi was always in my party until I installed TS and then I found I didn't want the companion so I quit taking him. I only really wanted that mod for the beautiful music in the very pretty Valygar Romance but since I've managed to buy the album I'm not so bothered. I used Nalia for the thief component but she drives me spare - I find myself becoming more and more ultra left by the second in her company. I've used Jan as well as at least he doesn't irritate me but I like HD a lot so the SK class edit seems to be the best route. I figure I've played the game so many times now that altering it doesn't seem such a crime. I've just cleaned up the install so may try Yoshi's bit of 'Remorse'. I like Yoshi and never bore any ill feelings about what he'd done. Sarevok fascinates me because he doesn't actually lie and weirdly I'd trust him. I've never asked for the geas and now with the mods added I always feel like hugging him when he tells Mel what to do with her offer and for his touching advice at the end. The couple of times I've chosen ascension, it's his words that I try not to think about because I know he is giving me heart-felt advice, not driven by any selfishness at all. Strangely I feel more 'sibling' affection for him than Imoen whose whining post Spellhold drives me crazy. I've taken to rescuing her only to give her money to find her own way back. (Kiv says it's best that way) and of course her skills are very low when we pick her up. It wasn't brought home to me that was the problem till Xan explained... and since then I've never actually taken her back. I pick her up for the Bodhi lair thing just in case her soul doesn't have TomTom and then I place her back in the Copper Coronet and get on with being a hero. With the extra mods added to ToB she makes a brief appearance and then says that the battle ahead is way too difficult and dangerous and scoots off so I'm not sure whether my instincts about her were right all along or she's getting her own back for being abandoned in Spellhold. Not that I blame her.. I kind of asked for it I guess...
  9. rofl that's the philosopher speaking certainly. My favourite alignment is chaotic good but it's not always possible to do that. I sometimes just SK whatever I want because I don't like being dictated to by anything/anyone. I tend not to have Yoshi in the party these days. I SK Haer'Dalis into a fighter-thief because I tend to play bard. I vaguely remember his bit of 'Remorse' but I might be getting it confused with the story in 'Tortured Souls' which I played once, years ago, but it wasn't very stable and I don't think I completed it.
  10. So a philosophy grad - it makes sense. I'm an ex arts grad but I did my post grad stuff in computer science so it makes a nice change to argue things arty! Yes I think the 'Remorse' must have been through 'UB'. I don't have the whole of 'UB' installed as some of it never seems to like my installation. There's one very long exchange about Tamoko I think and it fitted well with the 'Angelo'. You know Cal, I think part of my attitude to Angelo might be a reaction to neutral alignments. But I'm still thinking this through.
  11. I suspect both of us are getting fed up with my saying how much I like the mod because I don’t like Angelo. But I’m just a little anxious that a) you have some niggling doubts this is negative criticism (it isn’t – if it was I’d either say zilch; that’s my most likely reaction or if forced I’d leave you in no doubt as to my opinions!) and b) someone will come along, read part of my rambling argument and come to the conclusion I’m being nasty. Au contraire, I’m saying that the mod is an extraordinary piece because my view is diametrically opposite to Cal’s for example and believe me none of your (combined) arguments have taken me more than a few moments to refute and that’s not because I’m as slippery as Dorotea’s ‘Irenicus’ (another great piece of characterisation)! It’s because there is sufficient ambivalence in the dialogue to lend support to a number of different interpretations, which in a game context is exactly what’s needed. But forums are very blunt instruments and it’s not always possible to gauge just how my comments are being received so every so often I feel obliged to say it all over again. But this is the last and final time!! (I sound like Xan…) because I’m beginning to feel like the player queen in 'Hamlet' (‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks.’) Spoilers ahoy! Hmmm Cal, I follow your arguments and if Angelo needs an apologist then he should look no further, you're persuasive. I’ve been in a position very close to that of Angelo’s over Tamoko’s request; in my case it was a complete stranger and I set about making sure his wishes were carried out even though my ‘religious’ views didn't coincide, I hadn't been asked nor had I made any promises! So, what kind of person ignores the last requests of a dead friend and someone he says he fancied? He knew Sarevok was dead so if he cared he’d do it himself or at least get it done. It didn’t look like ‘fessing up’ to me – it looked suspiciously like gloating. Coming after Sarevok’s ‘change’ I found that all the more disturbing and poignant. My dialogue option was to leave them to it but Sarevok gave me the letter which actually fitted in well with his ‘change’ and I felt like weeping for him there! I have the ‘Remorse’ mod installed as well so I’d had some additional conversations over Tamoko and I’d already seen the effect on him! So, again from my point of view excellent writing but for me it didn’t show Angelo in a good light. I hope you guys are finding my ‘take’ on this as interesting as I’m finding yours. I’m not trying to persuade you to my views – just as I know you aren’t trying to do that to me but I am interested in seeing if there’s any flaw in my argument. I don’t think there is and I’m pretty certain that the text supports either the positive or negative view of Angelo – in other words I don’t think it’s me. The only place where I felt a touch uncomfortable with my attitude and the available responses was after the wedding where he and <CHARNAME> are alone together. I wanted to say something more cryptic or nothing at all.
  12. spoiler rofl yeah, if only the wealth was transferable - I'd pay off my mortgage and several other people's as well. This was a jewel passed to Angelo by Tomoko to give to Sarevok to pay for prayers and litany so to speak... Now, there isn't a problem, I'd pay for it for him several times over but it was just the way he said it... it seemed spiteful. Sarevok is no saint... but he'd 'changed' and I have the most appalling soft spot for him so perhaps I didn't react as well as I ought. As I say, he can be as nasty to the PC as he likes but spite to other people I don't deal with very well - not in-game nor out! If he still had them and just said that, it's even worse... I may reload and polymorph him for being so spiteful!
  13. Spoilers ahead... Apt ending via the ascension route. And yes I did feel pity but the guy had sold something meant for Sarevok and somehow that was awfully hard to forgive. I don't have a problem forgiving on my own behalf but I have serious issues when I try to forgive meanness to other people... Great mod! Highly recommended and it left me very thoughtful over the nature of good and evil. Bravo!
  14. Lots of SPOILERS ahead!!!! - I mean it! Cal OK <CHARNAME> is a bad girl, she has to initiate the ‘romance’ to start with but only via a fairly harmless flirt. The romance then finally gets to a stage where if <CHARNAME> says ‘sleep with me’… Angelo suggests a one night stand and then if she doesn’t tell him to get lost he arranges a surprise wedding! There’s no such thing as a surprise wedding – that’s someone indulging in emotional blackmail. As I see it he was an only child raised by prostitutes. He saw women selling themselves to men of all types and that would be sufficient to account for an ambivalent attitude to women. There’s a very telling moment in SoA where the PC can flirt by asking how Angelo views her – comrade or lover… and he explains how a man can show his love for a fellow soldier by watching his back… but that’s not how he shows his love for a woman. If you bear that in mind and then remember his stories of his army days and his initial exchanges with Sarevok, I think you have it all. He has figured out how to love a man and I think he really did (and perhaps does) love Sarevok and I’m not suggesting a gay relationship, I’m talking platonic love here. But as for women, I don’t think he’s figured it out. The relationship had got quite a way before Angelo asked the PC about herself. It’s as if he doesn’t know what to ask but his exchanges with the men in the party are actually fine. He admires Valygar and obviously likes him. He gets on with Keldorn. His treatment of Aerie is very unkind though and the only way he can deal with Imoen is to see her as a child. The bit about never explaining his first love clinches it for me… he can’t tell the truth. I think that’s partly because he likes lying (remember lying gives the liar power over the person being lied to) and I don’t think he knows his first love because I don’t think he’s figured out what it is to love a woman! I feel a huge amount of pity for him. He was clearly badly damaged before he met Sarevok and Sarevok is fairly badly damaged but has the ability to damage other people even more! But there’s no way I’d be romantically involved with him. He can’t tell the truth. I’m not clear if he knows what the truth actually is, but even if he does he prefers to lie. There are flashes of honesty – in fact I think the honesty arrives when he says he is kidding! Read like that, there’s no way I can come out of the church as Mrs Dosan… even the wedding ring is a ward against backstab! I doubt a more ironically Freudian wedding ring exists! I never ‘ascend’. I’ve watched the ‘Ascension’ vid once to see what they did. I’ve never chosen to ascend because power corrupts; it might even corrupt me – who knows. However, if I played the mod as Mrs Dosan I would ascend definitely. It’s the only safe way out and actually that’s very dishonest because the PC would be doing exactly what Angelo is doing: ie not being upfront about motives. I rest my case your honour… Am I being boring yet? Sorry Nix - it's bed time here; I dare not read you because you'd have said something interesting and I won't get any sleep and I have an early start! I'll read you tomorrow
  15. MORE SPOILERS Yes, my feeling absolutely. The options in those dialogues are very clever. I fetched Imoen to see how she felt because actually I agree with Sarevok's opinion of Angelo... I was a smidgen disappointed in her. I assume she didn't want to mar a 'happy' day. But her poignant speech in SoA when she saw Angelo in the party was still ringing in my eyes at Saradush. There's no way I'd be able to go through with that outside a 'test plan' scenario... and the fact there are two occasions to opt out means that the reading of Angelo as essentially dishonest and manipulative is one supported by the text. I keep reminding myself that emotional blackmail is one of the easiest things to do, one of the hardest things to deal with and <CHARNAME> is 20 while he is 50ish. Sarevok goes as far as he dares I guess, but even he doesn't like what he sees...
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