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A quick tutorial in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn cheat codes

Baldurs Gate 2: Shadows of Amn comes with a built-in debug mode (CluaConsole) that can easily be used to tweak the game in dozens of interesting ways. Though I strongly recommend playing your first game all the way through without cheating or twiddling with the game system at all, for subsequent playthroughs the Baldur's Gate cheat codes are extraordinarily convenient, particularly since they allow you to teleport your party to a map location of your choosing (thus eliminating boring and repetitive travel time).

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So here's the deal: to enable the Baldur's Gate 2 cheat console you have to modify your baldur.ini file by adding the line "Debug Mode=1" under the heading [Program Options]. Then save it. Next time you start your game, you can activate the Amn cheat console any time you want to by pressing control-space. You'll see a little window pop up with the prompt "CLUAConsole:"

From this position you can alter most of the game variables, though in most cases you don't want to, because you'll almost certainly screw your game up beyond repair unless you're already quite familiar with these variables. A few of the available Baldurs Gate 2 cheats are basic, quite safe, and can be convenient, however. Here's a short list of the Baldur's Gate codes I consider most useful (mind the punctuation and spaces--don't begin your command with a space, for instance).

1) Ctrl-J This is the main reason to activate the BG2 cheat mode, in my opinion. Once you have the debug mode on, you don't even need to open the cheat console to use this--just press control-J and you can jump (teleport) your party to any spot on the map you click your mouse on. Great for eliminating the endless trudging back and forth down Aran Linvail's pointlessly long hallway!

2) MoveToArea("[AR#]") Almost as useful as Ctrl-J. Use this cheat code in the BGII console to instantly switch maps by replacing [AR#] with the area number of the map you want to teleport to. This can sometimes do strange things to your game if you teleport yourself to locations you haven't visited manually yet or shouldn't have access to, and any cutscenes or other events that were supposed to occur en route or upon arrival may get skipped or occur at strange times, so use this cheat with caution. It's best for switching back and forth between Athkatla quadrants you've already visited as you complete city quests, saving yourself pointless travel time without losing any events of interest. You can learn the AR# of any location by hitting the X key, but here are the key ones: AR0300: Docks District AR0400: Slums District AR0500: Bridge District AR0700: Waukeens Promenade AR0800: Graveyard District AR0900: Temple District AR1000: Government District AR1100: Umar Hills AR1200: Windspear Hills AR1300: De'arnise Hold AR1400: Temple Ruins AR2000: Trademeet. The maps for De'arnise Hold, the Temple Ruins, and Trademeet all change as you do things there--if, for example, you make De'Arnise Hold your stronghold, the AR# for that map will change to AR1304. If you want a full list of Baldur's Gate map locations (including dungeons, houses, dream sequences, before-and-after maps, and so forth) there's one here.

3) CreateItem("[item#]") You can go overboard on item cheating in Baldur's Gate 2--is there a point, really, to giving your characters red dragon mail and Carsomyr in the starter dungeon? However, it is massively convenient to cheat each member of your party Boots of Speed (boot01), something I've indulged in since the second playthrough. It's also good if you've lost an item due to stupidity or a bug. There's a complete list of Baldur's Gate 2 items here.

4) Ctrl-Y Once you've activated the BG2 cheat mode, you can kill anything in the game just by pointing to it with the mouse and hitting ctrl-y. This cheat will completely ruin your game if you use it on the first playthrough, of course, but after playing the game several times, having to fight another batch of trolls can become more tedious than fun. Note that you get no experience points for doing this.

5) Ctrl-I Once you've turned on the BG2 cheat mode, you can prompt any randomly occurring within-party interaction to occur by pressing Ctrl-I. In other words, if you have Minsc and Aerie in your party, and you use this cheat code, Minsc will talk to Aerie. Then he will talk to you. Then he will talk to Aerie again. By pressing ctrl-I enough times, you can scroll through all the possible conversations that could occur between the members of your party, except for romances and long-running character plots that use timers or in-game events to space conversations.

6) SetGlobal("JaheiraRomance","GLOBAL",1) This cheat works for any of the Baldur`s Gate 2 romances--just replace "JaheiraRomance" with "AerieRomance," "ViconiaRomance," or "AnomenRomance"--but it's usually Jaheira's, the longest romance plot, that needs it. Entering this command (EXACTLY as it appears on this page) into the cheat console causes the romance timer to expire. This means that a few seconds later, your love interest should start having the next conversation in her/his plotline with you. (If it doesn't work, try going to a safe location and sleeping, since just as in real life, some of the romance plot points require you to go to bed for them to occur.)

There are many more Baldur's Gate II cheat codes, but those are the six I find most useful (no offense, but it's sort of redundant to cheat yourself a million gold pieces in this Monty Haul of a game). If you need more Baldur's Gate cheat information, there's a nice page here with some more commands and a list of monster codes (in case you want to try round 2 with Kangaxx or something). An additional cheat resource is Shadow Keeper, a popular Baldur's Gate 2 character editor. In addition to making it possible to edit your party's stats (something it's hard to do via the cheat console), this program is by far the easiest way to change your party's character portraits, in case you, like me, miss Jaheira and Imoen's old faces from BGI. (-:

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