Low-Spoiler Baldurs Gate II Walkthrough (Shadows of Amn)
There are a lot of good Baldur's Gate II walkthrough and hint pages out there, but none of them told me what
I really wanted to know, which was whether I had missed any cool quests, subplots, or character
interactions in Shadows of Amn or Throne of Bhaal. Strategy and riddles I can figure out on my own;
but is it worth going back to talk to every moron in Waukeen's Promenade with Edwin in the party?
So here is my own Baldurs Gate 2 walkthrough, intended to provide beginning points rather than end points.
The emphasis here is on pointing gamers towards things they might not have tried, not divulging puzzle
solutions or giving step-by-step instructions. There are plenty of other Baldur's Gate walkthrough sites doing that
already... and besides, some people don't want that stuff spoiled, they just want tips on where to look
for more things to do. So I've been vague where possible, including only the starting point for
each quest so you can work through the rest of it on your own. I haven't indicated every fight
or treasure source either. If you want a more explicit hint, please check out my
Baldur's Gate 2 Links for several good
Baldurs Gate walkthroughs, maps and messageboards.
You start Baldurs Gate II: Shadows of Amn in a dungeon cell, with some creepy memories of a mage who's been experimenting on you. Your sister Imoen and old friends Minsc and Jaheira are also captive there.
Your first conversations are with them (if you didn't play BGI you can act amnesiac and they'll tell you about your history with them; you can also be rude to them and make them leave,
if you're suicidal, or you can just talk to them and learn bits and pieces of what has happened to you) and your first, extremely simple quests are to get all four of you out of your cages.
Once that's done, you're ready to escape.
The main story elements for this part of the walkthrough are trying to figure out who your captor is and what he wants with you, Imoen freaking out as she slowly remembers having
been tortured, and Jaheira and Minsc grieving.
It's counter-intuitive, but you can sleep in this dungeon. I tried it on the second floor and when I did, Immie had an interesting conversation with me about Irenicus and his evil deeds.
You may have had to see some of the sights of the dungeon before you've triggered enough of her memories for her to have this conversation; I'd wait till after you find Khalid.
1) Minsc says that Dynaheir's spirit is trapped in a cage, or something, but you won't find her in this dungeon, so don't worry about it. There are some other cages which you can
open but there's nothing special in them.
2) There's a golem you can talk to in the equipment room, though he doesn't have much to say.
3) There's an annoying "I'm very powerful and I'm watching your progress" dude in the room with the crystals. He'll ask you a philosophical question and summon something for
you to fight, then disappear mysteriously. He won't give you any useful information, so don't worry when you
don't get any. The pools in this room give you freaky visions of evolving mankind; you have to check each of them a couple times to get the full effect, but they're not important
to the plot.
4) There's another golem in the sewage room. He thinks you're his master, so he won't hurt you. You can get a subquest from him, one of a few easy steps which are necessary
to effect your escape.
5) When you walk through the room with the creatures floating in fluid tanks, Imoen will have a flashback memory about them. If her whimpering really gets to you you can turn the
sound off during this chapter, though I think it adds ambience. Bring the energy cells back here
when you get them and the creatures will power up and have disturbing conversations with you, prompting commentary from both Immie and Jaheira.
6) There are two small golems in a closet here but they won't talk to you. Kill them now or fight them later, it doesn't matter.
7) When you reach the room with Rielev's tank, talk to him to learn more about your captor. He'll also give you a simple mini-quest; if you agree to it it'll be done, and Imoen will
contribute a bit about her messed-up psyche to boot.
8) Immie talks to you about your childhood home, Candlekeep, as you walk through the library. There are buttloads of books here but none of them are important; skim them if you like,
but don't bother taking any of them with you, you won't have room for them in your inventory by the time you get out.
9) There are some dwarves in the kitchen who'll have a short conversation with you, but it will always end in violence. Imoen has some comments about the dwarves.
10) Once you figure out how to open the door with the hollow space in it, there's a djinn in there you can get a quest from:
Free The Genie. He'll reward you with an item and some information about your captor if you help him.
11) You get a foreboding feeling as you enter the master's bedroom, but that's all you'll hear about that.
12) There are some concubines in the garden who will give you a quest, Free The Dryads, and have a
conversation with Immie that causes her to decompensate a little more. They will also tell you a bit about their master and his mistress.
13) Imoen has a flashback as you enter the mistress' room, and tells you a bit about Irenicus and his former lover.
14) The two portals take you to the exact same place--#15--so don't worry about going back and walking through the other one. The same key also opens both.
15) On the second floor you'll meet Yoshimo, a rather endearing thief who can set killer traps. Unless you are dedicated to going the game solo, take him with. (His best line:
"Oh, very well. *sigh* Hii-ya.")
16) You'll find Khalid's body on the table in the first large room. You need to stand Jaheira right next to him in order to identify him; your main character won't know who he is by
clicking on him. Jaheira freaks out and yells at the rest of the party no matter what you say. She really irritates a lot of gamers with that attitude, but I'd be screaming at people in her
situation too. Just give her some space. Imoen also has another disturbing flashback about her time with Irenicus here.
17) Up the hall there's also an escaped clone killing an assassin. The clone will talk to you a little and give you some unsettling hints before forcing you to fight her. Put what you
learn here in your back pocket: it will be a long time before you learn who the woman is that Irenicus is so obsessed with, but you will eventually learn it. Immie has some
more memories in here.
18) There's a battle going on in the main hall between dwarves and assassins. (Some of these assassins, by the way, may appear blue--they're nominally on your side, as they're
trying to kill Irenicus--but they'll turn on you when the bad guys are dead anyway, so don't stress yourself trying to keep them alive.) They don't have anything to say beyond
their initial dialogue. There's also some cool traps in this room. Try to stay out of the way as the moron assassins and dwarves trigger them all, and don't try to disarm them (it'll
just make them go off more)--the only way to turn them off is to solve the puzzle.
19) There's a vampire and some assassins in the northern room. Listen to them snarl at each other, but once they start fighting each other they won't talk to you anymore, so go
ahead and get everyone's aggressions out here. It is possible to kill this vampire, but you will not be able to stop her gas cloud from escaping.
20) There are some more evil dwarves in the eastern smithy, who talk to you a bit before attacking. There is, alas, no way to use the magic furnaces.
21) There's a prisoner in the southern cell who wants to be let out. If you do, he'll follow you around so closely as to be annoying. Either let him or tell him to go away; either way
will have a similar result.
22) There are some assassins guarding the exit, and though they talk to you, there's no way to convince them you're not in league with Irenicus. You will have to kill them. Then you
can get out the exit.
Chapter One: Cutscene
Watch Irenicus waste assassins and get subdued by Cowled Wizards. There's nothing much you can do about it. They'll haul Immie in too, the bastards. Her stuff will still be on
the ground where she was. If you're like me and your inventory was 100% full when you came out, schlepp some of it over to the shops and sell it so you can pick up Imoen's
An interesting side note about Irenicus: if you should encounter him during the first half of the game with an alignment-sensing spell active, he will glow good. Before you spend
time theorizing about demonic possession or a cursed magic item afflicting him, let me assure you that this is a bug, not a feature. What seems to have
happened is that the Baldurs Gate II programming crew, knowing full well that you would not actually be able to fight Irenicus at this stage in the game, just used their usual
Uber-Archmage template for Irenicus in these scenes. Since this template is--you guessed it--Elminster, he registers as good. By the time you actually face Irenicus in battle, he will
be a mortal character with a real spellbook and will show up to magic as the evil bastard he really is.
This is where you emerge from Irenicus' dungeon. As the Cowled Wizards already informed you, magic use is illegal here, at least for strangers like you. They have a chance of
showing up if you cast spells outside (especially high-level spells), but they'll just issue you a warning the first time and kill you all the second time, so my bright idea of getting
them to arrest us and take us to Immie just made me have to reload. Would have been too easy, I guess. You'll find her in due time, don't be silly like me and let worrying about
her detract from your enjoyment of the game.
The main story elements here are figuring out where the heck you are and learning about the Cowled Wizards and the Shadow Thieves. You can also shop till you drop, and
there's exploring to do and one significant quest (with a new friend attached).
1) Right as soon as you get there, Jaheira figures out where you are (the Cowled Wizards were a pretty good hint, as was the name of the game, which wasn't called "Shadows
of Kara-Tur," after all). There are also a male and a female NPC who will obligingly fill you in on the basics about the Wizards and Thieves.
2) There's a ritzy inn here, the Mithrest. It's interesting to go around and talk to the nobles with different characters, since their rudeness varies with your charisma. The unnamed
characters will just yield random upper-class rumors (talk to one of the noblemen enough and he'll hit rather obnoxiously on Jaheira, who will shut him up fast.) There's one
friendly nouveau-rich guy named Largo who'll tell you his story (Yoshimo will become involved in this conversation), and an apparent love triangle between a snotty nobleman,
a snottier debutante, and a jilted noblewoman. (The debutante calls all of you, even the incredibly upper-class Nalia and Anomen, 'peasants.' That was the only use I found for her,
giving me the enjoyment of hearing someone call those two pretentious gits 'peasants.') A few of these nobles
will also let you know what's happening in the Temple disctrict, eliciting further information from Anomen if he's about.
3) There's also an earthier inn, called the Den of Seven Vales. The bartender is surly and hates men, it's funny to talk to her with a male character and then a female one. The unnamed
characters just give you some various rumors (one of the girls there will hit on Minsc if you chat her up enough--his reply is, er, interesting...) There's a very bad bard in here who'll
recite an amusingly bad poem for you, and a drunk soldier in the corner who will try to sexually harass the ladies--try it when Jaheira's there and you'll almost feel sorry for the soldier.
Upstairs there's an evil adventuring party who will verbally assault you until you either insult them back or give in to them and slink away as they mock you. If you insult them they
will kill you, and you will not win this fight mano-a-mano in Chapter 1, so you have three options: 1) turn the other cheek and go back downstairs, 2) smile and accept their abuse,
then get into a good strategic position, cast some preparatory spells, hide in shadows, and slaughter them all in cold blood, or 3) don't go up there at all until you're high enough
level to stand up for yourself the honorable way. Do whichever suits your style. Frankly I did 2 and it didn't hurt my rep any. Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say.
4) The big quest here is Send In The Clowns, in the mysterious circus tent. Enter it and you'll get a linear,
self-contained, incredibly easy (no joke, Minsc could figure this one out) but thematically nifty little quest to solve. Talk to the little boy, the tiger tamer, the couple who wants
to see the circus, and the Amnish guard before you go in to learn a little about the mystery, and again afterwards to get a few well-deserved pats on the back (also some bonus
XP and the like). You get a new NPC out of the deal, as well as a cameo by Quayle the gnome that may interest you if you're a BGI veteran (I never had him in my party, so it didn't
mean much to me). Quayle has an indirect suggestion about how to find Imoen, too.
5) The Adventurer's Mart is someplace you'll be coming back to many times as your gold stash goes up. There are actually two salesmen in
here, Ribald (who is apparently a World of Greyhawk personage and comes with his own retinue of in-jokey buddies whose presence may
amuse you if you read a lot of Greyhawk books) and a woman in the back named Lady Yuth who sells spells. She's real furtive about it, claiming
it's illegal to sell spells, but there's another merchant outside selling the stuff right out in the open. Go figure. She does have a good selection,
though, and she and Ribald both have some information about the Cowled Wizards which is good to know. It's possible to pickpocket Ribald
but I don't suggest it till you're higher-level, as he's very good at catching you. In the very back of the store, incidentally, are two cartoony
pictures whose strange familiarity gnawed at the back of my brain for a while until a friend put me out of my misery. They're characters from
the hideously bad "Dungeons and Dragons" children's cartoon, from the early eighties. My younger sister used to watch it. Man, was that
an obscure shot. (-:
6) There are also a lot of smaller shops scattered around the arena, but it's much more annoying to ferret them out. If you do, it does seem like
you can save some money, as each of them has a few items for sale cheaper than Ribald does--but honestly, by the time you have enough
money to buy these things, saving a few hundred gold will be irrelevant to you. There is a LOT of money floating around Baldur's Gate 2. Declining
to buy anything at the smaller stalls can result in some amusing commentary on the shopkeepers' part, but nothing worth tooling around the
promenade grilling each one over. There are two specialized merchants here: Jerlia the ore merchant, who sells ore, and Quataris the art merchant,
who buys art. Jerlia will be useful later in the game; as for Quataris, he belonged to a deleted quest and has no importance anymore.
7) Other stray items: there are animals in cages in the circus area, but unfortunately I couldn't find any way for Jaheira to communicate with them.
There is a rude upper-class couple (the Ophals) having dinner out on the patio, but they won't talk to the party no matter how high your reputation.
There's a merchant from Rasheman on the west side of the stadium who has an amusing little conversation with Minsc about his dajemma--nothing worth a special trip
for, but Minsc will be with you in chapter 1 anyway. There is also a homesick Calimshan, Radeel, in the far northeast of this map, who will have
a long conversation with Minsc and eventually be successfully directed home by him. By the western fountain is a fellow named Belmin who
has a fanatic hatred of elves and will insult any in the party (going so far as to attack Viconia, if she is present). If your main character is himself
an elf, you can learn Belmin's problem--elves killed his children--but cannot do anything to help him or make him see reason.
Finally, there is a complaining shopper in the western part of the stadium who will talk your
ear off about how the Promenade merchants cheat you. He has amusing exchanges with most of the NPCs (I've noticed it with Yoshimo, Aerie,
Haerdalis, and Anomen.) Personally, I had Yoshimo drink a potion of Master Thievery and rip off most of the merchants, so I wasn't the one in a
position to complain. A word to the wise, if you're larcenous like me: the merchants are on to the "steal something, then sell it back" trick.
Once you've stolen something, it's marked as fenced and the merchants won't buy it. You also can't steal anything from the Adventurer's Mart,
presumably because Ribald, like Drizzt and Elminster, is a Very Important Person and not subject to normal rules.